ADHD is a condition that can affect children and adults alike, and data tells us that it’s a huge problem in the United States. Nearly 6.4 million children between four and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD—a 53 percent jump from 2001. This massive surge in numbers begs the question: Has the ability to test for this condition improved or are people being misdiagnosed or over diagnosed? Also, what else can be done to combat these high numbers? How can chiropractic help with ADD and ADHD?
Dramatic Increase in Diagnoses
In the United States, children ages four to 17 have seen a:
- 16 percent increase in diagnoses since 2007
- 53 percent increase in diagnoses since 2001
This means that as of 2011:
- 6 million U.S. children have been diagnosed
- 4 million U.S. children are taking prescription medication
And it’s not just the kids:
- Adults between 20 and 39 fill 14 million prescriptions for ADHD each month
Symptoms of Normal Behavior?
In his article, “Misdiagnosis, Anywhere,” psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin presents excellent food for thought: The typical symptoms of ADHD—hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention—are actually quite common and normal behaviors for young children. He also points out that if these behaviors (not symptoms) become excessive, then it’s appropriate to look at the root of the problem instead of choosing a quick fix.
Consider the Cause
We recommend that parents (and doctors) consider other factors and causes of behavior before placing a child or young adult on medication. There may be other underlying causes such as nutrition, family environment, school or social stresses, which could be addressed first.
It may be less obvious to some, but nutrition may play a large role in children’s behavioral changes or issues. A long-term study done with more than 1,000 children, found a link between poor nutrition and “bad” behavior. The children were more aggressive, anti-social and exhibited risky behavior.
Medicate with Caution
Be sure to thoroughly research any recommended medications, and never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. And be aware of side effects, prescribed use of common ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall have been connected to weight loss and stunted growth. There’s also some evidence these medications may affect children’s social and creative development.
Chiropractic and ADHD
Studies and case reports have demonstrated a link between improved behaviors and symptoms of children diagnosed ADHD while under chiropractic care. Gentle spinal adjustments and therapies are typically performed while under chiropractic care, and many patients and parents of patients have reported improvements in their children’s diagnosed ADHD symptoms and behaviors.
Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about chiropractic and ADHD.
Read on to learn more:
Poor Diet Linked to Bad Behaviour, BBC, Nov. 2004
An evaluation of chiropractic manipulation as a treatment of hyperactivity in children (Abstract), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1989
Chiropractic management using a brain-based model of care for a 15-year-old adolescent boy with migraine headaches and behavioral and learning difficulties: a case report (Abstract), Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, Dec. 2013
The chiropractic care of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a retrospective case series (Abstract), Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, May/June 2010
Chiropractic management of a patient with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (Abstract), Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, Sept. 2012