I'm starting a new series today called How to Prevent ADHD.
You may be familiar with my other series called "How to Prevent Autism." Well, I decided to start one on ADHD too because there's just as many of those kids as there is autism.Just so you know, ADHD is part of what we call the "autistic spectrum." Meaning those are all really the same problem. They all involve the right side of the brain-- 99% of the time. The only difference, really, between autism and ADHD is severity of the problem and what specific par to of the brain is involved, anatomically speaking.
Number one way to prevent ADHD-- don't smoke when you're pregnant.
Now, it's 2010, and I hope that most of us are aware of how bad nicotine and tobacco are for us, but especially when we're talking about a developing baby.
One of the studies that recently wa published found that 8 to 15 year olds that were born to mothers that smoked during pregnancy, had a 2.4 times more likely to get diagnosed with ADHD. That's a big deal.
Why is that? Well, not that I expect you to have to memorize this because you obviously know smoking is gonna be bad for the fetus anyway because of oxygen deprivation, but-- nicotine is an adrenal gland stimulant.
Now, just a quick thing, adrenal glands are on top of the kidneys. Their main job, I guess you could say, is to regulate blood sugar delivery. If you remember, there's two things that a nerve cell and brain's gotta have to be healthy, and that is fuel and activation. Fuel is oxygen and glucose.
Don't get exposed to tobacco at all because what nicotine will do is over-stimulate your adrenal glands, number one. That can actually have a lot of very bad consequences because when we're disturbing blood sugar regulation, we're gonna be disturbing that child's normal developing brain. I didn't wanna go too heavy to the biochemistry because I thought this one was fairly – a fairly straightforward tip, right? Don't smoke.Now, the paper that I pulled this from, one of the interesting things that is says is – they kind of wish-wash h a little bit at the end of this. At the end of the paper, they say, "Well, ADHD is thought to be a strongly genetic condition." That is partly true, but --for me--this brings up this whole issue (and you should know this) that, yes, genetics are involved in... everything. But genetics do not predetermine your fate.
You have to understand the difference between what we call a genotype and a phenotype. Or the genes you're born with versus then genes that get turned on and actually do things.
Yes, ADHD is genetic. So is your hair color. So is how how tall you are.
The thing I want you to know is that you can have genes that don't turn on. For many chronic conditions, especially neurological conditions and ADHD, when genes get turned on, that can be a very bad thing.
So, tip number one on how to prevent ADHD is simply don't smoke because it's an adrenal stimulant. It can disturb your developing baby's chemistry in so many ways--not the least of which is just the fact that it will overdrive their developing system.
Genetics do not predetermine your child's fate. What happens to your child both in the womb and outside that has the biggest influence on whether they do or do not develop the symptoms that will get them labeled ( I don't like labels because they don't tell you want to do about it) – labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
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© 2010 Dr. David Clark
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Dr. David Clark
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist