Inattention & ADHD Type Issues
There are a variety of causes of focus, concentration, and distractibility problems. Many online screens do not differentiate between other causes of ADHD type symptoms such as anxiety, past trauma, depression, Bipolar, poor sleep, food sensitivities, too much screen time, processed foods diet, low physical activity, Auditory procession disorder, and mild concussions. First rule of treatment is to rule out other reasons for focus issues before treating.
ADHD Symptom Assessment/Influences
Substance UseMJ, ETOH, other rec drugs
Sleep dyregulation—Sleep apnea, late to bed, short sleep, irreg sleep
High Toxic loadpollution, mold-foods, mold-from water damage, EMF
Excessive Tech screen exposure—late screens, >2 hours on screens
Medical issues: Neurological/Neurodevelopmental --Autism, Sensory Issues
--Thyroid Health: Hypothyroid, Hyperthyroid, Hashimotos
--Hormone Imbalance: high estrogen, low progesterone, high testosterone
--Gastrointestinal issues: bloating, gas, constipation, IBS, malabsorption
--Medications: Benzos, Statins,
C section baby? Birth complications? NICU? Premature?
Chronic childhood illnesses?
--Asthma, Ear infections, Resp infections? GI issues?
Hx Childhood trauma?
--Neglect, physical mistreat, bullied, Caregiver depressed or w/substance use hx
High Stress: work, home, Excessive exercise, child management
Eating Issues--restrictive eating, junk food preferences, Bulimia, binge eating, Sugar addiction, fast food diet
Neurotransmitters involved in Focus, Attention, & Distractibility
Adrenaline is a stress hormone released into the body of someone feeling extreme emotions, which causes the person to have more energy. Also known as epinephrine, Adrenaline, is a hormone (and medication) that is produced when the body senses danger. Normally produced by the adrenal glands and some medulla obliongata neurons, it acts as a neurotransmitter participating in regulating visceral functions. Adrenaline's major influence, along with noradrenaline, is to prep the body for 'fight or flight'. It increases heart rate, strengthens the heart's force of contraction, and opens up the lung bronchioles. Under stress, it is released causing irritability, restlessness, and defensiveness along with feelings of dizziness, light-headedness, and vision changes. Excess adrenaline also increases blood pressure, heart rate, insomnia, and a jittery, nervous feeling.
Dopamine is described as the reward hormone. It is the key brain chemical required for game developers and individuals. Used in all aspects of our lives, and essential for surviving. It is associated with pleasure, thus motivating us. Deficiency causes loss of pleasure, low motivation, sluggishness, and often depression. Released when performing or thinking about a pleasurable activity. Our brain remembers and programs a dopamine path to trigger and repeat the same pleasure reward. Repeating the pleasure consistently leads to addiction. Dopamine paths which provide dopamine to key brain centers are linked to emotional memory. Thinking about the activity that gave us pleasure causes individuals to seek out and repeat the same action.
Influences of Focus & Inattention
If you understand how your own unique brain wiring works you won't suffer, you will learn how to thrive.
ADHD Supportive Eating for Focus & Concentration
Modified Keto Diet
The Keto Diet is a low-carb eating plant that helps to reduce appetite and provide healthy fats. It is not intended to be followed strickly for an extended period of time. However, it works well for persons struggling with focus and attention issues. A modified Keto eating plan helps lead to weight loss through removing excess water, fat, and toxins (which can contribute to poor focus & concentration as well as inflammation). Metabolically, Triglycerides are often greatly reduced and "Good cholesterol" known as HDL, increases--which your brain needs to function optimally. This This dietary plan helps to reduce insulin resistance leading to more balanced blood sugar and mood levels. An added bonus is that health providers note that abnormally elevated blood pressure tends to stabilize to normal ranges.
Inositol Powder is effective in providing a sense of calm and focus. It helps create the antioxidant Glutathione, assists in detoxification, and easily crosses the blood brain barrier. Used to improve focus and attention and in various psychiatric disorders (addictive behaviors, pediatric bipolar disorder, ADD, anxiety, and depression). Boosts brain health by regulating glutamate and replenishing Glutathione. Supports brain and digestive function by influencing neurotransmitter signaling.* Effective in double-blind trials as a complimentary intervention for anxiety and OCD when taken at prescribed doses. It relieves respiratory conditions by breaking up excess mucous, calms stress, anxiety, panic and depression. Taken in water, sprinkled on food, or eaten as dry powder on a spoon. Follow your prescriber's doses which will be higher (5,000-15,000 mg daily) than listed on bottle. Click on picture link.
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids (EFA) are needed for normal sensory, cognitive, and motor function. Doco-sahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an EFA and essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in infants. DHA is also required for maintenance of normal brain function in adults. The inclusion of plentiful DHA in the diet improves learning ability, whereas deficiencies of DHA are associated with deficits in learning. DHA is taken up by the brain in preference to other fatty acids.
We need approximately 10-20mg daily as low body levels alter the taste of protein and lead to protein aversion. Deficiency of zinc increases hyperactivity, impulsivity, and impaired socialization in children with ADHD.
Clean Drinks that boost Focus & Energy
Molds, Coffee, & Mental Health
Coffee is used to manage focus and energy. But your health risks are higher due to regular use because processing methods or bean sources almost always are contaminated with mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are created by molds growing in foods like coffee beans. The molds contribute to brain fog, cardiomyopathy, cancer, hypertension, kidney disease, and brain damage. Additionally they make coffee taste bitter.
Some coffees contain more mycotoxins than others, explaining how studies can show benefit or negative health outcomes to drinking coffee. The issue is mold on your coffee and vary in each batch. Choose brands that process molds out of their coffee beans.
OM Mushroom Powder
Recent studies have found positive brain benefits to using Mushrooms like Chagas, Lion's Main, Reishi, and Cordyceps. Found to assist with energy, mental clarity, focus, and concentration they can be added to foods, smoothies, Om powder can contains 4 powerful mushroom types that can be added to drinks, smoothies, or warm drinks. Visit Sprouts, PCC, or Whole foods for this product. Click on picture link.
Managing Focus, Concentration, and Distraction
Setting boundaries is a way of caring for myself. It doesnt' make me mean, selfish, or uncaring (just) because I don't do things your way. I care about me too."
Recommended Books & Helps
Author's Clinical Work re: ADHD management