Our Approach to AD/HD
It’s been described as inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, hyperactivity, ADD, HD, lazy kid, bad kid, bad parenting, retarded, slow, stupid, undisciplined, and several other unfortunate names and terms. It’s often “comorbid” (ie, accompanies another cognitive illness simultaneously, e.g. Asperger Syndrome, Autism, RAD, or OCD). The major point is that it has a medical basis at its root cause. So the afflicted person often benefits from medical care (tests and treatment).
Though there are medications that sometimes do help, they have untoward effects (“side effects”), sometimes serious such as those of the heart and blood pressure, tics, apathy, seizures, on cholesterol (even at a young age), the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (such as the appetite, the liver, and the intestines), on sleep (interrupted), diaphoresis (excess sweating), and maintenance of healthy weight, to name a few. The US Food & Drug Association (FDA) has put black box warnings on some types of these drugs.
When a drug works for AD/HD without intolerable side effects, that’s great. But it just doesn’t happen that way for every kid or adult with AD/HD. Sometimes the drugs just don’t work. Further, many patients do not want these drugs, and they prefer other alternative treatments that work more directly with the body’s natural functions. Dr. DeMio has seen thousands of hyperactive kids and adults and those with attention and focus issues. In fact, it’s Dr. DeMio’s observations that have led to the recognition that many such kids and adults are overfocused and they infact multitask much more than their peers, often becoming overwhelmed, thus having difficulty achieving tasks and goals.
This results for such patients in Dr. DeMio’s words is that “it takes 5 units of mental effort for the kid or adult with AD/HD to accomplish what would take 1 unit for the average Joe or Jane.”
There are treatments that can and do help many patients who have AD/HD. Though neither these nor any treatments for AD/HD are perfect, these can help with much lower risk than many of the widely prescribed medications noted above, plus they can be added to the medications without conflicting problems. Many of these are viewed as more natural, and they involve, for example, diets, supplements, hyperbaric oxygen treatments, and other ways to do a more direct approach that gets to the root basis of the problem.
It takes a lot of work to be done right, and Dr. DeMio’s approach is to do an evaluation of you or your loved one, discuss further testing that may need to be done, and to offer treatments usually with a multipronged approach. We don't want to hamper creativity during this process. The goal is to develop a treatment plan that works to lead to improvements for you, your child, or loved one without changing the good attributes of their inner personalities and skills, with a minimum of side effects.
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