Category Archives: Medical Diseases

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Young Children Suspected of ADHD

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea in Young Children Suspected of ADHD More and more children ages 3 to 17 in the United States, as well as other countries, are being diagnosed with ADHD each year. US Statistics show a huge increase in kids under age 7 years being diagnosed and treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder particularly in the past three years. Just in the U.S. alone, the number of kids ages 3 to 17 diagnosed with ADHD has skyrocketed to in excess of 10,000,000 ( Yes…that’s ten million) and that number is expected to increase by 15 to 20 percent over the next year.   Likewise, during this same period, as many as 4 million or 40 percent of those children ages 3 to 17 years, will have been misdiagnosed with ADHD. Obviously, it’s very important that we diagnose ADHD and other behavior problems carefully and accurately in order to avoid wrongfully labeling a child with ADHD when indeed he or she is not ADHD. Currently, there are in excess of 95 medical, social, and environmental things that can cause ADHD-like behavior, confusing the diagnosis; causing misdiagnosis of ADHD. One of the most common seen in kids under age… Read the rest

Sleep Apnea Treatment may Prevent ADHD Behavior

Sleep Apnea Treatment may Prevent ADHD Behavior Most ADHD experts agree obstructive sleep apnea can cause the core symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity in children; inattentiveness, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It stands to reason the earlier we suspect, detect and treat obstructive sleep disorders, the more likely we can prevent the symptoms of ADHD in the first place and avoid the misdiagnosis of ADHD. Approximately 2.5 to 4 million children ages 3 to 17 years are misdiagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. each year. Of these, several hundred thousand will suffer the terrible stigma and discrimination of being labeled as ADHD and the side effects of unneeded medications-sometimes for years-all because their sleep-time breathing disorder went undetected and untreated. Much research is now being reported about the association of disorder breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and cognitive-learning problems and ADHD-like behavior disorders in children as young as age 3 years. A recent study presented at the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies showed nerve based abnormalities that affected cognition in brains of children with OSA were reversible with treatment of the OSA. Studies had already shown a clear association between deficits in attention, executive brain functionRead the rest

How to Diagnose and Treat Sleep Problems that cause ADHD Behavior

How to Diagnose and Treat Sleep Problems that cause ADHD Behavior Problems sleeping have caused many kids and adults to be wrongfully labeled because of misdiagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Recently, many news and research articles have popped up confirming what behavior specialists have “known” for years; children and adults who have problems sleeping are more likely to have behavior problems such as ADHD. It just seems it took a long time for everyone else to come to grips with the association between a “good night’s sleep” and normal or appropriate behavior. I considered the quality and quantity of sleep to be such a big part of a child’s or adult’s ability to function the next day; I dedicated an entire chapter to the topic in Mistaken for ADHD. In my last article; Problems sleeping cause ADHD Behavior in Children and Adults, we discussed how any “thing”; medical or otherwise, that caused a child or adult to have problems sleeping could also cause signs and symptoms of ADHD. As you’re sure to remember, ten year-old Leslie was a perfect example of how a child could be misdiagnosed with ADHD-when in fact suffering from disordered sleep. Disorders of… Read the rest

Problems sleeping cause ADHD Behavior in Children and Adults

Problems sleeping cause ADHD Behavior in Children and Adults Any “thing” that causes a problem sleeping can also cause a child or an adult to have signs and symptoms of ADHD. If you take a moment to think about it, it only makes sense that sleep disorders-regardless of the cause-can cause behavior often misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Ten year-old Leslie was a perfect example of a child misdiagnosed with ADHD-who in fact was suffering disordered sleep. Leslie just seemed to be a tired, sleepy little girl when she first showed up in my office with her mom. Her teacher had urged her parents to have Leslie evaluated for ADHD, because “She had so many symptoms of ADHD behavior.” Ironically, her symptoms were poor concentration, poor attention span, and failure to complete assignments, falling asleep in class, failing grades, and acting as if she was in a daze. She was definitely not hyperactive and reportedly rarely impulsive. Several of these are indeed symptoms of ADHD, but not enough to make a true diagnosis. That’s what made Leslie’s behavior so confusing to her parents. She was tired….all the time, not just at school. Her parents… Read the rest

Diabetes Risk in ADHD Children Treated with Atypical Antipsychotics

ADHD children treated with atypical antipsychotics and antidepressants for depression or other behavior disorders are at greater risk for developing diabetes mellitus. While atypical antipsychotics are traditionally used to treat schizophrenia, I’ve found more and more doctors using them to treat bipolar disorder, agitated depression, anxiety associated with depression, major depressive disorder, oppositional behavior disorder, conduct disorder, and obsessive-compulsive behavior disorder. It’s currently estimated in excess of 40 children per 1000 children in the U.S. are being treated for one of the above behavior problem diagnoses using second generation (atypical) antipsychotics. This number has increased dramatically since 1996 at which point only about 9 out of 1000 kids ages 5 to 18 years were exposed to these drugs. Unfortunately, with increasing use of atypical antipsychotics and antidepressants, significant side effects of these medications are starting to pop up-the most concerning being diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes. A new study released in the December issue of the medical journal Pediatrics showed a four-fold increased risk of diabetes among children exposed to atypical antipsychotics and a little less in those treated with antidepressants. While the study doesn’t well-define the exact number of children, who develop diabetes as a result of exposure… Read the rest

Underactive Thyroid can cause ADHD behavior

An underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism can cause a child or teen to have the symptoms of ADHD, thus confusing the real diagnosis leading to ADHD misdiagnosis. In the past three months, we’ve evaluated four children and teens for failure to respond to their ADHD medications, only to discover they all suffered from the same problem; low thyroid hormone levels. Just like me, you might wonder why we saw so many children and teens who were supposed to be ADHD, but instead were suffering from hypothyroidism in such a short time. After taking a second-look at these cases, I discovered they had several things in common. In each case, the kids and teens: Were inattentive and had a difficult time focusing Were making pretty good grades, but teachers and parents thought they were capable of much more Were thought to be withdrawn, depressed, or shy Had some increased impulsivity-maybe a little more than normal for their age Had quit playing a sport or playing with friends because of fatigue or muscle weakness Had a poor appetite, but didn’t lose a lot of weight Felt cold most of the time Slept too much or were sleepy during class or… Read the rest

Low T Levels can cause ADHD Symptoms

That’s right! Men suffering from low T levels or low testosterone will often show symptoms of ADHD. Of course, many times these men will be misdiagnosed with ADHD and receive treatment for ADHD instead of getting what they really need-testosterone. Low T levels may be caused by any disease or insult to a man’s brain or testes. In our office in the past month, we’ve diagnosed six patients with either primary testicular failure or secondary testicular failure from brain disorders. Rarely, a male child will be born with low testosterone levels and if not detected and corrected soon after birth, low T levels will dramatically affect the child’s growth and development. Key Point: normal male brain, nerve, and muscle development, growth, and function depend upon normal levels of testosterone! Some experts feel that the part of the brain that makes executive decisions (when and if to do something) will not work well and will cause learning problems and difficulty in forming social skills (friendships and marriage). How does low testosterone cause so much confusion that a boy or a man could be mistaken for ADHD and misdiagnosed? The usual reason for all the confusion is that ADHD and low T… Read the rest
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