Sunday, July 12, 2009

Health Tips for July 12

Health Tip: Understanding ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral condition that can affect both social interaction and academics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following information about ADHD:

  • Most children won't outgrow ADHD. But with early treatment, ADHD can be managed so that it doesn't interfere with a person's adult life.
  • More and more people are now being treated for ADHD, although it's unclear why. Experts aren't sure whether there are more cases of ADHD now, or if more cases are simply being recognized.
  • While ADHD medications are effective in helping many children focus and learn, the medications have the potential for abuse and should be carefully administered, the academy says.
  • There is no cure for ADHD, but researchers continue to explore the long-term effects of the condition and new methods to help manage symptoms.

Health Tip: Taking ADHD Medications

Medications prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may effectively manage symptoms, but they can also cause a number of side effects.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to minimize side effects caused by ADHD drugs:

  • Take only the minimal dose necessary to control your symptoms. Speak with your doctor about determining the right dose for you.
  • If you have stomach upset, take your ADHD meds with food.
  • As long as your doctor says it's OK, consider the weekend "drug-free days" when you can skip your medication.
  • If ADHD meds cause undesired weight loss, add healthy snacks to the day's menu.

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