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Five Surprising ADHD Symptoms

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as the name suggests, is characterized by the inability to concentrate, impulsive tendencies, and hyperactive behavior. It makes sense that the symptoms of ADHD should be variations of these three main symptoms.  However, studies show that children with ADHD also experience a wide range of health problems and difficulties beyond the major symptoms.  This makes sense when you go beyond the idea that the symptoms are the main problem, and view ADHD as an expression of an underlying imbalance in the body.  The symptoms of ADHD vary from one person to the next, but you can expect to find these five other symptoms in someone with ADHD:

Food allergies

A number of individuals with ADHD are intolerant of a number of food substances.  Research shows that foods like gluten (from wheat), casein (from milk), and artificial additives alter the brain wave patterns once consumed, which can account for the inattentive and hyperactive symptoms . These food allergies cannot be detected by traditional medical tests because they work through a different mechanism. To detect these allergies, you need to take a specialized test from a holistic doctor trained in functional medicine or nutritional medicine. 

Sleep problems

Kids and adults with ADHD have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up in the morning.  Although there is no biological explanation that can account for the relationship between sleep problems and ADHD, experts believe that insomnia may be an expression of the mind's hyperactivity.  Sleep problems may also be the result of sleep apnea, or difficulty breathing.  Apnea not only leads to problems with executive brain functions; it also disrupts the normal sleep cycle.

Mood swings and depression

It's common for people with ADHD to go through bouts of depression and moodiness.  Some experts believe that the irritability and mood shifts are a consequence of ADHD, while others think that the inattention is a consequence of the mood disorder.  It's hard to say which disorder causes the other, but depression and ADHD are often co-morbid in children and adults.

Difficulty making friends

Difficulty making friends is more of a consequence than a symptom of ADHD, but it's a very useful red flag for young children. Children with ADHD have difficulty getting along with their peers because the disorder causes a developmental lag.  Their inability to wait in line, control their impulses, or watch what they say also discourages friendships from forming.

Motor coordination problems

This symptom is also found in children rather than in adults.  Although the reasons are still unclear, motor coordination problems often appear in kids and adolescents with ADHD. Likewise, treating the source of the motor coordination problems also appears to eliminate the ADHD-like symptoms.