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Five Surprising Causes of ADHD

You've probably told that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is caused by genetics and an imbalance in two neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. While this is true, the traditional medical explanation for ADHD only presents a partial picture of the disorder.  ADHD can be triggered by various environmental factors, and can be treated by removing or addressing these root causes. Below are some five surprising causes of ADHD.

Nutritional deficiencies

The brain needs a number of nutrients for proper neuron function, efficient neurotransmitter reception and transmission, and steady neurotransmitter production.  It's not surprising that a deficiency in key nutrients can cause these functions to falter, resulting in inattention, hyperactivity, and many other psychological maladies afflicting children and adults today.  Even though our pantries and supermarkets are well-stocked with food, most of the foods we buy do not provide the nutrients required by the brain and body. These nutrients include (but are not limited to) omega-3 essential fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron.

Food allergies

Certain foods like wheat and dairy contain substances that the body cannot digest properly.  Research shows that when a person consumes allergenic foods, his or her brain wave patterns are adversely affected. This means that instead of emitting the brain waves that indicate concentration and attention, a person who consumes these foods shows brain waves that indicate a state of daydreaming.  Some of the most allergenic foods include wheat (gluten), dairy (casein), eggs, and artificial food additives.  ADHD diets like the gluten-free casein-free diet and Feingold diet are designed around eliminating these foods and improving a person's tolerance to these substances.


Dealing with the presence of toxic chemicals is an unfortunate reality of our everyday lives, but children and babies need to be protected from them as much as possible.  While adults have already developed immunity to their minor effects, the developing nervous system of children and babies can be negatively impacted by toxins.  Lead, mercury, and PCBs are just some of the toxins that are known to trigger ADHD.  Secondhand cigarette smoke, household cleaners, and pesticides also contain chemicals that can trigger this condition.  Check your home for the presence of these toxins.  How old is your apartment? Some old apartment buildings still have lead paint on the walls.  Do you use pesticides in the garden? What cleaners do you use for your floors and carpets? 

Leaky gut syndrome

Problems with the gut may seem completely unrelated to ADHD, but the gastrointestinal tract actually controls the body's second nervous system.  It produces more serotonin than the brain and contains a number of neurons.  It also houses a tiny ecosystem of good bacteria that aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. Leaky gut is when bad bacteria like yeast overwhelm the good bacteria, weakening the gut's nutrient absorption.   Not only does this cause nutrient deficiencies, but leaky gut also allows more toxins to enter the body. Leaky gut syndrome can be corrected by a special protocol done only by alternative medicine.

Traumatic birth
Even the circumstances of your birth can make you a candidate for ADHD.  A traumatic birth that made use of forceps to forcibly extract the child can damage the delicate tissues of the neck and head. Studies show that children born through Caesarean section are also more likely to develop ADHD. Natural birth activates the baby's neurological reflexes that aid proper brain development.