Blog / ADHD and Diabetes: What is the Connection
Friday, 10 August 2012 at 01:54
Initially, diabetes and attention deficit disorder (ADHD) appear to be two completely unrelated health conditions. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder seen as a abnormal glucose levels, whereas ADHD is a psychological problem signified by chronic inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The link between both of these conditions is closer than you believe. Based on Dr. Georgianna Donadio, this program director of Boston's National Institute of Whole Health, high levels of blood sugar levels can contribute to the symptoms of ADHD.
Two kinds of diabetes
Diabetes is seen as a abnormal levels of insulin, the hormone that's accountable for using the glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream. Diabetes falls under two classes. Type I diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes, takes place when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, causing abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This type of diabetes is relatively uncommon and affects only 10% of diabetics, usually children. Type II diabetes, or insulin-resistant diabetes, is when your body cannot utilize the insulin made by the pancreas. The pancreas continues to produce more insulin to try and reduce the blood sugar levels in the blood, however the body fails to normalize the glucose levels. Type II diabetes is more common in adults aged 40 and over, and is strongly correlated to poor eating routine and obesity.
ADHD and diabetes
ADHD is usually caused by a deficiency in two neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine. Norepinephrine controls hyperactivity and works with adrenaline to provide your body an energy boost during moments of stress. Dopamine, on the other hand, controls behavior and mood. A study by the Vanderbilt University Clinic learned that levels of insulin can influence the brain's production and regulating dopamine. Since glucose can also be necessary for brain to function properly, abnormal amounts of blood sugar can also aggravate the symptoms of ADHD by affecting the brain's neurological and cognitive function. When hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels occurs, focusing on tasks becomes almost impossible and also the person tends to feel cranky because of the lack of energy.
Although diabetes doesn't cause ADHD per se, diabetic symptoms can make it more difficult for an individual to manage ADHD. Fortunately, both conditions can be managed by avoiding simple carbohydrates and delicate sugars, and eating more vegetables, fruits, and high-protein foods. Exercise regularly to burn off the excess sugar and then try to conserve a healthy weight. Track your blood sugar levels every day, specially when you notice a mood change or perhaps a change in your time levels. If these become a persistent problem, talk to your doctor. The data you kept on your glucose levels can help your doctor adjust your plan for treatment or recommend a diet plan, as needed.