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ADHD and Diabetes: What's the Connection
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Publish-date-icon August 9, 2012
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EPISODE DESCRIPTION

Initially, diabetes and attention deficit disorder (ADHD) appear to be two completely unrelated health conditions. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder seen as a abnormal blood sugar levels, whereas ADHD is a psychological problem signified by chronic inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Yet 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 amounts of blood sugar levels can contribute to the symptoms of ADHD.

Two types of diabetes

Diabetes is seen as a abnormal amounts of insulin, the hormone that is accountable for using the glucose (sugar) within the bloodstream. Diabetes falls under two categories. Type I diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes, takes place when the pancreas is not able to produce insulin, causing abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This type of diabetes is comparatively uncommon and affects only 10% of diabetics, usually children. Type II diabetes, or insulin-resistant diabetes, happens when your body cannot make use of the insulin produced by the pancreas. The pancreas continues to produce more insulin to try to bring down the blood sugar levels in the blood, however the body does not normalize the blood sugar levels. Type II diabetes is much more common in grown-ups aged 40 and also over, and is strongly correlated to poor eating routine and obesity.

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ADHD and diabetes

ADHD is generally the result of a deficiency in 2 neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine. Norepinephrine controls hyperactivity and works together with adrenaline to provide your body an energy boost during moments of stress. Dopamine, however, controls behavior and mood. Research by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center learned that levels of insulin can influence the brain's production and regulating dopamine. Since glucose is also necessary for brain to function properly, abnormal levels of blood sugar may also aggravate the the signs of ADHD by affecting the brain's neurological and cognitive function. When hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels occurs, focusing on tasks becomes nearly impossible and the person has a tendency to feel cranky due to the lack of energy.

Although diabetes does not cause ADHD per se, diabetic symptoms can make it harder for a person 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 from the excess sugar and try to maintain a healthy weight. Track your blood sugar levels every day, specially when you see a mood change or perhaps a alternation in your energy levels. If these be a persistent problem, speak to your doctor. The information you kept on your glucose levels might help your physician adjust your plan for treatment or recommend an eating plan plan, as needed.

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