Living life in the modern age we often neglect the fact that our attention spans have gotten extremely short. With social media, our fast-paced lifestyles, our unlimited access to high stimulation, it's easy we can see why we tend to become distracted and lose focus. For a lot of people, this can seem like unfamiliar territory. But for others, perhaps our close friends and even family members, who have ADD/ADHD, this is exactly how their brains have always operated.
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are neurological disorders that affect a person's ability to maintain focus, process information, find stillness, and stay organized. Yet there also tends to be a special spark these individuals have that gives them a unique sense of creativity and a way of looking at the world. ADD/ADHD affects four functional regions in the brain. These regions are crucial in things like executive function, emotional regulation, inattention, and hyperactivity. However, we can influence these parts of the brain through our diet, by affecting the neurotransmitters in these regions which play a major role in ADD/ADHD.
Studies have shown that the people with ADD/ADHD have lower than normal norepinephrine and dopamine levels. These neurotransmitters directly influence the brain in ways that reflect the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Norepinephrine is the neurotransmitter involved in focus and processing.
Low levels of this neurotransmitter can create issues with inattention and difficulty learning. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is linked with our perception of pleasure and reward. It also motivates us to seek out things that our brain believes to be beneficial to our success and survival. This may cause a lot of people with ADD/ADHD to seek out high stimulation activities to compensate for low dopamine levels. While dopamine and norepinephrine have similar roles in the brain, it is important that we have optimal levels of both as they have somewhat different functions and act on different receptors.
What is often overlooked in the ADD/ADHD neurochemistry is the amount of amino acid precursors in the body. Norepinephrine has Dopamine as its precursor and dopamine is synthesized by the amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. People with ADD/ADHD have shown to have low levels of these amino acids after a detailed urinalysis test.
If you find yourself interested in testing your ADD/ADHD brain, we recommend the HPA 1 profile to test the Hypothalamus and Pituitary parts of the brain for both neurotransmitter and amino acid levels. At Sabre, we also offer the option to custom formulate amino acid powders, specific to your individual needs. Our HPA profiles take an extensive look into how we can properly support the ADD/ADHD brain by giving you, and your family, the balance and harmony these unique individuals need to invoke their extraordinary minds.