Sunday, June 10, 2007

Women, adult ADHD, summertime, bulimia, fibromyalgia


Summertime can be an especially hard time for mothers, especially if they have adult ADHD. The usual multitasking responsibilities of motherhood are further strained by the additional hours of the emotionally draining, child care. The children require sustained attention and patient reactivity for their structure, nurturance, teaching, and discipline. If the mother is working as well, she has to juggle another competitor for her time, attention, and emotional and physical energy.

Women with adult ADHD are also at significantly higher risk of having children with ADHD. ADHD is one of the most highly heritable psychiatric conditions. Children with ADHD are difficult enough to deal with if the mother doesn't have ADHD. The combination of mother and child with ADHD can only exhaust the mother further.

Summertime is a great time for mothers who suspect they have ADHD to come in and get relief with medication. And if a child is suspected of having ADHD, it is a good time to bring in the child for evaluation when they're not in school. If they have ADHD and are treated effectively, a mother's summer may improve dramatically.

Co-occurring conditions are common with adult ADHD. Two recent studies now have shown significant improvement in bulimia and fibromyalgia when ADHD is present as well and the ADHD is effectively treated. The abstracts of the two articles can be viewed below.

Women are getting help for adult ADHD at a faster pace than men now. The third abstract below describes this trend. Join the ranks of your colleagues and call for help today.

Darvin Hege M.D. ; June 10, 2007

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2005 May;14(4):345-50
Bulimia nervosa and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a possible role for stimulant medication.
Dukarm CP.
Department of Pediatrics, Sisters of Charity Hospital, Buffalo, New York 14214-2692, USA.
BACKGROUND: Bulimia nervosa and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) share several key features, including impulsivity and low self-esteem. Stimulant medications have been highly effective in the treatment of ADHD. However, medication management of bulimia with antidepressants has demonstrated only partial resolution of bulimic symptoms. To date, there are no published reports of controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of stimulants for bulimia. The purpose of this paper is to report 6 patients with comorbid bulimia and ADHD who were treated with the stimulant medication, dextroamphetamine. RESULTS: All 6 patients described reported complete abstinence from binge eating and purging after treatment with psychostimulants, and none of the patients discontinued taking the medication because of side effects. The side effect of decreased appetite proved beneficial in decreasing the desire to binge eat. However, all 6 patients remained within a healthy weight range. CONCLUSIONS: Data from these case reports suggest a possible benefit of screening for ADHD as part of the overall evaluation of bulimia. In addition, these cases suggest the potential role of psychostimulants in the management of bulimia because of the high rate of abstinence from bulimic symptoms and the low rate of adverse side effects. Clinical trials are needed to fully evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of psychostimulants in the treatment of bulimia nervosa.
PMID: 15916509 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Fibromylagia, chronic fatigue, and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the adult: a case study.
Psychopharmacol Bull. 2007;40(1):118-26

Young JL, Redmond JC.
Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine, Rochester Hills, MI.
Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may share common features with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In an outpatient psychiatric clinic, a number of adult patients who presented primarily with symptoms of ADHD, predominately inattentive type, also reported unexplained fatigue, widespread musculoskeletal pain or a pre-existing diagnosis of CFS or FMS. As expected, ADHD pharmacotherapy usually attenuated the core ADHD symptoms of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Less expected was the observation that some patients also reported amelioration of pain and fatigue symptoms. The utility of ADHD medications in FMS and CFS states may be their innate arousal and enhanced filtering properties. This model supposes that FMS and CFS are central processing problems rather than peripheral disorders of muscles and joints.
PMID: 17285103 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Atten Disord. 2007 May;10(4):335-42
Trends in medication treatment for ADHD.
Castle L, Aubert RE, Verbrugge RR, Khalid M, Epstein RS.
Medco Health Solutions.
Objective: This study examines demographic trends in the use of medications to treat ADHD in adult and pediatric populations. Method: Using pharmacy claims data for a large population of commercially insured Americans, the study measures ADHD treatment prevalence and drug use from 2000 to 2005. Results: In 2005, 4.4% of children (ages 0 to 19) and 0.8% of adults (ages 20 and older) used ADHD medications. Treatment rates were higher in boys (6.1%) than in girls (2.6%), but the rates for men and women were approximately equal (0.8%). During the period of the study, treatment prevalence increased rapidly (11.8% per year) for the population as a whole. Treatment rates grew more rapidly for adults than for children, more rapidly for women than for men, and more rapidly for girls than for boys. Conclusion: Improved identification of ADHD in adult and female patients has contributed to rapid growth in ADHD medication use. (J. of Att. Dis. 2007; 10(4) 335-342).
PMID: 17449832 [PubMed - in process]

1 comment: said...

Hi Dr. Hege,

I hope all is well with you. Healthline just published an infographic detailing the effects on the body of Bulimia. This is an interactive chart allowing the reader to pick the side effect they want to learn more about.

You can see the overview of the report here:

Our users have found our guide very useful and I thought it would be a great resource for your page:

I would really appreciate if you could review our request and consider adding this visual representation of the effects of bulimia to your site or sharing it on your social media feeds.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

All the best,
Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager

Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
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