Ashtma and ADD/Attention Deficit Disorder/ADHD/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

I had a friend who always thought she might have ADD/ADHD, when she was diagnosed with asthma in her mid-thirties. Then she told me, “Duh, you can’t breathe right, of course you’re going to have trouble concentrating and sitting still.” I wonder if any other kids or adults who are diagnosed as having ADD really just have asthma or some other respiratory problems?

The book “Attention Deficit Disorder Misdiagnosis” mentions comorbidity of ADD and asthma, but doesn’t go into too much detail. Also see the article “Children With Asthma Often Suffer Developmental And Behavioral Problems

“Much of the research surrounding childhood asthma has sought new approaches to managing the disease. However, little was done to address other conditions that often appear along with asthma including depression and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which can negatively affect a child’s ability to cope.”

I think this should be studied very carefully, all kids/adults diagnosed as ADD/ADHD should have asthma tests. All kids and adults should be tested for asthma anyway, my friend wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her mid-thirties–she had always complained about breathing problems, mostly nasal–only in her mid thirties did a doctor actually test her breathing, make her take a hit off of an asthma inhaler, then test her breathing again to compare, and conclude that she had asthma.

Maybe saying she had trouble breathing through her nose made all her previous doctors think it was purely a nasal problem–only her latest doctor was intelligent enough to realize that she might have trouble breathing overall and that he should test her for asthma.

How many Ritalin-addled kids really just are having asthma-related breathing problems and are hyperactive or have trouble focusing because they can’t breathe properly?


One Response

  1. I am not a doctor but a mother with a child who has Chronic Asthma and is currently being assessed for ADHD. If you give someone with ADHD a stimulant the effects should reveal less hyperactivity and more of an ability to pay attention since the medication works at reducing the neurotransmitters that are setting them off, and/or releasing more of the calming transmitters. If you give someone a stimulant without ADHD what can you expect the results will be? Well, I would assume becoming hyperactive, having difficulty sitting still. etc… From what I have been taught it is fairly clear whether the child has ADHD or not after beginning medications. At the same time, the medications for asthma can effect concentration, hyperactivity and other behavioral issues but it doesn’t tend to be so pervasive. It is always good to consult a specialist.

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