7 Problems That Can Look Like ADHD

Although there is no definitive medical test to prove or disprove it, ADHD is a medical diagnosis that is determined with a consultation with a physician as well as questionnaires completed by the patient, the patient’s parents, caregivers and teachers regarding the patient’s patterns of behavior. The subjective nature of this process can make establishing a diagnosis a challenge, especially if there are other existing conditions.

Furthermore, there are other medical conditions that have similar symptoms with ADHD. It is of the utmost importance to have a correct and accurate diagnosis in order to receive the best possible treatment. A licensed physician should conduct a comprehensive physical examination to rule out any possible physical conditions. It is also important to note that any of the following conditions may manifest alongside ADHD.

Listed below are some of the conditions which have symptoms in common with ADHD. Keep in mind that each of these conditions have additional symptoms which are not listed here. If you have any concerns that you or your loved one may have any of these conditions, you should speak with your physician.

7) Autism/Aspergers Syndrome

People with autism can struggle with interactions and have difficulty creating emotional bonds. Individuals with ADHD can also seem to lack social skills which may appear as problems with bonding.

Autistic children often get over-excited when in high stimulus environments, which may look like hyperactivity. Some individuals with ADHD can be hypersensitive and can get easily annoyed or distracted by loud noises or scratchy clothes.

6) Hearing Impairments

People with hearing impairments usually have underdeveloped communication skills which can cause them problems in social situations. They may have a hard time keeping track of conversations because of their inability to hear properly. Undiagnosed hearing loss can appear as not paying attention or not listening. You also notice people with undiagnosed hearing loss as always missing details of conversations. All these symptoms are prevalent in people with ADHD. Not being able to correctly hear instructions may be misinterpreted as forgetfulness, which is a major symptom of ADHD.

5) Hypothyroidism

Inability to concentrate and memory problems are two common symptoms of hypothyroidism. People with ADHD usually lack the ability to concentrate and their forgetfulness can be mistaken for memory loss.

Having hypothyroidism usually creates feelings of sadness or depression. Individuals with ADHD are also prone to these feelings, especially if depression is already an existing ailment.

4) Iron Deficiency Anemia

Adults suffering from iron deficiency usually exhibit lethargy, exhaustion and irritability. In children and infants, however, the symptoms include inability to focus, short attention span, irritability and impaired cognitive skills. Children with ADHD also exhibit symptoms of concentration difficulties and short attention span.


3) Lead Toxicity

Even at low levels, lead poisoning can lead to a number of health problems. Some complications of lead toxicity include short-term memory problems, impaired cognitive function, inability to focus and mental retardation. All of these symptoms can also seen in individual with ADHD.

2) Nutritional Deficiencies

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can cause a number of symptoms that are similar to ADHD including hyperactivity, aggression, restlessness and inability to focus. Furthermore, hypoglycemia can induce anger and hostility. ADHD sufferers share many of these symptoms.

1) Sleep Disorders

Although it is true that ADHD sufferers are known to have difficulty sleeping, these individuals may or may not have a sleeping disorder. Lack of a good night’s rest can interfere with day time activities. Individuals that are sleep deprived can have difficulties in focus, concentration, communication and following instructions.

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