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Dr. Jeremy Sharp Transcripts Leave a Comment

[00:00:00] Dr. Sharp: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

This podcast is brought to you by PAR.

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All right, everyone. Hey, welcome back. We’ve got another episode in the ADHD series for you today; a little bit of a continuation from the last episode where I talked about ADHD and lifestyle risks.

Today, I’m talking about ADHD and related health concerns. And [00:01:00] again, I’m summarizing the research that was contained in the recent World Federation For ADHD article. It was a big meta-analysis that summarized the state of the literature on many aspects of ADHD. I will link to that article in the show notes, of course, but let’s get to this discussion.

All right, we’re back. We’re going to chat quickly about the research on ADHD and related health concerns. Again, these episodes are just meant to be a quick summary, largely based on the World Federation of ADHD consensus statement, which is a mega [00:02:00] meta-analysis, that summarized tons of studies about ADHD, basically from the beginning of time. I’ll link to that article in the show notes, of course, but let’s dive into it.

Much like the discussion last week on lifestyle factors, this is a bit of a seemingly bleak picture in that individuals with ADHD are at higher risk for a number of related health concerns, and I’ll summarize those here today.

The first that I wanted to chat about is obesity. Folks with ADHD are much more likely to be obese than non-ADHD folks. There is some evidence as well that mothers or pregnant mothers who are obese [00:03:00] are more likely to have children with ADHD. There are some complicating factors there, of course, but that’s an important component of the obesity discussion.

One thing that I wanted to touch on as well is asthma. This is interesting. Folks with asthma are much more likely to have ADHD as well. And the interesting part about this is that this does support years of anecdotal observation from my own practice. I found that a lot of the kids I work with who have asthma or respiratory concerns end up being diagnosed with ADHD. Again, there are likely some mediating factors there. And without doing too much of a deep dive, it’s fair to [00:04:00] say that there is a relationship there between asthma and ADHD when all else is controlled for.

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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

The next thing on the list is diabetes. There is a strong link between ADHD and diabetes, as well as a link to the [00:05:00] more serious diabetic outcomes like ketoacidosis, for example. There’s a connection between ADHD and type 1 and type 2 diabetes. So certainly worth paying attention to as you are working with clients who may not have diagnosed diabetes, but if ADHD is part of the picture, it’s worth being cognizant of the possibility of diabetes as well.

So those are, I would say, the three major areas of related health concerns with the vast majority of research. But if we dive in even further, there are links between ADHD and increased prevalence of autoimmune diseases, epilepsy, Interestingly, increased [00:06:00] rate of STDs or sexually transmitted diseases even after controlling for whether the individual was taking medication for ADHD or not. There is a link between ADHD and amblyopia or “lazy eye.” All in all, individuals with ADHD are much more likely to be taking multiple medications and using medication to treat a variety of health concerns.

Now, like I said, this was meant to be a pretty short episode and it’s also, I use the word bleak. I do think there’s a silver lining here. I’m thinking about my own family members who have ADHD, friends of course, and many folks in the audience, right? You might be listening to this and saying, oh my gosh, what am I [00:07:00] supposed to do with this?

I think it’s all in the service of just providing information. And for me, yes, it can seem a little bleak, wow, increased relationship between ADHD and so many health concerns. And I think it’s important again, just because it helps us to know what we’re evaluating for and what we need to be looking for.

If you see ADHD or one of these major comorbid physical concerns, then it’s a clue to keep digging. There’s often a lot of overlap in these diagnoses and our job as clinicians is not necessarily to do a full medical workup by any means, that would be outside of our scope of expertise, of course, or even to suggest certain medical diagnoses, but if you have someone with ADHD and you have these health concerns and lifestyle and [00:08:00] risk factors on your radar, I think it just makes us better clinicians, better able to survey the landscape of our clients and what they might be working with and refer for that medical workup or say, Hey, you might want to watch for the prevalence or the occurrence of diabetes or whatever it may be. It’s all just good information to expand our clinical knowledge and repertoire as we’re working with these individuals.

The ADHD series is beginning to come to an end. I do have two more episodes in the ADHD series. We’re going to talk about medication and the myths surrounding medication. We’re going to talk about treatment options in addition to medication as well, and those will be coming out over the next two [00:09:00] weeks. Somewhere in there, I’m going to hit 300 podcast episodes, so I’ll be doing some reflecting on what that’s been like. After those next two episodes, the ADHD series is going to come to a close and we’ll continue on to other clinical topics and interviews and so forth. So I’ll leave you with that and see you next time.

All right, y’all. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Always grateful to have you here. I hope that you take away some information that you can implement in your practice and in your life. Any resources that we mentioned during the episode will be listed in the show notes, so make sure to check those out.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, I would be so grateful if you left a review on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcast.

And if you’re a practice owner or aspiring practice owner, [00:10:00] I’d invite you to check out The Testing Psychologist mastermind groups. I have mastermind groups at every stage of practice development: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. We have homework, we have accountability, we have support, we have resources. These groups are amazing. We do a lot of work and a lot of connecting. If that sounds interesting to you, you can check out the details at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting. You can sign up for a pre-group phone call, and we will chat and figure out if a group could be a good fit for you.

Thanks so much.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website are intended for informational and educational [00:11:00] purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here. Similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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