Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common yet complex mental disorder, which can adversely affect a persons work, schooling, or interpersonal relationships. The symptoms of ADHD vary from case to case but generally include inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant drug containing amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which has been approved to treat these symptoms. It does so by helping to activate the areas in your brain responsible for paying attention and by circulating certain reward chemicals like dopamine. Adderall use has been related to certain side effects. Here we will be going over how to cope with and manage one such side effect, namely, weight loss.

People who take stimulant medications for long periods of time are likely to experience weight loss combined with loss of appetite. According to a study in Pediatrics, stimulant use was associated with a slower growth in body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by measuring both the height and weight of a child. Children who did not use stimulant drugs to treat their ADHD had a higher BMI. However, the study also found that children who had exceptionally low stimulant-related BMI growth in younger years showed a more rapid rebound to higher BMIs when they became adolescents.

If a child is overweight, losing weight can be a good thing, but too much and too rapidly can cause harm. Children who are a normal weight or are skinny themselves may find unwanted problems with weight loss due to stimulant drugs like Adderall.

Learning to control the symptoms of loss of appetite can help your child to keep the weight loss at bay. Working with a doctor or pediatrician to teach your child proper nutrition is very important. It may be hard to get proper nutrition when your child is just not hungry. Working with your doctor, create a plan of action to monitor your child's eating habits, and find out what makes them eat and enjoy eating. This may take some trial and error, but the end result can be a happy, nutritious child who loves what they eat!

When creating a plan for your child, it is important to take a few things into consideration. Firstly, since your child may be experiencing a small appetite, make sure to pack in nutrient rich foods. Satiating their hunger with a piece of fruit is much better than feeding them fruit snacks. If they eat only a few small meals a day, pack in as many healthy calories as you can, making delicious vegetables, fruits, grains and lean meats a part of their small intake. All of these fresh food have high vitamin and mineral content, and can help to keep weight loss to a minimum.

It is important to be flexible with this meal plan. Your child may not want to eat with the rest of the family, but then may become hungry at night. Allow your child to tune in to their body's natural hunger cues and eat when they feel hungry. This will help ensure they get proper nutrition.

Some parents find that their child has more of an appetite if their prescription is split into smaller doses twice daily. Talk to your doctor about this step, as it may be a another possibility to help your child maintain a healthy appetite throughout the day.

Some people have used stimulant ADHD medications to intentionally lose weight quickly. Not only is this an ineffective way of dieting, it is very hazardous to your health. Your body is hungry for a reason- it needs fuel. Food is the fuel we feed our bodies. If you intentionally starve the body of that fuel, it is going to seek it elsewhere. Sadly, this means pulling vital nutrition and minerals from our organ systems and bones, while pulling calories from our muscle tissue and fat. You may lose a couple pounds, but at great cost to your health.

Adderall is a very strong medication which causes side effects in those that need to use it, and even MORE side effects in those that don't. These include mood swings, high heart rate and blood pressure, headaches, nausea, dizziness, even anorexia. If you are looking for a weight loss solution, Don't use ADHD medication as your quick trick to shedding a couple pounds. Talk with your doctor. There are many options available.

There are many options to help you or your loved ones cope with weight loss due to Adderall. Talk with your doctor and find out what your options may be.

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Author's Bio: 

Brian Wu graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. Currently, he holds a PhD and is an MD candidate (KSOM, USC) in integrative biology and disease. He is also an experienced writer and editor for many prestigious web pages. Brian values the ability of all ages to learn from the power of stories. His mission is to write about health conditions, educational topics and life situations in an entertaining way in order to help children understand their own life conditions and daily circumstances.