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Undiagnosed ADHD and heart attacks……???

Undiagnosed ADHD and heart attacks……???2010-04-11T03:20:10+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Undiagnosed ADHD and heart attacks……???

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  • #88349

    Post count: 14413

    Dr. J,

    My Dad is diabetic (type 2) he recently had a heart attack and is awaiting bypass surgery. He fits the criteria to a tee for ADHD and I’m wondering how I bring this up to his doctor or if I should. In my personal opinion through years of observation and the past three years of analysis as my son and I have been diagnosed, I feel very strongly about this. Perhaps his impulsivity has lead to the diabetes, high cholesterol along with several ADHD related unforunate events which caused and continue to cause him a LOT of stress and in the end the heart attack :( If his body is seeking out what it needs to focus which is usually a stimulus couldn’t that work against him during recovery? Not sure what to think or do….just very worried. I’d feel kind of crazy saying it out loud to anyone just in case I’m being impulsive :( ……but to me it kind of makes sense.


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    Sounds a lot like my situation.

    My mom and I are both Type-2 diabetic. We both feel strongly compelled to overeat, especially the wrong things like high-carb, high-fat junk food. She has many symptoms of ADHD, and so do I. Though I’ve at least acknowledged that I have it and am researching it and seeking treatment. She’s acknowledged that she thinks she has it, but is not pursuing any sort of treatment.

    She’s on medication for diabetes (Metformin), high cholesterol (Cholestyremene), high blood pressure, and some other things. She had a triple bypass about 12 years ago.

    She’s often said that certain that the stress of what she was going through in the years just before the bypass (and that includes radiation and surgery for breast cancer) contributed to both the cancer and the need for the bypass. Her mind has always been all over the place, and she shows signs of compulsiveness and impulsivity. I’ve also always been the same, but I seem to be more aware of it and more keen to get treatment.

    Let’s face it, if you’re craving all the wrong foods, and under high stress (which causes your body to overproduce adrenaline and cortisol, which makes your body store a lot of fat in the abdomen), and this goes on for long enough, you’ll end up obese, with insulin resistance that develops into diabetes. Being obese, you’ll develop high blood pressure, blocked arteries, and other things that will require open-heart surgery to repair. It’s all related.

    I must point out here that, just knowing all this isn’t enough to make most of us give up our unhealthy ways. In fact, it usually makes us feel worse, and the only way to fix that is to eat something high in carbs and/or fat to make ourselves feel better. Some scientists have even said it’s a true addiction because we feel compelled to eat things that cause the brain to release feel-good hormones like dopamine. And we crave that dopamine like a junkie craves his next fix.


    Post count: 14413

    Squirrel, I believe that ADD can be a contributing factor to a lot of health issues, but I don’t believe that it’s ever a root cause.

    I’ve seen the same thing that you have. My father is type-2 diabetic, was on several cholesterol medications over the past 14 years, and had bypass surgery on June 1, 2009.

    He has all the same symptoms–brilliant man with a bad temper, no dietary discipline, high blood pressure, and a smoker for 50 years. The drugs they gave him to handle diabetes and cholesterol made him even worse for a while. Almost unbearable to be in his presence.

    Compound that with a belief that if he wasn’t working himself to the point of exhaustion and poor health, he wasn’t fulfilling his obligation as a good father and husband. (that came from his father)

    Now re-mix the ingredients of that recipe, but throw a healthy portion of ADD first. It makes everything worse. Like putting too much yeast in the dough.

    My father is a really good man but he requires a lot of understanding, patience, and you need a thick skin if you’re going to work for him. He’s doing fine now physically, but I don’t think he has any idea how he got where he is. I spent the first 35 years of my life trying to be JUST LIKE HIM. The past 10 years have been spent trying to correct those mistakes. He doesn’t understand my new approach to life and has expressed a little bit of frustration with me lately.

    So I don’t believe that ADD caused his heart trouble or diabetes. I do believe that even if he had been sufficiently warned 40 years ago about the path he was choosing, he wouldn’t have been capable of making the necessary changes to prevent his heart attack. Some people just lack the capacity to do that. He and both of his parents were like that.

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