Written by Dr Claudia Pastides, 7th June 2019

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is defined as a behavioural disorder made up of the following three core symptoms:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsiveness

The cause of ADHD isn’t known however it is in part genetic, in part developmental and in part due to environmental factors.

Risk factors

  • Having a parent or sibling with ADHD or other mental health disorder
  • Being exposed to environmental toxins such as lead
  • Drug, alcohol or smoking during the pregnancy
  • Being born prematurely

Eating lots of sweets and sugary foods is not a risk factor for ADHD.

Typical Symptoms

People with ADHD often feel restless or fidgety, are easily distracted and find it hard to concentrate. Other symptoms include talking a lot, interrupting and saying or doing things without thinking.

Common Treatment
  • Educational support in school
  • Support and advice for parents
  • Medication
  • For adults, medication and cognitive behavioural therapy might be recommended

When to speak to a doctor

ADHD can often be initially discussed via a digital consultation. If the GP decides you need to see a specialist in ADHD, they will discuss what steps you can take next. To speak to one of our Babylon GPs, download the app and create an account today.

More information

ADHD foundation -

Young Minds -

Please note that this material is for general information only and should never be used as a substitute for personalised medical advice provided during a consultation with a doctor.