Rethinking Adult ADHD with Dr. Arwen Podesta

How would you know if you have ADHD? Dr. Arwen Podesta, MD, ABPN, FASAM, ABIHM, Director of Psychiatry at Podesta Wellness, joins the podcast to discuss the root causes of ADHD, along with an integrative treatment approach. Building Us is a weekly podcast hosted by Erik Garcia, CFP® and Dr. Matt Morris, LPC, LMFT.

Episode Highlights:

  • Matt introduces Dr. Arwen Podesta. (1:22)
  • Arwen shares her background. (1:40)
  • Arwen shares that she’s a board-certified adult psychiatrist with sub-specializations in integrative and holistic medicine, addiction medicine, and forensic psychiatry. (1:48)
  • Arwen mentions that she’s a clinical faculty at Tulane and LSU. (4:47)
  • Arwen shares that Hurricane Katrina was a traumatic couple of weeks on the ground in New Orleans, from the actual storm disaster and breakwater flooding. (8:58)
  • Arwen explains a new diagnosis called Chronic Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (9:37)
  • Did Arwen foresee the same chronic post-traumatic stress across all demographics? (15:37)
  • Arwen mentions that if the place you start is lower because of socio-economic background or trauma in your childhood, you’re already behind when the general trauma occurs. (16:11)
  • Arwen shares that the traumatic disorder is having a fear of it happening again or a fear of re-experiencing, and it disrupts your life and your ability to plan. (18:29)
  • Matt mentions that it’s very hard to diagnose someone accurately when they’re using substances daily. (27:30)
  • Arwen shares that the symptoms of ADHD must be present before the age of 12 and plenty of people don’t get into the testing system until someone recognizes it. (28:58)
  • What are some of the root causes of ADHD that Arwen is interested in? (31:13)
  • Arwen shares that there are thoughts that some medicines and some neurotransmitters are responsible for certain elements and some micronutrients are responsible for certain symptoms. (38:48)
  • Arwen mentions that she has a fantastic nutritionist who’s been doing functional medicine for a long time and works closely well with children and adults that have any nutritional symptomatology. (41:08)
  • Arwen mentions that classic Attention Deficit Disorder is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and disorganization. (42:31)
  • Arwen shares that ADHD is thought to be a decrease in dopamine and dopamine deficiency, sometimes ADHD might be more dopamine and serotonin deficiency. (45:56)
  • Arwen shares that each one of her patients is probably magnesium deficient and she administers them a lot of magnesium, which is calming but also, helps with heart, health, focus, and sleep. (51:19)
  • Arwen mentions that there’s a new medicine called Dayvigo, which is a sleeping aid. (51:40)
  • Arwen mentions that Iron plays a key role in dopamine metabolism. (53:12)
  • Arwen thinks that food additives are a huge issue and plenty of people know that hyperactivity comes with some of the additives. (54:23)
  • Arwen thinks that for all mental health issues, if we don’t get to the root cause, it’ll keep coming back, and keep causing disruption and problems. (57:31)
  • Arwen shares that there are online resources that are looking into functional medicine or integrative medicine. (1:01:01)
  • Arwen mentions that food allergies can cause what looks like ADHD. (1:01:27)
  • Arwen shares that gut health is a huge component, not just allergies but, the bacteria that are in your gut. (1:01:55)
  • How has COVID-19 changed the delivery of mental health services in New Orleans? (1:02:43)
  • In Matt’s opinion, protecting his sleep is vital. Therefore, he loves the idea of paying attention to what may be underneath our attention issues. (1:08:36)
  • Erik thinks that awareness plays a huge role, but also understanding and becoming aware of your tendencies, or if you have ADHD or someone you’re in a relationship with has ADHD, learning to relate to them. (1:09:05)

Key Quotes:

  • “15 years after Katrina, we have some robust health care systems. We could have more, but we have advanced our ability to treat folks with mental health needs with all different types of therapy, psychology, trauma treatment, medical treatment, psychiatry, and primary care.” – Dr. Arwen Podesta
  • “If there’s a combination in some capacity, that doesn’t mean everything is protected by changing your diet, health, and lifestyle. You still might succumb to your genetics, but there’s a genetic component, biological component, and an environmental component in most or all diseases.” – Dr. Arwen Podesta
  • “There are new barriers, but it doesn’t mean that this isn’t working. The private patients that have access and means, and can sit somewhere with a good Wi-Fi connection, a lot of them are doing well and I am very much enjoying getting into their homes and seeing them home virtually.” – Dr. Arwen Podesta
  • “Look into the lifestyle and you know, between nutrition, mindfulness, and nature I think we could get probably a large subset of folks to not feel like they’re suffering from these brain issues.” – Dr. Arwen Podesta

Resources Mentioned:

About Erik Garcia

Hi there, I'm Erik. How you manage your money and other resources impacts practically every aspect of your life. I help individuals and families invest plan for a more secure and predictable financial future. Thanks for taking time on my site!

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