How Dr. Getzelman Uses Genetic Assessments to Treat ADHD and Anxiety

Young female tutor with ADHD boy student

Behavior and anxiety disorders among children are at an all-time high. A recent study revealed that attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids has become more common over the past twenty years, with an increase from 6.1 percent in 1997 to 10.2 percent in 2016 – that’s over 6 million kids between 2-17 years! This is the “new normal,” but this is NOT normal.

Although ADHD manifests uniquely in every child, symptoms generally are described as challenges with executive function and self-regulation/impulsivity, or a combination. Common behavioral patterns include: 

Executive Function: 

  • Trouble organizing/following through on tasks
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty staying focused while performing tasks/playing
  • Failing to pay close attention to details 
  • Appearing not to listen, even when spoken to directly
  • Avoiding tasks that require focused mental effort, such as homework


  • In constant motion, unable to relax 
  • Incessant talking 
  • Fidgeting, i.e. tapping hands/feet, squirming in seat 
  • Difficulty staying seated in the classroom or in other situations
  • Trouble playing or doing an activity quietly
  • Interrupting conversations/activities; blurting out answers to questions 

Dr. Getzelman’s answer to this alarming epidemic is a cutting-edge approach to ADHD and anxiety disorders, that rejects the false promise of a “one-size-fits-all” pill (typically Ritalin and its derivatives or other drugs) that only serves to mask symptoms in the short-term, and dangerously so

Drawing from functional medicine, she uses a Genetic Assessment that explores the entire web of factors influencing your child’s health and behavior.

Treating ADHD from the inside out. 

Dr. Getzelman’s Genetic Assessment consists of a variety of tools that combine genetic analysis, nutritional diagnostics, tests for allergies, food sensitivities, toxins, metals, infections and mold using blood work along with specialized saliva, stool and urine analyses. Here are her top 8 considerations: 

  1. Genetic predispositions: Our DNA provides valuable insight into specific health risks we might be susceptible to.  Dr. Getzelman explores the many factors that can contribute to inflammation, which is common to all chronic health issues including brain dysfunction and autoimmune illness.
  2. Food/environmental allergies: Allergies may manifest in ways we don’t realize and histamine can drive behaviors we call ADHD.
  3. Food sensitivities: Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and other food issues are common among kids with ADHD. We determine which foods are irritants and work with our patients on elimination diets following the 5-R program.
  4. Gut evaluation: The gut is where most of the immune system lives and since the gut and brain are connected (gut-brain axis) maintaining intestinal health is essential. Dr. Getzelman will often recommend probiotic or prebiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods(non-dairy yogurt, fermented vegetables, kimchi, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, chia and flax seeds, etc.).
  5. Nutrient deficiencies: Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D are some of the many micronutrients essential for building and restoring brain health. Dr. Getzelman looks for deficiencies and makes recommendations for nutrient-rich foods and safe supplements. 
  6. Toxic Exposures: When our bodies are burdened with toxic chemicals (like mercury, lead, flame retardants, phthalates, organochlorines to name a few), our behavior may be impacted. That’s why it’s important to test for metals, environmental toxins, etc.
  7. Infections: There may be hidden infections or mold exposure driving behaviors that get labeled as ADHD or anxiety. Relief comes when these sources of inflammation are removed.
  8. Stress factors: A complete evaluation for stressors that may exacerbate ADHD symptoms. Dr. Getzelman is able to offer easy-to-follow solutions for mindfulness to mitigate their impact.

Treating ADHD with sustainable and long-lasting results 

Dr. Getzelman’s Genetic Assessment gives her the tools and information to treat ADHD and anxiety at the root. She’s able to design custom treatment plans that are largely based on diet, supplements, and lifestyle modifications – all without the need for pharmaceuticals. 

Her approach recognizes the unique biology of every child – and we’ve seen amazing results! To see Dr. Getzelman’s work in action, we invite you to check our patient success stories detailed in the following posts: 

Schedule a Genetic Assessment for your child. 

At GetzWell, no rock is left unturned when it comes to your child’s health. If your child has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression or other chronic health issues, please contact our San Francisco offices at 415-826-1701. We’d love to help.

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We are committed to providing the best pediatric care in the Bay Area. If you want to learn more about our practice, please contact us.