04-14-2005, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: AZ USA
mental episodes can be caused by food
I wanted to share my family story with anyone affected by schizophrenic and pychosis type illnesses.
When my brother was about 15 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He is now 37. He lives in a supervised apartment. I have been very close to my family and watched his life be destroyed. I have never been diagnosed with anything mental and consider myself pretty levelheaded and functional.
When my brother had his first episode crisis, in the middle of the night, my mother noticed that he had eaten an entire loaf of brown wheat bread over two days. Our whole family was up all night with him as this normally quiet, calm, atheist boy ranted and raved about being judged by God and how he didn't have enough prayer points. He thought we were all doomed to some sort of religious judgement and that it was too late for him. My mom begged him to take some vitamins, he did, and he fell asleep about an hour later. We were all shocked, we knew for the first time that he was mentally ill. We had no idea what mental illness really was. My mom insisted that it was related to the bread. The psychiatrist claimed that was impossible.
Almost 20 years later, I was trying a new special diet to help my acne problem. It involved eating raw salmon everyday. I followed the diet and made a food diary everyday about my physical symptoms, skin conditions, feelings etc... At about day 12 on the diet, I totally broke down, believing in God for the first time in my life. I was seeing all these little clues as to the meaning of life, like coincidences, numbers, words, patterns in things I was noticing that I never noticed before. After a month on the diet, I started reading the Bible and freaking out at the amazing correlations I was making and trying to assign meaning to everything in my little world. I remember reading out of the Bible to my parents about how eating fruit or eating God's food would make you "see" God. I was so excited. I thought I was having a spiritual experience. My husband freaked out at my new opinions and demanded my diet must stop. So I really wanted some junk food anyway, so I listened and ate pizza and after a few days, all the magical things faded away and I starte realizing, my house was a mess, I was missing showers for days, I wasn't functioning...
I missed the magic of faith and thought I would try the diet again, a little differently, trying also to get my skin to clear up again(it did work somewhat the first diet) So a few months later I started eating fruit, flax oil, and I added loads of salad. I suspected the fish was the culprit in my only breakouts earlier so I only had fish once a week. After 14 days, my skin was way worse, I had no spiritual "psychosis" awakening, I was lethargic and felt sick. I quit the diet.
A year later I read a book about inflamation and fish oil. I saw posts about someone using high doses of fish oil for clearing acne, so I tried it. With in a few days I started having my religious high. I was tickled, it felt great, talking non stop excited for life. After a week on fish oil, I wrote a few letters to some famous people I thought "needed" to know about my ideas. Then I stopped the fish oil for a few days, I went to mail my letters and when I mailed them I realized that my schizophrenic brother mails letters to famous people and I always thought that was nuts.
So I asked my mom if she was worried about me, she said yes. My friends were worried too. I gulped and showed my husband the letters I wrote and he freaked, he said I was just like my brother. I knew they were right. I told them it was the fish oil, and it was the salmon last time. I knew it was because I had written it down and both correlated with my episodes.
I begged my mom to have my brother tested for food allergies, so she did, he has twenty-five and wheat is one of them. I was tested at an earlier age and am severely allergic to shrimp ans shellfish, it never occured to me not to eat salmon or oil.
I have tried to find research on this and it is new. But there are a handful of people who do know about it. I found an allergist recently who has heard of it and has met others with the same problem. He said it is in research right now. There are a few books on it...By Abram Hoffer MD. "B3 and Schizophrenia" He found that many of his psyche patients actually were food allergics. He tested the whole ward.
My brother is on a special diet, but, it is hard, his doctor scoffs at this. I had a doctor tell me I was wrong, and if it was true, then I would be one in a million. But, thats not true. My other brother is married to a woman and her sister lives with them. She is not blood related to us, she recently started hearing sounds and started seeing monsters. We got her to get food allergy testing and she had nine allergies, it was everything she was eating. So in my family we have one cousin with wheat allergy and schizohrenia, one brother with 25 food allergies/schiz, me with an episode of psychosis(self diagnosed and temporary/fish allergy and 29 other food allergies.
My older brother brought a friend to me also so I could convince him to get tested for allergies, he was putting letters and words together, rhyming and talking about God in a magical way. He even had made some of the same mis-connections.
This whole issue is very sad and tragic. I believe many people are having their lives ripped from them because they happen to eat the wrong food for them. In a matter of days my husband was panicking, wondering if he'd have to commit me. One day later after avoiding fish I was fine. Very few doctors will believe this, I cried when the allergist said he'd heard of it. I was so relieved. he borrowed the 6 books I found on it to read about it.
If you suspect your food may be making you delusional or paranoid and want the testing, your best bet is to claim you get diarrhea or hives when you eat food and that you think its an allergy. If you ask for allergy testing for brain or cerebral allergies, they might refuse you or tell you you are nuts.
Sometimes a naturopathic doctor can order a blood test for about a hundred different foods. An allergist performs a scratch test on your back.
If you really think this may be why you are sick please get the testing done and don't try an elimination diet, its too hard to figure out. The tests are usually about 3-400 dollars, plus the office visits 100-300.
I have seen so many stories about schizophrenics on tv where they mention a crisis and mention food but don't make the connection. I also notice many raw food people are whacked out, they are eating large quantities of the same food sometimes, like nuts, or oranges.
Good luck to you all for peaceful quiet days.
My mom can tell a big difference in my brothers behavior according to his diet. My sister in law says her diet makes a difference in the booming she hears, she has a lot of hope now that she found her answer.
Last edited by hollymbk; 04-14-2005 at 12:25 PM.
04-17-2005, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Re: mental episodes can be caused by food
So tell me a little more about your brother and allergies. How long did it take for him to feel better, and how much better is he. Does he still take any medication? I am so happy this helped your brother. I am one who believes there is something causing this illness and many others. God bless.
04-22-2005, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: AZ USA
Re: mental episodes can be caused by food
Hi, My brother is still very ill. He is one of the people who have the illness severely. This doesn't mean the allergy diet is not his cure because we can see a huge difference in his physical symptoms and his behavior according to his diet. His diet is very strict and the people where he lives don't care what they give him. One time they gave him a whole can of peanuts, which he ate. He got very sick, he could've died, peanut allergies are very serious.
My mom provides meals for him on his diet, and sometimes she manages to keep him on it for months. It's so hard because she works full time and has to drive his food to him across town and shop at a healthfood store which is pricey. She notices things about his behavior such as he starts saying completely normal sentences, forming thoughts, cleaning his apartment, painting more detailed(he's a painter), taking showers and not throwing up all the time. It's like he's almost normal.
Then if he gets into a bag of dinner rolls or a lot of bread, she sees him all of a sudden with in a few hours, start dancing in the yard, talking non-stop, giggling and all the other bizarre stuff he does. He doesn't make sense and rambles on about stuff that is not real. My mom can tell when he's been off his diet. Sometimes he just demands pizza, so she gives it to him and he tries to hide his vomitting. He only starting vomitting in the last 3 years. It's as if his body finally realized what is making it sick. He never threw up the first 15 years of his illness. The doctors claim it must be from his medicine, but, it directly correlates to his diet, my mom knows what he is eating and when he is sick. Before we knew it was his food, he threw up all day and night.
Another thing that happens is that his face swells up, in fact I think his whole body is swollen. When he stays on his diet, my mom always mentions, "Look, the swelling is down."
The swelling and vomitting were not apparent until he was 30 years old. So just because someone doesn't appear to have an allergic reaction, physically, doesn't mean they aren't having the reaction in their brain.
Since I experienced this food allergy brain reaction, I know it comes on very subtly. You feel a bit tingly and zoned out at first, like a drug is taking effect. I felt it in my entire body, then my thoughts started racing. My perceptions started being very vivid, or appeared to be. I started noticing things which appear to be very important, like a word or number, or a phrase someone says. For example, I would see a street sign and be drawn to the name of the street, I would think about the meaning of that name too long, and wonder why it seemed to draw my attention. I then might see another that also seemed very interesting and start wondering if they were related in meaning and how they might have personal meaning to me. It's as if little meaningless things that my brain shouldn't even notice took on personal meaning to me. I started thinking there was a meaning in objects that were like a big puzzle for me to figure out. Like I was meant to find these messages to me. You can understand how frustrating this can be to think every little thing has meaning and you must figure what it is. You end up feeling that God must be behind this and that God is the meaning of life. When in reality, your brains chemicals are like LSD, so eating fish for me is like taking LSD in a way, I imagine. It's not a bad feeling, it's exciting, everything is interesting, I definately didn't realize I was having a negative experience, I thought it was great, I told people I felt better than ever.
So inadvertantly, the person, craves the food, which ever it is, because it makes them "high". You see the crazy guy walking down the street, sometimes, carrying a loaf of bread, the cheapest thing to fill up on. Someone might think, "That guy is on drugs."
I think," that guy is allergic to wheat and doesn't know it."
The doctor doesn't even want to hear about my brother's allergies, so he doesn't see the pattern of his diet vs. behavior. The people at his apartments, have commented on how well he is doing at times, but, when my mom says, "yeah he has been on his diet for a while," they just look at her like she doesn't know what she is talking about.
Originally, when he was a teenager they did a CAT scan and the doctor said his SCan looked like a drug reaction, not the typical schizophrenic brain, but, his diagnosis was schizophrenia. His symptoms closely match schizophrenia, so that fits for a diagnosis, but, I believe his case is caused by the chemicals surging in him from the allergies. I only ate fish(my worst allergy) a few times in my life, the times I went nuts.
My brother has been eating his(wheat)since birth, so I think by now he must have brain damage, allergic reactions can destroy tissue, and thats what I think has happened to him. Brain damage.
He is also allergic to about 25 other foods, and bermuda grass. He always had rashes, like psoriasis, and hay fever growing up. This is different though. I think its an internal brain inflammation, that doesn't have symptoms for a long time. Then as time passes it can get worse, and I think the first symptoms are like schizophrenia so much, but, more on the lines of disorganized thinking, delusions, stress, hyperactive behavior, compulsions, paranoia, lack of interest in normal life responsibilities, like showering, cleaning... its interesting to me, that we both wrote letters to famous people about ideas, also my cousin does that, one who I suspect has this too. I guess that falls under delusions of grandeur.
Ok, I am going on too long,
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