Has Any Tried a Gluten-free Diet for Schizophrenia?

Posted by John (Holiday, FL) on 07/07/2006

I was curious as to whether anyone diagnosed with schizophrenia ever tried this diet and what were the results?

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
384 posts

Dear Jonathan: Yes there is hope that schizophrenia can be cured and it is not exactly have to do with gluten free diet, although a gluten free diet could help. The problem of this condition I have heard people living normal lives by just simply taking certain vitamins, due to impaired biochemical problems involved with either digestion (intestinal problems) or deficiency in brain biochemical issues. If we know, the solution is standing right in front of our noses all the time. But as you know most research are privately funded and it is not in their best interest anyway.

But before discussing a simple cure, I must explain that there is a remarkably simple cure for people committing suicide, assuming he or she is not on pharmaceutical drugs, which today is often the problem anyway. While I was a student in the U.S., I got a chance to observe that nearly all (actually it was 100% from my own observations) of suicides had extremely low cholesterol.

Remember there is BOTH bad cholesterol and good cholesterol. They were lacking in good cholesterol. When people get suicide like behavior give him raw or partially raw eggs where the yolk is still liquid, it is high in HDL - the good cholesterol.

An ideal dietary prevention is about 6 eggs should be enough to note what they referred to as "clinical improvements" of course these coroners is not going to published these interesting findings, unless they are "sponsored" by certain interests group. So I am giving you this little unpublished information.

The other interesting thing is aromatherapy, in particular, narcissus oil which when applied clothes or sprayed as aerosol, causes nearly instant stop in depression of suicidal behavior. One incident many moons ago, a police told me of a woman who wanted to kill herself and is not ready to negotiate. So what we did was simply fumigate the area with narcissus oils and within 15-30 minutes, she was ready to stop considering that thought. It would be nice to give her a narcissus air freshener, but you know, they are quite suspicious of you anyway!

Suicidal behavior can also be reduced almost really within minutes upon giving only 2- 3 grams of niacinamide B3, for some reason it acts like a natural valium but works remarkably better. In fact I suspect the valium was in fact a modified form of B3 to get a patent and therefore a natural form would have worked a lot better. But as with powers of marketing, people opt for valium!

Another remarkably simple cure was whey protein or soybean protein powder. I will not tell who, but 20 years ago there was a car accident, this person was seriously considering suicide behavior. At the time I knew that soybean proteins were a good source for depression, so I gave that person, on the excuse that this was a "pain killer" for the car accident. He won't take it is you tell them it will reduce his suicidal behavior, so you must give medical excuse instead! Within about 35 minutes (yes I timed him), he was happy and the suicide thoughts just evaporated like it didn't happen!

O.K. now the possible treatment for schizophrenia AND paranoia thoughts. It has been known for many decades at least which as similar as suicides, is that vitamin B3, niacinamide is extremely helpful. But to prevent other Bs from being deficient you need to take vitamin B complex. It must be remembered that B12 injections is essential. Without this, absorption of all the other vitamin Bs is impaired.

I will not go into details here, but I will just cut and paste an article years back concerning large dose of B3 niacinamide. My preferred dose is somewhat lower than other people, being between 1- 3 grams in general for treatment, but frequency is what I aimed for rather than the amount per se.

It must be noted that gluten free and dairy free diet is indeed important. Taking certain minerals, in particular magnesium, is very important for treatment of schizophrenia. My preferred dose is 250 mg/day, in form of magnesium chloride. Ted"

Excerpted from "Emerging From a Schizophrenic Haze" by Jack Challem and Renate Lewin Reprinted from Let's Live- November, 1988

Dawne Hartvig remembers what it was like to be schizophrenic.

The 30-year-old woman, sitting in her home in rural western Canada, is an intelligent, curious, gracious, and well-adjusted person. But throughout her teen-age years and until four years ago, she was schizophrenic. Dawne suffered from frequent hallucinations and delusions. At times she would hear words no one had spoken, and see her face distorted in the mirror. She would suspect people had laced her coffee with poison, and that toxic gases were being pumped into her apartment. Dawne was convinced people were following her around to harm her. At age 22, after 10 years of psychological problems (which she didn't clearly recognize as problems), Dawne was diagnosed schizophrenic. Schizophrenia, a mental illness that affects about one percent of the population, is commonly - and incorrectly - believed to involve multiple personalities. The disease is actually a disintegration of personality and a breakdown in thinking processes, as if a short-circuit in the mind were jumbling incoming signals.

Most psychiatrists believe schizophrenia is caused by a biochemical disorder in the body, though they disagree about exactly how the malfunction occurs. Dawne is well today because she was able to correct those biochemical disorders. She boosted her intake of the vitamins and minerals that play key roles in mental functioning, and avoided food allergens that altered her brain chemistry. Her memories of schizophrenia are still fresh: He personal isolation, the patronizing attitudes of people around her, and the lack of attention and care by most doctors.

Dawne considers herself lucky, but she wonders how may other schizophrenics or families of schizophrenics will be equally lucky. "Finding the right help when you're sick is almost impossible," she says. "Schizophrenics are often drugged and don't realize they're not okay. Few people out there - doctors included - really seem to understand the disease." Dawne attributes the origin of her schizophrenia to food allergies she had as a child. In those days, there was little information available on how food allergies affect behavior.

Looking back, Dawne is convinced that her food allergies interfered with normal metabolism and nutrient absorption - and eventually played havoc with her brain chemistry. ''Severe deficiencies of certain key elements, such as calcium, zinc, and magnesium, along with the allergies, transformed normal stresses into tremendous obstacles for me," she says. By the time Dawne turned 14, her social skills were deteriorating. She was having difficulty making and keeping friends. At night, after Dawne went to sleep, she began hallucinating and having seizures that left her temporarily paralyzed. When she was in her early 20s, she says, "Going to bed every night was like a nightmare. I never knew what would happen. My dreams were vivid - almost like science-fiction dreams." She began having delusions of being followed by spy satellites. "I had this tremendous fear of being mentally and physically violated. Every night I had one or two terrible seizures." Dawne often heard high-pitched noises, noises she thought were loud enough to burst her eardrums. Sometimes she felt her body levitate and believed she saw ghosts or devils or angels. Dawne was nervous and high strung, excitable, and unable to concentrate. She lost most of her friends and acquaintances. A doctor finally diagnosed her as schizophrenic. Dawne's reaction? She felt offended. "The doctor didn't explain what schizophrenia was," she recalls. "He just said that was what I had. I thought it was ridiculous. "Looking back, I wish he had explained schizophrenia a little more. He could have told me about auditory and visual perceptual disturbances. If he had done that, I might have been better able to deal with my illness." Dawne's schizophrenia soon worsened; she began to feel the doctor was part of a conspiracy against her. "One of the problems with schizophrenia is that no one tells you about the disease," she says. "You're left in total mystery all the time, and you don't fully realize you are ill." Friends and family became reluctant to discuss her illness with her. "People think that a sick person is stupid," she says. I was schizophrenic, but I could still understand down-to-earth talk. Under the circumstances, not thinking clearly, it's easy to believe that family members are keeping something from you, and you feel patronized and left out. That can make the paranoia worse. Dawne's state of mind, her mood, and her perception often rocketed up and down. For all of her "down" days, she had "up" days. In the manic phase of the illness, Dawne felt ravishingly beautiful and invulnerable. But to other people, Dawne later learned, she looked disheveled, often wearing mismatched socks and unbuttoned clothing. Looking back, she describes her body as being numb and detached during these schizophrenic "highs." Dawne visited several doctors, and each diagnosed her as schizophrenic. But to her it was a meaningless label, and none of the doctors bothered to explain schizophrenia to her - not even during a three-week stay at a psychiatric hospital. "If I had been told, I would have been so relieved," she says. One day in the library, a book titled How to Live with Schizophrenia caught her eye. It was written by Dr. Abram Hoffer, a psychiatrist from Victoria, British Columbia, who pioneered the use of vitamins in treating the disordered brain chemistry found in schizophrenics. After reading the book, she felt that a doctor understood her illness for the first time. The causes, symptoms, and general treatment were explained in detail and in language she could understand.

Upon Dr. Hoffer's recommendation, based on his successful treatment of thousands of similar patients, Dawne began taking three grams of niacin (vitamin B-3) each day. After four days, she felt more "grounded" as if she were coming back down to earth. She was suddenly calmer and had fewer nightmares and seizures. But Dawne was far from cured. Her thinking was not sharp and she still became easily confused and fatigued. She went to an orthomolecular physician who treated biochemical disorders with vitamins and minerals. The doctor tested Dawne for copper, an essential metallic element that can adversely affect the brain in high doses.

He found her copper levels to be extremely high. At the doctor's recommendation, Dawne began taking vitamin B-6 and zinc to help flush out the excess copper. Two weeks later, Dawne was feeling like a "brand new person." But she often felt tired, suffered mild bouts of depression, and continued to hear voices inside her head. She consulted another orthomolecular physician, who suggested she might have food allergies that were affecting her thinking and behavior. When Dawne began to pay attention to what she ate, the effort paid off. She discovered that she would become slightly paranoid and have mild hallucinations after eating dairy products. High-gluten grains, such as wheat, rye, and oats, caused similar problems. She now avoids these foods.

She learned she suffered from a vitamin B-12 deficiency and from bouts of hypoglycemia. Both affected her mood and perceptions. Not every schizophrenic has the same symptoms or nutritional deficiencies that Dawne had. Although Dawne is completely recovered, she must follow a strict diet and take supplemental vitamins and minerals. She reads a lot about nutrition and health. "Some of these things you just don't fool around with," she cautions. "Vitamins, chelation therapy for toxic metals, allergies, and other parts of the puzzle may seem simple, but more and more research has shown how dangerous improper treatment can be. "I don't want anyone to get hurt or give up early because they didn't do their homework. You really have to know what you're doing. Find a good doctor - although that's often easier said than done - particularly if you're looking at the world through a schizophrenic haze. "And read - study a lot