What do We Know about Mental Illness?

2020-06-25 23:28:19 |

The brain is far more sensitive to biochemical imbalances than any other organ of the body. @Shutterstock


Mental illness is a state of mind in which a person is unable to cope with some aspect of life to the point where their ability to lead a fulfilling life is seriously impaired.

There are four aspects to mental health as contributors to mental illness:

Environment including all the nutrients and anti-nutrients we take in, which can be corrected by improving your nutrition and making lifestyle changes to minimize the effects of anti-nutrients.

Genes which can be vastly improved by specific nutritional strategies. Because we are all unique. Some people need much more of a nutrient to stay well than others.

Sense input which is the way you interpret what is happening in your life. Nutrition also makes a difference in how you perceive. For example, zinc deficiency alters perceptions about body size and appetite, both of which contribute to eating disorders.

The brain is far more sensitive to biochemical imbalances than any other organ of the body. So, if you do have mental health problems, it is vital to investigate whether or not you have any of the most common biochemical imbalances that can cause mental illness by a test. Then, a nutritional strategy can help bring you back into balance.

Mind frame in which we all interpret what is happening in our lives. Developing a more expanded and positive mind frame promotes mental well-being. When we cannot cope with our interpretation of reality, we dissipate the fear, anxiety or pain by eating too much, or by consuming sugar, alcohol and cigarettes - or even harmful drugs, such as heroin or cocaine.

The brain is far more sensitive to biochemical imbalances than any other organ of the body. So, it is vital to investigate whether or not you have any of the most common biochemical imbalances that can cause mental illness by an objective test. Then, a nutritional strategy can help bring you back into balance.

These are the 13 common causes of mental health problems regarding biochemical imbalances:

  • Blood sugar problems: It leads to symptoms such as frequent mood swings, tendency to depression, anxiety and irritability, drowsiness after meals.

  • Stimulant and drug dependency: Many people assume that drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol, eating sugar and smoking cigarettes is hardly going to make them crazy. This is far from the truth. Intoxication with stimulants or drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine, or cannabis does bring symptoms of mental illness.

  • Food and chemical allergies and intolerances: Symptoms are brain fog, difficulty sleeping, facial puffiness, daily mood swings.

  • Under-or overactive thyroid: If your mind and body feel sluggish most of the time, you may have an underactive thyroid, referred to as hypothyroidism. If your temperature before rising in the morning is consistently below 36.5 Celsius degrees, this suggests your thyroid may be underactive. Other common systems are physical or mental fatigue, dry skin or hair, intolerance to cold or cold hands and feet, easy weight gain, muscle pain, painful periods, poor memory. Chronic stress can deplete thyroid function, as the stress hormone cortisol inhibits it.

  • Faulty methylation and B vitamin deficiency: B3 (Niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cobalamin) are your brain's best friends. They 'oil the wheels' of the brain's neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, adrenalin, noradrenalin, and serotonin. These vital B vitamins help to control the process of methylation, which is how the brain keeps everything in balance. A lack of B vitamins and their nutrients or a specific genetic fault, coupled with lifestyle factors and stresses, can lead to poor methylation, usually indicated by a high homocysteine level in the blood. The common symptoms are a tendency to overweight, frequent mood swings, suspicious of people, hearing your own thoughts.

  • Essential fats deficiencies or imbalances: Common symptoms of fats deficiencies regarding mental health are the following: excessive thirst, chronic fatigue, dry or rough skin, dry hair, loss of hair or dandruff, PMS or breast pain, eczema, asthma or joint aches, hyperactivity, depression.

  • Heavy metal toxicity and metallothionein deficiency: The brain and body are constantly detoxifying and getting rid of toxic elements using a removal agent called metallothionein. An excess of lead, copper in copper plumbing, mercury in vaccines, cadmium in tobacco end up intoxicated.

  • Detoxification overload and inflammation: When your body is unable to detoxify the result is inflammation, which is characterized by pain, redness, and swelling. Omega 3, one of the nutrients we're most deficient in, is important in preventing inflammation. Many mental health problems, as well as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, have excessive inflammation as part of the root cause. There is evidence of inflammation in Alzheimer's, autism, depression, Parkinson's and schizophrenia. Symptoms are watery, itchy eyes, red eyelids or dark circles under the eyes, itchy ears, excessive mucus, a stuffy nose or sinus problems, excess sweating and strong body odour, mental health symptoms are often worse after eating.

  • Pyroluria and porphyria: Pyroluria increases a person's need for zinc. Stress depletes zinc. So if your mental health problems are stress-related with the symptoms such as white spots on fingernails, frequent colds and infections, stretch marks, irregular menstruation or impotency, oversensitive to lights, sound, smell or stress, poor dream recall.

  • Histamine excess: Histamine is a neurotransmitter. Some people are genetically preprogrammed to produce more histamine, and this can make a person excessively compulsive and obsessive. High-histamine types have a faster metabolism and therefore use up nutrients at a faster rate. Without good nutrition, they can easily become deficient precipitating patches of deep depression. The symptoms are sneeze in sunlight, easy orgasm with sex, light sleeper, fast metabolism, good tolerance of alcohol, shy or over-sensitive as a child, seasonal allergies, obsessive or compulsive tendencies.

  • Serotonin deficiency: This is one o the most common findings in people with mental health problems. Symptoms are craving sweet foods, sleeping problems, anxiety, mood swings, alcohol or drug abuse.

  • Adrenal imbalance: The adrenal glands and the brain produce three motivating neurotransmitters called dopamine, adrenalin, and noradrenalin. The adrenal glands also produce cortisol. Excesses of adrenalin result in states of high stress and anxiety while deficiency results in low energy, no motivation and poor concentration.

  • Acetylcholine imbalance: Acetylcholine is the brain's learning neurotransmitter. Low levels are associated with memory loss and even Alzheimer's. Levels tend to decline with age, but they don't have to if you are optimally nourished.

In a nutshell, mental illness, more than any other disease, is a stigma in modern society. Yet as with many diseases, we know a lot about what causes, prevents and improves problems from depression to schizophrenia. Often the cause is biochemical and, with the right nutrition, many people make complete recoveries.



Holford P. (2007). Optimum Nutrition for the Mind. Mind.

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