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Diet and Psychological Health

 
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    With all of the expensive pharmaceutical drugs I'm being perscribed by my neurologist, my psychiatrist, and my gastroenterologist to treat ADHD, OCD, Tourette's Syndrome, GERD, and insomnia, I've been wondering if I could reduce the symptoms from my medical conditions if I grew or raised most of my food myself and only buy food if it's locally grown and Organically grown.

   I've recently discovered that glyphosate (Roundup) is routinely used as a dessicant to prematurely kill industrially grown wheat and Russet potatoes to make them easier to harvest and I've been wondering if this potentially toxic and carcinogenic herbicide has an inflammatory effect on the human digestive tract and nervous system. Even if I were to remove genetically modified corn (Zea mays) and soy beans from my diet, I would still be exposed to glyphosate from industrially grown wheat and potatoes.

    My main question is if anyone on this forum has experienced a reduction in any Psychiatric disorders like depression, insomnia, ADHD etc. or any digestive disorders after switching to an organic, pesticide-free diet and after eliminating exposure to glyphosate and other toxic herbicides and pesticides. I certaintly don't want to be taking expensive pharmaceutical drugs the rest of my life to treat my conditions since medications are very expensive in the United States even with insurance.
 
master pollinator
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I think a lot of psychiatric problems may be metabolic - that some of us don't get enough nutrients from the food we eat (probably because most of it is store crap).  I experienced dramatic neurological symptoms (weird pains, depression, paranoia, inability to think clearly) after a period of poor diet  - I suspected I had a B12 deficiency, and sure enough when I got my blood tested, I did have.  I now take a B12 supplement and am doing very well. I still take an antidepressant for bipolar, but do not currently take a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic.

So I think you are on the right track.  I can't say you will be able to stop taking your meds completely, but you may eventually be able to reduce the dosage by eating better food.  Don't do it on your own without consulting your physicians, though.

My sister, who has severe bipolar depression, has found some relief from a light box (like people use to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder) and thyroid supplement, in addition to her psychiatric meds.  So those are a couple things to look into also.

 
pollinator
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I tried multiple times over a few years to wean myself off antidepressants for depression and anxiety. It wasn't until I started regularly eating a pound of leafy greens a day that I was successful. The greens were not always organic, maybe half.

After that, but before I was 100% vegan, I would notice old symptoms coming back the day after eating meat or dairy, and persisting a day or two after. Meat was sometimes, but not always organic; dairy was always raw, organic.

My husband slips into a very limited, nutrient-poor diet if he's busy. After a few days of this, I can definitely notice a difference in his mood, although he doesn't.

I don't see how diet and mental health couldn't be strongly connected. 'Cides specifically... I may not be sensitive enough, paying attention to the right things, or have enough exposure to notice effects in myself.
 
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Hi Ryan
I would rather look into cutting gluten, caseine, lactose, carbs and such out of your diet. There is anecdotal as well as thorough scientific evidence that a diet free of these, or some of these, helps with some mental disorders. Google is your friend, it's been ways too long since I spent time with this.
Of course anecdotal evidence "does not count", but for the individual who reaps the benefits, it well does So give it a try!
cheers
Lukas
 
Ryan M Miller
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I've found one medical study documenting the inflammatory effects of glyphosate on lab rats online, but I don't know how this would translate to human patients. There are probably several other pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides routinely used in modern agriculture I'm not aware of that have some kind of negative effect on human physiology.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6537504/
 
Ryan M Miller
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Lukas Rohrbach wrote:Hi Ryan
I would rather look into cutting gluten, caseine, lactose, carbs and such out of your diet. There is anecdotal as well as thorough scientific evidence that a diet free of these, or some of these, helps with some mental disorders.



I have already removed gluten and dairy from my diet, but I still experience digestive problems from time to time. I would try to rule out gluten by growing mild einkorn wheat myself or finding enough rare, organic einkorn to eat for about one to two months to make sure the problem is really gluten and not glyphosate, but the grain is expensive; I have limited growing space; and I would have to find specialized equipment to dehull the grain and grind it into flour.
 
Jan White
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Ryan M Miller wrote:

I have already removed gluten and dairy from my diet, but I still experience digestive problems from time to time. I would try to rule out gluten by growing mild einkorn wheat myself or finding enough rare, organic einkorn to eat for about one to two months to make sure the problem is really gluten and not glyphosate, but the grain is expensive; I have limited growing space; and I would have to find specialized equipment to dehull the grain and grind it into flour.



You could try growing rye or hulless barley, both of which contain gluten and are usually easy to find inexpensive seed for. All that needs to be done to make it ready for eating is thresh and winnow. Cook as a whole grain.
 
Ryan M Miller
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I gleaned some free barley from barley straw someone used on his lawn this year so I also have hulless barley seed I could use.
 
master pollinator
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It is VERY possible that Roundup has an effect on mood.

It is a long about road, but if you follow me, you can see where Roundup's kissing cousin, Agent Orange had a lot to do with my mood, and subsequent seizures. I have tried to show how the chain of events works.


1. Agent Orange and Roundup are similar in that they work well by breaking down the genetics of the plant they were applied too. The same reason they kill certain weeds, and not others (like corn) is by that genetic makeup. It is also why Agent Orange effects humans so well.

2. Agent Orange which worked similar to Roundup, not only affects the servicemen of Vietnam (my father was doused directly 5 times), it travels through sperm, and affects 5 generations down the first infected human. This is why I have been affected by Agent Orange, and most likely my children, my grand children, and great grandchildren.

3. Agent Orange primarily affects the Pituitary Gland. This is the gland that gets its signal from the brain to control stress, energy levels and mood. It works in conjunction with the adrenal glands, but also the thyroid. There are 300 cases of Pituitary Cancer per year in the USA, out of 300 million people. My father and I made the connection to Agent orange when we both...miraculously...got Pituitary Tumors. The chances of a father and son, getting something only 298 other people get per year, is too great to miss. We also both have different Dr's that worked for the VA Administration, and know the affects of Agent orange well. It is a well documented problem.

4. I had my thyroid completely removed due to it been laden with cancer.

5. Today the highest increase of cancer is Thyroid Cancer. It is up almost 300% from a few years ago, yet 80% of women, and 30% of men, have undiagnosed issues with their Thyroid which works directly with the Pituitary Gland to control mood.

6. Now that I am being treated for my brain tumor and cancer, my seizures, something I have had since I was a kid, have disappeared, so much so that I am not on medications for them any more. That has to do with the tumor in my brain shrinking in size, and no longer pressing on my brain stem.

I hope this odd way I have shaped my reply helps explain how it is possible that Round Up...a kissing cousin of Agent Orange...could negatively affect the Pituatary and Thyroid Gland. They control energy levels, mood, and even a sense of well being. And it does not escape me that Endrocrine Cancer is increasing the most of any cancers, yet so is depression and other phycological problems...but then so has the use of Round Up. I am not saying definatively it is, but it does make sense that you are onto something. Statistics are in your favor for your theory.

And so, then it stands to reason, NOT eating food treated with Round Up would reduce some Pituatary and Thyroid problems.




 
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This link between nutrition and brain health has really been gaining some ground in the medical community, looking at the food patients eat as a cause of mental health problems instead of just blindly prescribing medications to treat symptoms. All sorts of doctors, besides psychologists, are realizing that eating crap (processed foods, fast food, junk food, stuff from boxes and cans) has a negative affect on the human body and they're also realizing it has a negative affect on the mind as well. Eating real food (pastured meats and things that grow from plants, bushes and trees) helps give the body what it needs to function and repair itself. The human body makes about 200 billion new cells every day, and it does that with the food we eat. I'm straying off topic a tad, so back to brain health. Here's a quote from the first paragraph of an article written by Eva Selhub, MD:

Think about it. Your brain is always “on.” It takes care of your thoughts and movements, your breathing and heartbeat, your senses — it works hard 24/7, even while you’re asleep. This means your brain requires a constant supply of fuel. That “fuel” comes from the foods you eat — and what’s in that fuel makes all the difference. Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.



It's a short article and it can be found in its entirety here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626 There are quite a few more links to more in-depth information just below the article.



That graphic comes from The Center for Nutritional Psychology found here: http://www.nutritional-psychology.org/resources/

That link contains oodles of information, neatly organized into categories such as Nutrition and Mental Disorders, which is further subcategorized into topics like ADHD, depression, anxiety, even psychosis. Other categories include Nutrition and Stress, Nutrition and Health and more. There are a ton of resources.
 
Tyler Ludens
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pollinator
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Based on all I've been learning in recent years about the powerful effects of diet I would think you could definitely improve, if not cure, many issues including psychological ones with diet.  The research seems to indicate that a whole food plant based diet is the best.  (Please note this is not necessarily the same as a vegan diet which can be very nutrient deficient.)

As far as glyphosate is concerned I think you might really get something out of this podcast with Zach Bush M.D.  He covers the issue in ways I'd never heard of before highlighting just how bad, and ubiquitous it is in our environment now.  One of the things it does is damage all the bacteria in our bodies.  Recent research has indicated that as many as 90% of the cells in our bodies are non-human cells such as bacteria which most often are working in concert with our cells to maintain our bodies.  Thus things like glyphosate can cause all sorts of issues.  Anyway, here's a link to the podcast:  https://www.richroll.com/podcast/zach-bush-353/

You also might find Dr. Micheal Greger's website https://nutritionfacts.org/ to be very helpful.  He works to keep his site free from monetary influences that might distort the scientific data and what he presents there is from peer reviewed scientific papers on health and nutrition.  I might recommend one of his year in review presentations such as this one https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-not-to-die/ as a good way to quickly get an overview of what the data is saying regarding our health and diet.
 
pollinator
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So, my post was moved to the other thread because it contained info for both, which is fine, but I thought that I would contribute to this one directly.

I don't take psych meds anymore, after being on them for most of my adult life. The most important thing for me was reducing stress. For a long time, I was fixated on what other people can do, and trying to be like them. But I'm not other people, and accepting my limitations has been liberating. Eating whole foods that I grow has helped as well. I look at it as a two-for. Being outside, working in the garden, I find life-affirming, it brings me peace. And eating the food a grow just brings it to another level. It isn't something that you can just purchase, connection to your food is important, at least it is to me.
 
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