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Can diet affect your mental health?

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Replies

  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    nutmegoreo wrote: »
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    Panda8ach wrote: »
    Mental health is a bit broad...maybe depression. Does a bad diet contribute to Schizophrenia? BPD? Othello Syndrome? No it doesn't :/

    @Panda8ach do you have any links to support there being any medical validity to your quoted personal opinion about diet relationship to mental health concerns that you mentioned?

    You really think schizophrenia and bp can be cured by diet?

    Not sure why you are asking a question about "curing" any health condition because that is a loaded word that can never be proven. I know some medical professionals and patients view one's diet may have an impact on most any health condition.

    https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004718/

    Dietary Intake of Patients with Schizophrenia

    "From a physical health perspective, the observed pattern of above-average caloric intake from a diet rich in saturated fat and sugar seems worrisome. Health burdens of such a constellation are apparent. High fat intake per se, for example, has been linked to a variety of medical problems such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, and cancer.27 It may also predispose schizophrenia patients to premature death from complications of these disorders.28 They already have a decreased life expectancy,29 and the overtly high total fat intake together with a pattern of low fruit and vegetable consumption may only accelerate this trend.

    From the mental health perspective, the patients' subjective assessment of quality of life is considered to be a critical outcome variable in the care of individuals with schizophrenia.30 Patients already suffer from low quality of life inherent to the chronic nature of their illness.31 Overweight only further impairs quality of life.17 Distress related to high body weight is a modifiable factor, and the quality of life of schizophrenic patients can be improved substantially by proper weight management, apart from obvious advantages for physical health.15"

    https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2652467/

    Schizophrenia, gluten, and low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets: a case report and review of the literature

    "Abstract
    We report the unexpected resolution of longstanding schizophrenic symptoms after starting a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet. After a review of the literature, possible reasons for this include the metabolic consequences from the elimination of gluten from the diet, and the modulation of the disease of schizophrenia at the cellular level.

    Conclusion
    While more research is needed to confirm the association between gluten intake and schizophrenia and whether dietary change can ameliorate schizophrenic symptoms, health care providers could consider screening patients with schizophrenia for celiac disease and/or augment the medical regimen with a gluten-free or low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet."

    ibpf.org/blog/how-food-changed-bipolar-disorder-me

    How Food Changed Bipolar Disorder For Me

    "Controlling our Bipolar Disorder is a full time job, even during the good times. We have meds, psychotherapy, and other standard treatments. However, have you considered food as a form of treatment? I've discovered there are certain foods that help me keep the Bipolar roller coaster on the up side."



    Do you read the links you post? That person still takes medication and a careful read of the foods list pretty much shows a whole foods diet full of whole grains, proteins, and vegetables so he's got stable blood sugar that doesn't affect his mood. That's what he attributes his dietary intervention effectiveness to.

    He's paid attention to his reactions (like headaches and brain fog) to certain things and eliminated them.

    These are things any sensible person with any chronic condition who takes a proactive stance on managing their health does to better their quality of life.

    It doesn't make the case for food as medicine. It might make the case for the importance of self-care and engagement in the process of such for people suffering from mental illness.

    Thankfully it does make a case that food like Rx meds can help or hurt a pre existing physical and/or medical conditions.

    Not necessarily. A proper diet can affect mood in anyone. I see that in my children, for pity's sake. It's more important in people with chronic conditions to be on point with diet and weight management, though. I'd agree with that.

    Again, this is completely true of prescription medication.

    That's not the point in question, though.

    I don't know what you think the point is, then.

    Not medication, certainly.

    Mood isn't the sum total of mental health.

    The efficacy of self-care only goes so far in having an impact on one's outlook, but that is true of people who don't struggle with mental health issues.

    Thus, the thrust of the thread is really a non-starter since just about everyone feels better when they are eating a nutritious diet and getting proper sleep and exercise.

    The heavy lifting in dealing with mental health issues is always going to be done with medication.

    I agree that medications trump diet. I would include therapy as another strong factor. Although many may find that mood improves with diet and exercise, I knew it was time to try something different when neither of those were helping me like they had in the past. That was when I entered into counseling, and stayed with it for year. Did it fix everything, no. But it did give me strategies to cope in a different manner, and it helped to desensitize many of my raw spots. These are things that certainly wouldn't be done with food and exercise alone.

    Are food and mental health related? Yes, I strongly believe this. In what manner, I'm uncertain. I think it's cyclical, and which is the precipitating factor is unclear. When I'm stressed I'm more inclined to eat less than optimal choices. At least now I don't beat myself up for it, or sit her feeling guilt and shame; perpetuating the cycle.

    I think @earlnabby raised the issue earlier, and you're echoing it here. There's a chicken and egg scenario here that maybe is tangential to what some of the other posters are driving at, though.

    Some of us (I'll include myself in this since I've suffered with depression in the past) have seen our mental health issue affect our ability to make optimal choices. We just don't care enough.

    The other posters seem to be driving at the point that the choices affect the mental health.

    I'm not sure that's entirely accurate or can be entirely entirely sorted. Again. Chicken/egg.

    Some illnesses maybe related to the prenatal diet of the mother

    Needs citation.
  • GaleHawkins
    GaleHawkins Posts: 8,161 Member
    Jeffagner2 wrote: »
    For me, eliminating sugar and eating unrefined, unprocessed whole foods has been nothing short of a miracle cure for the clinical depression I have battled since childhood. Way more effective than Zoloft.

    @Jeffagner2 thanks for sharing your awesome success story by changing your diet. Many of us have experience both physical and mental health improvements when we found the right diet at works for us. Welcome to MFP and best of continued success.
  • missh1967
    missh1967 Posts: 660 Member
    edited July 2017
    Tankiscool wrote: »
    Diet as what meaning? What someone eats? Or when someone is in a calorie deficit. Either way one could argue there is a very likely chance. When you go on a "diet" meaning you are eating less to loose weight you put stress on your body, top that with a moderate exercise regimen and your stressing it even more. We all know how stress can affect us mentally. The other way of what someones diet is when they eat *kitten*, they feel like *kitten*.

    Interestingly, I am far more stressed when I eat like s.h.i.t and don't exercise than when I manage my caloric intake and exercise almost daily.
  • goldthistime
    goldthistime Posts: 3,214 Member
    missh1967 wrote: »
    Tankiscool wrote: »
    Diet as what meaning? What someone eats? Or when someone is in a calorie deficit. Either way one could argue there is a very likely chance. When you go on a "diet" meaning you are eating less to loose weight you put stress on your body, top that with a moderate exercise regimen and your stressing it even more. We all know how stress can affect us mentally. The other way of what someones diet is when they eat *kitten*, they feel like *kitten*.

    Interestingly, I am far more stressed when I eat like s.h.i.t and don't exercise than when I manage my caloric intake and exercise almost daily.

    I feel the same, but I would attribute it more to exercise than to diet. The exception might be diet extremes, such as when I haven't been getting adequate nutrition and/or when I severely overeat/binge.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited July 2017
    missh1967 wrote: »
    Tankiscool wrote: »
    Diet as what meaning? What someone eats? Or when someone is in a calorie deficit. Either way one could argue there is a very likely chance. When you go on a "diet" meaning you are eating less to loose weight you put stress on your body, top that with a moderate exercise regimen and your stressing it even more. We all know how stress can affect us mentally. The other way of what someones diet is when they eat *kitten*, they feel like *kitten*.

    Interestingly, I am far more stressed when I eat like s.h.i.t and don't exercise than when I manage my caloric intake and exercise almost daily.

    I feel the same, but I would attribute it more to exercise than to diet. The exception might be diet extremes, such as when I haven't been getting adequate nutrition and/or when I severely overeat/binge.

    This is exactly the same for me.

    Another factor is that when I'm super stressed or life feels unmanageable and overwhelming my (dysfunctional) response tends to be to let things go. When I stop thinking that the stressful things mean that I cannot live my normal life at all and make room for the things I normally do -- morning prayer or meditation, exercise, doing the dishes, making dinner, so on, I feel way less stressed. I'd include eating decent meals/healthfully as part of that. Basically a minimum of self care and routine and taking control of what can be controlled.

    Nothing to do with specific foods making a difference.

    Another thought I have is that when I first started I'd been super stressed and anxious and very down (not what I think of as the darkest times, but definitely lots of bad days). I put together a weight loss plan, forced myself to get on the scale (which I'd been scared to do for ages), deal with the number, started including some more activity in my days, journaling some related to my plan, and eating much better in that I was eating regular meals, no snacking, AND cut out added sugar (experiment) and grains (more than that really, as I tried a paleo thing). I was probably low-ish carb (around 100 g), and I was low cal (1200 or so).

    I felt immediately great, which I at first attributed to no sugar or lower carbs.

    After about a month I added back some grains (more legumes -- I don't care that much about grains) and some added sugar (indeed, I started having dessert occasionally after dinner). I kept up with everything else, and I felt as good or better.

    Much, much later, after I had lost most of the weight (and NOT eaten low carb to get there, more like 40%, and not kept added sugar out of my diet, although -- as before I lost weight -- I wasn't really a sugar monster and also always ate lots of vegetables), I started feeling down (the dark days) and anxious and angry and various old bugaboos again (related to past trauma plus the fact I do think I'm just genetically inclined toward depression in that it's common in my family). I actually went through a very bad time about a year (bit more) ago. I tried (among other things) cutting out added sugar and grains again, even though I no longer thought it was really the reason for my positive change before and it did no good. Ultimately I decided to deal with some stuff through therapy.

    Once again I find that when I take control of small things I can, which include eating well and exercising, it helps. But the idea that a specific diet makes all the difference, no, and my attribution of the change back when I started this weight loss to the diet change was clearly, in retrospect, a misattribution.
  • earlnabby
    earlnabby Posts: 8,177 Member
    missh1967 wrote: »
    Tankiscool wrote: »
    Diet as what meaning? What someone eats? Or when someone is in a calorie deficit. Either way one could argue there is a very likely chance. When you go on a "diet" meaning you are eating less to loose weight you put stress on your body, top that with a moderate exercise regimen and your stressing it even more. We all know how stress can affect us mentally. The other way of what someones diet is when they eat *kitten*, they feel like *kitten*.

    Interestingly, I am far more stressed when I eat like s.h.i.t and don't exercise than when I manage my caloric intake and exercise almost daily.

    I am just the opposite. I eat like *kitten* when I am stressed, not the other way around.
  • RedSierra
    RedSierra Posts: 253 Member
    Macy9336 wrote: »
    So someone was telling me the other day about how mentally unwell people tend to have bad diets and a higher risk for obesity. I looked this up and it's somewhat true. However, this person claimed that these people were mentally unwell BECAUSE they had a bad diet. This didn't make sense to me. I always thought that the mental illness came first and because of the illness, the person then has zero energy or motivation to shop, cook, etc and so often just eats crisps, microwave meals, takeaways/fast food etc which then leads to comorbid factors like obesity. What do you think?

    I haven't read through all the pages of comments, so I don't know if someone mentioned Vitamin D.

    Low Vitamin D can result in many problems, including depression or a down in the dumps mood. Here's one article, but there are thousands more online: http://www.prevention.com/health/symptoms-of-vitamin-d-deficiency/slide/5

    (Low Vitamin D also increases the risk of colon polyps, the major cause of colon cancer, plus a higher risk of fractures and many other problems. A simple blood test can tell whether you have the deficiency).