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Primal eating and schizophrenia?

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  • Primal eating and schizophrenia?

    Hi All,
    I want to start following primal blueprint because the arguments used to justify eating that way make a lot of sense to me.

    However, i have schizophrenia (hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, deep bouts of depression etc...) fortunately it is manageable with medication but i don't want to do anything which would worsen it.

    Is there any reason to believe that changing my diet could make my schizophrenia worse?

  • #2
    Hi Squawk!

    Welcome aboard! I have OCD (anxiety, panic attacks, etc...). I hope you find this lifestyle is accommodating to your needs. Have you ever seen the Dr. Terry Wahls video on YouTube? If not, give it a go. Basically, some data suggests that high intake of certain vegetables and other things could actually help improve people's mental conditions. There isn't a bunch of data on it, but some people have improved. As for me, I find a little improvement just in the extra energy I have.

    I don't know if any guidelines on the PB would effect your medications. To be safe, you should ask your doctor. But in general, I think you're okay, but that's just my opinion.

    The best advice is to take it slow. Coming off of a SAD diet to a PB one can be drastic sometimes. Be prepared for the 'carb flu' if you eat a lot of grains. This will pass within 2-3 weeks for most people. Remember that this way of eating/living isn't a race. Take it slow, implement as much as you're willing to, and give it time.

    Best of luck and please let us know how you're doing here or there.

    - Jesse


    • #3
      Primal should help. I am self-diagnosed as borderline Asperger's and bipolar, etc. Primal has cleared up my mind a lot.

      See Emily Dean's stuff, e.g. Evolutionary Psychiatry
      Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

      My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial


      • #4
        Thanks for the advice i will watch the video. I don't think that grains will be as much of a problem as refined sugar for me - i drink a lot of soft drinks and also eat a lot of lollies/chocolate so i think i'll start by cutting back on the soft drinks first.


        • #5
          Hey squawk,

          Eliminating chemicals from your diet will only help I think, and most junk food is laden with it. After that it's very much an individual thing which you'll have to explore. I find wheat is literally poision for my mind.

          I would advise you not to go extreme in any direction with your macros. The relationship between macros and mental health is very much an unknown, and it's better not to be a guinea pig! Personally low carb high fat wasn't good for me and I'm happier eating bits of everything (including starch and dairy).

          I also wouldn't restrict things too severely, because the last thing you want is to project your mental health issues onto food and get obsessed with it (easily done!)

          Just eat real foods and see what happens, but if you really want a piece of chocolate, don't deprive yourself. Aim for balance.

          Welcome to teh forum
          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

          - Ray Peat


          • #6
            I can't testify to the beneficial effects of a paleo diet for schizophrenia, but I can't imagine eliminating excess preservatives, harmful additives, processed carbohydrates, sugars, and oils could hurt your body and mind.
            F 28/5'4/100 lbs

            "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


            • #7
              I would expect it to help a variety of mental health issues. I have seen many people improve their mental health by changing diet. At the very least it may have no effect. Weaning off the sugar would be extremely beneficial. Good luck.


              • #8
                Definitely go for it! Read this study Nutrition & Metabolism | Full text | Schizophrenia, gluten, and low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets: a case report and review of the literature and start googling on the subject--there are links between gluten/carbs and schizophrenia. There is even a clinical study recruiting participants right now. Gluten Free Diet in People With Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study - Full Text View -

                I've done a lot of searching about this because my mother is severely schizophrenic, in a home, and morbidly obese with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes likely caused by medications. If I had the resources I would bring her home and feed her Primal in a flat second.


                • #9
                  I recommend the blog of Dr Georgia Ede, "Diagnosis : Diet". She is a psychiatrist who wholeheartedly endorses paleo eating for herself and her patients.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by squawk87 View Post
                    Thanks for the advice i will watch the video. I don't think that grains will be as much of a problem as refined sugar for me - i drink a lot of soft drinks and also eat a lot of lollies/chocolate so i think i'll start by cutting back on the soft drinks first.
                    No coca cola was hard for me. I had drunk it for years with sugar, and then for years no-cal. But the carbonation in it will kill you even if the sugar or chemicals don't. I switched to water and it took time to get used to it.

                    Watch out for the 'carb-flu'. It may mess with your mind a bit. Just tell youself that it shows that your body is adjusting.
                    "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase


                    • #11
                      Why is carbonation bad? It's just carbon dioxide.
                      Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                      Griff's cholesterol primer
                      5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                      Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                      TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                      bloodorchid is always right