World Mental Health Day 10th october 2014
World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy, first celebrated in 1992. It's an initiative run by the World Federation for Mental Health,
Schizophrenia affects around 26 million people across the world and is the focus of World Mental Health Day this year.
The word schizophrenia comes from the Greek roots schizo (split) and phrene (mind) to describe the fragmented thinking of people with the disorder.
Despite being a treatable disorder, more than 50% of people with schizophrenia cannot access adequate treatment, and 90% of people with untreated schizophrenia live in the developing world.
Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts but it's actually a word that describes a number of symptoms that psychiatry has labelled a disorder.Not everyone with schizophrenia has the same symptoms and the definition of the disorder is wide, including a number of combinations of different things.
Here are 10 tips which can be of help you or a loved one is recovering from Schizophrenia
1. Eat a Diet High in NutrientsNutrients in foods support the body's repair, growth, and wellness. Nutrients we all need include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and even a small amount of fat. A deficiency in any of these nutrients lead to our bodies not working at full capacity -- and can even cause illness.
2. Fill Your Plate With Essential AntioxidantsDamaging molecules called free radicals are produced in our bodies during normal body functions -- and these free radicals contribute to aging and dysfunction. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E combat the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants have been shown to tie up these free radicals and take away their destructive power.
- Sources of beta-carotene: apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato.
- Sources of vitamin C: blueberries, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomato.
- Sources of vitamin E: margarine, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, wheat germ.
Don't shun carbs -- just make smart choices. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which all contribute healthy carbs as well as fiber.
Balance your blood sugar and avoid stimulants
Your intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes, as well as stimulant drugs, all affect the ability to keep one’s blood sugar level balanced. On top of this common antipsychotic medication may also further disturb blood sugar control. Stimulant drugs, from amphetamines to cocaine, can induce schizophrenia. The incidence of blood sugar problems and diabetes is also much higher in those with schizophrenia.
Methylation, B12, folic acid and B6
Methylation is a critical process in the brain that helps maintain the right chemical balance. An indicator of faulty methylation is having a high level of a toxic amino acid in the blood called homocysteine. The body makes homocysteine from dietary protein and, provided you are getting enough of certain vitamins, especially folic acid, B12 and B6, homocysteine levels decrease. Many people with schizophrenia, especially young males, tend to have a high level of homocysteine, despite no obvious dietary lack of these vitamins. High levels of homocysteine and low blood levels of folic acid have been reported by many research groups. People diagnosed with schizophrenia are more likely to have inherited a genetic variation of a key homocysteine lowering enzyme, which may make them need more of these and other nutrients.
Vitamin B6, zinc and pyroluria
Possibly one of the most significant ‘undiscovered’ discoveries in the nutritional treatment of mental illness is that many mentally ill people are deficient in vitamin B6 and zinc. But this deficiency is no ordinary deficiency: you can't correct it by simply eating more foods that are rich in zinc and B6. It is connected with the abnormal production of a group of chemicals called ‘pyrroles’. A person with a high level of pyrroles in the urine needs more B6 and zinc than usual, since they rob the body of these essential nutrients, increasing a person’s requirements to stay healthy, this was reported by Brain Bio Centre.
Check for allergy
Some people with mental health problems are sensitive to gluten, especially wheat gluten, which can bring on all sorts of symptoms of mental illness. This has been known since the 1950s, when Dr Lauretta Bender noted that schizophrenic children frequently had coeliac disease (severe gluten allergy).Include other grains like rice, jowar, ragi, maize, bajra.
7. Include Essential Fatty Acids in Your Diet
We build our brain from specialised essential fats. Of course, this isn’t a static process. We are always building membranes, then breaking them down, and building new ones. The breaking down, or stripping of essential fats from brain, membranes, is done by an enzyme called phospholipase A2 (PLA2). This is often overactive in people with schizophrenia, and this leads to a greater need for these fats, which are quickly lost from the brain. This explains earlier findings that schizophrenic patients have much lower levels of fatty acids in the frontal cortex of the brain.
Sources of : fatty fish (anchovy, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shad, and tuna), flaxseed, and nuts.
8. Watch Your Lifestyle Habits
Many people who are depressed also have problems with alcohol and/or drugs. Not only can alcohol and drugs interfere with mood, sleep, and motivation, they can also affect the effectiveness of your depression medications.
These substances temporarily give you a lift, but actually deplete and blunt valuable hormones in the long run. Avoid the stimulant cycle.
In addition, drinks and foods containing caffeine can trigger anxiety and make it difficult to sleep at night. Cutting out caffeine or stopping caffeine after noon each day can also help you get a better night's sleep.
10. Exercise to feel good.
Exercise is a natural stimulator of many important “mood” hormones, including serotonin and dopamine. Don’t think of exercise as a chore to lose weight or prevent heart disease “someday”. Realize that 15 or 20 minutes of exercise every day will naturally release these feel-good hormones that are so vital to feeling happy and calm.Exercise is about feeling good, not just looking good. Even just a simple WALK will do.
Mrs Shilpa Mittal Nutritionist and Diet Consultant Founder Shilpsnutrilife - Diet and lifestylemakeover