FOOD MATTERS #foodie Friday

foodYup, what the mother describes in the below article about skepticism about food allergies is what it’s like for most people before they eliminate gluten (or other foods…sensitivities to many foods and/or natural food chemicals are on the rise) or see someone close to them eliminate it and have dramatic improvements in health and/or mood. It’s rather hard to wrap ones head around the possibility that food we eat everyday may be harming us or others.

Of note, many people with severe psych drug withdrawal syndromes find that they have multiple food sensitivities as well as multiple medication sensitivities. In order to hasten recovery people often need to radically change the way they eat. Many of these sensitivities seem to reverse upon recovery, but some hang around for what appears to be the rest of ones life. Since there are no systematic studies about such things it’s hard to really know the extent of these issues. What is clear is that the incidence of acute food and drug sensitivities is common among those with severe psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes for at least the time during recovery.

The gluten made her do it: How going gluten free saved my daughter’s mental health: The mother below is speaking about her daughter:

Okay, a confession: I didn’t have a whole lot of flattering thoughts about the gluten-free trend at the time. I thought of gluten intolerance as a prototypical “white woman’s disease,” as awful and sexist as that sounds, and is. I thought it was something that a small portion of the population actually experienced, and a much larger portion mostly imagined. I have a sister who’s been gluten intolerant for much longer than it’s been fashionable. She vomits and gets ocular migraines if she accidentally consumes gluten. I couldn’t imagine how all the people that I suddenly met who insisted they were gluten intolerant, but had never seen a doctor about it, could really have the problems my sister did. I thought they were probably just jumping on a trend that made them feel special.

When someone told me they were gluten intolerant, I silently thought “Maybe. Or maybe it’s all in your head, and when gluten-free isn’t cool anymore, you’ll suddenly be cured.”

So when I read Dorfman’s article, I thought, “Right. So now going gluten-free is the cure for children who have extreme behavioral problems, and who-knows-what-else. Maybe. Maybe in very rare circumstances.”

But mostly, I thought it was false hope, and more gluten-free hype offered to parents who are at their wits’ end.

So of course I bought the book. (continue reading about this mother and her very young daughter)

h/t Judith Haire

To be clear, gluten intolerance is not the answer for all children’s mental health issues, no. But it’s clear that it’s becoming a problem for more and more people across all populations. I think that when it is a problem, more often than not, it will be a part of a complex combinations of interrelated issues . In working with adults coming off psychiatric drugs it’s clear that everyone’s combination of healing methods and system of self-care varies. There is no one thing that helps everyone and rarely does fixing just one thing completely heal any given individual.  We are profoundly holistic beings.

And from GreenMedInfo.com:

A Gluten for Punishment: the Whole Grain Assault on Health

Among thoughtful and informed medical providers and public alike, there is an ongoing transition toward recognizing adverse health effects from grains as being common and normal rather than rare and abnormal. Not all medical providers, of course, support this change in perspective and some are downright hostile toward it. Likewise, a segment of the public seems to be irritated by the gluten free trend and consider it just a silly fad.

Yet, if medicine is to be science based, no credible medical provider can dismiss the possibility that a large proportion of the U.S. (and possibly world) population may be sensitive to certain molecules present in most grains. Similarly, those that belittle the gluten free movement as a fad might, in fact, be an unknowing victim of grain sensitivity. (continue reading)

For a collection of informative links to medical journal articles and studies see: Gluten: if you’re unconvinced see the collection of studies from medical journals here

See also: Eating real whole food is important to our mental and physical wellbeing — additional information about the rise in food sensitivities in general. Not just gluten.

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