Is Schizophrenia Related To Diet and Nutrition?

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Studies suggest that diet plays an important role in the treatment of schizophrenia. It appears that a diet which is high in sugar and saturated fat and low in polyunsaturated fat is harmful to those suffering with schizophrenia.

The cause of schizophrenia is not known as is the case with many mental illnesses. Antipsychotic drugs are the usual long term treatment for this problem. The drugs may be used in combination with a healthy approach toward nutrition.

Contrary to what some people think about schizophrenia it is not a disease where someone has split personalities like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Rather someone with schizophrenia may have delusions or hallucinations or may have problems with speech or thoughts or emotions.

At the beginning of schizophrenia people may show signs of a metabolic syndrome known as either insulin resistance or type II diabetes. This may be due to the fact that people with schizophrenia are apt to eat a poor diet. Young people especially may consume a good deal of fast foods such as burgers and fries. Others may eat a poor diet, smoke, drink alcohol, use stimulating drugs and have little or no exercise. Those patients who are taking the antipsychotic medications may feel the need to increase the amount of food they eat.

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You need to keep your blood sugar level balanced. The antipsychotic medications may alter blood sugar levels so if you are on these medications diet is even more important. You need to eat a diet that is high in fiber, low in saturated fats, high in polyunsaturated fats like omega 3, low in refined starches and sugars and contains vegetables, nuts and fruits. It is also important to engage in some form of exercise.

If you suffer from schizophrenia you want to check for an allergy to gluten since many people with mental illnesses do suffer from gluten intolerance.

Our brains need essential fats and often in those suffering with schizophrenia this is lacking. For this reason it is important that the essential fats be included in the diet.

In addition to a nutritious diet those suffering with schizophrenia can be helped by a custom designed program of specific vitamins and minerals as prescribed by the health care professional. Treatment which includes medication, supplements and a healthy diet and exercise program have been shown to be successful in helping the person suffering with schizophrenia to lead a more productive life.