I’m so Tired: Part 3

Here we discuss the energy-mental health connection associated with food intolerances, environmental chemicals, and heavy metals. We provide a glimpse into a simple protocol strategy to detoxify and improve energy and mental health.

Food Intolerance related Energy Drops

The body has greater likelihood to treat large proteins as foreign especially if you are continually exposed to them over time. Foods that contain such large proteins that you can react to include wheat/rye/barley (the main gluten-grain sources), oats (contain gliadin, similar to gluten and not always problematic in Celiac Disease), corn (often contaminated with gluten), dairy/milk products, (which contain whey and casein) and other food items. An immune over-response can trigger a behavioral array of problems. Problems observed in the mental sphere include emotional disturbances, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADD & OCD. Physical problems observed include fatigue, heart/pulse rate racing, skin problems (the skin is the dumping ground of toxins that the body can not rid), digestive disturbances and joint problems).

In the case of ADD and hyperactive ADHD children researchers see gluten, dairy, sugar (‘saccharine disease’), dyes, flavors, additives, and preservatives playing a role.

A recent peer-reviewed PubMed article by Millichap and Yee shows one of many groups of researchers that consider the link between food intolerance and ADD/hyperactivity to be significant.

Many researchers are reporting difficulty introducing elimination diets but my experience differs. A 3 week elimination of gluten or dairy (a typical prescripotion at the second visit) can easily be done by giving patients advanced preparation.

Patients need to be educated clearly on how to do a food elimination (how to shop, how to make 7 winner meals that they like) and be given the time to shift lifestyle (often a month or two) so that they are comfortable with a brief lifestyle change.

You may feel better when you eliminate the food intolerant item for 3 weeks but simple re-introduction of the food item is the diagnostic clincher; those that react to re-introducing the food item are intolerant. If such patients eliminate the food item for 6 months they can try re-introducing it again and if they still react, they have a fixed allergy and likely need to eliminate this food thereafter. Those that do not react after 6 month elimination may do well rotating the food item by doing it every 3 or 4 days. 

In the case of schizophrenia, patients can become psychotic after eating oysters or chocolate chip cookies (gluten containing), though the major food intolerant instigators in this (and other mental health conditions) includes foremost gluten and dairy, then corn, eggs, soy, and secondary items (citrus, nuts, rice, etc).

An energy drop is a major sign of a food allergy. Eliminating offending items from your diet can mean the difference between remaining well, keeping symptoms at bay, and maintaining high energy throughout the day.

Environmental Chemical related Energy Drops

We get exponentially more and more environmental chemical exposure, direct and indirect.  Sources include food additives, pesticides, plastics, and household and industrial solvents. The majority of environmental chemicals are neurotoxic, that is, they have the ability to disrupt or destroy brain and peripheral nerve cell function, thereby eliciting indirect effects on our overall behavior, including our emotional/mood stability, our ability to concentrate, our ability to receive sensory information undistorted (important in schizophrenia), and our ability to remain calm, cool and collected (as opposed to being agitated or, in some cases, violent). Marijuana and other recreational drugs often contain neurotoxic contaminants. The list is extensive.

One’s sensitivity to chemicals varies and it is not uncommon to see an entire household exposed to the same conditions with only one or two members falling ill. The long-term effects are not seen in all members right away, but the down-the-road-effects can be ‘felt’ later with predispositions toward infertility, auto-immune conditions, cancer, and allergies surfacing after exposure to environmental stressors. 

The ability for the body to rid itself of the constant bombardment of environmental exposures is taxing on body systems, especially the immune and liver/kidney/bowel detoxification systems. Such dedication to toxic exposure removal will ultimately drain our energy supplies. The thyroid and adrenal glands are master glands that take a big hit here and when they weaken, chemicals deposit into tissue. The trigger for gland or organ weakening can be external stressors including a stress filled environment and pathogen exposures such as Epstein Barr virus (mononucleosis) or other viruses and bacterial invasions. Epstein Barr virus convalescence is associated with chronic fatigue.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is another example of a neurotoxin. TCE is found in water supplies, schools, homes, adhesives/glues, photocopier exposures, floor polish, coffee, paint, dry cleaning liquids, carpets, ink, and fumigants. It is associated with energy depleting fatigue, dizziness, depression, Parkinson’s disease and psychosis.

Fluoride in toothpaste and tap water and chlorine in tap water, pools, and hot tubs also have known toxic effects including emotional disturbance.

Heavy Metal Toxicity related Energy Drops

Toxic metals in the environment also disturb ATP production at the cellular level so we need to address this if our aim is to improve energy and mental health. In schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADD, and OCD we see low energy with heavy metal toxicity as a primary syndrome. The greater the heavy metal load the greater the diversity, frequency and intensity of symptoms (including fatigue).  

Toxic metals are minerals that have no known necessary function in the body, and in fact are very harmful.  Examples are mercury, copper, lead, cadmium, aluminum and arsenic. Toxic metal sources are found in air (industrial pollutants), food, and water.  Targeted lab testing is ideal for detecting toxic metal exposure.

Toxic metals deplete zinc which is needed for normal brain function and neurotransmitter production.

Copper is important in development and frontal cortex executive functions (catecholamine cofactor) but in toxic levels can be overstimulating and neurotoxic. Copper toxicity is associated with schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADD, and OCD. Also linked to copper is post-partum and hormonal depressions.

Mercury also causes mental disorders (anger, irritability, memory decline, mood disorder, psychosis, behavior disorder) and immune compromise.  I see many cases of auto-immune conditions stemming from mercury toxicity including Hashimoto’s and Grave’s thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and food allergies.

For a full review of all toxic metals and essential minerals, you can refer to the book Minerals in Health and Disease . I co-authored this book in 2005.   This book reviews the A-Z of macro minerals, trace minerals,  and toxic metals. It is a desktop reference for clinical practitioners and lay people. This book is available for order through the International Schizophrenia Foundation.

Detoxification to improve fatigue

A variety of detoxification therapies exist and the list is exhaustive: infrared sauna, coffee enemas, colon cleansing, specialty detoxification machines, clay baths, salt baths, detoxification patches, etcetera. We strongly recommend the least costly approaches. 

Our detoxification approach focuses on botanical liver support and maintaining adequate bowel movements to rid toxins.

The majority of metals are removed via liver-bowel. Botanical medicine and magnesium therapy are key to maintaining adequate bowel movement frequency. Low thyroid states compromise bowel removal so this needs to be optimized in a comprehensive detoxification protocol. Colonics are recommended in those cases that are having difficulty removing copper or who have returning metal loads.

Mercury uses the kidney route of removal and is removed effectively with glutathione and patented thiols (sulphur containing molecules that aid phase 3 detoxification). If the kidney route of removal is blocked, R-lipoic acid is useful.