By Tibor Rozsahegyi
Schizophrenia, a chronic psychiatric condition causes reduced capacity to work and is characterized by “positive” psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thoughts, belligerence, eccentricity, and “negative” symptoms, like decreased self-regard, apathy, depression, decreased motivation and social isolation.
Anomalies of the fundamental cogitation processes, which affect functions like creative (imaginative) thinking, ability to make contact with others, using the language and expressing the feelings (emotions) is regarded as the central aspect of schizophrenia as well.
The chances of developing the disorder at any time during the lifespan – but especially in the early adulthood – stand at 0.7-1% percent and the one year prevalence rate, that is new cases per 10.000 inhabitants is 1-7.
Its incidence, the number of new occurrences of schizophrenia in a given population over a period of time is almost the same in each races, in differing socioeconomic environments and geographical regions, except the urbanites, among them the number of new occurrences is higher than among others.
The suffering caused by schizophrenia could became unbearable. The amount of suicide attempts among them might be up to 50%, and 10% of latter actually kill themselves.
The generally accepted view about schizophrenia makes strong connection with drug consumption, family dysfunctions, social problems like homelessness, crimes etc. Since effective medication is not available out there, the disorder is labeled as one of the heaviest burden on the modern societies worldwide, as the forth most frequent agent causing reduced capacity to work. All of the economic burdens generated by the disorder override the social effects of the cancers.
As any mental disorder schizophrenia is bonded to several well known misconceptions in the past and present as well. But the truth is most of the schizophrenic people are not under demonic influences, not drinkers or junkers and never run foul of the law. Since their thinking and behaving patterns so different than that of the ordinary people, the latter are often considering them as menace who threaten the peace and order of their communities or even the whole society. That was the accusation when the Nazis killed around 100,000 civilians, considering them the psychiatric, that is: schizophrenic.
There are few who knows the connection between schizophrenia and the common diet of ours. A shocking medical fact has revealed that there is a compound in our regular diet which might cause the psychiatric condition: gluten.
Intriguing early research suggests that people with a genetic intolerance to gluten may also be at increased risk for schizophrenia. Investigators say the link, if proven, could lead to new treatment options for a small subset of schizophrenic people.
Researchers from John’s Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health using a Danish health registry, found people with the genetic digestive disorder known as celiac disease, a lifelong condition in which foods that contain gluten damage the small intestine to be three times as likely as the general population to develop schizophrenia.
They now are screening for celiac disease, to locate the folks with schizophrenia for whom Gluten withdrawal might work.
The next step is to determine if following a gluten-free diet makes a difference in the symptoms of schizophrenic people with celiac disease. The researchers estimate that 3% of schizophrenic people could potentially benefit from such a diet.
Gluten is a form of protein found in some grains notably wheat, barley, and rye. Any flour made from the starchy endosperm of grains contains proteins that are potentially problematic to the grain intolerant person. The damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate, from food. The sticky, elastic component of grains, Gluten is essential for breads and baking. Bread is the most desired wheat product and is, unfortunately, the hardest food to duplicate with non-grain flours.
The exclusion of cereal grains significantly alters vegetarian regimens dependent on grains. Rice and rice products are the principle substitutes for cereals.
The mixture of proteins in Gluten is classified into two groups, the prolamines and the glutelins. The prolamine, gliadin, seems to be a major problem in celiac disease; anti-gliadin antibodies are found in the serum and in circulating immune complexes associated with this disease.
Wheat, barley, rye and oats have been excluded from “gluten-free diets.” Most of evidence implicates wheat as a problem food. Recent studies suggest that oats may not be as problematic as wheat.
Both the type and the amount of the gluten proteins decide the kind of reaction that is likely to occur. It should be noted that there is considerable variability in the protein content of various foods made from cereal grains, and this variability is one of the many reasons why food reactions are not consistent.
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