|Zarouhi Soultanian, circa 1915|
At first, his quirks were cute, but as they have multiplied, his parents are becoming increasing concerned. Interestingly, I was reading an article today about "brain allergies," or the behavioral symptoms produced by ingesting allergenic foods. In it, the author mentions that compulsive behavior has been linked to gluten sensitivity. Other behaviors also linked to gluten problems include depression, anxiety, withdrawal from social situations, mood swings and even clumsiness.
As I searched further for other articles to back up this claim, I found a number of sites that assert that most mental illness has allergies at its root. The site Alternative Mental Health quoted a study (which was not footnoted) where 100% of subjects diagnosed with depression were also allergic to egg whites, and 80% of the schizophrenic subjects were allergic to milk and eggs. Scary!
Other studies seem to show that these conditions can be reversed in most instances with the removal of the allergen from the diet. Most food allergies sites insist that the additional step of healing the gut is also necessary for a full recovery (and to prevent relapses).
Those of us in the food allergy community are familiar with the success stories of mothers like Jenny McCarthy, who was able to lessen her son's autistic symptoms with a radical change in diet. Has anyone had any experience with compulsive behavior symptoms? To add to the frustration of parents dealing with these issues, it appears that a small amount of gluten in the diet can produce effects lasting up to four days after ingestion -- making it difficult to definitively tie behavior to diet. I am particularly interested to hear about instances of gluten avoidance positively affecting compulsive behavior.
Let me know what you've seen, heard, or tried, and how it worked. Could there really be a link here, or is this just another case of pseudo-scientists airing their theories before they're completely proven?
Shared with Family Time Tuesday at Celebrating Family and Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven and Teach Me Tuesday at Growing Home and Gluten Free Wednesday at the Gluten Free Homemaker and Creative Juice at Momnivore's Dilemma and Pennywise Platter at the Nourishing Gourmet and Fresh Bites Friday at Real Food Whole Health and Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.