The idea that food affects the mind is an alien concept to many people. But since the brain is perhpas the most delicate organ of the body, using sometimes as much as 30% of all the energy we derive from food, this is no surprise. Allergies to food can upset levels of hormones and other chemicals in th brain, resulting in symptoms ranging from depression to schizophrenia.
The allergic patient whose mental symptoms are so severe as to merit the label of “mentally ill” has been known clinically for many years. Psychiatrists, however, may be the last to learn and accept brain or cerebral allergy as a possible cause of some types of “mental illness”.
The allergic child may suffer from the so-called allergic-tension-fatigue syndrome described by Dr. Frederic Speer in 1954, which results in irritability, hyperactivity, and impaired concentration, adversely affecting school performance. Food dyes or additives may cause the symptoms. The most commonly implicated types of food are milk, wheat, egg, beef, corn, cane sugar, and chocolate. A similar sydrome in adults has been called simply “cerebral allergy”. This allergy often appears in masked form, in which the individual actually feels better after ingesting a favorite food. However, in a variable number of hours, a severe letdown occurs, and the person experiences symptoms that may be diffuse and non-specific, and often include headache, depression, nasal stuffiness, and sleepiness.
Allergy runs in families, and so does cerebral allergy. The allergic diseases have many presenting symptoms and common names. An infant may not tolerate cow’s or goat’s milk and be starting a lifelong fight against allergies with colic, eczema, or croup. Lack of breast feeding may predispose an infant to allergies because the infant does not get the needed immune bodies from mother. Colic may progress into celiac disease, wherein food goes through the intestine unchanged. Children eating food dyes, or food naturally high in salicylates, may develop hyperactivity.
Food intolerance, lack of absorption of food, and relief with fasting are three key pointers to the food-allergic person. Favorite foods are often the offending foods, so the person is like an addict, eating the offending food to obtain a psychological high.
Extreme mood swings occurring within a single day may typify the person with cerebral allergy. These moods may be manic or depressive, and they correspond with the ingestion of foods. Fasting for 24 hours, or a shift to an entirely new food item may bring relief from cerebral allergy symptoms. Many types of treatment turn out to be futile such as medications.
Several vitamins have been found by Carl C. Pfeiffer, PhD., M.D., to be noted for their effectiveness in reducing allergic symptoms. Vitimins C and B6 are probably the most effective. Dr. William Philpott has used both of these vitamins intravenously to turn offf allergic symptoms provoked by testing for allergies. He has found that the patient on adequate vitamin C will have fewer allergic symptoms. He states that minerals calcium and potassium should be plentiful, and Zinc and Manganese are also needed.
Elimination of the offending food may be needed for several months. In the case of multiple food allergies this approach would severely limit the diet. It is suggested instead to use a four-day rotation diet, in which each food is eaten only once every four days. If this approach is unsuccessful, intradermal allergy testing to determine the degree of allergy and the neutralizing dose of each allergen is recommended.
Intradermal testing is based on reliable skin testing procedures that are controlled, sensitive, and effective methods of diagnosing food and/or inhalant allergies. Diagnosing a specific allergy consists of making an intradermal injection (under the top layer of skin of the upper arm) of the food or inhalant extract in varying dilutions to determine the exact degree of sensitivity. Mild symptoms may or may not be provoked by this method. There are many different kinds of tests for allergies, however.
Eating organic food is recommended for those who have allergies to food dyes, aspirin, foods with salicylates, food additives, food presevatives, and the insecticides used to reduce spoilage of food. Ask vendors about use of insecticides, and preservatives. Be aware of the use in your community of insecticide spray. Air deordorants and perfumes can also cause allergies. In air travel be aware that deordorant is filtered through the ventilation system at regular intervals which is a problem for those allergic to petrochemicals.
The ultimate outcome of careful diagnosis and treatment of allergic persons with cerebral symptoms may be excellent. One must be on the lookout, however, for new allergies and follow a carefully prescribed diet and routine of avoidance.
Those found to suffer from cerebral allergies have benefitted from:
Methionine, 500 mg, morning and evening
Calcium gluconate, 500 mg, morning and evening
Zinc, 15 mg, morning and evening
Manganese, 10 mg, (as gluconate), morning and evening
B6, adequate for dream recall (not more than 2,000 mg)
Vitamin C, 1,000-2,000 mg, morning and evening