Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Gluten free - has anyone tried this?

I just heard a story today about a young man (18) not being able to determine what was real and what was not. His father took him all over the place to top psychologists - even to London (we’re in Colorado). Finally, they looked at it nutritionally and went gluten-free and his son got better. Has anyone tried this?

Unfortunately these ‘stories’ are rather common and personally I treat them as just stories. There’s really no way to tell whether the lad would have recovered anyway, or will relapse at some point in the future. To be taken seriously, any ‘miracle cure’ has to be proven by a controlled trial using a large number of people.

A healthy balanced diet should include whole wheat, which contains gluten, it’s a cheap and easy source of fibre. Those who are intolerant to gluten substitute with non gluten grains which are often more expensive.

Here is a link to an article in Psychology Today about a few studies and wheat. I’m going to attempt to try this with my son.

I would definitely try this if my family member would accept it. This is one of those things that can’t hurt, but might help, so why not try?

Good idea! American wheat has been genetically modified and is not good for anyone

Hi Diane ~ for over a year I tried my son on a gluten free diet to see if his sz improved but it didn’t. This was before medication was started. My son was on a gluten free diet for 6 years during his junior high and high school years and obviously it did not prevent sz from coming on. I so wish it would help but medication and sleep seems to be the only way to see improvement in the psychosis. Yet with that being said, I do keep him off gluten because celiac disease is in our family. My advice would be to have your loved one tested first instead of going off gluten. And if you do have them go off gluten make sure they get adequate fiber and fluid as well as magnesium and a little caffeine first thing every morning to stay regular. You know the antipsychotics are constipating!

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I don’t know that much about the meds as we are at the beginning of all of this. My son is in denial.There is no way he’d get tested for a wheat allergy. He took herbs for a bit which helped some. Now he just stays away from everyone. I’m at least giving this a shot and it may help me as well.

There would be signs of a wheat allergy, probably within minutes to hours after eating something containing wheat. Things like irritation of the mouth or throat, hives, nasal congestion, headache, itchy eyes, difficulty breathing, cramps, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, anaphylaxis.

Before removing gluten from a balanced diet, it’s probably worth researching the statistics of sz amongst different racial groups around the world, and through history. For example, there’s no gluten in rice, so are there fewer sz in the population of Far Eastern countries, where rice is eaten in place of wheat. If there has been no research, then maybe there’s an opportunity for some to be done.

Interestingly, if you start searching the web you’ll also find articles that say sugar has an impact on mental health, also caffeine (maybe that’s not such a surprise). If I kept searching maybe I’d find lots more foods that somebody somewhere says impacts mental health. You could probably apply the same idea of researching populations where that foodstuff is not in common use.