The Analyst™

Comprehensive diagnosis of your symptoms

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  Schizophrenia  
 
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Conditions that suggest it | Contributing risk factors | Other conditions that may be present | Recommendations

 

The term "schizophrenia" is an inadequate and misleading diagnosis. "Disperceptions of unknown cause" is a better term.
If one includes fevers, environmental aggravations and drug reactions, there are innumerable ways to go crazy and be diagnosed as schizophrenic.
A comprehensive list of possible causes / influences for disperceptions that cause schizophrenia is shown below.

Well-known
1. Dementia paralytica
2. Pellagra
3. Porphyria
4. Hypothyroidism
5. Drug intoxications
6. Homocysteinuria
7. Folic acid/B12 deficiency
8. Sleep deprivation
9. Heavy metal toxicity

Less well-known
1. Hypoglycemia
2. Psychomotor epilepsy
3. Cerebral allergy
4. Wheat-gluten sensitivity
5. Histapenia Ė copper excess
6. Histadelia
7. Pyroluria
8. Wilson's disease
9. Chronic Candida infection
10. Huntington's chorea

Almost unknown
1. Prostaglandins
2. Dopamine excess
3. Endorphins
4. Serine excess
5. Prolactin excess
6. Dialysis therapy
7. Serotonin imbalance
8. Leucine, histidine imbalance
9. Interferon, amantadine, anti-viral drugs
10. Platelets deficient in MAO (monoamine oxidase)
 

 
 

Conditions that suggest Schizophrenia:
 
 
Organ Health  Kidney Failure
 Patients who undergo dialysis regularly may be exposed to high levels of aluminum in dialysis fluids and medicines. A reaction called dialysis encephalopathy can occur. What follows is a progressive mental degeneration manifested by tremors, convulsions, psychosis and other changes in speech and behavior. Reduction of aluminum levels significantly reduces the incidence of this problem.

Uro-Genital

  Motherhood Issues
 A study released from Finland shows that baby boys given vitamin D supplements had a reduced risk of schizophrenia. This same benefit was not observed in the girls. The boys were given 2,000 units of vitamin D. Perhaps all children need vitamin D supplements if they are not exposed to sunshine, especially breast fed babies (there is little usable vitamin D in breast milk). [Schizophrenia Research April, 2004;67(2-3): pp.237-45]
 
 

Risk factors for Schizophrenia:
 
 
Allergy  Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)
 An allergy is a negative sensitivity, usually to a substance, which causes a physical reaction. Classical responses include creation of blood antibodies, histamine release, swelling, itching, runny nose, and others. However, substances can cause many negative reactions commonly not associated with allergies.

In the case of cerebral (brain) allergies reactions include brain inflammation, irritability, fear, depression, aggression, extreme mood swings in a single day, hyperactivity, and psychosis.

A study of "schizophrenics" by Dr. William Philpott showed allergic responses as follows: wheat (64%), mature corn (51%), pasteurized whole cow milk (50%), tobacco (75% with 10% becoming grossly psychotic with delusions, hallucinations and particularly paranoia), and hydrocarbons (30% with weakness being common and some participants reacting with delusions or suicidal inclinations). Ninety-two percent of the patients showed allergic responses with an average of ten items per person causing reactions.

Autoimmune

  Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease
 Studies have shown celiac disease to be inordinately high in schizophrenic populations. Research removing gluten and dairy products (which often seems to add to the problem) from the diet of a locked ward resulted in a significant improvement of patient behavior. See also the Philpott study mentioned under Hidden Food Allergy.

Symptoms include mood swings (down after eating and up after avoidance), severe depression, anxiety, irritability, compulsive behavior, schizophrenia symptoms, and other mental disorders.

Schizophrenics maintained on a cereal grain-free and milk-free diet and receiving optimal treatment with neuropleptics showed an interruption or reversal of their therapeutic progress during a period of "blind" wheat gluten challenge. The exacerbation of the disease process was not due to variations in neuroleptic doses. After termination of the gluten challenge, the course of improvement was reinstated. The observed effects seemed to be due to a primary schizophrenia-promoting effect of wheat gluten. [Science 1976 Jan 30;191(4225): pp.401-2]

Circulation

  Anemia, Megaloblastic
 Mental symptoms of B12 or folic acid deficiency includes confusion, fatigue, poor memory, difficulty concentrating or learning, and mental lethargy. It can be mistaken for Alzheimerís in older patients. Additional mental disturbances include: loss of alertness, drive, self-confidence, and independence, social withdrawal, nervous irritability, headaches, insomnia, moodiness, severe agitation, lack of coordination, anxiety, delusions of persecution, and mania. Deficiency may also induce auditory hallucinations, psychosis, and paranoia.

Drug Side Effects

  Prescription Drug Side-Effects
 A number of non-psychotropic drugs can create psychosis. An estimated 1-2% of interferon users manifest psychosis or suicidal behavior.

Amantadine, a drug for Parkinsonís Disease, can cause hallucinations, depression, jitteriness, and confusion. In anyone experiencing a psychotic episode, recent drug ingestion must be considered as a cause.

Environment / Toxicity

  Heavy Metal Toxicity
 Lead toxicity mental symptoms include restlessness, insomnia, irritability, confusion, excitement, anxiety, delusions, and disturbing dreams. Arsenic mental symptoms include apathy, dementia, and anorexia.

  Mercury Toxicity / Amalgam Illness
 Mercury toxicity can cause mental symptoms like shyness, irritability, apathy and depression, psychosis, mental deterioration, and anorexia.

  Manganese toxicity

Habits

  Lack of Sleep
 Sleep deprivation symptoms include irritability, fatigue, blurred vision, slurring of speech, memory lapses, and inability to concentrate. In extreme stages bizarre behavior and hallucinations can occur.

Hormones

  Histapenia (Histamine Low)
 Histapenia is a shortage of histamine in the body. Histamine is an important brain chemical involved in many reactions. Elevated copper decreases blood histamine. Excess copper is linked with psychosis.

Dopamine appears to be a factor in producing hallucinations, voices and other symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Those with histapenia may have elevated dopamine levels.

  Histadelia (Histamine High)
 Histadelia, prominent in males, means too much histamine in the blood. Estimated to affect 15-20% of patients classified as schizophrenic. Symptoms include hyperactivity, compulsions, obsessions, inner tensions, blank mind episodes, phobias, chronic depression, and strong suicidal tendencies. Physical signs can include little tolerance for pain, rapid metabolism, lean build, profuse sweating, seasonal allergies, and frequent colds.

  Wilson's Disease
 In Wilson's disease the small intestine absorbs too much copper and the liver excretes too little of it, resulting in a copper buildup in the liver and brain. Onset is slow and begins between 11 and 25 years of age. A wide array of symptoms occur, fitting a number of psychiatric diagnoses, including major depression, schizophrenia, and hysteria. Children with Wilsonís disease can appear to be mentally retarded. Appetite loss and weight loss can appear along with hallucinations and delusions. The physical manifestations of Wilsonís disease do not appear until the late stages, thus it is easily misdiagnosed as psychiatric illness.

  Hypothyroidism
 Extreme mental symptoms of hypothyroidism can include terrifying dreams, obsessions, frightening hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal ruminations, psychosis, depression, emotional instability, delusions, fear, suspiciousness, resentment, auditory or visual hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis. Hypothyroidism often first manifests as a result of severe stress. The book Natural Healing for Schizophrenia reports that 10% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia have been found to have thyroid imbalances.

  Low Serotonin Level
 Too much or too little serotonin has been associated with depression, psychosis, and other problems.

  Hyperprolactinemia
 Excessive prolactin levels has been connected with PMS and a host of extreme mental states can occur with it. In some people tranquilizers can increase prolactin levels.

Infections

  STD Syphilis
 This is a form of syphilis which generally affects patients in their 40s or 50s. Increased behavioral deterioration occurs and the person may be believed to have a psychiatric illness or Alzheimerís disease. Symptoms can include convulsions, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, deterioration of memory, defective judgment, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, lethargy, deteriorated hygiene emotional instability, depression, and delusions of grandeur with lack of insight. The patient gradually progresses toward dementia and paralysis.

  Yeast / Candida
 Although psychosis is not a common manifestation of candida, it has occurred. Symptoms have included fatigue, inability to concentrate, depression, mood swings, anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and suicidal or violent tendencies.

Lab Values

  Elevated Homocysteine Levels
 Extreme homocysteinuria can result in mental retardation and seizures.

Metabolic

  Pyroluria
 Approximately 20% of all schizophrenics have pyroluria as their primary imbalance. Symptoms are many including a sweet, fruity breath and body odor. The affected person has a tendency to have insight (understand they have mental problems).

  Acute, Intermittent Porphoria
 A review of 2500 psychiatric patients showed a 1.5% occurrence of porphyria. Porphyria is identified by port-colored urine and feces which darken on exposure to light. Additional symptoms can be loss of vision, sensitivity to light, aches and pains, acne, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and abnormal fat metabolism. Mental and neurological symptoms include irritability, confusion, delirium, psychosis, depression, hallucinations, seizures, altered consciousness, mood swings, and paralysis. Genetic carriers can experience mood swings and body pain while exhibiting no other signs of the illness.

  Hypoglycemia
 Numerous patients given psychiatric diagnoses have actually turned out to have hypoglycemia, including those classified with depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Nervous System

  Huntington's Disease
 Huntingtonís chorea, a rare, inherited illness is commonly labeled as schizophrenia because of its progression of mental decline. Even when involuntary movements appear, they may be mistaken for drug side effects.

  Seizure Disorder
 In psychomotor (mind-motion) epilepsy the seizures are manifested in personality, emotional, thinking, and behavioral changes. This condition is very likely to be misdiagnosed as a mental disorder. People with psychomotor epilepsy have been given schizophrenia, manic depressive, depression, attention-deficit disorder, and other diagnoses.

Nutrients

  Vitamin B3 Requirement
 Pellagra is caused by a lack of Vitamin B3 (niacin) in the diet or poor absorption of the vitamin. It is common throughout the world but infrequent in the U.S. It primarily strikes those lacking protein in their diets or who have a high corn diet or are unable to assimilate the vitamin. Symptoms often begin with weakness, listlessness, insomnia, and weight loss. Exposed skin becomes red and scaly. Loss of appetite, indigestion, and diarrhea occur. As the disease progresses the nervous system is impacted, manifesting symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, aches, muscle tremors and mental disturbances.

  Selenium Requirement
 Itís been observed that geographical regions with low selenium levels in the soil and less sunshine have higher rates of schizophrenia. Since some prostaglandins require selenium for their synthesis, itís believed prostaglandin deficiency may be a contributing factor in schizophrenia diagnoses.

Symptoms - Mind - General

  History of/possible schizophrenia
 
 

Schizophrenia suggests the following may be present:
 
 
Allergy  Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)
 An allergy is a negative sensitivity, usually to a substance, which causes a physical reaction. Classical responses include creation of blood antibodies, histamine release, swelling, itching, runny nose, and others. However, substances can cause many negative reactions commonly not associated with allergies.

In the case of cerebral (brain) allergies reactions include brain inflammation, irritability, fear, depression, aggression, extreme mood swings in a single day, hyperactivity, and psychosis.

A study of "schizophrenics" by Dr. William Philpott showed allergic responses as follows: wheat (64%), mature corn (51%), pasteurized whole cow milk (50%), tobacco (75% with 10% becoming grossly psychotic with delusions, hallucinations and particularly paranoia), and hydrocarbons (30% with weakness being common and some participants reacting with delusions or suicidal inclinations). Ninety-two percent of the patients showed allergic responses with an average of ten items per person causing reactions.

Autoimmune

  Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease
 Studies have shown celiac disease to be inordinately high in schizophrenic populations. Research removing gluten and dairy products (which often seems to add to the problem) from the diet of a locked ward resulted in a significant improvement of patient behavior. See also the Philpott study mentioned under Hidden Food Allergy.

Symptoms include mood swings (down after eating and up after avoidance), severe depression, anxiety, irritability, compulsive behavior, schizophrenia symptoms, and other mental disorders.

Schizophrenics maintained on a cereal grain-free and milk-free diet and receiving optimal treatment with neuropleptics showed an interruption or reversal of their therapeutic progress during a period of "blind" wheat gluten challenge. The exacerbation of the disease process was not due to variations in neuroleptic doses. After termination of the gluten challenge, the course of improvement was reinstated. The observed effects seemed to be due to a primary schizophrenia-promoting effect of wheat gluten. [Science 1976 Jan 30;191(4225): pp.401-2]

Hormones

  Wilson's Disease
 In Wilson's disease the small intestine absorbs too much copper and the liver excretes too little of it, resulting in a copper buildup in the liver and brain. Onset is slow and begins between 11 and 25 years of age. A wide array of symptoms occur, fitting a number of psychiatric diagnoses, including major depression, schizophrenia, and hysteria. Children with Wilsonís disease can appear to be mentally retarded. Appetite loss and weight loss can appear along with hallucinations and delusions. The physical manifestations of Wilsonís disease do not appear until the late stages, thus it is easily misdiagnosed as psychiatric illness.

Infections

  Yeast / Candida
 Although psychosis is not a common manifestation of candida, it has occurred. Symptoms have included fatigue, inability to concentrate, depression, mood swings, anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and suicidal or violent tendencies.

Nervous System

  Huntington's Disease
 Huntingtonís chorea, a rare, inherited illness is commonly labeled as schizophrenia because of its progression of mental decline. Even when involuntary movements appear, they may be mistaken for drug side effects.

Nutrients

  EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement
 There is now convincing evidence that membrane phospholipid metabolism is abnormal in schizophrenic patients. There is a marked depletion of essential fatty acids, particularly arachidonic acid and docosahexanoic acid, in red blood cell membranes from schizophrenic patients relative to healthy control subjects. Schizophrenic patients who eat more (n-3) fatty acids in their normal diet have less severe symptoms. In a pilot study of (n-3) fatty acid supplementation, the authors observed significant improvement in both schizophrenic symptoms and tardive dyskinesia over a 6 week period. [Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1996 Aug;55(1-2): pp.71-5] However, those with pyroluria may need to avoid n-3 fatty acids, pointing to the importance of red blood cell essential fatty acid testing.
 
 

Recommendations for Schizophrenia:
 
 
Amino Acid / ProteinNot recommended:
  Serine
 In numerous studies the plasma levels of serine have been found to be significantly higher in schizophrenics than in control groups. There is also evidence that serine metabolism is abnormal in psychotics. In one study a limited sector of psychiatric patients who responded to a carbohydrate-rich, low-protein diet became psychotic again after oral intake of serine.

Botanical

Not recommended:
  Marijuana
 Having ever using marijuana was associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia in a study of 50,087 Swedish men 18 to 20 years old. Using marijuana greater than 50 times was associated with a nearly 7-fold increased risk for developing schizophrenia. [BMJ 2002;325(7374): pp.1199-2001]

Similar results were obtained in New Zealand subjects. [BMJ 2002;325(7374): pp.1212-3]

Diet

  Gluten-free Diet
 In the 1960's, F. Curtis Dohan MD came to believe that in regions where gluten consumption is common, the rate not only of celiac syndrome but also schizophrenia is substantially higher than in places where gluten consumption is absent.

Subsequent research, including experiments by others involving biopsies, led Dohan to conclude that people diagnosed as schizophrenic did not typically have the same reaction to gluten as people with celiac syndrome. They did not have the same type of damage to the villi of the small intestine. He eventually came to believe that a gluten-sensitive subset of schizophrenics were processing gluten and the casein in dairy foods in a way that exposed their brains to certain very potent psychoactive substances that are now known to exist in those foods.

Dohan tried removing gluten and dairy from the diets of people diagnosed as schizophrenic while they were on a locked admitting ward. They went back on a regular gluten-containing diet once they moved to the open wards. Of those on the gluten-free diet on the locked ward, 80% were on that ward and the gluten-free diet for 10 days or less.

Other people diagnosed as schizophrenic who went through the same wards were kept on a high-gluten diet while on the locked ward instead of a gluten- and dairy-free diet.

The people at the V.A. hospital who were on the gluten-free diet while on the locked ward were discharged almost twice as quickly as those who were on the high-gluten diet. "The average time until discharge for the discharged gluten-free, milk-free patients (77 days) was 55% of that of the discharged high gluten patients (139 days) ." [ Am J Psychiatry 130:6 June 1973]

An enlargement and refinement of this idea can be found in the GAPS Diet. See the book by Natasha Campbell-McBride MD calledGut and Psychology Syndrome orThe Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Elaine Gottschell, B.A.,M.Sc..

  Dairy Products Avoidance
 It has been shown that drugs which artificially stimulate and suppress the endorphin receptors can produce symptoms bordering on psychosis. Gluten molecules are molecularly similar in shape to endorphins and thus can create the same stimulatory/suppression activity. Certain dairy proteins have been shown to have similar qualities.

  Specific Carbohydrate / GAPS Diet
  High Carbohydrate Diet
 See the link between Schizophrenia and Serine.

Drug

  Antibiotics
 The Independent - March 2, 2012.

A cheap antibiotic normally prescribed to teenagers for acne is to be tested as a treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia, in a trial that could advance scientific understanding of the causes of mental illness.

The National Institute for Health Research is funding a £1.9m trial of minocycline, which will begin recruiting patients in the UK in April 2012. The research follows case reports from Japan in which the drug was prescribed to patients with schizophrenia who had infections and led to dramatic improvements in their psychotic symptoms.

The chance observation caused researchers to test the drug in patients with schizophrenia around the world. Trials in Israel, Pakistan and Brazil have shown significant improvement in patients treated with the drug.

Scientists believe that schizophrenia and other mental illnesses including depression and Alzheimerís disease may result from inflammatory processes in the brain. Minocycline has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects which they believe could account for the positive findings.

  GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate)
 GHB has been reported to reduce schizophrenia symptoms, but also must not be used with some psychotropic drugs, such as Valium, Thorazine, Dilantin and Phenobarbital.

Hormone

  DHEA
 Treatment with DHEA can relieve some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. 30 schizophrenic inpatients in a state hospital were randomly assigned to receive DHEA or a placebo in addition to their usual medication for six weeks. The initial dose of DHEA was 25mg per day; this was increased to 25mg twice a day after two weeks, and then to 50mg twice a day for the final two weeks of the study. The improvement in negative symptoms was significantly greater in the group receiving DHEA than in the placebo group; the beneficial effect of DHEA was noticeable by the third week and persisted until the end of the study. In addition, participants receiving DHEA experienced significant improvements in depression and anxiety. In contrast, DHEA had no effect on positive symptoms (delusions and hallucinations). No side effects of DHEA were reported.

It is not known how DHEA improves the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Although DHEA has previously been shown to be beneficial in some cases of depression, the results in the new study cannot be attributed solely to an antidepressant effect, since the improvement in negative symptoms was independent of any improvement in depression. [Archives of General Psychiatry 2003;60: pp.133-41]

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs

  Test Essential Fatty Acid Profile
  Test Copper Levels
  Test Zinc Levels
  Test for Manganese Levels

Miscellaneous

  Reading List
 The following books by Dr. Hoffer and by Dr. Pfeiffer are important reading for anyone with mental illness.

* How to Live with Schizophrenia. Abram Hoffer, M.D., PhD. & Humphrey Osmund, M.D. rev.l992
* Smart Nutrients, A Guide to Nutrition that can reverse and prevent senility. Abram Hoffer, M.D., PhD., cl994
* Putting It All Together. Abram Hoffer, M.D., PhD. cl996
* The Schizophrenias Ours to Conquer. Carl Pfeiffer, M.D., PhD. Rev. 1988
* Nutrition and Mental Illness. Balancing Body Chemistry. Carl Pfeiffer, M.D., PhD., cl987

Here is a website with loads of good information on the nutritional treatment of mental disorders.

Also see the book by Natasha Campbell-McBride MD calledGut and Psychology Syndrome.

Nutrient

  EPA (eicosapentanoic acid)
 Treatment with ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid (ethyl-EPA) for 3 months, along with conventional antipsychotic drugs improved evaluation scores in a study of 40 schizophrenia patients with persistent symptoms after at least six months of stable antipsychotic drug treatment. [Am J Psychiatry 2002;159(9): pp.1596-1598]

EPA is one of the downline metabolites of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3(n-3)), an Omega3 acid available in the diet. Schizophrenic patients who eat more (n-3) fatty acids in their normal diet have less severe symptoms. As those with pyroluria may worsen with n-3 fatty acids, red blood cell essential fatty acid testing could be important to determine which oils to use for treatment.
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
Reasonably likely to cause problems







GLOSSARY

Acne:  A chronic skin disorder due to inflammation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands (secretion glands in the skin).

Allergy:  Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.

Amantadine:  (Amantadine hydrochloride) Antiviral agent used to prevent or treat influenza; also used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Anorexia Nervosa:  An eating disorder characterized by excess control - a morbid fear of obesity leads the sufferer to try and limit or reduce their weight by excessive dieting, exercising, vomiting, purging and use of diuretics. Sufferers are typically more than 15% below the average weight for their height/sex/age and typically have amenorrhea (if female) or low libido (if male). 1-2% of female teenagers are anorexic.

Antibody:  A type of serum protein (globulin) synthesized by white blood cells of the lymphoid type in response to an antigenic (foreign substance) stimulus. Antibodies are complex substances formed to neutralize or destroy these antigens in the blood. Antibody activity normally fights infection but can be damaging in allergies and a group of diseases that are called autoimmune diseases.

Anxiety:  Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.

Arachidonic Acid:  A polyunsaturated 20-carbon essential fatty acid occurring in animal fats and also formed by biosynthesis from dietary linoleic acid (Omega 6). It is a precursor in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and thromboxanes. Excess tends to produce inflammation.

Bipolar Disorder:  Also known as manic-depression, this disorder is characterized by alternating periods of extreme moods, usually swinging from being overly elated or irritable (mania) to sad and hopeless (depression) and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between. The frequency of the swings between these two states, and the duration of the mood, varies from person to person.

Candidiasis:  Infection of the skin or mucous membrane with any species of candida, usually Candida albicans. The infection is usually localized to the skin, nails, mouth, vagina, bronchi, or lungs, but may invade the bloodstream. It is a common inhabitant of the GI tract, only becoming a problem when it multiplies excessively and invades local tissues. Growth is encouraged by a weakened immune system, as in AIDS, or with the prolonged administration of antibiotics. Vaginal symptoms include itching in the genital area, pain when urinating, and a thick odorless vaginal discharge.

Celiac Disease:  (Gluten sensitivity) A digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten. Common symptoms include diarrhea, increased appetite, bloating, weight loss, irritability and fatigue. Gluten is found in wheat (including spelt, triticale, and kamut), rye, barley and sometimes oats.

Chorea:  Chorea is seen as rapid, purposeless, involuntary movements in the extremities and the face. Chorea is a neurologic syndrome that may appear several months after infection with Streptococcus Type A, the agent causing rheumatic fever..

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Cobalamin:  Vitamin B-12. Essential for normal growth and functioning of all body cells, especially those of bone marrow (red blood cell formation), gastrointestinal tract and nervous system, it prevents pernicious anemia and plays a crucial part in the reproduction of every cell of the body i.e. synthesis of genetic material (DNA).

Constipation:  Difficult, incomplete, or infrequent evacuation of dry, hardened feces from the bowels.

Copper:  An essential mineral that is a component of several important enzymes in the body and is essential to good health. Copper is found in all body tissues. Copper deficiency leads to a variety of abnormalities, including anemia, skeletal defects, degeneration of the nervous system, reproductive failure, pronounced cardiovascular lesions, elevated blood cholesterol, impaired immunity and defects in the pigmentation and structure of hair. Copper is involved in iron incorporation into hemoglobin. It is also involved with vitamin C in the formation of collagen and the proper functioning in central nervous system. More than a dozen enzymes have been found to contain copper. The best studied are superoxide dismutase (SOD), cytochrome C oxidase, catalase, dopamine hydroxylase, uricase, tryptophan dioxygenase, lecithinase and other monoamine and diamine oxidases.

Dementia:  An acquired progressive impairment of intellectual function. Marked compromise exists in at least three of the following mental activity spheres: memory, language, personality, visuospatial skills, and cognition (i.e., abstraction and calculation).

Dialysis:  The artificial process of cleaning wastes from the blood when kidneys fail.

Diarrhea:  Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.

Dopamine:  A neurohormone; precursor to norepinephrine which acts as a stimulant to the nervous system.

Dyskinesia:  A condition characterized by spasmodic, uncoordinated, or other abnormal movements; i.e., those which result from a reaction to phenothiazines.

Endorphins:  Natural polypeptide opiate-like substances in the brain. One function of endorphins is the suppression of pain.

Epilepsy:  Chronic brain disorder associated with some seizures and, typically, alteration of consciousness.

Essential Fatty Acid:  (EFA): A substance that the human body cannot manufacture and therefore must be supplied in the diet.

Fatty Acids:  Chemical chains of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms that are part of a fat (lipid) and are the major component of triglycerides. Depending on the number and arrangement of these atoms, fatty acids are classified as either saturated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. They are nutritional substances found in nature which include cholesterol, prostaglandins, and stearic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic, eicosapentanoic (EPA), and decohexanoic acids. Important nutritional lipids include lecithin, choline, gamma-linoleic acid, and inositol.

Folic Acid:  A B-complex vitamin that functions along with vitamin B-12 and vitamin C in the utilization of proteins. It has an essential role in the formation of heme (the iron containing protein in hemoglobin necessary for the formation of red blood cells) and DNA. Folic acid is essential during pregnancy to prevent neural tubular defects in the developing fetus.

Hallucination:  A false or distorted perception of objects or events, including sensations of sight, sound, taste, smell or touch, typically accompanied by a powerful belief in their reality.

Histamine:  A chemical in the body tissues, produced by the breakdown of histidine. It is released in allergic reactions and causes widening of capillaries, decreased blood pressure, increased release of gastric juice, fluid leakage forming itchy skin and hives, and tightening of smooth muscles of the bronchial tube and uterus.

Histidine:  An amino acid. Precursor to histamine, a vasodilator and gastric juice stimulant. Has been used as a therapeutic aid for arthritis.

Hypoglycemia:  A condition characterized by an abnormally low blood glucose level. Severe hypoglycemia is rare and dangerous. It can be caused by medications such as insulin (diabetics are prone to hypoglycemia), severe physical exhaustion, and some illnesses.

Hypothyroidism:  Diminished production of thyroid hormone, leading to low metabolic rate, tendency to gain weight, and sleepiness.

Interferon:  A protein formed by the cells of the immune system in the presence of a virus, etc. It prevents viral reproduction, and is capable of protecting noninfected cells from viral infection. Several kinds of interferon exist including alpha, beta, and gamma.

Leucine:  A white, crystalline amino acid essential for optimal growth in infants and nitrogen equilibrium in adults. It cannot be synthesized by the body and is obtained by the hydrolysis of food protein during pancreatic enzyme digestion.

MAO:  Abbreviation for a breakdown enzyme monoamine oxidase. A MAO inhibitor blocks the action of monoamine oxidase, thus raising the levels of the monoamine neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin - which have significant effects on mood and behavior. Epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin are normally deactivated by MAO-A while dopamine and phenylethylamine are normally metabolized by MAO-B.

Metabolism:  The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.

Monoamine Oxidase:  (MAO) Enzyme catalyzing the removal of an amine group from a variety of substrates, including norepinephrine and dopamine.

Nervous System:  A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.

Neuroleptic:  A therapeutic agent which produces a state of altered awareness and tranquilization.

Niacin:  (Vitamin B-3): A coenzyme B-complex vitamin that assists in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Essential for the health of the skin, nerves, tongue and digestive system. It is found in every cell of the body and is necessary for energy production. Niacin is also needed for DNA formation.

Pellagra:  A disease caused by a deficiency of thiamine (B1), usually occurring in alcoholics or in persons with malabsorption disorders.

Phospholipid:  A fat or lipid containing phosphorus found in high quantities in the brain and very important to the function of cellular membranes and to the nervous system.

Porphyria:  Any of several usually hereditary abnormalities of porphyrin metabolism characterized by excretion of excess porphyrins in the urine. Porphyrias are relatively rare disorders and can be classified based on the principal site of expression of enzymatic defect in heme synthesis.

Premenstrual Syndrome:  PMS consists of various physical and/or emotional symptoms that occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle, after ovulation. The symptoms begin about midcycle, are generally the most intense during the last seven days before menstruation and include: acne; backache; bloating; fatigue; headache; sore breasts; changes in sexual desire; depression; difficulty concentrating; difficulty handling stress; irritability; tearfulness.

Prolactin:  An anterior pituitary peptide hormone that initiates and maintains lactation.

Prostaglandin:  Any of a class of physiologically active substances present in many tissues, with effects such as vasodilation, vasoconstriction, stimulation of the smooth muscles of the bronchus or intestine, uterine stimulation; also involved in pain, inflammation, fever, allergic diarrhea, and dysmenorrhea. A potent hormone -- similar in structure to an unsaturated fatty acid -- that acts in extremely low concentrations on local target organs; first isolated from the prostate.

Protein:  Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.

Pyroluria:  This condition is caused by an overproduction during hemoglobin synthesis of kryptopyrrole, which chemically combines with vitamin B6 and zinc, resulting in their excretion and a severe deficiency of both of these essential nutrients. Most pyroluric individuals never develop schizophrenia symptoms.

Red Blood Cell:  Any of the hemoglobin-containing cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and are responsible for the red color of blood.

Schizophrenia:  Any of a group of psychotic disorders usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, delusions, and hallucinations, and accompanied in varying degrees by other emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbances. Schizophrenia is associated with dopamine imbalances in the brain and defects of the frontal lobe and is caused by genetic, other biological, and psychosocial factors.

Seizure:  While there are over 40 types of seizure, most are classed as either partial seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain is limited to one area or generalized seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain encompasses the entire organ. Although there is a wide range of signs, they mainly include such things as falling to the ground; muscle stiffening; jerking and twitching; loss of consciousness; an empty stare; rapid chewing/blinking/breathing. Usually lasting from between a couple of seconds and several minutes, recovery may be immediate or take up to several days.

Selenium:  An essential element involved primarily in enzymes that are antioxidants. Three selenium- containing enzymes are antioxidant peroxidases and a fourth selenium-containing enzyme is involved in thyroid hormone production. The prostate contains a selenium-containing protein and semen contains relatively large amounts of selenium. Clinical studies show that selenium is important in lowering the risk of several types of cancers. In combination with Vitamin E, selenium aids the production of antibodies and helps maintain a healthy heart. It also aids in the function of the pancreas, provides elasticity to tissues and helps cells defend themselves against damage from oxidation.

Serotonin:  A phenolic amine neurotransmitter (C10H12N2O) that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in the brain, blood serum and gastric membranes of mammals. Considered essential for relaxation, sleep, and concentration.

Syphilis:  A sexually-transmitted disease, with symptoms in the early contagious stages being a sore on the genitalia, a rash, patches of flaking tissue, fever, a sore throat, and sores in the mouth or anus.

Thyroid:  Thyroid Gland: An organ with many veins. It is at the front of the neck. It is essential to normal body growth in infancy and childhood. It releases thyroid hormones - iodine-containing compounds that increase the rate of metabolism, affect body temperature, regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate catabolism in all cells. They keep up growth hormone release, skeletal maturation, and heart rate, force, and output. They promote central nervous system growth, stimulate the making of many enzymes, and are necessary for muscle tone and vigor.

Vitamin D:  A fat-soluble vitamin essential to one's health. Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood by improving their absorption and utilization. Necessary for normal growth and formation of bones and teeth. For Vitamin D only, 1mcg translates to 40 IU.