Monday, February 21, 2011

Gluten Free & My Depressive Brain

Ice tipped tree on my way to Reiki
I'm sure you've all heard stories about kids with ADHD going off of sugar, and oh! a miracle! Their symptoms are gone.  I am not mocking the nutritional change but rather a medical establishment that seems to be insistent on situational blindness -- namely the blatant link between nutrition and behavior.

Or the link between nutrition and anything, for that matter.  As if we weren't all taught the adage, you are what you eat.

Which brings me to my brain.

On Thursday, I accidentally, at a local restaurant, ate some wheat/gluten.

For me, symptoms occur two days later, so I awoke on Saturday feeling like someone had stuffed cotton in my head.  I felt sad, deeply sad, and I could not think straight.

I immediately thought, Oh great, here we go...

It was on Sunday that I figured out the gluten thing.  So no, here we do not go again.  Now I am aware of what is happening and I still feel like crap, but I know within a week, the gluten will make its way out and I will, therefore, begin again to get the nutrition my brain and body needs and will then feel like myself.

This time around, I am trying to focus on seeing how important my commitment to gluten free has been, and I am trying to really notice how this affects the behavior of my brain.

For instance, I never connected this gluten thing to my obsessive thinking...until I realized that my obsessive thinking had just been gone...until Saturday.

Another thing, this time around, that I am feeling amazed about: how the hell did I live for so long like this?

 I have come to the conclusion that I am actually one of the most optimistic people on the planet for I spent a lifetime trying to figure out how to help myself and I do not know how I did not succumb to suicidal ideations -- except that I also obviously have the Most Giant Willpower.

So this accident has taught me some good things about myself.

Nutrition and movement.  I wish I could open a clinic...

(Note: I am in no way implying that there are not valid reasons to feel depressed.  I think in most cases, though, there is no reason to BE depressed.  Gluten intolerance leads to malnutrition, and if we are malnourished, there is no way we can overcome the reasons for the depression, grief, anxiety, etc.)


Linda said...

Thank you for this. I have been gluten, sugar, dairy and caffeine free for almost two months and need to be reminded frequently of why I am doing this and the benefits. I am starting to think more clearly.

Brenda said...

I love your blog...
I have been mostly gluten free for over 2 years now. I think that my body is most grateful. No longer am I plagued so much by digestive ailments, no more joint pain and fewer headaches and no more blotchy red complexion after meals. I tested negative for celiac, I simply have a definite gluten intolerance.
My systems just do not run well when gluten is on board.

Dimond said...

I've come to the same conclusions for myself-nutrition & movement. It's why I follow a raw vegan diet (which I love). I believe everyone needs to be on a health diet because they have no clue the issues it's causing them in various undetected or seemingly unrelated ways. Though now I do recommend movement first over diet, if one has to choose. Both=Bliss :) I think everyone would be surprised how much mental illness would be eliminated with just those two alone. Add in a couple of other practices (maybe some good counseling if needed) and the world can be happy and healthy! :)

What's interesting is how I now can sometimes feel my brain change at times or become clogged up. I try to remind myself that my moods aren't authentic and coming from me at all. I, too, found that I have extreme strength and determination to have to deal with all I have my whole life. Especially if I were to list all that has been against me (and still is). For some reason there's always been this will to live and be happy despite it all.

Sandy Dempsey said...

Your courage and strength and continuous giving and sharing inspire me. Thank you for this post. It is one thing to read stories like this about people I don't know, but reading your story, someone I do know, has started a shift inside. Thank you Christine (again) for just being you. You are a blessing and a gift.

svasti said...

I know! It seems to be the most challenging thing to communicate - we are what we eat!

Once we get sensitive enough to realise that food/thoughts etc make such a difference to our body, then we are lucky. Not everyone has that.

How wonderful that you are now able to figure it out for yourself. Very interesting about the connection between gluten and obsessive thinking. Makes me wonder about others I know with BPD - what if diet could make a HUGE difference for them, too? If only they'd give it a go...

Ellen said...

I changed my diet pretty radically about 2 years ago, and it's made a huge difference to my level of depression. I still have issues that I need to address in other ways, but having less depression because of a different diet makes things so much easier. Also some supplements help quite a bit. And no doctor or medical professional ever mentioned diet to me ever, as you say.

Hope you do open that clinic. :-)

Christine Claire Reed said...

Brenda, yes. A lot of people actually "test negative," but they are finding the test (as usual) is not that reliable. Paying attention to our own bodies, I think, is more important than any test. :)

Dimond, I agree with you about movement over food and will be writing about this. :)