Schizophrenia is a chronic, often disabling mental disorder that affects about 1 percent of Americans. It occurs in both men and women across all ethnic groups. Scientists believe an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, including the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, contributes to schizophrenia. Certain environmental factors, including malnutrition before birth and problems during birth, may also exacerbate the problem. Schizophrenia is a hereditary disorder; 10 percent of those with schizophrenia have a first-degree relative with the disorder.Back to Top
Early symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Hearing voices that are not there
- Feeling one is being watched
- Speaking or writing using nonsensical language (“word salad”)
- Loss of interest in work or academics
- Dramatic changes in personal hygiene
- Dramatic personality change
- Withdrawing from social situations
- Sudden, unpredictable expressions of anger and fear
- Inability to concentrate or sleep
- Obsession with religious or occult practices
- Other socially unacceptable behavior
Persons with schizophrenia may be deficient in niacin (vitamin B-3) as well as other vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, selenium, copper, zinc, manganese, folic acid, and vitamin E and B (especially vitamin B-12).
Other corrective steps should include evaluating abnormal histamine levels, checking levels of homocysteine (which may indicate a methylation defect), and evaluating the thyroid gland.
Tests designed to detect if such deficiencies or abnormalities exist include:
- Hair mineral analysis
- Urinary AA test (this test evaluates neurotransmitter issues, detoxification issues, and oxidative stress)
- Stool test (to evaluate the gut microbiome for Candida, H. pylori, and overgrowth of non-pathogenic bacteria)
Abnormal bowel issues, which lead to leaky gut syndrome, may result in poor absorption of the amino acids that are essential for the production of various transmitters. Take caution in B6 consumption because too much vitamin B6 may result in the excessive production of a harmful central nervous metabolite, quinolinic acid.
Management may include providing the patient with high enough levels of niacin or niacinamide. The starting dose is 250 mg, and is gradually built up to 3 grams a day. Any deficiencies in the tests must be replaced to obtain appropriate levels.
Some patients find niacin preferable to niacinamide. Niacin “flushing,” where the blood vessels dilate and cause blushing, can be weakened by taking niacin right after a meal. Liver enzymes should be monitored, as niacin may raise the liver enzymes.
Diet is also very important when managing schizophrenia. Patients should avoid sugars, transfats, dairy, and cheeses.
Based on an individual’s current diet, the Houston Wellness Clinic may recommend a variation of the following:
- Omega-3s from parent essential oils to provide EPA and DHA
- • Omega-6s from evening primrose oil and flaxseed
- • Good plant-based vitamin B complex and vitamin E
- • Ionic minerals, including trace minerals
- • Buffered vitamin C or liposomal vitamin C (8 grams a day)
- • Methylation factor support, which includes B12, tetrahydrofolic acid, pyridoxal-5 phosphate and S-Adenosyl Methionine (especially if a depressive element is present)
- • Ginkgo biloba
- • Alpha-lipoic acid (300-600 mg/day)
Dr. Allibone and the staff at Houston Wellness Clinic create a specific and specialized management plan for each of their patients. If you are suffering from schizophrenia, consider visiting our clinic to learn more about your options for managing this disorderBack to Top