Should schizophrenics cut out gluten? Yes and no. It may not help the way you might hope in all cases but it still is important.
There is evidence that gluten may be an important cause of schizophrenia for at least some people, see external links below and the Gluten and Schizophrenia article on this website. It would seem logical then that schizophrenics should could out wheat and other gluten-contaminated foods to reverse the disease.
Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy.
For those who have not lived with the symptoms for very long, cutting out wheat may help reduce the progression of the disease. This is good news if early signs of schizophrenia are caught early enough. It also seem that there may be a relationship between celiac disease and schizophrenia, but this is less sure and needs more research. What does appear to be the case is that at least some schizophrenics have a high level of anti-wheat protein antibodies, but not necessarily the same type as found in celiacs.
It seems clear that eliminating gluten, or at least wheat, is beneficial for at least some people with early signs of schizophrenics. What about people who have suffered the disease for a much longer time?
It seems likely that for some and maybe many schizophrenics, gluten causes damage to the body, specifically brain damage. I am not aware of any studies to prove this, but it seems prudent to eliminate gluten from the diets of schizophrenics for two reasons:
- Avoid continued brain damage
- Avoid potential damage to other body organs
What is your experience with schizophrenia and gluten or wheat? Please leave a comment.
- Curtis Dohan’s Genetic Hypothesis of Idiopathic Schizophrenia: Its Exorphin Connection paper
- Psychology Today Wheat and Schizophrenia