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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 15, 1st Quarter 2000


The Underlying Mechanisms of Brain Allergies

Tara Whitford, B.A.

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The term “brain allergy” came into popular use several years ago to describe the phenomena of psychiatric symptoms related to substances in one’s diet and en-vironment. This paper will focus on the role of nutrition in brain allergies. Brain allergies will be explored as either im-mune mediated or nutrition mediated malfunctions. Within these two catego-ries, several hypothetical mechanisms are discusssed. Mechanisms underlying the disorders are proposed to provoke further hypotheses.

Most mental disorders are attributed to an imbalance of brain chemicals. Psy-chopharmacological treatment is the pre-ferred mode of therapy for almost all psy-chiatric problems at present. Unfortu-nately, efficacy is minimal, debatable, and wrought with side effects and organ dam-age. While antidepressants and anti-psychotics do alter brain chemistry, they do not correct the primary dysfunction. It is a naturopathic mandate to attempt to treat the root of the problem. Therefore, it is imperative that the naturopathic physi-cian understand the underlying mecha-nisms of the problem. Though it may be difficult to treat the “root” when it is not fully known, there is merit in supporting the body’s natural defenses and providing for its needs, as is done in naturopathic medicine.

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