If you are one of the approximately 32 million Americans with food allergies, you may be very careful about what you eat and the possibility of cross-contamination. You may already be aware that eating foods you are allergic to can cause inflammation. Foods causing you to experience an allergic reaction can also affect your mental well-being.
Food and Your Brain
The brain may use up to 30% of the energy derived from your food. Therefore, it is unsurprising that eating foods you are allergic to impacts your mental well-being. For over 50 years, researchers have described allergic-tension-fatigue syndrome. For example, a person eats a food they are allergic to, which puts extra stress on their bodies. Then, they start feeling fatigued, which can result in problems concentrating, more temper tantrums and more signs of depression.
Food Allergies and Mental Health
Researchers already know that food allergies can cause people to develop inflammation. Now, they are starting to understand that there is a link between consuming these foods when you are allergic to them increases levels of cortisol in the brain. An increase in this hormone may leave a person feeling more depressed.
Serious Mental Health Challenges Linked to Food Allergies
There have been multiple studies linking food allergies to many mental health challenges. A study from John Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health shows a connection between gluten intolerance and schizophrenia. A peer-reviewed article published in Biological Psychiatry found that food allergies caused severe depression, nervousness, anger and loss of motivation. A study conducted in France found a correlation between food allergies and substance abuse. Numerous studies report a correlation between food allergies and autism.
Work With a Psychiatrist
If you suspect that you or your child may have a food allergy causing poor mental health, working with a psychiatrist can significantly help. These medical doctors specialize in mental health conditions but receive the same medical training as your family physician.