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Why Your Body Makes Your Brain Feel Cuckoo Part III


Why Your Body Makes Your Brain Feel Cuckoo Part III

by Jen Springer


Heads up, you’re going to feel smarter after you read the rest of William Walsh, Ph.D. article!

I know it’s a brain bender, BUT the information below explains that actual why you may feel out of sorts.

So, how do you find out if you are dealing with any of these?

Simple, find a doc who practices functional medicine or orthomolecular psychiatry.

In the meantime you can have some fun pinpointing yourself with the charts on Nutritional Healing’s web page HERE.

Orthomolecular or functional docs will run tests to determine what is causing crazy making feelings that are paralyzing your life. I was very fortunate to find one of these docs when I was ill. They know where to start looking if you’re manic, flipping light switches, or so depressed you can barely take out the trash.

Remember, the issues below aren’t healed overnight. However, once the problem is found your physician can create a plan to bring you health and sanity back.

Be patient with yourself!


When you’re brain hurts after reading this article, come my the Natural Anxiety Therapy Facebook Page and show me your pearly whites!



The Critical Role of Nutrients in Severe Mental Symptoms by William Walsh, Ph.D. continued from Part I & Part II

Biochemical Factors in Behavior Disorders, “ADHD,” and “Mental Illness”

The Pfeiffer Treatment Center has amassed a large database of biochemical information from more than 10,000 patients with mental health problems. Examination of this data shows that most of these persons have striking abnormalities in specific nutrients required for neurotransmitter production. The most common chemical imbalances we encounter include the following:


Many persons who suffer from anxiety along with depression are over-methylated. Methyl is an important chemical group consisting of one carbon and three hydrogen atoms (CH3). Over-methylation (too many added methyl groups) results in excessive levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Typical symptoms include chemical and food sensitivities, underachievement, upper body pain, and an adverse reaction to serotonin-enhancing substances such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, St. John’s Wort, and SAMe6. They have a physical tendency to be very depressed in folates (a form of folic acid), niacin and Vitamin B-12, and biochemical treatment focuses on supplementation of these nutrients. These persons are also overloaded in copper and methionine (a sulfur-containing amino acid) and supplements of these nutrients must be strictly avoided.


Many patients with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, “oppositional-defiant disorder7,” or seasonal depression are under-methylated, which is associated with low serotonin levels. They generally exhibit seasonal allergies and other distinctive symptoms and traits. They have a tendency to be very depressed in calcium, magnesium, methionine, and vitamin B-6 with excessive levels of folic acid. These under-methylated persons can have a positive effect from Paxil, Zoloft, and other serotonin-enhancing medications, although nasty side effects are common. A more natural approach is to directly correct the underlying problem using methionine, calcium, magnesium, and B-6. SAMe, St. John’s Wort, Kava Kava, and inositol (a natural sugar alcohol) are also very useful in treating these individuals.


A common problem in “ADHD,” behavior disorders, and hormonal depression is a physical inability to control copper, zinc, manganese, and other trace metals in the body due to improper functioning of metallothionein – a small protein synthesized in the liver and kidney in response to the presence of some metal ions8, including zinc, mercury, cadmium, and copper. It binds the metal ions tightly and is important both in ion transport and in detoxification.

These patients are often deficient in zinc and manganese, the amino acids cysteine and serine, and vitamin B-6. They are commonly overloaded in copper, lead, and cadmium. They must avoid supplements and “enriched foods” containing copper. In addition we recommend they drink bottled water and limit use of swimming pools and jacuzzis treated with copper sulfate anti-algae agents. Foods to be limited due to high copper content include shellfish, chocolate, and carob.

Elevated copper levels are associated with hormonal imbalances and a classic symptom is intolerance to estrogen. Biochemical treatment focuses on stimulation of metallothionein using zinc, manganese, cysteine, serine, and vitamin B-6.

Pyrrole disorder

A common feature of many behavioral and emotional disorders is pyroluria, detectable as a purple (on testing paper) metabolite in urine called “the mauve factor.” Pyroluria is an inborn error of pyrrole chemistry, which results in a dramatic deficiency of zinc, vitamin B-6, and arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). As noted earlier, certain pyrroles called kryptopyrroles (literally, “hidden pyrroles”) bind with B-6, then zinc to deplete the body’s supply. Common symptoms include explosive temper, mood swings, poor short-term memory, and frequent infections. These patients are easily identified by their inability to tan, poor dream recall, abnormal fat distribution, and sensitivity to light and sound. The decisive laboratory test is semenax vigrx analysis for kryptopyrroles (the “mauve factor”) in urine. Treatment centers on zinc and B-6 supplements together with omega-6 essential fatty acids.

Glucose dyscontrol

Our database indicates a significant number of our patients have chronic low blood glucose levels. This problem doesn’t appear to be the cause of behavior disorders, depression, etc., but instead is an aggravating factor which can trigger striking symptoms. Typical symptoms include drowsiness after meals, irritability, craving for sweets, trembling, anxiety, and intermittent poor concentration and focus. Treatment includes chromium, manganese, and other glucose-stabilizing nutrients, but the primary focus of treatment is on diet. These patients benefit from six or more small meals daily with emphasis on complex carbohydrates and protein. In essence, they cannot tolerate large meals or quick sugars. Complex carbohydrates provide the necessary glucose in a slow, gradual manner and may be thought of as “time-released” sugar.

Toxic substances

Occasionally we encounter a patient whose condition has resulted from a heavy-metal overload (lead, cadmium, mercury, etc.) or toxic levels of pesticides or other organic chemicals. Our database indicates that persons with a metallothionein disorder are especially sensitive to toxic metals and that over-methylation is associated with severe chemical sensitivities. Effective treatment requires a three-part approach: (1) avoidance of additional exposures, (2) biochemical treatment to hasten the exit of the toxic substance from the body, and (3) correction of underlying chemical imbalances to minimize future vulnerability to the toxic material.


Although only 10% of our database case histories involve serious malabsorption, more than 90% of autistics exhibit this problem. There are three primary classes of absorption problems: (1) stomach problems, including excessive or insufficient HCl (hydrochloric acid) levels, (2) incomplete digestion in the small intestine, and (3) problems at the brush-border, the tiny villi9 that tremendously increase the surface area of the intestine, where most nutrients are absorbed into to the blood stream. The consequences can include nutrient deficiencies, irritation of the intestinal tract, candida, and mental health problems. Incomplete breakdown of protein and fats can adversely affect brain neurotransmission, and is associated with impulsivity and academic underachievement. Treatment depends on the type of malabsorption present and may involve adjustment of stomach HCl levels, digestive enzymes that survive stomach acid, nutrients to enhance digestion, and special diets.

Essential Fatty Acids

The brain is 20% fat (by dry weight) and these fatty substances fulfill very important functions. The myelin sheaths which surround our brain cells contain essential fatty acids that are directly involved in nerve receptor formation and nerve transmission. A 1998 Symposium at the National Institute of Mental Health presented strong evidence of the important roles for omega-3 oils (especially EPA an DHA10) and omega-6 oils (especially AA and DGLA11) in “ADHD,” depression, and “schizophrenia.” A recent Harvard study showed EPA and DHA supplements to be more effective than psychiatric medications in combating “bipolar depression.”

Typical American diets usually result in insufficient omega-3 and excessive omega-6 and some nutritionists routinely recommend supplements of omega-3 oils. However, biochemical individuality also exists with oils and certain persons are innately low in omega-6 oils. A review of symptoms and specialized plasma and red-cell-membrane lab tests can identify individual needs.


Nutrients play a critical role in mental health. They are the building blocks of the nervous system. Correct testing and understanding of deficiencies and overloads can pinpoint the causes of many severe mental symptoms, thus opening the door to hope and recovery.



1. Methionine is an amino acid you need that you can only get from food or supplements.
2. Choline is part of the vitamin B complex family.
3. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats.  The tail end of the fatty acid molecule is called the “omega.”  Some fatty acids have two carbon atoms together located 6 atoms from the end.  These are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have a double carbon atoms at 3 from the end.
4. Chemicals that transfer messages from one nerve cells to the other.
5. Serotonin, dopamine, and nonepinephrine are all neurotransmitters.
6. SAMe stands for S-Adenosyl Methionine.  It is a supplement and a chemical produced in the brain from the amino acid methionine.  In one chemical process, SAMe adds methyl groups, thus would be harmful to people already over-methylated.
7.  A psychiatric diagnosis for a pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months.
8. An ion is a negatively charged atom or group of atoms.  They tend to want to combine with other atoms or groups of atoms.
9.  Villi are minute, finger-like projections that give the small intestine lining a velvet-like appearance.  They absorb nutrients.
10.  There are 3 kinds of omega-3 fatty acids.   Two of them are EPA and DHA, which are found in fish oil.
11.  There are 3 kinds of omega-6 fatty acids.  Two of them are AA (arachidonic acid, mentioned earlier in this article) and DGLA.

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