Could Your Mental Illness Actually Be Physical?

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If you suffer from a mental illness such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, you may have an undiagnosed physical disease. Read on to discover why your mental illness could have a physical cause.

Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease is a physical disease that can appear to be a mental illness. In hypothyroidism, there is an insufficient production of the thyroid hormone. Some of the physical symptoms include weight gain, cold sensitivity, thinning hair, dry skin, anemia, muscle aches & weakness. The mental symptoms include insomnia, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and acts, depression, nightmares, paranoia, unstable emotions, suspiciousness and fear. In hyperthyroidism, there is an overproduction of the thyroid hormone. Some physical symptoms include weight loss, feeling overheated, diarrhea, infrequent or absence of menstrual periods, fast heart rate, shaking hands and hair loss. Mental symptoms include nervousness, insomnia, staring gaze, mood swings, impatience, hyperactivity, anxiety and depression.

Gluten Intolerance

Hidden gluten intolerance is a physical condition that can cause the symptoms of mental illness. Common physical symptoms of gluten intolerance include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss or gain, hair loss and irritable bowel syndrome. Mental symptoms include behavioral problems in children, autism, Aspergers, learning disabilities, brain fog, anxiety, depression and even the symptoms of schizophrenia. In a person with gluten intolerance, gluten has an opiate effect on the brain, which can cause mental dullness and confusion.

Parasites

A human parasite infection is a physical condition that can appear to be a mental illness. It is estimated that over 50% of Americans are infected with some type of parasite. Physical symptoms are numerous including chronic diarrhea/and or alternating with constipation, multiple food allergies, changes in appetite, sudden weight loss, muscle pain, sore intestines, muscle pain, gurgling intestines, anal itching, yeast infections, itching on the soles of the feet, foul-smelling gas, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, anemia, conjunctivitis (pink eye), palpitations and coughing up bloody sputum (in some cases). Mental symptoms include insomnia, anxiety/irritability, brain fog, depression and poor memory.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a physical disease that can appear to be a mental illness. Lyme disease is an illness caused by a bite from an infected tick. Early physical symptoms are usually flu-like symptoms, localized rash at the site of the bite, headache, fatigue and muscle aches and pains. Later physical symptoms include facial tics, pain or weakness in limbs, poor memory and concentration.  Mental symptoms can include personality changes, symptoms of OCD, paranoia, fear, delusions on account of the effect Lyme disease has on the nervous system. If you have these physical and mental symptoms, get tested for Lyme disease immediately. Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause permanent neurological and mental damage.

Chronic Candida Infection

Chronic candida is a physical condition that can appear to be a mental illness. Candida is yeast that lives normally in the body. However, frequent use of antibiotics can destroy what keeps the yeast in check, which may result in an overgrowth. Some physical symptoms of candida are recurrent yeast infections, athlete’s foot, stomach problems, craving for sweets and alcohol, acid reflux, low libido and itching. Mental symptoms include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, poor memory, brain fog, mood swings, manic depression, depression, delusions and psychosis.

Vitamin B3 Deficiency (Pellagra)

Pellagra is a physical condition that can appear to be a mental illness. A person with a vitamin B3 or niacin deficiency can exhibit physical symptoms such as muscle weakness, red scaly skin, loss of appetite and diarrhea. Mental symptoms can include dizziness, headaches and mental disturbances. Pellagra doesn’t affect many in the US but is common throughout the world.

Vitamin B12 (Folic Acid) Deficiency

Folic acid deficiency is a physical condition that can mimic mental illness. It can occur after surgery that removes part of the intestine. This leads to malabsorption of the vitamin, which can cause physical symptoms such as weakness, paleness, mouth lesions and red sore tongue, restless leg syndrome, nausea & vomiting. Mental symptoms include moodiness, difficulty learning, anxiety, insomnia, problems with coordination, mania, hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a physical disease that can appear to be a mental illness. Hypoglycemia means abnormally low blood sugar and it is a physical illness that mimics mental illness. Physical symptoms of hypoglycemia include weakness, shakiness, fainting and excess sweating. When blood sugar drops, mental symptoms can include anxiety, emotional outbursts, mood swings, excessive crying and the appearance of being under the influence of alcohol.

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Heavy metal toxicity is a physical condition that can appear to be a mental illness. Mercury, lead and arsenic are the most common culprits in heavy metal toxicity. Those with mercury fillings may be at risk. Also, heavy metal toxicity can result from what a person is exposed to at work or during leisure activities. Lead toxicity can lead to physical symptoms such as gastrointestinal problems, headache and convulsions with mental symptoms including anxiety, delusions, nightmares and mental confusion. Arsenic can also produce stomach and neurological problems as well as increased skin pigmentation and a garlic odor on the breath. Mental symptoms include dementia, apathy and anorexia nervosa. Those with mercury toxicity may have a metallic taste in the mouth, an overproduction of saliva, tremors and stomach complaints. Mental symptoms include depression, anorexia, irritability and psychosis.

Histadelia

Histadelia is a physical disease that can appear to be a mental illness. This is a physical condition characterized by too much histamine in the blood. Histadelia affects men more than women. It is estimated that 15-20% of patients who have histadelia have been inaccurately diagnosed with schizophrenia. Physical symptoms include frequent colds, allergies, fast metabolism, thin build, low pain tolerance and excessive sweating. Mental symptoms include strong suicidal tendencies, obsessions, mind blanks, severe depression, hyperactivity and phobias.

If any of the above physical conditions seem familiar to you and you believe you may be suffering from one, do more research and arm yourself with knowledge before going to see your doctor. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis of a physical illness to rule out mental illness. 

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