Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Nutrition Essay

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Nutrition Essay

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OCD and Nutrition



OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder which affects 2.3% of the American population between the ages of 18 and 54. This condition is characterized by irrational or unwanted thoughts, obsessions, urge for repetitive rituals and compulsions. Symptoms usually start during early childhood or adolescence and the exact cause is still unknown. Some thought that OCD manifests due to personality defects and bad parenting, but this is not the case. OCD impacts the communication systems in the brain and according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, it produces a chemical imbalance in the brain wherein low levels of serotonin have been recorded. Serotonin plays an essential role in mood regulation, learning, calmness, and sleep. Several medications can help in behavioral therapy for OCD since it is known to be incurable. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs helps in raising the serotonin levels in the brain leading to reduced OCD symptoms.

Nutritional Therapy
A nutritious diet may not prevent the OCD’s onset, but it can assists in managing the symptoms with the help of medications, supplements, and mental health therapy.

Tryptophan - This amino acid promotes the formation of serotonin which is essential in mood regulation. It has been shown to be successful in treating OCD and it’s also effective for other anxiety disorders. This is formed from precursor coenzymes found in B-vitamins. Example of foods with high tryptophan level are elk meat, goat, seaweed, soy, spinach, crabs, halibut, and shrimps.
Inositol - Inositol is a nutrient related to vitamin B complex, which is necessary for the cell membranes’ proper formation. It has an ability to affect nerve transmission as...


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...sis. Vitamin B5 is also important for the adrenals when it comes to modulating stress. Vitamin B12 and folic acid supports against heart stress if you’re suffering from anxiety and depression.
Spirulina - This dietary supplement is known to have RNA which has been found advantageous for the nervous system. It helps in nourishing myelin sheaths and nerves that is helpful in reducing OCD symptoms.
Magnesium - Magnesium is a calming mineral that helps in minimizing the release of stress hormones in the body. There are still limited scientific evidence of magnesium’s effectivity but several research shows that herbal supplements containing magnesium may be effective in relieving depression, anxiety, and stress.
Lactium - Lactium is a supplement derived from the casein protein in milk. It assists in reducing stress-related symptoms, including anxiety and panic attacks.


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