By Jude Burger
"I was in my thirties when I finally (better late than never!) found out that it was my reaction to food chemicals that caused my depression and anxiety.
Previously, my whole life I'd spent off-and-on depressed, uptight and moody and I couldn't understand why. When I felt great, I was upbeat, strong, energetic and optimistic. I couldn't understand the times that I felt my life was worthless and pointless. I would have incredibly debilitating episodes that completely shut me down - I'd only see blackness. Those depressive episodes felt so real at the time, yet were completely nonexistent at other times. It was crippling - I never knew when I'd feel bad and I couldn't plan my life around it.
I finally came across the elimination diet via Sue Dengate, from Australia's Food Intolerance Network. I'd always somewhat suspected that my food might be a contributor to my mood, but I didn't know how to go about testing that suspicion. I made sure I ate well, mostly healthy and organic things, but I'd have my favourite 'treats' too. I started the diet (which is quite restrictive for the first couple of weeks), and within days, I felt better. Other symptoms, mostly physical, cleared. I therefore knew that food was affecting me. It was only when I started the "challenges" (the slow introduction of foods that are known to impact people) that I could see what the full impact of these food chemicals were doing to me. The resultant depressive episode/s were totally conclusive to me.
As you can imagine, I am very careful with what I eat now. I therefore have those depressive episodes very, very rarely, and only when I have taken a calculated risk at a particular restaurant -- and lose! I know that there are certain preservatives, sorbates and benzoates that I cannot eat without falling into one of these moods. The diet changed my life, and through my research and work with the Food Intolerance Network it has clearly changed the life of thousands of other people.
Whilst my life has been greatly improved with this knowledge over the last several years, in 2013 I realised that it is still not mainstream knowledge. There will be others who are similarly affected, and don't know about food intolerance and its affect on mood. Someone challenged me to write an ebook about it, so I did! You can find it here: http://www.foodandmoodbook.com. I wrote about my story, other people's stories, and included relevant scientific studies. I introduce the elimination diet, as well as some potential causes and treatments.
I wish you all the best in your own journey."
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