Category: Grain Brain

Ways to Fight Depression with Diet and Lifestyle

Five Ways to Fight Depression (Without Drugs!)

By: Austin Perlmutter, MD, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

Depression is the leading cause of disability in young Americans, a significant burden for those affected and those around them. With so many suffering from this condition, the market has created a slew of treatments designed to fix the problem. Like any other medical issue, there are science-based therapies and unsubstantiated attempts to profit from others’ misfortune. Though drugs are the standard evidence based treatment, new data now sheds light on ways to fight depression without medications. Here are five evidence-based ways to counter depression without drugs:

  • Exercise: Multiple studies show the beneficial effects of exercise on everything from cardiovascular status to emotional state. The latest review of available evidence shows that exercise may be as good as drugs in treating depression. What’s even better, data shows that there are significant benefits in emotional state with as little as two weeks of exercise. Considering that we give antidepressant medications 6 to 8 weeks before we see full effects, this is huge.  
  • Sunlight: If you’re familiar with seasonal affective disorder, you may already know how important sunlight is to mood. Research shows that serotonin production by the brain is directly related to the exposure to bright sunlight, so that more sunlight means more serotonin. Understanding that our most commonly prescribed antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) and are thought to work by increasing brain serotonin, this data is all the more interesting. 
  • Sleep: Though most of us agree that a good night’s sleep helps mood, the data suggests that not getting enough sleep may predict future depression. More research shows that getting 5 or less hours of sleep a night may boost our risk of getting depression to 53%, up from 27% when we get the normal 7 to 8.9 hours a night.
  • Coffee: While many harbor a fear of this beverage, research on more than 50,000 women found that caffeinated coffee consumption decreases risk of developing depression. A Finnish study found similar results in men, with coffee consumption decreasing risk of depression in several thousand subjects.
  • Diet: The role of diet on emotional state is an evolving and fascinating field. Following a Mediterranean diet may lower chances of depression, with higher adherence leading to better preventative effects. Research shows that high glycemic index diets are associated with depression in the elderly. In addition, consider that fast food consumption is also linked with depression.

Take home points:

  • Getting 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week benefits many aspects of your health, but may also be one of our best antidepressant therapies.
  • Spending some time in the sun may be a good way to boost serotonin, which is a key factor in treating depression.
  • Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night will make you feel great, and may also make you a happier person.
  • A cup or two of coffee will wake you up, and may also keep your spirits up.
  • Following a Mediterranean diet, a low glycemic index diet, and a diet low in fast food could be making you a happier (and healthier) person.

For more information, order your copy of Grain Brain today and join Dr. Perlmutter’s email list.

  • Marilyn

    LOVE the book!

    • David Perlmutter

      So glad to hear that Marilyn, thanks.

  • ri

    great tips! thank you so much for this wonderful site and information. Im enjoying a cup of coffee right now and even though i didnt get enough sleep and im stuck inside today (no sunlight) i feel pretty good and im eating some healthy veggies and low GI foods and trying to stay positive and hopeful about life -happy monday!

    • David Perlmutter

      Happy to be able to share this. Glad you find it valuable.

  • Lynn Dell

    When I was in my mid-twenties I struggled some with depression, and could not get a decent night’s sleep for anything. Then, come waking time, I did not want to get up. It’s as though you are sleeping never, and always. I will say running helped a great deal, but what I needed to do and finally did do was to stop stuffing negative emotions and learn to deal with them properly.

    In addition to this fine list, if people struggle with depression, if they are not already aware of it, it is beneficial to figure out if they are stuffing down any unhappy emotions, especially anger, and then bring issues to the light of day, which may or may not require counseling.

    Also, along with the sunlight issue, I have noted I have not struggled so much with seasonal affective problems since increasing vitamin d3 consumption a few years ago.

    • David Perlmutter

      I am glad to hear you found a protocol that worked for you Lynn.

  • Alex

    sometimes this isn’t enough..then what?

    • Lynn Dell

      I agree with your implication. The list is not an exhaustive means of dealing with depression. The previous entry on choosing happiness can be added to this current list. In addition, counseling may be needed, and there may need to be a removal of negative stressful situations from one’s life, which may include resolving or terminating abusive relationships. Probiotics sometimes are noted to help with anxiety and sleep. Statins can exacerbate or bring on depression. Finding a good support system is a key. Lowering a high hemoglobin A1C can possibly help, but that goes along with dietary recommendations mentioned above. The A1C/depression link is noted in Grain Brain, as is statin use. If you have to be on statins, probably a good quality co enzyme q 10 supplement would help. On a personal note, I think I would be terminally depressed if I didn’t have faith in a good God who loves and forgives me, and expects the same of me towards others.

    • Lynn Dell

      Then, too, some things just take time – time to figure out what is going on in order to deal with it, time to grieve, and there is a lag time (someone once called it “limbic lag” to me) even after you are on the right path, before one’s emotions and energy levels can come back to a happier place. A supportive community of people around you, and close friendships are a real must for those who are depressed.

  • chef

    Many time the problem with depression is lack of drive/will to be able to do anything about it during an episode. The guidlines are great at helping live a healthier life and this is not always enough. Mainly hou need to discover your “triggers” and work at minimizing your interactions with them.

    Cognitive behavior therapy sould be included in this discussion. Simplified down its replacing negetive thoughts with positive thoughts. There are many ways to do this and far to many for me to mention. I do feel every person could benefit from CBT in one way or another.

    I do feel that after all of this major depression or bipolar disorder may not be able to completely controled this way. Seeing a licenced therapist or counselor is a great start of finding out what is what is wrong. Tell them you would like to try alterative ways before considering drugs. If they dont want to work with you on the alterative methods. Its time to find another therapist. It takes time to find on that fits but when you do they are an amzing resource. Ive saw three diferent therapist before I found one that fits and we work for years without using drugs.
    Sadly my condition turned out to be beyond fully controling without drugs. Sometimes it takes drugs to help. That is ok because all those steps will help minimize the amount needed.

    • Felicity Benson

      i believe that true depression cant be remedied with CBT. if we could truly control our thoughts or resulting behavior, we wouldnt be depressed.

      • Di

        I have to agree with chef that CBT can be extremely helpful and that lifestyle modifications, though excellent, may not be enough. Negative and unhelpful thinking patterns which may have developed over years can be very hard to shift. It will take a lot of effort and time to get them to change but change can happen. Building up a positive support network for yourself can also help as can learning meditation and relaxation methods. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – it may take time and effort – but starting the journey and making slow progress – any progress – is better than staying still.

  • I would add meditation to the list. It can help you gain control of your thoughts.

    • David Perlmutter

      Very much agree Deane.

      • Emma

        If you have moderate to severe depression (genetically & from 21 years of very difficult life circumstances), do you need to take medication? I’m genetically at high risk for diabetes & alzheimer’s/dementia & really cannot afford to be overweight or gain weight. I’m resisting even trying medication due to TDS, Time-Dependent Sensitization & weight gain. I am only 21 & I’ve been told I’ve had depression all my life, even though I don’t feel like I have it or feel that sad or lethargic usually & I still have fun & maintain interest in all my hobbies & in health/exercising. Can brain plasticity from extremely healthy eating, exercise, sleep, meditation, basically every method of helping depression except medication be useful to me & regenerate parts of my brain (hippocampus, amygdala) or is medication my only option for the rest of my life?

        The weight gain for me on medication will be inevitable regardless of how healthily I eat, how much I exercise/build muscle, sleep, etc because my metabolism has been slow & if a medication slows my metabolism down more, it will only worsen my depression in the long term due to being overweight & developing diabetes.

        • JULIE TARANTO

          I’LL BE PRAYING FOR YOU, THERE ARE MANY NATURAL THINGS TO TRY JUST DILIGENTLY STUDY AND SEEK GOD’S HELP, HE LOVES YOU AND WILL GUIDE YOU.

          • John Landau

            Julie, what do you do for MCS? I have it and need advice.

  • Felicity Benson

    yoga, especially kundalini and bhakit have been transformative for me.

  • Pingback: Health from A (Abdominals) to Z (Zucchini)()

  • klp

    Also try reading Julia Ross’s book the Mood Cure. Depression can be treated with amino acids that have been lifesavers in our family. A healthy alternative to medication and its side effects.

    • christina

      Which ones, what dosages? Thank you 🙂

      • Chris

        It all depends on you and your situation. There are a lot of factors. Read the book. It was extremely eye-opening for me, however the amino acids did not work for me, because my real issue was Adrenal burnout and Pancreatic damage.

  • Adrienne

    Re: Sleep — is the timing of the sleep important at all? In other words, if a person goes to bed at 2:00AM but sleeps for 8 hours — is that as beneficial as going to bed before Midnight?

    • Chris

      There are many, many studies to suggest that our body’s are meant to sleep a few hours after the sun goes down, and wake up with the sun. Night-shift workers who sleep during the day have the worst health problems. Sleeping from 10-6 is much healthier than 12-8.

  • Catherine

    Sleep : surely it is the quality of sleep that matters most. People who are depressed or who are ” becoming” clinically depressed often don t sleep well
    because they are worrying or ruminating over something or a problem that they can t easily sort out,
    Coffee : if anxiety is present as well as depression maybe caffeine should be consumed with caution ?

    • Chris

      Caffeine inhibits the body’s ability to break down Adrenaline. So it’s never a good idea to drink Caffeinated beverages unless you are calm. If you’re running late, stressed, etc., don’t drink Caffeine.

  • Tina

    I find that I get very negative and angry when I have been consuming wheat.

    • David Perlmutter

      You are not the only one to report this Tina.

  • christina

    I’m having trouble sleeping, and I’m going through menopause. I think the two are related. I can fall asleep, but I wake up several times through the night and I dream a LOT! A dr told me that it might have to do w/ blood sugar and that I should eat some protein, omega-3 fats…it’s not working. Any suggestions anyone?

    • Chris

      I’m not female, but going for a relaxing 15 minute walk before bed, along with drinking a cup of Organic Chamomile tea, followed by reading a few quotes from a good book, and a few minutes of meditation, help me. I would take your Omega-3 (hopefully from animal sources, as the human body doesn’t do a good job of converting plant-based Omega-3’s into EPA/DHA as it does with fish oil), in the middle of the day, as taking too much close to bedtime can be stimulating and prevent sleep (from what I’ve heard/read).

  • Angel Mac

    1st I would like to Thank Dr Perlmutter for the Grain Brain book and talk on PBS. I have had many in my local “Invisible Illnesses” Support Group watch & read and we have been discussing it.

    One topic that MOST MDs + even PhD’s seems to be avoiding tho…
    is just how important knowing if you have some DNA SNPs like *MTHFR* interfering with your bodily chemistry processes can be equally important.

    Esp since Researchers “already know” that at least 50% of the population
    HAS this Genetic Defect ~ The irony is that very few are helping to inform the public HOW to Help themselves…

    Having this genetic mutation and NOT Treating it can be the source of many many illnesses downstream in your bodies flow of chemical reactions that MUST Take place if you are to function properly. It’s EASY to Treat~ yet the Lack of Informing the Public is HUGE !!!

    It can be the cause of many things like miscarriages to depression..
    PLEASE address this issue SOON and inform other MDs about it
    as well as the public.

    Thanks …
    I’ve improved SO Many things in my body/life since I’ve known about this and been supplementing properly to Help my body work correctly. ❤
    This one SNP doesn’t cover everything but 50% of the Population…
    Come on… should be a *NO-Brainer* for the Medical Profession to
    UNITE Behind… one would think at least ??? Unless they have a Lobby against it ?

    • discoduck827

      Angel Mac,
      How can you find out of you have a DNA SNPs like MTHFR?
      Thank you!

    • eleene

      I have spent years learning for my self because Doctors, don’t know about the things I’m reading to night. I have found one in the past few months that knows part of this, but not all of this. ALL doctors should half to be educated in these matters. I know the RX companies wouldn’t want them to know we could fix our bodies with real food. I take alot of vitaims as I’m Glenten Free and can’t eat green Veggies, I get very sick if I eat either of these 2 groups of foods. Eating right for me is very hard.

  • bridj

    Addition of Vitamins D3, B12 and iodine/iodide (RDA inadequate for each) for mood elevation–as well as for hypothyroidism.

  • Ted

    The fog has lifted and my emotional resiliency has improved significantly since I have switched to the Grain Brain diet. Thank you! Curious what glycemic load number range you suggest for foods we can eat in moderation as long as carbs are limited to 60 per day after a month?

  • kathy

    I’m a retired 65 year old woman on a fixed income. I am borderline diabetic and 100 pounds overweight. My mother die last September and had Alzheimer’s for the past 9 years. I know I’m in trouble. I also have high blood preasure. I bought your book Grain Brain and I finally have some hope. Please let me know if I can follow your plan on a very small budget. I live on only my social security. Thank you so much. Kathy

  • Nannette Eiland

    good stuff! Of course, I always struggle in the sleep department. Just can’t stay asleep! UGH

  • tom

    In 1 sentence you state that fast food consumption is linked with depression and in the next reading you state that fast food could be making you a happier (healthier) person. Please explain the apparent conterdiction.

    • David Perlmutter

      Tom: Actually, the second sentence states that the elimination of fast food might make you a happier person.

  • Richard

    Is really dark chocolate any good in this area? I’m talking about the 70-85% stuff. I had read, a while back, that real dark chocolate might have some beneficial effects.

    • Lilac

      Dark chocolate has always helped me with depression. Just be aware of this: 1. taken too close to bedtime, it can cause insomnia. 2. too much can bring on a migraine headache. Before a migraine headache, because the serotonin is affected, comes a period of depression. In this case the chocolate is counterproductive. So be moderate with chocolate. Unsweetened cocoa powder can be used too, for example in smoothies, chocolate milk, etc. Dr. Ben Kim has a yummy recipe using cocoa powder with almond butter and honey to make healthy fudge. (sign up for his excellent newsletter.)

      • David Perlmutter

        Make sure it’s over 70% Cacao.

    • JULIE TARANTO

      DARK CHOCOLATE: IT HELPS GET BOWELS NORMAL BY STOPPING DIARRHEA WITHOUT GIVING YOU CONSTIPATION. MAKE YOUR OWN USING STEVIA, BUTTER, WHOLE RAW CREAM, REAL VANILLA…HONEY HAS A HIGH GLEMIC INDEX RATING, SO I DON’T USE IT…DON’T HAVE THAT PROBLEM ANY MORE…YAY

  • Tracey

    Anti Epileptic Drugs (AED) are very similar to anti-depression drugs. I have drop seizures, follow the grain brain lifestyle and wondering how I’ll every find a neurologist to help me reduce drugs without a serious drop seizure?

    • JULIE TARANTO

      KEEP LOOKING,YOU HAVE TO HAVE HELP, GET OFF DRUGS SLOWLY, WHILE ADDING HERBS AND AMINO ACIDS WITH VITAMINS IN THEIR PLACE.. TELL DR. EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED, TO GET OFF DRUGS.. GOD BLESS AND GOOD LUCK…

  • barbara carroll

    Thanks Dr. P for sharing Austin’s article. Just dealing with a good friend struggling with depression. We do not understand in our country (Canada) how to deal with depression that well. These guidelines are very helpful. So much stigma often prevents people from seeking help. It seems like a vicious circle and it is very widespread.

  • Ben

    My son (17) was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 8. In recent years his behavior changed and about 6 months ago he was diagnosed with ADHD and depression. His blood sugars are going up and down partially because of him not caring too much about it. He is taking antidepressants and ADHD medicine and sees a psychologist on a weekly basis. After seeing and hearing a few you tubes about the book Grain Brain, I believe that my son would benefit in many ways from this lifestyle and from becoming Grain and Gluten free.
    My question is if you start to benefit from it even if you just introduce it slowly, instead of going totally gluten free. Do you have to totally cut it out of your life to a level where you are afraid of gluten cross-contamination from factory machinery like for Nut Allergies – or can you slowly but surely lower the quantities of grain and gluten in a gradual way, and see the health benefits?

  • Lilac

    Nice, Austin. I hope this helps many people.

    There is something important you left out: good bacteria, also known as “probiotics.” If anyone wants to learn how they can profoundly affect the brain, see these articles:

    http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/probiotics-change-brain-activity-emotional-response

    http://www.jphysiolanthropol.com/content/33/1/2

    Probiotic pills are good but expensive. Probiotic FOOD is more effective. This article will explain why:

    http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/probiotic-pills-or-cultured-foods/

    If anyone wants to learn how to make their own probiotic food, four good places to start are the book NOURISHING TRADITIONS by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, the book GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME by Natasha Campbell McBride, M.D., the book CULTURED FOOD FOR LIFE by Donna Schwenk, and the website

    http://www.culturesforhealth.com, Here are recipes on that site for culturing foods:

    http://www.culturesforhealth.com/cultured-fermented-vegetables-fruits-condiments-articles-videos-recipes

    What most people do not realize, however, and that these books do not explain, is that probiotic capsules, with these good medicinal bacteria, can be opened and used as the starter culture.

    I’m having good results by culturing the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus Plantarum. The Wikipedia article on this says that this bacteria helps depression:

    “Lactobacillus plantarum has been found in experiments to increase hippocampal brain derived neurotrophic factor which means L. plantarum may have a beneficial role in the treatment of depression.[5] ”

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactobacillus_plantarum)

    You should taste the fruit juice I’m culturing with L. Plantarum. It’s delicious and slightly fizzy, like champagne.

    Whenever you ferment foods, use organic food, and if you don’t want extra salt in your diet you can substitute celery or seaweed.

    The other kind of probiotic, the yeast Saccharomyces Boulardii, may also help depression. I don’t know because I have not tried it. Also good may be the homeostatic soil organisma that Jordan Rubin made famous because it cured him of Crohn’s disease. (See his book, PATIENT HEAL THYSELF.) These organisms have a stellar reputation for digestive distress, and may also help depression. I’ve also used this to culture food. You can find out more here:

    http://www.crohns.net/Miva/education/articles/HSO_PrimDef.shtml

    One more thing, since you mention the relationship between depression and sleep:

    The blue waves in light, and to a lesser extent the green waves, decrease our needed melatonin that makes serotonin. So exposing yourself to these light waves at night will disrupt your sleep and contribute to depression by disrupting serotonin synthesis. The television, the computer screen, the cell-phone light, all have especially high levels of these blue and green light waves. To counteract this one should avoid these at night or cover them with rose or amber lens for this purpose or wear rose or amber glasses at night. Unfortunately, the energy-saver light bulbs are higher in this blue-light wave than the former incandescent bulbs. So those too are a problem, and they are ubiquitous. You can wear the amber glasses for an hour our two before bed. For more information on all this, google something like “blue light and sleep,” or see the book sold on Amazon, called GREAT SLEEP! REDUCED CANCER! by Richard Hansler, Ph.D., and see his website, http://www.lowbluelights.com

  • vicki

    Is the Grain Brain diet useful if a person is not sensitive to gluten?
    I do not believe that I am because I have never had any digestive problems and also no problems with dairy. I read in the book about the Cyrex tests to determine sensitivity to gluten, but my doctor’s group practice does not have a Cyrex account and is not interested in opening one, and Cyrex does offer a list of providers. I have done the suggested diet for about a month to try to improve my energy level, mental “fogginess”, depression and ADHD and have experienced no results. Is it because I am not sensitive to gluten? I am desperate to improve my situation. Help.

    • vicki

      That should be “Cyrex does not offer a list of providers.”

    • Lilac

      There are other foods you may be sensitive to. Why don’t you try eliminating the main ones that cause food sensitivity? You can eliminate them all at once, and then if you feel better, add them back one at a time to see which one(s) cause the problems. Here is a list I got from J.J. Virgin’s excellent book, THE VIRGIN DIET: Dairy, Soy, Corn, Sugar, Gluten, Eggs, Peanuts.
      Note that eggs, corn, soy, etc., go by lots of names and hide in lots of places. Allergy to eggs is usually to the egg WHITES. You can also try eliminating nightshade plants. In some people, the poisonous alkaloids in these plants cause bad reactions. (I am one of them). Nightshades are potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, eggplants, and, if you smoke, tobacco.
      Yeast can be a factor too. Mind your breads with yeast, and try eliminating other forms of yeast.
      Keep in mind that you don’t have to go through Cyrex to get food testing. Life Extension (LEF.ORG) offers this test (no prescription needed), as well as ELISA, which you can find online. All the same, your own experimenting may be just as good or better.
      Also examine chemicals in your diet, pesticides, your “silver” mercury dental fillings, and what you are putting on your skin. If you would not eat it, do not put it on your skin, because what goes on our skin gets into our bloodstream.

      • vicki

        Thank you for taking the time to respond and for your suggestions and information.

        • Lilac

          You are most welcome, Vicki. We are on the same journey.

          Here is my recent approach to my depression. I use this “golden trinity” which works excellently. These three things:

          1. I cut out all foods and substances I know I am sensitive to. (see my previous post in response to you; it can be a long trial and error to figure this out.)

          2. I got a Blendtec blender (Vitamix works well too), and each day I blend and eat RAW green leaves and other vegetables. (adding fruits as needed for taste.)

          3. I eat lactofermented foods that I make myself. (see my other post on this blog.)

          Yes, those 3 steps go SO FAR. I’m practically well on this approach. I’m taking DHA too, and turmeric seems to help also, and I take vitamin D when I remember. But those three steps are the bedrock, and I don’t have to do much else except avoid people who are destructive to me.

          However, lately there is more, too. I got my genome sequenced by 23andMe for $99.00. Then I submitted the raw data to some of the third-party sites that give more data based on one’s genes. They charge small fees. See various testing places here: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/mthfr/

          Reading through my results at great length (it’s intricate), I discovered that my genes reveal I am deficient in dopamine. So I tried Tyrosine, but it does not agree with me. Websites say it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier and increase dopamine. So, next I will try 2 beans that contain L-dopa, the natural precursor to dopamine: 1. Macuna Pruriens, also called velvet beans, and 2. Fava beans, also called broad beans. I will maybe get the whole bean or powder (sold on ebay) and ferment it with lactobacilli (L. Plantarum is the best so far), or I will get the capsules. Both are easy to find. Fava beans are sold in the U.S.A, while Macuna beans come from hot, tropical countries.

          You see, it’s a long process, this upward climb out the hole. But my plan is working. I wish a doctor would do all this for me, but so far none has much helped, and remember that no one cares as much about your health as you do. If PMS is a factor in your depression, contact the Pope Paul VI Institute. I found that one has a better protocol than they do. http://www.popepaulvi.com/

  • Cristina4Jesus

    This has implications for Aspergers/Autism/ADHD — from my experience, these kids do better with lots of exercise in the sunlight, caffeine seems to calm them, and actually a high fat diet seems to make them feel better.

  • brenda

    dr perlmetter,
    I am currently trying to slowly get off of my antidepressant. Years ago I was prescribed one for interstitial cystitis. Once I learned how to manage that then I slowly stop taking it.
    Years later I was hit with a bad bout of depression. My doctor put me back on the same antidepressant, Elevil. The antidepressant helped with the depression along with managing my mild case of OCD.
    Recently, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. My doctor increased my dosage of the antidepressant to manage that. This did help.
    I should also mention that I have been a chronic migraine suffer for years. As a result, I believe that I have tried everything to manage the migraines from medication, which don’t really help, to botox.
    Desperately trying to manage the migraines I started eliminating gluten from my diet. After I read your book I then committed to a gluten free, low carb & low sugar diet. I have largely been off gluten now for months and on your “diet” now for about 2 months.
    After I read your book, I learned that women on antidepressants have a 45% higher risk of stroke. My father recently had a stroke so I realize that is another risk factor along with headaches/migraines and neck pain (which I believe to be fibromyalgia).
    I want to decrease my chances of getting a stroke so I have been trying to get off of the antidepressant, however all of my other symptoms that I mentioned earlier have started to back.
    What should I do?

  • Todd

    Dr Perlmutter do you have a recommendation for a foundational Dr in Colorado Springs colorado

  • Dr. Perlmutter – Appreciate your practical, drug-free suggestions for fighting depression. We shared your link with our followers, since about half of all Migraine sufferers also have Depression.

    For those who may be interested, here’s a summary of relevant research on Migraine and Depression. http://migraineagain.com/migraine-depression-link-are-you-at-risk/

    Some scientists believe that the Migraine-Depression link can be explained by smaller brains, while others suggest it’s a reaction to medication. Do you agree with either of these theories?

    Thanks,
    Paula
    Editor, MigraineAgain.com

    • JULIE TARANTO

      I AM MULTICHEMICAL SENSITIVE SO I REACT TO MANY CHEMICALS, THEY MAKE MY BRAIN SWELL, THEREFORE I HAVE MIGRAINES, I USE NATURAL HERBS, VITAMINS, MINERALS, HAVE TERRIBLE REACTION TO ESTROGEN, HAVE TO TAKE ANTIHISTAMINE, REACT TO GMO’S, JUST SAYING IT’S NOT CAUSE I HAVE A SMALL BRAIN, IT’S CAUSE THEY PUT TOXIC STUFF IN OUR FOODS, AIR, WATER, DENTAL (MERCURY), ETC.
      MEDICATIONS AND DRUGS ARE TOXIC CHEMICALS…

  • Kevin

    Hello. I just finished reading the Grain Brain book and went to my doctor for the blood work. He also did a thyroid test and said I have hypothyroidism. He prescribed 50mcg of levothyroxine daily. I am starting the Grain Brain diet in a couple of days and was just wondering if it would help the hypothyroidism condition or if I should start taking the medication along with the diet. Thank you.

  • CLK

    Can this dietary approach help my Aspergers son and husband?

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  • Mary Ruth Kowalczyk Kolk

    Great advice!

    • David Perlmutter

      Good to know you find it valuable Mary Ruth!

  • happy Jo

    I am a CFS (Fibro) I thank Dr. Pearl mutter for his understanding and meds for the pain. Need to lose weight will try Mediterranean diet. Thank you.

    • David Perlmutter

      I hope you find the lifestyle plan that works for you Jo. Wishing you vibrant health.

  • Herb Bronson

    Excellent list! In addition to plenty of sunlight in the morning and early afternoon, you also want to limit your exposure to blue light in the evening, for optimal serotonin/melatonin balance. I reviewed several low-blue-light lamps on my blog here: http://www.lighttherapyreviews.net/ambersleeplamps/

    In particular, http://lowbluelights.com and http://SomniLight.com both offer
    single color amber LED reading lights. They seem to help a lot with sleep and
    the evidence is growing that they are beneficial for depression as well.

    Cheers,
    Herb

  • Rachel Evelyn Nichols

    Hi Dr. Perlmutter. Good article! Do you have any advice for reverse SADS? My dad has it. I have suffered from it since age 7 for 35 springs.

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