Saturday, December 8, 2007

Some Known Medical Causes of “Mental” Symptoms

There are many known medical causes of anxiety, mood swings, depression, attentional difficulties with or without hyperactivity ("ADHD"), psychosis, and/or other psychiatric symptoms.

However, to complicate matters, the illnesses of the endocrine system, sleep disorder, autoimmune disorders, etc. are frequently found to be “co-morbid” with the illness that gets diagnosed as “mental,” rather than contributing causative factors. The danger in this way of thinking is that these "co-morbid" conditions may not be treated as effectively as they might be if the set of symptoms as a whole had been adressed, rather than in pieces.

Here is a PARTIAL list of known medical causes. I have articles about some of these issues on this blog, so do a search on the desired keywords! Some, I discuss extensively in my book.
  • Hyperthyroidism,
  • Hypothyroidism,
  • Hypopituitarism (leading to a host of low hormone levels)
  • Neurosarcoidosis,
  • Brain tumor,
  • Pituitary tumor/adenoma,
  • Adrenal tumor (including Pheochromocytoma),
  • Parathyroid tumor/adenoma
  • Nutritional deficiencies,
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Gluten sensitivity,
  • Dairy protein (cow casein) sensitivity,
  • Intestinal malabsorption (including Celiac, Crohns, and others)
  • Some Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Reactions to food additives (such as aspartame, MSG, some food colorings)
  • Reactions to medications (such as asthma medications, decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, cough medicines, etc.)
  • Some parasitic infections
  • Acquired immune deficiency (AIDs)
  • Anemia
  • Brain Injury (can be from many different causes)
  • Some cancers (neoplasms) such as “malignant lung neoplasm”
  • Diabetes / Hypoglycemia
  • Embolism
  • Epilepsy
  • Encephalitis
  • Heart problems/defects
  • Hypoparathyroidism and Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hypoadrenalism / Addison's Disease
  • Hypothalamic Dysfunction
  • Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS) (severe episodes of hypersomnia [sleep] lasting days, weeks, or months)
  • Lead poisoning
  • Lesch-Nyhan disease (genetic neurodegenerative - compulsive and self-injurious behavior in children)
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Lyme disease
  • Meningitis
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Mercury poisoning
  • Narcolepsy
  • Insomnia or Sleep Deprivation (including from brain injury, sleep apnea, bad habits, and more) 
  • Sjögren's Syndrome
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) / Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence (SSCD)
  • Uremia
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Vitamin and nutritive deficiencies and insufficiencies, or functional deficiencies (such as due to genetic, mitochondrial, and metabolic problems)  - D, B12, B9, EFAs, etc.
  • Cushing's disease (hypercortisolism or hyperadrenocorticism)
What is quite bizarre is that as researchers study schizophrenia, bipolar, and depression and find strong causes for some cases, they often say they have found causes for the schizophrenia, bipolar, or depression rather than emphasizing that the psychiatric symptoms diagnosed as those mental illnesses were caused by those medical issues.

I find it quite disturbing to hear from employees at psychiatric hospitals that medical hospital ERs (Emergency Rooms) are STILL sending over people showing up with acute medical problems such as UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) saying the patient has "schizophrenia." The psychiatric hospital staff then "cures" the "schizophrenia" with antibiotics!

Here is an interesting website for anyone looking into this huge issue of medical, biological, environmental, and toxic reasons people get symptoms affecting brain function which subsequently get diagnosed and misdiagnosed as a "mental" disorder:
Investigating Underlying Medical Causes of Mental Symptoms

So here is some food for thought. As medical causes of these "mental" illnesses are found, should they not be reclassified? Should we still call a person's illness "bipolar" -- a diagnosis we consider "mental" -- when the case is adequately treated with higher hormone levels (such as raised thyroid level) and a change in diet (such as free of dairy and gluten), and/or the use of vitamins (such as TrueHope's EMPowerPlus)?

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Last Updated: 8 September 2012


Anonymous said...

I just wanted you to know this post and your blog changed our lives. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I want to add some information about the KLS (Kleine-Levin Syndrome) diagnosis. Its ICD-9 code is under "Recurrent Hypersomnia" which is under the heading of "Organic Sleep Disorders" It's description includes mental confusion and HALLUCINATIONS !!!!