Contributed by EmpowHER writer Rheyanne Weaver
If you don’t get the right nutrients, your body won’t function to the best of its ability. Some general health conditions can be linked to nutritional deficiency, but it’s up for debate whether the same applies to specific mental health conditions. Some nutrition experts do claim that unique cases of social anxiety can actually be caused by a nutritional deficiency. In the condition several experts refer to as pyroluria, once the nutritional deficiency is taken care of, the social anxiety is relieved. Other experts are quick to dismiss the validity of this diagnosis.
Trudy Scott, a food-and-mood expert who said in an email that she has suffered from pyroluria, is a certified nutritionist, immediate past president of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, and author of The Antianxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings.
“The person experiences shyness, inner tension, and social anxiety,” Scott said in regard to symptoms of pyroluria. “Symptoms usually start in childhood and are made worse under stressful situations. The wonderful thing is that the symptoms can be completely alleviated with taking these supplements: zinc, vitamin B6, and evening primrose oil. People typically start to feel less anxious, less shy, and more social within a week. The important thing is that if you do have pyroluria, you do need to take the supplements always.”
Generally only zinc and Vitamin B6 are recommended for pyroluria, but “gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in evening primrose oil and borage oil, is also beneficial for those with pyroluria because its levels are often low, and supplementing with GLA improves zinc absorption,” she added. In her book about anxiety, mood, and food, she wrote a whole chapter about pyroluria.
“I am … very passionate about the subject because I have pyroluria myself and used to suffer terribly from social phobia and shyness, anxiety, unexplained fears, waking with a sense of doom and even panic attacks,” Scott said. “I have used the amazing healing powers of foods and nutrients to completely heal. I now help women find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood disorders.”
Related Continuing Education Courses for Mental Health:
Beyond Calories & Exercise: Eliminating Self-Defeating Behaviors is a 5-hour online CE course. This course is a self-instructional module that “walks” readers through the process of replacing their self-defeating weight issues with healthy, positive, and productive life-style behaviors. It moves beyond the “burn more calories than you consume” concept to encompass the emotional aspects of eating and of gaining and losing weight. Through 16 included exercises, you will learn how to identify your self-defeating behaviors (SDBs), analyze and understand them, and then replace them with life-giving actions that lead to permanent behavioral change.
The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better is a 4-hour test-only CE course. This CE test is based on the book “The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health” (2007, 387 pages). Lifestyle changes, including diet, nutrition, exercise, yoga, and meditation, have been proven in research to have multiple beneficial effects on health, including preventing and reversing heart disease, reducing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, encouraging weight loss, preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes, and preventing and ameliorating cancer. The Spectrum is a research-based lifestyle change program which has been proven effective for multiple health conditions. This course includes a description of the major components (nutrition, stress-management, and exercise) and mechanisms of action. Research on The Spectrum is also described. The book is accompanied by a guide to cooking, 100 easy-to-prepare recipes from award-winning chef Art Smith, and a DVD which provides instruction in meditation. By taking this course, clinicians will learn how to prevent and treat some of the most troubling illnesses of today through lifestyle changes, while avoiding the need for expensive surgery and medication.
Emotional Overeating: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online CE course. Statistics report that Americans are an increasingly overweight population. Among the factors contributing to our struggle to stop tipping the scales is the component of “emotional eating” – or the use of food to attempt to fill emotional needs. Professionals in both the physical and emotional health fields encounter patients with emotional eating problems on a regular basis. Even clients who do not bring this as their presenting problem often have it on their list of unhealthy behaviors that contribute to or are intertwined with their priority concerns. While not an easy task, it is possible to learn methods for dismantling emotional eating habits. The goals of this course are to present information about the causes of emotional eating, and provide a body of cognitive and behavioral exercises that can help to eliminate the addictive pattern.
Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); by the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); by the South CarolinaBoard of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).