By Dr. Aarti Midha, Psychiatry
Schizophrenia is a mental condition that occurs in people either during their early adulthood period or during the latter half of the adolescence phase. Once affected, schizophrenia can persist for a lifetime because it is largely marked by characteristics such as hallucinations and various related cognitive issues.
Usually, Schizophrenia strikes anytime between 16 and 30 years in females. In males, it can occur even earlier. Schizophrenia, as a mental condition, can either take root extremely slowly or very fast.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia:
The symptoms of Schizophrenia can be categorized broadly into four types-
• Positive - These encompass psychotic symptoms such as hallucination and delusions
• Cognitive - Such symptoms largely affect the patient’s ability to think. These can either be positive or negative symptoms, such as extremely poor concentration powers.
• Emotional Imbalance - These include blunted emotions or a completely deadpan outlook towards life
• Negative - Include elements such as the lack of facial expressions or absence of motivation in the patient
Expert practitioners in the field of medicine are of the belief that a number of factors contribute to the development of Schizophrenia in a person.
Environmental, as well as genetic factors, contribute to the onset of Schizophrenia. Other factors include brain imbalance; chemicals such as glutamate and dopamine majorly contribute to this.
The Function of the Gut:
New studies have surprisingly found that the intestinal tract or gut flora, which is also referred to as the microbiome, is closely related to mental health. With further research, it has been found that mental conditions such as anxiety, depression autism and schizophrenia are directly related to their gastrointestinal tract imbalances.
How is the Gut-Related to Schizophrenia?
At the time of birth, the gastrointestinal tract is comprised of good bacteria, which over time, is affected severely by factors such as changes in diet, stress levels as well as overall health. This bacterium regulates various substances as well as proteins.
The gut microbiome also affects various receptors within the brain. NMDA is a glutamate receptor that is instrumental in the adaptability of neurons that are linked to the power of retention or memory and various other activities. An unbalanced gut bacterium has the potential to contribute to the poor functioning NMDA receptor, which further brings about symptoms of schizophrenia.
What is an OAT Test?
In order to assess a person’s overall health, doctors recommend going for an OAT test. This stands for Organic Acid Test. This is a simple, comprehensive and non-invasive test, which can be carried out at home by collecting the urine sample. This sample is then run to match the markers present on the OAT. The various markers include oxidative stress, vitamins, antioxidants, detoxification, intestinal yeast, energy production and bacteria.
This test is extremely beneficial for those showing signs of mental conditions such as autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety and Schizophrenia. Those who are suffering from skin disorders such as dermatitis, eczema, acne and gastrointestinal problems can also opt for the Organic Acid Test.
The Organic Acid Test, thus, helps determine the root problem of the condition and gives a detailed breakup of the overall health assessment. The test is easy to perform but can be difficult to decode and evaluate. You may refer to an expert to analyze the test results.