Zane's Story — From Anxious and Depressed to Confident

*Because everyone is unique, individual results vary.

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A year ago, I hit rock bottom with my son’s health issues. He was chronically anxious, inattentive in school and suffering with ADD, and underweight. His future was uncertain. But thanks to nutritional counseling from Nutritional Weight & Wellness, I have a much brighter outlook for my son.

Dealing with Anxiety and ADD Since Early Childhood

My son, Zane, has been anxious all his life. At 20 months old, I got his first referral for help with this problem from his primary doctor. By second grade he was on Prozac for anxiety, and in third grade Strattera was added for his ADD. These drugs seemed to help a little, but he was still all over the board with emotions. Tiny things would set him off, and I never knew if I would be dealing with tears or anger. He was also doing terribly in school. He was always behind with his work and couldn’t seem to focus or concentrate on anything. He had trouble communicating at home, with teachers and with classmates. With the help of his doctor, we increased the dose of his ADD medication in sixth grade. This is where I hit rock bottom. Shortly after the med change, Zane beat up a kid at school. He was feeling extremely depressed and harming himself to feel better. Something had to change, and quickly.

I thought the best thing to do was to get Zane off all his medications and even him out. I had done some research on my own and found a connection between ADD and gluten. I started removing gluten from the house and cooked gluten free meals. After hearing an episode about anxiety on Dishing Up Nutrition, I decided to get some more help and made a nutrition counseling appointment with Katie.

Going Gluten Free

Katie knew it was important to keep Zane off of gluten and was great at helping me figure out how to do this, not only at home, but also at school. She was able to talk to Zane during our appointment and made sure he understood why we were making these changes. She didn’t make things overwhelming—all the changes were doable, and that was refreshing.

Amazingly, two weeks into Zane’s new eating plan, I casually asked him how he felt. “I feel alive for the first time in my life,” he replied. I was floored. He continued to say, “I feel normal. This is what normal feels like.” He wasn’t depressed, anxious or worried.

Chronic Constipation, Anxiety and Depression Eliminated

Over time there were more changes. The dark circles under his eyes went away, and he gained weight to where he’s now at a normal weight. The chronic constipation he always dealt with went away. He’s focused at school, and things are making more sense to him. His teachers have reported to me that he’s doing much better in class and is able to communicate better with his peers. His emotions have stabilized to the point where I never worry about emotional ups and downs as I did in the past. He was finally comfortable in his own skin at home, school or wherever. I could see the light back in his eyes! He’s truly happy. The anxiety, depression, and self-harming all stop when he eats real food.

Our lives have changed immensely since seeing Katie. I know how to keep Zane healthy day to day, and he knows how important his eating is as well. There is no doubt in my mind that Zane will be able to have a healthy, productive, independent life when he continues to eat this way. He doesn’t need medication, just good food. Recently, we got a little off track with the eating due to a busy weekend. I noticed some of Zane’s old behaviors started showing up again. I’m so happy that he also had the awareness of how bad he felt after eating this way. He wants to eat well, so he feels well. What he has learned about food will impact him for a lifetime.

Create Your Own Success Story with Nutrition Education

Zane was able to get rid of anxiety and depression with the power of nutrition education and personal support. Sign up for an in-person or by phone nutrition consultation and be on your way to better health!

Find more tips and advice on managing anxiety in these additional articles and podcasts!

Eat This, Not That to Reduce Anxiety in Teens
Is Sugar Making You Stressed?
Nutrition to Heal Your Brain