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Gluten Addiction

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:31 PM

Anyone who doesn't think that overeating certain foods can cause major problems including addiction has never been addicted themselves to a food. I have always had problems with Coca-Cola and chocolate in particular. It's probably the caffeine or the sugar, I've never been sure which, but my addiction to both goes way beyond it being a comfort food issue.

For the record I don't eat enough of it to even get a caffeine buzz, but I've honestly never been able to kick eating both of them for long, the cravings get so bad.

For me Coca Cola is liquid crack,and has been since I was about four.

I'm not a huge bread eater to begin with. I like it a lot when it's fresh out of the oven, but regular consumption of package bread doesn't really do much for me but I wouldn't consider myself carbs addict in terms of that, but ever since I went gluten-free it's all I can think about bread, crackers, pancakes, stuff like that.

I'm also very very hungry even after I've just eaten which is not very normal for me. I don't usually have the best appetite in the world and until I get really hungry I really don't bother too much with eating, so for me to sit here with cravings and considerable hunger all the time is really uncomfortable.

I'm hoping after the first month or so is over with, that this will get better. This is physically painful not just mentally annoying so yeah I think I do believe there is something to this little theory.

The gluten thing has not been as bad as trying to kick Coca-Cola, chocolate, or sugar in general,but it has definitely not been fun.

The posts I've read on here seem to indicate that this will pass in time. I sincerely hope so because I am not going to make it if I keep having cravings like this.

I feel like I'm giving up OxyContin or something, I guess I have been there. I had to kick those after I used them for pain after a car accident, and this is actually very similar in terms of how it's making me feel. There is definitely some kind of physical addiction going on here. It's not just mental.
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Posted 16 May 2010 - 01:27 PM

I hate to tell you this but you're just comparing one addiction to another and you're COMPLETELY INCORRECT about your addiction knowledge. I was a psych. therapist in a hospital and we handled a lot of addictions, guess which drug withdrawal we had to watch vigilantly due to it's severity? ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL. In fact, we RARELY had to be as concerned about heroin withdrawal because those symptoms are not nearly as intense. I've seen people go into seizures from alcohol withdrawal. Case-in-point: you're very incorrect with your information.
To say that food, alcohol, and cigs are not nearly as addictive is completely ignorant. People become addicted to different things, it depends on their body chemistry, everyone does not react the same to each drug. In fact, AS SOMEONE WHO DID THERAPY WIHT MANY DRUG ADDICTS some could quit using heroin, but thought that kicking a cig. habit was the hardest thing in the world to do.
And as far as the statement "If it were truly an addiction, you would never be able to break it without medical intervention..." is NOT true. I have seen people break all sorts of clinically diagnosed addictions, without medical attention. Yes, medical intervention helps, but it is not 100% always necessary.

Instead of relying on your ONE EXPERIENCE with an addict to justify your argument, you should do some research.

An addiction is not classified as such by the extent of withdrawal, just because you can die from one and not the other does NOT MAKE IT ANY LESS DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH!!!! An addiction is an addiction is an addiction, severity of withdrawal has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

Also, FYI food addiction is AN ADDICTION. The most addictive substances in our diets? caffeine, wheat, gluten, and sugar. Do not underestimate the power of food in your body. Breads and gluten substances increase serotonin levels in the body, they are CHEMICALLY ALTERING substances. Check it our for yourself. and even though "food addiction" is not in the DSM yet, it is being discussed and debated as we speak, if people did not think it met diagnostic criteria, then it wouldn't even be debated!

Honestly, please read up on your information before touting an uneducated opinion.
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irish daveyboy

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 10:35 PM

Here's an extract from Killer Cravings (all cravings not just Gluten)
Addictive substances cause the body to become dependent on an unnatural substance for homeostatic balance. Removing it causes withdrawals. During withdrawal, the addict suffers through the painful readjustment as the body cries out for the missing substance.
In a desperate attempt to maintain homeostasis (chemical balance), the body demands the very substance that caused the imbalance.

The bodys homeostatic balance is affected by diet.
Consumption of massive amounts of sugar, salt, caffeine or fried foods drastically affects homeostatic balance.
Natural hunger becomes distorted as the body craves the substances necessary for balance.
The body reacts as it would to any addiction.
Powerful cravings override the bodys natural needs.

Food allergies can also cause an addiction-like dependence due to homeostatic disturbance.
Your favorite foods are usually the ones to which you are addicted.
You usually feel better immediately after eating the food that you are addicted to, but shortly afterward the allergic reaction produces a feeling of irritability.
It causes flatulence, nausea, depression or headaches.
Milk, wheat and eggs are the most common allergic foods.
Each contains large protein molecules with strong glue-like bonds.
If the appropriate enzyme necessary for digestion is not available, these protein molecules enter the blood undigested.
The immune system attacks these fragments as if they were invaders.
Homeostasis has been interrupted and if these foods are continually eaten, the body needs them for homeostatic balance, causing an allergen-based food addiction.
Killer Cravings
This is an extract from Dr Charles Parker's Celiac Notes.
Opiate Withdrawal from Gluten and Casein?
Opiate withdrawal from discontinuing gluten and casein?
Cautionary note: sounds absurd until you see it.
You might want to warn gluten sensitive, celiac and casein sensitive patients about this
odd and painful clinical phenomenon:
Withdrawal after stopping wheat or milk products can be painful, exhausting, and depressing,
with weakness, anger, and brain fog.
The peptides from gluten [gliadorphin] and casein [casomorphin] are important because
the react with opiate receptors in the brain, thus mimicking the effects of opiate drugs like heroin and morphine.
These compounds have been shown to react with areas of the brain such as the temporal lobes,
which are involved in speech and auditory integration.
Opiate Withdrawal from Gluten and Casein
Hope this is helpful.
Best Regards,

Just to say I have renewed the links in the above quoted post ONLY, the Url's in the Original Posting have changed.

Best Regards,
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Chronically Ill and lost 56lbs in 3 Months Prior to Diagnosis.
Diagnosed in Nov 2005 after Biopsy and Blood Tests
Cannot tolerate Codex Wheat Starch.
Self Taught Baker.
Bake everything from scratch using naturally gluten-free ingredients.



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Posted 01 June 2013 - 05:00 AM

I am so thankful to find this thread! I have been gluten-free (apart from 1 early experiment) for almost 3 weeks, and, last night, I wondered whether I was going to eventually die of fatigue. I am so relieved to learn that gluten is addictive and that I am likely experiencing withdrawal.


I realize this is not scientific data, just my experience, but within a couple of days of going off gluten my food cravings ceased. For those of you who doubt that something in food can be addictive, I can tell you that hunger is a cakewalk to deal with compared to cravings. I banished junk food from the house only to discover that I could create some with whatever I had on hand, and, in a pinch, I would get in the car and drive. I was hiding what I ate from my family as much as possible. I am almost 60 lbs overweight, have been for years (even heavier at times) and could not leave the "comfort food" alone. I never wanted to be fat, and I don't for a minute believe that most people do, yet over half of us in the USA are overweight and a third are obese. I have lost 11 lbs after going gluten free, and I have gone to my doctor for celiac testing after my first week off gluten.


For those of you who are having cravings during withdrawal, I am so sorry that is happening to you, and I hope and pray you are able to stick with it until the cravings end. Pamper yourself with some other comforts. Also, talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about supplements that might help.Best of luck to everyone.

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 11:46 AM

Just want to let you know this thread is 3 years old and the people you are replying to may not see it. 


Also, celiac testing should be done while you are still consuming gluten. Best wishes to you

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:40 AM

Food has a powerful impact on the body and mind period but I have a somewhat unique case as I have a history of addiction to opiates and unfortunately past eating disorders as well.When my eating disorder was at its worst it was usually when I had given up opiates and I immediately went to anything with bread or wheat to try and soothe myself.Mysteriously when I went back to the opiates my eating disorder vanished.Im saying this because after getting sober I went into the field of addiction/mental health. I am convinced that in susceptable individuals that gluten can have a powerful impact on the brain and addiction.While I have the physical symptoms after ingesting gluten like brain fog and fatigue, I also have violent bouts of anxiety, depression and  a feeling of almost mild opiate withdrawal after I accidentally ingest gluten.


I am very well versed as to what withdrawal feels like,in particular opiate withdrawal, and I agree with coldnight that our reponses are so varied and different that its impossible to make broad conclusions.There is also as coldnight said, a huge difference between addiction and dependency.While most everyones body can become dependent on a particular substance if exposed to long enough, addiction is a behavior to obtain that substance even in the face of of terrible consequences. Genetics, predisposition and life experience it what usually determines how we respond to those substances and sady I got hit on all three levels so I must be extremely careful with everything. 


Since becoming gluten intolerant (which I believe was actually triggered  when I quit smoking) I have had a MUCH harder time staying sober.Cravings for actual opiates become almost unbearable in the times right after I have ingested gluten.I thought that there had to be some sort of connection so I did some research last night and found this and then came to this site and found this thread. Makes me know Im not crazy. Im on the ultra sensitive spectrum as far as anything goes so like I said while this might sound far out I know theres got to be some tickling of opiate receptors going on.


Im def not saying everyone will have this problem and I dont want to lend to any cause for celiacs being lumped in as addicts because as catslovedi said, docs are fast to discriminate when anything about addiction comes up.Im just saying in some people I think that gluten can have a very negative impact on mental health and addiction.Anyways heres a snipet of what I found from this site( Im new here so hope I can post links, if not moderator feel free to delete).(:



Gluteomorphins: Are You an Addict?
Many people who go gluten-free claim that the diet actually makes them feel worse. This can be quite baffling if one is unfamiliar with gluteomorphins. Common in autistic children, gluteomorphins are opiod peptides formed during the digestion of the gliadin component of the gluten protein (3). For these folks, getting off of gluten can be like kicking a cocaine habit!

The discontinuance of any addictive substance will result in a period of withdrawal lasting a few days to several weeks. In the case of gluteomorphin withdrawal, symptoms can include neurochemical imbalances, altered mood, and gastrointestinal distress. Yes, gluten can be a drug.

An individual whose immune system is making antibodies to gluteomorphins will have a much tougher time in the early phases of a gluten-free diet.

Traditional gluten testing does not look for gluteomorphin antibodies.

Wrapping It Up
Ugh! I hate when my blogs turn out this long. Another antibody to look for is prodynorphin. A basic building block of endorphins, the manufacturing of prodynorphin can become depleted in gluten sensitive individuals, leading to vulnerability to drug addiction, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and a form of epilepsy (3).

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:44 AM

Rice- I agree whole heartedly! I didnt see your post till after I posted mine. I didnt realize the thread was three pages lol.

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