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Help! I'm addicted & I need support to stop "using"

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I've recently come to terms with my issue with gluten. Those terms being : drug addiction. When a craving hits I'd rather feed it than face the unsettling loss of control I feel when I go without it. I feel pathetic and desperate and I don't like feeling that way. Especially about etwas as silly as food. It's like there's a hole that will cause me extreme anxiety and irritability unless I plug it up with bread.

Until I got online and learned that wheat foods act upon our brain in the same way opiates do I just felt like I was losing my mind to some strange eating disorder. People on gluten intolerance message boards even said that they have faced heroin addiction and withdrawal and gluten is no different.

I don't even need to eat gluten immediately when a craving hits. Oddly enough, if I plan how I will soon be consuming gluten that'll stave off the desperation for a few days.

I make excuses for it. Like, it's a holiday, or life has been stressful.

I act like I can have just a little & it doesn't open the floodgates to full on cravings for the stuff.

Wheat products will help me sleep when I have insomnia. Help me cope when I have anxiety or depression. They are an option for pain management when I either don't have my prescribed opiate or don't want it cuz it makes me very nauseous and itchy in a way that bread will never do. I recently realized that the only way I know to come down from feeling extremely suicidal and manic (dealing with depersonalization) is to eat wheaty foods.

I've got these very good, valid reasons for why I continue to use it. But, I'm using it. Using it instead of learning healthy coping techniques. Instead of facing demons. And worst of all, I have chronic lyme disease on top of gluten intolerance. Chronic inflammatory disease plus inflammation from gluten intolerance. I see the hair loss, the weight gain and bloating, the pimples and clogged pores. What I don't see is how much damage I'm doing to my insides by continuing to eat gluten. It makes my arthritis flare, so my hands and back hurt worse. I brush that off though, cuz they hurt anyway; what's the big deal with worse.

My hair is falling out, my complexion is wrecked, my arthritis is worse, my stomach is huge....and I'm still trading my health away for the comfort of breads. What if this choice, this bad choice, I keep making is going to prevent me from being functionally healthy....like ever?!

If the hallmark of any addiction is continued use despite the negative impact on your life, then it's safe to say I'm addicted to gluten.

Admitting I have an addiction is a big step. It means that now when I use, I say to myself that I am "using" and no longer refer to it as,  "going off my diet". I'm slowly recognizing the ways that I use it. I'm overcoming some of those issues. I can deal with not sleeping; sleeping at night instead of the day is not worth eating gluten for. It's a challenge. I know just what to do; how "using" would fix it. I feel guilty and anxious about sleeping all day instead of at night. But, I can stay strong in that situation.

When I fold and hit that gluten hard is pain and suicide. By pain I don't mean , "oh ow, I'm not comfortable, I don't want to do anything." I mean pain like my leg is being torn from my body by a mac truck and writhing in bed, screaming (actually screaming) in agony until I'm too exhausted to move and too hoarse to cry out. I mean pain like I can't move out of my bed to even eat or pee and even a normal breath is excruciating so I have to consciously breathe. By suicide I don't mean that I just want to kill myself. For me, it's a spinning out, losing my grip sort of situation, where continuing to participate in this hell is just illogical and thus killing myself is the solution. The world is just wool over my eyes; nothing is actually real. I died a long time ago and this is now a prison for my mind. I guess it's more like psychosis. (been a problem since I got dosed with anti-psychotics cuz doctors didn't realize my leg/back pain was nerve pain; they thought it was a delusion)

Yeah, gluten is the best for those two things. I'll consciously trade away my hair, my beautiful body and youthful clear complexion for less pain and no psychosis any day. But that doesn't legitimize my drug use and it doesn't excuse it. I imagine a lot of heroin addicts are opting out of worse suffering too. They still need help. And so do I.

Friends and family literally scoff at me when I tell them I'm addicted to gluten & tell them how their encouraging me to eat it is like handing heroin to heroin addict or cigs to a smoker.

They say I'm a adult and I can make my own choices. They don't want the responsibility of helping me stay clean.

 I need like a sponsor or a gluten addicted buddy to help me thru this. I've been trying for years on my own & am still failing.
Where can I get that help?

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

I sent you a private message.  You can get through this with help... and the right recipes!




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13 hours ago, etbtbfs said:

Can't help directly, live too far away.  One way you can get motivation is to get tested to see (in numbers) how gluten is destroying your gut and endocrine system.

That's a good idea to get tested. I wonder if medicare will cover it.

Too far away to help? That seems silly, cuz with the magic of technology we're able to connect to people half a word away instantly.

I was thinking along the lines of being facebook friends or using google hangouts or kik, ya know.

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why do you think wheat is hurting you in the first place?  because of your lyme disease?  did a doctor tell you not to eat wheat?  everybody feels crummy sometimes, give it a minute and maybe you'll feel better.   if you're trying to quit gluten, i had withdrawal - some do, some don't - i felt better after about 2 weeks strictly gluten free.  then i felt pretty darn amazing (but i have celiac disease)  i had many issues and symptoms clear up and disappear.  


misdiagnosed for 25 years!
just as i was getting my affairs in order to die of malnutrition...
gluten free 7/2010
blood test negative
celiac confirmed by endoscopy 9/2010


only YOU can prevent forest fires - smokey t. bear


have a nice day :)

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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I would recommend both quitting all gluten and probably going to the ER, or talking to your doctor. Gluten is known to cause some very major brain disorders. I have heard that the cells that line the gut are similar to the cells that protect the brain.

Celiac disease is an auto immune disorder where anti bodies are created in response to gluten. As long as someone continues to eat gluten the number of antibodies can remain relatively low.  If somebody stops eating the body continues to produce antibodies that build up in the blood steam.  Some people get anxiety whenever they eat gluten and I think other people can get anxiety (or physical pain) by stopping eating gluten. 

I would recommend getting tested for Celiac disease, that way you could get the support of your family members. Here is a link to a paper that connects gluten with about a dozen different mental health conditions:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641836/  If you eat gluten and you have Celiac disease it can kill you. Make the right choice.

You mentioned that you were taking anti-psychotic medications at one point.  Celiac disease can cause schizophrenia and that are types of schizophrenia that are milder and don't involve hallucinations.  Anxiety and physical pain are related. 

I would recommend going to an ER with the information in hand as I don't think most doctors are familiar with what Gluten can do to the brain. There are also cases which don't present in the typical way such as my own. The doctor can give you pain killers  to manage the pain and you can request gluten free food.   


I take glutamine powder and theanine for my IBS. (See the posts on my profile for more information.)

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