You might want to warn gluten sensitive, celiac and casein sensitive patients about this odd, frequent, and painful clinical phenomenon: Withdrawal after stopping wheat [gluten] or milk [casein] products can be painful, exhausting, and depressing, with weakness, anger, and “brain fog” as subsequent downstream effects that can drive the uninformed back to their comfort foods.
Their “comfort foods” can create opiate withdrawal. And remember: Gluten sensitivity is far more prevalent than celiac disease. In fact, celiac disease is end stage gluten sensitivity, taking the whole discussion of celiac disease to a completely different level.
More Recent Data Confirms This ’07 Report
See this more recent post/report on gluten sensitivity and celiac disease which teases apart new diagnostic methods to assess gluten sensitivity.
I have a very interesting and refractory client in Ohio who has struggled for years with a variety of severe reactions to psych meds, suicidal depression, mercury toxicity, and became completely regressed on previous withdrawal of Prozac before I saw him in DC. With autoimmune issues in abundance and at times psychotic like feelings of loosing control we tested him for gluten/casein sensitivity, hit pay dirt with positive findings, and asked him to go on a gluten free/casein free diet [GFCF is the acronym].
He felt remarkably better at first, better than he had in years, then the withdrawal set in. Having had previous experience with addictive opiates prescribed for pain, he recognized signs of withdrawal immediately. First a note on the opiate receptors from Great Plains Laboratory:
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.
Children with autism frequently seem addicted to wheat [gluten] and dairy [casein] products. Presumably, people with Autism and schizophrenia incompletely digest wheat and dairy products. These incompletely digested peptides are then absorbed into the body and bind to opiate receptors, altering behavior and other physiological reactions.
And one more reference here:
Notes From The Book: Dangerous Grains
Below is from Dangerous Grains by Ron Hoggan:
The addictive nature of gluten is often overlooked. For some, the first days and weeks of following a gluten-free diet are characterized by food cravings, disorientation, irritability, sleepiness, depression, mental fogginess, fatigue, and/or shortness of breath.
If you are a member of this group, the very fact that you are experiencing many of these symptoms should reinforce the need to exclude gluten from your diet. These are common symptoms of withdrawal of detoxification from gluten-derived opioid and brain neurochemical imbalances. The evidence suggests that about 70 percent of celiac patients will experience these symptoms when beginning a strict gluten-free diet.
Another Reference: Opiates Withdrawal We See In The Office
- The take-home appears simple: if these symptoms occur, do go more slowly on the GFCF diet, respect the opiate withdrawal process and support other nutritional and physiologic activities. As a side measure consider the importance of comorbid medical withdrawal issues from either casein or gluten. It may significantly altering neurotransmitter balance causing otherwise unpredictable cognitive and emotional symptoms.
Casein sensitivity, celiac disorder and gluten sensitivity now encourage a different treatment overview.
Videos: Gluten and Casein Testing Explanations
I’ll welcome your experience out there with these matters so please do comment below, and weigh in on this important and overlooked matter. – And thanks to my anonymous contributor from Ohio.