Before my doctoral program – which required me to define to a specialty (sugar addiction) – I had studied food intolerances.
Many books about them start with food reactions, then move into chemicals in our homes and offices, gasoline fumes, and much more. Important as those things are, they are not about nutrition.
My fascination with food intolerances has always been their link with addiction.
Recently, I “attended” a webinar by J.J. Virgin, whose first book (I really believe) was on food intolerances and the ways to eliminate those foods to enhance health and lose weight. The webinar re-sparked my interest in food intolerance and addiction.
Common triggers for food intolerance include chocolate, corn, soy, wheat (or other gluten-containing foods), peanuts, dairy, eggs, sugars and also other sweeteners.
What Does Food Intolerance Seem like?
Signs and symptoms can include headache/migraine, joint problems, fatigue, sleepiness, tremors, depression, irritability, stomach pains, bloating, and many more.
Because digested food moves from the bloodstream, the effects of an intolerance can show up almost anywhere in the body.
Food reactions may be the same every time the food is eaten, such as a rash.
Or reactions might vary – say, a non-itchy rash one time and itching without having rash another time.
The response might be cumulative. Perhaps a small portion of the food causes no reaction, however a portion eaten again on that day, or several days consecutively, does causes one.
Addiction is yet another possible reaction that may develop over time.
What can cause Food Intolerances?
The causes a wide range of, but let’s keep it uncomplicated.
One cause is really a genetic intolerance or a tendency toward it.
We are able to become intolerant to a food we eat often or perhaps large quantities. Overeating a food can burn enzymes specific to digesting those meals, so complete digestion is prevented.
That may lead to improperly digested food particles moving through the digestive tract and bloodstream, triggering an immune reaction. The undigested, unabsorbed food provides no nutrients.
We can easily also become reactive to a food we eat along with another triggering food. Therefore the list of triggering foods may grow, resulting eventually in malnutrition.
Food Reactions May Change After a while
The guiding principle in the human body is homeostasis.
Whenever a trigger food is first eaten, the body attempts to restore homeostasis by ridding itself from the offending food. It prevents absorption by attaching antibodies towards the partially digested food while it’s in the intestine. That might successfully get rid of the food before it can pass into the bloodstream.
In the event the food does go into the bloodstream, it can trigger inflammation. The acute reaction could be short, and the body may come back to homeostasis quickly.
If someone is constantly on the eat a triggering food over time, the body undergoes an adaptation. The immune system may become slower (or less able) to respond. The response may now manifest more slowly than the acute reaction. Signs may last longer, sometimes hours or days.
How Can That Become a Food Addiction?
The immune a reaction to a triggering food involves a relieve stress hormones, opioids, such as endorphins (beta-endorphin), and chemical mediators like serotonin. The combination can produce temporary relief of symptoms through the analgesic action of endorphin and serotonin, plus mood elevation plus a feeling of relaxation.
By doing this, eating the triggering food could make someone feel better almost immediately and even think the food is beneficial.
Endorphin release typically involves a concomitant release of dopamine. The combination of those two brain chemicals and serotonin forms what I’ve always known as the “addictive package.” Avoiding the meals could lead to withdrawal.
After long-term use, someone may eat the triggering food not to experience the pleasure of the chemical “high,” but to alleviate the distress and withdrawal without it. It’s almost textbook addiction.
What makes Intolerance/Addiction Affect Health?
As someone hooked on a triggering food will continue to eat more of it, the disease fighting capability must keep adapting, and might become hyper-sensitized, reacting to a lot more foods – specially those eaten together with reaction-triggering foods, or with sugar.
The continual demand on the immune system can lead to immune exhaustion and degenerative reactions, according to genetic weaknesses. The twelve signs and symptoms as listed above are just a start.
Sugar is usually a major player with this because it causes inflammation within the body and makes it weaker to food reactions. Eating triggering foods plus sugar can make it even more likely that new reactions will occur.
Walking out to a book by Nancy Appleton, who suggested that eggs might trigger reactions in many people because they’re so frequently eaten at breakfast with orange juice. Cake is yet another example: sugar plus wheat, eggs, milk.
Because addictions continue, cravings occur, resulting in increased consumption. Weight loss foods trigger an immune response, the result may be malnutrition, as explained above.
Stats claim that rates of food intolerance are rising. My theory is the fact that it’s at least partly due to sugar in our diets – including sneaky sugars that are often viewed as healthful, like agave, fruit, fruit juice, and sweeteners.
Stopping the Cycle
Definitely give up any foods you suspect may be causing any reactions – even if you love them. Think of foods you eat with those triggering foods regularly, and consider eliminating those, too. Above all, avoid sugar.
Follow this plan of action, as J.J. Virgin recommends, for 3 weeks.
In the meantime, you may have cravings. If so, use my proven, time-tested recommendation of a teaspoon of liquid B-complex (complete B-complex) to eliminate the craving within minutes.
At the conclusion of the 3-week elimination, you ought to be feeling – and looking – much better.