Why Are We Addicted to Our Food Intolerances, and What Are the Long-Term Repercussions?

It is so easy to become addicted to tasty foods, just as it is easy to become addicted to the more well-known addictions such as tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs. Take caffeine, for instance. The more benign of the group I listed there. Do you have to have your daily fix? Maybe you drink coffee every morning, or just have to have a glass of tea or a soda here and there? The more we drink it on a daily basis, the more our bodies start to “think” that it is needed in order to function properly, so that when you try to skip a day, your body will revolt – you will develop a headache, feel really crappy and tired, and you will crave it until you have it again. Then the process starts all over again. This same exact principle applies to foods as well.

So many people are going about their daily lives, thinking that it is normal to feel run-down and achy all the time, when in reality they are in the constant ebb and flow of withdrawal symptoms from food intolerances. For example, you may wake up super groggy and stiff in the morning, and feel absolutely miserable until you have your cup of coffee and some breakfast. Chances are, your body was just going through a detox during the 8-12 hours or so since your last meal, and to regain homeostasis you must give in to the addiction by feeding yourself the very thing that you are intolerant to and should be avoiding. This is most likely gluten and other similar food intolerances, such as soy or corn (which mimics gluten intolerance).

I know what you are probably thinking at this point, “If it makes me feel better, then why should I quit eating/drinking it? Why should I put myself through an insufferable detox, if I can just keep on doing what I’m doing out of convenience?”, right? Well, because there are long term repercussions that you will inevitably face if you do not start avoiding those certain foods ASAP. The worst of the repercussions is that you absolutely will develop one, if not multiple, autoimmune diseases – which stem from inflammation, which more times than not stems from food sensitivities.

There are countless articles out there that outline the importance of maintaining a gluten free diet if you suffer from inflammation or a number of autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s disease, hypo/hyperthyroidism, lupus, arthritis, and diabetes – just to name some. I would say that changing your diet is a small thing compared to the hell-on-earth you will experience once you are diagnosed with one of these diseases. But, sadly, most everyone I know suffers from inflammation in one sense or another, and have no clue how much better they would feel if they simply changed the way that they eat. Doctors are just throwing medications at them to smooth over the superficial symptoms of said diseases, instead of driving home the importance of using food as medicine instead. It really is that simple, people. And let me tell you, being inconvenienced by having to prepare your own fresh, whole food is nothing compared to the inconvenience of being sick as a dog and paying out the wazoo for doctors bills and medications that will never cure what ails ya for the rest of your life.

The choice is absolutely yours, but I urge you to really pay attention to what you eat and how you feel. You will never know if you are affected by something like gluten if you don’t try to eliminate it from your diet for a minimum of 2 weeks before reintroducing it. If you are sensitive, or “addicted” to it, then you will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms and crave it like no other – resist the urge! Get it out of your system first. You may not feel any detox symptoms at all, and may not notice much of a difference at first. That can be because if there has been long term damage to your gut, it will take a long time to heal, and it could be months before you finally start feeling better. I know, I am making this sound so desirable… But honestly I believe that almost every disease that we as humans face directly stems from what we are putting into our bodies, and a little bit of suffering to remove these harmful substances is absolutely worth it in the end.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance (and corn intolerance for that matter) include: (quoting this site)

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.

2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

Any of these hitting home?  I would also like to add unexplained water weight gain and swelling to this list – as this is one of my number one “tells”. I know immediately if I have ingested something that I should not have, because I swell up like a balloon, and the joint pain becomes unbearable.

I really hope that you found the information in this post to be helpful, and would love it if you followed along to find out what else I have learned along my gluten and corn intolerance journey.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a dietician. I am merely a person that suffers from gluten and corn intolerance, and I have done a lot of reading and researching on the subject since I figured it out on my own. My purpose for this blog is to relay my personal experience, and try to give helpful advice and urge others to do their own sleuthing for their own health, because I think that it is ultimately up to each of us to take care of ourselves and listen to our bodies. This is not intended to diagnose or treat anyone, and you should definitely still get advice from your doctor – and question everything. 

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