Celiac Notes: Opiate Withdrawal from Gluten and Casein?

by DR CHARLES PARKER on AUGUST 24, 2007 · 98 COMMENTS

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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.

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 and dairy 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:

Below is from the book “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.

See other withdrawal comments at Celiac Forums and the Gluten Free Forum.

The take-home appears simple: if these symptoms occur, do go more slowly on the GFCF diet, respect the withdrawal process and support other nutritional and physiologic activities.

-Would welcome your experience out there with these matters so please do comment.

Thanks to my anonymous contributor from Ohio.

cp

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