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Thread: Your food addiction might be due to leaky gut page

  1. #1
    BestBetter's Avatar
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    Your food addiction might be due to leaky gut

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    I'm interested in getting some feedback especially from those of you with some type of bio/chemical background.

    I have a lifelong history of binge-eating, which has completely disappeared. I'm not suppressing it, I'm not 12-stepping it, it's just plain gone. I eat because I have to for survival, but eating doesn't bring pleasure or joy. I don't think about food when I'm not eating. Nor do I have any desire to eat 'comfort food' when I'm stressed. My whole response to food is that of another person.

    I've been trying to figure out why this drastic change took place.

    For a while, I was thinking that my food addiction had been 100% due to psychological reasons. But I'm starting to think differently. Here's where I need some people with a deep understanding of physiology to give me some feedback.

    Most of us know something about 'leaky gut', it's not news (for those of you who don't, it's when the integrity of the intestinal mucosal lining is damaged, which allows partially digested food to escape the digestive system into the bloodstream.). And most of us know a little something about why dairy and gluten can be problematic for many people. For people with autism, as well as autoimmune and other disorders, gluten and dairy seem to play a major role. But while gluten and dairy have been linked with many health disorders, for other people, there seems to be no problem at all. How could they cause so many problems for some people, and none at all for others? My idea is that it has to do with the integrity of the digestive system.

    Here's my hypothesis:

    When a person develops 'leaky gut', meaning that the mucosal lining of the intestines is abnormally permeable, partially digested food escapes the digestive system into the blood stream. If the partially digested food happens to contain gluten or casein, that means there is an influx of exorphins (endorphins created from an external source and which function as opioid-peptides) in the blood, which bind to opioid receptors in the brain and function in the same way that endorphins created by the body would function.

    Since endorphins are known to control motivation, emotion, attachment behavior, stress-response and control of food intake, it would make sense that the person develops an 'addiction' to food containing gluten/dairy to continue this cycle, much as an addict would seek drugs or alcohol. Since gluten and dairy are commonly coupled with sugar, many people mistakenly assume they are addicted to sugar.

    If/when that person was able to heal their leaky gut, the undigested food would no longer be escaping into the bloodstream, which means that s/he could theoretically eat whatever type of food that used to be problematic but no longer have an 'addiction' response because there were no more exorphins being released into the bloodstream during digestion.

    If this hypothesis holds any water, it would explain why I went from being food addicted to having zero reaction from food, which happened to coincide with me healing my leaky gut and curing my IBS.

    Okay, experts, rip me a new one. (Nicely, if possible!)

    Here are a few links to some of the stuff I've been reading on this topic:

    http://ebm.rsmjournals.com/content/228/6/639.full

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...lfZHSu0NOccTIg

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opioid_peptide
    Last edited by BestBetter; 01-12-2013 at 09:44 AM.

  2. #2
    kidorhi's Avatar
    kidorhi is offline Junior Member
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    I work in public health, and I regularly nerd out about this kind of thing, but I don't spend time in a lab.

    To round out your hypothesis: the neuronal system in the gut is so complex that some researchers call it our second brain, so it may not even take a leaky gut for food to profoundly affect the brain. This article mentions that between the brain and gut brain, the gut brain may actually be the dominant communicator:
    Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being: Scientific American

    Other interesting reads:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/23/he...anted=all&_r=0
    Your Backup Brain | Psychology Today

    Another related fascinating thing: Naloxone (brand name: Narcan), the opiate reversal drug, has been shown in human trials to improve various aspects of binge-eating (time spent, amount of high-fat sweets consumed, etc.). I suppose, to the brain, it's all tripping the reward center's trigger, you know?

    Anecdote: When I am spot-on with the WOE, my hunger/satiation signals get VERY clear and defined. No wandering around nibbling, unsure if I'm hungry, no "Oh, I could eat." I get a STOP signal in my head when I've had enough. No clean-plate anxiety. I just put the leftovers away and go do something else. I'm not forcing or arguing with myself. I'm just rather suddenly perfectly fine without another bite.

  3. #3
    cmurray's Avatar
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    Healing Leaky Gut

    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    I'm interested in getting some feedback especially from those of you with some type of bio/chemical background.

    I have a lifelong history of binge-eating, which has completely disappeared. I'm not suppressing it, I'm not 12-stepping it, it's just plain gone. I eat because I have to for survival, but eating doesn't bring pleasure or joy. I don't think about food when I'm not eating. Nor do I have any desire to eat 'comfort food' when I'm stressed. My whole response to food is that of another person.

    I've been trying to figure out why this drastic change took place.

    For a while, I was thinking that my food addiction had been 100% due to psychological reasons. But I'm starting to think differently. Here's where I need some people with a deep understanding of physiology to give me some feedback.

    Most of us know something about 'leaky gut', it's not news (for those of you who don't, it's when the integrity of the intestinal mucosal lining is damaged, which allows partially digested food to escape the digestive system into the bloodstream.). And most of us know a little something about why dairy and gluten can be problematic for many people. For people with autism, as well as autoimmune and other disorders, gluten and dairy seem to play a major role. But while gluten and dairy have been linked with many health disorders, for other people, there seems to be no problem at all. How could they cause so many problems for some people, and none at all for others? My idea is that it has to do with the integrity of the digestive system.

    Here's my hypothesis:

    When a person develops 'leaky gut', meaning that the mucosal lining of the intestines is abnormally permeable, partially digested food escapes the digestive system into the blood stream. If the partially digested food happens to contain gluten or casein, that means there is an influx of exorphins (endorphins created from an external source and which function as opioid-peptides) in the blood, which bind to opioid receptors in the brain and function in the same way that endorphins created by the body would function.

    Since endorphins are known to control motivation, emotion, attachment behavior, stress-response and control of food intake, it would make sense that the person develops an 'addiction' to food containing gluten/dairy to continue this cycle, much as an addict would seek drugs or alcohol. Since gluten and dairy are commonly coupled with sugar, many people mistakenly assume they are addicted to sugar.

    If/when that person was able to heal their leaky gut, the undigested food would no longer be escaping into the bloodstream, which means that s/he could theoretically eat whatever type of food that used to be problematic but no longer have an 'addiction' response because there were no more exorphins being released into the bloodstream during digestion.

    If this hypothesis holds any water, it would explain why I went from being food addicted to having zero reaction from food, which happened to coincide with me healing my leaky gut and curing my IBS.

    Okay, experts, rip me a new one. (Nicely, if possible!)

    Here are a few links to some of the stuff I've been reading on this topic:

    Sign In

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...lfZHSu0NOccTIg

    Opioid peptide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Thank YOU for your post. Can you please share with me how you healed your gut? And how long did it take you to heal your gut?

    I too suffer from BED (Binge Eating Disorder). I'm currently breastfeeding but continue to learn when I can about the best and quickest way to heal my gut once I'm done nursing. I looked at GAPS and Candida Detox diet by Christa Orecchio.

    Thanks,
    Cindy M.

  4. #4
    Silvergirl's Avatar
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    No science from me, but... I am definitely addicted to sugar, and any natural sweetener including honey. Whether it be boiled hard candy or just homemade jello with added sugar, or even homemade jello made with just 100% grape juice. I would feel the need to binge on it. I just can't have it in the house or it starts me on a cycle of eating between meals and not being able to stop. I have had leaky gut, but think I am doing much better now, but I do have to stay away from the sugar. Cashews are the same for me, unfortunately.

    I think we each just have to know our own kryptonite.
    Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
    Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at 102lbs much better weight for me at my age.
    Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

  5. #5
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    Is it possible you just broke your habit? Have you read Brain Over Binge or Rational Recovery by any chance? The premise in these 2 books (RR is for substance abuse, BOB is about a woman applying RR to end her BED) is that food/alcohol/drug abuse is a learned habit. You feel bad once and partake in your comfort (food, alcohol, whatever) and your brain is like "hey, that was great, lets do that again" and so on it goes, until what was once a single occurrence is now a habit. And so you have to break the habit. By never, ever, ever doing it again. And eventually that circuit in your brain is "rewired". I'm still struggling with my binge eating but I did manage to get this idea to work for diet soda. I just stopped. In the beginning it was hard, but eventually it got easier and now I don't even really notice the presence of soda around me and when I do it isn't something I crave. Three years ago I never would have believed I could say that. I wonder if just by binge eating less frequently (for whatever the original impetus was) you have just undone that wiring in your brain that said stress--> eat.

  6. #6
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    for years and years and years any kind of nut butter was a trigger food. i'd buy it and it would be gone in a few days. sometimes less. i'd not buy it for months, then try again with the same results.

    last year i wanted to make a peanut butter dessert for a party and wrestled with knowing the jar would be in the house. finally just resigned myself to binge-eating whatever would be left. INSTEAD, i completely forgot it was in the pantry. difference? about 3-4 months before i had started taking gelatin everyday, as well as home-made kefir most days. i hadn't thought i had gut issues but apparently i did.

    about 1.5 years later, i continue with the gelatin and kefir, as well as other home ferments, and have zero issues with trigger foods or binging of any kind.
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

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