My last post covered food intolerances and the changes that occur over time, from the acute reaction to a more chronic one.
The immune response to a triggering food involves a release of stress hormones, opioids, such as endorphins (beta-endorphin), and chemical mediators like serotonin. The combination can produce temporary symptom relief through the analgesic action of endorphin and serotonin, plus mood elevation and a feeling of relaxation.
In that way, eating the triggering food may 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 called the “addictive package.” Avoiding the addictive food 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 relieve the distress and withdrawal without it. It”™s almost textbook addiction.
How Does Intolerance/Addiction Affect Health?
As someone addicted to a triggering food continues to eat more of it, the immune system must keep adapting, and may become hyper-sensitized, reacting to more and more foods — especially those eaten together with reaction-triggering foods, or with sugar.
The constant demand on the immune system can lead to immune exhaustion and degenerative reactions, depending on genetic weaknesses. The signs and symptoms listed above are just a start.
Sugar can be a major player in this because it causes inflammation in the body and makes it more susceptible to food reactions. Eating triggering foods plus sugar can make it even more likely that new reactions will occur.
I recall an old book by Nancy Appleton (Lick the Sugar Habit) who suggested that eggs might trigger reactions in many people because they”™re so frequently eaten at breakfast with orange juice. Cake is another example: sugar plus wheat, eggs, milk.
As the addictions continue, cravings occur, probably leading to increased consumption. As more and more foods trigger an immune response, the result may be malnutrition, as explained in the last post.
Stats say that rates of food intolerances are rising. My theory is that it”™s at least partly due to sugar in our diets — including sneaky sugars that are often viewed as healthful, such as 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 about foods you eat with those triggering foods on a regular basis, and consider eliminating those, as well.
Above all, avoid sugar. Follow this plan for 3 weeks, something J.J. Virgin also recommends.
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 kill the craving within minutes.
At the end of the 3-week elimination, you should be feeling — and looking — much better.
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