The addictive qualities of gluten and dairy with Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Scientists have demonstrated what many patients with Hashimoto’s low thyroid have discovered: Gluten, dairy, and processed carbohydrates trigger the brain to have an addictive response. Foods that are high in processed carbs and fat are the most addictive, and the most addictive foods contain cheese. Researchers dubbed pizza the most addictive.
This is because these foods have a high-glycemic load, which means they are quickly absorbed by the body and spike blood sugar before it crashes. This causes hormonal responses in the brain that trigger cravings. It also leads to inflammation and flaring up of Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
A 2013 study using brain scans found that those who ate processed foods experienced greater hunger as well as blood sugar spikes and crashes. They also tended to overeat and opt for high-glycemic foods. On the other hand, those who ate low-glycemic eaters experienced stable blood sugar, which is important for managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid and inflammation.
What's interesting is that brain scans showed the subjects who ate the high-glycemic foods showed more blood flow to areas of the brain areas associated with reward, pleasure, and cravings. This is why starchy foods can compel people to overeat starchy foods, perpetuating a vicious cycle.
High-glycemic foods also cause insulin and leptin resistance, which raises hunger and promote fat storage.
To stabilize blood sugar and stop carb cravings avoid processed carbs (breads, pastas, pastries, etc.) and lower carb consumption to the point that does not cause your blood sugar to spike and crash. The amount will depend on the person, but regardless it is much lower than the standard American diet.
Gluten and dairy cause opiate-like response
Gluten and dairy can be addictive for another reason — they can cause an opioid response in some people and even cause withdrawls. It is important to be aware of when you embark on a gluten- and dairy-free diet to manage Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
Digestion of dairy protein can create an opioid called casomorphin while the gluten opioid is gluteomorphin. These opioids work on the same receptors in the brain prescription pain pills and heroin.
It's eve worse in processed cheese and gluten products.
The worst part about opioid sensitivity is when you go off these foods cold turkey as it can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, including depression, mood swings, or gut problems.
To manage Hashimoto's low thyroid, most people must remove gluten and dairy. When opioid responses happen, going gluten-free and dairy-free can mean a couple of weeks of misery.
If this is the case with your, plan ahead to make yourself as comfortable as possible while you weather the withdrawal symptoms. Afterwards, you will be on your way to better health and well being.
You also need to avoid high-glycemic processed foods to avoid triggering the brain’s craving mechanisms and autoimmune thyroid flares. For more advice, contact my office about how to manage autoimmune Hashimoto’s low thyroid.
One of the main goals at RedRiver Health and Wellness Center is to work with patients to improve their health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The RedRiver Health and Wellness Center team is passionate about helping ailing patients achieve optimal health, and we truly care about the success of each and every patient.
RedRiver chiropractic physicians are great advocates for prescribing physicians and endocrinologists. In fact, many of our patients see their prescribing physician(s) more frequently while under our care than they would otherwise. Our goal is not to replace our patients’ primary care physicians and specialists, but to complement their care by providing patients with nutrition, diet, lifestyle and educational support and strategies. This way, patients can learn to manage their symptoms more efficiently. We have developed rewarding relationships with many prescribing physicians across the country, and we strive to continue to building relationships with MDs, DOs, NPs, and NMDs. When health professionals can work together for the benefit of the patient’s health, it becomes a win/win situation for the one who matters most—the patient.