Why Is It So Hard to Give Up Gluten, Grain and Dairy?

Why Is It So Hard To Give Up Gluten, Grain and Dairy?

by Dr. Elena Michaels

Why is it so hard to give up gluten, grain and dairy?  And why do so many people resist doing it?

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Gluten contains gluteomorphins, also known as gliadorphins, peptides that are actually opioids (yes, as in “opium”).  During digestion (or the attempt by the body to actually digest gluten protein), gluteomorphin is formed.  In an ideal functioning body with balanced physiology, it is broken down into amino acids.  Most of us do NOT have a balanced physiology!

The problem is that with leaky gut syndrome, many people do not have a balanced physiology and particles actually leak out of the gut, move through the body.  These particles can actually even adversely affect brain function.

(This may be why antidepressants don’t work for some people, leading to hopelessness about their situation…the inflammation in their brain is not being addressed and unbeknownst to the person, they are continuing to cause more brain inflammation by their food choices.)

Gluteomorphins and caseomorphins (from dairy products) are highly addictive.  I am going to only discuss the gluteomorphins in this article, but much of what I say applies to caseomorphins, as well.

Leaky gut is rampant now…a leaky gut actually allows undigested particles to move through the body and cause major inflammation in muscles, organs, skin, glands and the brain.

Many people come into my office telling me they were tested for gluten sensitivity or allergies and the tests came back negative.  So they continued happily eating grains and gluten…and they continued to not feel well.

The issue is that the test most often performed is for alpha gliadin only, and there are many more gliadins that can wreak havoc in the system.  Another issue is that there is a huge problem with cross-contamination with all grains.  So a person who is avoiding eating gluten, may still not feel well if they continue to eat grains.

I was one of these people.  I was gluten free and very diligent and vigilant about it but still did not feel well.  I ran some tests on myself from Cyrex Labs (the only lab I feel is accurate and reliable for these kinds of tests) and I was shocked to find out how many of the foods I thought were “safe”, were actually making me sick.

With that hard data, I stopped eating all grains and everything else that showed up on those test results.  I was sick of being sick, and I wanted to be well.  Amazing things happened after my body was able to get rid of those particles that were causing inflammation.  This takes time and patience, as the body needs to rebuild.

When the particle leak out of the gut, they can cause any number of symptoms and many of them are NOT digestive issues.  This is why so many people think they are fine eating gluten (and dairy, as well).

Skin issues like psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo, muscle and joint issues that mimic rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and pain issues, most autoimmune issues, brain issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, brain fog and memory loss, and glandular issues like thyroid imbalances (hypothyroid and hyperthyroid), Hashimoto’s, Grave’s and thyroid nodules are all affected by leaky gut, gluten, casein and grain and other foods that are cross reactive.  Excess weight is even connected to gluten, grain and dairy intolerances.

The saddest thing is to see a parent of an ADD or ADHD child, or a child on the autistic spectrum, who refuses to “deprive” their child of “foods they like”.  They have no idea how much damage they are doing by allowing their child to continue to eat foods that cause damage to tissues and the brain.

Digestive issues are often an indicator of food sensitivities, but there are other symptoms that most people don’t connect to the foods they are eating.  They think that because they don’t have a digestive issue, that the food is not adversely affecting them.

Remember that these “morphins” are highly addictive…they actually give people a high.  That is the reason so many are resistant to giving up those foods…they are addicted to them.  And this is why some people feel worse for a few days after giving up these foods…it’s like trying to break a heroin addiction.  But have hope…it doesn’t last long and you will start to feel better!

If you aren’t sure how to go about giving up certain foods, wonder what you will eat after you give up the foods you have been addicted to, doubt that you have gluten sensitivity or wonder how your symptoms can be connected…work with a professional who really knows what they are doing and has been trained in these areas.

If you have thyroid issues, get control of that and realize that it is most likely an immune system issue, not a thyroid issue.  Chasing TSH numbers is not the answer.  Your immune system is attacking your thyroid…and you may be able to stop it before your thyroid is completely destroyed.

So who is in control of you?  Are your addictions that are making you sick, causing damage in your body and brain and inflammation throughout your system in control of you?  Are you so much less than you know you could be?  Are you frustrated with medications for mood that don’t seem to help, or thyroid values that don’t seem to stay in the lab range?

Or are you in charge of your life…are you the one who can make decisions in your best interest for your greatest health, well-being and best brain function?

Don’t be a victim…get informed about your unique situation, take charge, learn exactly what to do about it and come into your full power!


Elena Michaels PhD, CCH, MFT is a Doctor of Natural Health, Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist.  She has been passionate about helping others take charge of their lives physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually for more than 30 years.  Her private practice is in Valencia, California, in Los Angeles County.  She can be reached at Elena@DrElena.com or 661 250-4395, and check out www.DrElena.com for free gifts to enhance your life. 

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