FOOD CRAVINGS, ADD, ADHD, AND FOOD ALLERGIES

2010/03/08
Published

What Do Food Cravings Mean?

Cravings are a sign of a chemical imbalance in the body. Food cravings present themselves much like many addictions:
1) you find yourself obsessing about a particular food, anticipating eating it
2) its presence in your house is a distraction that you cannot avoid
3) you eat more than you should of the food without stopping, binge on that food and are unable to stop until over full, or have to have a particular food frequently and are unable to go without that food for at least a week without discomfort
4) find yourself eating the food in secret
5) children become very demanding about “needing” to eat a particular food, throw tantrums if they cannot have a particular food and refuse to eat anything else in its place, and/or overeat the particular food
Most of the time for those foods we have intense cravings, we develop an immune sensitivity to and a linked associated positive neurological chemical response that creates sensations of calmness (GABA), pleasure (serotonin) or stimulation (acetylcholine) to the brain. As a result, the more you eat that food, the more you want it because the brain has established a chemical link between the food that promotes the needed chemical benefit to the brain and the brain’s need to maintain the desired state of calmness, pleasure or stimulation. It is as if the brain is calling in the specific food craving to maintain a certain desired neurological state. This also begins the cycle of addictions.
What are the worst food cravings?
The most intense and popular food cravings are those related to sugars, from fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose, to artificial sugars. Having a sugar sensitivity can cause you to develop grass and weed allergies, making seasonal airborne allergies worse. In women, sugar sensitivities often make estrogen and progesterone balance more difficult resulting in worsening symptoms of PMS, and hot flashes, and is believed to play a part in polycystic ovaries. Having sugar sensitivities makes it nearly impossible to loose weight because the very food you are unable to metabolize well will put on weight most easily through the complex interplay of hormones and toxic storage in fat cells. Sugar sensitivities also play a huge part in making children hyperactive to the point of their being labeled as having ADD, attention deficit syndrome, with the worst offenders coming from children’s cereal. All these conditions are reversible.

COMMON FOOD CRAVINGS
Anything creamy
Anything salty
Anything spicy

Certain types of drinks:
Cokes
Beer
Wine

Cravings for specific types of foods:
Chocolate
Bread, cookies, cakes
Coffee
Certain types of nuts
Certain types of fruits
Salty chips

What Factors Contribute to the Development of Food Cravings and Addictions?
Certain chemical imbalances in the brain throw off levels of key brain chemicals called neurotransmitters: GABA, serotonin, acetylcholine, DOPA, and can pre-dispose individuals to develop cravings, addictions, and dependency issues. Eating the food promotes the desired brain effect, be it a sense of calmness to counter anxiety, a sense of happiness to counter low moods, or energy boosts to counter slow brain speed and energy. Examples of foods that induce a sense of calm are comfort foods, high carb and dairy foods, and alcohol. High sugar foods for quick pick up that contain food colorings, MSG to enhance flavor, or other chemical food additives, establish that needed link to the brain.
Some food cravings and addictions to drug and alcohol are a result of the opiod like effects found in those substances. Examples of these food substances are foods containing gluten, gliadin, mycotoxins, MSG, and many chemical food additives. Part of the motivation in the food industry to promote these substances is the addictive drive they induce by causing people to crave more of the chemically laced food. Great marketing tactic, but otherwise does more harm than good for one’s health. A classic example was the tobacco industry using certain strains of molds/fungi whose mycotoxins created addictive cravings.
Certain nutritional deficiencies also promote intense food cravings. A classic example is magnesium deficiency creating an intense craving for chocolate, especially dark chocolate. However, one cannot determine by the nature of one’s food cravings whether you are deficient, having an immune reaction to, or reacting to the opiod or other chemical stimulant effect of the food. For example, in most cases that Immune Matrix has seen, where patients crave salty food, and over salt their food, the patient had developed an immune sensitivity to sodium chloride and not necessary to mineral salts! It did not mean this patient needed more salt in their diet or was low in sodium.
Sometimes outside influences drive our cravings! What does that mean? Sometimes with an overgrowth of yeast and candida in the digestive track or in other parts of the body, these organisms create a mycotoxin that sends signals to the brain to promote intense desire and cravings for carbohydrates and sweets and/or alcohol. Other pathogens can do this in the bacteria and viral line but the yeasts and candida are the most notorious. As a result, our bodies respond to the signals these pathogens send to our brain in an effort for them to be fed! That is why one must determine if they are also suffering from overgrowth of pathogenic yeast, bacteria and candida in both the digestive tract and body; testing is different for both. Other outside influences that can drive our cravings are MSG, gluten, and even certain negative emotional states that alter our brain chemistry.
Complex immune interactions with multiple substances called “combination immune sensitivities” can play a power driving force for cravings. Combination immune sensitivities are immune reacts created in the presence of something else. For example, Immune Matrix has found that a common combination immune sensitivity that creates food cravings is sugar, serotonin and estrogen, or sugar and nicotine. When the immune systems recognizes this combination, carbohydrate cravings, estrogen imbalances such as PMS and hot flashes get worse. They have also found immune links to candida, sugar and heavy metals.

Link to Nicotine:

Immune Matrix has also confirmed a link between cravings for sugar, nicotine and carbohydrate immune sensitivities and problems with sugar metabolism. Often an ex-smoker can have a transferance of nicotine cravings to sugar cravings years later, even when the person quit smoking over 10 years ago! Despite the fact the person quit smoking, the sugar cravings will persist until the nicotine sensitivity is treated!
They may no longer crave smoking, but will have intense cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.
Generally speaking within two hours of eating a particular food one can see detrimental effects of hyperactivity, or sleepiness. In addition, the very act of eating a food can cause immediate cravings for more. This is the opiod effect of the food. You are now beginning to see that food cravings and addictions are complicated, multi-faceted issues involving your brain chemistry, your digestive process, your sugar metabolism, your hormonal system and your body’s relationship to silent pathogenic influences. Therefore, to simply label someone with ADD, or ADHD speaks nothing of the complicated mechanisms that drive the end result of lack of attention, hyperactivity, mood swings, brain fog, emotional swings and such. For this reason, no drug will cure ADD, ADHD, only control it. You need to address all the contributing factors that allow this biochemical imbalance to exist in the body and make sure your lifestyle is not promoting it!

Improved Sugar Digestion:

Intense cravings for sweets, breads, pasta, cookies is an indication that we have sensitivities to various forms of sugar. Immune Matrix patients undergo a comprehensive computerized screening to isolate the type of sugar sensitivity present and degree of sugar metabolism pathway problems a patient is suffering as a result of immune interception. These immune sensitivities contribute significantly to other metabolic imbalances, such as the use of glucagon and insulin, the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, and hormones such as estrogen, all playing a part in carbohydrate digestion. You can improve and totally change your sugar metabolism and resolve all food cravings.

In summary, compelling food attractions and addictions involve a complicated interplay between our brain chemistry and our digestive and immune health. The first path to health is to become aware of how your body drives your food preferences and whether you are being driven by those desires to seek out that specific food, and whether you can easily go without those foods without obsessive desires or symptoms of withdrawal. The next step is to determine the cause for those food cravings. Understanding this goes far to help you understand your reaction to food. It also helps parents in raising their children to find an association between the food you feed your child and its effect upon their ability to focus and stay calm enough to interact productively with you and their classmates.
The Treatment
Successful non-drug treatment for food cravings exists. However, as mentioned above, one must work with an experienced practitioner capable of making assessments as to all the possible causative factors:
1- dysbiosis
2- leaky gut
3- methylation, detoxification inefficiencies
4- state and nature of inflammatory alarm
5- hormone levels and their interplay
6- determining sugar sensitivities
7- determining sensitivities to food additivies
8- determining toxic exposure
9- assessing degree of heavy metal burden
10- neurotransmitter imbalances
11- eliminating the opiod effects of gluten, food additives, nicotine, prescription and recreational drugs, and alcohol
12) effect of imbalanced cortisol on blood sugar regulation and immune system alarm
It is the philosophy and commitment of Immune Matrix to offer these above suggestions to you to empower you to begin finding answers. Immune Matrix patients are given this thorough and systematic evaluation and assistance to help them peel off the layers of obstruction and immune interference leading to chronic inflammation and degeneration of the body and to improve their metabolic pathways so as to allow more efficient healing and regeneration, essential to optimizing one’s health.

Every patient is unique and therefore the detective process used to discover the underlying causes for food cravings should take into account everything addressed here. Masking symptoms with stimulants such as coffee, or giving in to the food cravings, or thinking things are under control as long as a prescription drug is taken does not cure the condition or even reduce the progression of the metabolic and immune disorder to spreading to other metabolic systems involving your hormones, your neurotransmitters, sleep, insomnia, mood, insulin resistance, syndrome X, susceptibility to estrogen type cancers, arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis and many other chronic inflammatory conditions made worse by metabolic and immune imbalances. Begin today a systematic approach to identifying all factors contributing to less than optimum health.

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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1 comments
edwartfruitman
edwartfruitman

It is an unknown fact that ADHD can also be caused by unhealthy lifestyle. What you eat matters and cravings can cause it. Specific types of cravings like sweet, spicy and salty foods can be a reason to cause ADHD. It`s not easy to overcome these cravings, and that can be problem. Psychotherapy is a considerable way to solve it because it has got positive outcomes so far.

Trackbacks

  1. […] While researching this topic further I came upon this post from a functional medicine doctors website.  She says “Most of the time for those foods we have intense cravings, we develop an immune sensitivity to and a linked associated positive neurological chemical response that creates sensations of calmness (GABA), pleasure (serotonin) or stimulation (acetylcholine) to the brain. As a result, the more you eat that food, the more you want it because the brain has established a chemical link between the food that promotes the needed chemical benefit to the brain and the brain’s need to maintain the desired state of calmness, pleasure or stimulation. It is as if the brain is calling in the specific food craving to maintain a certain desired neurological state. This also begins the cycle of addictions.”  Follow this link to read the entire post. […]

Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan