Healthy Beginnings

A Hidden Common Cause of Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Impulsiveness… Do You Need a Medication Change or a Change of Diet?


Have you been suffering with anxiety, panic attacks, impulsiveness, uncontrollable anger-rage outbursts, seizures and/or heart arrhythmias? The last decade has been filled with scientific research that’s revealed a common cause to those diseases and disorders. It turns out that many people are sensitive to food proteins found in grains (gluten and gliadins) and cow’s milk (casein). A specific aspect of this subject that is slowly emerging with physicians and has little light of day with consumers is the psychological and psychiatric ramification 
of gluten and cow’s
 dairy sensitivity. In this
article, let’s look at a
few ways your body
and brain can respond
to gluten and cause
the above disorders
and diseases. All of
them can be caused
by neurons being
switched on and/or
stuck in an “excited”
 state caused by
chronic inflammation
 or antibodies. As well,
 your body can create
an opioid addiction to
foods. With that being the case, you do not need an anti-psychotic, anti-seizure or cardiac medication nor a methadone program or years of behavioral therapy, you need to identify the food sensitivity and eliminate it from your diet!

Inflammation: The Gut-Brain Axis

The first response by our immune system to the problematic food proteins (gluten and/or dairy) is inflammation in the intestines. This is the ‘first stage’ of a defense to protect the body from any foreign protein matter that could cause harm such as a virus, bacteria, parasite, protozoa, etc. Gluten sensitivity causes inflammation in the gut, which can then cause inflammation on the brain, which then interferes with neuron function/signaling. As well, the inflammation can activate the brain’s immune cells (microglial cells) that damage neurons and can cause the brain to degenerate (loss of tissue and function). If your neurons are not working well, you can suffer from those disorders and diseases.


Our immune system is pretty smart. When the foreign food protein keeps entering the body with repeat visits (each time you eat the food), our immune system then shifts into high-gear and produces antibodies that will ‘seek-out and destroy’ the foreign invader. The problem is that antibodies can misidentify parts of your body and then damage or destroy bodily/brain function.

An example is the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) that is used to increase your inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. If you produce GAD antibodies, it lowers your available GABA leading to anxiety, nervousness, ADHD, OCD and impulsiveness, just to name a few.

Antibodies to GAD can cause an even worse situation – seizure, increased resting heart rate, heart arrhythmias and heart attack. The GAD enzyme also reduces the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamic acid. When you produce GAD antibodies there is an increase of glutamic acid. Too much glutamic acid and not enough GABA cause the neurons to be overly excited, the result being a seizure.

Also true is that the heart’s rhythmic beat can be interfered by the imbalance of excess glutamic acid and insufficient GABA caused by GAD antibodies. The result being cardiac arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and, at worse, can cause a heart attack. It’s also important to note that ventricular tachycardia is one of the under-diagnosed known causes of panic disorders.

Out of Control Behavior and Comfort Foods:
 The Gluteomorphin and Caseomorphin Connection

Some people can be addicted to wheat and/or cow’s dairy because their digestive system can produce a opioid peptide from gluten (wheat protein) and/or casein (cow’s milk protein). The opioid peptide then enters the opioid receptors, which then triggers the release of their own body’s opioids whereby they get that ‘feel good’ sensation. These opioid peptides are known as gluteomorphin and caseomorphin respectively.

Over time you may come to crave certain foods when you do not feel well physically and/or emotionally – otherwise known as comfort foods. Common comfort foods are: cheese pizza, macaroni and cheese, breads, pasta and ice cream. If you produce gluteomorphine or caseomorphin it could be a nightmare experience when you diet to lose weight by eliminating high carbohydrates (bread, pasta) and sugar/fat (desserts such as ice cream). For some people, they have withdrawal symptoms similar as withdrawal from other opioids. This can be tragic for those struggling with an eating disorder or obesity. You’re productive, you feel good whenever you get your x or ‘hit’, and then you’re depressed, angry, irritable, raging and impulsive when you haven’t gotten your daily x. Could this explain the emotional rollercoaster you are living… mood swings and ineffective psychotropic medications? Do you need a medication or a change of diet?

To learn more about gluten and casein sensitivity, new diagnostic testing and treatment, call Van Harding at Tahoe Neuro Healing at 530-536-5084 or visit