One thing is for certain, I apparently have some sort of food allergy. They are not the severe allergies that cause instant symptoms such as your throat swells, vomiting, or instant hives. But at this point I have learned that I definitely have a mild milk allergy with a slow inflammatory response.
This is evidenced by the fact that when I stop eating milk, these small itchy rashes I get will disappear. However, when I eat lots of milk (or products containing dairy), the marks come right back. Plus, the cholinergic urticaria will increase in intensity, but I am not sure if they are related to the hives. My last diet attempt led me to believe that the hives and rashes were unrelated. But who knows?
Well I have now been trying a new diet with reduced sugar and milk, and already this diet is killer after only 1 day. I am already going through symptoms of addiction withdrawal. It is hard to focus on anything else, and my mind is constantly thinking of snacks, food, and more. Even when I fill myself up with a meal, the cravings may go away for an hour or so, but soon they come back. I get headaches, sometimes feel tired, depressed, and much more.
I am not talking about mild cravings such as, “gee it would be nice to have some pizza.” I am talking about cravings such as, “I am dying to have a bite of some junk food, followed by a headache, and stomach emptiness.”
Can Food Allergies or Candida Lead to Food Addiction?
People can have an addiction to all sorts of things. They can be addicted to gambling. They can be addicted to sex. They can be addicted to foods or drinks (alcohol). They can be addicted to drugs, and more. Let’s examine what happens during a drug addiction.
When a person uses drugs, it illicits a very powerful response in their bodies and mind. There are several chemical reactions that take place, and one important reaction is a large release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that creates a feeling of “pleasure, satisfaction, happiness, or euphoria.”
Once a person uses drugs for a continued period of time, the body and brain becomes used to the large releases of dopamine. It produces the natural chemical in lower quantity in an attempt to stabilize the effect (much like the body attempts to reduce testosterone in males that take steroids by shrinking the testicles). So when a person stops using the drug that causes the huge “rush” of euphoria, they quickly begin having withdrawal symptoms. This is because the body is saying, “hey, we are used to this chemical and have changed things a bit to compensate for it, and now it is gone, and we need that chemical to balance everything.”
Some researchers and scientists are now discovering that a similar thing happens to people with food addictions. They speculate that these addictions can be caused , at least in some cases, by an underlying food intolerance or addiction. When a person has a food allergy or intolerance, the body senses an intense reaction to a particular food in the brain. This is due to a release of many different chemicals as the body tries to rid itself of the offending foods.
If a person with a food intolerance/allergy continues to eat the foods that are causing the problems, it can create a neurological effect on the brain, in the way any other drug (for example: cocaine) might create.
Eventually, a person can actually become addicted to a food that they are allergic or intolerant to. So even though they shouldn’t eat a specific food, they have very intense cravings for it due to the reactions and release of chemicals in the body. This is also suggested to be a cause of food addiction in obese people.
Signs or Symptoms of Possible Food Addiction and Withdrawal:
- Strong thoughts about certain foods even though you aren’t hungry
- Continual eating of foods past the point of “feeling full” (i.e. continuing to eat for taste)
- Going on a food binge after a diet (I felt this one first hand!)
- Strong moodiness or Irritability when hungry
- Feeling tired, depressed, a headache,or sick when avoiding certain foods, but then the symptoms go away after eating the food you were avoiding
- Lacking self control in food choices, or the quantities of food you consume (I am guilty of this as well-I have been known to eat almost a half pint of ice cream, or bag of M&M’s at one time)
- Feeling of guilt after eating certain foods
- Eating to control anxiety, nervousness, or depression
- Feeling of intense pleasure, happiness, euphoria, or peace after eating certain foods
- Feeling of always being hungry when avoiding certain foods
Some articles I read also suggest that Candida could also lead to an increased risk for developing a food allergy or intolerance due to the overgrowth and release of toxins from the Candida and the effect the Candida can have on the immune system. Again, as I mentioned in another article about Candida, most all of us already have this bacteria in our intestines. However, sometimes it can become overgrown and infect parts of a person’s body (such as the case with thrush or a yeast infection).
So it also appears that if there is excessive Candida, it too can lead to food allergies, addictions, and more. At least, it is thought that it could have some role, but it is still unclear. I don’t really promote trying a “candida cleanse” product, however, at the same time I suppose that trying a natural “anti candida diet” by avoiding certain foods may be worth a shot if you have the time and proper nutrition plan in place.
One member on our forum has recently indicated that trying an anti-candida natural diet has helped to remove or lessen symptoms of their cholinergic urticaria.
I apparently must have some sort of food allergy/addiction problem, since every time I go on a very strict diet I crave foods so intensely. It is interesting to see that food addiction is a REAL thing, and food allergies and intolerances can lead to food addictions and severe cravings. Has anyone else had this problem? Anyone had any positive or negative experiences with an allergy elimination diet or anti-candida diet? Let us know in the cholinergic urticaria forum.
UPDATE: 1/21/13 This is an old archived post, and I have made more recent posts regarding my new diet and how I was able to finally get my hives under control. Read more about it on my cholinergic urticaria diet page. What I essentially did was keep a journal and do several allergy elimination diets.