Everyone has anxiety from time to time. If, however, you find yourself overreacting to typical situations with abnormal levels of stress, you may have an anxiety condition. One of the commonly overlooked causes of anxiety is a protein that exists in many common foods, for instance.
This common anxiety-inducing food is called gluten. Gluten is a protein that exists in grains. There are people with Celiac disease that have to avoid gluten altogether, but many people without Celiac disease are becoming gluten intolerant. Gluten content in wheat and other grains has been increasing, and with it, an uptick in Gluten-intolerance.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a large gelatinous protein molecule that is particularly hard to digest. The problem with gluten molecules is when they are not fully digested, they can enter the bloodstream and cause problems in the brain. These gluten proteins can act as excitotoxins.
An excitotoxin is a type of toxin, usually a protein like gluten, that speeds up the firing rate of neurons in the brain. This rapid neuron firing causes anxiety. Gluten acts almost like a sticky gas pedal. The neurons start firing too fast, causing all sorts of racing thoughts that get stuck in the mind.
These racing thoughts wear out the brain, causing you to be tired and irritable. Racing thoughts lead to exhaustion and anxiety, and if left untreated, can lead to depression. Too much excitotoxin will begin killing the brain cells themselves.
If you eat gluten (bread and cereals) and you have anxiety, try avoiding it altogether to determine if the gluten may be causing your symptoms. If you can’t stop eating gluten, it is best to take a gluten digesting enzyme called DPP-IV. This specific enzyme breaks up the gluten proteins, so it has less of an effect on your body.
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