These days we are all familiar with anxiety, panic attacks, depression and insomnia. We take medications, but do we know what causes the problem? Today we are going to see how they relate to a disturbance in the brain that is linked to gluten intolerance and autoimmune problems.
Q: We take medicines to calm down – but why are we no longer able to sleep or be relaxed and happy? Why are so many children diagnosed with ADHD – what has gone wrong?
A: We need to understand how the body reacts to neurotransmitters. They supply on and off switches for signals that run around the body to tell us to relax, get excited and so on. The problem is that if something goes wrong in the control box and it can’t switch off we keep getting revved up. The drugs smother the signals, but they do not solve the problem.
Some people now take CBD oil (aka THC when vaped) to calm down the endocannabinoid system. The reason is because they can’t make GABA. The use of cannabis does not address the primary cause the ailment. One major cause is gluten sensitivity, the other (vary rare) is genetic. Both produce an antibody called anti-GAD. These antibodies are coming to the fore as a cause of many diseases:
Q: What neurotransmitters are causing these problems?
A: At the end of every nerve there is a gap called a synapse. This is where a neurotransmitter passes the signal through and then retreats, to switch off the message. This happens many times a second, and on – off cycle. When a dopamine receptor is turned on by glutamate, for instance, it excites the neuron and then the remaining glutamate converts to an inhibitory neurotransmitter with the aid of a special enzyme, to stop the stimulus. What goes wrong is that some of us create antibodies that destroy the enzyme, so the glutamate keeps exciting the cell.
Q: Has this got something to do with gluten?
A: Yes, definitely! For instance over 80% of people with Celiac’s disease have antibodies that destroy the enzyme that converts the glutamate – the accelerator into GABA, the brakes. These people are thus at the mercy of neuroses and battle to relax or sleep.
Another problem they have is with serotonin, the neurotransmitter that makes us happy. It is made in our gut area, so there is definitely a gut-brain connection to the way we feel. When the gut is constantly inflamed – as with gluten, we run out of serotonin and have to take antidepressants.
Extra info: “Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) is an enzyme involved in the formation of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) a central inhibitory neurotransmitter of the nervous system. Antibodies to GAD may impair GABA formation or inhibitory function. Suboptimal levels can manifest as anxiety, insomnia, hyperarousal, panic, feeling overwhelmed, disorganized attention, restlessness, worry, tension, inner excitability, inability to relax, diabetes, etc. For instance, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes and you have GAD autoantibodies, it’s likely that you have type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes.” This is why we need to test both blood and saliva for gluten intolerance as a priority as it is a major instigator of anti-GAD antibodies.
Q: What are some typical cases where there is a deficiency of GABA?
A: GABA deficiencies are linked to all these conditions:
1 Cerebellar ataxia, a brain disorder that causes sudden uncoordinated muscle movement. (I saw this in a Parkinsons patient? Once off gluten, she stopped.)
2 Stiff person syndrome, a neurological condition that causes stiff muscles and muscle spasms ( I see this in Parkinsons patients and also with a case of autoimmune diabetes with neuropathy.)
3 Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
4 Autoimmune thyroid diseases
5 Adrenal failure (Addison disease),
6 Premature ovarian failure
7 Pernicious anaemia (I had this, cured it by cutting out gluten!)
8 Type 1 diabetes
9 Epilepsy, anxiety disorders
11 Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMS) severe irritability, depression, or anxiety in the week or two before your period starts.
These references suggest a link between gluten sensitivity and GAD antibody-associated diseases.
“The role of GABAergic neurotransmission in epilepsy, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder has been a subject of some recent investigations. Absence of structural abnormalities in the brains of most patients with chronic psychotic disorders has always raised suspicion for an alternative pathogenesis and a possible functional disturbance at the neuronal/cellular level.”
“Antibodies to GAD65 are peripherally present in patients with chronic psychotic disorders (schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorders)… The presence of such antibodies also suggests a possible role for autoimmune mechanismin the pathogenesis of these disorders. In summary, from a practicing psychiatrist’s point of view, measurements of antibodies to GAD65 could potentially be used to screen for chronic psychotic disorders and for diabetes mellitus very early on in the disease process.”
Q: How well do patients fare on a gluten free diet?
A: In most cases, it alleviates the condition dramatically. There are a growing number of research studies that confirm that the first step is to try a gluten free diet and in most cases, it works! Unfortunately, with type 1 diabetics, the standard medical dietary guidelines fail to mention this.
Q: What other causes of brain disturbances should we look at?
A: Apart from inherited GAD autoantibodies and gluten sensitivity, the following factors affect neurons:
1 Leaky gut / brain floods dopaminergic synapses with glutamate and with magnesium deficiency calcium channel stays open. This results in hyperexcitability and neural damage.
Q: Are there other causes of gut inflammation or leaky gut?
A: Yes, especially parasites. Tapeworm eggs are everywhere and we can even inhale them from the air! Fleas also have tapeworm eggs inside them. The bad bugs like salmonella or e-coli come from eating infected foods, especially meat that goes off. All cause an unhealthy gut environment and the healthy gut floraget damaged. Taking antibiotics destroys the healthy gut flora that make vitamins, hormones and our serotonin.
An informative study recently published in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica documents the link between these conditions and gluten sensitivity. The abundance of false negatives is why the gluten – gene sensitivity test is so valuable. (Sue – blood type clue: test saliva and blood for antigens. Try biofeedback, muscle or pendulum test.)
We also need to look at how the blood brain barrier is breached, allowing excessive glutamate to enter and over excite neurons, resulting in neuropathy. This happens when there is a blow to the head, concussion and from leaky brain (inflammation and parasites). The effects from cell phones, computers and (God forbid) G5 radiation.
2 Physical Injury to head or concussion. As neurons die, more glutamate spills out causing glutamate overstimulation.
3 Structural abnormalities in brain – cysts, tumours or congenital deformities
4 Strokes – lack of oxygen or blood leakage kills neurons and the glutamate causes further hyperexcitability and destruction of neurons.
5 Tapeworm cysts can cause epilepsy (I have observed 2 cases of seizures cured by treating cysts in the brain using Homeopathy. One I diagnosed intuitively, the other was with a MRI scan)