So much of what we talk about here and in other Wheat Belly discussions revolves around the mind effects of wheat.

While there are other “foods” with mind effects, such as the euphoria and judgment altering effects of alcohol, or (for some people) the “rush” of sugar, nothing possesses the range of mind effects presented by the components of wheat. Let’s review the most important:

The Exorphin Effect
Recall that the gliadin protein of wheat is degraded in the gastrointestinal tract to 5 or 6 small (tetra- and penta-) peptides. These were dubbed “exorphins” by the National Institutes of Health research team who were trying to understand why people with schizophrenia have worsened paranoia, auditory hallucinations, and social detachment when consuming wheat, improvement when removed.

Gliadin-derived exorphins have a range of effects in non-schizophrenics, such as triggering food obsessions in people with bulimia and binge eating disorder; behavioral outbursts and inattention in children with ADD and autistic spectrum disorder; mania in bipolar illness; and depression in people prone to (unipolar) depression. In everyday people without these conditions, we experience mind “fog” and appetite stimulation to consume 400 more calories per day.

Cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy
Recall that people without celiac disease can develop stumbling and incontinence along with MRI evidence for cerebellar atrophy, or loss of muscle control and feeling, usually in the legs, both examples of immune destruction of nervous system tissue due to wheat.

Gluten encephalopathy
Dementia from wheat that, in the Mayo Clinic experience, lasts 2 years from onset of memory deficits to death, most confidently diagnosed at autopsy. (I don’t like making diagnoses at autopsy!)

Temporal lobe seizures are the most common variety attributable to wheat consumption, though grand mal seizures can also occur. Temporal lobe seizures typically involve peculiar repetitive and involuntary behaviors, such as lip smacking or swallowing, or it can involve vivid emotional effects, such as irrational and unfounded fear or a feeling of deja vu.

This is a partial list. It’s staggering, isn’t it?

We’ve known for years that people with celiac disease are more prone to depression and other mind/brain disorders, but these conditions also apply to those without celiac disease. The food we are urged to consume more of and dominate our diet is associated with an impressive range of mind/emotional/brain dysfunctions, not all of which are reversible.

Makes no bones about it: Wheat is a mind active drug. No, I take that back: Wheat is a mind-active poison.