Food & Diseases,  GAPS Diet & Nutrition,  The GAPS Diet

Alcoholic behaviors without drinking a drop

Have you ever known somebody who acted like an alcoholic, but they didn’t drink at all?

This person may:

  • have stomach and/or digestive problems that increase over time
  • play the blame game–every problem in their life is someone else’s fault
  • have poor concentration
  • be addicted to their work or hobbies and spend very little time with their children or spouse
  • commit adultery, maybe even repeatedly
  • lie easily
  • purposely push others’ emotional buttons
  • be a perfectionist. Everything in his or her world has to be just so.
  • be impulsive
  • have a “poor me” syndrome going on
  • have a sense of injustice. Nothing is fair, everyone is against them, in their mind.
  • get easily frustrated. They will yell, often, and many times out of the blue.
  • be unable to receive love. No matter what you do, they don’t believe that you love them.
  • have a low tolerance. For anything, really–other people’s differences, someone talking “too long,” noises, smells, etc.
  • give empty apologies mixed with self pity. “I’m sorry,” and then with threats of “I should just leave this family, I’m so awful.”
  • go back to the same terrible behaviors within moments, an hour, or a day of the empty apology
  • be unpredictable. You have no clue, when you see or talk to this person, if he or she is going to be laughing and funny or yelling and attacking.
  • convinced that he or she is right–ALWAYS.
  • be risky–an “adrenaline junky.” They’ll do things that scare you or are socially inappropriate and then laugh about it.
  • be sarcastic–a bully. They’ll make jokes about you, and when you’re hurt, they’ll say you’re “just too sensitive.”
  • be defiant/rebellious. Can’t stand any authorities telling them what to do.
  • be arrogant and self-righteous
  • be resentful and unable to forgive. They just won’t like people/won’t want to invite people to events, for 1 incident they’ve held onto for years.
  • be demanding to everyone around him or her
  • be charming & a people pleaser. Often times, the “outside world” does not see the person that family members see in the home. They may be “two-faced.”
  • complain a lot, about everything
  • desire to escape from daily life with obsessive TV habits (it is on every moment they are home, until they fall asleep)
  • be withdrawn socially. They may not ever join clubs, groups, Bible studies, or anything where people might see them regularly or hold them accountable. If they do sign up, they will fail to commit and will quickly lose interest.
  • be grandiose in their stories, behaviors, opinions
  • have an extreme fear of failure
  • be anxious
  • be depressed
  • have an addictive personality–they quickly get addicted to things
  • be obsessive-compulsive
  • have many health issues over time
  • be extra sensitive to medications and/or chemicals and/or environmental changes
  • crave sugar

These are the traits of an alcoholic. Do you know someone who fits the above list, and yet does not drink?

It’s mind blowing, isn’t it? How does someone act like that when they’re not a drinker?

This is a sign of Gut Dysbiosis, aka “Leaky Gut”

This is what we’re talking about here. This is what the GAPS Diet can heal. Gut Dysbiosis can create a lot of problems in the body!

A quick run down on Leaky Gut:

  • Some people do not have the enzymes to digest starches and complex sugars (they lack amylase and/or enterocytes).
  • If you look at their gut under biopsy, there will be tiny holes in it–it is like a colander, releasing food particles into the blood stream.
  • Whenever someone has “Leaky Gut” going on, they’ve got imbalanced gut flora going on in the body. The gut flora IS the immune system.
  • Starches and sugars that are not digested hang out in the gut and ferment. They create a toxin called Acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is typically a byproduct of alcohol!
  • Since the gut has tiny holes in it, guess where that Acetaldehyde can go? Anywhere it wants to.
  • Some people might say, but it can’t get to the brain because of the “blood brain barrier.” Well guess what seals the blood brain barrier? Your gut flora. If you don’t have balanced, healthy gut flora, your blood brain barrier will not be working properly either.
  • Acetaldehyde does damage to the liver, pancreas, brain, nerves, muscles, metabolism, neurotransmitters
  • Acetaldehyde causes the liver to stop disposing neurotransmitters and hormones out of the body. “As a result these substances accumulate in the body, causing behavioral abnormalities and many other problems.” (Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride)
  • In medical studies, this is often called “Gut Fermentation Syndrome”

Get This:

  • Acetaldehyde messes with the protein structures in the body
  • “Children and adults with neuro-psychiatric problems are commonly found to have antibodies against their own tissues.” (Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride)
  • In other words, if you know someone who has behavioral abnormalities, chances are pretty high that they’ve also got an autoimmune disease going on!

This disease can be healed, with DIET!

It’s really that simple. The behavioral problems that are occuring in these people are damaging to everyone around them. People may distance themselves from loved ones with this issue because it is just too painful to be around that person. They are generally just not a nice person to be around.

But they can heal!!


Further Reading:

There are many, many, many more studies on these subjects! If you think that you or someone you love has Gut Fermentation Syndrome going on, please read Dr. Natasha’s book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome! Stop eating sugars, grains, and refined carbohydrates so that your gut flora can be restored. Take a good strength pro-biotic like Bio-Kult. Eat lots of healthy animal fat, protein, fermented vegetables, cultured dairy, cooked and raw veggies, nuts, seeds, coconut products and LOTS of bone broths. Avoid rancid oils (like vegetable oil), chemical additives, processed foods and soy. This, like so many diseases, CAN BE HEALED!


Photo Credit: Tavallai


  • Tas'

    One big problem, though, is convincing such a person that they need this diet. My now ex-partner has pretty much all the traits on that list. He also has Asperger’s Syndrome and believes he has schizophrenia. He would be a perfect candidate for the GAPS diet. He does drink a lot of home-brewed alchohol, but rarely gets drunk. He also uses quite a bit of marijuana. He doesn’t eat refined foods other than the sugar he uses in his home-brew, but there’s no way anyone would get him to give up that and other high carb foods such as potatoes and sourdough bread. I had to end our relationship a few weeks ago as his behaviour is getting so bad and I couldn’t help him any more.

    I have dabbled with GAPS before for myself, but at the time, life’s other stresses, including trying to cope with his behaviour, were all too much and I had to let it go. I am now slowly getting back into it in order to heal my many food intollerances.

    • Brenda

      I totally agree. I thought about addressing this issue, but it could be an entire post on its own and doesn’t necessarily have to do with food. That IS the biggest problem with the majority of these people–they think they’re right and there is nothing wrong with them. If you try to offer them help or a way to heal, they will likely refuse it and maybe even attack you for suggesting they need it (they are the “mockers” in Scripture). You could approach them lovingly and let them know that their behaviors are hurtful to you & you’d love to help them. But, because they are not in their right mind, they won’t care about the emotional damage they’re doing to the people who love them. They won’t change based on that alone. Their health issues may drive them to change their diet (this is what we can hope for), but probably not because someone close to them suggested it.

      I am so sorry that you dealt with these behaviors in someone you loved, and now you’ve had to step away from that relationship. It is a HARD choice to make! I think, in the end, you will not regret it though. Nobody needs that kind of self-righteous drama in their life! 🙁

  • Tarena

    love this Brenda!!
    It is amazing that we are doing GAPS to heal Keaton (8 y/o), and I never thought of it before as “alcohol symptoms”…but it SURE DOES FIT HIS PERSONALITY!!!

  • Guest

    Absolutely amazing. This describes perfectly a family member who has spread so much pain and anguish. It has been hard to articulate exactly what is wrong because of the “poor me” and the constant blaming and the picture that is presented to the world of being such a lovely, nice person when the reality at home is dark and horrible. Thank you. I am saving this for the future.

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