That 5.8-magnitude rumble you feel under your feet is not another earthquake. It’s just the rumbling from your Wheat Belly.
Have shredded wheat cereal at 7 am for breakfast and your stomach will be rumbling by 9. Have a few Wheat Thin crackers, the rolling abdominal reverberations start again and you’re hungry at 11. Glancing at the clock and counting the minutes until lunch, you give in to the aftershocks and have a few pretzels. A sandwich for lunch and the cycle begins anew.
This effect is shared by other carbohydrates, including oats and candy bars. Carbohydrates cause a 90- to 120-minute cycle of high blood sugar and insulin, followed by a precipitous drop. The insulin/sugar drop triggers a powerful hunger signal, the rumbling and desperate search for food.
But wheat products are different. In addition to the 90- to 120-minute cycle of sugar and insulin, there’s the gliadin effect. Gliadin is the protein unique to wheat that stimulates appetite. Gliadin induces a subtle euphoria that triggers a need for more, no different than an opiate like morphine, heroine, or oxycontin. Skeptical? A drug company has already made application to the FDA for the drug naltrexone, an opiate-blocking drug, for weight loss. Does it work? You bet: 22.4 pounds lost first 6 months. NIH researchers have already shown that proteins derived from gliadin bind to opiate receptors in the brain. Skip that mid-morning snack and gliadin withdrawal starts to kick in: shakiness, mental “fog,” anxiety, accompanied by the loud rumbling rolls.
The peristaltic rumbling and shaking you therefore experience are not the shifting of earth’s tectonic plates. It’s just this unnatural disaster called wheat.