Alijazz’s Return to Health

This incredible tale of a return to health by eliminating wheat was posted on the Wheat Belly Amazon reviews by Alijazz.

While Alijazz’s story is one of celiac disease, it is a graphic tale of the widespread ignorance in accepting that wheat is a root cause of many health struggles. If the medical community has a hard time recognizing even the most glaring example of celiac disease, can you hope to have John Q. Primary Care doctor or other healthcare provider diagnose your non-celiac wheat intolerance? We’ve got lots of educating to do!

Anyway, read Ali’s own story of her wonderful return to health:

My massive intolerance to wheat, you would think obvious from my extreme symptoms, went unrecognised and untreated for fifty years. By that time I had been following medically-prescribed, low-calorie, low- fat diets for most of my life. These were all based on wheat products – wholegrain bread and pasta – and completely and efficiently destroyed my health and my life. I became massively overweight, having been slender and attractive in my youth, and despite starving myself for protracted periods. I could not walk upright because of ataxia. I could barely breathe because of asthma. I could barely see. I couldn’t focus my mind, despite previously having been a sharp-witted live broadcaster. I began to feel as if I were being possessed. I cried all day, for no reason. I suspected everyone of intending me harm, and wouldn’t go out. I developed nerve damage, and often could not feel my legs or hands. My bloated stomach was so large that once, when I attended a POST-natal appointment, the nurses were asking me when my baby was due! I was so weak that I couldn’t hold my newborn baby. In fact I couldn’t hold my arms up long enough to wash my hair, and became dependent on carers. I developed tinnitus so loud that it could drown out the noise of overhead aircraft at an airport (and which, sadly, is still with me).

I underwent many painful and pointless investigations, to try to find out what was wrong with me. My surgeons were as ignorant as my GPs. One took my appendix out, because he couldn’t think what else to do. During one particularly horrific hospital stay, I remember a young doctor’s standing at the foot of my bed, begging me to think what could be wrong with me, because it looked as if I might die. I was suffering from a massive peritonitis-like infection, an infection so bad that they simply sewed me up and said there was nothing more they could do. They didn’t dare operate for fear of spreading it about. Imagine how frightening that was, and how heartbroken it made my desperate husband. Nothing made any difference. I was sent home to my fate. I would like to add here that on each occasion I visited either a doctor or hospital, it was either subtly or overtly expressed that I was fat, so therefore had been the architect of my own misfortune. By this time my husband was having to make all my meals, so he knew exactly how little I had been eating, and how “healthy” was my food. It made no difference. The doctors took even less interest in me than before, because they assumed I spent all my days sitting on a sofa eating candy. Like I say – they were no Dr. Davis!

Because we had no other choice, we turned to the internet to try and save my life. We Googled all my symptoms, and quickly began to suspect that this was something to do with autoimmunity. Within about an hour we had found celiac disease, and knew this was it. We spent a week researching, before approaching a doctor. We knew we would need real proof in order to be taken seriously. I went armed with papers from The Lancet, and The New England Journal of Medicine, and research from John Hopkins University. I was determined not to insult their intelligence, even though doctors had done that to me for the whole of my life. At that point I had a blood test, which was positive, followed by a biopsy – again positive. I had found my own disease, and I had saved my own life. The results, from a leading specialist, were met with sarcasm and disbelief. Even in the face of expert medical proof, my doctors could not accept that mere bread had been killing me. That is the crux of the problem today. Doctors have gotten into the way of dispensing pointless drugs, rather than their time and powers of deduction. I commend Dr Davis for wanting to reverse this trend.

For the avoidance of all doubt, here it is. Eating wheat almost killed me. It cost me my appendix, an ovary and one kidney. It cost me my childhood to illness, and more than one lucrative job. I am, thankfully, and only just, living proof that wheat is a devastating poison. The food pyramid is on its head, and Dr Davis is being vilified for pointing this out. I love this book. I admire his courage in spreading the message. He is not alone. He finds himself facing up to the baying, illogical, unscientific wheat growers and food processing companies and wrong-headed doctors as did Robert Atkins in the past, and as does Gary Taubes now. There is a lot of money in wheat, so it’s going to be quite a fight to be rid of it. These men come at the subject from slightly different angles, but agree about processed carbs, and the dangers of eating grains. The science backs them up. You have to ignore a great deal of science to conclude that wheat is safe to eat. Look how ill and fat people are becoming. How cynical for governments to be hounding the obese, whilst insisting they eat the cereal poisons which made them fat in the first place. To governments everywhere I ask why do you prefer to break your bank to meet the cost of drugs and healthcare for chronic illnesses, than to revise your outdated views on diet? If you aren’t motivated by compassion, which I am sure you would wish to be, then be motivated by the prospect of financial savings, because I suspect, as do many people more knowledgable and well-informed than I, that your savings could be in their billions. Save money. Heed the low carb movement. Heed Dr Davis.

We were all warned about tobacco products when it was realised smoking was dangerous. The government didn’t order us to smoke MORE, whilst it investigated. But that’s what’s happening with wheat. If you read this book, and take on board the message, you will improve your health more than you could ever imagine. I have been left disabled by my intolerance of wheat – my system broke under the stress of so much poison, but even so, the transformation in my health has been miraculous. My neighbour described my recovery, a week after ditching wheat, like my being given anti venom for a snake bite! Don’t let yourself become permanently handicapped by your love of toast and sandwiches. They are not worth it – not worth developing paralysis for, as did I, or heart disease or cancer, as do other unfortunate people. I have lost fifty pounds this year, simply by eating gluten and wheat free FRESH food. Eat this way and, as Dr Davis counsels, you can be slender (and healthy) without ever going hungry. Say goodbye to your wheat belly. Forever.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Alijazz should make a simple YouTube video of this story so we can post it on all our blogs. She was a broadcaster, so it should be a piece of… uhhh… wrong metaphor. It would go viral and help the Wheat Belly Spring go year ’round! Anyway, my wife and I both read the book and are having some astonishing emotional breakthroughs (besides the weight loss) we will write about soon. I just wanted to encourage Alijazz to do the video! You GO!

    (Click my name for a new Whole Note Whimsey post on fasting; my first ever!)

    • James, you are a genuine character!

      Your own blog posts are wonderful to read. Please keep us up-to-date on your experience, especially your “emotional breakthroughs.”

    • Ali

      Hi James,
      Can’t tell if you are serious or not! I Still struggle with the idea that anyone could be interested in my story, because for so many years I have been ignored or disbelieved. However, I found the personal stories on the celiac fora immensely helpful when I was trying to understand and come to terms with my illness, so I can see how it might be helpful to share. I have survived end-stage celiac disease. Most doctors aren’t aware you can die of it. My own GP thought CD affected only children – and he was head of continuing professional development of his health authority! The situation is beyond dire. Today I read an article suggesting that a number of people who believe they are gluten intolerant are mentally ill! It would be one thing if it were an article in a gossip magazine. But it was on the British Nutrition Foundation web site in their “science” section. Sometimes it seems hopeless.

      Am also intrigued to hear about your emotions! Good luck with the diet!

      • Tanya

        The article stated: ” a psychological aversion to wheat may be responsible for the reported symptoms. Such an aversion can have a powerful impact on both perceived symptoms and perceived relief of symptoms when wheat is avoided. ”

        Oh really? How does that explain the symptoms & reactions when somebody eats wheat by accident, unawares, and feels the effects of it right away, only to be told hours later that a certain food had wheat in it? The gut knows before the brain does! Besides what Dr. Davis is teaching is that wheat makes you addicted to it, not ‘psychologically averse’ to it!

  2. Bob

    “Leaky Gut” is just another fad disease that everyone will have forgotten a few decades from now. Unfortunately, it’s a golden opportunity for quacks to make an extra buck. If you’re overweight, the odds are very small that it is because of celiac disease. More likely it is because you have surrendered to the corporate food suppliers who put the high-calorie garbage on store shelves.

    • damaged justice

      “Leaky Gut is just another fad disease that everyone will have forgotten a few decades from now. Unfortunately, it’s a golden opportunity for quacks to make an extra buck.”

      Please share the evidence that convinced you of this.

    • Bob,

      Have you even READ the book? If you had, maybe you’d realize that celiac disease is one of probably dozens of medical and psychological problems caused by wheat. I weighed between 240 and 260, rode many miles on a bike every day, and never ate any “high-calorie garbage”. But I did have two bread machines going all the time, turning out wonderfully healthy loaves of bread with healthy whole grains. Right.

      Blanket condemnations and character judgments from people who haven’t read the book are the perfect mirror for those of us who have made the change. I see in you what I used to believe. I was wrong. What are you, Bob?

    • I’ve never heard celiac disease called “Leaky Gut”, and it’s hardly a fad–the term was coined in the 19th century. It’s not likely to make you fat, but to lead to fatigue/anemia/malnutrition.

      It is the other properties of wheat (such as jacking up your blood glucose) that produce the fat. If you combine the two–easily absorbed carbohydrate jacking up your blood glucose with malabsorption of other nutrients, you’re going to wind up as a weak, bloated, anemic ball of lard.

    • PJ

      Wow, you really need to read the book, Bob. Hopefully, you are correct that in a few decades from now, the “fad disease” leaky gut will be forgotten. Not because it is not a real disease, but because people have become aware that wheat was most likely the root cause and have stopped eating it. And as Jennifer pointed out, the term “leaky gut” was coined a very long time ago. Some fad, hunh.

      Personally, I resent you implying that I, or anyone else, ever had a weight problem because we “surrendered to the corporate food suppliers who put the high-calorie garbage on store shelves”. I must have just been a “fat lazy slob”, right? If you can’t blame the product, blame the person. I NEVER surrendered to the high-calorie garbage, just included “whole healthy wheat” in my diet. By eliminating only the wheat from my diet, my character must have undergone a radical change because I am no longer a “fat lazy slob”.

      I become irritated by people who make general statements about people they’ve never met, ridicule medical conditions they know nothing about and could benefit by a little education by READING THE BOOK.

      • Pattye

        I completely agree – read the book, get a medical degree, then come back with those ridiculous statements.

    • > “Leaky Gut” is just another fad disease that everyone will have forgotten
      > a few decades from now. Unfortunately, it’s a golden opportunity for quacks
      > to make an extra buck.

      This is one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever heard. How much does it cost you, exactly, to stop eating wheat? It costs you NOTHING and it could literally save your life. If you want all the proof and science behind it, and you’re too lazy to Google it, then sure, you can buy Dr. Davis’ excellent book. But you can prove it to yourself for free by just cutting wheat out of your diet for 30 days and observing all the positive health effects that result.

  3. Ali

    Jennifer! What a brilliant description: Weak, bloated, anemic ball of lard. That completely sums it up. I struggled so hard to do the right thing, and ended up a weak, bloated, anemic ball of lard. Paralysed ball of lard. Thankfully, I am not quite so lardy now. Losing weight the low carb way is entirely different to starving on a low calorie diet. It’s slow, but constant. You really feel like something very bad is being drained out of you.

    I was unable to go out for many years. When I changed my diet I was able to walk a bit, and sit upright. My husband took me to see “The Two Towers”, and when Gandalf released King Theoden from the curse, I started to sob, because that’s exactly what it felt like to be rid of gluten.

    • I know how you feel–I’ve been doing the low-carb thing for 3 months now. I’ve lost weight, but I have a LONG way to go, since I’m over 350 lbs. Fortunately for me, I’m actually highly tolerant of the wheat proteins that cause celiac disease–but I’m NOT tolerant of carbs. Still, I’m looking forward to shedding even more weight. I’ve been fat since I was 8 years old, so there was never a time in my life when I looked like a normal person. I’d kind of like to see what’s under all of this.

      • Ali

        It must seem a long journey ahead of you, but I don’t think the starting point matters. The low carb fora are full of success stories and galleries of people starting at weights much heavier than that. It will just take a little longer to reach your goal, but what a great and amazing choice you have made. I have lost 50lb this year, in a gentle way. Until I got used to the pace, I felt disappointed at the slow progress and long plateaux. Sometimes I went weeks and weeks without losing a pound. But when I wasn’t noticing, the weight did go, and in impressive amounts. Like you, I am unable to tolerate any sugars. I gain weight if I eat root veg, so with the exception of courgettes, which seem neutral for me, I stick to salads. I find I have to load my meals with fats to make real progress. I eat a large bottle of olive oil a week, and plenty of animal fat with my meat. Even a high protein meal sends me backwards. For me it has to be almost zero carb, small to med protein and mega fat. If I need a treat I will have a small boiled beet chopped into my salad, but even that slows my progress. I am allergic or intolerant to eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts, nightshades, soy and fruit. Nevertheless, I eat very well, but I have no choice but to supplement calcium and vitamin D. I am prone to hypocalcemia, manifesting as memory problems, a slow heartbeat and the loss of the use of my thigh muscles! I once tried to eat sufficient calcium, but it wasn’t possible without dairy, and I made myself very I’ll. Very ill indeed.

        Sorry. Didn’t mean to go on about me. Just wanted to wish you much luck, and say that over here in England, and all over the world, we are all doing the same as you, and empathising with the challenges. Courage. Remember, the tortoise won… We will win, too :)

        • Oh–have you tried eating marrow? It’s rich in fat and FULL of vitamins, including calcium. It does have protein too, but you might be able to tolerate it better than cuts of regular meat.

          If you live in England you probably find it easier to get organ meats than we do here in the U.S. Most cuts you can get in the grocery store here are lean and they trim all the fat off, too. Although, that’s starting to change. I’m seeing more liver and tripe and giblets around.

      • Please stay strong, Jennifer.

        Realize that there are many forces (READ: Food industry) around you who are eager to take your money–at the expense of your health.

        You will succeed if you do what is right.

        • I’m having a pretty fun time with the diet thus far. Tonight, for instance, I made “spaghetti”–sauce I made myself, and shiritaki noodles, which are awesome. It was so nice to have a big old plate of noodles and not feel like I was about to pass out afterwards. The sauce was really good, so I think I’m going to make it again. Lemme see, what’d I use: pork sausage, mushrooms, onions, green pepper, oregano, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, white cooking wine, crushed tomatoes, and cream. Tomorrow I’m going to make spicy chicken noodle soup.

          It took me about an hour at the store to get all the ingredients, though. I had to keep ditching things because they were full of corn syrup. Even the sausage! 3 of the types of sausage I found had corn syrup in them!

          And geez the price of chicken is outrageous. I wound up getting two whole chickens because they were the only thing that was decently priced. I’m going to roast them myself and make chicken stock out of the skin and bones after I pull the meat off. Bone-in poultry is way, way cheaper than the boneless, skinless stuff.

          Maybe next week I’ll get a whole turkey and try cooking that.

          • Excellent, Jennifer! I can feel you getting healthier and skinnier by the minute.

            I wasn’t aware of the corn syrup in sausage think, though I’m not the least bit surprised.

          • CJ

            you may want to ditch the cooking wine and use the real stuff. Most cooking wines are loaded with salt to keep people from drinking it. Leftovers tend to be even saltier. Real wine will enhance flavor without the sodium and you can have a glass while you cook!

    • Ali

      Brian, I was really shocked by this. If we can work our way through the science and medical research, why can’t government advisors?

      • I am firmly convinced that most people, including politicians and physicians, are living and trying to think with brains that have been rendered biochemically and neurologically defective due to the combined effect of grains, high glycemic high carb diets, trans fats from industrial processed foods and a SERIOUS deficiency of essential fats, vitamins and minerals.

        It is shocking how many people have so thoroughly adapted to processed “foods” that they adamantly refuse to ever eat a vegetable, some fish, or organ meats such as liver simply because, as most of them typically say to me in a near perfect imitation of a 3 year old child, “I don’t like them”, or “I don’t like the way they taste.”

        We cannot cut entire groups of wholesome natural foods out of our diets, replace them with artificial substances and then expect to be healthy, it’s just impossible and illogical, but that’s what you get when you try thinking with a defective brain.

      • I would allege that it has nothing to do with public health and everything to do with power and control. It’s willful ignorance. The power to tax is the power to destroy.

  4. Ryter

    I am just recovering from abdominal surgery, a surprisingly long process…liquid diet for the first few days and then one morning a tray appeared with the usual clear broth, sweetened juice, etc…with a new addition–“cream of wheat” !! So it was back to clear broth…etc..and since returning home I’ve been avoiding anything with wheat (apart from a whole wheat sandwich which almost instantly made me queasy, and half an hour later visibly blew up my abdomen). The same day I happened to be reading through a stack of Maclean’s magazines and found Dr. Davis’ interview… which resonated with everything I’d been feeling almost unconsciously, for years. I’m a small-boned, fairly fit person who has struggled with what I thought was a massive carb addiction for years and years–I’m basically slender; yet my hands and feet are arthritic, my face and midsection are puffy, I’m pale, anaemic, exhausted. I feel right now –four weeks after major surgery, but having been almost completely free of every wheat product I used to adore–so much better than I have in a very long time. I did go through withdrawal–headaches, nausea, shakiness I thought was related somehow to the healing process, but am now sure was from going without wheat. I’m suddenly clearer, brighter, happier. I’m sleeping well, I’m much more toned and trim– despite not being able to exercise right now and despite eating more (and certainly better) than I have in many years. I’m not celiac to my knowledge, but this research –and Dr. Davis’ courage in coming forward with it in this aggressively ‘pro-wheat’ environment is just a Godsend. My sincere best wishes to all of you who are suffering from Celiac disease, and wheat-induced health problems. Thank you all for posting, and thank you Dr. Davis!

      • Ryter

        Dr. Davis, Ali
        This is a life saving and life changing message. it is wonderful to have your insight into the problem –and the many complex spin-off problems related to ‘monsanto’ wheat (a friend’s term for it). I’ve been listening to the book on Audible, and it is a complete revelation–have the feeling we are all so deeply familiar with these many effects that it is one of those ‘aha’ moments and at the same time reinforces what at some level we already knew was happening. Thank you for all of the information in this book– i feel so fortunate, and so thankful for the return to health it has brought about.
        In such a short time–just a matter of weeks- the changes have been and continue to be extraordinary. Without worrying, stressing, I’m able to rest and really sleep/breathe, slow down, listen, focus, remember, appreciate and savour the simplest things; without calorie/carb counting I’ve lost the ten pounds that have refused to budge through exercise and everything else, and am still gently and effortlessly trimming down. Yet as you say, this is the least of it–the best thing is to just feel so well, lighter and freer in spirit–suddenly just not weighed down. I was a complete addict, could NEVER have imagined this would be so easy…just to simply eliminate the one thing you think you couldn’t possibly live without. The great thing is it IS just one single thing, and removing it makes all the difference. The rewards are continuous, and constant. Inside and out it’s been like going from bloated beige to brilliant color. Thank you so much Ali for telling your incredible story–and Dr. Davis for making this known. what a gift. Ali –all the very best to you; you definitely have it coming now!

        • That’s great, Ryter!

          It really is like feeling lighter. Well put!

          What continues to make me shudder is how many other “Ali’s” there are out there who haven’t come to this realization, getting sicker, relying on the Band Aids offered by the medical system, desperate . . . while the solution is so incredibly simple.

    • Ali

      Ryter. Just a quick note to wish you a speedy recovery. I know you are doing exactly the right thing for your health. Thank you for your own good wishes.

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  6. Lenora

    I am still waiting to receive your book, Dr Davis. But some of my friends (who are trained in natural healing, essential oils, etc.) and searches on the internet convinced me to do a gluten fast elimination diet and see how things went. I was blown away after reading all the symptoms of celiac disease as I hit 99% of them, even having been told that I had IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, possibility of osteoporosis, and I have such thin tooth enamel, and have lost some of my teeth to decay. It runs in the family – my mother didn’t want to smile for her highschool senior picture because she had little to no teeth. I just turned 40 in June of this year. I was TIRED of feeling sick and not having anyone listen to me. And being that my husband is unemployed and I have only a handful of music students (I can only handle so many right now, as well as homeschooling and trying to care for a home), our only option would be the state run hospital which has been in the news recently several times for some very…. unhealthy reviews…. we are basically on our own.
    That’s ok. I’m fine with that. Since telling doctors who take state healthcare $$ who didn’t listen to me where to go, my kids have never been healthier. Since taking all gluten out of our lives, my son’s rashes on his feet have gone away, and the patch on my right knee is disappearing too. I am feeling better, though I can tell this will be a long process. Am I celiac? I think so… too many things point to it, especially family history of tooth decay, wheat issues, sick all the time, osteoporosis diagnosed WAY TOO EARLY (Mom was told she had advanced osteoporosis in her 30’s) and the fact that I was asked after my second child when I went in for an ankle fracture (I JUST STEPPED OFF THE BACK PORCH WRONG!) if I was into extreme sports due to hairline fractures all along my legs….. gluten PERIOD has NO PLACE in my life, and I doubt that I would try a gluten challenge to get tested later on. I DON”T WANT TO FEEL YUCKY anymore!
    Can’t WAIT to read your book!