Poster child for . . . wheat?

Dee posted her tale of health struggles in the Wheat Belly Blog comments. She tested negative for celiac markers and her doctor declared that “gluten-sensitivity” was not her problem.

Do you agree?

I’ve had migraines and IBS and digestive issues for years as well as allergies. The doctor I saw about a year ago just knew I would be positive for celiac disease. My symptoms really pointed to it. The test came back negative for celiac.

I was positive several years ago for wheat, yeast, rice allergy with a few more. I’m at my wits end where I work out a lot watch what I eat and can’t lose weight. I can have a normal looking stomach and then within hours and sometimes just eating I can bloat until I actually look 6-7 months pregnant and I’m miserable!

I’ve had issues of being “foggy” and memory issues and yes even some moodiness that we attributed always to hormones. I am post menopausal (at a young age) and last check with the HRT my hormones are all in normal range. I take an antibiotic targeted in the intestine only for a week then off. The second time I took it for 2 weeks (10 days) and it lasted longer and I felt somewhat better then almost overnight it started again after about 2 1/2 to 3 months. I take probiotics as well (Florajen 3). I had also had quite a yeast infection in my esophagus which was treated. I take something everyday for IBS symptoms that are more extreme for constipation than the diarrhea. Most of my problem lies with how huge my stomach can get and I know sometimes it has to be something I’ve eaten.

My doc told me not to punish myself with gluten free because it is very hard to be on a gluten free diet and it is very expensive, so he thought if it is not a clear reason for it, don’t put yourself through it. I can’t keep cycling on and off the antibiotic and he has even told me hold out as long as I can before taking another round.

I really wonder if any of these symptoms with your research warrant the trial of gluten free diet or more a wheat free. Wheat is in almost everything, I’ve only been trying to eat rye bread but I have to wonder with it being in so much if that is what I should try period or more on the gluten free side. I just don’t know but would appreciate if you could tell me if your book contains information to support any of this. I just heard about your book from a friend that has tried her daughter on it and said her daughter is feeling better. Any advice pertaining to your research would be appreciated.

PS: I failed to mention I also have suffered quite a bit with reflux and taking something continuously for it. I also have been taking beano and just started trying something called Complete Digestion to see if this will help. The doc mentioned possible problems digesting complex carbs. I would really love a permanent fix and to feel better for the first time in years! I plan to buy your book as I see it’s on Kindle as well about the research you have done. I just really don’t know what to try or what to do.

Wow. Acid reflux, allergies, severe bloating, alternating constipation and diarrhea, overweight, mental fog, moodiness, migraines . . . I’d be shocked if it were NOT wheat. In fact, this particular collection of health phenomena seem to occur together often enough that I wonder if we shouldn’t label it something like the Wheat Intolerance Syndrome.” Unfortunately, even if there is a spectacular turnaround in health and weight, it does not qualify as a real “disease” because there is no blood marker, scan, or biopsy to prove it.

If you’re listening, Dee, I think you’ll hear “go absolutely wheat-free!” loud and clear. Just be sure to come back and post your story here!

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Iris

    My vote: Wheat Free! I, too, suffered for years and could get not resolution from the medical community nor could I figure it out myself. I never heard of any one having a problem with wheat so I was looking at sugar, dairy, you name it, but all with no relief. Elimination of all gluten grains over 10 years ago took only THREE days to lift the brain fog and other symptoms disappeared over time even including the return of my night vision and regaining the lost feeling in my hands. Have I ever cheated? You bet your last dollar that I haven’t even been tempted. And now that I’m completely grain free plus low carb, I feel even better! Buy the book — it can change your life!

    • Eve

      Yes! I want to validate that removing the wheat/gluten had an almost immediate effect on me too. It seems to take about 5 days for me, when I feel lethargic and have something that feels like withdrawals…sometimes a mild headach, and then POOF, I feel like a new person. It happens very quickly, and after you know what it feels like not to be poisoned, you never want to go back!

    • Ryter

      Iris every time I read these postings I learn something new–your comment about night vision just about knocked me off my feet because I’ve noticed the same thing, and thought I had to be imagining it–but no…no feeling my way along the hallway to get a glass of water…no waiting minutes for my eyes to adjust, or my balance, before moving. This is addition to: no bloating, no monster headaches, no sinus congestion, fatigue, joint pain, depression–in fact everything –physically, mentally, emotionally is just so much clearer and brighter. THANK YOU DR. DAVIS!!!

  2. Evelyn

    Did her doc’s license come from a box of Cracker Jacks? Seriously…why doesn’t the medical community recognize the serious effects of not going gluten free and staying gluten free? Right now I am watching the slide down-hill of my poor mother after years of ingesting gluten when she was told back in 1977 that she has celiac disease. If only her doctors had monitored her diet through all of those years, she wouldn’t have dementia and, in her doctor’s own words, the worst case of osteoporosis he’s ever seen.

  3. Eve

    Holy cow!!! RUN do not walk to your pantry and fridge and throw away anything and everything containing gluten!!! I would bet my house this will clear up everything you’ve described, and that’s a pretty safe bet because you sound just like me before I eliminated gluten. First of all your Dr. Is full of c*** about punishing yourself with a gluten free diet! Why are we the only country in the damn world to consider a diet filled with fresh produce and lean proteins “punishment”??? Listen to me…if you insist on continuing carbs (I don’t eat potatoes, corn or rice because they seem to make me almost as sludgy) you can EASILY exchange things like pasta and crackers for corn chips and potatoes or rice. There are plenty of snacks made of these choices. If you have a Trader Joe’s grocery near you, they have TONS of g-free items…ask them for a list, which they will happily provide in the store. The best bread alternative if you are dying for a sandwich is a brand called UDI’S, also available at Trader Joes.

    Finally, there is another great book called the G-Free Diet by Elizabeth Hassleback, co-written with a gluten free expert. It is a fabulous resource and deals with hidden gluten in places you might not have expected, like soy sauce or soup.

    I basically live like my Mom or Grandmother did. I cook healthy homemade meals. This is not rocket science people!!!! When did this country get the idea that they couldn’t survive/cook/ eat foods unless they are processed, packaged in wasteful packaging, and prepared for them. God forbid if we can’t just pick it up through a window.

    A typical meal in our house might be roasted chicken, broccoli, and rice. Sounds pretty normal and basic to me! I have two young children, one of whom is VERY gluten sensitive. For YEARS she suffered with severe stomach digestive problems and my husband argued that “wheat was the staff of life”…and refused to cooperate with me to get it out of her diet. I fought long and hard and eventually won, but she suffered for a long time.

    Grilled salmon with asparagus and rice, or just a salad….stir fry vegetables with beef strips…your gluten free meal alternatives are endless!!!

    Let me tell you who is deprived…NOT ME! I am (per my last visit with my Dr.) the healthiest 44 year old woman he’s ever seen. I take zero prescription meds, I look 30 (so I’ve been told) and I have energy and no brain fog. No more bloating and no more skin breakouts, moodiness or high cholesterol (which dropped to 140 from over 300 by eliminating wheat and eating meats, eggs and veggies everyday).

    Contrary to popular opinion, I am NOT the one deprived here. My body feels NOURISHED without all of the empty calories that BS “whole grain” diet provided! I am healthy and happy and always befuddled by people who choose to be sick and tired and bloated and on prescription meds for everything from high bp to depression just because they have to have a bagel? Nuts.

    Gluten free is NOT hard! Do NOT buy into that!!!

    • Pattye

      I love your statements here Eve. Most people now are so very spoiled and lazy and the time we spend buying fast food instead of standing in the kitchen cooking a meal, is not spent wisely with friends or family, but in more rushing around with an endless list of to-do’s. It is truly now a matter of prioritizing your life and making the hard changes so that your HEALTH comes first (and that of your family if you have one) I watch so many of my acquaintances and some family rush around like headless chickens saying they are SOOOO busy, it makes me breathless. We are the captains of our own ships, and once our health is compromised beyond the point of no return, then it will be too late.

        • I’ve never been a fan of the language people use in these sorts of situations. Hard choices. Lazy people. That’s not right. People talk as if making improvements is some sort of heroic endeavor–like climbing Mt. Everest. But that’s the wrong way to approach the matter if you plan on getting many people to adopt these practices. Even people who do climb Mt. Everest don’t look at themselves on a daily basis and say, wow, what a hero I am. Oh, it can make you *feel* heroic after you do it, and I’d certainly not want to detract from that, but that’s a result, not an impetus.

          I know from trying to lose weight my entire life that telling someone they’ll feel great two years from now if they can only, somehow, endure feeling MISERABLE for months on end will not accomplish anything. Instead, they’ll become discouraged and hopelessly resigned to their current conditions.

          Short-term pain can be endured, yes, and should be. That’s okay. It’s a result of only looking at the downside of a change, and goes away very quickly. If the pain persists and keeps persisting, though, I think this is a sign that something is WRONG. Your body and mind have these signals for a REASON. Now, figuring out WHAT is wrong isn’t necessarily easy. It can take years of fumbling.

          So, basically, don’t go around saying people are lazy because they’re not accustomed to cooking at home. Instead, help them find the fun in it. And it *is* a lot of fun cooking at home. You can make all sorts of things that you can’t find in any local restaurant, and cook it exactly how you like it, and it’s so easy! And you feel amazing for doing it, too, because OMG you COOKED AT HOME NOBODY DOES THAT!!!!!

          Think better of yourself for putting out extra effort, but don’t sneer at other people who haven’t done it yet. As Mark Twain said: “Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

          • Pattye

            Jennifer, I think you are feeling a bit more slighted over my posting than need be. Anything I post here is not only my opinion but it is because I myself have struggled with it, or continue to struggle with it. I also think that some major ways of life have drastically changed in the past 40 years, to contribute to the current status of human health (majority of people) and convenience is one of them. I am fearful of how far people will let convenience rule in their lives, and it seems that health and human relationships (family closeness) are what are suffering. Again, these are my opinions.

          • Pattye–These are your *opinions*, yet you feel justified in calling people names because of them? I don’t feel slighted, just disgusted. I’m sick to death of being surrounded by negative people who go on the assault against people they know nothing about just because those other people maybe aren’t *exactly* like them.

            As for convenience–everybody has a limited amount of time and energy to devote to tasks. The progress of civilization largely consists of advancing convenience that allows us to do more with less. When it’s misdirected (for a variety of reasons, most of them NOT malicious) it can be problematic in the long term. Do you go out and dig in the dirt with your bare hands in order to plant crops? No? You’re benefiting from an improved convenience. Do you hike miles to the nearest stream for water? No? You’re benefiting from improved convenience. It is, in fact, the enormously improved convenience of modern life that enables us to HAVE relationships and worry about our long-term health.

            People are not perfect. They make mistakes. Dismissing them as lazy and stupid accomplishes nothing, and is, in fact, a lazy and stupid act in itself. If it were true, there’d be no hope for anyone ever changing their mind or their habits–about ANYTHING.

            Fortunately, it’s not true. What is true, is that people are independent, overworked, and constantly bombarded with pushy strangers, each with their own crackpot solution. They are tired of hearing about it. Yes, it takes a lot for them to change their minds–because each failure they’ve endured builds up a greater and greater resistance, a demand for evidence, a search for corroboration. This is not a bad thing–otherwise we’d all be buying penis enhancing devices from spam mail. Let the facts speak for themselves, and can the name-calling.

          • Pattye

            Wow Jennifer, back down. If you can find a person’s name in my post, whom I have personally affronted and insulted, I will agree with your bizarre comments. But you won’t because I was making a generalization about our current culture, not individuals and certainly not you. Since everyone on this page is commenting with their own opinions, I think it is safe to say that I can do the same. You have a good evening.

    • Susan

      Excellent, Eve! You are so right! Prepackaged/prepared foods are so bad for us, and all contain wheat and/or high carbs of one kind or another. Make it from scratch, enjoy your family’s company and engage them in the process. It’s awesome.

    • Ryter

      What Eve writes is absolutely true- every single thing. It takes your breath away–you can watch it working. It takes just a little initial determination to follow this very simple path-just refuse to be mowed down by the ‘tyranny of the majority” or the current thinking re: ‘7 servings of nutritious whole grains” ! and by conventional thinking (unthinking) doctors who have no real understanding of what wheat is now, or what it is doing to the brain, the central nervous system, the endocrine system…. Just think back to the ‘low fat’ era and how completely that brainwashing took effect– how wrong that authoritative voice and that conventional thinking, as it became entrenched in the culture, has turned out to be.

      Wheat-free could not be simpler or more immediately rewarding: Just eliminate this ONE thing that is at the heart of virtually every last one of these symptoms, and give it a chance to work -say even just 2 weeks. Your own experience will convince you I think, more than anyone else’s. I was severely anemic, my hair was falling out — I was super tired and trying to get more B vitamins by having wheat germ and so forth every day–things that deplete your iron to even lower levels. I was exhausted, depressed, sleepless, anxious…everything hurt–and now in a few short weeks I’m just amazed and overjoyed at the difference it has made to my health and to my life. I hope (and I really believe) that if you give it even a short time to work, you will find wheat free–wheat addiction free– an answer to all (or most, at the very least) of your own health problems. I know this probably sounds just incredible and impossible, but wait till you step on the scale a week from now or wake up one morning feeling joyful again. Imagine not being dependent on drugs and medications! and imagine feeling calm and happy in yourself.

  4. Mara

    It is irresponsible for that doctor to poo-poo a gluten free diet because it is expensive. I emptied all the wheat-based products from my pantry this weekend & there is hardly anything left, except a couple boxes of gluten-free muffin mixes and rice cereal (for my kids). We were going through 8 loaves of bread a week for a family of four.
    We are eating less and snacking is no longer a pastime; no-one is going hungry and I will be interested to see how much less I will be spending on groceries…

    • It’s even worse to pooh-pooh it when it’s simply not true. Granted, if you immediately go straight for all the super-premium high-grade products, yes, it’ll be more expensive. But you can make great improvements and still eat cheaply. You know what’s great for you? Tripe. Chicken hearts and livers. Lard. Coconut Oil. All of which are cheap and calorie-dense, so you can eat a few mouthfuls along with some salad and be good for hours. Calorie-dense foods are a wonderful thing. They’re quick to prepare, quick to eat, and give you plenty of time with loads of energy that you can spend doing other things. One of the worst aspects of the modern diet is the bizarre worship of “food” that barely contains any calories. That means you have to prepare tons of food and EAT tons of food just to keep your body functioning. Talk about a way to drive up your food budget and waste your valuable time.

      If your assumption is that people are just going to eat and eat and eat and eat no matter what like cows grazing, then I guess, yeah, calorie-dense food is a nightmare. But I don’t like to do that. I know lots of people who hate that model–they’d much prefer to quickly snarf something down and get on with things. They put off eating even when they’re really hungry. That’s how people ought to be. If you’re constantly feeling the need to put more food in your mouth, it’s time to look into changing.

  5. Katt

    You have absolutely nothing to lose by going wheat free. An elimination diet to test the theory out hurts nothing, and you may have everything to gain. This is what I did after years of bloating, horrid gas, cramps and diarrhea. I usually got some combination of these symptoms within 15 minutes of eating anything with wheat in it. Sometimes all of them. I cut wheat out of life for a week and had no issues for the first time in many years. I knew what the issue was and worked through the withdrawals. I no longer crave bread in any form and I feel better than I ever have. It was the best thing I ever did for my health.

  6. Desiree Lees

    Get rid of the grains! It was a little bit of a challenge for the first week or so- mostly trying to figure out what to take for lunch when I couldn’t just slap together a sandwich, but so so SOOOO worth it! Now it’s second nature! When I did cheat I quickly realized that it wasn’t the bread or potato or corn I was missing, but the butter and sugar and salt that they are covered in. Try eating a handful of flour or dough. Blech! No flavor and terrible for you! Also, when I did cheat I’d get this horrible lump in the stomach feeling, like I’d swallowed a lead weight and the sluggishness would return. I had previously thought that was just how you felt after eating. Now I’m low carb, eating only REAL foods, like meats and veggies with the occasional full fat dairy and fruit and I feel AMAZING! You’ve got nothing to lose, except maybe your symptoms and doctor’s bills!

  7. M

    I had almost everything she lists here! I can get so bloated after eating wheat (especially with animal protein) that I look pregnant! I think the animal protein slows down my digestion and the wheat just gets trapped and blows me up. But the meat isn’t the problem, it’s the wheat. Wheat and grains also cause my acid reflux. This is a classic wheat case!

  8. Tena

    I’d bet it’s a far sight cheaper to get rid of the wheat than to keep buying all those antibiotics (not to mention, better for your system!)

  9. As Katt says, there is no harm in trying a different diet (assuming you don’t have some other diagnosed chronic disease such as kidney disease, gout, etc.) Pick up a copy of “Wheat Belly” and follow its recommendations religiously for a few weeks.

    As far as being “expensive”, going wheat free can be expensive if you opt to buy specialty, “gluten free” breads and pastas. Most are what I call “Frankenfoods” with a list of ingredients that you don’t recognize and can’t pronounce. You can look for “low carb”, “paleo” or “primal” recipes on the Internet to find quite a few gluten free dishes that use real food, are simple to prepare, and tasty. Ignore the calls from purists to seek out grass fed beef and free range chicken eggs; you can worry about that later. Your local supermarket has everything you need, mostly around three sides (veggies, meats, dairy if you are not sensitive to it).

    When I switched to a low carb diet our food expenditures went DOWN. Those pre-packaged Frankenfoods I was eating were actually more expensive than what I eat now. Dr. Davis has some great recipes in the book (and a few of them are here on the site).

  10. Julie

    I am now wheat free and cutting most wheat out of my husband and sons diet. If they want pasta or bread they can eat it when we are out (but I am keeping a diary of hubby’s symptoms so that one day when he goes, “oooh! I’m really hurting today”, I can point to it and say, well you haven’t had wheat for 2 weeks and last night you had cheese on toast, co-incidence? I think not).
    Last week was the first time in 10 years we had been to the supermarket and had a shopping bill under £50, its normally between £80 and £120. I don’t bother trying to replace bread with a lookalike mimic, in the same way that most vegetarians don’t normally buy Quorn sausages, because they just don’t taste or feel the same. I have just dropped anything that may have wheat and only replaced if its financially feasible, eg. I use arrowroot or cornflour (cornstarch) in making sauces, but if those goods were expensive then I wouldn’t bother having sauces.
    Fresh food does not cost anywhere as much as the equivalent in home cooked foods. Have a look at the actual amount of meat you get in a processed food and compare to what you would get if you did it yourself.
    Plus fresh greens will provide loads of fibre to ease the constipation, along with the fact that the water you drink will go towards helping your gut, not processing the wheat.
    The doctor seems to have blinkers on as to the fact that he thinks anyone with wheat problems would want to replace wheat products with something thats more expensive, just because it looks and sometimes tastes the same.

  11. I’ve followed the HCG diet to lose weight and use a primal lifestyle to maintain, both eliminate grains from your menu. A summer family vacation was the start of my straying from a grain free diet. I became bloated (I looked more than a few month pregnant), lethargic, gained weight, general achiness and felt down. I started back to a primal lifestyle last Monday. It’s been one week and I have completely lost the wheat belly and four pounds, energy has soared and my mood has improved. I don’t see a down side to trying a wheat free diet.

  12. Danno

    hey Dr. Davis,
    I just listened to your interview on CBC radio (“The Current”) and I think you did a fantastic job! i really enjoyed the interview, and was pleased with the questions and the way they respectfully treated you and the Wheat Belly message. I think you got a lot of good info across in the short time you had on air, and I know a LOT of canadians were listening, and will listen on podcasts etc in the days to come. my wife is halfway through your book, and I’m second in line after her and looking forward to it. I will be dropping an email of support to the producers of the current as well, to thank them for having you on today.

    have a great (Canadian!!) thanksgiving day,

    • Thanks, Danno!

      I am very impressed with the reception Wheat Belly is receiving in Canada, being such a worldwide wheat exporter.

      I think we’ve got the wheat-powers-that-be worried. Had a debate on live talk radio with a muckety-muck in food development in Montreal, who was in something close to panic mode. I take that as a good sign!

      • MJ

        I would love to hear this interview. I went to their website, but couldn’t find a place to download it. Is there a link where it is available?


          • Pattye

            oh dear God, I recorded that interview on cbc, I have to re-listen to it. that interviewer was unbelievable, how she kept interrupting Dr. Davis, I think she said “I just have to stop you here” three times. And the woman nutritionist??? , uh, just don’t overeat and watch your calories. Plus, when she was done, the woman interviewer sounded like she wanted to send her flowers. I found it very biased on her part, this interviewer kept interjecting what she believed, but I am very proud of Dr. Davis in how he calmly responded to everything. You did a great job!!

          • MJ

            Thanks for the link, Danno. That interview was fascinating. The doctorate-holding nutritionist wasn’t half as convincing as Dr. Davis. She seemed so intrenched in the old rules of healthy whole grains. Unfortunately she’s teaching new dietitians, who will march out of college with their heads filled with the same incorrect information. I don’t get why these people are so resistant to the idea of trying wheat-free for a month to see if it works. I’m two weeks wheat-free, and I’m convinced.

      • Ryter

        Dr. Davis,

        Can you comment on the possible effects of wheat consumption on Macular degeneration–I’m thinking of someone very dear to me who already has lost most of her vision. She is seeing tiny improvement from regular Lucentis injections, but do you think it might actually be possible to boost this by simply eliminating wheat?

        Thank you so much!

        • Hi, Ryter–

          To my knowledge, that connection has not been made. However, given the multitude of health benefits that derive from eliminating wheat, I don’t think that it’s a far stretch to hope that it might. It certainly is worth a try, given the lack of meaningful therapies and the extravagant benefits in other spheres of health with elimination of wheat.

    • Michael Kovacs

      I doubt that Nutritionist read any of the book. She called it the atkins diet and suggested that the book was about just eating meat. Dr. Davis you did an awesome job in that interview.

      • Thanks, Michael!

        Yeah, it was pretty clear that she had made up her mind, even without reading the book. Sort of like judging a movie even without seeing it; hardly a worthy review.

      • Ryter

        I heard the same interview–hard to imagine a more inane person to have chosen to debate this question. Incredibly she didn’t seem to have the vaguest idea what the subject was–kept going on about ‘Atkins’ etc …: )
        and trotting out the tired old nutritionist’s mantra of the eighties–‘whole grains are essential to a well balanced diet’. You had to wonder if the person who was supposed to go on hadn’t made it and they had to dig up someone in the studio who had once done Home Ec.

        Meanwhile the Canada Food Guide has made some radical new changes : )
        the old pyramid diagram is now called ‘my plate’ – whole grains -take up a hefty corner portion-(5-12 servings per day! ). Perhaps this will change with time…say in another 20 years after the current advice has proven as tragically misguided as the low fat recommendations.

  13. Roz

    Another thing to look into may be FODMAPs

    “FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that are:

    Osmotically active, so they drag water from the intestinal vessels into the intestinal lumen, thus causing diarrhoea
    Easily degradable (fermentable) by intestinal bacteria, and yielding large amount of gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide or methane, thus causing bloating”

      • Roz

        Beats me! A google of “FODMAP Paleo” pretty much covers what scant knowledge I have on the subject. I like the article on Primal Palate the best, but I am partial to the authors’ blog! It’s part of the long journey of ‘why the heck am I still suffering from occasional gas / bloating?’ I’ve been on antibiotics, which dovetails a bit with the good / bad flora in the gut balance linked to FODMAP issues, and I figure it never hurts to pass on some scraps of knowledge in the hopes it helps someone else address their health issues.

        Based on how much better I feel since going paleo, I can only assume I’d been suffering brain fog for most of my life, coupled with wheat-induced depression and antipathy. And when you feel bad and lethargic, it’s hard enough to get through a day, let alone devote energy to research to figure out how to fix yourself! I can’t tell you how hopeless I felt seeing doctors who were all ‘let’s give you drugs’, which I didn’t want to take, but I didn’t have the energy to muster up arguments. I finally stopped going to see doctors for a good 15+ years. I was gluten-free for a while before I decided to go see my PCP and get some bloodwork done, which came back with the pre-diabetes diagnosis that set me down the path for low starch, which evolved into paleo/primal because some of the low starch / low carb resources I found still used frankenfoods (I don’t want to eat soy protein isolate or splenda, thanks anyway!)

        • It’s amazing, isn’t it, Roz, that we’ve managed as well as we have, having to battle the constant flow of foods impairing emotion/perception/thinking/clarity?

          Even to this day, I still get the creeps remembering how I used to feel.

          • Ryter

            Thank you so much Dr. Davis, for your book. Re this comment -that’s exactly how it feels, to me, too–what destruction! I think we are all living proof of what an amazing, resilient thing the human body is!
            Just start. for anyone just reading this blog, and you will realize that it can all be reversed–but so fast that you can hardly believe it. It takes years of unwitting abuse and malnutrition to acquire these diseases and disorders, but such a short time to heal! That is the most stunning thing about simply getting off wheat.
            The really wonderful thing is how simple it is. Just start by not eating wheat/wheat products, that’s all you have to do to begin with, and to see PROFOUND changes. From that perspective, then (i.e. KNOWING that this is working and is going to work) you can start to fine-tune it.
            all the best to everyone in your journey–the great thing is that it’s a total short-cut!

  14. Dee

    Wow, I am very surprised with the amount of support, ideas, encouragement, and words of wisdom. I thank you for this blog as well. I did buy the book last night and will venture into reading it so I will have the wisdom to know “how” to do this. I have been so discouraged trying to figure it out and felt like I was the only one with all these type of symptoms with no hope (becomes very depressing). I don’t need to lose a lot of weight but I know I shouldn’t gain weight nor should I blow up like I do and feel so miserable considering my calorie intake and exercise. I can wear my clothes one day and the very next day not fit into them and look pregnant. It’s very heart wrenching and embarrassing. Reading some your comments have also made me think of other symptoms I’ve been having over the years that I didn’t even consider being related. I’m also encouraged to see so many replies and advice so if I get stumped that all of you will reply and help me out if questions pop up. I have been praying for guidance to figure this out and feel better, so here we go. Dr. Davis, I will let you know what happens. Thank you again to all of you for you input.

    • Tony

      Glad to see you are still tuned in Dee. Count me among the people who have seen huge health improvements from going low-carb AND wheat free. Its not hard at all really. Imagine yourself without all those symptoms you listed. Imagine what that would be worth. This is not gaurantee for you, but after all you have been through, you owe it to yourself to try. I wish you the best!

  15. PJ

    “My doc told me not to punish myself with gluten free because it is very hard to be on a gluten free diet and it is very expensive, so he thought if it is not a clear reason for it, don’t put yourself through it.”

    PUNISH yourself with gluten free?!! Since when is doing what needs to be done to improve your health punishment? But your doctor will recommend cycling on antibiotics?!! Absolute insanity!

    Dee, sweetheart, I’m feeling your pain and frustration. We all do. When I hear what people go through and what their “medical professionals” will do to them, it just makes me want to cry. Please! completely eliminate ALL wheat and wheat derivitives from your diet (and take a good probiotic). Personally, I would eliminate ALL grains from your diet. I think once you read the book it will all makes sense. You absolutely HAVE to let us know how it works for you! Come back often and give us updates.

    • Linda Jones

      Yeah that “punish yourself” comment was criminal. Sounds like the doc is a diehard wheat addict and he considers it punishment to have to give up his crack. :P

  16. Michelle

    Wow! I too just heard your interview on CBC this morning (though I’m now living in the US). Another light bulb went off in my head listening to this. I’ve been suffering “mild” IBS since my 20s, and in the past few years I’ve really been struggling with issues around bloating, digestion, foggy mind, lack of energy, lack of focus, headaches bad enough to keep me in bed (NEVER had that before), achiness and fatigue, and all kinds of other things. I’ve been to naturopaths, chiropractors, massage, nutritionists…you name it. I finally got food sensitivity testing done at the start of the year (a real eye opener too) which strongly showed that yeasts are a huge trigger for me. I’ve made great strides in cutting that back, although it’s almost impossible to cut out entirely. And it made a difference, but not as much as I’d thought it would. The weight/bloat and other related issues still flare up, as do the headaches. I’m defintely going to take things a step further and take the wheat and gluten out of my diet. It sure can’t hurt more than what I already experience, but if it helps, I’ll be thrilled.
    I’d also like to say how much I appreciated the points you made about the GMO aspect of wheat, and the link to changes in that foodstock and the correlation over the past 30-40 years to increasing obesity and health issues. Many foods are not “just” foods anymore. Very scary, and few are making the connections. I wonder what would happen to people who ate wheat products if they were made from wheat as it used to be, before being tinkered with? And how could you find any now that hasn’t been turned to Frankenfood?
    Eve is absolutely on the money in all her statements, and I’ve been on that crusade trying to educate others for some time now about the messed up approach we have to our food now. I’ll be taking this one step further on the wheat now.

    • It will all be for the better, Michelle!

      In fact, I’d be shocked if you didn’t experience at least substantial, if not total, relief from your bloating, IBS symptoms, headaches, as well as weight issues.

      Please come back and update us on your experience!

  17. Linda Jones

    OMG Dee is singing my song! Same as you, I know, Dr. Davis – exercising, running, working out, but keep gaining weight!

    Flat tummy and then eat and appear pregnant – OH MAN I’ve had that happen for several years now and it’s so bizarre!

    All those symptoms are classic. Dee – Give up the wheat – it doesn’t have to ‘cost more’. You eliminate so much of the snacking and the cravings for food that it doesn’t cost more. It won’t cost anything to see for a couple of weeks, yet you have your entire health to win back! Try it!

  18. devin mcleavey

    dee, hi!! just recently removed gluten from my diet actually been bout a month now, had all symptoms you just mentioned and some. all have disappeared even my asthma and heavy for reflux and heartburn my natropath/chiro moved my stomach back it the right place in a matter of 3 deep breaths (didnt hurt) and wallah its been 4 months since my last attack….good luck :)

    • Pattye

      Wow, Devin, did not know a chiropractor could do that. So how does a stomach move out of place, from injury or movement?

      • devin mcleavey

        I know crazy….he said posture, lifting heavy things incorrectly and id assume injury aswell….I said to him I have a constant annoyance under my left ribs his first question was do you suffer heartburn / indigestion ?.well I did every day but had no idea how the two could be related..but fair enough he moved it back in place and the discomfort was gone straight away then realised so had the heartburn/reflux….I was having gall bladder scans and all thinking that was my problem…..:)

  19. Man, it’s REALLY starting to make me mad when I hear these idiot “experts” telling people that going wheat-free is expensive or difficult. How freaking hard is it, really, to eat meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and tubers? It’s not hard at all, and it’s only slightly more expensive (if at all) than eating the standard wheat-based garbage diet. You don’t have to eat lobster and filet mignon every night. Many cuts of beef, and certainly chicken, vegetables, potatoes, etc, are not very expensive. Sure, wheat is in a lot of stuff, but there are also TONS of things you can eat that are wheat-free.

    • Tony


      Processed crap is expensive. Its really about the effort of getting whole foods and sticking with the principals. Once you get in the swing, its not any harder at all. Its only more expensive when I insist on steak. Which I sometimes do.

      • PJ

        Two thumbs up, Anthony and Tony! Spot on!! And that processed crap will cost you much more in the long term.

    • Ryter

      Anthony you are so right. It is just inane–incredibly hard to believe that people whose profession is to heal, refuse to read, research, consider… or even think for themselves. It is maddening! The nutritionist on CBC was just classic…if I’d been driving at the time I’d have been practically driving off the road to shut if off- switch the station -anything to escape this complacent, adenoidal voice! You just couldn’t believe it …I kept thinking ‘good grief…where did they get this person…and what is she doing on the air !!!’
      not even remotely informed – and not even faintly familiar with the concepts.

  20. jay

    I’ve found the only thing more expensive is if I want to make baked good replacements. But that’s not so bad, it encourages me to minimize those. Otherwise we’re eating as cheaply or possibly even cheaper as when we ate more processed foods or ate out at fast food more.

    Baked treats like cookies and such with the coconut flour are probably a bit more expensive to make, priced more like premium quality treats from the store. Worth it to know that we’re getting most of our sweet treats in a healthier manner.

    Cheeseburgers at In and Out cost us almost $10 for two people. That same $10 at home means cheeseburgers for two meals. Bigger burgers and higher quality meat. Lettuce wrapped with all the fixings I want ; ).

    I would say most of our meals come in about (or less than) $5 for two people. I can’t get away with that at fast food and it cost at least that for most processed foods we used to eat at home. And we ate larger quantities of it.

    • jay

      Oh! And I used to get fast food quite a bit because I didn’t want to take the time to cook. Most things I cook now don’t take much more time than it would to drive to the fast food place and back.

      • PJ

        Bingo, Jay! I know people that I work with that will drive out of their way and sit at the drivethru to get a $20 bucket o’ chicken with all the fixings because “they’re too tired and it takes too long to make dinner”. In addition to the $20 for toxic sludge, they’ve spent 45 minutes “saving time”. I’ve always said that if you can’t fix dinner in 30 minutes, or less, you’re doing something unnecessary. God forbid that they do extra cooking on the weekends to make weekday meals easier and faster! They need to get off their wheat laden butts and make real food THE priority.

        When I went wheat/grain free I did not try to find replacements for things I shouldn’t eat. Just cut them out of the diet. They’re not necessary. Instead I focused on learning to make fancy sauces for the meat and vegetables. Yum!

    • Hi, Jay–

      Factor in that average calorie consumption drops by 400 calories per day when wheat-free. That can add up to quite a bit over time . . . much to the chagrin of the processed food industry!

  21. Dee

    Thank you everyone. From reading over your comments and suggestions it looks like I need to focus not eating wheat, corn, or any grains and give it a try! I always try to eat healthy and had switched any bread I eat with rye, now I find out it’s as bad. Knowledge and hearing other people’s testimonies and very encouraging. I have started reading the book and just focusing on the obvious items to remove as I read to learn more of what “not to do”. I’m guessing (I’m sure it will explain in the book) that once I remove the wheat & all grains that the wheat gluten will also be removed? I have enjoyed reading your comments and now do not feel so alone with these symptoms. I am anxious to completely do it right and give it time to see if it works for me. Y’all are right, I have nothing to lose by trying it. I took pictures and took them to the doc at one appt showing him I wasn’t crazy that I did blow up to look that pregnant, he agreed I indeed looked that way but I left there thinking I’m not sure he knows what to do with me. If this all works, you can be assured that my next appointment will be kept so I can tell him and show him it was worth the try. I’m so hoping that will be the case!! I appreciate and am reading all of these so keep posting! Thanks to all and to Dr. Davis.

    • PJ

      Dee, be sure you check labels for “sneaky wheat”. Terms like MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast extract, etc. should send up a red flag.

      You go girl! You’ll do great and be able to show your doctor that it’s not a “punishment”. And don’t forget that probiotic to help recover from those antibiotics.

        • Dee

          I already drink a lot of water. Water and Coffee. For a taste for something different sometimes I have the (walmart brand) packets to Crystal Light. I noticed that they have the “may contain traces of wheat” What do you do about this on the label? Do you stay away from the product or go with it?

          • That’s probably benign, Dee, for anybody except the most extremely gluten-sensitive. This likely refers to the issue of “cross-contamination,” i.e., there may be minor residues of wheat that derive from a wheat product being produced in the same facility, not as an actual ingredient.

          • roger

            I used to like my coffee many cups a day with international delight < fat free for health lol_ you know the sweet white death any way I am trying out hot water half a fresh lemon a dash of pure maple syrup and some cayene pepper to give it a bite. to satisfy my sweet tooth i`m trying out stevia instead of maple syrup. its definately an aquired taste lol
            good luck

          • Ryter

            Hi Dee,
            I wonder if you might like to try unsweetened cranberry or blueberry –they are undiluted and you just add a bit to a big glass of water to give it a really nice colour and flavour–no added ingredients to worry about etc.

            all the best!

  22. River

    Wow. This is all so impressive. I stopped wheat yesterday and had a dull headache all day, again today, although it could be coincidental and tied to the mild cold I have. Crystal Light has been one of my mainstays, lately. Hopeful it doesn’t have wheat but for now I’m switching to water and tea.
    Gotta get the book. I”m 140 lbs overweight, have chronic acid reflux (supposedly hiatial hernia), crave carbs like crazy, am constantly hungry, starting to get high blood pressure, and have horrible brain-fog. I’m an adult diagnosed with ADD and have the worst memory of anyone I can remember (that’s a joke). I often bloat, tummy, ankles, and have a feeling of numbness frequently in both arms from the shoulders down to the finger tips, especially in bed.
    Hopeful this helps.
    Staying posted,

    • Iris

      Lots of encouraging posts and great information on this web site. Keep posting to share your journey.

    • It sounds like this River runs through through wheat-intolerance!

      All your struggles sure sound like you’ve got a pretty clear-cut wheat problem. Please let us know how your wheat-free journey turns out.

    • Ryter

      Hi River,

      So much of what you’ve experienced you will keep seeing here–over andover agin! You are not alone, far from it, and not crazy etc etc. Just wait till you’ve been off wheat for a couple of weeks. This is the only hard part… I can only think that it has to be a lot like withdrawal – you do feel headache-y and so forth for a little bit, and then very suddenly you start to feel like a huge and awful ‘presence’ has just lifted off you. You are going to start to feel every bit as euphoric in a few days as you feel kind of awful right now. It’s a cleansing process I think, and feels a little rough to begin with — I felt a bit nauseated and dizzy the first week. I wish you all the best–just keep going and trust what people are saying here…it’s not some theory or bias, but just all from their own experience. I’m pretty sure we are all recovering wheat addicts!

    • Jenni

      I had a headache on day two but not since so it does go away, I just thought it was funny having wheat withdrawls like quiting smoking,… next step for me

  23. Dee

    I haven’t considered “numbness” symptoms being related. This is another symptom I’ve had at times. Good Luck to the ones stepping out there to try this as I am, and thank you for the support and wisdom from the ones already there!

    • Roz

      My mother suffered numbness and tingling in her hands for years. We were afraid meant she had diabetes, although all tests said she did not. I can still see her flexing her hands on the steering wheel while driving trying to wake her hands and fingers up. Cleared up once we figured out the celiac piece!

    • Julie

      I think the numbness is related to the excess fat under the armpits, as I have it as well, more often when I am wearing a bra as the wires dig into the flesh under the armpit and either cut of the blood supply to the arms or press on a nerve point.

  24. Diets come and go, often appearing in newspaper headlines one day only to be never heard of again. Look no further than the most recent diet and weight loss news. First we had the Atkins low-carb diet, then the Zone Diet and the South Beach Diet. There are diets based on geographical regions (The Mediterranean Diet) and diets based on gimmicky products (The Green Tea Diet). Which leaves individuals wondering, what’s next?

  25. Mike

    May I post a negative comment here? I began the wheat free diet a month ago. I have been following it to the letter. My weight loss has been zero. Zilch. Nada. I am very disappointed. I will not quit — yet. (BTW, my thyroid has been tested and is normal). I need some advice/encouragement.

    • Hi, Mike–

      Before you declare your thyroid “normal,” I’d ask you to post your values.

      I will bet you they are not normal.

      If they are, then there are yet another set of issues to consider, such as total carbohydrate restriction and cortisol excess or circadian distortions. In other words, wheat elimination works for the majority. When it doesn’t, then it serves to unmask other conditions.

  26. roger

    my wife being a nurse we are having many heated discusions about the merrits of the book and diet but results are on my side thus far. I am now at 10 days and counting 6lbs lighter still having a few cravings but I think they are sugar related as I have not touched wheat and my wife strangley enough is losing weight too but she still snacks on a few crackers but this is the argument we most have as she maintains that its only the callorie loss that is doing it as i don`t bring wheat products in the house so she isn`t snacking as much.
    Her comments also go ( You know I am sleeping allot better these days )( I haven`t had my acid reflux lately but Its only stress that brings it on) and we have been pretty stress free lately and the last one is( i don`t seem to snack as much anymore) but she still is not conviced that its all due to lack of wheat.
    No offense to you Dr Davis but some of the medical proffesion people could stand in the middle of a wood and still not see any trees

    • Agreed, Roger!

      I certainly don’t want wheat to come between you and your wife! Wheat is responsible for plenty of bad stuff, but I sure don’t want to add marital discord to the list.

  27. Dee

    Roger, my husband knows I’ve tried everything possible to get relief from my symptoms. He is on and off diets like crazy for losing weight, has sinus/allergies, joint pain… We don’t argue about it and I have always tried to eat and cook pretty healthy (or so I thought). I also had gestational diabetes so I know that I am a high risk for later in life. I have in the past also failed a stress test and had high cholesterol in the past which shocked everyone! I’m not a big or overweight person but I do have body fat that I have not been able to lose no matter how much I worked out or how few calories I consumed. Again a lot of blaming on hormones and age (and I’m too young for all of these issues – that has even come from the docs’ mouths). With all the issues I’ve had medically I chose to finally try grain free as some of you have suggested and follow Dr. Davis’ suggestions in his book. I am definitely allergic to wheat, rice ect. I’m not trying to push this on anyone in my family and I’m still cooking things as usual for them but I can tell you they are watching me. The last two weekends we were out of town for football games, I was nervous as we were gone all day. I think I did the best I could under the circumstances and it really wasn’t that bad at all. This past weekend I wasn’t starving or craving anything. I took my bag of almonds/peanuts as a snack and then my family ate at a place that didn’t have anything grilled!, I chose to try at the stadium and all I found was a grilled chicken wrap. I just opened up the wrap and ate the contents which wasn’t a lot but I was full. However I did notice with a short time I started bloating visibly. i wonder if it was because the wrap had been in the fridge pre-prepared in the tortilla (wheat) or the little bit of corn in it or the only other thing it had a few tortilla strips in it that were hard to pick out. The good thing is I didn’t bloat as bad as I have done and then it went down (which usually isnt’ the case) and I wasn’t feeling absolutely miserable. I know some things as I’m still learning are trial and error and paying attention to my body and what I eat. I have for a long time thought food was my enemy. I’m beginning to think maybe it wasn’t food in general but the certain healthy food I have been consuming that are MY enemy as Dr. Davis has discovered. I am noticing some things happening and I’ve lost a few pounds. My husband has even finally mentioned he has noticed it (and seeing me everyday they’ll be the last to notice). I can tell you they see that I’m making it work and it doesn’t seem as hard as I thought to eat grain free AND I’ve heard “maybe I should try wheat/gluten free”… so we’ll see. I think the hardest is the quick grab and go options… ?? I will not force it on them because they have to decide for themselves if they are willing to do it. I do think though if I continue to improve and they see the results in me then I really don’t need to argue or force feed the whole concept. If it works for me they’ll want to try it! My daughter even said how much she loves bread but she’ll see how I do first. She has really serious issues with migraines,allergies and now asthma, she is a teenager so she really is at an age to decide for herself if she is willing to try it. Little changes have been noticed by me and I’m not finished reading the book to know I’m doing it all the correct way but it’s enough to encourage me to keep it up a few weeks to totally give it the benefit of the doubt.
    I do wonder though why some doctors will tell you (as I was told) if you are allergic only eat in moderation…hmm maybe I should’ve been told to stop totally a long time ago. I have to thank all of you for the advice and encouragement I get off of reading the posts, blogs, and testimonies. It makes me want to give it 100% effort at least to try and see if it works, after all it’s not going to hurt me trying it out so if it does work for me then it will be sooo worth it. I keep reading these for advice and suggestions but am waiting to really see after a month or so what kind of testimony I can post and let y’all know if it has continued working for me.

    • Yes, Dee: Please post your progress in a month or so. You are completely correct: If there is an intolerance, or “allergy,” complete avoidance is the solution, not cutting back.

      And your daughter’s symptoms sound like the typical wheat-intolerance collection of symptoms. She would benefit by following your lead.

  28. Boundless

    Parent post links to a site whose front page is Latin “lorem ipsum” filler text and sports photo bait. It is easily possible that the site is malware, spam and/or trolling, given that the reply above here is vacuous. The wheatbellyblog admins probably need to delete this post and the parent post (and the site needs a button to report suspicious replies).

  29. Dee

    Hi! This is Dee from the Poster child for wheat article. I was just about to be ready to share an update of my progress when I’ve had set backs. I started Wheat Free in October and with stress of work and stress around the holidays were piling on top of me as I was trying to LEARN how to be wheat free. I’ve read the book and highlighted parts as I went through it, I’ve gone back for reminders too! I’d lost about 9 pounds right before Christmas (again I’m not overweight but body fat/swelling was a definite problem) and was feeling better than ever!! In fact, my children started making a joke when I had so much energy and feeling so good and they couldn’t keep up, they’d say “go eat you some gluten”! LOL All of this started happening around November. As the holidays (also both of my children’s birthdays), it has been a bit of a struggle and I contribute some struggles simply with the learning of what I can and can’t tolerate to it. Knowledge is power. I did much better around Thanksgiving but then had that evil mentality of well maybe a little won’t hurt. Holiday parties, bday parties, baking, lunches, ect… As you have mentioned some people aren’t as intolerant as others to small amounts. The first half of December was still going strong with minor set backs, the last half of December, not so good. My daughter had even made comments about “hey, live a little!”. Well, I did experiment some and IT IS SOOOO NOT WORTH IT! I almost feel like I need to start completely over. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not back to where I was when I started this in October, far from it, but it’s incredible to see how fast stepping outside of your boundaries, even a little bit, can make you regress. I have read some comments on some of Dr. Davis’ recent published comments/stories and I am 100% in agreement with those of you that said after being total wheat free then allowing a little here and a little there just seems to be even more harsh on your body! I do think maybe I was one of those people also that needed to “prove” it to myself that this really is the culprit especially considering all the doctors’ advice and comments and treatments ect. over the past several years! Without a doubt, this was needed for me to prove to myself I have finally discovered, with Dr. Davis’ help, the true reason for my ailments. It also proved to my family (particularly my husband) that this is so true for me, visible proof. I think this “proof” helps me so I can be much more dedicated because it is true what wheat does to me, or grains! I seem to take at least 4 to 5 days of eating something that had wheat in it to get back on track, and that is if it is an isolated wheat consumption. I agree with some other statements as well from Dr. Davis that eating out is a very difficult thing to do and remain totally wheat free, however, I’ve been learning and it can be done. The frustrating part is how long it can take to overcome those nasty effects of relapse or set backs once consuming the wheat. As I informed before, I am allergic to wheat but also allergic to yeast and rice, so I have to really get creative :) Now that I have proof and my family sees the reality and proof, they are more understanding and supportive as well. I have also had to learn to step outside the box a little bit and try expanding my vegetables and have discovered how to cook and eat things I never would have touched or thought about before. AND I like them! I really try to look at the ingredients in everything (even spices) even more so now that I have experienced the “set backs”. When I need some extra verification and encouragement I read through some comments on this site and it helps me feel more sure I’m on the right path FINALLY! Here I go back to being a T-Total wheat free eater. I know it may take me a week or two just to get back where I was before Christmas and feeling better but can’t wait to feel better and eliminate all these symptoms from bloating/IBS/headaches/flu like symptoms/mood swings/allergies, ect to name just a few! Thank you Dr. Davis and thank you to all of you that post and share YOUR experiences/thoughts/ideas. I can only hope reading mine will help someone else as much as all of you have helped me. I will be back to share how I’ve done after I am back on the right track and have the knowledge and courage not to stray off again. Happy New Year to all.