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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88 Responses to Poster child for . . . wheat?

  1. jay says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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!

      • Jenni says:

        and you get your order right when you make it at home,…lol

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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!

  2. Dee says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        Thank you PJ!!

        • Dee says:

          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?

          • Dr. Davis says:

            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.

          • Dee says:

            Thank you Dr. Davis, here goes day 2

          • roger says:

            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 says:

            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!

          • Jenni says:

            geez I didnt even think of reading the label on that!
            glad to hear its not that bad tho!

  3. River says:

    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 says:

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

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

      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

  4. Dee says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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.

  5. 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?

  6. Mike says:

    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.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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.

  7. roger says:

    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

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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.

  8. Dee says:

    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.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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.

  9. Boundless says:

    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).

  10. Dee says:

    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.