Bulimia cured?

An anonymous commenter left this very interesting description of her experience on the Wheat Belly Blog. While it’s hard to know whether this is truly “bulimia” or yet another unique experience generated by wheat consumption, it is nonetheless an interesting tale of freedom from the ill-effects of this corrupt grain.

She writes:
I am wondering if you have heard of any research connecting eating disorders to wheat/gluten sensitivity?

I have had suffered in secret with what I thought was bulimia for 30 years. I can’t even believe it, but since giving up gluten I no longer have the urge to throw up. I used to feel sick after nearly every meal. I seriously thought I would eventually die from an injury to my esophagus.

I have not felt sick even once since giving up gluten. Not once. I feel free for the first time in memory.

I am astounded by how different my body feels, and I never even knew how bad I felt because it was all I ever had felt…it was my “normal.” I had to share this with someone and because my “eating disorder” has been completely in secret, I can’t tell anyone I know.

(I should mention that about 10 years ago I was tested for celiac disease because I have extended family members with confirmed diagnoses, but all my tests were negative.) I don’t care what their tests say— I will never eat wheat again.

My family laughs when I say this because I have never stuck to a diet in my entire life, but this is different. I feel in control of my body for the first time. I am near tears writing this. I can’t believe my struggle is over and I won:)

If indeed bulimia, it means that she experienced gastrointestinal as well as nervous system effects that create the condition: not just the nausea but also the desire to vomit after eating, the distortion of body image, the disruption of self-esteem, etc. We know that wheat plays a role in one eating disorder, binge eating disorder, indirectly observed via studies of opiate-blocking agents like naloxone and naltrexone that reduce impulsive eating and calorie intake substantially. You can witness lesser forms of binge eating in many, many wheat-consuming people manifested as intense food cravings, grazing, and overeating.

How many people are out there, struggling with one or another form of eating disorder, when it might be nothing more than yet another poisonous effect of wheat consumption?

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61 Responses to Bulimia cured?

  1. Joop63 says:

    I’m one more success story to add to those above who’s been recently delivered from 30 years of intermittent bulimia (diagnosed, counseling, no inpatient treatment) behaviors with the elimination of wheat and sugar and most dairy. I chose to give up wheat/grains and sugar as a dental/cancer/inflammation preventative measure, never dreaming I would be delivered from what I thought was, at this point, a permanent emotionally and neurologically-rooted heath issue. I had given up hope, short of a miracle, that I would be free of this in my life and would have to suffer the consequences of many years of self-abuse – for no known reason. Within days of dropping the afore mentioned foods, It’s been a week, but I have had no desire to medicate myself with my usual mid day onslaught of wheat-based carbs and sugar. I struggled to go one day without behaviors before this. I look forward to seeing where this goes, finally feel “normal” and have my life back. I owe this to the inspiration in Dr. Davis’ book. Now if we can only the American Academy of Dietetics (registered dietitians) to speak from this platform to cure those out there that can use this as an option. Thank you – Thank you.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Absolutely terrific, Joop!

      Would you be interested in telling your story for the new Wheat Belly Cookbook? If so, please leave a comment here and I will email you. (Emails are automatically posted with your comment.)

  2. Tonya McComas says:

    Dr. Davis…
    Let me say your book has been the only thing that has ever helped to eliminate my bulemic nightmare. I have been battling this addiction for almost 30 years. I have been hospitalized and poked, analyzed, medicated and probed with no relief. I never dreamed that after 1 week of eliminating both wheat and sugar, I am on a path to a much prayed for recovery. I figured my disease would kill me in a few years, but now I have hope. InterestIngly, some of the therapists and nutritionists I have consulted have mentioned that there are “radical” philosophies in eating disorder treatment that preach no wheat, but that “we don’t advocate them.” How crazy is that! They must have ties to wheat farmers! I just had to tell someone about my overnight success and how grateful I am to the Wheatbelly book. I was a raging bulemic…it controlled my entire existence.
    Thanks.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Excellent, Tonya!

      The connection between gliadin in wheat and eating disorders really needs to be explored further and documented on a large scale.

      Perhaps this should be among the priorities for our Wheat Free Research and Education Foundation.

  3. Brittany says:

    I am so glad to have found this site! I have suffered from what was diagnosed as atypical bulimia (binging and starving) with enourmous amounts of will power and effort to stop it. But recently, i have been researching gluten intolerance (for the past few months) and have tried to stay off gluten as much as I can. I now know my symptoms are not simply in the psychology of the eatig disorder alone but are triggered by gluten and sugar! When I am off gluten I notice a HUGE difference in my attitude and cravings towards food. I can have small amounts of gluten free treats and feel totally satisfied but when I start eating gluten again i will soon feel overwhelming compulsions to eat, depression, become hugely oversensitive, bloated, foggy, tired and be binge binge binging. My cravings and binge food is always glutenous which only makes it worse – ive read we crave most what we are allergic to. I should have looked into it sooner because my grandpa, uncle and brother are all severly non-coeliac gluten intolerant! I feel so much better off gluten but I keep doubting myself and thinking its all in my head. But I have finally come to accept it is true, it is not in my head. For whatever reason being off gluten makes me feel a million times better! I do know there are definitely some psycological aspects to my eatig disorder but my theory is this developed because of the binges I had as a result of the gluten! For anyone who is struggling with accepting that they might have a gluten intolerance I recommend just going for it and trust your gut! Gluten is in fact changing agriculturally and becoming more and more poisonous anyway. Try it out and see if it makes a difference to you. I would love to see more research done in this area because I think it could be a rapidly spreading problem if we don’t address how much gluten (poison) our society eats.

  4. Jessie says:

    I’m another success story. For years, I would eat something with gluten, particularly bread and cereals and would immediately feel sick. I would then have an urge to binge on bread or anything known to contain large amounts of gluten. After binging, I vomited. This went on for a long time. My mom couldn’t figure out what was going on as my hair began falling out and I became very upset with my thin image. I didn’t have a desire to be so thin, but it just happened. After finding a few blogs I got rid of gluten and wheat in my diet. I have not had an urge, with the exception of a few bumps, accidentally eating gluten, along the way. My life has changed forever as a gluten free person!

  5. Fritha Meyer says:

    I have been off wheat for 6 days now and have noticed a remarkable difference in my moods. I no longer feel depressed or hopeless. I have struggled with eating disorder thoughts and behaviors on and off for 18 years and finally see a connection with wheat products. I am excited to continue my journey . I no longer feel anxious of obsessive about eating snack foods and my stomach doesn’t feel overly full anymore. I hope this is not all in my head.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I’ve seen this far too many times to ascribe it to just something you are imagining, Fritha.

      Time will tell. If the effect endures, you have likely found the cause of your depression!

  6. Jamie says:

    Since I was a teenager, I’ve been semi-regularly (ever couple of months) binging and purging. Not enough that I lost weight and, I’ve never been diagnosed or had treatment for it. In fact, I’ve never told anyone, until now. After reading wheat belly, I have been gluten free now for almost three months, and in addition to the dramatic differences I’ve seen with my periods (diagnosed with a fibroid, but had two weeks of severe cramping before period, breakthrough bleeding mid-cycle, horrific cramps during menses), I also realized that not once have I wanted to binge and purge. I was curious if there was a connection, and google led me to this blog. Thank you Dr. Davis. Your book was able to fix what no Drs. at my prestigious Ivy League school, where I was enrolled for my PhD program, could fix and whose counsel I sought repeatedly. I’m writing them emails to let them know of the differences, in the hopes that they’ll be open to the idea of further study.