Tyrannocaster left this fascinating tale of guitar-playing ability lost, then regained, with elimination of . . . yup, you guessed it: wheat. (He apparently wrote this for another venue, but reposted it in the comments for this blog, thus the comments that sound like he was writing an article or book review.)
I just spent nine of the worst months of my life because I lost the ability to play my guitars. We’re still not sure what the exact originating cause was (I suffered a fall on some icy stairs last February and stopped it with my hands, of course, and I may have injured the left one doing it, only I didn’t notice anything at the time or even afterwards. So maybe that had something to do with it, maybe not…)
However, three days before Halloween I found out what was wrong and cured it; I know this sounds like a late night infomercial, but it’s true.
Here’s the deal: I stopped eating WHEAT.
I asked every doctor I have seen for the last decade “Why am I so tired all the time?” and got answers like “You’re depressed, you should try anti-depressants,” or “You may have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but we’re not even sure what that is and anyway, there’s no cure for it.” This last year alone, I saw my family doctor, two pro physical therapists, two hand surgeons, a chiropractor, a rolfer, an acupuncturist and a naturopath. The naturopath would have found the answer (she was on the trail but I beat her to it myself!). I saw this article on BoingBoing ( http://boingboing.net/2011/10/26/triticum-fever-by-dr-william-davis-author-of-wheat-belly.html#more-126282 ) and suddenly everything clicked. It was three days before Halloween and I thought “Hey, let’s give it a try and just drop all the wheat and see what happens.” This is where the informercial stuff starts; on Halloween I did more stuff in one day than I have in any three days in ten years and I do not exaggerate. It had gotten so bad that I was in bed most of the time and suddenly here I was cleaning out closets and going on a three mile walk – I know this sounds dramatic and hard to believe, but it’s true.
And it turns out there are all sorts of things that wheat (and gluten, which is found in other things like rye and barley, too) can do to you: my dandruff disappeared, the weird itchy, scaly skin by my nose and eyebrows disappeared…but most of all, the wrist pain (I couldn’t bend it a full 90 degrees anymore) went away and the thumb (which had problems with all three friggin’ joints started to get better right away. I’ve lost 19 pounds now (I was 164 at the beginning), all of it fat and I have a 31 inch waist. For a guy that’s 5′ 10? it’s not too bad.
Here’s the thing: for gluten intolerant people, the symptoms manifest themselves in so many different ways that doctors usually don’t connect the dots. One patient shows up with fatigue; another has joint pains; another has dermatitis, and the list goes on and on – nobody get all the symptoms (well, I HOPE nobody does, because the list is really long).
However, during the nine months that this happened, I re-injured the thumb so many times (the wheat problem gave me a system wide case of inflammation which kept my own body from being able to heal) that it’s going to take a while for it to heal completely. It’s two months later now and the hand is, happily, a LOT better, but I have re-re-injured it once already (because I actually forgot it was injured and just yarded on something – my bad!), and it’s still messed up…but now I can play again without effing it up just by playing a bar chord.
I would suggest that everybody at least read the BoingBoing article I referenced above, because the problems with modern wheat go well beyond what people like me experience. It turns out that the wheat we are eating today has been so messed with that 5 per cent of its genetic material is new and there has been ZERO research done (at least published – I would imagine that the wheat producers are quite aware of all this, since the changes have improved their bottom line immensely) on their effects on human health. And if the article piques your interest you can read the book “Wheatbelly”. Still, I have found out what kind of resistance I encounter from some people when I even mention this so I don’t want to come off like some sort of evangelistic crusader.
I can only speak for myself. And I’m quite happy to have my left hand back again.
So he experienced actual physical impairment of the ability to generate muscle control over his left hand, as well as a facial rash, dandruff, fatigue, and weight gain. Imagine spending years to master an instrument, only to lose the ability from some food (or something trying to pass itself off as food)?
I’ve seen some pretty incredible stuff in my wheat-free experiences, but some of the stories coming my way here are pretty darn amazing.