Wheatopia

Just think of the enormity of the impact of wheat consumption on the human condition.

Consumption of modern high-yield semi-dwarf wheat leads to:

Weight gain–especially visceral fat in the abdomen, i.e., inflammatory fat
Diabetes, pre-diabetes–via the appetite-stimulating effects of modern gliadin, the blood sugar-raising potential of amylopectin A, and the inflammatory effects of lectins
Hypertension
Joint pain, arthritis–mostly due to lectins, perhaps gluten
Acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, worsening symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Peripheral neuropathy, cerebellar ataxia, dementia–probably due to gluten
–”High cholesterol“–via increased triglycerides
Migraine headaches–your guess is as good as mine why this occurs!
Depression
Water retention, edema–likely via the increased bowel and vascular permeability of lectins

And those are just the common phenomena. In fact, look at the list above and you will be hard pressed to find someone who is not afflicted with at least one, if not all, of the listed conditions. It means that much of what we do in healthcare treating diabetes, joint pain, acid reflux, etc. is really just treating wheat consumption. We are treating the misguided advice to eat more “healthy whole grains.”

Acid reflux alone afflicts some 60 million people and results in 100,000 hospitalizations every year. In my experience, it’s a rare person who does not obtain total relief from acid reflux with wheat elimination. Eliminate wheat and watch hemoglobin A1c, the value that reflects your previous 60 days of blood sugar, plummet, converting many of the nation’s 28 million diabetics and 70 million pre-diabetics to non-diabetics and non-pre-diabetics.

While we fret about spiraling healthcare costs, the reorganization of healthcare delivery, the deterioration of the health of Americans, there is an incredibly simple and accessible solution to a big chunk of the problem: Eliminate the wheat.

This entry was posted in Allergy, Brain effects, Celiac disease, Constipation, Diabetes, Inflammation, Joint pain, Migraine headaches, Neurologic consequences of gluten, Premenstrual syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Wheatopia

  1. Elaine Sukava says:

    so true Dr. Davis! I wish that my husband would eliminate wheat (all grains), because he has some of the above issues. I already have 8 months agp.

  2. I completely agree and have been wheat free for several months and have seen amazing results. Thanks!

  3. Tyrannocaster says:

    I have to say that the last three and a half months have been some of the most interesting in my life. I found out about this whole wheat issue, stopped eating it (and in the learning process found out how I probably should have been eating all along), dropped 22 pounds (so far), lost my pre-diabetic status, and just bought two pairs of Levis – 29 inch and 30 inch waists. I’m 61 and I’ve had problems with fatigue as long as I can remember and now I know what was causing them.

    I’ve put together a graphic which says it all for me: http://i425.photobucket.com/albums/pp332/Tyrannocaster/AfraidOfWheat.jpg

    And yeah, that’s me in the picture. Pictues DO lie, but I didn’t retouch the body in the photo at all.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Gave me a scare at first, Tyranno!

      You look fabulous. It reminds me of what people used to look like in 1960 before the U.S. government got into the business of advising us what to eat.

  4. Susie says:

    Dr. Davis, you are really going “against the grain” in so many ways. MN Public Radio had feature stories last week on diabetes, with a feature on the U of M/Mayo Clinic Decade of Discovery project. Really fascinating. I am in no way trained in this or an expert, but I know from helping my mom that the advice given to a diabetic is very flawed. I heard a Doctor/researcher on the radio say that a diabetic (type 1 or 2) has no dietary restrictions when their medications are well controlled and so long as they keep their weight at a normal range – they can eat anything as the meds will balance it out. This seems to me to be a very dangerous way to look at it. If I have learned anything, each diabetic has to watch that carb/sugar intake to make sure they don’t raise blood sugars with the meal. Maybe you need to get involved in that effort! I did not hear any talk about diet other than to eat plenty of healthy whole grains and lean proteins.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Wow, Susie: This is the nonsense that is passed off as health advice. But it sure keeps the drug industry in business, enjoying double-digit revenue growth year over year.

      I’ve seen several people this week who have cured–CURED–their diabetes. Not with drugs, but with being shown the right diet, Yes, the diet that is the opposite of that advocated by the American Diabetes Association.

      • Heidi says:

        Keep “going against the grain”, Dr. Davis!!!! We need you!

        Your site is one of five that I keep pointing out to people who have one or several of the conditions you listed in this post. Today I am sending links to a long distance work associate who just told me she struggles with Crohn’s.

        My 86-year-old mother (a fellow Wisconsinite) went no-grain, low-carb last year because her TG was over 800!!! She (and my sister, who put us all on this path) convinced her doctor and cardiologist that this was the way to go. In six months her TG had fallen below 200 (and the rest of her lipid profile had dramatically improved, but I don’t have the numbers) and she is no longer being followed by a cardiologist.

        Another sister, who had surgery to fuse three vertebrae in her neck four years ago that were causing nerve compression, was again feeling pain and numbness in her hands and arms. She went grain-free/paleo in June after seeing how well other family members were doing. I talked to her last week: she has been free of pain and numbness for several weeks (after 3 months grain free).

        So, please, keep up the crusade to help people grapple with grain-induced diseases. I agree totally that the North American healthcare crisis is largely attributable to the explosion in these chronic, inflammatory and absolutely preventable diseases!!!

  5. Lynda NZ says:

    Dr Davis – I have been wheat free now for 20 weeks. I have lost 20 pounds and life is totally different. I also went low carb totally. One question, you said that it is a rare person who does not stop suffering from acid reflux – I still do. I have a diagnosed hiatus hernia, is this why I still get reflux? I thought most people who had reflux had a hiatus hernia so wonder why my symptoms are still there. I admit my symptoms are greatly improved and only need medication every other day now.

    Thanks
    Lynda

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Lynda–

      Don’t know. Perhaps chronic irritation somehow impaired the mucous-production and/or repair mechanisms. I’ll bet that, over time, you will heal even better.

      But I suspect that you’ve removed the original inciting cause.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Linda,

      There are other foods (in addition to wheat) that are very acidic, and create an acidic internal environment in the body that can lead to acid reflux and a whole host of other problems, including likelihood of disease. Try eliminating dairy and meat, which are both very acidic, and introduce a whole-foods, plant-based diet. My husband (and I) did so over the past year, and his acid reflux is completely gone. (He has also lost 10 lbs. from his 5’8″ 160lb frame without trying/exercising extensively–he’s at his healthiest weight now.)
      I also recommend the documentary “Forks Over Knives” and the book “The China Study” for information/science behind the correlations between animal product consumption and disease, acidity, etc.

      Good luck!
      -Sarah

  6. SK guy says:

    Do you have any peer reviewed evidence to back your theories up? The reason I ask is twofold:

    1) I couldn’t find any evidence that correlated these symptoms to wheat consumption; and,
    2) Anecdotal evidence isn’t sufficient to link these conditions specifically to wheat.

    The reason I ask is because my brother has many stomach issues that weren’t resolved when he gave up wheat. He went wheat free for more than six months with no change in his condition.

    If that’s the case, then it wasn’t wheat that caused the condition in the first place.

    Could it be that we in the west consume too much processed wheat products? These same products are generally high in sugar, salt, and starch, all which would lead to some of the above symptoms.

    • hitfan says:

      I”ve been ”wheat-free” for seven days. I don”t really follow a fancy list of DO”s and DON”Ts, I just avoid wheat altogether and consume carbohydrates in moderation.

      I”ve not even read ”Wheat Belly”. For the past few years I”ve been searching for any ”trigger foods” that might have been causing my psoriatic arthritis. I came across a very extreme diet called the “Pagano Diet” which has so many foods that you supposedly cannot eat, or otherwise it might cause dreaded flareups and joint inflammation. It simply wasn”t viable.

      For some reason, I came across this blog. The title itself (“Wheat Belly”) triggered something in my few years of reading health blogs–that all of the alternative health diets have as a common denominator that WHEAT is something to be avoided.

      Seven days later, I can quite literally feel my body healing itself. Far less joint pain. All I know that giving up wheat makes me feel like my body has been born anew again.

      Barring any health problems (like those genetic freaks who might feel physically and mentally fine by consuming modern wheat), people can even benefit from the hunger control that avoiding wheat provides.

  7. Barb says:

    I also continue to have acid reflux issues. I have lost 16 pounds and am almost to my goal weight of 125 pounds after a few months going wheat free. However I still need to take a Nexium every other day (reduced from every day). I have pretty much connected the acid reflux to eating tomato based sauces and to my beloved chocolate (even though it is unsweetened chocolate as in your delicious brownie recipe , Dr. Davis. I’d love to get off the Nexium, but tomatoes and chocolate are good for us…right… Besides tasting so good! Any suggestions for how to eat these and still get to the point of needing no Nexium?

    • Linda Lounsbery says:

      I have suffered from heartburn and acid reflux since entering the menopausal years. Never had it before. Wine, dark chocolate, and tomato sauce of any kind are the biggest culprits. I was advised to try Aloe Vera Juice, or Gel, and I have not had a problem since. Even when I do wake up in the middle of the night, having indulged too much, a couple swigs of aloe vera juice immediately stops the symptoms. You must be certain you are getting real aloe vera juice. The product I use is lily of the desert. They have a website.

  8. hitfan says:

    ————————————————————————–
    It means that much of what we do in healthcare treating diabetes, joint pain, acid reflux, etc. is really just treating wheat consumption. We are treating the misguided advice to eat more “healthy whole grains.”
    ————————————————————————–

    That is a very apt aphorism. I”m thinking of the impact on society if the entire population were to collectively give up wheat. True, the averse effects of wheat probably vary from individual to individual, but on a macro scale it would provide huge benefits.

    -less wheat rage (I wonder how much road rage is caused by it).
    -a healthier population placing less demand and strains on an overburdened health care system
    -less money spent on prescription drugs, and our economic energy can be spent elsewhere

    There will be a lot of FUD and uncertainty and doubt, with many monied interests opposing a paradigm shift in how we look at the food pyramid chart and the propaganda regarding “healthy whole grains”.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yup, you got that right, Hit.

      And the “monied interests” have plenty to lose. It means they will put up an incredible fight to preserve the “healthy whole grain” status quo.

    • Heidi says:

      This is a topic that makes me furious. I know that a lot of this started with the McGovern commission and my entire family were McGovern supporters!!! I had no idea until this past year how directly responsible he was for putting the US (and Canada, who followed in lockstep) on such a wrong-headed path for wrong-headed reasons!

      I live in Canada now, so my taxes are supporting everyone’s healthcare. Although we are marginally more healthy than Americans up here, we are on the same path. I proselytize about grain-free, low-carb living for two main reasons: (1) to help my friends and family improve the quality of their lives, and (2) to try to reduce healthcare costs overall!

      Keep up the good work, Dr. Davis!! Shout it from the rooftops!

  9. Deb Sher says:

    Dr. Davis – I think I need a little reassurance. I”ve been gluten-free for almost 5 weeks, and I”ve been having daily bad headaches, neck pain, and increased Trigeminal Neuralgia symptoms. I really want to hang in there because I do believe in the idea of being gluten-free. Is it normal to have these symptoms for so long, and can I expect them to go away soon?

    Thanks,
    Deb

  10. Rob says:

    My Wife has been on the wheat free diet since october and has gone from a life of eating “heathy” whole grains to no wheat. The painfull bloating has mostly subsided, she has lost some weight, still not enough in here opinion. The cooking has been ok, but the last couple of wheat and gluten free cook books somehow list Rye as non wheat. as well as a couple other varieties, which is adding confusion to what is really safe. Can you clarify this?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Rob–

      Yes, a confusing issue.

      My take: Wheat and rye have naturally crossbred many, many times over the millennia of their coexistence. Humans have also added to it by crossbreeding intentionally over the centuries. Net result: Rye = wheat, wheat = rye in genetics in many respects, with too much overlap in the adverse effects of both.

      Yes, rye is better, but remember: If something is less harmful, it doesn”t necessarily mean it”s great.

  11. Lew says:

    I am starting today after reading the first few chapters of Wheat Belly. I have MS and it will be interesting to see how this goes along with that!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Please do, Lew!

      And don’t forget the vitamin D, the other “natural” strategy that is showing promise for MS.

  12. Andrew Lynch says:

    I have been off wheat for a couple months now and I have lost 10 pounds and feel great, but I get light headed daily and seem to have chest pain which I attributed to gas. My wife has been doing well and my belly has shrunk but went to the hospital last week thinking I might be having a heart attack and they put me on Prilosec for gas (felt pretty dumb). Anyways I am not hungry and dont eat a lot now but thinking maybe low blood sugar and I drink coffee in the morning and I seem to get gas from that. Any suggestions, should I dig deeper? I did have Nissan surgery because of bad acid reflux so I dont get that any longer just a dull pain in chest and burping. Any suggestions, feeling light headed common from not eating enough maybe?.

  13. Frank Andrews says:

    Dr. Davis.

    Neil Boortz tweeted about your book so I bought your Audio Book. It really made sense. I have been a vegetarian for 30+ years with years of veganism interspersed during that time. LOTS of whole grains. I played contact sports when younger and have always had muscle and joint aches. About 18 months ago I was told I needed a hip replacement as I have no cartilage in my right hip. I don’t want to go that route so your book convinced me to go wheat free. It have been 2 weeks and my hip seems worse than ever, although I have lost 5 pounds. (6’2″; 230# to 225#). Is there a “die-off ” period that I am experiencing? How long before I can expect improvement? I almost called my ortho today to schedule the op! Thank you.

  14. Lauren says:

    The evidence continues to build about the negative health effects of eating wheat / gluten products. I stopped eating all wheat and gluten products almost 8 months ago, way before I ever saw your book or website. I was following a grass fed and organic Paleo type diet (after being vegan/vegetarian most of my adult life). Immediately, my chronic lifetime and crippling migraines disappeared… and have never returned! My IBS, gas/bloating, stomach cramps and joint pains are gone forever. At 58, I feel like 35!! I tell anyone and everyone that wheat is BAD for you, and explain why. Most people don’t believe it, but when I ive them my own personal testimony, they don’t have a choice but to do their own research!
    Two of my co-workers have stopped eating, one is very excited because she wants to lose about a 100 pounds. I know she can do it!
    Thanks for spreading telling the truth about REAL HEALTH!!
    Lauren

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Excellent, Lauren!

      Yes, many of us–not just me–have arrived at the same conclusion from multiple different directions.

      But the lesson remains: Modern wheat is suitable for consumption by NOBODY.

  15. Paul says:

    I’ve never heard of eliminating wheat or whole grains before! I’m suffering from chronic pain and inflammation but I guess eliminating wheat on my diet will help me!

  16. Pingback: When a Diet isn’t a Diet (Or how my husband and I have lost 44 lbs in 12 weeks) « All the Love– Without the Wheat

  17. Joanne says:

    Not sure where to post, but…I thought this was interesting. My father suffers from peripheral neuropathy and depression. He was a flour miller his entire life. Needless to say he’s big on bread…but it makes me wonder about even having inhaled flour dust. What do you think…is that a little far-fetched?

  18. Joni says:

    I have been on carb restricted diets in the past, I would like to lose about 20 lbs but with the other diets I have experienced constipation when I eliminate carbs, any solutions, the wheat belly diet seems interesting and I would like to try it.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Think about a probiotic, Joni.

      When you eliminate the intestinally disruptive components of wheat, amylopectin A, gliadin, and wheat germ agglutinin, there is a necessary change in bowel flora that has to develop. Some people fail to convert quickly and experience constipation and bloating.

      This is remedied in the majority by taking a probiotic preparation of, say, 50 billion CFU or more per day, for several weeks to accelerate the recovery of normal bowel flora.

  19. Jon says:

    So, something that has been in the diet of a creature long enough to have effected their evolution…??? 11 thousand years…. really?

  20. Nina says:

    Will eating a wheat-free, dairy-free diet (as my chiropractor suggests) help with my fatty liver as well as my GERD? I’ve been taking Prilosec for over 12 years and now have horrendous joint pain – I’m only 55 and don’t look forward to my life in the future being one of constant pain. Will it also help with the muscle aches? I’ve been taking more magnesium since I also have read that Prilosec and other PPI’s can cause a magnesium deficiency. I feel so out of whack, but reading about the gluten/gliade problem is really making a lot of sense. I was eating a lot of bread last week and my joint pains really got a lot worse. I’ve been off wheat for 2 days now and have noticed a marked improvement. Now if I can get off the Prilosec I can finally live without fear of a broken hip in my near future!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, yes, and yes, Nina!

      It ain’t about drugs. It ain’t about liver transplant. It is about the foods that have landed us in the widespread predicament.

      Is there any way to forgive a USDA that can get it SO wrong?

      • Nina says:

        Thank you so much for your work, Dr. Davis! I’m really looking forward to the adventure of living the rest of my life as pain-free as possible and with a liver that will be as healthy as possible again. I’m also looking forward to getting off the Prilosec and going into the last third of my life feeling like I did in the first third.

      • Heidi says:

        I might be able to forgive the USDA for almost 50 years of awful advice if they finally reverse themselves and get it right this time!!

        I used to tout the USDA recommendations as the gospel truth, as I added several pounds per year and watched chronic disease creep up on so many friends and loved ones. Myself, I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and probably have had it for well over 20 years (just knowing my clinical history). The evidence for wheat contributing to many auto-immune processes is getting stronger every day.

        But how can we forgive a government that — essentially at random, thanks to Ansel Keyes and George McGovern — put the health of all Americans at risk? I can’t help but think of what my life would have been like without my thyroid-related problems (that went undiagnosed until I moved to Canada). How can I forgive them for all the things I didn’t accomplish because I was severely depressed with zero energy for years? At least I can deal with by supplementing thyroid hormones, now that I have a diagnosis. At 53, after five years of taking thyroid pills and one year of grain-free living, I finally have the life and health I’ve always wanted.