My big hairy Wheat Belly experience

Roberto left this comment, bubbling over with enthusiasm over his and his wife’s wheat-free experience.

Be careful: It’s almost too hot to handle!


Dr Davis-
We are in our early 50”s. Typical issues – tired – snap/crackle/pop of joints – weight gain – IBS – allergies- sagging bits here and there, etc. Not one major specific ailment, just a common “middle aged” acceptance of what we observed, and what we were taught, would be our fate after 50.

We purchased your book – read & reread it several times – fact-checked, & then decided to go “cold wheat”! I went to the pantry (with her consent) & read EVERY label! Laid all the “bad” ingredients heaped on 2 tables spilling on the floor – priceless look on her face when she came home. Her response – not possible – do you know how much this cost? – we CAN”T just give it away!

Today, 6 weeks later – our joint agreed revelation is thus – we are GOBSMACKED!

Not simply weight loss! ALL-0VER FAT LOSS!! Our combined fat loss is, conservatively, 30lbs. We have lost it on every part of our bodies. We have come to the new “general rule”: If it’s easy to put FAT ON, then it is easy to take FAT OFF – and it IS!!!

Health benefits: fat loss – better sleep – all skin conditions improved – her hypothyroid meds have been lowered for 1st time in 30 years. (Doc. called us in to explain.) – spring in our step – twinkle in our eyes again – no binge-eating – renewed joy cooking together & the eating of ‘real’ ‘whole’ ‘tasty’ foods – great red wine – at ease with life.

Simply put – we are living life again!

Yet, here is one I have not read about thus far – hair/color regeneration: head – eyebrow – chest – legs – yes, all over!? My 20 years of grey hair, daily being replaced by new colored hairs, one by one. That proves to me that the regeneration is internal as well as external. WOW!

Negative: I attended a gents-night-out, complete with 4 dark beers & chicken wings. Next day, right back into the FOG – IBS – all the negative symptoms roared back! It has taken 7 days to recover. lesson learned for me!!

To the doubters – so be it. Read – Reread – Fact-check – Then try it for 4 weeks . . . FULL ON. Like me, the only thing I lost was fat – ill health – fog-like mind set – waiting on life instead of living it.
Today, we are living life – every glorious, clear headed, moment.

thx dr davis.

What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing your experience, Roberto.

Not everyone, of course, experiences such dramatic responses as Roberto and his wife. But even if “only” 20% of people (and, in real life, it’s a far higher percentage than that) respond with this shift in food choices, isn’t that still pretty good? We’re not talking hospital procedures here, or nasty drugs. We’re talking about a shift in food choices away from this Frankengrain created by geneticists and agribusiness.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Kerry

    Congratulations to Roberto and his Mrs.! I experienced many of the same phenomena when I gave up wheat. I”m now over four months wheat-free with blood work to prove that the same amazing things were happening on the inside as I was seeing on the outside! I”ll be 39 this year…and now have renewed hope that 50 will be extraordinary! I lost my mom when she was 48 to diabetes and it”s complications, so 50 is a mystery to me. I have no idea what to expect. Stories like this give me hope that I won”t become another statistic….or maybe I will, but in a good way!

  2. Pam Crosbie

    Bling! The light”s just come on. I realised being wheat free for a few months now had eased all the inflammatory aches and pains and IBS that I”d had for years but what I hadn”t connected was that I had been losing handfuls of hair for several years too and it had definitely thinned; and in the last few weeks it has stopped. Can”t prove a connection, but I”m willing to bet it”s to do with my wheat free life. I know it”s not other aspects of my diet cos I”ve been low carbing for years.

    • Excellent, Pam!

      You can see how the low-carb world danced around this issue for years, but never quite getting it right. The one essential “carb” to eliminate: wheat, of course, even though it”s usually the first to be added back in conventional notions of low-carb.

  3. I genuinely feel sad for anyone who doesnt give going wheat free a try, I own a cafe in NZ and the results that my family have seen (up to 7 weeks now), have been so amazing that I find it hard to reconcile selling people wheat based products in our cafe. We werent particularily overweight or unhealthy to begin with but the differences we have noticed in energy, mood and weight loss are still amazing

    We are about to do our new menu, almost 60% is now gluten free by default and we are branching into organic products for the first time as well. I spend half my day convincing people to buy and read the book

    Viva la wheat free revolution

  4. mariellen

    I love reading success stories and they just encourage me more and more to stay off of wheat. I did not know it would reduce gray hair, but I am not surprised. Thank you for the inspiration to avoid wheat today.

  5. Karin

    One small thing I have found to be amazing every time I go on a wheatfree/glutenfree diet is that the skin around my fingernails heals. Normally, it”s dry and I can”t help picking and that doesn”t look charming. I”ve had this since childhood and neither skin cream helped, nor yoga or meditation. I just knew it wasn”t stress, but I never thought it could have anything to do with wheat or gluten. If this (wheatfree) is doing something on the OUTSIDE, on a ”problem” that existed for decades, what will it eventually be doing on the INSIDE?
    - This message has been typed with healthier looking fingers and no blood has been seen. :)

    • Yes, a crucial question, Karin, though not easy to answer.

      I suspect that gastrointestinal health has likely improved, as well. It might be evidenced as something imperceptible like improved vitamin B12 or zinc absorption.

      But, if it shows on the skin, you are absolutely correct: This is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

      • Erik

        Karin
        I am observing exactly the same. Especially in winter, my skin used to be terribly dry, whatever cream I put on it, made no difference at all. (I am a musician and try to take care of my hands.)
        When I used detergent to wash the dishes, my skin would literally crack open over the next days. Pretty horrible.
        Been wheat-free for 7 weeks now and my hands and fingers have healed themselves.
        Another small miracle, really !

  6. Neicee

    Roberto is right. You lose the fat all over, and no saggy flabby areas. You just shrink. While I can”t claim to having been obese, I did stack on a few pounds around the waist that I couldn”t seem to get rid of, even on a gluten free diet for years. I still consumed potatoes/rice/corn. This can be costly if all your clothes have to be altered. Every pair of dress slacks I own is now dragging the floor, even with heels. Small price to pay if you feel great though.

    • Janet

      I know, I wasn”t even paying that much attention to my weight (or shape) after I noticed all the other wonderful changes in pain relief, etc. But about 2 weeks into serious wheat elimination after Christmas, my jeans didn”t fit, so down to the local resale shop and then last week–even those were lose so back I went to the resale shop. I have gone from a size 12 to 8 since the first of January. My shape has changed all over. I put a stretchy tighter T shirt on and–holy cow–I have a waistline again. I don”t weigh myself because doing that all the time can be a real buzz-kill–I was bulimic when I was younger and not weighing has been part of my recovery these last decades. I just go by clothing fit. This method of losing weight has been the most astonishing to me–and much healthier and better tasting than the sickness I had back in my 20”s (63 now).

      DR. Davis, I wish I had known about the wheat thing when I was suffering with the bulimia. I would binge on that stuff–cereal, all kinds of processed crap. I have a feeling that my life would have been very different if I hadn”t spent 11 years with this evil, horrible disease and another 5 healing myself and beginning to eat normally. Would I have had the depression? Feelings of low self-worth? Warped idea of how I looked? Now, wheat free is going to be my normal eating for the rest of my life. I have kicked sugar to the curb too.

      • You raise an important issue, Janet, that I, too, have pondered: How many eating disorders, such as bulimia, have wheat at their root? In other words, given the mind-active effects of the gliadin protein in wheat, do some people experience a somewhat different effect expressed as an eating disorder like binge eating and/or bulimia?

        This should be the focus of future research. Wouldn”t it be wonderful if the solution–as it is for so many other conditions–would simply be wheat avoidance?

  7. Soul

    So far, so good with the hair! It does seem to be sprouting faster than in the past. Not that it would be the end of the world if it fell out at some point, but would be nice if the strands stuck around. I seem to be moving in the right direction for that to happen now.

  8. Sonya

    Fascinating that everyone experiences such diverse outcomes from going wheat-less. I”ve been avoiding wheat, for the most part. My sleep issues must have other contributors. But, I will say that on 2/12 I had two glasses of beer. They were good! And, you know what? Monday began on such a bad foot, as the saying goes. Oh my goodness. My stomach was upside down and couldn”t be settled. My mind felt like it had been run over by a throng of joggers. Brain fog was intense. Tuesday was bad as well. I couldn”t remember where a client”s file drawer was, and I was the one that re-arranged everything! I had never ever had this type of a reaction to gluten before. This goes down on my list of symptoms. I”m not celiac, just gluten-intolerant.

    • Maybe.

      It could be instead that you are gliadin-intolerant. Or lectin intolerant. Or intolerant to one of the many other components of wheat.

      Gluten is just one component, but the one most fingered for intolerance because of the legacy of celiac.

      • Erik

        A question here:
        My understanding is, the cereals that have been most heavily hybridized are Wheat and Rye, if I am correct?
        Now, the beer I drink over here in Europe is brewed to the famous “german purity law” and can only contain Barley, Malt and Hops.
        Where would this rank on the list for someone who is gluten sensitive?

        (I love beer but am willing to give it up if needed.)
        Thanks -
        Erik

        • Boundless

          Dr. Davis has categorized wheat, rye, and barley as virtually indistinguishable in terms of their health effects.

          Any beer made from any of these grains is probably going to contain gluten (as well as other digestive, metabolic and systemic grain hazards). Can you even get gluten-free beer in Germany?

          There are GF beers in the US. Several have been mentioned in this blog. They can have glycemic concerns (high carbs), in addition to the normal metabolic effects of any alcoholic beverage.

          Personally, I switched to wine, and not much of that.

        • Dr. Davis

          Yes, correct.

          As barley and malt are potential gluten exposures, it is best to avoid beers with these ingredients if you are truly gluten-sensitive. Have you tried Green’s or Bard’s?

  9. Shirley

    Need to make this quick. Haven”t seen this improvement mentioned in the comments, but my husband has a bit of fungus under his great toe. After 8 weeks being wheat free (he still puts a ittle sugar in his coffee) the toe is growing out clear. He has had this about 15 years and is over the moon!

    • anne Tatgenhorst

      I have terrible toenail fungus and saw one improve. I”m hoping the wheat elimination will clear this up. Also, as Roberto mentioned, I have noticed not only hair color coming back, but less hair loss and much softer hair (I have dry, course hair).

  10. anne Tatgenhorst

    I don”t think it”s a coincidence. For at least 5 years I have had off and on: lower back pains, stabbing pains in hips and legs, shin pains, tingling in my feet, pain in hip area, shoulder pain (for many many years) all on the right side. My right leg often felt like it wasn”t my leg, sometimes I thought I we getting appendicitis when I had sharp pains in right lower abdomen…other symptoms…around when I started having hip pain I broke out in hives for the first time ever after eating pizza. For years I have suffered from fatigue, pms where my legs felt like lead, interrupted sleep, foggy brain, Raynaud”s syndrome, as well as constipation, bloated stomach and gas. I have had thyroid checked, hip x-ray, chiropractic work (which help…she gave me a digestive enzyme which helped at the time), physical therapy (that helped a lot with hip pain), MRI on hip, internal sonogram (thinking it was my ovary..even had a laparoscopy with no results). The only thing anyone found was that I was anemic (aha! I found out this is a symptom of wheat intolerance). All these doctors and NO ONE EVER MENTIONED GLUTEN INTOLERANCE!!! Makes me so mad. It took a friend who”s daughter has celiacs to suggest a GF diet…WOW! Within 3 days I felt huge changes. I had drenching night sweats that seemed to be detoxing my body. I slept solid, all night! and so many pains went away. I started feeling an energy I never had. I even started running, which I never had energy to do. I only drank one cup of coffee instead of drinking cups all day long. I have not yet been tested..trying to find a doctor who understands all this. Every time I eat wheat now I feel sick for 3 days, as if I”m getting a cold, can hardly walk, have sharp pains in right hip and leg, numbness in right heel, and have night sweats. Why do Doctors not understand the problems of gluten??? I wish someone had told me this years ago. My mother had these same pains when she was my age and Doctors could find nothing. She went to Chiropractors, had MRI’s, etc etc. Later in life she had severe arthritis in both hips and had a hip replacement. She died a year ago just before her second hip replacement, and was in constant pain and anxiety. If I”d known what I know now I think she would have been much better if she were wheat free. Her sister died of Wegener”s disease…could that have been prevented by wheat elimination?
    I”m now reading WHEAT BELLY and am so glad I found this book!! It’s answering so many questions for me. THANK YOU DR. DAVIS!!!!

    • Hi, Anne–

      Wow. Makes me wonder how you managed to function all those years.

      Yes, say good bye to wheat and never turn back. Even if you cannot find someone to run the celiac tests, I would remain wheat-free. If you have a reaction, that is good enough. And certainly resist the nonsense of “eat wheat products for 2 months and come back for testing.” Yeah, right: “Provoke absolute misery for two months to satisfy my limited understanding of your disease.”

  11. anne Tatgenhorst

    For at least 5 years I have had off and on: lower back pains, stabbing pains in hips and legs, shin pains, tingling in my feet, pain in hip and lower abdomen, shoulder pain (for many, many years) all on the right side. My right leg often felt like it wasn”t my leg, sometimes I thought I was getting appendicitis when I had sharp pains in right lower abdomen…other symptoms…around when I started having hip pain I broke out in hives for the first time ever after eating pizza. For years I have suffered from fatigue, pms where my legs felt like lead, interrupted sleep, foggy brain, Raynaud”s syndrome, as well as constipation, bloated stomach and gas. I have had thyroid checked, hip x-ray, chiropractic work (which help…she gave me a digestive enzyme which helped at the time), physical therapy (that helped a lot with hip pain), MRI on hip, internal sonogram (thinking it was my ovary..even had a laparoscopy with no results). The only thing anyone found was that I was anemic (aha! I found out this is a symptom of wheat intolerance). All these doctors and NO ONE EVER MENTIONED GLUTEN OR WHEAT INTOLERANCE!!! Makes me so mad. It took a friend who”s daughter has celiacs to suggest a GF diet…WOW! Within 3 days I felt huge changes. I had drenching night sweats that seemed to be detoxing my body. I slept solid, all night! and so many pains went away. I started feeling an energy I never had. I even started running, which I never had energy to do. I only drink one cup of coffee instead of drinking cups all day long. I have not yet been tested for Celiacs..trying to find a doctor who understands all this. Every time I eat wheat now I feel sick for 3 days, as if I”m getting a cold, can hardly walk, have sharp pains in both hips and leg, numbness in right heel, and have night sweats.
    Why do Doctors not understand the problems of gluten??? I wish someone had told me this years ago. My mother had these same pains when she was my age and Doctors could find nothing. She went to Chiropractors, had MRI’s, etc etc. Later in life she had severe arthritis in both hips and had a hip replacement. She died a year ago just before her second hip replacement, and had been in constant pain and anxiety her last few years. If I”d known what I know now I think she would have been much better if she were wheat free. Her sister died of Wegener”s disease…could that have been prevented by wheat elimination?
    I”m now reading WHEAT BELLY and am so glad I found this book!! It’s answering so many questions for me. THANK YOU DR. DAVIS!!!!

  12. migrator

    I am responding to the poster”s information about hair color changing back from gray to the original color since I am experiencing this, but can”t attribute it to being wheat/gluten free. I am a 56 year old woman.

    I”ve been wheat and gluten free for over 12 years after suffering for years from many symptoms as a result of eating wheat (too many to list here). Although my health improved after cutting out wheat I still had a weak immune system, mild anxiety, trouble sleeping, and a lot of aches and pains. Still, life was a lot better than when eating wheat. I was still eating gluten-free starches and sugar.

    Last summer after watching ”Fathead” I started eating low-carb by reducing my carbs in half immediately. This helped me feel a bit better. Then I read ”Wheat Belly” last fall and removed all starch and sugar from my diet. My health improved further, but I was still suffering from anxiety, constipation, sleeplessness, almost constant upper respiratory illnesses, and unrelenting fatigue.

    I read a book called ”Mood Cure” in January which advocates using amino acid supplements. This has been an incredibly valuable piece of the road to better quality of life. I have been taking amino acid supplements for over a month and can now sleep all night, my anxiety is completely under control, and much to my surprise my greying hair is starting to turn brown again. The texture of my hair also is changing – it is getting more body. When I started eating a LCHF diet the texture changed from being stiff to rather limp – probably because of the fat.

    I think some of the constant fatigue problems I have been having relate to lack of proper sleep, and the 5-htp and tryptophan amino acid supplements provides my body with the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. I am also taking L-glutamine, GABA, glycine, tyrosine, taurine and inositol, along with omega-3 and probiotics. These each have a specific purpose and supposedly you can stop taking them after a few months.

    • Al

      WOW! It sounds like what you really had was an stomach ulcer and/or intestinal permeability. Leaky gut is cured with aminoacids. Cabbage juice is high in glutamine. Once your intestinal or stomach walls are cured, any of the foods you eat will go to the blood steam so your immune system won’t attack you anymore.
      I am glad you are doing so much better now.

  13. Gen McGen

    I’m wondering how bad a few light beers could be…. Miller Lite has only 3.2g of carbs. I haven’t found a complete list of ingredients for light beers, so I’m not sure how bad they are. I don’t want to buy gluten-free beer. Any suggestions?

    • Dr. Davis

      Bud Lite is your safest bet, provided you don’t have celiac disease or have extreme gluten-sensitivity, Gen.

      Bud Lite is brewed from rice, though it has barley residues which can cross-react immunologically with gluten.

  14. Deb

    I did some searching and found celiac’s who went gluten free, also commenting that their previously gray hair returned to it’s normal colour on other websites. It makes sense if the wheat is blocking all the nutrients. I have been going gray since I was about 16 so I can’t wait to see the results after I have been wheat & gluten free for a short while.

    My son has had digestive issues for a long while and I found a gray hair in his head when he was 4 or 5 (he’s 6 now). Hopefully wb will resolve that as well.