Opera tenor does Wheat Belly

Jon, an attorney, left this wonderful story of newly-discovered relief from the plagues of acid reflux sans wheat:

I have been wheat-free for the last 6 weeks since reading your book.

I am a 43-year old male and have suffered from acid-reflux for the last 20 years (maybe longer). I first noticed severe symptoms in my first year at law school. For approximately the last 5-years (prior to reading your book) I “managed” my reflux by eating frequent small meals, taking Nexium and avoiding triggers such as raw onions, chicken fat and caffeine.

Within days of going wheat-free the reflux left and has not returned! No longer do chicken fat and raw onions cause excess acid and my esophagus to cramp and spasm in terrible pain. In fact, none of the paleo foods I have tried have bothered my stomach. After 6-weeks, I think it”s safe to assume that it was the wheat in combination with the impugned foods and not the impugned foods in and of themselves that were the problem.

Not only did going wheat-free alleviate a chronic discomfort, it has allowed me to re-pursue my avocation with renewed vigor. I am an opera singer in my spare and sometimes not-so-spare time. Both the fear and the real effect of reflux on my vocal chords often wreaked havoc on my physical and mental preparation for concerts and shows. I am thrilled to say that both the fear of reflux and the reflux itself are gone. I recently performed a Bach cantata while wheat-free and there was no trace of reflux before, during or after the show. For me, that was remarkable.

Needless to say, I am singing the praises of your book.

Relief from acid reflux is among the most consistent observations of the wheat-free. The $100 billion–Billion–annual market for acid reflux-suppressing drugs, among the biggest selling drugs ever made such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Protonix, has been an incredible cash cow for the pharmaceutical industry. Imagine this market drying up as more and more people go wheat-free and spare themselves from the long-term side-effects of osteoporosis, vitamin B12 deficiency, and increased potential for pneumonia characteristic of this class of drugs.

Sorry, Jon, if you are not a tenor. But I’d love to hear some of your performance. Any links to recordings?

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62 Responses to Opera tenor does Wheat Belly

  1. Caroline says:

    I’ve been making my own kefir from raw whole milk. It has done wonders for my digestive system. I am gluten intolerant and also lactose intolerant but able to drink kefir because I let it ferment for 36 to 48 hours which give the good bacteria enough time to gobble up all the lactose. Kefir is easy to make, no special equipment needed. There is a lot of information online about the benefits and how to make it.

    It certainly helped me with acid reflux. Better than taking a pill. However, I must warn you that kefir is an acquired taste. It’s hard to describe. . . Sour, tart . . . Similar to real yogurt but more intense. I love it and drink about a cup a day.

    By the way, taking a lot of pills, even vitamins can be hard on the stomach. I discovered taking any pill or supplement just before bedtime would cause my stomach to hurt the next morning. Now I take my supplements with food and/or plenty of water and it solved the problem.

  2. Tyler says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I have been living wheat-free for 7 weeks now and have experienced reasonable success. I’ve also convinced about 12 people (so far) to live wheat free as well I love how I feel now (no bloating, no mental, more energy, weight loss, etc.) except for one thing. My stomach tends to be upset right before lunch time almost every day. It’s somewhat similar to an acid reflux but not quite as I don’t feel it in my esophagus, just in the stomach (upset). My typical daily diet consists of this:

    Breakfast: small handful of fruit (cherries, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, blueberries, blackberries), some walnuts and almonds

    Lunch: salad with spinach, leafy greens, 2 hard boiled eggs, some cherry tomatoes, flax seeds, a small amount of cheese, cucumbers and uncured sausage (all natural, no preservatives… is this ok?).

    Dinner: fish (or chicken or beef) with veggies (asparagus, broccoli, spinach) and juice drink (consists of celery, parsley, cilantro, spinach, leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers, limited frozen fruit like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and a small 2oz amount of cranberry juice and water)

    Sometimes for dinner, my wife and I will also make wheat-free pizza or other wheat-free goodies from the wheat belly cookbook. So to summarize, I feel like I’m a great place now for the most part and I thank you greatly for show people like me the way! However, I really want to curtail this stomach issue sooner than later, so I can be stomach-pain free too! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks for your time!


    • Tyler says:

      Correction: “no mental” supposed to say “no mental fog”

      Also, I wanted to mention that I do have usually 2 cups of coffee with a tsp of raw honey in the morning as well as 2 cups of green tea in the afternoon.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Gee, not sure, Tyler.

      It’s odd that it occurs at the same time every day and not, say, before breakfast or dinner. It makes me wonder whether there is something that you are not tolerating well in breakfast. It may require a one-by-one elimination process to pinpoint.

      If it weren’t for the consistent timing, I’d say look at other factors, such as pancreatic issues. But the consistent timing is odd and makes me wonder whether it therefore something induced by your choice of foods. There may be some form of intolerance you are experiencing.

      • Tyler says:

        Dr. Davis thanks so much for your response. I should add that I have experienced discomfort after dinner as well but it most commonly occurs before lunch. Im actually experiencing discomfort as I write this. It’s interesting to me about your one by one elimination strategy because I’ve done that for two specific foods I’ve suspected. First I eliminated avocados (which I absolutely love eating) but the pain continued, next I eliminated plain Greek yogurt. Actually, after eliminating the yogurt for a few days, I went and tried a smoothie with the yogurt again and experienced terrible stomach pain for a few hours. So I’m not eating that anymore. Lastly, my sister just had her gallbladder removed due to gall stones (I don’t necessarily think I have gall stones but I’m considering everything at this point) … could you possibly elaborate what you mean by pancreatic issues? Again, thank you so much for your time, I truly appreciate it!

        • James says:

          Hi Tyler,

          Just a suggestion:

          Try organic bacon and eggs for breakfast and see if this happens. In short: skip the nuts and berries.


          • Bill says:

            Good suggestion James. I was going to suggest that too, plus “”Where’s the fat?” Breakfast is very important – and probably the best time for adding quality fats to the diet:
            - organic, pastured Butter
            – for cooking
            – in eggs
            - organic or Certified Humane eggs
            - Non-Factory-Farm meats, like uncured bacon, sausage, ham
            - heavy whipping cream:
            -in coffee (with a little raw sugar or honey)
            – in eggs
            - raw Coconut oil – to cook with and to Drink!
            – drink it – try 1 tsp at first, work way up to 1 tbl spoon
            – microwave it for 15-20 seconds in cup
            – then I add some cinnamon and turmeric to cup
            You don’t get a high-fat diet by accident – work it! Be creative – try different ways to “up the fat”.
            Working the high-fat, low-low carb diet for a year

        • Jennifer says:

          Tyler – I bet the nuts could be to blame. I had stomach pain from raw nuts or commercially roasted nuts. However, once I learned to soak/sprout raw nuts and low-heat roast them myself (I actually use a food dehydrator to do it – it is a cinch) I had no more stomach issues from the nuts.
          Um, also, if you saw all of the dirt that comes off walnuts when you soak them, you would want to do it just because of that. Yikes!
          Just a thought. . . good luck.

  3. maria benafolli says:

    I have suffered from acid reflux for the past 5 years. I tried everything. Cutting dairy, homeopathic medicine, pills , cut everything out my diet – who was to knew it was wheat and other gluten infested grains all along! THANK GOD for this wonderful doctor!

    doctor i have a question – ive always been quite slim – despite having the painful reflux which is now gone since the wheat elimination. is it safe for me to drink milk and eat products like gluten free cornflakes ?> i dont want the acid reflux to return at any cost. the pain is unbearable.

    lots of love – your big fan

  4. Dorothy Maloney says:

    I went to the book store to purchase a gluten free cook book when I saw you book “Wheat Welly Cookbook” on the end counter. I opened it up and began reading it and returned my first selection back on the shelf. I have had heart burn and acid reflux or about 2 years and it was getting worse by waking me up at 3:00 am with stomach acid in my mouth. I took pepsid AC and Tums and a tsp of Baking Soda with warm water. Nothing worked! Now, since I started the Wheat Belly way I have NO acid problems. All I can say is “THANK YOU”
    Good Thoughts,

  5. Chris Johnson says:

    I’ve suffered from acid reflux for nearly 20 years.
    I always had to take tums and prevacid every day, still the pain was there everyday.
    I thought something was wrong with me, after all, how could a bowl of organic brown rice be bad for you?
    How could that organic sprouted twelve grain bread be bad for you?

    If only I had known.

    My last bottle of prevacid and tums have not even been open, I am drinking coffee and tea without fear.
    Losing weight too, but the heartburn?? cured??
    If I had not experienced for myself I probably would never have believed it.

    Sincere thanks!

  6. MsG says:

    My reflux is gone too. I went to the ER for the pain and got put on nexium. I want to shout it from the rooftops that eliminating wheat is all it takes! No more gas. No more tums. No more burn. Whoooop!!! Whoop!

  7. Lois Niethammer says:

    I am 5′ 9″ and am very thin. I have tried the wheat-free diet for acid reflux and other digestive problems. I usually give up because I lose too much weight. Any suggestions?

  8. Pingback: Overindulgence | Wheat On Trial

  9. Glen says:

    I am 45 and have suffered from acid re-flux for over 20 years. My doctor gave me the list of foods to stay away from.. The list never worked. He told me to try and lose a few pounds… that never worked either. The last few years has really been scary. When I forget my ‘acid pill’ for one day, I am, not only, in pain that same afternoon, but I feel really ill and just plain not well. It is hard to describe…

    So, it has now been 7 full days of NO WHEAT and very little sugar. I only eat fresh whole foods from the list of the foods that are non-wheat or approved. I have been too afraid to not take my acid pill… yet.

    I am sitting here at work and just realized that I did forget to take it last night…and, I don’t feel any reflux! This just can’t be happening… 20 years of pills and home remedies that offered NO relief and then something so simple seems to be working? I am blown away. The other reason I was compelled to write on this blog (which I never write on blogs…) was that a co-worker just talking to me and asked me, “Have you lost weight? Your face looks thinner or something”. So, I ran to the scale in our shipping area and I could not believe it… I have lost 8 pounds. And, I had just eaten! Something is really wrong with popular thinking when it comes to food here in America. How is it possible to be promoting wheat the way we do? I am such a skeptic with stuff like this. The only reason I did was because I saw the foods you were supposed to eat and I thought it looked easy. Who doesn’t like a nice ribeye steak? I think I could live on chicken, beef, salads alone. But then add in olives, guacamole, cheese, veggies, and such and you are crazy if you think that this is too restrictive. Deviled eggs anyone? I still think about a nice bagel every once in a while… However that thought is getting more and more distant. I am still in shock that my stomach isn’t screaming with acid pain right now! I am sure I am not cured… we will see how long this lasts. The point is that even 5 hours with no meds for the re-flux is a huge deal to me. I am going on 24 hours right now. I have lost a few pounds… My skin feels better too… and I am eating steak! HUH? I started this with the thought that I can do anything for a day or two… I quickly realized that the food part of this plan is actually great. It gives you an excuse to eat a lot of really good things. I actually have been packing lunch for work. I have never done that before. It is actually fun to do!

    I think before I was so hungry at meal time that I couldn’t think of actually preparing a meal because the thought of having to wait to eat something was too daunting due to my hunger. Now, I prepare meals, have fun doing it, and then really enjoy the food! I think it is because I am not so crazy hungry while cooking now.

    Sort of reminds me of when I was a kid. Food was cooked every day and it was really great food. What has happened to us?!

    I am almost done with the book now and I am still in shock with my results.

    Thank you for writing this book!

  10. Kate says:

    Your book was suggested to me by a holistic person that I go to. I have severe acid reflex (which just got diagnosed officially last week) and migranes, along with many other medicial problems. While I have not tried the wheat free diet yet, I’m trying to learn about it so I can. My problem is I have so many food allergies and intolerances, wheat products are some of the only foods I can eat. I have intolerances to eggs, lactose, red meat and various fruits, nuts, veggies and spices. My list of allergies and intolerances is rather long. Do you have any suggestions for me so I can go wheat free but still be able to eat?

    • Annie says:

      If you omit wheat, you may well find that the other foods you are currently allergic or sensitive to, will no longer affect you. Give it a go – there’s nothing to lose.

    • Victoria says:

      I agree with Annie, when you go off wheat some of the “allergies” you have will probably go away. I found when I went wheat free I now can eat a lot of stuff I was reluctant to eat before because of bloating and acid reflux. The other night I went to a Sunday School class Salad supper. Everyone brought a different salad. Well, I had to try the cheesy broccoli casserole and the Italian pasta salad. I am dairy sensitive, not lactose intolerant, I just don’t process it correctly and then the pasta, naturally was wheat. By the time I got home I had a screaming headache, stomachache and felt really tired. No more dairy or wheat for me. But other things like raw lettuce, raw nuts and apples I can eat, I never could eat them before. Try going wheat free for a couple of weeks and then have a nice filet mignon. Bet you can tolerate it and enjoy it. Happy eating.

  11. My aunt was diagnosed with celiac. The doctor told her to go gluten free and then see if she really was intolerant to dairy or if the gluten was the real problem….. Celiac damages the villi in the small intestine and then the digestive enzymes that are situated on the damaged villi don’t work. I definitely believe gluten could be responsible for a lot of digestive problems so allow for the healing (? don’t know how long but keep trying) and venture out into “whole” foods–natural, unprocessed and evolutionarily appropriate. Remember, carbs are new.