The happy wheat-free intestine

Happy bowels are central to overall health, aren’t they?

Eliminate the gliadin protein of wheat and it can no longer trigger activation of inflammatory T-lymphocytes in the intestinal lining. Eliminate the lectin of wheat, wheat germ agglutinin, and this direct intestinal toxin can no longer destroy intestinal villi, increase intestinal permeability to foreign substances, and enter the bloodstream itself (and generate wheat germ agglutinin antibodies). (Interestingly, in experimental models, administration of wheat lectin alone is sufficient to generate celiac disease-like destructive changes.)

The majority of people who eliminate wheat therefore experience relief from symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, relief from the gas, cramps, and diarrhea of irritable bowel syndrome, and marked reduction–occasionally cure–of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

But not everybody.

What about the relatively smaller number of people who eliminate wheat and feel a bit better . . . but don’t return to normal, happy intestinal health? Putting aside the odd possibility that an entirely separate condition is simultaneously present, such as gallstones or duodenal ulcer, why would someone experience, say, 70% relief from acid reflux or irritable bowel symptoms, but not 100%?

Here are some possibilities:

–Wheat-eaters have different bowel flora (bacteria) compared to non-wheat consumers. When a wheat-consuming individual does away with all wheat, there is a necessary shift in the numbers and species of bowel bacteria. (Dysbiosis, or bacterial overgrowth, i.e., marked increases in the numbers of bacteria, a shift in composition away from normal and favoring some uncommon species, and greater numbers ascending higher in the intestinal tract into the ileum, jejunum, and duodenum, is common in wheat-eating individuals.) But, for unclear reasons, some people struggle with the shift back to a more normal bacterial profile. After eliminating wheat, they may be left (most typically) with constipation or excessive gas.

Some people therefore experience a smoother transition in bowel habits by supplementing with a probiotic preparation, e.g., 50 billion CFUs, preferably containing species of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Most people experience relief within days to weeks to initiating a probiotic regimen. (Incidentally, yogurt preparations do not work for this purpose, no matter how long you consume them.)

–Impaired pancreatic enzyme release–The pancreas produces enzymes required for digestion. Also for unclear reasons, some people develop less than optimal release of pancreatic enzymes and, while enjoying partial relief with wheat elimination, are left with some residual cramping, gas, and diarrhea. Some people describe (and this can be assessed formally) remnants of partially-digested food in their bowel movements (e.g., meat fragments, oil droplets). Perhaps it’s from low-grade repetitive pancreatic injury/inflammation from gliadin/lectin. Or maybe it’s from glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity from the metabolic derangements so common in the wheat-eating individual (e.g., high blood sugar, high triglycerides, postprandial lipoproteins). Or maybe it’s from the small intestinal lymphocytic infiltration or villous atrophy (destruction of the intestinal lining) of the wheat-eater.

While this is an undoubted oversimplification, some of these people simply respond to a several month course of pancreatic enzymes, especially one that contains the fat-digesting enzyme, lipase.

The wheat eliminating experience for us non-celiac people is growing rapidly and widely. Should you be among those who struggle with full recovery of bowel health after elimination of all things wheat, please speak up and report your experience!

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162 Responses to The happy wheat-free intestine

  1. Michael says:

    speaking of intestinal permeability, here’s a news article I saw today about autism and obesity:

    Mom’s obesity tied to kids’ autism, development

    A new study of mothers and children in California finds that kids born to obese women are more likely to be diagnosed with autism or related developmental delays than the children of slimmer moms.

  2. Walking Tall says:

    If the only thing that would have cleared up, is the bowel problem I have learned to live with, since I was in my late teens, it would have been worth the effort to give up Genetic Modified Wheat.

    For years, and even to Feb. 2012, I have learned to live with this problem–the older I got, the more severe the intermal pain–and it has placed me in embarising moments–as the pressures came at many inoppertune moments . . . .

    I saw a movie with a character with the exact problem as I, and I did not find it funny, not in the least. Others may, but they did not have this curse!

    Soon, I am going to list all the symptoms that has cleared up–and has diminished in severity, since being off this Man Made Human Pesticide–Govt. and others calls “Healthy Whole Grain.” I am not doing this, for my benefit–as that cluster of symptoms are etched in my brain, harder than any trauma or exteme pleasure–I will do it for the benefit of ohthers, that learns to live with things of this nature–and learns to suffer in silence–as the Medical Model and attached “experts’ cannot get at the core of a problem, that the majority of experts have–suppossed health gods, with answers–and they, themselves–to include their beloved family members, are in ill health!

    Top of the list? My decades bowel problems. Not ony have they diminished, but are gone! Since I was in my late teens, I have not counted 5 straight days of bowel peace! An here I am, in my fifth decade–comming into an optimum health that I thought more fantasy than any reality I ever dreamed of. When one is not in constant pain, one can deal with things in life, much better. Pain is an additional stressor that compounds other stressors that are common to daily life.

    Some of this translates to a life of pain–and depression. Some of this fleshes out to dependence on drugs–and a life of treatment (in the form of more drugs) for the side effects of the initial pharmacutical solution. Some, a combinaition–and an an atttude of “the give up blues.”

    I hope that any reading this post, can make the connection–rid them selves of Human Rat Poision, and forgo all the above!

    If my happy bowels cannot smile, I will do the honors, with my facial expression, for them!

    Again, I cannot thank you enough, Dr. Davis, for your service to The Human Condition!

    Walking Tall

    • Annette says:

      WT so glad to hear that you are doing better.

    • Tim says:

      I love that: Man Made Human Pesticide. How appropriate. Glad you’re feeling so much better, WT.

    • NancyMc says:

      I’m sorry you have suffered so WT, but thankful you have recovered. I too discovered all this late in the game- but thankful anyway! Sounds like you may be celiac, not just sensitive to gluten. Celebrating your success, way to go! :-)

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I shudder to think, Walking Tall, just how many other people there are, suffering silently just as you did?

      This is why we’ve got to tell these stories so that others having similar struggles, falling for the nonsense of “healthy whole grains,” instead hear the real story of the simple reason WHY they are suffering.

      • Annette says:

        Dr. Davis I was on a Food network blog about 5 health myths and I said how wheat and whole grains being good for you is a myth. They thought i was crazy and misinformed. Sad.

        • Dr. Davis says:

          That’s okay, Annette.

          Sometime soon they will realize that you were right! Word is spreading rapidly, but the Food Network may still be somewhere in 1987.

  3. Walking Tall says:

    It is sad–that the Govt. has anything to do with food–what is heathy or not healthy.
    High Spun, drugged, processed (mecanical or chemical), laced with synthetic hormones, and irratdiated seems to be the “health” that the Medial Model and Federal Govt. seems to endorce. Of all the evils allowed by We The People, (that act as compliant sheep–rather than People) the Govt. endorced, “Healthy Whole Grain,” seems to be the root of all evil. A wiled branch, spin-off of that root, seems to be a Pharmacutical Solution to the human condition!
    Try as I may, I do not see where the Fed. Govt. in any way shape or form–and their lap-dog Pharmicutical Buddies–has any Constitutional Right, or Moral High Gound, to have a say or any authourity on so much as a Salad Condiment.
    What powers not granted to the Fedeal Govt. is a State Matter–or a We The People Matter–so says the Tenth Amendment. The States, as they are more accountable to the people, rather than and All Powerful Federal Govt. in a galax-eeeeeeeeeeeee far, far, away–should have more power and say. There are passionate, independent scholars, with no political axe to grind, that are better suited to help in health matters–rather than an All-Knowing, one size fits all, Fed. Govt. Just a look at the majority of those in power . . . just to look at them, is not a picture of health–as they and theirs still insist on “Healhy Whole Grain.”
    The Tax payers and thousands of dollars of tests–a big-fat-ever increasing Medical Record File–the sum and substance of ALL The King’s Horses and All the King’s Men, could not do for me, a disabled Vet., do– what and independent Medical Professional, and his $25.00 book, Wheat Belly Could!

    One Dr. Davis and His Little book–Vs. The Entire Medical Establishment and The Entire Fed. Govt.–no contest, as Dr. Davis has won, hands down, in The Department Of Truth. No such animal in Govt. House!

    Walking Tall

    • Julie Li says:

      Got to disagree. The Gubbmint may not be doing a bang up job here, but in my estimation, it’s doing infinitely better than what came before it decided we needed to interfere with the process of “free enterprise.”

      Our mistake, as citizens, and as consumers, is to believe that some other entity aside from ourselves should or can make our way perfect. Ever.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks, Walking.

      And I’ll bet it was more like $15.99!

      • Walking Tall says:

        No, Dr., It was the price I said, at Barns and Nobel . . . and one of the best investments I have ever made . . . . I got it in Hard Back–as I wil pay extra for a lasting refercence book–as paper seems to wear out, quicker, with use.

        I was so ashamed and agrivated over just the lower bowel thing alone, I would not tell any Dr.–as my beloved mother became a life-long addict to a pill solution to the human condtion. I was not going to follow in her foot steps, when it came to that behavior pattern.

        I understand that many are having problems with this area–as I am still reluctant to express my mind in print–in this area.

        I do take mineral/Vitimn supplements, (calcium, magnesism, chromium) especialllllllllllly D—- as our U.S. Soils were declaired dead, in the early 30′s. Minearals, as you well know, help keep the body at an alkalyzed state–7,4, enough for the body to repel invaders–and allow the body and organs to repair at the cellular level–from, perhaps decades of Human Rat Poisions of various denominations–cheif among these evil toxins in food’s cloathing, Genetic Modified Wheat.

        All I can say, for any still having problems, Post Wheat–allow the body time to heal–or, seek real medical help, for the Wheat Assualt may have hid or masked co-occuring problems . . . which can be solved . . . if the Medical Professonal can step out side the Medical Model Box.

        Walking Tall

        • Dr. Davis says:

          Hi, Walking–

          Your story is so powerful and compelling, could I interest you in telling it in full detail for my new book, the Wheat Belly Cookbook (which will be more than a cookbook)?

          If so, please leave a comment here and I will email you. (Your email address is automatically posted with your comment.)

          • Walking Tall says:

            I would be most happy to bend my rules . . . never trust or talk to a Dr.–as I have had many, but have talked more to you, than any Dr. I have ever had. One exception, my non-VA Dr.

            I will do as you want, for I know that, at heart, you want to help people.

            My wife thanks you for giving back her husband–and I thank you for giving back my life! I tell as many as I can–and all I have to do, is let them look at my radiant wife!
            She did not have as far to go, as I–but this ole’ war horse is hangin in . . . as I will take my fantasy world that I have been living in, since the exodus of Human Rat Poision . . .

            What are the Doctor’s Orders? Sir.

            Walking Tall

  4. Robin says:

    I hardly believe it! I’ve been thinking for a few days now to leave a note here about this very thing and here’s your post on the subject!
    I’ve been off wheat – all grains actually – for maybe 6 weeks now and although there’s been mostly relief from reflux, it still bothers me. I wondered if it was milk (I have found a source of raw milk now), or coffee, or wine, or whatever else but I can’t isolate one thing. Some days I have next to no symptoms but yesterday it bothered me most of the day. I’m not really overweight but have lost just a few pounds and am now sitting on 60kg, give or take. I’m 5ft 8in so it’s not bad but I’ve still got the fat round my belly – which IS bad! I’m also a bit bloated and constipated, I guess.
    I think I’ll look into the probiotics and the pancreatic enzymes. Should I do both or try one first? Thanks.
    ~ Robin

  5. PJ says:

    I needed to hear this information, I (age 39, female and wheat free for 6 months – lost 10kg) am so bunged up with constipation and whenever I tell anyone ie. a doctor , they just recommend more water and more fruit and veg fiber and these handy hints don’t work. I am going to follow the instructions above. I truly don’t believe I am incurable.

    • John says:

      PJ, I found that homemade kefir fixed me after going wheat free and being horribly constipated. Also, make sure you stay away from insoluble fiber for a while. Insoluble fiber (roughage) is actually constipating. Fit in lots of soluble fiber (this feeds gut bacteria) and add homemade kefir once a day. You can also add kombucha once a day, Pharmax also produces a probiotic mix for celiacs that you can add in that is pretty good; but kefir will be the best.
      What most people do not understand is poop is mostly gut flora and when you have improper levels of gut flora you will become constipated. Also, when you are ready to go with your homemade kefir I do a one time treatment of magnesium sulfate to clear yourself out (make sure you have the day to be in the bathroom though and if you’re horribly constipated use the max dosage just make sure you drink plenty of water). After that, start taking the probiotics as often as you can. I have found that adding in 2 Oz of aloe vera juice helps also.
      I’m speaking from a position of what worked for me when I quit grains, discovered I was celiac and how I recovered from horrible constipation (while eating wheat I had the reverse problem). I also had to do a lot of reading to discover gems like insoluble fiber is constipating (this is know in the medical community).
      Whatever you do, do not go crazy with the dairy because dairy might add to your constipation. I make up batches of smoothies out of the kefir for the humans and give some of the raw to our dogs which has fixed the intestinal problems of our rescue dog. If the dairy is causing you problems you can get water kefir grains to make a water based kefir. If you have a WAPF chapter near you, you can pick up grains from them. You can also by the grains on amazon, but you will need to reconstitute the grains over many batches of milk. If you can get live grains from someone it will be a lot easier.

      Smoothie recipe:
      1 cup kefir
      1 cup coconut milk
      1 tbsp. coconut oil (extra virgin)
      2 cup organic frozen mixed berries
      3 egg yolks
      10 almonds (raw)
      10 roasted cashews
      1 pinch salt
      optional: vanilla and stevia, or protein powder.

      Blend up well and then serve yourself 4 – 6 Oz every morning with breakfast. The kefir will continue to ferment in this and it gets better tasting as it ages, but you should drink this within a week.

      I have a farmer that I really trust and can source raw milk to make the kefir, but if you do not have a farmer you really trust make sure you get pasteurized milk.

      Best of luck to you.

  6. Robin says:

    Oh, and I am getting sometimes quite severe cramps in my feet and legs at night. Do I need magnesium or something? Is this all related, do you think? I’m 63.
    ~ Robin

    • Emilia says:

      @Robin… Dr. Davis recommends magnesium malate and a good probiotic with 50 billion CFU’s. The magnesium will help greatly with cramping of muscles….not to mention many other things!

  7. Vicki White says:

    Read the Wheat Belly book and have been trying it for a week. My only problem is acid reflux/heartburn. So far I can’t tell any difference. How long does it normally take to see results? I also read that drinking Aloe Vera juice mixed with pomegranate juice can help. Would this be ok?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Should be sometime soon, Vicki, if there is going to be a response.

      Alternatively, you might be among the minority who does NOT respond to wheat elimination alone.

      • Peg says:

        Hi Dr. Davis -
        I’ve been wheat free since March 28 after attending your lecture (18 days). My joints are much better some days and a little better other days. The weight has only dropped about 5 lbs and acid reflux seems to be worse, not better. Sounds like I’m also amongst the minority. What else do we start eliminating? Or should I try a probiotic supplement?

        • Dr. Davis says:

          Hi, Peg–

          Sounds like a mixture of effects.

          Joint inflammation may require many months to show an effect, so 18 days is awfully soon. Be patient!

          The acid reflux can mean a number of things. If you stopped an acid reflux drug, there’s the potential for “rebound” acid production, in which case tapering the drug may be required. (I’d like to say “talk to your doctor about this,” but more than likely he/she will have no idea what to do.) It certainly does not hurt to try a 50 billion CFU probiotic. If this persists despite continued efforts and a probiotic, it may be time for a gastroenterologist to ask “why?”

  8. Sharon says:

    I had eliminated grains from my diet and noticed a enormous improvement with my gut. I was still having occasional problems and my chiropractor suggested a food allergy test. I was very allergic to flax seed and sesame seed which was in my diet. I eliminated those and have been much better.

    • Robin says:

      Sharon – Thanks for that. I eat a bit of flaxseed so I’ll eliminate that to see if it makes a difference. Argh! That’s what I use for flour to make ‘bread’ and muffins. :(

      • Sharon says:

        There are many different things you can use as a substitution for flax seed. I accidently ate something with flaxseed and all those symptoms returned. I also use a good quality probiotic. I also use enzymes. A lot of people do not have enough stomach acid. So Betatine HCL (two right before you eat) helps you to digest food. I use the NOW brand. Also the best enzymes that I have found are from bioenergy sytems and are called Pregest. You should be able to open you enzymes and sprinkle them across cooked oatmeal. The oatmeal should become watery. I take CALM magnesium at night (usually a heaping talbe spoon) and about four enzymes. The magnesium and enzymes work together. You may also look into the GAPS diet. This diet focuses on the healing of the gut. Also the blog WholeNewMom has a lot of info about dealing with allergys and diet.

        • Robin says:

          Thanks for all that info, Sharon. I’ll leave the flax seeds for now & see if that makes a difference – I’ve got almond flour I can use. It’s so good to be able to get all the different bits of information from people here. I’m in New Zealand and have found a local website that has the probiotiics at 50 billion CFUs, so I’ll try those. They’re FDA-approved for shipping to the US and also TGA-approved (Australia). The tablets I have are only 5 billion but I’ll finish them off first. And I’ll get some magnesium supplements, as per Emilia’s suggestion. I didn’t used to be bloated when I was eating green smoothies & more raw foods, and I wasn’t getting so many cramps but I’ll work it out, especially with all the helpful comments here. I love meat & fat! And we’re lucky here; we have grass-fed animals.

    • Shirley says:

      I eliminated wheat on Dec. 26 last year and my hair loss stopped within two shampoos. Thrilled beyond expectation. About five weeks later I picked up a box of MG Crackers with sesame and flax seeds and ate a few that evening with my chicken salad. Next day the hair loss was back. I went into a panic, almost convinced myself the no-wheat benefit was only temporary, but finally turned to the crackers and tossed them out. It took about two weeks to return to no hair loss mode. I’m 61, have lost about 9 pounds with 14 more to go. Wheat, spelt, any and all artifical sweeteners, pasteurized milk and cheese with milk added result in junk food cravings later in the day or next day.

      Thank you Dr. Davis and be careful.

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  10. Uncle Roscoe says:

    I’m having an epiphany.

    Limes make me sick. No surprise, all citrus makes me sick. All fructose makes me sick, and all aspartate makes me sick. Citrus contains both fructose and aspartate. Many commercial foods also make me sick. One pattern I notice? All food products which contain “lime” make me sick.

    Naturally I assumed the foods which list “lime” as an ingredient were referring to the juice of limes. But my symptoms differ. Citrus causes digestive distress, and “lime” causes constipation.

    Finally I searched the internet. These products do not contain the juice of limes. They contain the chemical “lime”. What is “lime”? Lime is calcium carbonate (CaCO2), the main ingredient in limestone, the white powder which kills grass and makes the lines on football fields. Unlike the citric acid in lime juice, “lime” is an alkali. Lime is the quintessential buffering agent which nature uses to neutralize organic acids.

    Why would food manufacturers use lime? Because fast frying causes frothing, and loss of cooking oil fat. When you overheat fat which has any unsaturated content whatsoever, it releases hydrocarbon gas. The fat froths, and reduces the fat mass. Adding lime neutralizes the hydrocarbon gas before it can escape, and returns it to the fat mass ….which saves money for food manufacturers. So what’s the problem? Lime causes a few problems.

    1. Lime neutralizes acid in the stomach ……bile (hydrochloric) acid. The stomach releases bile acid, 1) to dissolve fat, and 2) to activate digestive enzymes. When you eat lime it prevents digestion, not only of fats, but of ALL foods.

    2. Remember your high school chemistry class? Acids feel gritty, and alkalies feel slimy. It’s the same way in nature. Humus is acidic, and clay is alkaline. Humus feels gritty, and clay feels slimy. Humus gets its gritty nature from its organic hydrocarbons. Clay gets its slimy nature from lime (calcium carbonate).

    Humus is loose, and clay is tightly packed. Well that’s the difference between a bowel which contains organic acids, and a bowel which contains lime. Regularity vs compaction.

    3. It stands to reason that reincorporation of lime-buffered hydrocarbons back into fat is responsible for the bulk of trans fats now being blamed for a plethora for health problems including cancer and cardiac death.

    If, like me, you are experiencing digestive distress accompanied by constipation, stop ingesting foods which contain “lime”. See what happens. And by the way, all commercially available lard I’ve seen contains “lime”.

    • Kaylana says:

      Thanks for sharing the epiphany! It’s amazing!

      • Uncle Roscoe says:

        This all makes me wonder exactly what soft drink manufacturers do to counter the added carbonation. Calcium carbonate makes water solutions alkaline. Alkaline solutions tend to dissolve solids, and make them murky. Acid tends to precipitate solids, and make solutions clear. In oceans bromine is an elemental catalyst which acidifies water which contains excess calcium carbonate. Bromine precipitates the calcium out of solution, and helps make oceans clear.

        Bromine is poisonous in concentrations above a narrow therapeutic range.

        There’s other related chemistry in oceans too, but I really wonder how blatantly soft drink manufacturers dabble in this potentially dangerous chemistry.

        • Kaylana says:

          Just found a paper from 1991 called, “The role of aromatic hydrocarbons in the genesis of breast cancer.” Here’s a quote from the abstract: “Human exposure to aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites induces and promotes altered DNA by mechanisms described as increased intracellular pro-oxidant production as well as direct abduction to DNA.”

          Hydrocarbons are used to induce experimental breast cancer and is the only one used that “has not previously been implicated in human mammary carcinogenesis.”

          This was from 1991, so maybe things have changed. All the same, I’d say it’s time to put away the lime!

    • JJ says:

      I also heard of lime being added to tap water which has been chlorinated. I’m not sure of the chemistry – perhaps it was to make it less acidic? Another reason to avoid tap water.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Wow, Uncle, a truly unique observation!

      I will have to pay attention to this issue, one that is entirely new to me.

  11. Maureen says:

    I am looking for a probiotic on line and Dr Mercola’s has 70 billion CFUs. Is this too much? Looks like the only way to get a probiotic of at least 50 billion CFUs is online. Anybody have any other experience?

  12. Jan says:

    I’ve been fat ever since young adulthood. At times fatter than others.Now in middle age I find it imperative that I get the weight off and live a healthier lifestyle. Like so many others, I could not understand why I was eating better, which of course included eating complex carbs with the advice of so many doctors and other health experts. The whole wheat belly philosophy makes sense to me. However, after having gone totally wheat and grain free for several weeks, I seem to gain little results. While I do “feel better”, sleep better, and experience less mood swings, little has happened with weight loss which is discouraging after hearing how so many others experience considerable relief within days.
    This article talks about intestinal flora, so I am wondering if this may be a reason I’m not losing very much weight.
    My question is, how do I include probiotics? You state that yogurt will not provide the bacteria that may be lacking. Are there other foods to eat? Supplements to take?

    Thanks. I’m really hoping to find some effective answers.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Jan–

      Look for a probiotic that, as discussed in the article, provides at least 50 billion CFUs.

      Brenda and Stan Watson of RenewLife are friends of mine. While there are several very good brands, I can vouch for the quality of their supplements and their incredible attention to detail in their supplements.

      Also, while wheat elimination is powerful, it cannot correct such things as thyroid dysfunction. If you go back several months in this blog, you will find several discussions about this.

      • Jan says:

        Thanks for your response. I have ordered probiotics from the source you mention.

        Thyroid tests all come back within normal limits. I think perhaps I have to give up ALL grains and go a few weeks just eating protein, healthy fats, and veggies. Basically low carb. No fruit, no grains of any kind. At any rate, the addition of probiotics surely can’t hurt. I’ll give them a try.

        • Dr. Davis says:

          Please don’t be lulled by being told your thyroid tests are “normal.”

          I’ve lost count on how many people I’ve met who have been told the same thing but have substantial hypothyroidism sufficient to triple death from heart disease. Last I checked, death from heart disease is not normal.

          • Jennifer says:

            I have the SAME problem as Jan!! I’ve been WF for 23 days and haven’t lost a pound. I initially read the book because I wanted to loose 15 – 20 lbs. The probiotics and the magnesium are helping with the constipation. I’ve been taking them for about a week and things are moving slowly. My thyroid tests have always come back normal as well. I have a physical scheduled next week and I suspect my doc will tell me my thyroid is normal again. Dr. Davis, what do you recommend if your test results come back fine? I read the other post under the thyroid category. Should I just take an kelp/iodine supplement and cross my fingers?

          • Dr. Davis says:

            Hi, Jennifer–

            While the iodine is a start, you need someone to look at both you and your thyroid values and decide whether thyroid dysfunction is an issue.

            I can tell you that, more often than not, people with your situation do indeed have some measure of thyroid dysfunction that is ignored/denied by the primary care doc. Or, there may be other metabolic distortions that require attention, such as disruptions of the normal circadian rhythmicity of cortisol, stress effects, sleep deprivation, progesterone deficiency, etc.

            Wheat elimination is a powerful, powerful strategy, but it cannot reverse all the ills us humans develop, including those that impair your capacity to control weight. This requires a thoughtful assessment by an interested healthcare practitioner, preferably not one restricted to the 15 minutes of “you look fine to me” variety.

  13. Samantha says:

    Hi, I used the search engine on this blog but didn’t come up with an answer. What’s the deal with Wheat Grass? I know it’s gluten-free but is it safe?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Don’t know, Samantha, since I’ve yet to see an analysis. I suspect it contains wheat lectins, which is not good.

  14. JoAnne Callanta says:

    Dr Davis –
    THANK YOU!! I heard about ‘Wheat Belly’ quite by accident and it’s been the best thing to happen to me! I am a 52 year old female and have always been health-conscious. I’ve been faithfully eating “healthy whole grains” for 40 years. I’ve always been thin & I’ve never had a weight issue. In fact, I can easily eat as much as my brothers at a meal! I’ve always had a big appetite. About 4-5 years ago I noticed I was losing 2 pounds of weight per year; without trying.
    Upon turning 50, I began to experience stiffness when getting up in the morning, had daytime body aches, and just feeling ‘ick.’ I LOVE breakfast but about 9 months ago the very thought of breakfast would turn my stomach. For 2.5 years I’ve been dealing with an on-going post-nasal drip that at times was so bad I couldn’t speak because of the junk in my throat. I went to an ENT doctor. He told me I had acid reflux. He explained how gluten was causing the acid reflux, and the post nasal drip was a symptom of acid reflux. I was skeptical, but decided to give his suggestions a try. After 3 visits with him my post nasal drip is gone. He set me on the wheat-free course of living.
    I went wheat-free 2 months ago. I feel so much better! No more being ravenously hungry 90 minutes after eating. Now I can go 7-8 hours and not even think about food. My eyesight has improved. During the daytime my vision is more sharp. I no longer fight shadows, double-vision, or haziness when driving at night. Recently I began to experience occasional bouts of losing my balance for no apparent reason. That was quite scary but it too has gone away. No more losing gobs of hair in the shower. I was constantly shedding and it was so bad that my daughter even commented on it. I have not had full range of motion in my left arm for 7 years (car accident). I’ve had physical therapy and regularly see a chiropractor. In only 3 weeks of being gluten-free I now have full range of motion back in my arm! I could relate to something in every chapter you wrote in your book.
    I read your post “The Happy wheat-free intestine” with great interest. You said “What about the relatively smaller number of people who eliminate wheat and feel a bit better . . . but don’t return to normal, happy intestinal health?” I think you’ve described me. I’ve been wheat-free for 2 months. I’m still losing weight. I am 5‘ 5” tall, and weigh 100 pounds. Friends have voiced their concern. I am so thin I look anorexic. I’m too thin and I know it. It’s scaring me, I can’t gain weight and don’t know what to do. I’ve been to 2 doctors who “get it” when it comes to gluten and wheat. Both have said that my gut is most likely so inflamed from years of gluten that it will probably take 6 months to a year before it heals. Both doctors suspect the nutrients aren’t getting through because of the damage (villous atrophy?). Do you have any suggestions on how to speed up the healing? I can’t afford to lose any more weight. I still suffer with the alternating diarrhea & constipation.
    I also had some general questions —
    1. When you talk about eliminating other foods like potatoes, rice, cornmeal, etc, do I understand it correctly that if the serving size is ½ cup or less shouldn’t generate adverse blood sugar effects?
    2. When you mention the foods to be “consumed in limited quantities” do you mean once a day? Once a week? Once a month? What does “limited” mean?
    3. How do you eat/prepare chia seeds? Do they have to be ground like flax seeds or they’ll pass right thru the body?

    Thank you, thank you, Dr. Davis. You are truly helping many people!


  15. Deanne says:

    I found when I eliminated sugar from my diet as well as wheat I had a complete digestive system cure, while wheat gave me 80% the sugar helped with the other 20% and if I have sugar now my old heartburn and burping symptoms return – but not as severely as before.

  16. Vicki White says:

    What else would you suggest I do? I’m already taking a probiotic and I don’t have any problems with anything else except acid reflux/heartburn. In fact, it is 5:30 am and I was awakened an hour ago with the pain:(

  17. Kat says:

    Husband just came home from doctor. 50yrs. Old BP 196/90, gall bladder is fine, chronic nausea for over a year. Works out every day. Told to go see a family physician. He has been very stressed as of late. Going in for a colostomy next month. Don’t like or should I say don’t trust doctors. Would getting off all gluten help? Not over weight either.

  18. Walking Tall says:

    I am thankful for all the people that post on this site.

    It has now been 6 weeks since my freedom from the chains of Genetic Modified Wheat Addiction–as thats exactly what it was–addiction!

    To all that post, I would suggest that you read other posts, to keep up the encougement–as this is cutting edge knowledge in health–as most do not realize that a Medical Dr. (Dr. Davis!) has stuck his neck out–and challenged a mighty industry–boinked the bug-eyes of medical model ignorance–and a mostly ignorant population, almost conditioned to rely on “experts.” I post on this section–as I have a new found bow-peace that I have never known–and, not only that, other things (severe to moderate) symptoms are just clearing up, as my body is moving decades of Genetic Modified Wheat Poision out of my system!

    Without thinking, I sat on a hard seat, in a restaruant, ate, got up and left, before I realized what I had done–as I have not sat on a hard seat for decades! No excruciating bowl pains, gases, etc.–as I thought them just lower spine related–from a series of older injuries. No post restaraunt tolit stress! How cool is that? Unlike some, I see and understand the value of spinal adjustments, as the nerves must flow freely–and I could not understand, with a spinal health, that non-chiropractors aknowledge–why the constant pain? It may be that the Genetic Modifeid Wheat exacerbated the injury sites–as the elimination of it, has, not only brought symptom releif, it is almost as if I have never had a lower back and bowl problem, to begin with!
    I go to Buffets, as I have learned, though Dr. Davis, to pick out non-wheat. I have become quite a Wheat Detective! Now, after 6 weeks, the horrible cravings (and withdraw) of the first 3 weeks is gone–and I do not even crave regular beet or kane sugar!

    The new found freedom to go anywhere I want, without having to do recon. for the restroom, position my self in a line of sight–as I would dash like a mad bullet to my intended target. I no longer live this way, as the natural enzymes in my body is in detox mode, I am losing inches, at this point, faster than I am losing pounds–but the process is slow, but sure!

    The last time I almost hit my goal, from 295 to 205, I sill had the pain, could not figure out how to lose the flab–and could not figure out, why my joints ached, as if I was still 295 lbs! Listening to experts, I increased my consumption of heathy whole grains, paying soooooooo much extra, for “whole grain goodness”–and, after a horrid auto accident, I had to stop exercizing–I am sure the Genetic Modified Human Rat-Poision Wheat made my weight come back, with a vengence!

    Now, at 250, down from 260–at this point, none of my joints ache–except for the trauma places of my Service Connected Disabilty. And even those places do not hurt, as bad.

    All I can say, is: Listen To The Doctor! Doctor Davis! Yes, if you have to, see or consult other types of professionals, but, they must be open minded to the dangers of Genetic Modified Wheat. Allow time for your mind and body to heal . . . and read the blogs from some posts by people that have a little longer non-wheat time.

    Walking Tall

    • Dr. Davis says:

      That’s wonderful, Walking!

      You have a flare for observation and you’ve experienced some unique effects even I haven’t yet seen.

  19. Kim Hood says:

    I am now starting on day 10 Wheat Free! The changes in my overall health are still amazing me! It’s funny how removing wheat has actually made me crave better foods! I have even gone walking, and today my husband and I went bowling for the first time in 3 years! The pain in my joints just 10 days ago would have made this impossible. My husband, who is still eating the wheat/poison, and is 15 years younger than I am, came home hurting everywhere! My bowels are still in an up and down mode…sometimes solid, sometimes not, but it will take more than 10 days to repair all the damage done after 50+ years of wheat consumption!
    Anyone wanting to keep up with my Wheat Belly experience, can friend me on facebook! I wish I could hug Dr. Davis! I can’t stop talking about the evils of wheat/grains!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Terrific, Kim!

      Yes, give the bowels time. They’ve been beat up and mixed up by a lifetime of the various poisonous compounds in modern wheat. It can take weeks to months to undo.

  20. Christopher Niles says:

    I live in France. After having the typical reaction to wheat after eating some beef heart and liver (dandruff, higher blood pressure, slight pains in my pink bone, light cramp-like sensations in the upper-right chest) I’m wondering if the offal is sprayed with gluten in order to give it a more shiny appearance, thereby making it more attractive to potential buyers? Any thoughts Dr. Davis? Others?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Oh, boy, Christopher: That one I have NO answer to.

      If you learn anything about what happened, please come back and let us know.