Woes of a wheat-saturated diet

Each of us has a unique story to tell, having suffered at the hands of this thing being sold to us called “wheat” for a lifetime. We also fight this battle in our own way, each a fascinating and compelling story of how profound and important wheatlessness can be, causing us to change course in food choice, views of diet, and notions of aging, weight, and health.

Here are a couple of fascinating comments recently posted on the Amazon page for Wheat Belly.

Reader L. Romme left this comment:

I stumbled upon this book when I was searching for something to get for my new E-reader and it has literally changed my life. Dr. Davis does an exceptional job of presenting the case against the altered substance that modern wheat has become. The varied and complex interactions that modern wheat has with our bodies can be hard to grasp in their entirety. As a Registered Nurse, I enjoyed the scientific explanations, but the book was not so technical as to be something that people with no medical background would have a problem with.

Although I have never been considered to be overweight, I did have a stubborn accumulation of fat around my middle and as I got further into the book I recognized that other problems I have (acid reflux, irritable bowel, thyroid problems) are very likely to be the result of a wheat saturated diet. I immediately cut out wheat in all forms and based on the positive and almost immediate results my family has experienced, I will never go back to wheat again. I have lost 4 inches around my waist, the acid reflux and irritable bowel are gone and I feel better than I have in years.

My husband who had been fighting a losing battle with obesity, has dropped 2 pants sizes and is losing about a pound a week. My son who is in his mid-thirties has also lost weight and inches and is now able to again fit into clothes he wore in high school. I mentioned this book to a co-worker, who has had similar positive results in the areas of weight, skin problems and intestinal discomfort.

I recently read that veterinarians are now seeing an increase in the number of overweight pets (fat pet birds are now referred to as “perch potatoes”). I checked the package of “premium” bird seed I have been buying for my birds and, sure enough, it has both “wheat” and “ground wheat” listed in the ingredients. Perhaps their little bodies don’t do any better digesting this altered wheat than humans do.

I think it is tragic (read “criminal”) that the harder we have tried to eat a more healthy diet (i.e. whole grains as recommended by the so-called “experts”), the more unhealthy we have become. Since a wealth of research has apparently existed for some time on this issue, I have to conclude that there has been a deliberate effort to hide the truth on the part of the government and powerful forces representing the multitude of people who benefit from our population consuming wheat and getting sick doing it.

Reader Ellie D said:

I heard about the book Wheat Belly from a friend three weeks ago when I was complaining about my stomach and how big and bloated I felt. She said, “Read Wheat Belly.” I noted she never eats bread, pizza, cookies, cake, all the things I do at least 3 times a week.

I exercise every day and eat healthy–you could really say “wheat-free” except for the three times a week when I eat bread, pizza, subs. I don’t overeat, but do eat these things.

Well, last week I had been trying really hard, exercising longer, and still could not even notice a change in my stomach area. I have lost weight on my legs, arms, face but cannot budge my stomach.

So I gave in and bought the book. The following day after reading the entire book I began my “wheat-free program.” After just 2 days, I want to honestly say that I did not feel that heavy bloating feeling like I was stuffed into my pants. It has been a little more than a week and for me the most wonderful feeling is a lighter feeling in my stomach: The heaviness is gone.

It is too soon for any weight loss, but I will say this: After four days on this wheat-free program, I was feeling very light around my stomach and I thought, “Well, for today I can cheat and just have one biscotti with my coffee.” HOW WRONG I WAS. Just that one biscotti and I felt like I had cement in my stomach. Never again.

I never realized what wheat can do to you. Back on track I went. I will update this when I begin to lose weight. I am so glad I READ THE BOOK. It is hard to believe but true what wheat can do to your body.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Roger

    I am glad for the weight loss, I really am.
    Before my weight loss, and the loss of inches, was the loss of symptoms, some of them life long.
    I frequent this site, for I know there are others struggleing, trying to make sense of something they cannot figure out, or understand, unil they read Wheat Belly, and other information that Dr. Davis, makes avalilble, and makes it easy to understand.

    As I tuned each page in Wheat Belly, I learned more about the body, and how it works, and how things causes it not to work, then some of my medical studies and books on diet and nutrition. Most of my most trusted books insist on a wheat-based diet, as the shortest most direct route to good health. In that, Govt. and Experts are quoted, when, in fact, most of it is mindless Parroting of out-dated studies and ill-informed experts, quoting and citing out dated studies and ill-informed experts.

    Once people get the jist of how toxic Wheat is, and once they see for themselves, the benefits of a Wheat-Free life, it is easier to leave the other toxins (Genetic Modified Soy, and Nerve Toxin-Sweetners, such as Aspartame). The main strssor, as I see it, is wanting to tell others, when Wheat and Toxic Foods becomes, not only an addiciton, but more like a god–a cruel and dictitoral god, at that. Some may be angry, some may think you crazy, but some will examine the evidence, and will live the Wheat-Free Life Style.

    The weight loss is just a fringe benefit, next to my symptom loss–as the cumlative effect of long term Wheat and Wheat Product consumption was destroying my body and mind.

    While some may find excuses to counter Dr. Davis, no one can ever deny the health of those who follow Wheat Belly, especially the older people, that are and are getting in the best health in their lives!

    Here Is To Freedom!

    Roger, OHIO

    • Dr. Davis

      Precisely, Roger!

      You make a crucial point: Anyone skeptical of this message can test it themselves: Eat no wheat for 4 weeks and see what happens.

      • Roger

        Over 50 years ago, a Dr. of Chiropractic wrote some things down on a large paper, of suggestions not to eat, just for a few weeks, to see how people feel.

        If I were more computer literate, I would have captured that on disk, as I think it was on one of his exercize programs.

        Were he alive, he would be on board with you–

        The man is one I most admire and attempt to emulate, Jack LaLanne.

        I only hope that you, Dr., get the recognition, in this life, while you are alive, as it would draw attention to your cause–and now, the cause of all that have been harmed and devestated by Genetic Modified Wheat, and other like products.

        Belive in God or not, or pre suppose that we are evolved–matters not. The fact, sir, you are doing God’s work, and I hope He preserves you, and increases your wealth–as I know you will never stray from your cause and mission, despite fame and fortune.

        Roger, OHIO

  2. Interesting. I actually never intended to quit wheat for the sake of quitting wheat.. but just gave up breads altogether this year back in January.. and then cut out everything else that was deemed bad. As a result, I no longer have what was terrible acid reflux problems or indigestion of any kind. I’ve been wondering ever since what the cause of that was, because I didn’t eat terrible before that but always had the symptoms. Perhaps quitting wheat was the cure!
    More required reading for me, I see.

    • Dr. Davis

      Without a doubt, Jeff.

      Relief from acid reflux/esophagitis/heartburn and similar struggles are among the most common experiences in this wheat-free lifestyle.

      • Joel Klass

        Dr. Davis,
        I became aware of your book through a flier I received in the mail from Rodale. I ordered and read the book and was stunned at all the different ailments that can be connected to wheat consumption, many of which I am experiencing at 63 years of age, including obesity, foot neurapathy, occasional balance issues, tinnitus, slight vision deterioration, some joint inflammation, etc.
        I started going wheat-free about 5 weeks ago. After 2 days I had lost 4 pounds and was feeling very encouraged. Since then, however, my weight has gone back to where I started, then down a couple of pounds. I would have thought the elimination of fast foods, beer, and whiskey alone would have accounted for a greater weight loss than I have experienced.
        I am feeling generally better, but can’t figure out why I am not losing more weight. I would appreciate your comments and perhaps a referral to an like-minded MD in my area, zip code 49106.

        • Graham

          Joel, I think Dr Davis may have missed your post so let me at least give you a few words of encouragement. Whilst you have taken a big step forward by cutting out wheat, your lack of weight loss issues could be due to a number of things. What exactly are you eating in place of the foods you have eliminated? You may still need to reduce total carbs and add or remove other foods as explained in the book. If you have done all this there could be other medical issues, for example see the recent post about iodine and thyroid, as after 5 weeks you could have reasonably expected a more significant weight loss.

        • pam

          @Joel,
          i’m only a layman.
          it seems to take some people longer than others.
          each person has a different sweet spot.
          one has to be patient
          are you sleeping enough? sun?
          regards,

  3. K

    Awesome stuff. I am doing my part by making comments on news articles on obesity and linking back to your site. I figure even if the chances of someone clicking the link are small It all helps…. after all most of us came to WB by happy accident.

  4. Your blog has been an eye-opener for me. I have been busy ridding my kitchen of a lot of wheat and cereal grains, but I wasn’t sure what to do with some flax seed. After searching your blog, I think flax seed is safe. (?)

    • Dr. Davis

      I believe flaxseed is okay, Jim.

      No food is perfect, including flaxseed. But occasional or frequent use, I believe, provides much more benefit than any minor potential downside.

  5. Kerry

    Although struggling for as long as I can remember, it was following pregnancy that my problems seemed to be exacerbated. I had struggled with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and was beginning to get very irritable and angry ALL the time. I was exhausted and didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I was working out everyday, but making almost no progress in my effort to get in shape and lose weight. I stopped eating wheat, and noticed I had started feeling better. It is funny how it can be so subtle, but once I fully realized, I felt as if I had won the lottery. I felt genuinely happy for the first time in my life, all of a sudden more clear-minded, patient, and full of energy.

    I also suffered from PCOS (Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome). The doctor was going to put me on anti-diabetes medication to make my cycle regular (I would only have a period every 12-18 months). My periods are now regular.

    Finally, we noticed a difference in my son (then 1 yr old), when he was eating wheat. We would see spikes in aggression (biting, hitting) following wheat in his diet. His aggression disappeared entirely.

    There were many more symptoms too numerous to list (including bad breath, poor balance, digestive issues, etc). I am so grateful for “Wheat Belly” – it has helped us further understand how pervasive and serious this issue with wheat is. If anyone is considering the diet, it is well worth it, even if you do not appear to suffer from gluten-intolerance. (My husband, who is not gluten-intolerant, is well on his way back to the weight he was in his 20′s). It seems overwhelming, but small changes at a time do lead to bigger changes over time.

    • Dr. Davis

      Very nice, Kerry!

      Just think how many people are still out there, suffering through the symptoms you used to have, yet having no idea that the solution is as simple as saying goodbye to their breakfast cereal and pasta.

      Expect no apologies from the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, USDA, or any other agency who has been–and will continue to–advise you to eat more “healthy whole grains.”

  6. At first, I was skeptical of the Wheat Belly diet. I didn’t have celiac disease or IBS. Why should I have to give up wheat?

    I bought the book ( the delicious looking bagels on the cover drew me in). I read it from cover to cover, twice.

    I couldn’t ignore Dr Davis’s research and evidence. I also couldn’t ignore the fact that I have a biscuit butt!

    I gave up all grains/wheat and have been following the diet guidelines in the book . I feel terrific. Next week I’m having my annual physical. I’m confident that I’ll pass with flying colors.

    Sometime in the future, I’d like to fly to Wisconsin and thank Dr Davis in person. I would have never ditched wheat and grains if not for him.

    Thanks again, Dr Davis. When I meet you I’ll bring you some green chili from New Mexico!

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Lori–

      Not too shabby for a former skeptic!

      Thanks for the feedback. On your way here, look for the 18-inch tall yellow fields responsible for all this havoc!

  7. Vivian

    I always scan the cookbook aisle when at Costco to investigate anything new. That’s how I came across “Wheat Belly”…first the title, then the bagels! What could this possibly be about? Just in the first few pages I knew would buy and read this book thoroughly. They say there are no coincidences, that what you “need” will fall right into your lap at the perfect time and that was my case. I had lost 40 lbs. back during the Atkins craze but some 20 of those had found their way back as I eventually succombed to including wheat again. I did so want to dump the tire that had formed around my middle…and here it was, the ANSWER, I hoped. After 3 weeks wheat-free and back to reading ingredient labels closely, I have had 12 lbs. melt away, I feel more energetic, optimistic, lighter and very much more even-tempered. No cravings for my former favorites. I love findng great tasting substitutes for things…grilled Halloumi cheese slices make for quite acceptable slider buns for example. I’m also back to making my own ketchup, relish and salad dressings with Splenda and xanthan. They are often as good or better than the commercial varieties.

    So, to echo all the others, thanks Dr. Davis for your tenacity and courage in getting this message out.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, it is the answer to weight, as well as to many, many health problems, emotional problems, eating problems.

      Enjoy food and not suffer health deterioration as a result: It is truly liberating!

  8. Tyson

    I have a 5 year old daughter. Before going wheat free many of our interactions would go like this:
    Kira: “Daddy, will you play with me or read me a story?”
    Me: “Maybe later, I don’t feel like it right now.” Or “Later, I’m busy right now.”

    After going wheat free:
    Kira: “Daddy, will you play with me?”
    Me: “Yes.”

    Not having energy to play with your children is a profound and insidious negative side effect of being a wheat addict. I’m so happy I took the advice in the book to heart. This is just one example of how my life has improved. Oh yeah, and dropping belly fat is nice too.

    • Dr. Davis

      How wonderful, Tyson!

      This wheat-free experience continues to teach us new lessons every day. This was a new lesson for me, but a very important and touching one!

  9. Hi Dr. Davis,
    I wanted to write to you to tell you your book was fantastic. I had recently decided to cut out all processed foods and that included wheat. After I read your book, I knew I had did the right thing. Now I did not have weight to lose but I had something even better to gain, my brain back. I had been suffering with depression on and off again for years. I have felt like I had been walking around in a fog. I would say a month after quitting all grains my fog had lifted. I started interacting with my friends again and I even had the energy to start my own blog and now even a podcast! These are things I would never of had the gumption to do. Thank you so much for all the important research you have done. I am currently in school working towards my bachelor’s degree in dietetics and I hope to someday help people just like you.
    I wanted to tell you also something interesting that I found out. One of my friends at work and I were talking about wheat. She is from Germany and she says that the bread here in America causes her to have a reaction but the bread in Germany does not. I found this peculiar and wonder if it is a different strain of wheat or if maybe they sprout it over there. Anyway I plan to look into that. I just thought that was pretty interesting.
    Thank you again for all you do and keep up the good work!

  10. “The Men Who Made Us Fat” In England, the BBC just did a three part series, here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01k0fs0

    While they don’t focus on wheat per se (but they do get digs in about High Fructose Corn Syrup or HFCS), they talk a lot about supersizing. I wonder that part of the problem is not just the wheat, but SO MUCH wheat, too.

    When wheat is thrown in with other, well, uh, nutritionally suspicious foods, it makes it harder to tell which ones are contributing to the obesity. Wouldn’t it be something if supersizing the modern dwarf wheat was more to blame than the HFCS (created in 1966)?

  11. AnMa

    I have been wheat-free now for 7 days with my brother. My brother is overweight and has some acid reflux and digestion problems. I am not overweight at all but also have those same digestion problems.

    We both feel lighter already. My brother told me he didn’t have any acid reflux since we began. But I still have, like right now.

    I stopped eating wheat, but I’ve been eating stuff that “may contain traces of wheat”. Since it only may contain, I told myself it wasn’t that bad. So I’m eating flax flour that may contain wheat, or some nuts, or chocolate.

    Also, my cravings are still horrible. I have to eat all the time!! Sugar, I crave sugar. So I eat nuts, berries, some chocolates… I try to eat them the less I can, but it is so hard…

    My question is, why do I still have acid reflux? And those cravings? I know it’s only been a week but everyone seems to be cured from those things in about a week or less.
    Should I avoid everything that “may contain wheat”? Should I also avoid sugar? I can’t replace sugar with Splenda or stuff like that, it tastes awful and makes me wanna vomit, I tried it in the fudges from your book…

    Thanks

    • Hi, AnMa
      From my experience 7 days is not enough. It might take weeks until see results. I gave up any kind of wheat / grain, and any kind of added sugar. And then it started rolling. I couldn’t shed pounds having just a bit of processed things. Keep it, don’t give up!

      I lost 15 lbs in 6 weeks doing this eating lots of veggies, coconut oil, fruits ( before bed – very bad for weight loss – NOT in my case ).

      • AnMa

        Thx for your reply.
        In my case though i’m not trying to lose weight, I am already underweight and almost always have been.
        But I have those acid reflux (it’s burning right now) and some bloating and gas I want to get rid of.

        I’ll be patient, my goal is to do 4 weeks, then make the test by eating a little wheat. :)

        • Hi AnMa
          I had relfux years ago. Gases and bloating gone since wheat free. After reading “Wheat Belly” and a few other amazing book, I will never ever bite and swallow any kind of grain. When I visualize what it does inside me ……… Oh, never never never !

        • Tyson

          I had acid reflux so bad I developed a stricture and had to get an endoscopy to cut through it. My reflux went away after about a month of wheat free.

          Nowadays I notice that there are a couple of other things that can kick it off – alcohol and dairy. So, if you still have reflux even wheat free, try eliminating dairy and alcohol too. Sometimes getting rid of wheat is necessary, but not sufficient. But as a first step, it is huge.

    • Neicee

      I gave up all things sweet for 6 months. I was way more addicted to sugar than wheat. I knew from about 1995 I had gluten intolerance, so cut way back on that…finally giving it up altogether. Kept about the same weight. I wasn’t overly overweight but a number of health issues that worried me. Guess the number of incidents finding a nearby restroom after injesting something that hit wrong kept me in check? Only when I gave up wheat’s evil siblings, potatoes/corn/rice did I experience the most phenomimal thing. Weight melted off, in all the right places (caution: You will have to replace your wardrobe as well as underwear and shoes). Since being off sugar for that length of time did I finally lose the taste for it. Now, berries can almost be too sweet.

      • AnMa

        Oh wow!
        I know I am addicted to sugar, and I’ve been for so long. I think I am more than to wheat too. I am to both. 6 months is a long time! Must be so hard lol

    • Amanda

      AnMa: you need your protein! Protein is so fundamental, you won’t be hungry or craving sugar. Eggs, meats, cheese, nuts, all that wonderful stuff. Lots of vegetables and some fruit, maybe bananas… I can not eat too many bananas because I watch my weight, but you can eat them…I hope it helps, because I got an enormous appetite like you…

      • AnMa

        Thx for your reply!
        I eat a lot of nuts and I eat meat at meals. I think I eat enough proteins (I guess), but it’s been only a week or two that I began eating more meat. I didn’t use to eat a lot before, except some fish maybe…
        I eat a lot of nuts between meals, but sometimes I can’t help but eat chocolate and sugar. I crave that sugar so bad… its not helping acid reflux..

        • Neicee

          AnMa – I donated any chocolate to a nursing home where my MIL lives. Search out 75% – 85% chocolate. You cannot eat very much of it because it’s rather bitter. Soon, you’ll not remember the milk chocolates or what some call dark chocolate. Don’t forget the good fats – olive oil/coconut oil/butter. Trust me, you can’t overdose on protein or good fats. You simply cannot eat that much of it. Again, it satiates the hunger with far less than you’d think. Good luck with your sugar addiction and those things that convert (carbs) to sugar.

          • AnMa

            Thx!
            I hope it won’t take too long before the cravings are gone… I can’t stop eating lol. At least I eat a lot of nuts…

  12. Jim

    Like others, I found this book illuminating. Great work.

    I ride a mountain bike two to three times a week. I ride for an hour or two at high intensity. I have tried to experiment with limiting my sugar or carb intake, but when it comes to this kind of exercise, I “bonk” out after a ride if I don’t have enough sugar before or after the ride. It can take me a day to recover. I have tested my blood after rides and found it dropped to the mid 40′s if I don’t take some kind of energy gel or easy form of sugar.

    I have tried eating beans to beef up carbs, but it’s not enough. It doesn’t do what a Pop Tart (I can ride for hours on a Pop Tarts) even though I know they are horrible for you.

    How do you suggest athletic types keep the blood sugar up during hard endurance efforts?
    Thanks.

  13. JillOz

    Dr Davis,

    Just spoke about Wheat Belly on my local radio, which streams internationally!!
    Hope some of the listeners check out your book! I also mentioned the reviews on amazon.com and the name of your blog!
    I should point out that one listener who rang up after me said that I had “some powerful stuff”! ie the substance of your book!! The host said he’d ask a naturopath (who often broadcasts on the station) about it.
    I spoke about the gliadin protein among other things.
    Here’s hoping for good results! :)

    • JillOz

      A couple of people already rang up for the book details and the producer said he’s going to download the KIndle!

  14. Kelly

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    I just received my neurpathy medicine and one of the ingrediants is Oat Straw extract..is that gluten free? I called and asked the company and they said no that the products is gluten free (doesn’t say that on the bottle). I can’t risk it so I have to ask you what your opinion is. Thank you.

    Many many many thanks for saving my life. I am telling everyone who will listen about your book and I’m trying not to become fanatical about it – but it’s not easy.

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Kelly–

      If the product is labeled “gluten free,” then you are likely safe.

      And please feel free to relate your entire story!

      • Kelly

        Thanks for your response. I called and cancelled any further deliveries of the nueropathy medicine.

        My story, I have been wheat/gluten intolerant my entire life and only now have I been able to diagnose my problem. Thanks to your book. I am not a hypocondriac. (my spelling is getting better?). I have had issues my whole life, here’s my list:
        -stomach aches as a child
        -depression
        -acne
        -tongue sores
        -bi-polar disorder
        then in my forties different things started happening:
        -tendinitis in arm, elbow, shoulder, fingers
        -carpel tunnel in both wrists
        -peripheral neoropathy – that’s getting increasingly worse.
        -brain death – migraine headaches-dizzy-no balance-memory issues, “Did you say something?” My common sense went on vacation.

        Now that I’m wheat free for 2wks – I feel a bit better no headaches. But my gut feels bloated and my normal bm’s stopped. I started probiatics and just started some magnesium so hopefully I’ll start to feel good again. I know, be patient don’t worry, I’m never going back to that evil villian called food. WFF!

        • Dr. Davis

          With health effects as broad as yours, Kelly, it may indeed require several months to undo.

          The key is to stay the course and allow nature to undo all the health havoc wrought by a lifetime of wheat consumption.

          Please update us on your progress!

  15. Karen

    Dr Davis: I went to my family doc today. I said I was working on losing a bit of weight on a low-carb-high-fat diet. She said that “you cannot have a healthy diet without whole grains.” And that good fats are fine “in moderation”, and as long it’s “not saturated animal fat.” Alas, I think it will take a long, long time for things to change here in Canada, at least at the level of seeing your family doctor.

    • Boundless

      > She said that “you cannot have a healthy diet without whole grains.”

      One response to people like that is to ask back:
      “Are you willing to be mistaken about that?”

      Read it again. That’s a very carefully phrased question. The answer is often quite revealing.

      • Karen

        Yes, that is exactly what she said when I told her that I was trying low-carb-high-fat. She also followed that with “there are too many important nutrients in grains to leave them out.” That, along with “good fats in moderation” and “except saturated fats” is part of the current standard of care. Challenging someone like that in that sort of situation will have no effect, I believe.

        • darMA

          @ Karen

          Next time ask her just what vitamins & minerals you would be missing out on by eliminating grains. Then do some research on those vitamins & minerals and find out which “other” foods have them that you are now including in your grain free diet (such as liver for B vitamins, leafy greens for potassium & magnesium, etc.), Then give her your list of actual nutritious foods and ask her again what it is you’re missing out on.

          • Rong

            I am unfamiliar with the Canadian “Health Care” system so maybe my advice is impractical. However, if you were in the states, the solution is simple. Get a new doctor!

    • Dr. Davis

      Sad but true, Karen.

      Doctors are helpful when you have pneumonia or break a leg. They are generally useless when it comes to discussions of diet and health, intelligent and effective use of nutritional supplements, or how to navigate health without drugs.

      It’s the enlightened few among my colleagues who you should consult for health and nutrition issues.

      • Stephanie

        “…It’s the enlightened few among my colleagues who you should consult for health and nutrition issues.”

        Dr Davis,

        Since I live in southeastern Wisconsin, I was hoping to see you and become one of your patients. However, your office informed me that you are not taking new patients. Can you recommend an ‘enlightened collegue’ or two, please? I am not very swift at finding an answer after I have asked a question on a blog. Could you please email me at sruperd@yahoo.com with your response? I would be most appreciative!!! Also, how about folks from around the country/world? How would they go about finding such a collegue? Is there a database of some sort or a way to know without spending $200 and a half hour with each MD until the one can be found?

        Thank you for changing my life!

        • Dr. Davis

          Hi, Stephanie–

          Sorry, but I know of no magic formula to find an open-minded practitioner–except the old fashioned way: word of mouth.

          Ask around but demand the number one requirement: open-mindedness and a willingness to sit and listen. Shockingly rare, unfortunately.

          • Stephanie

            It is shockingly rare! My internist and I are on the outs because I don’t agree that everything should be treated with a pill. Plus, I have moved to Wisconsin from Illinois and don’t know any doctors here. That is why I was hoping for the recommendation.

  16. Ben

    Hi Doc!

    My wife and I are in! However, in your book you state that oatmeal may contain wheat? We love our oatmeal, and thought it was good for us? Is there a specific type of oatmeal we can have, or do we need to cut it out?

    Thanks!

    Losing the wheat belly in Nova Scotia!

    • Dr. Davis

      Great, Ben!

      While wheat can indeed contain wheat or gluten residues, that was really not the issue that concerned me most in my comments.

      If you were to check your blood sugars one hour after you consume, say, stone ground organic oatmeal (without added sugar), you would see sky-high blood sugars.

      Wheat is a huge problem. But that does not necessarily mean, of course, that there are no other problems in diet. After wheat, corn/cornstarch, sugars, and oats are other big problems in modern diets.

  17. wrotek

    Dr Davis, how long does it take generally for a person to deffinatively notice wheat abstinence major health changes? I am wheat free 11 days now, and i think i breath easier and my acne is fading away slowly, at least i dont get new outbreaks.

    • Dr. Davis

      Varies from 2-3 days to many months, depending on the condition under consideration.

      Acid reflux, for instance, can disappear within 3-5 days while rheumatoid arthritis may require 6-12 months to respond, with full effect after 12-24 months.

      • AnMa

        I’m still having acid reflux after about 8 days… could it be I do something wrong?
        I am eating some stuff that is written *May contain traces of wheat*. Should I avoid it at all cost?
        Also, I must say my cravings are horrible and I still eat some sugar each day, like chocolate…

        • Dr. Davis

          Either you are being continually exposed, AnMa, or you are just suffering an extended withdrawal.

          I would say eliminate ALL wheat exposures, then grit your teeth until the cravings end. In the meantime, up the fat intake from coconut oil, eggs, olive oil, cheese, fats from meats.

          • Mike

            Hi, That’s why I will never let them again. No matter what occasion, party and so on. I am 6 – 7 weeks 100% wheat free, and just starting to see some improvements. It is slow process, after decades poisoning ourselves there’s no quick cure.

  18. I was Just wondering is there anyone out ther that has lowered blood sugar, A1c, from taking wheat out if thier diet. I am going to try this to get my blood sugar normal range. I started this morning. I have the book and I am reading it now.

  19. Sara

    I would encourage anyone beginning their wheat-free journey to persevere. I stopped eating wheat three months ago and the results have been simply amazing.

    I moved to the United States from Europe five years ago, and during my first year living here I gained thirty pounds (I have always been slender and had been the same healthy weight for the previous twelve years). I also developed a number of health problems that I had never experienced previously including persistent anemia, crippling fatigue (I had to nap at least once and often twice a day), lethargy, IBS, asthma, eczema, irregular and painful menstrual periods and other fertility problems. A series of primary care physicians told me that I just needed to eat more healthily and exercise more–which was frustrating, because I had always eaten home-made healthy meals, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Then, three months ago my regular doctor was on leave and the locum filling in for her reviewed my medical history and said that she thought that all of my health problems might be wheat-related. She prescribed an elimination diet, strong vitamin supplements, and probiotics. I worked with the nutritionist that this doctor recommended to develop a healthy wheat-free meal plan. I ordered and read Wheat Belly and learned more about what was happening with my body. The results of these changes have been staggering. I feel like a new person. The fatigue, lethargy, IBS, asthma, and eczema have disappeared (it is too early to know what the gynecological outcomes are, but I am very hopeful). I have lost over 20 pounds, without dieting or undertaking any extra exercise beyond daily walks with my dog. I hope that within the next couple of months I will be back to what I think of as my “regular” weight. My weight and my body simply seem to be resetting to their prior healthy norms. I feel so grateful to the caring locum doctor who took the time to consider holistically my medical history and who therefore worked out what was wrong, and to Dr. Davis for his work to raise awareness of this issue throughout the medical profession. Thank you, Dr. Davis!

    • Dr. Davis

      Wonderful, Sara!

      The answer is really not that tough, but it continues to elude the majority of my colleagues.

      I am especially impressed by the locum doctor filling in. A bit of open-mindedness can go a long way!

  20. Signe Verrill

    I would welcome any and all comments on my particular issue — I’ve been wheat free (very diligent about it – never cheated) for 7 weeks now and I have not lost one single pound! I HAVE lost the pain in my neck, shoulders and arms that had plagued me for years! NO MORE acid reflux (gave up dairy about 2 years ago and that helped too) My bloated feeling is gone, but my waist measurement remains the same. I estimate that I am about 35 pounds overweight and have never been very good about “dieting” in the traditional sense. So when I read “Wheat Belly”, I resonated with the whole “lifestyle” aspect of it, rather than a diet. I am totally on board with the movement, but am getting discouraged with no weight loss.

    Any comments, suggestions, ideas????

    • Dr. Davis

      Always, always consider thyroid issues, Signe.

      First, be sure that iodine intake is sufficient, e.g., 500 mcg per day from an iodine supplement. Second, get your thyroid status evaluated that includes assessment of free T3, free T4, and TSH, perhaps reverse T3. This will likely require someone knowledgeable about thyroid, e.g., a functional medicine doc or naturopath. Whatever you do, do not consult an endocrinologist unless you want to waste a lot of time and money and be told you need to “lose weight and take an antidepressant.” No kidding.

      • Signe Verrill

        Thanks for the comment… I’ve suspected my thyroid before but have never really known how/who to go to for help. I will try a supplement and see if that helps.

    • Read

      Signe, may I suggest you start an honest food diary, write down every little thing you ingest. You’ll see for yourself, or ask someone to look at it. My tum has really flattened and I’ve lost weight since reading Wheat Belly, but a little plateau now. I’m eating heaps, lots of vege and good foods. Not counting calories as my weight is stable and definitely not increasing, but I want to lose more. So in my diet I’ll be looking at the dairy first and stopping cream and reducing cheese, then the amount of nuts and oils I’m consuming, as I tend to overeat. I laid into the dairy, tho I wasn’t eating as much before eliminating wheat. I did that as I thought I’d be tempted to sneak some wheat here and there. But as others say, you feel so bad/heavy/bloated when you cheat that I’m done with wheat for all time and wish that for everyone. Strangely after eating raw salad and vegetables for lunch is when I feel best, light and uplifted. It’s so easy to notice food effects now that I’m wheat free. Good luck.

    • WILL Barber

      The same thing happened to me and my wife. You sort of reach a plateau.
      This is what we did.
      I started counting carbs and reducing the amount of food I eat.
      I now eat very few carbs every day. Best I ever felt.
      I am a runner every morning and I have found my energy level is ACTUALLY BETTER.
      Both my wife and I CONTINUE TO LOSE WEIGHT.

  21. Lisa Thompson

    Dr Davis, Hi, please help ! I have RA and feel like I’m dying half the time . I feel like I have been hit by a mack truck . They put me on prednisone and methatrexate and i’m still in pain. Do you think eliminating wheat will cure my RA? Thanks, Lisa

    • Dr. Davis

      Good news, Lisa: Yes, very likely!

      Bad news: Chronic autoimmune inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis require 6 months, 12 months, or longer to respond, unlike, say, acid reflux, that can respond in 3 days.

      I don’t know the precise reason why RA and other autoimmune joint conditions respond so slowly. But note that there are no costs, side-effects, or other dangerous consequences. Only better overall health!

  22. Nancy Russell

    I take .150 of Levothyroxine. I am also allergic to iodine. Are there any other alternatives? My Dr
    does only one standard TSH test. What is the purpose of the others?

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Nancy–

      Please see the past posts on this issue. Alternatively, take a look at Janie Bowthorpe’s excellent blog, Stop the Thyroid Madness.

  23. Meg

    Might one of the woes of a wheat-saturated diet be that it contributes to diverticulitis? My dad’s just be hospitalized for this and I’ve been wondering if I can assert a change like this to the family — but I’m sure I’ll need more back-up than to wave your book at them and start talking about the benefits of low-carb for intestinal health. I found one mention of diverticulitis in your success stories but it was mentioned only as an aside. Any information would be much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Dr. Davis

      No, Meg.

      It requires decades to create diverticuli in the colon. A few weeks or months does not cause diverticular disease.

  24. Read

    Hi Nancy, if you have Kindle or free Kindle App, download eBook very cheaply All About Thyroid Disease from amazon.com, it’ll explain T3 and T4. I’m going, first time, this week to consult MD/Naturopath regarding taking kelp to stimulate iodine as I have enlarged thyroid but don’t want to consult doctor have it removed and be dependant on throid meds. Everything is better since I read Wheat Belly – fantastic book – including throid, I don’t feel (bloated or) choked by thyroid, it seems smaller. I read in the eBook that my estrogen HRT would interfere with iodine production so I have reduced that. I am so grateful to Dr Davis, evangelising about Wheat Belly whenever I get the opportunity as I work in hospitals. One more comment, the guy in local health foodstore warned me against iodine toxicity from excessive intake, but he’s not a doctor, tho I’m cautious.