Bariatric Whistleblower: Fake Nails and Lap-Band

This is priceless: A doctor involved in the bariatric surgery process who speaks out against it. He/she recognizes the pointlessness of advising people to cut their fat and eat more “healthy whole grains,” then blame them for their obesity . . . then come to the rescue with flawed and revenue-generating hospital procedures.

Read this enlightening view from within the system:

I am a physician in the Western US. I have read your book and am in awe: you have really opened up a can of worms here—and I couldn’t be happier!

Among my duties as a doctor is to perform pre-operative assessments on overweight patients who want to undergo bariatric surgery, a.k.a. gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, laparoscopic band procedure, etc. All of these procedures involve surgery to promote weight loss and avoid/prevent/avert the complications of obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease, although, for many people, it is vanity-based: They can buy fake nails and color their hair and wear fancy jewelry, but they can’t hide their weight. As the volume of patients and the volume of the patients (i.e. waist circumference) being evaluated for these procedures continues to rise in our community, I find myself in an ethical dilemma: How can I, in good conscience, help these patients undergo an invasive procedure to lose weight when the same and even better outcome could be achieved by eliminating wheat?

Let me give you more details.

First there is the cost. Each patient who wants to undergo a weight-loss surgery must first have an ultrasound evaluation, a chest x-ray and an upper-GI barium examination in the radiology department. Each of these exams costs money and must be performed BEFORE a patient undergoes the procedure for preoperative planning. After the procedure, each patient undergoes another radiographic evaluation swallowing a water-soluble contrast medium to assess the surgical connections for the “normal” post-operative appearance of the anatomy and to make sure there is no gap or leakage of material out of the intestine and into the abdomen. As the word continues to spread about the “health benefits of bariatric surgery,” the number of patients lining up for these procedures has dramatically risen. The radiology department makes money by performing the imaging assessments. The anesthesia department gets paid for these elective procedures. And the bariatric surgeon? Well, let’s just say the surgeon can have his/her pick of expensive convertible vehicle off the lot!

FACT: One of the only areas making money in US medicine is weight-reduction surgery.

Whose fault is it? I used to think the patients themselves were to blame for their obesity: They ate too much, had no self-control or will-power; they ate for emotional reasons or self-destructive purposes. But, after really talking to these people, most of them have no idea why they can’t lose weight. They have “tried every kind of diet under the sun and have not been able to lose weight.” While many of the patients being evaluated are truly obese, many are just “overweight” but have been encouraged by their doctors to have surgery to help them avoid the health complications of their weight. These people see surgery as the easy and only way out of their weight-induced problems.

Weight-reduction surgery is not a “free lunch.” Many have complications with leaks that result in abscesses in the abdomen, prolonged hospitalizations, and costly medical bills. Many who have gastric banding come back for evaluation because they feel that food is getting stuck in their esophagus. No surprise here! It’s likely related to the rubber inner-tube they have wrapped around the bottom of their esophagus making them feel full!

And here’s another thing: The people who undergo these procedures do lose weight—but they do not become healthy or “thin.” They become less fat, but not a healthy weight. Their stomachs are smaller, but they are still putting unhealthy food into their tiny little stomachs and they can’t get rid of the extra pounds.

After really talking to these people, I realize that they are not solely to blame for their weight-problem. They are misinformed about what they should be eating and they are putting food into their bodies because they have been sold the premise that it is good for them.

If I were to pull these patients aside and say, “Don’t do it! Don’t spend the money and risk complications (in some cases, life-threatening) of having your stomach bypassed! Just cut wheat out of your diet!”, I would be fired.

Aside from bariatric surgery evaluations, the majority of people who undergo physician assessments for abdominal pain, joint pain, and back pain are considerably overweight. I know it because the visceral and abdominal fat can actually been SEEN on imaging studies that look inside the body!

The health problems related to obesity are so great that I almost find myself tempted to tell people they would be better off smoking than eating wheat.

Actually, I really believe that if I were to individually counsel the majority of patients that come to our facility about the health benefits of eliminating wheat from their diet, and they followed my instructions, the number of patients evaluated and the number of those suffering from obscure medical problems would be cut in half, at the very least.

Like you, Dr. Davis, I have seen the dramatic results in people’s weight-loss and health-related benefits that you have, from my own personal experience, as well as colleagues and friends who have followed the Wheat Belly recommendations. I want to scream it from the rooftops!

How can I spread this information without jeopardizing my job?

Signed,
Wheatless in Wyoming

Wow. Tell the population that they should cut their fat, cut their cholesterol, and eat more ‘healthy whole grains” . . . then sit back and watch them explode in weight. Come to the rescue with high-cost, imperfect medical procedures to help them shed at least a few of those pounds, make oodles of money for the system. Sound familiar?

How about the billions of dollars spent for diabetes drugs? The billions of dollars for “high cholesterol”? The billions of dollars on drugs for acid reflux, arthritis and joint pain, depression, ADHD, diuretics for leg swelling, and blood pressure drugs?

The entire system is corrupt. Health and healthy weight CANNOT come from a procedure to reduce stomach size. Gastric bypass, lap-band, and related procedure are the procedural perversions of the “calories in, calories out” nonsense, accentuating the notion that our gluttony and sloth got us here in the first place.

After all, if all we did was return to the foods and habits of 1960, women would weigh 116 pounds, men 150 pounds–no surgery required.

Wheatless in Wyoming is clearly a smart person–and one with a conscience, an inner beacon telling him/her when a basic wrong is being committed. The answer: Get OUT of the system. Someone else will take your place, to be sure, but at least you can tell you children and friends that what you do is the right thing . . . NOT something that exploits the latest blunder in nutritional advice.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Boundless

    I only ever knew one person who opted for this surgery.
    He wasn’t morbidly obese, just persistently too overweight.
    He had tried every recommended, most trendy, and some obscure, diets, to no avail.
    He died in surgery.
    And even for those who get discharged alive, the procedure is irreversible.
    Giving up wheat for a month has yet to kill anyone, and is fully reversible, should you prefer what what does to you.

    • Shirley

      If I can get someone to go wheat-free for just two weeks WHAM I’ve got them. They get past the cravings, start feeling better, lose a couple of pounds effortlessly, Their whole world is askew. Doesn’t matter if they return to wheat, they’ll be back. It starts to work on them and builds up to a big choice to be made–to stay in the dark or step out into the sunshine.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, wonderfully said, Boundless.

      Die in surgery . . . to lose some weight? This is unimaginably awful.

      Yet look at what people are accomplishing here at NO risk.

  2. Been there

    Hello,
    This really hit home for me.
    I had gastric bypass 15 years ago, ONLY to gain it back.
    Wheat Belly that has changed my life. Dr. Davis is a true GEM.
    I’m totally against any surgery now, and wish to speak out about it.
    Won’t say my name here in public, but I visit Wheat Bellys FB daily.
    Dr. Davis has seen my before and after pictures.
    I had tears when I read this
    Wheatless in Wyoming I would be on your team to speak against gastric bypass & praise Wheat Belly
    NO TO SURGERY

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, sad to say that the surgery is, for many, ineffective or even dangerous.

      Please feel free to tell us more about your experience!

    • wrotek

      Gastric bypass hmmmm. I have always wondered why do they do this procedure, is not stomach ballooning less invasive, safer ? I have seen this procedure in the movie :)

  3. Laura

    It bothers me a little bit that the bariatric doctor refers to “nails and jewelry”, but doesn’t recognize any of the items and habits we associate with vanity in men. A commercial for a bariatric clinic runs on local television, and both patient testimonials are from men. I just wanted to make that point.

    I’m a vegetarian who has read your book and gotten rid of wheat in my diet — as well as other forms of refined carbohydrates like rice and quinoa flours and “processed foods”. I learned about “trigger foods” when I was in Overeaters Anonymous, but your book really made it clear to me that, for the food addict, there is an addictive reaction to wheat that is partly physical, but becomes mental and emotional as well. I don’t think “will power” or surgery or calorie restriction are answers to out of control, compulsive eating and resulting overweight. For me, understanding the addictive nature of wheat, which you explain so well in your book, made it clear to me that if I wanted to take responsibility for my health, cutting wheat out of my diet (the same way an alcoholic would stop drinking) was what was required. Thanks for making that clear to me.

    • Dr. Davis

      Great, Laura! The relief from food obsessions and appetite stimulation is one of the most important arguments about the dangers of modern wheat. And you can be sure this aspect has been deliberately exploited by Big Food. You have taken back control of your mind, food choices, and health as a result of removing it from your diet.

      And noted on the man-woman thing.

  4. I feel for people who work in the medical system. Damned is they do sacked if they don’t.

    Ethical and moral dilemmas are not easy to work through. Loss of a steady income is a very scary place to deliberately choose, as I’m sure you experienced Dr. Davis. Vilification and ridicule by many of your peers may be even more difficult.

    I was once told by my regular family doctor that the other medical doctor I was seeing, who was making a difference, was a charlatan because he used natural methods of healing rather than limiting himself to prescribing drugs. My alternative doctor had so many things right, he just did not have the science around wheat way back in the 70s.

    This reminds me of the dilemma around abortion. Do you get involved out of compassion or do you take it to another level and provide support instead of taking a life?

    Only the individuals involved can make their own decision. I do hope your correspondent does the right thing but it will take great courage. We need educated doctors who are free to tell us the truth. People are perishing for lack of knowledge. How I pray this will change and the growth of the damage wheat does increase exponentially.

    I lost 4 kg/ 8.5 pounds last month to give me a total of more than 60 pounds this year. And at 73 years old, I’m considered an old woman and not worth treating by some. I plan to live at least 25 more years.

    Blessings

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, it is indeed a tough dilemma to know that the medical system is a corrupt, broken system designed to maximize procedures for profit, not maximize health.

      Thankfully, the ranks of those of us willing to say “enough is enough” is growing rapidly and I am hearing stories like this with increasing frequency.

      And you are well on your way to extreme longevity, having lost the weight by eliminating the most life-shortening food known: modern wheat!

      • What truly bothers me is that these doctors are bright, brilliant people, yet they refuse to look at the truth about what they are recommending we eat. It angers me to think of these doctors and other “health” professionals just blindly following the dietary recommendations from the past without challenging them. Especially, when it is so obvious that these recommendations clearly don’t work.

        We need to start teaching the correct nutritional information in medical school if we really want to make an impact on the health of our nation. Sadly, this would eliminate several thousands jobs and most of the weight-loss industry, so I really can’t see it happening.

        It is up to good people like you, Dr. Davis and your followers, to try to get this information to as many people as possible. I gladly share whatever knowledge I have with everyone I know. I wish to give you a heart-felt THANK YOU for all you are doing for humankind.

  5. Elizabeth

    I know two people who have had the surgery. One has been fairly successful, but it has only been about 6 months since her surgery. The other one had the surgery three years ago…lost the weight, slowly started gaining it back, and then was hospitalized a few months ago and almost died – part of her stomach and intestines had literally died inside of her. She wishes she’d never had the surgery now. Thank you, Wheatless in Wyoming, for sharing your story!

    • Dr. Davis

      Your friend’s experience is a sober reminder, Elizabeth, that these surgeries are NOT benign.

      I recently hospitalized a woman for very serious complications of malnutrition that resulted from one of these procedures (that I urged her to NOT undergo, incidentally).

  6. Sandy H

    I know someone that tried this, and they have had many complications and they have steadily gained weight. It did not work and created many medical issues. Would they agree to a grain or even a wheat free diet? I doubt it.

  7. OT: Dr Davis, I’d like to clarify your recommendations regarding seeds (which seem high incarbs and calories) and store-bought ranch dressing.

    • Dr. Davis

      Seeds are actually very low in “net” carbohydrates, i.e., total carbohydrates minus fiber. And they are high in calories because that’s great! Note that nobody here counts calories. Eat lots of fat and lots of calories . . . provided they do not come from 1) wheat, and 2) other junk carbohydrates.

      Watch your store-bought dressings for sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, and unhealthy oils. There are indeed some brands that are fine, but many that are not.

  8. Kelly Peterson

    I had lap band surgery a year ago – I lost 13 lbs before & I lost another 17 lbs after. I have a ton of health issues, I began doing some research & discovered the Wheat Belly book. I have been 100% gluten free for four months, after the first month I was feeling much better, but now I am feeling horrible again but I refuse to go back to eating the wheat! Should I try to rid myself of other things like dairy or corn? I just want some relief from my fibromyalgia pain & the reflux I have. Any suggestions? Also I am starting to gain back some of the weight, i amnone unhappy gal right now :(

    Frustrated in TX

    • Dr. Davis

      Unfortunately, Kelly, you need the assistance of a really capable functional medicine doc or naturopath, as there are many issues/nutritional deficiencies/metabolic distortions unique to the lap-band situation.

      So it may NOT be just an issue of eating this or avoiding that, because you have experienced a very unnatural process that may require specific action.

      Please let us know what you learn from your experience.

    • Hillary

      Kelly – I would second Dr D’s advice to you about finding a good doc to deal with your particular problem. In the interim, though, or maybe along with doing so, you might also be interested in the Whole30 approach which is a relatively simple way of determining whether certain foods have adverse effects on you. Their (Melissa & David Hartwig) idea is to simply avoid certain foods for 30 days and then carefully re-introduce them, one at a time over several days each, to see what effects each type of food has. The foods to be totally eliminated (with absolutely no cheats or slips) are: all grains (and ALL the oils derived from grains or seeds), all dairy (except ghee), all legumes, all added sweeteners, all alcohol and certain food additives. There are a few exceptions to these rules, which they discuss. When the foods are tested, after the 30 days are up, the gluten-containing grains are tested separately from non-gluten grains (such as rice, quinoa, etc…) since some people are affected by any grain, not just wheat or other gluten grains.

      Their approach is very thoughtful and careful. They explain very clearly why each of the categories are problematic, the effects they can have in the body, and so on. They seem to be quite firmly in the ‘No Grain’ camp. The Hartwigs have written a very good book on this regimen which I am finding very useful but nearly all of the info is on their website. More info at http://whole9life.com/

      Another very good source of information and inspiration is at http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/. She describes her own experiences with Whole30 and a general paleo lifestyle. This site is a lot of fun and quite eclectic; I enjoy it immensely. Mel has also written one of the best paleo-type cookbooks I’ve seen (Well Fed: paleo recipes for people who like to eat) – I’ve bought a copy; it’s a terrifically useful book, funny in parts, and I am enjoying it.

    • S L

      Have you read anything about the possible link to high oxalate foods and fibromyalgia? If you are suffering from fibro pain you might give it a try.

  9. Rose

    How about Wheatless in Wyoming joins forces with you Dr. D. Surely you could do with a posse of medicos to take on the wheat promoting baddies in the black hats :-)

    • Dr. Davis

      I’m thinking the same, Rose!

      It is happening: More of my colleagues can no longer ignore what they are witnessing in their patients: astounding weight loss and transformations of health, all achieved by IGNORING conventional nutritional advice.

  10. Janknitz

    Wheatless in Whyoming only needs to open his own office for weightloss. As he has success counseling patients to drop wheat and reduce carbohydrates in their diets, word will get out and people will flock to his door. And he will be able to sleep at night, knowing that not only is he really helping people lose weight, but also helping them to acheive vast improvements in health.

    Continuing to practice medicine under the current conditions will quickly kill him NOTHING is worth continuing this way. The bottom line is that he has to look at himself in the mirror every morning, and this is not how he wants to see himself .

    • JIllOz

      Absolutely! And as word spreads of his/her success, s/he will also become quite wealthy.
      It will be most useful having a medical background for him/her/
      S/he will be able to say – this works!!

      For the rest of us, well, a lot of memorisation is in store if and whn we give talks or just explain to relatives and friends how it works. BUt that’s OK.
      My mum iss off wheat and likes almond flour.
      My father is restricting wheat but not off it.
      My bro is going to give Wheat free a try! Also no sugar or carbs – he says no0 bread, but I aim to assure him he can have bread, just not made of wheat!!

      The result should be very interesting. If it works well for bim, it’ll be a family support system. :)

  11. Susie

    Great message. Maybe a career shift is in order for this person. Who better to shout this from the roof tops then someone like this. Make your choice…..

  12. wrotek

    How carbohydrates increase cholesterol ? I am reading that :
    source http://acam.typepad.com/blog/2010/12/how-carbohydrates-elevate-cholesterol.html

    [quote]
    Insulin does several things:
    It stimulates the production of cholesterol. Many of you have heard of statin drugs. They work by inhibiting an enzyme called HMGcoA reductase. Insulin stimulates this enzyme! How can it be possible for your cholesterol to go down if the foods that you are eating stimulate the very enzyme that cholesterol reducing drugs are trying to decrease? [/quote]

    Is it true ?

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, but it’s worse than that. And the problem was really never cholesterol anyway.

      It’s about the kinds of particles, “lipoprotein,” in the bloodstream that cause atherosclerosis, of which cholesterol is simply one component. It is the component measured, so leads to people talking about “high cholesterol.”

      In my view, we should NEVER test for cholesterol, but only assess lipoproteins and other metabolic/nutritional parameters relevant to health.

      • Mike

        I can see that,the body would produce cholesterol,in response to the insulin,because it sees high levels of insulin as an attack.Cholesterol helps repair and protect.It kills certain bacteria and neutralizes some toxins.Cholesterol is known to rise when we are sick. I would worry if it did not come up some.

      • wrotek

        Dr Davis, from Your book
        ======================================
        “In fact, the recent discovery of the process of de novo lipogen-esis, the liver alchemy that converts sugars into triglycerides, has revolutionized the way nutritionists view food and its effects on lipoproteins and metabolism. One of the crucial phenomena required to begin this metabolic cascade is high levels of insulin in the bloodstream.17, 18
        High insulin levels stimulate the machinery for de novo lipogenesis in the liver, efficiently transforming carbohydrates into triglycerides, which are then packaged into VLDL particles.”

        ======================================================

        Is this right ?

    • tteamotter

      i am a radiologist and can tell you that the “lipogenesis” of the liver is a real, and relatively new, phenomenon. when i started training 20 years ago, it was a rare finding that was really only seen in alcoholics (steatohepatitis). now, we see it every day, in at least half of the patients imaged for abdominal pain- maybe even more than half. we see the fat content on ultrasound, CT and MRI. it is real- and it is associated with abnormal changes in liver function tests as well as cholesterol levels. it can even be a source of abdominal pain in and of itself as the liver is over-expanded, causing pressure on the liver capsule, which is an inherently sensitive membrane surrounding the liver. as dr. d and “wheatless in wyoming” have already pointed out, the obesity epidemic is affecting every organ in the body. in my experience, the best weapon we have in the war waged against the body by obesity is going wheat-free.

      • Dr. Davis

        Hear, hear, tt!

        Like the perverse liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption, so goes wheat!

  13. Irene

    Starting wf tomorrow. Had been on for 2weeks lost only a few. So went off for a week. Feeling horrible how do I contact some of your replies like gourmet girl? I need help

  14. jennifer

    Wow! Definitely an eye-opening read! I did have the Lap-Band surgery 3 years aho this month. With a weight loss goal of close to 100#, I have felt sadly defeated to lose 46, then gain all but 11 back only to try other methods to lose the weight again. You are correct when all of the “pre-op” visits are extremely costly. Not too mention a costly and timely psychological evaluation. In fact, after the pre-op EKG I was confirmed to have experienced a heart attack “sometime” in my past – pushing my decision to proceed with surgery an absolute necessity. Ironically, all other tests (i.e. stress) came back clear.
    My insurance paid 90% of my sugery but I had to drive 4 hours one way for every consultation and visit. Just 6 weeks
    ago I had a port replacement surgery….an outpatient surgery because of pain. The total costs of each were $26k and $14.5k this last time.
    Now

    • jennifer

      I am being asked to come back for yet another fill and a visit with the dietician, who will promote MORE whole grains, smaller meals, and not to drink water for 30 minutes after a meal. Let’s not forget the emotional and psychological side if having a major w eight loss surgery and not to reach your hoal. Those who know you’ve opted for surgery are thinking “you’ve failed” or “the surgery doesn’t work” – these things are hard enough to deal with.

  15. Bee J

    Nice to see that someone else within the ‘industry’ is seeing the difference. I know of 3 who had the lap band surgery, and they lost weight, and 2 of them gained most of it back. The other one I know who had it, had it done about a month ago, and she stays so nauseaus, that she hardly eats.

    We, here in south La., just endured TS/Hurricane Isaac. Having to leave my home for what I thought was an overnight trip, I didn’t prepare well. I have sinned — eaten all the wrong things — in the 3 1/2 days it took me to get home.

    The pain and swelling in my leg is back — and I am climbing back up on the no-wheat wagon!

    Next time I will take a lot of good food!

  16. Finally, something relevant. I appreciate your openness. Weight loss has become a big business and lot of people are getting ripped off with hyped up promises.

  17. Uncle Roscoe

    The bizarre part is, for bariatric surgeons, the evidence is laid out before them. When people with type 2 diabetes get gastric bypass surgery, invariably their type 2 diabetes mysteriously vanishes. Then the type 2 diabetes almost always returns two months to two years later.

    So obviously the underlying mechanism which causes insulin resistance does not reside in the pancreas or in the outer membrane of body cells. It resides in the place which the surgeon replaces, the upper small intestine. Further, the mechanism involves some external transient force, because the type 2 diabetes returns after the new tissue is exposed to the same factors.

    THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

    Dr. Alessio Fasano discovered just such a mechanism is at work with celiac patients and all autoimmune disease patients ……release of Zonulin into the small intestine when people eat wheat and similar proteins. Zonulin makes the small intestine walls porous.

    Type 2 diabetes is not an autoimmune disease, so type 2 diabetics do not have the follow-up immune reactions. They get the conditions which autoimmune patients’ immune systems are trying to defend against.

    • Dr. Davis

      I sometimes wonder if there is a desire to NOT understand these principles, as the wrong approach to diet . . . is just too profitable.

      Do the wrong thing . . . make a ton of money.

      Those of us here are among the informed and should not tolerate such misinformation that amounts, in my mind, to wholesale and widespread malpractice.

      • Uncle Roscoe

        This is a distinction without a difference ……purely semantic. The pathways to type 2 diabetes (T2D) and autoimmune diseases (AI) run through two basic systems, the digestive immune system and the blood immune system. These systems communicate with each other.

        The release of zonulin in response to wheat ingestion is common to both T2D and AI. They take different pathways in different people. All pathways result in the digestive immune system committing the zonulin reaction to innate immune memory. When the digestive immune system detects wheat, regardless of what mechanisms it uses, it releases zonulin and makes the gut wall permeable.

        Zonulin permeability causes the intestinal contents to flow into the blood instead of being absorbed into the blood. The contents of the flow can include many large protein antigens. It DOES include gluten among these antigens.

        In classic autoimmune patients the blood immune system sets up an immune response which attacks these antigens, and attacks the tissues they attach to. This is NOT the case with type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, gluten peptides mimic insulin. They attach to insulin receptors on the walls of cells. These peptides prevent cells from importing glucose. The blood fills with glucose. The blood glucose elicits increasingly higher levels of insulin.

        I have no doubt that one could interrupt the immune communication pathways which lead to zonulin release, and prevent its release. This would be true of AI patients and T2D alike. Usually mainstream medicine first treats classic autoimmune diseases by attempting to quell the blood-bourne autoimmune attack against affected tissue. This would have no effect on type 2 diabetes.

        There is a sharp contrast between the diseases known as autoimmune diseases and type 2 diabetes. You and your author don’t agree that this difference defines “autoimmune disease”.

        You and your author are ……incorrect.

    • tteamotter

      i would like to converse more with uncle roscoe regarding zonulin, diabetes and celiac disease. how can i get in touch with you, uncle roscoe?

  18. Dr. Davis,

    If you don’t mind, an (off topic) comment and question.

    I stopped the wheat almost two years ago now. I had had some swallowing problems due to eosinophilic esophagitis and gastric reflux. I had been taking a proton pump inhibitor for the better part of a decade. Since giving up the wheat, I wondered if I should maybe also give up the PPI. I did (I had to gradually reduce my dose, and giving it up was unpleasant for a week or two). Anyway, I haven’t had any reflux or swallowing problems since. Two weeks ago, I had a bite of birthday cake. I bet you can figure out what happened. Reflux was back for a day. Never again.

    One quick question– you talked about in your other blog the Zeo Sleep Coach. Does that really work? If so, which model do you recommend?

    • Dr. Davis

      The Zeo device sounds great, but I’ve never tried it myself. So I really can’t recommend nor direct you to the specific model best suited.

      Please let me know what you learn, however!

  19. Loved this read. Being a bariatric post-op (RNY) and a now a wheat-free belly, I pained long and hard over having the surgery. I was already active and knew how to eat “right.” For 3 years my Doc an Endo (treating me for T2 Diabetes) suggested the procedure and I finally decided to do it when they said the RNY would eradicate my Diabetes. Thankfully, it did. I haven’t had a shot of insulin since 2006 when I had the surgery. I’m what the bariatric statistics call “successful” having maintained my 165 lb. loss, but I’ve yet to be able to get to “healthy” weight. After a few years post-op all weight loss stopped, despite training for 3 half ironman distance triathlons back-to-back. I *thought* I was eating right. I knew I was exercising. I went back to my doctors frustrated because I knew my efforts were honest. Turned out I became Hypothyroid. Began treatment for that, but medications didn’t really help the weight loss, although they helped the fatigue. While the medication helped a little, could I settle for having to take medication the rest of my life? I also suffered from a pretty good case of Anemia, common post-barbaric surgery, and required 2 infusions. I started doing some super-sleuthing on the Internet and came across some other folks facing the same issues I was. It got me considering different options. Fast forward to 2012. My Chiropractor kept begging me to drop wheat from my diet (she’s a advocate of the Whole30 and Paleo Lifestyles). I didn’t buy into how I would fuel 5 hour workouts without the type of carbohydrates? It seemed impossible and the more complex planning seemed daunting. Finally I gave in. In 3 months I was down 30+ lbs (and still going). At a recent follow-up visit to my Endocrinologist and Hematologist, they were both surprised. Not as much about the weight loss, but more about how my blood test numbers looked. My Thyroid function was now in range — I will probably get to come off the medication! My Endocrinolgist was excited and asked what I had been doing and I told her; she wanted to share it with other patients like me! My Hematologist was surprised as well — very surprised, in fact. He said he would have bet the farm I would have needed a 3rd Infusion by now, but I didn’t I told him what I had changed and he didn’t appear to have an opinion one way or the other. Oh well. All this just to say, and somewhat follow-up to the previous comment above, had any of my pre-op docs supported this type of lifestyle and suggested trying it, I would have tried it before having the surgery. After going through the bariatric process, and knowing what I know now, I don’t believe all Bariatric surgeons do enough of (or maybe the right) pre-op testing. I often wonder if I had an undetected Thyroid problem then (because none of them ran the test which ultimately found the issue). I was never tested for Celiacs or gluten intolerance pre-op either. Nor was it ever suggested to remove grains from my diet. ewIn my experience doctors (not to blame them) have very mixed feelings about what is good for us and what is not to put in our mouths. The medical community’s lack of support and inconsistency of promoting this lifestyle strikes me as odd, when it clearly helps people life better, healthier more full lives.

  20. JillOz

    Dr Davis,

    in one of your latest interviews, either you or the interviewer mentions a presentation
    The Oiling of America.
    here is the link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvKdYUCUca8

    Please watch it!! It just makes you want to put your head in your hands. Or sue the bastards.
    Seriously, there are so many large scale scams of this sort going on – political as well as dietary – it’s a wonder anybody has any sanity or health left!!

  21. madhunter

    Interesting the way people deal with the band. I have a friend that has taken up drinking lots of hot chocolate. However when she tries to eat a salad after chopping it up it tends to get stuck and then she has to vomit it back up. This can’t be the receipt for healthy living.

  22. wrotek

    Effect of hydration, in individual case, on triglycerides(698 dropped to 216 ), fasting glucose (280-dropped to130), cholesterol (235 dropped 156), (LDL136 dropped to 69), and other factors and diabetes in general.
    Why does hydration work so well ?
    This is part two of the whole interview, where a patient describes his case starting from minute 1
    http://watercure2.org/Audio/rising_interview_051107_part2.mp3

    enjoy
    So, not only carbohydrate consumption is a factor
    More data in watercure2.org

    • Rong

      I hate to rain on the parade but those numbers are far from where they should be. Moving in the right direction? Perhaps, but saying that some of those numbers are normal depends on the “normal” you want. Fasting glucose 130, LDL 69 and HDL 44? I don’t think so. Knock of 40 points on the first and reverse the last two and then you will have something.

      • wrotek

        I am not diabetic so i dont know these tests, but if U say so.. But still numbers got better did not they ?

        • Rong

          As I said, they are moving in the right direction. However, the word normal and acceptable were used in the recording. They are wrong. 130 is much to high for fasting glucose, etc.

        • Suzie_B

          wrotek,
          Isn’t the cutoff for diabetes a fasting blood sugar of 125 as defined by the generous rules of conventional doctors? Are you sure you don’t have diabetes?

      • Peter

        The bigger problem than LDL/HDL is whether the LDL is oxidized! Oxidation is a by-product of oxygen being taken in which then produces oxidized cholesterol, however if you take nutritional supplements with very powerful antioxidants, you cause the cholesterol to be as thin as water, rather than thick like molasses. Oxidized cholesterol (like molasses) is the biggest cause of heart disease. Of the people that die from heart disease, over half of them have perfect cholesterol as measured solely by the LDL/HDL levels!

  23. Lisa

    I’d just like to comment in repeating something I just read on James H. Kunstler’s blog –

    “Reality is harder to stamp out than truth, which can be shouted down, papered over, fudged, outlawed, etch-a-sketched, exiled and reviled. Reality is everywhere.”

    We who don’t eat wheat and/or other grains anymore know the reality of that experience. Certain people can stamp out the truth – but we always have the reality.

    • Dr. Davis

      Rice and oats are problems for different reasons than that of wheat.

      Rice, for instances, lacks the opiate effect that stimulates appetite. It “only” sends blood sugar and small LDL particles–the most common cause for heart attack–WAY up.

    • JIllOz

      Dr Davis, I just watched this.
      You have explained the problem as neatly and concisely as one could wish for.
      I have sent i to a friend because you’ve covered the gliadin aspect of it much better than I’ve been able to.

      I just really really wish the emphasis of talk on this wheat problem was on all wheat bread products like loaves, rolls, pretzels, baguettes, pastries, muffins etc – not just bagels.:(

      Incidentally, have you ever read The End of Overeating by David Kessler? I read it a couple of years ago, recently revisited it in light of what I learned in Wheat Belly and discovered something interesting but would like to know first whether you have read it.

        • JIllOz

          Well, when you do, you’ll find an interesting and probably unconscious omission.
          The basic premise is that the food industry puts so manyt layers of fat, sugar, and salt in fast and manufactured foods that it becomes addictive and people eat more and becme obese, etc.

          However, when I went back to it I noticed that while Kessler talks about breading and batter on deep fried foods and their usefulness as a delivery system for fat, sugar and salt, because FatSaltSugar attaches so easily to breading, he actually IGNORES the actual factor of breading/batter as a part of the diet itself with its own properties.

          He does not take into account that this addition in so many foods is actually an addictive and inflammatory factor!!
          It’s absolutely fascinating to see how he consistently leaps over this
          dietary element while considering the others.

          Even though he wobbles on this, the book is worth reading for the amazing insight into the food industry, their thinking and their formulation of “food products”.

  24. Bo

    O.T
    My problem is drinking beer, a lot of it, is it possible that beer made from barley also has those polypeptides that binds to opiatereceptores in the brain, i dont enyoy hard liqur, I feel something is missing when i drink vodka, whiskey, only beer gives the “high” for me. have you stubled apon similar cases in your practice?
    Am I possibly a beer addict in the same way as wheat dito?
    I say “am” not “was” because I know from experience that if I start drinking beer again i’ll fall of the wagon.
    Misa barleyoholic?

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, I think that wheat-based beer is addictive for more than its alcohol content. I believe that the gliadin protein that converts to smaller opiate polypeptides like adds to the addiction.

      There are non-wheat beers. I had a Bud Light tonite without effect. There are also several gluten-free beers, such as Greens, Bards, and Redbridge, though higher in carbohydrates.

  25. A BIT OF ADVICE FOR DR. DAVIS: When you go on TV you are given a very short time. It is not efficient for you to attempt to get your entire message out. You should concentrate on one aspect of your program and then urge viewers to buy your book to get details. Specifically, I would suggest you talk about the many thousands of patients who have lost tons of weight and improved their health in other ways by simply giving up wheat. Tell the viewers how your book will explain everything.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yup, I agree, Mike.

      I am guilty of trying to tell as much of the story as possible in such a short time. There is so much to tell, so little tine to do it!

      • JIllOz

        I understand the principle here Dr. Davis, but if you concentrate only on the weight issue, you’ll be dismissed as just another weightloss pusher for stupid women, because you know, women who are half starved with stupid dietary advice – well, it’s all their fault and what do women know anyway?

        You should streamline your message, yes, but by emphasising the CHANGE in wheat, and therefore in the gliadin protein and that the fat it causes is inflammatory fat, not real “weight” fat.
        People don’t like Frankenfoods, and for me the fact that this food is actually a drug is a powerful argument for givinWheat free a go.

        Ideally, of course, you’ll be on so many shows that the main principles will cohere into a short and easy summary.

        • JIllOz

          I’m not disagreeing with Mike by the way, that is good advice.

          But the interviewers on shows will also ask you questions eliciting other information. They’re in charge, you know !! ;)

          BTW, if they ever ask, well what about all the wheat farmers and the associated businesses, you can begin to point out that as other grasses have industrial appplications, so let it be with wheat.

        • lupo

          Dr. Davis, indeed you should concentrate on something catchy, i.e. “modern wheat is a genetically modified organism who has a serious and deadly negative impact for every single person’s health”.

          Obesity is just a marker of metabolic disease; and not even a good one, 30% of T2D have normal weight while 40% of overweight people do not have T2D or pre-T2D.

          • Claudia

            Dr. Davis is doing great – the message IS getting out – personally, I think the most people that will buy the book will be people wanting to lose weight (whether they need to or not) – but even people who haven’t read the book are asking questions and talking to me about the frankengrain and the negative health consequences eating wheat has on the body – they don’t necessarily want to make any changes to their diet cause they are happy to go on the way they have been – but they are thinking/talking about it – which is great – change takes time and is a process (sometimes a long one) – just getting people to think that they don’t need to eat every couple of hours for blood sugar, that oats are not a great way to start the day, that eating fats (certain ones) is good for you, that you don’t need to eat grains for fiber, all of which flys in the face of current diet advice provided by doctors, dieticians, the Diabetes Association, etc. is HUGE and a remarkable thing – and I know this information has been available for some time, but Dr. Davis’ book has made it uber available to those of us who just wanted to “lose some weight” – cheers

  26. kianna1999

    My comment is more of an observation, I live in Alhambra, California where the predominant race are Asians (Chinese, Vietnamese, etc) and you may not know this ut here are a whole lot of places here that sell French bread particularly a specialty Vietnamse sandwich called Banh mix, yet 80% of the population are thin sometimes too thin, I have lots of friends that eat this stuff three times a day and they are still too thin, my friends were all born and raised here in the us so I am rather confused and yes they do eat a lot of wheat based and rice noodles and drink vietnamses coffee all the time , if you are not familiar with Vietnamse coffee is is made with condensed milk….btw I am Asian American myself I hardly eat what they eat and yet I’m considered too heavy…I’m 5’2, 119 lbs…

    • JIllOz

      Perhaps it’s a genetics thing…????
      Or their inflammation might be registered elsewhere other than their physical appearance…

      BTW, Vietnamese coffees are so cool (I seldom have it but it’s liike having an ice cream!)
      Spanish coffee is made a similar way, or at least there is a variation in a Spanish coffeehouse I know that calls it Spanish coffee.

      • lupo

        That’s a tough one. First of all, another culture implicates hundreds of differing variables. Then there’s genetics. Then there are eating habits. So it won’t be that easy to figure out what’s going on in your community. If your up to a journey for a couple of years of science, go find it out yourself, otherwise … well, be happy you’re thin. But beware, thin does not equal healthy, just as overweight does not equal sick. You may still acquire a host of carbohydrate and grain related diseases, including hypertension, vascular disease, heart disease or dementia.

  27. steve Helmer

    Doc:
    How long should it take to be completely change, so that all the cells are replaced by the correct food,

    Many months, years or is it individualized.?

    Doc, i’am still getting alot of my old aliments in reverse, or i supect thats it. Doc i have been wheat free for about 3 1/2 months, Low energy in cycles, and achs and pains come and go. Although Doc, when i walk up 13 stairs with forty lbs of weight, i notice my heart rate goes way up, but it comes down within a minute or two.
    Should i be concerned, about this any suggestions, comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Steve

    • Dr. Davis

      If I understand your question: How much time is required to turn over all cells in the body?

      This is hardly my area of expertise, but I believe it requires several months.

      RE: Heart rate. Any chance you are not hydrating properly?

      • steve

        Doc:
        How much should one drink as in water i’ve heard 8 glasses, a day is this correct, but i never keep track of the amount of water i drink, should i be concerned about this?
        Steve

      • Totally frustrated

        I heard from a nurse that it takes 180 days/6 months to get out of your system. Is that true?
        Dr. Davis,
        I have been faithfully following this diet since July. From July to the end of December I have lost a substantial amount of weight but I am far from reaching my goal. It is now April 22nd and I haven’t lost anything since December. I am beyond frustrated at this point. Why am I not losing anymore? I am still doing the same things as before. Please help!!!

  28. Mrs. JCD

    Dr. D.
    I am feeling wonderful since being grain free, but before starting the grain-free lifestyle, I started taking Swanson Green Food Formula – Green Max capsules; they contain all sorts of phytonutrients, but suddenly I double-read the ingredient list and they contain wheat grass, barley bran, brown rice, soy sprout…..among other listed items. I know these items are on the ‘never’ list. What are your thoughts on any type of phytonutrient supplements? Do we ingest all that we need without using supplements, or should we take a basic multivitamin/supplement? Keep uo the wonderful work of coverting one at a time!!!!! Every life that has been improved by following your recommendations is one more to help spread the word!!
    Bon Appetit!

    • Dr. Davis

      Taking a green supplement in today’s nutrient-depleted world is not at all a bad idea, Mrs. JCD.

      You can find such preparations that are wheat-free and absent unhealthy ingredients.

  29. I don’t know one person who has had the lap band surgery that is doing well. They are sick from other organs and it is a total disruption to the normal order of things. In addition, they cheat and grow a big stomach again. What is the use? Many have lost their lives or are on the brink of doing so. To me, it is like throwing a person in prison for doing drugs without rehabilitation. There cannot be hope. Eating one small bite of anything cannot be living nor can be nutritious for the body’s needs.

    • Dr. Davis

      I agree, Bettye.

      I have seen it end badly too many times. Thankfully, I have never advised someone to go through such procedures.

  30. Amber H

    My sister had bariatric surgery to lose weight and correct diabetes a couple of years ago. Long story short, it did correct the diabetes, but she still hasn’t lost all of the weight, and she looks older than her years. I, on the other hand, being 5’3 and a high of 330 pounds at one point, changed the way I ate and have lost 110 pounds to date. I had no health issues, but I was disabled due to an injury. I was in a wheelchair for distances and heavily on a crutch for anything else and I was unable to drive. Today, I can walk (with a limp) anywhere I care to go, no crutch needed, I did away with the wheelchair and I drive myself all over the place :) I still have some weight to lose, but I feel awesome, I look like a “normal” person and I look younger than I am. I changed my mind, which then changed my body. Surgery changes the body, but does nothing for the mind. That, to me, is backwards. I wish my sister could understand.

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s great, Amber!

      I’ve seen the same thing in people who’ve undergone these procedures. They are not physiologic, they are not natural, and the effects are often not what they expect.

      Wheat elimination, on the other hand, is the most evolutionarily correct lesson we can adopt!

  31. I agree wholeheartedly with your reply to Wheatless in Wyoming…wish there were more honest physicians! It appears he is one of the few that desires to follow his heart rather than his pocket book and hope he did so.

    There are exceptions and this depends upon the individual…one must realize that weight loss surgery is not a cure all…it is only a tool. A very “readers digest” version of the path that has led me to where I am today…

    For many years, I too tried everything to lose weight, with little or no results. Not one doctor I ever have been to suggested anything other than “calories in/calories out & exercise” and proceeded to keep me on high blood pressure meds, antidepressants, fluid pills, anti-anxiety meds, and learn how to live with arthritis. I also was found to have a Vit D3 deficiency.

    There are no words to describe how the extra weight took its toll on my body, mind, and spirit, not to mention the frustration of unanswered questions regarding my obesity and why nothing would work for me.

    I just turned 60 and almost a year ago, I was knocking on the door of 300 lbs. I made the decision to have the gastric sleeve surgery because I did not want a foreign object in my body with the chance of something growing to it or having to deal with the side effects. Because I had no insurance coverage, after much research, I went to Mexico to have the surgery, which was a very positive experience.

    Today, I have lost almost 70 lbs and no longer take any medications and very rarely see a physician other than my yearly physical. A few months ago, my blood test were all normal, along with my blood pressure.

    But, I still deal with the joint pain and have headaches. This past Monday, I stumbled upon the Dr. Oz show and watched the episode about wheat. I will tell you that because of so many “fads” in the past, I was a little skeptical, but kept an open mind, bought the book and began my research.

    Hearing Dr. Davis talk about how wheat affected the brain caught my attention in a big way. I sustained a closed head injury several years ago, although I am not a medical professional, I have researched the brain very much over time. I was sold and spent the rest of the day cleaning out my cabinets and frig, the next day several hours at the grocery store reading labels.

    My husband is type 2 diabetic and as of Tuesday, we are both wheat/gluten free, our cravings are almost completely gone (mine was on an every 2 hour schedule almost…yes, I was grazing). I now understand and it is no coincidence that this information has come into our lives at this time.

    We are keeping a close watch on my husbands BS so as to notify his physician when the numbers change and hopefully eventually become med free also.(He is not obese, but wants to lose a few pounds)

    I have experienced some withdrawals the past few days but I figure it is better to stop cold turkey rather than hurt. You get so tire of the pain! I actually thought I would miss bread due to it being my best friend for so many years here in the south, but..I don’t even think about it or crave it. As a matter of fact, I don’t have actual cravings at all now.

    It is because of people like Dr. Davis which gives us hope that not all things are “just in our minds” and we are told to “get over it”.

    Thank you Dr. Davis for speaking out. It is a long row to hoe, but one that is so badly needed. Your voice will be heard in more than one way. We are very grateful for your truth and your courage!

  32. Actually, I use green bell peppers as my sandwich “bread.” It’s awesome with Italian!

    There is always a real food substitute that can stand in for what we have eliminated. If it is not some form of vegetable, it’s eggs, or even the famous Atkins Revolution Rolls.

    And we get more nutrients that way.

  33. Liz

    Dear Dr. Davis, I read your book and found it smart and compelling! I’ve been completely gluten-free for 2 weeks. I feel great, mostly because my intense cravings for something sweet followed by something salty, and on and on, have completely disappeared. I also feel full after my meals, and don’t need to snack constantly in between, just as your book said would happen. For that alone I am grateful, Dr. Davis! But I haven’t lost any weight to speak of. Well, after a week and a half I had lost 2 lbs, which was amazing, but then today, my two week mark, I was up again, only .4 from where I started. I have about 20 lbs. to lose, but I’d be pretty happy with 10. Last year I had my thyroid tested (because I was frustrated with not being able to lose any weight, even with severely restricting my calories) and my doctor said everything was normal. And I actually believe it is. I’m active; I have been working out almost every day for 30 years; I’m not tired; I get plenty of sleep – and I haven’t been sick in any way for years. I’m lucky!

    So, I have two questions for you: can it be that my body has found its “set point,” and that it’s happy at this weight no matter what I eat? (I should mention that I’m 55, and I’ve been trying to lose this weight (from the baby! haha, for years). Or do you think that if I stick with this, it will eventually come off; it might just take some more time? I’m willing to stick with this forever, actually, because it makes sense to me and does NOT feel like I’m depriving myself, which is a horrible feeling.

    Secondly, I record what I eat everyday on myfitnesspal.com. They set what they think the limits of carbs, fat, calories, etc. should be each day, which I realize is going to be different with your plan. I’m finding that I’m eating slightly over their recommended calorie amount (I told the app that I wanted to lose a pound a week, and so it’s suggesting that I not go over 1200 calories/day). I see that I’m eating 1300-1400 with your plan. That’s fine, but what really is different is the fat grams. Instead of restricting myself to their recommended 40 grams/day, I’m eating twice that! Between the oil and the almonds, peanut butter, cheese, a little dark chocolate. . . . it adds up. I will say that I’m able to keep the carbs to around 80/day.

    Do you have guidelines for fat grams? In your book you seem quite happy with people eating fat. But could it be contributing to the weight not “falling off” as others seem to enjoy?

    I would appreciate any thoughts you have in this regard. Thank you!

    • Dr. Davis

      Thank you, Liz!

      A couple of thoughts:

      1) Rarely does someone need to limit fats. In fact, your fat intake sounds a bit LOW!

      2) Too many carbs per day at 80 grams, if weight loss is your goal. Try more like 15 grams “net” (total minus fiber) per meal or 4-6 hour digestive “window.”

      3) It wouldn’t hurt to post your thyroid values. You’d be surprised how many people who have been told that their thyroid status was “fine” actually have thyroid impairment sufficient to block weight loss.

  34. Joanelle

    We can cut back, hunt for einkorn, as I did, but the real solution is to have humans eating real wheat when wanted as we did as children. I remember ‘fat’ people when I was growing up but can’t for the life of me, remember anyone as obese as we see today on a daily basis. Dr. Davis has the answer, and all these docs who are promoting diets and the industry producing useless “wheat” are getting rich on a dying population’s pain.
    Instead of changing the unchangeable we should augment the whistle that Dr. Davis has blown until we have a population so angered by the fraud and fake wheat products that have been foisted on us that the pressure to bring back einkorn wheat cannot be ignored.

  35. Suzzi

    I had lap band. Lost 30-50 lbs …yoyo…over the last 3 years. I have over 100 to lose. I follow the rules, but the only thing that works is a low carb approach… I started reading your book yesterday… and I’m loving it! I’m excited to start my wheat free journey.

    Thanks!

    Suzzi