Dying, obsessing, scheming for food

Those of us living in this magnificent Wheat-Free Zone have been hearing incredible tales of freedom from eating disorders. Remember TJ’s story of her release from lifelong bulimia?

Michele tells this story of her release from the binge-eating bonds of wheat and its appetite-stimulating hold over her life.

I have to write. When I read the post from TJ, the woman who suffered from bulimia and various forms of eating disorders for years, I totally related. My first diet started when I was 12 years old. I was not overweight, but my mom and dad always warned me that, if I kept eating the way I was eating, I was going to be fat. My dad said Omar the tentmaker would have to make my clothes. That first diet ended within a couple days with a binge.

My first “successful” diet happened when I was 17 years old. I went from 126 pounds at 5 feet 3 to 85 pounds. I was emaciated and felt fat. I would writhe in pain at night as my body ached with cramps and hunger pains. I lasted about 2 years like this. Then I went off to college and discovered laxatives. My roommate chose vomiting. I was not that “lucky” to be able to vomit. At my worst I took 100 laxatives and ended up in an eating disorder unit for 6 weeks. When I got out of the eating disorder unit I knew absolutely no more than I did going into it about how to prevent myself from bingeing. I spent the next 27 years thinking about food every single day and how “this would be the day I wold successfully diet and not binge.” But every single day ended up in another binge. Binges could get as bad as several donuts, pizza, pretzels, cookies–anything I could get my hands on.

Over the years I tried every diet known to man. I spent many hours in counseling. Each counselor told me that, if I would resolve the abuse of my past, then the bingeing would go away. Somehow I knew this was not true. You see I am making strides in my life from painful childhood and abusive marriage. However, the consitent part is that I kept on bingeing. After each of my three babies I abstained from bingeing long enough to get the weight off. However, in recent years I ballooned up to 160. This is much too much on my frame. I was at my wit’s end. I knew I was addicted to something. I have been a slave to food for so many years. I felt if only I could stop eating altogether, like an alcoholic who abstains altogether from alcohol.

I recently was online and stumbled upon Wheat Belly. I downloaded it to my audible app. I listened and listened, again and again. I thought, “What do I have to lose?” I need to try to give up wheat and see if my urge to binge improves.

Well after exactly 5 weeks, I can tell you that, for the first time in my life, I have gone to bed for the past 3 weeks without dying for food. Without obsessing and scheming to get food. Last night I went to bed and had not eaten since 5 pm. This is unheard of for me. I have always–and I mean always–had late night binges.

I have lost 6 pounds. I am no longer bloated. I am no longer having a daily stomache ache and headache. I am most excited about the fact that I have discovered that I am truly addicted to wheat and I can eliminate “a food” and not food as a whole and live as a normal human being. I could never understand how people could push away from the table. I get it now. I am very thankful to you for writing this book.


I have been wheat free for almost 8 weeks now.

Still no night time cravings. I have now lost 10 pounds. I just found that my triglycerides are 73 and my HDL 45. My overall cholesterol is down to 207 (which it was when I was 22 years old. It was around 245 in my 40’s.) My LDL is 150 and my vldl is 14.

When I was addicted to wheat like a crack addict, I might have seemed lazy by my body size. However, I have always worked out. I have always been on one diet or another. It was part of my eating disorder. I have ran marathons. It did not matter. Until I eliminated the “crack,” I was never going to lose weight. I only believe it because I tried it and for the first time in my life I have FREEDOM.

People with eating disorders–binge eating in Michele’s case and bulimia in TJ’s case–are the extreme end of the spectrum. Most of us have not had to endure the 24-hour a day food obsessions, nor have we had to suffer the emotional swings and turmoil to the degree Michele and TJ have. By eating modern wheat, we have these experiences–but not as bad. You may experience it as the hunger at 9 a.m. after a full breakfast at 7 a.m. Or the need to snack just 2 hours after a full dinner. Or the nighttime cravings that make you do things you regret like eating an entire bag of potato chips.

The gliadin opiate in wheat binds to the opiate receptors of the brain and thereby stimulates appetite, much as other opiates do but without the pain-relieving or euphoric effect . . . “just” appetite stimulation. And, in people susceptible to the effect, it triggers eating disorders that can be physically and emotionally crippling.

The cure is simple.

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Comments & Feedback...

    • Jeff

      Wheat is in those, too. It would be in your best interest to read the book so you’ll understand we’re not just talking about stuff labeled “wheat” or “whole wheat” – we’re talking about ALL wheat. That means white bread, rye bread, or any kind of bead you can imagine. There are a few alternative breads being manufactured, but it is highly unlikely you will find them in grocery stores yet. Mostly online, these are not the widely-available “gluten free” products you find in stores (those are not good for health, either).
      Nearly all “processed” foods contain wheat – breakfast cereals, pasta, canned soups….just about anything in a box on the shelves. To really go wheat free means to switch to only eating “REAL” food – vegetables, meat, fish, eggs,raw nuts and a small amount of fruit. To many, this sounds way too hard to even try, but if you read the book, you’ll understand much better. And, if you read the success stories on this blog, you can begin to see there are so many benefits to ones health, it is amazing.

  1. Ellen

    I have been on the Wheat Belly diet for about 5 weeks. I was a night binger….after dinner I just grazed until I went to bed. No longer the case….even during the day I have to force myself to eat sometimes, food cravings are essentially gone.
    I feel “Lighter” from the inside, I finally know the difference between being “tired” and being “sluggish”
    The energy and lightness of being I feel now is wonderful……but…I have not lost much weight at all. I am 5’2″ and weighed about 152 when I started. I lost about 3 pounds in 5 weeks. My portions are normal size, I don’t overeat the good stuff. What could be wrong? Even without the weight loss, I feel truly blessed to have found this way of life, for me… I will never go back to wheat.

    • Aunt D

      Giving up wheat is a huge part. If you can do that you can do what it takes to loose the weight. I started my weight loss journey by cutting it out. I lost 10 lbs over a month, i started at 220 though. I ran across an health and fitness fanatic that used to live by this wheat belly book but now recommends Tim Ferris’s “4 Hour Body”. I read it and mad a commitment to live by it and I have now lost 35 lbs. It is basically a low carb diet minus lactose plus beans and lentils. You stick to that 6 days a week and cheat on the 7th which resets the thyroid and helps fuel that next 6 days dieting. I personally feel so free but mainly because of the lack of wheat but if you are really wanting to take off the lbs try picking up Tim’s book.

    • Joanette

      Check your thyroid. Same thing happened to me, following all guidelines and not losing weight. Found out just recently I have hypothyroidism. With medication, I have started losing and feel much better.

        • Queenie

          I’ve only been a full week wheat free and just realized this morning that my restless leg syndrome has disappeared. I am 47 years old 5′ tall and 150 pounds. Sadly I haven’t lost a pound yet but I do feel better. I run three to four times a week and do yoga once a week. I have a very hectic job and home life so it’s not like I’m sitting on the couch. Doc says my thyroid is fine too… but the weight is not budging.

  2. Laura F

    I can relate to this. I never developed anorexia or bulimia but that’s probably because I was just resigned to being fat. What I did have was an obsession with food at every waking moment. As soon as I finished eating one thing, all I could think about would be what I could eat next and when. I would remember that I used to be interested in doing things besides eating but I couldn’t figure out how to get back to that point. I thought maybe I needed to join the compulsive eaters 12-step group in my area. Then I cut out wheat and, poof, problem solved. I should go talk to that 12 step about wheat in case anyone hasn’t heard the good news yet.


    I have already written 2 replies. I keep getting the error that my captcha code can’t be read. I just want to see if this goes through, then I will rewrite what I have said.

    • Neicee

      I had trouble at first posting too. Someone mentioned something about the timing. It’s worked since if I type it out, and don’t take my time reviewing the spelling and punctuation.

      • JoAnne

        @Neicee & NOWHEATEATER – I had trouble with the captcha code too, when I first started posting. It seems to ‘time out’ on you if your message isn’t posted in the time allowed. So now I type my post in a MS Word document (taking as long as I need to organize my thoughts & check for typos). When I’ve got my message exactly as I want it, I ‘refresh’ the wheat belly blog page, and then I ‘cut’ my Word doc and ‘paste’ it directly into the reply box. Haven’t had a problem since.

        • Janet

          I type in the reply window what I want, but before I post, I highlight and “copy ” what I have written so if it crashes, I have my reply ready to “paste” into the reply window again. Actually, you can just copy once and you can use the “paste” multiple tries until it works. I do that whenever I am making comments on any website or blog. If I want to save what I have written, and I have written some long ones, I can then just “paste” it again into a Word document.
          Wheat-Free and Joyful!

          • Jacqueline

            Gee Janet I hope that happens to me! Lol! One thing I’ve been noticing is that my wedding ring is looser than it has ever been. Evidently my hands had swelling in them that I didn’t even notice. Now if the swelling in my ankles would also go away….I just figured I’d sprained them so much that’s what they’d look like forever but now I’m beginning to wonder….

        • MelB

          JoAnne – that’s a great idea to compose a post in Word and then copy it into the Comment field. I made a long post yesterday (my first), and it’s lost. I think I composed it too slowly. The system said it was “Under Moderation.” Now I can’t find it. Any ideas? A shorter post I made today appeared quickly. I wish there were some way of searching for one’s specific posts or comments. I hope the Web Master or Mistress sees this. I don’t see a Help link of any kind.
          Thanks and regards,

          • Boundless

            > I wish there were some way of searching for one’s specific posts or comments.

            There is: use an external search engine, restricting the site or domain to WWB. For Google, for example, a search string of:
            MelB site:wheatbellyblog.com
            gets 27 hits at the moment.

            The WWB’s own search engine apparently does not search replies, so I only use it to find Dr.D articles.
            On finding your recent posts, bookmark them. It does take some time (usually less than 24 hours) for the external search engines to index new content.
            Further caveat: the recent “Older Articles” feature that reduces clutter under articles causes the page reference to change after a few days, with the result that your bookmark, and some search results, won’t find the reply directly. Click Older Articles and scroll.
            And I concur with the compose-offline, then past & post advice (or at least highlight and copy before hitting Post Comment). The initially issued CAPTCHA code does seem to expire.

          • Boundless

            Let me add: archive. Save elsewhere any authorings that you care about.

            The blog has already had one crash, with the loss of nearly a day’s content. This is the cloud. Cloudbursts happen.

            Further, the blog could vanish entirely. One of my ISPs is shutting down today. Not selling and migrating the user base to a new ISP, as is more common, but just folding the tent.

            If WB Blog ever becomes WB Forum, there’s a high likelihood that the blog threads will not be portable to the Forum, just as the blog and the FB page do not mirror each other’s content today.

          • JoAnne

            @Mel –The first time I ever posted on the blog I got the “Under Moderation” message. The only other time that happened was when my post included an active weblink.

            @ Boundless –This info you posted is very helpful. Thanks!

          • Boundless

            Any number of factors seem to result in “Under Moderation” status, such as:
            * new user
            * recent user posting a link
            * long term user posting more than one link
            * content that the spam and abuse filters flag
            There used to be a lot more spam on this blog. CAPTCHA seems to have blocked the automated spam. The filters seem to be effective with the manual spam, but I suspect Dr.D. is still having to waste time dealing with some that sneak through.


    THANKS TO Ms. BIOTCH SCHNAKE: LOOK IN THE MIRROR, BABE… It takes a self server to know one… Have you ever served us anything that remotely resembled the truth? THANKS for putting your hatred out there for all of us self serving fat slobs to see on the internet. You make a living off all of us victims who trust you as a caring professional. I hope all the rest of us see your blog, and quit going to sit our butts in your waiting room so your business drops off like the pounds you could never help us lose, and we self serving slobs stop paying your fees for giving us the WRONG medical advice. THANKS for calling me self serving. I think it says in the bible that you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. All my life, I have been victimized by all the industries that blame the victim. Talk abouit biting the hand that feeds you… I could write forever about all the horror I have been subjected to as a fat, lazy, self serving slob. THE NAMES, THE LOOKS, the missed opportunities… But your comments realyy take the cake. So again… THANKS for making me mad…. I will not take any more abuse from you so called helping professionals. Some one has to serve themselves. What you have served us (at very hefty fees), has been wrong!!!!!!!! I am hereby, today, now, taking a pledge to serve myself for the rest of my life. What will I serve myself? Truth, love, and NO MORE HATE from the “experts”. I am calling Dr. Davis to see if I can get an appointment. That’s right, I am willing to fly to Wisconsin from South Florida to get some real help. NO MORE HELP from the WHEAT salesmen for me.

    • Hi – for those who don’t realise this lady is responding to an earlier blogpost here http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/09/youre-diabetic-because-you-are-lazy-and-self-serving/
      That made me angry also – “lazy and self serving”.

      To you NOWHEATEATER could I suggest you read Gary Taubes book “Why We Get Fat”. You will see that he says the complete opposite. I know you’d be prepared to fly to see Dr Davis but there is already so much amazing information out there on the internet. Try listening to Jimmy Moore’s podcasts (go to his website for more info http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/
      He has done many podcasts on every subject imaginable that will help you!!

      • Leslie

        Also Protein Power Lifeplan by Drs. Michael and Mary Eades http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike is an invaluable resource for the low carb eating that Dr. Davis recommends. He hasn’t been posting as much in his blog lately, but the older posts and the book are very useful for understanding the physiology behind carbs, insulin, weight loss, cholesterol, and other pertinent current health topics.

      • Janet

        Jimmy Moore is my favorite podcast plus Robb Wolf (but he is heavy on the workout stuff–and I am just not there). Another one: Caveman Doctor plus Balanced Bites–which is aimed at women. I listen on my computer and my husband in the next room has listened and been influenced and has changed his diet without any nagging on my part–plus he eats my really good food. His bermuda shorts actually fell off of him when he tried to pull something down in the garage they were so loose. Sorry I missed that! He has had a stroke (49) and MI and triple bypass (56) already and he is only 65. We get our 1/4 grass fed beef in a few weeks so I am boning up on how to cook this kind of meat–it is different. I can make proper bone broths now for extra nutrients. I love the podcasts and have learned so much. I have renewed my interest in cooking and restocking my kitchen tools: some I have had 45 years from my wedding shower! Take care, all.

        • Neicee

          Ok, Janet – I was never going to reveal this, but your comments about your husband’s shorts falling down was funny. I had the same thing happen a few days ago. My husband announced he needed me to go somewhere with him. I had on a pair of cargo pants with a zipper, button, and tie strings. I ran to the bedroom to change and forgot and just pulled them down, over the hips with no problem….all I could do was stand there and laugh myself silly. He came in and I handed him the pants. He laughed and joked I’d probably be shopping again for pants!

  5. Elaine Sukava

    I had binged for years, unable to quit eating, even when I felt full, until I quit wheat. I also left other grains, legumes, seed oils and most sugars behind, with no cravings ever. I am blessed, even if weight loss (30 pounds need to go) very slow.

  6. The 1907 to 1911 Single Grain Experiment showed that of corn, oats, wheat or a mix of all three, cows fed only wheat were the LEAST healthy. And that was with 1908 wheat!!, not the mutant crap they’re pushing on everybody these days. And they knew that in 1908!

    From Wikipedia, Single-grain Experiment http://t.co/RDQga3aw

    “All four groups (were) bred during that year with the corn-fed calves being the healthiest while the wheat and mixed-fed calves were stillborn or later died. Similar results were found in 1909. In 1910, the corn-fed cows had their diets switched to wheat and the non-corn-fed cows were fed corn. This produced unhealthy calves for the formerly corn-fed cows while the remaining cows produced healthy calves. When the 1909 formulas were reintroduced to the respective cows in 1911, the gestation results of 1909 reoccurred in 1911. These results were published in 1911. Similar results had been done in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1901, in Poland 1910, and in England in 1906 (though the English results were not published until 1912).”

    • And the final irony, “The experiment would lead to the development of nutrition as a science. (HUH!?!?!) It would also lead to a determination that there were minerals and vitamins in food; (But apparently NOT in wheat!!) that research would continue into the 1930s.”

    • Dr. Davis

      Priceless, Cancer!

      It seems that, in the world of agribusiness, the farther we go forward, the farther we go back.

  7. Jacqueline

    It has now been 6 weeks since I permanently gave up wheat and all grains. The will power that it used to take to forgo breads and desserts in all forms is now so unnecessary. I can’t believe it! I used to eat oatmeal almost every day, thinking I was doing the right thing nutritionally. Now that I know better it has been no hardship at all to give it up. I also thought quinoa was a sound choice; Ditto wild rice and all dried beans. I now feel so empowered knowing that I can eat til I’m full (while keeping my carbs under 50 grams per day) and still maintain my ideal weight. I’ve been on a huge roller coaster my whole adult life losing and regaining the same 30 pounds .

    The hardest part of this lifestyle is accidental contamination with gluten. I now know that I’m highly sensitive to it. Going out to eat, which has always been a pleasure, is something of a minefield . It doesn’t take long to know when I’ve been “wheated”. Acid reflux immediately returns, followed closely by bloating, gas and a headache . The next day I feel like an arthritic old lady, and my gums hurt. I also feel the urge to snack, but I now recognize wheat’s sneaky trick and don’t fall for it!
    I don’t know if I did something rash but I quit simvastatin a week before going wheat free (Which I had been on for a year). I wil be having my annual exam in a few days so we will see what the numbers show. To my knowledge my vitamin d levels have never been tested, so I hope to have that number also.

    • Dr. Davis

      To say that “You are what you eat” is an understatement, don’t you think, Jacqueline?

      Perhaps we should say: “You are what you wheat!”

  8. Shelley

    Once again, my story is very similar. I thought that I was addicted to food..tried diets, hypnosis..you name it until Wheat belly saved me. I at that point had resigned myself to being heavy even though I was running 3 times a week and had an active job..I hated the way I felt..tired and hungry all the time. After breakfast I would start thinking about snacks and lunch..i grazed ALL DAY… Part of me knew(hoped) that there was a piece of the puzzle missing and like a bolt of lightening..take away the wheat and other grains and my control ( others call it will power…its not) and the joint pain, hot flashes and improved sleep are just the beginning..People say that it must be hard not to eat bread..the diets before where hard..this is easy! BTW it is one year next month that i started Wheat belly..yeah me

    • Dr. Davis

      Stick to it, Shelley!

      Remove the wheat and all the puzzle pieces fall into place. There is no drug, no surgery, no diet that can fully overcome the addictive/appetite-stimulating properties of modern wheat. Just say goodbye to it!

    • Janet

      I read Wheat Belly before Thanksgiving and began my wheat-free journey then. So I will be a year soon also. I have never felt so good and have been told I look 20 years younger. (I am 64). And interesting observation: All the last couple of times I lost this many inches or weight, my cellulite was still around in all the usual suspect areas, ahem.

      But, recently I noticed that I have no more cellulite and I am not as thin as those other times. I find that remarkable (and pleasing!) My skin elasticity is not the same, of course, (I’m 64 for g’s sake) but the layer of cellulite or whatever that cheesy stuff is seems to be there no longer when I squeeze areas. ahem.
      Dr. Davis: Any comment on that? NO diet I ever tried before dislodged the cellulite. I eat paleo, fairly strictly (more primal with a little dairy–homemade yogurt and cheese, whipping cream). Your book led me to Mark’s Daily Apple. I want to shout all this from the rooftops, but people are resistant.

      • Dr. Davis

        Interesting, Janet!

        No, sorry, never heard this before, though it’s not something I’ve thought to bring up.

        I will make it a point to ask/observe in future. If this proves a consistent observation, that would be fabulous!

        • JoAnne

          Janet – Yes, me too! I no longer have cellulite either! Although I’ve always exercised regularly, I couldn’t figure out why my thighs were still ‘jiggly’ with that puckered-dimply layer of cellulite. After only 3 months of being wheat-free I noticed that my cellulite was completely GONE! Too funny – I did the same thing – I’d squeeze certain areas (ahem) looking for the cellulite, but it’s NOT there anymore. The cellulite was most prominent on my thighs. Now that it’s gone, I realize that for all my life I actually had a layer of cellulite on my arms, legs, and tummy too. Poof! Gone! No wheat; no cellulite!

  9. I’ve been 100% wheat/grain free since Memorial Day.
    I can now fit into all the clothes in my closet (even the ones in the back). I recently had a blood test, the results were the best one I’ve ever had (and I’m 55 years old).
    But the best thing about being wheat-free? Freedom from food obsession. I didn’t realize how much time I thought about food until I don’t do it anymore.

    • Dr. Davis

      Thank you, Lori.

      It’s like reliving the old days, reaching back to the jeans you wore 10 years and many pounds ago!

  10. Today was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. On it, we fast (no food or water) for 26 hours. I used to have a lot of trouble with fasts of even 12 hours. Not any more. Having been a fan of yours for about two years I’ve noticed that on these fasts, I get a bit thirsty, but that’s about it. No more dizziness, no more headaches, no more obsessing about food all day.

    And I get to tease my friends who aren’t fasting so well with comments like: “Wait, it’s a fast day today? I hadn’t noticed…”

    • JillOz

      Shana Tova Ari!!
      isn’t it great to think we can get a new start on at least one part of life – the tummy!;)

    • eema.gray

      My husband noticed the exact same thing (I didn’t fast because I’m nursing a baby under 12 months of age) yesterday. He did get a massive headache about 12 hours in thanks to no caffeine, but he said it was much easier to fast than it usually is.

    • Janet

      I used to belong to a church that also kept Day of Atonement. Boy, back in the day I remember having to pull over and throw up on the roadside after a night and day of fasting while driving home from whole day services. I’m sure it was the withdrawal from coffee for even that small amount of time. I love coffee so giving that up may not happen. I have cut back, though. Have a wonderful New Year all.

      • Neicee

        Shana Tova to all of you. I do have to ask though….what are you going to do for challah in the coming wonderful meals? ;) I spent some time this afternoon on one of the newspapers on line there and one asked about the gluten angle. I’ve noticed over the years the amount of diabetes/cancer/and overweight problems of the populations. I see quinoa is also being touted…..dang, that stuff is disgusting no matter what you do to it. Adding a dozen ingredients doesn’t seem to help at all.

        Anyhow, please enjoy the blessings of the season and good luck building your outdoor retreats. Don’t forget to gaze at the stars for all of us.

        • JIllOz


          I’ve noticed that there are gluten-free challah options on the Net because though i am not religious, we do keep the traditional holidays.

          I haven’t looked in any detail online, but there have to be more options than just wheat for something like this.

          Here is just one option, there are tons of recipes online:

          I always thought you needed a rabbi to bless it though…

          • Hillary

            Thank you, JillOz, for the link to a GF challah. I was looking for something like this before the holiday but couldn’t find one in time. Ended up serving the usual (wheat) round challah which was a mistake, but c’est la vie.

            Getting rabbinic blessing for a commercially prepared GF challah ought to be possible – it’s all parve in any case (no animal products). As the general markets for GF grow, I’m sure we’ll see kosher GF challah as well.

  11. Marilyn Boeldt

    The most interesting thing about following Wheat Belly for me was that a very bad habit of snacking just disappeared without my even thinking about it. I also found myself stopping when I felt full, no matter how “unclean” my plate was.

  12. Joseph

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    A friend responded to your using ‘gliandin opiate’ by writing that his textbook says, ” it is a subset of gluten.” He then went on to say It is not an opiate per se but may have opiate like properties. So, now I am wondering why you do refer to it as gliandin opiate. I’m assuming it’s because it attaches to the opiate receptor but does that really qualify it to be referred to as being an opiate?

    • Dr. Davis

      I am guilty of oversimplifying to convey the message, Joseph.

      To be absolutely correct:

      Gliadin is degraded to opioid polypeptides, such as the A5 exorphin, polypeptides that are opiate-like.

      It is a matter of semantics whether the gliadin-derived opioids are truly opiates, opioids, opiate-like. Opiates, such as morphine and heroine, exert effects such as pain relief, euphoria, and appetite stimulation via binding to several opiate receptors. The opioids derived from wheat gliadin bind to a different collection of opiate receptors and do not provide relief from pain, nor euphoria, “only” appetite stimulation.

  13. Joseph

    Thank you for response.
    I sent a copy to my friend and got the reply below.

    “I think it is important to be accurate with language when ‘opiate’ has a specific meaning (see below). Interesting response from the Dr. I suspect the term should be opioid receptors, given they may bind other than the opiates. Semantics in this sense ie the meaning of the language is important. Especially in a controversial area. Good luck to him…”

    eg from Wikipedia.

    Although the term opiate is often used as a synonym for opioid, the term opiate is properly limited to the natural alkaloids found in the resin of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). In some definitions, the semi-synthetic substances that are directly derived from the opium poppy are considered to be opiates as well, while in other classification systems these substances are simply referred to as semi-synthetic opioids.

    “However I am quite happy to accept there are issues with wheat! ”

    I can understand your desire, and your need, to simplify but I wonder if “opiate” might not be an oversimplification, and one that works against you.

    I found myself in a somewhat heated discussion with another friend who was certain there was not much in your book that should be taken too seriously once I had mentioned that I had discovered, through reading your book, that modern wheat contained an opiate. Would it have made any difference had I been aware and used the term opioid? I think that had I been just that little bit better informed, as I now am, I would have painted a more accurate picture and it may have made a difference . . . . . and . . . . maybe not . . . . . :-)

  14. Joseph

    Me again . . . . . .
    I’m distressing myself with reading all the mistakes I’ve made in these comments so far!! For some reason I don’t see them until they’re posted on the site!
    Misspelling gliadin, left out ‘your’ when thanking you for your response, and you’ve written ‘oversimplyfying’
    so what I’ve written regarding oversimplification doesn’t read at all well!
    Maybe too old, and too much wheat!
    What will I discover once I’ve posted this . . . . .

  15. Mia

    I’ve been cutting out gluten since 2.5 weeks. After 10 days I spontaneously started cutting out dairy as well, and I’ve noticed that I crave a lot less alcohol (I used to drink a glass of wine in the evening about 4 times a week). Even my need for coffee has been decreasing the past couple of days. I notice that generally, my mind seems to be getting more coherent, I’m finally doing tasks I’d been procrastinating on for ages, so that’s all good news.

    BUT. I’ve been insanely tired. From the 4th day on, I’ve had days where I woke up dead tired after sleeping 10 hours or more. I sleep very deeply these days and longer than usual, and still I’ll have days where I’m so tired I just want to lay my head on my desk and sleep. Usually the next day I’ll see some interesting improvement (mental coherence, better focus, easier workouts…), but those waves of fatigue are so crippling that I wonder if it’s worth the trouble and whether I wasn’t better off before, when I did eat wheat & dairy. (I’m well beyond junk food & sugar; this is not my first try on going gluten free, and I’ve taken care to eliminate processed food, sugar, legumes etc. since a long time.)

    Is this extreme fatigue a common side-effect? I seldom read about it in the success stories, so no matter how inspiring they are, this is always the first stumbling block I encounter when I try to put theory into practice. Thanks for any feedback.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, wheat withdrawal is a form of opiate withdrawal with fatigue, nausea, shakiness, inability to exercise, and depression.

      Like other opiate addictions, it passes but usually requires several days, occasionally longer. But then you are liberated and feel great!

      • Mia

        Just a little update: I stuck it out for a little longer, and indeed, things got a lot better. The turning point was on the 24th day, when I woke up after 11 (eleven) hours of sleep, feeling tired and groggy once more. Then I decided to just give up grains altogether, even rice and the occasional gluten-free cracker. That’s when things started shifting for me, for the next day I felt remarkably better and had more energy. I had a bit of a dark mood for the next few days and on my fourth ‘grain free’ day I caved and had some gluten-free crackers because the alternative would have been to ditch my efforts altogether and I didn’t want to do that, but I also didn’t want to feel as grumpy as I did. Since then I’ve been back to eating completely grain free and I’ve been feeling increasingly better – much more physical energy than before and a much clearer mind, which is very nice. It’s been 29 days now since I gave up gluten and 20 days since I gave up dairy and I intend to keep going because I’m really seeing a big shift.

        I think the reason why it works this time versus a couple of years ago when I tried a month of very strict ‘Paleo’ eating was that back then, I also cut out alcohol, coffee and chocolate. And to be honest, I think these helped me through the rough days this time. I just didn’t feel like being a ‘clean eating’ fundamentalist. And as I felt better, my need for those substances has diminished. But they were great comfort foods to help me through the rough patches this time.

        Thanks again for all the information you share! I’ll read your book soon.

        • Dr. Davis

          I’m glad you found your answer, Mia!

          Your experience reminds me of the many children who are developing all sorts of food intolerances. I am not entirely sure if this is a genetically-modified corn and other grain issue, but I suspect it is.

          • Mia

            I don’t know – even when I did eat wheat I took care to always choose organic food and I hardly ever ate corn (+ I live in Europe, where from what I understood they tamper less with the grain). I always had a hard time ‘believing’ the theory behind wheat intolerances etc, because I see people all around me and in my family eating wheat and not being overweight and having enough energy, but in the end it’s the practical experience that counts. It wasn’t even about weight loss for me, though I did lose a few kilos, but definitely an energy issue. So glad that tiredness is over.

  16. Hillary

    Sounds a lot like the ‘carb flu’ that so many people report. This can go on for some time, maybe 4 to 6 weeks for some people. If you feel better in general and notice some positive effects (such as the clearer thinking), then it’s probably worth sticking with it for at least a few weeks more. Good luck

  17. Mia

    Thanks, Dr. Davis and Hillary. I remember from a previous experiment I did 2 years ago, when I ate strictly ‘paleo’ for 30 days, that I had these days of immense fatigue alternating with days when I couldn’t believe how sharp my mind was; incredible focus – and then later the fatigue would strike again. I’m beginning to think that it might take more than a month for this process to balance out. I’ll stick it out for a bit longer, and take note of the improvement I do see.

  18. Kathy Nagorny

    I have been following the Wheat Belly diet for 8 weeks now. I’m doing this to help get my blood sugar and cholesterol numbers under control. So far I’ve lost 11 pounds and 4 inches off my waist! I have no cravings and sometimes have to force myself to eat because I’m just not hungry. So I got my blood test results yesterday and I’m confused. Yes, my triglycerides went from 155 to 118 and my h…emoglobin A1C went from 6.1 to 5.7. But here’s where I’m confused. My total cholesterol went UP from 236 to 250 and my LDL Cholesterol also went up from 131 to 152. I wanted to cry till I read in the Wheat Belly book that the “calculated LDL value will often appear to go up, while the real value is actually going down.” What I want to know is as I continue eating a grain free lifestyle, will these numbers even out and improve? I guess I expected my total cholesterol to go down. I would appreciate your thoughts Dr. Davis. Thanks.