Weight loss is just the start!

Lucas posted his story, describing his turnaround in health that went beyond “just” weight loss.

He reminds us that wheat elimination is not “just another low-carb diet.” It is a condemnation of this thing put in our food called “wheat,” a concoction of genetics research responsible for a startling array of health problems–including overweight. Many people like Lucas experience relief from not one condition, but several, often eliminating the need for multiple medications or other treatments.

I read Wheat Belly about a month ago, and because I have tried with little success to get rid of “the belly” for the last few years (typical 57 yr old guy)–despite what I thought was a pretty healthy diet and in spite of being very active (I have a job that keeps me moving all day, and I’m also a runner), I decided to give it a try.

I’ve tried raw, vegan, low-carb, low-fat, you name it–and none of them had much effect except some of them seemed like too much work and all of them left me with strange food cravings that never went away. I’ve also tried going gluten-free before, but didn’t eliminate all grains, and also ate a lot of very high-carb gluten-free “fake foods.” This time I have been very strict, eliminating all grains and carefully reading the labels to look for hidden wheat or grain products, and eating only whole, fresh foods as much as possible.

In the month since I started, I’ve lost twelve pounds so far. The most remarkable thing for me, though–-and I wasn’t really expecting it–-is that after the first week of being completely grain-free, I have not had a single headache of any kind, and I have been a migraine sufferer since my teens. For the first time in years, I did not refill my prescription for Imitrex.

If stopping wheat had done nothing for me but get rid of the migraines, it would be worth it for that alone. But my chronic annoying post-nasal drip and constant allergy symptoms have also disappeared; I’ve stopped needing a nap in the middle of the day; I’ve stopped having any food cravings. I have also been able to stop taking omeprazole for GERD–-no digestion problems whatsoever now. My energy levels are much higher throughout the day, and a lot of small daily aches and pains–-especially arthritis in my hands and fingers–-have disappeared.

I eat meat and fish, lots and lots of vegetables, especially green ones; small amounts of sour cream; I still put half and half in my coffee (one cup a day); I eat some cheese, but do not drink milk or use it in cooking in the liquid form. I allow myself two servings of fruit a day, and since I stopped eating all other sugar, I’ve found that the fruit totally satisfies my sweet tooth. I eat nuts and seeds for snacks, in moderation. I don’t use artificial sweeteners, because I don’t like them. But I don’t feel the need.

I’ve read some criticisms from various sources of Dr. Davis’s book, but I am not a scientist and for me, the proof is, as they say, in the milk-free pudding: I’ve never tried any eating plan or diet that has truly made the kind of remarkable improvement in my health and well-being that this one has, and it was reading Wheat Belly that inspired me to give it a try.

To any skeptics I would simply say, it’s a simple enough experiment. Try it for a couple of weeks. See what happens.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Bernadine Walker

    I am experiencing similar changes. It’s been about 4 weeks for me. My doctor started me off slowly changing my diet, first of all eliminating the wheat. I had gone to him because of stomach discomforts, bowel problems, nausea, etc. After 4 weeks of watching the wheat intake, I’ve lost about 10 pounds. The other day I had an appointment to see a knee surgeon because of pain I’ve been experiencing for several years. I told him that my knee wasn’t hurting as much this particular day. After leaving his office and doing a number of errands, I realized that I was getting out of the car, getting out of chairs, going up and down stairs without my arthritis pain and stiffness. I thought to myself, this must just be good day. As the days are passing, my arthritis pain/stiffness has not returned. I still thought I was imagining this. I had another appointment with my dr./nutritionist and told him what was happening, and he told me that I was living proof that the elimination of the wheat is making me healthier person. I went out and bought Wheat Belly yesterday. Thank you Dr. Davis.

  2. annie

    The above account is very commonplace..

    The other day I noticed another symptom gone – watery eyes… (was havoc with my eyeliner)..

    I realised that my body was actually having a long term allergic reaction!! To wheat – I’m shaking my head in awe as I type this because eliminating this grain has made a massive difference in my life. Since reading the above account I realise that I too, have stopped wanting to nap in the early after noon (we call them ‘nanna naps’ )..

    Wow, just wow…

    Wheat (notice that is has the word ‘eat’ in it?


  3. Renee

    All these symptoms you experienced are similar to what I experienced before giving up wheat/grains/sugar. What’s awesome is that, being that you are fit, you will see an incredible difference in your workouts. Heating up ground flax, almond or coconut milk, with a small amount of berries and nuts is one of my favorite meals before working out. Before going grain free I would feel exhausted after working out. Now, no pain, no swelling, no crash, no exhaustion. Amazing! Stay on track and you will continue to see very noticeable improvements.

  4. steve

    Short of a miracle, my health problems have all but disappeared also, my weight has leveled out, i gain a few pounds, i lose a few pounds. But the remarkable thing about this doc, is i don’t run, i am very active, through out the day, my energy level is leveled out, i still take afternoon naps, i don’t know why, but i feel refreshed when i do. I sleep about 6hrs a nite, i have never been one to sleep in, except when i was a teenager. I use artifical sweenter stevia, on my wheat free cereral. I love all kinds of nuts, i eat about two serving of fruit a day, that’s all i need for sweenter, except for stevia, which i like on my cereral. I use MCT oil, 3 times a day, and i find that my mind recall is better. I have know idea how long this will last, but l will take whatever i can get, and let the chips fall where they may. My left eye is still very blury, but hasn’t got any worse. Iike Lucus, i have been on every kind of diet just about know to man, with weird side effects, from these diets, mostly carvings for certain foods. I also found that on these diets, l would improve for awihile, but would regress back to all my old junk food habits. Doc keep up to good work, i hope this inspires others to follow a wheat free lifestyle.

      • steve

        Joint pain, lung pain, mind foggy, low energy, regular and less painful bowel movements, over colds and laryngitis, in 7days, it use to take 5to 6weeks to get over it without medication. I am 64 yrs, old, my health was going down real fast, until i eliminated wheat, prostate problems, erectile disfunction, i don’t know if if’s approperate to say things about ones personal sexual functions, but it works, for me. My heart rate use to race, now it only take a few minutes to come down even doing to hardest of work. The other day i hauled about 1/2 cord of wood into my garage and piled it without stopping. When i was a lot younger, i could of coarse pile this wood without problems, but that was then this is now. I want to go on the record and say that i have been wheat free for about 4 months, bread had such a additional hold on me that i even miss it today, but going back to eating bread would be like drinking posion, no thanks, no way i will put up with the odd cravings, remember this wheat gluetin was ingrained in my system for many years.

  5. Cam

    I don’t get it. Stopped eating anything associated with Wheat 2 months ago and I gained weight. Still can’t get my weight down, and I am really active. The only thing I have seen is I have become regular now, but there has been no reduction in the belly.

    I have been told thou that having Klinefelter syndrome could result in the belly never getting under control. So I do not know, eliminating to wheat products made me feel better but things didn’t change in the weight department and my Cholestoral is still high even though eating very cleanly. No sugar, salt, gluten, smaller propositions lots of water, and cut back on coffee.

  6. Cathy

    I have been wheat free for about a week and have lost 4 lbs. Along with an an overall feeling of being more healthy, having more energy, and not craving the junk anymore, my problem of watery eyes has also disappeared. I’m grateful for all of these effects. However; I am experiencing a problem with sleep and I wonder if anyone else has had this problem. I can’t get to sleep at night and when I do fall asleep it’s a very restless sort of sleep. I used to fall asleep on the couch in the evenings before giving up wheat and then go to bed with no problem. I imagine that this new problem getting to sleep is due to all the newfound energy and that I just need to exercise more every day. All in all, not a bad problem to have even if it is a little annoying!

  7. Mike

    Hi, I posted this on Facebook a few days ago :
    ‘Something happened last weekend. Being wheat free for a long time, I had a few pieces of home made cake. Next day back pain hit me suddenly, and couldn’t bent, walk without pain. Now 2 days with no wheat and the pain almost disappeared. I never had back pain in my life, and … that was terrifying. Not even ONE BITE again, it’s not worth.’

    There was nothing else that could cause my pain. The WHEAT was the only thing I added. I can add constipation, blocked nose ( from sinuses I believe ) to my symptoms as well.

    Everything disappeared now.

    • Dr. Davis

      Live and learn, Mike!

      No question: Wheat is poison! What other food could cause such a thing? And such phenomena are painfully common.

  8. Sean

    Dr. Davis,
    First, I want to thank you for your book. Going gluten-free has really helped my health. I definitely feel better, many of my health problems are gone and I certainly sleep better. However, I am having continue to have to major problems. First, I initally lost about 6 pounds going gluten-free, but I can’t lose anymore. I still have the “wheat belly” although it is better. I scoured your blog for a solution to this and I came accross your recommendation for kelp as an iodine source. That doesn’t seem to help and it increases my food cravings.
    My second problem is the food cravings. I have what I would think is a reasonable breakfast, 2 hard boiled eggs and a mixure of raw nuts. Yet I never get from breakfast till lunch without feeling hungry. At lunch, I either have a salad with a piece of chicken, or I have a piece of chicken with as many vegatables as I can put on the plate. The rest of the afternoon, I still get the hunger pangs.
    It makes me sad to read these success stories of people who don’t have the hunger pangs anymore. I would like to not feel those hunger pands anymore.

      • Neicee

        I agree Mike. Using butter or a whole lot of either coconut oil or olive oil is what I had to resort to. Limiting oils/fat is not going to enhance your weight loss. We’ve all had to go back to primal/paleo eating. All the animal fats, veggies liberally coated with them, are the order of the day. Cutting fats/oils/sodium like most conventional ‘diets’ will only stall your progress.

    • Consider eating more, and more fat. I’m 31, female, 5’4′, and 167 lbs. Breakfast is 4 eggs over easy fried in bacon fat or butter with a big mug of tea with honey and 3% milk. Lunch is a big @ss salad with a small pre-seasoned can of tuna and 2-4 tbsp of dressing, with a big mug of tea. After work, I’ll have an avocado. Dinner is some sort of meat and veg. I might have a couple squares of chocolate, usually 70-90%. I sometimes have nuts, but it’s so easy to have far too many, enough carbs and calories for a whole meal in a few handfuls. I’ve been losing steadily, 1lb+ per week, so I could probably go lower carb, but I’m happy. The cravings have changed, if I don’t see it, I don’t want it, and if I do see it, it’s easier to ignore it. fat is your friend, especially (gasp!) saturated fats. Since you’ve been a dieter before, I probably don’t need to remind you to eat your veggies and leafy greens, but watch your fruit intake, there’s not enough nutrients in it to justify the sugar.

      I really hope this helps, sometimes it takes you a while to find what works for you. I was stalled for 6 months before I adjusted to what I’m doing now.

      • Neicee

        SharonV, the biggest leap of faith in a physician or earthly person was taking my first bite of fat on the side of a blood-red steak. I had never ever done that, though my father always did. I was brought up with all the touts of low-fat, no sodium, and eating your share of heart healthy grains….oh, and rice/potatoes and corn too! It had been years since eggs were prepared with butter, and never the evil coconut oil or heaven forbid – LARD (they had been banned for years in the household long before I was ever conceived). Haven’t added lard yet, but coconut oil is used in my world, as is olive oil and real butter. It works, I feel better, and can’t tell you how it started melting off my little person when I stopped eating the useless carbs of potatoes/rice/corn and added the healthy oils along with fat.

        • Sedena

          You are absolutely right – it was a huge step to add all that fat into my food. In fact, eating now is almost a guilty pleasure, and it’s too good to stop. I have also rediscovered the joys of salt and pepper, which I gave up a hundred years ago because I had ‘enough salt’ in all the processed food I ate, and yet strangely, unless it was really salty, I never noticed it. Now, the sea salt tastes almost sweet on my vegetables and meats.
          So this new lifestyle is a wonderful journey, full of new surprises almost every day!

    • Dr. Davis

      Eat more protein and fat, Sean! Have 3 or 4 eggs, add plenty of olive oil. Have MORE nuts. Use coconut oil liberally. Eat the skin on your chicken, the fat on your beef and pork.

      Should that fail after several weeks, then it’s time to consider conditions that obstruct your success, especially thyroid dysfunction.

  9. wrotek

    what type of allergies can disappear with wheat free diet ? Are those only food allergies ( food sensitivities ) ?
    Have there been any incidents of inhalant allergies like pollen, cat,dog, dust mites allergies disappear ?
    I can understand food allergies disappear because of zonulin effect, but what about inhalant caused allergies ?

  10. Does anyone have advice for those of us on prednisone? I’ve lost 6 lbs in 5 weeks–very slowly. But my insulin use is really reduced–almost non-existent, hurray! So i’m determined to stay wheat free.

    • Dr. Davis

      No, except to make a nuisance of yourself with your doctor to reduce prednisone.

      Of course, I don’t know why you take it. But, given the extraordinary inflammation-reducing properties of wheat elimination, perhaps there will be an opportunity to reduce/eliminate prednisone near-future as inflammation subsides.

      • JIllOz

        Dr Davis,
        I have a good ENT guy and my asthma/respiratory condition got so severe (horribly so) that he wanted to put me on permanent cortisone – you know, it’s anti-inflammatory and make syou even fatter and rounder than a – well, anyway.
        i was wheezing like crazy and it was an effort to talk, but i flatly refused.

        I told him i had enough weight problems already and i did not want to add any more – i didn’t care what he said, or how bad my asthma was, the cortisone – PERMANENT! – was simply not an option for me. I didn’t want any other health issues from cortisone side effects on top of what I was already dealing with.

        Sonme time later i found Wheat Belly and gave it a go. Several weeks later I tried my prednisolone again – it had got to the stage where it was less and less effective against my asthma til it simply di not work – and this time it worked 100%.

        nothing wrong with keeping it in reserve, but if there are side effects it’s a good idea to look to minimise it.

        It took me years to come to terms with using it at all for emergecies but now I’m ok with it. I just didn’t want to be permanently on a cortico- (or other ) steroids, NSAIDS or not. Things were tough enough, and if I had to battle that as well I’d be very unhappy.

  11. Anthony D

    I started about 3 weeks ago as well and my ener levels are better and I feel stronger especially during my kettlebell classes. But I cannot figure out why I have yet to lose any weight or my pants feel any looser. Does anyone know about taking lexapro or benicar and Lipitor as a disruption for weight loss. This has become so frustrating.

    • Dr. Davis


      Unlike sugar, wheat contains an opiate. It is, by far, the most potent appetite stimulant in the average diet.

        • lupo

          Sometimes I get the feeling that we have to rewrite human history from a perspective of drug use and abuse :-D

      • Dee

        Thank you for your answer. You really are an amazing person to be so busy and yet always answer questions here and on the fb page! I have my Mom on your wheat belly plan and now and she feels great, losing inches and her arthritis in hands is almost gone. Much less pain. It’s amazing and she’s really adopted this wholeheartedly, I’m so proud of her.

        • wrotek

          “You really are an amazing person to be so busy and yet always answer questions here and on the fb page!”

          Indeed, quite impressive.Also I think Dr Davis makes his research this way, not to mention that it probably excites Him very much reading all the posts.

          • steve

            Yes doc, sure is dedicated to his blog, i hope he doesn’t burn out, i only wish him the best, he has certainly be a fresh breath of air concerning diets. Wheat bellies is doing its thing. To bad that there wasn’t a way for farmers and people who make a living off of wheat, to find some other way to make a living. Just some thoughts maybe they should raise organic animals, vegetables. I predict the market in home grown organic meats and vegetable to be top on everybodies grocery list, if it isn’t now it will be.

        • JIllOz

          Steve, once the farmers realise wheat is just a (very strong) grass, there is plenty of potential in various industries, especially building, for it to be utilised. various grasses have been used in design/textiles/building and other innovative businesses.

          This has been discussed elsewhere.
          people can still grow wheat, just redirect it.
          we don’t have to eat it, contrary to the intentions of food “manufacturers”.

  12. shawne.danylko@gmail.com

    Same here. Wheat free for a few weeks and no noticiable weight loss. I do crossfit 4 times a week, eat clean. No breads or crackers , I do have a thyroid problem and am on synthroid

  13. Alene

    I have been on the wheat belly diet since May. I was trying to lower my cholesterol and LDL and I first tried a low fat diet starting last Jan. I did lose 25 pounds but my chol and LDL were unchanged by May. A friend lent me your Wheat Belly book and I decided to give it a try. My results are not as visibly dramatic as some people, I really felt pretty good already (58yr F) I do see more and more improvements as time goes on. The first thing I noticed was a lifting of fogginess and less hunger between meals. Also a 15 pound weight loss that I have maintained for over a month (I have reached a goal weight of 120#) and my cholesterol dropped from 240 to 180 and my LDL from 141 to 113. I also noticed that this is the first fall that I have not been bothered by hay fever. I continue to learn about how to eat, I figure I have been about 95% “good” and get better with following this blog for information, it has taken me awhile to get all the correct facts about what to eat together. I do have a bit of a belly still but exercising is helping, the improvement is great and I have had to buy new clothes as my pants are just too big anymore! I wonder if too many people are expecting a flat belly too soon, for me it has been slow but steady. Anyway, thanks for all the information, it has worked for me!

  14. Sean

    Thank you Dr. Davis and eveyone else who had advice. I believe in this “diet” and I will figure out how to make it work.

  15. rebecca biegacz

    Getting ready to start the wheat free diet. Does any body has a recipe for bread.

    Also what kind of bread to buy ,ie name?

    • Deb

      Google the 2 min bread recipe. I make it as almond flour bread: made with
      1/4 c almond flour,
      1/4 tsp of baking soda and baking powder each,
      pinch of salt,
      1 egg,
      2 T of coconut cream or milk
      1 T oil (I use grapeseed oil).

      Mix together in a small square pyrex and microwave for 2 – 2.5 minutes. Slice lengthwise and toast is how we like to eat it. Makes 2 slices of very low carb bread.

      • Kim

        Great recipe! Just made this bread for the first time and it is delicious! Thanks, Deb! I have sensitive taste buds to Baking Powder so the second time I made this I halved the amount to 1/8 t (instead of 1/4t), and it came out the just as full and thick, but without the stronger metalic taste. Now I have a quick easy GF, starch free bread:-)))

  16. steve

    Hi doc
    I know there must be an approperate time to post recipe, but i just couldn’t resist. Since going wheat free, i’ve had to work around my family, they being not. I made myself one of my favorite soups. It is called just pain old hamberger soup. The ingredience have been modified to be wheat free. (use a big stainless steel dutch oven pot)
    11/2 lbs, of lean ground beef or 1/2 and 1/2 lean and fat whatever your perference
    4 cups of water
    large can of diced tomates, { watch for any wheat additions, when buying it)
    1 large onion diced
    4stalks of celery diced
    3 large carrots diced
    4 tbsp of salsa, (add according to taste, mild or hot which ever you perfer)
    sprinkling of parsley dry or fresh
    1/2 tsp of thyme
    1 bay leaf
    3 tbsp of coconut oil I use MCT 60/40 oil
    fresh garlic about 4 cloves, crushed
    salt & pepper to taste, how much you add depends on you
    organic ketchp about 2tbsp
    small can of tomate paste, again read label, lots of these product now use wheat.
    one can of tomate soup( if you can get organic soup all the better, campbells uses wheat in theirs)
    (One can of beef stock if you can get it without wheat, and Msg free, usually in the organic section of your store)
    Enjoy, i had two bowels at supper, and i was totally full untill 9:30 A.M. the next day Oh i also had a big salad with 60/40 mct dressing on it, so had plenty of fat. Let your soup come to a boil and then simmer for all day, let the ingredences soak in, add water as the soup evaporates the water, always checking for taste, addiing salt and pepper if needed. This makes a lot of soup, so you might want to freeze, in large zip containers, whats left over.

  17. Taylor Freeman

    I read “Wheat Belly”about two months ago and as I was reading relayed all information to my husband. After about page 4 we stopped eating wheat and all fillers (corn starch, tapioca flour, etc..) and in some ways began our new life.

    In May 2011 I had to undergo emergency surgery. I had an ulcer about 1.5 inches in diameter which my gall-bladder had effectively plugged – a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. If I had waited any longer to go to the hospital I could have died. After my surgery it was a slow recovery. My post-surgery diet (as directed by my surgeons/doctors) consisted of white bread, cream of wheat, crackers, oatmeal and eggs – no fruit or vegetables of any kind. After my stomach had healed I continued the diet adding only a few fruits and vegetables here and there, terrified that if I ate too many of them it would hurt my stomach. I was also put on Omeprazole, which I was told I would have to be on for life.

    In March of 2012 my husband developed a few stomach ulcers and was also put on the same dosage of Omeprazole.

    Despite taking our medication every day, our stomachs still hurt, ulcers still flared up and we had to restrict ourselves to bland boring food. Eating a tomato would result in lying in a fetal position for a good hour.

    On day 10 of eating gluten/filler free my husband and I had the shock realization that we had no more stomach pain. None. I said NONE. We were very cautious but as the weeks went by and after eating tomatoes like they were going out of style we realized the truth. Gluten/fillers were the culprit. By day 15 we had no need for medication and have been feeling better by the day. It’s almost day 50 and we have collectively lost 20 pounds, are both off medication, no more headaches (I have had migraines three times a month since I was 13), sleeping better and all in all a new found appreciation for life.

    Dr. Davis, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  18. Anne

    I’m new to it all…I’m amazed how much it all makes sense – I feel like this may be the missing piece and I’m very encouraged and heartened by everyone’s success stories. I must admit, though, that it’s very difficult for me to “digest” the reality that eating saturated fats on a regular basis will not affect your health/weight.

    I grew up on spaghetti, cookies after school, crackers in the cupboard, chips on the weekend (and on and on…). My weight and food (read: wheat) addiction has continued all my life and I am SO convinced that wheat is the culprit. I blamed myself for years….
    I lost a lot of weight several years ago following a very low-car, low GI plan..but the problem was it made allowances for wheat and the idea was to plateau and re-introduce certain foods into your diet…well, that backfired and my body must have reverted right back into the addictive pattern…I gained the weight back.
    I”m actually still trying to process the enormity of all of this – I am an intelligent, nutritious-cautious, food-loving person, and yet….
    I don’t know how all of this will turn out for me. I am on day 5 of a completely wheat-free diet. I feel a bit foggy and a big ‘out of it’, but overall I feel excellent. I cannot believe that food cravings seem to be lessening and while I still want to eat..I feel more in control. I may be getting ahead of myself – I don’t want to be a victim of ‘to good to be true’ – It’s actually a bit emotional…maddening, liberating, exciting…
    Anyway, thanks for the interesting posts and I look forward to reading more and embarking on this new journey..

    • Welcome Anne!
      I was a carb loading vegetarian for over 25 years. To top it off, I do marathons, more carb loading! Despite being active and eating low fat, I was still carrying around a wheat belly.

      When I turned 55 I had a “mid-life food crises”. I read Wheat Belly (then read it again and again) and took a leap of faith. I’ve been following Dr Davis’s food plan, including adding back meat and saturated fats. My husband still is shocked when he sees me eating bacon.

      Fast forward 4 months, I feel terrific! I recently had blood work done, the numbers are better than I had in my 30’s. I can fit in all my clothes, some are so loose that I need to get rid of them.

      I hope you stick with us, life is good without wheat!

      • Anne

        Hi Lori!
        Thanks for the warm welcome and reply!
        It’s about day 8 and all is well! Only thing is, I can’t think of much else other than preparing yummy food – I guess this blissed-out phase will subside at some point. :)

  19. K K

    Dr. Davis,

    My husband & I are experiencing AMAZING results of being wheat free. His diabetes is in the process of being completely cured & I’m losing weight & no more headaches!! We are thrilled and thank you for writing your book that enlightened and educated us. I have only one question, though. Why are some people seemingly “immune” to the wheat belly effects? For example, very thin & fit people who still eat wheat & have zero health problems; why?


    • Dr. Davis

      Probably genetic, Karen, perhaps other “triggers” of susceptibility.

      It is established, for instance, that celiac disease can be triggered after other conditions, such as viral illnesses, even though there is genetic susceptibility.

      We don’t have all the science worked out. But we sure know enough to understand that wheat destroys health!

      • steve

        Yeah Doc, i have seen a lot of thin people and overweight people who seem to consume wheat with out problems. But my suspicions Doc, is that towards their latter years, like mine were, small things begin to creep up, eg, headaches, colds that last and last, energy slowly dissapating, joint pains, high blood pressure, on the verge of diabetes, the pounds just keep on adding on, I think doc, you see where I’am going with this. It’s like the weekend drinker, he or she does it for years and all of a sudden they are drinking every day, just to keep up the buzz. My point doc is addition, of wheat, becomes tomorrows health problems, that one never sees coming, untill it is almost to late, Most of us use the excuse, that they are old, worn out. My come back Doc, what do they think caused it in the first place, or do they just believe that it’s old age, not something they consumed, over many years. This wheat has a terrible additonal hold on many people. Just be sick and tired of being sick and tired, might change their minds.

  20. Pam

    Dr. Davis,
    I am not sure where on your blog to ask a new question so I hope it is OK here.
    We are part way through reading your book and in our second week of being wheat-free. My husband (52 years old) has a couple of conditions we are wondering if our diet could have caused, or made worse, and if eating according to the wheat belly plan could  improve. We have been vegetarians for the past 22 years and vegans much of that time – the usual low-fat, high complex carb. diet. He was diagnosed this summer with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and has had maybe 7 or 8 gallbladder attacks  over the past 2 years. He has known for almost 30 years that he had a heart murmur, but after his yearly physical this year he was sent to a cardiologist for an electrocardiograph and an exercise stress test. Then he was sent for a thallium scan. After the first 2 tests he was told to keep his heart rate below 145 when exercising. The doctor also wanted to give him beta blockers but couldn’t, because his resting heart rate was already quite low – 45 or so. He was told to make sure he kept well hydrated. We have not been given any results from the thallium scan of 2 months ago and, as of a couple of weeks ago, neither had his regular doctor. Instead we were told if it had been bad we would have been contacted. I hope so! I understand this condition is an inherited one, but could wheat eating have caused it to progress faster, and could this have been avoided if he had been on a wheat-free diet? Is it reversible, like many heart issues are? 
    Now about his gallbladder problems. He had an ultrasound 1 1/2 years ago and was told he has some gallstones. From the reading I have been doing, our diet has probably been mostly responsible for causing his gallstones. Am I correct to assume this? Will switching to a low-carb, higher-fat diet be likely to cause him to have another attack from the possibility of one of the stones maybe getting flushed into the duct by the increased bile flow? By the way, he has tried to “flush” the stones out with the olive oil/lemon juice cleanse 3 or 4 times (an awful experience – I did it to keep him company last time! Yuck!!). He has used the supplements malic acid, lecithin, taurine, vitamin C, omega 3 oils, and IP6 inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) rice bran extract, and chanca piedra for at least a year as directed in another program to try to dissolve them, and he has been taking apple cider vinegar mixed with apple juice for months to try to dissolve them. He had his most recent attack just  over 3 weeks ago. It left him sore and without much gumption for several days. He will soon be making an appointment with his family doctor to hopefully get his thallium test results and is considering talking to him about his gallbladder. Most likely the doctor will want to remove it. Have you had many patients with gallbladder problems and has there been much success with the low-carb, high-fat way of eating in dealing with them? He is very motivated to do whatever will help him and not at all anxious to have his gallbladder removed if it is not necessary.
    Any suggestions or observations you have would be greatly appreciated.
    (By the way, the Three Cheese Eggplant Bake is delicious and we are looking forward to trying Apple Walnut Bread tomorrow!)

    • lupo

      Dear Pam,

      there are hints in the literature that HCM has links to insulin and the insulin-like growth factor. So it is reasonable to assume that progression of HCM is sped up by a high carbohydrate diet. I doubt that the overshooting tissue will just go away by “eating right”, the damage is done, but you can try to stop the progression.
      From a purely scientific standpoint, I could not find a proof of this hypothesis (read: there’s no study on that, only biochem articles). But here we go, this is the literature:

      Murakami et al. (2004): Insulin resistance in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Circulation Journal 68(7):650-5.
      Layman summary: There is evidence for insulin resistance in HCM patients, even if blood sugar levels are not in the diabetic range. The higher the insulin resistance, the worse are cardiac parameters of HCM and the more likely sudden death. Warning note: Small study, purely observational.

      Hayati et al. (2004): The role of serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) in neonatal outcome.
      Journal of Clinical Pathology 57:1299–1301.
      Layman summary: There is a strong correlation between neonatal HCM and diabetes in the the mother, IGF-I is the marker and maybe the signal molecule mediating this effect. Warning note: observational study (experimental design on this one isn’t ethical).

      Hope this helps.

      Dr. Davis, maybe it’s another disease to put on the “garbage diet-induced diseases” list. :-D

      • Pam

        Dear lupo,

        Thanks for the reply. I have checked out your articles and others and they do point to what you say. Better to find this all out now than too late! I also found insulin resistance implicated in gallstones in one article. Thanks for giving me some direction in this. I’ll do more investigation and continue on with our new “diet”.


  21. I love reading all these stories! I, too, suffered from seasonal allergies. I used to joke saying I needed to choose between being awake and miserable or sleepy and symptom-free because of the drowsy effects of antihistamines. I also was taking a puff on a steroid inhaler every morning to ease my asthma symptoms.

    After completely giving up wheat (and all grains), sugar and artificial sweetener, I am seasonal allergy free! My asthma symptoms have dropped significantly as well (still have my triggers for that – certain animal dander and exercise in cold temps). I dropped my steroid inhaler altogether and haven’t had to use an antihistamine in two years.

    When I see others struggle with allergies, I just mention to them that they should read Wheat Belly and drop wheat completely from their diets. I think I may have converted some into believers. Spread the word!!

  22. Barbara

    Wheat free = no results for me.

    After reading your book and all the wonderful testimonials, I thought: “maybe this is the magic bullet that will get rid of some of my weight.” I’m 5′ 4 1/2″ and weigh 200 lbs. So, in January 2012 I went wheat-free. Nothing happened. No weight loss, nothing. Started eating wheat again in February. Nothing changed.

    I decided to try again. I’ve been wheat-free since the middle of July. It’s now the end of September. What happened this time? Not a damn thing. No weight loss and no other changes that I can discern. Saw my doctor on Tuesday and everything is the same as it was 6 months ago. It’s difficult to justify continuing when I don’t realize any recognizable benefit.

    Why doesn’t this work for me?

  23. wrotek

    Coffee — cortisol —- weight gain and insulin resistance
    Interesting article, perhaps it can help with weight loss

    One of the roles of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is to help facilitate the fight or flight mechanism designed to save us from physical threat. When the body is stressed, cortisol’s job is to up blood pressure and speed carbohydrate and fat metabolism, increasing the amount of blood sugar in the system to feed muscles and cells so they can function more effectively when stressed. Cortisol also promotes the release of insulin necessary to facilitate movement of glucose into the cells.

    This cortisol-induced demand for blood sugar causes us to feel hungry, encouraging us to eat more despite our best intentions. Of course this situation is exacerbated if we drink more coffee when we are also under stress. If our response to the increased cortisol were physical, like running away from a perceived threat or choosing instead to fight, we might burn off the extra fuel. However, in today’s world since most stress is mental or emotional and rarely due to actual physical threat, weight gain is a likely result. In addition, faced with consistently elevated insulin levels, our cells will tend to become resistant to its effect making them less able to utilize our now elevated levels of blood sugar. This insulin resistance condition is often followed by a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034674_coffee_cortisol_weight_gain.html#ixzz27zNZFuhu

  24. Marie

    Dr. Davis – I recently took the plung and have gone wheat free, and I’ll tell you I feel amazing. I have a friend who wants to take the plung, too…but she currently uses Isagenix shakes. She is using them for weight loss, she tried to get me on that band wagon but my body did not react well to them (plus the taste was something I did not like). I have tried to convince her to give herself a break from her shakes and try the WF lifestyle for just a few days and she will see the weight starting to melt off again. (Currently she is at a plateau.)

    So what I’m asking is two-fold. Do you have any issues with Isagenix (even though it says “wheat free” it has fructose listed as 4th item)? If you do have an issue, why? I’m just trying to get my research together for my friend Lisa.


    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Marie–

      I formerly consulted to Isagenix re: cardiovascular questions and am well acquainted with their products.

      Suffice it to say that health should come from eating real foods and avoiding the nutritional landmines set in our path by agribusiness and Big Food. It should not have to come in the way of shakes that contain fructose. Their products are reasonable, but not perfect.

  25. Lara

    Dr. Davis,

    (I do not expect this to be publicly posted)
    I am a big fan of yours and am so grateful I stumbled upon your book and blog. Lifechanging!

    Now, this message is about tennis. I live in Phoenix, am an avid club tennis player and am on the committee of the Goldwater Women’s Tennis Classic, a ProCircuit event held in November. I recall your daughter, Lauren, playing here a few years ago. I was just doing some research on the tour’s website, as I am working on the tournament at the moment, and saw that she just won the tournament in Las Vegas! Congratulations! If she comes to our tournament here in Phoenix (the girls always say it’s their favorite tournament), you should think about coming on over. We would love to have you!

    Take care and thank you for all you do.

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Lara–

      Yes, small world!

      Her recent win at the Vegas tournament puts her at #91 in the world, 2nd youngest in the top 100. She’s doing okay!

      Between her crazy tournament schedule and my speaking schedule, we’ve had a heck of a time coordinating. I’ll have to find out if she’s scheduled to be in your event. If so–and I can make it, too!–I’ll track you down.

  26. Hey Dr. Davis,

    Great information on your website. I will definitely be following you and I have to get your book and share it with my clients. I learned so much in just 6 minutes just by watching your video interview with Lynn Colliar.

  27. Todd

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    I’ve done lots of my own research for how to eat right, for months I’ve been eating basically the same foods every day. Steel cut oatmeal in the morning mixed with raisins or some other dried fruit, almonds and string cheese snack a few hours later with a serving of milk, greek yogurt for lunch, then a whey protein shake before coming home and working out. Dinner I’ve often had some sort of meat + pasta side.

    Your site has caught my attention and I am very curious about your book as I’ve read many of these posts here. I decided to go wheat free as of Monday. Well, monday morning I had a bowl of steel cut oatmeal but now it’s been over 24 hours without eating any additional wheat products. This morning I ate egg whites and some string cheese and now I’m eating lots of veggies with dinner.

    I went for a 4 mile jog today and i felt more run down than usual. Even now, hours later, I feel like I have low blood sugar or very fatigued and maybe my heart rate seems a tad higher? Is this normal? Should I have slowly weened myself off of wheat products or are these withdrawal symptoms? I felt like I had less energy in my run, is it acceptable to eat some honey or carb fuel before a run? I think I want to order your book, you make a heck of a lot of sense. I’m pretty lean, but I have that stubborn “wheat belly” as you put it that hasn’t gone away and I believe it’s because of my previous diet including lots of pasta and oats.

    Thank you for responding to your fans, it’s really nice to see an author/doctor engage in forum conversation and answer the many questions that come up.

    • Dr. Davis

      The process of wheat withdrawal, Todd, usually requires around 5 days to 2 weeks. It therefore means that loading up on carbs during withdrawal may actually slow your progress, stalling the conversion in metabolism from carb burning to fat oxidation.

      I think that just being patient will pay off, big time.

    • Jamie

      Hang in there, Todd! There is indeed a withdrawal period. It will pass and you will feel fabulous! Feed that appetite with lots and lots of protein!
      Good luck!

  28. James


    I have just started a wheat free, all grains free, and cow milk free diet. That was on October 1st. After 3 only days, guess what: I sleep like a baby!!!

    For years, I had been indulging in all kinds of wheat based food, including pasta, white bread, especially the French inspired pastries, cakes, etc. On top of that, I would drink liters of milk, indulge in all kinds of yoghurt, soft cheese (I love French camembert, coulommier, and so forth …). My weight had been on a roller-coaster for decades (I am 38 as of this writing). I tried to cut down on refined sugar, on fat, etc, but never thought of completely removing wheat and dairy products. In all this, the constant element was my bad sleep. I have been a light sleeper since childhood and with my two young kids that were babies not so long ago, it was a nightmare.

    I started to inquire about all this when my wife came with a book describing all the nasty consequences induced by this kind of diets. We had spent 3 weeks in France in August and September and believe, we really indulged on all the bad stuff you can think of … I will never live in this country!!! :D

    Anyway, after three days of fresh veggies, lean meat, nuts and essential oils, I really sleep incredibly well, for the first time in … I cannot say how long … I still sleep next to my one year old daughter who makes some noise when sleeping, sometimes even wakes up and “talks” a little. I always woke up on those noises but not anymore!

    The weight loss and stable blood sugar will definitely be a plus, but just to get sound sleep is worth the long term diet change! Wish I had known this earlier …


    • Dr. Davis

      That’s great, J!

      Many people report the same experience. But to this day I have no idea why this happens.

      But it is yet another beneficial effect of wheat elimination for which I am grateful!

  29. Neil Craig

    Have lost 43 pounds so far, never had anything ever work so well before. Still occasionally have a piece of gluten free bread but for the most part this has been pretty easy to achieve. Have tons more energy and with the use of my Nike Fuel Band and their goal system have ramped up the walking so the net effect is both the dog and I have lost weight and are in much better shape overall. Looking to shed another 50 or so which would put me close to my college weight, Thanks again for sharing the concept in your book.

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s great, Neil!

      This wheat-free approach, unlike other approaches, does not limit calories. It eliminates the appetite-stimulant in your diet, the gliadin protein of wheat. That is why it yields an effect larger than the calories alone would suggest.

  30. While initially many people are able to shed those extra kilos, they once again put on the weight once the initial enthusiasm fades away. It’s important to ensure that the ideal weight is maintained.

  31. Shayne

    hi!,I really like your writing very so much! proportion we keep in touch extra approximately your post on AOL?
    I need an expert in this space to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you!
    Looking ahead to peer you.

  32. catrina

    I have just finished your book and ready to start a “wheatfree” life style.I have a couple of questions, when preparing meals for supper, do I make a main dish and a side dish and eat a portion of them both or do I just make a main dish? Also, can these main dishes be made ahead of time ie:sundays and put in the freezer to pull out for suppers during the week? I am excited about starting and just need to clarify these two things. Thank you

  33. Barbara

    Dr. Davis, I have suffered all of my life from IBS, and as i have gotten older, from arthritis and obesity. I am 81 and have been wheat/grain free for about 8 days and already have experienced great relief from arthritic pain and constipation. My grand daughter also suffers from IBS, has been tested for Chron’s disease, and will be going off to college in the fall, so I have bought your Wheat Belly Cookbook for her as well – the recipes are wonderful…I feel so much better already, have to be careful to not overdo until I work up to it. Wish me luck, I think that this is the answer to my problems — many years ago a doctor told me that I could not metabolize carbs well, put me on a diet of just protein, green steamed veges and salads with oil and vinegar an butter, and the weight just slid off — but came back as I introduced other foods into my diet, including wheat and cereal etc. Perhaps it was because of the wheat – what do you think. I was not fat ever until about 1985, even after having 5 children. Do you see the connection there! Thank you for your book. It is a revelation to me.

  34. Wendy

    Good Evening, Dr. Davis~

    I am seriously considering the Wheat Belly lifestyle change, mostly due to non-specific Ulcerative Colitis. (I am post-FMT, 6 weeks, with some improvement.)

    My question is this: About 10 years ago, I was diagnosed via endoscopy with GERD/extensively acid-damaged esophageal sphincter and have been on 20 mgs./day of omeprazole, which is effective for the most part. With the damaged sphincter, can I truly expect a reduction/elimination of my heartburn symptoms by eliminating all grains from my diet? Also…is it possible that being on the omeprazole and the resulting reduction of stomach acid and less complete food digestion may have contributed to my UC? (I’ve wondered about this for years.)

    Thank you in advance for your time and your work to improve the health of the Human Race!

  35. Gary

    I too have noticed a dramatic reduction in migraine headaches after eliminating grains. After 40 years of debilitating headaches I stumbled on this as a possible solution before reading the “wheat belly.” Dr. Davis is the first physician that I have ever heard of make this connection and I have spent a lifetime searching for the possible causes of migraine headaches. I was the patient of three different migraine experts and numerous internists for this problem and none mentioned grains, all had several theories but their only solution was drug therapy. Immitrex was very effective at eliminating the headache, but nothing was effective at prevention. After several family members began “gluten” and “grain” free/restricted diets I noticed two things when I eliminated wheat and other grains from my diet: immediate reduction in number of headaches and the few that I did experience were much less severe. This after a lifetime of suffering and visits to numerous clinics and experts trying to find help and relief. I am still dumbfounded that wheat may have been the cause of this issue all along. And to add insult to injury I am amazed that wheat may have been the cause of some other health issues including “pre-diabetes”, borderline hypertension, high cholesterol, and weight gain no matter how much I exercised and followed the dietary recommendations of my physicians. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard the “whole grains” mantra and was given a prescription to solve the problem.
    Thanks to Dr. Davis for sticking his neck out against this crazy medical-government-food pharmaceutical machine. I am crossing my fingers, but for the first time in my life I am optimistic that I will not suffer tomorrow with a migraine headache along with numerous other modern day health afflictions (weight gain, high blood pressure, cravings, etc.).

  36. Paige

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    My husband and I have really enjoyed both The Wheat Belly book and Cookbook; when we started living wheat free, we both noticed immediate benefits, including weight loss and cessation of any heartburn symptoms(no more TUMS every night!).
    However, I recently have decided to go vegan-more for moral reasons than to lose weight. I have searched this site for discussions on a vegan lifestyle and not found much (my apologies if this is already addressed elsewhere and I just missed it).

    My question is: many of the vegan websites list “non-GMO wheat” as an ingredient in their products; what is your opinion on these types of products? Frankly I am not keen on eating processed items and have been mostly sticking to fresh, organic veggies/fruit, raw nuts, and vegan protein powder in green juices. I use only flaxseed oil, Extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil in food preparation. But it seems so easy to eat healthy in the warmer months and I have an eye out for this winter when I anticipate a need to fill the void left by meat. Giving up dairy has been easy; there is SO much discussion today about SOY’s negative effects though that I am also hesitant to indulge in the soy “fake” cheeses…yet the testimonials for these products are numerous( and confusing!!) Do you have many vegan patients who also follow the Wheat Belly lifestlye?
    Any thoughts on this tough subject you’d like to share from a cardiologist’s standpoint?

    I am a 49 year old female who has no real health issues. I just can’t stand the factory farming practices today and don’t want to eat meat! I am sad about not being able to make the WB tortillas (due to the addition of egg!)

    I guess this was more than just ONE question. But I trust and value your opinions!

    Thank you for your time.

  37. Rebecca

    Dr. Davis,
    I received your book as a Christmas gift….VERY insightful.

    I have a very bland palate, which has always been a challenge for me. I lost a significant amount of weight using Isagenix regimen ( 2 shakes a day, adding hemp milk and their powdered greens dietary supplement) and a protein at night. (ie. egg and cheese omelette / grilled chicken in olive oil and arugula)

    Although I have lost weight, I am still “skinny fat” as I call it, with that unsightly “muffin top” aka wheat belly. I know there is very little variety in my diet and you recommend “real foods” verses shakes. What do you recommend for someone like me with a bland palate, which is what attracts me to the idea of supplementing with a meal replacement shake?

    Hope to hear back from you!

    Thank you,