You know what, Wheat? You give me a headache!

Kathy posted this story of successful relief from decades of migraine headaches.

And, oh yes, she also lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks: no extreme exercise or calorie counting required!

Dr Davis, here is my story so far. Today, Sept. 9th, is the start of my fourth week on the wheat-free, grain-free way of life. I didn’t say “diet” because, when I tell you my results, you’ll understand why I’m not going back to eating foods that have been incapacitating me since the 1980′s.

I am almost 59 yrs old, 5’ 2 1/2″, and three weeks ago I weighed 160lbs. Ugh! I felt so tired and achy all the time and a typical day for me after work was to hit the couch and on weekends I had enough energy to just get a few things done and again spend most of the weekend laying around, wondering why I’m always so tired.

I have had migraine headaches since the 1980′s. Notice the date from above. I don’t mean just a little ol’ headache once in a while, but a head-pounding, hugging the toilet, F.M.L.A. from work, sicker-than-a-dog migraine. And almost always after taking the prescribed meds (Imitrex or Zomig or Maxalt), I felt so terrible I could barely function. And this was after the migraine was gone! At times I would take a Vicodin for the after-effects the medicine was causing, but never for the migraine itself because that just made them worse.

The first week I was detoxing from the wheat and other grains, I had a migraine every day for five days straight. Then on day six I woke up with a “headache” that OTC [over-the-counter] meds got rid of. That was a first for me! Now three weeks into this I have had three migraines, but I took the same amount of meds and something strange has been happening: The migraine goes away rather quickly and there are no after-effects at all. It’s like I never had one in the first place. I am completely stunned and can’t believe that getting rid of the junk I’ve been consuming has made this kind of difference.

If I had only known this 25 years ago! And by the way, I’ve lost 10 pounds in these last three weeks and I feel great! I hope that other people suffering with migraines will give this a try. Thank you so much!

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46 Responses to You know what, Wheat? You give me a headache!

  1. james says:

    dear dr davis:

    I have been grain free for about 2 months and have shed 40 lbs and feel better than I have in quite a while. I would like some clarification on the vegetable yuca not yucca and its use as a potato substitute. I have also used jimica instead of chips for carrying dip. on the armstrong website he claims that yuca is as bad as white potatoes for it impact on the glycemic index yet I have had no craving after consuming either of the above. whole foods sells yuca under the name of yucca which of course is an entirely different root. we are fortunate to live in a town that has a significant puertorican population and therefore many of the roots used on the island are available to us but what do you think of these substitutions? I also make a flat bread of coconut flour and psyllium husk which makes a great sandwich.
    thanks for your discovery/

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, James–

      Sorry, no insights into yuca or yucca beyond what you have been able to find.

      Jicama, however, is indeed a benign way to enjoy your condiments and dips.

  2. tina says:

    Hi Dr. Davis
    Just wondering how your bread that you are going to sell is coming along? I am very excited to try it.


  3. Elaine Tribelli says:

    I stopped eating wheat products last March. When I first stopped, I was in a daze for the entire week to the point where I couldn’t remember anything!
    Once that cleared up I noticed that I had dropped weight and to date dropped 27 lbs!

    The other thing I noticed, was that I do not get the daily headaches that I always had. I only had severe ones once in a while that sent me to bed. I did however, have daily headaches behind the eyes and in the face that I always attributed to barometric pressure/whether here in New England. One day I suddenly realized that they were gone.

    I then began to think – is it because I am wheat free? That’s what I really changed in my life. After much reading, I am beginning to think I have come upon something eye opening.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yup: It’s virtually certain that your headaches were part of your wheat syndrome, Elaine.

      I wouldn’t advise doing it on purpose, but you might re-experience them with wheat re-exposure. Then you will know for certain.

  4. Nadine Casella says:

    I’ve suffered with migraines for at least 15 years, just turned 51. I don’t recall my diet that many years ago, but I understand the wheat of today is different than it used to be. I had a root canal done and followed up with a crown prep and was given a temporary tooth until the permanent crown was ready. The dentist’s schedule conflicted with mine and I had to go a long time fearing the temporary cement wasn’t going to hold up, so I ate only soft foods. It turns out that after one week of eating only pastas and breads I was in excruciating head pain and soooo frustrated a loud bell went off. I never could get the to bottom of what caused this… WHEAT! I gave up all wheat and it has been 29 days and only one little headache (I think it was from painting that day) that went away with one pill. What a miracle! all the dollars I’ve spent on Dr.’s and meds and to think it was so simple. I’ve also lost 8 lbs. and have never had more energy or felt healthier. If this continues, believe me the thought of suffering with pain will keep me out of the wheat jar. Nadine
    PS My new crown is beautiful and I am definitely smiling more

    • Dr. Davis says:

      You discovered by accident the very same lesson we all learn here: Modern wheat is poison on the human brain!

      Very nicely done, Nadine!

  5. Karel Van Horn - Seldner says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I’ve been wheat-free [I think] and dairy-free for two months as a weapon against migraines. I’m knocking on wood but they are less frequent, less severe and often one Excedrin will knock out one that I feel is “coming on”. I am beyond thrilled. I’ve had bad migraines for 35 years; I’m 68. I just heard of your book several days ago and bought it. I saw the section in “Wheat Belly” about “hidden” gluten, etc. I really would like to bake my own bread; do you recommend King Arthur gluten-free bread flour? Thanks so much for your research and publication of your results.

    • Barbara in New Jersey says:


      Dr. Davis has a delicious recipe for bread (rye and pumpernickel) in his cookbook which is well worth buying. There is a recipe on this blog for Sunflower Seed Bread that is delicious too. We don’t use the “gluten free” flours like King Arthurs or CarbQuick because they are very high in carbs and raise blood sugar too quickly. We mostly use almond and coconut flour for baking. Also check paleo and primal web sites for recipes. Wheat Free Market Foods has terrific muffin, wraps and pizza mixes. Check them out!

      Congrats on your wonderful results so far. The longer you are grain and sugar free, the better your health becomes.