Truth or Consequences

Julie posted the story of her wheat-free epiphany:

I have been struggling with intestinal issues all my life. One doctor told me I had irritable bowel syndrome. No testing was done, he just told me that was what I had. Stop eating greasy foods, he said. A friend recommended that I read Wheat Belly, so I bought it and started to read. I was astounded. Just within the first couple chapters, I was ready to begin eating wheat-free.

I started a gluten-free diet two months ago, and I am amazed at the results I am getting. Not only have I lost 16 pounds, my intestinal distress has completely disappeared. I am regular for the first time in my whole life. My energy level has increased, I am not as irritable as I used to be and I haven’t had one single headache, when I used to get them two or three days a week. My cholesterol dropped fron 275 to 199, as well. My husband doesn’t believe that just cutting wheat from my diet is what made all these changes. Well, I decided to to “test” it myself, and ate a sandwich on whole wheat bread. Within two hours, I was cramping and running to the bathroom every five minutes.

Reading Dr. Davis’ book has changed my life. I no longer have to be tied to my bathroom. I can go out and enjoy the things I love to do without making sure there’s a bathroom nearby.

I was tested for celiac disease, since all my symptoms disappeared with removal of wheat, but was found negative. I only wish I had known about this years ago. I could have saved myself a lot of pain and discomfort, not to mention depression at times. I am so thankful to Dr. Davis for writing this book, and opening my eyes to the dangers of wheat.

My 73-year old mother, who has diabetes and RA [rheumatoid arthritis], decided to try this diet as well, and her blood sugars have dropped tremendously. She says the RA pain is improving too. We will remain gluten-free for good, and we are feeling so much better as a result.

Julie and her mom, like the many, many thousands of people before her on this blog, join the ranks of the Wheat Free Crazies, as the Wheat Lobby likes to call us. According to them, we are all experiencing a case of mass hysteria, all entranced by my incredible powers of persuasion, made to believe that “healthy whole grains” are actually a creation of the Devil. It means that even people with no positive immune markers for gluten can still experience dramatic turnarounds in health–because it’s in their head.

Maybe that’s what is going on here to explain the incredible transformations of bowel, joint, and mental health we hear about every day: mass hypnosis, all mesmerized by a powerful placebo. Or . . . wheat has indeed become a perfect chronic poison that has no place in the diet of humans, its adverse effects magnified by the genetics manipulations of agribusiness to suit their own agenda, no questions asked about its suitability for human consumption.

You make the choice.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. JIllOz

    “Mass hysteria”, huh?

    Dr Davis, you might need to get a cape!! Make sure it’s swishy!! UIf I’m going to me under the long distance care of a Mass Hysteria Devil Guru, I want costumes!!

    here’s a slogan for you – “Wheat Free Eating. All Food, No Filler.”

  2. Jen

    Matches my story almost completely. I’ve lived my entire life with pain (acid reflux, gastro distress, migraines, depression, pain from obesity) all because of WHEAT (and sugar). I feel off the wagon during Tday as I’m sure many did and I’m suffering the consequences. I can not believe I used to live with this misery every single day.

  3. ryan

    “wheat free crazies?” — crazy is a state of mind. WB has given me a wonderful new state of “being”. I’m feeling better everyday!
    To the WL: Dr D doesn’t have any magical powers or control over anyone, he’s just presented some data, and so far on facebook some 30,000 have choosen to look at the data plus those who’s purchased the book “on their own accord”. The best thing that general mills, kelloggs, and interstate bakeries can do is pack their bags and go fry an egg….the grocery stores would be alot smaller and I could be in and out in 10 minutes…

  4. Jeanne

    Julie,

    Congrats on the amazing changes in your health! Wow! Just an FYI – if you had your celiac testing AFTER you had been gluten free , it will not show positive, even if you do indeed have celiac disease.

    A person with actual celiac disease needs a much stricter level of vigilance on things like cross contamination, and sharing toasters, crumbs left on the counter, hidden gluten in drugs, etc.

    I say this only so if after being gluten free for awhile and you eat at a restaurant and don’t feel good after, it may be cross contamination . Even for the gluten intolerant, ( yes, most of us) the longer you are gluten free, the more severe your reaction may be the next time you ingest any. Accidentally or intentionally.

  5. Sharon

    Well I will take that name and be proud to have it. I raise my hand and say I am a Wheat free Crazy person. It is sad they are selling our health down the river for the almighty dollar. Maybe they believe that if they force feed us this propaganda “Eat More Healthy Whole Grains” and it’s all good. Yeah right so NOT. My health and my family’s health is not acceptable collateral damage to make them richer.

    I am working on getting it out of my house. I can see some improvement already in myself and my oldest. So it just makes me dig my feet in more.

    Thank you Dr Davis for the book,the blog and the backbone and determination to get the knowledge to all of us.

  6. After four years of being treated for Ibs and some “type” of arthritis . I had gained a ton of weight, was totally exausted and in chronic pain. The rhuemetologist had put me on a heavy duty arthritis medication.Nothing hekped me. My client said to me “you have to go off wheat”,she explained a little about wheat belly book. I agreed to a 30 day challenge, what would it hurt.I had tried everything! One month ago I removed the wheat from my diet. I am off all medication,down 20 pounds,and have no digestive problems..I am very thankful!! I’m telling everybody!!

  7. Boundless

    > … Wheat Free Crazies, as the Wheat Lobby likes to call us.

    Perhaps I’m leading a sheltered life, but I haven’t seen much anti-WB lobbying, and what is out there is astonishingly lame (like that hatchet job white paper by their undisclosed indentured servant prof). My guess is that Big Grain(TM) thinks their best strategy is to ignore WB (and the keto and paleo movements), and hope that their addicts will assume that anti-wheat doesn’t even merit a response.

    That said, I am surprised that we haven’t seen any hair-on-fire stories, or testimonial replies on this blog, from people breathlessly reporting: “My doctor says I have ketosis, and is very worried.”

    Health care professionals who don’t recognize the role of diet, don’t know how to measure LDL, don’t know how to assess or effectively treat thyroid, are quite likely to also be ignorant of the difference between nutritional ketosis (NK) and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). And few are apt to have the integrity of some like Peter Attia, M.D, who lately posted on his blog (eatingacademy.com): “Embarrassing admission: I remember exactly where I was sitting in a clinic at Johns Hopkins in 2002 explaining to (admonishing, really) a patient who was on the Atkins diet how harmful it was because of DKA. I am so embarrassed by my complete stupidity and utter failure to pick up a single scientific article to fact check this dogma I was spewing to this poor patient. If you’re reading this, sir, please forgive me. You deserved a smarter doctor.”

    • Janet

      I want to my GYN doc, who I noticed on the clinic website has a “Metabolic Weight Loss” clinic she runs. I was curious what it was–Good News! It is low carb and she knows all about the Paleo and wheat issues. When she found out I was a year on the wheat-free/ Paleo, she congratulated me and told me I could quit taking the hormone treatment Evista I take for osteopenia since I my nutrition was now in line with a natural approach. My thyroid level was high last year right before I read Wheat Belly and now, after retesting–it had gone down to normal. She even asked where I get my pastured eggs and grass fed beef. I was so happy to talk to her I was chattering a mile a minute. Ha.

  8. Patricia Barth

    Really more of a question for Dr. Davis–I’ve been wheat free for three weeks or so. My arthritis is better, indigestion is gone, and my addictive cravings are gone. I learned from trying wheat again that it is what is causing my migraines, but haven’t got rid of them completely yet. My question is about corn. I tried it again and didn’t get a migraine or other problems like with wheat. It doesn’t seem to cause the addictive cravings either. Your book focuses heavily on wheat being bad, but doesn’t say a lot about corn, other than not to eat it. Could it be that I’m sensitive to the gluten in wheat but not corn gluten? I know corn has been genetically manipulated and cross bred like wheat has. What’s the story about corn? Are you going to write a book about it, too, or is it not as bad as wheat?

  9. Dr Davis

    Gliadin crosses the BBB so would it be possible to cross the placenta as well as the baby’s BBB?

    I am not pregnant just wanted to know in regards to my oldest who has in his words has never felt full.

    Thanks
    Sharon

  10. Cris

    Julie, congrats!

    I suspected I was sensitive to gluten after putting my dog on gluten-free food (at the request of a holistic practitioner for animals when my dog’s itchy rash wouldn’t go away). I figured maybe my new itchy rash was the result of gluten too and not dry skin or contact dermatitis. I started a wheat/gluten-free life about 2.5 months ago and all my annoying health issues went away including the rash! The most surprising of all was how the need for my asthma puffers disappeared! My cardio endurance has improved significantly too. I had everything from brain fog to pain in my joints and muscles to a film over my eyes and everything disappeared within a few days. Also, I used to think it was normal to have an upset stomach on a regular basis, figuring I just ate too much or had food poisoning. Poison indeed! For over a year, I’ve gone to the gym 6x a week and gained fat weight! Since September, I’ve lost about 20 lbs of fat and gained 5 lbs of muscle. The only thing I changed about my exercise regimen was that I reduced my cardio to only playing soccer (no treadmill or elliptical anymore). I’ve never felt better and I am so glad that I figured this out while I am still young.

    PS. I have also the discovered that the phenomenon of “the munchies” is not a result of smoking pot. It just emphasizes an already present addiction to wheat and sugar that is enhanced after smoking. LOL

    • Dr. Davis

      Improve food security? An odd notion!

      How about help understand why a food staple could turn out to be the most destructive food ever created by geneticists!

    • Boundless

      They’ll perfect and patent gluten-free wheat just in time for it to be irrelevant, as the consumers seeking “gluten free” wake up to what the real issues are. Gluten is just the most widely known of the multiple toxins in wheat, and even if you eliminate them all, you still have a sky high GI carb. The fact that Big Grain(TM) is wasting effort on GF wheat indicates just how clueless, and yet desperate, they are.

      The article also admits they have yet to test and verify that celiacs and other acutely wheat sensitive can eat this new frankengrain. GF wheat may, of course, introduce novel new perils. Don’t expect them to perform long-term food safety testing, much less test against grain-free, low-carb or keto diets.

      Finally, we already have gluten-free wheat. It’s called wheat dextrin, and is worth avoiding.

    • Phillis

      The really strange thing is that they are admitting in the article that there IS a problem with wheat causing digestive problems. Hmmmm??? And all of this AFTER saying that there really isn’t??? Sounds like they are just a little too cute by half!! Hahahaha!

      BTW – Been absent for a while due to craziness in my schedule so haven’t posted much but have tried to come out and read all of the really good stuff from Dr. Davis!!

      • Boundless

        > The really strange thing is that they are admitting in the article that there IS a problem with wheat …

        Actually, that’s been true for some time. Shortly after WB was published (possibly a coincidence), Big Grain(TM) went from acknowledging the 1% celiacs to adding 5% more wheat-sensitive. They have no explanation for the latter. They may have, and need, some vague unease about possible liability, which might explain the genetic thrashing.

        Despite their white paper puffery, key people in BG have to know that their product is a looming tobacco-scale scandal, exacerbated by claims that this particular poison is positioned as an essential food.

        If they actually think that launching a new gluten-free frankenwheat is the solution, then all I can say is that they are eating too much of their own wheat-contaminated dog food, and celebral ataxia is now informing their strategy.

    • Dr. Davis

      Gee, get in line, Murray!

      Just when we thought these people were beginning to understand that the great majority of us don’t want genetically-modified food . . .

  11. Lynda (Fl)

    Hey, I see another tee shirt opportunety: I Am A Wheat Free Crazie!
    Like Julie, I suffered with IBS, intestinal spasms and drs that thought I should see a psych. I knew the location of every pubic bathroom. I just realised, two days ago, that my antibiotic had caused the first cramping I have had in the year since I gave up grain. Go ahead and call me crazy, I’ve heard it before. Welcome aboard, Julie, and hope you continue to feel better and better.

  12. Sedena

    What a bizarre concept – that we are all suffering from mass hysteria AFTER we discontinued wheat and regained our health?
    And so what if we are: we are all healthier, happier, calmer, more self-possessed and positive than most of us can remember ever being, and what can be better than that?
    We also have the added benefit that we didn’t have to TAKE something to get us there; we just had to eliminate ONE grain from the foods we eat and see immediate results! And watch all the other things we were TAKING stop being necessary to get through the day.
    If all of that is caused by mass hysteria, I’m all for it!

    • James

      There IS mass hysteria but not on our wheat free side … :/

      For the little story, which has nothing to do with the topic, I convinced a friend to become wheat free and limit her amount of starch and other carbs to some extent, and be liberal with healthy fat (she had e.g. stopped eating butter out of fear caused by the bad mythology butter is still plagued with). She has always been very slender … after a month being wheat free, she managed to lose 5 lbs … she could not believe it! :D And that was while she reintroduced large amounts of butter in her diet, hehehe. Is this an illusion ? I don’t think so …

      J.

      • Janet

        BUTTER!! I go through at least 2 blocks of Kerry gold goodness a week. It makes everything taste better, along with BACON. When local Walmart quit carrying the Kerrygold, I trolled all over the area to consolidate my supply and begged them to get it back. They did. Whew. It is butter from grassfed Irish cows–full of nutrients, along with K2–essential for bone health. Having visited Ireland many times, the grass there is green and succulent for cows. Hence, a health food for us. Don’t hold back, WB army, go for the “gold”.

  13. Dewey

    They are still at it. Wheat isn’t altered enough. Here is an article confirming many of Dr Davis claims about wheat. “Cracked wheat: Scientists make inroads into wheat genome”

  14. Phillis

    I am so glad that Julie caught her digestive issues before they became permanent. Unfortunately, in my case not so much. Being wheat free has made major inroads tho but not before losing my gall bladder over it. I am still plagued by issues with fat digestion because my innards are still so upset. More than should be just from gall bladder removal. BUT that being said they are about 80% better than they were. I am hopefuly looking forward to the day when I don’t have to be within screaming distance of a bathroom but at least I can do some traveling now. Wheat intolerance in my family is rampant so there are some really bad sensitivities running there so may just have to be patient as my gut continues to heal. Would like to be able to eat more good fats tho. I can tolerate butter and olive oil in pretty good amounts but even coconut oil in amounts more than half a teaspoon upsets the apple cart big time.

    • Dr. Davis

      At the very least, Phillis, you have removed the initial inciting agent that disrupts the entire apple cart: wheat.

      Over time, should these issues persist, you might consider a thorough assessment of digestion, including pancreatic enzyme issues and digestion of foods as judged by examination of stool samples.

      • Phillis

        Thank you so much Dr. Davis for taking the time to give me your assessment! I’ve had some trials with prescription pancreatic enzymes before my gall bladder was removed but not since. They did not help then but they might now. I was seeing Dr. Mary Vernon at the time and she was a great help but my insurance will not cover her any more so not sure what I will do as of yet. I am currently looking at functional medicine docs in my area so maybe there will be some help there. And yes, the removal of the wheat has been a definite blessing! I’m hoping to stave off long term issues with that. As I mentioned a while back my family looks like a casebook of what not to do with wheat. I can live perfectly well, thank you very much, without diabetes (both I and II), RA, osteoarthritis, Crohn’s, IBS, leaky gut, cataracts, polycystic ovary with accompanying hirsuitism, heart disease, pernicious anemia, etc., etc. Yup! All running in my immediate family!

  15. murray

    One should ask: How would people react if it were not crazed hysteria but they genuinely experienced dramatic disappearance of chronic health issues after discontinuing wheat, and found the problems returned with resumption of wheat? Any differently than what we see? I doubt it. So the enthusiastic reaction is arguably consistent with both hypotheses: (1) that it is a crazed, misguided reaction, and (2) it is a genuine expression of euphoria from suddenly improved health. So the only evidence they have to go on is ambiguous at best. Absent differentiating evidence, it follows that they are simply being defensive because it is a threat to them. Good. It means they perceive the response as a genuine threat.

      • James

        Yesterday, my wife (2 months WF) ate some meat balls prepared by one of her mother’s friends and still lying on a plate on the kitchen counter top . She didn’t inquire about the ingredients used … today, she feels very sick, she woke up super queasy and had to go to the bathroom I don’t know how many times. Guess what was in the meat balls ? …

  16. Kathy Hussey

    After being wheat-free & grain-free since the end of August, I made a very stupid mistake yesterday that I paid for dearly today. I always bring my lunch to work or I run home when possible. I was in a hurry yesterday and decided to stop at Wxxxx’s and pick up a salad. What I thought would be safe was a Spicy Chicken Caesar. I didn’t touch the croutons, but did use the dressing.Whatever was in the seasoning for the chicken, or maybe the dressing itself had me bonding with the toilet in ways I hadn’t experienced since becoming a full-fledged, “Wheat-Free Crazy”. My stomach is still in turmoil this evening. Won’t make that mistake again! And if all the the great benefits we’ve attained from following a healthy life-style are the results of mass hysteria, what about all the people who can’t wait to try every new convenience food that advertisers convince us we just have to have. So we run to the store to get the latest Hot Pocket, Hamburger Helper,Eggo Waffles, Mac-n-Cheese.etc. We have been brain-washed into believing that we need this stuff to make our lives easier! What a load of crap! Really! Boy that felt good! Thanks Dr. Davis! You are my Guru! Lol…

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, we often have to learn our wheat-free lessons the hard way, Kathy–sometimes it even means a load of crap!

    • Vir-Gena Fowlkes

      The spicy chicken has a wheat coating on it. I made the same mistake. I found it very helpful to do a little research on restaurants ahead of time, check ingredient listings on-line. Then, when you’re faced with an emergency lunch situation, you have safe alternatives. I learned that one of my favorite fast food places only had 1 wheat free menu item. Not even the Jo-Joe’s were safe.

  17. Jeff

    The following is almost too incredible to be believed:

    I’ve had TMJ for years. over the last year it’s gotten progressively worse with facial swelling, clicking, popping, snapping and pain, I started going to physical therapy a few months ago. My last visit was three weeks ago, an emergency appointment due to horrible pain. I’ve spent many hours in bed with all kinds of hot packs and ice.

    Well the other night, about a week after starting the wheat belly diet, I suddenly realized my jaw wasn’t bothering me! It just stopped cracking, the swelling seems to have melted away. It’s 95% better.

    I can’t believe it. TMJ can be and often is debilitating. I remember feeling close to suicidal at points (!). It’s not recognized as a real ailment by most dentists or doctors but it has very real pain. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars just in the last three months and now it has all but disappeared. I keep waiting for it to flare up again but so far barely anything.

    I understand the frustration that people with this pain feel and I wish I could yell this cure from mountaintops. There are so many ‘remedy’s’ and natural cures and therapy’s for this. If this is how simple the cure is, well, I don’t even know what to think.

    I’m not sure I understand how this happened but I really hope this is the new reality.

    Thank you so much Dr. Davis!

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s a new one, Jeff!

      We will have to keep an eye out for others who report something similar to see how common/frequent this observation is.

      In the meantime, enjoy your happy chewing!

      • Janet

        Not as serious as above, but one of my knees periodically would kind of crack and “go out” so it was painful to walk or go up and down steps. Then it would pop back or something and it would be gone. I could never pinpoint if it was something I did to cause it. After a couple of months, wheat free, I noticed that this popping had stopped–in fact the noises (like cellophane being crushed) in my knee joints were silent and that pain has not come back since. I never changed my physical activity or working out at all during that time.

  18. JIllOz

    Dr Davis, I just popped into the blog mentioned earlier by a commenter, http://www.eatingacademy.com
    It’s very good, in two minutes of reading I’ve already learned about circadian rhythm disruption and is effects on metabolism. Amazing.
    I think it’s one for the lists!!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, Dr. Peter Attia is a gem of reliable and well thought-out health information. I met him recently at a meeting in which we were both invited to share our thoughts. I found him engaging and truly interesting.

    • Boundless

      > If only our government would adapt Wheat Belly Living to the food pyramid.

      That will happen only after everyone has already ditched USDA’s My Plate.

      > The ramifications are endless!

      Consider the wider context. Although it appears that Wheat Belly is about avoiding wheat, on closer study, you see that it is also about being low carb, and many other carbs (notably fructose) are on the totally-avoid list. Beyond that, the suggested diet is not just paleo. It’s at least borderline ketogenic if not full keto. This is all shocking radical compared to the official get-sick-medicate-and-die diet. Expect massive denial and resistance.

      Save your efforts for the victims of the official diets. Expect the officials to be the last to come around.

      • Em

        “Save your efforts for the victims of the official diets.”
        My heart aches everytime I see someone significantly overweight. I know, from personal experiences, that it’s not their fault.

        “Expect the officials to be the last to come around.”
        I am thankful that Dr. Davis is not one to prostitute himself and/or pay money in order to push his agenda. His message is clear and simple and true!

  19. Caron

    Dr. Davis, thanks so much for your bold stand on the wheat problem. As a nutritionist myself, I see the consequense daily and have experienced the problem myself. I recommend your book always and am happy to be getting your recipes. This apple pie sounds great. A thought…. have you tried the “Just Like Sugar” inulin based product and what do you think about it?

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s great, Caron!

      While I’ve used many inulin-based sweeteners, I’ve not used the “Just like sugar.” Can you tell me what is in it?

  20. Geoffrey

    Delicious and satisfying breakfast (6:30 am): Cheeseburger – no bun, course – 100% grassfed beef (from local food coop) and Havarti cheese (Costco), green beans (Costco), small bowl of fruit (fresh raspberries very cheap from Costco) with 1/3 cup regular plain yogurt (Seven Sisters, Whole Foods or local coop), topped with my special homemade blend of nuts and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, and flax).

    “Dinner” for breakfast is the best!

  21. DR.DAVIS, CAN YOU SUBTITUDE GARBANZO BEAN(CHICKPEA) FLOUR FOR COC NUT FLOUR, CUP FOR CUP? I TRIED THE BASIC BREAD I MY HUSBAND AND I HATED THE BEAN FLOUR (GARBANZO). WE JUST STARTED THE WHEAT FREE. ALSO CAN WE USR ARROW ROOT POWDER IN THE RECIPES? PLEASE LET US KNOW THANK YOU.ARE IF ANYONE ELSE KNOWS.