Weight gain, acne, asthma, collapse . . . could it be wheat?

Mia posted this story describing her experience with the uncommon Wheat-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis, or WDEIA:

Over the past several years, I have struggled with an occasional bout of asthma, while never really understanding what was triggering it or how to prevent it from happening. I had an inhaler for occasional use, which is odd, because I did not struggle with asthma while growing up and found it strange that I should need one in my mid-twenties. This past summer I took to jogging and power walking and, in spite of my efforts to eat lots of “healthy whole grains,” I just kept gaining weight. Jogging was extremely difficult, as I always struggled to breathe and could barely keep up a shuffle. “Why?” I wondered to myself, as I was only about 10 pounds overweight and relatively young! I was careful about what I ate, so why was exercising and losing weight so difficult?

Late in June, I came back from a typical jog and collapsed onto the floor. I had the worst asthma attack resulting in the onslaught of asphyxia I have ever had in my life and was sent to the ER in an ambulance. It took hours to get my breathing stabilized. I was prescribed a new inhaler, since my old one had expired (hence being unable to stop the asthma attack). I returned home many hours later, weak, shaky, and terrified.

I quit jogging and all forms of exercise. Ever since the “attack,” even bustling around the house doing laundry triggered an asthma attack. I was devastated, as I continued to gain weight while not being able to exercise, and felt depressed and discouraged. How was I going to get my life under control?

By a series of events that I attribute to God’s grace, I discovered your book. After a 5-month journey that began by going “gluten-free” to eventually wheat and grain-free, I have since eliminated the “random” asthma attacks. I haven’t used my inhaler in many months now, and I have resumed my walks in the neighborhood. Oddly enough, during my wheat-free journey, I deliberately consumed wheat twice as an experiment, like most people seem to do, to see what would happen. Guess what: asthma!! Bad enough to need that inhaler again. I was baffled each time. I also consumed gluten accidentally after eating a tablespoon of ranch dressing (modified food starch) and had another bout of asthma. After all of this, I was convinced that wheat was the root of all of my asthma woes.

Oh yeah, and I have lost 8 of those stubborn 10 pounds that I had struggled to get rid of for years! I’m amazed. Also, my acne has cleared up! I am telling everyone I know about Wheat Belly, even though they think I’m crazy and are sick of hearing me talk about it, haha. Thank you, Dr. Davis!

Mia’s experience is among the more uncommon–though more acutely dramatic and potentially life-threatening–responses to wheat. It is another example of the peculiar ways that us humans respond to this unnatural component of diet. WDEIA is usually attributable to the omega-gliadin fraction of the gliadin protein, the protein with protean effects on us humans, including mind effects like appetite stimulation, anger, anxiety, paranoia, and addiction; increased small bowel permeability, likely one important mechanism underlying autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis; as well as allergic and anaphylactic phenomena such as asthma and Mia’s WDEIA.

Can any other “food” generate the array of responses that wheat creates? Can any other food trigger asthma, anaphylaxis, appetite stimulation, mind “fog,” paranoia, anxiety, food obsessions, joint pain, acid reflux, bowel urgency, diarrhea, bowel hemorrhage, autoimmune disease, diabetes, small LDL particles and hight triglycerides, and an extensive array of skin rashes? None I know of. This is because wheat is not meant to be food, not meant to be consumed by humans, never meant to be harvested or cultivated. It’s not wheat’s fault; it is the fault of ignorant humans enticed by the taste, smell, texture, addictive potential, availability, or ease of procurement. Of course, the whole mess has been made much worse by the genetics shenanigans introduced by geneticists and agribusiness who change our foods, including grains, not for enhanced health but to satisfy some agricultural goal, such as increased yield-per-acre, increased predictability of yield, resistance to an herbicide, etc.

Consumption of modern wheat is for the ignorant, uninformed, or desperate.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Angela

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I posted a speaking engagement request (on speaking engagement page) about a month ago and sent a message via FB page. I am wondering what the best way is to inquire about this since I haven’t heard anything back yet?

    • Dr. Davis

      Ooops!

      Thanks for catching, Kathy. I have near-perfect recall for spelling (at least I used to!) and I hate when little things like that get past me!

  2. Robin

    I normally don’t post on blogs, but I feel compelled to add my story of a “wheat belly ” life to the many others here. I happened upon the Wheat Belly book in October and became a believer as soon as I started eating wheat and grain free. I have about 40 lbs to lose and have tried everything over the years to lose that weight. Thank goodness, for being that overweight at 60 years old I don’t have major health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. After 2 months, I’ve lost 14 lbs… Not as much as some, but I feel so great… No cravings, not hungry often, and just ” even keel” all day long. But the main reason for writing this is to say I just made dozens of Christmas cookies and did not have any desire to taste the dough, eat a cookie, or gobble down the candy I was using to decorate the cookies. I have never felt this way -probably in my entire life. Thank you, Dr., Davis, for giving me the chance to be truly healthy and live a much longer life.

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s great, Robin!

      Next time, you can try making the cookies without wheat and using the recipes in the book and blog, then eat some!

  3. Dr. Davis,
    I’ve been wheat free since September. Here is what has happened to me: I am no longer pre-hypertensive (117/75 is my new normal). I’ve lost a few pounds, but wasn’t overweight prior so weight loss wasn’t important for me. However, I used to be hungry all of the time and worked hard to not snack and overeat at meals. Now I rarely want to snack and never want seconds at mealtime. Biggest change is I no longer have aches in my back. Prior to being wheat free, I had a constant pain in either the middle lower portion of my back or in one of my shoulders. I think this must have been arthritis. Being pain free is enough encouragement for me to stick with this forever. Every day that I wake up with no pain is an absolute joy. I have a question, I have vitiligo on both of my lower legs. Do you think the small bowel permeability as a trigger for autoimmune disease could have caused my vitiligo?

    • Amanda

      Amy, although you did not ask me, I can tell you, that I got vitiligo and after 2 years of gluten free I started repigmenting…Yes gluten provokes a cascade of autoinmune reactions, one is vitiligo. Dr. Davis is so right, wheat is poison…

  4. Mrs. W

    I have been following WB for 5 months and have lost over 50 pounds and am almost at my goal weight. I have had problems with high triglycerides for many years now and chose your plan to help with weight loss and getting my triglycerides under control (I believe it is familial). Prior to starting WB I had a complete physical and my very first NMR that you recommend as a baseline. I have now had a total of 3 NMR’s (one prior to WB and 2 while in active weight loss at 3 months and 4-1/2 months on WB). I feel great and my triglycerides are going down but my last NMR a couple weeks ago showed an increase in my values and my doctor is having me return in 3 months to re-check and “discuss statins”. I do not plan to take any statins if that is what the plan is. But, I don’t know if there is anything else I can do before my appointment to improve my numbers. I have followed your program precisely, no exceptions. I have read your book — I follow your blog and FB page. I would like to share my 3 sets of NMR results to see if you can tell me what I might be able to do to improve things — my small LDL & LDL-P is awful. First number is BEFORE WB; 2nd number is 3 months on WB; 3rd number is 4-1/2 months on WB.

    Pre WB NMR / 3 mo. WB / 4-1/2 mo. WB
    Triglycerides: 546 / 241 / 189
    Cholesterol: 236 / 191 / 228
    HDL: 39 / 37 / 41
    LDL-P: 2742 / 2310 / 2579
    Small LDL-P: 1703 / 1188 / 1355
    LDL Size: 20.2 / 20.3 / 20.4
    LP-IR: 87 / 73 / 50
    LDL-C: NA / 106 / 149
    A1C 5.7 / NA / 5.7
    One month ago I increased my fish oil from two to four 684 mg omega capsules per day (I take the Costco capsules you recommend) for a total with my Krill oil of about 2,800 omegas/day. Any help you can give me is appreciated. How can I lose this much weight and not improve my NMR?

    • Uncle Roscoe

      Congratulations. You are probably in ketosis.

      It happens because a large part of your diet is fat from deflating fat cells. Some of the stuff collected in the fat cells is junk. I’m not qualified to give medical advice. But if it were my body I would keep on truckin’.

      Most MD’s have no clue how this works. One could ask how gene lines for fat people survive evolution. I think the biggest reason is the yoyo effect of eating followed by diet and exercise. Losing weight, no matter how it’s accomplished, is effectively a ketogenic diet. And ketogenic diets are good for people. You just have to metabolize the junk being purged and survive while you do it.

      • Boundless

        re: no clue
        This weekend, we happened to watch the “Healthiest Heart” episode “Medicine Men Go Wild”. In this series, twin physicians Alexander and Chris van Tulleken studied medical and dietary practices in remote cultures.

        In this episode, the subject was the Inupiaq Eskimos, who subsist on walrus, whale and fish. The doctors were pretty much bewildered by how healthy most of these people were (and their lack of disease) given this must-be-horrible high-fat, moderate protein, almost-no-carb diet. Being apparently unaware of NK, they managed to credit it to high levels of exercise. The one guy in the village with bad labs, no surprise to WB blog followers, was found to be eating wheat products from the outside world.

  5. Nia

    I am so glad I read this! I had a nearly identical experience starting in my mid 30′s and the similarity in Mia’s story to my experience is both scary and comforting at the same time. Thank’s Mia for sharing, and glad to know I am not alone!
    Nia
    5 months wheat and asthma attack free :) ..oh yes 13lbs of stubborn fat gone.

    • Mia

      Wow, Nia, I’m so sorry that you had to go through this too! We are both very fortunate to have found our way out of the “wheat matrix,” aren’t we?! Best wishes to you and congrats on your success!

  6. Cynthia

    Yep, this is me too. I started having asthma in my late 20s, early 30s. I have been to the emergency room many times. Always had an albuterol inhaler. In late 2010, I was put on Flovent, which messed with my hormones in some way that seemed to be making me lethargic and depressed and fat and always cold, etc. Thyroid type symptoms but didn’t meet the clinical threshold for thyroid meds so my doctor left me to struggle on my own with no help. Fortunately, I found paleo and did a Whole30 for a couple of months this summer. I did it to see if I could adjust my out of whack metabolism. Then I reintroduced foods — guess what makes me wheeze? Wheat. Maybe dairy too, I have to do a careful specific reintroduction on that. The last few weeks because of the upcoming holiday and work travel I went back to eating some wheat products and I gradually started having more and more attacks, even needing the Flovent again when I got a cold. The wheat starts a vicious cycle, making me dependent on the steroid which messes with my hormones. My doctor just would have left me like that, spiraling down and getting worse and worse. She NEVER once suggested food exclusion for the asthma. But now I know, and immediately after Christmas I am going back to 100% grain-free again.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      I won’t eat food which I know makes me ill, not even to satisfy other people’s holiday expectations.

      • Mia

        It’s a scary experience, isn’t it Cynthia! Best wishes to you in getting off wheat forever–I just don’t think it’s worth all the suffering!

  7. Ev Barney

    Speaking of immune responses: One thing I notice aobut the recipes available for WB and other low starch/carb diets is they use a LOT of nuts. With the exception of walnuts, with give me horrid canker sores, I LOVE NUTS. I’m also allergy prone, and tree nuts seem like a common allergen. What are the chances I can develop a tree nut allergy eating this way, and are there any steps I can take to avoid it?

  8. JIllOz

    Yet another way wheat is used in a non-food way:

    I was in an archivist store today and saw that Wheat Starch is used to make archival-level glue. So is rice starch.
    So fear not, wheat growers!! There is a place for your goatgrass in the non-culinary world!!

    • Boundless

      Many glues and pastes are wheat-based. If you are celiac, or acutely wheat sensitive non-celiac, you probably don’t want to lick that stamp. These products may eventually require warning labels.

  9. Mark

    I am 3 weeks into the wheat free lifestyle and, while its been a huge adjustment, I am liking it. I made a chocolate cake using chickpeas instead of flour/wheat and its really good. My only question is, with the 3/4 cup of sugar in the recipe, is this against the rules?

    • Boundless

      Two problems with the sugar:
      1. It’s 50% fructose, and is 100% net carb.
      2. Typical recipe amounts of it are going to bust a 15 grams per meal net carb limit.

  10. Jacqueline

    Just a comment on the irony I saw in this mornings comics. The comic strip “Pickles” has the wife chastising the husband for eating pie for breakfast. Husband replies that pie isn’t that different from toast and jam. Wonder if the author knows how true that statement really is!

  11. Jackie

    I live at the top of a hill, and until I stopped eating wheat I could only walk about 1/4 of the way down, and still had to rest and wheeze my way back up to the top. Now, after being wheat-free since June, I can walk the entire mile down to the bottom and back up, and it is just an enjoyable, leisurely walk. I can’t believe the difference!

  12. Nancy

    I’ve been what I think is wheat-free since April 23, 2012, but haven’t lost any weight. One item I eat a lot of, however, because I thought they were OK, is Quest Natural Protein bars. Could there be an ingredient or ingredients in them that are the culprit?
    Nancy

    • Boundless

      > I’ve been what I think is wheat-free since April 23, 2012, but haven’t lost any weight.

      What is your net carb intake per day? If you don’t know the number, chances are it’s higher than you might guess. See also:
      http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/10/i-lost-the-wheat-but-didnt-lose-weight-2/

      > One item I eat a lot of, however, because I thought
      > they were OK, is Quest Natural Protein bars. Could
      > there be an ingredient or ingredients in them that are the culprit?

      Possibly, but it may be more a case of what they don’t contain, which is enough fat. They may not do much for suppressing appetite. These bars are apparently aimed at at protein enthusiasts (such as body builders) and not so much at keto or low-carb advocates.

      And if you over-consume them, do know that protein can be metabolized to glucose, and are apt to keep you biased toward glycemic metabolism and weight gain/maintenance.

      I keep Quest bars around, by the way, but target eating fewer than 4 per week.

  13. I’ve been what I thought was wheat free since April 23, 2012, but haven’t lost any weight. The only food I can think of that might have an ingredient or ingredients stopping weight loss is Quest Natural Protein Bars, which in eat regularly. Is there something in them which might prohibit weight loss?
    Nancy

      • Yes, I have, and I just read it again. (By the way – I’m sorry I posted twice – I thought the first one didn’t ‘take’). I’ve long suspected I have thyroid problems, due to having many of the symptoms, but I’m one of the many who’s thyroid test comes out ‘normal’. I’ll be moving to Miami next month (from Ohio), so I’ll have to find new doctors there. Maybe they will find something not found here. In the meantime, I’ll begin watching my carbohydrate intake more closely.
        Thank you for replying.
        Nancy

    • Boundless

      > … Quest Natural Protein Bars, which I eat regularly.
      > Is there something in them which might prohibit weight loss?

      I eat those as well, averaging less than 1 a day (and see no weight consequences). The only concern with Quest Bars that I know of is what’s NOT in them, which is fat. They are way too low in fat.

      Let me offer a completely unsupported conjecture (that’s what the internet is for, right?): If you were eating only QBs, you might be getting too much protein, which can be metabolized to glucose, which might stall weight loss or even result in weight gain.

      Why doesn’t someone make a bar that’s say, pure cacao, plus some protein, and a safe non-sugar sweetener.

  14. Linda

    Interesting point about the acne. I’ve been having stomach issues and went gluten-free for over a month. Unfortunately, other than the weight loss of 8 lbs or so (which was nice, don’t get me wrong!) I didn’t see any health benefits. My irregular heartbeat continues, tinnitus is raging, my stomach issues continue and my rosacea is in a major flare up and actually got worse when I was off wheat (that’s likely coincidence but it’s obvious that the gluten is not a factor in the rosacea). Just thought I’d post my experience.

    • Dr. Davis

      Wheat elimination is a very powerful strategy, Linda, but it does not undo all human conditions.

      Have you considered sensitivity to other foods?

      • Linda

        I’m going to try eliminating dairy in the New Year. Makes me cry just thinking about it. I love dairy…more than I love wheat. But the rosacea is getting so bad that I have to try everything.

  15. Bridget

    I’ve been eating this for breakfast and find it a great alternative to cereal, etc. It keeps you full til lunch no problem. 1/2 cup berries, defrosted, mixed with 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed. Add 1/4 cup sliced almonds & 1/4 cup unsweetened (balkan) yoghurt. Mix it all together. Tastes great.

  16. Susan

    I want to go wheat free but need other substitutions than nuts and sesame seeds. My daughter is highly allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame seeds. What substitutions can I include? Please help. I want this to work.

  17. CitznKate

    I suspect I may be wheat intolerant. That is, allergic. Something that happened to me recently has “clicked” and I just wish it had not taken me so long to put two and two together.

    When I was 15 years old I had relentlessly gained weight over the previous year’s time. It was 1969. I decided I wasn’t going to put up with it, and with my mother’s endorsement I went on the then-popular “grapefruit” diet. I cut all carbs (and as a result, all wheat) out of my diet except for a half a grapefruit three times a day. I never felt hungry, but I lost weight. When I was satisfied that I had lost all the weight I had gained the previous year, I reverted to a “normal” diet which included wheat breakfast cereal and bread or biscuits (wheat-based) at every meal. I was going to try to monitor caloric intake to make sure I would not regain the lost pounds. Within 24 hours, I developed pain in my upper abdomen which would not go away. I could hardly stand up straight. The pain soon spread throughout my whole trunk and did not subside for nearly a week. Mom thought I was faking it, or that the “grapefruit” diet I had been using was to blame. I never again went on a low-carb diet. I continued to gain a few pounds a year, every year, occasionally beating them back with severe calorie-reduced, high-exercise dieting, only to have the pounds return, with reinforcements.

    Add to this the fact that my face did not ever totally clear up in spite of repeated promises from my folks that I would “grow out of it,” and was still sporting pimples even when I was in my 40′s. I had persistent constipation and eventually developed diverticuli. I got breast cancer in my early 50′s. I was growing less and less capable of dealing with any sort of stress. I felt “trapped” all the time.

    So, for at least 40 years, I have had rosacea, edema in my lower extremities, persistent weight gain even while eating fewer calories than it should take to support a body weight MUCH smaller than mine, increasing mood problems, reduction in mental sharpness, the feeling of increasingly living my life in a fog, and the latest problem, itchy scalp.

    The problems were amorphous at first, but the effects have been cumulative and I did not want to look forward to their continual worsening. The doctors would say “this will increase,” regarding my edema… “this is age-related” with regard to having no waistline anymore when historically I had never lacked a waistline even at my heaviest; “this is hormonal” regarding my mental fogginess, mental fatigue, and mood problems… all of them chiding me for not remaining “lean” and telling me that weight gain is a virtual guarantee of an untimely death. Recommending green tea, pilates, yoga, low-calorie diets, you name it. Not a word about wheat or carbs.

    Having read blogs and discussions on the Internet, but not the Wheat Belly book, I decided to eliminate wheat from my diet to see if it would make me feel better. I stopped eating wheat on January 22 of this year.

    I had been off wheat nearly three weeks, had lost about 6 pounds and was feeling better, and then had for breakfast, on a Sunday morning, a big bowl of cheap oatmeal from the discount grocery. It turned out that apparently, unless oatmeal of any sort is labeled as gluten-free and wheat-free, it is cross contaminated with wheat processed at the same facility. I ate it for breakfast and was awakened at 3:00 the next morning with pain in my upper abdomen EXACTLY LIKE the symptoms I first got when I was 15 years old. I couldn’t sleep, and the pain nearly ruined my whole day at work the next day. I ACTUALLY HAD A FLASHBACK. It was truly creepy.

    I will not eat wheat again. I have had “the convincer” and I’m done.

    To date, I have lost a total of 8 pounds. My skin is clearing up. My digestion is no longer sluggish. My mental sharpness is greatly increased, and my chronic bleak mood has lifted to the point that I’ve gone back to being the happy, positive, upbeat person I had been years and years ago. It has felt like turning back the calendar.

    I might even start exercising again. I feel that good.

    Cheers,
    Kate

    • Dr. Davis

      Wow, Kate. Wheat has been no friend to you! I’m glad you have finally found the answer.

      I would like to post your comment as a Wheat Belly Blog post for more to see. Thanks for posting!

  18. TERESA

    I have Bette Midler’s tweet to thank for me crossing paths with Wheat Belly. This is new to me – but am intrigued because like Mia – I have WDEIA, and have never met another soul who does. I had asthma as a child – but no episodes as an adult Then I started having hives after soccer games which I chalked up to heat. Then I started having hives after walking – which I chalked up to heat and springtime allergies. THEN I had the anaphylactic episode after a walk that nearly killed me. Thankfully I was at my parents house and had the ability to tell them to call 911 before it was too late. It took 2 doctors a year to finally figure out it was wheat/exercise induced. This was 10 years ago – and while I try to limit my wheat intake – what I’ve really been avoiding is exercise, as I am not diligent about avoiding wheat. I am terrified of walking, running, mowing, dusting, vaccuuming, etc if I’ve consumed wheat. I’ve been to the hospital a few times since the anaphylactic episode. I am going to order this book in hopes it will give me better insight. All I know to do at this point is buy things labeled “gluten free” but I see there is more to it than that. Thank you Mia for sharing your story.

    • Dr. Davis

      I’m impressed that someone figured your story out, Teresa.

      WDEIA is a vivid illustration of just how inappropriate wheat consumption is for humans.

      • TERESA

        Yes – my allergist kept treating me with meds for seasonal allergies while I was continuing to have the unexplained hive episodes, living in fear that it would result in another anaphylactic episode. She didn’t do testing because I had been tested as a child several times and we felt like we had a good grasp of what I was allergic to. (plants and grasses) During my annual physical at my G.P.’s I mentioned the issues to him and he suggested food allergy testing. Wheat was off the chart, followed by corn. When I relayed the results to my allergist – she put it together and said there was this uncommon condition of food allergy combined with exercise. With this knowledge I am at least able to avoid the situations – but avoiding exercise is not really a solution! I ordered the book and am eagerly awaiting reading it!

  19. Rosemary

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    I have a very good friend who, I suspect, would do really well on the Wheat Free diet. Unfortunately, her daughters suffer from an extreme anaphylactic reaction to nuts, seeds and legumes. Since the alternatives to wheat in your program all figure prominently to be nuts, seeds and legumes, what foods would you suggest they eat on this regime. At the present time they would have severe allergic reactions to your work horse food preparations (particularly if they want to bake the odd ‘goodie’). Thanks for your help.
    My husband and I are both following the wheat belly program and are experiencing real health improvements !

    • Dr. Davis

      The only thing people like this can do is to maximize use of all the foods that remain, including avoiding the recipes that make use of foods to which they have sensitivities.

      An interesting side note: Many, though not all, people experience reversal of food sensitivities once they’ve removed wheat.

      • Corey

        As a teenager I began having severe reactions to many foods, mostly fruits, vegetables, and nuts. It was hard for my family to believe until I had an anaphylactic episode eating taco lettuce that nearly stopped my breathing. Unfortunately it took me until I was nearly 40 years old to quit accepting traditional food guidelines and begin optimizing my eating for me.
        After eating wheat free for a while I began to try foods that had been an issue. I can now tolerate and even enjoy many formerly “forbidden” foods.

  20. Sheryl Rex

    Self diagnosed gluten free. Tested for everything-all was good. They couldn’t figure out why I was literally choking on food-couldn’t swallow to the point of needing Heimlich..finally started eliminating things on my own, it was wheat products I was choking on-my throat was closing up. I have adult asthma…never had it as a child, I am lactose intolerant and my mouth feels like it is swelling when I eat Peanut Butter M&M’s (sad-because I never had that problem before either-I enjoyed them once in a great while). I have eliminated a lot of food from my diet, afraid I will choke again; but have lost 24 lbs within 4 months. I feel so much better. Wondering though, if I need to get my Adrenal Glands checked, because that is the only thing they have not tested on me. SO glad I am gluten free!! My Aunt bought ‘Wheat Belly’ book and told me I should read it. I have recently purchased it, but haven’t had a chance to open it yet, but look forward to learning more.

  21. Gwendolyn Rafter

    I have Samter’s Triad. I have asthma, nasal polyps, chronic sinusitis and I have a deadly allergic reaction to aspirin. I once took a baby aspirin and was rushed to the ER in an ambulance. I am on all kinds of medicines and shots. I am morbidly obese and I need to change my diet.

    • Angela

      I don’t have the seriousness of asthma attacks as the aforementioned folks; however, tt was not uncommon for me to have a bout of bronchitis once or twice a year, which then caused all kinds of asthma issues for me. It was a vicious cycle, asthma = bronchitis bronchitis = asthma. I’d sometimes have to make a couple of trips to the doctors because they wouldn’t listen to me when I told them my bronchitis wouldn’t respond to anything except Biaxin. I’d be really sick for about a week then I’d start on the mend, but would be left with an asthmatic persistent cough that would last well over a month or two. It also hasn’t been unusual for me to just start coughing without having bronchitis either. I started to notice that I would just start coughing like crazy after having a burger, but I’d put that off to it being from grease NEVER did I think it would be from the bun!

      Going down the cleaning isle of the grocery store or into a perfume department just sent me crazy. I’d get an instant headache and into the coughing. The odd time I’d feel my chest start constricting to the scents.

      Since going wheat/grain free (no “gluten-free” items either from the “Gluten Free” isle) I don’t have issues with scents OR my asthma/bronchitis issues. I still have a bit of a cough; however, it is going away and is GREATLY reduced since I’ve not eaten any wheat/grains of any kind. I’m so thankful for hearing about the Wheat Belly Book!

      • Dr. Davis

        We are hearing from more and more people who are experiencing similar improvements or even outright total relief from their asthma with wheat elimination.

        Having had asthma as a kid, I know what the attacks can be like. Congratulations on finding the answer!

  22. Michele Pavlou

    I have been experiencing rapid weight gain for the past two years, which coincided with the doctors discovering an allergy to grasses, under active thyroid and a severe intolerance to asprin. I have been unable to shift the weight despite daily visits to the gym and moderating my diet. I never thought about wheat, but had on occasion attempted to follow that ‘special k diet’ (tiny portions with skimmed milk) which spiked the weighing scales and had the opposite effect. Im going to try elliminating it completely. Thank you for a most informative website.