Are you crazy?

Heather posted this comment that illustrates why it is so important, once you’ve started the wheat-free process, to stick to it and not give in to the withdrawal phenomenon.

I’ve been on a wheat-free, gluten-free, corn-free diet for about 4 months now, and only within the last 2 weeks have I noticed the cravings go away, the brain fog lift, and most of my skin issues clear up. My brother also read the book and he agrees that I’ve probably been going through wheat withdrawal for the past few months.

I’ve also suffered from debilitating menstrual tantrums (for lack of better descriptions) for 1.5-2 weeks of every month for many years, and this past month, I felt normal!

I’ve lost almost 40 lbs in the past 5 months (only 80 more to go!). I sleep better, a good majority of my chronic pain has gone away, my blood pressure is normal for the first time in my life. I could go on forever about the things I’ve noticed that are different. And I’m only 29. I only picked up Wheat Belly this past week, and I was thrilled to find that there are others like me and that I am not crazy, like some people (including doctors) had me believing.

No, you are most definitely not crazy, Heather. You deserve tremendous credit for sticking to this dietary change despite an incredible 4-month long withdrawal from the opiate in wheat.

What is crazy is that regulatory agencies practice a laissez-faire attitude towards agribusiness and their products. Agribusiness changes multiple components of crops like grains, especially wheat, then sell it to consumers the next day–no questions asked by the USDA or FDA. Never mind that the thousands of hybridizations conducted on wheat strains generates unique proteins with each and every hybridization event. Never mind that non-wheat grasses were mated with wheat to introduce unique genes. Never mind that peculiar techniques like chemical-, gamma ray-, and high-dose x-ray mutagenesis–the purposeful induction of mutations–are among the techniques used to generate modern strains of wheat. And never mind that, while there is growing opposition to genetically-modified foods, wheat has been subjected to techniques that pre-date genetic modification. Modern wheat is instead the product of crude, unpredictable, and sometimes bizarre techniques that are WORSE than genetic modification.

It explains why a young 29-year old woman like Heather obtains relief from mind “fog,” acne, food cravings/appetite stimulation, chronic pain, reduced blood pressure, tumultuous menstrual cycles, and weight gain by denying herself “healthy whole grains.” What we are being sold is not wheat–it is not food and it is not suitable for human consumption.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. I’m on Day 3 of wheat detox. I have up oatmeal a few weeks ago. I was going to wait a bit before giving up corn products, but perhaps I should just “go for it” now. The cravings today have been quite intense. But I am determined to stick with this.

    • kat

      Just go for it… you won’t even miss them once you start replacing them with other foods. Best thing I ever did for my body! =)

    • Pam, removing corn had a huge impact on my health, after wheat. The oatmeal actually has less of an effect on my blood sugar, especially if combined with walnuts. I am one year wheat-free, and I always advise people to cut the corn, too. If you do have some, whole kernel is best, and then corn chips are still better than raw corn meal (tortillas and cornbread). Keep up the good work, you and your good health are totally worth it!! ♥

      • Lindsay

        I’m really not convinced that Mexican, organic, non GMO blue corn homemade hand pressed tortillas are bad for you. First of all, due to the nixtimalization process, masa harina is NOT the same animal as corn flour/corn meal. Also, there is a great variety of different types of corn out there – did you know there is even green corn in Oaxaca? These different varieties of corn have differing nutritional values. Finally, I never felt so good as I did when I was living in Mexico, eating a big breakfast of eggs, cheese, beans and 2 or 3 fresh corn tortillas (which is the serving size I’m thinking of when I do think of eating corn tortillas.) I don’t think enough credit has been given the natural corn tortilla, the production of which has been dated back over 3000 years. Those Aztecs and Mayans seemed to do very well on them!

    • Lauren

      My husband and I decided to embrace a Paleo lifestyle, giving up all wheats and grains and after 2 weeks in, I feel GREAT! Better than I have in a long time. The aches and pains I was having (I’m only 32) are pretty much all gone! I can’t believe that grains are such a HUGE part of our diets. I’m glad to be rid of them. The main reason I gave up corn was because of an article I had read about how much of our corn is GMO and that there likely ins’t any corn left in America that is actually all natural. It’s all been modified so much. So, for me, it was easy to give up. I LOVED corn! Even made my own corn tortillas regularly. Not worth the health risks. Just something to think about.

  2. Lorena

    I have been wondering, Dr. Davies, how it is possible that people’s pain clears up in a week. It doesn’t seem possible to me. I have been wheat free for six weeks, and yes, my health has improved. My cravings are sporadic not obsessive. But, I am still not feeling well, and I have some really bad days. In my opinion, what I am having is candida die-off: runny nose, headaches, muscle pain, increase hot flushes due to peri-menopause, etc, Also, I haven’t lost weight, even though I am not eating carbs. OK, Perhaps I lost a couple of pounds. I believe the reason is that the diarrhea finally stopped.

    I think that for people who suffer of candida, the road to finally feeling well may be a bit more rocky. But I agree that patience is rewarding. I look forward to saying one day that I lost a lot of weight. I need to lose 50-to-60 lbs.

    And thank you for your book. When I picked it up at Costco, I didn’t know that it was going to be the one to finally convince me to give up wheat. I truly thought I would be hooked forever.

    • Elisa

      Lorena,

      Have you eliminated all grains or just wheat? I notice I get fibromyalgia/arthritis flare-ups and my allergies and eczema come back if I eat any corn, even with the small amount of cornstarch found in a prescription. If I consume any wheat even from cross-contamination I will get a very severe headache, body aches (both muscles and joints), fatigue, brain fog, IBS, acid reflux, and I feel very emotional (I cry a lot). My symptoms last about five days. Oats make me feel achy. If you are already eating grain-free, I suggest you check all of your supplements and prescriptions for wheat or corn. Also, carefully read the ingredient list on food you buy, there is often wheat or corn in it. For example, I avoid foods that have maltodextrin in it, because it is often derived from corn or wheat. Hopefully, you will see results soon. I noticed improvements after two weeks, but some things took as long as four months to go away.

      Elisa

      • Lorena

        Thanks, Elisa.
        I am not eating any grains. Like I said on my comment. I am not eating carbs. The only carbs I eat are veggies.

        • Deb

          You might check other allergies. I found out that I was extremely allergic to eggs. I can’t believe how much better I feel without them, in addition to the wheat, grains,etc.

          • tess

            also, DAIRY (except butter)! when i did a “whole 30″ last year, i found that even the small quantities i was eating were problematic, and i’m not overtly lactose intolerant.

      • Lorena

        As for dairy, I am lactose intolerant. The allergies are a very strong possibility. If I go by the way I feel, I think I am probably allergic to beef, chicken, and almonds. I have been pondering what type of alternative practitioner to visit to find out what I am allergic to. I do not trust allopathic doctors. They’ve never been able to help me, since I look for advice, and they only have prescriptions to offer.

        • Leslie

          There is no substitute for a true and strict elimination diet in a case like this. Even if you find a practitioner you like, they will need you to do this anyway. There are many sources online about this. Some terms that might help you in your search include GAPS diet, Specific Carbohydrate diet, histamine intolerance, mast cell activation disorder/syndrome.

          I found through trial and error and extensive research that I have histamine intolerance, which is now starting to be classified as a mast cell activation syndrome. These are not allergies in the true sense, but they do cause symptoms as a result of mast cell activation like allergies. The symptoms vary greatly and also in severity. Some people experience anaphylaxis from exposure to triggers, others have heart racing, others pain, others hives. I experience severe gastrointestinal distress from avocados, tomatoes, raw egg whites, processed soy, and whey protein powders. Foods are not the only triggers. I have skin reactions to NSAIDs, and neurological and gastric reactions to opiates, immediate migraines with fragrance or aspartame.

          Avoidance of these foods has greatly diminished my discomfort. I’m currently trying treatment with H1 and H2 antihistamines (zyrtec and Zantac) because NSAIDs are important to my migraine treatment plan.

          I have been wheat free for 14 months, and it has had no affect on this condition. It HAS helped my exercise induced asthma, some of the migraines, and my thyroid treatment (which brings up another point: get your thyroid checked, and not just TSH but a full panel. No amount of dietary change will let you lose weight if you are hypothyroid, and even after treatment you have to be ever so strict).

          One other thought on not losing weight even though you are being strict about carbs. I had a period of about 6 months where I just couldn’t seem to get enough fat in. Grass fed butter and coconut oil were consumed in what might seem insane quantities. Until one day it just stopped. My body needed fat to repair apparently. Your body might be doing some repairs, and metabolism might be the last thing affected during this healing period. Be kind and understanding to yourself, and just tackle one thing at a time.

          • Lorena

            Wow, Leslie. Thank you for your heaven-sent advice. I will follow it. I will start by going to a doctor and ask them to check my thyroid.

            Thanks again!

    • allison

      I found my muscle pain and headaches went away and I started to drop a bit of weight when I dropped dairy and artificial sweeteners. Consume any artificial sweeteners and the leg pain is insane!

  3. So brain fog and not feeling quite normal are withdrawal symptoms? I guess I haven’t finished reading the book or I would have learned this by now! Here I am thinking I’m just losing my mind (honestly sometimes I can’t seem to get my mind going) and didn’t think of it having to do with not eating wheat.

    I haven’t lost a lot of weight (I’m 5’1″ 121 lbs this morning), but I don’t have much to lose (maybe 5-6 pounds). I have lost the uncomfortable feelings in my belly and can always tell when I eat something that has wheat, corn or other grain. (made gluten-free noodles for chicken soup tonight, yep I’m bloating).

    The hard part is getting my husband on board! He needs to do this for his health, but he likes his breads and sweets (though he has cut back a lot).

    Congrats, Heather! You’re doing awesome!
    Dr. Davis, thanks for such a great book!

    • Stephanie

      I’m having the same issues with my Husband as well, I’m trying to get my Hubby on board as well for his ADD. Complicating matters is that he’s very skinny thus he’s never dieted before so he isn’t used to it at all!

      I’m trying to wean him off wheat with some more standard GF products, I stick to Quinoa and Brown Rice flours (No corn). I’m also making sure to pack him a lunch everyday so he doesn’t go out. I’m hoping it makes the process easier.

      The only thing I’m at a loss for is his Coca-Cola addiction. He used to drink 2 2L bottles a day, I got him to a can or two at lunch but he won’t get rid of it completely. I’m not sure if I should convince him to switch to Coke Zero or do the Jones Cola Soda route with him. Any thoughts?

      • Boundless

        Coca Cola hasn’t been truly addictive since 1903, when they switched from using real cocaine to denatured cocaine as an ingredient. I can’t recall the last time I drank any. It might have been around the time I tried making my own root beer, and was shocked at how much sugar was in it, and typical soft drinks generally.

        1 or 2 cans (let’s say 1.5 12 oz. cans) is 50 grams of sugar, your entire day’s allowance of carbs under WB recommendations. Your GF flours are highly glycemic too, so hubby’s daily carb load is probably off-scale in the WB view. Ditching the wheat is a big step, but do move toward low-carb.

        Plus, in Coke, the sugar is HFCS, so its mostly fructose, which adds insult to injury. The acid load is not exactly desirable either.

        The only ingredient in Coke (even the sugar-frees) that I care to consume is water, which is much cheaper when you don’t buy it in a red can with wavy graphics.

      • allison

        I don’t have ADD but I do have seizures, and they are often put together in dietary research. I found the artificial sweeteners in the Coke Zero or Diet Coke are neuro stimulants and caused me to have more seizures and have general troubles concentrating. When I avoid it, my brain feels somewhat normal and I do not have any seizures at all.

      • Leslie

        Omg, NO to coke zero! Aspartame is so much more addictive than sugar. Giving up wheat was a cake walk compared to giving up aspartame, and I only had maybe 1 diet soda a day.

        I would suggest ditching the GF substitute foods and just embark on full on grain free meals. Best way to break the habit.

  4. Chubby inMilwaukee

    Okay, I’ve been off of wheat and gluten for 4.5 months, and I have not lost any weight. Very disappointed about that, but I do have much more energy and I feel much better generally. Why do some people lose weight after giving up wheat/gluten, and others do not?

    • Jeff

      There may be other health issues that slow or halt weight loss – thyroid dysfunction, for example. Also, if you are substituting processed gluten-free products into your diet to replace the wheat/gluten products you used to eat, you are doing more harm than good when weight loss is your goal. Eat only whole, unprocessed foods for awhile (meats, fish, eggs and lots of vegetables NO POTATO or CORN) and see if that makes the difference.

  5. Dian

    Can GF All purpose flour be used in place of garbanzo bean flour since that’s what’s in it? Thinking of the recipe for focaccia in the cookbook. Thanks!

  6. Justin

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    A question for those who are fortunate enough to be in good health, at a healthy weight on our existing “wheaty” diets and not afflicted by any of the conditions that are vulnerable to even a little wheat intake. I’ve read your book (it’s great!) but it leaves unanswered for me whether for someone in good health, would I get a meaningful benefit by reducing my wheat and carb intake by 50%? Or will the benefits (for me) still only come with going 100% on the program?

    Thanks for all if the great work!

    • Jeff

      Benefits of wheat/grain removal from your diet will only be seen with a 100% removal of these destructive things from your diet. This is not about “dieting” but about eating truly healthy real food. Grain, especially wheat, is not human food – never was, really – it is what “food” eats…..

      • Susan

        Yes, a healthy person try this out by cutting back 50%. It’s not a crime. If you find that you have unexpected cravings, it may show you that you are more “hooked” than you thought and there might be some value in going further with this. It does take commitment to get far enough into this that you will get the benefits of increased energy and “lean out” (even at a healthy weight, you might like to look more defined). No need to wait for health problems to start, as you already seem to have an interest in going wheat-free and suspect that it’s best for your long-term health.

  7. Debra

    What exactly do people mean when they speak of “brain fog”? I see that phrase come up often and just wonder how they would describe it.

    • Patti

      For me, brain fog was like trying to remember a piece of information and I could not get to the details, or I could tell I was thinking slower by comparing my cognitive abilities to those around me.

    • allison

      I would describe it as having a cloud in my brain that is blocking my thoughts. A tiredness, inability to think and feel normal, and a drain if you think of doing anything at all that requires energy. I had it from when I was approx 12 until I was 28, and almost thought it was completely normal, until it went away. If you’ve ever had some caffeine withdrawal, or sugar crash in the afternoon, it’s similar to that.

      • Tanya

        Like your head is full of cotton & you’re trying to think through it. My doctor calls it ‘fibro-fog’. Like I’m making a customer a sandwich at work & I can’t memorize the sauces that go on them, so I look at the cheat sheet and literally a second later when I go to get it, I cannot for the life of me recall what I *just* looked at. Forgotten in 2 seconds. Very humiliating & frustrating. Like mentioned above, a feeling that your “brain is tired”.

    • Kelly

      Hi Debra, I’ve been wf for 6 mo. I didn’t realize I had brain fog till I droppedall grains 100%. It took about one wk for my head to clear

      I’ve.had issues my entire life, but I was told it was all in my head. Huh. Celiac with no symptons? No, just eing poisoned by wheat, a slow, sure death!

  8. Heather

    Wow! That was my comment! I think I’m definitely in the minority and an outlier in the “wheat withdrawal spectrum,” and I definitely don’t think that most people will have the same troubles I did. But as I look back, I think that I’ve been suffering since I was probably a very young child, probably 3 or 4, and if not since then, definitely since I was about 9 or so. So this has been 20-25 years of one misdiagnosis after another. I don’t know if length of time having “atypical” symptoms of gluten intolerance has an effect on how long it takes your body to detox, but in any case, if you’re trying this diet, don’t give up! It is worth it. I feel better every day. I have more energy, I feel more optimistic about everything, and I don’t feel like I want to just stay home every day all day. I may even have my mother talked into trying this out within the next week or so for a month to see if it brings relief from chronic pain!

    • Mary

      Heather, I too suffered from debilitating menstrual tantrums. You are not alone. Mine are gone too. And I am off every single medication they put me on for them.

  9. Jeanne

    Wow! Doesn’t 4 months seem a bit long for withdrawal? Working in addiction, I have never seen a withdrawal that long for any drug. Wondering if glutemorphins (sp) are somehow different?
    A lot of celiacs take up to a year to feel noticeably better, but it is not all withdrawal, but mostly a healing process that has to reach a certain threshold.
    Could this be some of the case here? Granted, it would have been undiagnosed celiac, but the important part in my question is the time frame for healing.

    Happy to read of renewed health!

    • Heather

      That could be, I don’t know what is really going on with me or what to call it, but it did take quite awhile for my hormones/emotions/”the angries” to calm down and go away. I have not been tested for celiac, I am working with a naturopathic doctor for what presented as a huge eczema outbreak from head to toe. It’s only after being “off” wheat/gluten, etc. for this amount of time that I am able to look back and describe what I felt as cravings and “the angries.”

    • derp

      Jeanne, I also doubt that we have a case of four months of withdrawal symptoms here. I too suspect that it was the required time for repair processes. Some people have been damaged more than others by “wheat” (“Triticum borlaugium”), other grains, HFCS, trans-fats and all that dangerous toxic waste that Big Food is stuffing down our throats. Let’s all be happy that it is fixable up to a certain point.

  10. bill

    Dr Davis:

    In your last paragraph, you may have meant “increased” blood pressure? or “high” BP?

  11. Ailu

    Heather, curious, in giving up wheat, did you also inadvertently give up soy as well? Reason is, I too had terrible menstrual cramps, breast tenderness, and fibroids. Since most wheat products also contain soy, giving up wheat made for a vast improvement. But through trial and error, I finally deduced that it was actaully the soy what was causing these issues.

  12. George Thompson

    This may be a little off topic, but a few years ago I was looking for cheap supplemental feed for my cows and someone was able to get me old bread past the “use by” date. I fed it to them for a couple of months and then wasn’t able to get any more. At the time I described the behavior of my cows as “going through withdrawal” and vowed I would never do that to them again. Why I didn’t suspect the bread was doing the same thing to me, I don’t know. I have been dairy and gluten free, mostly, for about four weeks and have lost around seven pounds. One evening, I messed up and had some pizza and was in the bathroom with stomach cramps most of the night. Going gluten free and dairy free is extremely difficult, but in the end I believe it’s worth it!

  13. Marian Brandenburg

    Soy should definitely be examined as a culprit. First and foremost nearly all, over 90%, of soy in the market is toxic GMO now and corn is rapidly catching up. Besides all the numerous health reasons why you DO NOT want this frankenfood in your body, recent studies suggest it may also cause leaky gut syndrome. And the continuous manufacturing of the Bt toxic pesticide in your gut, essentially making you a pesticide factory..
    Unless fermented, such as tofu, tamari and tempeh, soy is not really digestible and is high in estrogen so women should take note and use wisely. And only certified organic.
    As mentioned, a candida overgrowth condition, common with the typical American diet, can also complicate problems and symptoms. I love GSE (grapefruit seed extract.) Once clear, it’s suggested a good pro-biotic to re-establish healthy gut flora.
    Best idea is to try eliminating all possible offenders, get clear, then re-introduce one by one and observe your results. Important to keep in mind, your body is on your side, it is not “betraying” you but serving you best it can by sending messages to let you know there are problems to address. Be patient and kind with yourself and have gratitude your body speaks with you. You just need to learn how to interpret. Good luck and good health!

  14. Karen

    I guess I have been really lucky, compared to a 4 – month withdrawl/healing!
    Within one month, my life-long acne has dissapeared entirely; I’ve lost almost 10 lbs; I have more energy, even managing to give up my afternoon naps (which I needed for the past 11 years!). Still having Fibromyalgia aches and pain, but since I’ve suffered through that for 30 years, I wouldn’t expect it to dissapear in only a month. Here is hoping for even better things to come in the next wheat-free month! Now to convince my pre-diabetic, slightly overweight, on-meds-for-high-blood-pressure husband to get with the program!!!!!!

  15. Tim

    Not if you are following the WB recommendations, because that has ingredients like potato starch, tapioca flour, etc. all things Dr. Davis says no to.

  16. April

    Do you cook at all? Since purchasing WB, the cookbook and another wheat free cookbook I have started to bring less wheat items in the house and am cooking more. My husband is a super junk food eater but, I am attempting to do an experiment for the whole family and see how it works. Since most of the time my husband and son bring left overs to work, I am going to continue making wheat free items and see if anyone even notices. I have made Almond Crusted Chicken, Asian Beef with “noodles”, turkey chili, etc an they don’t know. Eventually, I am going to somehow wean them off (I hope). Today, I am going to make the pumpkin muffins. This, obviously, is a treat but will be wheat free. I just love to cook and I want to get everyone cooking this way. I have imagined myself opening a wheat free restaurant! My co workers think I am nuts! I am always dissecting my food to them. I do feel better and cannot see myself going back. Still early for me doing this but it is a mood changer for sure! I used to get a multitude of symptoms everyone here does. My stomach just feels so much better. This is the biggest difference. I have always had IBS symtos but, have never been diagnosed with it. I also don’t feel as impulsive as I used to. The cravings are slowly diminishing. I Sleeping is better. I don’t feel depressed. I am hoping this helps my menstrual issues as well. Anyone can do this if they genuinely want to feel better. I believe you do have to eliminate sugars, processed crap and wheat. I do eat dairy but, personally, it doesn’t bother me. I also take a probiotic.

    • Dr. Davis

      I love the idea of a wheat-free restaurant, April!

      Should you take that plunge, please come back and tell me. I will help drive people to your door!

      • April

        I would love to see this one day. Whether by myself or anyone else for that matter. There are too many fast food junk restaurants. We need to change this. The more and more people talk about this, it could happen.

  17. Ali

    Hi Dr Davis.

    A long road led me to wheatbelly most directly through interest in paleo/primal eating.

    I have struggled with overweight and food addiction my whole life. Finding myself at times despairing over my not being able to stop eating. I cannot stop eating certain foods once i start, Im driven like an addict and it as caused alot of turmoil in my life.

    I elminated wheat and sugar almost a week ago. For 2 days i had the worst headache of my life, it was relentless. I went to sleep with it and woke up with it. It was very unomfortable and panful at times. Im feeling alot better now, im down 5 lbs and i feel like i have a clear head and control of my eating.

    In researching on the internet i came across some information regarding gluten and hearing loss. I have progressive sensory neural hearing loss and so does my 18 year old daughter and 3 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with it. No one else in my family has hearing loss. Is it possible that celiac/gluten sensitivity could be causing the loss? Is it possible to halt further loss with a wheat free diet?

    I have also noticed in just these few days of wheat free eating a lessening of symptoms of pvc’s/ventricular tachyardia that i have had for many years.

    Im starting to wonder if the wheat has been the root cause of a myriad of health issues i have had in my 39 years. Pcos, pvcs/vtach, infertility, miscarriages, weight gain, moodiness, hearing loss. I have 5 sisters cousins, many nieces and nephews and i am the only one affected by these conditions.

    I want to thank you dr davis for making all of this information available and appreciate any thoughts you might have on my situation.

  18. Dr. Davis,

    I am so happy to have read your book! You validated what i have felt for so many years!! I read you book and watched your lectures over and over again and was fascinated by your knowledge and findings. I am a therapist in NYC specializing in Eating Disorders and i also recovered from Anorexia and Bulimia. I have been gluten free for over a year and after reading your book i am working hard on being Wheat free. Prior to being wheat free i suffered sever pains and cramps in my stomach and after several failed attempts to ask various doctors why i have been experiencing such discomfort particularly after eating wheat products, i have decided to do the “elimination diet”. About a month after i went wheat free i have noticed HUGE changes in the way i was feeling physically and emotionally. Prior to going wheat free i also suffered from tendinitis which was very debilitating.The doctor i saw at the time told me that i had inflammation in my knee and that i had to go to physical therapy at least twice a week and take medication. When i asked why i might have had such sever pain that made me fall on several occasions, he said “it was genetic” and medication should relieve the pain. I never went to physical therapy and I didn’t take any medication for the pain. I have decided to eliminate wheat from my diet…Two month after going wheat free i almost had NO pain or discomfort with my knee or my stomach. When i went back to the doctor he said that it MUST have been a “coincidence” that my knee pain stopped after i went wheat free. I knew that eating wheat caused me a LOT of discomfort and when i read your book and listen to your lectures i wanted to scream THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope that one day i will have the pleasure of meeting you and thanking you in person!! I now recommend to all my patients who suffer from bulimia or binge eating or any other psychological/physical problem to give wheat free a chance! I am already witnessing changes that they go through. So. THANK YOU for giving me the confidence to follow what i thought made me feel better and for making me a happier and healthier person!

    • Dr. Davis

      Thanks for sharing your story, Limor! You can appreciate the incredible ignorance that persists in this hugely important issue, something so debilitating yet so easily remedied.

      I’d like to post your story for others and feature it as a blog post. Before I do that, did you experience any effect on appetite or food obsessions, the feature that seems to plague many people with eating disorders?

  19. Sarah Cappelletti

    I have been on the WB diet for 4 weeks now. I’ve also had stuffy nose that arrived with a cold and has not gone away for 3 weeks. Do you think this is related to not eating wheat? I’m waiting for my nose to clear up and it’s just not. Sleeping at night has been very uncomfortable for these weeks, has anyone else experienced this?

  20. Kim

    There is not 1 recipe that Dr. Davis advocates that includes white sugar. I believe many of our ailments, symptoms, and withdrawal is due to sugar elimination as well as wheat. Sugar is a powerful powder on the brain as well; so remember you’re going thru wheat and sugar withdrawal. It’s a tough combination, but you might as well try to do them both at the same time and consolidate your efforts . God Bless all of you trying to improve the health of yourselves, your family, your neighborhood, and your country. Kelloggs and Proctor & Gamble just may show a financial loss soon. A victory long in waiting. Jump if you’re feelin froggy!!

  21. DEAR DR, WILLIAM DAVIS MD. MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE JUST STARTED YOUR DIET LOSE THE WHEAT LOSE THE WHEIGHT, AND I WAS WONDERING CAN YOU SUBSITUTE GARBANZO BEAN(CHICKPEA) FLOUR FOR COCONUT FLOUR ? WE DIDN’T LIKE THE GARBANZO BEAN FLOUR AT ALL, FOR BAKING BREAD. ALLSO CAN I USE ARROW ROOT POWDER IN THE RECIPES? PLEASE LET ME KNOW THANK YOU . FROM
    LINDA DISNEY

  22. I have been on a wheat free program for the past 4 months. I feel great, and definitely believe in the program. I am 77 years old, and I definitely have a “Wheat Belly”. I have only lost 10 lbs in the past 4 months, and I am getting a little discouraged. I do notice that I am on the last hole on my belts, and have not been there in years.
    I do not cheat and I am as careful as I can be since we eat out all the time. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Damian

      Rich, the weight loss is a sign that wheat-free is helping. It may take longer to lose the weight, but slow and steady is fine. By sticking to this, you are doing great things for your body and mind.

      A couple questions for you:
      What kind of physical activity you enjoy? Are you able to walk comfortably? I find that walking trims me like nothing else.

      Do you have any other issues like thyroid disorder which might negatively impact your metabolism?

      Gluten is hidden in many products. Also, ingredients like corn syrup could be making it harder to lose.

  23. Suzanne Cannon

    Dr. Davis,
    I have been following the wheat belly diet pretty religiously with very little carbs for about 6 weeks. I exercise 5x a week and still am not losing as I should. I am getting my results from my thyroid blood work this week and I found out from my hormone Dr that I have an iodine deficiency. What she also discovered in my blood work was that my testosterone , dhea, and cortisol levels are high all of a sudden. My previous blood work showed they were all low,and adrenals were sluggish, but I was not put on any supplements. They only thing I take is natural progesterone and vitamin supplements. My question is, can my withdrawal from wheat be causing temporary stress to my body causing this surge in dhea, cortisol, and testosterone ? The Dr was concerned that I was going through some type of stress, but I am not. The diet is my only lifestyle change.

    • Dr. Davis

      I doubt it, Suzanne. While there are indeed withdrawal phenomena to deal with when stopping wheat, I don’t believe these odd changes can be explained by it.

      • JoAnne

        I have only eliminated wheat for the past week but just this morning I woke up with a rash on my belly. I have no idea if this is due to losing the wheat or if I need to see my doctor. Did anyone else experience a rash in the early stages of wheat elimination?

  24. Jennifer

    I just bought the wheat belly cookbook and I am floored but what I have read. My daughter is 13 and has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I can’t believe I caused this by what I fed her. “Healthy” Cheerios and whole grain bread….supposidly healthy choices caused this issue…..I feel horrid!! I think it also explains her ‘fantom’ stomach pain that she has had for years and we have always been given antacids for! I too have been fighting a loosing battle with my weight for years and the only real success I had was on the 17 day diet that eliminates all carbs for the first 17 days but then slowly reintroduces them…..the wheat had it’s hooks back in me and I thought it was my lack of willpower that was to blame. Now, I live in a small town in Nova Scotia Canada where choices are limited and so is my budget. I cook for 6 and while my husband is supportive the choices are limited. I just checked out our local bulk store and it looks like I will be making most of my own nut flours. Another big challenge for us is my daughter’s school lunches…..her school is peanut, tree nut, and fish/fish product free……any suggestions?? I did see a rice pizza crust that is wheat and glutton free….is that a choice? Any help or suggestions are more than welcome as we begin our wheat free journey!!

    • Dr. Davis

      Tough situation, Jennifer, with your daughter’s limitations. It means making maximum use of real, single ingredient foods without the peanuts, tree nuts, and fish, such as hunks of cheese, seeds, baked foods made with the ground flour of seeds, meats (with fat), soups, and vegetables and fruit, of course.

      This is a huge mess that agribusiness has cultivated. It is nice people like you and your family who have to try and dodge all the problems they have created.

  25. May L.

    Well this is probably the 5th time I’m attempting to cut out wheat from my diet. I was given your book by my mother-in-law yesterday and after the first few pages I decided THAT’S IT, I need to try again!!

    The main issue I have every time I try to eliminate wheat is that I become ravenously hungry. Now I can understand that it’s because I’m craving wheat and since I can’t have it, I’m trying to fill the void with everything I CAN eat (I never feel satisfied though.) The longest I’ve gone is 12 days and without any signs of that constant hunger going away, I would always just give up and go back to my wheat-eating ways. This time I’m determined to not let myself get discouraged.

    I’m only at the end of day 2 right now. My only real complaint (aside from feeling antsy and craving something I can’t put my finger on) is itchy skin, it’s been driving me crazy all day. Could this be from withdrawing from wheat? My skin is absolutely crawling.

  26. Karen

    I am on day 6 of being wheat-free. I chose to make this change to lose a bit of weight and improve my health some more. I do not have celiac or gluten-intolerance.
    The first few days I was fine with no cravings or feelings of what have been described as withdrawal. The last couple of days I have felt foggy-headed off and on, and my sinuses are a bit stuffy. No cravings at all.
    Is the likelihood, severity, and duration of withdrawal relevant to quantity of wheat consumption before going wheat free and/or intolerance to wheat or celiac versus no issues with wheat?

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, I believe that bigger wheat eaters experience bigger wheat withdrawal. It is not necessary to have celiac or gluten sensitivity to experience withdrawal.

      Beyond this, the determinants of withdrawal are not well mapped out, though I suspect there is a genetic component related to how opiates are handled.

  27. Jessica

    Hi all, I very recently started the wheat belly life style. Three days to be exact. I’ve been feeling very flustered. Literally my face gets flush. Could this be a symptom of the wheat withdrawl. Wheat had been very dominant in my diet previous to three days ago. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Jess

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, it can indeed.

      If so, it should dissipate by about 5 days after your last wheat exposure.

  28. Nancy

    Last summer, I went to a dermatologist for a constantly swollen and very red, itchy right hand … not surprising, threw an eczema label too, gave me a Rx for an expensive steroid ointment and sent me on my way. I decided that was it with western medicine healing and knew I needed to heal from the inside out so went to my acupuncturist. He took one look and said it was circulation and definitely could help and likely cure. As I was making my next appt. he had an article on your Wheat Belly book, so on my next visit we got chatting more about my skin situation along with my IBS. He suggested maybe a wheat sensitivity and to try eliminating it. I was very happy to do it and found it easy to manage. It has been about 5 weeks and while I definitely feel better in some ways, I am feeling a bit discouraged and frustrated to not see more positive improvements by this time with my skin, aches and pains. I’m trying to stay on track with my mind, knowing the many years I was “poisoning” my body and that it will take time. I also feel that much of this is no doubt the toxins eliminating themselves and believe the end result will all be worth it. I know everyone is individual in the timeframe but is this normal during the elimination process … I just need some hope as to if and when I will see results. I have no intentions of going back to wheat where I don’t miss it but just hard to stay upbeat with these challenging conditions and feelings.

    • Dr. Davis

      You might consider eliminating other dietary culprits, one at a time, such as all other grains, dairy, soy, eggs.

  29. Heather

    I just wanted to update (and maybe inspire someone else to try this) that I’m up to 65 lbs lost and feeling pretty great. Most of my skin has healed up, except for a couple little spots on my hands, but I wash my hands often for work. I’ve noticed that I find more relief for my skin when I avoid dairy as well as wheat (and corn).

  30. Susan

    A doctor friend sang the praises of the Wheat Belly Diet for herself and her patients, so I Kindled it, read it and began the next day. I have been 100% wheat free, I’m pretty sure, for just over a week now. I do still consume other things, like brown rice and quinoa (although not daily).

    Last night at a party, I met a woman whose figure I admire. She told me that she has been 100% gluten free for years. I wonder if the weight loss I so desperately crave comes from not ingesting wheat or all kinds “carbs”. The woman told me she is “totally Paleo”, which I find a little unnerving since I am primarily vegetarian. I consume less than 6 oz of chicken or fish total in any given week, sometimes less. I will not return to red meat and would prefer to not up my intact of animal products. (I know Dr Colin Campbell personally.)

    Does anyone have an opinion? My firm intention is to lose at least 15 lbs.

    Thank you.

    • Diane

      Susan,
      If you would like information on how to be vegan or near-vegan and optimize your weight you might read some of Joel Fuhrman’s books. His approach, which achieves fantastic weight and health results, emphasizes eating a nutrient dense diet, which especially is focused on vegetables, some fruits, some beans, nuts and seeds and a modest intacke of whole grains and either no or a modest weekly intake of meats, etc. He does not discuss eliminating wheat specifically, but grains in general are to be whole and only at the very most 20% of calories. It would be entirely reasonable to cut out wheat entirely.

  31. April Mitchell

    Hello,
    My familY has been on the Wheat belly diet for almost three weeks now. When researching, I found that it not only would help me with my various health problems but could help my children. My oldest out of four (8 yrs old) has done very well and his anger issues have lessened and we aren’t struggling as much with homework. Our second (7 yrs old) has always been a pretty easy going kid and has been fine. However, my youngest two (5 & 3 yrs old) were doing better last week, but these last few days they are historical. My 5 year old is on the ground throwing tantrums as if he was two again! They are both crying about everything and anything. I am not sure what to do or think about this. I thought getting rid of wheat was going to help all of us. Are they still withdrawing? I feel better, but am unfortunately stocked up. I also haven’t dropped any weight which is disappointing. I do however only have ten pounds to lose so maybe it will take some time. Any thoughts or advice would be great. Tank you

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        What about other starches like in those gluten free foods? Very high glycemic, so they can be acting like sugar in your two younger children.

        • April Mitchell

          They should not be getting wheat anywhere. I do pack their own lunches to take to school and the school is really strict about not sharing food. I have made some non wheat sweets partially because I like to bake and partially because I feel bad that they haven’t been getting their favorite foods anymore! I haven’t been buying those gluten free packaged goodies because of all those starches and extra stuff. The sugar that has been used is the stevia or honey. It seems like such a minimal amount compared to what they were getting. Do you think it could be these natural sugars?

          • Barbara in New Jersey

            April,

            There has been a recent news reports about an enormous fraud in the honey market with contamination by Chinese wholesalers. Check your honey to see if it is locally produced by beekeepers or a more generic brand that may or may not be contaminated. Check your other foodstuff for country of origin. This might not be noted on the packaging so inquire with the listed company as to their source. The Chinese are notorious for adding nefarious ingredients to products in order to enhance their profitability.

            While it is unusual for a delayed reaction like this, perhaps your 2 youngest are having one or one of them is copying the other in tantrums.

            Also, check if there has been a lot of a new ingredient in their diet. Maybe a previously unknown allergy exists. Hope these suggestions give you some new ways to look at the problem.

  32. April Mitchell

    Thank you for your thoughts. I really appreciate it. We live in Hawaii and use local honey. What can I use to substitute it, syrup? Isn’t that just as bad? And stevia too isn’t so great? We have to have our sweets!! Also, we have tried both pizza recipes and the kids are not thrilled. Does anyone have other pizza dough recipes. We love pizza and movie nights in our house, but they haven’t been so exciting for the kids with not liking the pizza!

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      April,

      Dr. D has provided a list of acceptable sweeteners. Read his book or this blog. WFMF sells an excellent product.
      As for pizza, why don’t you check the paleo or primal food sites for crust recipes if the WBCB ones aren’t to your liking. Check out GourmetGirlCooks, Linda’s Low Carb Recipes, Maria Emmerich’s recipes, NomNomPaleo and Magic Dough (which will cost $3.99 for the recipe). There are many, many recipes to choose from as well as sweet treats for your children.

      • Neicee

        Let’s not forget Mark’s Daily Apple, Elana’s Pantry (heavy on desserts and some not using dairy or nuts). Oddly enough, Yummly can be rigged in their search to exclude allergies, low carb, and really can simply be searched for new ideas. Though celiacs do use some foods we exclude, their Celiac.com website has recipes categorized by country. I’ve enjoyed their sections on French food and Asian. I sometimes pull out recipes from the ‘old days’ and the challenge is to remake them. I bore easily…. :)