Healthy again

Kate posted her story describing years and years of suffering at the hands of wheat, only realized when she rid herself of it.

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.

It makes me shudder to think how many years—decades—people like Kate have to suffer until they finally find the answer. And, as Wheat Belly readers all know, it’s the very same food that enjoys the repeated and enthusiastic endorsement of our own government, the food we are told should dominate our daily diet. People stumble through life, wondering why they feel so awful despite doing everything “right,” prescribed drugs by their doctors, undergoing procedures and surgeries, dying before they should have.

Minus the chief culprit of human illness, modern wheat, we revert back to health that humans were supposed to enjoy without the joint aches, gastrointestinal distress, skin rashes, and mental/emotional effects that now define our society. Yes, humans were meant to thrive, be happy, and be healthy . . . until the Evil Grain came along.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. jess

    I dreamed I ate one cookie last night and was upset that I messed up my diet.
    It is amazing donna how one cookie can mess you up. I can’t get that through the head of my friend who is allegic to weight but does rotation diet and just won’t listen, so I gave up.
    A few years ago, my doctor, an herbalist, put me on a low carb diet. My shortness of breath, indigestion, and acid reflux went away. Came back when I went off the diet, but I didn’t understand why. Now I do. Back on the diet I feel great. But I can see that I have messed up at times. Perhaps the French fries had flour in them to keep them from sticking, maybe the oatmeal did and etc. I am so grateful for the book, Wheat Belly, although I must say, I do not like the name because it is hard to tell people about it without my feeling that maybe they think I am insulting them. So I try to be careful.

    • Rebecca

      So funny, I had dreams about eating foods like bread, real pasta, and cake when I first went gluten free ten years ago( or so), and I figure it was just my personality to dream about this food and get upset or panicky that I ate it also in my dream. It’s nice to know others have the same weird dreams:)

      • jess

        it is funny. and just when i said that i didn’t like the name, wheat belly, i realized that the name is selling books because we are more interested in losing weight than in reading a book that says, wheat is poisonous.

  2. Paula

    I know this is the answer for me…but how do you afford it. Single mom 3 children and a very low income! I need the health improvement….last ER scare doc said ” if I don’t get a handle on these medical problems I will have a stroke” I am doing my best to follow this way of eating but my grocery bill is enormous. Suggestions?

    • Rebecca

      I bought a cheap food processor after spending for monthes 60 bucks on pre ground almond flours, now I buy the blanched almonds in bulk save about 3 dollars ever 500 grams, so about 15 dollars ever month a little difference but it adds up. I would suggest too try whole sale stores that sell in bulk for cheese and vegs like costco you can save up to 100 dollars or more just buying in bulk. Unfortunately hopely this way of eating will help your health and money now being spent on meds can be moved over to food. My husband always says you can be cheap on anything but food, if your cheap on food you pay in health, I really believe him now.

    • HS4

      In addition to Rebecca’s good ideas, you can also do a lot with an inexpensive dehydrator and a big soup pot or slow cooker.

      You can find fairly inexpensive dehydrators, especially online (they start at $30 on Amazon), and make your own veggie chips out of the most nutritious dark greens (such as kale) or root vegetables, etc… saves a lot of money over store-bought chips which are actually quite expensive per pound. You can make your own jerky (without all the junk added to most commercial products) as well as dried fruit (especially for active kids who need more carbs than adults do). A dehydrator can also be used to dry your own herbs from either plants growing in your garden or purchased at the peak of their season in a store or farmer’s market – again much cheaper per unit weight than store-bought. There is a huge amount of information online about using dehydrators, how to dry certain vegetables & fruits, what to season them with, recipes for jerky, etc..

      You can also buy inexpensive (but usually tougher) large cuts of meat and cook them very slowly either in a slow cooker or a big covered pot on the stove, turning them into delicious pot roasts, briskets or stews. You’ll have enough meat for many meals and can freeze portions that won’t be consumed within a few days. Watch for sales on meats at the stores, especially beef.

      Save the bones from roasted chickens (I keep them in a bag in the freezer) and when you’ve got enough you can make your own chicken broth which is far healthier and cheaper than anything you can buy in any store. Cool the broth, skim off the fat (but save it and use it in cooking) and freeze the broth in small portion-size containers which makes them easy to use in recipes. I usually pour some of the broth into several ice cube trays, freeze, and then pop all the frozen cubes into a freezer bag which I keep until needed. This makes it very easy to add small amounts of your nutritious broth to sauces or gravies, or to gently poach vegetables in.

      You can also make chicken (or even turkey) broth from raw, bony parts such as wings, necks and feet (chicken; hard to find but very cheap when you do and loaded with nutrition). Again – these are all inexpensive cuts, produce a lot of broth, and you can serve the broth with the cooked meat.
      Beef bone broth can also be made inexpensively if you can find a good source for marrow and knuckle bones. Beef bones should be roasted first, before being put into the soup pot.

      A delicious yogurt ‘cheese’ can be made very simply and inexpensively from plain yogurt (buy quart sizes or larger, much cheaper per unit weights than the ubiquitous 6-oz containers) which is strained either through multiple layers of cheesecloth or coffee filters. The liquid produced is the whey and is nutritious – use in recipes or mix into smoothies or other compatible liquids. The ‘cheese’ that is left over is a soft creamy cheese that can be used in recipes. spread on some of Dr D’s delicious baked goods, made into an herbed dip for veggie sticks, and so on.

      I’ve also noticed that with low carb or even paleo meals, for some reason it’s generally much easier and cheaper to keep them simple, especially with the heavy emphasis on vegetables. I find that I’m going through vegetables thoroughly and there is rarely any waste – I use every bit of them instead of some always rotting in the back of the fridge. 

    • Faith

      Right there with you. For now, we’ve been skipping the replacement type foods (biscuits, cookies, cakes, etc) and sticking with proteins (lots and lots of eggs!), veggies, and limited fruit (I’ll split an apple with one of my kids and dunk it in peanut butter for a snack). You got some great advice already, but I’ll add that if you have a crockpot, take advantage of it for some of the tougher cuts of meat – I like to rub a pork roast or whole chicken with some herbs/spices (just poke in your spice cupboard for things that smell good with it), sear it, then cook all day on low, and shred. That meat is usable over veggies, salad, in soup, stew, whatever. Don’t forget to take advantage of frozen veggies – they’re often cheaper. I’ll make a big vat of veggie soup with some of the tired or leftover bits sitting around in my freezer and fridge – I’ll saute up an onion or two and a stalk or two of celery, several cups of bits of veggies, add some broth, water, tomato to cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes on the stovetop. Nuts – I keep peanut butter on hand; anything else is a bonus/treat. Don’t forget that even if you can’t do it perfectly, the benefits are still boundless. :)

    • Eating well is expensive–and the food industry knows people will pay for gluten free products. While I don’t really have any tips to help you save money at the grocery store I can share my take. I have a dear friend with MS and she spends a lot of money on her health. Her health is very delicate and one day she explained that if it’s money going toward her health it’s being spent wisely in her opinion. This applies to buying good quality food, acupuncture, massage, trips to see her specialist, yoga classes, gym membership, etc. In my family, we have taken this mindset toward our own grocery bill and feel that eating well is an investment in our future health. It’s really true – if you don’t take care of your health now sooner or later you will pay for it.

    • MsG

      These are a few things I’ve learned….

      Cheese, meat and fresh fruits and veggies are cheaper at SAMs or Costco unless you shop the sales and buy in bulk from grocery stores. Kroger has a rewards program that will send coupons based on what you eat. We’ve been getting meat, veggie and organic coupons lately. Yay! If I think we aren’t going to eat leftovers I put them in a quart ziplock and in the freezer. Soups and most meats freeze great. I keep a bowl of boiled eggs in the fridge for snacks and salad. I also avoid prepackaged salad. It’s a pain to come home from the store and do food prep but that saves money. I recycle pickle jars to keep my almond flour fresh and in the freezer. Amazon has subscribe and save services for pantry things we use the most. The price is much better on almond meal and baking supplies than the grocery store. I want my 3 kid to eat healthy and I understand how you feel. We’ve been on one income for a while and it’s hard to pass up cheap Mac and cheese that you know they will eat and take a chance on better quality food. Good luck! This blog, satisfying eats and gourmetgirl are all helpful.

      • Barbara

        Yes! Once the diet is understood, then the process is easy. We have forgotten that homemade is simple and easy. Tastes better too.

        Like our ancestors, you don’t waste anything! Your food bill is MUCH LESS because you are not buying the packages of processed foods. You are buying the simple, unprocessed item with out enhancements. For example, the set up costs to make your own marinades and dressings are items that last a long time, so their price per serving is alot less than already bottled. Better yet, no high fructose corn syrup! Olive, coconut and similar oils may be more expensive than corn oil, but you are using alot less when you saute and stir fry instead of deep fry. While I prefer fresh veggies, sometimes frozen is alot less expensive than fresh. Worth it to compare prices each week.

        Others have mentioned coupons, bulk buying and shopping specials. After the set up costs, I saved enough money to actually buy an ice cream maker! My next goal is a dehydrator since I object to paying about $10 per pound for readymade veggie chips. By doing this, I have made it a fun game! Most of the ready made, grab and go types of foods are very simple to make and even your kids can make these snacks.

        You will be amazed on how your are spending so much LESS on OTC pain killers, cold meds, acid reflux pills and the like. You will also be amazed that your family will be eating less food per meal and alot less snacking while they are feeling satisfied with the foods provided.

  3. Kathy Hussey

    Hello Dr Davis, It’s catch-up time. I had first written to you in Sept of 2012 after having been wheat free for a little over a month. I told you about the debillitating migraines I had suffered with since the mid 1980′s and how shortly after losing the wheat, the migraines disappeared. Well it’s now been 6 months ( that’ s the length of time that nutritionist who analyzed your book said these type of low-carb “diets” last) and I have never been better! My weight loss is now 31 lbs and that is exactly where I need to be. I never counted a single calorie, I’m eating very simple meals, lean meats,poultry,some fish,vegetables, a little fruit,eggs,all of the the foods my body needs. A few weeks ago I made a four day trip to Georgia to visit my family. Well we crammed a lot of activities in that short time and needless to say no one was doing any cooking! I screwed up royally! First night there , after having nothing but a yogurt at breakfast earlier in the morning, then the flight where I politely turned down the little biscotti they offered, then the hour drive from the airport to the school where my son worked, on to the local pizza buffet where the school was having a fund-raiser and my grandson thought I should be there since afterwards we were going back to the school to see him perform in the school play and then over to the high school to see my granddaughter perform in the Winterguard. Do you see where this is going? I had pizza, ( first mistake), the next day it was back to school to help out at the concession, selling cake-pops that the high-school girls made to raise money.Do you know what cake pops are? I found out pretty quickly and I’m here to tell you, they are delicious! The cravings came back so quickly it was unbelievable! I actually ate a hamburger and terrible French fries made there at the school. It was awful,and I couldn’t seem to stop myself! And of course my old friend Mr Migraine was back! I was miserable for the next few days and couldn’t wait to get back home. The point of all of this is to say that the woman who did all the analysis on your book and tried to dispute everything is wrong! There ARE withdrawal symptoms from getting off the wheat! I had migraines for six days straight when I first started the wheat-free life, the cravings come back, just like a junkie looking for their next fix! I was out of control! So there is some reason for the cravings. Something was surely wrapping itself around the receptors in my brain! Lol! I am back on track now and it only took a couple of days and sure enough the cravings were gone again. I do not ever want to feel that way again and I will continue to be a believer in everything you say Dr Davis! Critics and non-believers be damned! Don’t discount this lifestyle until you at least give it a chance. Can so many of us who have made this change be wrong? I don’t think so. Thank you again Dr. Davis for helping me change my life!

    • Geoffrey

      Kathy, I’m the same way, it’s all or nothing, no such thing as moderation once those high carbs get in my body and the carb roller coaster begins. It really is a physical thing – all about blood sugar and insulin – and I just start swinging up and down.

      I have to be strict with this and at times it’s challenging. We went to a friend’s house for dinner last night, always a tricky situation. I had told them before that I was not eating grains, or wheat, or sugar, but that I didn’t want them to make changes in the menu just for me, and that I would make do with whatever they served. Most people want to please their guests so when they hear this most people will make accommodations and they told me it was not a problem for them. So the first thing I hear is, “we got rice crackers for you,” and I had to decline them because I don’t eat rice crackers, too high in sugar. Always a bit uncomfortable when they make assumptions about what you will eat on your in their mind gluten free diet. They also had cheeses out, which don’t agree with my stomach, esp later in the day/evening, plus to me they are sweet tasting and that can start cravings for more cheese. So I didn’t touch the cheese either, and this was easy. I still didn’t know what was for dinner, but was getting very hungry. Then when they serve the chicory salad with a roquefort cheese already tossed with the chicory, which I ate because I didn’t want to be too disagreeable, I found out they were serving beef bourguignon for dinner. Now I know that beef bourguignon typically is made with flour to thicken the juice, and I was already going to say no to the pasta they were serving the beef bourguignon on, but I didn’t have it in me to ask if they added flour to the beef bourguignon. I just didn’t want to be that difficult of a guest, and plus I was hungry, needing food, and if they did add the flour then it would seem like I shouldn’t eat it. I assumed they added flour because if they didn’t then I think I would have heard about it. So I ate the beef bourguignon without saying anything and the broth wasn’t thick, so there didn’t appear to be much flour in it, but I still didn’t know. Then of course there was dessert, baked pears topped with super sugary syrup, which I was able to say no to because sugar can start me on that carb roller coaster, and my palate would remember that so called “nice” sweet taste the day after and it would want it replicated, and so on…..

      So these interpersonal, food related situations are challenging for me. Going out to a restaurant is much easier than going to a meal at someone’s house. If I was closer with them I would probably feel more comfortable saying even more, but given our relations, I didn’t have it in me to push it that far. Because if I did confirm that there was flour in the beef bourguignon then if I was going to eat, they would have had to go into the refrigerator and found who knows what.

      I’m happy to report though that I’m feeling okay today, a little crampy, but no major digestive issues, and overall I’m happy with refusing the foods that I did. To me, the evening was still a success as I controlled most of what was served to me, regardless of how it made it others feel.

  4. Sandy

    Yesterday, a friend who had a gift certificate to our local Japanese restaurant invited me to join her for lunch. I knew better but did not want to seem ungrateful and decline the invitation. There was an extensive menu and I searched all four pages to find something I felt I could eat with the least digestive problems later on.

    Unfortunately, within an hour I could feel the rumblings in my stomach and intestines which would later lead to a mild diahhrea. What really surprised me though, this morning I woke up feeling sluggish, with my face breaking out and and an overnight weight gain of 1 1/2 pounds which I think was probably caused by the ingestion of soy sauce and MSG.

    Needless to say, I will not be making this mistake again. My friend will just have to understand.

  5. Joann

    Dr. Davis…..would you please address being vegan on the Wheat Belly Diet? I would really love to hear your thoughts on this. I have been wheat-free for two weeks now, and am feeling so much better, but am finding my options as to what I can eat extremely limited. Thank you so much getting this knowledge out there….it takes courage to do what you’re doing. I admire you so much.

    • Jeff

      For genuine health, vegan is impossible, unless you’re willing to accept taking animal-sourced supplements for the nutrients that cannot be obtained in plant matter. Dr. Davis pointed this out in his Track Your Plaque book. In Wheat Belly, he speaks only of alternate protein sources (p214), but ultimately, vitamin B12, and omega-3 DHA and EPA can only come into the human diet through animal sources.

  6. stephen ottridge

    I’m flying this week and have requested gluten free meals. Does anyone have any experience of these?

    • Boundless

      I googled:
      airline gluten free meal low OR carb
      and got an entirely unsurprising eyeful.

      A random airline meal is at serious risk of not actually being gluten free.

      Unless they offer “low carb” (not “low cal”) meals, you may assume that even if it’s GF, it’s going to be sky-high GI. Sky high is what airlines do, after all :).

      Bottom line: take your own food.
      Personally, I’d pack along some nuts, cheese and maybe a Quest bar or two.

      • Boundless

        The airlines consider themselves to be in the transportation business, much as the US railroads did prior to Fred Harvey.

        Indeed, the more elegant accommodations on 1950s and 1960s airlines were due in part to competing with railroad service levels (and funded by CAB price controls on airfare). The competition that arose when the CAB went away (by which time passenger rail was AMTRAK and irrelevant, caused quality food service to be an early casualty. The TSA, of course, has now further changed the focus or air travel to being sheep herding.

        If people specifically in the food service business (restaurants) can’t get it right (and they can’t), it’s going to be a very long time indeed before transportation-served meals get it right. Pack your carry-on accordingly. On international flights, plan to consume it all before Customs, because food is often blocked there.

        • HS4

          Boundless is right. My family and I have flown several times overseas in the past year; my daughter and I ordered GF meals round trip each time. They were nearly inedible and always way very high glycemic index foods. We also take foods with us whenever we traveled and that is what we ended up relying on – nuts, cheese & veggie sticks (first flight only), coconut chip, jerky, couple of apples, etc… Outside of the apples, we’ve never had problems brining in the other foods to another country – they are all considered to be ‘processed’ and thus permitted. The apples were raw so we made sure to eat them before landing.

  7. Fanny Tish

    Question: Has anyone been to Japan?
    What recommendations do you have as far as what foods to avoid? (other than soy sauce, noodles…)
    thanks!

  8. Senja

    Dr. Davis:
    I need help. I originally wrote last year some time. I gave up wheat 6/8/12. I immediately lost 16 lbs in the first month and have gone on to lose a total of 32. I was feeling very good and all my lipids were coming down. I will never know, however, how far they could have come down following my new regime, because on 10/17/12, I started experiencing lightheadedness and dizziness while driving home from work. Ended up in the ER, they did an ultrasound to r/o pulmonary embolism and/or aneurysm and that was negative. They kept me overnight and the next day did a stress test, which showed anomalies, so then was told that I needed to have an angiogram and ended up with a stent as I had an artery that apparently was 90% blocked. They said it wasn’t a question of “if” I’d have a heart attack, rather when. I’m sure they all feel vindicated as they have been trying to get me on statins for literally years. I am a 55 y.o. woman, T2 diabetic (diagnosed about 23 years ago), overweight, the usual. However, once I quit the wheat, my A1c done in I believe August was 6.2, down from 7.3! My endo had told me that if I got it down to 5.9, he would quit recommending a statin. On the day that they did angiogram, my total cholesterol was 167, down from 199 (I think, not exactly sure), my triglycerides were within normal range and my LDL was like 101? My HDL I believe was 36, and that has always been low.
    Since I’ve been on the statin since October 2012, I have experienced INTENSE cravings for “bad” carbs which I am ashamed to admit I have given in to a few times, and I can’t explain why, except it feels like “I MUST” eat. I have not been working out like I had been and I’ve gained 3 lbs. Now 3 lbs doesn’t seem like a lot, but I am afraid of eating myself back up to where I originally started (which was much higher than the last 32 lbs I have lost since quitting wheat).
    I actually had a piece of cake the other day, which I haven’t had since June 2012. I then the next day had so much running nose, my sister commented on it when I was talking to her on the phone. I had to admit I had given in and had a piece of cake. The beast has been awoken. The beast had been sleeping for several months, and now I’m feeling totally out of control.
    I want to get off statins. My doctors have all said no, and I’ll have to be on them for the rest of my life. I tried to talk to the cardio about the cravings I’ve been experiencing and he just looked at me like I was crazy and said statings wouldn’t cause cravings.
    You’re my last chance. I promised my sister that I would write you and get your feedback on if I can quit statins and how. All my family/friends think that this it is medically indicated, I should not get off them. I personally believe they are ruining my life. Any feedback you can provide would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you Dr. Davis.

  9. Jeff

    Ultimately, YOU are in charge of your own health. CW (conventional wisdom) doctors push statins far too much. Find one that believes in prevention and cures, rather than treating symptoms.

    • Paula2

      I stopped my statin after reading so much info here and else where on the web, they caused me muscle soreness. Plus I’m not sure if its a side effect but I was having trouble remembering things. Like someone would tell me something and moments later I could not remember what was said. I’ve only been off for 2 weeks and the muscle soreness is gone.

      I didn’t talk to my Dr I decided for myself I didn’t want/need it. Next I want off my Cymbalta, but I hear the withdraw from it is very difficult so I don’t want to do it without the dr knowing about it. Not to mentions it’s crazy expensive. I have to be honest though it did help me through a rough time I was going through about 6 years ago. I ask my Dr about 6 months ago to go off it and he said he didn’t think it was a good idea, I was feeling good because I take it was his response. But once I’m on this plan for a few more months I’m telling him I’m going off he is either with me or I find someone else.

  10. John

    I have used an antibiotic salve for adult acne and rosacae for 20 years. Since I have gone…90% wheat free, I haven’t had to use the salve I used daily before. No painful pimples, no pustules, clear skin and complexion. My dermatologist who I used to see every 6-12 months now says I only need to see her every other year for a skin check. There have been no other changes in my diet or life style so it has to be the omission of wheat in my diet. Once in a while when dining out, I would have a slice of bread or eat something that is breaded & fried, but that’s it. Also I have lost 15 lbs and continue to lose weight. I am so happy with my state of health I could cry. Thanks to Dr. for writing the wheat belly book.

  11. Stacie

    Re: Senja: I agree with Jeff. No noe has to “let” you stop taking a drug. If you do not want to take them, then don’t. Also, the majority of heart attacks occur in arteries that are slightly obstructed. These obstructions will not show up on an angiogram or stress test. These smaller plaques tend to be more unstable and are prone to rupture. When they do, it is very damaging to the heart muscle, because that part of it has gone from getting almost 100% blood flow to none. Larger plaques, on the other hand, are more stable, and the heart muscle has adjusted/adapted to less blood flow. Your heart can also grow corollary arteries to compensate. I do not know how they could have said that you “definitely” would have had a heart attack. Also, bottom line, every statin trial for secondary prevention conducted since 2005 shows no benefit, an epic failure.

  12. Paula2

    So I can really eat say 2 eggs for breakfast, with some berries, a big salad with veggies, turkey, cheese, sunflower seeds and ranch dressing(not measured out) , a meat, veggies and salad for dinner and eat almonds and/or cheese with a meal or as a snack? I really don’t need to be concerned with calories? Measure? Weigh?

    I guess I just need some reassurance that I’m doing this right. I just can’t wrap my head around It. I’m just enjoying my meals way to much for this to be a “diet”, which I hate to call it because it truly is not!!

    I’ve been following Wheat Belly for 2 weeks, I’ve lost 7.5 lbs, I feel great, now. The first full week was difficult, with headaches and feeling tired/ sluggish. But it’s like I woke up on day 8 and felt GREAT! Full of energy, no aches or pains. It is remarkable. But almost from day one I didn’t crave food and I work for a company that sells potato chips, cookies, crackers, candy bars, etc………so even with temptation all around me I have no interest in any of it.

    • Dr. Davis

      Nope, nope, and nope!

      You are doing it, Paula! Liberated from the appetite- and impulse-control of modern wheat, along with rejecting the nonsensical advice to cut fat, you can live your life at your normal weight, eating healthy food and not worrying about issues like calories or fat intake.

  13. Diana

    Dear Dr Davis ,
    I have a 13 year old daughter that recently has gone wheat-free , and is trying to persuade the
    rest of us to go wheat-free with her as well. She has bought your cookbook, and follows it religiously.
    But, i do have some concerns.
    You see, since she has given up everything that contains wheat , she has been consuming a lot
    of rice ( organic rice cakes, to be exact) and i’m wondering if this is okay.
    she consumes it on a daily basis, and i worry that she might gain weight, or experience some health
    issues, that also occur with wheat consumption.
    She has also not been eating at lunch time in her school , since she avoids anything that has wheat,
    or any type of starch. I worry about her , because she only eats a rice cake before she leaves to school,
    and doesn’t eat anything else throughout the day , until she gets home, which is usually around 3:30 or 5:30 .

    My question is Dr, if it is safe for her to follow this “Wheat Belly Diet” ?
    And if it is better for her health, What foods should she be eating more of?
    She already eats plenty of fruits and vegetables after school, but what do you recommend
    that she eats during the day?
    There is not much variety, since she has cut wheat from her diet,
    and from reviewing your cookbook, the recipes seem to be very high in calories.
    I’m just a concerned parent, and i want what’s best for my daughter. and i really don’t
    want to see this backfire on her, since she seems it is the best thing to do to be healthy.
    Please Respond, and Thank you for your time.
    - Diana

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Diana-

      The solutions are really so simple, though the behavior and emotions of a teenage girl may not be!

      No, the rice cakes are a very poor replacement for wheat. This would be like being wheat-free and replacing it with candy–hardly a healthy food.

      ALL HUMANS can follow this lifestyle, as it essentially mimics the lifestyle followed by humans for 99.6% of the time we have walked the earth. The notion that grains are somehow essential for health is a fiction that only got its root in the past few years.

      • Cynthia

        Diana – you should read Wheat Belly yourself and you will see that there are many healthy food choices that don’t need much preparation. As for calories, that should not be the issue if you daughter is avoiding grains (she should cut out the rice crackers – useless sugar calories). why is she not bringing lunch to school? she can bring a hard-boiled egg or egg salad with sliced veggies or sliced cheese. What about full-fat plain yogurt (sugar free). You would do well to read the entire book and read many other peoples’ testimonies about eating very healthfully while losing, if not maintaining, weight. I personally gave up wheat over a year ago and lost weight – have not gained anything by eating meat, veggies, eggs, cheeses, the occasional fruit and delicious Wheat Belly desserts! (packed a mocha brownie in my lunch today…yum!)

  14. Phoebe

    Hi everyone,

    I enjoy and appreciate all of your comments so much. I’m happy to become part of the community.

    I have had severe panic disorder for over 20 years. It’s fairly well controlled with SSRI’s but it’s always still there, lingering beneath the surface. And then there’s the occasional major break-through panic attack. And then the generalized anxiety that it turns into. I also have ulcerative colitis which flares it’s angry head a couple of times a year. I also have high cholestrol, really high tryglycerides, and am about 30 pounds overweight.

    I overheard a couple of gluten-free (Celiac) co-workers talking about how, when they went gluten-free, their anxiety and panic significantly disappeared. This piqued my interest considerably. So, I started researching and came upon Dr. Davis’ book and have now been gluten, wheat, grain, and sugar free as well as low-carb (low GI) for 6 days. I check all labels and am vigilant about everything that crosses my lips.

    I know it hasn’t been very long at all but in reading many of the posts on this blog, it seems like a lot of people notice an incredible improvement in symptomology and weight loss immediately. This hasn’t been the case for me. I’ve lost about a pound and a half but so far that’s the only change. Oh, and my appetite has diminished significantly. Both wonderful, great things for which I’m grateful! However, not much has improved with regards to my sleep, energy level, aches/pains, or anxiety.

    I’m going to be patient and not go back to wheat, gluten, grains, and sugar because the research has convinced me that there’s nothing beneficial to any of them.

    I’m just wondering if others have experienced a slower start but experienced greater success the longer they stay on. I was really hoping that the weight and the anxiety results would be practically instantaneous (thought I fully understand that’s wishful thinking).

    Thanks so much,
    Phoebe

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Phoebe–

      Love your name! But, yes, long-term commitment can bring large benefits.

      However, there are reasons for why weight loss does not always develop in some people; the list of reasons to consider are discussed here:http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/10/i-lost-the-wheat-but-didnt-lose-weight-2/

      The most common cause is hypothyroidism, though in your case medications may need to be considered. Antidepressants, for instance, commonly block weight loss.

      • Phoebe

        Thanks Dr Davis :-)

        Since I’m really in it for the panic/anxiety and ulcerative colitis, I’ll just be content with the benefits I am seeing and hope for weight loss in the long run. I’m just not yet ready to wean myself from the SSRI as my panic was very nearly making me agoraphobic prior to my taking them. I don’t want to go back to that dark world ever again. Perhaps after I’ve been wheat-gluten-grain-sugar-free and low-carb (low GI) for a while I’ll begin to feel confident enough to decrease and totally wean from the SSRI. Till then, I guess I’ll just live with my ‘wheat belly’ and appreciate all of the other glorious benefits. Since the brain seems to take the longest to heal, I’m just going to be patient with the panic/anxiety, as well.

        Luckily I have the rest of my life to heal! What a great feeling!

        Thanks again,
        Phoebe