Wheat and endometriosis

Female followers of the Wheat Belly arguments who have endometriosis often report marked relief with wheat elimination. I, too, have witnessed this, though it is outside of my day-to-day experience (in heart issues).

There is a recent study that, while retrospective, suggests that the success we have been observing is not an accident. Here’s what they found (full abstract here):

Gluten-free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms?
Marziali M, Venza M, Lazzaro S, Lazzaro A, Micossi C, Stolfi VM.

Pelvic pain affects 4% to 39% of women and accounts for 10-40% of all outpatient gynecologic visits. The etiology of painful endometriosis has not been fully delineated. No studies have been published concerning gluten-free diet administered to achieved relief of painful symptoms endometriosis-related. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effectiveness for the outcomes of endometriosis-related pain and quality of life of gluten-free diet in a follow-up of 12 months in patients with chronic pelvic pain endometriosis-related.

Two hundred seven patients with severe painful endometriosis-related symptoms entered the study. At enrollment, the baseline values of painful symptoms were assessed by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for dysmenorrhoea [painful menses], non-menstrual pelvic pain, and dyspareunia [painful sexual intercourse]. According to VAS, pain severity was scored from 0-10; 0 indicating the absence of pain, and 1-4, 5-7 and 8-10 mild, moderate and severe, respectively. A gluten-free diet was submitted to all patients and a new evaluation was performed after 12 months of diet. Student’s t-test was used for statistical analysis.

At 12 month follow-up, 156 patients (75%) reported statistically significant change in painful symptoms (P<0.005), 51 patients (25%) reported no improvement of symptoms. No patients reported worsening of pain. A considerable increase of scores for all domains of physical functioning, general health perception, vitality, social functioning, and mental health was observed in all patients (P<0.005).

CONCLUSION:
In our experience, painful symptoms of endometriosis decrease after 12 months of gluten free diet.

75% of women responded favorably: I found that astounding. Anyone who has experienced endometriosis or witnessed the suffering of someone with the condition appreciates how profoundly it can affect health, including chronic and often incapacitating pain.

Now why wheat/gluten elimination would lead to a reduction or elimination of endometriosis symptoms is not clear. Is it due to the removal of the gliadin protein that is responsible for abnormal bowel permeability that triggers inflammation in other regions of the body? Is it due to the removal of wheat germ agglutinin that, upon entering the bloodstream, triggers an array of inflammatory and direct toxic effects (in addition to being a direct intestinal toxin)? Could it be due to one or more of the 10,000+ other proteins in wheat, many of which have undergone changes in amino acid sequence due to the manipulations of genetics research and agribusiness? To my knowledge, why such an extravagant benefit develops with endometriosis is not understood.

Should we wait several years for the science to catch up and tell women suffering with the pain and disability of endometriosis to continue to eat wheat, take their drugs, and continue to submit to laparoscopic and other surgeries to remove the abnormal tissue? Given the benign nature of wheat elimination, given the many other and often unexpected health benefits of wheat elimination, given that it is without side-effects nor expense, I say there is NO reason to delay: Lose the wheat.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Boundless

    > 75% of women responded favorably …

    I can’t find the full text of the study, but that’s particularly noteworthy if, as I suspect, the diet was not otherwise low-carb, and free of other unusually toxic foods (like fructose).

  2. melanes

    The authors of that study noted there have been no studies about endometriosis and gluten intolerance, and that is not entirely true. Dian Shepperson Mills wrote a book, Endometriosis: A key to healing through nutrition, in which she discusses the link. She further cites a study going back to 1994 that suggested a link between endometriosis and celiac disease. She recommends that endometriosis sufferers adopt an anti-inflammatory diet which includes elimination of wheat, dairy and high fat meats. It is because of this book that I went gluten free three years ago. I saw a marked reduction not only in my endo pain but in the reduction in other symptoms that I didn’t know were related. I now rarely experience the frequent migraine headaches, joint pain, hot flashes, brain fog, constant sinus pain and pressure, and chronic fatigue. While it would be difficult to prove an exact cause-effect relationship between celiac disease/gluten intolerance and endometriosis, it is clear that a malfunctioning immune system is at play. More research is certainly needed to understand it, but it is unlikely that such a simple solution will win over the money making laparospic surgeries and pharmaceuticals.

  3. Marci

    I don’t know why this clearly PROSPECTIVE study is labeled retrospective. The real problem with the study is the lack of a control group.

  4. Grace

    I fully believe there is a link. Since removing wheat from my diet, ALL my abdominal pain (both endometriosis and intestinal pain) is gone. OH how I wish I had known this years ago!!! I not only have bad endometriosis and infertility, but I also had uterine fibroids that required a hysterectomy (which during that surgery my left ureter was severed which they didn’t realize, so I went three weeks with a left severed ureter before they figured out urine was dumping into my abdomen which caused me to need a nephrostomy for three months and then a reimplantation of the ureter into the bladder and a bladder hitch – but that’s all another story). Bottom line is, I think had I known to eliminate wheat 15 years ago, I would not have been infertile nor needed all that awful surgery. My intestines were left a mess as well from not only scar tissue but the urine in my abdomen caused my bowels to basically shut down and I have suffered effects of that ever since, and it was 10 years ago. I was on zelnorm (now taken off the market) and stool softeners and all kinds of things since that surgery. But NO MORE! Six months of wheat free and the pain from the scar tissue, endometriosis and IBS are absolutely gone. It’s truly like a miracle. I felt so OLD for so long. I would cry because of the pain, take Advil and wonder if this was going to be for the rest of my life. And if I felt this old at 49, what was life going to be like at 70 or 80 (if I make it that long). I look young but felt so, so old. But the pain is GONE now and I feel like I haven’t felt in probably 15 years! Sadly I’m not losing weight (very frustrating, although I’m not that terribly overweight – just would like those last 10 pounds gone), but my quality of life has increased so dramatically there is no way I will go back to eating wheat!! I’m only sad that perhaps I would have been able to have children had I had this information 15 years ago…

    • Grace,

      I hope to God you get this message. Grace our stories are identical. I had a severed ureter after a hysterectomy at age 38. I had a reimplantation surgery, I had the psoas hitch….now after a lap have found out I have endometriosis; of which I had never had symptoms or problems from before. My lap was Monday and I had been seeing a natural nurse practitioner who after testing diagnosed a wheat, dairy allergy and leaky gut syndrome. I was getting off gluten in the midst of another what I called “pain episode” that sent me to the hospital with blinding pain. (I wore a nephrostomy tube for 3 months, have passed several kidney stones, had psoas hitch reimplant surgery and this endo pain was way worse). Anyway, I am meeting with the surgeon tomorrow and he is recommending taking my remaining ovaries out and clearing out whatever endo he can; but I’m not sure my body can withstand anymore. If there is any way in theworld, I’m praying that I can find you on the internet and we can connect somehow. I really need some help and encouragement and advice. I cannot believe the gluten stuff is so connected. I am 40 years old now, am a mom to two beautiful girls, have a loving supportive husband and I just want a whole life; I want to live. Just live. Please message back here, and maybe by some grace of God I can get a hold of you and ask you what you have done to get help besides more surgery. I want to make the right decision so I can be fully there for my husband and kids.

  5. Lissa

    Autoimmune disorder IS the disease.

    Endometriosis … and PCOS, Hashimoto’s hypothyroiditis, Crohn’s Disease, IBS, multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, psoriasis, and so many more … these are SYMPTOMS of autoimmune disorders.

    One can merely treat the symptoms, with drugs and surgery, or one can treat the CAUSE of the symptoms – and a major trigger is wheat, and also cow’s milk and soy – and thus achieve relief from the symptoms.

    Why is this concept so hard for modern medicine to grasp? Or is it because they can’t make a profit from prescribing lifestyle modifications? Or that they would lose so much of their patient base?

    • Greg Shea

      I believe in the idea that “certain circumstances in our iives happen for a reason”. Yesterday was such an epiphany for me.
      I met a lady, here in Victoria, BC, who has not only stopped the progression of MS, but has actually reversed it! She is virtually symptom free. This did not come easy and required a very strict regimen of diet and exercise. I have several friends with MS and can’t wait to talk about her journey.
      The medical profession as a whole, agrobusinesses and big pharma are responsible for our current mantra of “managing our conditions/diseases”. This puts money in their pockets and secures their future employment. This is ridiculously sad.
      I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes about two years ago, then I read Dr. Davis’ book and heard Dr. Lustig talk about high fructose corn syrup. The elimination of wheat and HFCS has had huge benefits for me!
      But, I digress.
      I want to relate my new friend’s “solution” to MS, which you so correctly categorize as an autoimmune disease. Many may not agree, and certainly most of the current medical “professionals” will not, but here is how she has liberated herself from the painful symptoms of MS
      after nearly 40 years with the disease.
      no wheat , no dairy , at least 21 000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day (divided equally in 3 meals)
      Reading the literature today, ironically some from the LiveStrong Foundation, I am certain she is hitting the nail on the head. And how much Vit D3 do the FDA and Health Canada recommend?
      Up to 1000 IU.
      On a very much related note, yesterday a “respected” health journal in Canada published a “colour coded map of obesity trends” in the country. Sadly, they excluded the Indigenous people from their data, and they have as much obesity, if not more, due to their poverty and lack of funding.
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/02/27/obesity-canada.html
      It is telling that one spokesman for this study says “This may help us monitor regional trends”. That’s what we do, monitor and manage, not try to prevent and cure.
      Here is the media release from UBC who did the study.
      http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2013/02/27/canadian-adult-obesity-at-historic-highs/
      If the FDA and Health Canada are not going to protect us, then we have to take on that responsibility.

      Greg Shea (Lake Cowichan)

      • Dr. Davis

        I agree, Greg.

        This is our way of seizing control back from the agencies that have FAILED us. At this point, how can we forgive agencies that continue to tell us to “eat more healthy whole grains” in the face of extensive genetic changes. The evidence is accumulating: Geneticists are doing little more than bungling up the genetic code, having no idea what happens when they subject crops and animals to their manipulations. But that doesn’t stop them from selling the fruits of their genetic labor at the grocery store tomorrow.

      • derp

        Greg,
        you do have heard about Terry Wahls and her diet? She is a physician who reversed her MS almost completely with diet. Google her name and look at her TED talk. You are on to something.

      • Dian Miller

        Greg,

        On the subject of MS, I was diagnosed in 1988, demyelination in the brain shown in a MRI. 10 years later, I was free of symptoms. I had lost vision in one eye for a few months, dizzy and fatigued. Just for anyone reading this thread, this was all before, the wheat connection was even being discussed, in fact this was pre-internet! How did I find the information I needed for my self journey to healing? A site called Prodigy – a forum where people who thought they could drastically improve themselves who were suffering from MS, and a book called Who Said So? by Rachel Breslow . My approach would have made focus group people shudder. I did EVERYTHING that was ever mentioned to improve MS. I drastically Improved my diet, I learned to manage stress (the biggest) I took supplements under guidance of a nutritionist I used BVT therapy, yeah it hurt, but it worked, and it would always get me when other MS suffererers would say “I would never do that” Guess what? I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life like that. 15 years later my MRI’s were clear. What did the neurologist say? Not much. I walked away from the University of MD and I had never adopted their 10K a year drug therapies. Maybe I caught it in time, I don’t know. For awhile, I was irked that my doctor wasn’t thrilled to death over my recovery, but then I realized, why do I need his approval? I DO know it’s 2013 and I am 56 and still very well. The University had told me in 1988 “I had about ten good years left” In 2004 I went on to participate in Cat 4 bike racing for about 5 years. I didn’t break any records, but I am ok with that. Looking back, for me, not managing stress, working above and beyond 40 hours (more like 50- 60) for a prolonged period and poor nutrition , I was running on empty, is what brought it on. Conclusion – I don’t think wheat free alone could have accomplished all that.
        I was not wheat free, but like Victoria, I made a major change and the most important change was “I believed in what I was doing was helping, iI was not looking for a drug to “fix it”. Your belief is the biggest ingredient for success. Sometimes the improvement was so minor, I kept a log. The log looked like this – 2 weeks and no dizzy spells. fatigue – rated from 1- 10.

        Dian M in Harrisburg Pa

  6. Grace

    Endometriosis is a disease of the entire endocrine system. The endocrine system has 13 different organs throughout the human body that control hormone production. That’s why endometrial cells are in men and why they travel to places other than the uterus. If the author is saying that wheat disables the entire endocrine system to the point of causing endometrial cells to emit constant pain signals I think it’s a stretch.
    If the author is saying that bloating and discomfort is caused by genetically modified organisms in wheat creating periodic toxic reactions in the digestive internal organs I can believe it.
    If the author is trying to assert that endometriosis pain can be stopped or satisfactorily diminished by entirely eliminating wheat from the diet he shouldn’t even think about maintaining such thoughts.
    Large amounts of genetically modified soy, GMO’d preservatives in food, caffeine, sugar, and veggies/meat with hormones and pesticides can also cause endometriosis-related pain and bloating due to water retention, cellular necrosis, and nausea.

    • Grace

      Just for the record, the Grace who posted above is not me. We are two different Graces! Maybe I should change the name I post under to something else.

      I posted the info farther up about my personal story with endo and fibroids.

        • Grace

          Thanks Doctor! I don’t know too many of us but seems there are quite a few on this blog! Maybe I’ll be Grace in IL from now on? I’ll have to think about that one….

          • I am desperately wishing to get a hold of the grace with the postitive wheat free endo recovery story. I am flabbergasted the two of us both experienced severed ureters in hysterectomy followed by such pain after and now endo pain unresolved from our botched hysteretomies. Grace if you are anywhere I am praying we can get in touch. I am meeting with a doctor tomorrow for possibly more surgery but want to tell him no that I want to try to go gluten free for several months first. Anyway, please get in touch with me if you can by replying to this comment and I’ll hope and pray we can connect.
            heather@heatherbaysmusic.com

    • HI Grace…I suspect you have endo, right? Sounds like you’ve lived the nightmare. I’m not sure Dr. Davis was trying to assert any one particular argument – I think what he was saying is that there is anecdotal evidence showing some improvement in symptoms after going off wheat so anything that increases a woman’s chance for relief, especially by avoiding laparoscopic surgery, is a good thing. Endo is such a mystery that deserves so much more research. I think this kind of discussion helps raise awareness, which is half the battle. Best.

  7. Lynn

    Grace, try eliminating ALL grains to lose weight. They are all simple carbs and contribute to blood sugar imbalance. Hard to lose weight when the blood sugar is even mildly unstable.

    • Grace

      Thanks Lynn. I have already ditched all the grains. I do occasionally eat a couple of french fries (very rarely though). And I have cut back tremendously on the sugar. But I still don’t lose weight. I’m not stressing over that though. Thank you for the feedback.

      • Grace

        Just to give you an example of what I ate yesterday…

        A couple of WB choc chip cookies for breakfast (I make mine half the size of what the book calls for – I get 24 cookies out of a half batch, so my “couple” of cookies is less overall than his “couple”). For lunch I ate some Paleo sheperd’s pie – basically ground lamb with mashed cauliflower topping. For dinner I ate Paleo beef stew with sauteed Swiss Chard on the side. I had some sharp cheddar for a snack somewhere in the day and I also drank about a cup of Kefir – plain, organic, full fat. I think I had two squares of 85% chocolate as well. That’s it. FAR less than I used to eat. But I don’t lose weight. Oh well. I know I’m feeding my body properly overall, and I feel good, so maybe it’s just the inactivity of winter keeping me from losing.

        • Doug

          Hi Grace,

          Your body needs fuel and one of the preferred fuels are saturated fats. Add some nice butter, coconut oil and/or MCT oil to your food intake. Don’t think in terms of diet. That is a misnomer, healthy saturated fats will naturally direct your bodies satiation mechanisms.

          Google ‘staurated fat lies’ for more links and info.

          • Grace

            Thanks Doug. So just in yesterday’s example, I used grass fed butter and coconut oil (half and half) in the cookie recipe. Then when I cooked both the sheperd’s pie and the beef stew, I used coconut oil to brown the meat (rather generously). The Kefir has full fat in it, as does the cheese. So in my mind, I am eating a lot of fat? But maybe I’m not. I am interested to hear suggestions about where/how to add more. Also, for lunch I often eat a half an avocodo, diced up, mixed with halved grape tomatoes, over which I pour maybe a Tblsp (or a little more) olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

            I do realize (and have often thought about) this all requires a big shift in my thinking. Having been brainwashed for so many years about fat, I still find myself unconsciously attempting to restrain my fat intake. But then I stop and think and say, no, I’m supposed to eat fat! So I do. But it really is a major switch in thinking for me! I didn’t realize how totally ingrained the low-fat concept has been drilled into me! :-) Thanks for your feedback. I do appreciate it.

  8. judy

    Grace I have uterine fibroids. Are you saying being wheat free will help? I’m having no pain just having heavy periods and abnormal bleeding between. Dr recommended hystorectomy to stop it however I said I will stick with the inconvience. I can hope wheat free will help

    • Grace

      Judy, I had my hysterectomy 10 years ago, long before I knew about WB (which I found 6 months ago). So I don’t know if removing wheat will actually help your fibroids. I only suspect that it would because it has helped my current endometriosis. Even though I had a hysterectomy, the endo persists as it already attached itsef to a lot of other organs in my abdomen. I will never know for sure if it would have helped my infertility/fibroids. But you have nothing to lose by trying since going grain free will help you in so many other ways anyway.

      • Neicee

        Grace, I had my total (with the oblitory bikini cut) 30 years ago. Because of the damage done by endometriosis, they removed everything but for 1/2 an ovary. After 5 hours, they had reached my appendix and one of those nasties was grown around it. Have never felt better until the past few months. My daughter has the same severe cramping as does the granddaughter. She has now given up wheat and most other carbs. She’s sitting at 102 pounds and feeling great. No more going to bed for a week.

    • look into getting some progesterone from your doctor to help alleviate the bleeding. I almost died from heavy bleeding last Feb, so it can get bad really fast. The prometrium I got then really helped as I was suffering from estrogen dominance.

      Now I come ot realize that estrogen dominance syndrome is REALLY likely caused from wheat which screws up your estrogen levels. Made total sense ot me when I read that. So I am wheatfree now almost two weeks as of tomorrow so I am going to see how my periods are and what happens that way. I am positive the estrogen dominance and heavy bleeding/uterine fibroids is from the wheat causing estrogen imbalance. But meantime, to slow down your bleeding you should ask your doc for prometrium which is straight progesterone. It really helps too and then let the wheat free lifestyle correct your estrogen as well. Hope that helps

    • Hi Judy, I had fibroids, too…way too many for the doctor to remove in one surgery. I was told to have a hysterectomy, too but got a second opinion and had high tech surgery instead, which solved my bleeding right away. I actually talk about it on my website unhysterectomy.com, including a blog about a woman who had 55 fibroids removed after seeing 8 different doctors to avoid hysterectomy. After hearing Dr. Davis speak here in Ottawa where I live, and reading his book, I believe there is a connection between these conditions and wheat, not to mention estrogen mimmickers that are in the food we eat and in the environment. Estrogen makes fibroids grow as we know. If you’d like to connect with other women with fibroids and heavy periods, please join my FB page, unhysterectomy and join the discussion on my website. It’s really helping women to know they’re not alone. Best of luck.

  9. I really am hoping that PCOS and uterine fibroids disappear with the wheat free lifestyle. I am on day 11 completely wheat free, and I feel really pretty good. Have lost a few pounds, but did notice ovulation a few days ago was still pretty painful as it is with PCOS. Feels like daggers. My daughter also gets horribly painful periods so she is anxious to see what the next couple are like, maybe pain free,… we hope! I have severe menorrhagia which has caused severe anemia due to uterine fibroids, so if this all clears up I’d be one happy lady. It’s a horrible cycle of problems that we are hoping go away… and soon!

  10. Carrie

    I have long suspected that I have endometriosis and I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The endometriosis during my monthly cycle varies from month to month in severity. Sometimes, it’s mild and other times the cramps are very painful. I get weird cramping in my thighs which is a sign of endometriosis. However, when I started my gluten-free diet, I noticed a difference in the way I felt. I believe wheat contributes to many health problems and I’ve also noticed remarked difference in my acid reflux.

    • Hi Carrie, the other day I was really, really hungry and craving nuts so throughout the day I must have eaten four bars that were advertised as cashew, almond and cherry bar. Normally I read labels all the time but didn’t this time. I was having a great old time curbing my appetite with these bars. The next morning I woke up and couldn’t move. My arms, shoulders, legs, knees and ankles were completely seized up. I live in Ottawa, Canada where we’ve had a really bad winter and I thought it was the weather but then I remembered what I had eaten. I’m struggling every day to give up wheat, but it’s hard when you have a family to cook and bake for.

  11. Pat Goh

    I have been wheat-free – thanks to you, and your book, Dr Davies – mainly because I wanted to address my acid reflux problem. I did. I am off all medication, weigh a lot less, and all my aches and pains of ‘old age’ are gone.

    My daughter, inspired by my success, started 2013 wheat free. This February was the first time in her life that she has not had the crippling pain that accompanies her monthly periods. Is it the wheat that caused the pain in the first place? We don’t know. But, fingers crossed, it is – and she’ll no longer need the painkillers that only sometimes work.

    I couldn’t be more grateful, Dr Davies. You so are our hero!

    Pat (from Port Dickson, Malaysia)

  12. Gary

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    I’ve been wheat- and grain-free since Sept. 2012 and have shed 25 pounds to date. I had been on two hypertension medications: Adalat and Avalide for many years. I’m 49 years-old and have had hypertension since my early 20s. Typical readings pre-wheat-belly were mid-130s over mid 80s. Three months after starting wheat-belly, my readings were mid-110s over mid 70s.

    I decided to experiment and stopped taking the meds. Unfortunately, two weeks later I am now getting readings of mid-140s over mid-90s – despite getting back to my weight of my early 20s.

    Any suggestions? My non-meds experiment is ending today as the latest numbers are somewhat scary.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes: Give it time.

      Wheat elimination is powerful, though it can take many months. Also, there are underlying genetic causes for hypertension that may not fully respond to even the power of wheat elimination.

      As you are beginning to appreciate, however, elimination of wheat can at least generate some reduction of BP even if there are underlying genetic contributors.

  13. Elena

    I don´t have endometriosis but I have had horrible PMS (think 2 days growling she-wolf and 1 day blubbering “I´m-soooooo-uuuuuugly-nooooobody-loves-me-not-even-I” and you get the picture) from my first period 30 years ago,
    Now I, and more importantly, my family don´t even know I´m starting my period. I´m just sunshine and cuddles wherever my hormonal cycle might be. :-)

    I think the fats are an important factor when it comes to the improvement in womens reproductive health and that the low-fat-craze have done immense harm to us.

    • That is hilarious and though I don’t get quite like that with my periods, my daughter SURE DOES, woah. No one goes near her, it’s like a psycho lives in the house for a few days. She is two weeks wheat free now, and I must say her overall mood seems much improved so we will see how her next cycle goes….

  14. Thanks so much Dr. Davis for blogging about this important topic. Even though research into the connection between wheat and conditions such as endometriosis is in its infancy, we are so thankful to you for raising the issue in your blog. The fact that 75 women responded tells me that women are hungry for any type of relief. I know my followers will appreciate any further research on the subject.

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Holly–

      We certainly do need more exploration of these issues.

      Even if wheat-elimination is not the full answer, how many other solutions are so easy, inexpensive, have no ill effects, and yield such a wide array of other health benefits?

  15. Julie

    While I am happy for those who have found relief through this diet, I find it frustrating when this diet is presented as “relief” from endometriosis. I suffer from endometriosis and it has affected nearly every aspect of my life. I tried giving up wheat for many months and found absolutely no relief. I shed a few pounds, but that did not affect my endometriosis symptoms. I am afraid that when people put so much emphasis on a “miracle” diet, it takes away from the sufferers who are not helped. I have had a number of people recommend “cures” to me, one of them being this diet. It is upsetting to think that people think that something as simple as a diet change could take away this debilitating disease. It trivializes the disease. The diet may work for some, but there are MANY who it doesn’t work for. We need to remember that.

    • Dr. Davis

      I believe you may have misinterpreted the intention of the piece, Julie .

      Let’s just say that wheat elimination reduced pain in only 10% of people and only partially: Why shouldn’t we talk about it and discuss how this yields further insight into both endometriosis and the effects of wheat consumption on humans?

      In no way was this intended to paint wheat elimination as the sole cure for endometriosis.

    • Carmen

      I have endometriosis and very much appreciate any and all research into helping with the pain and am grateful for any and all advice on the subject. Especially if the advice is as simple as a diet Chang as that is something I have control over and as it is a simple diet change it is therefore worth a try!!
      The study did say it was over 12 months somaybe you could try it for a bit longer.
      I hope you find some relief :-)
      I have been wheat free for 10 months and my symptoms are definitely less :-)

  16. Leonard Schlichting

    I have been eating gluten free for over ten years. I made the decision to avoid wheat in my diet after my oldest sister almost died of cancer and she was diagnosed as a celiac. I was suffering from the same symptoms she had before she became really ill and her bowels shut down. It was a relief to be free of all the nasty effects I was experiencing from a wheat based diet. My intolerance was compounded because I am also yeast sensitive.
    I recently discovered that I can eat bread without any ill effects made from Red Fife Flour (stone ground whole wheat) from a heritage wheat that was introduced into Canada in the 19th C from Ireland.
    I also discovered on two recent trips to France, over a period of two weeks to a month that I could eat all the breads and pastries there without suffering any digestive ills.

    This prompted me to think about the very nature of the grain and even the structure of the gluten molecule itself. Have the numerous mutations done in North America to improve greater yield and a higher protein content created malevolent proteins in wheat?
    In my quest to find some answers I found and listened to your interview on CBC about your book and than discovered your blog. The research you carried out confirmed my suspicions.Thank you for carrying out this important study.

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s wonderful, Leonard.

      However, I would urge you to not regard the lack of perceived effects with Red Fife and the French breads as evidence that you are unaffected by them. They may be less obnoxious in creating perceived effects, but still generate unperceived effects, including provoking small LDL particles that cause heart disease, high blood sugars that generate insulin resistance/diabetes and glycation, etc.

  17. Melissa

    Our 17 year old daughter has suffered her who.e life with tummy troubles. Finally two years ago this week it was discover that she had a very large teratoma in her uterus. Scary and odd she had emergency surgery and a twelve pound teratoma was removed. From first discovery to removal .. About 4 days it had grown considerable. She is a rugby player and very active teenager. Well two years later is fine left with one ovary and 36 staple scars from top to bottom still with tummy aches and many unexplained symptoms. Several doctor appointments and blood tests later they finally figure out her problems. WHEAT and GLUTTEN allergies!!!! Now into six weeks of clean eating. And further discoveries of lactose problems she is finally dare I say feeling good. My poor child! My query is could these allergies have brought this on????? Thoughts??…

    I am following the wheat less life and I too feel amazing!
    Thank you for the knowledge.

  18. Lori

    Dr. Davis,
    I have severe Endometriosis as well as PCOS and Type 2 Diabetes. I have struggled with endo for around 14 years and nothing really helps with the severe pain except the lupron injection which can only be used for limited time. I recently heard about your book from a friend and have started reading it. I decided to attempt the wheat free lifestyle change to see what happened. If it can help my diabetes get back into the low numbers I will be thrilled. If it helps even a small amount with my endo pain… well let’s just say I will be a changed woman! Four days after going wheat free, I have not had any bloating (which used to happen multiple times a day), my skin has gotten noticeably less dry and flakey, and I have lost 2-3 lbs. I will report back in a few months with my progress and hopefully have great news for everyone.
    Lori

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, please do, Lori!

      Given your wonderful early response, I predict great things are coming your way!

  19. Tracey

    I had severe Endometriosis, my ovaries where fused to the uterus. The uterus is fused to my bowel. I also have uterine fibroids. For years I had extremely heavy periods and pain on par with labour pain….. and yes I have been through labour!
    After years of suffering and thinking as many women do “oh well I’m just unfortunate that I have heavy painful periods”, I decided to visit my GP.
    Anyway, to cut a long story short I had my ovaries and tubes removed and thought that would be the end of it….no more periods. Wrong! Bang on time, my period arrived and again the following month, just as heavy as ever. I had a scan which showed that part of my left ovary had been left behind.
    Hysterectomy would be tricky with the uterus fused to the bowel so I opted for the Mirena coil 4 months ago. It’s not for everyone and it can take your body up to 8 months to adapt, but I’m really pleased with it. Periods are now very light.
    Prior to the coil being fitted I came across the Endometriosis diet online and thought I would give it a go. It definatley appeared work for me. My periods started getting lighter. Also my consultant had been concerned about raised levels of CA125 and Cal 19-9 which can elevate because of cancer or benign conditions such as endometriosis. My levels were still high even after surgery. However after only 2 months on a wheat, gluten and dairy free diet the levels went down into the normal range and that’s where they have stayed. I have lost weight, my size 12 jeans are way too loose now. My stomach is flat and I have loads of energy. I gave my children wheat free pasta and they didn’t even notice the difference.
    It’s definatley worth trying. I’m convinced that it is more than a coincidence.

  20. Anon

    Hi, this is fascinating. I have a wheat belly which I used to call my mummy tummy until I went to the docs concerned about my heavy periods and anemia- fortunately all the scans were clear but the ca125 test came back around 90. I am convinced its due to my wheat belly. The results went down to 65 at the beginning of this year- I had been avoiding wheat mostly and taking cod liver oil capsules. In the past I went wheat free for 6 months and the weight loss was dramatic – I lapsed due to family/ peer pressure but as I have now been diagnosed with a wheat intolerance officially I aim to go totally wheat free. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you your wonderful book and the research Dr Davis x

  21. Kristine

    I have been an endo sufferer for almost 20 years. The last 8 years have been the worst which has led to losing my career, having to take major amounts of pain medication. I have been on the gluten free diet for the past 3 weeks. I feel amazing. I was taking 240 mg of pain medication per day, I am now taking between 60 mg to 100 mg per day. I have so much energy. I have been going for power walks without pain, I even played a couple holes of golf yesterday without pain. Another thing I had to give up due to the incredible pain I was in.
    Of course losing weight is also a bonus. I have lost about 15 pounds since starting the gluten free diet.
    I am so happy that I have tried this diet, I only wish I would have done it years ago.
    If you are an endometriosis sufferer, try this diet, it really works!

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s absolutely wonderful, Kristine!

      I just wish we all understood this 20 years ago! But we work to spread this message, as there are so many other women in your situation who have not yet heard how powerful this simple approach can be–no drugs or surgery required!

    • Danielle

      Your story brought tears to my eyes! I have been suffering from endometriosis for years and so I completely relate! The idea of going on a power walk with no pain sounds FANTASTIC! I have been off of wheat for a week and I tried some pasta a bread last night. I don’t feel well, but I don’t know if it is from the wheat or from a bug. Reading this article and your story has inspired me to stay off longer and see what happens! Thank you!

  22. Kristine

    Danielle, please keep up with the gluten free diet. It has made a major change in my life. Since my last post on October 6th, I am now taking only 30 mg of pain medication per day. That is a decrease of 210 mg a day of some pretty heavy meds. I feel great, my friends tell me I am glowing. I have also lost over 30 pounds. This has all happened in the last month. So please give it a try, there are a lot of great products out there and more and more restaurants are starting to cater to the gluten free way of living.

    Good luck to you and I truly hope this is the miracle you have been waiting for. I know it has been truly a miracle for me!

  23. 25 years with endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain, I went wheat free 7 years ago and vegan 6 years ago and have found that the reduction in inflammation in my body has really helped my symptoms. Anything to decrease the inflammatory load on the body will help. It is such an easy change to make.

  24. Donna

    Hi, I have has endo for 3 years now with one laparoscopy under my belt. I started researching this horrible illness we have and found a very interesting book, that recommends a wheat free diet and since I ditched the wheat I have been back to my normal pain free self!!! As it’s Christmas with so many parties I decide to go with the flow and eat wheat if it was served to me, what a big MISTAKE!!! I have been in bad pain for 2 days and will never be eating it again. You think oh just a bit won’t hurt, well I promise you it does. So to everybody that has this horrible pain, don’t wait for the doctors to wake up one day and tell you, just stop eating it now, life is really good without it!

  25. Kristin Fecteau

    I was suffering every month with terrible cramps and heavy flow. And anemia. My gyno wanted to either do so e surgery or start me on shots to stop my period. I was against those options, and continued to cope by taking Advil for several days. I went gluten free due to skin issues (herpteformis dermatitis). After about 18 months gluten free, I noticed “hey…I’m not getting cramps anymore!” They are gone! So maybe it takes longer than a year in some people. I’m now cramp free. I really can’t believe it and shudder to think about the options my doctor suggested….