Hypoglycemia conquered

Followers of the Wheat Belly discussion recognize that few foods raise blood sugar as much as wheat products, due to it’s unique and highly-digestible carbohydrate, amylopectin A. But many people don’t know that wheat can also be responsible for low blood sugar, hypoglycemia.

Read Gretchen’s story:

Dr. Davis,
You have provided a miracle of an answer for me and I have to thank you.

About 10 years ago, I had gastric bypass surgery (roux-en-y). Some years after that, I started to have occasional problems with hypoglycemia and my blood sugar would get very low, easily into the 40′s after eating a sweet treat. The postprandial [after-eating] hypoglycemia steadily got worse, so much so that it constantly was swinging back and forth all day long. It makes me feel absolutely terrible: upset stomach, headaches, and all the shakiness and weakness accompanied by low blood sugar. This has affected every aspect of my life and I am on medically restricted work hours.

I have been doing some online research to find out that many people who have had the roux-en-y surgery suffer from this specifc kind of hypoglycemia and doctors are struggling to treat these people. Some people have had part of their pancreas removed thinking that the pancreas overproduces insulin. Other researchers are now thinking it might be something with the unused gut, so some folks are having feeding tubes put into this part of the stomach.

I got super freaked and scoured the internet for help. I have felt despair and so much worry about whether the doctors will be able to treat me. Then I came upon your information and read about how wheat messes so much with our blood sugar. The very next day I stopped eating wheat and also followed a low carb diet. Hallelujah!! I feel normal again. My blood sugars are stable throughout the day. My headaches are gone. The brain fog I didn’t know I had is gone. The constant need to feed on carbs is gone. I feel like I have my life back.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love food, so it is a huge testimony that this way of eating works. I am starting to shed some pounds too. (I am still obese even after the gastric bypass surgery – did lose 100 pounds.)

Thank you! I will let all my fellow hypoglycemic sufferers know about your books and how wheat plays a major problem.

Gastric bypass, feeding tubes, partial pancreatectomies: Is there no limit to the extreme measures often taken by conventional healthcare . . . to treat the consequences of wheat consumption?

Gretchen’s experience highlights the marked hypoglycemia that can occur in wheat-eating humans. The process starts with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) due to the amylopectin A. High blood sugars oblige high blood insulin. Insulin often “overshoots” (a phenomenon related to increased potential for diabetes, by the way). The insulin overshoot causes blood sugar to plummet, thus the headaches, nausea, weakness, and shakiness characteristic of low blood sugars (similar to that experienced by diabetics on drugs and insulin) that typically occur 90-120 minutes after ingestion of the offending food.

The standard advice: Eat or drink something to raise blood sugar, such as orange juice. But this is idiotic: It just starts the cycle over again, with repetitive blood sugar ups and downs, as Gretchen’s experience illustrates. The real solution: Eliminate the foods that trigger the blood sugar high in the first place, particularly the foods with the highest glycemic potential, especially wheat. That way, there will be no blood sugar low to follow.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. JillOz

    Hi Dr Davis,

    A question re probiotics.
    I couldn’t access your recommended brand so have a reputable practitioner brand of probiotics
    at 30 million to start with.
    I am taking two a day (since you recommended the 50 million and this is closest to it) and I think it’s working. :)

    When you start taking these though, how do you know how much you need and how often to take them??
    How long are you supposed to take them for, given everyone is different?
    I’m happy to take them the rest of my life in necessary but am new to taking these so would appreciate any info .

  2. Joann

    Hi, JillOz…
    I read that Dr. Davis recommends taking a capsule with 50 billion. I couldn’t find one with that many, but did find one that had 25 billion, so I will be taking one in the morning and one in the evening, always on an empty stomach. Dr. Davis said 4 to 8 weeks of probiotic therapy should suffice for most folks. Hope this helps!

    • JillOz

      Yes, thanks Joann.
      I was told by a Naturopath to take it away from food, but didn’t see the bit about two months.

  3. Elizabeth

    I began Wheat Belly a month ago. My glucose tests (I’m type 2 diabetic) each morning lowered to be between 90 and around 100….which is good. Then this past weekend or a day or so before I began to have crazy numbers—like 150, 188 etc. So I called Abbott who makes my monitor to find out. Long story, short, they’re sending out a new one. I was puzzled though about the numbers jumping like that. I take 2 Metformin 500mg/release form per day. One in the morning and one in the evening with my meals. I’m hoping the monitor has something wrong with it because I feel great. I’ve adhered to my “plan” without deviation so it can’t be the food I’m eating. Just puzzled I guess and hoping for some encouragement.

  4. Julie Williams

    Ever since getting that poison out of my system, I quit having low blood sugars, after many years of suffering from them. Freedom!

  5. AamRaz

    Hi Dr Davis,
    Please comment on parboiled rice (which is steam boiled along with the husk and then cooled and polished as usual) my queries are:-
    a. Does parboiling change amylos to amylopectin ratio?
    b. what type of amylopectin are in rice?
    c. What about eastern style of cooking rice ( boiling and rinsing all starch),does rinsing reduce amylopectin ?

  6. Uncle Roscoe

    Wheat ingestion causes a reactive hypoglycemia effect in everyone. Wheat gluten contains a powerful opiate called simply “A5”. When we ingest A5 it causes the pancreas to release insulin. It’s that simple.

    Most people do not notice the hypoglycemia effect of A5, because wheat also contains proteins which cause insulin resistance ……again, in most people. Insulin resistance causes elevated blood sugar. So the A5-induced insulin release seems appropriate to the blood sugar levels. In people who don’t react to wheat with insulin resistance the A5 induced insulin causes reactive hypoglycemia.

    Once again …..The pancreas releases insulin for two reasons: 1) when the blood contains excess glucose, and 2) when the blood contains excess beta endorphin. Beta endorphin is the body’s powerful natural opiate. Being another powerful opiate, A5 mimics beta endorphin, and causes the pancreas to release insulin.

  7. Hi Dr. Davis
    Hypoglycemia is a great topic to be discussing. I also find that patients present with mood symptoms like anger and irritability; and carb cravings that they don’t correlate to blood sugar levels. On deeper enquiry, we find that it does correlate to the 90-120min post-carb/wheat consumption time frame.
    Regular fat with protein, like Paleo is great way to even out blood sugars. In the last 5 years I have been recommending wheat/ gluten free; and I am now moving towards recommending GRAIN FREE after the conference you and I met at in November.
    Dr. Natasha Iyer MD
    PS. the title “Get your F’ing Life back NOW” is evolving. Can’t wait to share the new title with you!

    • Uncle Roscoe

      Exorphin opiates in wheat gluten, including A5, have been experimentally linked to “mood symptoms like anger and irritability; and carb cravings”. Worse, they have been linked to ADHD, autism, depression and schizophrenia. Further, wheat opiates have been linked to virtually every form of autoimmune disease because, like in the pancreas, it plugs into organ/nerve transduction boundaries and elicits autoimmune reactions.

      Yes, I’m convinced, as Dr. Davis claims, that amylopectin A in large measure bypasses the safeguards produced by digestive amylase and maltase, enzymes which time release amylose’s glucose into the blood. So the effect of ingesting amylopectin A resembles that of pure glucose, except that wheat-related zonulin permeability probably places wheat sugars into the bloodstream faster. In a healthy body ingesting pure glucose causes a blood glucose spike. The pancreas reacts by releasing insulin. The insulin causes a trail off of blood glucose concentration. This is virtually the same reaction seen with ingestion of amylopectin A. The spike and trailoff are not good for people, but the scenario represents how healthy people react.

      For reactive hypoglycemia? The after-meal insulin release time frames would be identical regardless of whether the insulin is caused by amylopectin A or gluten A5. Given that gluten opiates do actually cause all of these reactions, including insulin release and psychological abnormalities, I’m going with gluten A5.


    • Dr. Davis

      Great points, Dr. Natasha!

      Us Homo sapiens were never meant to consume grains . . . unless we were starving and desperate!

  8. fio

    dear dr davis, i have a suggestion for the hundreds of peoples asking for your sources. there are 16 pages on the back of your book, and you keep on directing them there. what would you think about a big fat button on your homepage named “sources” that direct people to a message saying that all your sources are listed on your book and a nice sleek “buy the book now”? you provide tons of informations and datas for free already.
    thank you for all your time and work dr. davis.

    • Dr. Davis

      Good idea!

      I’ve been planning on making this blog more navigable, including FAQ and additional resources.

      • Penny

        Let’s try this again. I am not sure where I can find an answer to my question and I pray someone will answer me. I have been on Wheat Belly for about 3 weeks now and I have never felt better in my life since I was a little kid. I have more energy and someone actually said the sparkle is back in my eyes. My concern is my blood sugars. I am a type 2 diabetic and was on diabetic medications but after starting Wheat Belly I started having really really bad lows into the 70s so I gradually stopped taking and sugars were doing fine. Now I am off ALL medications and the numbers are creeping back up on me. I am not cheating at all. I have ver rigid on this and not eating any wheat or grains to speak of that I am aware of and I really read everything. My fasting is around 150s and in the evening tonight it is 168. Is this a patience thing or am I doing something wrong. I am still losing inches, and percentage of fat. I have lost 6 pounds total. Please anyone to shed light on this for me would be greatly appreciated. I am starting to worry I have to go back on the side effect causing meds. I have lab coming up in May and I don’t want an ear full from the doctor!!!! Thank you!!!

        • Penny

          oh no!! what happened to my reply from Dr. Davis. I was going to show someone what he said!!!!!!!

  9. I’ve been wheat and gluten free for around 5 years now, and still have hypoglycemia, especially in the morning after fasting all night. I’ve found that the gluten free replacement flours are high in potatoes, high in tapioca and other starches (corn), and that this really spikes the glucose response. I haven’t cut out potatoes, but a meal with steak and potatoes is usually the worst, and I’ll wake up early the next morning dizzy. So on my wise days, I cut out the bread products altogether, eat less white rice, white noodles of whatever sort, and stick to low carb consumption. It’s not just the wheat!

    • Grace in IL

      Um, you must not have read the book, or much of this blog either. The dr has stated over and over and OVER again not to eat all those other carbs you mentioned as well….

      His advice is to get rid of ALL grains and especially do NOT eat ANY of the “gluten free” stuff, no rice potatoes, pasta whether white or any other color. I highly suggest reading the book!

    • James


      I would really feel concern by that. Even in my wheat, rice, potato, quinoa, sugar days, I would not experience dizziness or low sugar crashes of that kind. I would wake up most of the time just fine and with a mild hunger. Follow the low carb – high fat principles for a while and see if you notice improvements. Don’t eat fast carbs (i.e. high glycemic food like potatoes, white rice, etc – avoid all forms of sugar including fructose) and increase the amount of healthy fats (organic olive oil, butter, coconut oil, egg yolks, lard, tallow, etc). Eat real foods, not processed crap full of oxidized or rancid oil, trans-fats, hidden wheat, high glycemic stuff, etc. That junk makes you addicted to more processed crap-food, including the so-called “gluten-free” stuff. Even though I am not into the “philosophy” of the paleo movement, I do loosely follow its eating guideline minus the fruits (even though I do eat a few berries here and there but it’s rather rare) and plus the fats. My blood sugar level has been really constant over the last 5 months.

    • James

      Another wheat pusher …. pffff, just reading this lame article made me depressed: “revenue opportunities”, “growing market”, blabla … About health ?? BIG NADA, nothing.

      Dupont can stick its hybrid strain to its a…ss!

    • Dr. Davis

      Perhaps as they begin to understand that their market is shrinking, they will stop trying to focus on this human poison.

      Of course, this message has not caught on in the Third World, where they can pedal their poison freely.

      • Lynda (Fl)

        That was suppossed to appear under Loretta’s link for wheat, thanks anyway, Loretta.

  10. Bob

    Dr. Davis- your book has changed my life and I have become an anti-wheat evangelical. I have lost 42 lbs and my BP went from 140//100 to 115//75. I just bought 6 copies to give away to friends and employees! I have 2 questions for you:

    1. If I make bread from Emmer or Einkorn flour will it have a lower Amylopectin A and gluten content? After having had no bread for 6 months I would like to have a Lox and Bagel on occasion.
    2. If i consume fat and protein with a high GI carbo (bagels made with Tapioca flour); do they help to inhibit the spike in blood sugar.

    Sincere thanks for your research and writing. Bob

  11. Elizabeth

    Over the last few years as I’ve been pursuing weight loss and how to get healthier (even as I kept getting unhealthier) I’ve done alot of reading. I’ve known for some time to cut out the “whites” from my diet. So went that route. NOW that Wheat Belly is here and I have the book I’ve embraced it. On the other hand my husband (now retired) worked many years in the agricultural sales industry. I’ve tried to share with my “farm boy” about the gmo’s etc. All he does is figuratively put his fingers in his ears and goes “lalalala”. He won’t “buy” it. That being said, he told me he’d support me in my new life style of W.B.—even going so far as to say he’d fix his own meals once in a while. So, maybe a bit of progress is made. Meanwhile I’ve been purging our pantry of all the processed stuff. Do you know that on one hand this feels liberating but on the other hand I’m hyper-aware of how our culture pushes “crap” for food and snacks!!

  12. Dr. Davis- your book has changed my life and I have become an anti-wheat evangelical. I have lost 42 lbs and my BP went from 140//100 to 115//75. I just bought 6 copies to give away to friends and employees! I have 2 questions for you:

    1. If I make bread from Emmer or Einkorn flour will it have a lower Amylopectin A and gluten content? After having had no bread for 6 months I would like to have a Lox and Bagel on occasion.
    2. If i consume fat and protein with a high GI carbo (bagels made with Tapioca flour); do they help to inhibit the spike in blood sugar.

    Sincere thanks for your research and writing. Bob


  13. Jay Craft

    Dr. Davis,

    Every so often I google things like “grains and diabetes” to see what the mainstream medical opinion is. It’s amazing (well not so surprising, really) that I often come across things like http://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes-pictures/foods-that-spike-blood-sugar.aspx#/slide-5 . The topic of the article is “7 foods that spike blood sugar”, but food #5 is red meat! Then they go on to describe it, and obviously it does not spike blood sugar, because you know, it actually doesn’t contain much sugar… But hey there is some correlative study somewhere that says people who eat hot dogs and bacon have increased risk of diabetes… I’m going to bet it’s just a population study that is ignorant to the possibility that people who happen to eat more hot dogs also happen to eat more hot dog buns and wash it all down with a giant Cherry Big Gulp. Ridiculous…

    Is there any relationship in your mind to consumption of “saturated fat” (alone) and diabetes? Why do mainstream “diabetic” sources of information seem to insist that there is one?