Newly-diagnosed type 1 diabetes

Suzanne posted this story of her son and family’s experience with newly-diagnosed type 1 diabetes:

My young son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 4 months ago. The “specialist diabetes” dietician told us that there is no such thing as a diabetic diet any more and you can eat whatever you like, even food from a very famous American hamburger fast food restaurant. (I won’t name names!) Yes, that’s exactly what she said. Did she actually go to university to learn this amazing piece of advice???

The day he was discharged from hospital, my whole family started the grain-free/paleo diet. When his diabetes educator found out about this diet, I got a prompt smack over the knuckles, yet in her very next sentence she praised my son for having such good blood glucose [BG] levels and told him he could be her poster boy for diabetes control! How does she think he has such good BGs??

His paediatrician looked totally puzzled when he looked at my son’s BGs and couldn’t believe that, after only 3 months since diagnosis, his levels were so perfect. He then told him to keep eating healthy wheat cereal for breakfast.

I absolutely refuse to follow any of their advice. I fully intend for my son to live a full and healthy life despite his diabetes and the proof is in his blood test results. If he ever eats even one slice of bread, his BG’s are high for the entire day, regardless of how much insulin is injected: that’s how destructive it is.

I wish I had never fed my family wheat. But I can’t turn back time and I can only live with this new information I now know to be the truth. Some other health benefits gained by my family: weight loss, off blood pressure meds, no more asthma or gut aches, clear skin. And by the way, his diabetes educator could cut back on grains too, if you know what I mean–-not a great example for the patients.

While people with type 2 diabetes can frequently and easily become NON-diabetics by following this wheat-free path, people with type 1 diabetes enjoy much better control over blood sugars and are spared all the other destructive health effects of modern wheat, such as hypertension, mind “fog,” appetite stimulation, depression, paranoia, skin rashes, joint pains, and autoimmune phenomena such as rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

It’s important to also remember that, in many cases, type 1 diabetes is CAUSED by wheat consumption in the first place. There are human data, there are experimental model mice data, there are experimental model rat data that all suggest a powerful cause-effect situation. (See the original Wheat Belly book for the discussion, page 112; references to these data, pages 277-278.) And note that type 1 diabetes is on the rise, increasing by about 3% per year, average age of onset: 4 years–a condition for a lifetime. Even if the damning discussion about modern wheat were ONLY about this association, it would be enough, in my mind, to put a stop to the widespread advice to eat more “healthy whole grains.”

Diabetes educators and endocrinologists are knowledgeable people. They know a lot about 1) how to use medications to control blood sugar, and 2) how to identify complications of diabetes. They are emblematic of everything wrong with the healthcare system: Virtually no true insight into or understanding of nutrition, despite its incredible power to help control this disease, instead steering people towards revenue-producing services, products (drugs, devices), and procedures.

So it is truly wonderful to hear from a parent like Suzanne with the courage and wisdom to do this on her own, steering her family down a path she knows is right–despite the misguided advice of the medical people.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. CKellems

    What I love about this blog, is that the primary caregiver (mom) is a true advocate for her child. Instead of taking everything as “truth” the medical community gave her she researched, and tried something new – and when she saw the results, she kept with it regardless off the negative feedback from those who couldn’t explain her child’s overwhelming positive response to the diet. We are in charge of our health, and we must take responsibly and use our own critical thinking skills to do what is right for us. We have to live (or not live) with the choices that we make in regards to our health. ♥ this, what an awesome Mom!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, an excellent example of self-empowerment in health, a very exciting wave of change!

  2. Anna

    I had a similar experience with my Type 2 diabetes. The dietary advice given to me was to “watch my sugar intake” and to use a carbohydrate exchange system (whatever that means). Well I soon figured out it was nonsense and cut out wheat and other grains as well as all sugar. My doctor was puzzled by rock-bottom normal blood sugars. He now refuses to treat me for my diabetes anymore and also insisted that I stop limiting carbs. How can this be?

    • Linda

      I have, for the most part, lost 75% of the confidence I once had in the medical profession, but when I read testimonials such as yours and Suzanne’s, I am just blown away.
      What in the hell are physicians studying when attending medical school? Does nutrition EVER come into play?
      I had a cardiac “event” back in November of 2011. Spent a few days in the hospital, food was awful, advice was worse. Was “advised” by too many nurses, doctors and dietitians, and not one person asked what I ate or what type of exercise I did daily.
      Was given a statin when I left and told to switch to a vegan diet.
      I have given their advice 0% credibility.
      The bottle of statins sits on my shelf. Unused

      • Boundless

        > What in the hell are physicians studying when attending medical school?
        > Does nutrition EVER come into play?

        The average MD gets 2 to 4 semester hours on the role of nutrition in human health. This paltry coverage teaches them only one thing: that nutrition doesn’t matter. As Dr. Davis lately pointed out, they consequently rarely read papers that solidly connect the dots on the relationship of food and health.

        Also, the whole focus of current medical training is fix-on-failure, and not prevention. The structure of health entitlements (which is replacing what was insurance) does not fund much in the way of prevention. A prevention specialist MD probably couldn’t pay off their med school tuition loans.

        All of this arose in the context of Western Culture, which has been excessively glycemic for all of recorded history. The vast majority of people born into this context have never questioned it, and it needs questioning. A few MDs are paying attention. Most aren’t.

        What’s going to happen with the clueless practitioners is that their client base is going to independently discover the benefits of low carb, get well, and/or get outraged at the fatal advice from the MD, leave the office, and never come back. Like a restaurant with a horrible waiter, these MDs will see their business dry up, and be wondering why.

        • Dr. Davis

          Couldn’t have said it better, Boundless!

          I especially like the bad waiter/restaurant analogy.

          • JillOz

            “A prevention specialist MD probably couldn’t pay off their med school tuition loans.”

            Dr Davis,
            I’d suggest that as part of your WB alertness campaign you start compiling a list of such doctors. There definitely are some and will be some in the future. Those are the doctors that deserve clients.

            It will be even better if such docs define themselves as “healers” not just :”doctors”.

      • derp

        Boundless already said a lot.

        As MDs, we receive almost no nutrition education, and what we receive is the age-old calorie-in/calorie-out nonsense and that macronutrients don’t matter, and at the same time are told that we should recommend the food pyramid du jour.

        On the other hand, we receive roughly 100 hours (learning for exams not included) teaching on pharmacology. We are *trained* to use medication instead of nutrition, even if biochemically, there is no difference between a nutrient substance and a pharmacological substance – both exhibit specific actions in the human body. The calorie model enables us to do the necessary doublethink, namely, that nutrition doesn’t really matter and pharmacology is the answer.

        Furthermore, most of our treatment guidelines, which are considered by judges to represent the “state of the art” that we have to adhere to, are written by the pharmaceutical industry. They will do anything that lets them make their profits.

        Of course, pharmacology is not pure evil. Antibiotics given at the right time for the right reason are lifesavers. Most available vaccinations are lifesavers, too. Painkillers in the case of acute pain are a real relief.

        The only thing one can do is care about your own health, the health of your family and the health of your friends, by mastering the basics of a life of Homo sapiens: nutrition, sleep, sexuality, psychological and social well-being. If you do so, we doctors will have no job except for trauma and genetic disorders. Which isn’t so bad after all, I’d love to set up my own farm and go hunting and fishing anyways.

        • Jan

          I would love to have you as my doctor…..I have no doubt that you’ll leave this planet with several stars in your crown!

        • JillOz

          Thanks derp, now I understand the depth of some of your replies!

          Even if people are healthy there will always be a need for medical research!

          What I’ve always found puzzling and absurd is a doctor decrying the effectiveness of nutritional substances whereas the ingestion of (suitably prescribed) pharmacological substances is unquestioned.

          Everything you ingest has a chemical and molecular composition, so why food is not seen in that light is bizarre to me, shows a lack of thinking skills.

          My own docotr is quite keen on the reduction of sugar for me though, even though she has not read WB yet, sher is happy for me to pursue that way to health.
          Long road though…

          • derp

            Thank you. I don’t like to tell in every post “MD here”, because authority is worth nothing. Either my advice makes you healthy or I fail at making you healthy, and neither outcome depends causally on a formal education, only on the advice’s utility.

            “Everything you ingest has a chemical and molecular composition, so why food is not seen in that light is bizarre to me, shows a lack of thinking skills.”

            Never, ever, let your first two explanations for a behavior be a lack of thought or a malign intent.

            From the folks in the psych department, we know two things about (Western?) humans very well: first, they will try to uphold their self-image at any cost and second, they will try to uphold their world-view at any cost.

            No world-view is logical. Not mine, yours, or that of Dr. Davis or anyone else. All of us will defend it in the face of conflicting evidence. And on the other hand, all our opponents will use any tactic to not have to listen to us and think about our word-view. But as soon as we know that we are biased beings, we have a chance to look beyond our little world-view. It just takes a little courage and the ability to admit that one was wrong in the past.

            Remember Dr. Davis gave out the same advice that he and we consider nonsense today?

        • Ali

          How refreshing. An MD who recognises that common sense often beats qualifications hands down. To quote, ‘A qualified fool is still a fool’!

          All a qualification says is that an individual has fulfilled criteria set by other individuals – and all individuals have different opinions. When some of the opinions overlap, they are assumed to be the truth and then others are trained in those opinions.

          The problem with that is though that if the opinions run parallel with the REAL truth, they may not be so far out, but the opinions only need to deviate slightly and they will then go off in a completely different direction. Who was right? Pasteur, or Bechamp? Or does the ‘truth’ lie somewhere in the middle, or elsewhere entirely? Common sense says, work with the body’s own healing abilities, modern science says, work against it. Sigh.

          Humans don’t have all the answers – and it is probable that we don’t actually have many of the answers at all, only what we THINK are the answers. About the only concrete evidence we do have is that found in history. What people did that kept them fit and well and what they did that make them sick and weak. If we can’t learn the lessons from our ancestors, who the heck can we learn them from???

    • Boundless

      > I had a similar experience with my Type 2 diabetes.

      In any of these discussions, it’s important to make a distinction between Type 1 and 2. Type 1 can apparently be managed with diet (with a few sources, one a physician, claiming that it can be “cured” with a ketogenic diet).

      > … cut out wheat and other grains as well as all sugar.
      > My doctor was puzzled by rock-bottom normal blood sugars.

      Type 2, on the other hand, is arguably not a disease at all, but merely a predictable metabolic reaction to chronic overexposure to carbs. It’s a totally optional ailment. It is 100% avoidable, and often fully reversible, depending on how early it is detected. If you are on any of several low-carb diet schemes, you will never need to make an effort to detect it.

      > He now refuses to treat me for my diabetes anymore …

      You may in fact not have it anymore.

      > … and also insisted that I stop limiting carbs. How can this be?

      There’s only one question to ask malpracticers like this:
      “Can you refer me to a competent physician?”

      • JillOz

        “Type 2, on the other hand, is arguably not a disease at all, but merely a predictable metabolic reaction to chronic overexposure to carbs.”

        Well put.

      • Anna

        > You may in fact not have it anymore.

        If I ate a good-sized portion of carbs, my blood sugar would skyrocket. I still have it.

          • Anna

            That is a thoughtful point of view, thank you for directing me to it. However, my type 2 was triggered by my first pregnancy, therefore I can’t really claim that it was in any way related to a lifetime of sugar/carb abuse. I went from normal to diabetic in very short order. Normal is what I would call my previous state. Normal folks can eat pounds of refined white sugar and their blood sugar does not budge.
            So, if you will – semantics.

          • Boundless

            > … my type 2 was triggered by my first pregnancy …

            Perhaps you have some insight on this. I was looking at the ever-iffy-wiki page on that, which states that gestational diabetes (GD) “may be a natural phenomenon”. One of the treatments is to manage carb intake to stabilize blood sugar (including grazing, which sounds familiar, in a futile sort of way). What the article is silent on is whether or not women on very low carb or ketogenic diets ever get GD.

            It’s worth pointing out that NK (nutritional ketosis) during pregnancy may not be a settled matter (advisable v. inadvisable). We are still in the early years of the emerging sane human diet, and everything needs to be re-evaluated, from the RDAs on up.

    • Dr. Davis

      Ha ha! You show your doctor how to cure diabetes and he tells you how to cause it again!

      Your doctor is a knucklehead: Get rid of him. Find somebody who can learn from the experiences of his patients and would understand just how important and profound this life change is for you.

      • Anna

        The doctor is “toast.” On the other hand, it will be very difficult to find a doctor who does not tell me the same things as the first one…

      • Ray

        There are cases where an “Educated Idiot” is more dangerous than the illness.
        My very good doctor from years ago would say… “Don’t get sick. I’m going away, and doctors kill patients.” He also advised my wife and I to take our own blood pressure machine and glucometer with to the hospital. This advice saved my wife’s life on several occasions.
        Thank you Dr Davis for your great advice.

        • derp

          I repeatedly tell people to only go to a hospital if it is perfectly inevitable, otherwise dread these places like the devil dreads holy water.

          • Boundless

            Entirely apart from the nutritional malpractice, hospitals seem to have transmorgrified themselves into factories for resistant bacteria.

      • summertime3

        There is actually no cure for type 1 diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease with no cure that is not caused by diet/lifestyle. The original poster was stating that her son’s blood glucose levels ran within much more normal ranges eating a lower carb diet without wheat. There is still TONS of work that goes into living with a disease he will never outgrow.

        • Dr. Davis

          I disagree.

          More properly stated: Type 1 diabetes is, in many cases, caused by an autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells by a poorly-understood immunologic chain of events initiated by exposure to the gliadin protein of wheat.

          The data on this are quite clear. Type 1 is obviously NOT cured (thought there are rare instances of this); but it is initiated by wheat in many instances.

          • Carrie V

            I agree Dr. Davis! My 13 yr old son was diagnosed over a year ago with Type 1. We were told the same thing, eat whatever you want- just dose for it and be healthy (yep, low fat, high fiber, etc.) I didn’t think so- if he has a carb problem, then limit carbs! We immediately went low carb, causing us to remove a lot of wheat products, but didn’t know about the damages of gluten then. His last two A1Cs have been 5.3, he was taken off his basal insulin and his was bolus continuing changing to less and less. Today, he is OFF insulin! YES, he is a Type 1 diabetic- they double checked for the antibodies in case he was misdiagnosed- they are there. Even without insulin, his blood sugars are better than me or his dad, or even sister (we all check now.) And all this while growing over 5 inches in one year, going through puberty and the stomach flu with no problems (scarey for Type 1 diabetics.) His doctors are amazed. We all still did know how he was this way, until someone shared with me Wheat Belly. We are all going completely gluten free now and staying low carb. Maybe my asthma will be gone and my daughter’s horrible itchy rash all over her arms with finally leave! Absolutely wonderful book, thank you!

          • Dr. Davis

            VERY interesting, Carrie!

            Let’s post your son’s story as a blog post. Others really need to hear this!

          • Carrie V

            I also forgot to mention, before his diagnosis, I was very ‘green’- bought organic foods, bought meat from free range, grass fed local farms, cleaned my house with products I made myself from vinegar and natural products! But we did follow the low fat, low calorie, high fiber, healthy whole grains diet. Not anymore.

          • Carrie V

            Dr. Davis- I’d love to share my son’s story about his Type 1 diabetes and hopefully help others! Could you let me know how to do the Blog post? I’m not too familiar with blogging…

          • Boundless

            > Could you let me know how to do the Blog post?

            You can’t.
            Just post it to the appropriate thread (this one) as a normal (if long) Reply.

  3. Janzo

    My doctor was ALL SMILES telling me my results from my first glycohemoglobin test after going wheat-free two months earlier. With a long history of Type 2 pre-diabetes, I’d gone from 8.1 in August to 5.5 in December! Thankfully, she was very receptive when I explained my diet change, and enthusiastically said, “MANY people report improvement after going gluten-free.” I’ll be getting my next test in two weeks .. CAN’T WAIT!

    • Jchris

      Interesting that the Doctor only claimed gluten would be the reason, and not just the fact that you probably avoided a very large amount of sugar (by avoiding wheat), unless you were substituting lots of other grains for it…

    • Dr. Davis

      Wow: a HUGE success, Janzo!

      You can see why I can’t shut up about this, when lives are turned around like this. Diabetes CURED!

      • Ali

        What I find odd is that when we declare diabetes ‘cured’ in a situation like this, many people say ‘no it isn’t. As soon as you go back to ‘eating normally’ it will come back.

        But they just don’t get that it is ‘eating normally’ that triggered it in the first place. As long as you don’t go back to ‘eating normally’, it’s CURED.

        It’s not rocket science……

  4. Md B

    .Likewise, five months ago my son was diagnosed type 1 diabetes. (Basically, in type 2 diabetes- the pancreas is still making insulin, but the body has stopped using it- and in type 1 -the pancreas has stopped making insulin)
    My son too has been called the poster boy of diabetes as most days he doesn’t have to even use his insulin all day long.
    Personally I am not getting too self righteous about that; however as he has also had a seizure when he didn’t get enough carbs fast enough after taking a small amount of insulin.
    Even with a steak dinner, salad and potatoes , the protein from the steak, can can slow absorption of carbs (after taking a nightly small amount of insulin) and can cause his sugar to drop dangerously low, meaning he is weak and shaky. He fantastically then ( this boy who never ate sweets) needs more sugar, via juice, bread, pop whatever is at hand to prevent another seizure, coma, or even death.
    Diabetes isn’t a disease to fool around with.
    .
    One time certain foods were limited, so a Diabetes Specialist would now certainly say, ‘No food is limited.’ because diabetes is a very individual disease.
    Typically bread is known to raise blood sugar higher than most other foods; some diabetics at the clinic, for whatever reason, can’t touch certain foods, without their sugar skyrocketing, for my son it’s rice…not even whole grain organic rice, one other person at the clinic can’t eat apples, without a sharp rise in blood sugar. Others have to limit wheat.
    Similarly, adults have to learn how much food, extra fluids, or insulin to take if they drink alcohol, as alcohol lowers blood sugar. That’s why often we hear of someone who went out drinking, and never woke in the morning, they died in their sleep of low blood sugar.

    Most days no matter what my son eats, even if it’s an entire pizza, he doesn’t need his insulin as his sugar level is normal the entire day. Now he just needs it at night.

    Exercises lowers blood sugar, and even without insulin in the day long, we have learned his sugar can -instead of being too high- suddenly drop so dangerously low, he has to quickly get sugar via juice, pop, wheat or whatever is at hand, before he collapses. A person has to learn how ‘they’ feel, then monitor it, and check levels, as a mother I’m not about to dictate, trying to control, it seems better to guide, and allow him to learn his body’s response.

    His endocrinologists is supportive of an individual doing what is best for them with medical guidance. The typical person spends up to three years learning about this disease and their individual bodies reaction to insulin, food, and activity.
    Wheat may not be the best food; but personally, I am not going to say it, ’caused my son’s diabetes'; and self righteously act like I know everything, I don’t.
    As a Mother I can’t be judging how my son feels inside, I rely on him realize if he is suddenly weak, from low sugar, or for him to monitor and check if his sugar has spiked, so he can respond appropriately, and take insulin.

    As an individual I have to respect the fact that while I feel better without wheat….it isn’t adversely affecting him; and in fact he’s worse without it. I’m reluctant to advise others, as this is an individual disease, and must be treated as such. If someone does better without wheat that’s great, if not that OK too.

    If my son had been alone when he had a seizure; he would have went into a coma and died….however he wandered into a fast food chain, as he suddenly realized that- as a new diabetic only a few weeks diagnosed, and still learning his bodies response to insulin -that he quickly needed food, and immediately needed sugar…but before he got even a drink of his pop….he collapsed on the floor, staff called 911..of course the paramedics got an IV of glucose into him. He woke up in Emergency; and I wish he had had a slice of whole wheat bread instead of that experience.
    We are still learning.
    Personally, we do not blame wheat, but every day he has improved tremendously, eating it especially by not needing insulin all day long. It’s important to respect each individuals unique response to diabetes as it is a dangerous disease.
    If I may suggest, please make changes under medical guidance.

    • Ali

      I am what is known as a type 1.5. Diagnosed as type 2 but with a pancreas that produces little or no insulin. Late onset Type 1 (LADA). I find that as long as I keep the carbs low enough and the fat high enough I don’t get hypos at all. In fact I haven’t had one for 3 years.

      I have learned that it is carbs that drive the hypos, whilst protein and fat tends to keep it more stable. I also find the more green vegetables I eat, the better controlled it is too.

      Whilst it is only a theory, I do wonder about the role of things like antibiotics in Diabetes. There is research coming out now that points to the role of bacteria in gut health and the possibility that an imbalance – which is very likely triggered by antibiotics – may play a significant role in the problem. I was given heaps of antibiotics as a child and I am convinced they trashed my gut ecology big time – giving me unrelenting gut issues since I was a teenager and latterly malnutrition and the health problems that go with that.

      How can the body effectively process its food if it doesn’t have the digestive support it needs? We are constantly bombarded with Probiotics – Lactobacillus, but Gut Flora consists of hundreds of different strains of microbe, many of which produce nutritional elements for our benefit. How can destroying them possibly ever do us any good???

      • Shirley

        Ali,
        I’m almost 100% convinced antibiotics given to me as a child caused my leaky gut, which caused my junk food cravings and the excess sugar screwed up my gut flora. I could not lose the extra 25-30 pounds I carried around no matter what I diet I followed, but I was never diabetic or pre-diabetic.

      • Adena

        I don’t have diabetes, My Father is Type 2, as were both his parents. I just wanted to touch on your antibiotic observation. I too was on antibiotics ALOT as a kid. I had strep throat for 2 years and was on them the whole time. It killed my immune system, I got the worst allergies from being on them. I used to get Hay fever so badly that there wasn’t an antihistamine on the market other than Benedryl that did anything for me. My eyes would puff right out & seal shut it was awful. My mom is a health food & vitamin/herb enthusiast and with help from the health food stores we found natural ways to rebuild my immune system. My hay fever no longer exists at all. I think your right though about the damage of the antibiotic use. Later on, (7 years ago) I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (bleeding ulcers in the intestines, with extreme cramps and diareah in a flare-up) Nasty condition. I am truly blessed that I have an amazing Doctor that practices both western and alternative medical treatments, and he will always steer me on the natural course first, and pharmaceutically as a last resort. When I was diagnosed I was told by the specialist that I would be on Asacol and steroid for life (and on this was still in the bathroom 8-10 times a day.) My wonderful Doctor, Dr. Cline when I told him what I’d been prescribed he recommended a super high potency probiotic with 20 billion + active cells in like a 8th of a teaspoon( that must be stored in the freezer) and turmeric or curcumin in capsule form for slow release for the inflammation. He also helped me realize that I am celiac & Gluten was my trigger food. I can tell you now that for 7 years I have not been on any prescription medication at all. I do wonder myself it the extreme antibiotics use in my childhood is partly responsible for my ulcerative colitis. I can say for sure though that my quality of life has been saved by using the right probiotics, Turmeric/Curcumin & living a gluten free life. Honestly I think implementing these three things would extremely benefit anyone.

    • Erica

      Well said! Our daughter was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11 (now 14)..this is a daily struggle for her and for us. Diabetes is nothing to mess around with.

  5. Tracy

    My uncle was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His doctor introduced him to the wheat belly diet. After just a couple of months wheat-free, he is feeling better than ever and he is almost completely medication free at this point. I had been telling my dad about the wheat belly diet a few days before my uncle was diagnosed, and he brushed it off as nonsense. After talking to my uncle (his brother), my parents are both (almost) wheat free, as well as myself and my fiancé. A good friend has joined us as well, and even my grandmother (who is also type 2 diabetic), has started cutting wheat from her diet. We are all feeling great, we’ve all lost a little weight (finally, those 5 lbs that just wouldn’t seem to drop off are gone!), and we have a lot of fun trying and sharing new and healthy recipes.

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s wonderful, Tracy!

      This is how we change the world and help undo this incredible mess that’s been created: Just a few people at a time!

  6. Heather

    Hi Dr. Davis, your page to submit recipes isn’t working today so I’m going to post it here, along with a progress report. A side note about chickpea flour, it works perfectly for thickening stews (no grittiness like coconut flour) and I made a very successful bechamel (white) sauce with it the other day.
    Recipe for tortillas:
    1 egg
    1 1/2 cups cold water
    up to 1 tsp salt
    1/4 cup coconut flour plus 2 tbsp
    1 cup chickpea flour
    Make them the same as you would crepes – let the top dry completely before you carefully turn. I may add 1/8 tsp xanthan gum to it next time.
    My original recipe is the same only with corn meal and wheat flour, so I was thrilled to get good results with this today. It has a strong chickpea taste to it, so it would also be really good with curries as a flat-bread. Flexible but delicate. We’re having them as cheese enchiladas with spicy tomato sauce for lunch today.

    On to the progress report: I read your book last year, thought “huh” and kept eating what I wanted, though I did eat less wheat. I ended up with a huge Candida overgrowth last fall and quit sugar as of the middle of November. It helped somewhat and I lost 5 pounds.
    Fast forward to January and a diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease which it would seem I’ve had for 17 years – half my life. At that point my choices were five years of oral antibiotics or go on a really strict diet and focus on helping my liver cope with all the junk passing through it. I chose the diet and gentle daily cleansing of the liver. I don’t eat any sugar, grain, starch, alcohol, caffeine, vinegar or anything fermented or pickled, which cuts out condiments as well. No sweet fruit, I mainly stick with berries, lemons, and pineapple. As for dairy, I only eat full fat mozzarella, butter, whipping cream, and 10% plain greek yogurt. The less fat in dairy, the more natural lactose sugar.
    I started this program independent of the Wheat Belly program and have more restrictions – basically Wheat Belly, then further refined by the Blood Type diet, and not eating anything that causes a sugar spike, such as any grains (some of which I am allowed for my blood type but I find they bother me as I’m so sensitive). The Wheat Belly cookbook has been so helpful, thank you! I also use recipes from http://www.alldayidreamaboutfood.com, my favorite grain free, low carb recipe site. http://www.mariahealth.blogspot.ca has also been very helpful.
    I have strong views about Splenda and sucralose, so I’ve gone with Swerve and Just Like Sugar.
    I bring grain free food to work all the time and share with coworkers – a number of them have bought your books and are working to switch. Probably part of the reason is the fact that I’ve lost TWO jeans sizes in less than three months – about 25 pounds so far.
    My migraines totally disappeared within a month of changing my diet, i.e. by the end of January. I live in an area where we get a weather phenomenon called a Chinook, which causes migraines in many people. I would also get them from my own personal health issues. I recently had a couple of them this week, but it seems to be more of a healing crisis than a problem, i.e. my liver is processing old sludge (giving me a migraine) because I’m getting better and not adding any new sludge via my diet.
    It’s fortunate that my secular job is 4 days a week, as I spend the fifth day (Mondays) baking and cooking for the rest of the week so that I don’t go crazy and shove a burger and fries in my face.
    My overall pain is less (fibromyalgia caused by Lyme), few headaches if any, more energy, real weight loss, reduced joint pain and inflammation, my immune system has vastly improved, and I like having the knowledge that I’m at least not making things worse. Chronic Lyme is truly terrible but I am coping without the use of pharmaceutical products. I do however find high quality essential oils very helpful when I’m having a bad day, for pain, to improve my immune system, or to assist my sad little liver, etc.
    I hope this might help someone else with Lyme Disease.

  7. Andi

    I think you are doing the right thing! I have found the same success as your son with my blood sugar levels – I’m lucky enough that my endocrinologist supports me and says to keep doing what I’m doing! Way to go!

  8. inqui

    Great blog post. I just want to say that it’s a bit of a misnomer to talk about “cured” Type 2 diabetes. There’s no cure for the disease; there’s only control and management. A t2 diabetic on the wheat belly diet with perfect sugar is not “cured” of the disease. They’re just well-controlled. If the WB diet could cure diabetes, the same person would have normoglycemic numbers on an OGTT. No t2 diabetic (or any other knd), no matter how well controlled they may be with near normal to normal numbers, will metabolize glucose like a normal person. The day a diet or pill or surgery will allow a diabetic to have non-diabetic numbers in a glucose challenge, the disease will have been cured. For now, please let’s not get ahead of ourselves and talk about diets “Curing” diabetes. It’s control and effective management, not cure.

    I am mostly grain free right now, and I plan to take it further. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Davis’s research and ,for many, potentially life saving message. But, I take issue with the claim of curing diabetes. So there’s an honest comment. I would love to hear what Dr. Davis has to say.

    Thank you

    • Dr. Davis

      Semantics.

      If you have 75% residual beta cell capacity remaining after banging up your pancreas with wheat and other carbohydrates for the past 40 years, but then manage diet such that your fasting glucose is 84 mg/dl and HbA1c is 4.9%, I would call that cured of being diabetic and experiencing the complications of diabetes/hyperglycemia.

      Do you still have impaired beta cell function underneath it? Yes, of course, since they do not regenerate to any substantial degree. But because you have been spared all the consequences of diabetes, I call that “cure” for all practical purpose, provided you continue to control diet properly.

      • inqui

        This is more than a matter of Semantics. “Curing” a disease is the elimination of the disease with medical treatment. Malaria can be cured/eliminated. Diabetes cannot be eliminated but only managed and controlled. Uncontrolled diabetes or poorly controlled diabetes is symptomatic, and you’re talking about the reduction or elimination of symptoms and complications not the disease itself. You said it there yourself, Dr. Davis: But because you have been spared all the consequences of diabetes, I call that “cure” for all practical purpose, *****provided you continue to control diet properly.*****

        I strongly feel that touting a diet as a “cure”, when it very clearly is an excellent tool for “management” and control, to the point of potentially reversing “symptoms” and avoiding complications, is inaccurate. The underlying disease currently has no cure. So, why overstate our position?

        Currently, there are surgeries like the Duodenal Switch which may be seen as “curing” diabetes because not only do blood sugars normalize soon after surgery, people have normal FBS and hba1cs and even OGTT results year after year, even while eating the way non diabetics can (not that they should eat the way most do). That is, arguably, a cure. The WB diet is probably the best current tool for diabetes management through diet, but it is not a cure.

        Appreciate your response, Dr. David. Hope to hear from you further.

  9. JillOz

    DR Davis, can you please commment on wheat and osteoarthritis?? Causes, intensifies, related, influences…?

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Jill–

      See the acid-base chapter and the glycation chapter in the Wheat Belly book. You will see that wheat consumption is a major contributor to the situation that cultivates arthritis. Throw some inflammation in, too!

  10. Marcus

    If your child is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, you should ask for the Celiac blood test DGP-IgG before removing wheat.
    Do not accept the tTG-IgA blood test from your pediatrician as it isn’t sensitive enough for children.

    • Boundless

      > If your child is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, you should ask for
      > the Celiac blood test DGP-IgG before removing wheat.

      OK. Why?

      I appreciate that the common tests for Celiac depend on detection of antibodies that won’t be present after being gluten free for some time. But the “treatment” for celiac is what you’re already planning to do for other reasons: eliminate gluten-bearing grains. A family member here is clearly very wheat sensistive, might be celiac, but we see no point in seeking a test (particularly since it would require intentional re-exposure).

      What is the benefit of knowing that one is celiac? Having such a diagnosis for a child might, I suppose, provide some extra leverage in controlling school food consumption and exposure.

      • Marcus

        Celiac is a serious auto immune disease affecting many organs in the body
        Including the pancreas, which is triggered by Gluten contained not only in wheat but also is contained in medications and in non wheat foods like hot dogs, soup, sauces, candy etc.
        The child and future adult will need to declare she has Celiac when consulting with a doctor or nurse or starting school.
        Having a medical report is the first step to protect the child from pharmaceuticals that contain gluten or from having to eat hospital foods that contains gluten.
        Doctors and nurses and the hospital administration won’t take the child’s word if she says she has Celiac.
        The child will also benefit from protection against school lunch menus now and in College.
        The child will grow up being challenged by misinformed idiots trying to have her eat gluten for her own good.
        By having the Celiac diagnosis now, she will know as a child and into adulthood that gluten is the trigger of this auto-immune disease.

        • Boundless

          > Celiac is a serious auto immune disease …

          As I don’t see any responses by you on it, I suspect you haven’t seen Dr. Davis’ provocative post on that topic:
          http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/02/celiac-is-not-a-disease

          > The child will grow up being challenged by misinformed
          > idiots trying to have her eat gluten for her own good.

          Other than having to deliberately consume gluten to get the diagnosis, a child’s odd of actually having it are pretty low. The child is 5 times more likely, for example, to be non-celiac-acutely-wheat-sensitive.

          But sure, if you get the diagnosis, it does provide a little leverage (that the rest of the population also needs, and doesn’t get) when battling …

          > … misinformed idiots …

          Yep. That’s the general state of modern medicine when the topic is nutrition. I’d like to think that we’re headed into a GF future where you have to deliberately opt-in on avoidable ailments like celiac.

          We are all effectively celiac. It’s just a matter of degree and decades.

          • Boundless

            Missing text:

            > Other than having to deliberately consume gluten to get the diagnosis, …

            … there’s no real downside to getting tested.

          • Rebecca

            Boundless, totally agree that is parents are aware that a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes has a increase chance of having or being Celiac on some level why test just follow a GF diet. I do think that the link between Celiacs and type 1 diabetes though out there in research papers and medical articles has come to the attention of nutritionist and diabetes specialists. If a child is found to have type one diabetes a parent should if not sure if removing gluten from the diet would help then please test you child for celiacs or sensitivity to gluten all the test till gluten and wheat are rule out as an issue. I have a friend with type 1 diabetes that lived 30 years with the ups and downs and increases of insulin that create financial strain and health issues that go beyond just going into a coma. He tried WB for two weeks and stated after going back to his normal way of eating for a week, I have to go back to WB my blood sugar levels were more stable when I ate that way . I would suggest to any parent with a child with Type 1 diabetes do your best to figure ours if gluten is a quick fix that creates more need for quick fixes or if it is really ok?

  11. Marcus

    Just going wheat free won’t solve this girl’s problem if she’s still consuming gluten which is also found in hot dogs, soups, sauces, candy, etc. By having a diagnosis her parents can invoke the ADA to protect her and she will need that diagnosis in her adult years to use the ADA and to protect herself from people trying to force her consume gluten. It’s better to get diagnosed right at the start and get it over with for life.

    • Boundless

      > Just going wheat free won’t solve this girl’s problem if she’s still consuming
      > gluten which is also found in hot dogs, soups, sauces, candy, etc.

      WB isn’t just about wheat (or gluten). A sane diet includes none of those products, except for carefully vetted soups and sauces. A kid eating that junk needs new parents.

      > By having a diagnosis her parents can invoke the ADA to protect her …

      Which is nice (sort of) if you can get it, but well less than 20% of acutely reactive kids will be “lucky” enough to actually test positive for celiac.

      Celiacs are asking for special status treatment that WE ALL need. Having 1% of the population earn get-out-of-jail free cards is of little help to the 5% who are just as reactive (but don’t test positive) and to the remaining 94% who react less acutely. The rest of iceberg may get dismissed by the school dietitian (or other officious fool) because they don’t have the magic C card, even though the menu is just as toxic for them.

  12. Denise Turner

    suzanne i would love to be in touch with you and lend my support and get yours as well. my son was dx 1 yr ago and i have the same approach to management and unfortunately share similar frustrations with his endo office:( i wish there was another type 1 mom to be in touch with…..the others i have met just “count carbs and cover”:(

    • Erica

      I feel the same way. Our daughter has been type 1 for 3 years now. She is an active 14 year old now.

  13. Stephanie

    I just picked up the Wheat Belly Cookbook at my local library after seeing a friend reference it on Facebook. I’m considering trying it for a month to see how it feels. I’m really glad to see some other parents of Type 1 diabetics writing about their experiences on here. My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes almost 7 years ago when she was 23 months old. She was diagnosed with Hyperthyroid at 4. After I try giving up Wheat, I’m going to try it with her and see how it effects her blood glucose.

    Suzanne and Md B – I don’t know if your endocrinologists talked to you about the Honeymoon Phase, but your kids are most likely still in it. That means their body is still producing small amounts of insulin, so they don’t need to take as much by injection or pump right now. This can last a few months to a year but this will change. I know of families where the child went on insulin initially, then had to severely cut back or go off for a few months, but eventually had to go back on.

    Md B – I completely agree with you that diabetes is an individual disease. My daughter used to go sky high from bananas, even though I dosed her the correct amount of insulin. I weigh every banana she eats so I’m pretty sure about the carb count. And yet she would still be high 3 hours later. If I gave her more insulin, she would crash low. She’s never had a seizure, but she did pass out once. Luckily it was school and the nurse was right there. She was able to wake her up and get her some juice – she didn’t need glucagon. I’ve heard that the seizures and passing out can happen from the sugar dropping quickly, not necessarily the number being low. That’s what happened in my daughter’s case.

    • Boundless

      > I’ve heard that the seizures and passing out can happen from
      > the sugar dropping quickly, not necessarily the number being low.

      Why wouldn’t someone with Type 1 simply switch, permanently, from a glycemic metabolism to a ketogenic metabolism? This would remove blood glucose levels as a significant concern.

      Yes, this is a novel approach that may freak out under-informed healthcare providers.

      Here’s a typical case of someone (an athlete) who did just what I’m asking about above.

      And yes, the WB dietary recommendations are a great basis for further reducing the carbs and going full keto.

  14. Suzanneh

    Dr Davis, I showed the above article to my son-in-law who is a Type one since his early teens. Forced him to read it on Sunday (even though it´s in English) and stuffed your book (translated) in his hands as they left after Easter dinner. Monday he started changing his ways and I am now keeping my fingers crossed!! Dr Eenfeldt har updated his Swedish version on diabetes and I am pretty sure that at “dietdoctor.com” you can find an updated version as well!

    • Dr. Davis

      Terrific, Suzanneh!

      It will be interesting to see what his blood sugar experience is. Please remind him to watch out for hypoglycemia. Ideally, he works with his doctor to manage his insulin schedule and dose. Of course, the problem is that 99% of docs have no idea how to do this, so it is really important to watch blood sugars VERY closely in the early period.

      • Suzanne

        Dr Davis! An update on my son-in-law who has been low-carbing it since Monday. This morning his bloodsugar was 5,9 (I don´t know if you measures are the same as ours) which is considered a normal bloodsugar. I got in to a fight on Facebook yesterday with one of his “friends” who told him (and me) in no uncertain terms that he had to give up this way of eating at once because the body and the brain needed carbs! And this from a stereoid-popping bodybuilder!
        Luckily he has made his mind up to try this for a while and I put as much information into his hands as I can!

        • Boundless

          > … because the body and the brain needed carbs!

          As the saying goes, that’s not even wrong.

          Carbs never even get to the brain, per se. What the FaceFool was probably trying to say was that the body and brain need glucose (from carbs), which is also incorrect (although common nutritional mythology).

          The body and brain can operate on glucose (from typical glycemic metabolism) or ketone bodies (from nutritional ketosis), arguably better in ketosis.

          There are people who use NK to manage their Type1, including at least one physician who wrote a book* about it. This probably requires great care, due to concerns about the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and at this point we have exceeded my knowledge of the topic.

          Good luck finding a physician, endocrinologist or dietitian who even knows that there is a profound difference between NK and DKA.
          ________
          * We have a T1 relative looking into this, so if anyone wants the name/book title, I can probably obtain and post it.

        • Dr. Davis

          Hi, Suzanne–

          Ignore such rants: They are so woefully outdated, it would be like turning the clock back 40 years on our thinking.

          And I fear that your son-in-law’s blood sugar is still too high–not diabetic high, but still not in the ideal range. Urge him to keep on!

          • Suzanne

            Hi Dr Davis, I´ve gotten out of the “discussion” i question…
            And I´ll tell him what you said! :-)

  15. Irene

    I’m 3/4 way through the book and it’s the best read I’ve experienced in a long time – makes so much sense to me. I wish Dr Davis had written this book 40 years ago. I started on gluten free ~7 weeks ago and feel so much better – bloating has disappeared among other symptoms. I’m ~6 kgs overweight so didn’t do it for weight control as much as a healthier diet as I have Hashimoto, Vitilago and chemically sensitive because of of autoimmune. My daughter is Type 1 diabetic since she was 7 (now 45) and I have encouraged her to adopt the gluten free way of eating also. She is slim but has developed colitis in the last year. I always believed we ate a reasonably healthy diet but didn’t for one minute think wheat could be so damaging. I was aware of sugar and salt and others but never wheat to this level. We just never stop learning !! (From Australia)

  16. hi
    pls helpim very new my girl 8 yearswas dignose with tipe 1
    on injections 3 times dayly but she hates this and so am i
    i have to controle her breakfast 15-45g of carb and protein intake then 12 o clock a protein only at lunch the same dinner the same controle why must she only have proteins for n snak and what can i give her as a protein snack instead of the normal boring cheese peanuts and so on

    • You can make nice smoothies(shakes) with low carb almond milk and 1/2 a banana and maybe a strawberry if she likes them. Avoid cheese it’s too salty and will interfere with having the proper amount of potassium in her system. See if she’ll eat unsalted almonds or no salt almond butter. You can also find reallly good recipes on the website health e solutions- you can google it. The trick is to be sure to keep her low carb while boosting her nutrition so she can heal.

  17. Dear Dr. Davis,
    My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 5. I began studying everything I could lay my eyes on including Nutrition, chemistry, new scientific studies and old, history of diabetes, etc, I then decided to become a nurse and am now a new graduate of Nursing school. My daughter is now 12 years old and this is what I’ve learned. The reason why removing wheat from the diet works is because wheat irritates the gut and prevents proper absortion of potassium. It also cause high cortisol production because your body thinks it’s under attack. Couple these with bread being high carb and you almost have to get high blood sugar or diabetes from eating it. Salt interferes with potassium- so if you eat a high salt diet you may be hypokalemic. The symptoms of low potassium mimic diabetes- frequent urination- which in turn leads to more potassium depletion, change in behavior, extreme thirst. Magnesium is needed to properly absorb potassium. Thank-you for getting the word out!
    janie G

      • Janie Gaffney

        Dear Dr. Davis,
        Do you believe that this is a possibility, that it CAN happen?
        Janie Gaffney

  18. Janie Gaffney

    She is still diabetic. She was on 48 units 4 days ago, when I decided to implement a new strategy to help her achieve better glucose control with less insulin with the hope that reducing her insulin will help her feel better and one day she may need little to no insulin. I now use a potassium salt substitue, and she takes two-three supplements a day, as well as a drink of Natural Calm magnesium before bed. Her numbers upon arising have been 72-80, when they used to be 200-300 even with the proper insulin to carb ratio. This morning she was 380, but that was due to her snacking without taking insulin. (it happens sometimes-she’s12) It’s worth trying, because it won’t hurt her to have the proper amount of potassium and magnesium. (recommended daily allowance, no more) So far, what I have seen, is that her headaches and leg cramps go away after taking the potassium. This occurs whether or not insulin is given with it. Also, she is now on 41 units (as of yesterday) So, yes, it is too soon to tell if this will work but if it does I will post more results here.

    • Janie Gaffney

      The new strategy is working. My daughter’s fasting blood glucose was 101, after using atotal of 19 units yesterday. I will keep you posted on our continuing progress.

  19. Madison MacLaren

    I have been on the Wheat Belly diet for over a year now and have lost over 30 lbs. I exercise vigorously about 6 to 7 hours a week, and lead a generally active life. My diet has also included low carb, with no more than !/4 cup of fruit with protein once a day, and no grains except for some beans every few weeks. My triglycerides are 56! My problem is that my blood sugar is not down. A year ago it was 104, today 102. It has occasionally spiked into the low teens. I take supplements, for the blood sugar, and fish oil. My BMI is 25.6 so I could still loose a few more lbs, but no weight has come off for months. I still have a belly despite the diet and abdominal exercises. What else can I do?

  20. Susan

    Dr. Davis,

    After getting admonished by an ER doctor during a gallbladder attack for being on a high-fat, low-carb diet, I reverted to a low-fat (resulting in a high-carb) diet. After my gallbladder was removed, I felt very unwell and could eat only minute bits of fat, and had to first take digestive enzymes in order to do so. So, a few years of being on this high-carb nightmare as I watched my stomach expand, I went to my GP who diagnosed me with insulin-resistance, pre-diabetic. I had not had sugar, or eaten white bread, rice, potatoes etc. for many years, so he told me it was due to too much saturated fat. He told me to take mulberry leaf extract after any sweets or carbs. Needless to say, this didn’t work. Quite the opposite. I saw Dr. Davis on the Dr. Oz show and the light bulb went on! Why was I told to take mulberry leaf extract after eating carbs, but there was no mention of cutting back on the saturated fat? I started Wheat Belly a couple of days later, cold turkey. No withdrawl! My horrible digestive issues disappeared almost immediately. My stomach and bowels thank me after every meal (and so does my family). My brain is more alert, I’m less jittery, no more heart palpitations. Even a nagging LCL injury has improved. No weight loss yet, unfortunately, but the digestive improvement alone has deemed me wheat free forever! One thing that I am unsure about, though, is the amount of carbs that those of us who are insulin-resistant should be having (50g net, less?). And when counting those carbs, do you include nuts, that you can apparently eat unlimited quantities of? What about veggies?

    • Dr. Davis

      After you find yourself a smarter doctor, Susan, carb counting is a helpful strategy for those of us who want to absolutely kiss all pre-diabetic phenomena goodbye.

      Count “net” carbs: Net carbs = total carbs – fiber. We find that 15 grams “net” carbs per meal (or 6-hour time period) works well for most, adjustable depending on factors like age and activity level.

      Most people with your sorts of struggles also do well with several weeks supplementation with a high-potency probiotic, e.g., 50 billion CFUs per day.

      • Susan

        Dr. Davis,

        Thanks for such a quick reply. I’ve been doing it right so far. I guess a little more time to see any weight-loss results in the mid-section.

        Susan

  21. Monique

    Dr. Davis,

    I have just completed one of your videos on youtube and am amazed, but I also need help. I am 33.5 weeks pregnant, and have been told that my blood sugars are to high. When I went to see the dietician, she gave me a book, and told me that I too, should have all manner of carbs (way above the level I previously consumed) , and have them 6 times a day. A few days of this proved to be chaotic for my blood sugar numbers, and then I just changed it to protein and vegggies (spinach, cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes) and my numbers came down between 97-115. However, this is not good enough for the folks at the office, because I have to have a fasting blood sugar of 94 or lower and 2hr blood sugar after meals below 120. If I dont, they want me to start insulin shots! I am terrified of needles and have been looking for a way to change this.
    They told me I am a diabetic, and then when I questioned them on my numbers based on what the American Diabetic Association said, I was told, “Well, yeah, but a gestational diabetic and were probably you’re pre-diabetic before you got pregnant.

    I saw the ob the other day, and he said he was proud of the progress I had made. When I asked him what I could do to decrease the fasting number, he said to eat 100% whole wheat bread, so dutifully, I did, and all of my numbers are 10-20 higher. I also felt VERY sluggish all day!

    What should I do? I feel like I am being forced into a treatment that I dont need.

    thanks in advance!

  22. James

    Dr Davis , I have been type 1 diabetic for , 17 years I have tried every diet sunder the sun, vegan ,raw foods nothing never worked as I was still eating breads and gluten to replace the meat what was missing in my diet , now I’m eating organic meat full fats , and now I have been heavily reserching gluten , and gave now stopped that and all grains , do u think it will be possible for my body to recover , if I detox and get off the insulin , it could happen couldn’t it ?

    • Dr. Davis

      No, not in this chronic situation, James. If an attempt is going to be made to halt the destruction of pancreatic beta cells, it must be done immediately upon diagnosis.

      This is NOT to say that you still cannot obtain plenty of other benefits, including much easier control over HbA1c and blood glucose. Also, note that type 1 diabetics show outsized potential for celiac disease.