Annie posted this story of complete health turnarounds in her formerly ill parents involving diabetes/prediabetes and a condition called Wegener’s Granulomatosis:
I live in Christchurch, New Zealand, and saw you briefly on a programme called “60 Minutes” when they were discussing gluten sensitivity. My parents both had many health problems that were talked about, so I read your book and blog thoroughly and started them on the Wheat Belly diet a few months ago.
Mum is overweight and has struggled with diets all her life. She was on bendrofluazide and candesartan for blood pressure and about to start diabetes medication. Dad has Wegener’s Granulomatosis and on long-term steroids and azathioprine after completing a course of IV cyclophosphamide. He also developed steroid-induced diabetes and was on metformin.
Dad had always been slim and fit and it has been heart breaking to see his quality of life decreasing, depression creeping in, and growing a belly that was getting so uncomfortable he could no longer tolerate full meals or bend to tie his shoe laces.
We all started WB together and have been very strict. The results have been amazing. Mum has lost a lot of weight, is off both BP [blood pressure] meds, no longer prediabetic, and has energy I’ve never seen before. Dad has lost 10 kg [22 pounds] (he was 88kg pre WB), which is a miracle and usually very difficult on steroids. His belly has decreased dramatically, he is off metformin and has normal blood sugars, his energy has increased, is sleeping better (without medication), and the inflammation in his sinuses and upper respiratory tract [of Wegener's Granulomatosis] is much improved. He no longer sounds like Darth Vader.
I started WB with them to ‘feel their pain’ and we were only doing a week’s trial. I had no pre-existing health conditions (that I’m aware of) but felt really good on WB. We all went through a headache and fatigue period, but that soon passed. When the week was up it was obvious we couldn’t go back to eating grains and sugar. Quite a few of my friends have since started the WB lifestyle and are having positive results. I have been accused of ‘preaching’ but I feel so passionate about this change.
The results speak for themselves. Thank you.
This is a bread recipe I have created through playing with the recipes in your cookbook. It freezes well and keeps for over a week in the fridge. I think it tastes delicious . . . better than ‘normal’ bread.
Sunflower Seed Bread
2 C ground almond
1 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C ground flaxseed
1/4 C chickpea flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C buttermilk or full fat milk
1/2 C tasty cheese
Mix all dry ingredients together then add milk, eggs and cheese. Put in a loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit degrees for 45-50 mins.
[Note from WD: To minimize the potential for Baker's ammonia, add milk and cheese to the dry ingredients with a teaspoon of lemon juice, wait one minute. Whisk the eggs and then add them to the mixture.]
Isn’t that great? Relief from diabetes/prediabetes, hypertension, abdominal fat, and at least partial relief from the phenomena of a very serious condition, Wegener’s. The reduced sinus and airway symptoms suggest that vascular inflammation has been reduced.
Wegener’s granulomatosis is an autoimmune inflammation of the blood vessels usually experienced as unremitting nasal congestion, discharge, and bleeding; airway irritation and asthma; growth of lung nodules; kidney dysfunction and kidney failure, among other phenomena. It is treated with toxic drugs such as prednisone, azathioprine, and cyclophosphamide that have side effects including infections and cancer. While Annie’s dad’s experience represents just one case, it is consistent with the experience of many others who report that other autoimmune conditions recede or disappear with wheat elimination.
Recall that the gliadin protein of wheat, in addition to being degraded in the gastrointestinal tract to small polypeptides that penetrate into the bloodstream and bind to the opiate receptors of the brain to stimulate appetite, also has the unique ability to “unlock” the normal intestinal barriers to foreign proteins/polypeptides, both dietary and bacterial. This is the purported first step in generating the misguided immune response characteristic of autoimmunity.
Of the 75 autoimmune conditions experienced by humans, what proportion are triggered by consumption of wheat, perhaps worsened by the genetic alterations introduced into the gliadin antigenic stimulant? We don’t have an answer yet, but my prediction is that the majority of autoimmune conditions, in all their various, painful and debilitating forms, get their start with the bagel, sandwich, or licorice you have every day.