Joanna posted this intriguing and wonderful tale of nephrotic syndrome reversed with wheat elimination:
No more nephrotic syndrome since starting
Wheat Belly–this is MASSIVE. I need to share my story Dr Davis.
I’m 30, I had heavy proteinuria [protein loss in the urine] for years. I went strictly wheat-free in July, 2012, and today I discovered its down to 0.5 g [per day]. No meds, just my interest in nutrition, in particular my 10 months on Wheat Belly. I’ve lost 20 kg [44 pounds], I weigh 54 kg [118.8 pounds] now, zero fluid retention, and the receptionist at the doctor’s office didn’t recognize me.(I last saw her 9 months ago.) Wheat Belly has been the catalyst for a miracle in my life.
I was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome when I was 21. I was holding so much fluid in my legs and around my eyes and no, I never had a cause, the words of my doctor.
I wasn’t diabetic but, boy oh boy, I was a bread nut my whole life. I had actually been working in a bakery for the previous two years (a large Australian chain). I constantly craved pastry, doughy scrolls cakes, etc. Renal specialist put me on high dose prednisolone (albumin [blood protein level] had fallen to 14–yikes!) and the best that these AWFUL drugs could do was raise it to 21. I begged him to get me off the steroids due to horrific mental side-effects, so I came off them very slowly (year and a half) and I’d been losing on average 4 g of protein a day, but there was no way I could live on those tablets.
Causes of this awful condition include longstanding diabetes, kidney diseases such as membranous nephropathy and postinfectious glomerulonephritis, and amyloidosis, and lupus. Deteriorating kidney function can proceed at variable rates, but typically results in complete kidney failure over a few years, necessitating dialysis, else it is fatal.
I embarked on a mission to heal myself. My dad’s partner is a nutritionist in England and she started talking about wheat-free. July 25, 2012 was the first day of the rest of my miraculously healthy life. I quit wheat cold turkey after reading the Wheat Belly blog: pennies were dropping everywhere I looked on this site–acne, cravings, bloating. So I thought, hey, my kidney thing is autoimmune as well, so this might work.
Well!!! I have never had a waist in my life. I now have this amazing hourglass figure (‘scuse the self compliment!). I’d been an apple my whole life. My blood and urine results came back yesterday and they prove a miracle. Most incredible was my protein loss down to 0.5g [per day]. Blood pressure lowest range of normal (I was on meds for that most of my 20s). The inflammation that was ruining my kidneys had almost completely vanished.
Health is the most important thing, but being an Aussie size 8, never going hungry and being so clear in the head and full of energy are wonderful perks of this life–not diet–life. Friends are converting too. This is a revolution. And I thought I’d be on dialysis before the age of 40. It’s the weirdest and most amazing feeling, stumbling across a completely healthy life. Sorry for the rambling, but people need to know wheat causes serious, serious disease, not just minor ailments.
Oh and albumin has shot up to 40 . . . No steroids!!!
Amazing. Truly amazing.
Nephrotic syndrome is a serious condition that, as Joanna describes, involves continual loss of protein in the urine. In other words, the kidney loses its capacity to retain protein molecules in the bloodstream, allowing them to leak into the urine, causing a peculiarly frothy urine. Protein loss means proteins in the bloodstream (serum), such as albumin, fall into abnormally low range. Proteins not only perform crucial functions in various organs, but exert oncotic (osmotic) pressure to keep the body fluids where they belong, including in the bloodstream. The loss of bloodstream protein therefore allows fluids to leak out of the bloodstream and into the legs, lungs, and other areas, causing significant and disfiguring edema (swelling). Peculiar phenomena like blood clots in the kidney veins and legs can result from loss of specific proteins, such as antithrombin-3.
As often happens, nephrotic syndrome has been described in association with celiac disease, which then falsely leads many people to believe that it can only occur in association with celiac disease. But it can occur just with wheat consumption without positive transglutaminase or other celiac antibody markers.
Obviously, a single case does not constitute proof. But the stories of success in our wheat-free lifestyle continue to pour out so quickly that there is insufficient time to pursue the clinical trials that confirm cause-effect relationship in every instance. In the meantime, we enjoy these wonderful stories of apparent wheat-free success that requires no drugs, biopsies, procedures or costs!