Let your stomach do the talking

Janzo posted this interesting perspective on diabetes and blood sugar:

I have pre-diabetes, and have tried EVERY popular “change your diet” book published in the last 10 years, with little results: I still fought my lifelong sweet-tooth and cravings for carbs. Last September I got an official diagnosis of diabetes (A1C was 8.2% or something), and reluctantly put myself back on a low-carb program–AGAIN. No grains except “healthy whole wheat bread” and some crackers, no fruit. I quickly became depressed, my body was tense and ached. Life was miserable. And my fasting glucose readings were still 160 [mg/dl] or so; far from the 110 I was looking for.

After MUCH nagging, I followed my chiropractor’s advice and looked into gluten-free as a way to get my numbers down, and found this blog. I read all the comments: “I don’t even MISS the old foods!” “I feel better than I EVER have in my LIFE!!” “I’ll NEVER go back to eating.” And my eyes rolled. I’d heard this with EVERY diet I’d tried, and failed to maintain. This was just one more.

But then something weird happened. My gut spoke up.

I felt a strange sensation in my mid-region, and “checked in” with my gut feelings. They were saying “YES YES YES PLEASE PLEASE CAN WE DO THIS **PLEASE PLEASE???!!!!**” To which my mind said “What the HELL??!” My gut feelings were jumping up and down with excitement, like a puppy when you pick up its leash to go for a walk.

They say if your head and your gut disagree, your gut is telling you the truth and your head is wrong. So I went with it, and ate my last “healthy whole wheat” crackers on Saturday. By Tuesday: my depression was gone, my tension was gone, my sweet tooth was gone, and my fasting glucose was suddenly down to 120. Holeeee crud!

I don’t even MISS the old foods. I feel better than I EVER have in my LIFE. And I’ll NEVER go back to eating wheat. Thanks, Dr. D!

Consumption of modern wheat causes diabetes: pure and simple. Getting rid of modern wheat gets rid of diabetes in the majority of cases (provided you don’t fill the calorie gap with candy and ice cream!).

Why would this be? Why would “healthy whole grains” cause, or at least contribute, to development of type 2 diabetes? There are several reasons:

1) No other food–sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, sugary soft drinks, French fries, etc.–has its very own opiate that stimulates appetite. The gliadin protein, digested down to 5 tetra- and pentapeptide “exorphin” (exogenous morphine-like compounds) units, binds to the opiate receptors of the human brain and stimulates appetite. (Those nice people in the Wheat Lobby argue that other foods, such as dairy products and spinach, also have opiates; this is technically true, but the binding affinity of these compounds is so low–10% or less of the binding affinity of wheat exorphins–that they are not of any practical concern. Don’t fall for this obvious smokescreen.)

The increased appetite of wheat exorphins cause you to consume 400 or more calories per day, every day. Those calories are not from pork chops or salmon; they come carbohydrates almost exclusively–chips, cookies, crackers, pretzels, candy and other goodies, the foods that raise blood sugar.

2) Wheat contains the complex carbohydrate, amylopectin A–Recall that the unique branching structure of wheat’s amylopectin A makes it highly susceptible to digestion by the enzyme, amylase, in saliva and stomach juices, releasing glucose into the bloodstream literally within seconds of ingestion. This explains why two slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher and faster than 6 teaspoons of table sugar. High blood sugar obliges high blood insulin, over and over and over again in the world of the “healthy whole grain” eater. Over time, this leads to diminished responsiveness to insulin–“insulin resistance”–the foundation of pre-diabetes and diabetes. It also leads to creation of visceral belly fat which, in turn, worsens insulin resistance and inflammation.

3) Repetitive high blood sugars, over and over again, lead to pancreatic glucotoxicity–damage to pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. (Here is a representative discussion of this effect.) Death of pancreatic beta cells is, for all practical purposes, irreversible: When they’re dead, they’re dead and do not regenerate. Foods that raise blood sugar the most cause the most glucotoxicity. What food dominates the modern diet and has among the highest of glycemic indexes? Yup: wheat.

4) A vigorous and unending flow of carbohydrates fuels the process of liver de novo lipogenesis, the conversion of sugar and carbohydrates into fatty acids in the liver. Among the results: plenty of fatty acids and triglycerides in the bloodstream. This causes lipotoxicity, death to pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. So those typical triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dl, 200 mg/dl, 500 mg/dl or higher that persist for extended periods kill off pancreatic beta cells.

5) Leptin resistance–Gain weight, lose the satiating/appetite-limiting effect of the leptin hormone. It means that appetite is not turned off. High leptin levels are also toxic to the pancreas: leptin toxicity.

6) Inflammation–Insulin resistance, visceral fat accumulation: It all adds up to extravagant triggering of complex inflammatory pathways signaled by increased c-reactive protein in the bloodstream, increased interleukins, increased tumor necrosis factor, and many others, as well as increased inflammatory white blood cell content of the fat itself (like pus). The process is made worse by the entry of foreign compounds into the bloodstream and lymph permitted by the gliadin protein. The same gliadin that is broken down into exorphin polypeptides can also remain intact and exert bowel permeability increasing effects via the zonulin pathway described by Dr. Alessio Fasano; this occurs in people with celiac disease and it occurs in people without celiac disease.

7) The lectin of wheat, wheat germ agglutinin, mimics insulin. It stimulates many of the same processes triggered by insulin in fat cells, including reduced oxidation of fatty acids.

8) How about a more speculative, non-quantifiable effect: resorting to wheat products, such as chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, angel food cake, and chocolate eclairs, as “comfort” foods to quell the various emotional and physical aches and pains characteristic of wheat consumption?

That’s a partial list. Yes, a partial list of how wheat causes diabetes.

Increased appetite for sugar and carbohydrates, high blood sugar, high blood insulin, leptin effects, gluco- and lipotoxic pancreatic effects, inflammation, etc. It all adds up to a perfect storm to create type 2 diabetes. So what does our USDA, nice dietitians, and many of my colleagues tell you to do about his? Eat MORE “healthy whole grains.” Not only do they tell us to eat more of it, they tell us that they should dominate the diet. (Thus the largest segments of the USDA Food Pyramid and Plate.)

Is the explosion in diabetes any surprise? This is what the CDC says:

So Janzo is getting a little taste of the incredible power of eating NO “healthy whole grains” to minimize or reverse diabetes. Do you find it a little odd that the most vigorous and long-term financial supporters of the “healthy whole grain” message and the Wheat Lobby and trade groups are . . . diabetes drug manufacturers?

Like This Post? Sign Up For Updates — It’s FREE!

Plus receive my special report Life After Wheat, 5 Essential Steps to Take After You Remove Wheat and delicious Wheat Belly recipes!

Comments & Feedback...

  1. Terri

    This is almost exactly what happened to me. Gestational diabetes with 3 kids on metformin and carb restricted diet and regular exercise. I went low carb and no grains almost 1 year ago. I am down almost 30 pounds. I don’t need an afternoon nap. I never get shakey or have cravings anymore. I don’t eat sweets unless I make them w/Stevia or some other substitute. I consider grains a poison and I won’t touch them at all. I wish I had known this 10 years ago. I have 10 more pounds to go and it won’t budge. I had all my thryoid levels drawn last week and am waiting on results. I added Kelp already to the tons of supplements I now take. Where is the thread on how to read thyroid labs? I am also waiting on my lipid numbers to compare this year to last year. I don’t have any wheat in my house now and no white sugar. I am still searching for the perfect pizza crust recipe to please my family. I have all Maria Emmerich’s books and have tried all of those. I have all the lowcarbing among friends and have tried those. Have wheat belly books too. I should get a commission for the number of people I try to convert…I consider Dr. Davis a hero….my life is so different grain free. I am 44 and ten pounds from my weight when I got married. That is my goal….

    • Terri

      Lab results. Can Dr. Davis comment?
      Total Cholesterol 222, HDL 76, Trigycerides 77, LDL 131, Ratio 2.9, Non HDL Cholestrol 146, Glucose fasting 95, TSH 1.52, T4 free 1.2, T3 Free 2.8

      • Dr. Davis

        Overall, quite favorable, Terri, as much as we can gauge from these simple measures.

        In my view, we should NEVER make any judgements about the calculated LDL values, particularly as the Friedewald calculation for LDL cholesterol is rendered INVALID by a marked reduction in carbohydrate intake (and thereby lipoprotein triglyceride content).

        If you want to know how much residual risk there is in these values, you need an NMR LDL particle number or an apoprotein B.

        • michal

          hello.
          i wish to try this diet for health reasons.
          but i dont want to lose weight!
          do you have any special recommendation?
          thank you!

        • Terri

          Dr. Davis-
          Thank you. I found my numbers from 13 months ago before I started this. I can see huge improvements in my trigylcerides and HLD numbers. They 2012 numbers are total cholesterol 199, Triglycerides 109, HDL 59, ratio 3.4, LDL 118. Also my fasting glucose a year ago was 100. This year it was 95. I have gone from a size 16 to 8.

          What can I do to drop the last 10 pounds?
          Thank you again….you saved me from diabetes and now I can run again with my 8 kids… terri

  2. stephen ottridge

    I am 71 years old and diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes last September. My blood sugars were so high that I started on 26 units of NPH insulin a day. After being wheat free thanks to Dr Davis and Wheat Belly for 6 months, I no longer need insulin though I still do take 2 tablets a day of Metfornin, and my blood sugars are normal. My weight this morning was a new low of 183 lbs, down 35 lbs from my peak. I expect to be able to go without Metformin at my next diabetes clinic check up.

  3. Liz

    Weight lost since beginning WB a little over a year ago? An official 21 pounds, and most of it was belly fat. My daughter and her husband are true believers, both of them being quite heavy to begin with. They tried everything, right down to the doctor-supervised Human Growth Hormone diet (complicated, restrictive, and temporary). Weight loss for them is secondary to getting their health back, and they both have found a lot of improvement in blood fats, sugars, and other biochemical processes. Both were on CPAP machines, but have been able to discard them since going on WB.

  4. Robin

    I found your book in October and have been gluten/ grain free ever since. Lost weight and feel great, however just had blood work done and my blood sugar was 101 fasting. I was always between 85 and 90 before even at my highest weight and terrible eating habits.( 61 yr old female) all other blood work great. I am working with Maria Emmerich and have been taking supplements…don’t think they have anything in them to cause problems. Do you have any ideas?
    Thank you,
    Robin

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes: the flood of fatty acids that develops with weight loss, especially by this wheat-free and limited carbohydrate route, blocks insulin and raises blood sugar. This effect will subside once weight plateaus for several weeks.

      This is an expected part of weight loss.

  5. Mia

    I started eating wheat-free six days ago and so far I´m doing quite well, the only thing I worry about is that I eat too much. Nuts and eggs can be found in the Unlimited-section on the Quick and dirty 2 list (how serious can I take “unlimited”?) but it´s so easy to eat way more than 2000 calories when you include them. On the other hand, when I don´t eat nuts and eggs I don´t feel full . Although I was clearly eating way more than 2000 calories in the last days, I didn´t gain weight but I´m afraid that I will. Do I have to just force myself to eat less nuts? When is my hunger supposed to decrease? Is it just too early for that yet?

    • You will notice, with a bit more time, that you will be less hungry and not be eating as much through out the day. Make sure to include healthy fats as they will keep you more satisfied longer through out the day. In the first few weeks I ate 3 meals and snacked on almonds in between. Since then I can now drink a coffee with coconut oil, HWC and a some stevia or have a breakfast of 2 eggs and cheese and not feel hungry until late afternoon! I’m still getting use to this fact about myself as I was someone who grazed on crap all day long!! The weightloss will come, without worrying about counting calories or eating to much, listen to your body it will tell you when your truly hungry and when your satisfied and to stop eating!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, it may indeed be too early for the reduction in appetite.

      Also, most people do best by increasing oil and fat intake, e.g., olive oil, coconut oil, the fat on poultry, beef, chicken, and fish.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      When I get ravenously hungry I go for some ghee. It tastes good and kills the munchies.

      Ghee is clarified butter. It contains the fat of butter without most of the water or the water soluble proteins or sugars (casein or lactose). Here is a Youtube search of “how to clarify butter”. It turns up lots of videos.

      http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+clarify+butter&oq=how+to+clarify&gs_l=youtube.3.0.0l10.2690.12007.0.14467.16.7.1.0.0.1.3178.9771.2-1j0j1j0j1j1j1j2.7.0…0.0…1ac.1.11.youtube.FiUEoQNhfDo

      As you can see, clarifying butter is fast and easy.

  6. Loekie

    After nearly a year wheat free my sugar level was “terrific”, according the doctor who I was visiting because of neurologic problems of my feet. With my feet it goes better and better, no medication or whatsoever.

    • Annie C

      Loekie, I have neurologic problems to my feet too…. Difficulties to walk properly for years (I needed a cane sometimes, at 38 years old only and no drugs could relieved me).
      I eat the WB way since last september, and my pain is 75% gone. Somedays it’s getting back for no apparent reason…. I think some of us needs a long time to heal our inflammation…

  7. Tina

    Dr. Davis,
    I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidism at 47 yrs of age, presently taking glucophage X-R1500 mg , naturethroid 2 grain tab, iodoral, totally eliminated wheat and on a low carb diet. Despite all of these, fasting blood sugar stays at 110-117 mg/dl, hbA1c at 6.1-6.2 , never lower. What could be the problem?

    • Boundless

      What’s your net carb intake per day?
      Are you in the process of losing weight?

    • Dr. Davis

      Well, only so much I can tell in a blog comment, Tina!

      Among the most likely possibilities:

      1) Undertreated thyroid. For instance, most people do best with a free T3 level at 3.1 pcg or higher, TSH 1.0 mIU or less. Note that Iodoral induces iodine toxicity when taken for several months, an effect that could be interfering with restoration of thyroid status.

      2) Persistently high blood sugars can develop just while losing weight, if you are losing weight. This subsides once weight loss plateaus for several weeks.

  8. Janet

    Dr. Davis,

    Had all my blood work done and all the thyroid test you recommend. My doctor was very pleased with all my results. However, I question the results of my thyroid.
    My results:
    Anti Thryoglobulin <15
    Anti Microsomal AB 47
    T3Free 3.0
    T4Free 0.9
    TSH 2.280
    Glucose 88
    Triglyceride 143
    HDL 55
    LDL 79

    Been wheat free since Oct. of last year. Added 975 mcg Kelp per day and 750 mg of Magnesium back in January. However, weight loss has stalled at 20 pounds no matter how mcuh exercise I get per week. At one time you said we could post our results on this blog. Hope it is still ok. Any advice to get weight loss moving again?

    Janet

    • tony

      Janet, if by exercise you mean “aerobics,” don’t waste your time!
      With WB diet, what works best IMHO is high intensity, short duration interval training as you can learn about here: http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/
      Don’t get discouraged, just keep on, keepin’ on.

    • Dr. Davis

      Very marginal thyroid status, Janet. Ideal TSH is 1.0 mIU or less, so you are just a bit over ideal. I would be skeptical that thyroid is the dominant issue.

      The most likely and common explanation is suggested by your high triglycerides that suggest ongoing excessive non-wheat carbohydrate intake. This high and it means that you are likely markedly overexposed to insulin-provoking carbohydrates from some source. Note that most of us do best by limiting carbohydrates to 15 grams “net” carbs or less per meal.

  9. Janzo

    Thank you to everyone for all your comments, I’m glad my story can encourage others! More info: In August 2012 my A1C test was 8.5 (ack!). I went low-carb in early September, and on Wheat Belly in late October. I walked about 2 miles, 5 days a week for exercise. In December 2012, my A1C was .. (drumroll) .. 5.5!! I had never seen my doctor so happy! Thankfully, she was very open to hearing that I’d cut out the wheat .. although, I doubt she would go so far as to recommend it to any patients.

    I started metering myself in September, twice a week before breakfast. On my “low-carb with wheat” diet, I was getting fasting readings from 155 to 165. My first reading after two days of WB: 125!! Since then, with VERY careful diet (gotta watch the milk/yoghurt addiction and fruit), I have had several readings in the 105-115 range. Lately, stress and lack of meal plans have put me in the 120’s for several weeks .. hoping to get back on the program soon.

    But even when I go “rogue”, it is nothing crazy: I eat some fruit, have some potatoes or Mexican food. I still don’t wheat or sugars, because I **SO** do not miss the cravings, non-stop eating, and “carb crashes” that went along with those foods. And as a side-benefit: since September I’ve lost that mythical “last 20 lbs.” that never seemed to go away! Carry on, comrades!

    • Dr. Davis

      And thank you, again, Janzo, for your enlightening and inspiring story!

      I hope you have a big, bang up celebration to commemorate becoming NON-DIABETIC!

    • Janzo

      Update: For those keeping score at home, my May 24, 2013, A1C was 5.9. Not so great, but I had expected a bit of a rise; stress, travel, more than usual amount of restaurant food (with potatoes), family gatherings with tortilla chips on hand, and lack of exercise, pretty much continuously since my test in December. That will all end soon, looking forward to getting back to normal .. in more ways than one! Since I’ve now had two test results below 6.0, I won’t be getting more till my annual physical.

  10. Neicee

    Janzo, loved your story and hope/wish you the very best. I go rogue with 1/3 of a potato! Thanks again for your contributing your story and progress.

  11. Gracie

    Ok…I’ve scoured the blog regarding wheatgrass/barley grass and the search comes up with zero…The answers on the internet swing both ways…pro and con…HELP Dr. Davis…
    Is wheatgrass/barley grass ok on this program.? I’ve quit drinking my “greens” drink until I find out. I look forward to a reply. Many, many thanks.

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Gracie–

      The wheat grass specifically is a problem in that it contains wheat germ agglutinin, the direct intestinal toxin that also exerts leptin-blocking and insulin-mimicking effects.

      I know of no problems with the barley grass, however.

  12. Thanks so much for the info. My cousin was just diagnosed with Type 2 and it was detected by a severe change in her vision. I’m trying to find out all I can about the causes and solutions.

  13. MsG

    Three weeks into this and I’ve lost 4 pounds! This is huge! I had given up on losing much weight. I assumed this was going to be my middle age body. I started doing reading and following Wheat Belly because I feel so much better. And boy can I tell when I accidentally get some form of wheat. Today I had ranch dressing at Logan’s Roadhouse. The yawning and bloat started on my way out of the restaurant. Note to self, bring own dressing when eating out. I still don’t have the hang of eating away from my house. I haven’t given up sugar or chocolate. Janzo I love your story. The insights and tips from this sight are so helpful!!!

    • Dr. Davis

      Thanks for weighing in, MsG!

      Bringing your own salad dressing is indeed not a bad idea, at least until you get comfortable with a handful of restaurants where you know you are safe!

    • L.S.

      I have a question about my morning breakfast. I was typically taking a glucose reading 1 hr. after eating and it usually sits around in the high 80’s to low 90’s. Recently I started taking a reading afer 30 mins. of eating and realized it skyrockets up into the high teens, eg. 115, 119. But after 1 hr. has dropped to the numbers I mentioned before. I eat the same breakfast every day. I know my 1 hr. fasting level is acceptable but should I be weary of how high it is actually going up first. Generally my fasting blood glucose level is low to mid 70’s. Thanks!

      • Dr. Davis

        Then it suggests your carb exposure is slightly too high.

        While most glucose peaks occur at 60 minutes, it can indeed occur at 30 minutes and still carries the same implications.

    • Janzo

      I make oil-and-vinegar dressing in an empty hot-sauce bottle (like Tabasco), using a bit of waxed paper to make a tiny funnel. Shakes out beautifully, holds several servings, and doesn’t leak (too badly!)

  14. Susie

    Was just looking at Yahoo news and found this story “7 ways to control your food cravings”….http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/7-ways-control-food-cravings-153500456.html
    I found my self laughing OUT LOUD at the absurdity of this story. Really – I should reason with the food. Buy it in small quantities, eat it with other people, reason with myself as to whether or not I am really hungry and need to have that wheat-laden poisonous high carb, high sugar crap???? NO MORE…..don’t talk to your BAD food or make a plan for when to eat crap……FACT IS – when you cut out the wheat ALL of those cravings go away. There is no longer a daily battle…or trying to stop at only a few cookies, or the urge to pick up a fresh bagel on the way to work. I simply do not want any of those things anymore. It is such a liberating feeling. My days and nights are not controlled by those cravings………and I do not feel deprived in any way. Food no longer controls me….I am in control – I eat when I am hungry – but I eat whole natural foods. Been wheat-free since Feb 25, 2013…down about 20 lbs and feeling great! If you need to TALK to your food – say GOOD-BYE to wheat and the discussion is over!

    • Dr. Davis

      You have found the answer, Susie, and now see the incredible silliness in many mainstream discussions!

      Very nice results, by the way!

      • Tony

        Dear Dr. Davis,
        Actually no, it’s you who’s found the answer for us and for that we’re infinitely greatful to you.
        -15lbs in 3.5 months and no longer in the overweight category. Cravings – gone. Fasting BG down from 120 to 70-90, no more “healthy” oatmeal breakfasts, etc.
        Thank you very much for opening our eyes(and brains)!

  15. Eliza

    I think the primary cause of food cravings is consumption of wheat products. Over the years I got worse and worse until I was eating about 10 pieces of bread a day on sandwiches and felt the urge to do so.I was truly a wheat-aholic. I wonder if certain people have a higher tendency to do so? Stopping wheat is the best thing one can do for good health. Going wheat and grain-free opens up a world of good eating. And counter-intuitively, the more good food you eat a day, the more weight you’ll lose, if you need to lose weight.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, the range of wheat addiction is wide, from non-addicted to hopelessly addicted and weighing 350+ pounds with insatiable appetite.

      The key is to recognize that there is an opiate in modern wheat with variable potential to stimulate appetite in humans.

  16. Dear Dr. Davis,
    Do you have any information on Carbalose flour? It is very low carb but contains wheat and I think it spikes blood sugar, but I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks

    • Dr. Davis

      I would NEVER recommend anything that contained any component of wheat, Lydia, as the adverse potential is so great.

      • Got it! I should have figured that out after reading your WONDERFUL book! It has helped me so much and I know better, but the ‘slick’ way products are advertised can confuse us. Thank you for clarifying- it will also help others who think this “low carb flour” might be ok. I’ll stick to my coconut, flaxseed and almond flours! Thanks again.

  17. Dee

    I have been fighting an infection for 9 months following foot surgery. My CRP number was 18 five weeks ago and now is 28. I am on two antibiotics and still can’t get the number down. My foot has healed at least it looks healed. I started today on the wheat free diet to see if that will help. I do carry too much fat around the belly and that could be part of my problem. The medications are not working so I will try the diet. The comments that I have read on this web site are very encouraging.

  18. Sia

    I’ve just started on the Wheat Belly way, and being Indian and vegetarian makes this a unique challenge :) I will post on the results here. My issues have been malabsorption of nutrients, bloating, fatigue, hair loss, and weight that’s stuck at 70 even though I exercise and don’t eat junk food.

    My question has to do with blood sugar levels. I’m not going to be able to cut out all carbs at once. The one time I tried that made me realise that I do need some carbs (apart from vegetables, etc) to function, be in a good mood etc. I’ve decided to cut down a lot on the amount of carbs I consume and increase vegetable intake. I’m also measuring my blood glucose levels an hour after food to see how I’m reacting to different carbs. This morning, i got a reading of 4.6mmol/l after breakfast. I’d like to know what the optimum levels are. The diabetes websites say it should be 82-110 mg/dl. Does that sounds about right for our purpose here?

    Thanks a lot Dr Davis for the work you’re doing and to everyone here for your support, te sharing of your experiences, trials & success stories! It really helps :)

    Sia

    • Janzo

      Sia, be sure to get good healthy fats (I’m thinking “lots of avocados and olives”) as well as watching your protein, that may help. And yes, 85-110 fasting is the “completely normal” range, though my doctor says if it’s under 140, I’m in the “out of danger/don’t need meds” range.

  19. Kelley Flores

    Dear Dr. Davis:

    I have just started reading your book and cooking with your recipes. My question is about sugar. I’ve been experimenting with Splenda. Before I started the change in my eating plan I used Agave, drinking it in my coffee every morning.

    Since changing to a “no real sugar” diet I have been experiencing a light headed, shaky (like an internal tremor) feeling after I eat. I’ve also noticed that, since omitting the agave or sugar, I get sick to my stomach when I don’t eat every few hours. Is this to be expected?

    Is it bad for me to have small amounts of turbinade or table sugar say in my coffee in the morning, or a some time during the day? I am concerned about a hypoglycemic reaction. The only time I’ve been tested for hypoglycemia is when I was pregnant 25 years ago.

    Has anyone else had this problem? Please comment.
    Thank you so much, Kelley

    • Dr. Davis

      “Expected”? No.

      This is abnormal. It likely represents hypoglycemia, as you suspect. Hypoglycemia is virtually always preceeded by hyperglycemia, i.e., high blood sugar. It is a sign of excessive potential for diabetes.

      There is a cure: Eat no grains or sugars!

  20. Janzo

    Hi Kelley, I went on a hypoglycemic diet about 30 years ago, and know ALL ABOUT that shaky feeling you’re talking about (and confusion too, maybe?) I went cold turkey, cut out all sugars and most carbs (and probably things I shouldn’t have!), lost a LOT of weight fast when I didn’t have much to lose to begin with, and was physically exhausted and prone to respiratory infections for several months. Things stabilized after that. Of course I went off the wagon over the years, but since then, the withdrawal has never been that severe whenever I’ve cut the sugar out.

    I made sure I got enough quality proteins and fats, and that helped. I never went anywhere without an ample supply of sunflower seeds. Nuts, olives, avocados, and meat that is NOT lean .. so politically incorrect, but hey, it works for me!

  21. Susan

    Had gall bladder out about 8 years ago. Stomach never recovered, felt like I was having continuous gallbladder attacks – pain, constant diarrhea, felt awful. Went on Somersize diet and ended up pre-diabetic, insulin resistant. Doctor told me it was from too much saturated fat, since I have been sugar free (and no white anything) for 13 plus years. Saw Dr. Oz show and thought ‘what the heck’ so I went off wheat and all other grains cold turkey the next day. My stomach improved almost immediately. My gallbladder symptoms have almost disappeared, no more diarrhea, quite the opposite though.! Could Dr. Davis comment on the fat content in Wheat Belly. I need to lose abdominal weight but am afraid that since fat is what made me insulin resistant in the first place, will this diet help me lose weight and get out of insulin resistance? Thanks.

    • Dr. Davis

      You were given bad information, Susan: Fat does NOT make you insulin resistant; foods that trigger insulin repeatedly make you insulin resistant.

      Priorities in your life:

      1) Continue this new dietary path minus wheat

      2) Fire your doctor and get a new one!

  22. Cindy

    I am 64 y/o and have been following the Wheat Belly lifestyle for approx 3 months. The weight loss has been dramatic – 18 lb. I have eaten wheat a few times and each time there has been a stomach reaction, nausea and/or diarrhea, gas, most recently from eating a can of soup because I was sick (respiratory flu). The weight loss has been a great psychological boost. I feel better emotionally than I have in many years. I think it’s because the guilt cycle has been broken. I thought I was eating healthy – whole grains, decreased fats, and exercising, yet I could not lose weight and was constantly beating up on myself. The hardest part of this lifestyle change is all of the cooking involved and decreasing my fruit intake, of which I continue to eat a little (mainly berries) each day. My main concern at the moment is getting my metabolic syndrome under control, particularly my fasting blood sugar with readings rarely under 100, mainly in the 110 to 130 range. How long must I wait before I see decreased numbers? Other than the fruit and consumption of 2-3 cocktails on the weekends, my sugar intake has lessened dramatically since Wheat Belly. Do I have to eliminate the cocktails too? Since March, I have been taking 10 mg of Lisinopril, which I didn’t want to do but was experiencing dizziness due to high BP. Is it too soon to stop the meds. i am adamant about not wanting to be on meds. My cholesterol reading as of January this year was 59 HDL and 190 LDL. I plan to consult with a lipidologist to have a lipoprotein analysis, as recommended in the book. Also, will request a complete thyroid test. I have depression issues as well as weak, brittle nails. Am I missing anything else? I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME DIABETIC,

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Cindy,
      Your blood sugars will be high during your weight loss phase and then drop quickly as you plateau at the weight suitable for you. There are many explanations of this discussed on this blog. Check the subjects on the left side of this page for discussions. Your dramatic weight loss of more than a pound per week is wonderful. It does take time for your system to adjust to the fats flooding your blood and your organs/cells clearing out the toxins.

      I found that I eat a lot less fruit than before and those fruits tend to be berries and grapefruit. Cantelopes have a glycemic load of about 6 or 7 carbs for a half cup serving which is nearly half of your 15 carb goal per meal! No more grapes! You will also find that the few fruits you do eat will satisfy your sweet tooth. Your alcohol consumption will probably diminish as you find that you feel the effects very quickly. Cocktails can’t be tested for glycemic value because they don’t have enough carbs for a test. Just as you felt the effects of wheat in the soup you had, you will learn the amount of alcohol your body will tolerate. The damage to your pancreas has already happened. Your new life style will stop any further injury to your beta cells and hopefully you will not become a diabetic.

      The longer you are grain/sugar free, the better you will continue to feel. Make mental or even written notes of your improvements! Guilt and depression no longer fits into your way of thinking as your mood keeps improving. We all have been brainwashed into thinking “healthy whole grains” were good for us! And ate more at every meal. Now that we know better and are beginning to feel better we should be taking pride in ourselves for mustering the courage to change.

      I found it extremely helpful to read this blog as much as possible. I take all the vitamin supplements recommended by Dr. D. They helped enormously! I also take collagen pills to replace the age diminished collagen in my system and help my sagging skin. This collagen is good for strengthening nails too. I am on my 7th month of WB and lost 30 lbs.
      Wishing you continued progress!

      • Neicee

        Barbara in New Jersey, I too take collagen and it helps a lot. My nails will be over an inch long within days after cutting them and my beautician can’t get over the fact my hair grows so quickly, and it’s fine and med. curly.
        And, Cindy, good luck with dealing with your docs. We were all so indoctrinated for so long that now giving a push-back to the authorities with a stethoscope cannot deal with a patient that asks questions or refuses to take some meds. I know from experience, mine dread my visit to see them. Keep reading and watch closely what works for you. You’ll find the way sooner than they will. ;)

      • Cindy

        Barbara,
        Did I miss the collagen supplements in the WB book? If they are not listed there, will any collagen supplement be sufficient? Thank you for your response. Niece too!

        • Neicee

          Cindy, Dr. Davis did not include that supplement in the book. I started taking it a few years ago when I was rear-ended by a person doing 45 mph and I was dead stopped. This resulted in a double whiplash because I was slammed into the auto stopped in from of me. My physical therapist recommended I look into it (because the docs where determined I stay on a cocktail of drugs). I did and it helped my neck. Quit taking it but started taking it again about 5 years ago when I tore a rotator cuff being stupid by lifting something half my weight (this time a surgeon told me I’d be back to see him after he recommended surgery). I don’t know if it’s helped others with aches/pains/torn muscles or cartilage but it helped me. It hasn’t helped my husband at all with some of his complaints. I buy it at Costco.

        • Barbara in New Jersey

          Cindy,

          I have been taking type 1 and 3 collagen by Youth Theory for about 6 weeks to help with sagging skin on my face and neck. I exercise regularly with weights for my fat hanging arms and walk about 2 miles daily for everything else, yoga too! I am too impatient to wait for my skin to tighten on its own.

          No, Dr. Davis did not list this supplement. Does not discuss sagging skin at all. I did an internet search to find out about it and if it really does work. I think it is helping, but probably too soon to tell. I bought a moisturizer for my face at The Vitamin Shoppe containing DMAE, Alpha Lipoic Acid and C-Ester because this is a formula to Dr. Perricone’s (Salmon diet). I found the collagen on sale at Wallgreens. There are collagen liquids available which I probably will try since I feel like I am taking huge pills all day long. Like Neicee, my hair grows quickly as does my nails.

          The important thing is to keep on the low carb, no sugar aspect of the diet. Drinking alot of water or tea helps too. It takes more time for your body to change when you are older. I am still refining what I eat.
          I used to like summer cantelope with lime juice. Now, that is restricted to 1/2 cup per meal because of carbs from fructose. Forget about fruit salads! I stopped taking the probiotics after about 5 months with no change in bowel habits. I also learned that I cannot snack on nuts unless I have placed a portion in a dish and placed the container back in the pantry!

          • Neicee

            Hi Barbara, the last bottle I bought at Costco now shows they’re using Type 1,2,&3 in the formula where it had shown Type 1&3 for years? They were 390 tabs for about $18 or so, and I only take 3 per day….sick of swallowing pills or capsules. Yea, I’m fighting a little sag here and there too but not sure if it’s the osteoporosis rearing it’s ugly head? Laughed my head off about the snacking on nuts.

  23. Cindy

    Barbara and Neicee,
    Thanks for the info about collagen. It’s something I will consider. I have been sick with a respiratory flu for a week so haven’t been exercising. I usually ride my bicycle daily. I haven’t added weight strengthening into my exercise routine as of yet. Yes, at my age it does take longer for the body to adjust. As stated previously, the weight loss has been great but it is my cholesterol, BP, and blood sugar readings that I hope to decrease.

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Don’t worry! The C,BP and BS all normalize without grains and sugars. That is why all of us are here.

      By the way, your flu may just be your body ridding itself of accumulated toxins. I had a bout with a bronchitis like condition in January. Came on suddenly. I felt like my bronchial tubes were on fire from breathing in cold air. This was about 6 weeks into WB. As a former ice skater and skier, I never had a problem with cold air in the past. Now a mask helped warm up the cold air I was breathing in whenever I went outside. No fever, no coughing, no congestion, just a runny nose. Very strange. As the outside temps warmed up, the mask wasn’t needed. I also found that I slowly began to breathe deeper and had a bit more endurance when exercising.

      Keep us posted on your progress!

  24. Jeanne Bridger

    Help me please! 72 obese diabetic in wheelchair re:post polio been on wheat Belly 3 wks + no sugars; very strict adherence to book. I don’t think I am losing weight (maybe underwear size smaller) also have resumed water (swimming) therapy 3 x’s a week. Fasting sugars remain high, 140’s + tho early on dropped and I decreased insulin by half..60+-32 Lantus, and stay on original dose of Metformin. I really like my food, my portions are smaller, protein is palm-size, lots of salads. Can I be losing the belly fat without a noticeable difference in weight? Am I on the right path? I so not want to get discouraged. Occassionally I miss breakfast or lunch because I am not hungry. Is this a bad idea?

    • Cindy

      Jeanne,
      I believe you are on the right path. Every body is different. Three weeks being wheat free may not be long enough for you to lose weight. It will come. I am prediabetic and am not on any meds. Dr. Davis states somewhere on the blog that blood sugar readings will be abnormally high during weight loss because of fatty acids that flood the blood stream. Once our weight plateaus, our blood sugar readings should be lower. It is important to remember that as a diabetic, we are only allowed 15 gm of carbs per meal or 6-hr period of time. This means total carbs minus fiber. Are you making your own salad dressing? If not, check the ingredients. The swimming is also a plus. Are you feeling better w/o the wheat? Try to focus on the positive things you are experiencing. It may just take you a little longer to drop the weight. Continue to read the Wheat Belly blog for motivation.

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        So far, WB is working for you. Due to your health condition and age, it might take a bit longer and with fits and starts but it will work. You miss meals because you aren’t hungry! This shows you how the WB way is slowly helping you. Please don’t get discouraged! Jut as it takes time for your body to rid itself of inflammation, it will take time for your mind to adjust to the WB way of thinking about food: fats, hydration, supplements, sugars and so forth. Keep up the good attitude!

  25. Rianna

    I started on the Wheat Belly diet the first week of August 2013 after a friend told me about the wheat belly website…I bought the book and over the 4 1/2 months since then I have lost 10 kilo and my husband has lost 6 kilo. I have been type 2 diabetic for over 10 years on Diabex then metformin. My doctor was so thrilled with my weight loss, she told me to slow it down a bit as I am loosing it too quickly, but I disagree, I have not felt so well and full of energy in many years (I’m 54 yrs old), but she says she will not take me off my meds. I am so disappointed about that but i’m hoping in 1014 she will relent. We have our youngest son , who has cerebral palsy and is totally wheelchair reliant, living at home with us. He has been wheat free for almost 3 months now, and we cannot believe this, all his life he’s had intermittent bowel problems, one week constipated the next diarrhoea…he has had no episodes of either for 3 months, that is perfectly well and no bowel issues, NOT ONE in 3 months. That has never, ever happened before in his entire life! This family is never going back to the Wheat monster!!! Ever!!!