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?

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69 Responses to Let your stomach do the talking

  1. Susan says:

    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 says:

      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!

  2. Cindy says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

          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 says:

            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.

  3. Cindy says:

    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 says:

      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!

  4. Jeanne Bridger says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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!

  5. Rianna says:

    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!!!