How quickly does wheatlessness unfold?

Wheatlessness: the happy, healthy state achieved by not eating wheat.

A frequently asked question: Once you eliminate wheat, how fast do the benefits occur?

Well, it depends. It depends on what health issue we are discussing, what organ system, and how far along the process of wheat destruction you were.

Nonetheless, there are a number of common patterns that develop once you decide to eliminate all things wheat in your life:

Gastrointestinal
Acid reflux, bowel urgency–5 days is typical for these conditions to reduce or go away entirely.
Ulcerative colitis, Crohns–These complex inflammatory conditions require weeks to months. (Note that bowel flora is enormously disrupted by these conditions and can slow recovery. So it is VERY helpful to either undergo a bowel flora assessment and/or consider a high-potency probiotic for at least the first several weeks.)

Skin
The myriad rashes caused by wheat vary in their response. Seborrhea and acne generally improve within 5 days, while more complex skin conditions, such as psoriasis, can require weeks to months.

Mood, energy
First you have to get through wheat withdrawal, the 3- to 5-day long withdrawal from the opiates that derive from the digestion of the wheat protein, gliadin. Many of us have to endure several days of nausea, headache, fatigue, and depression first, but then you feel wonderful with better mood and more energy. Likewise, sleep responds similarly, with sleep disrupted at first, only to become deeper and more youthful after the withdrawal process.

Airways, sinuses
5-7 days are generally required to experience reduced airway spasm of asthma and reduced sinus congestion.

Joints
Pain and swelling in the wrist and fingers typically respond in 5 days, while larger joints such as the shoulder, knees, and hips require weeks or months.

Autoimmune conditions
The immune system gone haywire that characterizes autoimmune conditions generally require a longer time period to respond, likely due to the complex inflammatory pathways involved. The joint swelling of rheumatoid arthritis requires weeks to months to respond, not uncommonly with full response by 1-2 years. Other forms of inflammatory autoimmune phenomena, such as the skin rash of lupus and the muscle aches of polymyalgia rheumatica likewise require weeks to months.

Behavioral conditions
The behavioral outbursts and struggles with learning and attention in children with ADHD and autistic spectrum disorder respond within days to weeks. Likewise, the paranoia and auditory hallucinations of schizophrenia, the mania of bipolar illness, the low moods of (“unipolar”) depression, and the food obsessions of bulimia and binge eating disorder tend to respond within days to weeks. (Note that, in
these conditions, the result is not usually cure, but substantial improvement in symptoms. Cure can happen, but it is uncommon.)

Neurological impairment
As with autoimmune conditions, the inflammatory destruction of neurological tissue caused by wheat consumption, resulting in conditions such as cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, gluten encephalopathy (dementia), and temporal lobe seizures, requires a longer time period to respond, typically months to years. Neurological tissue is very slow to recover, if it recovers at all. It is not uncommon to wait a year or longer for response.

Weight
Variable, but the typical response involves rapid weight loss of around 15-18 pounds the first month in people who were formerly avid wheat consumers. (It can also vary depending on the status of bowel flora, thyroid status, degree of insulin and leptin resistance present at the start, quantity of carbohydrates remaining in the diet, among others.) It is also not clear why some people lose waist circumference first without a corresponding weight loss–reduction in inflammation in visceral fat?

Blood sugar
Blood sugar will drop immediately upon cessation of wheat consumption . . . unless weight loss develops.

If weight loss develops, it means that there will be a flood of fatty acids into the bloodstream, representing the release of energy from fat stores. These fatty acids block insulin and raise blood sugar and HbA1c (the long-term measure of blood sugar fluctuations) and persists for the entire period while weight loss is ongoing. Once weight loss subsides and weight plateaus, then blood sugar drops over several weeks, followed by a more gradual reduction in HbA1c. So the reduction in blood sugar that develops in diabetics and pre-diabetics depends greatly on the amount of weight that has to be lost.

There are others, but those are the most common experiences. Now, can you name any other food that, when eliminated, yields such extraordinary benefits? Wheat is the only one I know of–because it ain’t wheat!

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Laurie

    Not having the weight loss I would have liked to see, after one month wheat free. Am I doing it wrong?
    My fibromyalgia symptoms are better, my headaches are better.
    Any advice?

    • Annie C

      Don’t stop what you do, sometime I think the body has to heal before it accepts to loose the weight. I had a lot of pain too in my <> and I felt better really fast in my <>. And NO weight lost just like you. It took more than 6 months before I bagan to loose weight. I had 15 pounds to loose, and now i have 10 already gone!

      • Annie C

        I don’t know why, there are some words missing in my post. I meant I had a lot of pain when I was eating wheat and I felt better with the wheat belly’s way to eat

  2. > … quantity of carbohydrates remaining in the diet …

    That might have been underlined. It appears, from the questions and complaints seen on this blog, that many people miss the low-carb aspect of the WB recommendations. If they ditch the dough but replace those calories with less toxic, but still high glycemic carbs, benefits are reduced and/or delayed.

    A key carb to watch out for is fructose.

  3. Liza

    My GI symptoms disappeared virtually overnight. But since I had chronic diarrhea,I was going so many times, some days I lost count, I GAINED weight eliminating wheat/gluten. I limit all grains now, don’t typically eat GF breads, cakes, etc. and I’m still GAINING after 3 years GF. I’m glad many of you have experienced great successes eliminating wheat, but for some of us unlucky ones, weight loss just doesn’t seem to happen. And now I’ve developed a sensitivity to ALMONDS, along with gluten, dairy(casein), and eggs! Frustrating!

    • > I limit all grains now …

      What is your net carb intake per day. the WB recommendations of 50 grams/day, 15 per meal or 6 hour period, don’t allow much room for grains in more than condiment quantities.

      > And now I’ve developed a sensitivity to ALMONDS …

      In particular, what is your fructose intake. Fructose, like wheat, also causes intestinal porosity, which often leads to immune reactions to foods that would otherwise be digested before hitting the bloodstream.

      • Liza

        When I was tracking my macro ratios were roughly 30% carbs, 20% protein, 50% fat. I have a physical job where I’m on my feet all day walking, lifting, squatting, etc. I also try to get to the gym 2- 3X a week, usually a mix of short intense cardio & weights (Crossfit). I don’t eat a lot of fruit. I eat a banana on my workout days & eat mostly berries or an apple here & there. I don’t drink soda or fruit juice. Occasionally I’ll have a spoonful of honey in my tea. I eat a mostly paleo(ish) diet but I still eat potatoes & beans on rare occasions I have Mexican or Middle Eastern food. I tried cutting out the potatoes & beans during a paleo challenge at my gym & didn’t lose 1 lb. I find when I limit my carbs too much, I don’t have much gas in the tank or my workouts, especially if I hit the gym after work.
        I’ve been told by some that I possibly don’t eat ENOUGH, given my activity level. Who knows? It’s just frustrating to read everyone’s success stories, while my wheatless belly gets bigger & bigger.

        • Dexter

          Lisa,
          Good for you to be gluten free and sugar free.
          With your job, you are getting plenty of exercise and your body does not need to be beat up any more. Eliminate the crossfit. The is from someone who thought they could exercise themselves out of a bad diet.
          Your body is telling you that with the level of demand you put on yourself, there is no way it is going to give up any stored energy in the form of fat. And calorie restriction is telling your body you are heading into winter…whether you are are not…when food will get even more difficult to find.
          Your body is a sugar burner…not a fat burner. It craves the carbs that convert to sugar for energy.
          Two things you can do. You need to get your carbs down to 30 grams and up your protein about 10% and your fats up to 65% using coconut oil, butter and medium chain triglyceride oil as well as animal fat.
          Second, you must drink 1 gal of non fluoridated water daily. Your cells are dehydrated on the inside. The fluoridated tap water will not penetrate into your cells. You may be drinking a gal of fluoridated water, but it goes in and goes out. Once you switch and hydrate the cells properly, the energy you will get will amaze you. Your body will flush out not only the fluroide that has been poisoning you, it will also flush out bromines, chlorines…also known neuron disruptors.
          Eat copious amounts of oysters, fish, shrimp as they contain good amounts of iodine and many people use Lugol’s 5% iodine drops to heal their thyroids. Properly functioning thyroids are needed to lose the weight. Once that is done, you should start shedding fat all over your body…especially belly fat.
          Dr Davis’s gluten free is wonderful for most…but as you have found out more is required for some people. Good luck.

          • Liza

            Thanks for the advise. I’ve been thinking lately that crossfit might be too much for me right now. I’m lucky though, I have well water in my house. No city water system here, no fluoride or chlorine. Even though you say I’m still a sugar burner, since going gluten free, I’m not having crazy swings in by BS anymore. In my gluten eating days I needed to be fed every 2 hrs. or so. Now, since adding protein to every meal, I can go 4-5 hrs. without eating. And I don’t get the shakes anymore in my manic search for food.

        • Jeff G

          There is a transition period when you go ultra low carb of about 3-4 weeks where your athletic performance/stamina will suffer. That is the period where your body is converting from a carb burner to a fat burner.

          Once that transition takes place, your athletic performance/stamina will increase.

          http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/athletic_diet3.html

          “Using three diets: normal, high-fat and high-carbohydrate, the study showed that the high-carbohydrate diet increased performance by an average ten percent over a normal mixed diet. Not bad, you might think, but the high-fat diet increased performance by a massive thirty-three percent. That’s much better. The authors conclude that restriction of dietary fat may be detrimental to endurance performance.

          Caution
          There is just one caveat. It takes time for the body to change from burning inefficient carbs to burning fats efficiently. You should notice a marked increase in performance in as little as 2 to 6 weeks on a low-carb, high-fat diet, but maximum performance may not be reached for several months.”

  4. Joan

    I’m curious to know about cardiac implications of a grain free, sugar free diet. After eating the SAD for a 1/2 century, I went cold turkey last June: gave up all grains and sugar, eat only high quality fats (pastured eggs, grass fed meats, pastured butter), moderate protein (~66g/day) and under 30g of carbs/day, derived from vegetables and berries. Down 40lbs, back to my teen weight (size 4!). I’ve never have had any health issues, but I’d like to know in others if there is a reversal of heart disease/plaque from eating the Wheat Belly Way. Or do the detrimental effects 50 years of bad eating cause irreversible damage?

    • > … but I’d like to know in others if there is a reversal of heart disease/plaque
      > from eating the Wheat Belly Way.

      That was the original quest that, as I understand it, led Dr. Davis to write WB.
      He has an entire site devoted to it:
      http://www.trackyourplaque.com/

      He is now winding down his conventional cardiac practice. My presumption is that he is saving more lives with dietary intervention than with stents, roto-rooting and bypasses.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      Joan, Reread Dr. Davis’s post segment about weight loss and circulatory problems. *Any* regime which causes weight loss places you in some jeopardy. It would be easy to blame this jeopardy on whichever regime caused the weight loss, not just on wheat elimination. But from where I sit the jeopardy is caused by gaining the excess weight to begin with.

  5. Pam

    Dr. Davis, my diarrhea and heartburn went away so soon, the inflammation was no longer there, I found that I was not hungry and did lose several pounds. My husband decided to eliminate wheat as well – inflammation no longer dictates when he will go fishing or golfing and an ever-present rattle (phlegm) is gone, which has made his sleep much quieter! :)

    Per Boundless’ post, I’ve seen the recommendations, but have a huge problem with labeling and with the lack of response from companies I’ve queried about use of wheat in their product – one even told me they couldn’t divulge the proprietary ingredients in their product! I didn’t ask for a list of ingredients, only asked if there was any wheat! I’m excited about feeling better (wishing I’d had this answer sooner, but appreciative to have it now). I’m excited about energy levels and no-more-fog and sharing the good news with the naysayers!

    I think I’ve been “rewheated” once already and it wasn’t pleasant! Can we create a “tea party” of wheatless and demand proper labeling? How can we find if alcohol or beer have wheat? Are products containing wheat (creams, lotions) that are not eaten a problem? Wow! It seems like I’m replacing the brain fog with brain confusion from all I’ve read – and since television interviews confirm that corn and other crops have also been changed. And I’d also be interested in the answer to Joan’s question.

    • > … but have a huge problem with labeling and with the lack of response from companies
      > I’ve queried about use of wheat in their product – one even told me they couldn’t divulge
      > the proprietary ingredients in their product!

      Translation: Don’t buy our product. You are too smart to be our target customer.

      > How can we find if alcohol or beer have wheat?

      I’ve lately seen one GF beer that actually had a Nutrition Facts panel (Bard’s). That used to be illegal (a dispute between the FDA and BATFE), but apparently is now allowed. Avoid adult beverages that don’t provide it.

      > Are products containing wheat (creams, lotions) that are not eaten a problem?

      If you are celiac or acutely non-celiac wheat-sensitive (about 6% of the population), yes, topicals can cause a reaction.

    • A “Tea Party” for the truth about Wheat? Cool, but very dangerous, as this Govt. is getting more Tyrannical–wiith each new dollar, and regulation.

      I suspect that the IRS and other thugs will raid and arrest my garden, soon, for I have not used Govt. appoved Monsanto seeds, nor do I consume the recommended daily allowance of Wheat!

      Roger, Ohio

    • Rebecca

      Joan,
      I am a long time suffer of celiacs and suffer from the skin symptom as well( red itchy blisters that first start as bumps) I would suggest taking Gluten Free rating with a grain of salt. My most recent experience was out brakes due to crest toothpaste website states Gluten Free so my husband picking it up by accident not a problem but there must be trace amounts even a day of not using it and my skin improved. I know most J&J baby lotions and shampoos are gluten free and neutrgena has a large selection of gluten free products. I find them the most reliable if you find skin contact an issue. I still limit my use of hand lotions by these brands by opting to use olive or coconut oil because lotions used on hands can create accidental small amounts of ingestion.

    • Janknitz

      We don’t need a tea party or government legislation to avoid wheat.

      STOP buying food PRODUCTS–just eat REAL food! Quit buying stuff with any label. Real, whole, organic fruits and vegetables and pastured meat and eggs don’t need labels. If you must buy something with a label choose items with no more than 3 ingredients, all of which you can pronounce and which your grandmother can recognize– like “cream and salt” (butter), “virgin olive oil”, etc.

      When we stop buying manufactured garbage full of wheat and other additives, they will get the message loud and clear.

      Beer is by its very definition a mash of fermented grains–hello! You can assume it has wheat unless that pesky label says otherwise. If you want to avoid grain while ingesting alcohol drink wine or other liquors not made of grain.

      And yes, Dr. Davis is a cardiologist. Search the categories on the left hand side of this page to see what he thinks are the cardiovascular benefits of his recommendations.

      • Drae

        Agreed. We don’t need a ballot box when we have the freedom to spend our food money elsewhere. A true consumer movement that doesn’t need to be politicized. And I’m a political girl! I just figure Big Num-nums spreads the money on both sides of the aisle, but they can’t stop me from not purchasing their products.

  6. Lisa M

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    Thank you for mentioning polymyalgia rheumatic as it hardly ever is mentioned specifically. I’ve had that diagnosis for five years. I read your book in February and eliminated wheat at that time. Over the years I was able to cut down the prednisone to a relatively low dose. After a couple of weeks off the wheat, I felt ok enough to stop the prednisone all together. My joint soreness is not completely gone, but I’m thrilled I can do most of what I need, and want, to do without too much discomfort. I haven’t had any additional improvement of my symptoms since the initial immediate improvement, but I’ll keep at it. I did a 30 day elimination diet recently also (although not an autoimmune protocol), but no improvement. I think wheat is the food that has been most affecting me. Now, more concerning is a chronic uveitis I developed just over a year ago when I went off prednisone for a month. Initially it seemed to improve when I stopped eating wheat, but it’s come back in the last month or so. Full disclosure: I’m still smoking and I’ve been told that’s a big contributor to inflammation. That’s probably the other part of the equation. I know, it’s time to quit finally.

    Going wheat-free most definitely helped me stay on my weight loss diet. I had started Weight Watchers a couple of weeks before I read your book, and after that dieting really wasn’t that difficult. Only 1 more pound to my goal weight.

    Thank you so much for your work and sharing it with us.

  7. My husband and I have been wheat free since the end of March. We had been devout Weight Watcher’s for 31/2 years and had lost over 80 pounds each… however, although we were continuing to follow the program, the weight slowly started coming back. Up 35 pounds, we were very concerned and frustrated. I had heard briefly about the Wheat Belly book and out of curiosity I bought it and read every page of it. We have enjoyed many of the benefits… no more sudden bouts of diarrhea, joint pain greatly improved (and even disappeared from some joints), reflux seems to be better controlled. I have only lost about 9 – 10 pounds; my husband has lost about 11 – 12 pounds. Reading of other’s success is inspiring.. but we must be doing something wrong. Concerned about 6 weeks ago, I continued searching through the book to see what we must be doing wrong. We dropped our carb consumption from 15-20 carbs a meal down to around 7 – 12. Also, we are eating only non-processed foods. We have only been out to eat twice since becoming wheat free, and ate steak, salad and no bread. We don’t plan on returning to wheat in our diet, but what must we be doing that is holding us back from losing weight?? We eat no high fructose corn syrup, have cut down and limited artificial sweeteners, no nitrates or nitrites.. No grains of any kind.. We have even tried to keep our calories between 1100 – 1400 cal per day (most often it is around 1200). What do you think we are doing wrong in this effort to get our weight back down?

    • Sydney

      Barbara, I’m not the Doc but I have a theory as to why you and your husband aren’t losing as much weight as you’d like. I think you should stop counting calories as you may not be eating enough (I know, hard to wrap our brainwashed brains around) and your body could be in starvation mode. You must eat healthy fats to lose fat. Just eat WB approved foods with plenty of good fat and I’ll bet you will start to lose again. JMHO, Syd

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        Hi Barbara,

        Both of you are losing about a pound a week since the end of March. That is very good! Weight often fluctuates and sometimes plateaus for unknown reasons or possibly changes in your intake of food or your routine. Most people writing in stating that they lost more than the pound per week have said that they were significantly overweight, not just 30-40 pounds overweight.

        Perhaps you need to drink more water, at least 48 oz. daily. 15 carbs per 6 hour period is the norm for meals. Perhaps there are too much fructose/sugars still in your food consumption, like too many fruits? Too much meat and not enough veggies?

        I personally lost about 30 lbs in six months, only to gain 5 back when I started to snack on nuts right from the container, not from a portion placed in a dish! Miss Piggy! I also had stopped walking because high pollen counts were making me miserable and I took alot of OTC pills which I think caused some water retention. I didn’t move around as much as I usually would either. All these things had a more profound effect than I would have thought possible. Seems to me that my system is still trying to right itself and is very sensitive to any changes or stresses.

        Don’t get discouraged with your progress. These are internal changes that are taking place. Hope this helps.

  8. It would take me a while, to list all the things, before and after, concering this man-generated plague, that some lovingly call, “Whole Grain Goodness,” so preacious to many, even at the highest levels of Government House.

    Yes, I am angry–as Wheat, Aspartame etc. is still, at the highest levels, STILL considerd safe, wholesome and healthy!

    I do wonder how much longer this site will remain up and running, as some in Obama-care with the full force of Govt. will consider this information a threat to health? The IRS does not even want to know the content of my prayers, in this matter–as it would be best expressed in sign language.

    Roger, Ohio

  9. Loretta

    I have a sweet young cousin/wife/mother, in her 30′s diagnosed with…Inerstastial Lung Disease (rheumatoid arthritis of the inner organs). Is there anyone out there how has this disease and may have found relief going wheat free? I understand with her condition, it may take years of recovery if wheat is the culprit. But I wanted to give her some hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Dexter

      Loretta,
      I would suggest you investigate Lugol’s Iodine or Iodoral iodine. Google Lung Disease Iodine. Here is a reference: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IzFKo-r2-Nn8_z0KUrOhHdlanzSuhkuV3QO03XF6YTY/edit?pli=1
      Iodine is such an amazing healing element that has been suppressed by the drug companies for 70 years because they cannot make any money…and it cures many people of a variety of ailments. Just google Iodine cures and see what you come up with.
      There is hope with Iodine and wheat free. Also be sure she is sugar free also along with Dr Davis’s recommendations of 100% no wheat.

  10. Kris

    My gastrointestinal issues disappeared in 3-5 days, which seems to be the norm. But almost a year later from going gluten-free, I still have my other fibromyalgia symptoms. I think some have lessened a bit, but I still have them — the aches and pains, the fatigue, the brain fog (and more). I’m remaining wheat-free because I truly am sensitive to it (horrible gastro symptoms) but I wish I’d feel better otherwise. I initially lost 8-10 pounds and dropped half a size, but that was definitely from bloating. I also initially switched to GF foods (more rice, GF pastas, GF cereals, etc.) but now am eating more real food vs. processed food. I still haven’t noticed more of a change. Any ideas?

    • Craig Howard

      more rice, GF pastas, GF cereals, etc.
      I hope you’ve dropped those altogether. They, along with potatoes, yams, and corn give me terrible brain fog. I’ve noticed that, since going completely wheat-free about six weeks ago, I have a heightened sensitivity to starches.

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        Also, the vitamin supplements and probiotics are enormously helpful along with alot of water (48 oz. +). Since you have fibro. already diagnosed, your body needs a long time to heal itself.

        Like Craig, I am more sensitive to the foods that are processed with all kinds of chemicals and the high carboydrates of starchy foods and no longer eat any of these unless they part of a regular meal and then I can tolerate perhaps up to 1/4 cup.

        Double check any fructose/sugar consumption as well. According to Dr. D., it can take years to recover from autoimmune diseases. Listen to your body which is telling you that it needs more veggies, meats and water. Your plate should be at least 2/3 approved veggies and 1/3 meat/cheese proteins. Hope this helps.

  11. Drae

    Thank you, Dr. Davis, for this great post.

    I listened to some great advice on this blog about not pushing my diet on family and friends, and I have, but last night I saw I had an opportunity to make a breakthrough and I took it. I peppered in a lot of facts until she said she just couldn’t think about it, and I settled on her saying she’d look at a book. Of the four wheat free/paleo books I have, I decided I’m going to lend her Wheat Belly.

    The main reason why is specifically this great blog and its wonderful community of knowledgeable regulars. In the case of this loved one, I feel being able to point her to the blog as well as the book will help her see how her diet is impacting her health. And it is posts like this, the amazing success stories, and folks like “Boundless”, along with the book, that I think will convince her to try diet modification and kicking wheat to the curb.

  12. Cranberry

    Over a decade ago my biochemist suggested avoiding bread, mentioning alternative grains & other health suggestions. Cut back but for some reason I had it in mind it was because of yeast & so kept eating flatbreads etc. Wasnt sure how much benefit I was seeing from reduced bread, cheated often. Heard of wheat belly from my mother, about a year ago, offering me the book to read as she hadnt gotten to it yet. Declined, thinking just another diet book. Then recently saw some pretty impressive results in my mother after 3 months of her efforts to quietly apply wheat belly principles in her life. She looked 20 yrs younger! Intrigued, I read the cookbook & it made sense. Next I read wheat belly on the same weekend I was loading up on wheat for a celiac bloodtest, apologizing to my body the whole way as I suffered all manner of physical distress, inflammation, discomfort (the source of the problems becoming very obvious). Tested negative celiac but quit wheat anyway, 100%. IMMEDIATE relief (within 1-3 days)…

    • Cranberry

      …I will share more about my remedied symptoms later. Right now, I’m 13 days in. Suffice to say, I feel unbelievably good! Consistently better than I have in decades. Doctor DAVIS, thank you for enlightening and empowering me. I feel like I’ve been given my LIFE back! I can hardly stop smiling, INSIDE AND OUT! This radically positive shift in my situation from shunning wheat explains sooooo much and is CLEARLY a huge piece of the puzzle for me! Ear to ear. :D

        • Lyra

          That’s great, Cranberry! I am feeling fantastic after four weeks. I restrain myself from telling everyone to go wheat free! My daughter is a registered dietician and lives right next door. I am I going to get her to see the light? Maybe if I begin to look 20 years younger!

          • Cranberry

            Haha, yes, and not just superficial appearances, as energy through the roof was my biggest youthful impression from her, especially as I hadnt seen her in three months, so the change was a stark contrast and undeniable. She’s been busy! It’s been fun lately, my mother and I sharing health stuff with one another. Mind you, we send a text here or there, and dont live next door, so lots of elbow room makes it easier. Maybe if you find something your dietician daughter *can* contribute to your own learning curve (ie. Honey, why do you think this is happening or do you have any suggestions on how I can accomplish A at the same time as B that’s working so well for me OR here’s a wikipedia article on wheat allergy, any thoughts on which of the 40 allergenic components in wheat might be the ones most affecting me?), it may engage her, she may feel validated & more inclined to open her mind to what you have to share as well. My mother acted on my suggestions to use coconut oil & I was watching for changes.:)

    • Dr. Davis

      Yup: Most people test negative for celiac, yet experience life-changing improvements anyway!

      And whoever suggested loading up on wheat to get tested for celiac did you a grave disservice. This was blatantly ignorant!

      • Cranberry

        I think celiac folk have tunnel vision on gluten and all of us a lot to learn on the myriad other problems with wheat and benefits of avoiding it. It’s turning out well for me as it highlighted the source of the problem in an undeniable way. I view it as poison now and have no trouble staying away from it. Gliadin definitely seems to work the way you say. I’m also allergic to pennicillin and wonder how much molds and fungi injected in wheat – to make it better for baking – plays a role. Much to learn. But mostly a lot of life to catch up on now that I feel healthy again! :)

      • Uncle Roscoe

        I think a lot of people get trapped into testing for gluten intolerance by peer pressure. People with the myriad maladies caused by wheat discover the cause simply by curing themselves, by eliminating wheat from their diets. Their wheat-addicted friends, relatives and employers do not recognize such cures as valid, so these onlookers consider the original malady to have been psychosomatic.

        The cured person sits at something like a birthday party. Cake gets passed around, and what is the person supposed to say? “No thanks, wheat causes me to get diabetes and arthritis” Anyone in earshot hears “I have an unfounded paranoia of wheat”? So instead the cured person says “No thanks, I have celiac disease”. Anyone within earshot thinks to themselves …….”Gee, I wonder if wheat is causing my symptoms. I should go and get tested.”

        This social paradigm simply MUST change. As a society we are assigning too much credibility to the medical profession. It is impossible to medically test for cause and effect relationships between wheat and 90% of the myriad maladies it causes.

        ……..Impossible.

        • Cranberry

          Agreed, many (unthinking, sheep-like) people may feel “trapped” into many political agendas and (condescending) rationalizations of others. That said, fear not, in my own case, foreseeing the many many ppl (and doctors) that would prematurely adjudicate I was “celiac” from the results I was experiencing, I Chose to get a test so I could stop that argument dead in it’s tracks more swiftly 90% of the time (there’s always going to be the die-hard narrowminded zealot in any cause, even the wheat belly one of course). I did it for political reasons of my own, and stand by My Choice whether or not that’s frowned upon by would-be politicians amongst the wheat belly crowd. As a bonus, my Chosen course of action convinced ME even more and made ME Acutely aware of the results to my body from eating wheat, making 100% adherence EASY now. Accidental re-exposure in one instance has further underscored this. I imagine that over time other grains or engineered foods will show problematic as well.

          • Cranberry

            Not that I would recommend that course of action for everyone but having loaded up and been tested negative anyway came in handy when I inadvertently ran into a board member on the local celiac association where I live. As for my less narrow-minded friends and the rest of my countrymen, I either hint at changes and wait til they ask or share them my experience and wheat belly book and cookbook or, depending on how smart they are to figure things out for themselves, crack a self-effacing joke about having been a glue-eater for far too many years and how glad I am that I quit, then send them a link to a craft glue recipe of which the only two ingredients are flour and water. They can’t help but laugh. And the funniest things are often the truest. :)

  13. ALR

    I’ve Only Been Wheat Free For A Week. My Son Has Been Gluten Free For About 2 Months. His Stomach Pain Has Subsided, Though I’d Like To Eventually Have Us Completely Grain Free–Not Just Gluten Free. I’d Love To Make Him The Crackers And Pizza Dough Crust, But He doesn’t Tolerate Dairy Too Well. Anyone Have A Solution???

  14. JLee

    I have had a severe coughing issue for a decade or more. Have been on the Wheat Belly diet for six months and love it, eliminated all wheat and grains (except organic home popped in coconut oil popcorn to take to the movies occasionally). Prior to WB I took Tagamet for it, which worked, but I choose not to take medications of any kind any more. I discovered sauerkraut stopped the coughing within about a half hour as well, so switched to that instead. I’ve been taking Ultimate Flora probiotics and other Dr. Davis suggested supplements for four months. But still coughing (until I eat sauerkraut). We buy all organic for at home, but eat dinner out a lot (choose carefully where and what I order–lemons for salad dressing, plain foods without coatings or sauces except butter/lemmon, eat fish/seafood or rarely chicken, as I haven’t had beef or pork for twenty years. Had a chest ex-ray about two or three years ago, no signs of anything, doctor said the coughing was from acid reflux probably. I still think WB diet can heal this eventually. Otherwise–in my 60s with no health issues, blood tests all good, lost 6 lbs, would like to lose 15 lbs more, have been on the learning curve about keeping carbs below 40 per day. Any ideas/recommendations about the coughing?

    • Dr. Davis

      Gee, JLee: As much as you can make such determinations on a blog comment, this sure sounds like hypochlorhydria to me (lack of stomach acid)!

      Ideally, you have a naturopath or functional medicine practitioner take a look. Many people do well with a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar with meals, also.

      • JLee

        Will check that out as you say. And try the apple cider vinegar. I don’t have other symptoms I just read about for that, no gas, bloating, burping or uncomfortable stomach, etc. The coughing has lessoned since on WB, so was hoping it was just taking a long time to heal.

        Thanks so much Dr. Davis. I’ve learned a lot about taking control of my own health and healing from your book, blog and Facebook page, you’re doing a lot of good for many people. I hope all of this seeps into the consciousness of the rest of doctors and nutritionists some time soon.

        • Barbara in New Jersey

          Hi Jlee,

          Try to buy apple cider vinegar with “the mother” in it. Braggs is a national brand. You can start by making a tea with 1 tsp. vinegar to 1 cup of water. Make it as strong as you can tolerate. Sweeten if necessary. Should be very soothing.

          This vinegar is also used in cooking. It is mild and “soft” tasting rather than the harshness of white vinegar. Use it in salad dressings too!

  15. Evie

    I’m one of those success stories from Dr. Davis’ “Wheat Belly” plan. All of the above improved or disappeared by 3 months into elimination of all wheat and other grains and carbs also. It was nothing short of amazing. Cravings, depressive moods, irritability, sinusitis, acid indigestion, joint and muscle aches are not worth eating wheat, which I. oddly, do not miss one iota. I’ve lost 18 #s, too. However, I want to note that after months of establishing a much healthier bowel flora and much better intestinal health, it can all be regressed by having one colon stripping colonoscopy. Of course, we should screen for Ca, etc., but it is very disruptive to all the benefits gained to just flush out all that good buidup of bowel flora and have to start over. Also, the medical plan requires you to drink sugared sports drinks, jello, juices, sodas, etc and it is quite difficult to find truly superior substitutes for these. I guess Pedialyte could replace the electrolyte sport drink, but it tastes nearly as bad as the yucky Golytly bowel stripper concoction. A lot of my pre-wheatectomy symtoms returned right after the colonoscopy, ie, acid reflux, irritable bowel, cravings and lots of body aches, too At 71 years old i didn’t need the relapse and miss how good I was feeling just prior to this procedure. Am eating lots of yogurt and plan to get a good probiotic supplement, too. Wish there was a better way to do this colonoscopy thing.

    • Dr. Davis

      A very helpful observation, Evie. You make an excellent point: bowel flora are critical and we have underestimated their importance!

      I believe that all we can do for the present is to take a high-potency probiotic, e.g., 50 billion CFUs for several weeks. We will have to explore this notion of a bowel prep that fails to disrupt bowel flora. There may be no such thing.

      • Dexter

        Dr. Davis,
        Could not a 36 to 48 hour non fluoridated water fast achieve the same results as the commercial bowel prep for a colonoscopy without destroying the gut flora?

        • Dr. Davis

          Yes, I believe it would, having done it myself!

          Problem: getting the mainstream person to comply with such a difficult task.

  16. Jeri-Jo

    I have been wheat free for almost 3 weeks…I have GAINED 3 lbs. so far. I work out 4 days a week and just purchased a personal trainer. What am I doing wrong? I am cooking out of the WB cookbook breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I am very frustrated….HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. SusieW

    As a type II diabetic on oral rx, my experience with going totally grain/starch/sugar free (x 3+ months) has been that, yes, my sugars began dropping right away…for about 2-3 weeks. They then stopped dropping and began going back up. Had some modest weight loss. But now, the better I eat and the more active I am (weight lifting, hiking, etc), the higher my sugars have gone. I keep to less than 25 grms of carbs/day, mainly protein and veggies. I have about 25-30 lbs to lose. I’m clueless as to why my blood sugars are up. What’s that about, & how is it corrected? This has been a great and easy way for me to eat. I love it and don’t stray off the path. What an important book this is! Thanks so much for writing it. Your life must surely have gotten very interesting since it came out :-) Thanks to discovering your book about a year ago, I’ve also read Maria Emmerich, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Jeff Volek, Jason Seib, Loren Cordrain, Gary Taubes, Michael & Mary Dan Eades, and many more. It’s been an amazing experience! Now–to find an MD/ND who knows what’s going on.

    • Dr. Davis

      The two most common reasons for this are:

      1) Ongoing weight loss–Weight loss involves mobilizing a flood of fatty acids into the bloodstream which antagonizes insulin, resulting in higher blood sugars. This subsides once weight loss subsides and can be dramatic.

      2) You are taking drug(s) that impair your ability to reduce glucose, most notably diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide, statin drugs, and beta blockers like metoprolol or atenolol.

      • SusieW

        Thanks for your reply. I am doing none of #2…no beta blockers, diuretics, etc. Will watch for the drop in sugars as my weight loss continues. BTW, I think your 2nd book was even better than the first one! Hope you make it out to the Pacific NW at some point.

        • Dr. Davis

          Thanks, Susie!

          I will indeed be speaking in Seattle and Portland in the next few months. I will announce here and on the Wheat Belly Facebook page at the appropriate time. Come by and say hi!

  18. Amanda

    Can you please provide scientific, peer-reviewed articles pertaining to gluten sensitivity and ADHD? I recently attended a research symposium in which a noted scientist disputed the link between ADHD and gluten, stating that without a firm celiac diagnosis, there is no scientific evidence of a link. I’d be curious to see what research you rely upon. (I’m quite curious and open to reading articles from either position).

    • Dr. Davis

      Please see the references cited in the book, Amanda. There are 16 pages of references, including a sampling of those relevant to ADHD.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      The problem with autoimmune diseases is the medical profession universally recognizes only one of them as being caused by gluten …..celiac disease. There is little to distinguish the cause-and-effect relationship between celiac disease and other gluten antibody-positive autoimmune diseases. The only difference between these diseases and celiac disease is proximity of both gluten and disease symptoms to the small intestine lining.

      So in the eyes of medical establishment skeptics linking other autoimmune diseases to gluten ingestion requires linking other autoimmune diseases to celiac disease. For every autoimmune diseases studied for this relationship the correlation has been overwhelmingly positive.

      ADHD displays a similar bias in the medical establishment, as shown by this article:

      http://www.examiner.com/article/will-a-gluten-free-diet-reduce-adhd-symptoms

      “If a child’s behavioral and/or learning problems are improved by a gluten-free diet, he is not likely to have ADHD. This is why it is important that a complete medical workup is completed before a child is diagnosed with ADHD or learning disorders.”

      Restated …..If a person displays all the symptoms of ADHD, but tests positive for gluten-related antibodies, then it’s not ADHD. Excuse me? Why doesn’t the assumption run the other direction? If a large number of people with ADHD test positive for gluten-related antibodies then isn’t this evidence that the remainder of ADHD sufferers could be suffering from gluten attack with as-yet unconfirmed gluten pathways?

      At least the above article recognizes and cites the vastly higher incidence of ADHD among celiac disease sufferers. There are two pathways which make direct correlation between most diseases, including ADHD, and wheat ingestion impossible:

      1. Wheat peptides attack tissue, but the body does not create test-able antibodies.
      2. Wheat causes the small intestine to become porous, passing undigested wheat peptides and other undigested food antigens into the bloodstream. The other food antigens attack tissue, and elicit antibodies.

      Both of the above pathways are caused by wheat ingestion, but neither are testable for a cause-effect relationship between symptoms and wheat ingestion. I’m placing the onus back on the medical establishment. Either provide the tools which test these pathways or inject reasonable criteria for these studies. Then we’ll have a starting point.

      • Neicee

        Uncle Roscoe, thank you for posting this article. I’m sure many sufferers of ADHD will likely be placed on mind-altering prescription drugs before any of the docs ever get around to testing them for celiac or gluten intolerance. Makes these young people with it fear they are crazy or will never be able to kiss those drugs goodbye. And, many parents are so torn they will accept the diagnose with no questions asked.

  19. Katie

    In the last 3 weeks my entire family has all gone wheat free and we are all feeling great!!! The difference between wheat-full and wheat-free diet is more than I can put into words, so first off thank you immensely for the huge help. The question, is for the last two days I’ve been feeling bloated and sluggish again and my weight loss has plateaued, is this a common problem or is there something I can do to detox or jump start my body again?

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Katie,

      First, check your food ingredients to make sure wheat is not in them. Then check for high fructose corn syrups, sugars, other grains, etc. Then make sure you are drinking enough water, at LEAST 48 oz. daily. Your carb count should be no more than about 50 daily. Check the wheat belly quick and dirty post for food list. It is not uncommon for this to happen. Probiotics are very helpful as are the other supplements Dr. D. recommends. Also, remember that it takes up to a week to recover from inadvertent ingestion of grains or too much sugar.

      It is helpful to keep reading this blog. Many people have fits and starts and then look back to realize that it is something they did or didn’t do, ate or didn’t eat is impeding their progress.
      Hope this helps.

  20. Jennifer

    Dr. Davis, first let me say thank you SO much for taking the time to answer questions. I have combed through and read so many responses and have learned as much there as I have by reading your books!
    A month ago I was at a party where someone made an offhand comment about celiac disease and they listed all the symptoms my ten year old daughter has had all of her life. I immediately went home and did research and took her and I off of wheat the next day. I did it with her so that I would be more aware of what she was eating if I was checking it out for myself too and to support her since it was a big step for her.

    So I have one question for each of us :)
    1. Her skin has become a million times worse. And each time we hit a new worse I think ok, she’s just detoxing and this is probably “it will get worse before it gets better”. Twice we’ve taken her to the dr because I’m so scared with all of her open cuts that she had an infection and was sure they were going to hospitalize her (this has happened before). (Pustules, fever, swolen glands, mega itchiness). Both times they said she was fine and prescribed her usual topical steroid (which I refuse to use anymore). Today though she hit an all time worse and looks like she has a cross between severe acne and chicken pox. And even though she has had to deal with people making comments and kids making fun of her skin her whole life today for for the first time ever she chose (in the midwest summer!) to wear jeans and a long sleeve shirt to the fair. It breaks my heart because she is being such a trooper and being so trusting of what I’m trying to do but she’s really struggling. I’ve started her on a probiotic, fish oil and eating/using coconut oil. I know you said it can take months to see improvement but is there anything else I can be doing for her? Is she truly still detoxing and if so is there anything I can do to help that along?
    2. Me :) So I initially did this to show her that we would be a team and do it together and that I wasn’t picking on her and that I really wanted to help her get better. In two days I noticed my pants were fitting better and I had found your cookbook when looking for gluten free recipes and was so surprised when I started reading about the weight loss. I have not weighed myself in two years because no matter what I do I cannot lose more than ten pounds. So I thought well since I seem to be losing I should weigh myself in case I lose more than ten pounds and in reading your book saw why I was losing weight and was curious. However a month in on some days I’ve lost as much as 13 pounds I pretty much hover right around that ten pound mark. Two years ago I went to my dr complaining that I cannot lose more than ten pounds no matter what I do. I asked to have my thyroid tested, she said it was fine and it was just my age (33 at the time). I also complained of severe periods and insomnia. She put me on birth control (my tubes are tied) and told me to take sleeping pills and sent me on my way. The birth control pills made me suicidal within three days of taking them and so they suggested I might want to stop (duh!!!) and to this day I cannot sleep at night without a pill. After reading your checklist of why you’re not losing weight I revisited the thyroid idea again because I saw that the other things I complain about seem to go with the thyroid. (after making sure everything else I was doing correctly on the check list) I have found out just this week that both of my aunts and grandma all on the same side of the family all have under active thyroids and are on medication (they’re of course all thin lol). I’m about 70 pounds overweight and have not cheated one single bit. I’m loving being wheat free and have since had my entire family go wheat free and we are not turning back after everything we’ve learned. We don’t cheat at all to the point that now if we accidentally eat something we get very sick. I’m committed to doing this but am SO frustrated about not losing weight. After reading your post on thyroids I ordered an iodine supplement and am crossing my fingers it works. My question is….if it doesn’t what would I need to say to my dr to get her to really listen to what I’m saying and that maybe “normal” isn’t normal for me? My only other thought about what I’m eating every day is can you eat too few carbs?
    Thank you so much for reading my novel. I’ve been trying to find someone local I can talk to and so far just can’t seem to find anyone that knows what I’m talking about with the wheat!

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Jennifer–

      It sure sounds like there is something going on with your daughter that may go beyond wheat elimination. Yes, wheat elimination is a very powerful tool, including in gaining control over many skin rashes, but the complicated response she is showing suggests something else is going on.

      Your daughter and your experience suggests that your primary obstacle right now are the doctors. Your doctor, in particular, has done you several disservices. I would urge you to NOT count on this person for solutions, as they sound quite uninformed. Thyroid insights alone can make or break a health and weight loss program, but is botched up routinely by uninformed practitioners.

      For both you and your daughter, your best bet is to start with a functional medicine practitioner who will consider nutritional, biochemical, as well as conventional medical causes and solutions.

    • Liza

      Has your daughter been eating a lot of dairy? She could have a sensitivity to casein protein in dairy products, causing all these skin breakouts.

      • Jennifer

        We have backed her way off of dairy because I suspected that as well but I’m still not seeing a big difference. No milk and just a little bit of cheese and yogurt.

  21. Jennifer

    Thank you so much for your reply! I’ve also considered that it’s possibly candida for her? Do you have any suggestions for what kinds of questions I need to ask to find the type of dr that I’m looking for? I’ve been asking around to friend etc. and no one has had any good recommendations.

    • samudra

      FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE is a type of practice. just like internal medicine, or dermatology, or whatever. so, look for a doctor of functional medicine. that’s the type of doc i see and it makes all the difference. good luck to you and your daughter.

  22. Howard

    Dear Dr. Davis:
    Before I give you my results I must preface that after being wheat free for almost 5 months I feel pretty good. Thank you!
    I have not experienced the weight loss that others have but did lose around 10 pounds (unfortunately a few have found there way back).
    My goal was to eliminate as much medication as possible from my daily regiment and to eliminate joint pain and stomach issues. I had been taking medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type II diabetes.
    Well, my stomach problems are much improved and my joint pains are much better (although joint pains were most likely caused by statins which I stopped taking with doctors consent in mid April). Added 1200mg of fish oil as a substitute.
    Blood test results are from before wheat free 11/20/12, after 2 months 3/13/13 and after 5 months 6/18/13:
    Cholesterol, 183,199,258
    HDL 49,52,50
    Triglycerides 156,86,108
    LDL 103,119,186
    a1c 5.7,5.8,5.5
    The bad news is obvious, cholesterol and LDL’s jumped after going off statins. The good and bad news is I also reduced my actos in half in mid April from 30mg to 15mg in hope that I would be able to lose weight. Bad news, didn’t lose the weight but my a1c has continued to improve even after reducing actos.
    My internist approves of your wheat free approach but is confused as I am about why I am not losing weight from significant reduction in carbs. I can honestly say that I have been very diligent in watching my wheat intake although I cannot guarantee that wheat may not have accidentally and unknowingly been ingested through prepared food.
    I will continue to be wheat free but my doctor is recommending I take my statin (livalo 4 mg) every other day as my cholesterol is too high.
    Dr. Davis, what are your thoughts about not losing weight and my high cholesterol?

      • Howard

        Boundless, thank you for the reply. Yes, I have read the article and was considering a fast to jump start my weight loss. I think weight loss is the key to better health and in turn better blood stats.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      As an experienced lay person, it seems to me that you and your physician should be considering cutbacks in all of your medication as your indicators improve.

      The lipid panel your doctor ran seems to be a standard old-time lipid panel. It counts total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol, then subtracts HDL from the total to derive the LDL number. Regardless of the fact that you have an extremely inaccurate LDL reading, all recent research says that your real LDL number, like your HDL number, of themselves, are insignificant. The real atherosclerosis cholesterol marker is compact low density lipoprotein, or CLDL.

      CLDL particles are a subset of LDL particles. I would say to have your doctor run a CLDL count on a new blood sample, but given his record he would not know what the results would mean.

      Your hba1c levels are improving, and that’s significant. It says that glycation is reducing in your body. Given that both atherosclerosis and CLDL production are products glycation, I’d say your overall problems are improving. You have been at an extremely bad place. This could take time.

      Try not to age during this time.

  23. Worried teenager

    I am a 22-year old teenager who was told by my doctor that I have a (non-alcoholic) fatty liver ! It scared the living daylights out of me to know that I have such a thing at such a young age. I think I know how I got it, it must be my eating habits and loads of wheat in my diet. I am famous for being a big eater in my circle of friends and family for someone of my size (I am of relatively small stature and small build), and I binge eat A LOT. Furthermore, I can’t help with the binge eating, I just need to eat all the time! However, the weird thing is, I am in no way ‘fat’ in the traditional sense, in fact many people asked me to put on some weight, but I do have an unsightly ‘belly’. After listening to your e-book, I am going to start eliminating wheat from my diet. I agree with everything you said, but I have one major gripe, you said to avoid polyunsaturated fats and I find this advice hard to stomach, because conventional medical wisdom states that polyunsaturated fats increases HDL and lowers cholesterol levels which is good, hence why eating oily fish, such as salmon is said to be good. And yet, you said polyunsaturates are bad. I understand that hydrogenated fats are bad, because they are ‘saturated’. i.e. they don’t contain any C-C double bonds, but why is polyunsaturates ‘bad’ as it is the ‘total opposite’ of hydrogenated fats? Can you clarify on this matter ? Sorry for the lengthy post and thank you for your time and attention.

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Worried–

      On the bright side, you have found understanding of some of these issues at your early age. You’ve been duped by conventional advice; now you are empowerered.

      Omega-6 fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, fuel the inflammatory/thrombotic pathways that lead to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It does not mean that you should avoid them; it simply means to not indulge in them at the level that most Americans do. Also, get your omega-3 fatty acids from fish and/or fish oil.

      You will, the deeper you dig, find many such fictions in conventional nutritional thinking.

      • Worried teenager

        Dear Dr Davies

        Thanks for clarifying that, it is really nice of you to take the time to reply to the comments.

  24. Les

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    I just read some of the posting regarding the changes and improvement of wheat free diet.
    I have been on the program since Jan. 2013 while I have benefited from weight loss (about 25 lbs)
    I haven’t had other health improvements that I had hoped for. My motivation for going on the program was to get as healthy as possible to fight IPF that I was diagnosed with April of 2011.
    I have chronic pain that no doctor can identify the cause of, my lung doctor yesterday told me flat out that he didn’t believe my pain was related at all to my IPF.
    My primary care doctor has me on pain medicine and it varies daily as to how well it works.
    I hoped to get some relief of joint pain I have in my legs with the wheat free diet, it hasn’t helped at all.
    Mainly I have weight loss and Gastrointestinal relief that had been with me for years, not much of any other improvements in general health.
    I’m just wondering how many others have had small improvements in health?
    I have another issue that happen during the first drug trial I was in and that is my taste was damaged to the point that there are very few foods that have any taste to me that is appealing. I know I’m odd man out here, but just thought I would write.

    Fan of wheatbelly,
    Les

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, Les–

      I would argue that EVERYBODY benefits in one or more ways by eliminating modern wheat. Your improvement in gastrointestinal health and metabolism (thus the weight loss) argues for major underlying improvements in health. The fact that knee pain persists suggests that it is a variety not caused by wheat.

      You might benefit by considering other food intolerances, e.g., dairy.

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        Lee,

        I found that the older and perhaps the more compromised your system is, the longer it takes for your body to heal itself. It is starting to cleanse itself, perhaps in fits and starts. You will know by the way you feel. Look back to exactly what you ate in the previous 24-48 hours.

        I started WB in mid December. Each month or so, I reacted differently to many foods. Took myself off anything soy, then reintroduced it slowly in small amounts. All sugars and sweeteners too! Found that I like saccharin to sweeten coffee and tea. Absolutely dislike the taste of the others and have a cabinet shelf full of expensive sweeteners. Sigh. Most sweetened packaged foods make me gag now so I make my own ice cream and baked items. Hopefully I can reintroduce the other sweeteners successfully. Same with nuts. I can tolerate almond meal in baked goods, but snacking on them gives me tinnitus. Foods in general taste much better to me now that the inflammation in my body has decreased. Small amounts of spices enhance rather than smother the test like too much hot pepper will smother the taste of chicken.

        I found that all the supplements Dr. D. recommends are extremely helpful and worth every penny. When I forget to take them, I feel it a few days later.
        Forget to drink enough water? I feel it! Not enough veggies? Same thing.

        Basic rule of thumb seems to be: give your body time to heal, hydrate and supplement nutrients while eating the WB way. While you may not be cured of your illness, overall positive changes in cell and organ function should slowly improve the way you feel. Dr. D. has mentioned in previous comments that it can take a few years resolve many autoimmune issues. Depending on age, severity and damage to your organs, you might never fully regain your health but at least you will be the best you can be.

  25. Bailey

    Today marks the end of the 1st full month doing Wheat Belly. I have found that this way of eating is easy to follow and is not boring. I wake up excited for the day of what fuel for my body I will be consuming and it’s has not been boring. My moods are much better, sleep is deeper, energy has soared and digestion issues severely reduced, which is wonderful. Six days in, I was already starting to be able to wear clothes I could not get into the weekend before. Today, my clothes fit well and some are loose and will need to be replaced. I learned many lessons and new things over the course of the past month and am thankful for the new wisdom and understanding for how and why the body works the way it does.

    I accidently wheated myself twice, but now that I know what happened, it is easily corrected and a great reminder to READ ALL LABELS, and stick to Whole food as much as possible vs packaged food. Also, I have really tried to stay away from Gluten Free foods and not become dependent on them or replace old foods I used to eat with the Gluten Free version. This has been extremely helpful! Yesterday, I attended a Birthday party and everyone commented how good I looked, but when the food was served and I did not eat certain items, especially the cake, they all advised me about Gluten Free cakes and suggested two or three different Bakeries they knew of where I should get something to celebrate my birthday in the coming months. Peer PRESSURE Ha Ha AAAGH!

    Family and friends have already noticed inches lost as well as any new pictures of me. I’m less afraid of having my picture taken The Scale shows an 8lb loss, which I am thankful for. I know that this is a sustainable lifestyle because of the enormous reduction in hunger and how good I feel. Earlier this week, on 2 different days, I realized that I had gone almost (8) full hours during the day without eating. I felt like I needed to force myself to have a little something in the early evening to sustain me until Breakfast the following day and it turned out fine. One of my favorite treats is Hot Tea with Full Fat Whipping Cream. The Fat helps with hunger. This has been a huge revelation for me. I have just over 100lbs to go. That idea may change as my body gets smaller. Mentally, I need to be out of the Obese category and am excited for the ability and probability to make it happen!

    Thank you, Dr. Davis!

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Bailey,

      You are off to a wonderful start! It just keeps getting better the longer you stay grain and sugar free.
      Along the way you might be interested in the supplements Dr. D. recommends and also remember to keep hydrated. On the left side of this blog there in a listing of nutritional topics. Worth reading!
      For an extra special birthday celebration, you may consider a key lime pie with a nut crust that is lined with a layer of chocolate. Delish! Your friends and family will like it too!
      Also consider joining Wheat Free Forum for discussions of foods, helpful hints and just general ideas of how other people are dealing with their new life style and regained health.

  26. Paula A.

    Anyone! Have been on Wheat Belly 2 weeks and immediately noticed that I am so dizzy almost all day and even when I turn over in bed at night. Other than that, I am loving all the benefits all ready! No pain in my shoulders, hips, knees. Stomach getting flatter, clothes feeling big, more energy, not so anxious at work, more focused.

    Wondering if combination of my daily meds and wheat belly are causing the dizziness. Not vertigo. I take Losartan, HCTZ, Atenalol, Lipitor, Synthroid, Amlodipine, Kepra, Fish Oil. Only had occasional dizziness when getting out of a chair, now it’s 24/7 and sometimes I look like a drunk when I’m walking around. This came on suddenly-also nausea, which went away after 2-3 days.

    • Dr. Davis

      Several possibilities, Paula:

      1) You are dehydrated. This is very likely, especially since you take a dehydrating agent, HCTZ.

      2) You have low blood pressure–yet are on antihypertensive drugs. This could be dangerous and should be addressed ASAP.

      Also, note that atenolol blocks weight loss. And that taking Synthroid is rarely adequate for thyroid correction, as it only contains the T4 thyroid hormone. You sure you have a doctor you can trust? Sounds like you have been victim to a drug-pusher.

  27. Nic

    Dear Dr Davis

    In your book you mentioned that when it comes to dairy products, cheese is the best, because the fermentation process reduces the lactose content, and thus it is the least insulinotropic. However, from what I gathered, although cheese is very low in lactose, its high amino acid content still promotes insulin release due to gluconeogenesis, whereas, butter is the best dairy product because it is 80% fat and only <1% total carbohydrate and total protein (e.g. on the nutritional label of the Kerrygold grass-fed butter that I buy, it says 80g fat, <1g carbohydrate, <1g protein per 100g). Therefore, shouldn't butter be the least insulinotropic ? What is your take on this ?

    Thanks a lot.
    Nic

  28. Lisa

    Dr. Davis,
    I am curious about the effects of wheat with Graves Disease. Do you have any research or patient studies? I find most infomation I read usually refers to hypothyroidism. I have been working on wheat free which can be challenging at times. I do feel better when I am successful. I would appreciated any information on hyperthyroidism. Thank you for stepping out of the comfort of conventional medicine. It is not any easy thing to do in that community.

    Respectfully,

    Lisa

  29. Barb

    Hi Dr Davis,

    Last January I had a sudden start to rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. I had pain in the middle joints of my fingers and then swelling. I was put on prednisone while figuring out what was wrong and then methotrexate. Am off prednisone and am lowering the methotrexate dose as fast as I can, now down to 10 mg. per week. I tried to go to 7.5 mg last week but had some increase in pain. Have changed my diet significantly and now with your book am making sure I do not eat any wheat. Do you think I can be off meds completely if I lose the wheat and symptom free, or once the RA is kicked off one will always be dealing with it?

    Thanks for your time and opinion, Barbara

    • Dr. Davis

      Many people, probably MOST, with rheumatoid arthritis are able to reduce or stop their medications. Note that rheumatoid arthritis has been documented to respond to wheat/gluten elimination in a large clinical study.

      However, the response generally requires several months to fully develop. So patience pays!

      Attention to bowel flora is also important when an autoimmune condition is part of your health struggles.