A physician declares a wheat-free success–from Cyprus!

A physician from the island of Cyprus posted these telling comments:

I am wheat and gluten free since the end of January, 2013. I suffer from type II diabetes, which was controlled with difficulty and I could not lose weight. I had acid reflux issues day & night, I was snoring every night, I could not sleep on my tummy, I had pain in several joints and I was suffering from diarrhea almost on a daily basis with tummy aches. (Gastroenterologists thought it was stress related.)

After the first long and hard weekend of removing wheat and gluten from my diet (headaches, agitation, arthritic pain), most of these issues resolved: no more acid reflux, no more snoring, no aching. Today, I weigh 10 kg [22 pounds] less and my diabetes is easily controlled. My diarrhea is almost completely resolved. I aim for losing more weight and eliminating the need to take medication.

Yesterday, without thinking twice, I had a piece of meat loaf (contains bread crumbs, found out after consuming) for lunch. As soon as I left the table, my stomach felt like a stone, and I started having acid reflux. A few hours later, stomach was fine, no acid reflux, but I felt like my abdomen was about to explode. Bloating (as if I swallowed a basketball), acute pain, cold sweats. I immediately had to visit the WC [water closet = bathroom], and I did that several times during the night, with diarrhea and a bit of fresh blood.

I consumed wheat accidentally a couple of months ago (a small bite only), but I did not have such a bad reaction. It is clear that as the body is clearing up from all this poison (wheat + gluten), even a small amount can lead to a substantial reaction.

Thank you Dr Davis for your inspiring work.

Dr Stavros Eleftheriou
Maxillofacial & Oral Surgeon
Facial Cosmetic Surgeon
Cyprus

I pass on Dr. Eleftheriou’s story because 1) he is a physician, and 2) it reflects the worldwide nature of the wheat issue.

Dr. Eleftheriou’s observations are consistent with the widespread adoption of the high-yield semi-dwarf strains of wheat that were developed in Mexico in the mid-20th century by Dr. Norman Borlaug et al. The island of Cyprus is situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, just south of Turkey and north of Egypt. It is a cultural blend of Greek, Turkish, and other influences with a variety of unique dietary practices, but they have not escaped the changes introduced into wheat.

As no questions were ever asked about the suitability of these strains for human consumption, despite the extensive genetic manipulations inflicted on it, it should come as no surprise that, at the very least, we encounter widespread evidence for gastrointestinal intolerance.

Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and people in the U.K. are farther along the curve of wheat-induced obesity and diabetes, but nations like Italy, France, Greece, and Cyprus are catching up, as are Japan and China, especially as American fast food outlets and convenience foods gain a foothold.

Isn’t it ironic that the genetic manipulations imposed on wheat to increase yield and help squash world hunger have instead proven to be among the biggest blunders ever made for worldwide health?

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Ewa Stavenow

    Hi.
    When I read these testimonies and realise that once you are totally wheat-free you will have a very severe reaction if/when you are accidentally exposed to wheat, it makes me feel that yes, I want to cut down wheat to a minimum but I do not want those side-effects. If I eat a minimal amount of wheat each week, like maybe a piece of fish fried in breadcrumbs will that ruin the whole thing or will it give me all the benefits and keep me from reacting adversely to meals with hidden wheat?

    • Dr. Davis

      I would not characterize wheat re-exposure reactions as “side-effects,” Ewa.

      I would better characterize them as reminders that, when consumed chronically, wheat exerts poisonous effects in little bits and pieces that results in conditions like cataracts, hypertension, kidney disease, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, autoimmmune conditions, and dementia–despite feeling fine.

      • oolichan

        Also, there are many of us who do NOT experience wheat re-exposure reactions at all…. I’m completely wheat-free and very low-carb for a year and half… however, every 5-6 months or so I allow myself to eat a single butter-soaked crumpet because, you know, I love butter-soaked crumpets….. I have never once experienced any kind of reaction whatsoever…. Some do, some don’t … it depends on the individual.

        • Dr. Davis

          Yes, absolutely correct.

          But that is NOT to say that there are no unperceived phenomena that are unhealthy. That is a lot of the problem: many adverse consequences are not perceived. This is falsely reassuring.

          • Ewa Stavenow

            Well I only asked. Many people from Japan for instance cannot tolerate milk because they have notdrunk it as adults like most westerners, I figured something similar happened with the wheat re-exposure and that if you could avoid that by allowing yourself a tiny amount now and then this could be avoided.
            Everyone knows that smoking is real bad for you, most would say smoking one single cigarette a week makes no difference to your health, although of course it would be a bit silly to do so. So a tiny bit of wheat surely once in a while can’t have huge ill effects?! Simply for the reason of avoiding a bad reaction when you get accidentally exposed?

      • Ewa Stavenow

        So it’s wheat-free completely or don’t bother? I find it really hard socially to say no to almost everything in restaurants, bread is no problem, but asking for vegetarian or fish completely wheatfree really limits your choice of restaurants .

        • oolichan

          Never had a problem…. I’ve always been able to find something on the menu I want that’s wheat-free… or has minimal wheat… FYI, we like Jimmy Johns un-wiches….The restaurant chain, Jimmy Johns, will serve any one of their gourmet sandwiches as an un-wich… a sandwich wrapped in lettuce rather than bread… yummy

        • Barbara in New Jersey

          Ewa,

          Only you make the decision of what food you place in your mouth.
          Most restaurants will bake, broil or sauté wheat free items upon request.
          Your thinking about the inconvenience of being wheat free is rather limiting and serves no purpose. You either agree that you feel better and healthier with the WB way of eating or you don’t. I’m sure your dinner companions nor the waitstaff will remember what you eat. Your body will.

          Nearly everyone on this blog has experienced the benefits of changing our way of eating. We have invested a great deal of time and energy as well as our money to accomplish the health benefits a grain and sugar free diet offers.

          As a group, few would even think of a 50% or 90% diet compliance as being beneficial. Some people have strong reactions when they eat grains and sugar again, some people don’t. The 100% compliance works for us and allows us to be the healthiest we can be for the remaining years we have. It also keeps us out of doctors offices because we have few, if any, health issues that need to be managed.

          The decision is yours. The health results are yours too.

        • > So it’s wheat-free completely or don’t bother?

          You make your choices. Consequences flow from that. There are clear health benefits to just cutting wheat consumption to a lower level, but the nearest analogy is cigarettes.

          > I find it really hard socially to say no to almost everything
          > in restaurants, …

          Should a friend or acquaintance offer you a smoke, I suspect you’d have less trouble saying no, as we are some 50 years past when that awkwardness was common. Wheat is more toxic than tobacco.

          > …bread is no problem, but asking for vegetarian or fish
          > completely wheatfree really limits your choice of restaurants .

          Absolutely. There are many we don’t go to by ourselves due to that. Gonna be that way for a while.

          Keeping any amount of wheat in the diet is promptly and acutely toxic for 10% or more of the population. Re-exposure reactions for anyone who has quit it for a while can be startling. A few claim to tolerate it.

      • Nicole

        Dear Dr. Davis
        I live in Switzerland, near Zurich.
        3 months ago, my youngest daugther (now 18 months) became ekzema that became infected because she kept scratching it. She also had diarrhea for several weeks. We went to see the pediatrist who thinks it is Neurodermitis. He gave cortizone and later, he tested her blood and said she wasn’t allergic at anything. Fortunately, I went to see an alternative practitioner who maid a “bioresonanz” test. She told us to avoid wheat an some milk products. I saw your Book (in German) in her practice and asked about it. She told me it was a very good book and she would recommend to read it. I red your book within a few days and since then, my life has changed. Fortunalety, my husband was also willing to try the wheat free life. We are very happy about our new way of life. We have the impression, your daughter’s bowel movement has improved. Also the eczema is better even if not completely cured. Probably it will take several months, but I am very confident because now I know what I can do in order to give my children the best chances for a healthy and happy life. My personal “wheat belly” is decreasing and it feels soooooooo good! I loved pasta so much (ate far too much and couldn’t have enough of it) but I even don’t miss it! It’s amazing… I am so sad for the people who suffer because of the wheat without knowing the reasons and most of all, I am very angry about our authorities who should do the best to protect us and preserve our health and who doesn’t inform us about the danger of wheat.
        I thank you so much for your courage and for making us discover this terrible truth.
        Keep doing so and best regards from Switzerland!
        Nicole

        • unterderlaterne

          Nicole, we are planning a visit to Schaffhausen and I am wondering: Is it difficult to find food stuff for our grain free diet? The visit is long and I will have to prepare food, I would appreciate some input.
          Thanks Barbara.

  2. Peter

    So, from Cyprus we learn that wheat is spreading its ugly addiction around the world.

    Yet, a huge portion of the world — Asia — doesn’t eat wheat.
    But I can report that Asia, too, is getting “wheated”.

    In traditional Asian diet there is no wheat, just tons of rice.
    The easiest way to “infect” the Asian diet with wheat, is to put it in the common sauces; soy sauce being the most common.
    I live in Asia.
    There is wheat in almost every brand of soy sauce that I see over here.

    A few days ago I went to the store looking for soy sauce, any brand, without wheat.
    I read the local language, so I can understand the labels.
    Of about 15 brands, all but one contained wheat.
    If the ingredients list gave percentages, the range was from 7% to 20% wheat.
    In soy sauce!

    For Asians there is no escape from wheat.

    (The one brand of soy sauce that I saw with no wheat, did contain fructose!)

    I like to read history.
    Since I live in a country that used to be famous for producing opium, I’ve read a bit of history about the international drug trade around here in years gone by.
    I can’t help wondering if there are parallels to today’s “wheat trade” around the world.

    — Peter
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Peter4@allmail.net

      • Bea Pullar

        Ooops, I meant to say China is the largest wheat producer in the world – not just in Asia

    • stephen ottridge

      India has naan bread. Japan has yakisoba noodles. China has noodles and fortune cookies all made with wheat. Surely the amount ingested with soy sauce is so little, except for coeliacs, that we should not worry about soy sauce. How about hot sauces, will have to check them out.

  3. Vivian

    Supposedly “Tamari” does not contain wheat. Oh, damn, I just went to check the label (AMANO brand ) for fructose, and what do I find in the ingredient list?!…not fructose but…certified ORGANIC WHEAT!!! oh joy!! Out it goes!! (Oh, but so, really, I was so glad it was CERTIFIED ORGANIC!…how they play with labels) So, my question is: what REALLY IS ORGANIC wheat??!) No GMO…back to emmer? einkorn?…not even that should be consumed, right?

  4. darren

    Not all tamari is necessarily wheat free as far as I know. However, I found one brand that has gluten-free tamari in their range. The brand is Kikkoman, and the ingredients are: water, soybeans, salt, alcohol. I’m able to buy this in Belgium. I didn’t check the Wasabi ingredients…never know there either.

    • Loekie

      In the Netherlands you can buy in shops of Ekoplaza Tamari from Lima, ingredients: soja, water, seesalt, sake. The labels says it is glutenfree.

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        Dr. D. has nice recipes for Hoisin Sauce, Wasabi Cream Sauce, Thai Peanut Sauce and a Dipping Sauce made with gluten free soy sauce and other WB acceptable ingredients. Easy enough to make small amounts and sweeten to your taste. Delicious too!
        I keep my fresh ginger in the freezer and then just cut off whatever I need for the recipe. Often I just “microplane” a small amount on a grater, cut off the end and then return the piece to the freezer.

        The problem with even the gluten free products is that they contain a fair amount of sugar. San-J is one of those brand names. They make most of the bottled sauces you would use. Nice quality products, but too sweet for my taste right now.
        Also, the soy in soy sauce is fermented soy which should not be a problem to anyone.

        • unterderlaterne

          Regarding SOY. SAUCE, I just bought * Coconut Secret*
          “Raw Coconut Aminos” a Soy free Seasoning Sauce with 65% less Sodium than Soy sauce . A good substitute for Soy sauce and it is very popular with excellent reviews.
          Ingredients :”Organic Coconut Sap, aged and blended with sun dried Mineral -Rich Sea Salt.

      • darren

        Hi Catherine!
        I’ve not found wheat free soy yet… actually, haven’t found shirataki noodles either, those were on my hit list. But I have found so many things can be bought from Amazon UK that you can’t get here.

        Guys, also check out the Bulletproof Executive and the mct oil, bulletproof coffee for in the mornings. It’s a good morning boost! and definitely inline with WB.

        I’ve actually lost more than I had intended =) I can’t believe I weigh as much as I did when I was a teenager! in a good way…not a boney way!

        • Many thanks Darren! I’m always on the lookout for alternatives. Are you in Brussels by any chance? I’ve heard of one or 2 places where they serve gluten-free food but still have to make sure they don’t use corn, etc. instead. I’ll keep you posted!

  5. So glad to hear Wheat Belly is coming to Europe as well. The situation is similar in Spain, bread has become a basic product, people are really surprised when they find out you don’t eat bread or wheat. Dr. Stavros must be so glad about the health benefits! Congratulations!

  6. rani

    so I am wheat free, but that really limits for a vegetarian. sometimes I am really out of choices then I fall for rice which is limited ofcourse. any suggestions?

    • Dr. Davis

      You’ve got to maximize what remains on your limited list, Rani: More olives, olive oil, avocados, chia seed, flaxseed, nuts, seeds, and plenty of coconut products.

  7. darren

    Dr. Davis and all….
    What do you think about the studies with Akkermansia muciniphila, and taking 5g chicory derived inulin/day ? (I’ve eliminated all carbs except for what’s contained in veg and full fat untreated cream from the dairy)

    Taking acidophilus also

    • Dr. Davis

      Sorry, no knowledge.

      However, the chicory inulin is a very nice idea for its “prebiotic” effects; the data on its effects are very persuasive. However, 5 grams is a bit much, enough to cause some horrendous gas.

  8. Terrie Bentle

    I am a neophyte to the Wheat Belly world. 3 days without wheat. no weight gone yet but after only 3 days my seborrhea around my nose, under my eyes, and behind my ears is gone. I have gone through many medications, visited numerous dermatologists and have not had these kind of results.
    Next I hope my chubby middle starts to disappear.
    Terrie B

    • > I am a neophyte to the Wheat Belly world.

      Read the original book?
      Have the cookbook?
      If not, we can point you to useful getting-started articles on this blog.

  9. Charlotte

    I have been wheat free for 8 months due to a cancer surgery that left me with a lot of problems as long as I stay off wheat I’m fine. my question is: I bought a sandwich bread mix from Gluten Free Pantry which is wheat free and gluten free, but it has rice flour in it and yeast. I have not ate much of it but was wondering if it was bad for me

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Charlotte,

      These prepared mixes have high glycemic ingredients which Dr. Davis recommends we avoid. Rice has a high glycemic value. At the very least, read this blog. Read the book. Read many of the other authors recommended. Prepare WB cookbook recipes or use paleo internet recipes for your foods. All your questions will be answered.

  10. Barbara in New Jersey

    A long term friend inquired about the WB way of eating and how it might impact her ostomy. This procedure was done nearly 20 years ago for anal cancer. I know she to irrigates her system. Takes Align probiotic. She does not need to lose weight. She is very worried about constipation and/or diarrhea because of her condition and eating too much fiber which is not recommended. Does anyone have any advice for her? Any websites address which discuss the WB way of life for her condition? Published research about this? Any guidelines would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

  11. Julie

    Dr Davis: I believe this is a very important documentary regarding the use of glyphosate, or what is used
    In Ready round Up for GM foods. It is very eye opening and startling…it relates to your findings with gut dysbosis…..http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx

    While Monsanto insists that Roundup is as safe to humans as aspirin, Seneff and Samsel’s research tells a different story altogether. Their report, published in the journal Entropy1, argues that glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GE sugar, corn, soy and wheat, “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”

    Interestingly, your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm.

    Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals. However, the shikimate pathway IS present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals.

  12. Pippa

    Annoying – just read in local paper this morning under the heading “Ten Worst Pieces of Dieting Advice” from “expert” –
    5. “Go gluten free”
    One million Aussies now avoid gluten, but it’s a medical necessity for only 25 per cent of them. Gluten is a protein composite found in foods made from wheat and some other grains including barley oats and rye. It’s come under an unflattering spotlight in recent years with people saying they’re ‘gluten intolerant’ because of ill effects they may feel after eating these grains. But according to Dr Sue Shepherd, eradicating an entire food group without proper medical advice is not healthy – they may be gluten-free but “they’re probably still highly processed, high in sugar, high in GI and lacking in nutrition”.
    I would HATE to think what the author would think of going wheat free. To date, I’ve lost 18KGs, discovered a breast cancer due to the weight loss which I might not have discovered as yet. Benefits to my health have been enormous. I feel that I’m still going very much against the tide however with views such as the above. I am the only person I know who has any idea about the dangers of wheat (Melbourne, Australia). I tend not to talk too much to people about it, tell them to read the book, as I don’t have the expertise to counter their “arguments” for wheat.

  13. Shtoni

    Hi,
    Iv been doing the wheat free for almost a month and I’m not losing weight…I do feel so much better and lost my craving, and seem to eat less…What can I do about the weight loss?? I check out everything I use and cook most of my meals at home..Thank you…Shtoni

  14. Jackie Vieira

    Question:
    I just started reading the book, and am eliminating wheat from my diet. There is a particular Greek Yogurt I like that says it has trace amounts of corn starch. Is that something I should also avoid?