Deja ewww!

Man in pain 123rfIt’s peculiar but instructive: re-exposure phenomena triggered by wheat exposure after being confidently wheat-free. The exposure can be intentional, as in “Just one won’t hurt!” or it can be inadvertent, as in “That gravy looks okay.”

Typically, someone will be wheat-free for at least a week. Re-exposure from, say, salad dressing or seasoning mix then triggers wheat re-exposure fireworks.

The most common re-exposure phenomena to are:

Gastrointestinal distress, bloating, and diarrhea that can last hours to a couple of days. (People with celiac disease can have problems for months, however.) This response resembles food poisoning.
Joint pain–characteristically in the fingers and/or wrists
Upper airway phenomena such as asthma and sinus congestion
Emotional effects such as anxiety in females, irritability or rage in males
Appetite stimulation–What I call the “I ate one cookie and gained 30 pounds” effect. Eating one cookie does not, of course, cause 30 pounds of weight gain. But just one exposure can set the appetite-stimulating machinery in motion and days or weeks of increased appetite for junk carbohydrates can result, thanks to the gliadin-derived opiates of wheat.

And the symptoms that initially went away with your wheat-free adventure can return in all their glory, such as migraine headaches, depression, mental “fog,” sleep disruption, and seborrhea.

The longer you are wheat-free, the more violent the reaction. It is a fitting reminder of just how inappropriate modern wheat is for humans. It reflects our inability to consume the seeds of grasses.

On again, off again; on again, off again: Like pushing a button, you can start or stop the process at will. This represents incontrovertible proof of your individual intolerance to the Evil Grain.

Anyone want to share their re-exposure story?

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. GoGoJo

    How do you know that the negative effects of reintroduction can entirely be blamed on wheat being unhealthy? Couldn’t it be that the bad effects are a result of your new diet messing with how capable your body is at digesting these foods?
    If it is true that the longer you are off of wheat the more severe the effects of reintroduction, doesn’t that tend to show that this diet is doing something unhealthy to your body’s digestive capabilities?

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      If this diet was doing “something unhealthy” to you, your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels etc. would not go back to normal levels. You would not have more energy, deeper sleep,
      less nasal congestion, pain free joints, clearer thinking…..and all the other improvements people have written about. The indigestion and after meal sleepiness caused by wheat and sugars would not disappear either. People from all over the world and all races are saying that they feel better and health conditions are clearing up without grains and sugar in their diet. It stands to reason that these improvements diminish and strong reactions occur when substances your system doesn’t like are consumed.

      If our bodies were capable of easily digesting wheat and friends, we would not be here on line, but rather someplace where we would be enjoying our Twinkies.

  2. Nancy

    I’ve been wheat free for only 2 weeks and though I’ve only lost 5 lbs. I am seeing the benefits! The other day we went school shopping and stopped off at Subway…. I researched it and the chicken strips are all chicken no fillers, but I forgot and allowed the counter reason to cut up a patty instead. My hunger returned that afternoon, I woke up to a slight weight gain and was really depressed! We have saved a lot of money by not eating out all the time like we I’d, but next time I will be much more careful!

  3. Grammie Vi

    Appreciate all the comments – everyone’s experience is different. That helps me to accept that my reactions to wheat/gluten may be different but that I must pay attention!! Thank-you Dr. Davis for all your helpful input!
    My adult daughter was diagnosed w/celliac thru a blood test a year ago – tho’ she had NO symptoms! My own blood tests continue to show negative to gluten; but because of symptoms of IBS, etc.,etc. my Dr. suggested going gluten free and keeping a food log. Bought Wheat Belly Cookbook in Jan. 20013 and have changed my eating habits. Have lost 15 lbs. Any small indulgence by chance or feeling deprived causes bowel issues including tremendous bloating and flatulence! And, each time my body reacts worse than before. Can understand others wanting to eat local specialties when traveling. Since I was born is Sweden I have many favorites I miss. Ate one piece of crisp bread last week and five days later I am still bloated, having painful cramps and having bowel issues (staying home near the bathroom) and often carry Immodium in my pocket if I am out. Wondering if taking that is NOT a good idea?? Is it possible that it just slows down the offending grain leaving my body??

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      Have you tried taking the 50 billion cfu probiotics? These will help to increase the proper flora in your intestines and help them heal faster. Depending on your personal situation and age, it can take months and months for many people to to replace the flora properly and for the gut to heal. Taking the probiotics speeds this up. Dr. Davis recommends this. Also check the other nutritional supplements he recommends (see left hand column of topics) as they all help us in this transition back to health.

      • Grammie Vi

        Have been taking probiotics for years since I am dairy intolerant! Since reading Dr. Davis’s book – I have upped the amount to 35 billion CFU’s. Thanks for the comment; I will check about other suggested supplements.
        Is Immodium safe to take – I wonder?? These IBS urges don’t happen that often any more; but when they do it’s an emergency. So, I carry Immodium in my pocket.

        • Barbara in New Jersey

          Check the January 2013 Archive for the nutritional supplements Dr. D. recommends. There is a discussion too. Magnesium is very important for your intestinal problem and also for sugar issues. Google it for more
          information because it is an integral substance for good health.

          The immodium is harsh for your still healing intestines. Obviously it is not working well for you.

          By the 2nd month on WB, I purchased these supplements and really noticed the difference in the way I felt overall. My intestines haven’t given me any trouble since. No sugar cravings either. I used to eat a lot of fruit in season. I have cut back significantly for the time being to allow my body to stay in ketosis and my pancreas to normalize

          I too have taken the smaller amounts of probiotics for many years. Right now, I just feel better with the increased dosage. I also am lessening the dose since it has been 6 months of trial and error and I think i am OK now. Some people just take the high dose for a month. I needed more.