Wheat Belliers share their wheat re-exposure experiences

How do we associate cause and effect? How do we KNOW when acid reflux, bowel urgency, depression, anxiety, asthma, joint pain and myriad other health complaints are due to consumption of modern wheat?

Simple: When you can turn them on, turn them off, turn them on, turn them off, repeatedly and at will. For instance, avoid wheat, enjoy freedom from bowel urgency and the inconvenient and embarrassing searches for the nearest toilet. Have wheat, explosive return of symptoms. On again, off again: It is the consistent association that establishes a cause-effect relationship in an individual.

Read the incredible descriptions from readers who have experienced regrettable “on-again” moments:

Linda:
Back in April, I was helping serve meals at a retreat. I had prepared food to take with me, knowing the meal I was helping with was baked ziti, but I forgot to bring it along. I really had no options at that point, so I had a small dessert-sized bowl–of the ziti. Within two hours, my stomach bloated, I had heartburn and gas pains, and I felt like I was hit by a Mack truck. My reaction was a good lesson in being prepared and a strong defense against the temptation to take just one bite!

Ali:
My hub was very skeptical. He joined me in wheat/gluten free as an experiment, but it took him getting ‘glutened’ on at least three occasions before he finally accepted he was better off without it!

If he gets inadvertently glutened he turns into ‘Attila the Hun’ for the best part of a week and is not nice to be around. Depression, anxiety, extreme irritability, frustration, pain and brain fog so thick you can cut it with a knife! I weep when I think of all the years he, I, and the kids had to cope with his moods and all the gluten-induced misery.

If I get glutened I don’t usually get the IBS-D I suffered with for 12 years prior to dumping the stuff (the diarrhoea stopped within hours!), but I do get revisited by the raging restless legs that was also a long-term issue. I am also still trying to rectify the damage to my body it caused all those years. After 5 years, I’m better, but still not totally fit and well.

I just hate it, and I hate what it does to people without them realising. I see the pain family members are in who won’t accept the wheat they consume may well be driving it, so great is the addiction.

Julie:
Wow! I didn’t even connect this. Have been grain-free for a month, and had company this week — delicious Filipino food. Nose bleeds, appetite return with vengeance, weight gain, congestion, lethargy. Did not make the connection until now. Hopefully will be enough to make me politely decline next time.

Beth:
I thought 1 tortilla couldn’t hurt after I’d been off grains for several months. My right hip (joint) hurt nonstop, throbbing for 4 days. Every time I have that thought, I recall those sleepless nights with that pain, and I can turn away.

Mia:
I went wheat-free (and grain-free) in the fall of last year, as wheat caused me to have asthma problems and an asthma attack so severe that I was sent to the ER. I now strictly avoid all things wheat and wheat-facility contaminated, and am extremely vigilant about avoiding re-exposure. I have become more and more sensitive to wheat-exposure, as the slightest trace amount will cause almost instantaneous wheezing. Occasionally, I have eaten something that should be wheat-free, such as dates, only to find that they were processed in a facility that handles wheat products. Or, I have consumed a small amount of jam (which had dextrin in it–I had thought that ingredient was safe–apparently not.) It has come to the point where any food that has had contact with wheat at some point down the line will cause asthma for me. So, I rarely buy any packaged foods anymore, and instead bake and cook everything myself (eating out is absolutely out of the question, as something will inevitably have been contaminated.)

Oddly enough, hubby has developed re-exposure phenomena too, of the GI kind. He reluctantly went wheat free this spring when he heard me talking so much about it, and thought to give it a try. He honestly scoffed at first at all of the side effects I described to him about its consumption. However, he noticed that when he did eat something “wheaty,” he would suffer on the toilet. He eventually decided that it was definitely wheat causing his distress, and now he tries hard to avoid it. So, even skeptics, when they try eliminating it from their diet, will most likely find that wheat has been wreaking havoc on their health, unbeknownst to them, and will find themselves better off without it.

Rosemary:
With me it is rage first, then extreme depression. The level of depression ranges from just down to homicidal/suicidal so we don’t eat anywhere but at home these days. It just isn’t worth it. I also don’t lick envelopes any more, ever.

Sandy:
A very timely post for me. I did an intentional “Awwww, how much could it hurt?” when I devoured a couple spinach wheat wraps earlier in the week after being wheat free for almost a year and a half. Oh man, it hurt a LOT. My asthma flared up and OMGosh (knee and wrist) joint pain returned with vengeance, making my morning runs very difficult. It took me a couple days for the light bulb to turn on but after I figured out what it was, I am sworn off wheat again–FOREVER. Wow! I read the book and it warns of this, but I guess I didn’t take it as serious as it really is. Now, almost a week later, the pain has subsided and my asthma much improved, but my memory won’t forget this “wake up call”.

Roxie:
OMG I had 3 x sourdough rye slices + 1/4 apple pie on the weekend at my boyfriend’s. That night I had this dry cough similar to asthma. I thought it was the cold night air and his relative’s smoking. Then the next day (Sunday) I had a progressively worsening migraine. I woke this morning with the same migraine PLUS a nosebleed PLUS diarrhea. I never get nosebleeds! Admittedly, I have been (in the last few weeks) sneaking a little biscuit or two with my coffee, but after reading your post I’m thinking that the nosebleed has come directly from the toast and apple pie PLUS the build up of biscuit wheat in the last few weeks. Normally I’m very strict with my diet and I only eat white rice or potatoes and NEVER grains, and I’ve been so well and so energetic.

I’m determined now to never do this again to myself!

Jan:
This is a noteworthy post for newcomers to the WB lifestyle because re-exposure symptoms can range from unpleasant to debilitating.

When I’m inadvertently glutened, my first indication is that my nose starts running like a faucet, later followed by gastric issues, neither of which I find pleasant!

Patricia:
I have been wheat free for about a year and half. Last summer I was at a party where I was absolutely vigilant about what I ate. One of the appetizers was salmon on a skewer. I thought perfect. High protein and wheat free!

The next morning when I got out of bed I could hardly move because my joints were so stiff. My hips were aching and I knew that I had inadvertently ingested wheat.

A month later when I was making the said salmon skewers for my own party I happened to read the label on the soy sauce. WHO knew there is wheat in soy sauce. Culprit identified and wheat free soy sauce sourced!

Alvin:
I gave up wheat and other high carb foods about 18 months ago. Yesterday I had meatloaf that was made with whole wheat crackers. Within minutes, I was flushed, sweating profusely and having trouble breathing. This lasted for about 30 minutes and then eased off. Everything else in the meatloaf I had eaten often since I started my new lifestyle except the wheat. (p.s. I’ve lost 77 pounds!!)

Charla:
Yep: That’s exactly what happens to me when I get glutenized, every last one of the symptoms mentioned, and it takes me a very long time to get back on track from the food cravings being so severe. Crazy! It does seem that the attacks from re-exposure are so much worse than what I was experiencing before going gluten-free.

Ann Marie:
Last year before I read Wheat Belly and went wheat free, I was on a low carb diet, (salads, naked juices, cheese, meat) but no breads or starches. Then a few weeks into it, not even realizing I was wheat free, I ate a large plate of spaghetti. A few hours later and for 2 to 3 days I was running to the bathroom and washing clothes more than once. I did not know what this was till several months later when I was reading Wheat Belly. I am now very careful and read all the labels. Soo scared that this could happen again if I don’t. Soo comfortable now that I am wheat free, I’ll never go back to that garbage.

Christy:
We’re all grain free now and feeling so much better, but we all have Deja ewww stories!

I went gluten free in March of 2005. That August we were cleaning out my parents-in-law’s house in a hurry to put it on the market. After a very long day, I took my son, who was not yet gluten free, through a KFC drive through and got him some chicken and potatoes. In a moment of sheer delusion, I grabbed a spoonful of potatoes with gravy, then spent the next five days having severe GI symptoms, respiratory symptoms, a migraine, muscle and joint pain, anxiety, insomnia, and irritability. It’s a wonder I survived the constant state of those symptoms and more for years before that. And it’s amazing that I didn’t do anything drastic during so many years of feeling so very, very miserable.

My oldest child always had fewer GI symptoms than others of us, and when she accidentally eats gluten she becomes depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, antisocial, and irritable, plus she gets a little sore throat, burning eyes, and puffs up a little. And she has nightmares. Luckily this doesn’t happen often, and it usually lasts for 3 to 5 days. My youngest, though not a celiac, suffers for MONTHS afterward. GI symptoms, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, head aches. Several times she’s barely gone to school for an entire spring semester after some gluten fiasco around Christmas or after the new year, even some minute and totally accidental ingestion.

During the first year I was grain free I thought I’d just try a little organic cornmeal to see what would happen. Toasted some in a pan, added a little honey, and just ate a little bit. Had diarrhea for five days and took two weeks to recover.

Stefanie:
After being wheat free for about a week, I ate some German licorice wheels I saw in the store. They reminded me of home, so I couldn’t resist buying a bag. I really didn’t think that wheat would be in there, so I devoured the bag during the evening hours. The next morning I woke up with stomach cramps and resulting diarrhea. I couldn’t figure out where this sudden belly issue is coming from since no one else in my family was sick. I checked the licorice bag, and sure enough, it contained wheat flour!

Lynda:
I get severe arthritic pain in my hands with wheat exposure. There may be other things happening but that pain is too distracting to notice them. I have had three hamburger buns in the last 1.5 years and it happened every time. Makes me wonder what else may be going on.

Heather:
I just got back from Vegas, where I did my best to avoid anything that looked like it could contain wheat, but was obviously exposed. I sneezed a lot while there, and now am dealing with what will hopefully only be about a week of depressive/suicidal thoughts. My brain is a complete mess with constant anxiety and worry about the tiniest things. I have linked corn to the anxiety as well, as it has an almost exact gluten protein. Without the wheat, I am happy and calm, take away any corn derivative and I am calmer than I ever thought l possible for someone like me who seemed to just be anxious by nature.

Sheri:
I was wheat free for exactly 7 days when I decided to eat a sub. BIG MISTAKE. Within an hour, I started sneezing pretty much non-stop. Within a couple of hours, I thought I was getting a head cold. I was still sneezing and my nose was running. 5 hours later, I was so congested, I literally could not breathe without my mouth being open. I had the worst headache / sinus pain of my life. No amount of over the counter medicine would bring relief, and I am surprised I didn’t OD on something. It was that bad.

I seriously do not ever remember being sick like that before. It lasted 2 days before I could breathe normally again with “just” regular cold symptoms. It took a week before I was back to normal. Never again. I am not exaggerating when I say I really wanted to cut my own head off – it was that bad.

Lori:
I’ve been basically wheat free for almost 2 years now. Just got back from vacation and my husband made cookies (he bought the dough from the dance team who was selling it door to door). In a moment of weakness, I had a couple – well maybe a few more than a couple, and ended up with a bad headache for 2 days and felt so depressed I didn’t want to do anything.

Thankfully I feel better now, but it was a sure fire reminder of what I felt like before Wheat Belly came into my life!

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Lisa

    Perhaps I am in the large minority, but back in October, after being wheat free for 3 months, I ate some cookies and cream ice cream with wheat. I expected these symptoms; however, that night, I did not get the anticipated diarrhea and I woke up the next morning feeling fine!! Crazy! The only thing I noticed was a slight increase in appetite but that subsided after a day.

    • Blake K

      I used to not have any issues with “wheat cheats” either but now that I have gone largely without it for about a year, I get agonizing lower back pain when I eat it. The pain gives you lots of time to think it over at night! So, you may find that you get some pretty obvious symptoms if you stay of it long enough. I was sure I would be able to cheat forever without consequence.

  2. I wish my father who is suffering from rhuamatoid arthritis will accept the fact that it has been his breakfast cereal that caused his arthritis. He will not stop eating this poison. I gave him some vitamin D3 capsules to help him because I know he is deficient but he wont take them until he has his doctors permission. I reduced my meds for my epilepsy behind my neurologist’s back because I am now grain free and my coconut oil is natural form of medicine not like all the chemicals in pharmacy meds that have so many side effects.

    • HungryinTN

      I am staying with my parents for over a week right now to help them try out the diet. My mother has RA and fibromyalgia and my father is on a whole slew of meds for blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and who knows what else. My mother is so far gone that she is completely dependent on my father for food because she can’t walk to the kitchen. My father is still working full time while trying to take care of her. It’s an uphill battle trying to get them to change their ways (especially my father), but at least my mother is a captive audience. If she sees some real change by Sunday then she will have an easier time getting my dad to comply. I was such a picky eater as a child. Parents really know how to turn the tables on us when they get older, don’t they?

      • gingerbread

        Parents are a gift from God, but can try the patience of Job. LOL. My mom, love her immensely, has fibro, hypothyroid, COPD, Edema, RA, and a myriad of other health problems. She is entrenched with the doctors. She listens to what I say to her, reads materials I give her, but says, ” I am just not that in tune to my body like you are”. Mom. Just stop eating breads and wheat. Trying to explain wheatfree to her AND trying to get her to accept that she needs thyroid hormone cause her thyroid was removed and they only have her on Levoxyl, well let me tell you, it is very frustrating. But you keep talking to them and trying to live by example because the life she has, that ain’t living. I tell her about my re-exposure to let her know that no one is perfect, but she doesn’t have to live the rest of her life in constant pain, illness, fogginess, depression and isolated because her body has her in prison. She is coming up on 74. I am 51. I think we have ‘powdered butt’ syndrome. She just humors me, but doesn’t realize that she is dying a slow, painful death.

  3. Jenny

    Knowing how bad gluten re-exposure is for me, my best buy was cards that I can hand to restaurants, explaining that I have to avoid gluten, both directly and in derivative foods, eg soy sauce. I have them in several languages, but also my home tongue of English. It is amazing the number of 17 yr old waiters who don’t appreciate that wheat (and gluten) is found in bread! The card can be handed to their chef, who is usually much better informed.

  4. Jenny

    A final comment. After 6 months of wheat free, I reacted with food poisoning symptoms to a single crouton. After 8 years, I react to a medium size breadcrumb with said symptoms and stomach cramps for 10 days, and to a minute speck with cramps for 5 days. The worst is the fine dust that arises in a kitchen from, say meat being dusted with flour, and this landing on your plated dinner. This, within 2 mouthfuls, sends me to sleep to the extent that I have to work at keeping my head out of my dinner! The best thing is to give up and go home to bed.

  5. Eli

    So if you get these kinds of issues when you go near wheat after being wheat-free, wouldn’t it have been better to have just eaten wheat all along? I’m actually starting my own wheat-free diet and giving it a try due to all the great things I’ve heard, but part of me wonders if we don’t create more problems for ourselves or at least more booby-traps.
    I don’t have to run to the bathroom on my current diet. I don’t get super moody when I eat pasta and I sure as heck don’t end up in bed for a week with horrible cramps if have half a crouton. I’m trying it out in an attempt to lose some extra weight that just doesn’t seem to want to come off any other way.
    So for you all who have gone the wheat-free route, are the pitfalls worth it? Are you so much happier during your good times that the occasional accidental exposures that incapacitates you for a week or more is worth the risk? I guess if you continue on the diet then it must be, but this is a huge list of some major problems and it makes me wary.

    • Nancy M.

      Not everyone has reactions as severe as these. I just feel out-of-sorts for a few days. But I do think even if I had terrible reactions I’d give it up. The stuff is poison, pure and simple.

    • Dave

      As someone who accidentally got wheated last night, it is absolutely worth it. I was doing it to lose weight; I’m down 4 inches on my waist in just under 4 months. I was working out 1.5-2 hours a day, 5 times a week, and gaining weight despite all that exercise. Going wheat free is the only way I’ve been able to lose weight since I did Atkins 10 years ago.
      But I stick with wheat free (which actually isn’t that hard) for all the other benefits:
      * Being able to fall asleep when I want, without sleeping pills.
      * Decreased moodiness; a generally upbeat feeling.
      * More energy.
      * No more spontaneous sweats.
      * No more daily digestive issues (that was the big one).
      I think a lot of people come for the weight loss, but stay for all the added benefits (and all the other ailments were things I just became accustomed to).

      • Alex

        I actually came across this and marksdailyapple sites researching how to get my triglycerides and LDL down. While weight loss is a fantastic side effect (6″ off in the first 4 months) it was getting my blood work back into normal range (which wheat free did in only 6 weeks!).

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      The difference in your everyday, daily, normal routine is profound when you do not eat grains and sugars. Your health improves when you don’t eat the foods that make you sick. Your thinking becomes clearer. Aches and pains clear up and you have a lot of energy.

      According to your logic, you would purposely ingest rattlesnake venom so you don’t react if an when you are bitten by a rattlesnake when you go on your daily hikes in the desert. Enjoy your daily dose(s) of what amount as poison. Try double and triple doses of sugar too. Do eat foods with as many chemical additives as possible to further insure you don’t have a reaction. Enjoy your declining health and weight gain.

      You may feel “fine” now so enjoy your foods and don’t worry about your future health.

    • Rebecca

      Eli,
      If only it was so simple, keep eating wheat you will not have re-exposure issues, well yes but the re-exposure issues were there when you were eating wheat and gluten. The break from wheat and other gluten sources relieves the constant everyday bathroom runs, sinus congestion, constant bouts of headaches, etc. So in all honestly the issues from being exposed to wheat where always there just more normal, if you break your arm at first it’s very painful but soon your mind and body get adjusted to the pain from the break. When your arm heals and you are well if you break the arm again it will hurt with the same pain at first. I think many find re-exposure issues more painful or extreme because the constant of that issue has vanished, not because they have magical recieve more extreme issues from eating wheat, So to answer your question for me yes the good times are 100 percent worth it:)

    • > … are the pitfalls worth it?

      “I’ve spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.”

      As I just said at: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/07/wheat-belliers-share-their-wheat-re-exposure-experiences/comment-page-1/#comment-147784
      “Eat poison.
      Get food poisoning.”

      Why would you want to wreck your immediate and long term health just so you had less of a reaction to what is only temporarily a common poison? Yes, it’s a bit like giving up smoking in 1953. You are going to run into intense second hand smoke everywhere. Those who gave up and kept smoking are mostly dead now, on average 7 years sooner than non smokers, and often in misery during the final years. Wheat is much more destructive than tobacco.

    • Lynda (Fl)

      I think we may be having a misunderstanding. I have been on this forum for well over a year and I can tell you that ALL of us came here with physical issues we were desparate to resolve. We have found relief from not eating grain. If your body has a problem with wheat, it isn’t going to go away because you keep eating it. You don’t get wheat reexposure symptoms because you never had a problem, it’s the problem you already had returning with a vengeance, after a time of healing. The reexposure phenomenon is just proof we were on the right track. We are here cheering you on if this way of life helps and we hope it does because no one should suffer as we have done. I’m Lynda from the blog post and welcome to Wheat Belly, please join us on Wheat Belly Forum, too. We would love to have you and have you learn with us and teach us.

        • Eli

          Thank you! And your answer makes a lot of sense. I realize that there are issues now, they just aren’t anywhere near what some people were posting about after RE-exposure. And obviously, it must be worth it if so many people are sticking with it.

    • Alex

      Eli,

      Much like you I too used to eat wheat in all forms just about every day. Pretty much every day. When I was researching my high triglycerides and LDL problem I came across this site and others (primal/paleo/etc). I found the claims to go wheat free to cure my blood work a little hard to swallow. So hard it took me 4 months to get to the point to try this ridiculous hypothesis simply because I had nothing else left to try. In 6 weeks (just by chance as that was my next scheduled blood pull) my tri & LDL levels fell way back down into the normal range. I was stunned. But that wasn’t the end of it. I’m now into 5 months and in the last 4 months I lost 6″ around my waist!! I’m now half way to my goal weight and I feel for the first time in my life that my goal weight is actually something I will get to now. No matter what diet or exercise regiment (used to jog 50k/week) I’ve been on I just knew it would fail. I don’t see wheat-free as a diet either. It is a complete life style change for me.

      Occasionally I miss my wheat-based (pizza, pasta, pies, cakes, the list goes on and on) foods but then I look at my belly and rub it and just wonder why the food pyramid was telling me to eat wheat?

      As for the reactions, I’ve been accidentally wheated twice at a couple of restaurants. I don’t go to those restaurants anymore. The reaction I get is bad and comes with a vengeance. It is enough to make me avoid wheat like the plague.

      Some of us just haven’t evolved enough digestively to be able to consume wheat.

    • Eli

      From Eli:
      Thank you all for the replies! I’m certainly not trying to knock the lifestyle in any way – just wanted a better understanding of why it was so helpful when these re-exposure stories sounded so horrible.
      I’m on day 3 now and while I haven’t seen much difference yet, I’m certainly not having any bad effects either. I really appreciate you all taking the time to reply to a newbie.

  6. raya

    Hi Dr Davis..i want to suggest to my sister that she put my niece and nephew on a wheat free diet my nephew at 8years old can be extremely hyperactive at times and can get quite aggressive and irritable. He also doesn’t look adults in the eyes when he speaks and sways from side to side quite a bit and he has a lisp I feel as though his eating so many wheat products (he loves breads and cinnamon buns) may be attributed to some of these behaviors but im not entirely sure. He looks to be a healthy size for an 8 year old and im sure he’s in the higher percentile for height for kids his age. My question is how can you get kids to go wheat free without them losing weight if they are already at a healthy weight? and what about if you restrict animal milk and replace it with almond milk and coconut milk-is this a good idea for growing active boys?? I know a lot of adults enjoy the weight loss aspects of going wheat/dairy free but a lot of kids who are already at a healthy weight don’t need to lose weight-what foods should you incorporate more of to ensure that weight loss doesn’t occur in children? and is there a childrens wheat belly cookbook in the works? thanks!

    • Alice C.

      Hi Raya,
      The fifth success story on this page : from Mark’s daily apple mentioned that, as a 53 year old suffering from autism, he was able to look others in their eyes after going Paleo/low carb. May be this is a good story to relay to your sister to help your nephew. I hope you see this post since yours is from two days ago.
      Best of luck
      Alice

        • Alice C.

          Hi Raya, I guess they do not allow posting link here. If you go on Mark’s daily apple, the-book, success stories, page 6, you can find it. Disclaimer: I do not gain anything from posting this link, I just want to be helpful.
          Good luck!

          • > I guess they do not allow posting link here.

            They do. My username is one, and here’s another:
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-book/success-stories-6/

            That particular anecdote is not that easy to find even with the link, and there are no trackback links to individual comments, as on WBB. Searching on “autism” gets many hits on Mark’s blog, and on WBB. There is likely a strong diet connection in most cases.

  7. Jennifer

    My 12-year-old son was recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant and with leaky gut. This came after months of suicidal/depressive behavior (including a trip to the ER) and increasing difficulties with executive function skills at school (very disorganized). He first went to a social worker, then a psychiatrist, and was diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type and also with depression and anxiety. The adderall prescribed for his ADHD helped while at school, but left him cranky and unpleasant to be around after school when he was coming off the drug. His moods did not improve, and we were rapidly heading towards the prescription of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. This was the only solution the psychiatrist had to offer. I could not help but think that this was related to food, and did not want to go the route of all these prescription medicines unless there was no other recourse, so I took him to see a naturopathic doctor. This doctor identified his food sensitivity (sensitive to four components of gluten) and gut issues, and has put him on a very strict cleansing and inflammation-healing diet, devoid of most potential allergens and, of course, wheat and all grains. We are two weeks into it, and I am beginning to see my son again for the first time in over half a year. He is relaxed and happy and (shockingly) can’t wait for school to start. I feel like his brain is waking up, and he can enjoy life again. He REALLY hates this diet, so that is saying something! Despite desperately resisting the diet for the first week, and grudgingly doing it for the second week, he is now beginning to see its merits. We had previously excluded gluten from my son’s diet for six weeks earlier in the Spring, but had no results (the doc tells me) because the inflammation had not been dealt with properly. This time we are addressing his leaking gut and clearing the inflammation as we should have done the first time. Today, my son said that the worst and most suicidal he felt was after we reintroduced gluten in the Spring. I post this because I would urge parents of kids with behavioral issues to consider this information. Read Wheat Belly and a book called Why Isn’t My Brain Working? by Kharrazian. It is very clear that mood issues and diet are an area that should be talked about more. I’m so glad that I knew enough to consider this route, and feel that we have potentially avoided a life-long psychiatric-drug habit. For this, I am VERY grateful.

  8. I went with friends to a pizza place and ate two slices of pizza after being gluten-free for about a year. Thought it couldn’t hurt JUST THIS ONCE. The next day I wanted to die. My hands were hot and swollen, I couldn’t think straight, had no energy, and wanted to sleep all day. NEVER AGAIN. I learned my lesson and learned it well.

  9. Rebecca

    I have suffered from persistent cystic acne in the chin area only since i was 15. I had no idea it was from gluten! (And soy too, but those are the normal pimples – the cystic ones are from gluten.) I figured this out when I went on a candida diet briefly and my acne vanished. Dairy is a common culprit for acne but it doesn’t bother me at all – but more people should know that if they have persistent acne, especially the deep kind that basically fossilize in your skin and take 6 weeks to go away – it’s probably a food sensitivity of some sort, and very likely gluten. It’s absolutely amazing. Now that I’ve been off it for 6 months, if I eat something with gluten, I don’t even have to wait until the next day – huge, painful, deep pimple immediately – that kind that will not be gone for longer than a month. There is no doubt in my mind it’s the gluten that causes it as there is 100% correlation with the breakouts and the gluten rare consumption. Oddly, I have no ugly GI symptoms such as others have reported from gluten consumption, but I wasn’t so “regular” before I cut it out, and now my GI system works so perfectly. No more constipation – ever – no more sluggish system, even if I overload it with corn pasta. Also, on the rare occasions I’ve had gluten in the past few months I’ve been insanely tired after eating it. Like just desperate for a nap.

    It’s definitely best to cut it out and see how things improve for you! I’d be curious to see how I reacted to the wheat in Europe, as I hear it’s not been adulterated as ours has here in North America.

  10. Elena

    Does anyone know why so many of us get sicker when ingesting wheat than we did when we ate it on a dayly basis? Is it because our bodies have downregulated the storm troopers needed to deal whith wheat?

    Not that I´m complaining. I´m sensitive but I can handle small amounts (like soy sauce or a little bit of sauce when eating out) with no ill effect. Half a sandwich though and it´s over and out. GI troubles of all sorts and joint pain the next day. (The only wheat product that can tempt me is sourdogh bread fresh from the oven, with a healthy lob of butter melting into it. It´s heavenly. Until, you know, it isn´t, haha.) I have given in twice in the last year. I´m a slow learner. ;-)

    For me it´s clearly worth it beeing wheat free. I´d rather risk getting ill once in a while than feeling constantly tired, gassy, food sensitive, achy, sort of low grade sick, like I felt all the time before. I really didn´t know what “healthy” felt like before. :-(

  11. Gaby

    I don’t really think that we get sicker now than we were before; I think it is a case of having gotten used to feeling healthy – it feels normal now – and a set-back after inadvertantly (or deliberately) eating gluten and experiencing dierrhoea, joint-pain, cramps, headaches, swollen limbs, etc. will, of course, make us feel sick and miseable. But this used to be normal!! At least for me. I used to live with the above plus a litany of other health problems for decades. I think we all just had to find a way to deal with them, or ignore them, since life goes on (docs were no help, so a lot of us gave up complaining).
    Now we know we don’t have to do mental tricks anymore to claw our way out of that misery to be able to feel the happiness and joy that life can also bring. We just have to give up grains (it’s all grains for me) to feel strong and healthy. How wonderful is that?

  12. > Does anyone know why so many of us get sicker when ingesting
    > wheat than we did when we ate it on a daily basis?

    No, although there is much speculation about it.

    It could be that you now lack flora that can sort-of handle wheat.

    It could be that the new flora you do have are killed off by wheat.

    It could be a relapse into intestinal porosity, and a reaction to all the junk that gets into your blood as a result.

    Celiacs develop actual antibodies to gluten. Everyone else may have a similar reaction for which there is presently no lab test.

    Grain advocates can tell themselves that reports of striking health improvements upon wheat elimination are mere anecdotes. But when you can, at will, relapse into debilating malaise on blind (accidental) re-exposure, it’s all the hard data YOU need.

    Consider re-exposure incidents as “challenge tests”.
    Their message is unambiguous:
    Eat poison.
    Get food poisoning.

  13. Jennifer Snow

    I, personally, have wheated myself a few times since quitting it almost 2 years ago, and I seem to be one of that 10% of the population that doesn’t have noticeable ill effects. My bane seems to be high fructose corn syrup. I’ve been stalled on my health improvements for a long time now. I think I need to get more exercise and eat higher quantities of protein and less fats/carbs overall. Carbs I keep pretty low in general, but I think I’m not getting enough high-quality protein. I’ve been eating mostly fat, but I HAVE plenty of fat to burn. So I’m going to go high protein for a month or so and see if that helps.

    • Neicee

      Jennifer, my downfall is trying one (or a handful) of my hubby’s French fries. We use nothing but evoo, coconut oil, and butter at home. It’s the oil most restaurants use, and whether it’s canola or soy based I can no longer tolerate it. I can have what I refer to as my dessert that is a third of a baked potato with butter, sour cream, and the works with no ill effects. I have been known to order a couple pats of butter to finish off a steak when eating out. Everyone in close proximity gasps… :)

      • Neicee

        Forgot to add: Don’t forget about hash browns for breakfast. They use the same oils on those as they do their fries.

  14. Lisa

    Is a clear liquid (kind of like mucus, but it’s not) from the nose a side effect of wheat exposure?

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Lisa,

      I think this is your sinus membrane healing as the inflammation decreases. Walk in and out of air conditioning with temperature and humidity changes and it gets worse! Sometimes your nose feels constantly runny and needs actually needs wiping. I seem to have a tissue stash in with my gardening tools because of this and not because of pollen in the air. While this is annoying, the good part is that my sinuses don’t swell nearly as much. Bright sunlight does not cause me to squint any longer while wishing I could get darker sunglasses (I use the darkest lens available).

      While I don’t have any scientific proof, I know that my nasal swelling has been tremendously reduced and sinus headaches are more infrequent the longer I am grain and sugar free. No longer does grass, tree and weed pollen swell my nose so that I can’t breathe through it. The runny, clear mucus is intermittent and seems to decrease as your body adjusts.

      To specifically answer your question, it probably is the result of our life long exposure to wheat and a sign that your sinus membranes are healing. This may take many months for your sinuses to normalize, depending on your age, health etc.

    • Lisa,
      My sinuses were one of my ‘weak links’ and my first indication of inadvertent wheat exposure…..my nose drips endlessly! I’ve been wheat/gluten/sugar free since January and this is the FIRST YEAR EVER, after returning north for the summer, that I haven’t been plagued by severe allergies, which would often translate into sinus infections. I haven’t needed any allergy meds what-so-ever this year.

  15. Mia

    Say, could someone help me out? My grandparents have been wheat-eaters their entire lives, and it is seriously wreaking havoc on their lives (especially my Grandpa.) When I try to explain to them why I don’t eat wheat anymore, they just can’t fathom it. They think I’m just on a special “diet” to lose weight, or that it’s just another allergy. They always say, “Well, wheat is in everything I eat. There wouldn’t be anything left to eat, you know.” While I tell them that’s absolutely not true and try to explain what all I eat instead, they think these other foods are “strange.” “Bread made with ground-up almonds?! That must be terrible!” (sigh.) “No cereal for breakfast? But we’ve had cereal for breakfast for the past sixty years!” (another sigh.)

    I know Dr. Davis has posted many brief blog entries with bulletpoints that “summarize” the evils of wheat, and why we shouldn’t eat it (hence, the purpose for this entire blog, haha.) But I can’t seem to decide which summary would be the most thorough, yet the easiest to quickly understand. Could someone point out which summaries, or other material, that will quickly and simply explain why we shouldn’t eat wheat? I want to print it off and let them read it, since I just can’t explain it “simply” enough without bogging them down in details about mutated proteins and such. There are so many entries on the WB blog that it’s hard to find the summaries.

    It seems like I am being pushy with my grandparents, but I have calmly discussed matters with them only when they have directly asked about my lifestyle. I have been frustrated with my inability to explain it all (and it’s like, where do you begin?!!) They won’t read the WB book; it’s too long and complicated too keep them engaged (I told them about it, and they were not interested, and my mom gave up only about 1/4 of the way through, sadly.) I hope this doesn’t seem like a silly question, but if there is something I could print off that they could read in 10 mins. or less, I think it would help them understand more about this lifestyle.

    • Jeanine

      Mia, you sound like such a caring granddaughter. It obviously pains you to see your grandparents so entrenched in something so harmful. No amount of ‘splaining will convince them–they seem full of “what ifs and no ways”. They have to experience it. I have found the best is when someone approaches me and wants to know what I’m doing because I look so much better to them. I’m pretty simple and blunt and say I stopped eating wheat and all grains. I don’t ge into details except to say there’s quite a bit of research showing that wheat is harmful to the huan body and that I decided to see if it was hurting mine–and it was. After they express shock and worry that it must be a dangerous diet ( blah, blah, blah), I say it’s no big deal stopping and that my medical health has drastically improved and my husband’s doc took him off high bp meds a month after being wheat free. When they say they can’t imagine going without wheat, I say you can do anything for a month and if you want to give it a try, I’ll help. In your grandparent’s case, maybe you could provide a week’s worth of meals so they can see how it’s done. In the end, if they don’t want to try, then there’s not much you can do.

      • Mia

        Thanks Jeanine; I appreciate your insights. I know I can’t convince them, but I just didn’t want to sound like an idiot trying to explain this. I just wanted a simplified explanation. I will try your approach. :-)

        • Jeanine

          Awwww….don’t feel like an idiot! You have good intentions, it’s working for you, and you care about their health and longevity.
          You took the time to do your own “action research”. Hopefully they’ll be game for a month. BTW, I direct people to the “quick and dirty” part of the blog. I think it summarizes WB pretty well.

        • Jo

          The cook book itself as a gift with all its easy and beautiful recipes and testimonies may also be a gentle introduction and you can offer to cook with them. I to have stubborn parents set in their ways and full of all the epidemic health problems, I’ve not yet spoken to them about this but have spent some time thinking how to. Bless u :-)

  16. STavros Eleftheriou

    I am wheat and gluten free since the end of January 2013. I suffer from type II Diabetes, which was controlled difficultly 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 diarrhoea almost on a daily basis, with tummy aches (Gastroenterologist specialists thought it was stress related…). After the first long and hard weekend of removing wheat and gluten from my diet (headaches, agitation, arthritic pain) etc, most of these issues resolved; no more acid reflux, no more snoring, no aching. Today, i weigh 10 kg less and my diabetes is easily controlled and my diarrhoea issue 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, the stomach was fine, no acid reflux but i felt my abdomen was about to explode…..Bloating (i could not believe it myself- as if i swallowed a basketball), acute pain, cold sweats…..I immediately had to visit the WC, and i did that several times during the night, with diarrhoea 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

    • Dr. Davis

      Thank you for weighing in, Dr. Eleftherious!

      What is most enlightening about your experience is that it is happening with forms of wheat in Cyprus, not just the U.S. I’d like to post your experience as a blog post.

      • STavros Eleftheriou

        Hi Dr Davis,

        You may use my post any way you might find it useful. During the last couple of decades, Diabetes and Obesity (especially amongst young people) are becoming major issues here (a sort of an epidemic) and i am 100% sure that it has to do with the wheat. Our wheat production is almost non-existent, so we mostly of the flour used is imported. I guess we use the same flour as in most other parts of the world.

        Thank you again for all you have done.

        Dr Stavros Eleftheriou

  17. Mike

    I have a small hmm… let’s say ‘victory’. My wife realised , that eating wheat causes bloating. I adviced a while ago to try Ryvita instead of white bread. So … after a few trials SHE understood the wheat story. Still not enough to remove all grains, but I suppose that’s the first step. That bloating happened just after a few days wheat free !

    • Mike

      One small baguette yesterday made it , after 4 days wheat free.

      EDIT : Adding posts editing would help. Accidentally hit ENTER.

  18. Margaret

    Ok, so I’m silly or stubborn or something. I’ve known for ages that Wheat Belly was for me. I have tons of symptoms, arrhythmia, IBS, heartburn, PCOS, joint pain… I knew they would all lessen or go away if I made this simple change. I’ve even done it in the past, more than once. You see, five years ago I was diagnosed PCOS which is prediabetic. I was 300 lbs and the word diabetes spurred me to action. I cut out ‘anything I didn’t cook myself’ at first that included all starches, but I let up little by little. After six months I had lost over 30 lbs but I was also eating pita chips almost every day. Still, I was losing and energetic and if I was having IBS after the pita chips (which I assume I was) it was so ‘normal’ that it didn’t bother me.
    IBS has been normal for me as long as I can remember, literally back to childhood. And, if as I suspect, it can be linked to my nighttime urinary incontinence, I would venture to say it has been with me my entire life. Honestly, pain has been with me my entire life. How many teenagers have unexplainable pains in their feet and knees? Normal sized teens?
    Then I got married. My carefully constructed weight loss diet went out the window. My husband is Wheat Belly resistant, and I was eating what he was eating. I actually thought I was doing fine for a while, making calorie cuts, but I was fooling myself. Then I hurt my back. I thought I knew what pain was, but back pain is worse. I was gaining weight again and the symptoms that were my normal were slowly killing me. Yes, wheat was slowly poisoning me, and I think it was even exacerbating the swellings around my back injury.
    About a month ago I had another shock. Like I said, I can be stubborn. I strained myself physically. I experienced a mind fog like nothing else, my arrhythmias were seriously intense. I just kept saying ‘I don’t feel good.’
    So I did the only thing I knew for sure would help. I went wheat free, despite a month’s worth of wheat intense groceries. I made compromises shouldn’t have made like potatoes, soda, and popsicles. I just wanted the arrhythmias to go away. Well, they did. So did the IBS and many of the aches and pains. I did, however dream that I had slipped up and woke with that defeatist, ‘might as well have some more,’ attitude. Once I was awake, I resisted just fine.
    Then I got stupid. My husband suggested a takeout meal and the only ‘wheat free’ thing I could think of was Chinese food without the sauce. Luckily the local takeout place would do that for me. Unluckily something about the meal wasn’t wheat free. Maybe it was the sauce packet that I read and trusted? Maybe it was a dusting of flour on the shrimp before it was cooked? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the sticky rice.
    I think the wheat contact was very small, but the symptoms were large. Instant IBS and a lasting pain in the gut that was actually somewhat bearable. Remember, it used to be ‘normal.’ I had food cravings for the first time in a month. It was specific, my junkie body wanted more poison. Over the next two days I had a reoccurrence of most of my pains, including insomnia and my stubbornness.
    I ate the rest of the Chinese food, without the sauce packets. Which wasn’t too bad a reaction – I still think the shrimp might have been the tag. Then the third day after contact, I got really stubborn and/or stupid and suggested a pizza. I mean, I was already feeling bad, right, what was another really big tag? I think it was the wheat cravings, the withdrawal.
    Naturally I spent a miserable night jumping up every twenty minutes or so and groaning in between. Now, I ask you, is there anything rational in craving another slice? It is a drug, pure and simple. The aches in my body aren’t innocent twinges, they are inflammation due to the poison. The immediate heart fluttering and the faint malaise in my chest are directly related to that pizza.
    I wish I could say this experience has cured me of all desire to eat wheat. It has not. I’m an addict. I will stop the madness and I will soon start rejecting HFCS as I was planning to do next month. However, I know myself. At some point I will miss something and get tagged. When I do I will have a week or more of symptoms and cravings. I may completely repeat the pizza fiasco. I hope not, because I feel almost as bad today as I did a month ago before I cut out wheat.
    Now I just need to turn the stubbornness on itself and do what I should have done the moment I knew I’d been tagged. No wheat for me. Not even if I’m already having symptoms.

    • Dr. Davis

      It makes me wonder if you also have a derangement of bowel flora.

      In other words, bad diet that included wheat and sugars disrupted bowel flora, encouraging overgrowth of undesirable species. Go off the bad foods but bowel flora does not fully recover allowing, for instance, leptin resistance, meaning you have continuing excessive desire for sweets.

      Have you tried a high-potency probiotic, e.g., 50 billion CFUs per day? Ideally, it would include Lactobacillus plantarum, other lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species.

      • Margaret

        that’s a good point. I need to start taking probiotics again.
        It isn’t always cravings. I tend to eat if my husband is hungry, if he asks for a popsicle I eat one myself. The three weeks or more when I was wheat free, I was never hungry. The moment I ate that Chinese meal I started getting hunger pains and cravings for wheat products.

  19. This is my experience:

    I’ve been gluten free for about three or four years now. I probably have celiac but have never been diagnosed. I never will be, because that means I would have to start eating gluten again before testing, and I never will do that now.

    Because I’ve been feeling so great, I got sloppy. My husband calls it “trying to beat the system”, and he couldn’t have said it any better. Since I keep my glycemic load very low now, and I’ve been feeling so great…one day recently I said a little chinese food (beef with broccoili) can’t hurt if I avoid the rice, get take-out and serve it over Miracle Rice (Shirataki). Of course I conveniently “forgot” all the wheat-laden gluten in the soy sauce. Then I went to Costco and bought a huge supply of “low carb” tortillas. Yeah, very low carb, but loaded with wheat gluten.

    Within a week all my old symptoms came back. With a vengeance. Exhaustion, depression, arthritic symptoms. I could go on and on with my list, but what’s the point. You get it. Now some people may be able to use regular soy sauce and have a “low carb” wheat laden tortilla once in a while. Not me. I am extremely sensitive.

    I also want to thank you for being the first author to really get through to me about all the gluten free crap out there, which I was eating. Wheat Belly really opened my eyes. I had bought and read many gluten free books before Wheat Belly was published, but it was your book that really made me confront my eating habits. I will always be grateful for that!

    Keep the book series going!

    • Dr. Davis

      Will do, Sheryl!

      You can see why the “this is just low carb” comments are incorrect. It is an effort to sound the whistle that wheat is an incredibly destructive ingredient in the modern diet, despite its endorsement by all “official” sources of dietary advice. And, if you desire ideal health and full weight loss, there are incremental advantages if wheat elimination occurs in the setting of carbohydrate restriction. It sounds similar but, as you have learned, there are crucial differences!

      • Virginia Ritterbusch

        I would like to order a larger quantity of garbanzo bean flour. They come in two varieties and I need help knowing what the difference is or whether or not one should be avoided or be preferred? Any input would be appreciated.

        Virginia Ritterbusch

  20. Peggy Holloway

    Even after having recently read all of these comments and theoretically understanding that I should never consume grains/sugar, I actually fell into the trap last week. I was in NYC for a week and was doing beautifully eating wonderful seafood and meats, hold the bread and starch, no dessert, thank you. Then, one evening, at a charming French bistro, after finishing a lovely sea bass and a side of spinach, I again said no thanks to dessert. However, with the check, the waitress brought a little plate of miniature confections. I have adored Marcel Proust’s story of the “petite madeleines” since I was a child and used to make them every Christmas. So, the teeny-tiny really “petite” madeleine was so enticing that I thought “this little cookie can’t hurt me.” Boy, did I pay for that! I was so sick the next day. I bought immodium for the first time in 14 years. I hope I learned my lesson from this.

  21. Pat McFarland

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    This may not be something to post but I have been looking for other ways to understand how the changes we have made in our eating habits have happened so quickly – beyond the physical improvements that compel us to change. I want to know your thoughts on some other aspects of making such change resulting in the release from the addictive and harmful properties of wheat.

    In pondering this, I did some searching and think I found another interesting way to understand how completely natural it is to move from eating wheat to enjoying a wheat-free life!

    I have been thinking a lot about the many posts on the Wheat Belly Blog and how so many people have so fully and so quickly dedicated themselves to making real and lasting changes in their life-long habitual ways of eating. I wondered too, how was I able to accomplish this so rapidly? It seemed something more was at work than just the system responses to changing my diet.

    But here’s what I wondered about: beyond changing our foods, what else was involved in how we so rapidly we changed our minds? It was like an overnight conversion in my house! We read your book and that sent us in a new direction and within a short time we had stopped wheat forever. We had tried other changes before but they didn’t work. So, how did this process work? How, beyond the physical relief and the dietary improvements, could this level of change have occurred so rapidly in our otherwise long “must-eat-wheat” trained minds? I was so curious! We are an open-minded family but was it that we just didn’t have the proper combination of information up to that point? Why wouldn’t eating wheat and feeling bad have been connected before?

    Aren’t people generally highly resistant to change? Isn’t it really hard to change? Isn’t change a conscious process? Once we were given new knowledge and reason and recipes, we each did make changes in our eating habits. So how did we so rapidly and so completely change our feelings and thoughts into irreversible actions?

    Early in July, I stumbled onto and article in published on Alternet July 10, 2013 titled, “Can You Rewire Your Brain to Change Bad Habits, Thoughts, and Feelings?” (By Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic and Laurel Hulley) They write about some fairly recent breakthroughs into understanding how brains can undo lifetimes of unhelpful often unconscious conditioned behaviors and make quick turnarounds.

    The understanding I took away from their work was that a persons’ brain, when faced with new and good information or experiences, can actually overwrite (if you will) and send into back files or even completely delete bad old expressions and habits. While it seems obvious that that might happen when simplified as I have expressed it, it isn’t that simple a process or everyone would be getting off wheat, right? They would also not have to re-wheat themselves voluntarily as I have read so many will try.

    My understanding of their article as it applies to what we are each doing in changing our diets to wheat-free, is that when we are accepting new information, (like reading your well explained work), and/or when we are actually removing wheat from our diet, our brains can encounter a true “mismatch”. (Also, acknowledging that the addictive link of wheat has also been broken, whereby we have been further enabled to stop). “Mismatch” is an important term in their article as it is ”Mismatch” of information which holds the key to change. By experiencing it, we can unlock our brain from its previous learning and can replace the old information and behavior with a new reality and new behaviors. The critical thing though is while the key may be similar it is also different for each person. Still, it is the presence of the “mismatch” that is the key to change. What you are creating are multiple access points for people to “hear” enough information that will make the unique “mismatch” for them and thereby initiate the change.

    I’m not a psychologist but if my understanding is correct, (and please feel free to challenge it), in our brains we each had previously internalized eating wheat with feeling good, i.e. believing wheat is a healthy whole grain and accepting all the propaganda surrounding our consumption of this product. So before, we could not have associated our bad feelings and poor health symptoms with wheat. We each had internalized our various conditions and associated them with something else; our genetics, perhaps, or that it is our fault or destiny in some way. Or, we did not develop a consciousness about it at all. We internalized a thought process that prohibited change. That is why at first, making this change makes no sense to us but then, as we continue with new experiences and new knowledge, sense is made.

    Am I anywhere close to explaining this well? What you are doing accomplishes this but I wonder how you could increase the possibilities? You have said many similar things but what I wanted to know was how our brain can make these changes so quickly and completely.

    Before I end, I would really enjoy it if you could again acknowledge in your blog what we have individually and collectively realized. It is nothing short of amazing! We all deserve to really celebrate for making such amazing improvements in our lives!

    I’m sure you have imagined at times if our on-line community was an actual neighborhood; how we might all gather for a real celebration complete with colorful banners and flags and new sounding music and a roster of honorees giving speeches and handing out acknowledgements! There’d even be a wheat-free feast of our best recipes and dishes! We might actually make this happen, but until then, let’s celebrate each other and our new freedom, health, and vitality! Hurrah! Thank you Dr. Davis, you have made a true path to a new way of living and thriving!

    Thank you again for making such changes in my life and my family. We await your latest post and those of our on-line community.

    • Margaret

      I think the key is something more than “believing wheat is a healthy whole grain ”

      I think the whole “affecting the opiate centers of the brain” thing is the key. When I was eating wheat I would have cravings for a specific wheat product, like a Twinkie, for example. As I was eating the Twinkie, I would think “This doesn’t taste as good as I expected it to, but I think I’ll have another, because it is time to eat Twinkies.” Or something similar.

      Now, when I look at a baked sweet, I literally think. “I don’t want that, because I remember that it is essentially tasteless. All wheat flour products taste the same, and I don’t like that pasty unpleasant taste.” You might not think that a croissant and a blueberry muffin taste the same, but if you take away the extra fat (usually butter if they were good) and the blueberries, you can see they were the same after all.

      When I accidentally expose myself, as I recently did, I get hunger pains, (which I did not get when wheat free) And not just hunger pains, sharp hunger and a craving for a particular wheat item, whatever it happens to be.

      I call this the addiction talking.

      • James

        I suspect it is related to the gut-brain axis. If you heal your gut, you heal your brain at the same time.

      • Pat McFarland

        Hi Margaret,

        I agree with you entirely! It was addiction – but addiction can be propped up with both mental and physical processes.

        Like you, I now have the same response to just seeing anything with wheat. My mind basically says: “It’s paste – yuck! “. Flour and water = paste. Many of us if not most of us had learned this recipe by age six. (Ha-ha- and we also learned early that macaroni and other pasta would be best used for making 3-d pictures, remember that?) But why didn’t our knowledge, coupled with all the ill effects lead us directly to a wheat=bad for us awareness?

        What I was seeking were the thought processes that freed us. Were these new understandings of the effects of wheat what started us changing, or as you suggested, was it activated by the physical disconnect? I wanted to better understand all the aspects of making the changes. Or, are they simply interconnected?

        Our brains likely needed to make this change too because as you so well described, before, if you ate a wheat product like a Twinkie, you thought: “This doesn’t taste as good as I expected it to, but I think I’ll have another,…” – this says to me we could not simply override either the thought or bodily response. Those thoughts were there for me as well but not the reaction which should have said – hey… wake up – this is making you sick!

        I would like to better understand this so people can find as many ways as possible to free themselves of this “Evil Grain” as Dr. Davis so well describes it.

        Here’s to our health! Thanks Margaret.

        • Margaret

          “Wheat is the Staff of Life.” My mother when I related my new WB knowledge to her.

          I think in some cases even the simple awareness that something is wrong might lead to the mental path of wheat free, but that wasn’t me. The process was really long and drawn out for me. First came the realization that something had to change. I was never a yo-yo dieter, but my PCOS has caused steady weight gain for more than ten years. I have had idiopathic diarrhea simply forever. It was my normal and honestly I didn’t even think about changing it or even remember to take the medicines proscribed by my doctor.

          I almost blush to admit, that sex months before my first real elimination diet I did the “Master Cleanse” otherwise known as the Lemonade Diet. It is something that I would absolutely never advise anyone to do, yet I would definitely do it again myself. It was an almost spiritual experience for me. When I started it, I knew I was overweight and that ‘something had to change.’ I took it as a chance to eliminate sodas, I had a 2-liter a day Dr. Pepper addiction, but I honestly didn’t make any other diet changes. I did gain a new sense of my body and a more intuitive sense of things that made me feel sick. (in some cases false sense. For a while I thought beef was a trigger, but now I don’t.)

          Six months after that I did my first real ‘elimination diet’ I started with a vegan, grain free diet and allowed grains back in too quickly. I just felt empty all the time on just fruits and veg. From what I know now I should have added meat back first or maybe some carefully prepared beans.

          I get some pretty intense pains in my gut when I’m on wheat, and they don’t go away quickly. (My pizza debacle was almost a week ago and my gut still hurts.) I have actually had some months where the pain was so bad I kicked wheat for a few weeks, just until the pain subsided, but even knowing the wheat caused the pain didn’t make me stop eating the wheat. It took an episode resembling a heart attack (but not a real heart attack) to make me change and this time I mean business. (grrr, this is my war face)
          I’m not sure I’m answering your question so let me start again:
          1. You must know there is a problem (my ‘normal’ is abnormal)
          2. You must know wheat is the problem (when I stop eating wheat, the problem goes away!)
          3. You must be willing to change. (In my case I have to be scared enough to change. Heart attack? Wait, isn’t arrhythmia a symptom of wheat poisoning?)
          4. You must persist beyond actual withdrawal symptoms. (If you give in too soon or fail to eliminate all sources, you’ll never lose the cravings and you’ll be miserable.)
          5. You must not allow a small setback to erase months of progress. (Gee, I already feel crappy from that Chinese food, let’s order a pizza.)

  22. Allison

    When I experimented with wheat after going gluten-free I got a migraine so bad that I dropped to my knees crying from the pain. I had a lemon-sized lump on the back of my head, near my neck on the left side. The next morning I had eight canker sores in my mouth. I also had bloating and diarrhea, but they seem irrelevant compared to the migraine.

  23. JKato

    My first sign of gluten exposure of the slightest amount is the return of my tinnitus! It is enough to drive me mad! I’ve been wheat free for 9 months and totally grain free for the last 3 and now when I am inadvertently exposed and my ears start to ring, I immediately review what I’ve eaten and it always ends up being something with wheat or corn. ‘ Nuff said, eh?

  24. RoseB

    Dear Dr Davis

    Just a quick thank you for your book Wheat Belly, it helped me realize my IBS issues seemed to be mostly wheat related.
    My IBS symptoms are 99% gone now on a wheat free diet (I still eat rice which doesn’t seem to bother me, and occasional corn tortillas). I get a return of mild symptoms if I eat out at a restaurant, as I suspect sauces etc. may have gluten in. One time I started eating wheat again, I felt fine at first but then felt unwell after about a week of eating bread most days, it seems it takes a couple of days for the gluten reaction to catch up with me, and then I need at least 3 wheat free days to feel completely better.

    I am curious how some people react worse than others, my husband did a gluten free 5 weeks (except for small amounts of rice) and felt absolutely no different and didn’t lose any weight (he was hoping to lose a few pounds). When he went back to eating wheat (usually 1 or 2 pitta breads a day) he felt fine and had no unusual reaction at all. Could it be that his wheat choices are less gluten-y than others? (e.g. he eats pitta breads and occasional pasta, but never eats regular bread, crackers, cookies etc.).

    • Dr. Davis

      The reasons for the between-individual differences have not been fully sorted out: some people react violently to re-exposure, for instance, while others–like your husband–not at all.

      However, we cannot interpret a lack of perceived reaction in people like your husband as lack of benefit; he likely experienced dramatic transformations in unperceived phenomena, such as reduced triglycerides, reduced blood sugar, reduced intestinal permeability, reduced formation of small LDL particles, etc. all VERY important for regaining health.

  25. lyra

    Reading through these comments, what strikes me is that there is no mention of weight loss. The mental and physical changes that go along with the wheat consumption dominate the conversation here. We are not talking about a new diet fad, but a life change that effects our health in the most extreme and variable ways. Unlike many other low carb books and websites I have seen the last few months, WB is the one that seems to attract and to help those of us who are looking for a way to return to good health through a healthy life change in diet. Happily, this includes a healthy weight for those of us suffering from obesity, but it also offers so much more to those of us suffering from a multitude of physical and psychological problems stemming from the high carb, wheat centered conventional diet of this society. Thank you, Doctor Davis, for taking a difficult stand.

    • Dr. Davis

      Ah, Lyra: You have seen the wheat-free light and appreciate how this is NOT just about weight loss!

      It is about a much larger issue: freeing ourselves from the bonds of this incredibly destructive grain that impairs virtually every aspect of human health.

  26. Jasper - Netherlands Europe

    Destroy and Healthy.

    Getting real sick (Ulcerative Colitis)
    Falling down
    Taking medicine
    Working hard
    Exercise healthy sports
    Eating to nourish
    Not getting better
    Becoming frustrated
    And being sad
    Why is this happening?

    Exercise more
    Stopping medicine
    Stopping wheat
    Eating to develop
    Being healthy.

    Thank you!

  27. Erik

    Been wheat free for seven months now, and very strict , too.
    We moved from Switzerland to Brazil in June. Last night, getting home after a three hour bus ride through Sao Paulo, we were too exhausted to cook up something , so we went down to the burger joint. It is not really a fast food chain a la McDo, rather a place where they make the stuff as you are waiting and it actually tasted delicious.
    I wanted to my fool myself by thinking, I am sure the wheat in South America is different from the one is the US and EU. I knew from the WB book that this is probably not a reality.
    To make is short, we had a horrific night with my wife making me up at 4 am with stomach cramps.
    I felt like a total wreck today physically and mentally , only recovering after eating a great brazilian lunch full of meat, veggies, rice, mandioca, salad and other real food.
    I conclude that the wheat problem really is a worldwide issue.. and no way I am going to re-expose myself again .

  28. Went wheat-free for 3 days last week and had the energy to scrub our home and install a new (and very heavy!) toilet by myself! Then I gorged on baguettes and apple tart over the weekend at the in-laws and I fell into a 3 hour afternoon food “coma”. I was mortified because I started to fall asleep at the lunch table while people were talking to me – so rude! Am now committed to eliminating wheat for the long-term!

  29. Geisha Australia

    It’s been enlightening reading this blog again – after 6 months absence – and the above posts. I started wheat free early 2012, lost lots of weight, felt great, flat tum, food cravings under control. Unwittingly started eating wheat on hols in Japan at Christmas, big bowel problems followed that re-exposure. Incredible how much energy I’ve lost this year, put on 8kgs in recent months, big bloated belly, up two pant sizes, sinus infections – never had sinus probs in my life – constant hip pain, facial pimples all over, and instead of walking/riding to and fro work have been catching taxis for 6am starts M-F. Well, immediately after reading this site Friday I stopped wheat, pain free Sunday, bowel working, walking to work again this week, energy returned. I’m “kicking myself” that I didn’t realize it was WHEAT!! I really thought I was on the way out, afraid to go to a doctor to be diagnosed with some dreadful disease. This is a magic cure, just had to stop the wheat, incredible, except skin problems still evident. Thanks everyone for sharing.

    • Dr. Davis

      I’d like to post your story of lessons learned the hard way as a blog post, Geisha!

      Thank you for sharing.

  30. Rhonda

    Some friends went on the Wheat Belly diet to lose weight and I thought I’d try it. I decided to give it 2 months and if it didnt’ work for me I’d forget it.
    so we started eating gluten free and I learned alot. 2 Weeks! after I started it I was walking across a large store and realized I was fast walking and didn’t stop to catch my breath one time. I had serious breathing problems that the drs couldn’t find the cause for. If I did anything I had to stop every few feet and struggle to breathe. So this sudden realization was a shock!! I had been fighting this for 16 yrs.
    The other reason I started on the diet was because I read that someone had improved their psoriasis on it. For 2 years I had gone to drs for a very bad case of hand eczema. It covered my whole palm and was spreading down over my wrist and had gone onto the back of my thumb as well as all but 2 fingers were involved on both hands.
    The skin would get deeply cracked and bleed. The skin looked deep red alot of the time and the dried skin had a deep yellow cast to it and was leathery. I had about 10 – 11 deep paper like cuts at any one time over both hands.
    I watched in amazement as over the last 10 months my hand eczema slowly receded to now I have 1 very small dime size area of slightly dry and peeling skin and a couple of really tiny spots of dry skin. No more cuts no more itching to the bone no more steroids or creams or antibiotics that didnt’ work. I expect in a few more months it will be totally 100% gone.

    I have accidently eaten some products with wheat in it and it is immediately obvious. I have no energy and feel awful. for about 24 – 36 hrs and then it is all gone again.

    We also discovered that all corn products is a big nono! I had attributed off and on diarrhea to just my body. I have since discovered we both my husband and I cannot tolerate corn of any kind and no more diarrhea.
    Corn syrup is really hard to avoid but we no longer use any prepackaged products. so not as big a problem. Learning to give up alot of things we love is sometimes hard but the consequences are just not worth cheating.

    We go out to eat alot and know what we can and can’t have on the menu. I am impressed that more and more restaurants are getting on the Gluten Free bandwagon.

    We live such better lives now and I for one am so appreciative of all your work in getting this out to people. It is just amazing how much this affects your life!!

    I’m still learning and am getting more into additives and chemicals so I understand more of what I read on labels.
    I preach wheat free gluten free to anyone who will listen!! LOL I tell people about this program all the time now. It is just wonderful the changes it’s made in our lives.

    Thank you so much for all you do!

    .

    • Dr. Davis

      Wonderful, Rhonda!

      You can appreciate that no exaggeration went into writing Wheat Belly: It is every bit as bad as I said it was! Worse!

  31. Rhonda

    I also realized the other day that I have not had one recurrence of Reflux since last Sept. Wonderful!

  32. Kim Hood

    Poverty Sick, on the Way Back to Wheat Free Healthy!
    I don’t know how to tell this without it being extremely long. I am the same Kim that posted a little over a year ago about my battles with depression, eating disorders, weight, joint pain etc., all being wiped out when I found your amazing book, and began my wheat free ways. After about 5 months of feeling better than I had in my whole life, my husband lost his good paying job. For the past 7 months he had bounced from one bad paying job to the next. Our income dropped so drastically that at one point we were facing homelessness, and of course our ability to buy the good, healthy foods I had adopted went out the window, and the affordable pasta, bread, and wheat came back into my life. I sit here today, on Paxil for anxiety, shaking, sweating, weak, and tired. I have been in and out of the ER for months with chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, and treatment for Diverticulitis. After my most recent ER visit, just two days ago, in which I was told I had low sodium, and low potassium in my blood, and got some more prescription drugs, I got really scared this morning when these shaky, sweaty, I’m going to pass out feelings came back. I went to the pharmacy and bought a glucose monitoring system. I have tested my results 4 times today, and the results were not really shocking. The numbers were up and down..but, most surprising was the extreme DROP in my blood sugar about an hour or two after eating! Well, duh…I had eaten bread with the first meal, and past with the second! I have an appointment with my primary on Monday, but now, only because I want to make sure I don’t have anything going on with my pancreas…( I had pancreatitis in 2008). I know it’s probably not necessary, but need to make sure. Am I wasting my time and money? I don’t know, but after many months, and many bills, the doctors have come up with nothing, and now treat me like a hypochondriac. Doctor Davis, can reactive hypoglycemia be from going back on the “Wheat Drug”?? I’m really thinking so and value your opinion. I feel like I’m dying. I am going wheat free again, and I know it will be tough, but I’ll do it. I am also hoping to wean off the Paxil, as I’m thinking the anxiety that I was having is also connected to the spikes and crashes in my blood glucose! What a lousy way to learn…the hard and expensive way. Ironic how not having enough money has added up to so many expensive medical bills. Hubby is now back to making better money, and I’m praying I will be better soon too. I look forward to reporting back soon with GOOD news. Sincerely, Kim Hood

    • Dr. Davis

      Wow, tough year, Kim. I hope the future holds much better times for you and your family.

      Yes, indeed: Wheat is a very common cause for reactive hypoglycemia. A blood sugar low nearly always follows a blood sugar high, a result of the insulin “overshoot.” While the primary care community generally tells you to remedy the situation by eating candy or drinking juice, this is an awful solution. The real solution is to not allow the blood sugar high in the first place.

      Also, note that reactive hypoglycemia often precedes diabetes. It is SO important to seize control over your diet again, once finances permit.

      • Kim Hood

        Thanks Dr. Davis…I am definitely going back to wheat free, no matter how! I ate wheat free yesterday and for the first time in months did not have the sweats, shaking, and dizziness. Going to my primary today to make sure he does a check of my thyroid, pancreas etc. I have diabetes on BOTH sides of my family, and I am determined not to be one of them, even with previous pancreatic issues, I feel going wheat free again can prevent this from becoming my “fate” too. Our situation has improved quite a bit here, so I can once again shop for both of us. (Hubby still refuses to go wheat free). I am just so grateful for your teaching me so much about my body. It stinks I had to go through this, but then again, just more proof of what you have been trying to tell people!

      • Grammie Vi

        Dr. Davis, thanks for all this info; I have reactive hypoglycemia – since 25yrs. ago and until now – did not know the connection w/ wheat! Reading WB book since Jan. 20013. Feeling much better w/less IBS, hypoglycemia, etc. issues. Cholesterol numbers much improved and have lost 18 lbs. Tested neg. for celiac but one adult daughter has tested positive but NO symptoms!
        My question is: when by mistake I’ve ingested “something” my body is reacting to is it ok to take Immodium?? Or, does that slow down the healing also??
        thanks, Grammie Vi

  33. Craig Howard

    I am sooooooooo mad at myself.

    I’ve been wheat-free for just about three months, now. Last night, I went to my niece’s wedding reception [some of you can see it coming, can't you] and I knew I’d have to be careful what to pick from the buffet. So, goulash, obviously not. Beef on Kummelweck, well, no roll, of course, but a big heap of beef is good. Oh, look! Green salad and fruit salad. Big helping of each.

    So far, so good, eh? But then the fatal mistake.

    You gotta have something on green salad and there sat a big decanter of Italian-looking dressing. With just a tiny voice in the back of my mind warning me, no, I lathered it on. And it didn’t take long for the consequences to begin.

    Went to bed at 10:00 and woke up every hour thereafter till 3:00 when I finally gave in and got up. I’ve been sleeping like the proverbial rock for months, now, so I knew right away that I’d been wheated, starched, or both. And it had to be the dressing. All of them contain some sort of modified food starch — that’s why I’d thrown all mine out. I’ve found that, since giving up wheat, I’m very sensitive to starches. And a lot of commercial dressings have wheat as a thickener. But all I could do now was sit and wait for what was to come.

    And it started: runny nose, trips to the bathroom and, by late morning, brain-fog so thick I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I’d had beef soup cooking in the crock pot overnight and when I went to strain the broth, instead of lifting out the ceramic bowl, I, in my dazed, herky-jerky state, grabbed the whole pot which then flew out of my hands as it was still plugged into the wall, spilled hot soup over my arm burning it [not seriously, but it hurts!] and flooded the kitchen floor as well as splattering the cabinets.

    And after a lost half-hour of cleaning up the mess, let me tell you, my mood was black.

    I’m so mad at myself. The last couple weeks of wheat-freedom had, in addition to the weight loss [35 lbs], the skin-clearing, the lower back pain and bursitis disappearing,and the arthritis in my neck virtually gone, had seen my mood go almost euphoric. I’m temporarily working out-of-town with an hour-and-a-half commute each way. I’ve been dreading this assignment, but found that I would wake up each morning excited about the day. I would use the drive to think all sorts of interesting things, and had so much energy at work that I couldn’t believe it.

    So, sitting here tonight downing a stiff gin-and-tonic to get some semblance of a good mood back [even if artificially induced], all I can say is that, I’m so dam*ed mad. Never again!

    • Dr. Davis

      Sometimes the best lessons are learned the hard way, eh, Craig?

      Thankfully, you survived to live another wheat-free day! Thanks for sharing your story. You told it so colorfully that I’d like to feature it on a blog post!

  34. Cathy

    My doctor called me in last April to discuss my latest blood test in which I came up pre-diabetic (just over the threshold). The news also came just two days prior to renewing my life insurance! This was going to cost me. I had already developed high blood pressure (have been on medication since 2009) and have a family history of heart disease and Type II Diabetes. My GP told me if I gave him two weeks of my life and followed his recommended diet, I could probably lower my blood-glucose levels right back down to normal. He believed the pre-diabetic reading was weight related. I should say that I had been a consistent weight for the previous 5 years, (about 40 lbs overweight) but I guess it finally caught up to me.

    His recommended diet was no grains/ wheat of any sort, no potatoes, corn or rice, no sugar, no fruit, (maybe a few berries but only because I asked). He said dairy, veggies and proteins were all on the table. I gave up all alcohol too. Three weeks later I had lost 8 pounds and the overwhelming desire to eat all the time. I had basically gone gluten free without knowing it., (except for the hidden wheat sources like soy sauce, oyster sauce that I wasn’t aware of.). Still even with that little bit I was experiencing a vast improvement!

    I have to say, dropping the wheat and the sugar was not that hard. it should have been but it wasn’t. After 6 weeks I had lost 15 lbs and was ready to be retested and get my insurance premiums lowered, but first came my holidays! My girlfriend loaned me the Wheat Belly book to read while i was away. Well, tiny little infractions occurred, like drinking beer, having some candy and once a slice of pizza! I didn’t gain any weight but didn’t lose. I did notice that I was starting to have major wheat cravings. I joked it was like crack. I couldn’t believe how much I was wanting bread and butter again! But no really lasting effects.

    Since then I’ve cheated just a bit more, with a bite of cake and a slice of baguette and whiskey. Now I am bloated again. The new pants I bought feel tight. I finally got to the end of the WB book and see that whiskey is a wheat beverage (duh! but one of my favorites, so chose not to think about it maybe), as well as beer. (which I knew). and I’m thinking there was some hidden wheat in the granola I sprinkled on my yogurt in the morning. So I won’t be retesting my blood just yet.

    Long story short, I am going back on the strict diet. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for hidden wheat. I guess the truth is that I didn’t or couldn’t believe that even just a bit of wheat would hurt me. Compared to the amount of wheat I used to eat,… bread, pasta, cereal, etc…, it didn’t seem logical that such a little bit would affect me so badly.? Why does a little wheat feel the same as a lot? That’s probably the question I struggle with most.

    • Dr. Davis

      Because it’s poison, Cathy, and your body is no longer partly accommodated to its poisonous effects! It’s most like the gliadin and the wheat germ agglutinin doing their dirty work.

      Your doctor is among the enlightened, by the way. Sounds like a keeper!

  35. michal

    Dr Davis,
    thank you for posting peoples experiences with wheat on your website! ive been wheat free (somewhat paleo actually) for a year, ive lost over 20 Lbs, got over mono that i couldnt seem to get over (suffered for over half a yr but a few weeks after i went off wheat-it went away), have significantly lowered my blood sugar levels (which were borderline-have type 2 diabetes in my family and a history of gestational diabetes), and improved my immune system. everytime i cheat (which is not at all often believe me) i end up with a cold for days, and a cough that took me 3 weeks to get over last time the first week or so im up all night coughing. obviously i have GI symptoms, serious bloating, my carpul tunnel acts up (its usually ok when im off wheat) i get muscle pains especially in the neck (like a fluiy feeling) and migraines. i thought the cold and coughing was all in my head, ive never heard of it being related to wheat until i saw this page. it just reinforces my resolve even more! my step mother getting diagnosed with celiac was seriously the best thing that happened to me! she read your book, went off all grains, lost weight and started feeling great, causing my whole family to join in the wheat belly fun! my husbands father just had a heart attack at 50 years old and obviously hes on a standard FDA diet that kills me to watch, my husbands on a low carb, almost no grain high fat diet (which obviously is a point of contention) im just greatful to find this information out in our 20’s and hopefully reverse damage and keep him heart healthy! thank you again Dr Davis, keep sending out your message, i cant wait for more drs like you to finally come out with a sane diet!

  36. darren

    Ever since my teenage years, where I had a very serious operation for appendicitis, peritonitis and my intestine had gone gangrenous, I thought that my metabolism had suffered a kick in the face from the operation because thereafter, I found it quite difficult to keep weight off. Nearly 20 years after that, I had regular and frequent insanely painful (to the point of nausea) abdominal cramps which seemed to be randomly having an almost epileptic-like flip out.

    For weight reasons I bought WB in January 2013. So far this year, I have lost 20kg and I actually exceeded my goal weight loss. During this entire time, I had not had the cramps, not ONCE. No outbreaks of spots which also used to plague me sometimes. NONE. The weight was indeed around my stomach and that is almost completely gone but I need to be patient on my current path.

    Yesterday I had wheat. I thought, well my weight has gone so well…I can afford to enjoy some. About 1hr later, I was really needing to sit up. By about 2 hours, I was in agony on the bathroom floor, my stomach and chest were so swollen I looked like a pigeon and I don’t know what was happening but I was nearly sick from the pain alone, I almost went to the hospital. It subsided a bit (burps like that Simpsons guy) and then it got worse again, then better again and all I could do was try to go to sleep, I was so shaky, feverish and recovering from quite a painful shock.

    Today, I have the familiar old friends, the stomach cramps.

    As Esther Hicks says: you can never get it wrong, because you can never get it done. So I’m not beating myself up about it, I’m just continuing in the right direction!

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Darren,

      Have you taken any probiotics? They do help your intestines by providing increased intestinal flora in many different strains. I find that they really help to mitigate wheat reactions when you eat wheat, whether on purpose or accidentally. It takes a long time for your intestines to repair the long term damage done by wheat since this change is at the cellular level.

      The other supplements Dr. Davis recommends also help speed up the adjustment your body is making now that it isn’t being fed the foods that were making it sick. Check the archive list on the left side of this blog for the nutritional supplements and dosages.

      Your body has had only 7 or 8 months to repair a 20+ year exposure to what it perceives as a poisonous allergen. Help it along! Your strong re-exposure reaction is a common enough experience
      as many people have shared on this blog.

      • darren

        it’s interesting that you say that because I just happened to google if there were any connections between appendicitis and wheat. I came across several things, among which was that they recently discovered that the appendix isn’t a useless thing, but something that harbours good bacteria in the gut. So without that, it makes it even more important to maintain a good flora. I do take inulin every day, and I was taking the exact probiotic supplement that Dr Davis recommended but it was too expensive to keep on taking, so now I have acidophilus. I might have to get serious again. Yesterday’s reaction was really scary. The pain I can equate to the peritonitis/ruptured appendix.

        • Barbara in New Jersey

          Darren,

          Aren’t the AHA! moments wonderful? You have realized that now isn’t the time to pinch pennies. Many places have these high cfu count probiotics on sale. VSL#3 can be obtained at CVS or Walgreens, at least in this area for about $45, significantly less costly than ordering it from the company. Like all good quality probiotics, they are stored in refrigerated compartments. Check with the pharmacy department for VSL#3. Remember that additional strains of flora are good for you until your body makes enough from the food you eat to sustain the needed bacteria.

          You can purchase lessor cfu count dosages if they are on sale and double up the number of pills taken daily. Sometimes this comes out to your financial advantage.

  37. Ruth Wilson

    After 3 months being wheat free, I stopped losing weight and became mentally foggy to the point that I was afraid to go to work because people might notice how stupid I’d become. After a few days, I was in the bleakest, blackest depression ever and thinking I couldn’t live much longer feeling this way. That is a very foreign thought to me and really scared me. Fortunately, I ran into a friend who had also given up wheat and who thought this intense depression had to be from reexposure.
    But I had only eaten grilled chicken! She told me that the rotisserie chicken at a popular health food chain had wheat in it and urged me to check with the caterer whose chicken I’d eaten. Sure enough, they grill their chicken with a flour coating! So did the restaurant where I’d had a chicken Greek salad the day before!
    I’m quite frustrated and annoyed that we cook absolutely everything with wheat. Grilled chicken with flour? Seriously? Is it a conspiracy? My job requires me to eat out frequently. After what felt like a week in Wheat Hell, I now carry my own food with me everywhere. It’s a nuisance but much better than the dark depression and inability to think clearly!
    Thanks for your work. Providing science rather than speculation about this has helped me get over the hurdle of getting wheat out of my diet. It has improved my life and will help many others. I thought of you as soon as I saw Tom Hanks talk about being diabetic and I’m glad you addressed the issue with him.

  38. GrainFree4Ever

    I took my son to a restaurant on Wednesday afternoon this week after an appointment. We have been wheat/grain free for nearly three weeks. The menu had some pork balls that were listed as gluten free so I ordered those along with seasonal vegetables also listed as gluten free. That night I had terrible heart burn (and I never got heart burn previously). It was so uncomfortable I was awake most of the night.

    Then on Friday I got a migraine (both sides of my head) that got steadily worse that I was in bed by 2pm feeling terrible. I even threw up it was so bad. There was some blood when I threw up. Today, Saturday I was in bed practically the whole day until 6.30pm with the migraine and couldn’t even hold anything down. I also now also have a cystic pimple coming up on the my chin.

    So mad because the menu item said it was gluten free. Luckily my son, 6 had no affects. Makes you not want to eat out at all. Next time I will stick to salad or wait until I get home. Live and learn.

  39. Allison

    I have been wheat/gluten free for over a year… I finally realized the Eucharist at church was the last bit I needed to stop since I would get joint pain after… I started receiving the cup only a couple of months ago.. On All SaInts Day I went to a tiny chapel where I received a host.. I thought I would be ok.. Then the Pastor had a few left over and he passed the out and I got 1.5 more…. I am on my 3rd day with a migraine :(((

  40. “Wheat Belliers share their wheat re-exposure experiences | Wheat Belly
    Blog” ended up being a great article. If only there was way more blogs
    just like this specific one in the word wide web.

    Regardless, thanks a lot for ur precious time, Garrett

  41. Paul Williams

    Wheat germ oil is supposed to be the best natural source of Vitamin E. Are the negative aspects of wheat neutralized in wheat germ oil?

    • Dr. Davis

      No, there are still substantial protein residues in wheat germ oil, such as wheat germ agglutinin that is a potent intestinal toxin.