Olivia posted this incredible story of wheat-free release in the comments on this blog some time back. Her story so powerfully encapsulates how far off course health can go from consuming this inedible thing called “wheat,” that I thought it was worth sharing with everybody:
I am a 41-year old busy mom and I have been wheat-free (and gluten-free) for 12 weeks. My results are dramatic. I found out about Wheat Belly from a friend. I looked it up on Amazon and started going wheat/gluten free the second I pressed the ‘buy’ button! That was 12 weeks ago.
My history is a lifetime of typical outdoor allergies as well as many mild food allergies, IBS [irritable bowel syndrome], diarrhea, severe abdominal cramping, gas-bloating, water retention, swollen calves, mild depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, acne and rosacea, asthma, body aches and joint pain, plantar fasciitis, and bursitis . . . all of which I thought were unrelated and just part of who I was.
Three months ago I was taking the following medications: hydrochlorothiazide, amoxicillin for acne, lorazepam for anxiety, albuterol [for asthma]. I was also just about to make my appointment go back on an anti-depressant, Effexor.
The first week off of wheat I had mild headaches—it was like I was withdrawing from an anti-depressant. I can’t imagine having a 5-day headache if I stop eating broccoli for a week!! By the end of the week I felt so different that I just started crying. I was sad for the amount of years that I had felt so bad . . . and in 6 days I felt SO great.
The first month I felt great, but I was tired. I started exercising after 1 week because my joint pain and hip pain had suddenly disappeared. I continued to exercise and was so shocked to actually be ‘sore’ the next day. I hadn’t felt normal muscle soreness (that wasn’t an injury) in YEARS. The first 8 days I must have lost at least 5-7 pounds in water weight. I couldn’t believe it when I looked down and recognized my normal sized legs! I was tired during the day at first but after 6 weeks I found I no longer needed a nap. After week 9 my energy started to pick up dramatically.
I tested negative for celiac disease, which surprised me because I felt so much better that there MUST be something medically wrong with me. My doctor thinks I must be wheat-intolerant or gluten-intolerant but, as he put it, ‘There is no medication for it, so the treatment is to stay away from it.’ I had to gradually wean off of the diuretic, as well as the acne medication, because my skin was too dry and my blood pressure was low. Also, my doctor had a shocked look on his face when I told him a few days ago that my inhaler and anxiety medication have remained UNTOUCHED for 12 weeks. After 2 weeks I couldn’t believe how well I could breathe—all my asthma was gone! My doctor told me ‘This is great. Just keep doing what you’re doing.’ Next time I visit, I’m bringing him a copy of Wheat Belly.
After 3 months I have lost 14 lbs, dropping from 143 to 129 lbs. I am no longer bloated. I get hungry when I’m really hungry, maybe 4 hours after I’ve eaten (instead of 40 minutes!). I have tons of energy. I can work out in the morning, run errands and work during the day, and then cook dinner and still have energy for my kids after school and into the evening. I do this effortlessly now.
I am not anxious! At night, I have such restful sleep. Last time it was this restful I was on Effexor. Those are all reasons enough . . . but the most amazing thing that happened to me is that I am off 5 medications. FIVE! I never even thought this was a possibility. I am in shock and am so happy.
As far as my other issues:
• IBS – GONE
• Diarrhea – GONE
• Severe abdominal cramping – GONE
• Gas-bloating – GONE
• Water retention – GONE
• Swollen calves – back to normal!
• Mild depression – GONE
• Anxiety – GONE
• High blood pressure – GONE
• Heart palpitations – GONE
• Acne medications – GONE
• Rosacea – GONE
• Asthma – GONE
• Body aches and joint pain – still surprised they are GONE!
• Plantar fasciitis – GONE
• Bursitis – GONE
I do believe I have a true wheat/gluten intolerance/sensitivity. But even if I didn’t, I am staying away from wheat. After 41 years of eating it, my body doesn’t like it anymore. I don’t even crave it even when it’s right in front of me. When I see cakes, rolls and bread, most of the time it looks no different to me than something inedible, like paper. It is just no big deal anymore. How good bread tastes is not worth going back to how bad I used to feel. I feel too good to ruin my health by eating wheat.
As a side note, and probably out of fear that I would be craving wheat, the first week I bought 2 bags of gluten-free pretzels, 1 box of gluten-free cookies, and 1 bag of chocolate covered gluten-free pretzels. Twelve weeks later, they remain unopened in my pantry. I choose other foods instead, like ‘no bake cookies’ or a few squares of dark chocolate.
I had a dozen or so health issues that I never thought could be connected. My doctors didn’t help me at all. I read your book and helped myself. It was the wheat/grains/gluten after all. Thank you for writing this book, Dr. Davis. You changed my life!