Kerri shared her story of weight loss and health following the Wheat Belly lifestyle, including an important lesson in wheat/grain re-exposure reactions:
“I wanted to share my story of eliminating wheat and other processed foods. In January 2014, I was 242 lbs. and, at 5’4”, I was morbidly obese. I knew I needed to make changes.
“In April, I turned 50 and I made up my mind to lose 50 lbs. during this year. I am very proud to say that I lost 60 lbs.
“The biggest loss of weight happened after I read Wheat Belly and eliminated all gluten and grains. Twice during holiday parties, I found myself eating small amounts of wheat, but even eating small amounts caused sinus infections.
“I can honestly say that I don’t miss eating gluten and grains!”
Kerr’s re-exposure reaction to even small quantities of grains was sinus congestion/infection. For others, re-exposure brings on bloating, diarrhea, mind “fog,” appetite-stimulation that lasts several days, headaches, or a recurrence of the health problems that had receded with wheat/grain elimination, such as autoimmune joint swelling.
This is part of the reason that, once they begin this lifestyle, people stick with it: they get sick when they “indulge” or go off the lifestyle. There is no question that many people build up partial–but never total–tolerance to the adverse effects of wheat and grains making, for instance, the diarrhea of grain consumption less problematic with chronic consumption. Once you are free of wheat and grains, you lose your partial tolerance within several weeks and any re-exposure can bring on all manner of reactions in full force. (I’ve even seen people go to the emergency room with severe re-exposure reactions, telling themselves that the couple of pretzels they had at the Superbowl party, for instance, couldn’t hurt . . . until their finger joints swell, they have terrible abdominal pain, or hurt themselves in a fitful grain-induced rage. Yup, it happens.)
Peel back the fictions surrounding wheat and grains, layer by layer, and you begin to discover just how far off conventional dietary advice can be. But by doing so, you also discover how wonderful life and health can be, just as Kerri has.