Rebecca shared her photos and experience living the Wheat Belly lifestyle:
“Eliminating wheat has made such a huge difference in my health and, surprisingly, my appearance. I am 42 and have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I’m also a single mom of four and was told that it was ‘normal’ for me to be tired. But I was miserable. I was so tired it hurt despite having thyroid levels that were in the normal range. I also had brain ‘fog,’ anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. Doctor after doctor kept prescribing me more medicine: medicine for my mood, medicine to help me sleep. And despite all that, I still felt terrible and my symptoms continued.
“I finally found a doctor who switched me to Armour thyroid, educated me on leaky gut syndrome, and developed a diet for me. One component was eliminating wheat. Since his recommendation, I have bought your book and cookbook. I expected to have fewer gastrointestinal issues. I never expected, however, to have less brain fog, more energy, and less anxiety/depression. Moreover, I frequently hear comments about my face and eyes being less puffy. I never knew that was related to wheat inflammation. Since all the changes – I have been able to stop my antidepressants, sleep medication, and lower my ADHD medication. I have lost 22 pounds and I feel like I’m slowly getting my life back. Thank you.
“The pictures show the difference in my face over the past few months. I didn’t even recognize the difference until I compared the two.”
People are often surprised that, along with relief from conditions such as acid reflux or irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, and joint pain, they also look many years younger. As the inflammation recedes from the gastrointestinal tract, joints, brain, and other organs, it also recedes from the skin. You can see it in Rebecca’s less puffy cheeks and eyes, larger eyes, and more youthful look. In her “after” photo, had she claimed that she was 32 years old, I would have believed her. But I would not have believed it viewing her “before” photo.
Rebecca’s story also provides a reminder of how common hypothyroidism is, even if your doctor does not understand how to diagnose it. You can have hypothyroidism with a normal TSH level, for instance, yet that is typically the only value assessed, if it is assessed at all. Hypothyroidism resulting from Hashimoto’s autoimmune inflammation is often caused by prior wheat/grain consumption but does not typically recover normal capacity to produce thyroid hormones even after the inflammation subsides, so most people do better with supplementation of some thyroid hormone. And most do best with both the T3 and the T4 thyroid hormones taken together, as in the Armour thyroid preparation Rebecca has been prescribed. See previous Wheat Belly discussions for more on thyroid health. (Autoimmune thyroid damage, as in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, that results in hypothyroidism is among the short list of conditions that, once the damage has been done, does not fully recover even with removal of the wheat and grains that initiated the process. This is also true, for example, in type 1 diabetes: once the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are damaged, they do not recover and need for insulin is lifelong.)
Rebecca’s story also illustrates how so many people’s wheat/grain consumption symptoms are “medicalized,” i.e., each symptom treated as if it were a disease. Drugs for acid reflux, drugs for depression, drugs for anxiety, drugs for acid reflux, drugs for migraine headaches, drugs for insomnia, drugs for high cholesterol or high triglycerides, drugs for high blood sugars, and on and on. If these common symptoms are recognized as nothing more than various manifestations of the chronic toxicity that develops from grain consumption, the solution is simple: eat no grains.
And not only can you feel terrific, you can also look terrific.