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Unexpected effects of a wheat-free diet

Posted Sep 17 2009 10:03pm
Wheat elimination continues to yield explosive and unexpected health benefits.

I initially asked patients in the office to eliminate wheat because I wanted to help them reduce blood sugar and pre-diabetic tendencies.

A patient would come to the office, for example, with a blood sugar of 118 mg/dl (in the pre-diabetic range) and the other phenomena of pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high inflammation/c-reactive protein, low HDL, high triglycerides, small LDL), and the characteristic wheat belly. Eliminate wheat and, within three months, they lose 30 lbs, blood sugar drops to normal, blood pressure drops, triglycerides drop by several hundred milligrams, HDL goes up, small LDL plummets, c-reactive protein drops.

People also felt better, with flat tummies and more energy. But they also developed benefits I did not anticipate:

--Improved rheumatoid arthritis --I have seen this time and time again. Eliminate wheat and the painful thumbs, fingers, and other joints clear up dramatically. Many former rheumatoid sufferers people tell me that one cracker or pretzel will trigger a painful throbbing reminder that lasts a couple of hours.

--Improved ulcerative colitis --People incapacitated with pain, cramping, and diarrhea of ulcerative colitis (who are negative for the antibodies for celiac disease) can experience marked improvement. I've seen people be able to stop all their nasty colitis medications just by eliminating wheat.

--Reduction or elimination of irritable bowel syndrome

--Reduction or elimination of gastroesophageal reflux

--Better mood --Eliminating wheat makes you happier and experience more stable moods. Just as wheat is responsible for a subset of schizophrenia and bipolar illness (this is fact), and wheat elimination generates dramatic improvement, when you or I eliminate wheat, we also experience a "smoothing" of mood swings.

--Better libido --I'm not sure whether this is a consequence of losing a belly the size of a watermelon or improvement in sex hormones (esp. testosterone) or endothelial responses, but more interest in sex typically develops.

--Better complexion --I'm not entirely sure why, but various rashes will often dissipate, bags under the eyes are reduced, itching in funny places stops.


It's also peculiar how, after someone eliminates wheat for several months, re-exposure of an errant cracker or sandwich results in cramping and diarrhea in about 30% of people.

Obviously, people with celiac disease, who can even die of exposure to wheat, are even worse. What other common food do you know of that makes us sick so often, even occasionally with fatal outcome?
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