WTF! Wheat is the new tobacco

31 Oct


I hadn’t planned to start this blog with a tirade about wheat but why not? Wheat forced me to retire early, it made me spend most of my time in bed, it caused me to gain weight and have an impossible time trying to lose it for all of my pre-wheat life, it gave me eczema, dandruff, crusty ears, constant fatigue, and joint pains so bad that I lost the ability to play the guitar completely. And I had been a professional guitarist.

So while I don’t intend for the title of the blog to reflect my thoughts on wheat, you could say that it does to this extent: WHEAT THE FU(|( !

(Yes, that’s me in the photo – but it’s me AFTER wheat. I won’t show anybody pictures of what I looked like before; they’re simply too painful. I was 61 when I did this picture in early 2012, and I was in better shape than I had been in as long as I could remember; to me that’s a sobering thought.)

I forgot to mention the Metabolic Syndrome and pre-Diabetic condition I had acquired, the high triglycerides and the other delightful symptoms – all reversed within 30 days. In fact, my triglycerides decreased by 170 in that time. Wow; it was an official eye-opener for me, folks.

How did all of this come about? Really, the problem is that wheat causes so many different problems that patients present different symptoms to doctors, and for the most part doctors don’t have a clue about what good nutrition is so they never connect the dots. Before I found out about this issue I saw so many doctors for fatigue and the other symptoms that it would be silly to list them. Just for the hand problem alone I saw (besides my family doctor) two hand surgeons, two physical therapists, a chiropractor, a rolfer and an acupuncturist. I had two sets of X-rays and an MRI, too; “We don’t see anything wrong with you. Maybe you’re just depressed.” The acupuncture was the only thing that helped at all, but it only relieved some of the symptoms and didn’t do anything for the then-mysterious cause of the problem. I found that out on my own. Thanks a lot, all of you allopaths.

See, I don’t have Celiac disease – I’m just really intolerant of some of the ingredients in wheat; there are a host of them to complain about but I believe that for me gliadin is the main culprit as my lab results shwed that one at the very top of the scale. It doesn’t matter which one anyway, all that matters is that by dropping wheat from my diet I started to feel better (dramatically better) in just two days. While about one per cent of the population is Celiac, estimates are that 30% are gluten intolerant. That figure doesn’t mention gliadin or any of the other proteins in wheat which cause problems, either. Most of those people are undiagnosed just like I was.

There is now a ton of information on the web about how to eat to avoid this; for me, the solution ended up going full-bore Paleo. I’m not trying to convince people here, I’m just saying that this works for me, and boy, does it ever work. If something else works for you, I’m all for it – I realize that everybody is different. However, as I look around me in America and see all the obese people I know that most of them have one thing in common – their diet. Lots of carbohydrates from processed foods and the completely not “healthy whole grains”, lots of sugar and HFCS, and as little fat as possible. Man, I believe the medical establishment, the FDA and the USDA owe us a huge refund, because what they have been telling us for the last several decades is, I believe, absolutely WRONG.

More about my story on Dr. William Davis’ Wheatbelly Blog.

I’ll be posting more on these subjects, and lots more on other things too, including music, photography, languages, films, and anything else I feel like. It’s not just an anti-wheat screed, it just happens to start with one.





Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Health


Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “WTF! Wheat is the new tobacco

  1. Brian Sheldon

    March 15, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    There may be regions in the world where a lot of the population is reasonably well adapted to eating wheat, just not all of us. But I won’t even agree with this without the use of proper scientific methods. I am guessing, the food guide is based on non-scientific methods such as taking the average diet and saying it is good for everyone because the life expectancy increase. The idea that there is one diet for all humans is ridiculous. Cows milk, only ten percent of world population is tolerant with the distribution showing a possible western European source. Kind of an obvious clue we are not all the same in what we should eat.

  2. Kenny

    July 12, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Curious, do you have an idea of what really started all the problems for you? Was there a change of diet? Was the wheat always a problem but to a lesser degree? What pushed the physical problems “over the edge” and finally made you notice and take action?

    For me, it was trying to strictly follow the low-fat advice and food pyramid that started all my symptoms: bloating, extreme thirst, frequent urination, constant hunger, large energy swings, etc. All those pre-diabetic conditions disappeared once I went low carb.

    I’m curious about how people notice nutrition going wrong, and what triggers them to go beyond mainstream conventional wisdom and try something else, like low carb. Thanks.

    • tyrannocaster

      July 12, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Good question, Kenny. I think that like most people, I didn’t have a problem with wheat originally; I believe that I developed one over time as I got older, and I also believe that because I was trying to eat that damn “healthy whole grains” way that I was making it worse. I had so many seemingly unrelated symptoms that until I actually eliminated wheat it had never occurred to me that there might be one unifying cause at the bottom of things.

      I had already retired because of the fatigue issue; it was terrible. I managed to keep the dogs’ morning walk in my life (I will do anything for them) but after that was done, I always came home and went to bed. I was in bed most of the time, so I really couldn’t work very well. Since I had already seen multiple physicians over the years about fatigue and none of them had had any advice that helped I was just trying to survive. Then the problem with the hand started, and I began the round of visits to specialsts for that. Nothing they came up with helped, either.

      I had just started seeing a naturopath when I discovered (via the link on BoingBoing – I had never heard of Wheatbelly then) Dr. Davis’ ideas and I decided to give the wheat free thing a try. If I hadn’t done this, the naturopath would have suggested it; I had already noticed a lot of literature around her office about this “gluten free” thing, which I thought was…well, I don’t know what I thought, but I didn’t take it very seriously then. So she would have looked into it, and none of the allopaths I had seen for thirty years about the progressively worse problem ever did. She did order the tests that showed I had metabolic syndrome, and then a month later I got the results that showed how spectacularly the new diet had paid off; reversal of the syndrome. You can bet I was happy!

      But until I read Dr. Davis’ ideas I was convinced, like the rest of the brainwashed Americans I live with, that the way to health is through whole grains, and that low fat is better (although that one I always felt guilty about, because I like meat, eggs, butter, etc., and I’ve always eaten them – so imagine how good it felt to have that burden lift, too) so it would never have occurred to me to even question the conventional wisdom.

      You are right, and I think your question is an astute one; namely, at what point do things get bad enough for us to actually try something new? Obviously, it differs from person to person, and some never do get there.

      Note also that your symptoms were different from mine, which is part of why it is so hard for doctors to diagnose this if they aren’t aware of the potential problem. I had fatigue, joint pain, skin conditions of all sorts, all of which (to me now) add up to inflammation, but the doctors were like the blind man and the elephant and each doctor saw a different part of the elephant. For the most part, they were trying to do good (except for that one asshole who just told me I was depressed and put me on Welbutrin, Paxil, Prozac, and a few others until I told him I wasn’t depressed and the drugs didn’t help; that was the last time I saw him) but they just didn’t know what to look for. I sympathize with them, but THIS IS THEIR JOB; they should know what to look for, especially by now.

      So what is the tipping point? Very good question.


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