A wheat-free 2010 2. January 2010 William Davis (22) A Heart Scan Blog reader sent this fascinating description of his wheat-free adventure. Whenever I discuss this notion of going wheat-free and the incredible health effects that develop, I invariably receive comments or emails saying something like "I eat wheat and feel fine. That can't be true." The problem is that not everybody needs to go wheat-free. 20-30% of people can include wheat in their diet and suffer little more than weight gain, some not at all. But stories like Michael's (below) are commonplace in my experience. I've had many patients who, at first, refused to believe that wheat exposure might be the underlying cause for health struggles. But they finally give it a try and find that rashes, arthritis, acid reflux, irritable bowel symptoms, mood swings, anger, etc. are miraculously improved or gone. Anyway, hear what Michael has to tell us: Dr. Davis, I want to thank you. I was browsing the web a while back and happened to stumble upon your blog post about wheat belly. The first thing that caught my attention was that I thought you had somehow gotten a photograph of me. The young man you posted an image of looked exactly like me. So I read what you had to say. After reading, I thought "Four weeks isn’t so bad. I think I can handle this." It has now been nine weeks and all I can say is that I am completely amazed. Let me say first that twice in the past twenty years I have been tested for allergies. The first time I was tested I showed a slight reaction to Timothy Grass, but not enough to cause me any problems. The second testing I did not show a reaction to anything. So, I have always assumed that my chronic sinus problem were due to sensitivities to environmental pollutions. Now I am not so sure. I would like to list for you everything that has happened to me since I eliminated wheat from my diet. 1. I have lost a total of 12 pounds in the last 9 weeks.2. I have lost 1 ¼ inches of belly fat3. I have lost a tremendous amount of fat from my neck.4. My entire life I have had problems with oily hair. I could wash my hair and three hours later I looked as if I hadn’t washed in a week. Now my hair stays clean and soft for two to three days without shampoo.5. My hair was always flat and stringy. Now it has lots of body.6. I used to have thick layers of dry skin on my scalp. It would come loose in chunks as large as a fingernail. That dry scalp is gone.7. I used to have dry flaky skin that seemed to secrete oil. That no longer happens. My skin is now soft and smooth.8. I have lived with bad acne for at least 35 years. Now it is hard to find a pimple on my body.9. I have always had to fight dehydration. That is no longer a problem.10. I used to drink two large cups of coffee every morning just to be able to function. I now have enough energy that I have eliminated caffeine from my diet.11. I sleep more soundly than ever before and my dreams are clear and vivid.12. My thought processes are more active and clear than they have ever been. 13. My chronic sinus issue is now a thing of the past.14. I used to have problems with getting the “shakes” if I had gone more than a couple of hours without eating. It was as if I was suffering from low blood sugar. I would even be afraid that I would pass out. Now all I feel is hunger. I can go all day without eating and never feel in danger of losing consciousness. Today is Thursday. This past Monday my wife and I were eating out and I ordered a burger without a bun. What I didn’t realize was that the burger would arrive covered in onion rings. I knocked the mountain of onion rings onto the plate but there were still a couple that were embedded in the cheese. I decided, what the hell, a couple of onion rings shouldn’t make that much of a difference. I will not make that mistake again anytime soon. Within 30 minutes I felt like there was a steel spike going through my left eye socket. I don’t remember ever being in that much pain. My sinuses were exploding. This morning, as I write this, I still feel the vestiges of that pain. Just enough that I know it is there. But after two and a half days, I am at least able to function again. I owe you a debt of gratitude. You may have just saved my life. In the very least you have given me the means to improve my life in ways that I never thought possible. Thank you so much,Michael B.Now, if wheat exposure can do that in Michael, what damage can it do in other people? Personally, I previously experienced many of the same symptoms that Michael suffered, all gone with wheat elimination. My advice: If you have any inkling that you might have a wheat sensitivity, make a New Year's resolution to stay wheat-free for 4 weeks and see whether you can feel any difference. Not everybody will, but many will be telling us about the dramatic health turnarounds they experienced.