Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2012-11-11
surgery, narcotics, statins . . . no more!
Mike tells this astounding story of a
journey back from Wheat Hell started–of all
people–by his orthopedic doctor!
Started the wheat-free diet back
in July on the advice of my new orthopedic doctor. So far
almost 30 lbs gone.
14 years ago at 37, I had a stent in
my LAD (98% blocked) [left anterior descending coronary
artery]. Lost 40 lbs on the Ornish diet. 4 years later,
having LDL reading in the low 80′s, HDL in the 30′s, I was back
for a major blockage of 90%+ in the top of my heart. They opted
for 5 bypasses. (I was 41).
Stayed on a moderate diet, low-fat,
lean meats, pastas, and moderation. Have been on statins. My
back that was always an issue (3 broken vertebra at 19)
went out of whack: left leg was paralyzed and bowels stopped,
etc. They said I lost muscle tissue in my back and spine
collapsed: It was statin-related.
My weight was back up a bit from no
activity. A few years later (5 years ago), my Achilles
tendon snapped. Again the statins beat me up, but I was told
I had to have them. Last summer, I built a 1000 sq ft
garage. Working at night and weekends, roof, siding, electric,
finishing, etc., my 80-year old dad was moving faster and
pushing me to get it done. My knees and legs hurt so bad, I
eased up on statins a bit, lost 10lbs and felt a bit better.
Week before Christmas, 2011, my right knee popped, tendon
behind knee, meniscus torn, acl [anterior cruciate
ligament] torn. Local ortho doc scoped it and said it is
done: I need a new knee. I opted for some rehab to get by.
Left knee then tore, also, but not as bad. I consulted the
same doc. He said we need to do both, come back when ready.
I got another opinion from a leading knee guy: same thing.
From Easter ’til July, I could
not walk up or down stairs; I slid on my butt. I would eat
4-6 oxy’s [Oxycontin tablets] a day to get through work.
A few people
told me to see a doc who actually went to my high school and was a
senior when I was a freshman. I remember him, as he was a great
swimmer and I wrestled. Anyway he practiced out of my area but had a
satellite location close enough so my insurance would pay. He sent
me literature on statin issues and wheat to read while I waited a
few weeks to get to see him. Well, I figured: What the hell?
I ditched the statins and gave up pasta and pizza as a start,
no morning pastry, etc.
In 3 weeks, I noticed I was able to
slowly walk up stairs and come down carefully. My wife went to
Florida for 2 weeks, being so nervous that I was going to
be able to get dressed in the morning (she did my socks for years,
as my legs would not bend, nor my back). Another
2 weeks–now it is August–and, wow, I can do
steps. I lost almost 10 solid pounds. Felt better, noticed
I was not taking any narcotics.
She came home and I proceeded down
the stairs (21 of them) with my 2 Siberian Huskies on
a leash, pulling all the way to meet her at the car. She was
almost in tears and amazed. The following week I saw
Dr. Meade and my pain went from a 10 to a 4.
He was pleased. He reran the MRI’s for comparison. I also
saw my family and heart doc the following week. They were not
happy that I ditched the statins. Well, my blood work was the
best I had in 10 years: total chol 137, sugar 107.
Down 14 lbs since March.
Still, they tried another cholesterol
drug but did lower my blood pressure med, since my resting heart
rate was 37-40 and BP 115/72. Now pulse is 60 and BP is
127-130/74 with a half-dose. I was at Dr. Meade this
week for my knees: NO PAIN. If I do a 5-6 mile hike in the
woods, then I get a bit of stiffness.
I went from 294 lbs in Dec 11, to
256 now. My MRI’s show mild to moderate osteoarthritis instead
of severe/crippling. ACL is healed, tendon is healing, cartilage
looks better in left and stable in right knee. Meade said, well,
he will lose vacation money, since I do not need reconstruction,
and improved my chances by at least 5 years if I stay on the
program. Also, narcotic-free for months. If I drop another
20 lbs, he said I may make retirement on these knees with care.
No wheat diet if a tough choice, but
I tried Weight Watchers (did a little), Nutrisystem (did a little),
Ornish (almost killed me).
This worked for me. My business
partner, who is a cancer survivor, has been on a similar eating
path and has done well. This has been the easiest way to lose
weight ever. I am active but do not beat myself
2-3 hours a day at the gym or take extra time to work out.
I just walk a lot, go back to hiking and doing yard work
at the house. My son said he has not seen me be this active
since he was a little kid (23 now)
Mike’s story highlights several issues:
1) The extraordinary
incapacitation that is possible from wheat
consumption, sufficient to generate misery, thousands of
dollars of medical bills, surgical procedures, and drugs like
2) The “high cholesterol”
(actually excessive small LDL particles) that develops from wheat
consumption is treated with statin drugs, drugs that have been
associated with increased potential for tendon rupture.
3) Low-fat diets CAUSE coronary
heart disease. All you need do is perform lipoprotein
analysis–NOT cholesterol testing–to see the
metabolic distortions in people who follow low-fat diets and
the remarkable transformations that occur when wheat is
eliminated. The distortions caused by low-fat diets are
hinted at by low HDL and high triglycerides, a highly
atherogenic (atherosclerotic plaque-causing) combination,
along with high blood sugars in the pre-diabetic or diabetic range.
I was especially heartened that at least
some orthopedists are beginning to appreciate the power in wheat
elimination for bone health, as well as the inadvisability of
statin drugs. Yes, elimination of wheat is a powerful weight
loss tool. But, as stories like Mike’s remind us, it
is about so much more than weight loss.