Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2013-05-13
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
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of WB Blog articles.
Karen tells this story of her son’s 3-month
struggle with headache and other symptoms:
My son suffered from chronic (nearly daily)
headaches and dizziness for 3 months, missing 30+ days of school
in that time. Three days after removing wheat from his diet, he is
headache-free. Chronic constipation gone. Former pale skin, dark circles
under his eyes: gone. Energy level back, moodiness: gone.
Taking him off wheat was always my gut instinct,
but we were told by everyone in the medical field that it couldn’t
possibly be from a food issue. We had tried numerous medications, took every
blood test possible, MRI, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, with no
It started the end of January when my 8 yr
old son (who had never had a headache before this day) came home early from
school with a headache and stomach ache. I chalked it up to start of the
flu. Three days later: no relief. He got up late at night, couldn’t
sleep due to headache (Advil provided no relief whatsoever), so we took a
trip the our children’s hospital. He was given a physical,
neurological tests; all appeared normal. Treated with Maxeran
[drug for nausea] and IV fluids, which relieved his headache,
but it returned a couple of days later.
I called our “health-link” info
line and they suggested we go back to hospital. Treated again with Maxeran
and fluids. It again relieved headache, but only for a day or two. He was
referred to a pediatric neurologist. In the meantime, our family doctor
prescribed Imitrex for headache treatment– didn’t work. He
then had an MRI [of the brain], came back normal. They suggested
high dose vitamin B2 (400 mg) and Sandomigran; no results.
One theory was that it could be tension headaches,
so we had about 3 acupuncture treatments. Provided relief for a day or two,
but nothing long-term. Also tried chiropractic, again it brought short term relief.
During this time I kept a food/headache diary.
3 times in these 3 months he would be OK in the morning but I
would get a call from the school at almost the exact same time of day,
between 1 and 1:30 in the afternoon that he had a headache. I had a
few people suggest that he was allergic/sensitive to wheat. Asked for a
gluten intolerance blood test, so had a full blood work up and all came
back normal. Saw a neurologist at the pediatric headache clinic, full
schedule of physical and neurological tests all appear normal and she
was skeptical of a food reaction. Neither the neurologist nor family doctor
could recommend anything else for me to do other than massage,
physiotherapy…. oh, except one doctor did suggest that he see a
psychologist! Very frustrating when they can’t come up with a
reason or cause they think it’s psychological.
I knew it was something internal because after
all these months his skin was pale, he had dark circles under his eyes,
his headaches typically came with dizziness, he was lethargic, stomach
pains, chronic and long term constipation (off and on for about year and
half). Made a half attempt to do wheat/gluten free diet earlier into this
saga, but gave up after a couple days, as symptoms seem to get worse.
This last attempt came with worsening symptoms, also, but after researching
and found that it’s common to have withdrawal symptoms (severe
muscle and joint pain, I could hardly touch him and it would hurt), I
figured that he was having withdrawal and stuck it out.
Halfway thru the 3rd day his headache was gone
and, to date, we are 3 weeks without a headache!!! About a week in,
his bowels started working again, really working. He said
it was the first time in months that he didn’t have to strain to poop,
and it was a real poop, not little rabbit ones. Full disclosure: He is also
on a dairy-free diet at the moment, also, as I’ve been told that,
since his system is healing, it would be wise to take out dairy, too. But
as I look back at his food diary and see the pattern of his headaches, I
am convinced that it’s wheat.
I guess the only true test is to feed him wheat
again, but I really want to give his body time to heal before I test him.
After confiding in people about our experience, I have had a few people tell
me similar stories about the link with headaches and wheat. I wish
Western medicine would at least be open minded about this issue.
I wonder how many more people are just suffering headaches they treat
by trying to just dull the pain and not search for the cause? I hope
that more people will find the connect for their health issues and the
food they eat.
Karen and her son were lucky: They discovered the
answer–modern semi-dwarf wheat–after only 3 months. Most
people struggle for decades with frequent incapacitating headaches,
fatigue, gastrointestinal complaints, no answers from the healthcare
system, struggling to maintain grades in school or hold a job before they
stumble on the answer. And note that testing for the antibodies (or even
intestinal biopsy) for celiac disease is typically negative, since it
involves mechanisms other than an HLA-DQ-mediated immune mechanism.
It took this mother’s instinct and powers of
observation to uncover the answer. It had nothing to do with genetic defects,
nothing to do with an infectious agent, nothing to do with head injury. The
medical system failed this boy, the doctors failed him, the conventional
advice from agencies like the USDA that make NO allowance for such common
reactions failed him.
Just what component of modern wheat is responsible
for such headache reactions? Is it the abnormal brain binding of the
gliadin-derived exorphin opiates? Is it vasospastic phenomena triggered
by the microgram quantities of wheat germ agglutinin that gain entry into
the bloodstream? Nobody knows, but the connection is increasingly certain:
consumption of modern wheat is associated with severe, chronic headaches;
removal of all wheat can result in dramatic cure.