Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2015-10-03
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
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of WB Blog articles.
A drug to treat a drug to treat a drug . . .
Stacy shared her story of wheat- and grain-free success after experiencing the all-too-common disaster called modern healthcare.
“I had been having gastrointestinal problems off and on for quite a while (a year or so). I would have days where I could barely function. Since I am a middle-aged woman, I kept thinking it was a combination of hormonal issues and ‘something I ate’–turns out it was! On June 22nd, everything came to a head and I was absolutely miserable. Long story short, the EGD showed I had gastritis and my scans and colonoscopy confirmed I had ileitis. The gastroenterologist put me on Nexium and Entocort.
“Not too long after that, a friend of mine suggested I read the Wheat Belly book. I started really cleaning up my diet. Then at a follow-up appointment, the gastroenterologist put me on Pentasa–only took it for a week and started having so much trouble breathing that I had to start using an inhaler (which I have only had to do 1 other time in my life when I had a bad case of bronchitis). A couple days after I stopped it, I was still feeling so bad I ended up in the emergency room due to the dyspnea [shortness of breath] and muscle twitching. I decided ‘This is it!’ I stopped the Entocort also because by this time I had cleaned up my diet so much that I was doing really well, so decided to take my chances on being off the meds.
“I kept taking the Nexium for about a week after I stopped the other meds, but stopped it also because, while I was on it, I kept having disturbing muscle twitching and some of my muscles felt like they might cramp. I am soooo thankful that, because of the dietary changes I made, I am able to do well without being on the meds, just by making better food choices! I feel sooo much better now that I have been off those awful medications for approximately 1 month now. Thank you Dr. Davis for telling the truth about modern wheat!”
We hear this every day: Have a drug prescribed for an apparent health problem while never addressing the underlying cause. Then treat the side-effects of one drug with another drug, then treat another side-effect with another drug–this is the formula for modern “healthcare.” And, with astounding frequency, many of the initial health problems are nothing more than a consequence of wheat- and/or grain consumption, especially gastrointestinal struggles of the sort that Stacy was experiencing. I continue to call modern healthcare the system we’ve created (as a society) largely to treat the consequences of eating modern wheat and grains.
The drugs that Stacy was prescribed are not benign. Even the least harmful, Nexium, has been associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, heightened risk for pneumococcal pneumonia and osteoporotic hip fractures, and unhealthy changes in bowel flora. Entocort is a steroid and therefore shares many of the side-effects of other steroids such as prednisone: adrenal suppression, immune system impairment, hypertension, weight gain, higher blood sugars, osteoporosis, anxiety, with no better than a 50% likelihood of providing at least partial relief. Pentasa can cause gastrointestinal distress, worsening of ileitis/colitis, kidney disease, and diarrhea. To make matters worse, between the inflammation and the drugs, Stacy has virtually no chance of starting with healthy bowel flora.
Removing the incredibly common cause of gastrointestinal disruption from mouth to anus–modern wheat and grains–thereby removes a collection of potent toxins, such as gliadin, gliadin-derived peptides, wheat germ agglutinin, and various allergens, that will finally allow Stacy’s gastrointestinal tract to begin its healing process. Beyond stopping the drugs that disrupt bowel flora, she will need to take the steps to cultivate a healthy “garden” of bowel flora, both probiotics and prebiotics.