Wheat Belly – Can The Claims Be True?
Wheat Belly is a bestselling book written by William Davis, an American cardiologist. He claims, “Lose the wheat, lose the weight, and find your path back to health”. Davis points an accusing finger at “modern-day wheat” that’s been “genetically altered to provide processed food manufacturers the greatest yield at the lowest cost”. Naturopathic doctors, frequently prescribe an elimination or detox diet for sufferers of allergies, skin problems, digestive concerns, unexplained fatigue, and weight problems. Wheat and gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt) are usually eliminated from the diet (amongst other common allergens) for 2-4 weeks, and then challenged upon reintroduction. Many patients learn they have a sensitivity to wheat by this method, or by doing a food intolerance test. They all ask the same question: “Why am I reacting to wheat now, when I’ve had it all my life, and was fine before?” This is a good question. Dr. Davis may be on to something, although I suspect that there are many factors including the amount of gluten being consumed in processed foods as fillers or additives. Although the incidence of celiac disease (gluten intolerance) is up five fold, many people are just sensitive to wheat or gluten. The symptoms of gluten sensitivity are: 68% experience abdominal pain, 40% have eczema or rash, 38% have headaches, 34% have “foggy mind”, 33% experience fatigue, and then diarrhea, depression, anemia, and joint pain in decreasing order.
So what should you do if you suspect a gluten sensitivity? See a health practitioner before you remove it from your diet. You should be tested for celiac disease when you are still exposed to gluten, otherwise blood tests and biopsies can result in false negatives. When you do take gluten out of your diet, don’t replace it with a gluten-free alternative. You will lose weight and be healthier if you give up pastries, breads, and cookies and start eating more fruits and vegetables with lean protein. But you already knew that.