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wheat belly

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

so I'm reading the book "wheat belly" and kinda freaking out a bit.

 

I eat a "healthy" diet with whole foods, lots of fruits and vegies, and of course, whole grains. None the less, I struggle with my weight (as in about 50 pounds overweight) and have a variety of goofy healthy problems -- fatigue, sore joints, sore feet, etc. I used to be really active and taught yoga, but for the past year I've felt so crappy that all I can do is walk around the block. Some days I can't do that because my feet and ankles hurt so much.

 

I'm reading the this book and wondering if modern wheat really could be the root of my problems. Yesterday, I took out obvious sources of wheat, and I'm going to continue reading. I don't plan to make other changes to my diet right now (other than figuring out if I consume hidden wheat) so I can figure out if it is the wheat.

 

Just thought I'd post about it.

 

I'm not sure if I'm hoping that we all discuss wheat, or all discuss my general freak out over trying so hard to be healthy and missing the mark of what my body needs.

post #2 of 19
Subbing. smile.gif
post #3 of 19

I say give it a try for a while and see how you like it. There are other grains you can substitute for wheat, if you still want to eat grains. There are many great gluten-free flours you can try, that will satisfy any cravings you might have.

 

We went gluten free for a while to see if it would change DS's behavior. We still avoid gluten most days, but have some every now and then. I don't trust the modern varieties of wheat here in the US, which have been hybridized and contain much more gluten than before. 

post #4 of 19
A sudden change in energy that lasts so long can be a symptom of thyroid problems so I suggest getting that ruled out if you haven't already. My brother doesn't eat wheat and he lost a bunch of weight but I also know people who eat it almost exclusively and are rail thin with loads if energy. If it makes you feel good though I suggest going for it.
post #5 of 19

i am not sure which one to discuss either...

 

so lets go with the easy one. 

 

wheat.

 

do you eat a lot of wheat? 

 

yeah finding hidden sources of wheat is going to be tough. are you also trying to eliminate foods that come in contact with wheat?

 

soreness reminds me of swelling and swelling reminds me of arthiritis. not trying to diagnose here.

 

i have found that you have to be pretty militant to eat healthy. cook from scratch with no processed and low in the junk foods - sugar, flour and oils/butter.

post #6 of 19
I say ditch wheat and all other grains, legumes and even potatoes. You might have some serious inflammation going on and grains/starches make them worse. After you finish wheat belly you might want to check out the paleo diet as well as primal blueprint. Ditto in getting your thyroid checked.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis which is an auto immune disease. Your own body attacks the thyroid causing a myriad of issues with strange, yet common symptoms. Fatigue is a major one. I decided about a year back to stop eating grains and legumes entirely. I felt great and didn't miss it at all! Next I was going to tackle dairy and sugar. I was doing well until I got pregnant.

I am 24 weeks now and struggling staying away from processed foods. I've been battling constant fatigue and some nasty yeast this entire pregnancy. I added back in some grains and I just know it's to blame. I have a pretty strong aversion to meat and cooked veggies but try and force them down. I've not gained any weight this pregnancy but am a fair bit overweight. I feel like because I eat pretty well most of the time that it's making a big difference in the long run.

I wish you luck in your journey to be healthy!
post #7 of 19

I remember reading "Why We Get Fat" and just looking around my kitchen and pantry absolutely stunned at all the changes we'd need to make if we wanted to give the author's recommendations a try.  It's been a couple of years, with setbacks, of trying to eliminate carbs for DH and me.  What I found in myself when I keep my diet to proteins and vegetables is a more constant energy level, no crashes, and a gentle feeling that I need to refuel rather than the sudden panic that I have nothing left in my reserves.  Also noticed weight loss, but have always backslid and gained it back; but it has been consistent with carb consumption being the one factor that changed for me.

 

It's a tough change, and it's a tough idea.  I feel very strange running into the more common recommendations to reduce fats and calories, but as I got the hang of what worked and what doesn't things got easier.  But the hardest thing is what you raise, OP . . . all those years of a conscious effort to eat healthy food, and come to find someone raise the idea that it's harmful.  Or that we, perhaps, have processed something that could have been healthy to a degree that's dangerous to our health.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

A sudden change in energy that lasts so long can be a symptom of thyroid problems so I suggest getting that ruled out if you haven't already. My brother doesn't eat wheat and he lost a bunch of weight but I also know people who eat it almost exclusively and are rail thin with loads if energy. If it makes you feel good though I suggest going for it.

 

Thyroid problems are linked to wheat consumption. Just because it may be thyroid,  it doesn't mean that the wheat isn't the root cause.

 

I'm looking for a new doctor right now mostly because the old one didn't order a thyroid test for me when I started complaining about lack of energy and inability to maintain my weight. I'm 48 and on the cusp of menopause, so my old doctor was blowing off my other concerns as just part of the aging process. But in the last year, I feel like I'm getting close to 80, not 50. Something is off.

 

I'm sure that wheat doesn't effect us all the same, and it is possible that it doesn't effect some people at all. Or wont show that it is effecting them for years. "Wheat belly," while a catchy title, isn't very accurate. The book also discussing how the consumption of modern wheat effects heart health, diabetes, the brain, arthritis, skin, etc. It is the other health problems that I'm having that are a bigger issue for me than my weight. I'd love to lose the extra weight, but I can live with it. The pain and fatigue are debilitating, though. They are a different level of problem.

 

When I was younger I with naturally thin and had tons of energy, and didn't pay much attention at all to what I ate. I suspect that for me, this is linked to years and years of eating the food, or the problems being compounded by menopause, or something.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by meemee View Post

 

do you eat a lot of wheat? 

 

yeah finding hidden sources of wheat is going to be tough. are you also trying to eliminate foods that come in contact with wheat?

 

soreness reminds me of swelling and swelling reminds me of arthiritis. not trying to diagnose here.

 

 

How I eat varies from day to day. I've considered my diet to be truly balanced with a wide variety of foods. Most of my meals are cooked from scratch. But yes, I eat whole grains, mostly wheat, most days. Often more than once a day.

 

At this time, I'm not going to try to eliminate foods that come into contact with wheat (it sounds overwhelming).

 

I do have the symptoms of arthritis and it, too, is linked to wheat.

 

Right now, I'm finding it easier to believe that in the last year, I've developed an intolerance for a food that never bothered me before than that I've developed 2 chronic conditions. It just seems unlikely to me that I would develop arthritis and thyroid problems at the exact same time if there weren't an underlying reason that my whole body is just off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tillymonster View Post

I say ditch wheat and all other grains, legumes and even potatoes. You might have some serious inflammation going on and grains/starches make them worse. After you finish wheat belly you might want to check out the paleo diet as well as primal blueprint. Ditto in getting your thyroid checked.

 

Congrads on your pregnancy!!! 

 

I have been looking up stuff on the paleo diet for ideas of foods to make.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaMadly View Post

I remember reading "Why We Get Fat" and just looking around my kitchen and pantry absolutely stunned at all the changes we'd need to make if we wanted to give the author's recommendations a try.  It's been a couple of years, with setbacks, of trying to eliminate carbs for DH and me.  What I found in myself when I keep my diet to proteins and vegetables is a more constant energy level, no crashes, and a gentle feeling that I need to refuel rather than the sudden panic that I have nothing left in my reserves. .....

 

But the hardest thing is what you raise, OP . . . all those years of a conscious effort to eat healthy food, and come to find someone raise the idea that it's harmful.  Or that we, perhaps, have processed something that could have been healthy to a degree that's dangerous to our health.

 

I just checked out that book on Amazon and I may read it next. Very interesting.

 

What I've found in the past trying to move to a more produced based diet is that it is very bulky to buy and store, and very time consuming to chop and prepare. I work on the school year, and part of my goal for this summer while I'm off was to figure out what the heck was wrong with me and how to fix it. But in the back of my mind, I'm trying to figure out how to continue doing whatever it is that I need to do when I go back to work. I'm hoping that with my energy level higher and without energy crashes, it seems more doable.

 

I also think it sounds a little crazy to take out multi grain bread and barrila plus pasta. I don't have celiac disease. I don't have the symptoms most people associate with gluten intolerance. I fear that to others, I will like sound like I'm doing Atkins or South Beach or something, and I'm really opposed to that sort of thing. Taking out a food group to lose weight has always been distasteful to me.

 

This is day 4 of no wheat for me, and I feel better already. Day 2 I had a lot of cravings and a major energy crash, but yesterday was better. I feel like I'm going through withdraw from wheat, so I don't think I'm totally finding out how I will feel "wheat free" yet. My feet and ankles already feel SO MUCH BETTER.  Honestly, even the wheat withdraw is better than how I felt eating wheat because my joint pain was pretty bad. 

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

My feet and ankles already feel SO MUCH BETTER.

 

Wow, that's terrific! 

 

Sorry for the dumb question, but about allowing the Barilla Plus pasta and multigrain bread, is that because they're made from grains other than wheat? That doesn't sound so bad, compared to what I was picturing with a wheat-free diet. I agree, I wouldn't immediately cut out all grains -- that would be a recipe for failure for me, to be so drastic right from the get-go. I'd much prefer to take it in manageable steps. And if, for you, wheat is the culprit, then cutting out all other starches and grains isn't necessary. 

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 I suspect that for me, this is linked to years and years of eating the food, or the problems being compounded by menopause, or something.

i agree with you linda. a bit of both. but i think its been triggered by the onset of menopause IF you are indeed in peri-menopause.

 

i say this because (if u r in peri-menopause) then my dd and you are at the same place hormonally. both of you are going through hormonal changes. and boy oh boy has it affected dd's health (i started a thread on allergies about this). bad enough that suicide entered the picture - which is a huge shock for me as i never thought MY 10 year old would even talk about suicide (we are taking care of that). 

 

dd has had a rough, rough year. her gluten, dairy and sugar intolerance turned to allergy (or whatever term you want to use). she went from being able to eat a little bit of gluten and dairy and no problems with sugar to NO NO for gluten and dairy and not too much sugar (sugar in any form - skittles was the same as oranges for instance). 

 

and then boom. i saw a subtle change in her demeanor. her hormones 'settled' down for the moment and dizzy.gif headscratch.gif yikes.gif boom her allergies are GONE. i am completely flummoxed. the same girl who would double over in pain and let out humongous gas from every end - can handle it. she hasnt started her periods but boy oh boy has her emotions been up and down except lately. in fact this is the first time EVER in all her years at school - first time ever that end of school is actually a pleasant experience. mostly she is losing it by end of may and is hard to live with till school is out. this time has been a surprise. 

 

her school psychologist told me he sees 'this' all the time. children have hormonal or emotional issues and pretty soon food allergies show up. or vice versa.

 

so menopause/puberty has been a HUGE learning experience for me. after menopause coffee affects me 180 degrees differently. instead of being my wake up drink it is now my sleeping 'pill'. whole bunch of other issues. 

 

during my peri-m and everything oh boy was i tired and drained all the time. not any more to that extent.

 

so i feel (at least in my experience) that we dont really talk about phases. i realised how little i know about the important things about puberty and menopause. like puberty is not just periods but mood swings that starts at 6/7 so be gentle with our kids. or that menopause is not just a phase. it IS a phase you go through like puberty but it also involves big body changes - like food sensitivities. i really understood how little i and most others know what menopause is. 

 

i think you are on the right track. no matter what happens (they clear up or not) your body's behaviour is asking you to sit up, notice and make changes. 

 

i feel the same about dd. i am making her understand that hey just coz your body can handle it now doesnt mean you indulge in it. 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Sorry for the dumb question, but about allowing the Barilla Plus pasta and multigrain bread, is that because they're made from grains other than wheat? That doesn't sound so bad, compared to what I was picturing with a wheat-free diet. I agree, I wouldn't immediately cut out all grains -- that would be a recipe for failure for me, to be so drastic right from the get-go. I'd much prefer to take it in manageable steps. And if, for you, wheat is the culprit, then cutting out all other starches and grains isn't necessary. 

 

I'm not allowing Barilla plus or multigrain bread -- I'm taking out everything with wheat it in. Sorry I wasn't clear -- I was just giving examples of the kind of things I eat that contain wheat. They are things that *most* people would consider to be healthy foods.  They just don't seem to be health *for me.*

 

I agree about not being too drastic from the get go. Even if I decide to eventually cut out some other grains as well, I'd like to be able to know what I really, really need to keep completely free from, and what I can occasional allow in small quantities and still do OK.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

i agree with you linda. a bit of both. but i think its been triggered by the onset of menopause IF you are indeed in peri-menopause.

 

i say this because (if u r in peri-menopause) then my dd and you are at the same place hormonally. both of you are going through hormonal changes. and boy oh boy has it affected dd's health (i started a thread on allergies about this). bad enough that suicide entered the picture - which is a huge shock for me as i never thought MY 10 year old would even talk about suicide (we are taking care of that). 

 

dd has had a rough, rough year. her gluten, dairy and sugar intolerance turned to allergy (or whatever term you want to use). she went from being able to eat a little bit of gluten and dairy and no problems with sugar to NO NO for gluten and dairy and not too much sugar (sugar in any form - skittles was the same as oranges for instance). 

 

....

during my peri-m and everything oh boy was i tired and drained all the time. not any more to that extent.

 

Oh my -- I can't imagine needing to watch how much sugar from fresh fruit right now. Fresh fruit has been my go-to food during wheat withdrawal. I'm trying not to increase dairy while I take wheat out, but not decrease it either. Mostly, I would like to add more vegies, and I've added a green smoothie everyday.

 

Something about the way you say "if you are in  peri-menopause" seems almost rude to me -- like you doubt that I know what is going on with my body. I've been in peri-menopause for a while now (officially diagnosed as peri menopause about 18 months ago), and my periods are 6-8 months apart at this point. It's quite possible that I've passed through that milestone of never having another period, but my nurse midwife said it isn't officially "menopause"  until it's a full year.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Something about the way you say "if you are in  peri-menopause" seems almost rude to me -- like you doubt that I know what is going on with my body.

aaaaah linda THANK YOU for saying this. i wish more people could be more OPEN about misunderstandings like this.

 

sorry about that. i used 'if' because i didn't see anyplace where you definitely wrote you are in peri-m (though in my usual style i might have missed reading it). i didn't want to assume you were starting menopause (i have noticed from some of the krones around me - they get very sensitive about this issue. i started early and was done early so i didn't really care that i was done with menopause by my 46th birthday) when you weren't.

 

ah sugar. if you have diabetes in your family watch it. i have started restricting my smoothies and juices when i see the amount of fruit aka sugar i intake in liquid form

 

well my own food journey Linda is turning drastic. I am in good health but my family's health sucks. sometimes i have an elevated BP and blood sugar so for the last two years i have starting to get drastic about food. that means i don't buy or make many things at home, but if i go out (to a restaurant or an invitation) then i am not so drastic. my mom was diagnosed with diabetes, etc at around 40. i am almost 49 and have a tendency so had to become more militant than i had been before. so for me 3 serving size of fruit is healthy. the 4th serving becomes my junk food.  

 

you know something i discovered? i am a flexitarian - eating meat maybe once a month or that (sometimes though i might eat meat everyday for 3 or 4 days and then none at all for a few months). what effects me are oils and butter. i have almost eliminated oils from my diet. yesterday i had vegan pesto at lunch (VERY HEAVY oil base even though mind you my friend who made it cut the oil by half, but still) and i was so bloated i could not eat any dinner. i feel the same if i eat high fat foods like nuts or avocado or eggs. its amazing what your body adjusts to.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

My one week experiment with taking out wheat is over, and I thought I would update you on the results:

 

The difference that I can feel is my body is so extreme, that I'm quite happy to take wheat out of my diet permanently.  Aches and pains are pretty much gone, I'm sleeping better, I no longer feel hungry all the time.

 

I've lost 3 pounds, and my jeans are very loose through the tummy.

(I didn't try to diet, and I was dealing with cravings part of the time. I let myself eat whatever I wanted and how ever much I wanted *as long as it didn't have wheat*)

 

My skin looks better -- healthier, smoother. Not only does the skin on my face look better, but even my feet look healthier. I need less hand lotion and lip balm (I always had dry skin). I wonder if my body is able to better absorb nutrients without  the wheat.

 

With hindsight, I can see that wheat was causing a chronic state of inflammation.

 

However, I'm still a little achy some mornings when I wake up, and I suspect that another food is also bothering my body. I'm going to experiment around and see if I can figure out what it is. A week ago, the thought of permanently taking out wheat kinda freaked me out, but knowing how much better I feel, I'm now ready to delve deeper and figure out how *I* need to eat to feel my best.

post #14 of 19

wow I am so glad you are seeing such amazing changes.

 

linda I would take out dairy too now and see if it affects the rest of aches and pains.

 

I have a few friends with inflammation issues and they have all taken out gluten and dairy and it really has a good effect on them. they also take lots of turmeric which seems to affect pain levels.

 

however for a couple of them it didn't affect their weight (because I think their weight is due to other causes, not overeating)

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

however for a couple of them it didn't affect their weight (because I think their weight is due to other causes, not overeating)

 

what do you think their weight is due to?

 

I think the weight I lost this week was due to a lessening of the inflammation. I think that reducing the inflammation more could led to a few more pounds gone.

 

However, I've read that it is pretty much impossible for a human body to reduce fat when it is inflamed, that the inflammation causes the body to continue to store fat. So I'm hoping that my reducing inflammation, I'll be able to lose the rest of the weight. And also, getting out of the food craving cycle will reduce how much food I consume each day.

post #16 of 19

that's it. its linked to inflammation. friends have a bunch of health issues that its hard to just pinpoint one factor.

 

friends are celiac and lactose intolerant (funnily they grew up on a wheat farm and not just ate but played in wheat too) and they eat a lot of fermented food which really helps with pain level.

post #17 of 19

Are you off dairy too? Wheat and dairy often go hand-in-hand when one is a culprit somewhere.

 

I had chronic acne on my forehead (and only my forehead) for years and it just wouldn't go away. It seemed to get better when I drank lots of water but never went away completely. I finally asked my doctor about it, and he told me to drop both wheat and dairy from my diet. I didn't, b/c I'm stubborn, until several years later, when another doctor told me to drop both from my diet to see if it would help my allergy issues and my energy level. Then I started reading different books about losing weight (Fat Resistance Diet was one that got through to me for some reason) and all had no grains or dairy in them. I finally decided to try it, just go grain- and dairy-free for awhile to see how it affected me. I dropped 20 pounds and my skin cleared up. It was pretty easy to fool myself into being grain- and dairy-free b/c I decided to shoot for having 9 servings of fruits/veggies a day (3 fruit, 6 veggie) since I don't eat veggies as much as I should. Trying to eat that many didn't leave much room for dairy and pasta, so it was pretty easy, and the cravings went away pretty quickly.

 

As soon as I started eating them again (gotta have a bagel now and then!), the cravings came back and I've gained back 3 pounds. And I'm exhausted. IDK if I'm officially "intolerant" or if I'd test positive for celiac (lots of the symptoms you mentioned having ARE in fact symptoms of celiac -- not everyone with that disease gets horrible stomach pain or diarrhea from eating wheat) but it's easy to see not having that stuff in my system is better for me.

 

Just thought I'd share...

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

Are you off dairy too? Wheat and dairy often go hand-in-hand when one is a culprit somewhere.

 

I had chronic acne on my forehead (and only my forehead) for years and it just wouldn't go away. It seemed to get better when I drank lots of water but never went away completely. I finally asked my doctor about it, and he told me to drop both wheat and dairy from my diet. I didn't, b/c I'm stubborn, until several years later, when another doctor told me to drop both from my diet to see if it would help my allergy issues and my energy level. Then I started reading different books about losing weight (Fat Resistance Diet was one that got through to me for some reason) and all had no grains or dairy in them. I finally decided to try it, just go grain- and dairy-free for awhile to see how it affected me. I dropped 20 pounds and my skin cleared up. It was pretty easy to fool myself into being grain- and dairy-free b/c I decided to shoot for having 9 servings of fruits/veggies a day (3 fruit, 6 veggie) since I don't eat veggies as much as I should. Trying to eat that many didn't leave much room for dairy and pasta, so it was pretty easy, and the cravings went away pretty quickly.

 

As soon as I started eating them again (gotta have a bagel now and then!), the cravings came back and I've gained back 3 pounds. And I'm exhausted. IDK if I'm officially "intolerant" or if I'd test positive for celiac (lots of the symptoms you mentioned having ARE in fact symptoms of celiac -- not everyone with that disease gets horrible stomach pain or diarrhea from eating wheat) but it's easy to see not having that stuff in my system is better for me.

 

Just thought I'd share...

 

I went off dairy for a few days to see if it made a difference, and it didn't seem to. However, during those few days I noticed that I seemed to feel worse after corn or eggs. So I took corn and eggs out and added dairy back in. (I can only take so many food out at a time!)

 

I've added green smoothies into my diet, which is kind of the same thing as you adding in 9 servings of fruits and vegies.

 

I think that wheat is really the key thing for me to stay away from -- taking it out of my diet had such a huge and almost immediate effect. As I'm reading about celiac and how it tears up the small intestine, I think the other sensitivities I'm noticing might just be because my gut is a bit of a mess right now, and after a few months, they might be fine for me to eat.

 

I'm focusing on gut health right now, and part of that is probotics. Since dairy doesn't seem to be a trigger for me, I'm adding in yogurt as well as a probotic supplement. I've also added in apple cider vinegar (diluted in water) because it is supposed to be good for the digestive track.

 

Can't remember if I mentioned that my hair seems healthier -- I don't think I was absorbing much nutrition before.

post #19 of 19

You know, I now am realizing that I don't know how long I was off dairy. The only dairy I did have for a long time was yogurt -- I know I didn't have milk or cheese and it took more than a few days for me to see any changes (it was more like months). But maybe the probiotics were the key more than no dairy. I have read lots of places in different contexts (weight loss, skin issues, autism/sensory issues, etc.) that the two often go hand in hand but that doesn't mean everyone who needs to avoid one must also avoid the other. Like everything else, it's whatever works for you, but it's something to consider down the road if something is still not right.

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