Wheatbelly – wheat elimination is Step 1
Debras story highlights a common issue in our wheat-free experience: Eliminating wheat is an exceptionally powerful way to take back control over weight and health. But many people have had their health so disrupted by grain consumption, as well as other factors such as endocrine disruption from exposure to industrial chemicals, that additional steps need to be taken to fully recover health. In Debras case, she had to battle Hashimotos thyroiditis and the resultant hypothyroidism (commonly caused by wheat consumption via autoimmunity), depression and anxiety, and get off medications before she began to feel and look good again.
2011 was a year of personal heartache and extreme stress: I had to quit my job because of a nervous breakdown (I now know that it was an under-treated Hashimoto triggered meltdown). My anxiety was through the roof and my body was miserable.
After taking the summer of 2011 off and trying therapy, I finally was calming down enough to see things differently and thought I was getting better mentally. But then I fell back into another episode around Thanksgiving in which I got the flu and they forced me to take Zoloft to calm down. I had just eliminated wheat on November 4, 2012 after my husband read your book and said, You know, these symptoms sound like you. My joint pain went away within a few weeks of eliminating wheat, my eyes were white and my nails got strong. I lost a few pounds, but not much and I got stuck. My endocrinologist had told me I had Hashimotos, but said it didnt mean anything and that taking the medication would be enough. I believed her for too many years.
I still had a lot to learn about nutrition, autoimmune disease and a fatty liver. Dropping wheat was only the first step, but I saw enough improvement that it encouraged me to keep seeking answers. I worked hard in the first 6 months of 2013 to get off Zoloft and I did.
After doing some reading about Hashimotos on your site and listening to an alternative health summit where a presenter made an off hand comment about functional medicine, I decided to pursue that. I found a functional medicine facility in August, 2013 and a doctor who validated all my symptoms.
It took us a few months to dive into everything and my doctor determined that I was being under treated for my thyroid (the numbers my endo said were good she said were not good enough). At the same time I had tried to work with my endocrinologist to see if she could be enlightened by my new found knowledge; instead, she told me that medication like Armour was not a good option for me and my numbers were fine. I spent most of October, 2013 as a walking zombie and sleeping whenever I sat down.
In December, 2013 my new functional medicine doctor started me on Armour and I felt good within a few weeks. After getting the right medication and doing a month long medical liver detox program I finally started to feel better. Also, for the first time since getting a fatty liver diagnosis 3 years ago, my number are moving down. I havent eaten refined sugar in 6 months and I noticed my skin cleared up and is softer than a babys bottom.
I am particularly in awe of the changes from September, 2013 to now: Who is that person? December, 2011 to now I look like I lost 100 lbs! Ive only lost 35 actual pounds from my heaviest weight.
I now see food as medicine and I annoy everyone I know about it and tell them to read your book. I have more work to do and more weight to lose, but I am so happy to be feeling better and getting my life back. Thank you for being the catalyst to my journey back to health. I dont think I would have questioned my endocrinologist if you hadnt written those blog posts.
Ah, the lessons learned in the nearly 3 years since Wheat Belly first threatened the nutritional status quo and caused Preparation H sales to skyrocket among grain executives. The process must begin with wheat elimination, as wheat underlies so many of the problems someone like Debra started with. Just taking Armour thyroid, for instance, without eliminating wheat permits the original trigger for Hashimotos to continue, even triggering other autoimmune diseases, since the greatest risk factor for an autoimmune disease is another autoimmune disease. Just taking antidepressants is also clear not the answer. The answer begins with wheat elimination. It just doesnt always end there.
Because there are so many different facets of health that need to be addressed in the wake of wheat removal, I have written a new book called Wheat Belly Total Health to be released September, 2014. Until, continue to follow these discussions as we discuss all the strategies open to us after we remove the most poisonous grain ever created in a laboratory.