Profile photo of Mark Hyman, MD Written by

How Hidden Food Sensitivities Make You Fat

How Hidden Food Sensitivities Make You Fat

Think food allergy and you might conjure the worst-case scenario, like a child going into anaphylactic shock after exposure to peanuts. No doubt, a severe food allergy is scary. But it’s also relatively rare. A much more common scenario is an adult with a low-grade food allergy to, say, gluten who never pinpoints the cause of his misery.

His symptoms are vague (bloating, constipation, weight gain) and his exposure is frequent (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), so the connection is murky. And, over years, the hidden allergy takes a toll on the immune system. The result of an overworked immune system is everything from weight gain to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to arthritis.

That’s what happened to a patient of mine. John weighed 350 pounds and was facing diabetes. But his blood sugar problem was only the tip of the iceberg. He also had joint pain, asthma, crippling fatigue and a sleep disorder. To combat his lethargy, he craved diet soda and fast food for its high number of starchy carbs, a false source of fast energy.

What he didn’t know was that he had celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease fed by his daily indulgence in bagels and donuts. Celiac disease causes the immune system to turn on itself, attacking the healthy lining of the digestive tract. And the major trigger is gluten, a sticky protein found in many grains, including John’s daily dose of bagels and donuts.

Unchecked autoimmune diseases mean the gut is in a constant state of inflammation, a breeding ground for chronic illness.

Food Sensitivities and Inflammation

John’s story is not unique. Inflammation is one of the biggest drivers of weight gain and disease in America. While celiac afflicts roughly 1 percent of Americans (1) as many as 30 percent may have non-celiac gluten intolerance. The key difference is that, in people with celiac disease, the body attacks the small intestine.

But in people with non-celiac gluten intolerance, the immune system attacks the gluten. A recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be traced back to eating gluten (2). Either way, the gut festers out of sight. And, when the lining of the gut is inflamed, the body is even more prone to food reactions, so the problem spirals out of control.

When the lining of the gut is inflamed, small fissures open between the tightly woven cells making up the gut walls. Known as leaky gut syndrome, these chinks in the gut’s armor allow bacteria and partially digested food molecules to slip out into the bloodstream where they are considered foreign invaders.

Once it spies a potential enemy, the body doesn’t hold back. The immune system attacks full throttle. White blood cells rush to surround the offending particle and systemic inflammation ensues. I’m not talking about a sore throat or infected finger. I’m talking about a hidden, smoldering fire created by the immune system as it tries to fend off a daily onslaught of food allergies.

The problem is that most people, like John, eat foods they are allergic to several times a day. Meaning every time that food enters the body, the immune system whips itself into a frenzy. But because symptoms are delayed up to 72 hours after eating, a low-grade food allergy can be hard to spot.

Without diagnosis or awareness, the damage is repeated over and over, meal after meal. Eventually, inflammation seeps throughout the body, establishing an environment ripe for weight gain and chronic disease.

Identifying and treating food allergies and food sensitivities is an important part of my practice. Six weeks after John went gluten-free on The Blood Sugar Solution not only did he lose 3 notches on his belt, but his knees didn’t hurt, his asthma was gone, he wasn’t hungry and his energy was back.

John’s response was not unusual.  I have seen dramatic effects in weight loss, inflammatory conditions like autoimmune disease, and even mood and behavioral disorders.

The problem is that most physicians, especially allergists, don’t see the value in uncovering hidden food allergies.  That is unfortunate because there is a growing body of medical literature illuminating the intimate relationship between the gut, food, and illness. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for your doctor to catch up with the times. Here are three ways to determine if food allergies are undermining your health.

Three Ways to Identify Food Allergies

  1. Get a blood test. Blood testing for IgG food allergens ( and other labs) can help you to identify hidden food allergies. While these tests do have limitations and need to be interpreted in the context of the rest of your health, they can be useful guides to what’s bothering YOU in particular. When considering blood tests for allergens, it’s always a good idea to work with a doctor or nutritionist trained in dealing with food allergies.
  2. Go dairy- and gluten-free for 6 weeks. Dairy and gluten are the most common triggers of food allergies. For patients who have trouble losing weight, I often recommend a short elimination, as part of the The Blood Sugar Solution. Both dairy (milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt) and gluten (most often found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, triticale, and kamut) are linked to insulin resistance and, therefore, weight gain. Temporarily cutting them out of the diet, allows the inflamed gut to heal. This one move may be the single most important thing most you can do to lose weight.
  3. Avoid the top food allergens.  If you don’t feel a sense of relief from nixing dairy and gluten, you may need to take the elimination diet one step further by cutting out the top food allergens: gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, soy, nuts, nightshades (tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant), citrus, and yeast (baker’s, brewer’s yeast, and fermented products like vinegar). Try this for a full six weeks. That is enough time to feel better and notice a change. When you reintroduce a top food allergen, eat it at least 2-3 times a day for 3 days to see if you notice a reaction. If you do, note the food and eliminate it for 90 days.

If you are overweight, if you suffer from inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, the potential health benefits of discovering and uprooting hidden food allergies cannot be overstated. Remember, food is your greatest ally in helping to prevent and treat illness.  For more information see The Blood Sugar Solution  to get a free sneak peak.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Do you have food allergies?

Are you gluten intolerant?

Have you eliminated your food sensitivities and lost weight?

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

P.S. Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!


(1) Ludvigsson, JF, et al. 2009. “Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease” Journal of the American Medical Association 302 (11): 1171-8

(2) Farrell, RJ, and CP Kelly. 2002. Celiac sprue, New England Journal of Medicine 346 (3): 180-88 Review

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (161)

  • I just received the news from my functional medicine doc that I have 2 genes associated with gluten intolerance and celiac’s disease, so I wlll be leaving that out of my diet. One thing I’m not clear on, does having the genes mean that there is a definite intolerance or does it mean that one can develop. I feel that for me getting off gluten will be hugely beneficial, but would like to understand this better.


    • Hi Palmer,

      Having the genes means you are likely to experience inflammatory symptoms upon ingesting gluten, especially in this day and age where the myriad of other inflammatory lifestyle conditions make it easy to be predisposed to turning on these genes. However the best thing to do is to prevent inflammation and you can do that by eating a whole foods based diet, taking certain supplements such as Omega 3 fish oil for anti inflammatory benefits and avoid potential food trigger such as gluten and dairy.

      Also, keeping virus and other stressful events at a low is key. When something sparks or triggers the immune system the genes for inflammation are turned on. But you can do a lot in how you live your life to avoid these stressors!

      In good health!

      • Dr Hyman is very interesting read your blog!! I have a question and see if you can help me s couple months ago I havectest for food Food intolarence Igg Elisa a panel test with 95 foods and I have about 22 foods they ate ranking with 1,2, 3 the higest, dic told me ytoo do the elimination diet to solve the uses, gluten,dayri and yeast are the highest and tomatoes, carrost are lowers it all mean I have to eliminated permanently or I just need clean the gut and see how I feel after incorporated theme again? Or is best to stay way, thanks!
        Adriana Miller

        • Hi Adriana,
          It is best to work with your doctor/healthcare practitioner to guide you as to when to re-introduce foods that may trigger symptoms for you.
          Wishing you the best of health,
          Dr. Hyman Staff

    • i just found out about 3 weeks ago I am allergic to Bakers and Brewers Yeast, mushrooms and eggs. I have eliminated these foods and the bloat is gone but the cramps remain. Every time I eat I get terrible cramps. Not sure what else to do

  • After being diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, I took a very conservative approach to treatment and cut out gluten. My thyroid labs steadily came back to WNL. I’ve experienced first hand the power of diet!

  • For years I’ve suffered with chronic fatigue, bloating, headaches and all sorts of stomach issues. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease years ago which I thought was just a thyroid problem but it’s an autoimmune condition too. When I eliminated gluten, soy, night shades and dairy from my diet, I was amazed at how my body changed. I had allergy testing done which showed I’m allergic to all wheat, coffee, sesame and quinoa. I work with a naturopath to keep me on track and finally after all this time, am healing from the inside out and have never felt better.

  • I was diagnosed with celiacs about 8 months ago. while I wa suffering from celiacs and not knowing, I was actually loosing weight. when I went gluten free, I started gaining back the weight I lost. I was overweight to begin with also.
    I don’t eat any of those processed gluten free foods either, I eat a lot of vegetables and fish and meats and fruit, and I work out almost everyday.. yet I haven’t lost weight and sometimes I gain a few pounds.
    doesn’t make any sense, does it?

    • Hi megan,

      Well first off, it is great that you are eating such a whole foods-based diet. This is really the foundation of it all. The thing is, sometimes when diet alone doesnt work we have to look deeper and see what else might be affecting your system- how is your ability to detoxify? how is immune system? Are you absorbing your nutrients so that your body can metabolize and burn fat appropriately? Do you have balanced hormones or is something out of place? How inflamed are you and do you have any hidden infections, parasites, bacteria, yeast… Is a stress an issue?

      As you can see, there are a myriad of reasons for why you might be stuck. We suggest thinking about seeing a practitioner trained in functional medicine who can help play detective with you to get the results you need.
      In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your zip. Progress accordingly from there.

      Would a personalized nutrition plan interest you? Then please see:

      In good health!

  • I dropped a significant amount of weight after doing Atkins…50lbs, 15 of that in the first week. It was going off Atkins that made me realize, through trial and error, I had an issue with gluten. I was diagnosed as having Ulcerative Colitis. I found that while on Atkins I did not require Asacol. My issues made me urge for celiac testing on my daughter when as a toddler she was ill constantly with upper respiratory and other ent issues along with chronic obstipation with very acidic stool . She had blood test results that suggested the need for further testing. Long story there!!! I also lost a slew of other ailments as we both stuck with the gluten free lifestyle. During another shot at Atkins I that time found that overnight I would gain literally 5+ lbs after consuming just a serving of sharp cheddar. I am convinced that some oddball vision symptoms happen in conjunction with dairy consumption. I can tolerate a small amount of red potatoes, white out of the question and at this point any starchy foods more than 1 day in a row leave me feeling sluggish and depressed. I know that I have other sensitivitie

  • I just read your article and yet another article that completely describes me and my life. My doctor and I are trying to determine the exact cause of my grief now. So far, the blood test ruled out Celiac Disease and now i’m going to begin a few weeks of gluten free to see if that makes a difference. I just picked up the prescription today for Bentyl. Also picked up Benefiber and started taking align a few weeks ago. For the past 5 years, i’ve been taking aciphex every day. A few weeks ago, when I first heard the word Celiac, I stopped by Barnes and Noble and picked up Living Gluten Free for Dummies and Celiac Disease for Dummies. They could have been written about me! Right back to the “growing pains” I had as a child, and all of the little issues that are just a part of my life and i’ve never considered them symptoms. Now I look at anything and everything! I look forward to learning more! As an assistant principal, I can relate to the donuts and bagels mentioned above. I always seem to be running and the drive through at Dunkin Donuts is someplace I visit once or twice a day! That’s going to be the most difficult to change…

  • my daughter and son both have celiac disease but I don’t….have a great sensitivity to gluten and wheat and my mom always push raw bran which tore up my stomach….at 41 I had diabetes, asthma, fatty liver, sleep apnea, chronic sinusitis and then psycho something in my sinuses which produces a neon green colored mucus, real sweet huh…..real sexy….plus the diabetes apparently has cause a complete loss of muscle tone in my rectum sooooooooooooooooooooooo I have to be careful there and sex is completely out of order…..anyway that is what is happening to me….any suggestions….

  • Hi Dr. Hyman,

    Yes, just in the last 6 months, I have been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. But I also know through trial and error that dairy is an issue too. I have 5 children and have recently found through testing that 2 of them have intolerances to gluten, dairy and eggs. We discovered that my husband had a dairy issue too. He had psoriasis really bad and was told to remove dairy. After 4 months of not having dairy, his psoriasis cleared up completely.

    So my challenge lately has been to try and figure out how to feed the 7 of us 3 meals a day plus snacks. (homeschooling family and husband works part of the time at home). I don’t have the time to spend all day cooking and preparing food. But this is what I have been doing. Convenient food is no longer an option.

    My main symptom before I was confirmed gluten sensitive was fatigue and some joint and muscle pain/weakness. I must say I am better; the fatigue isn’t so debilitating. But my next battle is sugar. I know that I have an addiction or allergy to sugar or something. I crave it badly. I think this is why my muscles still ache. I have not been able to lose weight, even after going gluten/dairy free. But I never stopped the sugar. It gets me through the day. My doctor has already told me that I am insulin resistant and pre-diabetic. Actually, my dad was just diagnosed with it 6 mos ago.

    And financially, when we can afford it, I am looking forward to reading your new book. I know there is much wisdom there and I hope to be able to put it into practice. It is so hard to focus and make time for this while taking care of a large family and homeschooling; but I know I have to if I want to be around to watch them grow up.

    Thanks so much for all of the information that you share; it is truly a blessing.

    • Hi Cari,
      Thank you for writing in about your battle with sugar. Oh dear, you are not alone, most of America battles the sugar cravings many times throughout the day. The best way to approach this is like Dr. Hyman says- go cold turkey! The reasoning behind it has to do with the vicious cycle sugar keeps the brain on. It also decreases your gut-brain (enteric nervous system) to do its job effectively. If done right, this brain in our belly will manufacture the necessary nutrients and neurotransmitters which travel to our head-brain and help us abstain from sugar and provide us the comfort and ease in body, soul and mind we are actually looking for when sugar is used. The binge is an act of receiving attention and nourishment in the day- the body will call out for pleasure and it will not let up until it receives it! So best to honor it and practice this:
      1. Balance blood sugar throughout day. This is a great cookbook to follow to eat well and keep blood sugars balanced: http
      2. Include protein and complex carbohydrates at EVERY meal, at least protein. This will keep blood sugar stable and provide building blocks for happy chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, GABA etc.) so you don’t succumb to sugar
      3. Don’t avoid Sugar- Indulge! Include some natural sugar such as berries, melon, apples, sweet potato, brown rice, roasted root vegetables everyday.
      4. Eat Mindfully, chew slowly and establish a rhythm ritual while you eat. Example: eat only at the table and make sure it takes you at least 20 minutes to eat. Now, you’ll condition your body-mind to release digestive enzymes necessary for proper nutrition when you sit down. If you have a rules-free eating lifestyle, anywhere, any time is game for eating. Not good!
      4. Eat every 2-4 hours and don’t skip meals. Do not skip!
      5. Ensure pleasure is included in non-food ways. Are you tired and need a bath? If so, no amount of sugar is going to restore you so begin observing what comes up for you before you eat sugar and match it with an appropriate activity which will get to the underlying imbalance. Most of the time emotionally eating occurs for boredom, loneliness, hurt, frustration, stress, fatigue etc. You name it- you know what your reason is! So help yourself map out a plan so next time the feeling strikes and you want sugar, you know what to do. Eventually you’ll rewire your brain to associate self care instead of sugar with the difficult emotion

      Would a personalized nutrition plan interest you? Then please see:

      In good health!

      • What is the name of the cookbook you started to refer to but did not provide a complete link to?

  • I am 23 and have had constant sinus issues for about three years amd also gained about 25 lbs. My nose is constantly drippy, and I get sinus headaches and the occasional sinus infection more often than I should. I tried typical allergy medicines, but nothing works. I finally went to an allergist and was only allergic to two molds. She did say that my sinuses were white from being swollen so much. She also wanted to have some blood work done to rule out lupus, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Recently a friend mentioned food allergies as the source of my issues. Is that probable?

  • I’ve recently discovered some of your articles and it’s refreshing to find out so much information. I was diagnosed 6 months ago with Celiac disease. So since then I have been gluten free with the exception of accidental exposure here and there. I’ve always had milk issues, but really just lived with it because it really just made me bloated with gas. Now that I’ve cut out gluten I’m noticing just how badly it’s making me feel. My question is going totally milk free necessary my symptoms come with having a large amount of straight milk and ice cream. Is this adding to my weight issues? I’ve had weight issues my whole life. Emotional eating is defiantly part of it. My biggest weakness is ice cream. Since going gluten free I’ve lost 25 lbs. I haven’t lost much lately but I’m pretty steady not gaining at all. I also am very disappointed with my GI doc that diagnosed me with celiac. He did a thorough job getting me diagnosed although communication wSnt the greatest along the journey. He said to me once I was diagnosed that he reAlly only has about 2 people a year that are diagnosed with celiac although he tests people all the time so it’s really not that common. He told me to look the diet up on the Internet because insurance companies don’t pay for nutritionists anyone, and that since he doesn’t see that many he doesn’t keep any info in the office. So off into the gluten free world on my own I’ve gone. I would love to have a better support system when it comes to a GI doctor and would love to know if you could recommend a doctor in the Columbus, Oh area that is better qualified to be a doctor of a celiac patient than the one I’ve got now. Thanks for your time.

  • i have been gluten free for about 6 weeks now, as well as mostly dairy free and completely meat free, a big reason for trying this was to see if my psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis would improve. unfortunately there has been no change, but i do feel good eating this way and will continue to do so, but do you have any suggestions for me?

  • Three years ago I decided to go gluten free and have lost 50+ pounds. I was anemic, hypothyroid, tired, achy, and suffered daily constipation. This is all gone. My doctor saw me as a lazy couch potato that ate nothing but fast food. None of this was true, I am 44 and have never felt better!

  • I have problems with grains. I thought it was just gluten but it was grains. Wheat, Barley and Oats. It may be corn also. I have been eating a lot of corn products and have been hurting in my joints. The way we Americans eat it can be hard. I also have problems with Milk or Ice Cream. I get sinus problems from Dairy.

  • I have osteo arthritis, have had an MI, diet controlled type 2 diabetes, hypothyroid, and high blood pressure. I have fought my weight my entire life, well, since 3 years old. I kept my weight down by strict diet and running. A car accident ended my running and a divorice spiked my stress levels and I assume cortisol levels and did in my thyroid finally. I gained 150 pounds in about 3 years. I have carried this weight for 20 years. Joining a weight loss company called “U Weight Loss” which uses a ratio of 30% carbs, 40% protein, and 30% fats in a 1300 calorie a day diet. I have lost nearly 60 pounds, but have been at a standstill for 3.5 months.
    I have had both knees and a hip replaced. My other hip and shoulders are also getting crucial in the pain and “clicking”. According to the reading I have done, all of my condtions are inflammatory based. I was once told by an endocrinologist while we were trying to find out why I was gaining the weight, that I have a borderline sensitivity to beef, cheese and tomatoes. I stay away from grain products on principal but have incorporated a few whole wheat wraps and Wasa breads into the diet as I must follow they’re recipes.
    Could I be a candidate for gluten issues?

  • My son had food allergy and sensitivity testing done a few years ago which indicated high sensitivity to eggs & citrus. His pediatric naturapath was suspicious of the results, which in addition to anemia suggested that something else might be going on. An elimination diet told a different story: he is actually intolerant to dairy, and lesser to gluten. He also has strong reactions to artificial food dyes and some preservatives so we’ve cut those out 100% from our diet.

    Over the years I’ve done my own elimination diet to learn, sadly, that I’m also intolerant to gluten. I recently went two weeks without it and loss 5 pounds, and have never felt better! In denial that I might never enjoy my favorite wheat products again, I had some bread and woke the next day feeling bloated and sick.

    No more gluten. I’m determined to find ways to replace my favorites. It won’t be easy but our health is worth it. I also suspect that gluten may be contributing to post nasal drip which leads to 4 to 6 sinus infections for me each year. I’ve had so many that I’m now resistant to antibiotics and fear that I won’t have options if I ever have a serious infection.

    So many reasons to cut out gluten.

  • i was misdiagnosed for years with inflammatory joint disease and chrons. it didnt matter what medication they put me on i never felt better. i couldnt sleep well, it hurt to walk up and down stairs- which is scary since it started in my 20’s. i had grown over weight and it didnt matter what i did i could never lose the weight. finally, 3 weeks ago i had an EGD with a new GI doc. right away he spotted the celiac disease. did the biopsies and confirmed it. i have been trying really hard ( a few failures so far) to be totally gluten free and i have never felt better! in just a couple weeks i have lost 20 lbs! i have also been able to give up the dt soda that i would drink constantly every day. while trying to maintain a diet of gluten free ( while i have three teen daughters and a husband who are not gluten free) is pretty frustrating right now but it will work. i’ll figure it out!

  • This post is so timely. Thank you, Dr. Hyman! My sister just went gluten-free to try to lose weight. She has been battling her weight for many months now, and this seemed like a viable solution. As a raw/vegan, I totally support it and can’t wait to pass along your blog to her now!

  • I am a Certified Health Coach and love the fact that you were one of my IIN teachers. I work out like a crazy person and eat primarily vegan but could NEVER get rid of belly fat until I did a DRASTIC reduction in gluten producs and sugar. For anyone out there, reading this, TRY it with the help of you health coach and reap some great rewards. At 48 I have a flat tummy!

  • I have awoided grain products religously for over 6 months now. My migranes are almost totally gone.

  • I gave up gluten then end of August, 2011 and have dropped 21 pounds. I had given up on the idea of ever being able to lose weight. I don’t get hungry like I used to and I don’t gain it back. I have been on just about every diet there is and every time I went off, I gained back the weight plus 10 pounds or so. With this, even if I eat foods that I don’t do that well on, such as sugar, chocolate, snack foods, I stay even. If I eat a healthy, clean diet — protein (meat, fish, poultry), potatoes, rice, beans, fruits, vegetables, butter, goat milk, nuts — I lose weight, enjoy the food and feel great. And did I mention the not hungry part? I don’t count anything.

  • In 2010, I developed a bad skin problem. It was not eczema or psoriasis, and neither my doctor or a dermatologist could diagnose it. Or treat it. Because my son is allergic to dairy (not lactose intolerant), I decided to start there with an elimination diet. Within two weeks, the bleeding rash disappeared. That was 15 months ago, and it has not come back at all.
    I’m thinking about eliminating gluten as well to see if it helps my bad arthritis. Too many doctors see everything in black or white, yes or no. I’m sure I don’t have celiac disease, but I’m interested in seeing what elimating gluten may do for me.

  • At the age of 47, I started breaking out with red patches on the undersides of my arms and in the armpit. While is wasn’t terribly painful, it was unsightly. I don’t know for sure if it was eczema or psoriasis, but that doesn’t really matter. Both are often the byproduct of food sensitivities. I did an allergy elimination diet and it went away. I added back in dairy and wheat with no problems…for awhile. Another round of allergy elimination and then checked foods more slowly. Definitely gluten! What’s even more amazing, is that anytime I do eat something with gluten, I become so unbearably sleepy…like someone slipped me a valium. Then I read “The China Study,” and that convinced me to give up dairy as well. I’m 99% vegan with an occasional few bites of fish when I go for sushi. I just can’t resist the salmon. 🙂 But overall, I’m losing weight and feel terrific. I also discovered Vega brand protein shakes created by Brendan Brazier that are gluten, dairy, and soy free, for those occasions when there’s just not enough time to cook.

  • I have had a gluten IgG and the results were not significant- does that mean I do not have a sensitivity and its ok to have them while on the blood sugar solution plan.
    My milk IgG was rated low.
    I have seen a integrative med, Dr. for these test and he does not seem concerned about them.
    What does it mean to have low- or moderate results from these tests? They were done from Nero Science inc. labs.
    What are your thoughts.
    Thanks much!

  • A good test to have is an Alcat test. This is a blood test that shows allergies, whether mild, medium or severe for several foods, chemicals and other allergens that plague us in the 21st. Century. It’s a bit expensive, but may open your eyes to foods that you never thought you would react to. Just type Alcat into your browser and you can get information.

  • It is surprising to me to find nightshades on your list of allergens. They contain the alkaloid anatabine, which in more concentrated form effectively reduces systemic inflammation and which recently became commercially available.

  • Dr. Hyman, where is your practice located? I live in Southern California, Tustin to be precise, and I would appreciate seeing you or someone with your knowledge and conviction. I need to have these tests done.

  • I truly believe that many people have food allergies that go undetected. I complained to several doctors over the last year and a half that I believe I have a gluten allergy. Not one doctor would order tests. As a low-income person, you are dismissed with complaints and truly suffer in silence for many years. Some of these tests aren’t accurate either. I went to an allergy specialist several years ago and was tested for food and environmental allergies. Only environmental allergies came back positive. Even with environmental allergies, the doctor would not start allergy shots. I was told I was too old! I recently started a gluten free diet after doing alot of online research. I am not even following a strict gluten free diet at this time. All my symptoms have been reduced by about 80 percent! I have had asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, IBS, chronic hunger, a severe burning pain on my right side under my rib, chronic fatigue, brain fog, I would wake up every day as if I were hung over (and, no, I don’t drink), memory loss and forgetfulness, problems with focusing, etc., etc., etc. To my complete shock, most of these symptoms are gone or have subsided drastically. I have even stopped my asthma meds!! While a gluten free diet is tough, the thought of the pain on my side and the IBS coming back keeps me in check. I did go off a bit through the holidays, and I started feeling terrible again. I quickly got back on track, and am feeling better. The best part is that the fibromyalgia pains are gone! To think I was seriously thinking of ending it all a few short months ago, all because doctors didn’t understand the severity of my pain (and some thinking as if I was just an angry complaining old woman) . . . and knowing that there was a simple answer to my problem . . . well, for those who understand where I am coming from . . . all I can say is . . . try it. If your pain goes away, there is a new life on the horizon! Giving up pizza, muffins and bagels is so worth a little inconvenience. I also used to have horrible swelling in my feet, legs and hands, and that’s gone too! My shoes are now slipping off my feet! While I only lost a little bit of weight (a grave disappointment), I’m just so glad that I can practically run up and down stairs now, and I’m not popping ibuprofen like it’s going out of style. My kidneys and liver thank me! LOL Best to all who suffer in pain. I hope it works for you.

  • I have chronic psoriasis on my shins and have recently begun developing what I think is psoriatic arthritis in my feet, particularly in my heels. I am wondering if this could be caused by food allergies. My husband and I have read the Ultramind Solution and have drastically changed our diets to eliminate pretty much all gluten and a lot of grains and dairy. We also did an elimination diet. Through the elimination diet, I discovered that soy is a big problem for me, so I have cut soy almost totally from my diet. A lot of my other health issues (e.g., seasonal allergies, hormonal imbalance) have resolved themselves but this is the issue that continues to plague me.

  • This is what happened to me….was not feeling well and it just seemed to get worse and worse over the span of a few years. My muscles and joints ached, I was having skin breakouts on my back and face at age 50, I was having sinus head aches and infections more and more frequently, I was gaining weight even though I was exercising and watching my calories by eating healthy foods. I started craving sugar and carbohydrates more and more and having bouts with heart burn and acid reflux with increasing regularity. My sleep was negaitvely affected by the gerd and I began wakeing every night at 3:00 am which made my days very tired. My regular medical doctor told me everything was “fine” and offered nothing other than it is what I should expect at my age. She suggested that I was in menopause and offered perscriptions for Nexuium and Prozac and some sleep aide.
    Then I went to a chiropractor who was also well versed in functional medicine. She ran a battery of blood, saliva and stool tests and found that I had pre-diabetes, food intolerances to gluten, soy, eggs and casien protien (all the stuff I ate mutiple times every day) in addition to my circadian rhythms were totally flipped upside down and that was why my sleep pattern was so out of wack . She said I most likely had a leaky gut and would need to detox for about 6 weeks to get my gut to calm down.
    I detoxed from the allergens and changed my diet and the gerd went away, sleep was getting better along with skin and sinus issues. Because I was sleeping better, my mood improved and I could function better enjoy the daytime more. My wieght started to drop and my muscles and joints were not inflammed and hurting anymore.
    When I went back to my regular physician, she simply negated the treatment that helped me to feel so much better. I stopped going to her and found a medical doctor who was more in tune with functional medcine. This new medical doctor also put me on bio-identical hormones and kept encourageing the gluten free and dairy free diet.
    I feel so much more like myself sleeping normally. It was such a frustrating experience to repeatedly go to the doctor with legitamate and real physical issues and get told I was fine!
    I can’t understand why doctors refuse to acknowledge the physically evidence and patients complaints. I guess big pharma does have most doctors in their hip pocket.
    I am just glad I was finally able to get help!

  • After I rmoved gluten from my diet, I no longer had to buy the extra large bottle of Tylenol extra strength on a monthly basis. I do not take Tylenol anymore…I think I took it once in the last year for muscle aches after over doing it one day at the gym.

  • Eating Gluten Free in my household has also helped my husbands inflamation problems. He is a runner and coach who has been complaining for years about how his knees and hips just ache all the time. He was also having digestive issues with gas and an irritable bowel type of problem. Now that he is eating the basic same diet, his problem have gone away too. I really wish the medical community would wake up and help the poor people out there that are suffering for lack of medical knowledge and understanding.

  • In 1996 I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis. At the same time my Oriental Medical Doc told me I should even have wheat in the house and to cut out dairy. It took years to go off both…I am Italian and my favorite foods were pasta and lasagna.
    I also had a dreadfully low DHEA. It took some time for me but I did feel better. Then, I got lazy and over committed. I was eating some dairy and wheat. I was experiencing exhaustion and repeated sinus infections and adrenal fatigue. Back to the OMD I would go for herbs; back to my regular Doc for blood work…( I was put of natural thyroid and DHEA). It was after watching Thomas O’Bryan’s DVD on Wheat and Gluten Intolerance that I finally got how dangerous it was for me to be eating wheat and dairy. I was allergic and intolerant to both. It has been over a year since I watched that DVD. I understand that, for me, gluten effects my immune system – not my gut – and that unless I want to have other auto-immune diseases (lupus, arthritis, etc) – I need to stay away from gluten and dairy. I am 55 and feel the best I have ever felt!
    I am grateful for Functional Medicine and all the info that is available so that I can look optimistically into my future!

  • I’ve had skin problems for years (hand eczema and acne) and went gluten free about a year ago. I lost about 10 lbs. within 2 months, felt much better overall and my skin temporarly got better. In the last few months it got considerably worse again so I started seeing a Naturopathic Dr. (my family dr. sent me to a dermatologist who put me on antibiotics-it messed up my system with side effects and didn’t even help my acne). She had me do a food allergy test and I found out along with wheat, I am severely allergic to all dairy, eggs, beef and some nuts. So I’ve changed my diet a lot in the last couple weeks hoping my acne would miraculously disappear, but it hasn’t. However my eczema has gotten much better. Not sure if my acne is also due to hormones or if maybe over time of this new diet my gut will heal and my skin will clear? I think going gluten free is wonderful for everyone, even if you don’t have an allergy to it-I’ve heard so many people benefit from it. It is difficult at first, but when you get used to not eating it over time, it gets much easier.

  • I just wanted to share my experience. In 2008, I became seriously ill with various and mysterious symptoms such as pain when breathing, gut pain, bloating, constipation, insomnia, weight loss, hair falling out. The medical community put me through extensive costly and painful testing. None of which gave a clue or diagnosis. I spent my days curled on the couch crying. I believed I was loosing my mind. My doctors did everything to convince me that this was true. Including sending me to a psychiatrist for psychotropics.
    Finally, one doctor after two years of suffering tested me for antibody reaction to food. A casein (milk protein) value was extremely high. It took six months dairy free before the pain resolved and I gained back the extreme weight I lost. The pain in my chest disappeared, the bloating (very painful) disappeared, as well as, all the other symptoms. No medicine could have fixed this problem. In fact, all of the medicines I was prescribed complicated how seriously ill I felt because of side effects. Some foods are extremely toxic to some people. Some forms of medical ignorance are extremely toxic to people.

    • Lynne, thank you for putting into words some of the painful experiences that some medical professionals ignorantly dismiss. I can hardly believe some of the appallingly clueless remarks made by both medical doctors, and a self-proclaimed top disability lawyer who failed to understand or represent me and convinced me to sign off my rights to health insurance I need, simply because they lack understanding, can’t be bothered and believe it’s not lucrative for them to seek understanding of these complex chronic health conditions. I was suicidal at age 35 after four years of debilitating insomnia, anxiety and depression, head to toe pain, crushing fatigue, and relentless bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia. I became bedridden, socially isolated, a charity case. A functional medicine doctor saved my life by acknowledging the cluster of symptoms and beginning to work with me to regain my health. It has involved elimination of many foods including gluten and dairy and sugar, hormone balancing for adrenal and thyroid, and a lot of prayer, meditation, and yoga on my part. It is a lot of work even with knowledgeable support, which is hard tom find.

  • So much great information ~ Thank you Dr. Hyman!
    I am wondering about specifics of the 6 week elimination diet. I have your terrific book
    “The Ultramind Solution”, and am wondering if the advice therein is similar to what you would recommend In “The Blood Sugar Solution”? I am concerned about blood sugar stability, weight loss, and of course maintaining good health and vitality as I cope with menopause and aging. While cutting sugars, starches, most all processed foods and additives, it becomes a challenge to know which foods are safe from all concerns, yet satisfying and enjoyable. I appreciate your support greatly!!!

  • I’m confused. About to begin a 4-week detox/elimination diet which includes oats as a permissible grain (except during the second week where all grains are off limits). This is the third article by Dr. Hyman in which oats are included in grains that contain gluten. My doctor says oats do not contain gluten. So why then are they included in “forbidden” grains. I have always eaten everything I wanted and am dealing with fatigue, inability to lose weight, poor night sleeping, poor digestion, etc. I really want to do this diet right so that any food sensitivites can be detected. So what is the deal on oats?

    Thank you

  • I was diagnosed with celiac disease a few months ago. My story is similar to the one mentioned in the article. I was sick, but I did not know what was causing it……now I do. I’m hypothyroid. We will see if being gluten free helps the hypothyroid situation. I am on armour thyroid. My hormones have always been messed up, and I’ve had lots of female problems. I’m insulin resistant. I’ve had arthritis for years. I have felt a great deal of inflammation leave my body. My knees feel better than they have in years. No pain. I’m losing weight. My horrible feeling of feeling like bugs were crawling on my skin is gone. I feel better now than I have any time in the last 15 years. I will NEVER knowingly ingest gluten again!!!

  • I been following your diet for 20 months. It has made a great difference in my health. I was diagnose with Diabetes in 2000. I discover that I’m allergic to gluten and I keep it off.My blood sugar remains between 95 and 120. Can I do something else to bringing it to more normal levels?
    I recomend your diet to all my family and friend.. Thank you for your very usefull articles.

  • I changed my diet 3 years ago, starting with a cleansing of 12 weeks. Wow, what changes I noticed. Since then I have eliminated almost all gluten (especially wheat) and dairy. Lately, if I “test” myself and try a small amount of wheat combined with dairy, it’s the worst. Can food combinations cause extra intolerance? Initially I lost weight, about 10 lbs. But can’t seem to lose any more–at least I don’t gain.
    For years I had asked health professionals about an irritating occurance that happens when I exercise, especially running. I seem to itch. No one could give me an answer until recently. It seems that if I eat something that I am sensitive to, the day after, when I run for instance, I itch, mainly around my belly. Of course, that is also where I harbour most of my excess fat. Seems that I may be perspiring toxins onto my outer skin causing me to itch. So I wonder how that may be effecting my inner tissues. Could there possibly be irritation there too? When I eat right, no itching. I seems to make a lot of sence. Does it sound medically rational? Would it be wise for me to get blood tests for allegies? I’ve done all this on my own through trial and error. Might it be more healthful to get some testing? Or could I be on the right track about my health anyway?

  • Hi Lizzy,

    Thank you for your reply; it was very helpful. In your reply to me, the link for the cookbook in #1 is missing. I would be very interested in this book. Could you send me that link? Or post it here?

    Thanks 🙂

  • I was recently found to have an auto immune problem, undifferentiated connective tissue dz. i am in chronic pain most every day…pills given to combat the issue. But I also find I suffer from bowel upset most days. I feel bloated as if you stuck a pin in me I would explode. I have noticed recently this happens when I eat wheat crackers..paying attention to intake has helped. A weight gain, regardless of diet restriction and constant work outs, has been a major issue. I feel frustrated and out of it most days….interested in any feedback or advice…thanks…:)

  • I used to suffer from acne. It never reached the point where I had to see a dermatologist, but it was still embarrassing. Of course, if you asked the so-called experts, they’d tell you it was strictly hormonal and that there was nothing you could do short of taking OTC medication and seeing a dermatologist. Then I read The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, who recommends the complete elimination of grains and dairy. One of the reasons he gave for eliminating dairy was that it causes acne. This was the first time I had ever heard anyone say that. Like most Americans, I grew up believing milk is good for you. It’s an excellent source of calcium and protein. So I decided to cut out dairy and see what happens. I saw far fewer breakouts. A few months of going dairy and grain free, I started to have concerns that I wasn’t getting enough protein. I was already eating plenty of eggs, meat, and fish. So I decided to supplement with cottage cheese. Within a few days, three pimples appeared. And then another one a few days later. The only change in my diet was the reintroduction of dairy. That’s when I knew dairy was the culprit. Now I’m back to eating dairy free, except for a small amount of goat cheese that a sprinkle on my salad. I’m happy to say that my skin looks much healthier.

  • “…food-specific IgG4 does not indicate (imminent) food allergy or intolerance, but rather a physiological response of the immune system after exposition to food components. Therefore, testing of IgG4 to foods is considered as irrelevant for the laboratory work-up of food allergy or intolerance and should not be performed in case of food-related complaints.”
    Testing for IgG4 Against Foods Is Not Recommended as a Diagnostic Tool: EAACI Task Force Report.
    Stapel SO, Asero R, Ballmer-Weber BK, Knol EF, Strobel S, Vieths S, Kleine-Tebbe J; EAACI Task Force. Allergy. 2008 Jul;63(7):793-6. Epub May 16,

  • I am glad that my sister sent me your news letter. I am always interested in reading and getting new information. I have a friend who has food allergies to all the above and she was told what to do in order to get rid of the rash on her body. She also has MS. I worry about what can happen if she continues down the wrong food path.

  • Hi Dr Hyman
    It’s so good that you are helping so many people with your pioneering work.I stopped listening to most of what the medical profession advised many years ago.Unfortunately I don,t have a doctor anywhere near my home in Nottingham (UK) who practices functional medicine.
    I’ve had headaches and blocked sinuses for as long as I remember and in the last 10 or more years I’ve also suffered with abdominal bloating, weight gain, cramp-like pain under my left breast and acid reflux.These symptoms have eased but not completely gone since I stopped eating gluten and many food additives. A few days ago I had an episode of vomiting and the worst pain I’ve ever felt, in my upper abdomen which lasted many hours and has now settled into a dull ache in the area of my liver. My GP thinks its gallstones and I’m awaiting a scan to confirm this.
    Do any of your books address a natural solution to gallbladder disease and do they advise a diet plan for my problems.
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  • I discovered my non-celiac wheat sensitivity through the help of a chiropractor. I tried internists, allergists, and ear/nose/throat doctors to resolve my chronic sinus inflammation, but all failed to identify the problem; even though the allergist did a skin scratch test for wheat. I described my problems to the chiropractor, who said it was classic food allergy symptoms. I eliminated wheat and the problem was solved; this was around 1993. I have known since childhood that I have a dairy sensitivity, but have ignored it until this last year when I learned about the damage it was doing to my immune system. Now that I am off the dairy, my acid reflux has cleared up, because I no longer have the sinus drainage problem the dairy was causing.

  • I was so happy to find your article on Huff Post today. I have recently been introduced to gluten- intolerance because of my 20 mos. old son. For the first 18 mos of his life he would hardly sleep – he would wake within 3 hours of going down and then was restless throughout the night – tossing & turning and waking over & over again. I repeatedly asked my pediatrician for recommendations & was told it was my issue for reacting to it. I tried to assure them that there was something WRONG – this wasn’t just a baby wanting his mommy. I searched online for months to find an answer & finally came across an article linking restless sleep in infant/toddlers to wheat/gluten. I removed all wheat/gluten products from his diet & within a week he was sleeping through the night! I went back to the pediatrician for allergy testing. They ruled out celiacs & explained gluten-intolerance as the answer. I was just thrilled to have a happy baby & a full night’s sleep!
    I am excited to have found your website – my husband & I are considering transitioning ourselves & our 4 year old to a gluten-free diet as well & this gives me a great reference point for information. I have been told for years that I have IBS and this article makes me think there’s more to it!!

  • After the birth of my third son I started to notice that I felt more tired than usual and started to suffer from chronic headaches and sleepless nights. I figured that these, and other symptoms I started to experience, were normal for a mom busily taking care of three young children.

    I have been ill for the past 15 years with many symptoms that kept getting worse, or new ones would appear. I visited doctors through the years desperately searching for an answer to why I felt so sick and weak. No one could determine the cause of my health problems; I would be prescribed medications that would treat some of the symptoms giving me temporary relief, or add more symptoms caused by the side effects of the medications.

    Blood tests ruled out arthritis (of all types), lupus, lyme disease, etc but no doctor could help figure out why I felt so sick all of the time. Some of the symptoms I experienced were: chronic anxiety that caused panic attacks a few times a week (there were no specific triggers that would cause them); chronic insomnia (could not sleep without sleep aids); depression; severe and constant arthralgia, chronic fatigue; constant abdominal pain; mouth ulcers (which started appearing in the last year); itchy, dry skin patches on my legs appeared about a year ago; worsening rosacea (my cheeks were always inflamed), and the list goes on.

    I gained a lot of weight as a side effect of the medications I took and, because I hurt so much and had so little energy, I could not exercise to help lose the weight (which made me even more miserable which kept me in a vicious cycle). My vitamin D was extremely low so when I started taking supplements I started to feel a little stronger.

    I learned about gluten intolerance from a friend, did my own research and realized that many of the symptoms listed linked to gluten intolerance were ones I experienced too. I changed my diet to a gluten free one to see if it would help me in any way. I was so desperate for relief I was willing to try anything new. I am happy to say that I am a different person now and it has only been about six weeks since I started. I feel stronger every day, I have lost weight and have lots of energy which makes me want to exercise and remain active all day long. Most of my symptoms are gone and the change is noticeable enough for people to comment about it. Even my doctor, who met me as a blubbering and desperate mess, asked me what was I doing differently that led to such positive changes in me when I last saw her for a follow up visit.

    I am so grateful for websites such as this one that provide such useful information that has changed my life for the better. I am proof that eating the right diet is directly linked to good health and total well being and am sharing my experience with others in hopes they may be helped in some way from the information.

    • Wonderful Ana! We are sincerely glad you are feeling so well. Thank you for sharing your story with us and your community.

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Team

  • Dr. Hyman! Thank you for a wonderful resource here! I ‘like’ you on Facebook as well, and can’t begin to tell you how many friends I’ve told about you – read your books – read all that you say, and just love it.

    A year ago I gave up wheat and dairy in an attempt to see if I possibly had food allergies. 80#’s lost – no longer take medication for adult ADHD. I’m calm – thin – and have a new lease on life. Turned 50 this year! I basically only eat food that has no label. : -) I enjoy fruit and sweet potatoes as my ‘sweets’ now. It’s a new lifestyle – and I’m thrilled. I had no idea how horrible I felt as I ‘dieted’ and ate all the ‘food’ that was marketed to us as ‘healthy snacks’. Every one of them – loaded with the very foods that were keeping me obese.

    Thank you!

    • Incredible Jayme! Thank you for sharing your hard earned success!

      In good health!

  • Hello

    I have just started reading the Blood sugar solution in view of prevention of diabetes which is in my family history. Over the past 5 years I have been experiencing many “odd ” reactions to foods like tingling mouth & throat & inflammed hands & wheezing when handling raw fruits ( generally pitted ones plus apples & kiwi ) and some vegetables. ( carrots, celery, peppers) Also most tree nuts. I am told this is “only an oral allergy syndrome & isn’t likely to lead to anaphylacsis”. I find if most of my food is cooked I’m better. It makes no difference if I eat organic or not with the symptoms. It is most frustrating to “try & eat healthy ” when I have these reactions.I have gained 10 stubborn pounds since perimenopause.
    Shall I continue to eat as I can tolerate or completely avoid these foods? Could there be another explaination?

    • Hi Joy,

      Thank you for sharing your health concerns re: allergies and food sensitivities with us. You might benefit from Dr. Hyman’s UltraSimple Diet. It can help reboot your system while helping you test for food sensitivities. As for the foods which seem to trigger you, yes, it is best to avoid those as they clearly are proinflammatory for you. You might do well on a gut healing program as well. HEre are some resources:


      There are certain test available to you which can help bring you some answers to these questions. It is best to work with a trained practitioner while doing these functional tests. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your zip. Progress accordingly from there.

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • many thanks
    I was pleasantly surprised to find one practitioner in my postal code ! I will research the suggested links

  • Dear Dr, Hyman,
    I am a blessed mother of six, and have developed asthma over the past 3 years, I have taken alot of meds for asthma, with huge side effects, i am currently taking 2 puffs of ventalin fha every 4 hrs, and i have recently seen your broadcast on GPB, I know your book has been a answer to prayer. 🙂
    I will be purchasing your book, but for now, I have been drinking a green juice , that i had my local earth fare juice for me, for detox, it consists of kale{ 2 different kinds} spinach, apples, bannana’s and apple juice. also i am eating salads, is the apple juice ok to be using? it is refrigerated and organic, i have been doing this for 3 days, hoping to decrease my dependence on the asthma meds. i have 3 girls and 3 boys and my loving hubby, and i so want to get my health back so i can better take care of them.
    i also have irregular heartbeat, and have for 20 years, along with fast heartbeat. i stopped taking all heart meds 18 years ago. i am on a mutivitamin,
    thank you for your awesome wisdom, i believe it comes for the Lord~ 🙂
    Blessings~ tausha

    • Hi Tausha,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with asthma and your juicing protocol. We are glad you are involved with the book as it sounds like this will provide a lot of answers to your questions! As a reminder, when you join the BSS you are awarded a 1 month free nutrition coaching trial where your personal health needs will be addressed related to Dr. Hyman’s program. Be sure to stop by so the nutritionists can work with you!

      One bit of nutrition advice- avoiding inflammatory foods known to trigger conditions such as asthma and irregular heartbeat is important. I suggest begin by removing all gluten and dairy from your diet. You will learn more about this in the book and be provided numerous alternatives to choose from so you do not feel as though there is nothing left to eat! Also, have you had your thyroid examined lately? To learn more about how an underactive thyroid may relate to some of your symptoms please see:

      We look forward to seeing you in the community soon. Make sure you join a community forum and get involved! Log on to and get going today!

      In good health!

  • I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Studying this info So i am happy to exhibit that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I so much unquestionably will make certain to don?t forget this web site and give it a look regularly.

  • I will try to make this short. In 2009 I fainted in the train and was diagnosed by several doctors. I was suffering from “migraines”, “vertigo”, “vasovagal syncope”, and “fibromyalgia”. Since then I’m usually lightheaded. This Jan I went on vacation to the carribean. Upon my return I broke out in hives for days. My allergist said my ige was 1370. He prescribed antihistamines which didn’t allow me to function at work. Then followed conjunctivitis, asthma flare ups, chronic diahrrea. I’m now deficient in b12, and d and low in phosphate. Recently I had an allergic reaction to a sweet potato fry that was mixed with shrimps. Bloodwork wad done on food ige and it showed I’m allergic to shrimp, oats, apples, rye, peanuts, beef and hazelnut. I have removed dairy from my diet as well as breads and sweets. I must mention my gallbladder was removed last year due to gallstones and between June 2011 and now I went from 194 lb to 152 lb. I don’t want to lose anymore weight but want to know the cause of all these symptoms. I’ve had asthma, eczema and allergies (environmental) for years but since my trip this Jan its just been worse. I’m tired of taking pills and I’m tired of being afraid to eat. I’m usually fatigued, lightheaded and feel “off”. There must be a way I can get more energy and control better my asthma, eczema and allergies. Thanks

    • Hello Cindy,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      If you would like information on becoming a patient at The UltraWellness Center please see “How to Become a Patient” at That site is designed to give prospective patients a comprehensive source of information about The UltraWellness Center. You may also feel free to call The UltraWellness Center at (413) 637 9991.

      Regardless of becoming a patient at The UltraWellness Center, it sounds like you need to consult with a doctor. Please seek medical attention for the issues that you outlined in your message.


      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I have been following The Blood Sugar Solution since April 1 now and am so pleased with the results. I am not eating any legumes, no soy, no dairy, very little fruit, no juices or starch or sugar, including alcohol. I have never felt better in my life. Eating flesh and greens seems to be the way for me to go! Losing weight, feeling great, no cravings for sugar, dairy, bread, etc. after the first two weeks. I accidentally got a little humus (legume) and a little tabbouleh (bulger wheat) on my cucumber used for dipping Saturday night at a pre-Mother’s Day fest in a Turkish restaurant. My eyes began to itch and burn, I retired at 8:30 PM and awakened at 8:00 AM Sunday morning. I don’t need any tests to tell me the way I am eating now if how I want to eat henceforth and forever, Amen! smile

  • Hi! I just finished a 10 day diet. Which I think is a food elimination diet to detect a food allergy that is causing my stomach to blow with every meal and what ever I eat. Water will bloat me also. It was called metagenics. I also have a very hard time losing weight. It didn’t work. Stomach still bloated even with their food suggestions no weight loss either. I just want my stomach to go dawn. And Im want to be able to eat with out mt weight creeping up no matter what I eat. I give up.

  • I have been sick and miserable for so long, but I keep trying to find a doctor who can help me. Most tell me to see a psychiatrist. I have gerd, a hiatel hyrnia, IBS, food sensitivities, interstitial cystitis and can’t loose weight. I can’t afford to see a functional doctor because I’m on Medicare and it doesn’t cover the doctors that can help me. I’m at a loss.
    I have eliminated so many foods that I’m down to fruits, veggies, and rice. I still do eat candy and dairy (cheese and yogurt), but feel I’ll go nuts if they have to go, too. I’m 71 and find exercise very difficult because of bad knees and arthritis in my back. Where do I start??

    • HI Barbara,
      Thank you for sharing your concerns. Sounds like you are really eager to begin working on healing and we would love to help you. Have you considered that you might need more protein or that certain nutrients aren’t being absorbed which might lead to craving the sweets? Not that we dont want you to enjoy your appetite but certain types of sugar can be quite inflammatory. By ensuring adequate nutrition status symptoms tend to decrease!

      You can work with Dr Hymans nutritionists online for an affordable cost and begin getting the care you need. Plese go to:

  • I eliminated wheat for a few weeks and then tried Einkorn. An hour later, my heart was racing. I have had at least 1 heart attack, so that was serious, but I couldn’t resist trying it again a couple weeks later. This time the Einkorn tasted harsh like raw broccoli multiplied by radishes. It hurt my esophagus and it hurt my stomach and it hurt my intestines for 8 days and I was sad, and low in energy, yucky for a week. With THAT memory, I’ve had no trouble staying away from grains since.

    I sleep soundly again and I have no more constant chest pains. But my gut is as bad as ever ( I think its no longer getting worse, at least). So I know I have more to learn.

  • I am so happy to see this information being brought to the masses. We have been teaching this in our programs and people are having amazing results. Thanks for your awesome, pioneering work, Dr. Hyman!

  • Hi. I had the ALCAT testing for food sensitivities about 6 months ago, but never implemented it. Are you familiar with this testing and do you know how accurate it might be?
    I am wondering if it is the same as the IgG testing you mentioned.

  • I have been getting mixed answers from doctors about my celiac test results and it is extremely frustrating. My Immunoglobulin A is 184. Reference Range is 46-287. My IgA was 37, with Negative being 30 units.

    Two doctors told me my results were negative. Two others said positive. I go to a different doctor for a check up soon and was going to hold off on going gluten free until I spoke with him but I have recently gained 10 pounds for no reason.

    My mother has celiac with all the common stomach symptoms. I do not have any of the common stomach issues, but I do often feel extremely hungry and have cravings often. So yesterday I decided to do gluten free and woke up today 4 pounds lighter.

    Any insight you can give me is greatly appreciated!

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Questions regarding medical conditions cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • My two year old is allergic to dairy and eggs. She has acid reflex and is on elevate Jr. She has had this problem since she came out of the nicu off unneeded antibotics. She is always sick, has ear infections two to three times a month. They are wanting to do an EGD on her, I do not see the reason for it. She is already on a diet and takes prevacid.
    Please help I need answers, stories, and advise. Please help…….

    Thank you

    • Hi Karesha,

      So sorry to hear this. Questions regarding medical conditions cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      If you would like information on becoming a patient at The UltraWellness Center please see “How to Become a Patient” at You may also feel free to call The UltraWellness Center at (413) 637 9991.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • My boyfriend has severe food allergies to many fruits and vegetables, which makes trying to eat healthier quite a challenge. Many fruits and vegetables, that shouldn’t be a problem to eat, he finds difficult to consume – such as berries, kale, stone fruit, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, etc. He has been trying to lose weight, but due to these allergies has not had much success in either losing weight or replacing those lost nutrients. I honestly suspect that he has a condition called Oral Allergy Syndrome, because whenever he eats those specific fruits & vegetables – he has had symptoms ranging from both either constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomitting to more severe symptoms such as swollen hands, tongue, face to tightening of the throat. I understand that, according to Dr. Hyman, true food allergies (in his opinion) are relatively rare – but what advice is there for people in such a state who are desperate to be healthy and try to follow the ways to become so, but yet almost all diets and treatment plans have failed. I ask this because he has tried to visit numerous nutritionists and doctors who have turned him away, because they have no answers to help him. I know he doesn’t want to live his life on just supplements and a couple of fruits and vegetables. If there is anything to reduce his Oral Allergy Syndrome naturally – I know he would greatly appreciate it. Please is there any advice for this problem? Thank you.

  • I have a 10 year history of several autoimmune disorders which no physician could explain. I have hashimoto’s throiditis, alopecia, bursitis, IBS. I even had an episode of atrial fibrillation (although be it not an autoimmune disorder). I was diagnosed with several food sensitivities 8 months ago, including gluten, dairy, eggs, and whey. After cutting out all of my moderate and severe allergens I have had significant improvement in my symptoms, not to mention by overall feeling of well being. I am a physician. I feel like my eyes have been opened to the true art of medicine. I find myself wanting to share my knowledge with others and scream from the rooftops how we are killing ourselves slowly from the inside out. We want to conquer and beat heart disease, diabetes and cancer but Americans don’t want to be proactive and prevent it. Everyone wants a quickfix pill. The answer is simple eat right, cut allergens, feel better.

  • Has anyone heard of Dr. Coca’s pulse test for detecting food allergies and sensitivities? Dr. Coca was an Immunologist with quite the pedigree. He found that after you consume food that you are sensitive to, your pulse increases by a certain amount. There is an iPhone app that implements this pulse test and has successfully detected Gluten sensitivities as well as sensitivity to other food additives. You can do this test at home without the app just by taking your pulse as described in the paper “The Pulse Test” by Dr. Arthur Coca. Dr. Hyman, do you have any experience with pulse testing? I hope this helps some of you. It has helped my friends find reactions to things like a certain Luna Bar or trail mix and of course Gluten!

  • I have been unable to loose weight for years…and even gain 10-12 lbs some months…without changing my diet..etc. Before I cut out the gluten and Dairy..I was already eating low carb….staying away from wheat (my daughter has Celiac Disease)…and I have never drank milk…although I did eat dairy products. I cut out Gluten and Dairy 17 days ago…yes..I am counting the days. LOL. The first few days were really rough…with muscle cramps..and loss of appetite…dizziness..fatigue ….and lots of nose blowing…breaking out with small pimples everywhere..even on my arms and stomach…super dry skin..etc…things seem to have calmed down a bit, Thankfully.
    Anyway…I was hoping that this would help me finally start loosing weight…and so far…nothing. 🙁 I do not overeat…if anything…I have to force myself to eat enough calories in the day….and supplement with coconut get my good fats in.
    How long does it take for the healing process to begin…and the weight to start coming off? Thank you

    • Hi Shannon,

      Dr Hyman would suggest a trial of 6 weeks. You might also have other imbalances in your body that require attention. To learn more, visit:

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started. Thanks!

  • Im 45 yrs old, have a curve in my spine and have had neck, shoulder and lower back pain on and off for 30 yrs. I am going thru a spell now with my lower back. My chiropractor and medical doctor both say I have inflammation in my lower back which is causing a lot of sharp pains, constant pain and a good amount if immobility. My chiropractor says it could be gluten that is causing the inflammation. The medical doctor does not agree with that. From reading some of your information about inflammation on here, I don’t know if you are talking about the same kind of inflammation I am having that comes from gluten. So, can gluten cause inflammation in my lower back?

  • Hi, I was a mess. In late May, I read the Blood Sugar Solution. It changed my life. I feel great! I was sick and tired and in pain all the time. I have lost 70 pounds and have no cravings and plenty of energy now. I am off all medications now, (prilosec was he hardest to give up) I suppose because of my leaky gut. Life is good, I refer everyone’s who asks me what I am doing, to read your book, I know lives are being changed. One question, my hair… comes out in clumps….I remember it did this ago when I tried The Atkins Diet, and I used that as an excuse to quit back then. Now though, i eat so healthy. My hairdresser said that when there is a metabolic change, the hair is the last thing to respond. Will this stabilize in time? Is there anything I can do? My full brush and clogged drains thank you! I am so greatful you came into my life!!!!

  • Dear Dr. Hyman,

    I have cut out gluten – three years, and just 5 weeks ago I have cut out dairy and eggs because I tested as having leaky gut and inflamation from these foods.

    I have gained weight??? I read that cutting out dairy can cause your body to make calcitrol that can make you gain weight. I ate dairy three times a day..and eggs every day. Could my body just be adjusting..

    any advise would help.

    • Hi Doreen,

      Thank you in your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • Hi Mark,

    I have been diagnosed with several allergies by a naturopath namely yeast, gluten, soy and egg. I have suspected for a few weeks now there is more that I am allergic to that I am still using as I am very sleepy and my skin has severe breakouts again! After reading your article, I realise vinegar may be one of them… I have recently been eating mustard because it is hard for me to flavour my food at work with my food issues. I think I will eliminate that and see how I go. If you have any other suggestions I would greatly appreciate them. Also, any suggestions about how to flush it out of my system once I realise I have had something bad would be great too. Thank you so much for your book and website! It is so hard to follow and it is truly disheartening when you think you are doing your best by avoiding your allergens and you still somehow wind up with reactions! 🙁

  • Dr. Hyman,

    I’m hoping you can answer a question for me on dairy allergies. I noticed my newborn son suffered from excema and reluctantly gave up dairy as I was nursing him. Not only did his skin clear up perfectly, but my ever so slight runny nose that I had been dealing with for years also went away. I continued with a dairy free lifestyle (lost 10lbs, too) until this Christmas when I decided to have some dairy as I found the entire christmas dinner was packed with it. The next day I was hit hard by what I can only describe as hayfever symptoms – terrible runny nose, watery eyes and incessant sneezing. I forgot to mention that giving up dairy completely took away the “hayfever” I suffered with every spring.

    Is it common for the body to have such a severe reaction after re-introducing dairy? I did have quite a bit over a 24 hour period and two days later I’m still suffering. If this is indeed dairy related, I’m never touching that stuff again.



    I have gluten sensitivites that i found out about after my 10 years of undiagnoised fibromyligia (which was finally found by my dr a few years ago) and also i have Ibs. I have gone gluten free for 2 years now which has helped some. But i still am over weight and can not seem to be able to loss any weight. I am not diabetic and no sleep apna except for sleep issues with my fibro. I follow a organic and whole food diet. I suffer from unknown pain on my left side near my tummy which comes and goes. Dr found nothing wrong. I walk every day about a mile to work and back. My biggest issue i think is sugar! I cant seem to remove to completly from my diet. I crave it all the time. I also get chronic yeast infections i think caused by my sugar. How can i fix ths issue? Been trying for years but just keep failing. HELP!


    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • My weight was out of control. I was eating things I thought were good for me. My Functional Medicine Dr. Frank Antonino, urged me to get food sensitivity testing. I did. Learned I was highly sensitive to the things I thought were good for me, like turkey, asparagus, black pepper, mushrooms, etc. Changed my eating to fit the sensitivities starting January 6, 2012. I have lost 50 lbs and feel amazing! I now know when I eat something wrong. Best decision I ever made.

  • Can you post your recommendation of diet for patients with Vasculitis- as another type of autoimmunne disease. I am more particularly concern for Takayasu Arteritis case. Thank you very much.

  • i had chronic ear infections as a child, high anxiety and spinal curvature. at onset of puberty, i craved food more, leading to a bit of weight gain, but lost at end of puberty. at age 20, i began to eliminate junk foods (sugar, breads, beef) from my diet. no more earaches. by 24, i had eliminated sugar, most dairy, bread and meat. my staples were lightly boiled potatoes, greens, butter, ezekiel bread and fresh orange juice on an empty stomach. i became lean, muscluar and slept very soundly..i kept healthy until my first child was 3 when i was put on prozac to manage anxiety due to a difficult marriage. because of a long commute and stressful job, i began to consume junk and caffiene. i gained 50 pounds in 10 months and for 8 1/2 years, have failed to lose it. i am finally off caffiene, but struggling to resume my clean diet..when i do, i no longer need nose strips to sleep and my weight drops rapidly..i feel i have a severe intolerance (as shown my copious mucous, inflammation, indigestion and weight gain) to beef, shellfish (oysters and lobster esp) pasturized and sugared dairy (kefir and raw cheese is ok on occasion) bananas, all yeast breads, colorings, esp yellow. time for me to be tested for more info and confirmation of these issues. arthritis runs in the family, but i have kept it at bay. thank you 🙂

  • I don’t have any gut issues per se- nothing that I really notice anyway. My digestive system is regular and in pretty good shape and my diet/fitness are pretty good. But my osteo has challenged me to eliminate gluten and dairy as a trial as I’ve always had bumpy skin on the back of my arms and have middle back issues. He also thinks that (even though my bmi is in the healthy range) I will drop a few kgs as my body adjusts and my gut health improves.
    I was sceptical! I still am! Three days in, my gut is making the funniest, most audible sounds and I feel queasy. I know it’s a change in diet so there will be a period of adjustment. I’m going to stick with it for a month and reassess.
    Thanks for the article; it’s good to find quality information online.

  • Hi there.
    When I was a kid (really young) I had bad allergies (seasonal from what I remember). I had an allergy test done and the allergist said to my mom at that time “she’s allergic to everything”. As time went on I suffered with allergies and hives all the time. As I got older, into my 20s and 30s, the hives were isolated to my eyes and lips. I went to an allergist and he said I didn’t have any food allergies but was allergic to environmental factors. He suggested I take an anti-histamine daily, which is what I have been doing for a few years now – no hives. However, I have always been a headache sufferer (sinus and migraine) and continue to get them daily – it’s just become “normal” for me. A few years ago I had severe pain in my fingers ( I couldn’t extend my fingers or open my hands). I was tested for lupus and celiac disease and both came back negative. An X-ray showed minor swelling in ONE finger. My blood work was normal. I took medication for a while but stopped it when I read about the side effects (possibility of losing eye sight) – the pain hasn’t returned. I was recently diagnosed (about a year ago with GERD). My weight has gone up but that’s because my diet has been crappy (processed food/ready-to-eat/frozen “healthy” meals). Could all of the symptoms, even the ones I don’t have any more (pain in fingers, hives) be because of food intolerance? I hate feeling like garbage everyday.

    • Hi Leanne,

      Yes, your symptoms could be related to food sensitivities and inflammation from a leaky gut. You might consider looking into both of these books by Dr Hyman for more information:
      1. The Blood Sugar Solution
      2. The UltraSimple Diet

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • Dr I am just learning all of this stuff about leaky gut and how allergies affect the body. I just happened upon your site and agree wholeheartedly with what you’re saying about food and how it can make our bodies react. One thing that I will incorporate into my plan of action is NAET. It’s an allergy elmination treatment that is non-invasive and permanent. I know-sounds to good to be true, but I know for a fact that its true. Anyway, there are Drs, Dentists and Chiropractors in every state who practice NAET. I recommend that you check into this and really investigate how this would complement your current plan of attack on allergies/leaky gut etc.

  • My wife was 104 when we got married. Now 193 and climbing. She says she is fine, but it has seriously affected our marriage. She should be about 140 or so. Please help me help her. How can we/she talk to you? She has now acquired white spots on her Arms like I have seen so many overweight people have, and just plain becoming rolly polly. starting to waddle instead of striding. I can’t take it anymore. It literally is driving me crazy. Please tell me what I can do for her. Do you have a clinic? Ben Hilty

  • Hello,

    I am 22 and have not yet had any allergy testing at the hospital as I wanted to try and see if I could discover the allergen myself. However, this does not seem to be working.

    My face seems to regularly swell up once I have awoken from sleep in the morning. This first started when I as on holiday last year and I was given an injection by the emergency doctor.
    My lips and my entire face swells and my chest gets wheezy and my whole body feels a bit odd.

    What should I do? I have no clue how to get rid of this!?

    Thank you.

    • Hello Grace,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Medical advise cannot be given in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hi,

    I feel like i’m the one here with most atypical symptoms. Last winter I started feeling a huge increase in my appetite and i was putting on weight like nuts. Whenever i didn’t eat my stomach would hurt or I would feel a huge discomfort. This got so bad to the point that I would wake up at night with severe hunger and during the day the fatigue was extreme. I was diagnosed with h.Pylori, but before I stopped eating gluten after reading online that the symptoms were similar. Things improved a lot but eventually my hunger came back. The only difference was that now i actually had a healthy appetite, whereas before I had to eat not to feel ill and because of the discomfort in my stomach. I saw several doctors whose best advise was to get me anti-depressants which i never took. After the H.Pylori treatment and quitting coffee I felt much better, but the hunger sometimes comes back. I am thinking that this could be related to dairy (i eat Greec yogurt and sometimes cheese) and eggs. I noticed I felt really bloated \after eating eggs. My thyroid is fine I tested negative for Celiac, but I guess I am sensitive to gluten. i am having an endoscopy next week to look for ulcers although the Drs are convinced I have none. If you have any advice about what could cause this hunger pains and if they could be related to food intolerances/allergies that would be great. Thank you,

  • I have a gluten sensitivity and I am not over weight. I have all the issues of bloating and diarrhea I noticed when I eat gluten free I feel so much better my problem is I don’t eat all day because I’m scared I’m going to be sick so I starve myself all day until I get home. I know this isn’t good but what would be a good start for me. Because I can’t drink milk either. How can u help me.

  • I have re cently heard that so called auto immune diseases may be caused by a type of bacteria without cell wall. The one for rheumatoid arthritsis has been identified. I have sarcoidosis. Can this diet protocol help me even if there are bacteria as a causative factor?

    • Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. Unfortunately Dr Hyman cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum. For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • I have had ins Symptoms apparently but 4 heard of bloat weicht gain And stomach pain. Terrible acid reflux with awful fatigue. I went into hospital with pancreatitis where they insisted i was alcoholic. Well.i hardly drink because It makes me so ill in the stomach And they Still dont know what is wrong. Everything i eat makes me feel ill And sick . They have out mild colitis in my records because i have such regulr inflammation in my blood And bowel but Everything else comes up normal. I Just Wish they wouldnt give up in me. I User to be so fit And Healthy.

  • I just googled my systems and your article came up. I am from America’s bread basket:Kansas we eat bread and drink milk all day. I have been chronically tired for yrs. I can only work part time and then its a struggle some days. I get migraines frequently and the older I get the worse and often they are. I know migraines are hereditary as my aunt, grandfather and great grandfather all suffer from migraines. I have tried every migraine on the market except Topamax and nothing has worked. Most start in my neck where I have herniated disk, but several are from my hormones and cycle. I also suffer from an RA osteo-arthritis, sleep apnea, im over weight and can not shake the weight no matter what I do, im insulin resistant, and I suffer from insomnia and wake up periodically and cant back to sleep at night along with lots of joint pain.
    I know have hormone issues but my OBGYN whom I have had for 25 yrs shrugs it off same with my D.O doctor I have had for 27yrs.
    I went ti a functional medicine NP which is on your list who practices out of a gynecology office. She was highly recommended by a client who use to go to the same OBGYN as I did for yrs. This client was telling me how great of a gynecologist PA she was and that this NP had helped her with compounding hormones etc. and got her on the right track and now she has loads of energy and she sleeps well etc and she no longer feels foggy.
    so I make a well woman exam appointment with this NP after keeping me waiting in the room for 45 minutes she cuts me off when I tell why im there and who sent me she does the exam but not nearly as thorough as my OBGYN and says I need to make a functional appointment. SHe never even asked me my hormonal issues night sweats, insomnia etc like my OBGYN did ( I know my OBGNY never did anything about it but at least he asked) after she did the pap smear she helped me up kinda put down my doctor left the room and that was that. I was devastated im tired of being tired and I came in to this new office thinking this was going to be my answer and she came highly recommended and I was told she helped so many of my friends. I went back to work and I bawled my eyes out later that evening I was so disappointed I entered that office at 25 minutes to 11am so 25 minutes before my appointment to fill out paper work and left at 12:30 and most of it was waiting.
    I was so disappointed after reading your article and using your search tool to find a functional medicine doc in my area and this NP was the only one that came up :-(n… Im going to buy your book ( I hope I can purchase it as an E book) but im really apprehensive about calling that NP for a functional appointment. I was so upset and disappointed by my first experience this past Thursday Jan. 23rd . Im going to try eliminating dairy and gluten but boy im scared and I just don’t know what I am going to do about the functional appointment. I have a PPO plan and im guessing my primary DO doc is not going to give me his blessing, so that means out of pocket I cant afford anything now as it is..
    thanks for your blog

    • Hi Julie,
      We’re sorry you had a negative experience! I hope your subsequent visit was what you had hoped for. Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see:
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I had a Cyrex Array 3 and 4 test. All was normal. Is it possible to have intestinal inflammation if I don’t present problems from gluten and dairy?

  • When I was pregnant with my daughter I developed a gluten intolerance. When she was born I had to completely eliminate gluten, dairy, and eggs from my diet because she had sensitives to those. I lost the baby weight incredibly fast, I was down to my pre pregnancy weight by 5 months postpartum. When she was 6 months old I reintroduced dairy and egg, and my stomach was perfectly fine with those. At 9 months I reintroduced gluten, and that was a mistake! I blew up ten pounds (ten pounds is a lot for my petite frame). I try keeping it out of my diet, but it’s so difficult. I was doing really well on my diet, limiting my gluten intake to a minimum. We went on vacation, and stayed at some friends houses, and most of our meals consisted of some sort of gluten. Before I left for vacation I was at 118 lbs, and my belly was relatively flat. The whole trip my stomach was in pain and bloated and when I returned home and stepped on my scale I was at 128. It’s crazy how much bloating and weight gain I have just from eating gluten.

  • Hello,

    I’ve followed a few of your detoxes over the years. About 4 years ago I followed the detox to discover what foods you are sensitive to (I recall refraining from dairy, gluten, tomatoes, fruits, and eating a lot of chicken and rice). I remember introducing all of the foods, and not noticing any reactions to them. However, I generally refrained from eating a lot of garbage food. I felt the best that I had ever in my life (energetic, not lethargic etc). I followed this pretty closely for 4 months.

    I recently did the 10 day detox (for 2 weeks), and attempted to introduce gluten. I discovered that I am sensitive to gluten 🙁 However, after sticking to that detox, I found myself feeling better near the end of the 2 week period (more energy, not requiring naps), but not nearly as good as I did the first time.

    I’m just wondering if I should follow the principles of the 10 day detox for a longer period of time (lets say 6 weeks), and see if I notice great improvements, or whether or not I should try restricting more potential allergens from what I am eating now.


  • I just got my little one tested for food sensitivities (with EDS screening as I wanted non invasive as she is only 5 months old). I realize there is not a lot of research on electro dermal screening, but she came back with a sensitivity to gluten, soy, yeast and strawberries. Do they grow out of this? I am still breast feeding hence why it is so important for me to know what I am ingesting… I am doing well with everything except yeast! It is in everything and I can’t seem to find a good resource that lists foods to avoid except the candida diets (these avoid sugars etc., that I don’t need to worry about)…. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Hi Julie,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:

      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see:
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hello Dr. Hyman/staff,

    I am a healthy woman in my early 20’s that discovered a few years ago that I was basically caffeine intolerant. Anytime I would have a small amount of caffeine (coffee, soda, chocolate, etc…) I would have severe GI distress which would led to me having gastritis (for weeks!).

    I eventually eliminated every source of caffeine from my diet. I even tried decaf coffee and decaf tea, which still made me sick (because of the small amounts of caffeine). I then tried caffeine-free tea and caffeine-free herbal coffee- and those products still gave my GI problems.

    Shortly after I recognized my caffeine intolerance I developed an intolerance to dairy products. I had gone 21 years of eating dairy products (daily, with no problems) and then I just woke up one day and my stomach couldn’t handle it.

    I have been to numerous gastroenterologists, allergy doctors, and family practitioners and no one has been able to explain it- they just tell me that it’s not possible to be intolerant to caffeine or they try to give me a pill.

    Have you talked with anyone with this allergy? While it might not be possible, I would love to be able to drink coffee once in awhile.

    Thank you for your time!

  • I have intolerance to dairy, so I’ve decided to give it up for 90 days to see if I can then reintroduce it and eat it once in a while without suffering from congestion and stomach issues. I’m also breastfeeding, and I’m wondering if that will affect my body’s ability to heal from the intolerance.

  • I’ve been alergic since childhood and often suffered from asma, rinitis and sore throat. Rinitis continued to make me suffer until adulthood plus sinus pain. When I was around my twenties I was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis though I had no obvious symptoms, only a little anemia and puffy face in the mornings. End up I went through a Kidney transplant at age 26 after 3 months of hemodialysis. At age 38 I started having stomach pain and was diagnosed with pangastritis and was put on lansoprazol for a while. At that time I had already cut a lot of dairy from my diet but was still eating yogurt and fresh cheese. I was noticed that before a stomach crisis I had eaten tost for breakfast and started suspecting gluten intolerance. I went through all the lab testing and nothing accused food alergies or celiac disease. I cut down dairy and gluten for good measure though. Then I went on a trip to South Africa and ate gluten and cheese every day for 5 days. I started developing a strange alergic reaction that was latter diagnosed as angiooedema. I went to at least 3 doctors and none found out what I was alergic to. I had this alergy for over a year until I finally identified by myself that I was alergic to dairy and gluten. I heard about the elimination diet just a few days ago and now I think I might be alergic to other foods as well. Thank you for all these amazing information that can really make my life better!

  • I’ve been gluten free for almost a year and while I can say I feel a little better I am still suffering symptoms. Joint pain, bloating, digestive issues, constipation. I have been reading about histamine intolerance, immune response to foods and non-immune response to foods. It would suffice to say I am thoroughly confused. I do know that when I drink even 1/4 of a glass of wine, I flush, and feel a tingling feeling throughout my body, it feels like my heart rate increases. This happens to me at other times without wine. I have Hashimotos, Fibromyalgia, high blood pressure.

    • Hi Diane,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Are there any functional medicine doctors practicing in Ontario, particularly somewhere in the GTA (greater Toronto area)?

  • I am sitting here crying from the pain of red hot skin. No rash. No redness. My doctor says it’s probably B12 deficiency, but didn’t do a test. I’ve been on B12 pills for a month and no change. All of my skin that has pressure applied hurts. Like, elbows, lower inner arms, backs of legs and, for some odd reason, my whole entire stomach! I can’t find an answer. My doctor won’t listen to me. I am a 59 year old female. My husband has been helping me eat better, but I can’t lose weight. It’s really strange. I’ve always been small and never had problems losing weight if needed. Any ideas?! It’s like I’m in The Twilight Zone!!!!

    • Hi Teresa,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you a speedy recovery!
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hello,

    Thank you for your article. I have been struggling with digestive issues since I was born with colic so sever it caused violent vomiting as an infant. Over the years Ive had several serious malnutrition bouts due to gastritis, and the inability to digest and hold down food. 31 years later, after much hospitalization and medical testing I was told this week after an allergy test that I am allergic to wheat, soy, beef, milk, garlic and cinnamon! Its nice to be validated, and I will be working with my dietitian to create a meal plan Im comfortable with. Food allergies and intolerance can be life altering, thanks for putting awareness out there.

    • Thank you for sharing your story! We wish you a speedy recovery!
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Is the Life Extension food sensitivity blood test accurate? I did this test and have lots of food sentitivities according to their results. I cannot seem to lose weight and feel like I have to eat every 2 hours or I get foggy/loopy/spacy and somewhat dizzy.

    • Food intolerance blood tests have pros and cons, and the gold standard to identify food reactions is an elimination diet. If you have made major changes to your diet, it may take some time for your body to adjust to the change. If you are not already working with a functional medicine practitioner, we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hi, I started having IBS issues about 3 years ago at18 , right after graduating high school. For as long as I can remember I have felt “uncomfortable” in the tummy area, even when i was really little. But after high school I would go through these horrible stomach pains and be extremely nauseas all of the time, it was worst in the mornings. I even noticed stretch marks forming in my tummy area, I am a female and I was never tiny, but I was never obese either. People were commenting on my weight, asking if I was pregnant all the time because it was only my stomach. It seemed to have bloating AND dissension, I was expanding everyday in my midsection. After having enough of it I went into the doctor. I found out I was severely constipated and was told to raise my water intake, exercise, take stool softeners, and/or change my diet. That was all I was told after going in multiple Times for this issue. I was so sick and uncomfortable I didn’t know where to start. Not wanting to be on any pills, I did as told being so desperate, it helped, but that’s all it did. I knew there was more to this sickness then needing to take stool softeners, but I needed to start somewhere. I started to feel discouraged, I felt I was only putting a bandaid on this sickness. I wanted answers. I soon realized that this is MY body and I am my own best judgment, I cannot expect others to give me an answer key to my body’s functions. After only coping with this for a year and a half, I started doing a lot of research in IBS and soon after I started a food diary. I knew I needed to change my diet, but I didn’t know what to take out or keep in. After tracking my food and how it made me feel I did find out that breads and creams and milk were the major components contributing to this horrible pain, nausea, uncontrollable weight gain, fatigue, depression, stress, related sickness I was dealing with. I read a lot into IBS and read that gluten and lactose actually are key factors in IBS symptoms. I took them out, I threw out everything containing them, bought a New toaster and replaced everything I needed to in the kitchen to become free of gluten and lactose. Now, at 21 years old, I have been gluten and lactose free for 5 months and it has been a process and I still have a long road ahead, but everyday I am feeling more “human”. First starting the diet, it was difficult because I took gluten and lactose out cold Turkey. I had to do a lot of research and still, every day consists of a lot of meal planning and fighting cravings. I noticed a difference right away in how I felt, less groggy, my skin had its glow back, and I dropped 8 lbs in the first week! I have always been pretty active and ate healthy. Sadly, my diet, like many other Americans, consisted of a lot of bread, wheat bread. I was eating wheat bread and yogurt daily thinking I was doing the right, healthy thing. The second week was like the first, I was better everyday, and then the third week struck. I read about withdrawals some people went through after cutting gluten, but I didn’t know what was ahead for me. I was a zombie, everything was so foggy for a whole week. I threw up everything I ate, my body was rejecting anything and everything. I was basically bedridden for the whole third week. After surviving the withdrawals, everyday has been better. So it was well worth the pain. I didn’t have any ‘slip ups’ but I did accidentally buy the wrong granola bars and after taking a tiny bite, I realized it was whole wheat, not gluten free, and i expanded within an hour after eating it and was sick for two days. Lactose slip ups I have had. When gluten free foods contain milk in small amounts I noticed it doesn’t affect me negatively, but if there is a lot of milk ingredients, I will get sick and bloat. So I don’t even enjoy a lactose or any gluten containing food as a treat, I completely elimated them. I drink 4 to 6 bottles of water daily, take 0 stool softeners, and exercise 2 or 3 times a week and 5 months later, I am 50 pounds lighter and feeling A LOT better! In 5 months only!!!!! The best part is, I can only improve with this newfound lifestyle. I really hope my story can help anyone in this similar position, health is one of the biggest blessings anybody could have.

  • I tested negative for any food allergies about two years ago. I also tested negative for celiac disease. All of my autoimmune problems and weight gain persisted though, despite a “healthy”, organic, sometimes vegan even, diet and daily hourly walks and hikes and gym workouts. I reached 180 pounds this past year and just about broke down. I finally re-considered what I knew about gluten and dairy sensitivity, did some research, found this woman’s story (it sounded exactly like my own story!):, and then went full throttle with going gluten and dairy free. In two and a half weeks I am losing weight and already my arms and legs are smaller, my belly is gone, I am sleeping through the night (I am female and 47 years old by the way). Just DO IT!

    And I do want to point out that I eat a mostly plant based diet, but I eat chicken, steak or fish at dinner every night. I do NOT replace traditional gluten & dairy based foods with non-gluten, non-dairy foods (like gluten-free, soy pizza, for example). I have found that it is far better to change everything. I now make completely different kinds of foods: green smoothie for breakfast, pumpkin seed snacks, frozen grapes, big forbidden rice or quinua slads filled with vegetables and gluten-free vegan dressings. At dinner I have more of those salads with some protien.

    I do NOT count calories. I DO eat jelly belly beans. I DO have alcohol.

  • I am a 41 year old Vegan. In recent years, I cannot seem to lose any weight despite eating clean and exercising regularly. I started gaining my 39th year…even while training for 5 half marathons in 5 months! I am now thinking problem might lie in one or all of these 3 areas a) persistent stress (although since the beginning of the year, I have added a daily meditation practice) b) a food sensitivity or c) Bikram Yoga (could the heat – a negative agitator in Chinese medicine – be negatively impacting weight loss through water retention?). The main question I have is… If I am to pinpoint a potential food sensitivity and eliminate the top allergens, where am I to get protein since I’m Vegan?? Would hemp/veggies/quinoa be my only options? Would seeds be allowed? I welcome any and all feedback. THANKS!

  • Sidenote: I eat very little to no gluten…I haven’t had any this year so far…

  • I just battled trying to give up sugar and Dr. H is right. It is very hard to do so, but after a few days I did surprisingly well! I personally feel I have been addicted to it for years. Now I am afraid that if I have sweets as part of a social event, for example, I may start the cascade of sweet eating all over again. Can one be addicted to sweets?

  • So I have recently learned I have Gluten intolerance. I will be finding out if I have dairy intolerance too.

    But what about coffee?
    I drink espresso based coffee twice a day (caffeine free)! And am addicted to the flavor!
    Does this mean possibly no more coffee for me?

  • I know it’s possible to develop seasonal allergies later in life (from personal experience), but is food sensitivity or intolerance something a person can develop when they’re older? Or are we born with or without certain food sensitivities?

    • Hi Cheri,
      It is possible to develop allergies from any source as you age due to changes in the immune system and other factors from foods to your environment. We recommend working with a healthcare practitioner experienced with food sensitivities to guide you in identifying any foods that may be triggering symptoms.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hello! I have a 14 year old daughter who has gained a significant amount of weight in the last few years. She is a competitive swimmer, plays volleyball and basketball as well as regularly rides her bike. By teenage standards she eats superior to other teens (no soda, no fast food, limited processed food, etc,..). We visited her GP and a nutritionist to go over her eating habits and she is right on track on where she should be with diet and exercise. We eliminated gluten but does not seem to have any effect on her one way or the other. In my internet searching I saw your article on dairy with with the Dr. Oz show. My daughter is congested constantly and she LOVES to drink cow’s milk among other dairy items. We are in the first week of your dairy elimination diet and will try probiotics next week. I am curious to see how long it may take to see a difference (if any) in her breathing and possibly her weight. I am hopeful this may be the answer but would like to know what your thoughts are on the subject of teens and what the next step would be. Any insight would be helpful! Thanks!

  • Hi Dr. Hyman

    I have been diagonosised with a number of food allergies via IgG blood tests. However, I receive IgG infusions monthly because of a collapsed immune system so I wonder if the IgG tests are valid since the IgG I have is not mine. My blood tests indicate I have additional allergens (estophill is high). Is there another way of finding food allergens other than an elimination diet?



  • An internal medicine friend who’s started practicing functional medicine suggested I try eliminating wheat and dairy to start after my gluten sensitivity tests came back negative. My body was a mess – high cholesterol, chronic pain, IBS, etc.

    I didn’t “notice” any changes in my symptoms during that 3 month trial period until the doctor noticed a 9 pound weight loss. My rheumatologist dismissed gluten sensitivity “as a fad,” and suggested I get off the regimen my friend put me on. The weight came right back on, and my gastrointestinal tract revolted.

    I went back on this dietary change, and have had profound results: 35 pounds lost, increased energy, lower anxiety, and an overall improved mood.

    Any time I “cheat,” my stomach has issues. If only the conventional medical community had a better diagnostic tool. The blood tests are clearly insufficient.