* The G.A.R.D. Made Simple- I wrote this on June 9, 2005 at the request of a doctor who was interested in this elimination diet
for his epileptic patients. Again, this site was originally intended to be used by my clients- lay people searching for answers
to medical issues that they did not understand. But I do realize that the length of these papers drives medically-inclined
crazy. To be honest, it would me if I was looking for immediate answers for a problem case. BUT, I still contend
that the fast-food approach to our problems is totally inadequate, and at some point, we MUST see the big picture
again. So, I walk a fine line in my attempt to educate my clients while enlightening my colleagues, often resulting
in overly lengthy papers. I guess I'd rather over-explain than under-explain. I hope this summary-style paper helps.
The G.A.R.D. originally stood for the "glutamate-aspartate restricted diet" after
its limitation of these two non-essential, neurostimulating amino acids that are also the parent compounds of MSG and aspartame
(Nutrisweet) respectively. They are now termed "excitotoxins" and known triggers of seizures and inciters of some neurodegenerative
diseases. However, the G.A.R.D. also stands for the "gut absorption recovery diet" due to its removal of
the "big 4" foods (gluten, dairy, soy and corn), which are all capable of inducing the damage to the intestinal villi that
characterizes celiac disease and the related food intolerances.
So in the case of epilepsy and other conditions for which the G.A.R.D. should be applied (pain sydromes, ADHD, insomnia, and neurodegenerative disorders
such as MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and others), the diet is not only a quick Band Aid for the symptoms but also
a major part of the long-term solution for these conditions, as this paper will explain.
* The Glutamate/Aspartate Restricted Diet (GARD)- This section will be a series of posts that I have placed on applicable sections of a large medical forum known
as BrainTalk Communities (found here: http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/index.php?). This site is an expansive set of forums that cover medical conditions ranging from Alzheimer's to Visual Impairments.
I have personally contributed to threads on many of these forums, including those dealing with ADHD, ALS, Celiac Disease,
Epilepsy, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, and Child Neurology. The main reason for my involvement in these forums can be
found in the content of the following posts. I hope that you get something very special from this section. It is my personal
* How to Control Idiopathic Epilepsy Naturally- Because most of the principles and therapies that I outline for the treatment of epilepsy also apply to many
of the conditions that readers are seeking help for, I recommend that those suffering from insomnia, chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia),
ADHD, bipolar disease, and other neurological disorders also read this paper. It is a summary-style article that outlines
the steps I took in my own recovery and therefore have recommended to those with similar problems. It can be found in the
Epilepsy and Diet section found here: http://dogtorj.tripod.com/id2.html.
* Foods to Avoid, Foods to Enjoy- In this section, I will try to make it clear which foods should be avoided when coping with the
"excitotoxin"-related disorders such as epilepsy, insomnia, ADHD, chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), and neurodegenerative
diseases such as ALS, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and more. Autistic patients should benefit from these dietary
guidelines as well, especially the avoidance of the gluten grains, soy, and dairy products. Please also check out the
autism, ADHD, and food addiction parts of the Appetizers section.You can also read my paper "What in the World Do I Eat???" for more ideas and explanations.
*Now for the GOOD News
- On these dietary restrictions, I just want to make one thing very clear. We are
restricting the level of glutamate and aspartate in the diet because the neurons and supportive cells of the
brain are diseased and cannot handle the high levels of this non-essential, neurostimulating amino acid in our typical
diet. The good news is once we are off the “big 4” long enough, the process does reverse. After we
have recovered then we can usually go back to eating some of those sources of glutamate and aspartate that are
not one of the “big 4”. Just remember- "Everything in moderation"
*Estrogens in Food
- There are estrogens in foods which should be considered in formulating the ultimate diet, especially
for women and those suffering from epilepsy, pain, and other excitotoxin-related disorders. We know
are inflammatory and immunosuppressive and sensitize neurons to the action of glutamate (e'g catamenial seizures, PMS). I
will be expanding this section as time allows. Please also see the Appetizers
section for more on this and other issues in women's health.