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"The Answer"

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You can now go to the new site!
 
The New DogtorJ.com is done! Yes, the time has finally come for this homemade Website to go the way of the buffalo. I know that you all join me in looking forward to using a site that is better organized and more accessible....prettier, too! I've even corrected most of those annoying typos (I hope).

Feel free to check it out now at www.dogtorj.com. I am still working hard to populate all of the pages so don't worry if a link does not work. They should all be active in the near future. In the meantime, this current site will remain on-line until I get all of the bugs worked out.

Let me know what you think! It's not too late to make some changes.

Dogtor J

 
In This Section:
                                                                                                                            

 

The Answer - to "Why is the Plane of Our Nation's Health in a Death Spiral?"  This 40-plus page paper is my first major paper, written in 2001 and hurriedly placed on this site on that fateful and tragic day of 9-11. It represents the culmination of nearly two years of research on the subject of food-related disorders and contains an amazing amount of facts that have been hidden from public view concerning this subject. It covers how certain foods came into being and common usage and how they directly relate to such conditions as epilepsy, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, ADHD, pain syndromes, depression, and allergies. Severe immune-mediated diseases like diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are also covered.

I wrote this piece in about two days, drawing from my research and exam room conversations that I had with my veterinary clients while sharing this vital information. To be honest, I barely proof-read it before deciding to publish it to the Web on that day that changed all of our lives. I had been studying numerous things in addition to medicine over those two years that preceded the composition of The Answer and my head was in an "interesting" place when our country was attacked. In short, I felt compelled to put this piece on my site immediately and without further review.

I planned for months...which turned to years...to review and rewrite this paper. Yes, it needs some serious editing as some of you have pointed out. But I have to say in my "defense" that this paper represents a...no THE...major turning point in my life. Prior to this, I absolutely loathed writing. This "flaw" is one of the things that kept me from pursuing academics following my rather high-powered internship. The adage of "publish or perish" scared me to death.

But something changed inside me as I learned the truths that I am now so desperate to share with the entire world. Call it a mission or a quest or a calling but it changed me...thoroughly. (You can visit the Editorial section for more insight into this metamorphosis.)

So, I have decided to leave this paper alone, letting it be what it is...a first attempt to share this vital information about our declining health and a landmark for me- a historical marker that I can always look back on when I want or need to see how my life was changed forever.

Yes, it is quite long, but it appeared on my computer screen and was placed onto the Web just as it came out of my head. And it is wordy in places. Hey, I like the sound of my own voice. LOL.  And like I tell my clients, "There is no law that you have to read it all in one sitting. Think of it as a free, short book rather than a long research paper. It's all how you look at it, right?"

The one thing I can say is that this information WILL change your life...guaranteed!!!

* "What in the World Do I Eat???"- (NEW!!!) This is my latest paper, placed on the site in February of 2004 in response to that recurring question of "What is there left to eat when you eliminate all of this stuff you talk about?". This short work outlines the sort of thing I eat on a daily basis while reviewing and re-emphasizing some of the reasons for those choices. Hopefully it will clarify a few things and help the reader to realize that it is not the end of the world when they choose to follow this elimination diet to improve their health. All it takes is a bit of creativity...once you understand the basic ground rules. The cool thing is that it does not take long to see results and man, oh, man is the effort worth it. It only takes a small step of faith...then, you're off and running.

 

 

THIS information...
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...is for ALL mankind.

 
 
The Answer
to
"Why is the Plane of Our Nation's Health in a Death Spiral?"

By DogtorJ.

©2001 DogtorJ.com

 

FORWARD

Please Note: I have recently included the following Table of Contents. I have done this primarily to give readers an idea of the topics covered in this paper. However, I would encourage you to read this essay from the beginning, for it tells a story in addition to providing facts and insights concerning our medical plight. Those who jump into the middle of this subject without the prepartory materials included at the beginning will likely be disappointed and confused by the subject matter presented.

This paper is based on exam room lectures that I have given over the past year and a half. In addition to the accumulation of data from both my pets and clients, these exam room sessions taught me what I believe is the best way to convey this message. Questions raised about the logic behind this concept forced me to the veterinary medical, human medical, and history books to satisfy their and my curiosity.

What I found should astound you as it did me. The paper is filled with historical evidence, medical facts, and personal insights that arose from applying the knowledge
that I had acquired. The distinction between those elements should be clear. If not, then I would love to answer any questions, comments, or accusations personally by Email, the address being provided at the end of this article.

I would encourage the reader who gets confused by "med-speak" to not get bogged down by the medical jargon. Anyone who knows me personally also knows how I like to hear myself talk. This paper was originally intended to be utilized by veterinarians and medical doctors. However, I have come to realize that the public needs this information more than anyone and should have it provided to them directly. It is your lives at stake and only you can really take charge and gain better control of your health.

I truly hope that The Answer provides just that for you...an answer to your health needs. If not, then I have not done my job yet. I am continuously working on this subject and will provide additional information in the Addendum that follows. In the meantime, I hope that this paper provides the reader with much needed information and a new perspective from which to launch an effective attack on those diseases and conditions that affect us all.

Dogtor J.


©2001 DogtorJ.com


 

 

THE ANSWER- to "Why is the Plane of Our Nation's Health in a Death Spiral?"

By Dogtor J.
©2001 DogtorJ.com


TABLE OF CONTENTS...........................................page


1.INTRODUCTION..................................................1

2.0 BACKGROUND..................................................2
2.1 Why is a veterinarian writing this?........................2

3.0 CELIAC DISEASE AS A MODEL............................2
3.1 My brother's story...............................................3
3.2 "This is me!" .....................................................4

4.0 HISTORICAL EVIDENCE.....................................4
4.1 The History of Wheat......................................... 4
4.1.1 The key ingredient in wheat..............................4
4.1.2 "Common wheat".. is created.............................4
4.1.3 The Dark Ages and the Plague...........................4
4.1.4 "Coeliac" Disease and Natural selection..............5
4.1.5 Black Americans- The newest celiacs?.................5
4.1.6 Sickle Cell Disease- Now and Then.....................5
4.2 The History of Milk..............................................6
4.2.1 The Big Mistake...............................................6
4.2.2 The key ingredient in cow's milk.........................7

4.2.3 The Dark Ages and Plague revisited....................7

4.3 Soy Protein- The Third Big Mistake........................7

5.0 MEDICAL EVIDENCE..........................................8
5.1 How Gluten and Casein Harm the Intestine............8
5.2 Malabsorption and Maldigestion............................9
5.3 Casomorphins and Gliadorphins............................9
5.3.1 Autism and ADHD...........................................10
5.3.2 Caffeine dependency.......................................11
5.3.3 Food addiction...............................................11
5.4 Low-carb Diets- The True Benefit........................11

5.5 Lactose Intolerance- The Real Story....................12

5.6 Osteoporosis- A Natural Perspective....................12

6.0 THE IMMUNE SYSTEM-Good with the Bad...........14
6.1 How Perfect It Is..............................................14
6.2 How Imperfect Our Judgment Is..........................14

6.2.1 The worst example.........................................15
6.2.2 Similar mistakes............................................16

7.0 CONCLUSIONS THROUGH ILLUSTRATIONS.......15
7.1 The Definition of Pestilence................................15
7.2 The Origin of Inhalant Allergies...........................16
7.3 The Three Phases of Our Immunity's Life..............17

8.0 THE WORST OF THE WORST- A Veterinary Tale..17

9.0 THE PATHOGENESIS OF DISEASE.....................19
9.1 We've Been Set Up...........................................19
9.2 Latent Viruses..................................................20
9.3 Viruses and Food Proteins- The Missing Link.........21
9.4 Hydrogenated Oils- The Great Facilitators.............22
9.4.1 The Origin of the Heart attack..........................22
9.4.2 The Origin of Type-2 Diabetes..........................22
9.5 Veterinary Illustrations......................................23

9.6 The Battle Begins.............................................24
9.6.1 The Age of Onset...........................................24
9.6.2 The Progression of Symptoms..........................25
9.6.3 The Role of the Fast-food Industry...................25
9.6.4 My Family Tree Explained................................26
9.6.5 New Diseases vs. Old Immune Systems.............26

10.0 A GLARING EXAMPLE.....................................27
10.1 Multiple Sclerosis- The Ideal Model....................27

11.0 THE PARALLEL UNIVERSE..............................28
11.1 Cow Milk- The Who's Who of What's Bad............28
11.1.1 Why You Hurt..............................................28
11.1.2 Hormonal Effects..........................................29
11.2 Those Pesky Amino Acids.................................29
11.2.1 Glutamate, Phenylalanine, and Aspartate.........29
11.3 Fibromyalgia- My Cure......................................29
11.4 Rheumatoid Arthritis- Inflammation and Pain......29
11.5 Artificial Sweeteners and Other Neurotoxins........30
11.6 Epilepsy- It's Not "Idiopathic" Anymore!!............31
11.6.1 The Veterinary Cure for Epilepsy.....................32
11.6.2 The Human Cure...........................................31

12.0 APPLIED KNOWLEDGE...................................32
12.1 Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS.......................32
12.1.1 Parkinson's as the Perfect Example.................33

13.0 THE "TRUE" ROLE OF GENETICS....................33
13.1 Genetics Over-emphasized...............................33
13.1.1 Oh, no! We've Mapped the Human Genome......33
13.2 Where Do We Go From Here?...........................34

14.0 CONCLUSION................................................34
14.1 The Simplicity of The Answer............................34
14.2 The Forces Behind The Spiral............................34
14.3 Check Your Fork At The Door.............................34

15.0 ADDENDUM...................................................35

16.0 A FOOTNOTE.................................................36

 

 

THE ANSWER- to "Why is the Plane of Our Nation's Health in a Death Spiral?

By Dogtor J.
©2001 DogtorJ.com

 

INTRODUCTION

There has been a 40% increase in the rate of diabetes in this country over the past decade. There are one thousand new cases of multiple sclerosis diagnosed every week. One person an hour dies of melanoma. An incredible 44% of American deaths each year is attributable to one condition alone -atherosclerosis, the condition underlying strokes and heart attacks. A person dies of a stroke or heart attack every 3.5 seconds in this country. 15% of Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer's disease but a staggering 50% over age 80 have this devastating condition. There are on average 135 new cases of Parkinson's disease diagnosed every day and 40%of them will develop Alzheimer's disease. Both of these horrible conditions are now occurring in younger victims, with 5-10% of Parkinson's disease striking before age 40. Parkinson's Disease alone costs the average sufferer nearly $6,000 annually in medication while costing the nation an estimated $5.6 billion in Social Security payments, lost income, and nursing home expenditures. Over 2 million people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, many of the cases occurring between 20 and 30 years of age and afflicting women twice as often as men. This painful and debilitating condition costs the American economy nearly $65 billion annually in lost wages and production. But the crowning blow to Americans is the word no one wants to speak...cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, over one million Americans get cancer each year. Approximately 33% of women and a phenomenal 50% of men will get some form of cancer at some point in their life. How could this be? How, in the age of modern technology and rapid infusion of scientific knowledge, could we still be in the Dark Ages of medicine when it comes to understanding the origins and pathophysiology of these diseases that plague us all? The Answer is right before us.


BACKGROUND

Medical doctors who are reading this have to be asking themselves why a veterinarian feels that he is qualified to tackle such an issue when the scope of this topic is clearly out of his jurisdiction. The answer to that reasonable question is complex yet completely understandable. First of all, the disease processes that we are faced with personally and professionally are very similar. Dogs and cats suffer from most of the human conditions and many in more abundance. For example, the cancer rates of dogs exceed those of people. These pets are plagued with virtually all of the immune-mediated diseases that we experience, such as diabetes and lupus.

Secondly, my profession appears to have one distinct advantage over the medical industry. The fact is that veterinarians have a rather unique perspective on medicine these days in that we continue to see our patients from birth to death. Specialization in human medicine may have afforded better care for individual conditions but has the apparent downside of creating a lack of continuity that, in turn, prevents some health care professionals from seeing the big picture. To an observant veterinarian, patterns become readily apparent that oftentimes aid tremendously in the art of diagnosing our patients conditions without the obvious support of verbal confirmation by our patients. If only they could talk is the standard comment offered by our clients. Fortunately, by performing a thorough physical exam of all systems and by taking a thorough history, we can, with the aid of supportive diagnostics like blood work and radiographs, do an amazingly good job of diagnosing our patients without their consent. The patterns that we have observed in that patient or in our hospital during that week or month or even season give us that additional edge to perform our job more accurately (and with the least trauma to our patient and the lowest cost to our client.) All of these factors filter into the art of veterinary medicine. Because we do not have the insurance industry to fall back on, this skill is a necessity, not an option. Has the medical professional inadvertently lost some of their ability to perform this art as skillfully as in the past by focusing so keenly on the individual discipline or disease process? Has the "Pearl Harbor approach" to diagnostics subtracted from the physicians ability to reason his way into that diagnosis?

I want it clearly stated at this point that the purpose of this paper is not to lambaste the medical profession but rather to illuminate the true elements that have contributed to the downhill slide in human health. These factors have developed as a result of our advances as much as shortcomings. This may be an absurd statement to the intellectual in our midst, but can be understood by all upon completion of this treatise. The role physicians and veterinarians play emanates from their individual perception and understanding of what is presented and accepted as truth. Each of us has the responsibility as caregivers to seek out this truth and apply it to the best of our abilities. This is a collective as well as an individual effort, and is molded in part by our individual experiences. Herein lies the genesis of my motivation. What I have experienced and learned over the recent past has launched me toward a brave new world of medicine. My understanding and compassion have reached new and much needed heights.

It is clear that the best way for us to help someone is to "go through the fire" ourselves. Once accomplished, we have the empathy and understanding it takes to truly aid those in need. This is the crux of the matter and why I am writing this article. "It takes one to know one" is the childhood comeback. No truer words were spoken.


CELIAC DISEASE AS A MODEL

In April of 2000, I would have a life-altering condition dropped in to my lap. I found out that I had celiac disease, otherwise known as gluten intolerance. Gluten is a complex of proteins found in the cereal grains wheat, barley, and rye. An intolerance to these proteins leads to a myriad of allergic reactions and other immune-mediated responses causing a wide variety of symptoms. This diagnosis came about in an indirect fashion through my brother. He had been experiencing weight loss and severe abdominal pain for a few months and had made two or three trips to the emergency room for sharp, unrelenting discomfort. After a complete work up, including blood work, MRIs, barium series, colonoscopy, and more, his doctors were at an impasse. The only abnormal finding was an iron deficiency anemia. Little did they know that they held the key to the diagnosis in their hand.

Out of the blue came an Email from a friend of his concerning celiac disease. His friend was a medical researcher and Internet buff who came across this "disease" as a match for Rob's symptoms. My brother brought it in to his "doctor" brother to read one day in my veterinary hospital. When I read the pages from www.celiac.com, my mouth fell open and I said " Well, Rob. This is you all right. Trust me. When this many things fit, it is the answer. But, Rob! This is not just you, this is me! It describes my symptoms perfectly." And it did. My chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, insomnia, heartburn, allergy symptoms, and even my fibromyalgia were described on those pages. I immediately committed to going off foods with gluten as well as launching a full-scale investigation into this elusive condition.

Of course, Rob was definitively diagnosed through the available celiac screening blood tests and later by duodenal and jejunal biopsies. (Gastroenterologists familiar with celiac disease now suggest that 8-10 biopsies may be required rather than the customary 2-3 samples.) The "key" I mentioned, of course, was the iron deficiency anemia. It is the "red flag" for celiac disease, in retrospect. I was "diagnosed" by my dramatic response to the elimination of gluten and later by testing my son, who had suggestive signs at 10 years of age. My wife and daughter were negative on the blood screens. My father was clearly the primary source and again, in retrospect, had been a clinical celiac for years.

I launched into a study of gluten intolerance that would rival any research I had done in my academic study or career. This was partly motivated by my brother's condition
but really fueled by my rapid improvement from nearly all of the maladies that I had been suffering from since childhood. Within four days, my head cleared mentally from a fog that only the right amount of caffeine could do. I had felt depressed or fatigued since I was about thirty-five and was even treated for acute endogenous depression in that time. Four days off gluten and I felt better than I had in years. My diarrhea stopped, my ears bothered me less, my (severe) heartburn subsided, and I started to sleep better. It was miraculous. This really got my attention.

My study of gluten took me to places that I could not have imagined. My symptoms were just a small sampling of the less serious conditions associated with celiac disease. I found out that celiacs have a fifty times higher rate of colon cancer, intestinal lymphomas, and diabetes (particularly juvenile onset) than the general population. We had much higher rates of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid diseases (both hypothyroidism and Grave's Disease), multiple sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, and much more. Finding this out really got my dander up and I was hooked on Internet research.

I had been off of all cereal grains (wheat, barley, rye, and oats) for six months when I read that at least 50% of celiacs were also casein intolerant, casein being a principle component of cow milk. It is gluten's evil twin. I immediately sensed that dairy was, in fact, a problem in me so I dropped all dairy products and started researching casein-related disorders. That is when the planets started to align. My shoulder, neck, back, and knee pain all went away and my insomnia disappeared. All that was left was a small remnant of my seasonal allergies. The study of dairy intolerance revealed relationships to all of the celiac-related conditions and more. The consensus of the latest medical opinion appeared to be that dairy protein, most notably casein, was behind diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, coronary artery disease, and lupus. It was everywhere I turned.


HISTORICAL EVIDENCE

"How could this be?" I asked. How could the staples of our diet be doing this to us? I researched the history of wheat and milk and came up with some vital answers. Wheat as we know it was created by man in the first millennium by blending a number of its ancestor strains together. Anyone can find the history of present day wheat in their encyclopedia. Between my son's World Book Encyclopedia CD for the computer and celiac websites, it didn't take long to gather all the specifics.

The ancestors of wheat grew wild in the Middle East for thousands of years B.C. and were most likely consumed in the form of seeds initially. Later, porridges were made. The next step in this food's evolution was likely to be a pancake, or flatbread, created by frying the porridge. During this period, our northern Germanic ancestors were in a transition from being hunter-gatherers to becoming farmers. The crop that motivated this major change in "careers" was their new obsession...wheat. They started to cross-pollinate and blend wheat varieties in an attempt to improve the quality of the primitive breads with which they had become dissatisfied. Little did they know that the component of wheat they were selecting for was gluten.

Gluten ("glue"-ten), as its name implies, is the substance in wheat that holds its offspring products together. It is the gluten in bread that gives it the resistance to tearing when peanut butter is applied, for example. Gluten is also used for stamps, envelope glues, and even industrial strength adhesives. It is simple to understand that our ancestors desired breads that did not crumble as easily and were able to hold the shapes that they preferred. Increasing the gluten level provided the solution. In fact, they were so successful at this process that wheat became their primary crop. It was largely wheat that motivated the Germanics to migrate all over Europe, all the while searching for more fertile land to grow their creation. They moved north and became the Scandinavian countries, moved west and conquered the United Kingdom, and went south and wiped out the Roman Empire. Those in Scandinavia became the Vikings who took turns invading the northern parts of the United Kingdom, sailing into the Mediterranean, and then crossing the Atlantic to Newfoundland. Whether we realize it or not, most Caucasians are Germans. The Angles and Saxons were Germanic tribes, not natives of England.

It is believed that common wheat, as we know it, was created in about 400 A.D. This wheat took the gluten level to a new high, suddenly increasing this protein complex to a "toxic" level. This led to the onset of true "coeliac disease", striking our northern Germanic ancestors shortly after its creation and killing large numbers of them. They died of dysentery and immunosuppression, particularly children. I found it incredibly interesting that the Dark Ages followed immediately after the creation of this new wheat. During this 500-year period, Europe plunged into its worst period in history, suffering from stagnation of learning and artistic growth as well as severe medical problems.

It was in the early 500's that the first pandemic of plague occurred. It swept through the Mediterranean region for the first time since 1000 B.C. The question I had was where does a plague go for 1500 years? Why are there cycles of these horrible pestilences? The conclusion at which I arrived was one of the first clues in my search for the answer. Diseases are likely to occur once we become susceptible to them. This seems elementary, but it is really deeper than what comes to mind on first inspection. Later on, it would make sense that many of the infectious organisms we are faced with only become a problem when our immune systems are too weak to fight them off. Even today, we know this is true, with a good example being West Nile virus. In the young and healthy, it causes minor flu-like symptoms. In the immune suppressed or elderly, it can be fatal.

Could it be that the plague was present in the environment for those previous 1500 years only to raise its ugly head when our ancestors did something to weaken their immune systems? Could the creation of common wheat have been that catalyst? The answers to these questions would come later when the effect of gluten on our present day immune systems was better understood.

Since that time in the midpoint of the first millennium, man has "genetically engineered" wheat to have incredibly high levels of gluten. This started innocently enough as the blending of different strains of their new creation. This has continued over time and has ultimately led to present day wheat. Canadian "hard" wheat for example now has in excess of 55% gluten content. This is in stark contrast to the original ancestor of wheat, which had approximately 5% gluten. The proof of this lies in the texture of our newer breads. I can remember the days when spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread required almost surgical skills. Now, with the addition of wheat gluten to the bread mix that is made from gluten-rich wheat, we have a product from which one could almost make a trampoline. These are seriously tough breads. If the gluten killed our ancestors, what must it be doing to us now?

Natural selection took place among the Europeans in those days leaving the most intolerant behind. Those that survived were more tolerant, but the process of increasing wheat's gluten content continued. So, there was a parallel situation of our becoming more tolerant through continues natural selection while we were gradually raising the level of the substance of which we were intolerant. This is one aspect of the "spiral".

In my medical literature review, I quickly found that Black Americans had a much higher rate of many immune-related disorders than Caucasians. In fact, their incidence rates of diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid, and coronary artery disease were very similar to those of celiacs. Suddenly, history and medicine were melded together again. It didn't take long to confirm that wheat and cow’s milk were especially unnatural for African Americans once I examined the diet of their ancestors. 

In Africa, the cereal grains they consume are comprised of the wheat-substitutes we know now to be safe for celiacs, such as sorghum and millet. Recalling that wheat as we know it was an Anglo-Saxon creation, a short return trip to the history books told a depressing tale.

In about 1500 A.D., the slave trade was getting into high gear. The exportation of the African people from their homeland to remote locations such as the Mediterranean and North America would be tragic in more ways than one. I read in one source that approximately 6% of the slaves never made it to their destinations, many of whom died of dysentery. It suddenly dawned on me that they could have easily been the newest batch of gluten intolerants. These transplanted people had never eaten wheat-based foods in the past and yet here they were, under the worst possible conditions, having this new dietary challenge suddenly thrust upon them in the form of the white man’s bread.

 

When I examined the Black American’s current affliction with immune diseases, it all started to make sense. They had never had a chance to pass gently through a more gradual process of natural selection like the Caucasian.  Instead, they hit this potentially devastating immune insult head-on and did so in the much more recent past than did our Germanic ancestors of the fifth century. When I read about the unsanitary and horribly inhumane conditions found on many of those slave ships, I wondered how many of those poor individuals who were tossed overboard after passing away from dysentery might have survived had they not been exposed to the damaging effects of gluten.

 

This notion would drive me to the medical books in search of data on the diseases from which Black Americans suffer most. The list above was quickly confirmed but there was a rather unique skeleton in their medical closet- Sickle cell disease, otherwise known as Sickle cell anemia. I found a strange dichotomy in this incredibly sad and catastrophic condition.

 

In their homeland, the Sickle cell gene helped to protect them against malaria just as it does today in Africa and the Mediterranean. Malaria is a protozoal disease that is usually transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. The injected stage of this parasite then enters the liver where it undergoes a life stage change. This next stage leaves the liver and begins infecting red blood cells. Once in the red blood cell, they are hidden from the immune system until, after multiplying in that blood cell, they break out to infect other red cells.

 

But here is where things get interesting: In those individuals with the Sickle cell trait- in whom there is one gene for normal hemoglobin and one for Sickle cell hemoglobin- the infected red cell becomes deformed and is destroyed by the body before the parasites can be released to infect other cells. In this way, protection against full-blown Malaria is achieved, with the formation of these deformed “sickle cells” helping to prevent further proliferation of the parasite.

 

In other words, the Sickle cell gene was a good thing and, without it, infected victims would suffer and die from malaria. Those without any Sickle cell gene were much more susceptible to the lethal effects of malaria. On the other hand, those who had two sickle cell hemoglobin genes- rather than one coding for normal hemoglobin and one for Sickle cell hemoglobin-were subject to developing true Sickle cell disease and dying at an early age, with malaria being one of the main triggers of this horrible condition. Because of the consequences of both genetic extremes, the majority of the population had one of each gene.

 

So, the Sickle cell gene was an adaptation that protected the population against malaria. And the majority of the population who were taken as slaves had one Sickle cell gene. When did having this gene become a bad thing? Was it purely that these transplanted individuals no longer had the threat of malaria to kill those with two Sickle cell genes when they were brought to America? Is it automatic that an individual with two Sickle cell genes will develop what we know as Sickle cell disease and die? Are there triggers other than malaria that can initiate a Sickle cell crisis?

 

After reading the Merck Manual section on Sickle cell and seeing the list of known triggers and the similarity of symptoms to celiac disease, I hypothesized that a dramatic change in the diets of the slaves could have somehow turned this gene against its host once they arrived on foreign soil. I read that zinc deficiency was a common finding in symptomatic individuals and knew that zinc was absorbed by the duodenum where gluten does its harm. I read that viral and bacterial infections were common inducers of Sickle cell crisis and knew that celiacs were frequently immune-compromised and much more susceptible to such infections. The sudden diet change must have caused an abrupt change in the slaves immune status, just as it did the northern Germanics when they first created common wheat.

In the chaotic immunological atmosphere created by the new foods (wheat, dairy, and corn), could the immune system have become over-reactive to these sickle cells, causing them to adhere to the walls of the blood vessels that carried them and leading to the clots, organ damage, and growth abnormalities that characterize those with chronic Sickle cell disease? Similar syndromes do occur in Caucasians, such as hemolytic anemia, in which the red blood cells become coated with foreign proteins, resulting in their destruction by the immune system. What causes those non-Sickle cells to clump and rupture? 

This paper will specifically deal with the pathomechanisms of immune-mediated diseases, but suffice it to say here that Sickle cell disease clearly has an immune component. The disease process as described in the medical texts is a complex syndrome. It is truly a who's who of what can go wrong with an individual- and this from a gene that used to save lives in Africa and the Mediterranean. How in the world could this happen?

When I first read the description of Sickle cell disease in the Merck Manual, I immediately called my brother. We had been brainstorming for weeks as the medical revelations were coming to our newly unlocked minds. I had been sitting on my bed, performing my new favorite exercise- opening the Manual with my eyes closed and pointing to a page. I would then try to explain the disease or condition on that page through the eyes of food intolerance. One of the first to be dissected was Sickle Cell.

I read the description to him- the pain, the blood problems, the growth abnormalities, the gastrointestinal disturbances, etc. and asked him what it sounded like. He just nervously laughed and said "My gosh, its celiac disease isn't it?" I agreed that the two shared an incredible number of signs. When I went over the whole protection versus death idea, we both concluded that the difference had to be in the immune component introduced or exaggerated by food intolerance.

Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I launched into a brief but manic search for information on the condition over the Internet, and then began relaying what I had found. I was still young and foolish in those days, believing that my Emails would reach the hands of someone important and that I would actually affect a difference. I sent Internet letters to Oprah, Montel, and the Sickle Cell foundations explaining my findings and suspicions. The lack of response was disappointing at first but understandable. These were busy people with thousands of Emails to sort through. They must get millions of letters form well wishers with great ideas for shows or topics. Little did I know that it would be six months of in-house research and a whole lot more study to come up with enough data and insights to write a paper with some real meat in it to send to them in hard copy form.

Wheat had an amazing history and clearly played a major role in shaping the medical conditions that would follow. But, the same thing happened with dairy products. Before 1500 A.D., the principle sources of milk and its derivatives were sheep and goats. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans demonstrated their understanding of the true value of these animals by elevating them to the heavens. The sheep was honored for it's wool and milk and given the astrological name Aries. Capricorn, the goat, was valued for its milk. In fact, part of the name given to this honored creature meant "foster milk". The ox, Taurus, was deified for his work in the fields. It wasn't until much later that man veered from his natural course and chose to mass-produce cow milk.

In fact, it wasn't until the middle of the second millennium that this took place. Somewhere between 1300 and 1500 A.D., our ancestors decided to go into the dairy industry using cows. A decisive factor had to be the usual motivation for most that we do as humans, supply and demand. The corollary to this is ignorance and greed. Suddenly, there was a demand for greater and greater quantities of milk and the cows larger udder was a tempting source. The rest is history.

The main problem with this seemingly logical yet devastatingly ignorant decision was that there was a vast difference between cow milk and that of its predecessors. The protein, fat, mineral, and vitamin content as well as the pH buffering qualities were all different. Some of these differences were subtle; others would be the difference between tolerance and intolerance. Goats milk was much more digestible, forming smaller curds and being lower in the indigestible components such as lactose. However, the most vital difference would not be discovered until the days of immunology and quantitative analysis arrived.

Now we know that the biggest difference between cow and goat milk is the absence or low quantity of one protein fraction, alpha S-1 casein. Understanding of this dairy protein not only serves to explain the lower allergy rate to goat milk, but also sends us in the right direction on our search for the culprit behind other immune-mediated food issues. Casein makes up 80% of the protein in cow milk. In bovine milk, 75% of the casein is alpha casein. In goat milk, the majority is beta casein. The dominant component of the alpha casein in cow milk is the alpha S-1 casein, the culprit we just identified as being responsible for most immune reactions, including milk allergies. There are other differences in protein concentrations, including those lactalbumins in the whey portion, but we will focus later on casein as it relates to the induction of villous damage in the small bowel.

The milk history lesson doesn't end here. The reader is directed to remember the possible relationship between the advent of common wheat and the start of then Dark ages because history repeats itself. The first pandemic of plague occurred shortly after wheat's creation. The second pandemic of plague, by far the worst of the three, immediately followed the introduction of cow milk. This was a phenomenal coincidence to me. This devastating epidemic known as the Black Death started in Europe in approximately 1300 A.D. and killed one fourth of its population. The pandemic occurred in 1400 and spread across Europe into Asia wiping out nearly 40 million people. Just as the dairy industry was getting into full swing in 1600 in England, its true land of origin, the Great (bubonic) Plague of London occurred, killing another 100,000 people. The third and last pandemic occurred in the mid 1800s in China, causing over 20 million deaths over a 75-year period. Had milk and wheat finally reached their land?

Are these historical coincidences? Celiac disease is a historical fact and occurred in those that finally developed wheat into a toxic grain. The ultimate immuno-suppressive effects of food allergies and intolerances are well known and will be covered in greater detail later in this treatise. The potentially devastating effects of an incompetent immune system would have to include increased vulnerability to infectious diseases. Therefore, the timing of these plagues could easily be interpreted as evidence of the horribly deleterious effects off these novel proteins on an unsuspecting population of susceptible people.

Therefore, it should be clear to the reader that man took two very important steps backward when it came to maintaining his health. The development of wheat as we know it was potentially catastrophic in scope only to be eclipsed by the change in horses from sheep and goats to cows as a milk source. Between the two, man was on a collision course with immunological disaster. But we're not finished yet. Humans seem to make a major nutritional blunder once a millennium and the newest "winner" is soy protein.

All one has to do ask, "If soy is so good for us, why have we waited 3000 years to make it a major protein source?" We have known about soy since the Chou Dynasty in 1100 B.C. It was first developed as a crop to place nitrogen back into the soil. Soy was planted about every 3-4 crops for this purpose. Granted, the Asian cultures began consuming this mixed blessing very early on, but they learned quickly the safe and proper way in which to do it. They knew from experience that soy had "antinutrients" and other potentially harmful components, such as threateningly-high levels of estrogen. The manner in which they ate soy was then very well thought out. In the hands of unknowing Americans, the old "if some is good, a lot must be better" mentality takes over. Suddenly, soy protein is showing up in school lunch burgers, meal-replacing drinks, and breakfast cereals aimed at the female market. Without the basic knowledge of the potential harmful effects of soy protein, we are steaming toward disaster.

At this point, a distinction needs to be made between the different nutritional components of the soy plant. As the reader may have noticed, the term soy protein has been used most frequently in reference to the harmful effects of this plant. This protein portion will be the focus of discussion as it relates to the serious effects it has on the immune system and central nervous system. The other "nutritional" component of the soy plant is the isoflavone. This term refers to the phytochemical portion, that part which is primarily composed of the phytoestrogens ("plant-estrogens"). Although the health benefits of plant estrogen supplementation in people are debatable, the protein portion is not, in my opinion.

The two portions arise from distinctly different parts of the plant. The protein comes from the legume seed itself, whereas the phytoestrogen comes primarily from the leafy part of the seedling. It is, therefore, easy to separate the two and reap the (potentially) beneficial effects of soy without subjecting ourselves to the harmful effects of the protein.

The ill effects of soy protein are everywhere you turn, starting as a primary allergen in children and adults. It is number four on the FDA's list of childhood food allergens. This should be a serious warning right away. I discovered it on my own, however. Two weeks of soy milk in place of dairy had my stomach in an absolute knot. I have interviewed numerous clients who attested to these nauseating effects. As we will discuss later, the gastrointestinal effects are only the beginning. Serious immune-stimulating actions as well as pain-inducing effects are common among soy consumers.

Asians then and now eat soy in a specified manner. They would consume only small quantities at the beginning of a meal, eating less than two teaspoons a day. They would then quickly follow this up with a meal rich in animal protein, such as seafood or poultry (and now beef). The protein from animal sources helped to block the antinutrients of soy, such as the trypsin inhibitors. This practice probably also aided in the reduction of the amount of estrogens absorbed.

The estrogen levels of soy are incredible and there is an abundance of statistical data that supports the idea that they have changed the pace of our children's sexual maturation. In studying the age at which the first menstrual cycle occurred in the Japanese before and after WWII, researchers linked the decline from 15.5 years to 12 years to milk consumption. They found that prior to WWII, the Japanese consumed an average of 5.5 pounds of dairy products per person per year. After that war, thanks to American influence, their dairy consumption rose dramatically over the next ten years to 250 pounds per person annually. Over that time, the age of their little girls' first menses dropped to twelve years of age. That was milk talking.

In this country, the this age for our children has continued to drop, with a shocking 19% of our little girls having their first cycle by age eight. That's right...eight! This is the effect of soy formulas being given as a substitute for the cow milk based varieties. Why did we do that? We ignorantly reached for the soy substitute because of the incredibly high incidence of cow milk allergies in our infants. The problem is that soy protein, once again, is the fourth most common childhood allergen, according to the FDA. Why is that? As we will cover later, it is because our body doesn't want this food in us...at all. Allergies are a distinct warning sign. My next paper, in fact, will be entitled Warning Shots, or "How you should have known what you have now was coming based on what you had before." We should now be able to see this one coming from miles and miles away.

But, are we done yet? Are there any other foods that fit into this category of glycoproteins that can be doing us harm? The bad news is that even corn and rice can be significant players in the generation of allergies and related disorders. This should not be a surprise, really, in that they are related botanically to the aforementioned grains in that they are all in the same grass family. Corn is not really a vegetable as most would think but rather it is a grain. The wheat, barley, corn, and rice are really the seeds of the parent plant that we have chosen to consume. So, all of these food sources are related botanically (same grass family) and biochemically (glycoproteins in structure) which should take away that element of surprise when one finds that they react negatively to a number or even all proteins.

This is especially true for our pets. The bad news is that once the animal protein is removed from pet foods, we are left with wheat, barley, corn, soy, and rice, none of which would naturally find their way into the stomachs of our pets. These foods are all man-raised crops that are unavailable to the natural animal.

But how bad can corn be for a human or an animal? The paper will discuss the role of corn in allergies, asthma, and immune-mediated diseases, but recent history gives us a clue as to importance of this protein. Remember those fast food chain taco shells not long ago and the story about the genetically engineered corn that had leaked into our food supply? This was another tip of the iceberg type of story. The stated health risk was allergic reactions. Well, allergic reactions are nothing to sneer at, but immune-mediated disease activation as in the case of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and others is another level of health risk. The latter conditions better explain the urgency of our governmental agencies to remove these foods as soon as possible, spending millions of dollars recalling hundreds of brands of foods containing corn in the process.

More bad news for our pets...they get the genetically engineered corn in their diets. Animal feed is the main outlet for this genetically altered form of corn. Therefore, we have a situation in which an animal that would never naturally eat a particular food (corn) is getting a form of that food that is too powerful for man. Should it then be a surprise that dogs and cats have some problems with corn?

What about rice? Well, the good news is that these trouble foods are on a spectrum of trouble-making. By that I mean that some are clearly worse than others in both incidence and effect in most cases. Wheat is clearly the number one problem grain in man and animals. Oats are clearly the least allergenic of the grain proteins. The others, like rice, are in between. But rice is not a non-allergenic food as some would have you believe. In fact, it is the number one food allergen in Asia, with a staggering 10% of Japanese who have any significant allergy symptoms being allergic to rice. Rice allergies usually show up later in life (adulthood) and are the least common of the grain allergies in pets.

Once again, the reader has to be asking how this could be. The fact is that it was our ancestors who chose to cultivate and develop a taste for these foods. We have just reached a point in our culinary habits where we feel that we cant exist without one of these glycoproteins on our plate. If one was served a meal with (only) a meat, a vegetable, and a fruit, we would cry out for the bread, the corn, the rice, or our salvation...the potato.

Yes, there is a silver lining around what most readers would call this dark cloud and it is called the potato. The fact is that practically no one is allergic to potatoes, one of the best indicators of its safety. The only exception is those uncommon individuals who are allergic to latex, as there is a cross-reaction between true rubber and potato protein in some cases. Otherwise, food allergies involving potatoes are unheard of in people and pets. So, if we must consume a food that is both a carbohydrate and a protein all-in-one, then the potato is your guy. Yes, it has a bad reputation for providing "all of that sugar", but that is a small price to pay for a food that is so perfect otherwise. It is truly non-allergenic (being the only carbohydrate mentioned thus far that is not in the grass family) and a good source of protein and vitamin C. The potato is really only a problem for those who are trying hard to lose weight or already have diabetes. Otherwise, it is good source of protein and carbohydrate, as long as it is not deep-fat fried in hydrogenated oils or covered in dairy products. We must start using our heads.

Yes, our history of eating is not something that many have delved into but it is rich in answers. If the answers we are looking for to vital questions keep alluding us, then we are clearly looking in the wrong places. I disliked the study of history as much as the next person, maybe even more so. If it wasn't about science and the living, I didn't want any part of it. But there is a very important saying concerning there being nothing new under the sun. This implies that the understanding of history is absolutely crucial to solving today's tough problems, including those in medicine.



MEDICAL EVIDENCE

The pathophysiology of intestinal damage from these dietary antigens is well described in both medical and consumer literature. It should be no surprise that the main problem is brought about by incomplete digestion. Because man invited these problem nutrients as described above, then it should easy to understand that we are not naturally equipped with the enzymes to tend to these new foods. This maldigestion results in the incomplete breakdown of these foods resulting in a number major digestive dilemmas, including abnormal protein components and polypeptide chains being available in the small intestine.

One of the most serious effects of this incomplete digestion is actually the simplest to understand. As previously mentioned, the gluten from wheat and the casein from cow milk are used by industry in the production of adhesives, some of which are actually water proof. If one were to put gluten or casein in the Internet search engine of their computer, they would find numerous sites concerning the adhesive properties of these two dietary proteins. The concern should then be raised as to what this glue does once it is applied to the intestinal tract, particularly the first stretch of the small intestine known as the duodenum. In review, it is this J-shaped portion of the intestinal tract that is responsible for the absorption of most vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, B complex, and vitamin C. It doesn't take much of an imagination to see where this road is leading.

The reader is asked to imagine their stomach after the consumption of two or three slices of pizza. This is one of my favorite examples...a wheat plate covered with cheese...loaded with both forms of glue. The stomach spends a good amount of time working on this meal. In fact, both wheat and dairy cause the stomach to empty much more slowly than normal foods, forcing it to spend extra time attempting to digest these two foods. The dairy proponents want to use this side effect of dairy to their (and our) advantage to induce premature fullness and resultant weight loss. They suggest that overweight individuals each a portion of dairy before meals to reduce appetite...and it works. Why? Because the dairy products go directly to the brain and shut off the hunger center and also slow the stomach and intestinal motility to induce a sense of fullness. Why would they do that? Because your body is telling you...no, screaming at you...that it doesn't want these foods in it. Stop eating this stuff is what your brain is saying.

But, it is too late. The pizza is already in the system and has to be dealt with one way or another. So, the "glue" slowly oozes out of the stomach and into the duodenum. It then comes in contact with the delicate, finger-like projections in the intestine known as villi. These villi increase the effective absorption area of the gut tremendously and are essential in proper digestion. They are an incredibly efficient system as long as they are unharmed. They get damaged through a number of mechanisms, including viral and parasitic infections. In our illustration, however, they simply get covered with glue. Does this really happen? Yes, it does. Evidence can be found in daily medical recommendations such as taking certain drugs on an empty stomach or avoiding dairy products with others. We are also advised to stay on clear fluids for viral infections such as intestinal flu. Clear fluids means no milk, basically.

However, the problems have just begun once the coating has been applied. In the best case scenario, which happens to everyone every time we eat these foods, other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals have a much harder time being absorbed by the duodenum. The calcium in the dairy products will have a very hard time making its way into the bloodstream if the villi are effectively masked with this adhesive. This is actually part of the medical explanation for how dairy products contribute to osteoporosis rather than combat it. It is an epidemiological fact that the countries that drink the most milk have the highest rates of osteoporosis. The casein ("glue") in the milk actually blocks the absorption of the calcium in the milk. It is that simple. Once the reader understands phase two, a better understanding of this is acquired.

What is phase two? As mentioned, at best these foods have a coating action that reduces absorption. At worst, our immune system mounts an assault on this foreign material coating the villi. This is when things get serious. In celiac disease and casein intolerance, this is exactly what happens. The adherence of this protein rich substance in combination with the immune response to its presence leads to significant damage to those villi. This is what is known as villous atrophy. Once this atrophy occurs, a vicious cycle is set into motion. The incomplete break down of gluten and casein, which yielded the adhesive, also produces other protein fractions that the body's defenses don't recognize and antibodies are formed to those proteins. The immune response does further damage to the gut wall and the pathology of celiac disease is created. The villous atrophy is what characterizes this condition when biopsies are taken by the attending gastroenterologist.

Once again, in celiac disease, gluten is the culprit. Gluten is comprised of two components, glutelins and prolamines, the latter being the most troublesome protein portion. Gliadin is the real problem among the prolamines and it is gliadin that is found in most of the immune complexes of the major diseases we will cover. It is antibodies to gliadin that are the principal diagnostic aid in celiac disease. At 69%, gliadin makes up the majority of the prolamine portion of wheat.

The immune response to gluten and casein is insidious yet devastating. Villous atrophy of the duodenum and jejunum results from a complex of immune responses directed at gliadin and alpha casein primarily. The resultant increase in gut permeability allows unnatural polypeptides to enter the blood stream in an abnormal fashion, entering the infant both prematurely and in biological forms that were unintended. These various polypeptides have both direct and indirect effects that are harmful in a myriad of ways.

Some polypeptides appear to be purely antigenic and elicit an immune response. These are at the root of what we refer to as allergies to wheat and milk. These are mediated by the typical IgE antibodies, which are directed at proteins considered to be foreign by the immune system. The results are the usual allergic reactions associated with food and inhalant allergies that are IgE antibody and mast cell mediated. Hives, nasal congestion, bronchoconstriction, gastrointestinal disturbances, and the like are the symptoms. The other more subtle response is the formation of IgA, IgG, and IgM antibodies. These antibodies are the primary players in the generation of immune-mediated food intolerances such as those to casein and gluten.

In the past, medical texts have stated that the pathological effect of immune-mediated disorders is better understood than the formation of the autoantibodies themselves. The mechanism underlying the generation of antibodies that ultimately attack the host tissue is typically described as not well understood but those same antibodies are often used as diagnostic aids in the diagnosis and monitoring of the immune-related conditions. However, once food intolerance is better understood, a plausible explanation for origin of these mysterious elements becomes apparent.

The damage to the duodenum and jejunum leads to a number of significant problems. Villous damage results in a malabsorption syndrome reducing the absorption of many vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals. These include calcium, vitamin C, iron, iodine, B complex, fat-soluble vitamins including K, and trace minerals such as zinc and manganese. Now, I will not bore the reader with all of the conditions that could result from these deficiencies but one can imagine the ramifications of such a problem. The most common nutritional deficiency in the world is iron deficiency. The biggest nutritional fear among the aging in this country is osteoporosis. The most common endocrine (hormone-related) condition in people and dogs is hypothyroidism. Now, what is the link between these three conditions? All of the principle nutrients involved...iron, calcium, and iodine...are absorbed by the duodenum. How well can a duodenum coated with "glue" or one that has undergone true villous atrophy absorb these vital nutrients? And these are just three of many. When one truly understands the role of vitamins and minerals in our day to day...no, second by second...lives, then the medical problems we face become less of a mystery. Mental and physical retardation, bleeding tendencies, thyroid abnormalities, immune deficiencies, vision problems, skeletal abnormalities, and the like are all possibilities, especially when chronicity is introduced as a factor.

The main diagnostic challenge has been the subclinical nature of these conditions. Physicians have been trained to look for the obvious clinical signs of gastrointestinal disturbances, which are woefully absent in the vast majority of cases. Only 25% or less of celiac sufferers are actually having chronic diarrhea, the hallmark of classic malabsorption syndromes. This is the crux of the diagnostic dilemma. Most celiacs are covert victims of this horribly under-diagnosed condition. Once that is understood, and then the world of possibilities becomes open for viewing.

The second aspect of this small bowel disaster is what is commonly referred to as the leaky gut syndrome. The lack of complete digestion coupled with the loss of normal villi allows dietary proteins and antigens to enter the system in forms and numbers that would not normally occur. This is the malabsorption syndromes evil sibling. Proteins that are antigenic elicit the appropriate immune response, resulting in food allergies while other dietary polypeptides enter in unusual conformations that have their own detrimental effects.

The subsequent clinical findings are then easily understood. It is not uncommon for celiacs to have multiple food allergies. I have interviewed victims of ten, fifteen, even twenty different food allergies. How these develop is now very clear and my advice to the afflicted is to learn about celiac disease as well as the other forms of food intolerance. As will be covered, dairy, soy, and other food items are capable of similar harm. The food allergies themselves cause a myriad of annoying symptoms, but these are just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the most devastating yet fascinating aspects of the leaky gut is found in the creation and absorption of the unique proteins that severely affect the development of the central nervous system. These are the casomorphins and gliadorphins. As their name implies, these morphine-like compounds are derivatives of casein and gliadin, resulting from the incomplete digestion of their parent foods. As previously described, the combination of maldigestion and malabsorption leads to the entry of these odd polypeptides that have a complex effect on the brain, particularly that of a developing individual.

The first effect is that of the predictable restraints such compounds would have on cognitive function. This is in fact what happens in autism, for example. The casomorphins and gliadorphins have the effect of heroin or morphine, sedating the victim and leading to the odd, repetitive, oftentimes self-injurious behavior observed in this horrible condition. This syndrome is well described by recent research and should be arrested with removal of the offending food sources. The problem with this expectation lies in the hidden sources of these dietary precursors. Dairy and cereal grain proteins are now in the vast majority of foods given to children and their restriction seems nearly impossible without absolutely heroic efforts. However, these Herculean trials have been met by many a mother with astounding results. Those parents of children with autism, ADHD, bipolar disease, and various learning disabilities that have implemented this concept are reaping the benefits of their labor. Their testimonies are plentiful on the Internet. Diagnosis of these conditions may be as simple as a urinalysis in the future, as these compounds are excreted and detectable in urine of the affected individual.

Although these sedating compounds have been clearly linked to serious conditions such as autism, they have everyday implications in virtually all of our lives. They are at the root of an extremely common problem called caffeine dependency. Have you ever wondered why we must consume three cups of coffee with breakfast, two or three glasses of iced tea or cola with lunch, and more of the same with dinner? The clear answer is that we need it to function. Why is that? The simple answer is that the food is putting us to sleep. Many people are under the misconception that it is normal to get sleepy after eating. Now, I would have to admit there is a physiologic basis for rest after a meal, but this phenomenon has been greatly exaggerated. I can clearly track the progression of my profound fatigue following meals, beginning in my mid-30s.

My wife was beginning to think I was a narcoleptic. I would come home late most days and eat dinner around 7:00 or 8:00. I would then sit down to watch my favorite 9:00 PM show, like NYPD Blue. Keep in mind that I waited all week for this show. My wife was not the only one who had reason for concern when literally I passed out 15-20 minutes into the show. I would wake up a couple of hours later and wander off to bed in a fog. The casomorphins and gliadorphins had hit their stride.

I began sharing this story with clients in the exam room and the food-related drug addicts started crawling out the woodwork. What surprised me a little was the wide age range at which this symptom began. I somehow figured that my age of onset of about 35 would be the earliest, with the majority coming on board well after that time. Although many of my food intolerant clients were over 50, the numbers of affected clients between 20 and 30 would shock me. I would later learn of the rising incidence of many of the immune-mediated diseases in this age group.

One of the most outstanding examples of post-meal sleepiness was a 34-year old woman. I was covering food-related symptoms with her when I described my fatigue following eating wheat or milk products. Her head went into her hands as I described the scenario. I had clearly struck a nerve. She said, I have something to tell you. I asked her what was on her mind, as she was clearly hesitant in continuing with her information. After a near retraction, she said, Ok, Ill tell you. I have rear-ended four people in the last six months or so. After controlling myself, I asked her why and how that pertained to the subject. She told me that she got so sleepy at times that she dozed off at the wheel. I could see the lights coming on in her house as she recounted the accidents. She said, with an awakening, that it was always in the afternoon, after lunch, and three of the times occurred in the drive-through of the bank. She became so groggy that her foot would slip off the brake pedal and she would roll into the next car. The fourth happened at a red light.

When I asked her about her lunch menu, it became very clear to both of us where the problem originated. Her favorite lunch was pasta, and she said I can hardly get half way through a serving without looking for a bed. The other lunch fare was the usual sandwiches and fast food. Her favorite snack was cheese. What a classic situation. When she then described her irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, shoulder pain, difficulty with sleep, and possible fibromyalgia, I had her pegged.

The next malady associated with these narcotic polypeptides affects all age groups. It is called food addiction. As in illicit drug use, the individual becomes addicted to these morphine-like proteins. This leads to a vicious cycle of cravings and consumption that results in a conglomerate of conditions. Obesity, eating disorders, depression, and their sequels are natural consequences. It is no coincidence that that foods most often volunteered and incriminated in food addictions are dairy and carbohydrates, cheese being the prime example. I have had more clients offer cheese as their down fall then any other food item. I had a client who was nearly 300 pounds who stated that if she did not get some cheese within a few hours of a large meal, she felt that she would die. Her demeanor upon this confession spoke volumes. The casomorphins were alive and well in this individual.

The carbohydrates have their own addicts. To arrive at this destination one can take many paths. Just as in dairy, the cereal grain-based carbohydrates have a drug, but in their case it is the gliadorphin. The actions are similar and no less compelling. Desserts are no longer an option in most opinions, nor are bread with meals and convenience foods like hamburgers and pizza. These have become staples in their own right and their exclusion is unthinkable. Once on this path, the victim cannot find the way home, falling into the same potholes as the milk addict.

However, there has been a champion of sorts for the carb addict in the form of an enlightened doctor. His sugar-busters diet has helped countless of these wayward beings by educating them in the errors of their ways. Although, from my perspective, he is doing the right thing for the wrong reason, the results are potentially the same. By outlawing sugar, the diet effectively eliminates the wheat-based foods that are the true culprits. The exclusion of the sugar found in cookies, cakes, doughnuts- all of the treats and desserts we have come to know and love- effectively takes a huge source of gluten and its derivatives out of the equation. Is this the real reason why these converts feel better? Is the removal of the gliadorphins the real explanation as to why they experience improvements in their energy, concentration, and even sleep patterns? Sugar certainly has its own faults but the emphasis on its contribution to the pathogenesis of mental and physical health has been overstated. It is like yeast, in that regard. Aren't those that are told to eliminate yeast really meant to avoid the foods containing the yeast?

One of the problems I have observed is that many our medical doctors don't understand these "nutritional" aspects of medicine and thereby don't relate to the true value of such diets. A case in point being a client of mine who is a well-known judge who suffers from type I diabetes. I was explaining the need for eliminating cereal grains and dairy from the diet of his Doberman, when he volunteered to me that he had initiated Dr. Adkins' diet in an attempt to lower his cholesterol. He had read about the health benefits of this low-carbohydrate diet and had decided to give it a try. Within a couple of months, he was feeling better and went in for routine lab work. His doctor asked him what he had done because his cholesterol and triglyceride levels had returned to normal. My client told him about the diet and the doctors response was Whatever, judge. Whatever works for you, Id keep doing it cause it seems to be working.

When my client told me this story, I got both angry and depressed. My client had just taken one of the most important steps he could take toward wellness and his doctor didn't have a clue as to the vital nature of what he had done. It seemed odd that his veterinarian could explain why his cholesterol and triglycerides had plummeted and he felt so much better on this diet, yet his doctor simply blew it off. I reinforced the diet for my client, educated him as to the woes of cereal grains as well as dairy products in him and his dog, and sent him on his way with a handout loaded with Internet sites to help him understand just what he had done to improve the quality of his life.

The sad fact is that both dairy and glutenous cereal grains are a problem in most of the susceptible individuals. One food group may be more of an issue than the other, but usually it is both. Now, the educated can see why. Neither category is completely digestible, yet they comprise the bulk of our diet. The average American consumes 40% of the daily calories in the form of dairy products. Wheat alone makes up another 20%. A grand total of 60% of our calories are comprised of those foods that are unnatural and damaging. The spiral really starts to take shape here.

When I explain the origins of wheat and how man turned this benign grain into a toxic entity, people see the err of our ways and seem to accept the bad news with a half-hearted resolution to check into it and cut back on the amounts consumed. Most of my clients have been primed for this concept by a popular diet that restricts carbohydrates. That will be covered later. But, when you mention dairy, the atmosphere becomes cold as ice and the defenses go up. But drinking milk is so natural and does a body good and all that they would say in their defense. But being the ruthless prosecutor that I am, I would respond Natural? What is natural about drinking milk other than the fact that we have been doing it all of our lives?

The fact is that man is the only species that drinks milk after they are weaned. Many of my clients have volunteered that fact once the subject was broached. But that is only part of the story. We are certainly the only species to drink the milk of another animal. To compound matters, look at the animal we chose to nurse: a huge beast that never moves. He is one of the most lethargic of earths mammals. The fact is that the composition of their milk fits their nursing period and their weight at adulthood. The universal truth is that all mammals nurse their young until they triple their birth weight. This ranges from three weeks in the guinea pig to three years in the elephant. Every other mammal is pretty much somewhere in between.

This concept helps to explain the condition of lactose intolerance. In the animal kingdom, mammals become universally lactose intolerant. They no longer drink milk in the post-weaning period so they don't require the enzyme to digest it. But that's only part of the story when applied to humans. Most people in my exam room are shocked to hear that most human beings are lactose intolerant. Nearly 100% of Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian nations are lactose intolerant. When was the last time you ate a Chinese buffet and saw any dairy on display? I would ask to illustrate the point. But the Asians are in good company. Practically all Hispanics, Native Americans, and Black Americans are lactose intolerant. Only the white Anglo-Saxon, Northern Germanic mutt is better at digesting this milk sugar. This group is about 60-75% lactose intolerant, except for a few rogue populations in Europe.

Dr. Frank Oski explained it best. He was the Chief of Pediatrics and Chief of Medicine at John Hopkins University at the pinnacle of his career. During this time, he saw the evils of dairy protein and wrote the book Don't Drink Your Milk, which was published in 1986. In this book before its time, he calls those that are lactose tolerant mutants. He explains the natural phenomenon of lactose intolerance as one that occurs in all mammals. Those uncommon populations that tolerate milk somehow developed the ability to produce lactase beyond the customary weaning time and have passed that ability on down through the years. The other explanation for the discrepancy among races is that the white Americans ancestors have been drinking milk for a much longer time than Native, Hispanic, and Black Americans and have thereby had the greatest chance to adapt. By adaptation, we would mean natural selection, like that which occurred in wheat. Those who were most intolerant of milk died or were unable to reproduce long ago, leaving the more tolerant to populate the earth. Both explanations are valid and are probably correct. The fact is that we are amazingly adaptable, but that doesn't make the unnatural foods any better for us.

Once on the subject of lactose intolerance, I explain to my clients that lactose is just an indicator, not really the principle culprit in milk-related disorders. Lactose is a sugar that causes some problems, but the serious problems are linked to the dairy proteins. I tell them to think of lactose as the periscope that tells you that there is a nuclear submarine under the surface about to blow you away. This is good, accurate visual. The prime example is type I diabetes. Remember those lactose intolerance figures? That 40% increase in diabetes over the last ten years has hit those populations- the Hispanics, Native American Indian, and Black American the hardest. Why is that? It is not the lactose, of course, but the fact that they are the most intolerant of the proteins as well. Lactose is just the indicator.

So, anyone can now see the folly in the use of lactose-free milks or digestive aids in order to keep consuming cow milk. Can't you? Unfortunately, many don't. I use a veterinary analogy here to illustrate the point. There are manufacturers of antifreeze for your car's radiator that put a bittering agent in their product to help discourage pets from drinking this deadly poison. Without the bitter taste, dogs and cats will drink the ethylene glycol compound because of its inherent sweet, sugary taste. Now think of lactose as that bitter agent, put into milk to warn you off of this potentially harmful food source. If we extract the lactose, then we can drink the milk, sometimes to death. We will cover in detail other similar substances in milk that should be ample warning.

It should be evident that the only dairy we need is mother's milk. "But what about my calcium?" is the universal response. Dr. Oski to the rescue again. Get it where all the other mammals get theirs from- the vegetation they eat. I can hear my son now saying, "Tell them about the elephants, Dad." I have a great poster in my exam room with nearly all the mammals on it, from lemurs to giraffes. I usually turn to picture at this point in the lecture, and say "See that elephant over there? He nursed until he tripled his birth weight, until about 3 years old. At that point, he was still knee high to his mother and look what he becomes. He has bones bigger around than my body and where does he get his calcium? From the dead grass on the Serengeti. Have you seen what these guys eat on the Animal Planet?" Point well made I would like to think.

But, the idea that we must have dairy to survive is deeply ingrained in our culture. Most of my clients react strongly to the idea that milk products could be eliminated without harm. The ad campaigns and medical misinformation have literally brainwashed us into this dairy-dependent state. The startling thing is that there is every reason at this point to believe that milk consumption contributes significantly to osteoporosis rather than prevents it. What? my clients would exclaim at this point, as if I were a true heretic. The fact is there is a phenomenal amount of epidemiological and medical evidence that this is exactly the case. All one has to do is study the incidence of osteoporosis worldwide and the truth leaps out of the statistics. The countries that drink the least amount of milk have the least amount of osteoporosis. The United States has the highest level of osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 28 million Americans are at major risk to developing this condition, 80% of which are women. Eight million women and two million men actually have osteoporosis, with millions more suffering from low bone density. One in eight men and a staggering one in two women over age 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture. In stark contrast, the countries with the least milk consumption, like Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam have never heard of a hip fracture in their 100 year old people. How is that possible?


There are two basic medical explanations for these findings. The first relates to the damage that casein does to the villi of the duodenum and jejunum, as previously described. Remembering that calcium is one of the main minerals that are malabsorbed in both wheat and milk intolerance, it is easy to follow that as more milk is consumed, more damage is done and less calcium is absorbed. This is so simple it makes me crazy! Now if that is not enough, then we can turn to a physiologic explanation involving calcium movement in and out of bone. If a person managed to get extra much calcium into their blood stream via supplementation with vitamin D3, then the body must deal it with in order to keep the blood level of calcium at its normal (and critical) level. This is accomplished by storing it in bones. What most lay people don't understand is that many of the cells of our body have a limited life span or a limited number of times that these cells can perform a given function. In the case of the osteoclasts and ostoblasts of bone, the latter is the case. These two cells are responsible for the transport of calcium in and out of bone. After their limited number of functional repetitions, they die. So, it follows that if these cells are asked to perform their function too often or too many times, the bones will actually weaken. This is, in fact, what happens. Too much calcium actually weakens your bones. Go back to that elephant in the Serengeti.


Better yet, go back the dinosaurs! Think of this. The largest and most long-lived creatures on the planet, both in the distant past and the present, are herbivores. The brontosaurus and their reptile kin never drank milk, developing purely from the plants that they ate. Although environmental conditions were clearly different in those times, the size of these "thunder lizards" was enormous and their skeletal systems required unusual amounts of calcium. How in the world did they do it without dairy products? I guess we've now beaten that point into a fossil.

The fact is that we need much less calcium than we think and we can get that calcium from other sources as adults. While we are infants, that source should come from mother and only mother.

But, when it comes to nursing, humans make three big mistakes. First, we don't drink our mother's milk exclusively in most cases. Mother's milk is the perfect food and provides the optimal nutrition for our young at the rate it requires and for the time allotted for the nursing period. To not encourage our mothers to breast feed is an unnatural and potentially serious case of shortsightedness. Secondly, we adulterate our infant's diet with cow milk and soy proteins both out of convenience and ignorance. The infant's digestive tract is an immature and delicate system. The immune system is also in it's infancy but will react violently to substances that offend it. Anyone with a colicky baby can attest to that fact. Not only do overt signs occur when the baby's immunity is challenged, but groundwork is laid for upcoming challenges. Researchers now feel that it is this early exposure to cow milk protein that dramatically increases your risk to diabetes. Finally, as stated, we continue to drink milk well beyond the designated weaning period. In most cases, we drink milk right up until we die, some sooner than later. The spiral is gaining momentum.

These basic proteins that make up 60% of our diets are unnatural and partially indigestible and result in intestinal damage, immune responses, and multifaceted mental and physical disease processes. These processes only get more complex as you follow the paper trail left behind these felons.


THE IMMUNE SYSTEM- Taking the Good with the Bad

At the center of this medical galaxy is the immune system. Actions and reactions by this component make or break our day. From simple allergies to life-threatening immune-mediated disorders like lupus, we are at the mercy of this dictatorial ruler. Or are we? When did it become our adversary rather than our friend? When did we start to view this life-saving ally as the enemy? It has become a misconception rooted in the ignorance of this troublemakers motivation.

The fact is that our body never does anything wrong without a good reason. This was the first universal axiom I discovered on this path to enlightenment. We may not like or approve of the action it is taking, but that is frequently due to a misunderstanding of why it is behaving that way. Routine symptoms of pain, gastrointestinal disturbances, fever, weakness, and malaise all have their purpose. Many are aimed at preventing us from continuing to do what it was that brought on the reaction by the immune system. Nasal congestion, bronchoconstriction, vomiting, and diarrhea all serve to limit further exposure to the offending substances. As the victims, we may not enjoy these symptoms, but like a parental disciplinarian would say, It is for your own good. Only humans are smart enough to think they know better and thereby rebel against their benevolent leader.

This realization (more like a review of what we all know) led me to my favorite example and illustrates this axiom. When a child spikes a fever from a viral infection, nearly everyone reaches for the fever reducer. We seem to have been trained that this is the appropriate measure. Fevers are bad appears to be the common misconception. Of course, fevers are the normal and appropriate response to a virus. The virus entered our body because it likes a body temperature that is less than 98.6 F. Humans have this body temperature for a reason. It is normally protective against the usual viral infections that we face. The virus usually enters our body when we are running a little subnormal temperature. This, of course, is the reason for the cold and flu season. When outside temperatures are low, the relative temperature of our nasal cavity is lower than usual. This affords the virus a foothold, especially if the victim is not as healthy as they could be. But why are there summer colds? Two words: Air conditioning. Viruses love an air-conditioned nasal passage as much as we do. Our obsession with comfort comes back to bite us again.

Once in the nasal passage, the immune system goes into action, and after an appropriate incubation period (virus replication), the fever begins. This creates an unfavorable environment for the virus, remembering that it likes 98.6 F or less. Then the nasal congestion ensues along with the cough, headache, body aches, and other symptoms, all in an attempt to protect the victim.

The only problem with this process is that man is too intelligent and intolerable of the consequences of the immune response. He rushes in to undo everything the body has attempted to do to protect itself. By artificially reducing the fever, we have invited the virus to come into our body and stay for a longer time than would normally occur. I fear that, in some cases, that the ultimate result is that the virus is ours for life. This lifelong relationship is certainly true of a number of viruses, including Epstein Barr (mononucleosis) and varicella virus (chicken pox and Shingles). Would others like leukemia virus, AIDS, and Ebola have been more temporary guests if we were letting our body handle them without interference?

When it comes to allergies, we don't perform any better. Many people are victims of another great misconception here. Many allergy sufferers live with the impression that they have an abnormal immune system. This is completely false. Their immune system is doing exactly what it was designed to do- remove offending allergy proteins. It performs its task normally and admirably, unless we step in. Symptomatic care, aimed at improving our comfort, reverses everything the body does to limit our exposure to allergens. By using nasal decongestants, we might as well line these allergens up and snort them through a straw. By using antihistamines, we block the release of the substance that will create the allergen limiting swelling, once again encouraging the offending substance to enter.

If we stop for a moment to ask why our body is doing these things, we understand the potential ramifications of our actions. Our immune system reacts to these proteins because it doesn't want them in the body. These allergens are foreign to us and will do harm once inside. This harm has been greatly underestimated and forms the basis for the pathogenesis of the serious diseases and conditions that plague man and animals.


CONCLUSIONS THROUGH ILLUSTRATIONS

The question on everyone's mind should be "Why, in this era of technical and medical advancements, are we suffering from all of these pestilences?" I use that word very intentionally, but one must understand it's working definition here. The Biblical definition of pestilence is disease without a cure. I use this term because it so aptly describes virtually all of the immune-mediated diseases (diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, et al), epidemic viral infections (Ebola, AIDS, and possibly "Mad Cow"), and the biggest concern among the living, cancer. These are all-to-common conditions that have no cure, not even a workable explanation for their origin...until now.

The entry-level course has been passed. The introduction of food as an inciting element has been covered. We then graduate to the next grade and study the immune response to these antigens more closely. The allergic reaction is clear, with IgE working hard to protect us from further harm. It was after I accepted this action of the immune system as normal that the second axiom appeared. I realized that the false impression my clients were under was their immune system was abnormal in some way and there was a gene that would some day be extracted to ease their seasonal allergies. I said, "Man, I hope not. There is nothing wrong with your immune system. It's doing its job and doing it to perfection. Your body doesn't want these allergens in it for a reason." The remaining question was "Why do seasonal allergies form?"

The answer was an epiphany: Because the immune system is already completely preoccupied and needs to protect the body from further invasion. I described it to my clients as going into safe mode. The food allergies and intolerances were already taxing the system beyond reason. The accompanying nutritional deficiencies were also starting to add up. Deficiencies in ascorbic acid and its friends were starting to take their toll. Once again, I described it too my clients as being overworked and underpaid. They all agreed that no one likes this combination.

I found that I was not alone in my belief that seasonal allergies only come secondary to the food problems. The axiom had already been proposed. I just gave it more validity by arriving at it independently. This idea had its roots in my own experience and came to fruition when my allergy symptoms nearly disappeared after elimination gluten. They diminished further when I dropped dairy. I had been a seasonal allergy sufferer since childhood; with crescendos occurring once I had been in a region of the country long enough. Decrescendos occurred when I left that region and relocated. From Mobile to Boston to Charleston to Los Angeles and back to Mobile, my allergies were like a yo-yo. I was as ignorant to the role of food as the next guy. But, the enlightenment led to the next theorem.

If the symptoms that I had been experiencing all of my life were not solely due to inhalants, what was their part exactly? The answer made sense, especially in when I applied it to my patients and myself. The axiom is best demonstrated by using my exam room illustration. I would start by explaining that our immune system has an allergy threshold. Once that threshold is exceeded, allergy symptoms occur. This just makes sense from a design standpoint. If that weren't true, we would be allergic all the time (or not at all, if we were normal). The question was in the make up of that allergy threshold. What forms the base of allergens from which the immune system works? I explained it to my clients this way. Imagine a glass of water that is three quarters full. If you add too much ice, the water spills over. This is what happens in allergies. You have a base of allergens that your immune system deals with without spilling over: when more are added, the allergy symptoms begin, spilling over as nasal congestion and itchy eyes.

Conventionally, we have focused on the inhalant allergens much more than food. We have envisioned that the water in the glass was mostly inhalant allergens, with a sudden increase in exposure to pollens, grasses, and the like bringing on signs. Once again, I am not alone in my belief that we have had this wrong all along. I decided that the food was the water and inhalant allergens were the ice. The food allergens made up the base for the immune systems threshold and it was the inhalants that kept making us symptomatic on occasion. This would prove to make sense from every angle.

This idea tied up a number of loose ends. This explained why there was such a variation in the age of onset of allergies. They could start at three months in the dog or as late as twelve years. My clients would puzzle at their doctors diagnosis of first-time allergies at age sixty or seventy. How could that be, Dr. Baker? they would ask. My previous response would mimic those of my human counterparts. I would explain that the immune system just behaves that way sometimes. We just don't understand it that well I would parrot back. What a great answer. I am almost too embarrassed to admit it, in retrospect.

What I should have said was Because your underlying problem is one of food allergy, and once that is bad enough, you start to react to inhalants. The age at which this happens is determined by how bad your food intolerances and allergies are. If you have serious food issues, then you will develop the inhalant signs as a child, even as an infant. If your food problems are mild, then these symptoms will occur much later, if ever. The malabsorption and maldigestion syndromes come into play at some point, accelerating the process and worsening the complications. Once again, the food-before-inhalants theorem explained the unexplainable. But what about those complications?

Those patterns I mentioned at the onset were about to become vital. It was clear that my patients who had obvious allergies were the worst of the breeds. The German Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, English Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Dachshund, Rottweiler, and Labrador Retriever stood out like sore thumbs. There were a number of others misfits that met the criteria, like the Doberman and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but the main troublemakers were obvious. All of these guys were the most allergic, most immune-challenged, most medically ill, and most predictable in their cause of death. This realization led to the next axiom.

Our overt medical lives can usually be divided into three phases: allergies, immune-mediated diseases, and ultimate immune-failure. Overt in this case refers to our symptoms and complaints. Immune failure usually results in secondary infections, the resurfacing of latent viruses, or even worse... the onset of cancer. Cancer very succinctly put is the failure of our immune system to do its job. I explain to clients daily that we have cells in our body attempting to form tumors at any given moment. Certainly, there are factors at work like radiation, carcinogens, and viral agents that are constantly challenging the integrity of the system, but as long as it remains healthy, the cancer is avoided. However, once our ally is totally overworked or underpaid, cancer raises its ugly head and becomes a force with which to reckon.


THE WORST OF THE WORST- A Veterinary Tale

In retrospect, we should see our serious medical problems coming from way off in the distance. The German shepherd illustrates the point to perfection. From the time he is six weeks old, he is typically raised on a high protein puppy food. Puppy chows are primarily made by adding the cereal grains, wheat and barley, to a base diet to boost the metabolizable energy and protein. Many diets also contain whey protein to meet the protein requirement. At once, we notice that he is typically a very lean puppy throughout his first year. Many breeders have been quoted as saying that they don't mature until two or three years. Compared to most, this is not the norm. The signs of maldigestion and malabsorption are clearly beginning. Some actually suffer from an idiopathic juvenile pancreatic atrophy. This represents nature's first attempt at natural selection, weakening the afflicted individual so as to facilitate its removal from the gene pool.

Then the juvenile bone diseases develop, starting with an idiopathic immune-mediated inflammation of the bone known as eosinophilic panosteitis. As a result, he has a shifting leg lameness that can intermittent until he is about a year and a half old. (The Bassett Hound is not so lucky. He can experience bouts of this through the first five years of his life.) If skin allergies have not already occurred, then this bone syndrome is the first sign of immune-mediated disease to surface.

The next maladies include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia (ununited anconeal processes), and osteochondritis dessicans of the shoulder or stifle. We have researched and argued the significance of genetics in these conditions, but like the models created for any idiopathic condition, they don't pan out. Those that should be afflicted aren't while those of good stock are affected. These conditions are the next sign of malabsorption. Inadequate levels of the essential nutrients for the formation of collagen-based structures are bound to be the cause. Vitamin C, calcium, and the rest are not reaching their target tissues. The pattern of the most allergic being the most afflicted usually holds and the ears and skin start to be problem areas. We also note that this once happy-go-lucky, even hyperactive, puppy is starting to become shy or, at worst, overtly aggressive. We discuss the personality change that often occurs at puberty with the owner. The casomorphins and gliadomorphins are building up and taking hold.

The logical progression into allergies occurs with regularity. The chronic ear infections and skin allergies begin and are often distinctly seasonal at first except in the worst of individuals. Those non-seasonal pets are readily labeled food allergic by the observant veterinarian and placed on hypoallergenic foods or food allergy tested. Little did we know that these pets on controlled diets would end up being some of the healthiest after all. We make a note on the chart that a muzzle was needed for the last visit after we narrowly escaped a bite attempt while looking in the ears. Those pets bolt right into phase two of life: the immune-mediated diseases.

Our German Shepherd is now about two or three when its hair starts coming out in clumps and the owner brings it in for a vaccine. The desensitized owner hasn't really seen the progression of the pets decline as clearly as we do. We notice it as soon as they walk in the door. This pet is a mess, we say to ourselves. Even the most basically trained veterinarian immediately puts German Shepherd and hypothyroidism together. A blood test confirms it and thyroid medication is begun. Once again, we throw this pet back into the gene pool to swim with the others, not thinking that nature had just made another attempt to keep this pet from breeding. As in people, hypothyroidism is a leading cause of infertility. Something about natural selection keeps haunting us.

The patient's hair is growing back but his attitude in the exam room is intolerable when he comes in for his first seizure. This occurs between the ages of six months and six years and is typically due to idiopathic epilepsy. A full blood panel is run and usually comes back normal except for a low-grade anemia and some mild liver function test elevations. We write the anemia and elevated SGPT off to the hypothyroidism and start the pet on phenobarbital. Little did we know that the anemia was probably due to a subclinical iron deficiency and the liver enzyme leakage was due to mild hepatitis that was either immune mediated or nutritional in origin. We would find out later what really was causing the seizures. This answer would be surprisingly simple.

We get a call that our dog has bitten some one and we have to quarantine him. This presents some real logistical problems but the law is the law. We notice on the way back to his "cell" that he has a crusty area on the top of his nose and around the corners of his mouth. We fear the worst and check all of the mucocutaneous junctions and find he has pemphigus, the immune-mediated skin manifestation of lupus. We start this pet on prednisone knowing that we just poured gas on his attitude fire. The immune diseases are progressing.

This hapless soul is just starting to straighten out on the diminishing doses of corticosteroids when the owner reports that his pet is dragging it's back toes when it walks, especially when fatigued. Once again, a first year graduate knows that this breed is prone to a degenerative spinal cord condition. In fact, they named it after this breed: German Shepherd myelopathy. For all intents and purposes, it is multiple sclerosis. We remember reading somewhere that the medical profession once hypothesized that MS came from the canine distemper virus. If they only knew how close they were to being right.

To further embellish this story, we find an abdominal mass while attempting to help this patient stand on solid ground. It is a large, mid-abdominal mass and slips easily through the fingers, suggesting that there is a peritoneal effusion present. When we check the gums (through the muzzle) we notice that the dog is quite pale. We put two and two together and suggest to the owner that it is likely to have a splenic hemangiosarcoma, a malignant tumor of the spleen and a very common cause of death in German Shepherds. We radiograph the thorax and find the snowstorm of hemagiosarcoma so an exploratory is not even an option...this time. The final phase was entered into swiftly and humanely. Cancer had stepped in to keep this pet from dying a slow, paralyzing death from the myelopathy or a miserably nauseating death from the renal failure associated with the lupus. Finally, nature took it out of our inept hands and put him where he should have been at six months of age. Nature may seem cruel at times, but like our view of the immune system, it only appears so because we don't fully understand it.

This historical exercise was fictitious from only one standpoint. These conditions don't usually all occur in one pet. But, ask any veterinarian about German Shepherds, and you will get a slightly watered down version of this epic tale. Only the number of conditions will be changed, not the order. We are now ready for admission into graduate school to learn how this all comes about.


THE PATHOGENESIS OF DISEASE

It should now be evident that the patterns that we observe as doctors prove invaluable in our understanding of the pathomechanisms involved in immune-mediated diseases. As we strive to fully explain the details of a process, we can be assured that we are on the right track by referring back to the patients history, physical findings, and the knowledge we already have of those processes. This combined with the explosion of information available at any given moment in the press or on the internet should afford the clinician what is essential to make a diagnosis as well as establish a course of specific therapy. This can and should be done without having to nail down every detail of the immune response. That being said, lets discuss what we now know.

We understand what the immune system responds to, protein. It is the protein in viruses, bacteria, inhalants, and food to which antibodies are directed. We have established, granted in an elementary fashion, that the reason for the response is because the body doesn't want that protein antigen in it. That protein is undesirable because of the harm it will do- also elementary. What gets more technical is how it creates the damage.


In the case of viruses, the harm is well understood. These alien particles attach to host cells and talk them into replicating their kind so that they can survive to infect another victim. It is a life story of the basest nature.

The immune response is well understood but is often corrupted by mans obsession with comfort. By taking fever reducers, we frequently undermine the body's attempt to do what is ultimately best for us. Hopefully this simply results in a slightly delayed departure of our uninvited guest, but some truly wear out their welcome. The prime examples are the varicella and Epstein Barr viruses. Once the child has recovered from the chicken pox, their immune system forces varicella into hiding, with the invader holding up in nerve roots. However, the menace returns to the unsuspecting host in the form of shingles once the weary victim is too tired to keep it at bay. A decline in the hosts immune system unleashes the virus from its hiding place in the nerve roots and allows it to travel along the nerve body causing serious discomfort. An astute doctor should then take this reemergence as a sign of a faulty immune system.

The Epstein Barr virus presents a similar problem. The medical literature tells us that over 50% of our children are infected with this virus before the age of five years, yet the symptoms we attribute to this agent do not typically emerge until the teenage years in the form of mononucleosis. The overlooked question is whether this malady results from a new acquisition of the virus or a reactivation of the latent virus, as in varicella. If the literature is correct concerning the early contraction of Epstein Barr, then a period of latency is a given. The interesting aspect of mononucleosis is the variability in recovery time. Some sufferers appear to recover in a matter of days while others are affected for weeks or months or, at worst, never fully recover from the fatiguing effects of this virus. The logical explanation lies, again, in the health of the hosts immune system. It would follow that those who recover quickly are likely to be those that just recently acquired the virus and mounted the appropriate response to force it into submission. They have the healthier of the immune systems. Those that take extended periods of time to accomplish domination over the virus are more likely to have had a latent infection that has resurfaced because of a weakened immune system. With compromised immunity, these victims can suffer from the chronic, nearly debilitating effects of Epstein Barr for an indefinite time.

The purpose of these two illustrations is to introduce the concept of latent viral infections. These are but two of the known examples of viruses that our bodies house for a lifetime. Current research is underway to identify these culprits and establish their role in the diseases that afflict us. A clue to this role can be found in the structure of viruses and how our body defends itself against these pathogens. The typical virus is covered with receptors to which our immune systems antibodies attach to facilitate the offending agents removal. These antibodies, or immunoglobulins, are actually complex glycoproteins. As their name implies, these immune system components are a carbohydrate-protein complex that, once bound to the virus, attracts other cells of the immune response for removal of that virus. The inflammatory response is complex, but the end result is that of destruction and phagocytosis of the unwanted microorganism, whether it is a bacteria or a virus. This is hopefully done with minimal injury to the host tissue.

However, it is clear that some tissue inflammation and disruption of function occurs with the tamest of viruses. We can usually dispatch these symptoms in short order with the routine symptomatic care described above. But should we? We should clearly see the folly in this practice and the potential for harm now that we understand viral latency. The more serious viral agents illicit the more profound signs, as should be expected. High, persistent fevers and pronounced tissue inflammation accompany these infections because the body truly doesn't like these organisms at all. But, paradoxically, our therapeutic approach to them is even more aggressive. For these viruses, we use stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents or even corticosteroids to reduce fevers and swelling. Of course, we many times cover the situation with antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial invasion, but the virus itself gets free reign once we handcuff the immune system by halting its natural response. In fact, if we allowed the body to do its job, the secondary bacteria would be much less likely to survive in the face of the fever, tissue swelling, and white blood cell response.

The sad fact is that the public has been poorly trained and misinformed concerning their body's magnificent ability to handle invaders like viruses and bacteria. Certainly, there are some very serious infectious organisms that threaten our health. However, I contend that if we were as healthy as we could be, many of these would be dealt with swiftly and efficiently if we stayed out of the way. Many of the viral infections experienced would never have occurred if our immune system were in tip-top shape. I have rhetorically asked my clients whether the viral infections of the last 30 years, most notably AIDS and Ebola, were brand new to this planet or is it that our immune systems are just now ill enough to make us susceptible to them. Granted, the occurrence of a new strain of virus can occur through mutation or a change in vector, but our declining health in general must be a factor in their immergence and proliferation.

As we all know, viruses are acquired in a number of ways, most notably through aerosols, hand to nose or hand to mouth contact. Vectors like mosquitoes, as in the West Nile viral infections, inject some into us. The emergence of the trans-species feeding Asian Tiger mosquito has created problems in both human and veterinary medicine. Along with the transmission of the now infamous West Nile virus, this imported insect is responsible for the newly emerging incidence of heartworms in cats. Since its arrival in the late 1980s, the Asian Tiger has grown in stature to be the menace of the century. This has occurred as a result of an unnatural event: the transplantation of a biting insect from one continent to another.

There is another potential, yet usually overlooked, way in which we acquire viruses called vaccination. Overlooked, perhaps because we underestimate the power and consequences of this procedure. In both veterinary and human protocols, all but a handful of the vaccines are modified live viruses. These are infectious agents that have been modified in the laboratory to elicit an immune response without causing the disease itself. The fact remains that these are living organisms. We can only hope and pray that these live viruses are handled in the way we predict. Are we absolutely certain that these vaccine components are not setting up housekeeping in our bodies, particularly in those that are immune challenged in some way?

Why are we concerned that viruses may be living in our bodies throughout our lives if they don't appear to be doing any immediate harm? This is one of the most important questions that have been posed in this paper. More accurately put, the response to this query is of vital importance in arriving at the answer we seek to our original question: Why is our nations health in a death spiral? I propose that latent viruses as well as those we acquire and hopefully eliminate play a much greater role in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases than once thought.

All of the previous topics that have been covered to this point have served as preparation for presenting this theory. This premise involves the previously discussed tissue bound viruses, dietary proteins, triggers such as inhalant allergies, and the state of ill-health generated by the malabsorption and maldigestion syndromes associated with food intolerance. I am sure that many will comment at this point Well, that about covers everything, doesn't it? I reply with Yes, it does and it takes a full understanding of how these factors come together to explain the unexplainable. If it were simple, we would have figured it out long ago. The next logical question from the gallery would be Why you? Why would a veterinarian be the one to put it all together? The answer, of course, lies in the previous text. This supposition came to me as a result of intense research, personal experience, and applied knowledge. It, simply put, made sense...all the sense in the world.

The root of the problem lies in the foods we have chosen. Among our many failures, man made two grave mistakes in history: the creation of wheat and the utilization of cow milk. As we have covered, these blunders have led to the primary food intolerances and subsequent allergies. Incomplete digestion of the cereal grains and cow-origin dairy products leads to villous damage of the duodenum and jejunum. This damage results from the direct effect of their breakdown products and the immune response to their presence. Malabsorption of vital nutrients such as immune building vitamins and minerals occurs and our disease fighting ability suffers. In addition, the casomorphins and gliadorphins are produced and absorbed resulting in depression in some and severe psychological disorders in others. Food addictions are also generated. These addictions lead to an almost uncontrollable consumption of just those foods that will do us further harm.

Enter the viruses. With our immune system in a faulty state, we are challenged with viruses and other microbes that would normally be dispatched in short order. Instead, select viruses come and stay, some for life. These tissue bound viruses, such as varicella, lay in wait for the immune system to totally crash so that they may once again be free to replicate and aggravate our immune system further. While they are bound to tissue, with their glycoprotein receptors exposed, dietary glycoproteins from the same foods to which we have become allergic, become bound to the virus. These both challenge and impede the immune response by occupying the space normally taken by our immunoglobulins, our natural glycoproteins.

These dietary proteins from wheat, barley, dairy products, soy, corn, and others find there way into all tissues, some naturally but others are allowed in those places through the action of "facilitators". The principle facilitator is the hydrogenated oil. These man made oils break down natural barriers, increasing intestinal permeability and permitting the flow of gluten, casein, and soy protein derivatives into the host tissues. Inhalant allergens are also more likely to pass into targeted host tissues under the influence of these oils. The glaring and most devastating example comes in the form of atherosclerosis. These oils allow the entrance of these antigens into the media of the blood vessels where they activate complement and trigger the immune-mediated arteritis that we call atherosclerosis. The proof comes from an unlikely source- the dog. This over-bred animal suffers from every immune-mediated disease of man except for the biggest killer of mankind- athersclerosis, most notably coronary artery disease. 44% of American deaths annually result from this one condition, and dogs don't get it! How can that be? They don't get hydrogenated oils in their diet; certainly not at the level we consume every day as Americans. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils dominate the prepared foods we consume every meal. Margarines, fried foods, baked goods, snacks, and frozen foods abound with these deadly substances. In fact, in the article Hydrogenated Oils- The Silent Killers, written in 1986 by D.L. Dewey, it is stated that 90% of the prepared foods we consume contain these unnatural oils. However, with a few exceptions, pet foods in general are devoid of these oils.

The relationship of these oils to disease cannot be over-emphasized. Since their invention in the early1900s, the incidence of heart disease, type II diabetes, and cancer have skyrocketed. Therefore, the devastating effect of hydrogenated oils is worth investigating on everyone's part. We have become accustomed to their use in frying and as butter substitutes but when consumed along with food allergens, these oils act as amplifiers by allowing more allergen to enter the bloodstream. They also allow partially digested proteins to enter the system prematurely, setting us up for more variation in our food allergies. Once in our body, these oils further destroy natural cell and tissue barriers, admitting the harmful dietary proteins into regions they would never normally travel. Excessive levels of casein and gliadin derivatives along with the amino acids glutamate, aspartate, and phenylalanine enter tissues such as the central nervous system. These proteins are capable of direct harm to the hosts cells or command an immune response to invoke tissue damage.

With tissue-bound viruses coated in these dietary glycoproteins we have the necessary ingredients for autoimmunity. They exist in virtually all of the host tissues: heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, pancreas, central nervous system, thyroid glands, muscle, joints, and peripheral blood. Activation of these resting complexes is the next issue. This, again, is where veterinary medicine can contribute.

We have a condition known as F.I.P.- feline infectious peritonitis. In this insidious yet invariable fatal condition, the feline victim acquires the primary coronavirus from an infected individual through the nasal route. Once in the pharynx, the virus replicates and disseminates in a similar fashion to many human viruses. The initial symptoms are usually those of a typical upper respiratory virus with no serious signs. The corona virus then becomes latent in the host, having been disseminated to nearly all tissues, including the liver, central nervous system, lymph nodes, and pleural and peritoneal surfaces. There, it remains dormant for months to years, just as in the case of other viruses such as leukemia and AIDS (both human and feline).

Reactivation and the resultant immune response occur when the host is re-exposed to that virus or to an F.I.P.-like corona virus. It is then that the body's immune system turns on the host organs where the virus is housed in an attempt to destroy the virus. Unfortunately, the end result is a catastrophic inflammation of the host organs resulting ultimately in its failure. I believe that this serves as a model of autoimmunity in humans.

The triggers for the autoimmune attack on the human host tissue are similar but varied. Certainly, re-exposure to the latent virus or an antigenically similar virus could trigger a response similar to that of F.I.P. in cats. But with dietary and inhalant proteins playing their role, exposure to these proteins could trigger the response. Antibodies to inhalant and food proteins are now bound to the tissue in two different manners when you consider the latent virus theory. These immunoglobulins are bound to mast cells in the conventional fashion, awaiting re-exposure to the offending antigenic protein. When re-exposure occurs, the mast cell releases its component of histamine and the previously described tissue inflammatory response occurs. However, with the immunoglobulin-like dietary glycoproteins also being attached to tissue-bound viruses, the destruction is much more severe, resulting in what we term autoimmunity.

Evidence for this idea lies in the use of good dietary glycoproteins in the treatment of certain conditions. The best example is that of glucosamine. This glycoprotein is derived for shellfish- a very particular shellfish known as the pernicious mussel. Veterinarians have been using this compound for nearly 15 years in the treatment of various arthritic conditions in horses and dogs. Hip dysplasia in the dog serves as the best and most dramatic example. I have had canine patients that were nearly crippled by this condition respond dramatically to glucosamine compounds. I told a fellow golfer whom I had just met about this treatment when he inquired about his severely afflicted Old English Sheepdog. His pet was scheduled for major surgery at age 12 years in an attempt to bring relief for the discomfort of this horrible malady. He had never been advised as to the benefits of glucosamine, so I informed him as well as supplied him with the product on the way back to his hotel room. I received a Christmas card from him 3 months later in which he thanked me for helping him and his pet avoid unnecessary surgery. His dog was doing so well he couldn't believe his eyes.

How could that be? I have never read an explanation for the true effect of these compounds but now I have an applicable theory. Many have explained the results histologically- reformation of cartilage and increased production of joint fluid. But, how do they work? I believe it is because these good glycoproteins place themselves strategically on the receptors of those viruses that are tissue bound in the joints, thereby blocking the uptake of bad glycoproteins or immunoglobulins that would otherwise be stationed there. With the blank in place, the immune response can't take place when subsequent exposures to inhalant and dietary antigens occur. There are probably other such natural and therapeutic glycoproteins that would have similar effects. This concept would help to lend validity to many of the long-held Eastern medical practices. Homeopathic remedies have been around forever and, although we have not fully explained their beneficial effects, I believe that concepts like these, which are passed from generation to generation, must have some benefit. Just because we cant explain something doesn't make it untrue.

Once the foreign dietary and inhalant proteins are firmly in place in all of the involved tissues, the real battle begins. The immune system is triggered into action by the re-exposure to that protein or the virus that binds them and the inflammatory reaction ensues. A heavy dose of ragweed, a big gulp of milk, a meal laced with MSG, or a simple flu-like virus all have the capability of inducing reactions ranging from mild allergy signs to an all out assault on the host's organs. The alliance of the antigens and antibodies trigger the tissue destruction and signal the clean up crew to come in. The amount destruction is proportionate to the amount of antigen present. This explains the progressive nature of these conditions. It also explains the cyclical nature of conditions such as MS and lupus. The inflammation and resultant clinical signs, as abnormal and harmful as they appear, serve a purpose. The infected tissue is destroyed while the immune system removes the offending agents. Once again, the immune system is doing its job. The major problem is that the host has to suffer in order to get better. This is also the case in the chemotherapy that we volunteer for in our attempt to rid ourselves of deadly cancers. The oncologist knows that you have to do some harm to do some good. Its something like the old eggs and omelet analogy. You've got to break some if you want breakfast.

However, we don't like symptoms and discomfort so we quickly reach for the drugs that will make us feel better. Now we know that, even under these circumstances, there will be a backlash. By reducing the immune response, we undermine its efficiency and allow these foreign agents to remain in tissue at levels that our immune system was working so hard at to try to prevent. It should really surprise no one when they experience another attack of MS, lupus, coronary artery disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or pancreatitis. The other aspects that shouldn't surprise us is that it occurs sooner and more violently than the last episode because there is remaining antigen in the tissue and we haven't done anything to prevent further intake of that same antigen. In fact, we have likely taken in more under the cover of antihistamines, antacids, anti- inflammatory drugs like aspirin, and nasal decongestants. The vicious cycle should be plain as day, especially to the unfortunate victims of these horrible conditions.

The age of onset for these victims is varied and is determined by many factors, the most obvious being the degree or "maturity" of their allergy or intolerance. At first, there are minimal quantities of these immune-stimulating antigens bound to viruses and mast cells, unless they are the most afflicted. Keep in mind that we are all on a spectrum here, and the range of susceptibility is quite wide, from early childhood to late adulthood. There are infants who have horrible immune problems, probably from the in utero exposure to these antigens or from "contaminated" breast milk. Casein and gliadin do pass into mother's milk, then directly into the nursing child's highly susceptible gastrointestinal tract. Again, according to the FDA, the principle childhood allergens are cow milk, wheat, (eggs), and soy. Why? The answer is clear now. The body doesn't want them in it because they will do harm.

In other individuals, the harmful effects come later in life. They seem to come in recognizable waves. The other phenomenon is the metamorphosis of symptoms over the individual sufferer's life. I believe that one of the worst misconceptions among my clients is that we "outgrow" allergies. I don't think this occurs, but I do suggest that the symptoms change significantly as we mature which would confuse us and lead to this false perception. Early symptoms of allergies appear to be in the upper portion of our body- at the portholes of entry, interestingly enough. The itchy throats, the chronic "strep throats", the ear infections, and stuffy noses and sinuses are the first to hit us. Why? It is our bodies attempt to limit their access. As we continue to consume the causative foods, the symptoms move deeper into our body, resulting in upper GI problems like heartburn and bloating. Asthma becomes the natural sequel to the upper respiratory symptoms. Once we get some age on us, the lower gastrointestinal signs like colitis (e.g. Crohn's Disease) begin to haunt us. The progression is interesting once you open your eyes.

Chronologically, the symptoms typically start out simple and build in complexity. The ear infections, sore throats, and stomachaches occur in the 4-8 year olds, with asthma making its way onto the scene. There is also an unusual amount of leukemia diagnosed during this time. Then the mononucleosis and acne of the teenager occurs. The physiologic and psychological stress of those difficult years has its cause and effects. At this point, there is also a huge spike in the incidence of lymphoma. This should no longer be a mystery. Young adults have more adult symptoms like sinusitis, gas, heartburn, eczema, conjunctivitis, hives, and other typical allergy signs. The more serious problems like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are also on the rise in this age group. After reading this paper, this will no longer be a mystery.

From there, all susceptible individuals fall into a wide variety of age groups during which the ax falls. These, as discussed, are in large part determined by the diet of the individual combined with their genetic tendency toward a particular disease. Once again, I intentionally leave genetics until last in these discussions because that is where they belong. These conditions would never come to fruition if the pathologic conditions were not met beforehand. But, in the face of mass consumption of dairy, wheat, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, drugs, etc. and in the face of secondary allergens and environmental pollutants, these "genetic" conditions come crawling out of the woodwork. Not only do they occur, but they also are occurring in younger and younger victims. Diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, and the rest are all happening at increasing rates and in younger people.

When I examined my family's history, I saw one of the huge contributing factors. It is called the fast food industry. My father didn't start showing significant signs of the celiac disease until he was in his seventies. Other than depression (a universal celiac trait which is now it is well understood), he had been healthy right up until he had a basal cell tumor removed from his nose. Now I can see that this was the first sign of immune failure. (Remember that cancer, succinctly put, is simply the failure of the immune system to do its job.) Within a few years, he was diagnosed with polymyalgia/ fibromyalgia, his doctors really weren't certain. A year or so later, he suffered a number of TIAs (transient ischemic amnesia) which had us very concerned. In retrospect, we should have seen the heart attack coming at that point. It is kind of a kick in the pants to get to be 81 and then have to endure a six-vessel by-pass surgery. He fortunately survived that and was doing well until his semi-annual colitis flared up this fall. Despite my explicit instructions, he continued to eat some dairy products (limited, but some). He proved it all when he had to be taken to the emergency room in the middle of the night one hour after eating a bowl of ice ream. Fortunately, it just turned out to be a spastic colon rather than another heart attack. But, it was only one week ago last year that he had his open-heart surgery...almost to the day last year. This is no coincidence. The wind had just started blowing from the north which always brings with it allergens and chemical pollutants from the chemical plants north of our city. We are already in the nation's worst allergy season known to man and air quality problems such as ozone are huge amplifiers of inhalant allergens. Ozone basically burns the respiratory tract- the sinuses and bronchial tree- allowing an unusual amount of allergens into an inflamed and highly susceptible internal environment. It happens every year in August and September, just like clockwork. Dogs, cats and people become seriously ill by the busloads when this unnatural event takes place. Ozone is the "hydrogenated oil" of the respiratory tract so to speak.

With my father explained, I turned to my brother. His serious symptoms didn't start until he was approaching 50. Again, a touch of clinical depression was present, but the physical signs didn't start until later. His "laid-back" attitude and tendency to be academically lazy were explainable through the early presence of casomorphins and gliadorphins. He was always very smart, just not motivated. We all know these people.
It wasn't until he reached 52 that all heck broke loose. "Why so much earlier for him?" I asked. Why not 60,70,or 80? The answer came from my greatest teacher- my own body.

Of the three of us, I was obviously afflicted the earliest. Chronic fatigue followed by insomnia and acute endogenous depression at age 35, followed almost immediately by irritable bowel syndrome, followed quickly by neck and back pain, and topped off by fibromyalgia by age 45. My history now reads like a book to me. But why so much earlier than my family members? It was obvious... the food sources had changed dramatically over the last 50 years.

Remembering that Americans consume 40% of their calories as dairy products and another 20% as wheat, the age of onset of food intolerance was easily explained. It was the advent of the fast food industry that made these numbers approach this level. Everything is coated in wheat; deep fat fried in hydrogenated oils, covered with cheese, and put on a wheat bun. If we tire of this, we go next door and get a wheat platter covered with cheese called pizza. People innately know that fast food is not the healthiest form of food, but it is not the lack of vitamins and green vegetables per sae that is doing us in. It is the fact that we are consuming absolutely catastrophic levels of gluten, casein, and hydrogenated oils.

This industry didn't exist during my fathers formative years. It was barely a factor in my brothers life until after he got out of the Air Force. The first fast food chain didn't arrive in our city until I was in the sixth grade. At that time, my brother was twelve. By the time the fast food industry was in full swing, my brother was beginning his twenty-year career in the armed forces, eating three square meals a day. (This was his input on the subject when we discussed it recently.) But for me, it was an entirely different subject. Hamburger chains were popping up right and left and we loved them. We loved their food, but we really loved the convenience. That combination has proven to be deadly, in all senses of the word. And if things weren't bad enough, pizza hit the scene with a vengeance. With the American family morphing into a two-income unit, home cooked meals were a thing of the past. We were irreversibly hooked.

This family introspection has been applied to many of my clients situations now and proven to be a valuable and eye-opening exercise. The genetic diseases that run so strongly are occurring so much earlier. The endometriosis, diabetes, and immune-mediated diseases seem to be hop scotching down the generations toward birth. That is when another profound revelation hit me. Are the new diseases, like AIDS, Ebola, and West Nile Virus really new, or are we just now becoming sick enough to be susceptible to them? Certainly, viruses are capable of mutation and thereby able to infect species that were previously unaffected. This has happened numerous times in the past, usually occurring from animals to man. This makes sense, using the idea that the body temperatures of the source of these migrating viruses are universally higher than mans. But, one has to answer why only certain people are affected and why there appears to be an increase in these zoonotic diseases. An example lies in the West Nile Virus. Granted it is new due, in part, to the unnatural importation of the Asian Tiger mosquito vector in the late 80s. The point is that this virus normally causes minor flu-like symptoms in affected individuals. However, it has been lethal in some cases. Each fatal case that I am aware of can be explained by advanced age or immune-suppression. Well, the elderly are always the most affected one might volunteer. But, I recommend that people stop and ask why that is exactly. It is because their immune systems are failing. It is the same reason why 33-50% of people get cancer. Why it occurs and when it occurs are vitally linked to the progressive destruction of the immune system by what we eat, not by some mysterious, unexplainable phenomenon known as aging. The foods combined with our ignorant manhandling of our immune systems, keeping it from doing its job at every juncture, are rapidly destroying our ability to cope with the ever-present infectious agents around us. Everything tells us that we are getting progressively more ill and now we have a better understanding as to why.


A GLARING EXAMPLE

An obvious model of the all of immune-mediated disease is multiple sclerosis. This nebulous and terrifying condition is the definition of recurrent autoimmunity. Interviewing clients stricken with his relapsing neuropathy, I have found that all of them had signs of food intolerance years before the neurological attacks began. Most are also self-professed dairy addicts, with cheese being their downfall. Remember that obese client who felt that she "would die" without cheese? Her words, spoken with such an intensity and conviction, have been echoed by many of dairy's followers. It is clearly the most addicting food group. It is no wonder that current research points the finger at dairy proteins multiple sclerosis and other immune-mediated diseases.

With our viral bound protein model, we can see the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis unfold. It should be rather easy to put together a profile of the viral suspects and create a line-up for identification. In veterinary medicine, the paramyxovirus of canine distemper is a likely perpetrator. This agent is a pantropic virus that has an obvious affinity for the central nervous system. We vaccinate our patients yearly with a modified live version of this virus annually. Studies have suggested for years that countries that vaccinate in the manner we do have a much higher rate of immune-mediated diseases. Those countries that don't vaccinate have a much lower incidence of these problems. The reason for that may be so obvious to be stupefying. The majority of our vaccines are modified-live viruses and these viruses could be remaining in the "volunteer" for extended periods of time. They may be latent in the vaccinated individual only to be re-activated by any one of the described triggers, such as immune suppression, re-exposure, or challenge by antigenically similar viruses. That German Shepherd keeps haunting us, doesn't he? We can now see the myelopathy coming from miles away. Those repeated exposures to the modified-live paramyxovirus in the distemper vaccine could be shooting us in the foot. However, it is truly a "catch-22". If we don't vaccinate, they may die prematurely from the disease itself. The answer would obviously lie in the development of better-killed vaccines, as in the case of the newer rabies vaccines employed by veterinarians.

One of my closest friends is like that hapless breed. She has suffered from food-related symptoms for as long as I have known her, long before I understood why. Hives, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings were almost daily events. She had undergone an ovariohysterectomy for endometriosis at the early age of 30 years, right on schedule as I now understand. (Her 21-year-old daughter was just diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and early endometriosis last month. What a surprise.). A little research in the medical section of a popular bookstore explained the relationship between dairy and endometriosis. The estrogenic effects of milk were adding up quickly. More on this later.

My friend then had her first episode of acute pancreatitis last year. During this attack, her blood sugar skyrocketed, but insulin therapy was only transiently required...until her next episode six months later. The third pancreatic attack was accompanied by trigeminal neuropathy and polyneuropathy of her left extremities. She had just experienced her first attack of multiple sclerosis.

Thankfully, this serious development got her attention and she started paying attention to my ranting and raving concerning her dairy-laden diet. She has eliminated most all of these proteins and is in stable condition, even in the face of the worst allergy season on record, according to the news (and all of our experience). Even her hives have not flared up on their predictable schedule. She has been informed that total elimination will be ultimately required, but her gradual reduction has even proven tremendously therapeutic. One happy ending in the making.


THE PARALLEL UNIVERSE

The bad news is that not all of these proteins do their dirty work through the immune system. Some create problems of their own without any help form anyone. The phenomenally interesting thing to me at this point was the sudden vision of how the food that is bad for us has all of the necessary substances to warn us away from that food.

The prime example is dairy products. Milk not only contains harmful proteins that will trigger an immune response, but it possesses a number of elements that do physical and mental harm to set off an alarm that should distract us from further consumption. Milk contains high levels of arachidonic acid, the precursor to the pain-mediating chemical known as prostaglandin. When a pain sufferer reaches for a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), they are usually taking a drug that blocks the action of prostaglandin. By consuming dairy products, our intake of arachidonic acid has the potential for increasing our pain. This was stated clearly in the aforementioned text on endometriosis. The physician author states definitively that the intensity of menstrual cramps can be lessened by over 50% within a month or two of limiting dairy intake. She also stated the etiology of hyperestrogenism as it related to milk. Her explanation of how the cholesterol compounds in dairy are converted to estrogens within the intestinal tract and then absorbed "down stream" made perfect sense. It has been stated in this paper and on numerous milk-related sites that dairy is responsible for the early onset of menses in our developing little girls. As mentioned, over the years, this age has dropped from 15.5 to 12 years of age, and is dropping further due to the estrogenic effects of soy formula. A staggering 19% of our female population has their first menstrual cycle, developed breasts, or developed pubic hair by age eight. An amazing 0.7% has pubic hair or breasts by age three. Again, soy is the likely culprit here.

What is the effect of these hormonal changes? It is actually natural selection trying to take place. By inducing endometriosis, the offending substance is literally weeding out the most susceptible, making them less likely to reproduce. In nature, this is a good thing, unless it is undone by a crafty reproductive specialist. Thanks to "advances" in medicine, we can take the most afflicted and put them on equal par with the healthy, thus diluting our genetic strength that nature is trying to insure. This dilution ultimately plays a large role in the development of the spiral. Like our poor German Shepherd, the symptomatic care that we afford reverses the natural selection process and allows the weakest of the "breed" to compete with the strongest right up to the point of procreation. This allows those that would have been filtered out the gene pool to remain in the water and reproduce. Granted, this is a difficult moral and emotional issue, whether to attempt to limit those of us who are most afflicted from having offspring. I believe most would agree that they have the right to extend their families like anyone else. But, the fact remains that the weakening of our genetic matrix is the obvious result of our role in the natural selection process becoming more and more invasive and involved

The next potentially harmful components of milk of are a couple of amino acids: glutamate and phenylalanine. Glutamate is a neurostimulatory amino acid. It is used for that purpose in monosodium glutamate, the flavor enhancer. It works by stimulating the nerves of the taste buds, thereby enhancing the flavor of foods. But, what occurs once this amino acid is in our body, particularly in abnormal amounts? We can expect that it stimulates internal nerves, including the brain itself. This is, in fact, what occurs. The pertinent area of stimulation is the pain center of the brain. Glutamate stimulates this area at the same time it actually causes neuronal death when it exceeds the synapses tolerance level for this protein. This is the medical explanation for the migraine headache associated with MSG intolerance.

This is also likely to be the cause of my fibromyalgia. There was nothing actually wrong with those trigger points that wreaked havoc on my golf game. These were areas that would normally be a little sore after that or similar activity. But in the face of a pathologically sensitive pain center, these points were screaming bloody murder. The proof came later, after my miraculous recovery. It only took one month of being wheat-free for my pain to abate, allowing me to play 36, even 45, holes of golf pain free, with minimal morning after effects. I was flabbergasted. Once I dropped all cow milk and my joint pain totally disappeared, I began telling people that I felt as if I could get hit by a bus and not feel it. It was truly incredible.

The negative effects of excess glutamate is also the pathogenesis of Lou Gehrig's Disease. It is well described in current medical texts that excess glutamate at the synapse it what kills the neuron. The clinical signs of the disease result from reduced to absent neurological input to target organs due to that neuronal death. Remember that bit of irony about Lou Gehrig and the box of Wheaties? So, milk once again contains a substance that tells us to stop drinking it. This time it is yelling it at us.

It is strikingly similar in rheumatoid arthritis. The dairy products not only cause the rheumatoid arthritis through an immune mechanism, but they contain at least two substances, glutamate and arachidonic acid, to make the pain worse to get our attention. We're just not listening, are we? When I examine the incidence of this condition in my animal patients, it becomes even clearer. Immune-mediated arthritis is an uncommon condition in dogs while it is more frequent in cats. The answer is simple. Dog foods contain very little dairy, with a relatively small amount of casein being the norm in canine prepared foods. What their owner gives in addition to their commercial food may be an entirely different matter. This was the clue to the higher incidence in cats, where most of my cat owners are still under the (horrible) misconception that it is proper to give their cats milk. Cats also have an increased incidence of inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes relative to the dog. Once again, the evidence is staring us in the face.

Phenylalanine is another neurotransmitter but with a different area of "expertise". This amino acid is vital in the transmission of mood-related messages through the dopamine pathways. Excessive amounts of this protein can cause serious mood disorders and even mental retardation. The condition known as phenylketonuria is the glaring example of the potential harm this amino acid can do. Those unfortunate individuals who lack the ability to convert phenylalanine effectively to tyrosine have myriad of symptoms resulting from the excess of the former and a deficiency of the latter. The application lies in that little blue packet of artificial sweetener containing aspartame or diet drinks containing this compound. The warning label states that people with "PKU" should avoid this product. I suggest that we all avoid these compounds because of their unnatural and potential harmful qualities.

Aspartame contains a blend of aspartate and phenylalanine, everything wrong in an amino acid all rolled into one. Yes, these essential amino acids are found in virtually all proteins, but when they are in high quantity from an unnatural source, there is certainly room for an index of suspicion as to their role in "the spiral". Like glutamate, aspartate is a neurostimulator. It has a very close relationship with its brother protein in neuron stimulation. Excessive amounts can understandably cause similar harm in susceptible individuals. The reported complaints include short-term memory loss, headaches, pain syndromes, and even an MSG-like rush. Some clients have reported being hooked on diet drinks, and it is either the caffeine or the aspartate that is driving their addiction. A group of airline pilots are involved in a class-action suite over the mental damage done by these compounds.

The problem with the argument against this compound is that a few misguided souls are stating that the principle damage done by aspartame is accomplished by its conversion to formaldehyde in the body. This melodramatic aspect of aspartame's harm is only a part of the story but proponents of this compound are using the nonsensical nature of this argument as a defense. The fact is that aspartame does contain methanol which in turn is converted to a formaldehyde compound by the liver. Formaldehyde is both a component of embalming fluid and a carcinogen. These are not to be overlooked in their importance, but the best arguments against aspartame lie in the direct effects of its other aforementioned components. So, the fact is that aspartame doesn't need to be converted in the body to anything. It's neurotoxic all by itself.

There is another group of misinformed people who think that aspartame is actually the sole cause of Alzheimer's Disease. Their point is well taken though: there has been a dramatic change in the incidence and age of onset of this devastating condition since the release of this artificial sweetener. So much so that the correlation would lead some to identify it as the cause of this elusive disease. However, when the histological findings are examined, Alzheimer's reads like an immune-mediated condition. The presence of amyloid and the temporary gains with anti-inflammatory drugs signal to us that it is an inflammatory condition. Some have read that taking an ibuprofen compound daily will help with shot-term memory. Why would that be? The answer is now simple: because there is a chronic inflammatory condition taking place in the brain that is reduced through the use of these headache remedies. When one adds aspartame and MSG and their neurotoxic effects into the fray, it becomes readily apparent that they are contributing significantly to brain cell death and driving the younger age of onset and skyrocketing incidence levels into a startling new realm. When are we going to learn how to put two and two together and actually get four?


The proof that these artificial sweeteners are potential harmful is found partly in the origin of its components. One of the principle sources of phenylalanine is milk. In fact, for the diagnosis of PKU, doctors use a milk challenge to detect susceptible individuals. As we have established, no mammal should drink milk after it triples it's birth weight, so this primary source of phenylalanine should be eliminated. Remember the mood effects of this amino acid? Remember the "toxic" effects being mental retardation? These would be "natural" effects in the nursing young, keeping them quiet, less mobile, and content so as not to wander off or signal a predator. In some, it has a permanent effect on their temperament. One of my standard illustrations is the "autistic" nature of the cow. "Look at this guy", I would say. He doesn't move except to eat or graze or find some shade. They barely need a fence around them. And we drink their milk, of all possible sources? No wonder we're all depressed."

No matter what angle you come at dairy, you see the folly in its consumption. Pain, reproductive problems, immune-mediated diseases, and behavioral problems all are grounded in this unnatural food source. The proteins in cow milk are not unique to dairy, but they are in relatively high quantity and have no natural place in our diet.

The cereal grains contain many of the same amino acids in similar quantities, thus serving as a complementary source for these problem proteins. Wheat and soy are the two sources for commercial MSG, so one can conclude that these food sources are high in glutamate. As in the case of dairy (a new use for the term "dairy case"), these grains contain these elements as a warning to avoid their consumption. If the nausea, bloating, cramping, heartburn, and diarrhea weren't enough of a clue, then surely the pain, depression, and seizures would get our attention. Yes, glutamate can cause seizures.

This was one of the most astounding discoveries I made during this epic search for truth. I read on www.celiac.com how gluten intolerance sufferers with epilepsy had a remarkable improvement in their seizure incidence once the cereal grains were eliminated. I took this to heart and examined the possibility of this occurring in my patients. Suddenly, there was another epiphany. All of the epileptic breeds were the most food intolerant. Remember the list? And who headed that list? The German Shepherd. Those seizures it was having were glutamate related! The Cocker, Poodle, Labrador Retriever, Beagle, et al were the epileptics. Incredible. I immediately recommended that all of them be placed on a diet free of the cereal grains and dairy products.

The results? 100% of them responded. Not 20, not 67, but 100% improved. Most stopped having seizures within the week of the diet change. Some even proved the fact backwards and forwards, having seizures when the diet was violated but returning to "remission" when the offending proteins were removed. This really got my attention and I began researching the pathogenesis of epilepsy. It has long been considered idiopathic, with no histological evidence of true brain damage or actual visible lesions in the brain tissue. It had to be a biochemical phenomenon. Suddenly, I find the first clue in the word glutamate, the neurostimulatory amino acid. I read about the neurotoxic effects of glutamate in Lou Gehrig's Disease. I found that there are anticonvulsants that work by blocking glutamate. I stumbled onto the description of a rare brain tumor that secretes glutamate to kill adjacent brain cells, which facilitates its expansion. "Glutamate can be a beast, I said out loud. And where do dogs get the most of it? From the same unnatural source of "nutrition" that generates their food allergies. What a coincidence...not! Again, it was stupefying in its simplicity. Remove the sources of glutamate and their seizures stop.

It would be almost a year before an EMT friend of mine would send me an article from Johns Hopkins University on the response of epileptic children to ketogenic diets. This gave me distinctly mixed emotions. I did not need more proof than what I had acquired over the past year, but it was nice to see the medical field coming around. It was a validation of sorts. However, it actually angered me to think that anyone would ignorantly volunteer for or be forcibly placed into a physiologic state (ketosis) normally reserved only for either extreme starvation or unregulated diabetes mellitus. This is a horrible state of human physiology and should be remedied as soon as possible. The good news is that children don't have to go into ketosis to help their epilepsy. They simple have to eliminate those unusual sources of glutamate and aspartate that are driving their seizures. This is at least the short-term fix.

I decided that I would let some researcher prove why these particular dogs and children had more glutamate and aspartate at the neuronal level than those without seizures, but I felt I knew the answer. The answer had to lie in their relative inability to eliminate glutamate, just like the sufferers of Lou Gehrig's Disease. It had to be similar to the PKU situation just described. How could this occur? Again, the answer was amazingly simple. The foods containing these substances were concurrently causing the malaborption and maldigestion syndromes, both subclinically and overt. The resulting lack of absorption of vitamins and minerals had to be diminishing the body's ability to produce the enzymes that were needed to convert these problem proteins. This would fit the patterns described earlier, both warning us off the foods while simultaneously implementing the principles of natural selection. The most afflicted would become incapacitated and die while those less affected and "paying attention" would stop eating the offending foods. Only man would once again be smart enough to explain things wrongly and start a course of covering up the problems with symptomatic drugs.

The facts then stood before me and were backed up with logic. The unnatural foods (wheat, barley, dairy, and soy) caused harm through a number of mechanisms and they contained the products necessary to tell us they were going to do this harm. What perfection our body is. But, if we don't listen to our body or if we are misguided in our explanations as to the origin of our symptoms, then we will pay the price, and oh, what a price we can pay.


APPLIED KNOWLEDGE

The application of this principle is without bounds in my opinion. That laundry list of diseases and immune-related disorders that I parrot back to all that will listen is in desperate need of a thorough cleansing. Diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease), multiple sclerosis, thyroid illness (Hashimoto's and Grave's), Crohn's Disease, et al are all candidates. I would run down that list like I have the previous conditions, but time doesn't allow this. The previously described model of autoimmunity stands for all of them. The conditions that need further attention are no less important.

These devastating conditions are Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's Disease). As in most medical texts, these are grouped together for an obvious reason. What is known as well as what remains a mystery about these conditions links them together. The reason becomes more clear when a review of what we now understand is made in order to put the focus on these enigmas. The histological findings of Alzheimer's, for example, suggest an autoimmune component. Even veterinary students are trained to link amyloidosis with immune-mediated disease. The first time I read the Merck Manual's description of the components found in the brain of Alzheimer's victims, my eye fell on one word- glycoprotein. I had just studied the damaging effects of the glycoproteins of wheat and dairy and immediately asked the obvious question. Is this glycoprotein endogenous or exogenous? Is it an immunoglobulin or a dietary protein or both? When I saw the same word, glycoprotein, in the description of coronary artery disease, it really piqued my interest.

From that point on, I researched these conditions from a variety of perspectives. Could it be that these are a combination of immune-mediated disease and the direct effect of neuron-killing amino acids? Are these debilitating diseases skyrocketing in incidence because all of the factors above are coming together to produce this epidemic? I have to believe in this distinct possibility. The viral model still holds true and is best exemplified in Parkinson's Disease.

Nothing brought this to light more clearly than the historical event described on a Parkinson's information Website. In the 1920s, there was a viral infection that swept through known as Von Economos virus. Its common name was the sleeping virus, for its obvious affinity for and affect on the brain. The site then stated that researchers have now traced 6.5 million cases of Parkinson's Disease to this virus. Now, as far as I know, no one believes that Parkinson's Disease is a simple viral infection. However, it is clear that the viral infection was certainly a huge factor in this insidious condition. How could that be?

I am sure the readers of this paper are now way ahead of my ability to type the words. Imagine, if you will, a population of people who are naturally consuming dairy and cereal grain proteins at the their usual rate. Suddenly, a virus appears that has a major attraction to the central nervous system. This virus becomes latent in that host tissue, suggested by the symptoms and course of the illness, and then begins to acquire the dietary proteins available from the unsuspecting victim. As time passes, more glycoproteins are added to the receptors of the virus while the host remains healthy and immune competent. Then, as the immune clock of this time bomb ticks down, the susceptible individuals suffer an explosion of symptoms. The signs are nebulous and varied at first. Some sufferers rapidly progress while others stagnate. Doctors become puzzled at the variance in presentation. Little did they know that this myriad of appearances had a logical explanation.

As in all of these immune conditions, the spectrum of presenting signs and clinical courses are as varied as the individual. Logic should then guide us in the discovery to the answer to this riddle...or answers, more correctly stated. These include the individual immune response to the initial viral infection, the diet of the individual, the degree of food intolerance and related malnutrition syndromes, the presence of concurrent infections and disorders, re-exposure to the offending virus or similar viruses, and the intake of other damaging dietary elements such as hydrogenated oils, the neurotoxic amino acids (glutamate, aspartate, and phenylalanine). There are obviously other factors, but I consciously left genetics off the short list because it has become clear that the role of family history has only an indirect effect on the actual manifestation of any of these conditions.


THE "TRUE" ROLE OF GENETICS

The focus on genetics has long since been a pet peeve of mine. (No pun intended.) Our genetic make-up is obviously an important determinant of our physical characteristics. They clearly play a role in the conditions to which we are predisposed. Diabetes, coronary artery disease, lupus, and others do appear to run in families. As in psychiatric disorders, there is a delicate relationship between genetic and environmental factors. However, history makes the over-emphasis of genetics undeniable. Many behavioral problems, such as ADHD, manic depression, and schizophrenia, have been since proven to be true medical problems. The same misconceptions occur in the medical realm.

The role of genetics needs to be accurately defined before we spend our time and resources looking for answers where none exist. I will never forget my gut response to the announcement that we had successfully mapped the human genome. President Clinton and those on the news were in a highly charged, celebratory mood upon the release of this historic news. In stark contrast, my innate reaction was one of utter disappointment. Another huge step in the wrong direction were the words I spoke to an empty room. What are we going to do? Pick apart DNA and remove the offending genes? I saw Alien 4- The Resurrection. You cant do that! Those were my words, reactive and accurate.

What will we do with this knowledge and technology? Will we eliminate these diseases through gene extraction? I would have to believe that is highly unlikely. Will we be able to alter the course of the encoded diseases? Not without the knowledge shared in this treatise. What then will the purpose be? Will it only serve to identify those at risk for serious illness, resulting in paranoia of things to come? Are the main beneficiaries the insurance companies who will then be able to screen us for conditions for which they can apply riders or at worst deny coverage altogether? If anything, man is shortsighted and has a terrifyingly limited vision when it comes to the results of his actions. Will we really be surprised when cells grown in tissue culture or developed from stem cells are immediately destroyed by the same immune system that caused the failure of that organ to begin with? Why did we think that it would tolerate a cell from a foreign source any better than the homemade ones? Will we really continue to subject ourselves to more powerful immunosuppressant drugs in order to protect foreign organs that have been installed to replace the damaged ones? Universally, the magnitude of the discovery and applied change is directly proportional to the possible negative repercussions of those actions. Who would have imagined that changing from goat milk to cow milk would contribute so significantly to our undoing


CONCLUSION

In summary, the answer to this articles perplexing subtitle is multifaceted but almost childlike in its root simplicity. You are what you eat. We have heard it for years, and no truer words have been spoken. The viruses play a major role, but without the offending dietary proteins, they are just viruses. In the absence of maldigestion, malabsorption, and malnutrition, most of these viruses would be a passing nuisance at worst. Hydrogenated oils are a horrible facilitator of immune disease. But, without casein, gluten, soy protein, et al, they may be reduced to unnatural fats with limited health effects. We now understand that pharmaceuticals are a two-edged sword. Granted, they often play a vital role in saving lives. However, the injudicious and indefinite use of symptomatic medication in the name of pure comfort should be abhorred. Once the underlying cause of our diseases is better understood, the need for long-term medications should greatly diminish. More of our research dollars should be earmarked for nutritional studies and the development of safe foods rather than directed toward the adulteration of what we have left to consume. The focus on our genetics and that of our foods should take a back seat to the prevention of diseases through a close reexamination of what we already know. With safe foods and healthy immune systems, the diseases encoded in our DNA could well be bad dreams that never come to pass.

The spiral is being driven by a multitude of forces. The advent of the convenience foods followed by our physiological and psychological addiction to their components is key. Our complex and hectic schedules nearly steer our vehicles to the drive through on the way home. The symptomatic allergy and heartburn medications allow us to continue to eat those foods in the face of signs of clear and present danger. Childhood illnesses that would limit life in the animal kingdom are dispensed with effectively to allow the weaker to survive and procreate, diluting the strength of the gene pool. Likewise, infertility problems that would again limit reproduction have been conquered to allow the afflicted to have offspring. I have to reiterate that these are moral questions to which we have a clear answer. We must save our children and we all deserve the right to bear children. However, the end result is a weakened genetic base that contributes significantly to the spiral.

A similar dilemma is created in the prolongation of life through symptomatic drugs. Advances in the treatment of heart disease and cancer have extended our lives long enough to suffer from a multitude of other diseases. Those that would have died of heart attacks or infections that challenge a weakened immune system go on to experience Alzheimer's or Parkinson's Disease. This should be no surprise now when we realize that the same thing that drives the former sets us up for the latter. It is back to the idea of whether diabetes causes the conditions that follow it or whether those complications are really caused by the same condition that resulted in diabetes.

Add to this the facilitators (hydrogenated oils, preservatives, dyes, et al), environmental pollutants, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption, and social stresses and we see the twister that is about to consume our town from miles away. It is an F-5 on the Fujita-Pearson Tornado scale, the likes of which has never graced a Hollywood movie screen. It is moving at us with lightning speed and catastrophic force. How do we get out of its path?

The answer is right on the tip of our forks. We need to slow down in our consumption of the technological meals being put on our plates and go on a diet of common sense. As in many things, we need to step back and look at things through the eyes of a child, seeing the simplicity of our body's needs and ways rather than always viewing the advanced infrastructure of creations miracles. We should look to the complexity of our bodies for proof of what we now know, not in attempt to change how it operates. We are more perfect and overwhelmingly complicated as any of mans achievements, yet we persist in exploring the boundaries of our internal and external universes while neglecting our fundamental needs. We have been on a mission out of control for years. Its time to
set a new course that brings us safely home.

ADDENDUM

The original intent of this paper has been altered over the course of its development. During the discovery period, information was being uncovered on almost daily basis that determined the content of the piece. The molding of the subject matter into a recognizable shape was influenced by many factors, both in and out of my control. I have been forced to limit my factual findings to a relatively small percentage of what I have discovered. Equally, I have limited the number of illustrations and personal vignettes to a fraction of those that are applicable. This has been done for a number of reasons.

This subject has had my full attention for over a year. The research has been incredibly self- perpetuating in that one discovery led to another which led to yet another. The mounting evidence and factual data became overwhelming in size and scope. To footnote this article and make it suitable for publication became a logistical impossibility with my existing time constraints. The medical truths stated are easily traceable by those who care to do so. The historical data is a matter of record. Anyone of like motivation can find the factual information in medical libraries, public bookstores, and on the Internet. The latter proved to be an invaluable source for both proven medical data and lay information.

Then the day that eclipsed all others in infamy occurred. The holocaust in New York City unexpectedly altered all of us in ways that we still do not recognize. An incredible urgency to release this letter came over me and the result was to do so before I had originally intended. The work should be able to stand on its current merits. For those who require more, there is more...much more. The book will be much more detailed.

Dogtor J.
©2001 DogtorJ.com

Revisions and Additions

The Answer was last revised on October 13, 2001. I added a number of thoughts and paragraphs throughout the text of the paper. From this point on, I will attempt to place any additions in this section for easy access and printing.

Dogtor J.
dogtorj@bellsouth.net

 

Diabetes update

A recent article on Dr. Mercola's site really got my attention. He and others estimate that 3/4 of the adult population in this country are in what they term a pre-diabetic state. This should really stagger us. However, after what I have learned over the past 2 years, I am not that surprised, especially in light of the pathophysiology behind the two forms of diabetes, both of which are skyrocketing.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that we don't have a better grasp of the cause-and-effect concept in medicine. By this, I mean the accurate distinction between causes, triggers, and coexisting conditions in relation to the primary medical condition under discussion. Diabetes is a classic example. Most people, especially those with diabetes, are aware of the other medical conditions that often follow a diagnosis of diabetes, especially type 1 (the immune-mediated type). I talk to many of these people in the exam room every day who feel that they are automatically doomed to have many of those conditions once they have been diagnosed with their primary condition of diabetes. Fortunately, this is only partially true, if that.
 
Diabetes itself does not cause as many of the subsequent problems experienced by sufferers as many think. The fact is that they are prone to other immune-meditated conditions by having type-1 diabetes because the same thing that causes the diabetes also causes the other immune-related conditions. Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's disease), hyperthyroidism (Graves disease), MS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are immune-mediated diseases. There are also a slew of other liver, kidney, lung, muscle, skin, neurologic, and blood conditions that are immune-mediated diseases. Even the number one killer of Americans, atherosclerosis (the underlying condition in heart attacks and strokes) has an immune-mediated component. You are just now starting to hear about this on the news with the "new" inflammatory marker being used to test for the condition. We have known that there is inflammation in the wall of these arteries for years and years. It has been how to interpret this finding that has held up the release of this information to the public, just as it took years to tell you that type-1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune attack on your pancreas that ultimately wipes out the cells that produce insulin. Many of my diabetic clients still don't understand this. I believe the rationale behind not telling them is that understanding medicine is beyond their capability. I disagree in many cases. But, if the diabetic doesn't understand why the condition occurs, there is not hope for a successful recovery is there? Plus, there is not much of a chance that they can avoid the "inevitable" complications of this degenerative condition. It's like telling someone that they have to keep driving down the interstate once a blindfold has been placed over their eyes. What are the chances that you won't "crash"?
 
As you have read in The Answer (www.dogtorj.com), there are many theories as to why the immune system
starts attacking the host cells. But, I can assure you that it is NOT because of a "malfunctioning" immune system. The immune system is working perfectly and doing it's job. The sufferer just doesn't understand what it is trying to accomplish and why?
 
The fact is that there is something in those target tissues that the immune system doesn't like. The pancreas, liver, thyroid glands, myelin sheaths of the nerves, etc .etc. have become infiltrated with something (invariably a foreign protein of some source, like dietary, inhalant, viral, bacterial, etc. origin) that the immune system feels shouldn't be there. Once the level of that "invader" reaches a critical level, the immune system responds, assaulting the area to CLEAR IT ALL OUT. It is a "cleansing" process. How many times have you heard that? Not many, I'm sure, BUT it is the reality.
 
Fortunately, the immune system is "crisis" oriented. It only goes to war for a good reason. This is in keeping with how the rest of the body operates. You can live on 1/2 of one kidney, about 1/4 of your liver, incredible reduced lung function, numerous nearly-occluded coronary vessels, and serious reductions in all of your nutrient reserves. Like the Timex watch, we are meant to "take a licking and keep on ticking". So, like our military, our immune system doesn't respond to every little threat with a major reaction. BUT, once things get serious enough, watch out! Over time, we accumulate increasing levels of these threatening substances until, finally, we exceed our threshold. This may be different for each and every one of us. We are individuals but there are averages, aren't there? 40 years is a pretty good average, isn't it? "The wall", "over- the-hill", etc. etc. Guess what. It is more than a time to give your best friend Polident,Tums, and black balloons as a reminder of how old they are. It is a real typical time for things to start going wrong, isn't it?
 
Or it USED to be. Now, there are people in their 20's and 30's having things that used to be restricted to the 40-50 year age group. High blood pressure, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and much more are afflicting the young adult. We have 33 year old baseball players at the pinnacle of their career with a perfect physique dropping dead of heart attacks. We have a staggering number of people coming down with Parkinson's before age 40. We have had a 500% increase in autism. Diabetes has skyrocketed. How can that be? The threshold is being exceeded earlier and earlier, isn't it?
 
How does the body react when the threshold it exceeded? It usually has provided us with plenty of warning signs like allergies, fatigue, pain, digestive upset, fevers, etc. before it lowers the boom. But, when we haven't paid attention or misinterpreted these signs ("Oh, it is a malfunctioning immune system that one day we will be able to correct by extracting a gene"  Yeah, right! Grrrrrr....), then we get to suffer the consequences of a a full-out assault on the offenders. The immune system takes things in to it's own hands. WE have let it down by not listening, so it has to do the job itself. Do you see that? The assault on the "polluted" tissue, whether it be nerves in MS or the pancreas in type-1 diabetes, helps to get rid of these offending agents or complexes. It is a search and destroy mission. Unfortunately, just as in war, there are "civilian" casualties. Normal cells get affected, just as in chemotherapy for cancer. But, the immune system has carefully weighed the benefits of starting this war against the problems of doing nothing or too little.
 
Yes, there are undesirable side effects of this "cleansing" but the old saying of "taking the bad with the good" or "no pain, no gain" apply here. Take MS as the example. "Something" is building up along the myelin sheaths of nerves. The odds-on favorites are viruses, dietary, and inhalant proteins. Again, The Answer outlines my ideas on the subject. Once a threshold level is attained, the immune system is triggered into action. The attack causes symptoms associated with dysfunction of the target nerve, from tingling of the fingers to blindness (optic neuritis) to facial and trigeminal neuralgia to paralysis. Thankfully, this often occurs unilaterally. Why only one eye or one side of the face at one time? For that, there is no explanation except "grace". It just happens that way and we should be grateful that this is how it occurs. 
 
BUT, the remitting and relapsing pattern experienced in many of the autoimmune disorders like lupus (the "wolf") and MS is totally explainable. The damage from the cleansing is temporary...at least in the early attacks. The attack "takes out the garbage" and the tissue heals...until it all builds back up again. Then, the attack occurs again, but this time the symptoms may be worse or more prolonged. Why is that? Well, the immune response gets stronger as time goes by. Any allergy sufferer will attest to that and this is also explainable. But, the tissue is getting weaker with each attack as well. Remember, we take that licking and keep ticking but the clock is running and someday, the clock will run out if we don't get to the root of the problem. In fact, I am thoroughly convinced that we experience the first attacks without our knowledge in many cases, especially when it comes to veterinary medicine. By the time we are outwardly sick, we are pretty far down the road in many cases, aren't we? Coronary artery disease and some forms of cancer are "good" examples, aren't they? My dad had six arteries severely occluded when he felt a "little something" in his chest he didn't like. Man, we're almost made too well, aren't we?
 
So, what we then have to understand are the factors that push us over the edge once we are on the precipice of an immunological disaster. What are the triggers?? Well, they are likely to be our taking in MORE of the offender that's there OR anything that stimulates the immune system into retaliatory action OR anything that severely compromises the immune systems ability to handle offending organisms in your body, like viruses and bacteria. That's why my latent virus-food protein complex "theory" makes so much sense, at least to me. I have been on medical sites that discuss research done on the viral theories of MS and on others that relate foods to MS, neither of which seem to be able to explain the situation adequately. The blending of the two is the key, I believe. Also, the viral component would help to explain why immunosuppressant factors can be triggers of immune-mediated diseases. If the immune-system gets "hand-cuffed" by an overwhelming challenge or is subjected to immune-suppressing drugs and substances like chemicals and pollutants, then the latent viruses involved have a chance to get out from under the controlling thumb of that immune system and flare up, causing symptoms. Again, the classic example is the varicella virus that causes chicken pox early in life but then later causes shingles 20-60 years later. He's been there all along, under the thumb of the immune system. But, once that system is compromised, that virus takes full advantage and mounts an attack on the nerves where he has been hiding all of those years. It is that simple.
 
This IS what happens. This is not a theory. The bad news is that we are a "virus hotel" of sorts. How many of these "critters" we have in us is probably undeterminable. But, we know about many, including Epstein-Barr which has now been associated with two forms of leukemia and a form of lymphoma. 50% of our kids have this virus in their body by age 5 and the vast majority of us pick it up after that, especially during the teenage years. I'm certain that this is just one of many.
 
How has that happened, you might ask? For one, we have invited them in by doing such foolish things as taking aspirin for fevers caused by viruses. Everyone should be able to see how crazy that is once they stop and think for a moment about it. The fever is there to drive the virus out. By artificially reducing that protective fever, we become totally reliant on the cellular part of our immunity to get rid of the invaders. I hate to say it folks, but we have become way too unhealthy over the recent years to do something stupid like lessen our ability to fight viruses. The recent West Nile outbreak is a CLASSIC example of that. Is this truly a new virus or one that has been around for a while? I do know one thing. We have become way too unhealthy to handle this guy anymore. The medical records of the afflicted victims say it all.
 
So, back to the pre-diabetic state. It may seem that I took a major detour for no reason, but you will understand. Remember that diabetes has two forms. Type-1 is immune-mediated and type-2 is not. Type-2 diabetes is due to insulin resistance. Your body cannot handle too much insulin being released for very long so it goes into a protection mode that makes the cells less susceptible to the effects of insulin. Why is that? Yes, insulin is critical for the use of blood sugar. Without it, we would all have diabetes. BUT, too much insulin in the blood has some very ugly side effects. These are the things associated with type 2 diabetes, such as liver disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and much more. For a more complete explanation of the negative effects of insulin, go onto Dr. Mercola's main site (www.mercola.com) and put "insulin" in his search engine and read about it. It is actually very interesting to understand how and why the body protects itself from too much of this vital hormone.
 
The reader will also then see what is driving the insulin levels up to unhealthy levels in a staggering number of people in this country. It will become clear why there has been a 70% increase in this condition in the age group of 9-19 years in that past 5-10 years. Wow!!
 
In a word...yep...DIET!!! Between the love affair Americans have with complex carbohydrates and the criminal amounts of hydrogenated oils in foods, you don't have to look much farther. Insulin is released when the blood sugar rises. Complex carbs make the blood sugar rise. Sometimes 1+1 does equal two. (Other times, it equals 3, but that's a whole 'nother sermon.) For a complete explanation of the role of hydrogenated oils, you should go onto David Dewey's site (www.dldewey.com/hydroil.htm). You really should print out and read his Hydrogenated oils- The Silent Killers and Aspartame paper. Understanding the damaging effects of hydrogenated oils is critical to everyone's health. Over 90% of the prepared foods we eat contain these oils. Many authorities now agree that there is NO such thing as safe levels of trans fats in food. The sooner we wake up to this harsh reality the better. Oh...and reducing the amount of these deadly oils in certain french fries is like going from a 3 pack of cigarettes a day to a 2 pack a day habit....unlikely to make a dent in the problem. (But, it sure sounds good and will boost their sales phenomenally, won't it?) 
 
So, in a nutshell, how can 3 out of 4 Americans be in a pre-diabetic state? I think you now have a good idea. We have set ourselves up phenomenally for both types, haven't we? We have loaded ourselves up on viruses, "foreign" proteins (particularly food and inhalant allergens), complex carbohydrates, and hydrogenated oils. We have unknowingly opened our doors to the involved viruses and proteins by squashing the symptoms our body produces in an attempt to isolate the offending items. I wrote extensively about this in The Answer and will again in my next paper Warning Signs- How you should have known what you have now was coming based on what you had before. Catchy title, huh? WARNING SIGNS. Allergies, heartburn, fatigue, insomnia, irritable bowel, colitis, headaches, fever, pain syndromes like fibromyalgia, muscle weakness, memory loss, balance problems and on and on and on. Yes, some of these are associated with very severe disease processes, but I had a degree of ALL of these things and they are all gone now that I have been dairy, wheat, and hydrogenated oil free for 2 years. No more drugs, either. Wow! Amazing.... but explainable. Miraculous.... but an explainable miracle.
 
I am not unique, except maybe in the degree of my understanding of this COUPLED with the fact that I am living this life I have described to you. There are plenty of people who know ALL of this. There are less who have experienced it all, applied the knowledge, and recovered. But there are multitudes of people out there who haven't a clue about what is written on these pages and on Dr. Mercola's and my sites. That makes me angry as it should you. I understand how that happens, but it doesn't lessen my reaction by much on most days.

What in the World Do I Eat???

By Dogtor J.

 

So, you're starting to understand the whole concept of food intolerance and feel that it may help you to start restricting your diet. Great! "Now what?" is the commonly asked question. "What foods have wheat in them?" is another. What in the world do I eat once I cut out all of that stuff? is the big one.

I went through the same thing, of course. As I went down the list of things I ate on a regular basis, I often said... and out loud..."Man, that has wheat in it, too!" Yes, the pasta, cereal, cookies, crackers, TV dinners, soups, sauces, and snack foods all had wheat. But when I nonchalantly looked at the one liter bottle of root beer on the counter one day and saw "modified food starch" on the label, I wanted to give up. Even though it made sense in retrospect (the wheat protein...the gluten...is what thickens the root beer and gives it that classic consistency that distinguishes it from other colas), it still imparted a sense of hopelessness in my battle against the "dark side"...the world of gluten, casein, and soy.

So, the diet is more easily viewed as an "elimination diet" when our goal is to avoid anything with these particular protein complexes in them. Then "all you have to do" is to also eliminate anything else that you have become allergic to over your lifetime. Simple, right? Yes, it is simple, but not easy.

Once again, the primary allergens are wheat, cow milk products, and soy. These (along with the other gluten grains barley and rye) are the ones that damage the villi of the duodenum and set us up for other "secondary" allergens, those that are formed as more normal proteins (such as eggs, bananas, peanuts, and tomatoes) pass through that damaged gut. This explains why, according to the FDA, the childhood allergens are cow milk, wheat, eggs, and soy in that order. But why the eggs? The eggs are the first secondary allergen as they are usually the first protein to enter that immature intestinal tract following the cow milk formulas and teething biscuits that do the primary damage. This just makes sense, doesn't it? Then as we grow older and the damage worsens, we may become allergic to more and more foods. This explains why the typical adulthood allergens are different from those described for children and includes such things as shellfish, nuts, and tropical fruits...things that would normally be considered healthy.

It is very common for celiac sufferers to have multiple food allergies. I know a woman with celiac disease that is allergic to thirty different foods. The explanation lies in what is known as "leaky gut syndrome", during which proteins enter the bloodstream through the damaged intestinal tract in forms that the immune system no longer recognizes as normal. As a result, we form antibodies to these "foreign" proteins in an attempt to protect us, especially the person with advanced celiac disease whose immune system is failing from the chronic malabsorption of essential nutrients required to keep it healthy. Do you see the snowball forming here...the spiral tightening?

The ideal diet then becomes one that eliminates the foods that are doing the primary harm and the ones that causing secondary problems...the allergens. The latter group is becoming more and more important as we learn about the role of allergens in immune-mediated diseases such as MS, lupus, rheumatoid disease, and other chronic conditions. We now understand the role of allergic reactions in chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, pain syndromes and even epilepsy.

"OK, but what do you eat? What is left? I'll starve to death if I try do this thing!" Don't listen to those little voices that are telling you these lies. There is plenty out there to eat. Yes, with 70% of our diet being dairy products and wheat alone, the grocery store gets really small all of the sudden when we take these out of the mix. But you are left with a logical, healthy, and still quite varied diet of meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, and baked goods (with flour alternatives)... oh, and some dark or semi-sweet chocolate (as long as you're not allergic to chocolate).

Let's take it one meal at a time. For breakfast I usually eat eggs, some veggies and one or two pieces of gluten-free, dairy-free toast. The bread alternatives are available at the local health-food store. I usually get the tapioca loaf or one of the breads in the freezer section. You can also make your own with a variety of GFCF (gluten-free, casein-free) mixes. Oats have been controversial for years in the celiac circles but many feel that they are "safe" now. I have eaten a fair amount of oatmeal and other oat products over the past four years without any problems. There appear to be some healthy benefits of oats (such as lowered cholesterol) but I am not sure if this is due to the oats themselves or to the fact that the oats are eaten in place of the bad things like donuts, pancakes, waffles, or cereal with milk. However, I am pretty convinced that most oats are safe for most celiacs. Perhaps they should be avoided initially in the worst of the worst cases, especially those individuals that need the glutamate restriction. Oats are high in that neurostimulating amino acid and they could be the worst way to start your day if you are battling fibromyalgia, ADHD, or epilepsy.

For a quick breakfast, I will eat a rice or oat-based cereal with a milk substitute on it. Rice milk and almond milk are good on cereals and as milk substitutes in baking. There are gluten-free waffles at the health food store but most of them have soy protein in them. Our local health food store bakes GFCF breads and when cut thickly and toasted, these bread substitutes make great French toast. You just have to use your imagination and think outside the bun a bit. You learn to not adhere so tightly to the "food rules" you've been brought up with all of your life. Chicken or turkey for breakfast is "OK" when there is nothing else in the house. Remember: the food police will not arrest you if you have a dinner-type meal for breakfast or lunch.

Speaking of lunch, this is the toughest meal usually because we often eat it on the go. Fast food goes right out the window for the most part...a change that is fabulous for your overall health. Cutting out fast food not only eliminates a tremendous amount of wheat and dairy but also the life-threatening amounts of hydrogenated oils that are plaguing this country. I will not get on this soapbox right now ("Yeah!") but this is HUGE, folks. You will be hearing much more about this crucial issue throughout the media in the near future.

So back to lunch. How about a salad? Ahhhh...the salad. Ever wonder why eating a salad for lunch actually makes you feel better? Is it the veggies or is it the fact that you didn't load up on the bread, cheese, and trans fats? It is both, actually, isn't it? But what about eating on the run? Some fast food places have salads and I eat them a lot. I just keep a few extra things at work and home to put on them to spice them up a bit, like raisins, pecans, cherry tomatoes, cut up zucchini, celery, mandarin oranges, coconut, bell pepper, etc. Get creative.

But when I'm in a real hurry, I'll go to Taco Bell and get a Southwest steak bowl (with no cheese or jalapeno sauce) or a few tacos. I do eat limited amounts of corn but I try to avoid eating too much of this grain as it can cause similar problems. Some people are very corn intolerant so it is important that you determine this for yourself. It may not become evident until you have eliminated the main foods for a while. I am now over three years gluten and dairy free and can still feel the milk in milk chocolate. But after a year or so of doing this, I realized how allergic I was to bananas and how corn upset my stomach (and colon) if I ate too much. The wheat and dairy issues were obscuring these other reactions.

Let me just say here that one way to deal with these secondary food allergy issues is to go ahead and get tested right away. This will eliminate a lot of the guesswork. For those with serious immune-mediated diseases like lupus and MS or stubborn conditions like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, I would recommend that they be tested for the IgG antibodies as well. Allergy tests involve IgE, the antibody involved in production of the symptoms in an allergic reaction, such as stuffy noses, itching ears, heartburn, rashes, and the like. IgG is one of the antibodies involved in "deeper" reactions that we refer to as immune-mediated (or autoimmune) reactions, such as type one diabetes, lupus, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis. Remember: the term "autoimmune" is a misnomer. It implies that the immune system is attacking the body for some unexplained reason as if it were making a mistake of some kind. Our body does not make that kind of mistake...ever! There is always a logical explanation for what our bodies do. In the case of "autoimmune diseases", the immune system is going after something it does not like in the target tissue such as the joints, pancreas, myelin sheaths of nerves, or blood cells. What could that be? In general, the immune system reacts to proteins that it does not like. What are examples of those proteins? Viruses, bacteria, molds, inhalant proteins (dust mites, pollens, cat dander, etc), and food proteins.

We can conjecture all day what we may or may not react to as an individual but by age forty or fifty, we could be reacting to just about anything in the way of secondary food allergens...peanuts, shellfish, tomatoes, pineapple, mangos... you name it. The fastest way to find out is to be tested (now done through a blood sample) and I highly recommend it for those that are in what I lovingly call "the worst of the worst" category or those who feel desperate for a solution and want it fast.

Back to the meals. Breakfast is done, we have lunch on the run (oh yeah, speaking of on the run, you can make sandwiches out of GFCF breads, of course), and now you want a snack of some kind before dinner. Fruit is ideal as are fresh veggies. "Boring" is what most say. "Tough!" is what I say. "Do you want to get better or not??? " (There is always room for some tough love...and Jell-O.) What you can safely eat for snacks may be determined by what you are fighting in the way of a chronic condition. Of course, you must avoid allergens but you also have to avoid certain foods if you are fighting pain (including migraines and fibromyalgia), ADHD, epilepsy, or insomnia. These are the glutamate-rich foods.

The glutamate-rich foods are listed in the addendums of my pain and epilepsy papers and include the primary foods (grains, dairy, soy), certain nuts (peanuts, cashews, pistachios), foods with MSG (errrrh), and the bean family (limas, black, pinto, garbanzo) and other lentils. The latter are good in moderation as a source of protein but they are loaded with glutamate for the sufferers of the aforementioned conditions. Aspartame is glutamates evil twin and is made from the amino acid aspartate, another neurostimulant or excitotoxin as they are being called. So, you have to pick your foods according to your condition. I know this is getting a bit complicated but it does become second nature after awhile. It just takes some knowledge and some time to sink in.

Finally there is dinner to deal with. This is usually the easiest meal for a number of reasons as there is the most flexibility here in most cases. Whether eating out or at home, the choices are more varied in the way of meats and side dishes. Certainly, there is the greatest temptation here, too, especially when eating out. The old ideas of "rewarding ones self for a hard days work and for being good all day start to creep in and the day often ends in failure, just as you face the finish line. You will learn to overcome this temptation as you start to feel better and realize that you like feeling better. (Personally, I will never go back to feeling the way I did four years ago...never!)

Once again, depending on your known allergies and intolerances, you can have a variety of meats, veggies, and side dishes for dinner. I eat a fair amount of chicken, beef, turkey, and fish with lots and lots of vegetables, some rice, some corn, and a fair amount of potatoes. Ahhhh...the potato. Although he has been much maligned, he is our hero when it comes to a "safe" carbohydrate source. Yes, he will put weight on you if you eat too many of them and are an inactive person. BUT, they are immunologically inert and it is a rare thing for people to react negatively to them. The exception is found in those people who are allergic to latex (rubber) as there is an interesting cross-reaction in those individuals. Just don't eat potatoes deep fat fried in hydrogenated oils. (French fries are not food. They are atherosclerosis and type-2 diabetes in the making. I agree with Dr. Mercola when he says that he would rather see you smoke cigarettes than eat fast food French fries. Of course, we both recommend that you do neither.)

Dessert is the biggest hassle of all. This is where most people either break down completely or, at least, break down and cry. It requires the most creativity if you are a "dessert person" (as most of us are, I'm afraid). What do you do now that sugar has become the "root of all (dietary) evil"? Well, I'm here to say that it is NOT the root of all food evils. Certainly, we eat way too much of it in this country but sugar is infinitely better for you than the sugar-alternatives like aspartame and saccharin. So, if you want something sweet, by all means eat the sugar. Just don't go overboard. If you over-restrict yourself, you will have an incredibly hard time succeeding at this task. (Again, taking a cue from Dr. Mercola, he tells his patients to stop smoking last in the grand scheme of things because that would be the hardest thing to do and if tackled too early, it would jeopardize the whole operation.) Eliminating all sweets (including fruits), like some of the sugar-busting diets recommend, is ludicrous when you consider human nature. There must be some give and take here. Plus, eliminating fruit from the diet never made sense to me except to perhaps kick-start a weight loss trend. Fruits (and especially berries) provide essential nutrients and fiber when eaten whole.

For dessert I will have a GFCF baked good of some kind (cookies, cakes, pies, cobbler, brownies...not too shabby, eh?), fruit, or a trail mix of raisins, pecans, dried fruits, coconut, dates, and semi-sweet chocolate morsels. Some can be purchased pre-made at the grocery store and others can be made pretty quickly at home using the mixes from the health food store.

And believe it or not, sometimes I actually go to bed without dessert. "Whoa. How is that possible?" The great news is that once you have been gluten and casein-free for a while, the cravings for the wheat and dairy products go away. So many times our hunger is not a need for more calories, but rather a physiological craving for whatever we ate a few hours ago, something that our brain really "liked". (Food addiction is a very real thing, as are the casomorphins and gliadorphins that I write about. Become familiar with these terms. They are important.) Our brain LOVES what it derives from wheat, dairy and the carbohydrate-based foods but it also craves aspartame, MSG, caffeine, and sugar. We're all "food junkies" when it come right down to it. But remember this: There are NO addictions that are healthy for us...none. If you are physically addicted to something it will invariably be bad for you, whether it be alcohol, cocaine, milk chocolate, cheese, or aspartame. Having a "hankering" for something (as they say in the South) is one thing. We all have sudden thoughts of something that sounds good to us, like a steak or a taco. But if you are cheese addicted, for example, you know the difference. "I could never give up my cheese" is THE most common negative comment I get when explaining my diet to someone for the first time. It IS the number one human, dog, and cat allergen and it has been tied directly to asthma, type -1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. And this single food illustrates every single principle I write about better than anything else, including (especially) this last point about food addiction. People can give up just about anything but touch their cheese... and you're a dead man. Point made.

So, I know you're ready to tackle this issue now, right? Like so many things, starting out is most of the battle. The really cool thing about the "elimination diet" is that positive results often (in fact, usually) occur quickly...very quickly in many cases. I noticed a difference on day FOUR of eliminating wheat. I awoke with the distinct feeling that I didn't need coffee that morning for the first time in twenty-something years. By the end of the first week, I felt like a new man...my heartburn was gone, my intestines were quiet, and my head was clearer than it had been in years. By the end of the month, my pain was gone. Wow! Now, after nearly four years, my insomnia, IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and even my allergies are all gone. I am prescription drug free for the first time in my adult life and feel better than I did when I was twelve. This is all totally explainable and I know that it can happen for millions and millions of people around the world...thus my passion.

All it takes is a little step of faith and a commitment to sacrifice for a short while to see results. Then, the results become the motivating factor to keep going. It becomes a self-fulfilling process in the opposite direction...an unwinding of the ever-tightening "spiral" in which we find ourselves today. You can do it. Anyone CAN do it. It is just a matter of believing it and being motivated enough to try. And besides, this is not some fad diet that doesn't make sense. There is absolutely NO down side to trying this approach except for the sacrifice it entails. But you know the saying..."No pain, no gain." There is a lot of Truth in that, but the good news is that the "pain" is simply a matter of not getting our way all of the time. Didn't our parents tell us something about that?

I hope this helps. I know it can.

Dogtor J.
©2004 DogtorJ.com

dogtorj@bellsouth.net
www.dogtorj.com (Read:  The Answer-  to "Why is the plane of our nation's health in a death spiral?" )

 

Summary:

1) Avoid all gluten grains, dairy, and soy

2) Avoid all aspartame, artificial sweeteners, and MSG

3) Limit corn and sugar consumption

4) Become familiar with the glutamate- rich foods if you are battling pain, ADHD, insomnia, or epilepsy.

5) Become familiar with the terms casomorphins and gliadorphins, those morphine-like protein chains that we form in our (incomplete) attempt to digest the gluten grains and dairy products. They explain MUCH.

6) Example foods for meals:

Breakfast: eggs, breakfast meats, gluten-free/casein-free breads, sautéed veggies, oatmeal and other oat or rice based cereal, almond or rice milk, and fruits. Consider lunch or dinner foods if all else fails. (Forget your self-imposed food rules for a moment.)

Lunch: Salads, sandwiches with GFCF bread, Taco Bell (tacos, steak bowl...no cheese or jalapeno sauce), dinner-type foods (hamburger patties, chicken, sweet or baked potatoes, more veggies). Note: Most soups (like Campbells) have MSG in them.

Snacks: Fruit, trail mix, nuts (remember the glutamate-rich ones, like peanuts), potato chips from the health food store (no trans fats), GFCF baked goods.

Dinner: Meats, veggies, salads, potatoes (sweet or baked), rice, limited corn, GFCF breads. I eat a lot of chicken these days. I steam most of the veggies or eat them raw. I snack on olives, carrots, celery, apple, etc while Im cooking if Im really hungry.

Desserts: GFCF baked goods (cakes, cookies, brownies), trail mix, fruits, semi-sweet or dark chocolate (avoid milk chocolates). Just be careful what you eat before bedtime if you are having trouble sleeping. It is the desserts that are keeping us up most of the time...the sugar and glutamate combination can be a killer.

 

 

Always keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish. If you are fighting insomnia, chronic pain, ADHD, or epilepsy then you need to pay close attention to the glutamate-rich foods, caffeine, aspartame, and sugar. If allergies are the problem, then identify the offending foods and strictly avoid them, as it takes very little to trigger the immune response. Chronic colon problems can be aggravated by any of the foods that can be seen the next day...peanuts, corn, etc.

Here are a few rules-of-thumb. Most soups have MSG as do 60% of prepared foods (frozen foods, etc). Many ethnic foods also have MSG, not just Chinese. Mexican foods, Italian foods, and Japanese foods have it many times as well. But, so do many of the franchise restaurants that serve steaks and chicken dishes. 90% of prepared foods have hydrogenated oils, including frozen dinners, fast foods, snack foods, and candy bars. Hydrogenated oils are not only the single-most important factor in strokes, heart attacks, and type-2 diabetes but they magnify the problems in just about every other medical condition known to man, including ADHD, epilepsy, pain syndromes, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. Their negative effects are HUGE in scope.

Remember to consider any secondary food allergies as you start the recovery process. Once the main things are eliminated, you may notice how other things upset your stomach, like bananas and apples did mine. All of the wheat and dairy products may have been obscuring the reaction to these other foods. The good news is that once you have been off the main culprits long enough (months to years, depending on your system) you may be able to return to eating those things that should be healthy for you, like eggs, bananas, tomatoes, etc. Common sense really dictates what is a primary versus secondary allergen, doesnt it?

I hope this helps,

Dogtor J.

 

I hope you enjoyed your time here and got something important from your stay. It is my goal to help all of mankind navigate through the jungle of medical information now available on the Internet and find the truth about the origins of what we call "disease" as well as discover the natural solutions for these conditions.
 
We do have our health's destiny in our own hands more than we've ever imagined, certainly more than most have ever been told. Think naturally and the answer will come.
 
Dogtor J
 
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