What it means to take charge of your health ...

xchocoholic

Senior Member
Messages
2,947
Likes
1,693
Location
Florida
Hi All,

A freind of mine was just telling me how she still has a headache every day despite seeing multiple doctors and having X tests ... And it hit me. Many people just don't know the importance of taking charge of their health or what this really means. And it doesn't mean going to the doctor every time you have a health problem ... :rolleyes ::)

I just figured this out myself in back 2005, so I'm not being critical of anyone. I just want to try to help so that you don't waste your time like I did. Those ads on tv telling us to see our doctors for every little thing don't help. But, whether it's a traditional or holistic doctor you see, your health is your responsibility. Trust me, after awhile you'll understand that this is good news. :D

I see a great integrative doctor now but even she can't predict how I'm going to react to a food or supplement and expects me to watch for this myself. It's a matter of getting to know your body by watching for your reactions. Just be prepared for it to take awhile for you to get to know how your body works and go slowly when introducing new foods or supplements. It's all a matter of trial and error ... but you'll get the hang of it. I've heard this process of undoing chronic health issues referred to as unravelling an onion. You end up peeling off a layer at a time until it's gone ...

IMHO, it's important to start with diet. The elimination diet is the best way to do this that way you get the most common food intolerances out of the way. This is best approached slowly too as gluten and dairy are known to act as opiods and will cause withdrawal symptoms. Also, eliminate any foods you know are a problem. I would expect it to take a full year after figuring out what all foods you're intolerant to to see all the benefits from this protocal. Anything less is a waste of time as our livers, guts, etc need time to heal after removing the offending foods.

Those food intolerance tests are helpful but not always correct either. I didn't have antibodies to dairy but I still get raccoon eyes from it after 3 days. It took me a few times to figure this out but if I hadn't been watching for this I would never have caught it either. And I'm positive for egg whites but really don't know how they affect me ... I just don't eat those.

Same goes for supplements, it's all trial and error but go slowly. Just as an example .. some do well with melatonin alone, but I didn't. I tried just taking melatonin for several months and figured out that I needed the theanine and 5HTP too. Of course, I tried the theanine and 5HTP separately too but I really need the combo ... And even then I've had to play with the dosages so that I wasn't sleepy the next day and I have to take a little more if I've been glutenned. I've been waking up feeling refreshed and ready to go for at least a month now that I've figured this out ...

That's what gets me about the one drug or one supplement / protocal fits all attitude from medical professionals, both traditional and holistic. It just doesn't work that way ...

IMHO, there's no reason to HERX when taking a supplement. When your body can handle it, you won't herx. Besides, what kind of damage are you doing to your body when you're herxing ? A herx is our body's way of telling us it
doesn't like what we're doing and should be listened to.

Even though, the way our bodies process chemicals is all theoretically the same, in reality it's different. My liver isn't working properly so I've had to be very careful with supplements. But some of yours may be just fine. Our gut bacterias are all different so we may require different probiotics and digestive enzymes. I can't handle even minute amounts of gluten but some people are fine with it. (Granted, some foods should just be avoided but that's a different thread.;) ) Someone else's kidneys may be weak and therefore they aren't eliminating toxins properly, etc etc ... ok, that's me too ... so, it's impossible to have a one size fits all regime for us.

JM2 cents ... HTH ... X

ETA .. Of course, I'm not saying that we shouldn't go see a doctor if we have severe pain or another symptom that we can't get under control but expecting them to FIX a chronic illness without first learning how our bodies work is a waste of time ...
 

xchocoholic

Senior Member
Messages
2,947
Likes
1,693
Location
Florida
Doctorj on glutamates ... gluten, dairy, soy and corn

I found this info several years ago and it helped me understand why these foods were so bad for us ... HTH .. marcia

http://dogtorj.net/id16.html

The Glutamate/Aspartate Restricted Diet
(the G.A.R.D.)
By Dogtor J.
2004 DogtorJ.com



Post Number One:


The Glutamate/Aspartate Restricted Diet (GARD)


Hi Everyone,

This thread is something I prepared for the Epilepsy forum. I have also posted it on 4-5 other applicable forums on BrainTalk (ADHD, child neurology, fibromyalgia), some at the request of their members and others "just because". Why the latter? I believe that this is one of the most important things that I know.

The disappearance of my chronic pain and the dramatic response of epileptic dogs to this diet (the GARD, as it is now being called) are what catapulted me into the Internet consulting business and changed my life forever. Hopefully it is changing other's lives as well. It taught me a VERY important...no CRITICAL...fact, that the food sources (The "bound" forms) of the non-essential, neuroactive amino acids glutamate and aspartate are, in fact, entering the brain and exerting an effect just like the "free" forms of these amino acids do (MSG and aspartame...errrrrrh!). You all must know by now how MSG and aspartame worsen your pain.

And what are these food sources of glutamate and aspartate??? Yep, they are the same guys: gluten grains, dairy, and soy, along with others that I list that will make sense as you read them.

Once again, all of this should make perfect sense. Many of you have seen reductions in pain by avoiding MSG and aspartame so you are primed and ready to take this to a new level and see how the food sources of these same amino acids are loaded with these non-essential neuramines that are driving our nervous systems whacko while providing overloads of estrogens. As estrogens also sensitize the neurons to the action of these amino acids, the neuro/pain part of the spiral is especially easy to see (e.g. PMS, catamenial seizures, post partum depression/anxiety.

Throw in the immunosuppressive effects of these foods and the fact that viruses are critically involved in sooooo many of our conditions (immune-mediated and cancers), and it is very easy to see how the spiral is getting tighter and tighter. These neurological pandemics (e.g. ADHD, depression, fibromyalgia) with which we are faced DO have some very palpable explanations, don't they?

So, I hope that you get something out of this thread. Yes, it is long (surprise, surprise. ) but this is the most important thing I have ever done. This is my last three years of medical research in a nutshell but in a conversational tone. This is what it has been ALL about. So, take your time. There is no law that you have to read it all at one time.

Hope this helps,
John
 

xchocoholic

Senior Member
Messages
2,947
Likes
1,693
Location
Florida
Doctorj on glutamates ... gluten, dairy, soy and corn

http://dogtorj.net/id16.html


* The G.A.R.D. Made Simple- I wrote this on June 9, 2005 at the request of a doctor who was interested in this elimination diet for his epileptic patients. Again, this site was originally intended to be used by my clients- lay people searching for answers to medical issues that they did not understand. But I do realize that the length of these papers drives medically-inclined crazy. To be honest, it would me if I was looking for immediate answers for a problem case. BUT, I still contend that the fast-food approach to our problems is totally inadequate, and at some point, we MUST see the big picture again. So, I walk a fine line in my attempt to educate my clients while enlightening my colleagues, often resulting in overly lengthy papers. I guess I'd rather over-explain than under-explain. I hope this summary-style paper helps.

The G.A.R.D. originally stood for the "glutamate-aspartate restricted diet" after its limitation of these two non-essential, neurostimulating amino acids that are also the parent compounds of MSG and aspartame (Nutrisweet) respectively. They are now termed "excitotoxins" and known triggers of seizures and inciters of some neurodegenerative diseases. However, the G.A.R.D. also stands for the "gut absorption recovery diet" due to its removal of the "big 4" foods (gluten, dairy, soy and corn), which are all capable of inducing the damage to the intestinal villi that characterizes celiac disease and the related food intolerances.

So in the case epilepsy and other conditions for which the G.A.R.D. should be applied (pain sydromes, ADHD, insomnia, and neurodegenerative disorders such as MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and others), the diet is not only a quick Band Aid for the symptoms but also a major part of the long-term solution for these conditions, as this paper will explain.

* The Glutamate/Aspartate Restricted Diet (GARD)- This section will be a series of posts that I have placed on applicable sections of a large medical forum known as BrainTalk Communities (found here: http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/index.php?). This site is an expansive set of forums that cover medical conditions ranging from Alzheimer's to Visual Impairments. I have personally contributed to threads on many of these forums, including those dealing with ADHD, ALS, Celiac Disease, Epilepsy, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, and Child Neurology. The main reason for my involvement in these forums can be found in the content of the following posts. I hope that you get something very special from this section. It is my personal favorite.

* How to Control Idiopathic Epilepsy Naturally- Because most of the principles and therapies that I outline for the treatment of epilepsy also apply to many of the conditions that readers are seeking help for, I recommend that those suffering from insomnia, chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), ADHD, bipolar disease, and other neurological disorders also read this paper. It is a summary-style article that outlines the steps I took in my own recovery and therefore have recommended to those with similar problems. It can be found in the Epilepsy and Diet section found here: http://dogtorj.tripod.com/id2.html.

*Pain Management- This section deals with the topic of pain management through the use of the elimination diet (The G.A.R.D.). In this area, I will cover what I have found to be one of the most rewarding aspects of human and veterinary health to treat, that of chronic pain. It has never ceased to amaze me to find what people (and pets) will endure in their travels through time and in the illnesses that they experience. People seem to be able to exist with depression, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbances, and even life-threatening illnesses. But, what seems to drag them down most is chronic pain. No one wants to cope with that for very long without some kind of therapy or hope for help. Well, I am here to tell you that there is a tremendous amount that one can do to improve pain tolerance.

* Foods to Avoid, Foods to Enjoy- In this section, I will try to make it clear which foods should be avoided when coping with the "excitotoxin"-related disorders such as epilepsy, insomnia, ADHD, chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), and neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and more. Autistic patients should benefit from these dietary guidelines as well, especially the avoidance of the gluten grains, soy, and dairy products. Please also check out the autism, ADHD, and food addiction parts of the Appetizers section.You can also read my paper "What in the World Do I Eat???" for more ideas and explanations.

*Now for the GOOD News - On these dietary restrictions, I just want to make one thing very clear. We are restricting the level of glutamate and aspartate in the diet because the neurons and supportive cells of the brain are diseased and cannot handle the high levels of this non-essential, neurostimulating amino acid in our typical diet. The good news is once we are off the big 4 long enough, the process does reverse. After we have recovered then we can usually go back to eating some of those sources of glutamate and aspartate that are not one of the big 4. Just remember- "Everything in moderation"

*Estrogens in Food- There are estrogens in foods which should be considered in formulating the ultimate diet, especially for women and those suffering from epilepsy, pain, and other excitotoxin-related disorders. We know that estrogens are inflammatory and immunosuppressive and sensitize neurons to the action of glutamate (e'g catamenial seizures, PMS). I will be expanding this section as time allows. Please also see the Appetizers section for more on this and other issues in women's health.