“For the lucky ones, an amazing thing happens. They decide to lose weight and go on a low-carbohydrate diet like Atkins or Protein Power. Within days of quitting the grains, wheat, pasta, pastries, refined foods, and most other carbohydrates, their pain starts to go away. Soon they are pain free, and if they haven’t already, they quit the drugs. Amazingly, the pain doesn’t return. ”
Georgette Burns simply woke up one day with “an angry, swollen wrist.” It hurt so badly she could not work. Three weeks before that she received a powerful antibiotic for strep throat that was followed by severe diarrhea and a vaginal yeast infection. Over the course of the next month after her initial swollen wrist, her joint pains would migrate around her body – hitting the knee one day, the ankle the next, then hands, shoulders, and more – sometimes one joint, other times multiple joints. As soon as one joint got better, another one or more would start to swell, turn red, and cause terrible pain. She decided to see a rheumatologist.
After a battery of tests with no absolute answers, Georgette, not unlike hundreds of thousands of other folks, got her diagnosis – lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. She was devastated, but tried to look on the bright side and began her treatment of Prednisone. She got immediately better, but as soon as she stopped the Prednisone, her condition came back with a vengeance. Depressed, she started on a second prescription, this time with the antimicrobial drug Plaquenil. It seemed to quiet things down. But soon Georgette’s symptoms spread to her organs. First her stomach, then her kidneys, then her bowel. She was hospitalized several times, and it became an endless series of doctor visits and hospitalizations, all to no avail. As soon as one organ got better, another would get sick. The weeks turned to months, and the months to years. Georgette could no longer get around very well. The drugs took their toll, and soon she was gaining lots of weight. At about this time, Georgette called me.
As part of her protocol, I suggested she get on the Protein Power diet. This diet basically eliminates grains (which eliminates gluten), fast foods, and most processed carbohydrates. It is based on the classic book Protein Power, by Michael R Eades, M.D., and Mary Dan Eades, M.D. (Bantam books). Almost immediately she began to lose weight. But more astonishingly, almost immediately her pain began to disappear. And Georgette got better quickly.
Georgette Gets Mad
Soon Georgette got back with her rheumatologist in order to formally quit drugs. She had already almost weaned herself off her prescriptions with no return of pain. When she told her story to her doctor, he scoffed that it was impossible. He told her that there is no cure for lupus, certainly not dietary, and that she would need to stay on prescription drugs for life.
Georgette’s blood was boiling. She confronted her doctor with the one question that few sufficiently angry people ever ask. She said, “Why did a lupus and rheumatoid arthritis ‘expert’ like you allow me to go through hell for all these years and nearly kill me with drugs when my problem was caused by carbohydrates?” She was dismissed as a patient. As far as Georgette was concerned, this was just dandy.
Once home, she began questioning herself about her condition. After all, who knows more about these stealth diseases than the experts. So she did a test and for a full day ate foods loaded with carbs and gluten. She went to bed feeling fine, but the next morning she woke up in agony. She had a giant cold sore on her lip, hurt in more places than she could count, and her multiple swellings made her look like, in her own words, “the Michelin man.”
Georgette had proven her point. She could literally turn her disease on and off by eating the wrong foods. Quickly she was back on her protein and fat diet and felt great. Over the course of the next few months, she remained pain-free, lost all her excess weight, gained muscle, normalized her insulin response and blood sugar, and dramatically reduced her risk of heart disease as an additional benefit.
“First Cure the Gut”
One of our advisors, John Trowbridge, M.D., who helped me produce the television program, A Lifetime of Health Through Nutrition, loved to say, “first cure the gut.” The gut connection to autoimmune disease, stealth diseases, allergies, and more should be easy for anyone to understand. Years of a poor, refined, high-carbohydrate diet, low-fiber fo ds, constipation, sedentary habits, deficient digestive enzymes, and repeated doses of antibiotics dramatically alters and damages the gut lining.
Dysbiosis and Leaky Gut Syndrome
Such a poor diet and destructive medical treatments can cause dysbiosis, or abnormal gut flora, where damaging bacteria and yeasts take the place of healthy bacteria. Unfortunately, your gut and its natural flora (healthy bacteria) make up a very large part of your immune system-especially the T-cell type 1 system. As this system weakens, your body kicks your T-cell type 2 system into high gear to compensate.
This system uses immunoglobulin E (IgE) to fight infections. But IgE is also the master of allergic reactions. Allergic reactions are just another way to describe autoimmune disease.
At the same time, this damage to your gut lining not only causes dysbiosis, it also causes leaky gut syndrome. This is where large molecules from your diet that should not be absorbed through your gut lining are, in fact, absorbed through your damaged gut lining into your bloodstream. Your body reacts to these molecules as foreign invaders. And it reacts wildly due to over stimulation of the IgE response, thanks to the dysbiosis. This results in serious attacks within your body that can affect multiple joints, organs, and tissues. These attacks are so mysterious that most people end up with the catch-all diagnosis of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or some other autoimmune or stealth disease.
It’s All About Your Diet …
It does not take a rocket scientist to solve this dilemma. If you have been diagnosed with lupus, keep in mind that these diagnoses can be wrong, and that you may need to, or probably should, also cure your gut. This is not so difficult to do – it starts with changing your diet. You must give up most refined and processed carbohydrates and gluten. These are highly inflammatory to your gut lining, producing pain and inflammation anywhere in your body. Instead, eat whole foods with lots of protein and good fats like cod liver oil, flax oil, and others.
… And Proper Supplements
At the same time give your gut the necessary healing nutrients it needs. Most people with any of these conditions need a solid prebiotic and probiotic supplement to begin to once again rebuild the natural bacteria and flora in the gut. Take 3-4 ProSynbiotic daily for at least a year. It contains the necessary healthy bacteria, as well as powerful prebiotic like inulin, which are food for the healthy bacteria. There are lots of probiotics available, but you simply cannot tell if they are really good or not. Use ProSynbiotic
– I’ve tested it.
At the same time, provide the legendary gut healers for your gut lining. The best of these is Okra-Pepsin E3. This product contains pepsin, which can digest the stale mucus and protein that accumulates on the lining of your gut following years of dysbiosis. The sticky plant okra helps stick the pepsin to the walls of your intestine where it can do its job. Okra-Pepsin E3 also contains the premier intestinal healer known as vitamin E3 in the form of allantoin and other phytochemicals.
Proper diet and the right supplements allow your body to cleanse its intestinal lining, once again allowing for proper absorption of nutrients. It provides the necessary healthy bacteria to rebuild your natural intestinal flora, which will slowly rid your gut of abnormal disease-causing bacteria and yeasts. It provides the necessary nutrition for the newly acquired healthy bacteria. It removes the triggers in tile form of excess’ carbohydrates arid gluten. And it will, over time, help you lose excess fat and weight, and provide relief and health for every single cell in your body.
As soon as the dietary triggers are removed, the lining of your gut gets healthier, your dysbiosis reverses toward normal bacterial flora, and your leaky gut normalizes. Your pains will begin to disappear. And once you are able to have your doctor wean you from drugs, your entire body will improve, actually reversing your biological clock. There are no shortcuts, prescription drugs or otherwise. This is the only real, pragmatic answer to the ever-growing problem that medicine calls autoimmune disease. Just ask Georgette.