Saturday, March 8, 2008

I just don't understand modern medicine

I was watching an interview yesterday with a doc on the side of the drug companies that make vaccines. He was responding to the recent ruling where the feds admit that vaccines aggravated autism.

He said that there was no proof that vaccines caused autism. The interviewer asked him if there was proof that vaccines did not cause autism. He was taken aback and it appeared in his mind that just because the proof of a cause was lacking that it meant that it proved that vaccines did not cause autism.

Until recently there has been no proof that food allergies cause rhematoid arthritis so the docs have insisted that there is no link despite thousands of anecdotal cases of people with RA going into complete remission once they took their food allergens out of their diets.

A small new study has just been published that shows that docs have been looking in the wrong place for the connection between food allergens and RA. Before, they always looked in the blood, this study found that “the intestinal fluid of
people with RA had higher levels of antibodies to proteins from
cow's milk, cereal, hen's eggs, codfish and pork than that of people
without RA.”

It’s early days still and more research has to be done, but it is good to see that medicine is finally catching up with what some people with RA have known for years.

I am always amazed at how rheumatologists are quick to give their patients truly dangerous drugs, drugs that have horrendous side effects and at the same time, they refuse to countenance the idea that simple dietary changes might make a difference. I often think that I have completely misunderstood that old maxim that is always quoted, “First do no harm”.

Last July, I was in agony. I could barely walk on my feet, they hurt so badly. My hands were so weak and painful that I couldn’t open jars and I struggled to cut with knives. My fingers were turning into claws.

I saw a rheumatologist and he wanted to put me onto methotrexate. I refused and said that I was going to try dietary intervention first and then if that didn’t work, I would consider his drugs.

I went to a wonderful nutritional doc, Dr Joel Fuhrman for treatment. Dr F. is the author of many books, the most well known being Eat to Live. I had been following his Eat to Live plan for about a year at that time and had successfully brought my BP down from 170/150 to around 90/60,

Dr F put me on a boot camp version of his Eat to Live plan. I cut back on the fruits, increased the leafy greens and in particular the more bitter of the cruciferous veg, upped my fish oil to 9g a day, stopped eating my beloved sprouts and became consistent about taking a probiotic daily. (that’s a very abridged version of the plan. Email me if you want more details).

Within weeks all my pain had disappeared and I my hands were useful again. I still have some deformity in two fingers but other than that, there is no evidence of what I looked like less than a year ago.

Last month, before I had my knee surgery, I had my inflammatory markers checked. Every marker is at a perfect level, there is no evidence of inflammation anywhere in my body.

I can’t but wonder what my life would have been like if I had done as the rheumie had suggested and started on Methotrexate. I would be worrying about cancers, would fee like shitl and if the people I have spoken to who take the drug are anything to go by, the disease would not have reversed. Here I am, I did not pay a single penny on drugs, just changed the way I ate and I have never been healthier in my life.


Anita said...

I have to disagree on this, to some extent. I do believe that we put too much "faith" in what doctors tell us, and not what we notice with our own eyes. However, the specific topic of vaccines and autism is one that is very touchy for me, in my line of work, and what I HAVE witnessed personally. I've been in this field for almost 15 years, and I truly cannot believe that vaccines can be solely to blame for the large increase in diagnoses of autism that we have seen in recent years. No, we can't say that vaccines DON'T cause autism, but I do not believe that there is enough proof to say that immunizing children causes it. Plus, the risks of not immunizing kids are much worse, in my opinion. There are a lot more kids who DO get immunized and DON'T get autism than there are those who do. I have seen a much higher ratio of children with autism who have one or more parent in a scientific or engineering field than those who have or have not received vaccines. Perhaps there's something to that? Let's spend some time researching other avenues before including or excluding any one theory.

Shez said...

Anita, I think you misunderstand me. I wasn't making a claim that vaccines cause all autism. We know that is not true. I was commenting on how some docs are quick to say that because no proof of a link has yet to be found, that it is proof that there is no link. I watched a child a child go from being neurotypical to being autistic after a vaccination. I watched the fever that took 2 weeks to get under control, i saw how he withdrew from the world. I've also seen how he has recovered using food and supplements. I'm sure that the catch all diagnosis of Autism is in reality a collection of various issues caused by different things.

the real point I was trying to make in my post was how docs are missing a big piece of the puzzle by being so dismissive of foods.

Anne said...

Wow Shez I am so amazed at the difference dietary changes have made in your life! If I am ever afflicted with something so awful, I will definitely try dietary changes before drugs. Your story is very inspirational, and I am so glad this has worked for you and you are feeling better!

Anne (formerly of Chesapeake VA)

Shez said...

this is only a very part of my story wrt food. For over a decade I battled chronic corneal rejection and iritis. I was put on megadoses of steroids to try to stop the rejection. All it did was keep the rejection at a low burn. Then a few years ago I discovered I was a celiac. Within weeks of going gluten free my corneal rejection had cleared up. Now each time I eat guten by accident, I develop iritis and rejection. Now I am dealing with the osteonecrosis that I developed as a direct result of the steroids. Most of my current health problems could have been avoided if I had been diagnosed as a celiac decades ago when I first started presenting at doctors with typical symptoms of the disease.