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Tag: diet

MS, T-Cells, and Food Sensitivities — a podcast

Listen in as I chat with MS counselor Matt Rowe about the T-cell response caused by certain foods (t-cell activation is thought to be the reason for the cause of brain lesions for patients with MS) in the Identity of Health Podcast.

But first, I apologize if you’ve gotten strange or multiple emails from this blog as we’ve been dealing with more Tommyknockers in our back end, but I hope it is all worked out now and you will only receive notification about this blog post once. Sheesh… tech.

But, if you or someone you know has multiple sclerosis, please consider this a must-listen!

Controlling MS with Diet and the T-cell Response Activated with Food

Is Diet Involved In Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Hell yes! YES, what we eat directly affects how our gut reacts and how our bowels perform. How could it not?

Human digestive system

It always blows my mind that doctors ignore diet when treating issues of the stomach and bowels, but that is the current medical standard of care. There is a direct anatomical path from the mouth through the esophagus to the stomach, and then through the intestines to the colon and exiting out through the anus. How could we not recognize that the foods we select to send down that path could be the culprits when it comes to issues along that route such as bloating or gas, cramping or acid reflux, diarrhea or constipation?

A lot of medical research seems to focus almost myopically on the cellular level so much so that doctors can’t see the forest for the trees. According to Dr David Johnson, professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, doctors talk to patients “about medication compliance, about taking their tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha antagonists, about immunosuppression, but we rarely talk to them extensively about diet.”

Why is this? Maybe because the concepts of nutrition and diet aren’t covered extensively –or often, not at all– in medical schools, not even for gastro-intestinal specialists. Allopathic doctors are taught to be suspicious of all ideas about health and healthcare that were not presented in medical school or published after large, “Phase 3” placebo-controlled clinical trials, and these are not the best ways to study dietary or nutritional interventions in individuals. Even long-term population-based data on diets can be be misleading because of the impossibility of separating out a single ingredient and correlating it to a health outcome by ignoring the rest of a person’s or population’s food intake. The fields of diet and nutrition have been relegated to the “less-than-doctor” status of Nutritionist or Dietician or even Coach, leading doctors to give food even less credibility when it comes to health.

Or maybe doctors don’t talk to patients about dietary factors because they simply don’t believe in health solutions without pharmaceutical aids. Immunosuppression, or shutting down the immune system’s natural reactions through steroids or other chemical means, is a key medical strategy for addressing gut health issues. It’s tragic because, while steroids can decrease the inflammation and the associated pain, they do not address the root of the problem to begin with.

Even more tragic is the other popular medical solution to continued pain and discomfort along the digestive tract: cut it out. Gallbladders, intestines, colon… you have the right to fight to keep your body intact and functioning! Every part of our body has a function, and once it’s gone, that loss will affect you for the rest of your life. It makes me want to shout from the rooftops: “Before you let someone remove part of your body unnecessarily in order to deal with gut issues, reach out to me and let’s talk about your diet first!”

Dr. Johnson hopes medical officials will start recognizing that “…we have biologic evidence that this makes a difference. It is time for us to start taking a good diet history and treat patients with IBD appropriately. Start looking at diet; it has a key role in the pathogenesis of IBD and may offer a tremendous opportunity in its treatment.”

Dr. Johnson is off to a good start by suggesting that patients with gut dysfunction should begin by eliminating artificial additives and preservatives. He lists carboxymethyl cellulose, polysorbate-80, maltodextrin, and carrageenan as ones to avoid. As I mention in my TEDx talk, these synthetic ingredients are pervasive in our food supply, and avoiding them is easy to do by simply reading labels and learning where they show up most often. I would add food dyes and colors, artificial fragrances, and all artificial sweeteners to this list, along with other chemicals.

Where Dr. Johnson and most other well-meaning doctors fall short is in understanding the best diet to recommend for an individual patient. While he notes that the Mediterranean Diet is preferable to the Standard American Diet, he doesn’t understand that the optimum diet is unique for each individual. This is crucial to understand whether someone is dealing with debilitating gut or bowel function as with Crone’s Disease, or with run-of-the-mill acid reflux or IBS. From my decade of experience designing customized anti-inflammatory diets through my nationwide food sensitivity clinic, I believe the best way to do this is by using the Mediator Release Test (MRT) followed by LEAP Dietary Therapy.

Doctors are uniformly skeptical of this approach (due to the reasons listed above), but I tell them the same thing I tell all of my clients: “You have to eat anyway, so you might as well choose the foods that are not inflammatory for you. What have you got to lose?”

What have you got to lose? In just two weeks you could be feeling markedly better and on the road toward better health, simply by adjusting your food choices.

Contact me for a free initial phone consultation to see if a customized anti-inflammatory diet could help you feel better and live a better life!

Swollen Hands Due to Diet

Could the inflammation in your body be due to what you’re eating? Absolutely.

And, if this statement is true, then the opposite is also true: that you can reduce inflammation in your body by changing the foods that you are eating.

This is a story about a woman I met at a chance meeting who was suffering from terrible inflammation. I could see the inflammation just by looking at her, but at the time I did not know how negatively it was affecting her life. As it happened, the previous day she had photographed her hand, which was so swollen that it was painful to open for the picture.

Inflamed hand on 7/16/17.

We began working together the following week and on August 8, 2017, she began implementing a LEAP diet that was scientifically designed to be anti-inflammatory for her based on the results from her Mediator Release Test (MRT). The MRT is the gold standard in food sensitivity testing and takes all the guesswork out of figuring out what you should and shouldn’t eat in regards to inflammation. The results are as unique as your fingerprint.

Before we started working together, she had many days when she was in so much pain that she couldn’t get out of bed. In fact, she had been in bed since June when we met in mid-July. As she told me later, she realized that the reason she had dragged herself out of bed and to that meeting on July 17th, was to meet me and take control of her health.

Same hand on 2/28/18, a little over 6 months later.

On February 28th she emailed me saying, “I don’t know if you have ever seen this, but it was by fate that I had these pics. I took the first one 7/16/17 the day before I met you. It was for a hand analysis session. I was having a hard time opening my hand to get a good pic.

The second one is today, 2/28/18. A world of difference. I was floored. I accidentally discovered this by cleaning up photos on my phone. When I saw the picture, I sat up. I immediately looked at my hands and couldn’t believe it. You can see the information so clearly.

I am also sending to my mastermind group who are hand analysts. I am not, but sent the photo into a group last summer. I would like them to know that if they ever see this, to bring forth as further discovery and suspect for inflammation and forward on to an ND or such. It’s profound.
Glad that you are going to blog about this. It was fate to have this baseline picture, but this could also be a baseline activity to consider so that others can physically see their progress and keep going.”
Are you suffering from painful inflammation? Is inflammation affecting your life in a negative way, keeping you from doing the things you’d like to be doing? If so, contact me to schedule a free initial phone consultation. What have you got to lose – except

Is Ocrevus the Answer for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

Very interesting stuff going on in the world of MS, including a new disease-modifying drug, Ocrevus. Is this new drug the solution to MS that we’ve all been searching for? Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Ocrevus works by depleting a specific type of a patient’s B cells, which circulate in the blood and are part of the immune system. While they normally help the body fight off infections, they are believed to malfunction and contribute to central nervous system damage in people with multiple sclerosis.”

This new drug reduces the number of B cells because they are “malfunctioning”. B cells are activated during hypersensitivity reactions triggered by an exposure to a substance deemed to be a threat by the T cells, which do the initial assessment.

Although Ocrevus is targeting B cells instead of T cells, the view of the immune system as “malfunctioning” and needing to be dampered is sadly familiar and mainstream in the medical community.

In my theory of MS, the B cells are not “malfunctioning”, but rather being triggered unknowingly by the foods and chemicals that the T cells have decided are threatening to that person’s body.

Therefore, if we can identify what substances are B cell (or T cell, as they work together) triggers and eliminate those exposures, then we can get the same result as this new medication– a pause in the downward trajectory of MS– without any of the pharmaceutical side effects or a decrease of normal immune functions.

It’s much less expensive for someone to use the highly accurate MRT test to identify those reactive substances and change his or her diet accordingly (less than $2,000) than it would be to go on this new drug ($65,000/year for an infusion every six months), and he or she wouldn’t have the side effect of a lowered immune system without enough B cells to fight off a cold.

In my clinic, I have worked with more than 80 multiple sclerosis patients and have found that more than 90% improved when following a customized anti-inflammatory diet, where improvement meant no unexplained exacerbations, less fatigue, more energy, clearer thinking, better balance and coordination, and most importantly, a halt to the downward slide that is the otherwise unavoidable trajectory of MS.

I’d love to tell you more about how it works for MS patients! Send me an email to schedule your free 30-minute initial consultation today!

NMO Diaries: A Fight MS with Food Case Study

This case study in the Fight MS with Food project actually focuses on NMO, a disease that is often mis-diagnosed as multiple sclerosis. Just like MS, NMO is an auto-immune disease that may respond to customized changes in dietary habits.

Erin, a 32-year old mother of a toddler, was diagnosed with NMO in 2009. When she came to me she reported: “I have the torch feeling really bad in my feet. Pins and Needles all the time in my hands, legs, and feet. Fatigue is everyday. Headaches come and go. Nausea comes and goes. Banding around my rib cage. Tremors off and on.”

She was also very distressed that she had gained 100 lbs since her diagnosis. At only 5’2″, there was no way to hide it and she simply felt lousy most of the time.

We started her off on an herbal parasite cleanse to level the playing field, so to speak, before analyzing her blood for inflammatory triggers with the MRT (Mediator Release Test) and analyzing her urine for the state of her digestive tract.

Erin will tell you that the first two weeks of the dietary program weren’t easy, but after five months, her diet has greatly expanded and her dietary choices have become part of her lifestyle rather than a “diet”.

Even better, following the LEAP diet gave her the energy to start living her life again. Instead of feeling chronically fatigued, she now has energy to work out 4-5 times each week and has dropped almost 60 lbs. (Adding the workouts boosted her weight loss trend from 2 lbs per week with the diet alone to 3 lbs per week on average.)

As for her NMO symptoms, they have subsided significantly. She now only has the pins and needles feeling when she has accidentally ingested something she shouldn’t have, and it works as an early warning system alerting her to retreat  to her original safe diet until the symptoms abate.

But you should hear about it in her own words. Erin keeps a blog at where she and several others journal their lives with NMO. She has posted a video describing her dietary journey through The Fight MS with Food project protocols.

Give it a listen. Hearing her life-changing progress brought tears to my eyes. You may find it inspiring.

Here is part one.

Click here to watch part two of Erin and her NMO diet.