Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Complete Guide to Food Allergy And Intolerance

I finished this book today. It was refreshingly plainspoken and informative. The author describes in common-sense language the science (as of 1989, when this was published). He's honest about what the science can tell us and what things are inconclusive, but the evidence that he presents (and that I've found as well) leans strongly in favor of his hypothesis that the increased number of chemicals in our world and diet are increasing food intolerance (which is a quiet epidemic).

He also covers candidiasis (overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans, a normal component of the human gut. While that Wikipedia page says that this disease is not considered scientifically valid, there are many doctors who believe in it. (Note Jacob Teitelbaum here, a man who engineered a rigorous clinical trial in which he treated 91% of chronic fatigue sufferers successfully. This is a disease which many mainstream doctors still believe is psychosomatic or untreatable, believe it or not.) Yeast can grow out of control when antibiotics destroy the bacteria which compete with it in the gut. It also feeds on sugar - the first step towards treating candidiasis is to cut out all sugar. The interesting thing is that it is impossible to diagnose candidiasis. The yeast doesn't show up in stool.

Related to this is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a horrible disease which has been increasing in frequency. In this book, back in 1989, the author Brostoff notes by Dr. Hunter of Cambridge which found that women given antibiotic treatments during their hysterectomy got IBS while women who didn't, didn't. The antibiotics killed good bacteria and allowed bad bacteria to overgrow. Yet even today after multiple studies confirming this (read the Wikipedia article), mainstream medicine still considers irritable bowel syndrome or "spastic colon" to be largely psychosomatic and untreatable. I know because I experienced this. They didn't even inform me that food intolerance (celiac sprue) might be the cause of my troubles. Later I had my blood tested and I tested negative for the antibodies (these tests are notoriously unreliable), yet after I cut out wheat I immediately felt great.

Food intolerance is, of course, what the book is about. If you ever have any intestinal problems or even energy problems, cut out wheat and milk. Gluten and casein are the two most insidious allergens out there. Many estimate that 70% of those suffering from IBS are in fact simply intolerant to some of their foods.

The sheer ridiculousness of mainstream medicine is mind-blowing.

I put the updated 2000 version of the book on my wish list. My one complaint is that the scientific studies which he refers to are not formally cited.

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