A Mother’s Story

This is not the type of email I receive every day, but when one arrives it is always touching and it gives me a very good feeling about what I do. When I received this one I immediately thought I would like to share it with my readers. I emailed the author asking if I could do so, after changing her daughter’s name. She answered that I could share it with anyone I wanted, and there was no need to change any names, anyway she already tells everyone she meets. For privacy concerns I still changed the name. Here is her email:

”I’ve been meaning to write you for a while, but never seem to find the time to sit down and write when it is on my mind. If you remember we started the gluten-free casein-free soy-free diet in October. If I remember correctly we were probably on the diet for 2-3 weeks when she came down with a terrible sinus infection. We had a follow-up with you in early November, and she had just gotten over her sinus infection. I had taken her to our regular pediatrician, who is quite open-minded, but basically painted the picture that he has seen her situation (gigantic tonsils) many times over the years, and that he bet he would be seeing a lot of us that winter. He explained how the crowding doesn’t allow the ears to drain, etc. and that while she would eventually outgrow it, how much intervention would we have to do in the meantime? It was clear to me (without him saying it) that he thought tonsillectomy was the right path. That until we did the surgery, we’d be in and out of his office with illness like a revolving door, especially during the winter. I left feeling discouraged, but we stuck with the diet and supplements.
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Cancer politics, early detection, and alternative treatment options

A few months ago I attended a conference where one of the speakers was Charlotte Gerson, daughter of the late Max Gerson, MD. Though Charlotte is now 85, you would never guess it by looking at her or listening to her speak. She walks erect, with no hesitation in her step and talks with the clarity and lucidity you would expect in a forty-year-old.

We could say that Charlotte is living proof that her father’s therapy works because she has been implementing it for decades.  Dr. Gerson’s story is well worth summarizing here.

When Max Gerson, as a young man, attended medical school in his native Germany, he suffered from debilitating migraine headaches. That was the turn of the century, before the development of the modern arsenal of drugs. Today he would be prescribed a drug or combination of drugs that might leave him feeling like a zombie, but would control the pain.
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Antibiotics, yeast and allergies

I know that the prevailing view is that allergies are genetic, but I disagree and for years I have been telling my patients or their parents that allergies come from the gut. Although some people do pay attention when I say this, more often than not I see eyes roll in disbelief.

Finally, a new study from the University of Michigan Medical School (Infect Immun 2005 Jan; 73 (1): 30-8) confirms just what I have been preaching all along, and I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Researchers started out with healthy laboratory mice and treated half of them with antibiotics. As pointed out in the study, in addition to killing their intended targets, antibiotics also disrupt the intestinal flora and enable the yeast Candida albicans to grow unimpeded. This outcome is further aggravated by a high sugar and refined-carbohydrate diet; just what children (and many adults) eat today.
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From antibiotics to gluten intolerance

If, like many of us these days, you have a problem with wheat and other grains containing gluten, and if you feel better when you avoid them, the problem may have started with a course of antibiotics.

In a recent article in The Lancet (Vol 361, 2003: 2152-4) published as a “medical hypothesis,” researchers studied the proteins on the cell surface of the yeast Candida albicans. They found that many of these proteins have striking similarities to gluten, a protein in wheat and some other grains.

Antibiotics are known to lead to an overgrowth of yeast, including Candida albicans. This overgrowth, in turn, leads to an immune response directed against the yeast. But since the yeast protein is so similar to gluten, the immune system could easily become confused and start attacking wheat thereby causing a variety of health conditions that can only resolve when gluten is avoided.