Do you have a yeast problem ?

Once you have IBS & IBD, you’ll hear a lot about candida yeasts and a host of other bacteria with very long names.  Some of them are misunderstood and their role is much debated in the medical community.   Some yeasts like Candida do live harmoniously in the body and have a specific function, but once they are out of balance due to high carb foods, stress, lifestyle and certain drugs like birth control, they can become overgrown and wreck havoc on your colon.

Science has yet to identify each and all of the gut bacteria and their functions, so I believe Candida is also used as catch all for a lot of other unidentified yeasts or bacteria.  I have a very hard to cure strain of Candida, called Krusei, which is believed to be a by-product of chocolate production.  I also had a long list of other pathogens but they all contributed to the toxicity and I treated them all the same.   It’s very difficult to identify all of the pathogens in lab tests – hospitals and M.D’s use different testing protocols then Naturopaths, but elimination diets can help without spending a fortune getting tested.

There is a Candida diet out there, but it’s so limiting, you can’t have fermented vegetables, cheese and mushrooms.   A fellow Chapter Leader with Weston A. Price Foundation has a very good article on Candida.  Thank you Sara Pope from Healthy Home Economist.   Sara has some great recipes, I might add.

Don’t Waste Your Time: Why the Candida Diet Doesn’t Work

by Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist on November 15, 2012


Candida is a term that refers to a large family of yeasts (one celled fungi) that under normal circumstances, harmlessly inhabit the tissues of humans.   This is because a balanced intestinal tract from mouth to colon contains a preponderance of beneficial bacteria that keep Candida in check.

When not enough beneficial bacteria are present in a given body tissue to keep Candida under control, Candida transforms from a harmless state into an invasive species.  In this rapidly growing state, Candida puts out long stringy hyphae or “roots” which can penetrate through the tissues of the body.

Candida overgrowth can occur in many tissues of the body such as oral candidiasis known as thrush,  the scalp as dandruff, or vaginal yeast infections.

What Causes Candida Overgrowth?

Candida is an opportunistic pathogen that can rapidly take over when a person is under a course of antibiotics.  Antibiotics decimate beneficial gut flora but have little effect on Candida, giving this normally harmless yeast the chance to take over dominance of the gut environment very quickly.

Many women don’t realize it, but oral contraceptives imbalance the gut in the same way as antibiotics giving Candida an open door to take control.

A diet of processed foods high in sugars and simple carbohydrates also encourages Candida overgrowth as yeasts thrive on sugars.

Babies born via C-Section or to mothers who were treated with IV antibiotics during labor are especially vulnerable to the ravages of Candida overgrowth as they are not exposed to a healthy balance of gut flora from their travels down the birth canal prior to the moment of birth.

Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

Symptoms of Candida overgrowth are many the most common being fogginess in the morning upon waking (brain fog), digestive complaints of all kinds and a myriad of skin issues.

Many women plagued by yeast infections don’t realize that the source of the problem is actually their diet and the pathogenic state of their gut environment.  Using drugs and creams to resolve the problem is only a temporary solution when the source of the problem – gut imbalance – is not addressed head on.

The Anti-Candida Diet

Some 20 years ago, my husband and I tried the Candida Diet to resolve gut imbalance that had been exacerbated by our stressful and overworked lifestyle at the time.

It failed miserably.


Because the Candida Diet goes only part of the way in attempting to resolve gut imbalance by removing all food sources for Candida.

For example, the Candida Diet removes sugar from the diet in all forms – even maple syrup and honey.  Fresh fruit, however, is allowed.

Candida overgrowth can frequently trigger an allergy to molds and other types of fungi, so fermented foods including cheese and dairy are also eliminated along with any breads and other foods containing yeast.

Other foods excluded from the Candida Diet include vinegar, mushrooms, tea, coffee, dried fruit and any form of fruit juices.

People Get Better on the Candida Diet But They Don’t Heal

The typical scenario for a person who goes on the Candida Diet goes something like this:

  • They feel better almost immediately – primarily because all the sugar has been removed from their diet.
  • They continue on the diet for some time perhaps many months or even a year or more and are pleased to see that their symptoms of Candida overgrowth diminish considerably during that time.
  • After a period of time, they try to reintroduce some of the foods that were removed only to discover that their symptoms come raging back with full force.
  • They realize that it is going to be next to impossible to continue the Candida Diet indefinitely as it is simply too hard to give up cheese and any and all sweets forever.
  • They get discouraged, give up and stop the Candida Diet.

Why Doesn’t the Candida Diet Work?

The paradox of the Candida Diet is that symptoms greatly diminish but the person doesn’t actually heal from the root cause of the problem which is a breech in the integrity of the gut lining.

Healing is prevented on the Candida Diet for the following key reasons:

Reason #1:  The Candida Diet allows foods like potato, yams and other starchy vegetables.

Reason #2:  More important than the allowance of starch in the Candida Diet, however, is the ultimate fatal flaw:  the inclusion of grain based foods.

Even if the Candida Diet is used in conjunction with a gluten free, casein free diet, it fails in the majority of instances.

The reason is that disaccharides, or double sugars, are present in many carbohydrates including ALL grains – not just gluten containing ones.  An inflamed, inbalanced gut overridden with Candida is unable to digest double sugar molecules completely because the lack of beneficial gut flora has compromised the function of the enterocytes.

According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome and one of the key scientists at the forefront of gut restoration research today, the enterocytes are the cells that reside on the villi of the gut wall and produce the enzyme disaccharides which breaks down the disaccharide molecule into easily absorbed monosaccharide molecules.   When the enterocytes are not nourished and strengthened properly by adequate beneficial flora, they become weak and diseased and may even turn cancerous.   They do not perform their duties of digesting and absorbing food properly.

The critical importance of the enterocytes to health cannot be overstated! Weak and diseased enterocytes also have trouble digesting starch molecules which are very large with hundreds of monosugars connected in long branchlike strands.   People with weak digestion due to Candida overgrowth and messed up enterocytes have a terrible time digesting these complex molecules leaving large amounts of it undigested- the perfect food for pathogenic yeasts, bacteria, and fungi like Candida to thrive upon.

Even the starch that manages to get digested results in molecules of maltose, which is – you guessed it – a disaccharide!     This maltose also goes undigested due to a lack of the enzyme disaccharides and becomes additional food for Candida.

Therefore, when one follows the Candida Diet and yet still consumes grains and starches, food molecules that are not fully digested continue to putrefy, inflame, and provide food for Candida thereby preventing healing even if some improvement is noted from the removal of all sugars.

What is the Best Diet for Combatting Candida?

In conclusion, it is best not to waste your time with the Candida Diet.  It doesn’t work in the majority of cases and you will ultimately feel frustrated in your efforts to heal over the long term.

The best diets for healing and sealing the gut wall and permanently rebalancing the gut environment are

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD




The Vicious Cycle of IBD

Elsewhere on this website, I’ve written that I’ve had IBS all my life progressing into microscope colitis and eventually Crohn’s. Remicade was a godsend and within 28 hrs., I was no long bleeding. Within 6 months, I was the road to wellville. These drugs truly are a miracle – it allows my mind and body to heal. Except nobody told me to stop eating junk or sugar while on it. I truly believe my binging eating on sugar and junk food caused the drug to fail. In desperation I was forced to try a lot of eliminate diets. Some worked for a week or 2 and others different. I was virtually my own experiment and terrified that I would end up a bloody mess once again. I ended up narrowing down my list of the 2 biggest culprits in diet that exacerbated my IBD – sugar, sugar and gluten. It was pretty obvious after a year of experimenting.

While I’ve enjoyed remission for 7 yrs. and prefer to stick with a diet free of gluten and sugar – just because I feel so terrific and it keeps my weight in check. I also don’t ever have to worry about slipping back into a flare. When I think I might (loose stools, gas) I just jump back on the diet.

I’ve talked about diet and science supporting the cause of our IBD. Here’s an excerpt from the book. I would encourage everyone to read the full science article found in the book. It was written by a biochemist to cure her own child, which she did 40 yrs. ago. The science is there. Her daughter remains in remission and an active member of her Mother’s foundation.

I DO NOT recommend to anyone throwing away their drugs. If you are on them, use them to be stable and maybe your doctor would eventually taper down to a point that was mutually agreeable.


In order to understand how the diet works, it is important to understand the disease process occurring in the gut or, WHY the diet works.

“We must never forget that what the patient takes beyond his ability to digest does harm.”
Dr. Samuel Gee.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ is predicated on the understanding that Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and gluten therapy resistant Celiac are the consequence of an overgrowth and imbalance of intestinal microbial flora. By altering the nutrition we take in, we can effect the constitution of our intestinal flora, and bring it back into balance, healing our digestive tracts and restoring proper absorption.

The intestinal tract forms a rich ecosystem, comprised of over 400 bacterial species. Some are harmless, and others not. In the gut of a healthy person, these various communities of microbes compete with each other for scarce nutritional resources. Consequently, they exist in a state of balance, and the stomach and small intestine harbour only a sparse population of microbial flora. In the large intestine, each type inhibits an overabundance of the others, and this prevents the waste products and toxins of a particular type of microbe from overwhelming the body. The stomach and upper intestine are also protected by high acidity, and the action of peristalsis.

The Vicious Cycle

When the balance in the gut is disturbed, an overgrowth of intestinal flora can result. Microbes migrate to the small intestine and stomach, inhibiting digestion and competing for nutrients. The gut then becomes overloaded with the byproducts of their digestion. This bacterial overgrowth can be triggered by overuse of antacids, reduced stomach acidity due to aging, weakening of the immune system through malnutrition or poor diet, and alteration of the microbial environment through antibiotic therapy.

The components of our diet, particularly carbohydrates, play an enormous role in influencing the type and number of our intestinal flora. When carbohydrates are not fully digested and absorbed, they remain in our gut, and become nutrition for the microbes we host. The microbes themselves must digest these unused carbohydrates, and they do this through the process of fermentation. The waste products of fermentation are gases, such as methane, carbon dioxide & hydrogen, and both lactic & acetic acids, as well as toxins. All serve to irritate and damage the gut. There is evidence that increased acidity in the gut due to malabsorption and fermentation of carbohydrates, may lead common harmless intestinal bacteria to mutate into more harmful ones. Further, lactic acid produced during the fermentation process has been implicated in the abnormal brain function and behaviour sometimes associated with intestinal disorders. The overgrowth of bacteria into the small intestine triggers a worsening cycle of gas and acid production, which further inhibits absorption and leads to yet more harmful byproducts of fermentation. The enzymes on the surface of the small intestines are destroyed by the now present bacteria, and this further disrupts the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, leading to further bacterial overgrowth. As both the microbial flora and their byproducts damage the mucosal layer of the small intestine, it is provoked to produce excessive protective mucus, which further inhibits digestion and absorption.

Damage to the mucosal layer involves injury to the microvilli of our absorptive cells. These microvilli act as the last barrier between the nutrition we take in and our bloodstream. As our absorption is inhibited, folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to impaired development of microvilli, while an abnormally thick layer of mucus prevents contact between microvilli enzymes and the carbohydrates we ingest. The small intestine responds to this spiraling irritation by producing more goblet (mucus-making) cells, creating yet more mucus. Finally, as the goblet cells become exhausted, the intestinal surface is laid bare, and is further damaged, and possibly ulcerated. As more carbohydrates are left in the gut, they cause water and nutrients to be pulled from the body into the colon, resulting in chronic diarrhea. Absorption is further hindered as diarrhea increases the rate with which food travels through the gut.

The Diet

“The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ is based on the principle that specifically selected carbohydrates, requiring minimal digestive processes, are well absorbed and leave virtually none to be used for furthering microbial overgrowth in the intestine. As the microbial population decreases due to lack of food, its harmful byproducts also decrease, freeing the intestinal surface of injurious substances. No longer needing protection, the mucus-producing cells stop producing excessive mucus, and carbohydrate digestion is improved. Malabsorption is replaced by absorption. As the individual absorbs energy and nutrients, all the cells in the body are properly nourished, including the cells of the immune system, which then can assist in overcoming the microbial invasion.” The simpler the structure of the carbohydrate, the more easily the body digests and absorbs it. Monosaccharides (single molecules of glucose, fructose, or galactose) require no splitting by digestive enzymes in order to be absorbed by the body. These are the sugars we rely on in the diet. They include those found in fruits, honey, some vegetables, and in yoghurt.

Double sugar molecules (disaccharides: lactose, sucrose, maltose and isomaltose) and starches (polysaccharides) are primarily avoided on the diet. Some starches have been shown to be tolerated, particularly those in the legume family (dried beans, lentils and split peas only). However, they must be soaked for 10-12 hours prior to cooking, and the water discarded since it will contain other sugars which are indigestible, but which are removed in the soaking process. Small amounts of legumes may only be added to the diet after about three months. The starches in all grains, corn, and potatoes must be strictly avoided. Corn syrup is also excluded since it contains a mixture of ‘short-chain’ starches.


Finally, the SCD™diet relies on properly fermented yoghurt, and in some cases, acidophilus supplements, to help repopulate the gut with healthy intestinal flora. By increasing the population of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, the overgrowth of harmful bacteria is put in check. As the competition for nutrition between the various strains of bacteria resumes, the variety of intestinal flora is brought back into balance. Yoghurt must be properly prepared by fermenting it for 24 hours. This allows enough time for the bacteria in the yoghurt culture to break down the lactose (disaccharides) in milk, into galactose (a monosaccharide). All SCD™diet yoghurt is homemade, as commercially available yoghurts are not properly fermented.

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Information published on this Web site is intended to support the book Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall and is for information purposes only. It is not the intention of this site to diagnose, prescribe, or replace medical care. Your doctor or nutrition expert should be consulted before undertaking a change of diet.

Thyroid Disease is an epidemic

For the last couple of years, I’ve heard a lot about thyroid disease from family and friends. A friends who can’t loose 20 lbs. despite dieting on an accredited program; husband was recently treated; a teenager with thyroid cancer and many more…… it makes me wonder. I am posting 2 articles on this page, so please read both. The first article is from a medical Doctor who is a board certified Internist who also integrates holistic medicine into this practice. He believes the thyroid also controls our autoimmunity to a degree and could be the root cause of a number of diseases. While he doesn’t mention IBD, it’s worth reading.

It’s important to watch the video as it explains how blood tests are often inconclusive. You need to dig deeper. The second article talks about the implications of soy in our diet and it’s effect on the thyroid. Soy is a problem for most IBDers. We cannot digest it.

Interesting reading….from 2 PhD’s and 1 board certified Internist.

This second article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2012. Thyroid NewsWritten by Kaayla Daniel, PhD, CCN & Sylvia Onusic, PhD

Cristina Fernandez, the President of Argentina, had her thyroid removed in January of this year only to find out the gland wasn’t cancerous after all. Although her supporters whooped with joy at this news, doctors can’t put her thyroid back, and Fernandez will be on thyroid meds for life.1 Were her doctors incompetent or did they act appropriately? As that debate continues to rage over the internet, the Fernandez case has also led to widespread discussion of why thyroid cancer incidence, especially among women, has dramatically increased over the last thirty years.


According to the National Cancer Institute, the incidence of thyroid cancer has nearly doubled since the early 1970s. Thyroid cancer now affects about eleven people per hundred thousand in the United States. In January 2008, there were 458,403 Americans alive with a history of thyroid cancer of which 100,952 were men and 357,451 women. In 2011, 56,460 new cases of thyroid cancer were diagnosed and 1,740 people died of the disease.2,3

Doctors do not know why the numbers of thyroid cancer cases are increasing though some blame increased overweight and obesity, radiation exposure, and diets low in fruits and vegetables.


Certainly exposure to radiation is a known risk factor for thyroid cancer.4 In 2009 epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, PhD, took data on thyroid cancer incidence from the Centers for Disease Control for the years 2001 to 2005, compared it with the proximity of nuclear power stations, and found that the counties with the highest thyroid cancer incidence were located close together in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southern New York. He concluded, “Exposure to radioactive iodine emissions from sixteen nuclear power reactors within a ninety-mile radius in this area…[is] likely a cause of rising incidence rates.”5 Pennsylvania has the highest rate of thyroid cancer in the U.S.

In 2010 the Associated Press revealed that 75 percent of U.S. nuclear power plants leak radioactive materials into our air and water.6 And many of the one hundred four commercial nuclear power plants and thirty-four nuclear research stations now operating in the U.S. sit in seismically active locations, including at least four near the “high risk” San Francisco Bay area and three within the San Francisco Bay area itself.7 As might be expected, there is a high incidence of thyroid cancer in the San Francisco Bay area.


Radiation in ground water linked to hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—the process used to extract oil or natural gas deep in the earth—has also been linked to increasing rates of thyroid cancer. Fracking has also led to a 2,400 percent increase in earthquakes compared to the number of quakes that occurred in the years before fracking started in the U.S. 9,10 Geologist Tracy Bank, speaking at the American Geological Society meeting in Denver last November, reported that fracking releases rock-bound uranium, posing a further radiation risk to our groundwater.11


Hormonal factors may also play a significant role, according to the National Cancer Institute. Although NCI arrived at this conclusion due to the preponderance of thyroid cancer cases in women under age forty-five, human estrogens should be regarded as just one piece of the hormonal picture. Xenoestrogens—estrogenic substances found in the diet and the environment— also play a role. Commonly found in plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, personal care products, our water supply, factory-farmed meats and soy foods, Xenoestrogens can be significant “endocrine disruptors” and interfere with the functioning of many systems in the body.12

While it’s human nature to try to single out one factor to blame, the causes of thyroid cancer most likely are many and synergistic. Exposure to radiation, mercury, fluoride, 13,14 plastics, pesticides, dioxins, solvents, low iodine intake,15 and estrogens and estrogen mimickers found in commercial meats and produce, plastic and hormone replacement therapies have all been implicated. And so has soy.


Soy is widely marketed as a “health food” although soybeans naturally contain the phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) known as isoflavones. While not true hormones, isoflavones closely resemble estradiol (E2),16 the most potent of the three forms of estrogen found in the human body17 and the form of estrogen that has been implicated in thyroid cancer.18-20 Soy isoflavones cause significant endocrine disruption both directly by binding with estrogen receptors, and indirectly by interfering with the body’s production of estrogen, testosterone and other hormones. The effects are felt throughout the body, especially the thyroid and reproductive system, and are well documented in chapters twenty-six and thirty of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food.21

The key isoflavones found in soy, genistein and daidzein, are potent inhibitors of thyroid peroxidase (TPO), an enzyme involved in the synthesis of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. In vitro experiments carried out at the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Arkansas, Rao L. Divi, PhD, and Daniel R. Doerge, PhD, showed soy isoflavones will inhibit TPO and interfere with a critical stage in thyroid hormone production—the iodinization of the amino acid tyrosine. Although many people assume sufficient iodine will solve this problem, this interference occurs whether or not sufficient or extra iodine is present. As a result, the body produces useless mono-, di- and tri-iodoisoflavones and not mono, di and tri and quarto forms of thyroid hormone. In the human body, this interference can cause a drop in thyroid hormone levels, an increase in thyroid stimulating hormone and stress on the thyroid gland. To put it bluntly, this is a prescription for thyroid trouble.22, 23

Drs. Divi and Doerge, top scientists with the National Center for Toxicological Research, pulled no punches in their conclusion: “The possible association between long-term inhibition of thyroid hormone synthesis (goiter) and induction of thyroid follicular cell hyperplasia and neoplasia underscores the significance of these findings.” 24,25 Follicular cell hyperplasia is a precursor to thyroid tumors and neoplasia is an abnormal proliferation of cells and characteristic of cancer.

We also know soy products pose a special risk to hypothyroid patients treated with Synthroid and other thyroid drugs. According to Mike Fitzpatrick, PhD, boosting the thyroid with drugs like Synthroid, then depressing it with thyroid inhibitors like soy foods or isoflavones supplements, can put extreme stress on the thyroid. In fact, this is the classic way that researchers induce thyroid tumor in laboratory animals. The fact that soy is “natural” does not make it safe or weak. The phytoestrogens in a serving of soy food can provide up to three times the goitrogenic potency of the pharmaceutical thyroid-inhibiting drugs methimazole and 6-propylthiouracil. 26

Over the past seventy years, numerous studies have linked soy to thyroid disorders, especially hypothyroidism and the autoimmune thyroid disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. These studies are cited and discussed in detail in chapter twenty-seven of The Whole Soy Story. 27 Less evidence links soy to thyroid cancer, though so many studies proving stress on the thyroid would suggest clear and present danger. Soy proponents and industry spokespersons, however, prefer to assert that soy is protective, and the study cited most frequently is the Bay Area Thyroid Cancer Study.28


This study is described in three articles published by Pamela Horn-Ross, PhD, and colleagues, in the journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention (CEBP), in 2001 and 2002.29-31

In the 2002 CEBP study, Horn-Ross, Hoggatt and Lee attempted to determine how soy phytoestrogen intake relates to thyroid cancer once other factors such as age, race and other known risk factors were taken into account. In the results section they reported, “In general, a reduction in thyroid cancer risk of 35 percent to 55 percent was associated with increased consumption of non-fermented traditional and nontraditional soy-based foods and sprouts.”32

An astonishing 35 to 55 percent reduction in risk with clear cause and effect certainly seems to support the idea of consuming soy—including modern industrial soy products—for thyroid cancer prevention. But what seems to be too good to be true is often just that. A long, hard look at the study—and not just at the headlines publicized by the soy industry—reveals serious flaws in design, methods, and analysis, including:

• This paper describes an observational, case control, matched study. As J.M. Utts and R. Heckard write in their textbook, Mind on Statistics, “The most common mistake made in reporting research studies is to imply that a cause and effect relationship can be concluded from an observational study. With an observational study, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to separate the effects of confounding variables from the effects of the main explanatory variables of interest.”33

• The study was not a randomized, controlled trial, which is the gold standard for testing an intervention. Cases were not randomized to treatment groups but drawn from a cancer registry, which was a sample of convenience. As Utts and Heckard put it, “If the sample does not represent a larger population for the question of interest, and randomization to treatments was not used, no inferences can be drawn.”34

• The data were analyzed using unconditional logistic regression. When the sample comes from matched pairs—as was the case in this study—conditional logistic regression is the appropriate test, not unconditional logistic regression. As summed up in the Oxford Journal, “A simple rule of thumb is to use conditional logistic regression if matching has been done, and unconditional if no matching has been done. A second rule of thumb is, when in doubt always use conditional because it always gives unbiased results.”35

• Because the study used unconditional logistic regression, the researchers did not include the matching information in the analysis.36 This is most interesting in the light of research from the University Graduate School of Public Health in Kyoto, Japan, which examined 507 studies from 1991-2000 that used case control matched data sets.37 Of these studies, conditional logistic regression was used in 90.5 percent, and unconditional logistic regression in only 9.5 percent of them. Yet Horn-Ross and colleagues chose to use the unconditional method.

• Unconditional logistic regression analysis seriously overestimates the odds ratio when there are matching data—as was the case with Horn-Ross and colleagues—and great caution should be taken in interpreting the results.38 In Statistical Methods in Cancer Research, a classic text in disease epidemiology, Breslow and Day state: “The unconditional analysis of matched pair data results in an estimate of the odds ratio which is the square of the correct, conditional one: a relative risk of 2 will tend to be estimated as 4 by this approach…” (italic emphasis from Breslow and Day).39

• The spotlighted phytoestrogens yet included a large number of potentially interrelated variables that could interact with one another. In a high quality study, the researchers should have addressed the possibility of collinearity and taken care to rule it out. Collinearity is a bias in statistical procedure due to the correlation of multiple independent variables that influence a single dependent variable. Collinearity can lead to unstable and untrustworthy results.40

• All the subjects came from the San Francisco Bay Area and many were of Asian ethnicity. Environmental, climatic and ethnic aspects were not taken into account in the analysis. External validity is always a key question. Can these results be applied or generalized to other people? Given that people from other areas of the United States live under varying conditions and are of many different ethnicities, the results of the study—if valid—would apply only to the group from which they originated.

• Reliance on a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) to determine dietary intake during the year before the diagnosis of thyroid cancer, or for the year prior to the interview for the controls, is suspect. FFQs require people to remember what they ate, when they ate it, and how much.41 Over-estimation is common, particularly for foods eaten less often or for foods perceived as “healthy,” such as fruit, vegetables—and soy. In her article, Dr. Horn-Ross does not disclose how her FFQ was tested or evaluated prior to use in the San Francisco Bay Area Thyroid Study. She also admits “phytoestrogen consumption was not a hypothesis of this study when this FFQ was developed.”42

• In Table 1 of Horn-Ross’ article, “Selected characteristics of women participating in the multiethnic San Francisco Bay Area Thyroid Study,” we see how the cases and controls are similar on many variables such as age and number of pregnancies, but we do not know how many subjects were actually included or whether the Table represents all subjects or just a cherry-picked sample.

• In Table 2, “Consumption of selected phytoestrogen-rich foods and thyroid cancer risk among women participating in the Bay Area Thyroid Cancer Study,” the researchers make the dramatic pronouncement of reduced risk of 35 to 55 percent. However, this Table reports odds ratios but no actual risk data. Relative Risk, the basis for determinations such as “reduced risk,” cannot be calculated in a case-control study. Odds ratios can be used to represent relative risk if the disease is relatively rare, as is the case with thyroid cancer, but they are usually “bigger in each case” and “around ten percent larger than Relative Risk.” 43,44

• In Table 3, “Phytoestrogen consumption and thyroid cancer risk among women participating in the Bay Area Thyroid Cancer Study,” the researchers report an “increased consumption of four of the seven specific phytoestrogenic compounds as well as three summary measures were associated with a reduced risk of thyroid cancer . . .” Just how much reduced risk is never established or explained.

• The odds ratios in Table 2 and Table 3 show that many are near or around 1.00 which means that there are no (null) effects. Many rows—subgroups—have too few cases and controls to show statistical value. For the other rows with subgroups, we have no indication of significance (p value). P value is given only for “trend across quintiles.”

In conclusion, this paper should not be accepted as a serious study of thyroid cancer risk related to phytoestrogen intake. The researchers failed to provide details concerning the number of models, the parameters included in each of the models, construction of composite variables (Table 3), and trend tests used to produce the statistical results (p values) in Tables 2 and 3. We don’t even know the statistical software used to fit the models. The article’s clearest and most powerful statement—a reduction in thyroid cancer risk of 35 percent to 55 percent was associated with increased consumption of non-fermented traditional and nontraditional soy-based foods and sprouts—comes without explanation out of the blue.


1. CBS News. cancerous/

2. American Cancer Society:

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5. Accessed 1-11, 2012


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13. Connett, Paul. Beck, James. Micklemp, HS. The Case Against Fluoride. (White River Junction, VT, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2010) 183-185.

14. NRC, Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards (National Academies Press, 2006) 266, ch.8,

15. Iodine Deficiency. 1-23, 2012.

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19. Manole D, Schildknecht B, Gosnell B, Adams E, et al. Estrogen Promotes Growth of Human Thyroid Tumor Cells by Different Molecular Mechanisms. J Clin Endocr Metab, 2001, 86, 3, 1072-1077.

20. Kumari A, Klinge CM and Goldstein GM. Estradiol-induced proliferation of papillary and follicular thyroid cancer cells is mediated by estrogen receptors a and ß. Int J of Oncology 2010, 36,1067-1080.

21. Daniel, K.T. The Whole Soy Story: the Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food. (Washington, DC, New Trends Publishing, 2005).

22. Doerge DR. Inhibition of thyroid peroxidase by dietary flavonoids. Chem Res Toxicol, 1996, 9, 16-23.

23. Divi RL, Chang HC, Doerge DR. Anti-thyroid isoflavones from soybean. Biochem Pharmacol, 1997, 54, 1087-1096.

24. Doerge DR, Inhibition of thyroid peroxidase by dietary flavonoids. Chem Res Toxicol, 1996, 9, 16-23.

25. Divi RL, Chang HC, Doerge DR. Anti-thyroid isoflavones from soybean. Biochem Pharmacol, 1997, 54, 1087-1096.

26. Fitzpatrick Mike. Soy Formulas and the effects of isoflavones on the thyroid. NZ Med J. 2000, 1131-1103 24-26.

27. Daniel, KT, The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food (Washington, DC, New Trends, 2005).

28. Syd Baumel, at Accessed January 22, 2012.

29. Sakoda LC and Horn-Ross PL. Reproductive and menstrual history and papillary thyroid cancer risk: the San Francisco Bay Area thyroid cancer study. Cancer Epidem Biomar, 2002, 11, 51-57.

30. Horn-Ross PL, Hoggatt KJ and Lee MM. Phytoestrogens and thyroid cancer risk: the San Francisco Bay Area thyroid cancer study. Cancer Epidem Biomar, 2002, 11, 43-49.

31. Horn-Ross PL, Morris JS, Lee M, West DM, et al. Iodine and thyroid cancer risk among women in a multiethnic population: the Bay Area thyroid cancer study. Cancer Epidem Biomar, 2001,10,979-985.

32. Horn-Ross PL, Hoggatt KJ and Lee MM. Phytoestrogens and thyroid cancer risk: the San Francisco Bay Area thyroid cancer study. Cancer Epidem Biomar, 2002,11, 44.

33. Utts, J. M, Heckard, R. Mind on Statistics, 3rd edition. (Belmont, CA, Thomson-Brooks/ Cole, 2007). 136.

34. Utts, J. M, Heckard, R. Statistical Ideas and Methods (Belmont, CA, Thomas Brooks/ Cole, 2006) 669.

35. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. Mother and Child Health: Research Methods. Research Methods II. Analysis of Case-control studies. Logistic Regression 11, 122.

36. Agresti, Alan. Categorical Data Analysis. (New York, Wiley-Interscience, 2002) sections 6.7.1, 10.2.

37. Rahman, M et al. Conditional versus unconditional logistic regression in the medical literature. Letter to the Editor. J Epidem. 56, 2003, 101–102. (Kyoto University Graduate School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan).

38. Ibid.

39. Breslow, NE and Day, NE, Statistical Methods in Cancer Research. Volume 1- The analysis of Case-Control Studies (Switzerland, IARC, 1980) 249-251.

40. Analysis of case control studies. Logistic Regression, 121-122.

41. Willett, Walter. Nutritional Epidemiology (Oxford University Press, New York, 1990) 69-126.

42. Horn-Ross PL, Hoggatt KJ and Lee MM. Phytoestrogens and thyroid cancer risk: the San Francisco Bay Area Thyroid Cancer Study. Cancer Epidem Biomar, 2002, 11, 48.

43. Motulsky, Harvey, Intuitive Statistics (New York, Oxford University Press, 1995) 82-84.

44. Jewell, NP. Statistics for Epidemiology (CRC Press, New York, 2003) 31-34, 41.

Why you crave sugar and alcohol

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t crave something at some time of the day. 4:00pm tea is my thing but I’ve learned how to cut out the cookies and sweets. One rather shocking discovery was our gut ecology dictates our cravings. More and more research is showing the link between obesity and food – the more you junk you eat and drink, the move you feed your bad gut bacteria. We all have a mix of good and bad in our guts, but when you eat too much on a consistent basis, the bad guys start to take over and call the shots.

This is article is reprint from my chapter handbook and it pretty much says it all. So next time you get a craving at a certain time
for cookies or a glass of wine, remember it’s the bad guys calling.

Understanding and Overcoming Food Addictions
Have you ever had that experience of being at the grocery checkout eyeing the candy bars and fighting the urge to buy one? Or how about that feeling after dinner that you just must have something sweet? Have you ever had the experience, as I have, of devouring a brownie while thinking about the next one? Did you ever just have to have ice cream this very minute and drive to the store at whatever hour to satisfy that craving? These feelings are often impossible to resist.
I have been there! I know what it is like to crave refined carbohydrates. Most people who have such cravings want refined sugar and wheat such as bread, cookies, factory-processed boxed cereals, candy, cakes, brownies, doughnuts, and bagels, as well as ice cream. These are the very foods that cause weight gain. Many people would like to lose weight and some actually know how to do it—no thanks to our industry-dictated government food pyramid, and in fact, in spite of it! Science writer Gary Taubes, in his new book, How We Get Fat, tells us that science has known for decades that insulin is what drives fat into cells. To lose weight we need to eliminate those foods that elevate insulin— the sweet and starchy ones. But many find it impossible to do so, due to their compelling food cravings.
I no longer struggle with cravings for sweets and starches. The candy bars at the grocery checkout look too sweet. I am not attracted to pastries or ice cream. I enjoy a dessert occasionally, but I’m satisfied with a small portion and no longer have that feeling after each meal that I need something sweet. I love the freedom from my former cravings. I now control the food I eat; it no longer controls me.
What follows are the facts I have learned about food cravings and what I did to emancipate myself from them.
According to Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure, and my personal experience as well, cravings can be caused by many things and they come from our brain. Brain chemicals regulate thoughts and obsessions about food. I remember going to the refrigerator with an attack of what I call “refrigeratoritis.” That’s when you open the refrigerator and stare into it thinking about what you want to eat, even though you are not really hungry. Your brain is just telling you that you need something now, and you can’t resist the impulse. It’s as though someone else has taken control.
I remember one particular instance when my daughter and I were dining in a local restaurant and had agreed that we would share the special chocolate cake for dessert. We looked forward to this, but when we ordered it we were told that they were out of the cake we were dreaming about. I was devastated! In fact, I was shocked at how upset I was that I would be deprived of this delicious treat.
I had learned about amino acids from Julia Ross when she spoke at a Weston A. Price Foundation Conference. She described the way amino acids can affect cravings and moods, so the next day I took an amino acid called DLPA (a form of phenylalanine) that works as an appetite suppressant when you need a “numbing treat.” The effect was immediate! For several days I took the supplement and no longer craved any foods. I had the most wonderful feeling of joy and freedom. I could now eat what I should when I was truly hungry, instead of when something in my brain told me I had to. I had an amazing amount of energy. This feeling did not last, but it did prove to me that the brain was the culprit and set me on a journey to learn more.
First you need to know about proteins and amino acids, which are the building blocks that make up proteins. The central nervous system cannot function without amino acids, which act as neurotransmitters or as precursors to the neurotransmitters. They are necessary for the brain to receive and send messages. All the amino acids must be present together or something may go wrong with the transmission of the message. If there is a protein shortage due to a diet deficiency or the inability to digest proteins, disorders can arise. These may be cravings, ADD, anxiety, depression or many other mental disorders.
Julia Ross writes in her book, The Mood Cure, that if you are low in amino acids or if they are not functioning properly in your body, you can crave foods. She states that if you are low in the amino acid L-tryptophan, which is needed to produce serotonin, our natural Prozac, you may have afternoon cravings for carbohydrates, alcohol or drugs. If you are low in endorphins, our natural chocolate or heroin, you may crave comforting or numbing treats or “love” certain foods, drugs or alcohol. The amino acid DLPA will often eliminate comfort-food cravings, at least for a while.
Some grains (wheat, rye, barley and spelt) contain a protein called gluten, which is very difficult to digest. Foods made from gluten grains are comfort foods and many people crave them. They can actually become addictive. James Braly, MD, in his book, Dangerous Grains, says that part of this comfort comes from our inability to digest fully some parts of the grain. Undigested partial proteins, or peptides, found in gluten cereals have morphine-like properties, becoming potent drugs once they enter the blood stream. Many people develop cravings due to the pleasant feelings these cause.
You may have heard the aphorism, “Disease begins in the colon.” When a person eats factory-made refined foods, which are difficult to digest, he develops an overgrowth of yeasts, fungi and bad bacteria, which proliferate because of these lifeless foods. In addition, if you have taken antibiotics, you have probably killed a lot of the good bacteria whose job is to keep levels of all bacteria in balance. These good bacteria assist with digestion and absorption of nutrients in living foods. By contrast, the unfriendly (to us) bacteria want a continuous supply of starchy carbohydrates and sugar to eat via these dead, factory foods, and they let you know by causing your food cravings.
In addition, you may find you have parasites. The job of parasites is to clean up rotten food and bad bacteria in the intestines. Parasites love sugar as a steady diet, too. When you kill them your cravings may temporarily get worse, as they seem to scream for sugar.
Candida overgrowth can cause very strong sugar and bread cravings. Yeasts and candida live on sugar and seem to urge you to feed them all the time. “A craving for sweet and starchy foods is typical for all people with abnormal bodily flora,” says Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, “particularly with candida overgrowth.” Further, if you have taken birth control pills, which change your body pH, or if you eat a lot of sugar, you are encouraging abnormal growth of yeast in your body. Doctors are now discovering a link between heavy metals and candida overgrowth.
Metals can be a root cause of cravings and of serious health problems. We can accumulate metals from vaccinations, mercury fillings in our teeth, pesticides, foods that are not organic, air pollutants, and many other sources. They can be passed on to our children in utero. “Unfortunately, just having toxins in the body makes them harder to get rid of because they drain energy, even at the cellular level,” says Kenneth Bock, M.D. who treats autistic children.
Just when I had absolutely no cravings (I didn’t even think about sweets anymore) I began to detoxify metals. My doctor’s report had shown mercury, arsenic and high copper, so I was taking homeopathic drops to detoxify. But detoxification brought the carbohydrate cravings right back. At midday and after dinner I started searching the house for candy, looking for those leftover chocolates from Christmas gifts. I really wanted what Julia Ross calls numbing treats, something to satisfy myself. My health practitioner explained that the metals, as they are flushed out, disrupt functions in the body, including neurotransmitters in the brain. Chemicals can do this as well. I took some individual amino acids, which provided some relief from cravings, and also supplemented with probiotics to improve digestion and detoxification.
If you are eating a lowfat diet, you may still feel hungry after a meal. As stated in Eat Fat Lose Fat, by Sally Fallon Morell and Mary Enig, PhD, our bodies need saturated fats for function of nerves, brain, hormones, immune system and metabolism. Also, saturated fats create satiation. In other words, they make us feel full and satisfied. By feeding your body the healthy fats it needs—fats found in butter, cream, nuts, meats and eggs—your body produces a hormone in the stomach that signals you have eaten enough.
Dr. Tom Cowan writes in his book, The Fourfold Path to Healing, that “Our brain is specifically designed to sense the fat content of our food and to tell us to stop eating when the proper amount of fat has been ingested. When the need for fats and the nutrients they contain is satisfied, we stop eating. The body’s requirement for fats is so great, and the appetite that spurs the body to obtain those fats is so strong, that binge eating is likely to occur if fats are omitted from regular meals.”
As I stated earlier, if you have been eating refined foods, especially grains that are not traditionally prepared by soaking or fermenting, you may have undigested waste in the intestinal tract. You may have too many hostile bacteria and not enough beneficial bacteria. This can make it difficult for your intestines to make B vitamins. Julia Ross explains that the brain must have B6 to make serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. Serotonin makes you feel happy, contented and satisfied.
Are you deficient in brain nutrition due to low-calorie dieting? Julia Ross calls this situation “dieter’s malnutrition” and says it can be an underlying cause of food cravings. When our body assimilates vital nutrients well, it requires less food to satisfy its basic nutrient needs, and a lasting feeling of satiety is effectively achieved. If we don’t assimilate nutrients well or don’t eat nutrient-dense food, our body will be constantly asking for more food, because it needs nutrients to survive. As Dr. Cowan explains, modern processed food is high in calories and low in nutrients. It satisfies the appetite only momentarily because the body continues to send signals to the brain that it needs more nourishment. The “appestat” never receives the signal to turn off.
Just eating a lot of sugar can cause you to want more of the same. In a presentation at the 2010 Weston A. Price Foundation conference, Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT, explained that if you eat a lot of sugar and starch (which turns to sugar), your body and brain become metabolically adapted to burning glucose for fuel, instead of burning fat for fuel. She says, “You are going to crave carbohydrates if you are adapted to being dependent on glucose as your primary source of fuel. . . . Sugar is going to look good to you and you are going to crave it. Some people can’t even get to noon without a snack, without going half crazy.”
For example, if you eat sugary breakfast cereals you will often become hungry an hour later and want to eat more sugar. You may feel like you are going to crash without it. Processed carbohydrates get absorbed very quickly, producing an unnaturally rapid increase in blood glucose. A rapid increase in blood glucose puts your body in a state of shock, prompting it to pump out lots of insulin very quickly. As a result of overproduction of insulin, soon you have very low blood glucose again. (Insulin is what puts on weight too.) A fluctuating blood sugar level can trigger food cravings, migraines, mood swings, weak spells, drowsiness and much more. I was with a friend while she experienced a blood sugar crash. She felt faint and that she absolutely had to eat a cookie to survive.
It has been said that chemicals are sometimes added to processed food by manufacturers in order to cause cravings in the unwitting public. Paul Stitt, who worked for breakfast food companies and wrote Fighting the Food Giants, relates how this is frequently perpetrated. Employees were often asked to taste the cereals. The cereals they ate the most of were considered the best and were marketed the most. And some cookies, he says, have addictive ingredients added so you won’t eat just one.
Paula Bass, PhD, in Fairfax, Virginia, agrees that food additives affect the brain. As a psychologist, she looks carefully at diet with each client, and sometimes a diet change is all it takes to resolve the problem. “If you are eating junk foods that contain dyes, preservatives and other chemicals, you can damage the manufacture of your brain neurotransmitters,” she explained at a recent talk I attended. “Nutrient-dense whole foods are necessary for our brain neurotransmitters to be produced and function properly,” she commented.
Recent research finds that toxins in foods and other chemicals in the environment do more than just cause cravings—they also alter our hormones and our own innate slimming mechanism. Paula Baillie-Hamilton, MD, PhD, focuses on organochlorines, such as pesticides. In her book, Toxic Overload, she reveals studies showing that the higher the level of these chemicals in the body, the greater the body weight will be.
Researchers are discovering that microwaves, power lines, computers and cell phones all create electro-magnetic pollution that makes people sick and tired—and fat. The effects can cause fat retention, fatigue, insomnia, depression, hormone disruption and more, according to Sherrill Sellman, ND. They disrupt vital cellto- cell communication that underlies all of the body’s functions, including maintaining energy and natural slimming mechanisms like detoxifying, balancing blood sugar and regulating appetite, according to Dr. Sellman. You can read more by going to You can also purchase tiny chips to place on electronic devices to protect yourself at
It has long been known that if we are allergic to something, we may crave that very food. A craving for wheat can mean you are allergic to wheat, one of the most common food allergens. The reason this happens, says Nora Gedgaudas, is that when a food allergy causes stress, your body produces endorphins, which comfort you and make you feel good. Unfortunately you perpetuate exposure to the irritant because you want more of the compensatory good feelings.
Bruce Rind, MD, who specializes in adrenal and thyroid health, claims that weakened adrenals can cause cravings for sweets, grains, salt or any combination of these. If you have eaten a lowfat diet for a lengthy amount of time, or have poor fat metabolism, you may not be getting enough cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for the health of the endocrine system, which of course includes the adrenals and thyroid gland.
Another cause of poor adrenal function can be toxins like mercury. Janet Lang, DC, an expert in women’s hormones, agrees that toxins and poor diet disrupt hormones. She states that imbalanced hormones frequently cause cravings and has developed a treatment protocol for this condition.
Although it takes diligence, attention to detail, and time, overcoming food cravings and restoring gut health and mental equilibrium can be done! My five crucial points for remedying food cravings are outlined in the sidebar on page 48. Let me reassure you that detoxifying and changing your diet are worth the effort. Not only will you be free of your cravings, but you will digest and absorb nutrients better, grow healthier, feel happier, and prevent illness in the future.
Remedies for Cravings
1. Prepare your grains: Do we need to eliminate grains to be healthy? Sally Fallon Morell explains in her article “Be Kind to Your Grains” that we do not need to give up our grains, but we do need to prepare them properly. Ancient cultures fermented, soaked and sprouted grains before consumption. Today we are fortunate because we can find genuine sourdough breads and whole grain breads that are made from soaked and sprouted flours. They are usually in the frozen section of our health food store. Because the gluten is broken down or predigested it is less likely to cause cravings and the breads are more nutritious. (But read labels to make sure that gluten is not added after the sprouting or sourdough process!) If you have strong cravings for grains, however, it may be wise to eliminate them entirely, recommends Nora Gedgaudas. I find that once cravings are gone, one is usually able to slowly add back to the diet some properly prepared grains. If you are still trying to lose weight, you should continue to limit grain consumption.
2. Take probiotic supplements and eat probiotic fermented foods: Homemade sauerkraut and pickles are good probiotic foods, consumed by healthy people the world over for centuries. These foods will increase the numbers of friendly bacteria to improve digestion, assimilation and detoxification. They help keep in check the bad bacteria that can cause cravings. I suggest you start supplementing slowly with probiotics. This is because when you add these good bacteria they will cause the bad bacteria to die, and you will very likely have some die-off symptoms. These could include cravings.
3. Eat plenty of good satur ate d fats : Be sure you are getting plenty of these fats in your diet because they will make you feel good, full, and satisfied.
4. Clean out the kitchen and pantry! Get rid of all the processed and sugar-laden foods. Remove any grain products that are not traditionally prepared and any products with dyes and additives. Keep only foods that are real and whole. If you are trying to lose weight, eat only low-sugar, low-starch foods. Eat lots of non–starchy vegetables, meats, fish, nuts,and raw dairy. Raw dairy contains the enzymes needed to digest it.
5. Detoxify: Find a practitioner who can test you to determine if you have heavy metals, chemicals, parasites, candida, yeast, fungi or bad bacteria, all of which can cause food cravings. Since I was burdened with several of these, I detoxified using homeopathy, nutritional supplements, and TBM (Total Body Modification) energy treatments. I took Natren probiotics to aid in detoxification and replenish the good bacteria. I recommend you purchase a very good water filter to aid hydration of cells. Foods like parsley and cilantro can help with detoxification, too. You must be very careful not to detoxify too rapidly or you will put your body out of balance and experience many unpleasant symptoms. I took cod liver oil, which contains vitamins A and D to protect my cells, once I had detoxified enough to be able to metabolize fats well. I recommend you find someone who is experienced in AK (Applied Kinesiology or muscle testing). A good practitioner will make sure you support the organs of detoxification, especially the liver and kidneys. You can so easily overdo detoxification and harm yourself. When you have symptoms, it is often difficult to tell whether they are from the toxins, low levels of probiotics, or from the detox process. I worked with a TBM practitioner who could always figure out my problem and remedy it. Another tool to identify your toxins is the Asyra energy scan, available at, in Annandale, Virginia.

1. Campbell-McBride, Natasha, M.D. Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Dyspraxia, Autism, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, and Schizophrenia. Cambridge: Medinform Publishing, 2004
2. Gershon, Michael D., M.D. The Second Brain: A Groundbreaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestine. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1998
3. Ross, Julia, M.A. The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Rebalance Your Emotional Chemistry and Rediscover Your Natural Sense of Well-Being. New York: The Penguin Group, 2002.
4. Braly, James, M.D. and Ron Hoggan, M.A. Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous to Your Health. New York: The Penguin Group, 2002
5. Smith, Melissa Diane. Going Against the Grain: How Reducing and Avoiding Grains Can Revitalize Your Health. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2002
6. Cowan, Thomas S., M.D. The Fourfold Path to Healing: Working with the Laws of Nutrition, Therapeutics, Movement, and Meditation in the Art of Medicine. Washington D.C: New Trends Publishing, 2004
7. Fallon, Sally. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Washington, D.C.: New Trends Publishing, 1999
8. Watson, Alan L. Cereal Killer: The Unintended Consequences of the Low Fat Diet. Minneapolis: Diet Heart Publishing, 2008
9. Paula Bass, PhD, presentation, Weston A. Price Chapter Meeting, Alexandria, VA, 2010
10. Stitt, Paul A. Fighting the Food Giants, Manitowoc, WI, Natural Press, 1980
11. Nora Gedgaudas, presentation, Weston A. Price Conference, 2010, Baltimore, MD,“Taming the Carb Craving Monster.”
12. Courtney, John, Standard Process Clinical Reference Guide, p 36, Lactic Acid Yeast
13. Bock, Kenneth, M.D. Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. New York: Ballantine Books 2008

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2011.
About the Author

Guts and Psychology

Like most people, we know of someone who’s behavior is unexplainable and sometimes quite erratic. For the past 6 yrs., I’ve been researching food and it’s effect on the body and stumbled across many accounts of people with bi-polar issues, depression, ADD, ADHD, anxiety and various degrees of schizophrenia being treated by diet.

I knew that I had gut issues and that my family had their issues as well. Both my husband and son had behavior that was wearing me down emotionally. I was tired of being lashed out at by the people I love. My husband for years had what was an obvious sugar addiction to me: bread, bread, more bread, ice cream, pasta and more pasta. He would go to bed very late as software guys tend to do, but he’d wake up only after 4 hours of sleep. He was in a manic cycle which he didn’t recognize as damaging. But for anyone who’s ever watched this cycle, it’s a sad and obvious pattern. My son who was 6 at the time had been diagnosed with ADD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder and I was advised to medicate him immediately. The doctor said he’d probably be on medication all thru his school years ! I went in for an I.Q test and was told to medicate – I was not prepared for this, but being an old hippie mom, I said no I wasn’t going this route. I’d try the natural approach and find the root cause. Drugs only mask the symptom, they do not address root causes.

At that time my beautiful boy was also kicking and hitting me regularly, but an hour later he’d come and cry to me that he didn’t know why he was behaving the way he was. My poor baby felt like he was possessed and he’d cry with remorse. This was possibly one of the most tiring periods of my life – I was sick and being drained. I prayed for guidance regularly.

I also went thru the motions and spent a couple of thousand dollars on doctors to no avail on allergy testing and different styles of therapy. It wasn’t until I sat down at my computer, did I begin to draw a line from food to behavior. I immediately omitted gluten, boxed mac and cheese, and all junk which had processed milk solids and started making him green juice smoothies with probiotics every morning. He got good old fashioned cod liver oil daily, along with farm eggs and meat. I made bread the old fashioned way with natural fermented sourdough yeasts.

It took me about 6 months to see dramatic changes in my husband and son’s behavior and sleep patterns. My son was no longer hitting me and his teachers noticed a big change in behavior in school. They stopped calling me. I banished all processed foods and sugary foods in the house – I was truly a dictator in the food dept. Ask my husband, I’d go nuts if anyone bought in junk. BUT, it was worth it. My husband started going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 7am – rested and refreshed. He stopped acting manic and flying off the handle at me and the kids. He finally stopped taking the anti-depressants since he felt peaceful again. Please read this account of one of my fellow WAPF practioners and see if it applies to anyone you know. Forward this on to them. And then get them on the GAPS diet – Guts and Psychology diet immediately. They will thank you for it. I’ve mentioned this in my other posts, but I don’t think most people know just how badly they feel, until they feel better.

Getting at the Gut
Written by Kim Schuette, CN
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 20:09

A Solution for Treating Bipolar Disorder

The Merck Manual describes bipolar disorder as “a condition in which periods of depression alternate with periods of mania or lesser degrees of excitement.” 1 Historically known as manic-depressive disorder, this psychiatric condition is typically defined by the presence of abnormally elevated energy levels affecting mood and awareness, with or without states of depression. Manic states are often accompanied by psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.

Allopathic medicine’s solution generally involves one or more pharmaceuticals for a lifetime; it never offers a cure but rather, management of erratic behavior via medications that often need to be changed from time to time. Quite commonly, those suffering from bipolar disorder are very bright, creative and loving individuals. Sadly, when brain chemistry goes out of balance, the sufferer most often deals with chaos involving hallucinations, as well as extreme mania and rage. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, once said, “All disease begins in the gut.” While not all individuals with gut dysbiosis experience psychological or psychiatric disease, I have yet to find in thirteen years of practice the absence of gut dysbiosis in those suffering from psychological or psychiatric challenges.

In September 2008, I had the privilege of meeting a very bright but troubled nine-year-old girl, whom I will call Mary. Mary had been diagnosed bipolar eleven months earlier by a psychiatrist. This conclusion came after years of deeply concerning behavior. By the second grade, she was expelled from her private school due to her aggressive behavior towards students and her teacher. This prompted her parents to make the decision to home school. Mary’s mother quit her practice in the health field in order to give full time attention to her daughter’s daily needs.


Prior to seeing the psychiatrist, Mary described in detail to her counselor how she planned to kill herself some day. It was at this point the counselor and her parents realized Mary needed serious help. Her parents’ “gut sense” was that pharmaceuticals would not offer the long-term solution they desired for their daughter. It was at this junction they were referred to my office.

During my first meeting with the family, Mary was in a state of mild agitation with constant fidgeting and head shaking. She described the sensation of “things crawling” in her head. Mary presented with a very red and expansive rash on her bottom, which had been longstanding.


Before focusing on Mary, I took a look first at her parents’ health history and habits. I suspected that Mary might be a GAPS patient. GAPS is an acronym for Gut and Psychology Syndrome, based on the work of neurologist Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD. This work finds that those individuals with psychiatric disorders, as well as depression, anxiety, ADD and ADHD also have digestive problems. This is evidenced by many symptoms including (but not limited to) acne, allergies, asthma, constipation, diarrhea, eczema and other skin rashes. Dr. Campbell-McBride’s findings echo the words of Hippocrates that “all disease begins in the gut.” Given the GAPS research, and the fact that children inherit many gut and psychology issues from their parents, I examined her parents’ histories.

Mary’s mother had been a frequent user of the birth control pill and numerous rounds of antibiotics to address chronic bladder infections. She also had a history of vaginal yeast infections, which is common following the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics wipe out most bacteria, good and bad, leaving room on the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract and the vaginal canal for opportunistic yeast to grow.

Mary’s mother also followed a typical American diet with an emphasis on lowfat foods, based on Dean Ornish’s recommendations, prior to conception. Mary’s father was addicted to sugar, Cokes and Oreos. He presented with chronic subcutaneous dermatitis, inflammation of the skin, most commonly seen as eczema. This condition is the result of imbalance of good flora in the gut. Both parents’ diet had a history of strict adherence to the USDA’s recommended food group of choice: grains. They both had used Accutane for the treatment of acne and appeared to suffer from the typical distressed liver function, which generally follows Accutane usage.2

The history of both parents gave me great insight into the weak links in Mary’s development. Both parents suffered from gut dysbiosis. Both parents were unable to pass on strong immunity to their child due to their own weakened states from diets composed primarily of processed foods, high in sugar and gluten and their exposure to antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals that weaken liver function.

Mary showed signs of large motor skill delays in her first year of life. I learned that Mary was conceived in the Sierra Mountains at a time when Lyme disease was widespread. Mary’s mom was an avid hiker, as well as a veterinarian, making it likely that she had come in contact with the spirochete that causes Lyme disease. Research has shown that pathogens like the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, and its hitchhiking partners, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Bartonella, Mucoplasma and Anaplasma, can cross the placenta barrier and infect the developing child.3

A breached gut wall barrier leaves a child— or adult—vulnerable to pathogenic invaders and bacteria that are simply looking for a home. The gut wall barrier can become breached when there is an absence of life-giving, probiotic bacteria protecting the gut lining and the presence of partially digested proteins, creating lesions in the gut lining. The result is impaired assimilation of nutrients along with inflammation. This is in part due to consuming highly refined grains, or grains not properly soaked and properly prepared. The lack of lacto-fermented foods is another contributing factor in developing a breached gut wall barrier.

Mary was born via C-section, therefore she would have missed out on the natural inoculation of friendly bacteria that should have been residing in the vaginal canal. However, due to mom’s history of antibiotics, birth control pills and regular sugar consumption, she would have lacked sufficient beneficial bacteria to impart to Mary during delivery anyway.

Mary was breastfed for sixteen months. Nonetheless, she suffered from chronic constipation beginning at five months of age. She was fed rice cereal with mineral oil per the advice of her pediatrician. Mineral oil, a petroleum-derived product, can be contaminated with cancer causing PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and is known to be immunosuppressive.4 In the European Union’s Dangerous Substances Directive (UNECE 2004), in September 2004 banned all petroleum oils with the following caveat: “The classification as a carcinogen need not apply if the full refining history is known and it can be shown that the substance from which it is produced is not a carcinogen.” Her pediatric gastroenterologist concluded “nothing is wrong with Mary,” and confirmed the use of mineral oil.

After her first birthday, Mary began five years of chronic ear infections. Within this five-year period she was placed on ten different antibiotics. At the age of four, her tonsils and adenoids were removed. The tonsils were so enlarged due to chronic infections that they were touching one another. As a result, Mary’s snoring could be heard throughout the house.


Up until Mary entered kindergarten, her parents thought she was just very strong willed and bright. Bright she was. Mary has an IQ of one hundred forty. It was soon after she began kindergarten that Mary’s parents realized that her anger and behavior were far from normal. By first grade she was throwing chairs and other objects in the classroom at children, especially boys. She would threaten homicide to others. Despite many attempts by patient teachers trying to redirect her behavior, Mary was uncontrollable. By the beginning of second grade, Mary was suspended.

Mary understood she was different from her peers. She would run down the hall at home flailing her arms and raging for two hours at a time. Often she crawled in between her mattress and box springs or buried herself under the bed for hours on end. Other times she would withdraw into herself and her books. (To date, at age thirteen, Mary has read over two thousand books.)

As her parents saw Mary “going dark,” they sought help from a local marriage and family therapist, who had a PhD in education with an emphasis on gifted children. At the same time they began working with several neurological developmental specialists and eventually the psychiatrist who diagnosed Mary as bipolar.

All agreed that Mary likely had a genius level IQ but, sadly, no long-term solutions for her disorder were offered. As her obstinate behavior grew and threats of suicide increased, their therapist felt something immediate needed to be done. After four hours of meetings with the psychiatrist, the mood disorder diagnosis was given. The psychiatrist was reluctant to prescribe anti-psychotic drugs to such a young, smart child—Mary’s parents agreed.

Many times Mary’s eyes would “flat line,” to use her father’s words. She would become completely disconnected and unable to communicate. Often after an hour and a half of head butting, biting, and raging, Mary would pass out and then wake with words of apology.


With full history in hand, we ran a comprehensive three-day stool test. Proper Lyme testing, which can be done through a specialty lab, is very costly and therefore, the parents chose to forego the testing and began addressing the diet and support for the gut. To best accomplish this, I recommended they use the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet as designed by neurologist Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. We decided to keep her nutritional supplementation to a minimum, using primarily fermented cod liver oil and high quality probiotics. After several months, we added various homeopathic remedies and eventually, some botanical products that have antimicrobial effects.

The GAPS Diet was a huge shift for this family of three whose diet had been primarily centered around refined carbohydrates with some lowfat dairy and meats. But in desperation, they made it a family affair. Within a few weeks, Mary’s rash began disappearing. Within three months of the GAPS Diet and our nutritional support, Mary’s raging ended.

We limited her nutritional supplementation to Bio-Kult, minerals, and Blue Ice Royal, a combination of X-factor butter oil and fermented cod liver oil. This combination was used often by Dr. Weston A. Price in treating many different states of deficiency. Bio-Kult helped us quickly populate Mary’s gut with much needed beneficial bacteria as she adapted to eating lacto-fermented foods on a daily basis. The Blue Ice Royal, a rich source of vitamins A and D, and daily bone broth, supplying amino acids and minerals, provided all the nutrients needed to heal the gut lining. I also included homeopathic drainage remedies to assist her body in slowly eliminating toxins in the gut and brain. Botanical tinctures were used to address infection in the body.

Mary and her parents agreed the two biggest challenges presented by the GAPS Diet are the elimination of gluten and casein. The elimination of these are essential in healing the gut, which is almost always required in healing psychiatric conditions.


One of the earliest works showing the effects of gluten on the brain was done by psychiatrist F. Curtis Dohan, who noted that schizophrenic patients had fewer hospitalizations when bread became unavailable during World War II. This trend was seen throughout Canada, the United States, Finland, Norway and Sweden. He found similar correlation in New Guinea, where schizophrenia was basically nonexistent in people on primitive diets until cultivated wheat products and beer made from barley (a gluten-containing grain) were introduced. At that point schizophrenia rates increased sixty-five fold.

One of the most extensive clinical trials of our time regarding food and behavior took place in Denmark. Fifty-five autistic children were placed on a gluten- and casein-free diet. Tremendous improvement in behavior was seen in these children. Dr. Dohan and his colleagues at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Philadelphia saw similar results in schizophrenic patients in the mid-sixties after putting patients on a gluten-free diet for four weeks. There was a reduced number of auditory hallucinations, delusion and less social detachment. Once gluten was reintroduced, the disturbing behaviors returned.5

Obviously not everyone who is gluten- or casein-sensitive exhibits the extreme symptoms of autism, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But other health issues may ensue when the gut wall lining has been breached. Allergies, acne, eczema and gastrointestinal complaints are just a few of the symptoms that can point to gut dysbiosis.

I have found the GAPS program to be the body’s best support for healing. Prior to using the GAPS Diet in 2005, I saw the Specific Carbohydrate Diet assist many to a certain degree of wellness. The GAPS Diet, however, because of its emphasis on nutrient-dense, gut-healing foods like cod liver oil and bone broth, can bring complete healing to those with gut disorders.


Several months after I began working with Mary, we re-tested her stool to find that the high levels of previously detected MRSA (methylresistant Staphylococcus aureus) had left her body. Over the next nine months her behavior gradually normalized. Exactly one year from beginning the GAPS Diet, Mary and her parents attended a family reunion where family members were shocked at Mary’s transformation.

Today, Mary is a vivacious, happy, normal thirteen-year-old, still reading books and bringing laughter to those around her. Her kind and loving spirit touches all who are blessed to know her. Mary is fortunate to have parents dedicated to her healing.


Today, modern cultures are seeing soaring SUMMER 2012 Wise Traditions 49 rates of ADD, ADHD, allergies, autism and psychiatric disorders in the very young as refined carbohydrates, particularly modified gluten products rapidly produced in sixty minutes or less, and pasteurized, denatured dairy products continue to dominate diets. More and more research points to the wisdom of Hippocrates that “all disease begins in the gut.”

Hippocrates also offered this insight: “I know, too, that the body is affected differently by bread according to the manner in which it is prepared. It differs according as it is made from pure flour or meal with bran, whether it is prepared from winnowed or unwinnowed wheat, whether it is mixed with much water or little, whether well mixed or poorly mixed, overbaked or underbaked, and countless other points besides. The same is true of the preparation of barley meal. The influence of each process is considerable and each has a totally different effect from another. How can anyone who has not considered such matters and come to understand them possibly know anything of the diseases that afflict mankind? Each one of the substances of a man’s diet acts upon his body and changes it in some way and upon these changes his whole life depends.”

This truth is never more evident than today. We are bearing the consequences of departure from traditional food preparation in exchange for modern technology and so-called convenience. The fallout lies in the minds and guts of our young. The good news is our bodies are capable of self-healing. As we return to the wisdom of our ancient forefathers and foremothers, we can help our children to recapture their potential for wellness.




Connor, age two years and nine months, came to see me after his mother, Kelley, spent his entire life seeking help from the conventional medical community, including one of the nation’s most prestigious university hospitals. Kelley realized when Connor was just a few days old that something was sorely wrong. It was determined that he was having seizures throughout the day. In December of 2011, Connor was experiencing forty seizures daily, spending many days hospitalized. On bad days, he was registering one hundred seizures within a twenty-four-hour period. His hospice doctor told the parents not to expect him to live to see his third birthday due to the effect of the constant seizures.

In January of 2012 Connor’s mother switched him to a ketogenic (high fat) commercial formula. This change brought his seizures down to six to ten daily. In April they were referred to me. At this point Connor had not crawled, talked, sat or walked. He exhibited signs of chronic indigestion. A look at Kelley’s preconception and prenatal history was very telling. She had been a vegetarian since she was nine years old. She had one child who was sixteen months older than Connor. This child had a history of chronic ear infections. At the time of their first visit with me, the older child had been on thirty rounds of antibiotics. They also now had a six-month old son who was showing signs of gut disorder, including eczema and vomiting after feedings.

Kelley had miscarried several months prior to conceiving Connor. Her doctor had put her on antibiotics during her complete pregnancy due to supposed urinary tract infections. She was also being given opiate drugs for the pain simultaneously. Unfortunately she was not properly overseen during her prenatal period and learned just prior to delivering her son via C-section that she was severely anemic. She required four pints of blood before delivery.

Connor was receiving most of his nutrition via a G-tube that entered his stomach. He was on a commercial formula, which boasted a frightening list of synthetic ingredients including high fructose corn syrup. We immediately changed his formula to the meat-based formula designed by Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Mary Enig found in Nourishing Traditions. I made a few minor changes to accommodate Connor’s special needs. I referred him to an excellent osteopath, Dr. Jim Murphy, for osteopathic manipulation as well as emotional healing.

We focused on increasing his animal fats, as these do not exacerbate seizures the way other fats often do. Within ten days Connor’s seizures ended. Roughly thirty-five days after being seizure free, Connor began to make eye contact for the first time in a year and a half. A day later, he was smiling and then giggling.

Connor is currently on the GAPS Introduction Diet. He has learned to chew for the first time and is thoroughly enjoying his egg yolks scrambled in ghee, homemade cultured sour cream, avocados and of course, bone broth soups and stews.

The hospice doctor saw Connor about thirty-five days after his seizures stopped. She was floored but insisted that “these things don’t happen” and while they shouldn’t get their hopes up, they should continue whatever they were doing. At the end of the visit she burst into tears, admitted that Connor’s progress defied everything she has been taught and had to leave as she was crying too much. Our hope is that this doctor will learn through her observations of Connor.

Connor continues to improve. Recently he began talking, greeting friends and family with “hi”; saying “up” when he wants to be held and voicing “ah” when wanting his pacifier. He is learning to sit and can presently stand by himself for thirty seconds at a time. Needless to say, many tears of joy are being shed in Connor’s home, as well as my office. Connor’s father, Randy, calls him their “miracle.” I thank God for the privilege of working with such incredible parents and watching their miracle unfold.

Connor’s six-month-old baby brother has adapted excellently to a homemade formula using raw camel and sheep milk. Kelley continues to learn to cook the GAPS way as her entire family of five is now on the GAPS Diet (although baby brother, Cameron, will continue his raw camel and sheep milk). Kelley and I are starting to make plans for Connor’s third birthday party, GAPS style.

In addition to nutritional support, Connor’s parents, Kelley and Randy, are incorporating Recall Healing and osteopathic treatments with Dr. Jim Murphy. One day, Connor’s parents asked Connor for forgiveness for their times of hopelessness. Connor smiled and has been beaming ever since. He woke the next day and started all the big steps in his cognitive development, chewing his food for the first time ever, saying “hi” to greet people and learning to sit.

It is obvious that Connor came into the world to be a blessing to his family, and to lead them, however painfully, to the right dietary practices for his parents and siblings.



1. Merck Manual, pg. 409.

2. Stephen P. Stone, M.D., president American Academy of Dermatology and clinical professor of medicine Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield; Lee T. Zane, M.D., assistant professor, clinical dermatology, University of California, San Francisco; August 2006, Archives of Dermatology.

3. John Drulle, M.D. in December, 1990; The Lyme-Autism Connection; Rosner, Bryan with Tami Duncan.


5. F. Curtis Dohan, M.D. Genetic Hypothesis of Idiopathic Schizophrenia: Its Exorphin Connection Oxford Journals: Schizophrenia Bulletin; Volume 14, Issue 4, pp. 489-493; Dohan FC, Grasberger JC. Relapsed schizophrenics: earlier discharge from the hospital after cereal-free, milk-free diet. Am J Psychiatry 1973; 130: 685-8; Lorenz K: Cereals and schizophrenia. Adv Cereal Sci Technol 1990; 10: 435–469. [iii]. Dohan FC, et al. Relapsed schizophrenics: More rapid improvement on a milk and cereal free diet. Br J Psychiatry 1969; 115: 595–596; Dohan FC, Grasberger JC. Relapsed schizophrenics: Early discharge from the hospital after cereal free, milk free diet. Am J Psychiatry 1973; 130: 685–688.

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2012.

About the Author

Stress reduction techniques

How to rewire your brain stress

As I mentioned in my section on stress, IBDers have plenty of it.  Whether it’s caused by our IBD  or the world around us, we all need help in controlling it.   In the course of healing my IBD, I’ve tried many treatments – weekly massage, yoga, walking and a regular exercise program.   While we need something to relax our bodies, we can’t overlook our minds.   Please checkout this link to one of my favorite new programs.   I am almost done reading it and incorporating into my routine.   I am confident it will help you too.

Nick Orton Tapping Techniques

Dr. Andy Hyman on Tapping



Flares and Remission

IBS & IBD has periods of active disease where you’ll experience flare-ups.  They are extremely upsetting and can wreck havoc on your nerves.  It’s important to remember, they are part of the normal cycle of gut ecology.   It’s believed that for the first couple of years until you get your diet under control, you’ll experience these every 3, 6, 9, 12 months until some of the pathogenic gut bacteria dies off and your treatment plan is established.    Periods like these vary greatly from person to person, but there does seem to be common foods that will trigger flares,  so during these times you’ll want to pay strict attention to your sugar and carb consumption.    I made the mistake of binge eating during my flares only to learn I was making my Remicade treatments less effective and I had to increase the dosage.  Had I known that I just needed to control my sugar and carb intake, I could of possibly avoided bad flares and increases in dosage.

For those who are suffering badly with IBD, the drugs are a godsend, but you also have to help your body heal.   The drugs can easily fail, as they did for me, but at that time I knew little about carb and sugar intake and how it works against the drug treatment plan.  If you are a smoker and suddenly quite, you’ll find yourself in a bad flare.  Please consult your doctor should you plan on quitting.

Remission is when you no longer experience flares and your IBD becomes inactive.  Clinical remission is the absence of rectal bleeding and normal stool frequency.   I have been in remission for 7 yrs., with an occasional flare, but I can easily get it under control again by controlling my food intake.  I stay away from all sugars, except honey and saccharine, and all simple carbs, like junk food during these times.  I use my stools and urgency as indicators if I am overdoing it.  If I start getting gassy with loose stools, I cut out all sugar and carbs for 4-7 days.   Chronic diarrhea will irritate your colon and cause inflammation, so please monitor your eating before you get to his point, otherwise you might have to use steroids to reduce the inflammation.

See the Bristol Stool chart for an example of what I call “remission” stools.


Problem with taking fiber

Read this with my post on Bristol Stool Chart.  It will explain a lot about why conventional cures for constipation may be making you worse.    I’ve tried them all from laxatives to  husks and none of them worked.  Bran and fiber made my bloating that much worse.  I didn’t realize the husks and all of fillers and binders in the laxatives were feeding the bad gut bacteria which thrive off of certain fibers, binders and starches.

I’ve also included a link to the author’s site and his bio below.

How To End The Nightmare Of Constipation Before It Ends You

Constipation starts shortly after birth at a 3% rate, exceeds 50% by the age of 50, and reaches over 90% by the age of 80. In other words, you are not alone…As with most other lifestyle disorders, bad parenting, bad doctoring, bad dietary advice, and prescription drugs are the main culprits behind chronic and intermittent constipation in children and adults.As time goes by, laxatives and fiber elevate constipation from the mere nuisance of hemorrhoids to the much more painful and traumatic anal fissures or irritable bowel syndrome, and all the way to an outright lethal ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or colon cancer.

Miralax Safety Alert

Young, fertile women are particularly hard hit by the ravages of constipation. Bloated by large stools and flatus, the colon increases the intra-abdominal pressure on the neighboring uterus — a condition that is behind most of the pain, cramping, discomfort, familial disunion, and workplace tensions associated with PMS (premenstrual syndrome).

In otherwise healthy adults, constipation is usually preceded by decades of semi-regular stools that are either too large, too hard, too infrequent, or all three. Because of straining and retention, abnormal stools gradually decimate the insides of the colon, rectum, and anal canal, until one day the bowels no longer move as intended by nature — once or twice daily, usually after a meal, and with zero effort or notice.

Therefore, it’s best to recognize and eliminate abnormal stools long before they bite you in the ass, literally and figuratively


Mr.. Monastyrsky graduated from medical university in 1977 with a pharmacy degree. He is also a certified nutritional consultant and an expert in forensic nutrition, a new field of science that investigates the connection between supposedly healthy foods and nutrition-related disorders, such as diabetes and obesity.   Read more at   Mr. Monastyrksy is a frequent contributor to The Weston A. Price Foundation periodical and website.


Candida and bacterial overgrowth

I subscribe to 50 different health newsletters and try to read them weekly.   Because IBS and IBD’s are coming so prevalent, more and more publications are investigating the causes.   This reprint is from Body Ecology today.   I agree with all of the research out there on bacterial overgrowth.  Sugar, stress, birth control pills and processed foods are the culprits.

How Candida Overgrowth Leads to Leaky Gut

Posted April 23, 2013. There have been 0 comments

Boost Your Energy, Improve Your Immunity, and Prevent Early Aging
  • The inner ecosystem of your digestive tract is a rich community. It is bustling with bacteria and yeast. As it turns out, these bacteria and yeast do more than help digest food and manufacture nutrients. The bugs in your gut also interact with your immune system, the chemicals in your brain, and your hormones.
The greater the stress, the more Candida adapts to stressors and to its environment.

Candida albicans is a well-known yeast that is naturally found in the mouth, the gut, and the birth canal. (1)

It is opportunistic, which means that if it has an opportunity to grow and take over an environment—it will.

What goes into your mouth (and into your gut) influences your inner ecosystem. Certain foods can irritate the lining of the digestive tract. Other foods feed disease-causing bacteria and Candida overgrowth. Once this happens, the gut wall—or the landscape of your inner ecosystem—becomes inflamed. An inflamed gut is a “leaky gut.”

What major factors contribute to Candida overgrowth?

  • A diet high in sugar
  • An imbalanced immune system
  • Stress
  • Bacterial overgrowth in the gut
  • Oral contraceptives use, or an imbalance in estrogen (2)

Unfortunately, Candida is not only opportunistic. It is also aggressive.

What Makes Candida So Virulent and Tough to Control?

Once the gut becomes inflamed, leaky gut can occur. Curbing Candida overgrowth by nourishing your inner ecosystem is one way to balance leaky gut and improve digestion.

Candida has developed a number of ways to evade your immune system and manipulate its environment. This makes Candida particularly difficult to control.

For starters, Candida has the ability to stick to your cells and invade them. It does this with proteins called adhesins, which are found in the cell wall of Candida. (3)

Adhesins act like double-sided tape. They help Candida stick to mucosal tissue (this is the tissue lining the gut wall, the mouth, and the birth canal). Adhesins also help Candida cells to aggregate—or form—sticky, gummy colonies.

Even more troubling is what happens to the tissue beneath Candida once colonies begin to form. In some cases, Candida yeast cells invade human cells and bud inside the cell—undetected and unnoticed. (4) Other studies show that Candida may be able to do this because it turns “off” white blood cells that protect cells from invasion. (5)

Candida Adapts to Stress

Studies also show that Candida thrives under stress. (6)

For example, researchers have exposed Candida to:

  • High temperatures that mimic the body’s response to an infection.
  • Oxidative stress—a byproduct of inflammation.
  • Antifungal stress in the form of a common antifungal drug called fluconazole.

The greater the stress, the more Candida adapts to stressors and to its environment. It turns out that these genetic adaptations are specifically tailored to each stressor.

Candida also shape-shifts. (7) When necessary, it can be a rounded yeast cell or an elongated hyphal cell—which form like long, finger-like threads. Candida hyphae are particularly invasive to the gut wall. In hyphal form, Candida can change the pH of the body. (8) With this change in pH, Candida hyphae can bore through tissue and make its way into the bloodstream, where it can then colonize other regions of the body.

Control Candida Overgrowth and Balance Leaky Gut

Fortunately, you have everything that you need to inhibit Candida overgrowth by optimizing your digestion and nourishing your inner ecosystem.

Your inner ecosystem is healthiest when it houses a wide range of beneficial bacteria and yeast. These good bacteria and yeast not only compete with Candida for resources, they also produce substances that curb Candida overgrowth.

For example, a 2012 study shows that lactic acid—which is produced by good bacteria—inhibits the growth of Candida. (9) Another study that was published in the Journal of Biomedical Science confirms that while Candida overgrowth activates inflammation, good bacteria (or probiotics) inhibit it. (10)

Good bacteria also help to repair damaged tissue. When it comes to leaky gut, this is especially good news since Candida colonizes areas that are inflamed. (11)

So, why does Candida overgrowth happen at all? The key here is balance.

In order to get Candida overgrowth under control, it is critical to harmonize the inner ecology of the gut. Good bacteria living in the gut work in partnership with your immune system, keeping Candida overgrowth in check.

Donna recommends increasing foods that are naturally rich in probiotics, such as fermented vegetables and probiotic liquids.

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Your digestive tract contains a thriving inner ecosystem of bacteria and yeast to digest food, manufacture nutrients, and communicate with your immune system, brain, and hormones. Candida is a yeast that is naturally found in the gut, mouth, and birth canal. It is opportunistic and can easily take over its environment.

Candida overgrowth can soon cause inflammation in the gut wall, leading to leaky gut. Candida overgrowth may be a result of a high-sugar diet, imbalanced immune system, stress, or even oral contraceptive use. In a nutshell, Candida is tough to control since it can easily adapt to stress and manipulate its environment.

Controlling Candida overgrowth is one effective way to manage leaky gut. Nourishing your inner ecosystem will create a healthy balance of good bacteria and yeast that can keep Candida overgrowth in check. Good bacteria found in fermented vegetables and probiotic liquids can even repair damaged tissue in the digestive tract to calm inflammation associated with leaky gut.


Foods to avoid with UC


Reprinted from WebMD

What Foods Are Included in an Ulcerative Colitis Diet Plan?

Eating with ulcerative colitis should be based on a well-balanced diet that’s high in protein, complex carbohydrates, whole grains, and good fats. Such a diet will provide you with energy and keep you well. Your diet may include meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products (if you don’t have lactose intolerance); breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; and margarine and oils.

If you are a vegetarian with ulcerative colitis, dairy products and plant proteins — such as soy products — can provide the nutritional elements found in meat, fish, and poultry.

What Foods Should I Avoid in an Ulcerative Colitis Diet Plan?

According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, diet is not a major factor in the inflammatory process. Some specific foods, however, may affect symptoms of ulcerative colitis and play some role in inflammation.

If you find that certain foods trigger your bowel symptoms, then you may want to avoid these foods to reduce your symptoms and self-manage your illness. For example, some people with ulcerative colitis find that coffee or caffeine exacerbates diarrhea and cramping. Other people complain that raw vegetables or high-fiber foods cause their GI symptoms.

Some people periodically follow a low-residue diet or low-fiber diet, getting about 10-15 grams of fiber a day. That helps reduce the frequency of bowel movements and prolongs intestinal transit time.

Learning to avoid food triggers may give you better control of your disease and allow you greater freedom to enjoy an active life. Despite the fact there is no scientific proof, many people with ulcerative colitis have found that one or more of the following foods can trigger their GI symptoms:

  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • carbonated beverages
  • dairy products, if lactose intolerant
  • dried beans, peas, and legumes
  • dried fruits, berries, fruits with pulp or seeds
  • foods containing sulfur or sulfate
  • foods high in fiber, including whole-grain products
  • hot sauce, pepper
  • meats
  • nuts, crunchy nut butters
  • popcorn
  • products containing sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
  • raw vegetables
  • refined sugar
  • seeds
  • spicy foods, sauces

How Can I Remember the Foods That Trigger my Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms?

Consider using a food diary that you keep every day. Use a small spiral notebook, and write down all “suspect” foods and beverages that seem to aggravate your ulcerative colitis symptoms.

Being aware of these offending foods and beverages and eliminating them from your diet may help to reduce your GI symptoms. With more control over ulcerative colitis symptoms, you may have more energy. You may also feel more like socializing with friends, exercising, and living a more active life once the fear of cramping or sudden diarrhea is gone.

What Else Is Important With an Ulcerative Colitis Diet?

It’s common to lose weight with ulcerative colitis. Many people with ulcerative colitis have nutrient deficiencies when they’re first diagnosed. Others develop signs of malnutrition, particularly when they’ve had severe bouts of diarrhea for weeks to months and lose essential nutrients. In addition, with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, your GI tract cannot always absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat. That leaves you anemic and feeling weak.

People with ulcerative colitis may also have low levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid. This can lead to other health problems. That’s why it’s important to watch your overall health and see your GI doctor frequently to make sure you stay well. Your doctor will assess your overall health and GI symptoms. Sometimes your doctor may run some lab tests and make diet and lifestyle recommendations, if necessary, as well as check your medications.

Along with eating the right foods for ulcerative colitis, be sure to include adequate nutritional supplements if you’re unable to eat a balanced diet. For example, if you must avoid dairy products because of lactose intolerance, then talk to your doctor about getting adequate calcium through other foods such as vegetables, sardines with bones, or soy foods. Or get your calcium through supplementation with over-the-counter calcium tablets. In addition, ask your doctor to recommend a daily multivitamin and folic acid supplement.

What Does the Latest Research Show About the Link Between Nutrients and Inflammation?

In some studies, researchers studied the benefit of restricting linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid found in foods such as safflower oil, walnuts, olive oil, egg yolks, wheat germ oil, lard, coconut oil, and sesame seed oil. Although everyone needs linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat, there is some evidence it may play a role in inflammation if too much is ingested.

Other trials have found supplementation with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) helpful to inhibit leukotriene activity. Leukotrienes are chemicals that contribute to inflammation. EPA is an omega-3 fatty acid that’s found especially in fish oil. In clinical trials, patients benefited from very high doses of fish oil supplements by taking fish oil capsules. Many, however, found the fish taste offensive.

Some scientific trials reported anti-inflammatory benefits when patients with ulcerative colitis ate probiotic yogurts. Probiotic yogurts are available in most supermarket dairy sections.