This is an extract from Dr Joel Furman’s web site http://www.drfuhrman.com
If you have any of the conditions listed below I would urge you to read the article in full and then log on to Dr Fuhrman’s site.
It makes so much sense and is very well grounded in up to date medical research.
Also take a look at the section Did You Know? on this blog for further valuable well researched information.
“The diseases mentioned in the article below include these common conditions
• Connective Tissue Disease
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Myositis (muscle aches)
• Reflux Esophagitis
• Rheumatoid Arthritis
Nutritional therapy should be the first-line treatment for most diseases
When you utilize nutrition and the other factors of a healthy lifestyle as your first line of defense against disease, you learn that the finest health care is excellent self-care, and doctors have a very small role to play in your staying healthy. This is not alternative medicine. Rather, it is founded on respect for the innate ability of our human organism to resist disease when the optimal environment for healing is established. When you learn how to live and eat exceptionally healthfully, you avoid the unnecessary interventions of both alternative and conventional medicine.
This does not mean that medicines are not ever needed or natural substances cannot be used for their medicinal effects, but it does mean that the less you are in a position to have to utilize interventions and treatments, the healthier you will be. Through healthful living we can avoid the use of remedies, both conventional and alternative.
The services I offer for members on this website enable families and individuals the ability to learn more about this nutritionally, based form of health care, get my advice to maximize their health and, in many cases, and receive dramatic improvement and even reversal of common health complaints that traditional physicians consider incurable. Most physicians and their patients think that diseases are just inevitable. Are we ill because humans are so defective? Is it genetics or misfortune? Did we just happen to catch something? Or is it like most people think, the name of the disease itself is the cause?
Aha! Candida is the cause. Well, what caused you to develop an overgrowth of candida? If you kill it with a treatment, why wouldn’t it return?
If allergies are the problem, have you ever thought why your immune system is so sensitive and reactive to normal environmental substances?
Patients often state, “I struggled for years with pain and fatigue, until I finally found out fibromyalgia was my problem.” Does giving it a name establish a cause? Of course not. If you give the problem a name, patients may feel a little relieved that they now know what is wrong, but it usually does not help or solve their condition. The accuracy of the diagnosis is not as important when compared to the accuracy and effectiveness of the therapeutic recommendations for the problem.
On a practical level, the name of a disease doesn’t even matter that much. It is uncovering the cause of the disease that matters. When most of the causes are uncovered and removed, the body can manifest a recovery, all by itself. Most people are not taught, and they fail to realize that the vast majority of diseases occur because they are earned. They are earned by the causes of disease that stress their body to the point where their genetic weaknesses have a chance to be expressed.
Nutritional therapy beats drug therapy
We routinely hear that asthma, acne, allergies, arthritis, herpes, reflux esophagitis, irritable bowel syndrome and many more have nothing to do with diet. This is simply not true. Doctors are trained as experts in prescribing and monitoring the risks and effectiveness of medications. They typically have little or no expertise in using nutrition as their primary modality of treatment. They are biased in favour of their own method of treatment (drugs) and do not have broad experience or training in motivating patients and utilizing nutritional and lifestyle interventions.
The problem with drug therapy is twofold. First, the cause of the disease is not removed, and the patients get sicker and sicker from the continuation of cause. Second, the drugs add toxicity, contributing to the deterioration of the patient’s health and increasing the risk of long-term dangers such as cancer down the road. My experience with patients over the last fifteen years has demonstrated that nutritional excellence and nutritional interventions do routinely resolve those same diseases your doctor told you have nothing to do with what you eat. Furthermore, the medical literature corroborates my finding in most cases.
The reason why your dermatologist says, “Diet has nothing to do with acne” is because most dietary modifications do not work for acne. Unfortunately, they haven’t seen the results of a natural-food diet work its wonders on acne. My patients routinely rid themselves of acne or make marked improvements, without the need for oral medications.
If diet has nothing to do with acne, why do medical studies show that acne does not occur in primitive civilizations eating natural foods? In fact, while acne afflicts 80 – 90 percent of all Americans and those eating a western diet, populations not eating processed foods have no acne. Medical researchers recently examined 1200 Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea and found no acne at all.[i] They concluded that acne rarely occurs in non-westernized societies and that they are looking for the reasons why this occurs.
I know why; it is clear. It is the dismal American/Western diet-style that creates a cancer and heart disease epidemic that also sets us up for premature puberty, allergies and acne. The hundreds of smiling, smooth skinned, teenagers that have utilized my natural, nutritional approach for acne attest to the veracity of these principles.
Fibromyalgia can disappear within a few months
Fibromyalgia is a disease highlighted by discomfort, pain and tenderness all over the body. The cause is unknown. Typical treatments involve pain medication and anti-depressants used to aid sleep. Better sleep has been shown to be of benefit.
I have been utilizing a high antioxidant, acrylamide-free diet for many years with marked success. Acrylamides are toxic substances produced by baking and frying carbohydrates. The diet-style I recommend for fibromyalgia patients is rich in natural plant foods especially organic berries and green vegetables and restricted in animal products and baked grains. Vegetable soups and steamed vegetables are encouraged. Fibromyalgia patients routinely get well, and they get well quickly.
Studies in the medical literature support this method of treatment. Though the researchers do not seem to have the experience and understanding of why what they are doing works, the effects are dramatic.
Similar to the nutritional treatment of most diseases, it is not one photochemical compound or the removal of one toxic habit that works; it is the symphonic combination of removing multiple nutritional stresses along with the addition of multiple beneficial nutritional compounds that results in consistent and sustained results. The high intake of polyphenolic compounds such as quercetin, myricetin and kaempherol, and the high intake of lignans and bioflavonoids are just a few of the hundreds of nutrients with unpronounceable names that can only be obtained in large amounts from a diet rich in natural plant foods.
Allergies and Asthma improve and can even disappear over time
A significant number of medical investigations have uncovered that, just like other diseases, people develop asthma and allergies for reasons. Asthma and allergies have been linked to nutritional factors:
• Low levels of fresh fruits and flavonoids
• Fried foods, protein-rich and fat-rich foods of animal origin
• Low blood levels of fruit and vegetable derived antioxidants
• Dietary fatty acid imbalance—an excess of omega-6 over omega-3 fats
• Increased intake of high saturated fat foods (meat, cheese and butter)
• Bread and butter consumption, lower vegetable intake
My experience in working with hundreds of patients attempting to resolve asthma and allergies has been rewarding. The asthmatics gradually improve, and the allergic patients slowly reduce the severity of their allergies and many become entirely non-allergic. Many patients who had strong allergies to cats, dust mites and pollen, no longer have these sensitivities. From a combination of dietary advice and a limited amount of nutritional supplements, most people start to improve their condition in a few months. I have even had patients who surprisingly continued to be allergic a year late,r and then after about 20 months following my recommendations, their allergies faded away. Recoveries are the rule and not the exception.
Nutritional intervention is effective for autoimmune and rheumatologic diseases
Working with patients with autoimmune diseases such as connective tissue disease, myositis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus is very rewarding. These patients were convinced that they could never get well and are eternally grateful to be healthy again requiring no medication. I regularly get notes and letters, such as these unsolicited comments:
“After three months I am off all drugs” —Richard Arroni
“I would like to shout, Dr Fuhrman did it”. —Fred Redington
“Six months ago I prayed I would die, now I’m ready to live again.” —Jennifer Fullum
“Thank you for saving my life” —Harriet Fleming
An aggressive nutritional approach to autoimmune illnesses should always be tried first when the disease is in its infancy. Logically, the more advanced the disease and the more damage that has been done by the disease, the less likely the patient will be able to manifest a complete recovery. My experience with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is that some patients are more dietary sensitive than others, and other patients have very high levels of inflammation that are difficult to curtail solely with natural therapy.
Nevertheless, the majority benefit from healthy eating. Since the conventional drugs used to treat these type of illnesses are so toxic and have so many risky side effects, the dietary method should be tried first. Modern drugs often contribute to the disability and misery of patients with an autoimmune illness and increase their cancer risk. Studies show that the long-term outcome is poor after twenty years of taking such medication. A recent study in the British Medical Journal of Rheumatology showed that the major drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis, such as Azathioprine, Cyclophosphamide, Chlorambucil and Methotrexate, increase the likelihood that the person will die of cancer.
Lupus is a disease with a dismal long-term prognosis, yet it seems so easy to resolve in the early stages. I have treated scores of patients with systemic lupus and discoid lupus with excellent results. The vast majority of patients were able to achieve a complete resolution of their problems and are considered lupus-free.
Jane Richman, a patient with lupus who I saw a few months ago went back to her rheumatologist to discuss my suggestions for her. He promptly told her that she would deteriorate and likely die if she followed my nutritional approach and if she did not take Plaquinil as he prescribed. She left his office in tears after a strong personal attack on her judgment and against me and never went back. Amazingly, she made a complete recovery in about one month and said good-bye to seeing specialists and taking medications.
Here are the main points to increase the possibility of obtaining remission or improvement in patients with autoimmune diseases:
1. A plant-based diet, without flour and baked goods, is usually necessary; a lower protein diet is helpful.
2. A high nutrient-per-calorie density with caloric restriction sufficient to obtain a normal weight.
3. Checking the arachadonic acid and DHA levels with an essential fatty acid profile, is often helpful. Supplementation is frequently necessary, if the fatty acid balance is abnormal. Plant-derived DHA supplementation can be used, but sometimes higher dose fish oils are necessary to achieve the desired anti-inflammatory response.
4. Therapeutic fasting can be an extremely effective adjunct to control the autoimmune response and reset the hyperactive immune system to a more normal (lower) level of activity. Many research studies have documented the effectiveness of this approach, including my own published findings. Fasting should not be utilized if the patient is dependent on multiple immunosuppressive drugs, such as Methotrexate and Immuran, as it is not safe to fast while on such medication. It is essential that patients contemplating this therapy be properly supervised by a physician. Those more interested in therapeutic fasting for autoimmune illness, should read my book, Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor’s Program for Conquering Disease.
5. Food elimination and the challenge to uncover hidden food sensitivities. The offending foods are most typically animal produces, wheat and dairy; but many patients find other foods that can worsen their condition as well. These foods are not routinely uncovered with allergy testing. It usually requires a short period of fasting and then the gradual introduction of only one new food each day, eliminating any food that causes an increase in pain over the fasted state. I would like to repeat this to make it clear—the elevated levels of IgG and IgE against various foods on allergy tests are indeed common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. However, there is not an adequate clinical correlation between those foods and the foods we find to be aggravating the symptoms. Other researchers have noted the same thing. I usually instruct patients to save their money and forgo those tests.
As long as you are still breathing, it is still possible to improve your health with improvements in lifestyle and nutrition. It is typical for people to see a variety of great changes when they adopt the high, nutrient diet-style which I recommend. Besides reaching an ideal weight and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, other problems are resolved too. For example, it is common for those with attacks of recurrent herpes to stop experiencing attacks. Those with indigestion and reflux don’t need their acid-suppression therapy anymore. People stop getting haemorrhoids. Their body odour improves. They have better stamina and think more clearly, and their skin tone and colour improves.
Chronic disease and disability is not the inevitable consequence of aging. Chronic illnesses develop from a lifetime of stressful factors that continue to interfere with the bodies’ ability to heal and regenerate. The body is a remarkable self-healing machine, and a long life, free of common diseases and premature aging, is available for those who seek it. Superior nutrition is a blessing given to us by nature (and modern science) to protect ourselves and give us a happier and more vibrant life.
Longevity and resistance to diseases result predominantly from 4 simple factors. These are also the main factors that enable people to reverse diseases. They are:
• Avoidance of toxins
• Avoidance of both nutritional excesses and deficiencies
• Meeting the emotional, nutritional, rest and activity needs of the body.
• A rich supply and diversity of phytochemical substances
Sometimes recommendations have to be adjusted to your condition and genetic uniqueness.
I hope this information can be used to better your life, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with you to improve your health.”