A Health Revolution

This post does not have a lot to do with money, investments, or politics.  Instead, I want to share my personal health story.  I am not a doctor and I am not giving medical advice, but I thought others might benefit from my story and try to implement some of my strategies.

Over a year ago, I went through a tough time.  My body had a lot of things going on.  I had a mild rash, I was experiencing fatigue, and I had some symptoms of arthritis.  I had random aches and pains in my body.  I also had some gastrointestinal issues where I had an upset stomach, particularly in the mornings.

I had blood work done.  I went to specialists when I could actually get in to see one.  I saw a couple of rheumatologists and a neurologist.  I have still never officially been diagnosed with any particular disease.

While most of the doctors I saw were nice and tried to be helpful, it was frustrating not getting answers.  I had the symptoms of an autoimmune disease, perhaps something like lupus.  When you look up autoimmune diseases, you will see that symptoms are very similar for the various diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, Crohn's disease, and several others.  For many of them, they cannot be easily identified with blood work.  It is not always a black and white scenario when it comes to health.  There is often not a definitive test with definitive answers.  This is even true of such things as HIV and cancer.

I ended up taking matters into my own hands.  I went to an acupuncturist and it seemed to help, but you never know the placebo effect.

I also started researching more on diet.  This is where my contrarian views come into play.  If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I have no problem dissenting from the establishment and from majority opinions.  I don't think that doctors have all the answers.  They all go to similar medical schools with similar curriculums.  Some doctors are better than others.  I think some medical issues are more important to see a doctor than others.

I was already familiar with the paleo/ primal lifestyle.  Lew Rockwell often ran articles on his site.  I then learned through Joseph Mercola about the importance of eating fermented foods due to their high content of probiotics.  This lead me to the GAPS diet.  It is short for Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  It was developed by Natasha Campbell-McBride, a Russian doctor living in England.  She cured her son of autism using diet and developed this program.

Dr. Campbell-McBride's theory is that many of the problems and diseases that plague our present society is due to a compromising of the gut lining.  The good bacteria in your gut has been overwhelmed by bad bacteria.  Because of this, toxins get into your blood stream and cause havoc on your body.  This can proliferate into many different things.  Her book on GAPS relates to autism and psychological disorders such as ADD, bipolar, and schizophrenia, along with many others.  But she has since said that most of your immune system comes from your gut, so autoimmune diseases should be treated in the same way.

I can't give the full rundown of the whole process and the whole diet that she recommends.  I can summarize her book only so much.  But her full GAPS diet is very similar to the paleo diet.  It consists of eating low carb foods and eliminating processed foods and foods high in carbohydrates.  It is also important to eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, which contain high doses of probiotics.

The staple foods of the diet consists of meats (not processed), vegetables (with exceptions like corn and potato), and eggs.  Also part of the diet is fruit and nuts, although to a lesser extent.  It is also important to eat foods high in fat (good fat) like coconut oil and avocados.

Again, this is a very brief summary.  If this topic interests you, I would recommend that you read the GAPS book and educate yourself.

The GAPS diet and paleo diet are very similar.  There might be a few conflicting foods, but I think anyone following either will benefit tremendously.  About a year ago, I mostly adopted a combination of the two.  I mostly follow a paleo diet, while also incorporating the fermented foods that are so important to the GAPS diet.

I eat eggs and bacon most mornings.  Bacon is a food that is not really recommended for GAPS, but is for paleo.  I eat a lot of meat and a lot of vegetables.  I am not a big fruit eater, but I will eat a banana or avocado for snack.  I will also snack on raw nuts (not peanuts) with sea salt.  I drink mostly water and little bit of coconut water.

I am not perfect with my diet.  Some people may need to be.  I have my cheats.  I will have a modest amount of salad dressing (which contains sugar) with salads.  I will eat a little dark chocolate for dessert, but I will also cheat and have the occasional ice cream or piece of cake.  Once or twice a week I will eat a meal that is not part of my usual diet, but even then I don't go crazy.  So I am probably about 85% paleo and I eat small portions of fermented foods.

I guess you could say that the jury is still out regarding my overall health.  I am not perfect, but it has helped me tremendously.  Most of my symptoms of arthritis have gone down or disappeared.  Ironically, my diet has helped me in ways that I wasn't really expecting.  I used to get acid reflux and would take over-the-counter medicine for it.  I have now not used anything in a year for it.  Also, I have had chronic sinus problems for a long time now and my sinuses seem to be much better with my current diet.

I also lost weight with the diet, even though I didn't need to lose much in the first place.  Some people tell me I look a little too thin now, but I am not going to sacrifice my health and go back to eating junk food just to put on a few pounds.  I actually eat more than ever now.  So if you are looking to lose weight, this may be a good way to do it.  When you don't eat high carb foods that turn into sugar and you mostly eliminate processed foods, then you will be amazed at what happens.

This could potentially help anyone with almost any disease.  It can help those with psychological disorders, with autism, with autoimmune diseases, with diabetes, and maybe even with cancer.  I have seen stories about people with MS who have essentially cured themselves just by eating meats and vegetables.

I am not a doctor and you should try to find a doctor that you can talk to and hopefully see eye to eye with.  But if you are struggling with your health, do not ignore your diet.  It may be challenging to make changes in your life, but it may be worth it to you if it can help you feel better.  I know there are tens of millions of Americans who suffer from different diseases and health issues and I'm sure hundreds of millions worldwide.  If this post can help just a few people in this world in leading a better life, then it is worth it.  You have to keep an open mind about it and realize that modern western medicine is simply failing to address the massive numbers of chronic diseases.