When You Know Better, You Do Better

In early December, I read a book that I would put into the ‘life-changing’ category. It is called, “Medical Medium” and was published just one month earlier. In it, Anthony Williams shares his story of being tapped by Spirit to diagnose the health issues of all who he would come into contact with, beginning with his grandmother. At the age of four, he heard a voice external to him that told him repeatedly to go to his grandmother, place his hand on her chest, and say the words “lung cancer.” At the time, she displayed no symptoms. His family was taken aback. But when she visited her doctor several weeks later, an x-ray revealed that she did indeed have lung cancer. Every day since, he has been visited by Spirit and by the age of eight, Spirit was always accompanying him. He learned that this particular form of Spirit represented the word Compassion (which precedes Faith, Hope, Joy, and Peace). Williams’ life was made very difficult by this constant voice and its diagnoses and he often wished to be free of this burden. He finally relinquished when Spirit saved both himself and his drowning dog one day as a young adult.
William specializes in diagnosing and understanding chronic “mystery” illnesses such as Adrenal Fatigue, Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Digestive disorders, Lyme Disease, Migraines, MS, PSTD, Thyroid disorders and more. Western Medicine will not have an understanding of these illnesses for another three or four decades. No one has that kind of time to wait. He writes, “As with any addiction, the first step is for the medical communities to admit they have a problem.”

Just as Dr. Jesse Stoff understood and wrote about in his book, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Hidden Epidemic”, published in 1990, William acknowledges that the Epstein Barr virus is the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and several other maladies including thyroid disease. (Many other researchers have also come to the same conclusion). Today, there are 60 varieties of this virus. The medical community is only aware of ONE version. While over 70% of Americans have this virus, only some become ill. [Dr. Nicholas Hedberg says that over 95% of the world’s population is infected with Epstein-Barr, most contracting it before the age of three. He also says that the first step in its progression to an autoimmune disorder is a genetic deficiency in CD8 T cells). In its earliest, most dormant, and most vulnerable stage (when it can’t be detected by antibody levels, causes no symptoms, and remains unknown), it floats in the bloodstream. It can remain in this stage for over a decade. At some point, the virus will look for a home in one or more of the organs. In this stage, the virus will still elude tests as it is not presently active in the bloodstream. Tests to detect its presence in organs have not yet been invented. Meanwhile, it is creating three types of poison: toxic waste matter, toxic corpses at the end of each cell’s 6 week life cycle (creating fatigue as the army grows), and neurotoxins that prevent the immune system from attacking it. These poisons affect the liver’s ability to flush out toxins and cause the intestinal tract to become toxic. The virus can remain in this stage for a very long period of time. When an extremely stressful event such as surgery, a car accident, or pregnancy occurs, putting the body in a very vulnerable state, the virus springs and makes a run to another organ, drilling into the tissue- commonly the thyroid gland. (5% of thyroid disease is caused by radiation while the other 95% is caused by Epstein Barr). The immune system then elicits a response, causing inflammation in the body, but can not completely destroy the virus. Rare, aggressive forms of EBV create cancer. When the thyroid is stressed, it places stress on the endocrine system. More adrenaline is generated from the adrenal glands, which EBV feeds on. Its next target becomes the central nervous system. Because Epstein Barr has existed for over 100 years, it has had many generations to mutate and evolve, creating more and more severe strains, which are affecting people at earlier and earlier ages. The medical community is only aware of one of these strains in Group 2 (a relatively mild one).
William also points out that the body does not attack itself! Viruses attack the body’s tissue.
He also discusses Lyme Disease and its true cause- viruses! Neither ticks, nor the bacteria they carry cause Lyme disease! In 0.5% of Lyme cases, a tick bite can be a trigger for Lyme, but it does not cause it! “Hundreds and thousands of people who have never been near a deer tick receive Lyme disease diagnoses.” The medical community, just as in many other instances, does not want to admit it made a mistake. Antibiotics given to Lyme patients create even more harm, as viruses love and feed off them! They also cause damage to the gut and immune system. A bull’s-eye rash (which can be caused by any type of insect bite) is a result of part of the creature being lodged under the skin, causing a normal skin infection. In these cases it is okay to use a mild antibiotic.
He writes about the causes of menopause and perimenopause symptoms in women (also due to viruses, radiation, and pollutants in the environment and in our food, and which are now occurring in women in their twenties and thirties), as well as numerous other ailments, including depression and PostTraumatic Stress Disorder. He says that Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by toxic levels of mercury in the brain and can be reversed by detoxifying the body of heavy metals. (ADHD and Autism are also caused by high levels of mercury and aluminum that settle in the brain’s midline cerebral canal). Mercury is able to be passed down through each successive generation.
He dedicates an entire chapter to discussing the current fear of fruit because of the sugar in it, which he thinks is preposterous. Fruit is the number one cancer fighting food. It also kills viruses. The sugar in fruit is very minimal and is not present in a form that can do harm to the body. He argues that high levels of fat and protein (especially in meat) is what actually causes and allows diabetes and other illnesses to persist by causing the liver to lose its store of glucose.
Some of the worst foods a person with a chronic illness can eat are corn, soy, canola oil, beet sugar, eggs, dairy, pork, farmed fish, and gluten. And one of the worst supplements to ingest is fish oil due to its toxic levels and form of mercury! This concentrated amount of mercury can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and enter sensitive organ systems. It also strengthens and feeds viruses and bacteria. (Ugh! So many things that we are told are “good” for us and that we need are actually toxic!!).

William says that while research will eventually catch up to the information he has listed about the above illnesses, the workings of gut health “may never be uncovered by medical communities on this earth”! (Possibly because we will destroy our planet before that time comes!). He says that Leaky Gut Syndrome is actually a very serious disease that causes severe blood infections and raging fevers. Most people who have been told they have leaky gut actually have ammonia permeability. If hydrochloric acid in the stomach becomes low, proteins that reach the lower intestine won’t be broken down and cells will not be able to access their nutrients. Instead, the food will just sit and rot, creating ammonia gas. This gas then drifts into the bloodstream and is carried throughout the body, resulting in fatigue, skin problems, anxiety, and other problems. Chronic stress is enough to create low levels of hydrochloric acid. So are antibiotics, immunosuppressants, overeating of protein (animal meat, nuts, seeds, and/or legumes) or foods that combine fat and sugar. William says that the first step in fixing ammonia permeability or in addressing any other gut health issue is to restore the stomach’s supply of hydrochloric acid and strengthen the digestive system. The most effective way to do this is to drink a glass of straight celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. (I have been doing this for several weeks now. I noticed that it immediately lowered the amount of stomach gurgling I was having). The second step in addressing gut health is to remove toxic heavy metals from the gut, which are prime food for viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and worms. “When these pathogens consume the toxic heavy metals, they release a neurotoxic gas that attaches itself to the ammonia gas and travels through the intestinal lining.” They then inflame the gut, release their poisons, leading to disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s, and colitis. The third step is to restore the gut flora and maximize production of B12. Good bacteria produce most of the body’s supply of B12 in the final section of the small intestine (the ileum). It is this form of B12 that is most recognized by the brain. When the good bacteria in the body dies, the ileum becomes inflamed and severely weakens the immune system. It also ceases the production of B12. Medical labs can not detect the levels of B12 in the gut, organs, or central nervous system, which critically needs it. The best way to restore good bacteria to the gut is through elevated microorganisms that are found on above ground fruits and vegetables. They must be consumed directly picked and unwashed (something that is not possible in the winter in Boston!). Most of the microorganisms in fermented food and yogurt will die in the stomach and never reach the small intestine! (Kimchi and kefir are not so beneficial, after all!).

William lists the highest nutrient foods for healing each of the illnesses he discusses, as well as the supplements needed to attack the viruses. (He does not give dosages, however). He also gives case studies for many of the illnesses he discusses. Unfortunately, the healing times for chronic illnesses are still very long (but much shorter than if nothing was done at all!). A person with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome who follows these protocols will typically take a year to a year and a half to see major improvement. There is a lot of information in this book and I highly recommend it to anyone. It is a fast read, and as time progresses, more and more people will be needing to heed this advice in order to heal themselves!

What am I Eating?

I grew up on a diet of Kellog’s cereal, skim milk, white bread, deli ham, peanut butter and jelly, Twinkies and Hostess Cupcakes, Fruit Drinks, Campbell’s soup, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Hot Dogs and canned beans, Oreos, Pinwheel (marshmallow) cookie, Hershey candy bars, Ice Cream, Doritos, and soda (in other words- junk!). On a special occasion, my mother would make “greenbean casserole” of which the directions were found on a Campbell’s soup can. We also had a box of Dunkin’ Donuts on some Sundays. If we ever ate “out”, It would be at MacDonald’s or Papa Ginos. I ate this way for 18 years. By the time I graduated from college, the fanciest restaurant I had ever eaten at was a Chinese food restaurant. I grew up on the campus of a private high school and when in session, my family would often eat our dinners in the cafeteria. This is where most of my “nutrition” came from. This diet, along with the criticism and lack of love I was receiving on a daily basis, formed my constitution. Suffice to say, I had a lot to overcome.

I was speaking with a woman who attended my talk recently about our gut issues and she mentioned that 80 year olds are not suffering from these problems (and don’t understand why we are) because they grew up eating real farm food, which provided them with strong constitutions. Until she said that, I hadn’t thought about the role the diet I consumed in my formative years was playing a part in my current state. My heart sank a little more.

After college, living on a very low income, high in college tuition debt, and not yet having learned to cook, I continued to eat cereal, soup, bread, dumplings, candy and cookies as my staples. I lived in a room in an apartment in which I did not feel comfortable. It wasn’t until I moved into my own apartment that I tried cooking fish and other meals for the first time. Ten years ago, feeling heavier than I wanted to, I bought a no carb diet and workout book and began making the recipes from it (as well as following the strength exercises). This was a deprivation diet, and after the initial 2 weeks, I had a hard time sticking with it. However, three meals from the book became my staples over the next years. I would cook batches of turkey chili, Basque chicken, and ratatouille on the weekends, and bring portions into work to have at lunch. One of the recipes was for tumeric chicken strips. Unfortunately, there was a mistake in the recipe, calling for WAY too much of the spice. When I tried it at work the next day, I felt like I was being poisoned! I could not take more than 2 small bites. Since that time, I have not been able to eat tumeric spice again (which is unfortunate as this is a highly anti-inflammatory food!)… The memory of that incident remained too strong in my body. My breakfasts since that time have also been based on a recipe in that cookbook: egg whites (which turn out to be the bad part of the egg for those with autoimmune diseases!) with shitake mushrooms and tomatoes, and turkey bacon. I went back to drinking coffee and eating cookies and chocolate daily to satiate my sweet cravings. I’ve always felt that I needed to have something sweet after every meal.

Since returning home from the PCT, I have not felt like cooking at all (aside from the same breakfasts I just mentioned). Transitioning back to this other life is very, very difficult (today I was thinking about how that time felt and I am very happy that I am no longer in that space!), and cooking for one person is never fun anyway. Because of my continued stomach pain, I was eating Greek yogurt with berries for lunch. And I would buy soup, or already cooked food from the Whole Foods hot bar for dinner. I thought miso soup was a healthy thing to eat throughout the winter.

In the last few weeks, I have discovered that most of the things I thought were “good” for me (eggs, tomatoes, yogurt, miso soup, turkey chili) were actually slowly killing me!

For the last three weeks, my diet has consisted of:

Breakfast:
-A smoothie with spinach, ginger, turmeric, berries, a bit of green powder, a bit of brown rice protein powder, and goat kefir.
This week, I will start to add in some celery, cucumber, and papaya.
-Green tea

Afternoon “snacks”
-Plantain Chips (LOTS of them! This is my new snack since I can’t have any nut butter, bars, or chocolate). I eat two 9 ounce tubs per week.

-8 ounces of Bone Broth per day

-Usually a sauasge

-(On days where I feel REALLY awful, I allow myself to eat some cacao covered coconut pieces)

Dinner:

-Salmon, chicken, or turkey, kimchi, an array of vegetables consisting of any of the following: collard greens, broccoli, avocado, sweet potato, roasted butternut squash, and occasionally a brussel sprout (blech!)
(A Thanksgiving dinner every night!)

-1/2 bottle Ginger Kombucha

I am following the Auto Immune Paleo diet (an anti-inflammatory diet), with a few exceptions.
Kefir is not approved on this diet, as it is dairy. However, I believe that goat’s milk kefir is okay for me at this point, as it does not contain the harmful components that cow’s milk does.

The brown rice in my protein powder is not approved as it is a grain. However, I personally feel that I need some protein in my smoothies to make them more substantive, and of all the possibilities, brown rice is the safest protein powder base for a person with digestive issues.

My green powder contains goji berries, which are not approved, but I am really not worried about this!

For the first four days of my diet, I ate some sliced bell peppers (gasp!) with my mid-day sausage.

I’ve also eaten sausage with unapproved spices such as paprika and chili, simply because I could not find an alternative.

Cacao is not approved as it is a bean. Sometimes, a girl needs a treat!

The Auto Immune Paleo diet (like any diet) is not a one fits all plan. It has only been around for 2 years and clinicians are now seeing patients who have strictly followed this plan (and are down to 10-15 foods) for a full year or more who are still not healing. There are many possible reasons for this result. One is that every individual has food sensitivities that are specific to them. Some of these foods are on the approved list for the AIP diet. Some people are allergic to the gelatin in bone broth, for example. Despite being told that bone broth should help them, it is actually hurting them! Food allergies and sensitivities cause inflammation in the body and inflammation causes disease. At this time, there is only one fully comprehensive food sensitivity test available. It is performed by Cyrex Labs and is called Array 10. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover any of the cost. A health care provider must order the test and the patient pays the $680 cost. Most of us suffering from chronic diseases are not only not able to work (or work minimally) and can not afford even our basic cost of living, but unfortunately, aren’t able to pay for this kind of information that we need to heal ourselves. Other factors that may cause a person to not get better are hidden co-infections (also a new frontier). For example, a person may be under the attack of several active chronic viral infections that they are not aware they have and which aren’t helped by diet. The science behind these diseases is very, very complicated (immunoglobulins, antigens, antibodies, etc)! Sometimes, a person who is being treated for gut issues will not heal because the brain component of the brain-gut axis is impaired and not included in treatment. The vagus nerve might not be properly communicating to the abdomen. Other people have histamine sensitivities. Because the number of tests to be done are overwhelming, and due to my lack of finances, I am going to do everything I can on my own first. It is also extremely hard to find clinicians who are at all aware of these issues. I can’t reiterate enough how insulting and hopeless it feels to be told by doctors that a person who is physically suffering so much is simply depressed and needs talk therapy. (It is actually NOT helpful to verbally repeat the trauma that has happened to you in the past… This only serves to prolong the cycle of suffering… But that is a topic for another day!)

I have now completed 21 days of this diet, and I am very proud of how well I am doing with it! I do not miss coffee (or chocolate for the most part!) and I do not feel deprived (the key to a lifelong diet)! When I do start to crave foods that I am not allowed to have, I tell myself to settle down, settle down. Usually they dissipate. One major caveat to this type of diet is that you must always stay close to home (at this point, I don’t even have the option for anything else!). I dropped 5 of my extra 10 pounds that I have put on over the course of this last year (yesterday marked the day that my knee fully gave out one year ago) in the first 17 days and am now holding steady. The other five will have to wait until the inflammation in my body subsides (this takes a LONG time) and until I have the ability to work out again. I’ve already noticed an improvement in the inflammation in my brain (if left unchecked, the disease will change the myelin sheath surrounding the brain and progress to early dementia…). I am starting to think more clearly, remember things, and I have finally read my first book in a very long time! (I think this is only the second one I have read this year!). It was “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Hidden Epidemic”, which was excellent, just as my friend had said. I highly recommend it for everyone to read. (It is not being published anymore, but you can still buy it used). It not only helps one understand what it is like to have this condition and how to go about healing it, but it offers great advice for everyone on how to prevent such a disease from happening in the first place. As time goes on, I fully believe that more and more people will struggle with autoimmune diseases due to the poisoning of our food system, and the amount of stress we carry in our lives.
Although this book was published in 1992, the authors fully knew then, as many clinicians are discovering today, that diet and supplements are only ONE part of the healing process. All disease is really an opportunity to examine one’ beliefs about life and make changes that will last a lifetime. It also allows one to examine the stress issues that led to the disease. Changing patterns in the subconscious mind is really the root of healing. Often, people who suffer from autoimmune diseases find it hard to love and forgive themselves. I feel that I have a strong intellectual grasp on what I need to do to heal (and have had so for a long time), but as of yet, I have not been able to actually make the deep changes that I need to. Over the course of these next few months and years, I must undertake the hard work of changing my subconscious beliefs about myself and about the world. Before one can heal their illness, they must first heal their life. This is the journey that I am about to embark on.