The GARD on facebook
I recently invited you to the new and improved DogtorJ.com. Thank you for your warm and encouraging responses. The site is still undergoing some major revisions (including the ability to directly accept your comments and testimonials) but should serve you better in delivering this important message concerning the vital role of diet in our health and that of our pets.
To facilitate this effort, I have created facebook and Twitter pages for both The GARD and DogtorJ.com. Many of you are now taking advantage of these social networking tools. Facebook is rapidly becoming an invaluable tool for gaining and distributing important information. I have read many comments on a variety of pages stating that the poster had learned more on Facebook than anywhere else on the Internet. One of the reasons for this would have to be the concise nature of the information, something that many of you know has not been my strong suit. My prior philosophy has been to avoid “fast-food” teaching and dish out lengthy, multi-course meals. But I have learned that many, including myself, simply don’t have the time for this anymore.
So…I am attempting to branch out and provide this critical information in sound-bytes – news that you can use quickly and effectively. That is what the new Appetizers and Just Desserts sections of DogtorJ.com are all about. And I will try to make that information even more concise in Facebook and Twitter posts. I think I’ll call ‘em One-byte Snacks.
The important thing is that you understand The GARD and see its universal potential in the treatment of disease. The Glutamate & Aspartate Restricted Diet has produced astounding results in the control of both canine and human epilepsy as well as a myriad of other neurological disorders. It has been utilized with great success in ADHD, autism, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines, peripheral neuropathy and even MS.
The IBS is the easy part. The gut can heal in a matter of days when treated properly. On the other hand, the nervous system takes longer to heal than any other tissue in the body. The more minor symptoms – sinus congestion, headaches, heartburn, bloating, and foggy head – resolve rapidly with the diet change, telling us that our more serious maladies can also improve. It often requires extreme strictness and long-term vigilance to see the neurodegenerative diseases abate but many of them have with The GARD. The disappearance of our long-term IBS and allergy symptoms should signal to us that this is possible.
The acronym “GARD” actual has two meanings. It first got its name from the restriction of glutamate (glutamic acid) and aspartate (aspartic acid), the parent amino acids in MSG and aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) respectively. The principle food sources of these neuroactive amino acids (“excitotoxins”) are grains, soy, casein (from cow’s milk), legumes, nuts and seeds. Glutamic acid is the principle neurotransmitter in the brain and excessive amounts of this protein in the synapse can not only cause over-stimulation of nerves but even their death. When the neurons and supportive glial cells are diseased, the regulation of glutamate at the synapse can be altered severely, leading to symptoms of neurological over-activity. This can come in the form of seizures, lowered pain threshold (e.g. fibromyalgia), anxiety, insomnia, and symptoms of neuronal or glial cell degeneration (e.g. MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, etc.). Restriction of dietary glutamate can have a rapid and dramatic effect in these cases. These patients can then experience long-lasting improvement because many of the same foods that contain high levels of glutamic and aspartic acid also do significant harm to the intestinal lining and to the neurons themselves.
The “GARD” also stands for The Gut Absorption Recovery Diet because it eliminates the “big 4″ foods – gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye), dairy, soy and corn – that are capable of inducing villous atrophy of the small intestine, the lesion seen in celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and the one responsible for reduced nutrient absorption. The lectins (dietary glycoproteins – part protein, part carbohydrate) of these foods attach to the intestinal villi and cause them to shrink, reducing their ability to absorb essential nutrients, including calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, C, trace minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This malnutrition alone would weaken neurons as well as compromise the immune system and every other tissue in the body. But when the lectins of the “big 4” enter the bloodstream and travel to the neurons/glia, they can do direct harm to these important cells, leading to serious neurological dysfunction and a wide variety of symptoms. This degenerative process is duplicated in the joints, lungs, liver, kidneys, and skin and contributes greatly to the wide array of conditions experienced by the food intolerant individual (e.g. celiac sufferer).
Therefore, we should not be surprised in the least when afflicted individuals experience lessening or even complete cessation of their symptoms when The GARD is properly applied. Individuals suffering from epilepsy, fibromyalgia, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis pain, dystonia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism, MS and even ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) have shown clinical improvement on this and other elimination diets that restrict gluten and casein (GFCF diets). Because most medical conditions that affect us are spectrum disorders – ranging from inapparent to incredibly severe – we should expect that some individuals will do considerably better than others when parts and pieces of the diet are utilized. But…when The GARD is strictly applied, medical miracles have occurred…and fast!
One does not need to be a health care professional to understand the rationale behind this life-changing diet. The concept of The GARD is amazingly simple and should be totally logical once the investigator grasps the fundamentals and releases a few common misconceptions (e.g. “Milk is nature’s perfect food”, “Soy is a health food”, and “We need 6 servings of grains per day”). I have even gone into the fascinating history of the “big 4” so that you can plainly see where man went wrong in making these history-altering food choices.
So…are you the next miracle recovery in the making? I hope so!
Hope you see you on Facebook and Twitter,
facebook – DogtorJ & The GARD
Twitter – TweetDogtorJ & EpilepsyDiet