This is a list of questions that have been asked and answered in the exam room “lectures” of Dogtor J.
Frequently Asked Questions
(This area is under construction.)
The main topics under discussion in the FAQs and Links section will be the differences between food allergies and food intolerances, the role these two play in most diseases, and the relationship they have with the residential organisms (e.g. viruses and pleomorphic bacteria) that live in every cell of our body. You will find in-depth discussions concerning the implications of these two conditions in veterinary and human health on the many pages of Dogtorj.com.
The scope of food intolerance is deep and wide and is vital to everyone’s understanding of the origin, pathophysiology, and treatment of the illnesses that afflict us all. This critical health topic came to the forefront last year when I realized that I was wheat and dairy intolerant. The positive health changes that took place in me when I eliminated these items from my diet was nothing short of miraculous.
Before my diagnosis of “celiac disease” (gluten intolerance or cereal grain “allergy”), I suffered from chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, worsening seasonal allergies, headaches, joint pain, insomnia, and even fibromyalgia. Within one month of eliminating wheat from my diet, these ailments were rapidly diminishing. Once I eliminated dairy, all but a minor remnant of my seasonal allergies had totally disappeared. I was truly amazed at the response, as were my family members.
This triggered me into a full scale investigation of how foods could do this to a person like me. The results of an intensive year long search for answers will be included on this site. It will amaze and astound you to read what is known about the negative effects of certain dietary proteins, primarily those found in dairy products, cereal grains (wheat, barley, and rye), soy, and the food additives that are derived from these sources. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame, and hydrogenated oils will also be discussed.
I will explain the differences between food allergies and food intolerances. It is critical that everyone understand these concepts, especially those that are afflicted with serious illnesses for which there is no known cause or cure.
Please return regularly to review the changes that will be made over the next few weeks. I will be working hard on the FAQs of the site in the very near future. In the meantime, check out some of the Websites in the Links section that deal with gluten (wheat), casein (milk), soy and corn issues as well those pertaining to food additives and air quality. They are real eye openers.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the main conditions for which you recommend the elimination diet (The G.A.R.D.)?
In short….everything! Once we understand the damage that the “big 4” foods and other food additives do to people and pets, we can see why I recommend the diet for everyone, both as a treatment and as an extremely important part of prevention.
However, the common disorders that are associated directly with food intolerance are heartburn/acid reflux, intestinal distress (e.g. IBS), allergies, nasal congestion, migraines, chronic pain syndromes, fatigue, chronic and recurrent throat and ear infections, insomnia, skin rashes, asthma, and much more. Not everyone will have all symptoms. In fact, less than 1/4 of celiacs actually have chronic gastrointestinal problems. But how many people do you know who are completely healthy, showing none of the above signs?
The G.A.R.D. has yielded phenomenal results in epilepsy, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral neuropathies, IBS/colitis, insomnia, and even neurodegenerative conditions such as MS, Alzheimer’s, and ALS.
Please see my Testimonials section or go to this Labrador retriever forum ( http://lab-retriever.net/board/showthread.php?t=47643 ) where I have placed numerous success stories concerning pets and people.
2) What are the main foods to avoid on your diet?
The first things to eliminate are what I call the “big 4″…gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy products, soy and corn. After studying the effects of these foods and their lectins, I now often refer to them as “the four horsemen of the apocalypse”. Melodramatic? Not when the reader fully understands the role they play in the demise of our health.
The next items to avoid are MSG, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, etc), hydrogenated oils (trans fats), artificial preservatives and colors, fluoridated water, and too much saturated fat and sugar. Sugar is not the root of all dietary evil. Too much sugar certainly can be a health hazard.
My Website goes into much great detail elsewhere. (e.g. Foods to Avoid, Foods to Enjoy)
3) What are the gluten grains?
The gluten-containing grains are wheat, barley, rye, and all forms of wheat including bulgur/bulgar, durham/durum, graham, spelt/spelta, kawmut/kamut, or triticale. Oats are considered gluten-free BUT are commonly contaminated with gluten when harvested along with wheat and barley. In fact, there are celiac sites that exhibit the results of testing common oat-containing products, listing those products that are “safe” versus contaminated with gluten.
4) What are the grain substitutes that are safe?
The healthy, gluten-grain-substitute carbohydrate sources are tapioca, sorghum, millet, oats (although many are contaminated with gluten being harvested along side of gluten grains), rice (varieties), potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, buckwheat, quinoa, peas (although they can cross-react with soy), amaranth, and flax.
5) What is so wrong with the “big 4”?
These four “foods” (gluten grains, dairy, soy, and corn) are the only four foods that I know of that can induce the changes in the intestinal tract (primarily the duodenum)seen in celiac disease (gluten intolerance. The lesion is known as villous atrophy and involves damage to and atrophy of the tiny finger-like projections of the intestinal lining, which are responsible for absorption of nutrients.
The main nutrients absorbed by the duodenum are calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, C, and trace minerals such as zinc, magnesium, boron, lithium, chromium, manganese, and more. It is easy to understand why people suffering from the food intolerances often have the worst osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, thyroid problems, failing immune systems, and poor skeletal systems.
In addition, gluten, dairy, and soy contain very high levels of dietary estrogens, which are inflammatory, immune suppressive, and neurologically stimulating. (PMS anyone?)
They are also rich in the non-essential, neurostimulating amino acids glutamate and aspartate, the parent proteins in MSG and NutraSweet respectively. These contribute greatly to ADHD, epilepsy, pain syndromes, neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s) and more. See The GARD and Epilepsy section for more details.
5) What is this “glue food” thing I keep reading about on your site?
Each of the “big 4” foods (gluten, casein from dairy, soy, and corn can be and have been used to make industrial adhesives. They have made powerful waterproof industrial adhesives from gluten, casein, and soy. In fact, soy protein is used to make incredibly strong super-glues with which they assemble your automobile. Your rear view mirror is stuck to the windshield using a spy-based super-glue. Wow!
Why is this important to see? Because it illustrates the tenacity of these food proteins. These trouble foods are “glycoproteins”…part carb, part protein…from their main structure right down to their molecular components (lectins). The lectins of these foods are very sticky and adhere to cells in the body inducing inflammation. Some individuals are much more intolerant of these lectins than others but the fact is that very high numbers of people are afflicted by one or more of the “big 4”.
The “glue” principle is simply the thing “seen” to help us understand the things “unseen”…the adherence of these sticky proteins to tissue and blood cells, resulting in arthritis, neuropathies, blood disorders, and many other previously misunderstood conditions.
7) Aren’t the proteins from “the four horseman” just a small part of the other chemical additives to make the glues like Soy’s super glue?
Yes, at least they are now. Many glues are purely synthetic. So, the point (as I think you know) was not that all glue is made from these foods but that these foods CAN and have been used to make glue. Casein is used in paint bases as well. Corn adhesives have been used to put cardboard boxes together. The cool thing to see is that the worst proteins have been used to
make the strongest glues, with corn being the least tenacious and the most well-tolerated of the four. Soy has the potential for being the worst protein to consume on the planet but the medical industry is waking up to the dangers of this guy quickly, thank God.
8) Looking at your recommended nutritional website on content of these grains, oats seem a little high in glutamate, what’s the story on oats?
Oats ARE high in glutamate. That’s why I recommend that those with epilepsy, migraines, fibromyalgia, etc avoid them until they see a good resolution of their problem. They are gluten-free unless contaminated with other gluten grains (e.g. wheat) during harvesting, which unfortunately does occur with regularity. Gluten, of course, is not the only rich source of glutamate, as nuts, seeds, cheese, soy, etc are also rich. The problem with nuts is that we just eat too many of them. All we need is about 7 almonds or 10 peanuts to get what we need from them for the day. How many people do you know that eat only 7-10 peanuts.
9) I’m often told that the non gluten breads contain flours the feel stickier than the gluten type, they seem like they would stick more…(This is why I use the flours mentioned above because they are low
glycemic and helps with weight control)
The key is the solubility in water. The problem with a large portion of the proteins from the gluten grains is that they are not water soluble, only being dissolved in alcohol. That is the cool part to see. The grains are made up of GLUTELINS, which are water soluble proteins that provide available amino acids upon digestion AND PROLAMINES, which are storage proteins that are only dissolvable in alcohol. Gluten is rich in prolamines,
with gliadin being the biggest culprit. “God’s wheat” had 1-2% gluten. Man’s wheat, which he created in the mid 400’s AD by blending in two forms of Triticum, was much richer in and became the wheat from which our current wheat arose (“common wheat”). Our wheat now has as much as 55% gluten. BUT, it doesn’t stop there. Look at the bread bag. The first ingredient is wheat and the second ingredient is more wheat gluten. How many
prolamines are in today’s wheat??? Wow!
So yes, the gluten -free bread mixes may seem stick but they are quickly broken up by water and will do so even more readily in our acid stomach. The gluten grains can only be broken down by fermentation and to a degree by toasting. (That is why whole wheat toast is “better for you” than plain white bread….unless you’re a celiac.Then you can’t have either.
Also, many of the gluten free mixes use gums, etc. to make up for the lack of stickiness in the bread after it is made. This will make the mixes sticky when moist. But, when do you notice the lack of gluten? When you go to slice or eat a piece of gluten-free bread, right? It is crumbly because the glutelins have no stick-to-it-ness after baking.
The cool thing to see is why Italians (and French) drink so much wine. Wine is a solvent and will help to cleanse the villi. Also, the practice of eating the salad AFTER the meal (“antipasto”) was adopted to help cleanse their gut. I don’t they knew what they were doing at the time but someone observed that they felt better after drinking some “paint cleaner” and then downing a “Brillo pad” to brush their villi. LOL
Good question, though.
10) Being a vet have you done any intestinal biopsies to see if indeed there is this build up on */healthy non-allergic/* pets?
No, I haven’t. I have been focusing on the results of eliminating these things in as many as will comply. The results have been astounding. I AM in the process of composing a letter that I am about to send to the deans and heads of neurology and internal medicine describing my work and encouraging them to take this on a MAJOR study.
11) Would Goat milk produce mucous like cow’s milk? Other than the casein difference what about all the other negatives associated with dairy?
It could if an individual were ALLERGIC to cow’s milk, this allergy can spill over to goat milk consumption. There ARE common allergens between the two. However, it appears that the majority of people who have become cow milk allergic can tolerate goat milk. The biggest culprit is the casein, with goat milk having 0-2% casein and cow milk being a whopping 80-87% casein. There are other glycoproteins/lectins that can be offenders (such as alpha- and beta- lactalbumin) that may help to explain why some are also goat milk intolerant. But, I contend that if we never started drinking cow milk, we would have little to no problem with goat milk. Just keep in mind that if a person is as casein intolerant as some celiacs are to gluten, then goat milk can have enough to perpetuate a problem. Therefore, I recommend the elimination of goat milk initially, especially in the worst of the worst, at least until they have realized a satisfactory recovery. Then they can add in the goat milk products if they so desire. In the more mildly afflicted or those who are simply taking preventative measures, then switching from cow milk to goat milk products could be fine.
12) What pet food do you recommend? (We have two small dogs).
I have a list of gluten, dairy, soy and corn free foods on my Website listed here: http://dogtorj.tripod.com/id39.html. My DogtorJ’s Pet Food Handout goes into when and why I recommend specific foods. I simply advise people to stay completely away from the “big 4” and use the rice and/or potato-based dry foods and canned foods that are free of these 4 foods. I use a lot of the Royal Canin/IVD potato-based foods (sold only through vets) for my worst
cases (including epilepsy) and have many clients feeding the Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice foods (available at most pet shops). I also recommend supplementing with a fresh source of protein (eggs are ideal, unless
allergic to them), fruits, veggies, and omega three fatty acids with vitamin D.
13) I Understand why wheat and dairy cause food allergies but how can corn be a problem? Didn’t the American Indian eat a lot of corn and do well on it?
That’s a great question with good answers…and a very timely topic. In fact, Diane Sawyer just had a segment this morning on how pervasive corn is in our diet and she mentions how she tries to avoid corn. They did not really expound on why they felt it was so harmful (they needed me on there, LOL) but were instead focusing on the role it may play in obesity…which it does in a BIG way. Here is the link to the ABC broadcast- http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com:80/ver/256.0/popup/index.php?cl=6960848
The main reason that corn causes obesity is the lectins (antibody-sized proteins/glycoproteins) it contains directly stimulate fat production. Here is a great primer on lectins for you- http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html . As the article describes, these lectins can do a number of things when they attach to a tissue cell in our body. One of the reactions is for the cell to duplicate or hypertrophy, which is what fat cells do in response to corn lectins. The glaring example of this is how corn feeding cattle not only fattens them up but causes them to deposit fat directly into their muscle. Do you want fat in your muscle? Absolutely not. But we do this in order to tenderize the meat, don’t we? And how do we accomplish this again? We do this by feeding them (and us) unnatural grains that contain these potentially proteins (lectins).
And corn itself is unnatural. In fact, it cannot even reproduce on its own anymore. If we don’t plant corn, it disappears…forever (which is not a bad thing except that it may make a good fuel source). Another fun fact can be found by doing a search for “corn gluten meal”. You will find that it is used as a natural herbicide. Hmmm… It kills other plants. Does anything that we eat that is known to be healthy do this? If we ground up meat, eggs, broccoli, and bananas we would call it “fertilizer”, wouldn’t we?
Corn is what they now call a “cultigen”- it no longer resembles its ancestors. The origins of corn lie in Middle America. It was later cultivated by the American Indian but something interesting happened whenever corn was introduced into a new population…pellagra broke out. Pellagra is a niacin deficiency and sources like Wikipedia (incorrectly) state that it was because niacin was locked deeply in the early forms of the corn’s kernel and unavailable for absorption. This latter fact is true but would only account for pellagra if corn was their only source of niacin, an important B complex. Here is the link to Wikipedia that discusses the origins of maize (corn)- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maize.
Some mistaken people think that people in Biblical days ate corn because the word “corn” is in the Bible. The fact is that “corn” means grain and that is why they called corn “corn”. In Bible usage, corn referred to wheat and barley. And those two grains were safe and nutritious back then because man had not put his hand to them…yet. That was not done until the mid-400’s AD, when the Northern Germanics blended “God’s wheat” with two other plants (weeds) and created common wheat, the ancestor of what we now eat. This ushered in celiac disease which wiped many of them out with severe dysentery (IBS). This is historical fact. Why? Wheat was no longer pure in its generations and remains changed to this day. There are now “tares” among the wheat. And like corn, it has now been hybridized and genetically modified to death…our death.
The fact is that corn is the fourth food- along with gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy (casein) and soy- to induce villous atrophy of the duodenum, that stretch of the small bowel that is responsible for absorbing our B complex. It also absorbs our calcium, iron, iodine, C, and trace minerals like boron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and many others. So, pellagra broke out in these corn-eating populations because it caused celiac-like lesions in those groups just like gluten was doing in Western Europe…and soy was doing in Asia.
These were the major dietary mistakes made by groups on each of the main continents, with Africa being one of the only areas where they did just about everything right- non-gluten grains and drinking the right kind of milk from the what they refer to now as A2 cattle. Here is a link that discusses the second bad choice we made about dairy. The first mistake was jumping ship from goats to cows as the source of milk in the first place. The second blunder was choosing the wrong cow (A1 versus A2)- http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/news?article=1d81b30f-8bf3-4db3-b838-e5210fead0d9 .
Finally, corn is now being closely studied for its damaging neurological effects, especially in the autistic individual. Once again, certain lectins are capable of killing neurons. We know that gluten can do this in sensitized individuals so we really should not be surprised that corn lectins can do the same thing. Soy also does this, aided by the neurotoxic amounts of the amino acid glutamate (the parent protein in MSG/monosodium glutamate) and staggering levels of estrogen it contains. Here is a link to some recent studies on the effects of corn on brain function- http://wurtmanlab.mit.edu/publications/pdf/171.pdf
I would suggest an Internet search for things like “dangers of corn”, “corn allergies”, “high fructose corn syrup”, and “corn gluten meal”. I think you” agree: We should have left it alone in Middle America, just like we should have left soy in the ground in Asia.
14) I now understand how wheat, dairy, soy and corn become allergens. But why in the world would a carnivore become allergic to meat?
This a common and very important question with a really great answer. When the intestinal villi are damaged badly enough by the “big 4” foods, the gut releases a substance called zonulin. This hormone “opens” the intestinal immune barriers in order to facilitate the absorption of nutrients that was being carried out by the healthy villi. This, along with the amazing ability of the ileum to compensate for this damage, is the intestine’s “plan B” for nutrient absorption. But as often occurs, plan B comes with a price, which is the fact that some things that normally wouldn’t pass through the intestinal barriers manage to do so and get into the bloodstream. This included macromolecules of food (partially undigested) that the immune system no longer recognizes as normal, resulting in antibodies being formed to that food. But it also includes chemicals and infectious agents that we now know play a role in the development of secondary health issues, such as type 1 diabetes and juvenile pancreatic atrophy (digestive enzyme deficiency). Google zonulin for a very interesting read.
This process is the known pathomechanism behind secondary food allergies, which occur when we form antibodies to otherwise healthy foods such as eggs, meats, tropical fruits, tree nuts, shellfish, vegetables, and the like. The primary allergens are the “big 4”- gluten (wheat, barley, rye, and all forms of wheat), dairy soy and corn- because they are the ones doing the intestinal damage and eliciting the immune response. All others are secondary by nature. Some of these secondary foods are totally healthy for us (e.g. eggs, fruits, vegetables) but some of the secondary food allergens make perfect sense, as the Food Allergies appetizer discusses.
More to come…