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Hi Dogtor!

This confirms my whole theory regarding my dog Kody – I wrote you about him about 8 months ago, having 5 seizures in 15 days at only 5 months old.  He was eating Nutro since the day I got him at 8 weeks old.  I sent you the ingredients for Merricks grain-free food called Before Grain, which you emailed the thumbs up back to me, and he HAS NOT HAD A SINGLE SEIZURE SINCE!  He is now a 14 month old  80 lb GORGEOUS black border collie/shepherd mix) with a giant tail like a Pomeranian.

I have since switched all my cats off of Nutro also, thinking it might help my pure white Norwegian Forest Cat who was scratching her little face and ears completely bloody raw, and always had black DRIED BLOOD around her nostrils.  My cats did not like the grain free food, so I bought Dick van Pattens Natural Balance and low and behold, my cat is now absolutely gorgeous also!  No scratching, no bloody nostrils.  Amazing.

Such a shame that a once healthy food, is now not fit to feed!  I only hope that Merrick never sells their company to a big corporation.  It is totally affordable, as compared to other grain free foods, and has been rated at the top of all pet food reviews I have ever seen.  You know what happens once you find a really good thing though – someone, someday, will come along and ruin it for a buck.

J.C.

*****

Dr. Symes,

Thank you immensely for being such an incredible voice of reason in this gigantic soup of health information.  After suddenly developing seizures at 52 I read and researched everything I could find.  The pharmaceuticals seemed to rarely work and appeared to only mask symptoms so I turned to alternative/self-healing recommendations to try to stop the cause not the result.  I found endless big answers being promoted having to do with some particular vitamin or concoction, some method and/or thinking your way to being cured.  Out of all of them and after reading your research and reasoning I decided the best way to self-heal was to change my diet and I chose to strictly follow your diet suggestions of eliminating all wheat, dairy, corn and soy, and supplement with a lot of vitamins.  At the 6 month point the seizures stopped cold, a year later now have not returned and I can sense inside that it is over and gone for good.

But I also got a surprising side benefit and huge education.  For over 30 years I thought I was eating very healthy – no junk food, organic as possible, no red meat, no sodas, no MSG, limited sweets or processed, and I was always healthy and my weight only fluctuated by 10 pounds or so over ideal.  I lost weight rapidly after stopping the ‘Big 4’, and also gained it back very rapidly after re-introducing just a little butter on my veggies and cream in my coffee after the seizures stopped.  I realized the powerful effect that wheat, dairy, corn and soy had on the body – but most importantly, I’ll carry Dr. Symes brilliant analysis of exactly what they do and why they are so detrimental for life and I know now I can confidently turn to changing my diet for any other health challenges I ever have.

A.L.

*****

Hello Dogtor J,

Please do not feel the need to respond to this email as I know you are busy! I just wanted to share with you what your words have done for me. A few months back I added something into my dog’s regular diet. I make my own food every week on Saturdays and have faithfully done so now for about 4 years. I LOVE doing it! I do fresh whole foods of meats, veggies and some fruit, oats and brown rice…about a 50/25/25 ratio…50% being the proteins and 25% each of veggies/fruits and grains respectively. They have thrived on this for years! UNTIL I switched things up and started giving them one meal(breakfast)…and then later in the day as a training treat…  Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Lamb and Rice roll.

My poodle Nugget, age 5.5 years, weight about 14lbs had his first seizure about 3 hours past a nice healthy portion of the lamb roll. This scared me to death as I did not know what it was…I really thought he was going to die…he went unconscious…the whole nine yards. We left immediately for the 24 hour emergency vet where they did an extensive blood panel and some other exams. They ruled out most things and told me he most likely had his first epileptic seizure and that if they continued…which they thought they would… that he would require Phenobarbital for the rest of his days to control the seizures. I came home and spent the next 2 days doing nothing but watching Nugget and reading everything I could get my hands on about dog seizures…most everything pointed to the drug way to go. I am not a fan of drugs for anything and I am pretty much a rebel when it comes to the medical community…I have very little faith in them as a whole…please do not take offense to that!

AND THEN!!!!! I miraculously found your website! Everything I read made PERFECT sense and fit what I thought first…something in what was in the diet was causing this. I didn’t think it was what was in my homemade food at first but the more I read the more I am now a believer in the no grain theory…even the brown rice and oats. I checked that DVP Lamb/rice roll????Guess what???? Wheat!! Sugar!!! Gluten!!!! Barley!!!! WHEAT!!!! WHEAT is the number 2 ingredient!!!! UUUGGHHH I poisoned him with the wheat!!!!

So….needless to say…as per your teaching we are now 100% grain free…also no soy, no dairy, no gluten etc!! I threw away the rolls I bought…all 4, 4lb ones and now they just have my homemade NEW and improved version…Meats/veggies/fruits with a sweet potato/potato base instead of any grains whatsoever! For training treats they get the sweet potato slices I dry in my dehydrator or chunks of fresh organic apples or dried chicken strips I also make in my dehydrator or just a nice bit of venison that I cook up for them as we!! Guess what??? It now has been 7 weeks seizure free!!!! I am almost positive it was his diet!!! I am so thankful for all your work and advice on the internet! I think you saved my dog’s life as well as assured the future health of my whole pack!!!! I just wanted to send you a HUGE Thank You!!!!!!

Hugs In Him,
D.

*****

Hi!

We’ve talked before.  I just wanted to reiterate how much my life has changed since I read your website and changed my diet.  My epilepsy magically disappeared once I stopped eating wheat, dairy, and soy.  My migraines are gone too.  I go for months now without testing my boundaries.  That’s a big deal because it’s a constant temptation to cheat even knowing how “poisonous” it is to me.

Thank you again, for putting that out there. You might be interested in this NPR radio link about a doctor who recommends changing your diet to relieve migraines .

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5364970

B. M.

*****

Dear Dr. Symes:

Do not fret what you have been unable to get to as what you have thus far contributed still holds value, and those past efforts continue to be helpful to others in the present, and likely will be thus into the future.  My dear dog Jezabella, who had severe epilepsy, (had to be on both Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide to control her seizures), is now seizure free, and a happy, healthy, thriving companion and friend because your insight and advice proved to be valuable in her case.  I changed her diet and followed some of your other advice.  She no longer needs any medications for her epilepsy and she has an improved quality of life.  More importantly however, she now has an educated and thus empowered guardian advocating for her; ALL because of your past efforts.

When we forget about the value of what we have contributed in the past, or thus far, we often more easily punish ourselves for future promises we truly had every intention of keeping before the reality of our ever-changing, constantly-challenging lives carries us in other directions.  Thank you for being passionate about an important and valuable subject that can, and has changed for the better, many lives.  Keep up the good work and we look forward to any future insights and knowledge you are willing to share, when it does come.  Your time and efforts do not go unappreciated.

Warmly,

C.M.

*****

Dear DogtorJ,

Thank you so much for replying to my post on Oprah.com, “Gluten-Free Diet…Let’s spread the word!” by (R.)  My name is (R.) and I am the mother of a 6-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Childhood Absence Epilepsy in February 2007.  During this same time, one of my closest friends was diagnosed with celiac disease, and she also has a 6-year-old boy who has experienced unexplained neurological episodes and migraines, and has since tested positive for the celiac gene. After much prayer and many tears, we were both blessed to discover the gluten-free diet this past March, by finding your website during our search for answers.

Fortunately, my son’s wonderful neurologist listened to me, and agreed to treat the epilepsy with diet alone, instead of medication.  Two weeks after implementing the GF diet, my son’s seizures disappeared, and he has remained seizure-free since March.  We have also switched from cow’s milk products to goat’s milk products, which have been working for us as well.

I have been intending to contact you regarding my sons’ progress, but was wanting to wait until his 6-month neurology check-up.  However, after Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete both brought the gluten-free diet to light on the the Oprah autism episode, I was moved to respond with our own success story.  I was becoming a little disappointed when my post on the message board wasn’t receiving the attention I’d hoped, but imagine my surprise when I checked back last week…DogtorJ himself had replied!

I want to know what we can do to get the gluten problem addressed on a national level, not to mention all the other important factors discussed on your website.  I will do whatever it takes to help raise awareness, but my grander plan is to get all that unnecessary gluten out of our food supply!  I want excitotoxins erased, and our nutrition “experts” to be enlightened that these FDA-approved ingredients are destroying our health.  I know the celebs’ brief mention of the GF diet on the Oprah show and Larry King Live (last week) are good places to start, but where do we go from here?

Thank you for taking the time to contact me, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

R. O.

*****

First, thank you so much for the wealth of information you have provided. It has been some of the beneficial reads of my entire life. I’m currently 20 years old, and have had symptoms of epilepsy ever since about 12 years old and as of a few months ago, can safely say my seizures are fading faster and faster with each passing week. Your information has led me to a raw food diet and it has improved almost every aspect of my life. Personality, relationships with others, energy, endurance, strength are all improving at an amazing rate. I would have considered myself a rather dull individual in a social sense. And in a few months time, that has completely changed. And I owe it in a huge part to you.

The reason I am emailing you is to inform you of my progress using raw fruits and vegetables with relative ease, but I have just read your page concerning estrogens in certain fruits and vegetables. And believe I am on the path to the ultimate diet you speak of. Over the past few months I have tried to mostly eliminate the hazard foods, the glutamate rich (the dairy, soy, animal products, and processed foods), and have replaced those foods with enzymatically active, nutrient rich foods (fruits and vegetables). I was on 500mg of depakote twice a day, and now have stopped taking it, with better seizure control than when I was on it!

I am eating a diet rich in a variety of fruits and the main vegetable being lettuce based on ease of digestion. On occasion, I have cravings for restaurants and deli foods. However, I have limited my cravings to cooked veggies, the right soups, and occasionally rice, with the intention that these will soon be out the diet completely.

I was wondering what fruits and veggies I should avoid having, and, if any, are there any fruits or vegetables in particular that would bolster my seizure defenses.  I hope to hear a reply soon.

Thank you for everything,

A.S.

*****

Hi John,

I don’t think you’ll remember me but I want to thank you for helping me with Codie’s seizures. He is a Boston Terrier that was having seizures. I had gotten him from Judy and she had written to you about him. Well, it has been over a year since he has had a seizure. I have him on IVD duck and potato and baby carrots for treats. That’s it and he is doing great! I just want to thank you so much for everything. I have passed on all your emails to my vet so he can share them with other seizure dog owners.

Thanks again!!

C. F.

*****

I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you for your website. My two year old beagle, Sam, started having seizures in late January of this year. He had them every 8-10 days following the first episode. The night of his sixth seizure, when I was resigning myself to putting him on medication for the rest of his life, I found your website.

I wasn’t sure the diet would have an effect since I was feeding Sam Nutro Natural, but I had already changed his food to California Natural Lamb & Rice. However, I was regularly feeding Sam things like cottage cheese, black beans, corn, and biscuits made from wheat. The day I read your article I cut out all those things from his diet.

It’s now been over a month since his last (known) seizure. It is possible he’s having them without us to witness the episode, but prior to this the seizures have all occurred in the early evening when we’ve been around – a change definitely took place.

It doesn’t appear that the rice in his food is triggering seizures, so we’ll keep him on the CA Natural for now. Thank you again.

S.

*****

Dear Dogtor J.,

My name is (K. F.). I’m living in Munich, Germany and I’m a psychologist.

I’ve got a son, 24 years old, who has been suffering from epilepsy (idiopathic, with drug history). About a month ago a friend of mine told me about your web site, and I’ve read some of your brilliant issues meanwhile. My son has been doing the G.A.R.D. for four weeks now (me too), and he has recovered greatly. He is free from seizures and insomnia, and above all he’s got the insight, what it is all about. So thank you very much!

Nevertheless I’ve got still two questions to you. My son is still taking a (light) anticonvulsant. Have you got some idea about discontinuing it? In other words, when can the glutamate blood and brain levels be expected to have come down to normal? The other question: What is the possible role of hypothyroidism in epilepsy?

As you want your insights to be known to people, I send you a translation of “The Epilepsy Diet Simple Made” (I’ve added definitions to all conditions mentioned.) If you want you can use it for German speaking folks.

I would be happy to hear from you!

K. F.

*****

Dear Dr. Symes,

Hi, our names are D. and L.  We wanted to write and thank you for your website.  We have an Irish Setter named Riley, 3 1//2 yrs old.  On Oct 8/07 he had his first seizure, they continued every 10 – 13 days until Nov 12/07 when he had 3 that day, all of his seizures were grand-mal.  We were still considering whether or not to start anti seizure meds, when on Nov 11/07 Dawn found your website.

On Nov 13/07 we eliminated all gluten, corn, soy and dairy from Riley’s diet.  This was pretty easy as he was already on a raw diet (since we got him at 6 weeks old) and most of the offending ingredients he got in the form of table scraps.  He now gets meat and bones (primarily a rotation of beef, chicken and pork), organs, fruit and vegetables, and eggs.  We have also started him on a B-complex vitamin.  He has not had a seizure since, at this point missing 2 expected intervals.  We have noticed other improvements as well, his coat is much better, his ears are no longer itchy or gunky, and his eyes no longer run.  We hope it is not too premature to say we think you could add him to your list of success stories.

We are very thankful for all the hard work you have put into this subject and all the information you freely give on your website.  And we are thankful we found this before starting him on any meds, as there is no doubt it is the diet that is responsible for his improvements.  If you would like any additional details please don’t hesitate to ask.

With deepest gratitude, we have made a donation through PayPal.  Please use towards your website or book, so others may continue to benefit,  or towards a needy patient.

D. and L.

*****

Hi Dr. Symes,

I switched my dog to a gluten-free diet 3 years ago after reading the information on your website regarding dogs with seizures.  He has been seizure-free since then.  Although he gets fish oil caps, selenium, beta-carotene and vitamin c, his skin & coat are very flaky and lackluster.  Because of this, I have been thinking of adding enzymes to his diet, but I want to make sure the enzymes don’t cause a problem.  The one I’m thinking of using is Prozyme.  Each ¼ teaspoon includes: amylase 2500 SKBU, Lipase 250 LU, Cellulase 62.5 CCHU, Proteas 10 CDU, Lactose, dried aspergillus oryae (var.) fermentation product, dried aspergillus niger (var.) fermentation product, dried bromelain derived from ananas comosus.  Do any of these ingredients constitute glutens?

I’d really appreciate any input you could provide. Thanks!

M. M.

*****

She’s been on a loose GARD diet since last February, when she had her first noticeable cluster seizure. Her medical history is long and complicated, but… We switched to grain free foods and I had a list of things not to give her. Long story short, I forgot about some reasons I wasn’t feeding things. I began using peanut butter, again, and making treats with garbanzo bean flour. This week, she got a stomach bug, and I gave her a big tablespoon of COW yogurt a day. BAD BAD idea. She’s been air snapping all evening. Last night, she grabbed my leg while we were in bed. She’s appeared pre ictal since yesterday, poor kid. I went back over your info tonight, and will be tightening things up around here. I’ll be looking for goat yogurt, switching the PB for tahini, and the garbanzo flour for potato flour. This diet WORKS for her! It’s been amazing, the changes we’ve seen.

She’d gotten to the point where she was seizuring very frequently. In the year or so she’s been on the GARD diet (or whatever loose version I’ve managed to keep up with), she’s had TWO sets of seizures. One cluster, one single. It’s pretty amazing. She is not on any seizure management drugs, as her liver is not exactly perfect, and needs no damage. I’d say she’s doing outstandingly well, and I wanted to thank you for making this information available. Tonight, she may have another seizure, but it’s been over a year.

Pretty amazing, I’d say:) Anyhow, thank you again.

J.D.

*****

Hi, DogtorJ,

First I’d like to confirm that I want to receive your newsletters, but I don’t seem to find the right spot at your site to indicate this. Hope this email works. Sorry about the bother.

Second, I’d really like to thank you again for your research and for sharing with us out here in the field. Our beagle, Ellie Mae, whose name you may remember, is still eating without the Big 4, no seizures, and doing just great. Her Mama (me) is also off the Big 4 and some other substances like the glutamates in legumes especially peanuts, and making progress with arthritis. I just discovered the strong association between gluten sensitivity (which I have), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (which I have), and now perhaps a connection between those and arthritis – all “immune mediated” conditions as you call them. Why don’t they tell us this stuff?! But both my vet and my doctor are willing to listen to me rant on about what I’ve learned from your site. Thanks again.

Thanks for listening! And thanks for your work.

E.

and EllieMae and Blackie, too

*****

Dear John:

Here I am, finally writing back to answer your heartfelt inquiry about my health.  I think you’ll smile and understand when I tell you why it’s taken me so long to return your email! (Before I start, I want to say how happy I am for you with regard to feeling good again!).

When I changed my dietary habits back in the fall (09-09-09), I began noticing pleasant change almost immediately.  It truly did feel like I’d been sleeping for much of my life and now, I was wide awake.

As amazing as it is to consider, it wasn’t long before I was on my way to being pain free:  No more arthritis-type pain, no more fibromyalgia discomfort, no more sleep disturbed by my inability to find a comfortable position.

Probably even more impressive than the physical improvements have been the healing that has taken place in my mental and emotional self.  Right away after making the changes in my  eating, I experienced a tangible lifting of my general mood which continues even today.  There are no more drastic swings and the chronic depression is history.

You can imagine, with a transformation like this, that it really does fell as though I’ve been born again.  For as long as I can remember, just keeping up with day to day life has been difficult at best.  It has been years and years since I’ve been able to get through my days with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

I relate my former life to Rip Van Winkle, who slept for 40 years!  I’m awake now, and in the beginning, it really did feel like I’d missed so much.  It’s taken some time to re-acclimate and re-learn what it means to be a normal, functioning human being.

So, Dogtor J, I’m in the process of learning to live again.  I think you know how this feels.

THANK YOU FROM THE CENTER OF MY HEART.

Sincerely and with heartfelt gratitude from J J!

(Another one of Dogtor J’s happy success stories)

*****

Just a quick note and a great deal of gratitude for providing us with the direction and gluten free diet that has not only reduced her seizures from four per month (and increasing) to one maybe two in the past five months.

Her diet consists of only grilled lamb,boiled skinned red potatoes and carrots mixed with Royal Canin potato&venison formula.for treats she only gets peeled apple chunks with a small amount of natural peanut butter. She has lost weight from 60lbs to 48lbs her energy has increased and her coat is rich &soft  and she is much more active. She is now 11years old and looks like a 4year old trim and beautiful.

Again thank you so much.

J & N

*****

Alleluia. I am seizure free and have not had Lamictal my seizure medication since the end of January 2009. I am following the GARD diet strictly. I did have a seizure in my sleep 2 weeks ago though, following my last dose of an antibiotic( Levaquin) 500mg. for 10 days. I am on warfarin, not for long though, and went over to the hospital because of a drop of blood in my urine, turned out to be a urinary tract infection and I was dehydrated…good nurse…. she has me drinking enough water now.

I am so happy. Guess the warfarin thing is good because I see my doctor cause of it once a month.The neurologist wants to do an EEG and I am allowing as much time on the GARD diet before I go. I am encouraged though after reading more and more info., that the results will be OK.

Thank you! You are a blessing and miracle for me.

R.V.

*****

Hi Doctor J,

I’m just writing to add to all your testimonials.  I’m sure you get a lot. Well I don’t have as dramatic a health condition as some of the people who have wrote you but I have had sinusitis for years, always congested and regular use of puffers, antihistamines and nasal sprays; chronic intestinal issues, asthma. I was determined to do something about my health to get off my meds, I was sure there was an answer out there. So I started trying acupuncture, homeopathy, flower essences etc. I figured I had a fairly healthy diet, don’t eat red meat, no fried stuff, healthy cold pressed oils, and stay away from things full of colorings and preservatives.

Just by chance I happened upon your site because I have a dog with an allergy problem and I was looking for some solutions. I raw feed all my dogs and cats, have now for about 6 years and they don’t eat grains so I was stumped as to the sudden allergy problem especially since their diet hasn’t changed. So when I got to your site and started reading about the 4 major causes of food intolerance I thought I would give the elimination diet a try.

Well I really couldn’t believe it but in TWO DAYS I could breathe without using any nasal sprays or antihistamines, I didn’t wake up in the morning with a cough, I don’t have to use my puffers and my intestines are a lot better. Two days. I really didn’t think it would be so fast. Incredible. My poor body had soy milk and multigrain cereal almost every day for the last I don’t know how many years. It did take some adjusting to find new things to eat that weren’t on the list but the lifestyle change is more than worth it.

Anyway thanks so much for being so dedicated to sharing this information with the world. I’m sure you will radically change the lives of thousands of people. I myself plan to spread the word.

A big hug for you.

L. C.

*****

Dear Doctor Symes,

I finally decided to go gluten free. I started in August and haven’t looked back. I don’t know if you remember; I was having chronic nausea, often ending in hospital visits. I started feeling ill one day and just decided… Why not? I emptied out my pantry that minute, then went to my mom’s house and got hers too. Three laundry basket loads of “junk” food went into the dumpster. The first few weeks were tough, trying to figure out what to eat and where to get it, but we made it. The Kroger in Madison is great, they have a lot of gluten-free stuff; even a freezer section, which is great when I’m busy with work and school. I stopped feeling sick to my stomach and I haven’t thrown up since August. In addition, my metabolism has reverted to what it was about 10 years ago. I have only lost about 30 lbs, but every bit of it is fat. I have dropped from a size 12 to a size 4/2. I was always tiny when I was little, I never thought I’d get there again.

The past few years I have had chronic muscle and joint pain. My mom has fibro, and I’m pretty sure I do to. I was taking a combination of meds almost every day, sometimes twice a day. Including two muscle relaxers, one general and one for bowel spasms, and the same pain medicine my grandparents use for arthritis. It made it hard to keep a job and I never felt like going anywhere or doing anything. Since I got off the glue, I have been taking the meds less and less often. I rarely take them now, maybe once a week. I feel great. I have energy. I even feel like exercising. (the puppy is thrilled)

Most important, and most surprising to me, it has essentially cured my bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed around 1999, and struggled with depression, anxiety, mania, and panic attacks. It made school really difficult. Sometimes i couldn’t get myself out of bed to go to class, and every time I had a test I got so stressed out I couldn’t study or sleep. I had a lot of trouble focusing, and I never felt like I had enough time. I haven’t had a single panic attack since October and my other symptoms have remained at a manageable level. I haven’t had a serious episode in months. My Grandfather died suddenly last month, I’m really sad, but if it had happened a year ago I would probably still be too depressed to move. I never thought I’d be able to take a blow like that and stay on my feet. The person I used to be would have failed out of all her classes and cried for six months. At first I thought I would relapse, but I think it’s really real this time. I’m really going to be OK. Anybody who has struggled with mental illness, taken pill after pill, and is still suffering should at least try this. It’s worth a shot.

I have recommended your site to tons of people, for their pets and themselves. Thanks for providing such a valuable resource to us!

Sincerely,

K. P.

*****

Hi Dogtor J,

I just read The Answer and want to shout it from the rooftops! It backs up all the research I have been doing online about gluten over the past couple of months and I was so thrilled to find it all in one place. I truly believe that what we eat is killing us, and I can’t wait until everyone knows it!!! This past summer I finally diagnosed myself as either having Celiac disease or being gluten intolerant. I have been gluten-free for 2 months and feel amazing – as if I have a whole new digestive system as well as tons more energy! I have never had any issues with dairy (that I was aware of) but am in the process of taking it out of my diet after reading your paper. I already feel fantastic after 2 days of being dairy-free.

I am a Somatics practitioner and I will be opening a clinic/studio within the next 1-2 years. I would love to have you come and give a workshop on this topic! Please let me know if you are ever planning any events in (our) area, as I would love to attend. If I can be of any help with your awareness project please let me know! I am also very eager for your book to come out…keep us updated!! Good luck!!!

Thanks so much for all that you are doing,
S.W.

*****

Dear John,

I first discovered your website 3 years ago, when my healthy 14 year old daughter suddenly had two gran mal seizures (completely out of the blue) a month apart, and extensive medical testing found no cause for the seizures.  I found your information to be very helpful.  I cannot thank you enough for sharing your vital work.

We followed the GARD diet (for the most part) and my daughter did not have any seizures while we were being fairly strict with the diet (with no seizure medication).  When we cheated off the diet too much, she inevitably had another seizure – this happened twice since the initial episodes, both following binging off the diet.  Being a teenager, we have found that she does not want to be so strict with the diet and we have had to supplement the diet with a low dose seizure medication, because we can’t risk that she may fall to the floor with a seizure at any given moment and with no warning.  We try to follow the diet (loosely) for the whole family, especially when fighting off any illnesses or allergies and this has helped us.  We have found your information to be very helpful and I have recommended your website to others.

Thank You,

K.

*****

Doctor Symes,

Thank you so much for your website. I truly believe God led us to your information. I wrote you awhile back letting you know our progress. We’ve been on a gluten-free, soy-free, casein-free diet since mid-July, and we have seen wonderful improvements!

My husband was bedridden almost every day for months. It started with just chronic headaches, then it moved to all over body joint aches and extreme fatigue. We went to the emergency room several times. Then the anti-inflammatory medication the doctor put him on gave him an ulcer. He slept almost 12 hours every night, but never felt rested. He was miserable, which, of course, made me miserable too. Finally in desperation I did an online search for dietary support for his fibromyalgia-like symptoms, and found your website.

The ulcer disappeared a week after starting the diet, though sometimes he gets a strange mild flare-up again. He seldom has headaches anymore, and he hasn’t complained of joint pain in months! He sleeps much better, and can sleep less than 8 hours without getting crabby the next day (though we both aim for 8 hours per night. It’s just that we have a toddler who sometimes wakes us up!)

My husband says he feels like his old self again! There are some days when he gets mild attacks of the previous pains, but we attribute that to possible cross-contaminations, or the fact that it can take awhile for the body to rid itself completely of the offending substances. We are praising and thanking God!

I too, noticed a health improvement after starting the diet, though I just did it to accompany him. I think the main culprit that affects me personally is the casein, but I try to stay gluten- and soy-free as well, just in case. I’ve had a problem with random severe attacks of fatigue the past few years. After starting the diet, I’ve noticed that the fatigue strikes much less often than it used to! I recently ran across an article about adrenal fatigue, and the symptoms listed there matched my symptoms exactly. I’m thinking that’s what I have.

Anyway, I’m writing this testimonial to say thanks so much, and to update you on our progress. When I wrote before, I had had some questions about depression, and that condition has also improved dramatically in both my husband and me! Just wanted to let you know.

You have my permission to use our testimony on your website if you want. I’m telling all my friends, and anyone who will listen!

Thanks!!

A. S.

*****

Dear DogtorJ

Thank you for putting in writing what I suspected with my dog for the last 4 years. I had been dealing with vomiting and diarrhea since she was 8 weeks old and this dog gets absolutely no table scraps and very few dog “treats”. Of course I tried just about every expensive dog food there was (including holistic, etc.). The vet said feed her more often (she was getting fed 2x/day) so she never has a completely empty stomach for any length of time – which didn’t make sense to me as I suspected that canines in the wild may go for more than a day or so without food. So I tried that and she still had vomiting/diarrhea. Finally, I put her on a totally grain free dog food (Innova “EVO”). Within a week she was 90% symptom free. Then I made the mistake of giving her one “Frosty Paws” frozen dog treat which I later discovered had soy products. She immediately had a round of vomiting/diarrhea. She now gets ONLY Innova – EVO and the only dog “treat” I give her is a homemade chicken or beef broth that I freeze in a small plastic cups. It has been 3 months now and she is totally symptom free! I really regret not knowing what I do now when first brought her home – I hope I didn’t do too much damage. I preach your article to anyone with a dog that will listen. The breed of my dog is Australian Shepherd.

Sincerely,

R. M.

*****

Dr J,
Just wanted to thank you for your info on your site and how it has quickly helped our dog, three years of different vets and no one ever MENTIONED diet, her partial-complex seizures have stopped overnight (knock on wood!) by just eliminating “big 4”.  Have heard that ANY food in a bag may be bad (picked up Van Patten’s but haven’t tried yet) due to processing procedures?  Again, can’t thank you enough, she’s like a different dog now, happy, calm, we can’t believe it, much thanks!!

M. M. – Civil Engineer

*****

Dear Dogtor J:

This is not a request for a consult, but a thank you!

A year ago my husband and I adopted a rescue poodle. Her baseline blood panel showed low albumin…subsequent tests showed that it was mysteriously going ever downward.  We tried all kinds of different foods, to no avail.  We did several ultrasounds, medication, surgical biopsies of all internal organs, all kinds of stuff…finally the vets (including the internist/surgeon) threw up their hands.  We were so frustrated that we tried doing our own research.  We found your super-useful website and a great one for people (wrongdiagnosis.com).  With the odd collection of symptoms, it could only be one thing…celiac disease…we put her on a gluten free, soy free, dairy free, ultra low fat diet (which I have been cooking myself every day).  She is cured.  The albumin is back up to high-normal levels, and all other odd symptoms are gone!  Bless you and keep up the good work.

D. H.

*****

Hi Dogtor J,

My name is, (M. N.), I am an Office Manager and live in the panhandle of Texas. I wanted to e-mail you  to tell you thank you.  I have three dogs, two pit bulls and a whippet mix. About two months ago one of my pit bulls started vomiting almost every morning and only in the morning. I changed his food to Nutro Sensitive Stomach formula with no relief. I finally made him an appointment with the vet.  He explained to me that there was no explanation to why he would be vomiting almost daily and only in the morning.  He took some blood and did a basic screen and asked me to bring him back the next week to do some x-rays and take more blood to send off for a thyroid test. He thought that it might be something mechanical. He said that he would just have to start from the bottom and through the elimination process hopefully find out what was going on. I left the vets office with no relief and decided to do some research of my own. That is when I came across your site.  After reading your article on gluten intolerance in dogs it all made since to me. I changed his food to soy free food and he has not vomited since. It’s been almost two months! The results were immediate. I could hardly believe it. I am now feeding my dogs The Taste of the Wild grain and soy free food and I have noticed that they are not shedding NEAR as much as they used to and they do not eat as much.  I felt it necessary to tell you thank you for making your information accessible for everyone. You have saved me a fortune in vet bills and made my dogs very happy.  I am still visiting your site and enjoy reading your essays and I have learned a few things that I can utilize in my own diet.

Thank you again Dogtor J. for putting all of your research on your site to help people like me. May God continue to bless you and your family!!


Thanks again,
M.N., EllieMaye, Bundi, and Chloe

*****

Dear Dogtor John B Symes, D.V.M.,

My name is ***** and here is my story with the G.A.R.D. diet.  Instinctively, I was eliminating the “restricted” foods, one by one.  But it wasn’t until last September of 2005, that I was completely on the G.A.R.D. diet. I now have a name for the program I am on.  Thank you. During my next two visits, one to my neurologist and one to my nutritionist, I will ask them what they think of the G.A.R.D. diet.

My father has Celiacs Disease. However, I did not test positive. Could I be developing this and might I be required to eat on the G.A.R.D. diet in order to maintain my health and not have any seizures? I haven’t had any seizures for 95 days and still going strong. I’m just guessing that the answer is probably yes. ( “Yes! )

Do you need any help with “human” studies on the G.A.R.D. diet?  If so, I would be willing to help out in any way that I can.  I am so happy and pleased that the severe mood-swings and epileptic attacks (TLE, Nocturnal, Complex Partial, Simple Partial, Auras, Tonic-Clonic, deja Vu, out-of-body experiences, hyper-active libido, voices in my head, crying spells, inappropriate thoughts, uncontrollable & inappropriate laughter and more. Oh, I’m so glad that it has stopped!

Finding your research on the internet seemed to make all the pieces of the puzzle fall together.

Thank you for your time, DogtorJ.  I know you are a busy man.

Best Regards,

O.T.

 
 
 
Just Desserts

These are little tidbits of knowledge I’ve discovered or insights I’ve gained over the years while doing my in-depth studies.For example, did you know researchers have found that nearly 40% of the genetic information in our DNA is viral information? This explains what we call “genetic diseases” including familial and breed tendencies toward food intolerance (e.g. celiac disease), neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy), and numerous cancers.

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Blogtor J

Welcome to the blog of the new DogtorJ.com. New research into the origin of our medical woes has revealed something startling: As it turns out, we are our own worst enemy. Yes, the Pogo quote of yesteryear found in the title of this article is quite accurate when applied to our medical lives. We love to discuss those things that we call “causes” of diseases even though we often have little clue as to how these things really cause illness. Even medical professionals can have difficulty grasping the true cause-and-effect. But that is understandable once some insight is gained into the true nature of medical training.

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News Flash!

In this section, I will be placing links to the latest breaking news in the food world, including updates on the use of elimination diets to control disease, articles on pet food, the truth about GMO foods and more. I will do my best to balance the bad with the good, but try to remember: Much of this will seem like bad news but at least we know about it now…and can change it!

 

With some of these stories, I will include a link to a blog entry so that you can comment on the article. This idea came to me after reading the first entry, which is a news flash that made my blood boil.

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Need more information?

 
I would like to hear from you!

Shoot me an Email by clicking on the icon at the top of each page. Video testimonials are also welcome.

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Today’s Specials
The Epilepsy Diet Made Simple The Origin of Disease Lectins – The Missing Links Viruses – Friend or Foe? Pain, Pain Go Away
 
Need a Consultation?

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Something to Chew On
 

What is the “Leaky Gut”?
The “leaky gut syndrome” is the root of many medical evils once the “big 4” induce it. Read how Italians have survived being a pasta-based society.

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Hip Dysplasia – “Genetics” vs. Diet

As misconceptions go, this is a high-priority item. Hip dysplasia is not what we were taught.

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Epilepsy and Diet

I have been studying “idiopathic epilepsy” extensively since April of 2000. Guess what? It’s not idiopathic anymore. A diet change can cure it!

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The Truth About Pet Food

Dogs and cats are carnivores yet most pet foods are grain-based. Knowing how to read a label is also very important. Does your pet food really have vegetables in it? Really???

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How to Control Epilepsy Naturally
 

I have been successfully treating pets with epilepsy using diet changes alone for nearly 10 years. The results have been astounding. This paper helps to summarize my findings and recommendations.

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We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us
 

This is the first blog placed on BlogtorJ.com (6-24-07) and pretty much covers the gamut of topics – from heartburn to cancer – that are discussed on this Website. The bottom line? Viruses and bacteria are not the enemy. We are! The good news: We do have our health destinies in our own hands.

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Gluten Intolerance and Your Pet
 

This paper is an article I wrote for the newsletter of www.celiac.com when asked about the prevalence of celiac disease (gluten intolerance) in the dog and cat. This condition has been definitively diagnosed in the Irish Setter but not many other breeds of dogs. I will not be at all surprised when we find that it does exist in numerous other breeds… and even the lovable mutt…but as this article explains, that may very well be a moot point. Gluten is only the beginning.

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The Answer
 

This 40-plus page paper is my first major paper, written in 2001 and hurriedly placed on this site on that fateful and tragic day of 9-11. It represents the culmination of nearly two years of research on the subject of food-related disorders and contains an amazing amount of facts that have been hidden from public view concerning this subject. It covers how the “big 4” trouble foods- gluten, dairy, soy and corn- came into being, catapulted into common usage, and became directly involved in most of our serious medical conditions, including epilepsy, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, ADHD, pain syndromes, depression, and allergies. Severe immune-mediated diseases such as diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are also covered.

 

Yes, it is quite long, but it appeared on my computer screen and was placed onto the Web just as it came out of my head. And it is wordy in places. But, as I tell my clients, “There is no law that you have to read it all in one sitting. Think of it as a free, short book rather than a long research paper. It’s all how you look at it, right?”

 

The one thing I can say is that this information WILL change your life…guaranteed!!!

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