Bob McFerran historical posts May 1998

Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Kyra on May 01, 1998 at 00:57:11:

Dear Laura,

In recognition of you as a loving human being, I also feel moved to say that if you're feeling uncomfortable with Bob's choice of gender marker words in his writing to the extent that you're having difficulty focusing on the content of his writing, then perhaps you have some real issue in yourself to look at that he's conveniently mirroring for you. Anger?
Pain? Please trust me. I'm not judging you. I have plenty of my own internal garbage. I found myself having to respond to you, perhaps because you remind me of myself in some way. I wish you only well. That said, "This is the nineties" sounds more like "this is my pain, and I'm mad at you for it." Let me assure you that Bob is a compassionate and definitely unsexist person, who shares a lot of his experience to help others. Your post also made me think about the gender word quandary a successfully published single mom do it all with no support from anyone author-type girlfriend of mine has whenever she writes. She's wracked her brains trying to mix the politically correct numbers of "he", "she", "Man", "Woman", and "Gender-neutral" into the literary pot, and has yet to come up with the ideal mix. So, she often sticks to to the traditional genderology of writing just to keep from getting writer's headache. Enough said. Hope I haven't offended you. No offense is intended.


Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 01, 1998 at 01:05:59:


I would find it very hard to believe that she would be allergic to ALL fish (especially those listed in the elimination diet. What type of reaction does she have to fish? I know a good many folks that have anaphalactic type reactions to shellfish but little problem with others.

You don't HAVE to eat any fish on the diet -- in fact I've had some folks that have done quite well on the vegetables alone. If you think that she needs protein and won't eat any fish have her eat lamb (that is if she doesn't eat it on a routine basis), however be warned that it might compromise things if she happens to have an 'extreme' agriculturist metabolism.

I'm sorry about your sensitivity to the use of 'Man'. I've draw my research from archeological texts (some as current as last month)and they use terms like Modern Man not as a perpetuating sexist comment but as a descriptive term of a certain part of humanity (just like Neanderthal) so that other archeologists would know what they mean. Homo-sapiens could not be used in this context since it is too broad a term that would be inclusive of both Neanderthal and Modern Man.

I guess political correctness (or the fear of not being politically incorrect) has not impacted archeological theory -- yet. I have endeavored simply to use their words in proper context.

Women should be alerted to the phenomenon of things like metabolic cycling and the fact that the use of low fat, high complex carbohydrate diets are negatively impacting their health in far higher percentages than their male counterparts. That's the sexism that I see perpetuated by far too many dietary therapists today.


Re: uric acid

Posted by Toni Kroemer on May 01, 1998 at 01:07:53:

My father is a diabetic and has a severe case of gout with his foot. We are told that his uric acid is very high. We are not sure of what he is able to eat because he also recently had a stroke and has to watch his fat and sodium intake. We are being told so many different things that we are completely confused. Are there foods that can lower uric acid and if so are they low in fat and safe for a diabetic? Please help...

Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Vicki on May 01, 1998 at 13:21:11:


I pulled my file on my husband's glucose tolerance tests (had forgotten we actually did two, just to verify). Thirty minutes after eating, his blood glucose level had risen from 95 mg percent to 250. Thirty minutes after that, it had dropped to 180. At the end of the second hour, the rate of drop tapered off. At the end of the 5 hours, he was back at fasting level. If I interpret Dr Philpott's explanation correctly, the fact that the entire rise in glucose level occurred during the first 30 minutes, followed by a 70 percent drop in the next 30 minutes, and a one-hour level that was more than 50% greater than the fasting level are enough to confirm hypoglycemia. Certainly, my husband experiences most of the symptoms Dr Philpott lists.

It seems reasonable to think my husband has pancreatic deficiency, considering the hypoglycemia, the probable acidosis, and his reaction to wheat (which I'm assuming to be the result of wheat protein molecules passing undigested through the small intestine into the bloodstream and to the brain).

Thank you forI appreciate your comments. I have one more question about the diet: What is the function of the AlkaSeltzer Gold? Does it help by providing a shot of bicarbonate that boosts pancreatic function? We have used a homemade version for several years, combining potassium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate. I thought its benefit derived from its electrolytic activity, but perhaps that has nothing to do with it.


Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 01, 1998 at 14:07:05:

In Reply to: Re: BioBalancing posted by Vicki on May 01, 1998 at 13:21:57:


Your husband is hypoglycemic (due to the precipitous drop you mentioned) and should move to testing the purine rich and higher fat foods that Dr. Wiley notes in his 'acid' diet. I've found that folks like your husband also need to really limit carbohydrate intake while increasing fat for it to work properly.

I have a bit different take on the pancreatic insufficiency that Philpott discusses in Brain Allergies. Unlike Wiley he thought that a low fat, high complex carbo diet was appropriate for everyone (since that was the rather extreme metabolic type that he possessed). IF I have anything original to contribute it's the impact of amino acid synthesis and how it bridges the gap between Philpott and Wiley.

Wiley doesn't discuss it and Philpott saw widespread amino acid deficiency in his patients. He thought that it was due to the pancreas not making enough enzymes for proper digestion -- and improper digestion led to a smaller number of amino acids that could be used as building blocks for making pancreatic enzymes for the next meal. As you can see this is not only a vicious circle but one that spirals downward. Philpotts' answer was to supplement with amino acids.

I found that you didn't need to do this. If you were eating a diet mismatched for inherited metabolic type you had a pH discrepiancy (as Wiley noted 7.46 was optimal). A small variance in pH led to an inactivation of pH sensitive catalysts that in turn reduced amino acid synthesis. In othe words Philpott was right -- but for the wrong reason. Wiley found the reason with pH and metabolic activity. Once your husband eats the right metabolic diet (devoid of food allergens) his pancreatic enzyme secretion will normalize without ANY supplements.

The alka-seltzer does two things. It does seem to help with acidosis and it does speed up the excretion of the unwanted metabolites after a reaction to food.


Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Laura on May 01, 1998 at 21:26:03:

In Reply to: Re: BioBalancing posted by Robert McFerran on May 01, 1998 at 01:05:59:

Thank you for responding. My client does get severe reactions to most but not all fish. She feels her throat swelling and her breathing becomes difficult with only one bite. She does not react to shellfish. If she feels she requires protein lamb might be a good alternative for her. She doesn't eat it regularly.

As to the "man" thing, it was just a suggestion, albeit not a popular one judging from Kyra's post. Perhaps I was a bit angry at your statement of the importance of hunting vs. gathering. Recent research indicates that gathering (including shellfish and sea vegetables in coastal areas) was very important in sustaining the tribes on a day to day basis. Most (but not all) gathering is done by the women of the tribe. It does not often require hard stone tools which would survive the millenia and be found by archeologists, so it is not described in their journals. I do not mean to sound PC or critical. I do not doubt that you have researched this thouroughly. I was just suggesting that archeologists have frequently ignored the contribution of women. I apologise if I offended you or anyone else. My goal is always to learn more and to pass information on. I believe that is the goal of most of the folks on this BB.
I happily await the publication of your book. Sign me up for a copy.

Re: uric acid

Posted by Doug Bailey on May 02, 1998 at 14:13:39:

Hi everybody,
I am not really sure what I stumbled on here, but I was doing a search on uric acid because of a few articles I have read about a possible cure for MS (which I have been diagnosed with). Apparently in an article of the National Academy of Sciences (January 20,1998) described that researchers found lower levels of uric acids in the blood of MS patients than in people without the disease. Also apparently when researchers injected mice with a disease like MS with uric acid, they showed great improvement. After being given daily injections, paralyzed mice walked again. I hope that this may be helpful to your conversation. I don't have the link in front of me, but under YAHOO NEWS from Reuters there is a story about Uric Acid may treat Multiple Sclerosis

Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 02, 1998 at 21:49:37:

In Reply to: Re: BioBalancing posted by Laura on May 01, 1998 at 21:26:03:


Thank you for your post.

Most of the archeological interest (for some reason) in what people ate over a million years ago. My research is concerned with what people ate before they started losing their adaptation. In other words I want to know what they ate BEFORE they started showing signs of maladaptation (i.e. chronic illnesses like arthritis). In most cases you can go back a couple of thousand years to pick this up. In some cases you can find examples that are less than a 100 years old. But I guess that this falls into history as much as archeology and the archeologist don't really try to acertain it.

I have found that the special needs of pregnant women were addressed by our 'uncivilized' ancestors. Tribes would send men on treks as long as 150 miles away just to gather certain foods to assist with pregnancy.

It is true that the gathering was left to the women in many of the American Indian tribes. There is also evidence that women would suffer from malnutrition earlier that men when game was scarce. It is theorized that men would probably eat more at the time of the kill and bring back less and/or that they had to travel so far from their home base in search of game that they had to eat a higher percentage of it to sustain them on their trip home. The important thing that I gleaned from this was the importance of high purine meats to the metabolism of women. The women didn't lack for gathered vegetation -- they lacked for animal fat and meat.

Anthropology has been jaundiced (as I pointed out in the snippet) in so many ways. Much of what I've read has certainly been fanciful or wishful thinking on behalf of the researchers.


Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 03, 1998 at 12:20:25:

In Reply to: Re: BioBalancing posted by Vicki on May 01, 1998 at 13:21:11:

Dear Vicki,

In MY experience, this kind of curve is almost always due to total body "bracing" (habitual muscle tension). This depletes the stored muscle glycogen which is the most important buffering mechanism for maintaining a level glucose in the blood. The regular practice of an effective skilled relaxation technique would do him more good than anything else. He can improve his symptoms with frequent feedings of a "whole-food diet". However, in the long run, discharging the "bracing" will do him more good than anything.


Re: uric acid

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 03, 1998 at 14:07:50:

In Reply to: Re: uric acid posted by Toni Kroemer on May 01, 1998 at 01:07:53:

Dear Toni,

More than 95% of all people diagnosed with goute do not have it. Most Physicians are too lazy to do the 24 hour urine test necessary to prove the diagnosis. Since, now-a-days, goute is pretty easy to treat even without dietary management, IF IT IS REALLY GOUTE, the first thing is to be sure that the diagnosis is correct. The blood test is just a screening device which is supposed to tell the doc which patient needs the 24 hour urine.

Once you know that the diagnosis is correct, his doc should know enough to get him on allopurinal. Any other management is far out of date & should not be used for maintenance.


low uric acid

Posted by Michelle on May 04, 1998 at 12:05:03:

Dr. Stoll,

Referring back to the March dialogue on uric acid, I too have very low levels (1.5). Two blood tests in the same time frame showed a low level. It isn't clear to me from your response to Judy if low levels could be a sign of some underlying problem. You mentioned that many with low uric levels show high cholestorol yet mine is excellent with extremely favorable HDL ratio and my overall health appears quite good. Should I just ignore and be happy that I'm not a candidate for gout?

Re: low uric acid

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 04, 1998 at 12:39:13:

In Reply to: low uric acid posted by Michelle on May 04, 1998 at 12:05:03:


I'm replying to your post since I think that I was the one having the dialog with Judy over uric acid and cholesterol.

First of all I think if you re-read the March posts you would see that I mentioned that low uric acid generally walks hand in hand with low cholesterol and a good HDL/LDL ratio. In other words (and I assume that you are not taking any medications that impact uric acid and cholesterol) you have inherited a 'hunter-gatherer' metabolic type. This is one that will only be satisfied with a relatively high purine and low carbohydrate diet with moderate amounts of fat and salt.

The problem is that if YOU listen to the common sense dietary logic of a low fat, low protein, high complex carbohydrate diet you will be setting yourself up for chronic illness. You will ALWAYS be at low risk for cardiovascular disease and gout no matter what foods (whole foods) that you eat. There is no one diet that is appropriate for everyone but the one being pushed by the health community will put you at risk. It happened to me.

Allopathic medicine is just starting to see that low cholesterol is NOT good and my, the are confused with why that is the case.

Michelle, I'm going to give you a free psychic reading. I know how you react to caffeinated drinks. You probably don't drink them and if you do you have to watch out since if you drink too much of them (more than two or three cups/glasses) you get gittery. If you drink them too late in the day you will have problems sleeping.


Re: low uric acid

Posted by Michelle on May 04, 1998 at 18:10:17:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Robert McFerran on May 04, 1998 at 12:39:13:

I'm a little redfaced. Not only did I mistake the author of the previous posting to which I referred, I also read too quickly (the perils of trying to quickly gather info during a busy workday) and didn;t catch the link between low uric acid and low chol/HDL. In any case, I must admit, I'm still a bit baffled. What exactly is the downside of low uric acid (and what I thought until now a very healthy diet). Should I read up on allopathic medicine (never heard of it before)? As for your reference to caffeine, I actually drink very little--only in the morning. But when I do drink espressos late into the evening in my favorite all night hangout, I go to sleep with no problem whatsover.

Re: Uric Acid and Chelation Therapy

Posted by Drosan on May 04, 1998 at 22:12:39:

I have read with interest the article "Promising MS Cure" of the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for Jan 20/98 about the possible curative effect of Uric Acid on M S.
Is there anyone who has tried this treatment with curative effects on MS?
Please let me know with particulars.

Re: low uric acid

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 04, 1998 at 23:49:17:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Michelle on May 04, 1998 at 18:10:17:


Low uric acid, low cholesterol (with high HDL) are indicative of a certain metabolic type. One that needs just the opposite of the conventional low fat, high complex carbohydrate (vegetarian-like) diet. In order to find out if indeed a relatively high purine/protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrate diet is appropriate for you -- you will have to test the diet yourself. If it IS for you you will find a significant increase in energy level. As far as your bloodwork goes -- your uric acid will go up (perhaps to the low end of the normal range) and your total cholesterol will go up BUT your HDL will actually IMPROVE as will your HDL/LDL ratio. It sounds paradoxical that it would do that as you eat prime rib but your body has a software program that it has inherited and you can't change the hardware (your body's biochemistry).

Some people with this metabolic type can tolerate late night caffeine because they also have some late night carbohydrate with it (usually in the form of a sugary dessert -- chocolate cake or ice cream). They come home and their blood sugar dives and they fall asleep with no problem.

Generally caffeine doesn't do a whole lot for the way they feel so they do drink it throughout the day (like their metabolic counterparts).

IF you are eating a 'healthy' low fat high complex carbohydrate diet you probably find yourself 'grazing' throughout the day -- eating several small meals and snacks as opposed to eating three meals a day. It would be hard for you to go 5 hours without a snack.


Re: low uric acid

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 04, 1998 at 23:53:00:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Michelle on May 04, 1998 at 18:10:17:

My previous post should have read:

Generally caffeine doesn't do a whole lot for the way they feel so they DON'T drink it throughout the day (like their metabolic counterparts).

Re: low uric acid

Posted by michelle on May 05, 1998 at 00:00:25:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Robert McFerran on May 04, 1998 at 23:49:17:


Thanks for your response. Promise, this is the last time I nudge you, but you still haven't made clear to me the downside of low uric acid. The only message I'm getting is that if I alter my diet a bit my total cholestoral will go up but my HDL level will improve as will my energy level, which by teh way, is quite good. That's far from the whole story, I'm sure. Perhaps you'd like to refer me to a site that goes into greater depth? Thanks again. Michelle

Re: low uric acid

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 05, 1998 at 12:53:21:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by michelle on May 05, 1998 at 00:00:25:


You'll have to tell me what you eat right now and your total cholesterol number so that I can give you a good explaination that is customized for your situation.


Re: low uric acid

Posted by Michelle on May 06, 1998 at 01:29:08:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Robert McFerran on May 05, 1998 at 12:53:21:

Summary of diet: Breakfast: high fiber, low fat cereal 2-3 times a week; eggwhite omelet 2x a week; multigrain toast 2x a week. Midmorning snack: fruit or cottage cheese or yougrt or crackers. Lunch: typically legumes (lentils, soybeans) or brown rice salad mixed with a green veggy (typically green peas, spinach, brocolli) with an olive oil or grapeseed oil and vinegar or lemon vinegrette. Couple times a week sushi. Dinner: Same as lunch but usually cheese and/or fish (salmon, yellow tuna) included. Fool around with tofu 1-2 a week too. Love smoked salmon and indulge 2-3 times a week. Eat meat bout twice a month. Fluids: Tons of water, bit of tea, 2 cups of coffee in morning; about 10 glasses of wine or beer a week.Very few sweets (bout 4 cookies a week for midday snack). Preference is toward sour/bitter foods rather than sweet and bland. Cholest: 170. 90 HDL. Tryglic. 50. Voila. Thanks Bob.

Re: low uric acid

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 06, 1998 at 09:29:52:

In Reply to: low uric acid posted by Michelle on May 04, 1998 at 12:05:03:

Dear Michelle,

At this point, I would probably just ignore it. However, I might see a good Naturopath just to be sure that nothing could be predicted for you early by looking at this "holistically".


Re: low uric acid

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 06, 1998 at 12:02:29:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Michelle on May 06, 1998 at 01:29:08:


The diet that you just enumerated sounds EXCELLENT for your metabolic needs. Fortunately it is NOT the Pritikin type diet that I embraced years ago where I would eat shredded wheat for breakfast, a salad for lunch and pasta with low fat sauce for dinner. Along the way there were lots of rice, potatoes and bread. Rice cakes for snacks. All low fat and high complex carbohydrate and it was killing me. I was hungry ALL the time.

My uric acid level was similar to yours but my total cholesterol would vary between 95 and 105. See, you thought that you had LOW cholesterol at 170. Everyones idea of what is high or low is relative :). I'd say that 170 is in the range where it SHOULD be.

So in the end it looks like you're gonna live -- long and healthy unless someone gives you DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET, EAT TO WIN, THE ORNISH PLAN, THE MCDOUGAL PLAN, THE PRITIKIN DIET and you make the unfortunate mistake of embracing it. Locally we have an organization called EARTHSAVE that is unbelievably zealous about promoting a vegetarian diet that simply won't work for up to 35% of the American population.

I like your diet because of it's variety. Something that I don't see very often. As you broaden your diet even more you should add more liver and crustaceans (i.e. shrimp, scallops, crab, etc.).

Your low uric acid and good cholesterol IS indicative of a certain metabolism. It just happens that you are eating appropriately for it. What would happen if you were not??


Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Vicki on May 06, 1998 at 12:57:48:

In Reply to: Re: BioBalancing posted by Robert McFerran on May 01, 1998 at 14:07:05:


I noticed in Wiley's book that he just mentioned in passing that he hadn't looked into roles that might possibly be played by amino acids or essential fatty acids. It's certainly good news that eating the "right diet" can correct problems caused by amino acid deficiencies.

We plan to start the elimination diet this Friday morning. The one thing that I'm dubious about is the reintroduction of foods in a way that would allow us to identify offenders. Not only do we enjoy eating an unusually wide variety of foods, but even a seemingly simple thing like my husband's wheat-free bread contains 4 different kinds of flour, eggs, milk, sugar, xanthan gum, vinegar, and oil. How long would it take, checking out each ingredient separately, till we reached the point where he could safely eat a piece of toast for breakfast?! It gets complicated further by the fact that at least some offending foods (wheat being one) cause him to have symptoms for up to 4 days after he eats them. Be that as it may, we're going to have a go at it, just to see how good we can feel after a week if nothing else. Will let you know what happens.


Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Vicki on May 06, 1998 at 13:15:29:

In Reply to: Re: BioBalancing posted by Walt Stoll on May 03, 1998 at 12:20:25:

Dear Walt,

You are absolutely right about my husband's bracing. His muscle tension is extreme. I noticed Dr Philpott regards at least some stress as being induced by eating the wrong foods. Would this be the same kind of stress that meditating would alleviate?

I haven't yet figured out an effective method of getting my husband to relax, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, I submit the following stress reduction technique for those readers who haven't seen it before. It works wonders for me. :)

To reduce stress:
Picture yourself near a stream.
Birds are softly chirping in the crisp cool mountain air. Nothing can bother you here. No one knows this secret place.
You are in total seclusion from that place called "the world".
The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
The water is clear. You can easily make out the face of the person whose head you're holding under the water.
Look. It's the person who caused you all this stress in the first
place. What a pleasant surprise. You let them up...just for a quick
breath...then ploop!...back under they go...
You allow yourself as many deep breaths as you want. There,
now...feeling better?


Re: low uric acid

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 07, 1998 at 08:00:27:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Robert McFerran on May 06, 1998 at 12:02:29:

Dear Bob,

I have been following your discussions with great interest. I appreciate what I am learning ANd the help you are being to the BB participants.

Namaste` Walt

Re: low uric acid

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 07, 1998 at 11:14:37:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Walt Stoll on May 07, 1998 at 08:00:27:


I think that I'M becoming the overzealous one when it comes to diet and it's impact on health!

Allopathic medicine is starting to see that low cholesterol (120 or less) is associated with a higher risk of chronic disease -- it's just doesn't happen to be vascular disease.

Uric acid is less indicative since it can be effected by Michelle's drinking a lot of water. At the same time, all things being equal, she seems to have inherited the enzyme that metabolizes purines well where those goute patients successfully managed with allopurinol have not.

As I've looked at more and more of these things, examined the anthropology, assessed the biochemistry and added a bit of Chaos Theory it does seem that some general metabolic subsets do emerge. Instead of things diverging is seems the more I understand the more it does just the opposite, converging, seemingly dovetailing to fit.

Of course the opening line in my book is still "I'm constantly humbled by how much we don't know."



uric acid

Posted by Terri Higgins on May 08, 1998 at 10:33:37:

My husband has been having a lot of kidney stones, he
has been told he has too much uric acid and is taking allopurinal. What can I do to help his diet or are there any herbal remedies he can use?

Thank you.

Re: BioBalancing

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 08, 1998 at 13:44:36:

In Reply to: Re: BioBalancing posted by Vicki on May 06, 1998 at 13:15:29:

Dear Vicki,

Your husband is the only person that can discharge his stored stress-effect. The only known way, yet discovered, that can be done is by something like you mentioned: practicing an effective skilled relaxation technique at least 20 minutes twice a day (not counting any done within 2 hours of retiring). Just because this "visualization" works for you is no reason to think it would work for him. That is why I so strongly recommend the workbook and the article on my home page about skilled relaxation.

The bracing comes first, then the lgs and THEN the sensitivities to foods. Even though he might get temporary relief if he went to the bother of finding out which foods might be aggravating his bracing, he would just eat other foods more often to make up for the missing ones. He soon would develop sensitivities to THOSE since the problem is really LGS caused by the bracing.

Perhaps when he has suffered enough?

This approach always works. The only problem is getting the person to do it.


Re: low uric acid

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 09, 1998 at 09:13:56:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Robert McFerran on May 07, 1998 at 11:14:37:

Dear Bob,

Your experiences and conclusions mirror my own. I am impressed!

Namaste` Walt

Re: uric acid

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 10, 1998 at 10:25:42:

In Reply to: uric acid posted by Terri Higgins on May 08, 1998 at 10:33:37:

Dear Terri,

Have your husband's stones actually been analysed? Has he had a 24 hour urine test for uric acid? How was his goute diagnosed?

Benemid and colchicine speed up excretion of uric acid via the kidneys. Allopurinal reduces the accumulation by substituting for the genetically missing enzyme that converts uric acid to urea. If he REALLY has goute.........

The less protein "rich" foods he eats, the less uric acid he will produce since uric acid is the end product of protein metabolism. Your public library's reference section could help you with that.

Use the link on this 'site that goes to the herbologist for the herbal information.


Elimination Diet Report

Posted by Vicki on May 13, 1998 at 12:44:28:

In Reply to: Re: BioBalancing posted by Robert McFerran on May 01, 1998 at 14:07:05:

Here's a quick summary of our experience with the elimination diet:
(1) Neither my husband nor I experienced any serious adverse reaction. We felt hungry the first day or two and didn't feel very energetic, but otherwise nothing unusual. We stayed quite active over the weekend, doing home remodeling projects.
(2) Neither of us noticed any major or unusual improvement in symptoms. My respiratory congestion after meals continued, for example, and my husband had a severe headache in one eye on Sunday night. I did note improvement in the vertigo that I often experience when I lie flat on the floor while doing exercises.
(3) We got really bummed out on the food and went off the diet Monday night at dinnertime. Resuming our regular diet has not caused an exacerbation of any symptoms.
Maybe we ruined it by stopping early, but I was expecting to see SOME kind of difference by the evening of the fourth day.

Vicki -- Answers to Questions about Elimination Diet results and BioBalance

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 28, 1998 at 12:04:36:


I was just alerted by a friend that you had been responding with you and your husbands elimination diet results. I wasn't snubbing your responses -- they were just so far down in the BB string that I didn't see them!

In my experience with the elimination diet some people don't have ANY withdrawal symptoms but will still experience clearing by day six. I realize that it's hard to stay with that lackluster spate of foods for 6 days but it looks as if you might have pulled in the reigns and given up a little too quickly. Your husband's headache could have been a withdrawal symptom. It's impossible to tell unless it isn't followed by a 'clearing'.

To answer your question about the toast I'm afraid that any favorite foods like that would have to be abandoned for 20 days. When you re-introduce foods they must only be WHOLE foods. What I call a whole food is limited to what we find in nature and the way we find it -- only fresh meat, fish and produce -- nothing else. Unfortunately there is no way that the multi-grained toast that you described -- no matter how whole grained or organic or whatever is a whole food.

People always ask me what I use for bread. I tell them nothing because I haven't found a substitute that I consider a whole food. It's funny because my brother in law from Rome, Italy is constantly struck by our use of bread in the States. He says it's impossible to get any food that isn't on a bun here in America! When I visit Italy it's not unusual to have a meal without eating any bread. It's usually on the table but not a necessity of the meal.

Having said all of that I've also seen that about 15% of people on the elimination diet don't have a noticable withdrawal or clearing. Usually the reasons fall into one of three categories:

1) There is a significant chemical exposure or inhaled allergy that is effectively masking their symptoms. Most of the time the chemical exposure takes the form of formaldehyde and carpet solvents in a new house/place of business or a leaking gas stove. The inhaled allergen is usually dust and dust mite or molds from a basement, old carpets etc. Changing the bedding (especially the pillowcase) and showering before going to bed might partially reveal this sensitivity.

As an aside I was very pround of myself when I recognized that a young woman who had recently developed arthritis and had a similar experience to yours with the elimination diet (no withdrawal or clearing after 6 days) was reacting strongly to newspaper inks. Her son had started a paper route 3 months prior and as he would get the various parts of the Sunday paper during the week he would leave them by the front door in the living room where they would have a near constant exposure to fresh ink solvents. She did notice that she felt worse the day after assembling the papers with her son. Now the papers are in the unattached garage and within 3 months her arthritis completely resolved.

2). The person has an extreme metabolism (usually demanding more fat and purines) than provided by the foods in the elimination diet. If they disdain eating the fish in the elimination diet they will rob themselves of key ingredients to their energy cycle. These folks usually describe a worsening of symptoms (especially fatigue) followed by a lack of clearing on the diet.

3). They have a significant problem with intestinal candidiasis which is so severe that it's symptoms mask the results of the elimination diet. Usually these folks have withdrawal symptoms followed by only a marginal clearing of symptoms.


Vicki, I congratulate you and your husband on attempting the elimination diet. I think that I would look closely at the 3 other variables listed above to see if they are 'masking' any potential food allergies.

If I have missed any of your other questions please don't hesitate to re-post them here. Your experience becomes my experience not to mention the

Arthritis Relief???

Posted by Greg Ledford on May 28, 1998 at 17:06:08:

Dr. Stoll,

I am a 29 year old male who has enjoyed great health all of my life... never even experienced a broken bone! In mid December last year, I started having a problem with my hands falling asleep at night, no matter what position I slept in. My hands would be red and swollen (both hands, fingers, palms, etc...) upon waking up in the mornings; so swollen that I can not make a closed fist with either hand. They have continued this way for the past 5 1/2 months! I experience pain in my hands when I put any type of rotational pressure on them (such as trying to open a bottle, or turn on a faucet). I have also lost much of my strength in my hands and wrists, and my finger tips are very sensitive to any type of touch. Just turning a lamp on or off is painful due to the ridges on a lamp's light switch.

Beliving that maybe I was experiencing poor circulation, I decided to start aerobic exercise in mid February. After a week of skipping rope and other activities, I went for a 1 mile jog. I felt fine the next morning, having done all of my pre-jog and post jog stretching, but by the evening of the following day, the achilles tendons in both feet as well as the tendons on the front of my ankles were sore... so sore that I could not walk! The pain continued for three days before I finally relented and saw my internist. After examining me, he sent me to a rheumatologist. That was two months ago.

Over the past month and a half, all of my large joints, (knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows)have been sore and I experience pain in them if I exert any extended pressure on them, such as leaning on my elbows. My rheumatologist has done several lab tests on me, but they all come back negative. No inflamation is indicated on the tests, my sed rates look good, my uric acid levels normal, etc... She says I have a form of rheumatoid arthritis and put me on prednisone and napercin (spelling?). Not wanting to be on the steroid for very long, I have discontinued its use after 30 days because it still has not brought down the swelling in my hands. I am now on a sulfer based drug called asulphadine (spelling?) 3,000 mg a day as well as the napercin. I am tired of this constant pain in my joints and I'm tired of my hands being swollen and stiff. Are my doctors misdiagnosing me since my test results are all coming back negative? Is there something else they should be looking for? What are your thoughts based on my symptoms? I can tell you right now, it isn't just my joints that hurt, but much of my pain seems to be centered in and around the tendons in the areas of my joints... especially my ankles. I have heard of some wonder drug called cosamine (again, spelling?). Is that something I should look into? My doctors are all telling me this all boils down to my overactive auto-immune system. If so, how can I get my body to quit producing the antibody it currently is without suppressing my immune system against real threats? I just want to be able to make a fist with my hands again, and be able to run and exercise without the pain I am experiencing. I feel my doctors are all taking stabs in the dark and are turning my body into a chemical waste dump. I'm sure the pharmaceuticals are happy about my present condition. What do you suggest?

Greg Ledford

Re: Vicki -- Answers to Questions about Elimination Diet results and BioBalance

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 29, 1998 at 16:42:46:

In Reply to: Re: Vicki -- Answers to Questions about Elimination Diet results and BioBalance posted by Gerry on May 29, 1998 at 15:41:41:


Here is the chapter in my book on the elimination diet.

Thanks for asking.



I’ve often talked with folks that were confident that foods didn’t have any impact on their arthritis symptoms. I ask is if they’ve ever run a good ‘elimination’ diet and a surprising number assure me that they have. Upon further questioning I always find that they have only eliminated a couple of foods, say milk or wheat or nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.). Even though milk and wheat are common food allergens and nightshade vegetables do create problems for arthritics with a certain metabolic and blood type, this should not be considered a true elimination diet.

Over 85% of people with arthritis have food allergies. Most will find not one, but a handful of foods acting as the major culprits. This is the reason why eliminating just one or two random foods is all but useless. If you were allergic to a large number of tree pollens, springtime grasses and weeds the removal of only one of these airborne allergens would usually have little impact on your total allergy symptoms. If this single allergen was added back into the mix you probably wouldn’t notice. The effect from this one allergen would be hidden or ‘masked’ by your already prominent symptoms to the other allergens. The same phenomenon occurs with foods.

How could we find whether the airborne allergen in the above example was a significant factor in triggering our allergic symptoms? The best way would be to place ourselves in a room with perfectly filtered air (in essence eliminating all airborne allergens) until our allergy symptoms abated. The specific allergen would then be re-introduced and any allergic reaction noted. In this way the impact of a single, specific allergen can be isolated and tested. What was previously thought to be a rather insignificant allergen would often deliver a surprisingly strong allergic response.

We can do the same thing with foods. Historically ‘spring water fasts’ have been employed. Patients would only be allowed spring water for the initial 4-5 days. This type of ‘fast’ would obviously eliminate all food allergens from the diet. It was maintained for 4-5 days to also allow physical elimination of all foods eaten prior to the start of the ‘fast’ from the digestive tract.

Spring water fasts have one major problem. A significant percentage of individuals cannot tolerate them and should not try them. Their metabolic demands make any kind of extended water fast dangerous.

Fortunately years of previous testing has provided a list of ‘safe’ foods that can be temporarily substituted for your usual diet. These foods are not completely hypo-allergenic but they do have a low allergenic potential. In other words they are rarely found to induce a reaction. The foods include cod, trout, mackerel, pears, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, yams, celery, zucchini, carrots and peaches. Any foods routinely eaten more than twice a week should be removed from the list. All the foods must be fresh and in their ‘whole’ or natural form. No cans or other packaging allowed.

Spring water or sparkling water are the only acceptable liquids. Tap water contains (among other things) chlorine. A chemical to which many arthritics are sensitive. The only allowed condiment is sea or mineral salt. Steaming is an excellent method of preparing foods during your elimination diet.

Prior to starting the diet you’ll need to purchase a bottle of magnesium citrate (found in the laxative section) and alka-seltzer ‘gold’ (it’s found only in the gold colored box). Regular alka-seltzer is unacceptable since it contains aspirin.

NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as feldene, clinoril, naprosyn, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc., should be stopped when starting the diet. All other drugs should be continued. Prednisone or any other form of cortisone drug should NEVER be abruptly discontinued. Smoking should als

Re: Metabolic type diet

Posted by x on May 29, 1998 at 22:33:04:

does a diet that tricks your body into porducing a very low insulin lvl....there by targeting the body to burn fat work?

Re: low uric acid

Posted by Doug on May 31, 1998 at 22:58:48:

In Reply to: Re: low uric acid posted by Robert McFerran on May 04, 1998 at 12:39:13:

I have the opposite problem. I have high uric acid and gout. How can I lower my uric acid and get rid of my gout. I read on the internet that the pain from gout goes away on its own in about two weeks. Mine has persisted for several months and I am taking medication to get rid of it. The problem with the medication according to my doctor and pharmasist, is that it is hurting my kidney's. I am very concerned and want to get rid of the pain. Thanks for your help.....Doug

20 day leaky gut repair

Posted by Charles Kemper on May 01, 1998 at 12:21:28:

Has any one read a new book by Jeffery Bland, the developer of Ultra Balance products? It's alll about LGS and how to repair it. He makes no mention of his products by name.
Is there a souce to download the latest chapters from Robert McFerren.? I found chapter 2 of the protocol section here.

Re: 20 day leaky gut repair

Posted by Robert McFerran on May 01, 1998 at 13:39:46:

In Reply to: 20 day leaky gut repair posted by Charles Kemper on May 01, 1998 at 12:21:28:


Chapter II of the Protocol section is all that I've posted so far. I'm going to get in trouble with my agent if she finds out that I've released more of it on the internet -- but I couldn't resist releasing that snippet. Hopefully I'll be able to finish things up this fall, cut a deal with a publisher and get it off to press.


Re: 20 day leaky gut repair

Posted by Pamela J. on May 02, 1998 at 01:38:29:

In Reply to: 20 day leaky gut repair posted by Charles Kemper on May 01, 1998 at 12:21:28:

I am currently using Ultra Balance products for LGS. I did not know the developer of these products wrote a book. Thanks for the information. The literature that the Naturopath gave me was very similar to what Walt speaks of. I did not see any encouragement to do daily relaxation or meditation. I think this is an important component since it brings blood flow to the area to promote healing.

pamela j.

Re: 20 day leaky gut repair

Posted by Charles Kemper on May 03, 1998 at 14:27:59:

In Reply to: Re: 20 day leaky gut repair posted by Pamela J. on May 02, 1998 at 01:38:29:

I'd recommend that anyone interested in LGS get the book by calling Health Comm. There may be no reference to biofeed back work but there is the most concise explanation of LGS in scientfic terms that I've seen so far.

Re: 20 day leaky gut repair

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 03, 1998 at 14:34:41:

In Reply to: 20 day leaky gut repair posted by Charles Kemper on May 01, 1998 at 12:21:28:

Dear Charles,

Since others have addressed much of your note I will only mention the address of Bland's website

I also suggest going to the archives & reading other wisdom posted by Robert McFerran ("Bob McFerran" will not find it).

My most effective source for keeping up on the cutting edge, for the past 20 years, has been by suscribing to "Functional Medicine Update". Their website is

Please share what you learn with the BB.


Re: Elimination Diet Report

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 15, 1998 at 10:02:19:

Dear Vicki,

If you were PERFECT with the elimination of whatever you were testing, I think you should have noted changes by the end of the 4th day, too. If you were not PERFECT, you wasted your time.

If you WERE perfect, you have just practically eliminated whatever you tested as being significant causes for any symptoms. It would probably be worth doing the same thing for the next most comon things on the list. Once you get past the first 10, the chances of that being worth pursuing gets slim.


Re: Elimination Diet Report

Posted by Vicki on May 19, 1998 at 14:06:04:

In Reply to: Re: Elimination Diet Report posted by Walt Stoll on May 15, 1998 at 10:02:19:


We followed the diet recommended by Bob McFerran--steamed fish, sweet potatoes, zucchini, rutabagas, turnips, carrots, pears, peaches, only sea salt for seasoning, only filtered water to drink. The elimination diet we went on several years ago called for eliminating only 7 foods -- milk products, wheat, corn, soy, yeast, cane sugar, and eggs, as I recall -- for 3 weeks. That was when we first learned of my husband's sensitivity to wheat. The other 6 foods caused no reaction when we reintroduced them. Bob's diet was so restrictive that I despaired of ever being able to identify other problem foods; it seemed like it would take several lifetimes to reintroduce in a controlled way all the foods that we eat. I'm glad we did it because I feel that his lack of reaction either way sort of confirms that multiple food allergies are probably not a big player in my husband's illness.
I'm reading "Mind as Healer...." I can certainly recognize many of the type A behavior traits in my husband, but I have reservations about that concept. Trying to pinpoint a time when his illness may have begun, I once asked my mother-in-law if she ever noticed anything unusual about his behavior as a child. She dismissed the idea out of hand, "Oh, that's just his personality." Well, it's NOT his personality, and if he's a "type A", it's probably not because he was brought up that way (his brother is one of the most laid-back people you could ever hope to meet).
Sorry, I got a bit off-track there. What I started out to say is that biofeedback looks like a technique that might work well for us. I've said this before, but thank you again for the invaluable service you are providing to us--and to so many people.


Re: Elimination Diet Report

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 21, 1998 at 10:48:20:

In Reply to: Re: Elimination Diet Report posted by Vicki on May 19, 1998 at 14:06:04:

Dear Vicki,

Your present dilemma with Bob just serves to emphasize what I have said so many times: Although elimination/provocation testing might help some for a while, in the end, the only resolution to food sensitivities & the like is dealing with the LGS so the leakage will not occur. Your progress toward the biofeedback checking is a big step in the right direction. Once the blood supply has returned to his gut for about a year, he probably will no longer be sensitive to anything.

Remember, his LGS is just another tip of the iceberg. Many of his symptoms are DIRECTLY related to the seething in his hypothalamus. The ONLY thing yet known that will deal with that IS the regular practice of skilled relaxation we have discussed before. The "type A" is not important to deal with. That will change automatically when his hypothalamus settles down. He will become a lot more productive then without the damage.

Keep up the good work and don't complicate your lives any more than absolutely necessary. Now that you know about the wheat, at least you can remove one burden from his stress response. Congratulations!


Re: Arthritis Relief???

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 30, 1998 at 09:41:17:

Dear Greg,

ALL of your symptoms are being caused by the same basic mechanisms. We have been discussing them right here on this BB for years.

I have 3 suggestions for you to start with:

1. Go to the archives.
There read everything by Bob McFerran and start a dialogue with him.

2. Read a copy of Dr Pelletier's classic: "Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer". There is a new edition as of 1992. Every bookstore & library has copies. This book was written about you & you will want a copy in your home for reference.

3. When you are ready to do something about your problem, my book is still the best one around for that (link on this page).

THEN, if you still have questions, write again.


Re: Metabolic type diet

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 31, 1998 at 11:41:13:

Dear x,

For some people, yes. The only way for one to find out for sure would be for that person do that diet perfectly for a few months & see what happens.

Use the link: archives and read everything you can find by Robert McFerran. That would give you a new perspective on this problem.


What I mean...

Posted by trish on May 26, 1998 at 10:23:28:


I follow a diet based on blood type. The book, "Eat Right for Your Type" spells out what foods, supplements, and even excercises are good for you, depending on your blood type. It's too complex to get into here, and I'm not sure of Dr. Stoll's feelings on this. I don't want to step on anyone's toes, so if you're interested, email me and I'll explain a little more...

be well!

Re: What I mean...

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 28, 1998 at 10:43:51:

In Reply to: What I mean... posted by trish on May 26, 1998 at 10:23:28:

Dear Trish,

As I have said many times: Our own individual bodyminds are the very best laboratories to determine whether any particular dietary approach will work for that person. There still is no reliable way to figure out what will work for that person without their trying it.

The only catch is that the person has to learn enough to be sure to do the diet perfectly for a while to find out if it works for them. Since we really have no idea why any particular diet will work for any particular person, the diet has to be done right to be sure that false results do not occur. Once one figures out something that really works for them, they should do it as well as they can for a year or so to see if the benefits continue.

The results will convince the person whether the effort is worth it.

My only objection to the popularized diets out there (the eat for your type one too) is that they are written as though they will work for everyone. They will not. Those who find that it doesn't work for them sometimes give up on looking for one that WILL work for them: "Throwing out the baby with the bathwater." To that extent, trying the wrong diet can cause damage for years till the person learns enough to look at nutrition again. There is something to be said for the "Eat For Your Type" concept. I just hate to see it be thrown out just because it will not work for everyone.


Thanks, doctor...

Posted by trish on May 28, 1998 at 14:41:56:

In Reply to: Re: What I mean... posted by Walt Stoll on May 28, 1998 at 10:43:51:

I posted a question at the top of the board (yesterday) about your opinion of the diet. Actually, it's not a diet per se, but more of a health plan. And I guess I'll defend it because it's made me feel so much better - I hope you have had time to look at the book, because I feel it is truly groundbreaking. It encourages everyone to find what is right for them, and offers a lot of room for fine tuning for individuals.

I hope I will be able to mesh your principles with it, but as I said, I haven't received your book yet.

In the meantime, if you have any more suggestions for me as per my most recent questions, I'd appreciate it. I am so glad to have found this website, and I think you are a remarkable man to be putting your very life into this board.

Thank you,

1998: Jan Feb Mar Apr May

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