Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cancer and Diet

   One thing that amazes me most about standard cancer treatment is that no one ever talks much about what types of foods might help you beat cancer.  I guess since many people lose weight with cancer, the idea is to get them to eat whatever they will, especially if nauseated from radiation or chemo.  The thing is, cancer is anaerobic, it loves an acidic environment, and it feeds on sugar.  So, it kind of makes sense that if you eat foods to increase oxygenation in the body, exercise, and reduce acidic foods like sugar, cancer won't fare as well as if you eat willy nilly.
     About 3 years ago, my dog was diagnosed with grade 2 mast cell tumors.  The vet operated on her leg, but said the tumor's tendrils were wrapped around her tendons and he could not remove it all surgically.  We were given the usual choices of amputation, radiation, or chemo to attempt to remove the rest of the tumor on her leg, and the one above her eye.   The vet was honest, and admitted that these specific tumors did not respond well to radiation or chemo, so we declined those treatments.  It didn't make sense to amputate either, since she had a tumor over her eye that could still spread and cause problems.  The vet declared that he couldn't cure her, and the best he could do was keep the pain down some.
     Since I was engrossed in study at that time in Holistic treatments, I researched every alternative cancer remedy I could find (for humans), and did my best to convert them to 13 pound doggie doses.  My daughter's dog Dyppy became my bona fide guinea pig for alternative cancer treatments.  The vet explained that it isn't the tumors that usually kill the animal, it is the toxins produced by her histamine reaction to them that do the damage, leading to severe inflammation throughout the body, especially in the stomach and intestines.  The result is bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, bloody diarrhea, and eventual death.  If I could keep the inflammation reaction down in her body, she might be able to last longer.  He suggested that I put her on Temeril P, a combination prednisone and antihistamine, which would help.  It has pretty serious side effects though, and only 10% of the dogs survive the next year with tumors as severe as Dyppy's.
     As I researched alternative cancer treatments, a common theme arose around food and diet.  Most plans suggested making the patient's body a very unwelcome place for cancer to be.  Most human alternative cancer therapies insist on the removal of all sugar, and all foods which create acidity in the body, specifically saturated fats, alcohol, starchy carbs, sugar, meat and salt.  Many of the cancer diet protocols call for an increase of very alkaline foods like raw, organic, whole veggies with significant "green" drinks, and no meat.  Some plans allowed for vegetables to be cooked or steamed, but the general consensus is no meat, no sugar, no hydrogenated (trans) fats, and lots of veggies.
     The Budwig Diet, which consists of low fat cottage cheese and flax oil, is an anti-cancer protocol which provides essential fatty acids (Flax) and a sulfur based protein (cottage cheese) together to supplement the body with fatty acids that are missing in cancer patients.  I have used this intermittently with Dyppy, with mixed success.  She doesn't like the taste, so I usually have to disguise it with some other food.  If I developed cancer myself, I would use the Budwig Diet, as the chemistry and research behind it are sound, and I believe it is beneficial to get adequate essential fatty acids to maintain health.  I still use it for Dyppy, but I can never get her to consistently eat it before it goes bad, so her case is more difficult than human consumption would be.
     After researching species specific diets for carnivores, I decided that I would not totally eliminate meat from Dyppy's diet, as the human diets suggest.  Much of the information I found on dogs indicated that many of their health problems may be related to the chemicals, additives, preservatives, and colorings added to their food.  Also, dogs and cats are true carnivores, and they do not have the digestive capability to handle the grains, or carbohydrates (corn, wheat, or soy) that most dog foods include.  So I threw out all of the dry food (even the organic stuff), and began making Dyppy homemade, all organic food made mostly from low fat white turkey meat.   After I lightly cook the meat in water, I add a blended mixture of spinach, apple, carrot, vitamins, baker's yeast, spirulina, and water.  I do not heat the veggie mixture, since heating destroys enzymes and nutrients.  Sometimes I add a little beef broth for flavor, or maybe a little chicken.  Passersby frequently comment on her green food when they see her eating it and wonder what in the world she is eating, but she seems to enjoy it.  She is a very picky eater, and I know she wouldn't eat it if she didn't like it.
     Over the past 3 years, I have used Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy, Hyperthermia Treatments, Protocel, Paw Paw, Colostrum, Chinese Herbs, vitamins, collodial silver and homeopathic remedies to treat Dyppy's tumors.  I have used the Temeril P at the average dose of 1/2 pill every other day (instead of 1 pill per day) to minimize the side effects.  At one point early in her treatment, I thought I had defeated her cancer.  The tumors went away for 8 weeks, and I was giving her no Temeril P.  I was overjoyed and ready to write a book about curing cancer, when sadly, they returned.  The vet explained that many cancer patients may appear cured, but about 2% of very resistant cancer cells may go dormant for a time when attacked, then they ferociously reappear and no amount of treatment can kill these very resistant cells.  That's why cancer is said to be in remission, since it is quite well known that these survivor cells can come back.  How rapidly they return is an indication of how strong they are.  (Dyppy's were very aggressive, and 2 more new tumors popped up to add insult to injury.)
     So I started over with different medicines to try to save her.  I have not been able to find a treatment that will actually kill her very resistant remaining tumors, but I feel fortunate that she was not immediately overcome by these very aggressive cells.  I have been able to keep her stable, and she has survived for 2 years and counting beyond the vet's best predictions.  Most observers can't tell she has cancer, since she acts like a puppy and seems to feel very good most days.  Occasionally, if I miss a dose of her medicines, her stomach may react with bloody diarrhea and she doesn't feel well.  These negative reactions convince me the treatments I give her greatly help her condition. Since she receives one treatment or another about every 4 hours, she goes with me almost everywhere I go.  I am more her guinea pig than she is mine.
     I am further convinced that cleaning up her diet aids her ability to fight off the tumors.   Every day is a new day with her, and I never know if her immune system is going to be overwhelmed by the cancer.  But for now, I am doing every thing I know to support her through this illness, and improve her quality of life with us.  None of my treatments have been painful or sickening like the effects of radiation or chemotherapy, and I have no doubt that both her quality of life, and length of life have been extended by her diet and alternative cancer treatments.  Long live Dyppy!
     If you or someone you know has cancer, please investigate the numerous alternative cancer protocols that may be used either alone, or in conjunction with mainstream treatments.  Also, feel free to contact me if you need help establishing a dietary plan to maximize your health anytime, but especially if you are battling cancer.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Follow Up to the HCG Diet

It is now February, 2012 and I have completed the HCH diet a total of five 40 day courses, allowing increasing intervals between each one.  I lost an average of 20 pounds each course, for a total amount of weight lost at 100 pounds, but I added back an average of 8 pounds between each course, making the net loss maximum about 60 pounds.  The last course I gained 20 pounds back over the 6 month interval I had to wait, and was very unhappy with the regain.

I must conclude that severe calorie reduction is only effective if a method for long term weight management is effectively put into place afterwards.  I believe the body with its amazing survival instinct drastically decreases metabolism to prevent starvation, reserving energy for emergency life support.  Some studies report the metabolism may drop as much as 50% each time “starvation” occurs.  So when overweight people claim that they are not eating very much, and they have a history of starvation diets, it is highly likely they are living examples of the metabolism disorders that result from frequent calorie restriction.  Oprah Winfree comes to mind as a celebrity example of metabolism dysfunction, since she openly publicized her struggles with restricted calories.

I have discovered that as long as I keep the calories up between 1500 and 1800 per day, but drastically restrict carbohydrate intake, I can maintain my current weight of 149.  I have methodically researched every fitness and weight loss guru I can find, as well as the nutrition texts looking for the solution needed to reestablishing a functioning metabolism.  I have lots of work to do, because my thyroid is border line low, my body temperature is one degree low, and my overall energy level is low after this last course.  On the positive side, my total cholesterol is now 195 (down from 250), my triglycerides are down from 270 to 75, my HDL is up to 58, and my C-Reactive Protein numbers are .02, all indicating very healthy levels of blood lipids after the significant weight loss and diet changes.  There is no question that weight loss is essential for good health.

I have been quite interested in a new book called the Metabolism Miracle, which claims that about 50% of Americans are pre-diabetic and may have a family history of weight issues and diabetes, weight gain around the middle, carb cravings, hypoglycemia, and mental fog being a few of the symptoms.  The book suggests for people with metabolic syndrome (also called Syndrome X or pre-diabetes) that calorie restriction is not the best choice, because these types will continue to gain weight even on very low calorie diets due to their inability to handle carbs.  Pre-diabetics have an immediate excessive insulin response to sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or starchy carbs resulting in eventual insulin resistance and fat storage.  For us, a calorie is not just a calorie because a carb calorie is going to fat no matter what due to improper insulin response.  The best way to develop control over this response is an 8 week course of low carb high calorie food choices where no more than 5 carbs are eaten in a five hour period.  The high calorie part helps regulate the hunger hormones, and moves the body out of starvation mode.  After 8 weeks of rest and recovery for the liver and pancreas, it is important to increase carb consumption to about 20 grams every 5 hours all through the day and evening.  This phase is important to prevent the liver from dumping glycogen (sugar) into the blood stream to combat low blood sugar symptoms.  After the insulin response is "retrained" and under better control, carbs can be added back into the diet until each individual break point is determined, usually based on the return of weight gain.  Once each individual level of carbs allowed before weight gain occurs is determined, then a diet can be planned which stays within these perimeters. My favorite part is that if one decides to have a piece of birthday or anniversary cake, there is a built in system to return to a lower carb diet to offset the effects of sugar overload.  I am experimenting with the blood sugar control methods encouraged in this book, and will post in the future whether I have been able to keep the weight off with carb restriction, instead of calorie restriction.  Exercise is very important in the process, not to burn calories, but to give the body instruction to burn fat instead of muscle.  The book suggests 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week to keep insulin under control.

I have also been eating an organic, mostly whole, raw foods diet with lots of fresh veggies and fruit as allowed within the carb range.  I have chosen organic to minimize pesticides and chemicals, whole foods that have not been processed because they contain more nutrients, raw because heating and processing destroys nutrients, and fresh instead of frozen or canned for maximum vitamin content.  I still have cooked lean meats, and an occasional warm bowl of soup or chilli, but for the most part I love eating the majority of my foods raw.  Good luck with your diet plans, and have a healthy day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First Post- The crazy new HCG Diet!

I am so excited to begin this blog, and discuss many alternative ideas and cures that I have been using myself and studying.  I had a hard time deciding where to start.  Some possible topics include multiple cures for cancer, since I have been fighting for 18 months to save a terminally ill cancer dog with great success.  I have also been working on natural cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes protocols, gout, warts, flu and cold remedies, and weight loss.  (Only the weight loss is my own personal challenge.)  Since I have lost 43 pounds in the last 3 months using the HCG protocol, perhaps that is the best place to start.

I can state unequivocally that the protocol works.  I am not certain that I could actually endorse the program at this point, because the experience is extremely severe.  For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, the HCG weight lost concept is based on the scientific study of Dr. A.T. Simeons.  Dr. Simeons discovered (accidently) back in the 1950's that the pregnancy hormone HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadatropin) when combined with a very low calorie diet (500 calories per day) will force the body to burn brown fat as a food source.  This massive release of fat occurs as a survival mechanism in the pregnant female is ensure a food source for a developing fetus during famine situations.  This type of fat release only occurs in the body under these conditions.  (Oddly enough, this works for the guys too - HCG is present in both sexes.)  But I must emphasize that the process is severe!!  Extreme exercise is not allowed, because the body can not produce enough energy from fat quickly enough.  Part of the appeal of this program is you can only do minimal daily activity.  So if you have an active job, or if you must exercise to feel alive, this program will not work well for you.  I am a runner, and I really missed my runner's high while on this program.  The diet is also very limited, and if you cheat, the results are catastrophic.  So you must really be committed to the concept before beginning.  I have found multiple sources for the HCG, and the one I used was an American company that manufactures the HCG mixture homeopathically.  I was attracted to this formulation because homeopathy by definition uses extremely small amounts of the remedy prescribed.  I figured that if the product were harmful, it would be better to have small amounts rather than large ones.  A prominent alternative doctor online is also a strong advocate for HCG and claims to have lost over 100 pounds on the diet, but claims the homeopathic form is a hoax.  I wish he would do his research before making such a statement, because I am living proof that the homeopathic form does work, and it is also much cheaper and easier to use than the source he recommended.

The protocol I used is divided into 3 phases based on Dr. Simeon's research results.  The first phase involves fat loading.  For 2 days you are supposed to eat lots of fat, sugar, and all the bad stuff you can handle.  I had to modify this a little, because I try to eat only organic foods.  But it is important to fill up reserve fat stores.  Phase 2 is either 21 or 40 days of 500 caloric per day food with the HCG drops.  I can honestly say that I was NEVER hungry on this diet.  I was extremely weak however.  The last phase is when you reset your metabolism back up to normal, and requires that you eat no starches or sugar, only healthy veggies, fruits, oils, fats, and protein with very limited carbs.  This last phase is vital to prevent gaining the weight right back.  The biggest problem with most calorie restriction diets is the rebound weight gain due to metabolism adjustment as a result of dieting.  This last phase resets metabolism so the weight stays off.  Your body builds immunity to the HCG drops over time, so you can only do the HCG drops for a max of 40 days at a time.  But depending on how much weight you want to loose, you can do subsequent courses of the program.  The time you must wait between them increases
each time.  I have fasted often throughout my life, and the speed of weight loss with this program far exceeds the loss you would have on the diet alone without the drops.   I have dieted most of my life, and have experience with all of the popular diets (Atkins, Pritkin, Zone, South Beach, Rice, Weight Watchers, you name it)  I have actually lost over 500 pounds in my lifetime, and I have always gained it back plus.  So far, that has not happened with this diet.

I do not wish to name the company that supplies the drops currently, because they have an endorsement program to reward people who send them clients, and I want to provide information on this blog as objectively as possible.  Also, I must emphatically state that I do not yet endorse this program.  I am concerned that huge amounts of toxins are released into the body which have been stored as fat, and I fear that if proper detox protocols are not exercised both during the diet and for a while after, there may be increased risks for serious illness.  I am also still in the process of losing weight, so I can only describe what I have experienced to date.  I can state that I have dropped from 202 to 159 in a little over three months, and so far I feel fantastic!