Monday, January 11, 2010

The new book "AntiCancer" and its parallel to Autism and related disorders

I am usually pretty disappointed when watching the news in regards to health, nutrition, etc. I was shocked to see the story of Dr. David Servan-Schreiber on Good Morning America last week. He has a book out called "AntiCancer". He talks about his own battle with cancer using both convention and more holistic treatments. He focuses a lot on diet which was what got me so excited. He also discussed the use of Turmeric, a supplement my son has been on for a while now and one that I refer to people all the time. Here is the link to the full story and an excerpt of his book.

So why is this so exciting? Well, as he discusses in his book, many traditional doctors simply cannot feasibly keep up with ALL of the newest trends in medicine and therapy. There is just not that kind of time in the day. And many wait until there have been sufficient human clinical trials out before they will endorse a therapy, which I totally understand. But, lets say it is YOU with the cancer, and like in the case of Dr. Servan-Schreiber, you understand that our environment is even more influential on our health than our genes, wouldn't you be open to trying some simple changes?

It reminds me of our process of recovering our son from Autism. What we got from the pediatrician was "find a good occupational, speech and behavioral therapist". Period, end of discussion, that was it. Basically, hope for the best, good luck, oh and by the way it is genetics so don't even think there is much you can do. I think the same message is spread against cancer (and many of today's prevalent diseases) and I have blogged many times about this. Diet is HUGE, we are what we eat, let thy medicine be thy food and thy food be thy medicine, etc. You don't have to be Hippocrates to understand how important diet is on our health, or lack thereof. Food should be unadulterated, as raw as possible and without the use of pesticides, toxins or genetically modified. That doesn't ALWAYS mean it has to have an organic sticker on it. But that forces us to shop outside the box, literally, maybe NOT at the Wal-Mart and maybe means an extra trip to a local farmer's market, CSA, co-op, etc. to get organically grown produce, with or without the certification or starting your own garden! When we started making dietary changes with my son it made a huge impact, and our whole family has benefitted. Many foods produce an immune reaction which sets our bodies up for auto-immune disorders in the future (arthritis, diabetes, lupus, MS, etc). But eliminating those foods that cause that reaction can stop that process, and therefore halt the commencement of disease.

Our genes are our genes yet our environment tells those genes to turn on or off (like in the case of certain cancers). But what we are seeing today is that our children have heritable changes (changes in their DNA which can be passed on) without their parents having those changes. So, our environment is SO messed up that we are actually changing our children's DNA. That is powerful. But knowledge is even more powerful. The body is resilient and we've seen my son's gut, immune system and neurological system heal as we've made dietary changes and added in supplements. The supplements range from antioxidants which help destroy those free radicals which contribute to cancer and changes in cells. We've added in antinflammatories like Turmeric which have been shown to be helpful in my son with gut and brain inflammation along with inflammation caused by Arthritis in my mother in law and friend and hopefully soon my Uncle will be seeing greater relief with that as well! Many, many, many of the things we are doing for our son can be extended out for those with other disorders. Because at their root, many are all a product of inflammation and auto-immunity. They all manifest differently in each person, in one person that will be lupus, in another that will be diabetes, and for many children born today, that will be Autism.

That does not mean there is a "one size fits all" cure. Each person presents their own puzzle of symptoms and causes for their issues. The key is finding a physician who understands, doing the right testing and my motto is "If it won't hurt, TRY IT". I didn't wait until they did clinical trials on Turmeric to see if it worked. I didn't wait until there was a study on whether a gluten and casein free diet was effective, we tried it. I researched, understood the potential risks and tried things. It has worked for us. Even our Autism community is divided on treatment choices and the issue of vaccinations. My stance is, reducing toxic burden, helping detox pathways, supporting normal brain function, methylation, and sulfation, and adding in good nutrition and supplements has worked. We've seen tremendous changes and most people have no clue that my son was diagnosed with Autism. But that is what worked for us. And I have seen the logic in eating healthier. Removing things like high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and other preservatives and excitotoxins like MSG (in all 200 forms) and artificial sweeteners have made us all healthier.

I laugh at all the new ads about making fruit "easier" to eat. Really?!?! How hard is it to eat an apple? Do we really need to process it, pasteurize it (so that very little of the natural enzymes and nutrients are even left) and put it in a convenient bottle to get people to eat it? Fruit is one of the easiest things to eat on the go, along with some nuts for protein, you have a perfect snack or even lunch. No wonder cancers and disease run rampant through our society. We've taken the nutrition out of our food! If its not purple or glowing and comes in a neat wrapper or can be gotten through a drivethru we don't seem to want it. That's why I loved seeing this man's story and book on the news. Maybe we can focus more on the quality of our food, not scrimp on something most important to our health. Our food should not be what we cut corners on. I know in this economy we ALL have to cut back but I would suggest we find other ways and we skip the dollar menu. You can either pay more now for food or more later for doctors. So check out his book, I intend to.


Shari Goodman said...

loved it and I couldn't agree more!

Taryn said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your postings. I truly get inspired when I read what you and Shari have to say. I am trying everyday to live a little better for myself and my family.

Taryn Hartman

Judy Pettersen said...

Our bookclub has just finished reading AntiCancer. It was wonderful to read that kind of information from a doctor. My child doesn't have autism, but she does have recurring bouts of pancreatitis. She also needs antioxidants to decrease inflammation, not that anyone else has ever said it. Thanks for a great blog!