Hi Everyone. I hope I can be of some help.

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DogtorJ

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Hi Everyone,

I just received a letter from one of your moderators asking if I would come on and discuss The G.A.R.D., which is the elimination diet that I have developed to help control seizures in the idiopathic epileptic. I am a veterinarian and this elimination diet started out as one for dogs and is now being used by a rising number of people. No, you don't have to eat dog food (LOL) but I do recommend that epileptics strongly consider eliminating the same foods that we have restricted in epileptic dogs to achieve astounding results.

I see that you are discussing what I call "The big 4" (or more recently call The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse). I know the latter sounds a bit melodramatic BUT when you really sink your teeth into the topic of food intolerance and lectins, this terms becomes a lot more applicable.

The Big 4...gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy (including casein), soy, and corn are the primary foods that can induce villous atrophy (damage to the intestinal lining) in susceptible individuals. Not all people and pets are intolerant of all four but staggering numbers are being affected by one or more of these foods. For example, the official number of celiacs (gluten intolerants) is now 1:120 Americans, according to John's Hopkins and The Mayo. But, the unofficial number by celiac researchers is now 1:30. And I believe that we will find true dairy protein intolerance (not lactose intolerance) to be even higher. The rising awareness of celiac disease will lead us to the other three. This is already happening.

Then, all you have to see is the phenomenal cascade of events that follows the damage to the nutrient-absorbing villi and the entry of these proteins into the body of sensitized individuals. There is a spectrum of conditions that follow, ranging from mild warning signs to catastrophic illness. These villi absorb the vast majority of our calcium (osteoporosis), iodine (thyroid disease), iron (anemias), B complex (Whew, where do you start), vitamin C (ditto), and most of our trace minerals (zinc, boron, lithium, magnesium, etc). Imagine a body deficient in one or more...or all...of these things.

Then imagine a body being bombarded by proteins (lectins) that do physical harm to cells, disrupting normal function and even killing cells. (Gluten can kill neurons.) Once again, the combination of malnutrition and direct harm done by these proteins can be absolutely catastrophic.

The good news is that the removal of these things can produce miraculous results. I have seen so many of these "miracles" now that I am becoming convinced that most individuals who are not experiencing a dramatic recovery are "simply" not doing enough right....yet. Some things, like environmental pollution, are much harder to control than others but we can even make grand strides in that area, even if it means moving (like one of my MS cases did with phenomenal results). Sadly, air pollution is a serious issue in neurodegenerative diseases. It would be better if we all lived on a desert island...without factories, cars, trucks and lawnmowers.

So, I'll let this serve as an introduction. :) I look forward to spending some time here and answering as many questions as I can. I am in full time veterinary practice, raising teenagers (need I say more), and do a lot amount of Internet work so my time is a bit limited but I will try to be here when I can.

I hope this helps,

John
 

RobinN

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It is wonderful to have you around John. I appreciate you taking the time to lend us your knowledge and help us to sort out the truth from the mess we have found ourselves in.
For many it will be helpful information.

I for one would like to know how your diet differs from the GFCF +SFCF diet that is being spoken about on the Autistic Sites?

Thanks again,
Robin
 

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Hi John, nice to see you here again. :hello:

I think there are quite a few members here who are curious about the GARD diet. I hope you can offer some clarity on how to abide by it.

If you get a chance, please look over the GARD diet page I created for the alternative treatments chart and let me know if there are any inaccuracies that need to be addressed. :)
 

DogtorJ

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"The G.A.R.D." and it's double meaning.

I for one would like to know how your diet differs from the GFCF +SFCF diet that is being spoken about on the Autistic Sites?

Thanks again,
Robin
Hi Robin,

Thank YOU. It was great hearing from you again. Can you post a link to one of those autism sites or shoot them to me in an Email? I have written on some of those sites and use the designation GFCFSFCF in lieu of "The GARD" many times, with the initials standing for gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free and corn-free diets. Another diet being used is the SCD, or specific carbohydrate diet, which also makes sense. They are seeing that it is not carbs in general that are the culprit but rather specific carbs that re creating the harm. And they are same guys: Gluten grains and corn.

The biggest difference in the GFCFSFCF diet and The GARD is that I include (along with the obvious offenders MSG and NutraSweet) other foods that are rich in glutamate (glutamic acid) and aspartate (aspartic acid), the two non-essential, neurostimulating amino acids that are the parent proteins in MSG and aspartame (NutraSweet) respectively. These two amino acids are also two of the main neurotransmitters in the brain, the levels of which are controlled at the synapse by the surrounding glial cells, which are in turn the target of many viral infections (as illustrated by their tendency to be the cells of origin in brain tumors, such as astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas). Viruses are the main (if not only) cause of cancer and some researchers have stated for years that they are only true cause, which I now believe wholeheartedly.

In addition to the obvious sources of glutamate (gluten grains, casein and soy), The G.A.R.D. also restricts nuts and seeds, at least temporarily. It also ranks the meats in order of glutamate content as all meats are quite rich in glutamate. Lamb and eggs are the lowest, for instance. I say "at least temporarily" on the restriction of nuts (especially peanuts and cashews, which are legumes) and seeds because the glial cells are dysfunctioning to various degrees in different individuals (epilepsy is clearly a spectrum disorder) and some need more severe restriction than others. The "best of the worst" will do quite well on the GFCFSFCF diet alone but the "worst of the worst" need a more severe restriction of glutamate until their brains can handle the dietary levels found in the nuts and seeds. For example, I had a woman who did quite well on the GFCFSFCF diet but her seizures did not completely stop until she stopped eating all of the cashews she was consuming.

The good news is that once the benefits of the GFCFSFCF diet kick in (the villi return and the malasorption syndrome resolves and the brain, liver and immune system function improve) then the individual can usually relax on the restriction of nuts and seeds. But they should never go back to consuming MSG, NutraSweet, or the foods to which they believe they are intolerant (e.g. gluten grains).

So, the main difference in The GARD and others is that I have done my homework and tracked down the main foods that are rich in these amino acids. That is why it is called "The G.A.R.D."...The Glutamate-Aspartate Restricted Diet. BUT, the cool thing to see is that the MAIN foods that are rich in glutamate are also the foods damaging the villi of the gut (gluten grains, casein, soy, and corn) and their restriction also allows the villi to regrow. Therefore, The GARD also stands for The Gut Absorption Recovery Diet. So the diet is not only the Band Aid for the acute situation of uncontrolled seizures but also the long-term management of the conditions that led to the epilepsy to begin with.

Love it when a plan comes together. :)

John
 

brain

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Hi :hello: John!

Long time no see! But I do have to comment,
I had been on a "partial" side of your findings
years before the internet/online was there -
and had been eating this way, and it might be
why I don't have as many seizure frequencies
as I should be having (as one Neuro had stated
years ago).

Like I told one Epi - "I eat fish bait" - LOL!
I adore seafood and eat a lot of greenery and
I just avoid a lot of artificial junk. I mean if I
am going to have something with SUGAR - it's
going to be THE REAL THING - UH HUH (tribune
to Charles :) ) ...

When I started these "Diet Drinks" (ie: FAB) it
was then when I started to have Migraines. Then
other food allergies came out, and the most
notorious one is MSG - that not only
provokes Migraines, but also Seizures or worse,
both - Migralepsy! But once those troublesome
foods were out of the way; No Problems!

But my Neurologist wanted to go a step further,
while I did not drink alcohol, he wanted to see
as some of his patients who had severe reactions
also reacted to RED WINE. So they gave me a
glass of it, tasted pretty good to me, and watched
the EEG - and this was one time I wanted to KILL
THE NEURO!

:mad: :lol: :(

It tripped a mega-dose of migralepsy and a night-
mare, and it finalized his conclusions, and I was
about to "finalize his conclusions with a concussion!"
But we were good friends, and I remember yelling
at him "DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN!"

Ohhhhh - my poor head! And the Nurse? Oh she
goes like, "That's just a hang-over, you'll get over
it!" And they gave me something to knock me out
cold.

I admit I was mad at him for awhile but I got over
it, even though it was way back in 1982, I still
talk about it and can laugh about it. And I've had
people who tell me that you weren't supposed to
drink wine like that (I mean I drank it like a thirst
quencher, but I don't drink so I don't know how to
drink alcohol)! I often wonder if anyone watched
me drank that glass of it?

:oops:

So I've had Doctors who've questioned me: "How
would YOU know you can't drink alcohol or have any
Red Wine if you don't drink?" So I've had to explain
it to them.

==================================

BUCKWHEAT FLOUR
is expensive, but they're the
best - and I've learned this one thing - mixing it
half and half with the flour you use, in baking does
tremendous wonders and it actually tastes good!

And you can actually use those small freezer storage
cups and make a large batch, and be able to thaw
it out in the refrigerator overnight and be able to
make pancakes or waffles fresh the next morning,
and it would taste like you slaved all morning making
them! You can toss in fresh fruits in them and stir
in or add on top while you cook it for breakfast.
Fast and Easy to make in a moment's notice and
using the PAM OLIVE OIL SPRAY helps a lot with a
small dab of real butter.

You can always thin it out to make CREPE by adding
a little more water or skim milk or thicken it by adding
APPLESAUCE if you're in a mood for a thick pancake for
a change, and then slice it in the middle and add the
fruits and stuff it - in almost like a pita pancake!

:D

(Yes - Applesauce - it is not a typo!)
 

DogtorJ

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Hi Brain,

It's great to "see" you. :)

That's a great story about the wine. I, too, get headaches from certain wines (mostly reds) and have read a fair amount about phenolyic flavonoids, tannins and sulfites being triggers for migraines but have not seen much about them triggering seizures. Did you have seizures after the wine or just headaches?

It seems that the concensus is that the alcohol itself is not the culprit in most cases of wine-induced migraines but that the phenolics are a big problem. As many migraines are vascular events rather than purely neurological ones, I guess these things can be explained. But I could easily see an increase in seizures occurring as the blood alcohol level drops, in the same fashion that individuals get jittery during a hang over. People have stated that alcohol in small amounts is a stimulant but that is not really accurate. It is the response of the neuron...the "uploading"/increased sensitivity it undergoes AFTER being depressed by the alcohol...that generates the jitters. It's like a "reflex" that causes the brain to become more sensitive for a period after the depression has occurred, in the same fashion that blood pressure spikes up ABOVE normal after a surgical/anesthetic procedure that caused a lowered blood pressure.

In other words, both neurons and blood pressure go high before normalizing after being low. The increased sensitivity of the neuron post alcohol definitely contributes to the intensity of discomfort associated with the migraine, whether it is vascular or neurological in origin. But it sounds like I don't have to tell YOU that. :)

Buckwheat IS a great gluten-grain-alternative. But, it is still pretty rich in glutamate and aspartate, just like most other grains. It has about 1/3 of the glutamate of wheat but 3 times the aspartic acid of wheat. Rice flour has 1/3 of wheat flour's glutamate and the same amount of aspartate as wheat. Potato flour, on the other hand, has a tiny fraction of each.

You can all use this as a resource ( http://www.foodcomp.dk/fcdb_alphlist.asp?FL=A ). Simply click on the first letter and then the food you want to investigate (e.g. buckwheat flour). Then scroll down to the glutamic acid and aspartic acid content (right next to each other).

I hope this helps,

John
 

RobinN

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Phenols are a problem in the autistic spectrum group too.
 

DogtorJ

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Hi John, nice to see you here again. :hello:

I think there are quite a few members here who are curious about the GARD diet. I hope you can offer some clarity on how to abide by it.

If you get a chance, please look over the GARD diet page I created for the alternative treatments chart and let me know if there are any inaccuracies that need to be addressed. :)
Hey Bernard,

It's good to be back. Thanks. I will try my best to make this as clear as mud. :) I will definitely check out that section. Thanks so much for doing that.

I was wondering what you thought about starting a testimonials section? I have a pretty large cache of them now and could post them a few at a time if you like and we can discuss them. In the meantime, people can go here and read some if they would like. It has both human and veterinary testimonials even though it is on a Labrador retriever forum.

( http://lab-retriever.net/board/showthread.php?t=47643 )

John
 

brain

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Hi Brain,

It's great to "see" you. :)

That's a great story about the wine. I, too, get headaches from certain wines (mostly reds) and have read a fair amount about phenolyic flavonoids, tannins and sulfites being triggers for migraines but have not seen much about them triggering seizures. Did you have seizures after the wine or just headaches?
John


It tripped a mega-dose of migralepsy and a night-
mare
Migralepsy - is Migraine and Epilepsy combination.
 

RobinN

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http://www.danasview.net/phenol.htm

Here are the Feingold definitions of phenols and salicylates. Phenols -- "A group of natural and synthetic compounds that are ingested or produced to varying degrees by the body or by microbes in the intestine contain a benzene ring with one or more hydroxyl (OH) groups attached to it. When this attachment occurs, they become phenolic compounds. These compounds possess unique chemical properties. They are very soluble both in organic solvents (like alcohol, ether, and the fatty components of the body) and in water (aqueous solution), where they are strongly acidic. They exert toxic effects in the brain, where normally certain enzymes prevent their accumulation." Salicylates -- "Salicylate is a natural chemical made by many plants. It is chemically related to aspirin, which is a derivative of salicylic acid. It is believed the plant uses it as protection from insects. Although natural salicylates are found in wholesome foods, some individuals have difficulty tolerating even small amounts of them. The reaction to a natural salicylate can be as severe as that to synthetic additives if a person is highly sensitive. Some people are troubled by only one or two, while others are sensitive to all of them."

Some typical symptoms indicating your child may have a phenol problem are [not all of these need be present]: dark circles under the eyes, red face/ears, diarrhea, hyperactivity, aggression, headache, head banging or other self-injury, inappropriate laughter, difficulty falling asleep at night, and night waking for several hours. The typical adult symptom of phenol intolerance is chronic fatigue syndrome, which is the opposite symptom that most children have, altho some children do present as always tired/lethargic, instead of hyper with sleep and other issues.
 

Bernard

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I was wondering what you thought about starting a testimonials section? I have a pretty large cache of them now and could post them a few at a time if you like and we can discuss them.
It would be better if people posted their own testimonials, but I understand that isn't going to be practical in most cases. I think you could post testimonials consecutively inside one thread - call it the GARD diet testimonials thread.
 

DogtorJ

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Testimonials

I'll see how many people I can get to write in on their own. I know and understand why you would like to have people write their own testimonials. But, many of those posted on the link above are from laptops past and I will not be able to reach the authors. I have suffered some major computer failures without backup over the past 7 years. Stupid but true. Thank Goodness I started the thread above to post many of the success stories on the Internet for posterity.

Have a great weekend,

John
 

BIGMAN131307

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Hello DogtorJ,

I PMed & emailed you before about the G.A.R.D. diet. After reading about the G.A.R.D. diet, I tried following it for a time. At first I didn't see or feel any different. But at the same time I didn't have any bad effects from it. So I am more than willing to give it a full go. :)

In a couple weeks I have an appointment with my neurologist. I am going to tell him I would like to start some other treatments for my epilepsy. So far I have some information about Neurofeedback to bring with me. But none for the G.A.R.D. diet. I was hoping that you could
link me to a well documented site about the G.A.R.D. diet. It would be great to have this information so I can provide some proven medical feedback that the G.A.R.D. diet does work.

Thx, :)
 

RobinN

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His site is a great place to start: http://www.dogtorj.net/
It will take you quite a while to get through it. Now I am curious why you would need the neurologist's approval to eat healthy? It seems a win win solution to me. I knew I couldn't lose by putting my 15 yr old on it. It is a GFCFSFCF diet, that also eliminates additives and dyes.
 

DogtorJ

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Hello DogtorJ,

I PMed & emailed you before about the G.A.R.D. diet. After reading about the G.A.R.D. diet, I tried following it for a time. At first I didn't see or feel any different. But at the same time I didn't have any bad effects from it. So I am more than willing to give it a full go. :)

In a couple weeks I have an appointment with my neurologist. I am going to tell him I would like to start some other treatments for my epilepsy. So far I have some information about Neurofeedback to bring with me. But none for the G.A.R.D. diet. I was hoping that you could
link me to a well documented site about the G.A.R.D. diet. It would be great to have this information so I can provide some proven medical feedback that the G.A.R.D. diet does work.

Thx, :)
Unfortunately, there are no other scientific sites that I (or you) would consider a "well-documented site about the G.A.R.D." other than my site. I coined the term although it is a variation of the GFCFSFCF diet or the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) or the Paleo Diet and what is now, to an extent, being termed the "modified Atkins diet".

Thankfully, the medical profession DOES see the value in diet now, as Johns Hopkins, The Mayo,and others have reported success with the ketogenic and modified Atkins diets. I'm even more thankful that they have seen that ketosis is NOT required for seizure control. Once again, not a single of my success stories have had to even approach ketosis.

As Robin points out, the diet is logical and has no medical downside. There is no risk involved in the elimination of the "big 4" food allergens and inducers of villous atrophy nor is there any risk in the elimination of MSG, NutraSweet, trans fats, excess sugar, and the secondary food allergens that an individual may acquire in their lifetime, a serious issue in celiacs, for example. We are notorious for becoming allergic to other foods such as eggs, tree nuts, shellfish, tomatoes, tropical fruits, etc. thanks to the damage to our intestinal lining. This is all part of the (proven) "leaky gut syndrome".

One thing that you could do is a search for "celiac, epilepsy" and see the KNOWN connections betwen gluten/gluten intolerance and epilepsy. Then all you have to know is that casein, soy and corn are capable of just about all of the things that gluten can do to an individual. The sad realization is that these 4 foods are not really healthy for anyone. They are just better tolerated by some than others. Corn is the best tolerated but when you read the truth about corn (e.g. how corn gluten meal is used as a "natural" herbicide...it KILLS other plants...and how pellagra broke out wherever corn was introduced), then you start to see that corn was serious dietary mistake that DOES belong with the other "horsemen".

The G.A.R.D. is in its infancy. Every day is like adream to me, knowing how well it has worked and the potential it has without the public's or the medical profession's knowledge. Breaking that glass ceiling has been my constant quest. But we're in the 8th year and there are some great prospects on the horizon. All is ask of people right now is to consider the logic behind it. It IS logical and should agree with our common sense. The only thing "illogical" is how we could be in the year 2007 and not know this. But then again, this great country of ours (the USA) ranks 42nd in life expectancy world wide. There's something wrong in Mudville. Thankfully, most of us can figure out why if we just put our minds to it. :)
 

RobinN

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I learn constantly from your research, John.
Corn is the best tolerated but when you read the truth about corn (e.g. how corn gluten meal is used as a "natural" herbicide...it KILLS other plants...and how pellagra broke out wherever corn was introduced), then you start to see that corn was serious dietary mistake that DOES belong with the other "horsemen".
In addition, isn't it the one crop that has been allowed to be genetically modified extensively?

The only thing "illogical" is how we could be in the year 2007 and not know this.
This is what I keep asking myself as well. How is this not understood by the greater medical community. Perhaps our autistic families have a foot in the door, so that the light can be turned on.
 

DogtorJ

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Hey Bernard,

How does one find The GARD section you set up?

John
 

DogtorJ

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I learn constantly from your research, John.

In addition, isn't it the one crop that has been allowed to be genetically modified extensively?


This is what I keep asking myself as well. How is this not understood by the greater medical community. Perhaps our autistic families have a foot in the door, so that the light can be turned on.
Hi Robin,

I'm very glad that you're getting something from my travels. :)

Yes, corn has been GMO'd to death. We have now created corn hybrids unfit for human consumption (e.g. Starlink/CRY9C), which are some of the reasons that it has taken "an act of Congress" to get the EU and others to accept our corn to feed their livestock. The smart money is on the idea that these GMO foods will come back to haunt us once we consume those animals that are fed these "frankengrains".

GMO's are a nightmarish idea to me. I can't stop thinking about past science fiction movies in which mad scientists were dealing with forces beyond their control (e.g. viruses). The sad fact is that we are not nearly as smart as we think we are. This is greatly compounded by the fact that we learn the hard way. But logic dictates that if a bug won't eat something then we should reconsider putting it into our mouth. And if we create a plant that resists a pesticide or herbicide that we then pour all over it, we might want to leave that one out of our diet, too.

I understand their motives. Feeding the world's hungry is a nobel goal, right up to the point where you see the means by which they are trying to do this is utilizing three of the Four Horsemen...wheat, corn and soy. Imagine the starving masses in Africa, India, and Asia being force fed those foods that have never been a part of their traditional diet and that have the potential to induce villous atrophy in susceptible individuals. Now add to the fact that many of these have been GMO'd. Boy did I cringe as I saw those bags of our wheat loaded up in the beds of those NATO trucks in Afghanistan. At least they air-dropped rice-based diets.

BUT, we're learning. The paradigm shift is underway...gotta love the paradigm shift! We have won the battle of Helm's Deep. On to victory! :):):)

John
 

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Oops, I think I may have goofed up. I am taking an animo acid suplement. It seems to be working, as I seem to be able to focus better, and am less tired.
It contains L-glutamic acid. It also contains:
L-alanine, L-arginine, L-aspartiv acid, L-carnitine, L-cystine, L-glycine, L-histadine, L-isoleucine, L-leucine, L-lycine, L-methionine, L-orinthine, L-phenylalanine, L-proline, L-serine, L-yhrenine, L-tryptophan, L-tyrosine and L-valine.
Are these good or bad? I only take two a day, they reccommend three of Amino 1500 by Now sports.
Any ideas?
Shelley
 
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