Four years ago I found myself twenty pounds overweight, suffering from increasingly severe seasonal allergies and with recurring red, angry skin under my eyes. I’d become immune to Claritin and had moved on to popping Zyrtec like candy every spring, summer and fall.
In rapid succession over the span of a year, I developed a sensitivity to caffeine (a compound I’d previously worshiped as only a computer programmer can) and a number of food allergies to my favorite foods, each one more serious than the last:
- Raw apples
- Raw almonds
- Raw carrots
- Raw celery
- Raw peaches
(I enumerate them here to aid those desperately typing their symptoms into Google seeking relief.) The discovery of this last allergy, in particular, resulted in finding myself in my car parked in a grocery store parking lot, cell phone at the ready to dial 911 as my throat slowly swelled toward shut, half-eaten fresh peach fallen to the floorboard. I’d had enough; I didn’t want to go through life carrying an Epi-Pen with me wherever I went lest some food attack me in exciting new ways.
I read plenty of scientific literature in my professional life and so turned to that same resource to save me from my own immune system. The details of that journey are fodder for this blog but, suffice it to say, there were results: Two years, 8,000 IU/day of vitamin D3, 3g of fish oil/day and a lot less carbohydrates later, I’m 20 pounds lighter, have not a single food allergy and haven’t so much as sneezed in the presence of pollen in over a year.
This profound about-face with little more than modest diet alterations and a few low-cost supplements imbued in me a permanent appreciation for the complexity of biological systems we do not yet understand and the ways in which we, through what we consider normal behaviors, can inadvertently lead those systems massively awry.
The well-meaning yet, at the end of the day, completely useless medical professionals I saw during that period of time are emblematic to me now of the massive failing of the medical establishment to fix the causes of disease. Modern medicine has a vast array of procedures, drugs and treatments to resolve symptoms; it has a far, far less impressive arsenal when asked to actually resolve health problems completely.
I’ve begun writing here to catalog the myriad bits of published research and thought leaders that will have enormous implications for the future of medicine and the health of humanity. In what small way I can, I’m hoping to speed the dissemination of this information and help others improve the quality of their lives, not just the quantity.