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I have a facebook friend who is having stomach trouble. I thought I would just post the link to a blog about how and why I started the BTD. After several searches, I realized that I’ve told about my experience in bits and pieces, but I’ve never written the whole story the way that I tell it in person when people ask.
I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition when I was growing up. Seriously, they didn’t teach health in school back then, and I was in college before I knew the difference between a carbohydrate and a fat. When I was young I ate meat, bread and dessert. Ok, I also ate apples, carrots, and prunes, but that was about all. The all-you-can-eat dessert bar in the freshman dorm was my undoing. I grew out of all my clothes. I bought a diet book at the grocery store and learned that everything I ate was high calorie and all the low calorie foods were the ones I didn’t like. I forced myself to eat vegetables and found out that I liked them. Thus began my yoyo years. I would eat what I wanted until my clothes were snug, then cut out the desserts until my weight went down.
When I had been married a year, my husband and I went to spend a few days with his aunt. She and I both love to read, and one night I looked at her bookshelves for something entertaining. I found Adele Davis’s book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit.” It was a whole new world for me. I saw myself and my abominable eating habits on every page. I became a Health Food Nut. My poor husband, who had married a typical American girl, found himself plunged into the world of whole grains, no preservatives, vitamins, and very little sugar.
There were lots of really good things about being a Health Food Nut. My weight stabilized – no more yoyo dieting. My allergies got better and my resistance to infection improved. My skin and hair looked great, and I had a lot more energy.
But about the time I turned 40, I began to have indigestion. It started out mild, and I tried all of the home remedies recommended by Health Food advocates and vitamin companies. I got worse. By the time I was in my late 40s, I was uncomfortable a lot of the time. Having tried everything I went to my doctor. He put me on prescription medications – I believe he tried three different ones – but none of them worked. He sent me to a gastro specialist.
The specialist took my history and admitted that I ate healthier than any of her patients. She said, “I’m going to do an upper GI scope and this is what we’ll find. Your sphincter muscle is loose. We’ll go back and tighten it up and you will be fine.” I woke up from the scope and she said, “Actually your sphincter muscle was a little tighter than normal. But your stomach is very red and inflamed. I took a biopsy, and this is what we’ll find. You have the bacteria that causes ulcers. We’ll put you on antibiotics and you’ll be fine.” Her nurse called back in a few days and said the biopsy was normal. “Then why,” I asked, “am I in pain all the time?” Diet and stress, said the nurse.
I hung up the phone in frustration. I stormed around the house complaining to God. For more than 25 years I had eaten healthier than anyone I knew. I had done everything that was recommended for indigestion and GERD. The only stress in my life was that my stomach hurt all the time. Eventually I calmed down, and could listen to God’s still small voice. I drove to the Health Food Store where I had shopped for years. The owner, who I had hoped to talk with, was not in, so I began to look through the indexes of the books that were for sale. I didn’t know what I was looking for exactly – just something I hadn’t tried yet.
After looking at several books and returning them to the shelf, I followed an index reference to a page that said if your blood type was O you were more likely to have indigestion. Hmmm that was interesting. I was Type O. I kept reading. The two worst foods for Type O were wheat and dairy. That really had my attention. For more than 25 years I had eaten wheat germ, wheat bran, and yogurt for breakfast every morning. If this book was right, no wonder I had indigestion. First thing every morning I was dumping into my stomach the two worst foods for my blood type. What was this book? I looked at the front cover, and it was a book about the Blood Type Diet by Peter D’Adamo.
I bought the book. I went cold turkey in the diet that very day. In a week I was off of all medications. In 2 weeks my pain was 95% gone. The last of the pain was vanquished with ginger. I have been pain free since 2003, with rare exceptions when I stray from the BTD and eat more than a token amount of wheat and dairy.
This is my story. I believe that God heard my prayers that day and led me to the BTD. It is not an easy diet to follow. The American diet is incredibly wheat based, and sugar is addictive. But after you get used to feeling good all of the time, you begin to realize that the BTD is not really that difficult after all.
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