Category: On The Diet
Hi Heidi, I must tell you how much I appreciate Peter's incisive comments today regarding the AOL segment on BTD.
I have written before with a question about forest fire smoke. But the question I have today is causing tears to fall on my keyboard. In March we received a midnight phone call that our 28 year old son had totaled in his car--was in the hospital with some broken bones and being observed on a neurological ward. The police officer told me that had it not been for the seat belt and the airbag our son would be dead. He was inebriated and hit a tree. We did not even know that he drank. He always seemed to have it together--had taken some time out to work and is now back at the University and doing well (at least academcially).
He had to attend some counseling sessions and yesterday was assigned to an out-patient center for treatment. He called last night and told us that he is an alcoholic. We told him that we would be supportive and treat this like any other disease (although this morning I am a wreck from worry.)
My husband and I are ABs and have followed the diet since 1996 or 1997. Our son has not lived with us for the past 7 years--so he was not exposed to the eating style. He is a Native American (adopted--and that is of no consequence but for the fact that we have no medical history). I assume that he is an O because he is Native--his older brother let me test him and he is an O (different tribe)--but the younger one was not willing to be poked for the blood test. The oldest one then went on a successful health kick.
My question is what do you think of the information on the Net that says that alcoholism might be a result of an allergy to grain products? Also, what advice do you have re food for an alcoholic? My son has agreed to read anything that I send him. Thanks for your time--I know that this is a long email. Sandy
Hello, Sandy! That's not a long email at all, dear -- quite the opposite considering what has transpired with you! Thank you for your compliments on Peter's response piece, and I am so sorry your family is in turmoil right now.
To begin, it is only in general terms that I can speak at all to your trouble. Without knowing at least his ABO group, there is little specific information I can give him. My first thought is that I do not even know he is physiologically an alcoholic.
Let me explain. The facts I have so far are that he's 28, he was in University, took time off and worked, then returned to school and was making good grades. Three months ago, he totalled his car while drunk. (And the cop was so kind to tell you that without the seatbelt and airbag he'd be dead. I hope I'd stop my mouth before saying such a thing to a mother about her injured son, ever. Moving on...) He spent time (how long?) in a neurological ward. Then apparently he was required (by state or municipal law?) to attend counselling sessions. He now has been assigned to report to an outpatient center for treatment -- whether by state code due to the facts surrounding the accident, or by his hospital because of the injuries he sustained, I don't know... but 'assigned' is conveying to me a certain legal flavor.
Perhaps the main question I would ask is, do you think he is telling you the whole story when he says he is an alcoholic? I don't know what he was told at the counselling sessions, nor the pressures the law enforcement establishment may have brought to bear on him to say or do certain things -- perhaps to get his license reinstated, or for 'an easier time of it?' -- nor the pressures he may feel inside himself because of what happened. He seems to be a guy who has worked hard to do well for himself and for you. It takes courage to go back to school at 28 to finish something one's set out to do.
My observations here may or may not be appropriate to his situation, but at this juncture I'll just plow ahead and he can pick and choose what he feels might truly be of use to him. His injuries may still trouble him in some way which should be taken into account as well -- fill me in there if you can.
The urge to drink alcohol is made more difficult to overcome when sugar, stimulants like caffeine, and (yes) grains are in the diet. Inadequate protein intake, mineral deficiencies and scant B vitamins can all factor into the mix. It is also, as AA and other authorities note, exacerbated by anger, sadness, loneliness, hunger, even the body's simple thirst for water. Brain chemistry is powerfully influenced by the presence or lack of regular exercise as well.
And someone who feels driven to prove himself may also feel equally drawn to finding release from that drive. "Drive." I was talking about factors impelling a desire for alcohol, but there's another crucial yet usually overlooked aspect here. Major events in one's life, like this accident, are as laden with meaning as powerful dream events -- and like masterpiece paintings, they are worth far more than a thousand words. Let him be aware of the poetry he wrote via that accident he created. Only he can truly interpret it.
Some helpful tips:
Take an hour every day for strenuous exercise, alone or in a team sport; or for a meditation practice; or a martial art; or yoga -- after a few weeks, he will be able to sense which one he really needs.
Include some good fats -- olive oil, or ghee, or a black currant seed oil supp -- with each meal.
Eliminate wheat, refined sugars and junk food, absolutely. They contain elements which range from lousy to poisonous for him, and after a few days he will feel markedly better from this measure alone.
Drink copious water daily -- add lemon juice, lime juice, pineapple or cherry juice if desired, particularly first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Never go hungry or thirsty. Have a decent snack and bottled water always at hand.
Take a dandelion supplement to balance the liver, some nutritional yeast, a multimineral supp (Phytocal or as close to it as he can find), and a food-based multivitamin daily. I also suggest getting PolyFlora or the nearest facsimile he can obtain of a high-quality probiotic. Recent research has shown that major areas of what we think of as the 'brain' are actually ganglia incorporated into the digestive tract! which, as you can imagine, results in quite noticeable effects of various foods upon one's mental states. To paraphrase an aphorism: when the gut critters ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy. :-)
These ideas will ease his healing process and strengthen his spirit. If you can tell me more, I will be able to better tailor them to his situation -- particularly if he'll consent to that finger-prick! :-)
I hope you find a peaceful stance in your mind which will let your worry be laid to rest. With that commitment, you can perceive the events in your life clearly and caringly, without undue suffering.
In the end, your son is himself, and he will do what he will do. You and your husband have been sensitive and loving parents to him, and he evidently cherishes you as well. That is more than tens of thousands of families have!
Take good care of yourself, and encourage your son to write me a note if he'd like. Very best wishes, to you all! :-)
Hello Heidi, Thank you so much for responding to my email. The thing is that I never was on any prescription medication for my acne. I went off the pill almost a year ago and that was the last "prescription" thing I took. What I was referring to was all the EFA's, coconut oil, vitamin A,C,B, selenium....this is what that Acne Cure said I needed to do was to be on all of the above and eat lots of vegetables, little fruit, not much meat, never any dairy, blah, blah.
So my confusion is if for my blood type I should be on all such supplements and stuff.
I am going to have to go on depression medication for awhile because I stressed myself out so much that I can't handle my emotions and such right now. So, are you suggesting that I should go off of all of the supplements except maybe the Vitamin C,E, and magnesium? Should I be eating dairy?
I think my nerves are shot and my weight is so low. I just don't want to do further damage. I wish I could eat just organic food but I can't.
Also something very important. I have been taking products from Garden of Life. One product I would like to take is a powdered Green Drink. Thing is that it uses barley grass, wheat grass, etc. The book said I shouldn't have cereals and breads that contain those ingredients but it doesn't say anything about the grasses? Also the product contains pre-digested seeds and beans and lentils, is this different than eating the acctual food because it sounds like I was supposed to stay away from pumkin seeds and such? What do I do? How much do you think my stress and obsessions with my face are actually causing more acne and the rash I just recently developed? If you get a chance to look at Garden of Life products could you tell me if you see any harm in them?
Like I said before I haven't been on acne medication, just this radical health plan where you load up on EFA's and coconut oil and a bunch of vitamins and products. But are you suggesting to get off of everything for awhile? I am sorry to bug you. I think I have read too much in books and on the internet and it has made me obsess.
I wish I could go to a naturopath doctor but my insurance won't cover it and they are very expensive. I have been drinking LOTS of water anyway and have been walking in the morning with my husband. I do believe that I need the anit-depressants just to get me over my emotions and such right now. Thank you again for being so encouraging and responding!! Thanks, Danyelle
Hello, Danyelle ~ I realize you weren't taking acne drugs. I did want to warn against it, though, as doctors will prescribe them no matter the damage they do. You see, drugs do not address the cause of a disease condition -- they work to downtrend the symptoms. They do not cure, and frequently they do harm while giving only partial and temporary relief. I have known many people who've tried them, and none who were satisfied. That said, it is ultimately your choice to take antidepressants or other drugs, and I respect whatever choice you make, 110%.
If you can, go back and read again what I wrote -- it will be easy to find at any time, just go to the Search field at the bottom of this page, and type in your name. I believe all the answers to your questions are there -- and I do understand the pressure and despair you feel. Just read my post again, slowly, as it addresses that concern and others.
The thought occurred to me that if you add up the cost of the radical health plan you mention, in terms of the oils, vitamins and products, and the mental cost of uncertainty about whether it will work or not -- and compare it with the cost of a telephone conference with Peter D'Adamo, you may be surprised that superb naturopathic advice may not be as costly as you had previously calculated.
Synchronicity has struck again, as Suz posted a note just after you wrote yours to me. I think it's deeply pertinent to your decisions -- it follows, below.
By the way, sprouted grain (grasses) are fine for all types. The Ask Dr. D'Adamo archived posts are a wonderful source of information for topics such as that one. We don't know whether sprouting or 'pre-digesting' beans, legumes and pulses eradicates the harmful lectins in those foods as it does with grain.
It is most important to follow the B diet as outlined in Live Right -- astounding cures have been effected from that measure alone. So do it in whatever way you can, whether all-organic or no. It is a truly magnificent system of health, in one little book.
Blessings to you, Danyelle, and I pray your chosen path will be the best possible journey toward resolution. :-)
Dear Heidi, I just wanted to check in and tell you the latest - I figured my experience could help a few others here.
As I told you, I came off very powerful steroids two months ago - dexamethasone - erroneously given to me for back pain. Since then, I have been struggling - feeling worse and worse each day -exhausted, not sleeping, no focus or memory.
I went to an endocrinologist who told me that my adrenal glands are not working because of the steroids - he did a few blood tests - showed low cortisol - but in the normal range. His suggestion was for me to go on hydrocortisone.
At this point, warning bells went off in my head and I thought a call into Dr D'Adamo might not be a bad idea. Well -thank goodness I did!! Dr D was fabulous as always - told me that hydrocortisone would make my adrenals much worse and he put me on 50 mg of zinc and 1500 mg of pantothenic acid (B5). That was last Friday - by Monday I started to feel so much better.
I called him and he has put me on 1/4 teaspoon of licorice twice a day with potassium citrate along with the polyflora O, polyvit O and the calcium/mineral for O,the zinc and B5. Two days have gone past and I am beginning to feel like a different person. I am sleeping well and have energy for the first time in months.
The licorice is pretty powerful stuff - definitely should be administered under doctor's care. I was even able to do a little exercise last night which was great.
He also recommended that I go in a sauna a couple of times to sweat the toxins of the steroids out of my tissues. Thanks to Dr. D, I am now able to get back to my old self. My body is beginning to repair itself.
It has been a frightening experience with the medical system - one I do not wish to repeat again. I am of course following the O nonny diet with as many beneficials as possible and no avoids (well trying!)
Another side benefit - I think due to the B5 and Zinc - my skin has become amazingly clear - this happened within a few days of taking these supplements. I am prone to rosacea and break outs and so it was a welcome change.
This is an example of how the blood type diet, combined with the correct supplements can restore someone to health and vitality. These powerful synthetic drugs wreak havoc on the body. all the best as always Suz
~;-D Pretty fabulous, isn't he?
I am SO HAPPY for you, darlin'! Thank you in 162 different and entirely unique positions of deepest gratitude, for sharing the story step-by-step. ;-> I learned a bunch, and I'm sure others did, too!
enJOY your newfound health! ~:-D
Hi Heidi. I read your column almost daily and have seen a huge rash of candida questions lately. Being an O and having suffered from Candida for about 2 years I can sympathize.
I was on diflucan and using vaginal medications and it didn't help. I finally turned to Yeast Cleanse products and probiotics (in the form of bovine colostrum), which did help but I had to basically live on probiotics.
I finally did a gall bladder/liver cleanse and have been yeast free ever since and don't even need to take the colostrum any more. I highly recommend it to anyone that is struggling with this irritating condition. It really helped me and hopefully it will help others. Dana
Dana, that is splendid news -- and a great tip for the readers. In most minds, the connection between candida and liver/gallbladder dysfunction is not readily apparent. It's most welcome to see that reminder here.
Thank you so much, dear! I hope you're revelling in your release from candida! :-D
I need to take metamucil every day. I am an O non-secretor. Is this fiber compatible or would you suggest something else? I would also be interested in a book or articles about people who have been on the diet for a year or longer and what changes they feel in their health. Thank you soooo much, Sally
Hi there, Sally ~ nice idea for articles on long-term BTD'ers. I'll always publish testimonials here, as they come in! For the metamucil... if you've tried some fresh-ground flax twice per day in a smoothie, and have greens and/or a magnesium supplement, and drink plenty of water and get your exercise daily, and still need the metamucil: try Citrucel instead. It's not perfect, but Peter has suggested it as a significant improvement over Metamucil. ;-)
Hi Heidi, I'm wondering what the difference is between mineral water and seltzer water. I know seltzer water is beneficial for type O, is mineral water also? Thanks, Amber
Mineral water with natural bubbles has all the beneficial characteristics of seltzer (carbonated water) and more. Read all about it at Mineral Waters of the World! :-D
I am currently living in a country where there is no check on meat/beef quality. One does not know its origine but it is definately local. What do I do as an type O to get my daily protiens? Cees
Hi, Cees ~ if the available meat comes from local sources, pay a visit to them. See how the cattle are kept... see what they are fed... find out if they are given antibiotics or growth hormones. The best are 100% grass fed ~ next best would be grass plus some organic/biologique feed. You may find your local meats are of the very best quality. Good Luck!!
I am age 45 and going towards the menopause. I have been increasing my soya intake for sometime to help with flutuating oestrogen levels If I can't use soya what can I use instead as natural alturnatives to HRT in this peri-menopause period. Soya certainly help plump up the skin etc many thanks trisha
I don't know your blood type... but if you are a type B ~ Dong quai capsules or Motherwort tincture could be of use, and get plenty of magnesium-rich greens. If you're an O nonsecretor ~ Chasteberry, Horsetail, and Vervain are recommended, along with *active* B12, extra vitamin A and boron. There is some anecdotal evidence that Rhodiola Rosea helps Os with hot flashes. "Maca" (the powdered root of a Peruvian plant) has a strong reputation for balancing the endocrine system, with skin results similar to the ones you got from soy. As far as we know, it's effective for all types. Whatever your blood group, make sure to get adequate calcium, vitamin D and a good multivitamin like PolyVite (available on our site), and invest in the Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia for specific protocols. I hope this helps, trisha!
Dear Heidi, Dr.D'Adamo said his team would examine newer food items and add them to the list. I sent him some suggestions for candidate foods. I am especially interested in savoy cabbage. We don't have kale in Hungary, but savoy cabbage is a common item. Thank you, Rose
As the weather cools (and dries, hopefully!) here on the U.S. East Coast, I think Peter may feel more motivated to venture once more into the lab. :-) If new food values are found, you can be sure we'll post 'em ~ we've not forgotten!
My Mom is a blood type O-, she has hypertension. There is much praise for the herb Hawthorn. Is it OK for a blood type O to take Hawthorn? NAP told me it was OK for all blood types but when I got the catalog it lists Hawthorn for blood type A AB & B. What would a blood type O take for hypertension? Of course in addition to following the diet. P.S. Your doing a great job Heidi! I'm so happy for you, this new format has to be less stressful for you. Even though the message board did have it's moments this format is working very well. Love Pat
Thanks, Pat ~ you're sweet, ya made my day. ~:-} Hawthorn is fine for all blood types, but with several caveats. Its action is primarily strengthening/elasticizing blood vessel walls and increasing oxygen flow. It can interact with some HBP medications, so if your mom is taking a drug for her hypertension, then her physician would need to OK hawthorn for her. Does she get adequate potassium, magnesium and calcium? A twenty-minute exercise routine (at her level -- see my column Exercise 4 Everyone of Sept 16) 3x per week is a proven blood pressure reducer. Base her meals on meat & veg, give her a good amount of beneficial fats, and try to avoid the grains (for the moment) whenever possible. I'm yapping away about anything that comes to mind right now, but go through this and pick & choose based on your knowledge of her condition. For instance, if it is primarily stress-related, focus on exercise and supps like Rhodiola rosea and Valerian. If it is hereditary and she is very overweight, for example, look into Arjuna Myrobalan (Terminalia arjuna), Coleus forskohlii, artichoke leaf, guggul, and see if you can get her secretor status. It makes quite a difference in the diet & healing protocols when one's ill. :-) Bless you for taking such good care of your mom, and all your family! Take care of you, too, OK?