Can autoimmune diseases (like psoriasis) be treated without drugs?

Autoimmune diseases affect 23.5 million Americans, and that number is rising. Autoimmune diseases are one of the top ten leading causes of death for women under the age of 64.1 In autoimmune diseases, the body undergoes an inappropriate immune response that causes excessive inflammation that becomes destructive to the body. One autoimmune disease in particular, psoriasis, received attention after reality TV star Kim Kardashian was diagnosed with the condition in 2011.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition – the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the U.S. affecting about 7.5 million Americans; and it is much more than a cosmetic concern.2

Depending on the severity of psoriasis, it can also cause skin cracking and bleeding, pain, and a significant disruption of quality of life. In addition, psoriasis is associated with increased cardiovascular risk.3-5 Even mild psoriasis may increase the risk of heart attack by up to 29%.6
The chronic inflammation characteristic of psoriasis (and other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus) puts patients at risk.7,8 In addition to cardiovascular disease, psoriasis patients are also more likely to suffer from insulin resistance, depression, cancer, osteoporosis, and liver disease – also likely due to chronic inflammation.9-11

Nutritional intervention should always be tried first, before powerful and potentially dangerous drugs are prescribed.

Conventional treatments for autoimmune diseases suppress the immune system to halt the body’s immune attack on itself. However, this makes the body more susceptible to infections and even cancers – one study found that autoimmune patients with the greatest exposure to immunosuppressive drugs had an almost 5-fold increase in cancer risk.12 The FDA has issued warnings on certain drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases because of increased cancer risk.13 Mild to moderate psoriasis can often be treated with topical medications only – these are safer than systemic medications, but still have significant side effects such as skin thinning, pigmentation changes, bruising easily, stretch marks, redness, and acne. They also may stop working over time.14

Nutrition is a powerful and safe tool for preventing and treating autoimmune diseases.15-20
Although psoriasis has a genetic component (about one-third of patients have a family history2),
it is also influenced by what we eat. Those with a high intake of green vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, and fresh fruits are less likely to develop psoriasis. Oxidative stress, which can be lessened by these antioxidant-rich foods, is thought to contribute to skin inflammation in psoriasis. Furthermore, psoriasis symptoms have been shown to improve using dietary methods in several scientific studies.21

I have been recommending a high-nutrient (nutritarian) diet combined with selected supplements and when needed, and episodic fasting to help the body to calm inflammation and remove cellular toxins. High nutrient plant foods supply substances that support immune system function, allowing the body to have proper defenses against infections and cancers. Supervised water fasting is another important component to autoimmune treatment – I have documented the contribution of fasting to remission of autoimmune disease in published case reports.22 Keep in mind also, that the conditions that psoriasis sufferers are vulnerable to – heart disease in particular – are also those that can be prevented with healthy lifestyle habits. The only side effects of nutritional treatment are positive ones – protective effects against heart disease, diabetes, and cancers. This healthy protocol promotes longevity as it normalizes immune function.

Dietary Intervention for Autoimmune Diseases

Natural methods can help you calm the inflammation in your body and reduce or even eliminate your need for medications. I urge everyone with an autoimmune disease (Kim Kardashian included!) to try these natural methods before resigning themselves to a life of dangerous medications and progressively worsening disease:

1. High-nutrient, vegetable-based diet rich in greens
2. Fresh vegetable juices
3. Fish oil or plant-based EPA and DHA supplements
4. Probiotic supplement
5. Avoidance of salt, wheat, and oils
6. Assuring no micronutrient deficiencies are present.

Using these methods, many of my patients who once suffered from autoimmune diseases have now recovered and are free of illness as well as toxic side effects of the drugs. Some of these recoveries have written me, but I have never met them. All they did was read one of my books and follow the protocols detailed online.

Jodi, who has recovered from psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis is an excellent example:

Jodi“I started experiencing skin rashes and joint pain as a teenager more than 40 years ago. Back then, in the 60’s, I don’t think doctors knew much about autoimmune conditions (perhaps not even now). I was put on various drugs, including steroids, plaquenil, methotrexate and antihistamines, which swelled my body up like a beached whale. I was on medication for almost 20 years and saw different medical specialists including allergists, dermatologists, hematologists, rheumatologists, and endocrinologists.

By the time I turned 50 in 1999, I was covered from head to toe with psoriasis and tested positive for other autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s and Sjogren’s. The medications only helped a little and I suffered with joint pain, unable to function normally for over twenty years in spite of taking all the medications prescribed by rheumatologists.

In my quest for improved health, I read Dr. Fuhrman's books and I have I have followed his eating plan since 2001 with much success. I take no medications, and have no symptoms of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
The body has incredible healing powers if given the proper nutrients and care. I have also lost 20 pounds and breezed through menopause. I consider myself 58 years young.”

Karen’s severe psoriasis improved after only 3 days:
“In January 2006, I developed psoriasis on my hands…My hands continued to deteriorate. They were very scaly and would split open. In early 2007, the cuts on my hands became infected several times, and my hands were very swollen and painful. I was put on antibiotics to treat the infection. During that time, the dermatologist explained I had a severe case of psoriasis and suggested I start taking a chemotherapy drug. I didn’t want to go down that path… A couple of months ago, I heard Dr. Oz interview Dr. Fuhrman on his radio program. I was fascinated when I heard Dr. Fuhrman comment that diet can improve autoimmune diseases. I picked up Eat To Live and read it cover to cover. I wanted to try the diet, but I was afraid that I would not stick with the plan long enough to see results. Finally, I decided to give it a shot. I switched to Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet and within two days, my hands looked incredible! By the third day, I was off the medication!!”

Gary now has no psoriatic arthritis pain, and reduced his medication:
“In May, you kindly responded to my e-mail asking whether your nutritional treatment for psoriatic arthritis is the same as for psoriasis. I bought your book…and feel like I hit the jackpot. Here's the good news. After 11 weeks on Eat to Live…I have no arthritis pain, reduced the methotrexate from 5 pills per week to 3, lost over 50 pounds, and for six weeks now, quit using tar shampoo for psoriasis (first time since age 13 or 14). Awesome! Thanks so unbelievably much.” I plan on stopping the methotrexate next month completely.

Read more stories of recovery from autoimmune diseases.
Read more about nutritional care of autoimmune diseases.


1. American Autoimmune Related Disease Association: Autoimmune Statistics []
2. About Psoriasis: Statistics.: National Psoriasis Foundation.
3. Gelfand JM, Azfar RS, Mehta NN: Psoriasis and cardiovascular risk: strength in numbers. J Invest Dermatol 2010;130:919-922.
4. Mehta NN, Yu Y, Pinnelas R, et al: Attributable risk estimate of severe psoriasis on major cardiovascular events. Am J Med 2011;124:775 e771-776.
5. Dermatologists urge psoriasis patients to be aware of potential link to other serious diseases. In American Academy of Dermatology 70th Annual Meeting; San Diego, CA. 2012
6. Gelfand JM, Neimann AL, Shin DB, et al: Risk of myocardial infarction in patients with psoriasis. JAMA 2006;296:1735-1741.
7. Pieringer H, Pichler M: Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: vascular alterations and possible clinical implications. QJM 2011;104:13-26.
8. Alexandroff AB, Pauriah M, Camp RD, et al: More than skin deep: atherosclerosis as a systemic manifestation of psoriasis. Br J Dermatol 2009;161:1-7.
9. Zanni GR: Psoriasis: issues far more serious than cosmetic. Consult Pharm 2012;27:86-88, 90, 93-86.
10. Mehta NN, Azfar RS, Shin DB, et al: Patients with severe psoriasis are at increased risk of cardiovascular mortality: cohort study using the General Practice Research Database. Eur Heart J 2010;31:1000-1006.
11. Davidovici BB, Sattar N, Prinz JC, et al: Psoriasis and systemic inflammatory diseases: potential mechanistic links between skin disease and co-morbid conditions. J Invest Dermatol 2010;130:1785-1796.
12. Asten P, Barrett J, Symmons D: Risk of developing certain malignancies is related to duration of immunosuppressive drug exposure in patients with rheumatic diseases. J Rheumatol 1999;26:1705-1714.
13. Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Blockers (marketed as Remicade, Enbrel, Humira, Cimzia, and Simponi) August 2009. U.S. Food and Drug Administration; 2009.
14. Topical treatments for psoriasis, including steroids.: National Psoriasis Foundation.
15. Palmblad J, Hafstrom I, Ringertz B: Antirheumatic effects of fasting. Rheum Dis Clin North Am 1991;17:351-362.
16. Kjeldsen-Kragh J, Hvatum M, Haugen M, et al: Antibodies against dietary antigens in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with fasting and a one-year vegetarian diet. Clin Exp Rheumatol 1995;13:167-172.
17. Hanninen, Kaartinen K, Rauma AL, et al: Antioxidants in vegan diet and rheumatic disorders. Toxicology 2000;155:45-53.
18. Muller H, de Toledo FW, Resch KL: Fasting followed by vegetarian diet in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review. Scand J Rheumatol 2001;30:1-10.
19. McDougall J, Bruce B, Spiller G, et al: Effects of a very low-fat, vegan diet in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. J Altern Complement Med 2002;8:71-75.
20. Darlington LG, Ramsey NW, Mansfield JR: Placebo-controlled, blind study of dietary manipulation therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 1986;1:236-238.
21. Wolters M: Diet and psoriasis: experimental data and clinical evidence. Br J Dermatol 2005;153:706-714.
22. Fuhrman J, Sarter B, Calabro DJ: Brief case reports of medically supervised, water-only fasting associated with remission of autoimmune disease. Altern Ther Health Med 2002;8:112, 110-111.


Interview with a Nutritarian: Jodi


Jodi - current imageMost of the interviews here on Onlyourhealth have been with those who’ve discovered Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritional recommendations in their recent past, and are elated about their newfound health and freedom from food addiction and disease. Jodi has been following Dr. Fuhrman’s advice for TEN years, and she’s just as excited today with continual improvements in her health as she was ten years ago.  If you've read Jodi's Success Story on Dr. Fuhrman's website, or read a  previous Onlyourhealth post about her awesome recovery from debilitating psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases, you know that Jodi's healings are medical miracles!  Today Jodi is the epitome of excellent health, and her enthusiasm is contagious.  In fact, she went on to earn her Nutritional Education Trainer (NET) certification and is now helping others in their journeys to get their health restored also. Welcome once again to Onlyourhealth Jodi!  


You've been following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style for over 10 years now. How has that experience changed your life?

My original reason for contacting Dr. Fuhrman was autoimmune issues; the most serious was psoriatic arthritis where I had a full-body skin rash and history of joint pain. Plus, I had diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren's and Hashimotos – all autoimmune conditions.  I consider my success at conquering these ailments as Chapter One of my health journey. [Click here to see Jodi's remarkable before and after pictures of being healed of psoriasis!] Now, Chapter Two is all about the benefits that I've experienced over the years that I did not expect!


Please explain “Chapter Two” to us.  

Jodi at a heavier weightYear after year as I keep following this high-nutrient lifestyle, I continue to be amazed at how powerful and effective it is. For example, ten years ago I did not turn to Dr. Fuhrman for weight loss, yet I now weigh 32 pounds less than my highest weight.  The picture on the right was taken when I was younger and heavier. 

  • My cholesterol is now low, when it had been over 200, and my blood pressure is low, and I take no drugs for either. 
  • I breezed through menopause without drugs.
  • All sinus congestion and seasonal allergies are completely gone.
  • My dentist compliments my healthy gums and how little plaque I have.
  • My bone density has improved. I previously tested in the negative range for osteopenia, the latest score for my spine was ZERO. A zero score is equivalent to the bone density of a healthy, 30- year-old woman. Which means without drugs but following Dr. Fuhrman's exercise advice, I have the spine a 30-year-old....and I'm 62!  [Click here to learn more about preventing bone fractures.] 
  • My eyesight is stronger. Twice over the last 10 years the prescriptions for my contact lenses and glasses, which I use for distance, have been reduced; and I no longer need reading glasses, but I did at age 52, (and now I’m 62!)


Are you surprised by these improvements?

As we age, we expect to have achy joints, ailments, medications, drug side effects, doctors visits, etc., and I don't have any of those issues. In fact, I wake up in the morning and nothing hurts: no joint pain, no stiffness, and no arthritis. Yes, I'm amazed...and grateful.


Do you have any success tips to share with others?

Ten years ago when I started eating high-nutrient foods, I was already over 50-years-old. My psoriasis and joint pain started when I was a teenager, and I was on potent drugs for almost twenty years. Don't think you are too old to benefit; don't think you are too sick or have been on drugs for too long to see a difference. I am so convinced that the longer you follow this program, and the older you get doing it, you continue to reap benefits...benefits you never expected or imagined!


Thank you Jodi for being an example to all of us of the ongoing healing power of high-nutrient foods ~ you truly are a medical miracle!

 Jodi on top of the world!

Interview with a Nutritarian: Elisa


portrait of nutritarian, ElisaWhen I first met Elisa, a registered dietitian, I thought she was the epitome of vibrant health, physical fitness and radiant beauty. I had absolutely no idea that just a couple of years prior, she had suffered such debilitating symptoms from a variety of illnesses that she could no longer work or enjoy normal activities. At the young age of twenty-seven, it seemed like her life was almost over, until she met Dr. Fuhrman. Welcome to Onlyourhealth, Elisa. 


 What was your life like before discovering Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian eating-style?

 I was a healthy active kid and adolescent; however, in my late teens and early twenties I developed multiple health issues. Over time, my symptoms accumulated in the following order:

  • exercise-induced asthma
  • environmental allergies
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • chilblains (sores on my fingers and toes accompanied by terrible swelling, pain, arthritis)
  • hip problems preventing me from running for 8 years
  • daily debilitating headaches and migraines with a 5 day hospitalization
  • terrible neck pain, mouth ulcers, sore throats, and chronic infections
  • an episode of “mono” (missed work for 1 month at the start of my career)
  • body aches, muscle/joint pain
  • debilitating fatigue, thinning hair, and a very poor quality of life   
  • After 6 years, I received confirmation that I was dealing with a connective tissue disease, which was probably “mild lupus.” I was given no other options and placed on the standard medications. At that point, I had already been on over thirty prescription medications and thirty nutritional supplements.


How did you feel then?

I was absolutely miserable and barely making it through my workdays. Eventually, at the age of twenty-seven I was forced to stop working altogether. When I researched Lupus online, I found no treatment options other than medications; which gave me little hope. The medication I was taking thinned my once-thick hair. It also made me lose my appetite, my appreciation for life, and the ability to do the simplest of tasks. My parents and my new husband were my champions. They bought groceries, cleaned the house and washed my clothes. I rarely went anywhere because if I did, I felt so awful afterward it wasn’t worth the effort. I had transformed from a young, healthy and active individual into a sick, suffering existence that I was unwilling to accept. Despite what I was told, I knew that I did not want to be on medications for the rest of my life, and I vowed that eventually I would run again.


How did you find out about Dr. Fuhrman? 

A year after my diagnosis in 2008, a family friend shared their patient experience about seeing Dr. Fuhrman with my mother. I was literally typing his name into the search engine as my mother spelled his name over the phone. I immediately ordered his books from the local library, and shortly after that I made an appointment to see him.


Elisa joggingHow do you feel now?

With each passing month I feel more and more like my former, productive self. I am thrilled to have my life back! I’m off all medications except Allegra as needed (which I plan to get off completely.) My energy levels are much improved and my overall pain has dramatically decreased. I exercise most days of the week, and I’m up to running 4 miles for the first time in 8 years. I’m now working full-time for the first time in 1.5 years, and I have a renewed appreciation for being pain and inflammation free. I still get run down at times and experience mild symptoms occasionally, but overall my quality of life has improved substantially. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I can have a normal life again. Best of all, I have great faith that I will continue to improve over time and become healthier with each passing year. I have regained control of my health destiny and am deeply thankful to Dr. Fuhrman, his family, and his entire staff for all of their sacrifice and dedication through the years.  [To read more details click here.]




sedimentation rate  (inflammatory marker)



ssDNA  (lupus marker)



total cholesterol




Do you have any success tip(s) to share with others?

Start making beneficial changes TODAY. Don’t make excuses, and don’t waste time. The sooner you begin to educate and empower yourself by putting high nutrient eating into practice, the sooner you will see sustainable results.


In a nutshell, what has nutritarian eating done for you? 

It has ended my suffering, restored my health, and enriched my life both personally and professionally.

Elisa jogging

Go for it Elisa ~ we are celebrating with you and continually cheering for you!

Superior Diet and No More Skin Rashes

When you get healthy, good things happen. Sometimes it’s obvious. Scott lost 250 pounds. You’ll notice that! But for Jodi it was different. She had chronic skin rashes all over her back, until she improved her diet and starting living better:

Unfortunately, I slowly lapsed back into my old sad habits, living a frantic, restaurant hopping, stressed out life in Manhattan. By the time I turned 50 in 1999, now living in NC, I was covered from head to toe with psoriasis and tested positive for other autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s and Sjogren’s.

In my quest for improved health, I read Dr. Fuhrman's book, Fasting and Eating for Health. The book has a chapter devoted to autoimmune conditions. I have followed his eating plan since 2001 with much success. I experience skin–flares up only when I stray from Dr. Fuhrman's eating program…continue reading.

Continue Reading...

Living with Lupus, Really?

You don’t read a lot of lupus. I guess its one of those diseases that lacks a colored ribbon and a celebrity spokes person, but for many people lupus is a life-altering condition. More from Judy Fortin of CNN:
Amy Harned, who lives in Webster, Massachusetts, is among the 1.5 million Americans who suffer from the autoimmune disorder. Lupus causes the body's immune system to attack its own tissues, causing inflammation and damage. When Harned's lupus was first diagnosed, she said she "was really terrified, but gradually I got more information." She realized with proper treatment she could lead a somewhat normal life…

"…The prognosis for lupus today is very good," Lisa Fitzgerald, a Boston, Massachusetts-based rheumatologist, said. "The survival rate is really over 90 percent in five to 10 years of having the disease. In the 1950s it was probably 50 percent."

Part of the reason for the improved success has to do with better treatment in managing the condition. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen offer relief to some patients.

Other lupus sufferers might be prescribed an antimalarial drug called hydroxychloroquine.

"It's a quinine derivative. It's quite safe," Fitzgerald said. "It can make a big difference for patients who have mild disease."

Fitzgerald added she also prescribes corticosteroids "to squelch flareups." While they work well, she cautioned they do have side effects.
Wow! A life time of prescribed drugs—now that sounds like modern medicine! But what if there was another way? A healthier way to live your life without lupus, Dr. Fuhrman talks about it:
For the last 20 years, multiple studies have been published in medical journals documenting the effectiveness of high vegetable diets on autoimmune illnesses.1 These have been largely ignored by the medical profession and most doctors still deny the effectiveness of nutrition on autoimmune and inflammatory conditions; a high-nutrient eating-style is most effective in aiding people suffering with these conditions.
And here’s a little more from Dr. Fuhrman:
An aggressive nutritional approach to autoimmune illnesses should always be tried first when the disease is in its infancy. Logically, the more advanced the disease is, and the more damage that has been done by the disease, the less likely the patient will respond. My experience with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is that some patients are more dietary-sensitive than others and that some patients have very high levels of inflammation that are difficult to curtail with natural therapy. Nevertheless, the majority benefit—and since the conventional drugs used to treat these types of illnesses are so toxic and have so many risky side effects, the dietary method should be tried first.
You got to wonder, why something as simple and noninvasive as changing diet isn’t always tried first. Oh wait! It doesn’t make money.
Continue Reading...

Eat For Health: Autoimmune Disease and Arthritis

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Working with patients who have autoimmune diseases is one of the most rewarding aspects of my medical practice. Autoimmune and immune-mediated illnesses include diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, connective tissue disease, and the inflammatory bowel diseases called ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s, but there are also more than 100 clinical syndromes considered autoimmune diseases. Obviously, not every patient with these diseases can make a complete, drug-free recovery; however, the amazing thing is that so many patients can, and do, recover. The recoveries are not limited to recognized autoimmune diseases. I see many patients with pain syndromes without laboratory documentation of autoimmune disease. The ability to achieve substantial improvement, and in many cases complete remission of these supposedly incurable illnesses, is exciting. I have been writing about these success stories for many years, including submissions to medical publications.1 For the last 20 years, multiple studies have been published in medical journals documenting the effectiveness of high vegetable diets on autoimmune illnesses.2 These have been largely ignored by the medical profession and most doctors still deny the effectiveness of nutrition on autoimmune and inflammatory conditions; however these pages describe the critical features of the eating-style most effective in aiding people suffering with these conditions. Although it is not clear why these studies are quickly forgotten or ignored after their publication, one factor may be that there is no financial incentive for anyone to promote the power of dietary intervention as a medical therapy like pharmaceutical companies do when studies show some efficacy for their products.

And here’s Jodi’s success story:

“I was desperate when I traveled to New Jersey to see Dr. Fuhrman. I had been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and had suffered from open skin lesions and full body itchiness for years. I followed his advice to the letter. He put me on a special eating plan, and, after about three months, I started to get better. My legs and arms cleared up first. My body healed from the extremities inward, and six months later my psoriasis was totally gone. My doctors are amazed. Today my skin is completely clear with no itchiness or blotches, and I have no more arthritic pain. Recent blood tests show I no longer have the blood test markers that show inflammation. I cannot fully express what this recovery means to me. I am so grateful that Dr. Fuhrman insisted I could be helped and then guided me to wellness.”
Continue Reading...

Nutritional Wisdom: Nutrition Can Defeat Autoimmune Disease

Dr. Fuhrman’s radio show Nutritional Wisdom airs live Wednesdays at 11am EST with an encore presentation Thursdays at 3pm EST on VoiceAmerica. Here’s a peek at this week’s episode:

Nutritional excellence beats autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and psoriasis. Sounds hard to believe, but once you understand Dr. Fuhrman’s plan you will find that nutrition may be more powerful than drugs. Plus, hear stories from patients who conquered their autoimmune diseases thanks to Dr. Fuhrman. Instead of facing a lifetime of pain, suffering, and toxic medications, these patients chose to get completely well.

Check out the Nutritional Wisdom category for previous episodes.


Jill's Dramatic Journey to Recovery

Here is Jill's lupus recovery story from the November 2004 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:
My lupus story began in 1992, when I was 32 years old. I started to experience severe joint pains, fatigue, and a red facial rash. The blood tests came back specific for lupus. At first, I thought this was good news—a diagnosis; now we can do something about it. Well, I was then told there is no cure, and I would have to “live with it” and take medication for the rest of my life. I even was told by the rheumatologist I might die from it. Even with the medications, I had a constant low-grade fever, low energy, a bright red face, stiffness, and joint pain.

I could not accept this death sentence and a life dependent on toxic drugs. I researched everything I could find about this disease and tried changing to a vegetarian diet and alternative medicine, with some degree of success.

After hearing about Dr. Fuhrman, I took the train to New Jersey to meet him. He convinced me to take steps to regain my health. I decided to adopt a healthier diet and to do some fasting. Soon I felt like a teenager again. My face was cool and white for the first time in years, my joints felt great, and I had lots of energy. I lost a little weight and looked great.

I went back to see my rheumatologist, who was on staff at a teaching hospital. I thought he’d be interested in my recovery. But when I started to tell him about my experience and my newfound health, he practically walked out of the room. He was not the least bit interested in hearing the details of my recovery, and he simply wrote “spontaneous recovery” on my chart.

Nine years later, I remain symptom-free, and lupus is no longer part of my life. I play tennis and compete on a local team. No one who knows me today would ever guess that I used to be in such pain I couldn’t even shake someone’s hand.

Diet vs. Autoimmune Diseases

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:

Working with patients with autoimmune diseases such as connective tissue diseases, myositis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus is very rewarding. These patients had been convinced they could never get well and are usually eternally grateful to be healthy again and not require medication.

An aggressive nutritional approach to autoimmune illnesses should always be tried first when the disease is in its infancy. Logically, the more advanced the disease is, and the more damage that has been done by the disease, the less likely the patient will respond. My experience with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is that some patients are more dietary-sensitive than others and that some patients have very high levels of inflammation that are difficult to curtail with natural therapy. Nevertheless, the majority benefit—and since the conventional drugs used to treat these types of illnesses are so toxic and have so many risky side effects, the dietary method should be tried first. Modern drugs often contribute to the disability and misery of patients with an autoimmune illness and increase cancer risk. Studies show that the long-term outcome is poor after twenty years of taking such medication.1 A recent study in the British Journal of Rheumatology showed the major drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis, such as azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, and methotrexate, increase ethe likelihood that the person will die of cancer.2 

Patients who use drugs that suppress the immune system forgo some protection that the immune system offers against infection and cancer. These individuals need a superior diet, even if they can’t stop all medication.

So many of the patients I see, especially the ones who have made recoveries, are angry at their former physicians who did not even suggest nutrition before starting them on medication. These individuals are usually so “sick of being sick,” they will do anything to get well. They don’t find the diet restrictive and show enthusiasm and determination to recover their health. It is terrifically exciting to see such patients make recoveries and eliminate the need for medication.

Continue Reading...

Glucosamine and Chondroitin in the News

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study claiming that two popular arthritis supplements don't work. Gina Kolata of The New York Times reports that despite the $734 million Americans spent on glucosamine and chondroitin in 2004, trials revealed few results.

In the member section of his website, Dr. Fuhrman has said "I think glucosamine and chondroitin are safe and have some clinical evidence to show they are mildly helpful. So if they are helping you, great."

He is more interested in looking at the bigger picture. He says that poor diets can cause rheumatoid arthritis and similar conditions. Adopting a nutrient rich vegetable based diet offers you the chance to eradicate it. This is from Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live:

Some people, especially other physicians, may be skeptical. There are so many exaggerated and false claims made in health field, especially by those selling so-called natural remedies. Nevertheless, it is wrong to underestimate the results obtainable through appropriate nutritional intervention. Even many of my patients with autoimmune illnesses (such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and hyperthyrodism) are able to recover and throw away their medications.

When one of my patients who had a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis went back to her previous physician, a rheumatologist, and told him she was now well and did not require any medication, he replied, "It must just be that you are resting more." She said, "I'm not resting more. In fact, I am more active than ever because my pain is gone, and I stopped the drugs." He replied, "It's just a temporary remission; you'll be back soon with another crisis." She never went back.

He also includes this table of diseases that can be caused by poor diet.

Dietary-Caused Illnesses with High Prevalence
atherosclerosisconstipationcolonic polyps
high blood pressurehypoglycemic symptomsindigestion
irritable bowel syndromekidney stoneslumbar spine syndromes
macular degenerationmusculoskeletal painosteoperosis
sexual dysfunctionstrokeuterine fibroids