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Your Pet Disease – Is it real?

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    Seeing as a lot of us are reassessing diet, the various new therapies and the alternative culture out there, I’d like to ask you what you think of these diseases that people claim to have and if you think they are legit or bullshit:

    1. Lyme Disease: OK, so nobody argues against the fact that Lyme Disease exits, but I am talking about the so-calledChronic Lyme Disease. I spoke on the phone with Ray Peat about this one time (a few years ago), and he didn’t think it was a real disease. I had even sent him my labs that supposedly proved that I had Lymes and Babesia. Obviously there can be a difference of opinion and the mainstream opinion MIGHT be wrong, but I am not impressed by the argument that there is some kind of conspiracy to suppress the fact that there is a Lymes Epidemic.
    2. Mercury Poisoning: Well, again, obviously mercury is extremely toxic. Nobody is going to argue with you on that one, but is mercury poisoning as prevalent as some suggest. Are amalgams really poisoning you? I had my amalgams removed. It’s not proof one way or the other but I didn’t notice any difference afterwards. I also had DMPS blood infusions. Did nothing but took a big chunk out of my bank account
    3. Vaccines: Are they really that noxious? Again there is the claim that it causes Autism, etc. etc. There is supposedly a conspiracy going on. My cousin is Jon Kent. He produced and directed an award-winning documentary on William’s Syndrom, called Embraceable Now that’s not autism, but he also does a lot of work with autistic researchers and knows some of the top researchers in the field. He claims the ones he knows have impeccable ethics and are devoted to finding a cure from autism. Now they could be wrong or missing something, but this conspiracy theory seems misplaced
    4. Candida: Really, how prevalent is that”
    5. Adrenal Fatigue: I am not doubting that some people suffer from chronic fatigue, but is so-called adrenal fatigue the culprit. Again, Ray Peat says no.
    6. Alternative Lab Tests: Not a disease, but a lot of times alternative practitioners use lab tests to support their theories. But how legitimate are these lab tests?

    Looking forward to your thoughts on any of the above or other diseases of this sort.


    1) Also skeptical. Probably exists in some people and in some fashion, but it may be just a useful catch-all attempt to put a name to people being in bad shape.

    2) I also had my metal fillings removed, and took epsom salt baths for a few months afterward. Seemed to help a bit, but it wasn’t the cure-all I imagined it would be in my case.

    3) A bit more skeptical of vaccines, though I don’t know if they cause autism. I do think researching the timing of vaccinations is valuable; my cursory understanding is that kids are receiving more vaccines at an earlier age than even twenty years ago, and their bodies may not be well-equipped for managing that. Spacing it differently could help. When I have kids, I’m sure I’ll research pretty heavily.

    4) No idea, but anecdotally, almost no one I know has been impacted by it, except me, when I convinced myself that I ought to cut out the carbs to starve it out. Turns out, I just needed to eat and sleep more and take better care of myself to deal with my low energy levels.

    5) I re-read Go Kaleo’s article here recently. Her point is that many of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue mirror those of starvation. Often just ensuring adequate calories and rest is enough to see those symptoms disappear.

    6) Haven’t looked into them much. No thoughts really.


    I’m not sure about most of the things you listed, but I do think that most of them are silly, especially candida. A lot of people that supposedly test positive for these “diseases” were tested by a most likely quack doctor.

    One thing I do passionately believe is that vaccines do NOT cause autism. The physician that first claimed this has been proven wrong many times, and it was shown that he fudged his results to support his claim. Autism isn’t clearly understood, and parents sometimes blame vaccines because children start showing autistic symptoms around the time that they get the MMR vaccine (coincidence). Autism is more closely tied to genetic factors, and it is more prevalent now because the diagnosis is more inclusive and it is recognized as a disorder (whereas in the 1950s an autistic child was just “different”).

    mighty m

    Great post, Thomas! Although, I thought it was gonna be about fleas, ticks and rabies.

    Re #5, Adrenal Fatigue. Maybe real, but if it is, my uninformed guess it’s probably not as ubiquitous as it would seem based on internet chatter, which probably includes a lot of poor diagnosis or self-diagnosis. I wonder how much of it is old-fashioned nervous exhaustion? In other words, a systemic down-regulation to conserve energy, rather than something wrong with the little glands themselves? Just like a lot of hypothyroid symptoms don’t represent diseased glands, but an adaptive down-regulation of the hormones.

    The nonspecific cure for such fatigue used to be rest, fresh air and good food and plenty of it. Old Weston Price himself had that experience after a failed practice as a young man out in the Dakotas; he came back to the family farm and lived a rustic life for a while, recovered, and moved to Cleveland to try again. This was years before his food expeditions. If I remember right from the book. Around the same time period, Teddy Roosevelt was doing a similar sort of nature cure.

    Last summer/fall I was convinced I had “adrenal fatigue.” I read a couple books in the library, took some online “test yourself” quizzes, and I could check nearly every box. I mean, I certainly felt awful. On the other hand, if you’re ever been through any stressed-out times, the symptoms can be very suggestive, like a horoscope. Only a chilled-out stoner or zen monk is gonna be, “Oh, I’m nothing like that!”

    I did a 4x saliva test with the naturopath mentioned in the other thread. I don’t know if the timed cortisol test is legit or totally bogus, but luckily I had normal results, so I had the confidence to put that worry out of my mind. What actually HAS helped my energy and related symptoms is eating 3 big squares, sunshine & sleeping — took time, though.

    The Real Amy

    I agree with mighty m on the adrenal fatigue. I actually do think it’s a real condition when people exhaust themselves (you can only juice your adrenals so much with coffee and overexercising and stuff) but I think it’s 100% reversible with adequate rest and food.

    I think one of the biggest drawbacks of today’s society is that you really can’t take time off just to recuperate. Many people find it impossible to even take a sick day, let alone a few months off. There is huge pressure just to medicate your symptoms away. When I got really sick a couple of years ago (basically a systemic collapse – could barely drag myself around), I kept feeling like I just needed to get away and go to the beach for a month and I would be ok, but of course I was not able to do that. I had to go to work everyday. So I hobbled along and eventually started to recover but I’m sure it was a much longer road than if I’d been able to go hang out on a beach or farm or something. You can sleep, eat and rest to a certain extent even with the whirlwind of normal life, but I was very lucky that my managers at work were understanding, and that I was single. I don’t know what someone would do if they had kids and a really stressful full-time job to keep up.

    I think the book “Eat, Pray, Love” was a great example of all of this. It’s a great book, too. The author was basically in really bad shape, and she went to Italy and ate and rested for a few months, then went to a yoga retreat in India and worked on her spiritual side for a few months, and then went to Bali and worked on balancing and found love. It’s a good recipe for recovery if you can actually do such a thing.


    This is one of my favorite quotes from Konstantin Monastyrsky, though he was referring to the lipid hypothesis and heart disease, I think it can apply to almost all “conspiracies”:
    “It’s not really a conspiracy per se, but more like a collective stupidity”.

    The vaccine question can go both ways. Do we really need all these vaccines? Is there really an imminent threat of any of these diseases to people who are healthy, eating nutritious food, not overly stressed, and have access to basic sanitation?

    Good topic though.


    I don’t know if we need all of those vaccines, but it’s not like there wasn’t a thing called Polio. Anybody here want to get Polio?

    I know there are risks involved, but I certainly would consider having my children vaccinated against AIDS, if there were such a vaccine.


    I’m definitely not trying to say vaccines are never good or helpful. There are good arguments on either side. There’s probably a good middle ground, of delayed and/or selective vaccination, as well of encouraging breastfeeding and good nutrition and minimizing stress in the mother and child. It’s definitely a minefield of a discussion to get in with someone. I think I’d rather talk politics or religion than to try to explain our decisions with vaccination.


    @derek, I know that’s not what you were trying to say and my derision was not aimed at you.


    1) In my opinion the chronic Lyme Disease epidemic is probably being way over diagnosed by LLMD’s (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor). I was diagnosed as having chronic Lyme Disease through Igenex labs and I was treated for chronic Lyme Disease and it’s various co-infections for several years and as far as I could tell the treatment didn’t help me at all.

    By the way, a few years latter I took some of Matt’s advice and many of my health problems improved significantly.

    2) I was also diagnosed as having mercury toxicity via Doctor’s Data labs and I did oral and IV chelation until my mercury levels were what they said were “low” and I had my mercury/silver tooth fillings removed. And as far as I could tell that didn’t make a bit of difference in how I felt.

    So, I believe the mercury toxicity thing is being overhyped.

    3) Well, I am bit more skeptical about the safety of vaccines but I don’t know enough about the subject to have formed much of an opinion.

    4) In my experience every Tom, Dick and Harry with a chronic health problem often gets diagnosed with candida. I was also diagnosed with an overgrowth of candida and I was given various treatments and dietary suggestions as a way to treat my candida “overgrowth” and couldn’t tell that helped me to feel any better.

    5) I was also diagnosed with “adrenal fatigue”. And I am not sure what to really make of it.

    6) In my opinion, alternative lab testing is often great for validating what you “believe” is causing your health problems. If you think that you have chronic Lyme Disease then send your blood to Igenex….. they’ll find Lyme Disease. If you think that you have mercury toxicity then send your urine to Doctor’s Data they’ll find mercury. If you think that mycotoxins/toxic mold toxins is causing your health problems then send your urine to Real Time labs, they will find mycotoxins. Or do a VCS test.


    Toxic mold syndrome is another diagnosis that I received and subsequently treated for via the Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker protocol. And the treatment didn’t help me at all. The treatment actually made me feel much worse.

    I consider chronic Lyme Disease and toxic mold syndrome to have some similarities. Bot have had documentaries made about them. Both diagnosis seem to be largely unrecognized in conventional medicine and both are blamed for causing every health symptom under the sun. Both are often diagnosed by using alternative testing and both are often treated by alternative therapies. There are facebook groups and yahoo groups devoted specifically to them as well.


    @chelan, you are right about all of these. BTW Igenix is here in Palo Alto, where I live. It is the “go to” lab, and maybe the only one, if you want to get diagnosed with “Chronic” Lymes. When I saw an LLD, it turned out that my doctor was the son of one of the main guys at Igenix. Keepin’ it in the family! BTW, I got my mercury poisoning “confirmed” by Doctor’s Data also. Small world!

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