Thursday, 30 January 2014

How to improve food tolerance

By slowly introducing the problem food
I have experienced a markedly improved tolerance to Inulin / FOS in garlic and onion by starting with just a tiny tiny bit. If you react noticeably give the body a little time to heal and then halve the amount next time. If you don't react then double it next time - tomorrow perhaps. Keep doing this regularly until the food intolerance improves. Fingers crossed !

There is an interesting video on this method here. And here is another similar video:

It makes me laugh that anyone would think this was something new when mothers have been doing this with their infants for thousands of years. However the concern with peanut allergies (and some other allergies) is that the reaction is so deadly you would want to only do this in a hospital. The idea of course is to start with a minuscule amount that causes no trouble and build tolerance from there.

Probiotic complex
10 strains or more, eg: "Soil Based Organism" (SBO) Probiotic blends. My tolerance of dairy *seemed* to improve afterwards. I can't say with 100% certainty, but this is the only obvious cause for my now being able to tolerate milk much much better. When I say tolerate I mean that my Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms don't worsen in the way they did before. I am however concerned I may still have inflammation that dairy may worsen (eg. Prostate trouble, and Sjorgren's syndrome like symptoms).

Yoghurt & cultured foods
Sugar is well tolerated in Lassi's and Yoghurt drinks. Perhaps we can use this to improve sucrose tolerance, and perhaps also try adding milk, sugar, rice flour and try to build tolerance to them that way.

Vegetable gums?
I find that sucrose is somewhat better tolerated with the vegetable gums often found in sorbet. As with Yoghurt this could perhaps be a useful way to build tolerance.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Alternatives to using diet for autoimmune disorders

If the No Starch Diet doesn't work for you I would recommend looking into the following:

  • Low starch diet / Paleo diet / SCD
  • Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). Lots of people find it useful for immune disorders (and even cancer?!)
  • Fecal Transplant - as disgusting as it may sound but people are saying it works quite well.
  • helminthes parasite - another treatment that will get up peoples noses. This parasite, when living in your gut, has the strange ability to cure many autoimmune disorders! This document asks the question: is "endemic" helminthes infection why the developing world has a lower rate of autoimmune disease?
  • Search for alternative therapies for arthritis and other similar immune disorder 
  • Antibiotic therapy - My concern with this is some people seemed to be more starch sensitive after trying this. No wonder since there is a reduction in competition & friendly flora after taking any antibiotic. Which leads to..
  • Probioic complexes. My recommendation is to take probiotics from two manufacturers with as many different strains as you can find. Currently these are being marketed under the title "Soil Based Organisms" (SBO).  We want increased competition from the flora in our gut to crowd out any pathogens. Oh and there are other great probiotics such as: Kefir, live sauerkraut, kombucha.. and there are certainly many other cultured foods deserving a mention that I can't think of.
  • Browse the alternatives sub-forum at
  • Turmeric (Curcumin). This works really well for some people. Ginger is pretty good too. Actually ginger, galangal and turmeric are all related.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Losing that spark for life.. And what it is like to have an immune disorder

Sent this to fernpixel, but want to share it here too: (with a little modification)

It is easy to lose your passion for life when you are sick. I decided to make cooking into a hobby, since eating out all too often makes me sick & weak, and good homemade food makes me happier and stronger. Still working on that "hobby" part, I still only want to cook for others.. and when I'm on my own I just can't be bothered :-/ Lazy? Hell yeah, but I have a nice & convenient excuse.

This is how I explain what it is like to have an immune disorder, and how it impacts on my personality:

Imagine how "blah" you feel when you have a flu. That feeling is actually caused by your immune system working over time, as is the foggy headed brain, the lack of interest in doing stuff, loss of your "spark", etc. Everything just feels kinda "gray" and "blah". Well, that's how I fell most of the time.. It used to be worse though. With lots of careful diet restriction, home cooked stews and exercise.. these are giving me more days where the sun can shine through again. 

Ok, having an excuse is one thing.. but taking charge of my life and not making excuses, that is something else. That ought to be my new years resolution. Hmmm.. In fact I think I will make that my new years resolution.

So then, if you feeling sorry for yourself one day, just remember this guy's message:

The second piece to the puzzle - getting a tummy flu

I ate something bad and came down with food poisoning once some years back. I wasn't keeping solid food down so I decided I would try fasting .. more of my usual crazy, self experimenting behaviour. I just wanted to know what a fast would feel like, as I had heard that certain spiritual people do it and wanted to understand why. I did drink water of course, I'm not suicidal. After hours of diarrhea and vomiting there was eventually nothing more in my system. My gut was empty. I recall quite clearly vomiting one final time and then within just minutes of clearing everything out the pain started dissolving away. It was surprisingly fast! I continued the fast for a while before eating and I have to say it was a wonderful experience. I think that the fact my digestive system was completely cleared out is what made the fast so enjoyable. I was happy, creative, my mind & body felt bright and effortless, had no hunger pains (drank plenty of water though!).. life like this was really a joy.

Obviously this was not going to be a long term solution though, and as soon as I started eating again the pain came back in a matter of hours. That was when the penny dropped and I realised something in my diet was causing me pain. I hopped on an internet forum ( and mentioned this experience to others also suffering from my condition. To this "DragonSlayer" responded and pointed out that my experience illustrated the purpose behind the No Starch Diet (NSD) that he follows. He pointed me towards the appropriate sub-forum where the diet is discussed. Well, up until that time I had carefully avoided the "loonies" on that part of If only I had listened when I was younger instead of being so arrogant and closed minded.

So to sum all that up, I realised that something in my diet was causing my inflammation and returning to my usual eating patterns brought back the pain. Hope returned, now it didn't matter how much pain I was in, I had something to fight for.

Where to from here?

If you are interested in learning more about this diet, I can suggest the following places to start:

Monday, 13 January 2014

The first clues on how to beat an immune disorder.. (learning about root causes)

My early signs.

I started to notice some issues in my teen years - mainly stiffness and some hip pain. In my very late teens I had a severe iritis attack (the first of many). The ophthalmologist (Dr Ho) asked about hip or back pain, mentioned that iritis is associated with AS and had me referred to a rheumatologist (Dr McNaught). Then came the gene test, x-rays,  salazopyrin, NSAIDs etc. Things were fine for a few years and the NSAIDs kept me mobile and I seemed quite normal.

Yes, I am fairly sure the NSAIDs have permanently damaged my health. I started to have weird reaction after about 5 to 7 years of using them. Sorry my memory is less than perfect, which is why I don't give more precise dates. Anyway, the longer I used the medication the less effective it became, and yet the side effects gradually continued to get worse and worse. Eventually I reached a tipping point where I just couldn't tolerate the side effects anymore and had to look for other alternatives.


It was my mother who mentioned people on some internet forum ( and they were using diet to manage symptoms. I would have been between the ages of about 17 to 19 at that time and I "knew" for certain they were fools, after all how could diet have anything to do with it .. right?. Well, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I hadn't been so arrogant (the saying "pride goes before a fall" comes to mind). Well, that youthful arrogance has cost me a great deal. I find it curious that although it was my mother that mentioned this website where people use diet, years later when I started to actually follow the diet she became very upset and even cried. Later my family could see the obvious improvements in my condition, even my sister who is a medical doctor said to me "the medical system has failed you" (because dietary changes had worked where drugs had failed). I was in so much pain at that time in my life that I even considered the fact that ending my life would be preferable to what life had in stall for me. Years of suffering that would only get worse and worse, and still worse, and eventually my body would become completely rigid such that I would need to be confined to a bed or a wheelchair. Surprisingly it wasn't the pain that caused the greatest despair, rather it was the loss of all hope..

The first clue - antibiotics.

Bear with me on this one, it will become relevant later on! In my mid 20's I was preparing for a trip to Malaysia and Singapore. I visited my local doctor in Kingsford and asked if there were any vaccinations that I would require before going. She recommended two vaccinations: one, an attenuated Typhoid vaccination, the other a Hep A or B vaccine (I forget which). Well, the attenuated vaccine I would later learn contains a live but weakened version of the Typhoid pathogen. A normal immune system probably would have had no trouble with it, however I came down with a cough within days of taking the vaccine. Being irresponsible and not realising it was anything more than a little bit of flu I went to Malaysia - despite the cough. However the cough didn't go away and continued to get worse and worse. Soon I started to develop a mild fever and a feeling of tiredness, then later came the red spots on my chest which are a classic sign of Typhoid. My friends took me to see a doctor and he prescribed an antibiotic and some cough syrup.

Now here is the interesting thing - not only did the antibiotic stop the cough for the duration of the treatment, but my inflammation went away altogether! Now, as soon as the antibiotic course was ended I found my inflammation came right back. Dangnammit. Such a strange thing to happen, and why did the antibiotic have this effect? Well, I find it does fit well with the "Molecular Mimicry" theory I read on Oh and not only did the inflammation return but so did my cough unfortunately, that problem took many months to resolve.

Typhoid is a tough little critter, but not nearly as tough as whatever bug must be contributing to our AS. Whatever it is, the microbe is everywhere and going by research performed on rodents, it appears to live in them too. There is a rodent model for AS by the way, and sterile rodents do not show symptoms of inflammation until they are allowed to interact with normal rodents, ie. exposure to normal microbial flora brings on inflammation. Klebsiella have the same or similar antigens on their cell surface as do those with the HLAB27 gene, and according to the "Molecular Mimicry" theory of autoimmune disease it is this similarity that causes the immune system to become confused and start attacking you in error. The curious thing about the rodent model is that they need to insert the HLAB27 gene around a thousand times or so in order to get a decent inflammatory response. A single copy of the gene and inflammation from any cross-reaction with microbes such as Klebsiella is obviously easily modulated by a normal health body, which indicates to me that something more than molecular mimicry is going on. Some other system has failed also, and the question is what?.

When I returned home from my trip I explained to my doctor what happened. Fortunately my doctor at the time trusted me, and allowed me to try the antibiotic again. Unfortunately it didn't do a thing the second time round. The critter had adapted.

Sunday, 12 January 2014


Hi there.

The purpose of this blog is to look into existing alternative treatments & protocols for autoimmune disorders (some of which have worked for me), and also the continued search to understand root causes and find a cure for all immune diseases. I hope in future to discuss the various experiences of those of us who suffer from autoimmune disorders.

A little about me. 

I have suffered from an autoimmune disorder called Ankylosing Spondylitis since my late teens. Actually I had mild symptoms of the disease even whilst in high school, which is quite early. A rheumatologist will tell you that this is a bad sign, that the earlier it starts then the worse the expected prognosis. Things got pretty bad in my twenties and I was in constant pain. Walking was often excruciating due to inflammation in my hips, as was coughing, sneezing, laughing and even sleeping - due to inflammation in my rib cage.

I'm now in my mid 30's and doing pretty well all considered. I have suffered terribly with this condition in the past but with time have learnt a few tricks that make dealing with this disease much easier. I can now run, dance, drive a car & laugh without difficulty, and all these little things are now precious little joys that were once robbed of me. Why have things improved? This will be discussed in future posts as I want to discuss my history first, but I will tell you now that it is given freely, as it was given to me freely. Basically, the most important change involves avoiding certain pro-inflammatory foods. I won't demand your email address (unless you wish to chat with me ^_^). I won't ask for your money either, but I won't say no if you choose to throw some my way :-p