The “Werewolf Cure” Hypothesis
A presentation of findings that could provide for permanent remission of autoimmune diseases and related conditions.
I’m not a medical doctor and carry no degree in biological science. My qualifications are; having worked in Research & Development and as an Engineer, both of these in the world of digital media and software development. When you get to the micro-level, humans are also lines of code called DNA. In my engineering experience, I’ve found, that for a good engineer, “no” or “can’t be done” is never really an option—when something’s “impossible” you find another way to get, at least, similar results. This experience also fuels my passion for research, an itch that I get to scratch as a writer and journalist as well. In summary and as mottos; “find a way” and “leave no stone unturned.”
(If you haven’t the time to read a narrative of the research, you can scroll down to find a summary at the bottom. I’ll keep all this information updated with the latest developments.)
Some time ago, it was revealed to me that someone I dearly loved was harshly afflicted with lupus—an autoimmune condition that was slowly killing her. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, in a broad stroke, affects various organs and locations in the body; causing damage, inflammation and weakening normal functions until even the immune system goes haywire—untreated, it gets to the point that if someone else sneezes in the same room, the sufferer could die. Lupus isn’t contagious, it just “happens.” How harsh was this particular affliction? Both hips and a shoulder had already been replaced—the function of various organs were measured in fractions—then there was the occasion she curled up to cry in the corner of a “strange” house, terrified of the “strangers” around her (she was visiting home, where it was her parents trying to offer her a blanket and a glass of water). Sound familiar? For your sake, I hope not. I felt helpless, hurt and frustrated for her; no doubt a fraction of the emotions that she lived with every day. She had tried so many things before, from the conventional to the supernatural. The lasting results were merely discouraging disappointment. Medication kept things under control for the most part and some naturopathic remedies provided additional meaningful hope—but nothing was bringing the affliction to an end.
Eventually, after having assisted with some of these attempts, I decided something definitive needed to be done. But “dammit, Jim, I’m a writer, not a doctor!” I started attending talks, lectures and seminars by leading specialists in their fields focusing on lupus—many hosted by the very kind folks of Lupus LA—and dug deep into researching online. I tried digesting all of the material the best way I knew how, I started writing a book. This wasn’t a book about the process or cataloguing the findings—this was a romance about werewolves. Like I said, this is how I best digest things.
Whenever I’m writing a story (fiction or journalism), I feel like a private detective, checking facts and histories. I’d rather not take anything for granted; I want to know the whys and hows behind things. I’d grown frustrated with the doctors continually throwing up their hands to shrug. She was slowly dying—as if she were tied to a railroad track and off in the distance a train was approaching at an aching 5 feet an hour. Sooner or later that train was going to do gruesome things to her. I found this unacceptable. Time to grab a dramatically curved pipe, a deerstalker hat and set out to solve this murder in progress.
The first thing I’d noticed was that all of the doctors I’d been hearing from were focused on treating the various symptoms—quite successfully a lot of the time—but very few looking to find the root; they seemed to accept the mystery. The naturopaths took a more holistic approach, looking to balance nutrients and so forth, aiming for a whole body sort of wellbeing wherein it may have the strength to correct itself. The nuns guarding powerful Catholic artifacts, African mystics and Amazonian witchdoctors… well, they took a different, more spiritual approach. What I would find later was that, according to my current hypothesis, most of them were wandering around the right hallway but they weren’t getting to the right door.
The fact that you’re reading this proves that the internet is an amazing ocean of information and first-hand accounts—you can find it beneath the social networking hubbub, celebrity gossip and porn. I started by googling, “I cured my lupus”. I knew that no cure has yet been discovered, but I wanted to see if anyone was in the ballpark. One of the first accounts that really stood out, struck me as crazy right off but was very memorable. A woman claimed she’d cured her lupus by having all of her teeth removed. She felt that something wasn’t right with her teeth and after much searching found a dentist willing to remove them. According to the account, it turned out most of her teeth were “dead inside” (I may have dated a few of her teeth over the years), leaving secure spaces where bacteria could build up and escape into her bloodstream. Apparently, after that, her lupus went into complete and permanent remission.
The next account that stood out was about a British pop singer who was able to keep her lupus under control with exercise and a strict diet of whole vegetables and fruits. Whenever she veered off of this diet her lupus would flare up again. This was more or less in line with another group, claiming strict diet was the way to go for most ailments by inhibiting the overgrowth of certain bacterias in the stomach—one man saying something like eating nothing but mushrooms and bone broth for a year turned his life around. All of it, excellent material for building a vibrant new werewolf mythology but still falling short of finding a cure for her. There was little chance of ripping all the teeth out of her pretty face or sentencing her to eat like a beetle or a worm for the rest of her life.
Accounts, stories and journal entries (seriously, those of you chronicling your day to day experiences with illness are invaluable) continued along these lines; sometimes crazy, often thoughtful and well considered but almost always emotional—like reading someone’s report as they describe being slowly stabbed to death. Some of the leads I followed dovetailed into various other autoimmune conditions and I started noticing far too many commonalities to ignore.
Meanwhile, I’m also looking into medical journals and publications, from the 1800s to today. Mystified doctors, trying all sorts of remedies, was the common theme. Again, especially in the later days, mostly focusing on treatments for the symptoms. All of them agreeing that it was the inflammation doing the real damage. Some of the interesting highlights, aside from the marvelous miracles happening with modern drugs, were attempts with hydrogen peroxide (we all know that’s good stuff) and—wait for it—silver. My developing werewolf senses started tingling!
Not to go too far off track, but I feel you may find this valuable. According to my research, silver was one of the go-tos before antibiotics came on the scene (which are now about to become useless as we’re on the strongest levels before they become lethal for the human host). There are accounts of silver solutions being used to treat illness and to clean wounds to speed healing. Hospitals used it to sterilize and clean instruments and surfaces. Further back, before refrigeration, I read that people would drop a silver coin into milk to keep it fresh longer. Ever heard, “born with a silver spoon in their mouth”? Apparently, especially during the plague, the rich would give newborns a silver spoon to suck on so they wouldn’t get sick.
I needed to test these claims first-hand and found that you can buy colloidal silver online and even at local pharmacies. The next time I started to get a sore throat, I got excited, it was time to test. The results are the fastest I’ve seen of any remedy anyone has ever recommended or prescribed. The trick is to put the colloidal silver in a spray bottle (even better, one of those nasal spray bottles), then spray up each nostril and the back of the throat every 15-20 minutes. My cold was done within 6 hours!—I kept it up for 8 hours just to be sure. I do this every time now, I sometimes still have a little lingering congestion after but that’s just the body’s natural response and defense against the illness it felt was coming. Seriously, try it out—you’ll thank me.
The main commonalities I was noticing with the various autoimmune conditions had to do with inflammation, the organs and tissues most often affected, the imbalances caused by/to the hormone levels and how almost all patients experienced some degree of positive reaction when specific changes were made to the diet—and, of course, the apparent failing of the immune system to correct the situation.
I began to operate under the supposition that if these commonalities were more than mere coincidence—if many of the conditions characterized as deficiencies of the immune system were linked by a common root cause—then the answer for one may be the answer for all.
She had been let down and disappointed too many times over the years by promises of a cure. Additionally, my intent of conducting amateur science experiments, on someone whose body was already engaged in a slow game of Russian roulette, was out of the question.
If I were going to discover the true root, the implication was that it could pertain even to other flavors of inflammation and immune failings—everything from allergies to some forms of cancer. I myself have dealt with an inflammation and failing of my immune system that fit into the criteria more or less. Acne—the super nasty cystic acne, all over my body—it started when I was a teenager and never went away (side note: this is also the age when many cases of lupus are diagnosed). I tried all the tricks, products and practices to keep it under control for years and ultimately could only manage the symptoms on antibiotics. For fourteen years I burned through every antibiotic used to treat acne until I was on the last one that was still working, a stronger dosage of the broader spectrum trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and it was starting to lose its efficacy. I was already talking to my dermatologist about starting an isotretinoin treatment, which could cause liver damage among other side effects—and, for most, it wasn’t even a permanent fix.
So I decided; I would begin the testing on myself. First I tried vitamin and mineral therapies for various organs, looking for the upper limits of what was safe. (If you get a chance, do some reading about supplementings of red marine algae, iodine and also of vitamin D3—interesting.) Silver was something that I discovered during that period but all this seemed to only be treating the symptoms, I didn’t feel it was getting to the root of the problem. I moved on to different over the counter products that worked on hormone levels. I got the strongest reactions during this phase but most of them weren’t very pleasant or helpful. After having spent over a year testing these less conventional approaches, I decided to return to what had seemed to work, at varying degrees, for the authors of some of the accounts I’d read—I changed my diet.
Now, I want you to understand, my diet wasn’t one that could’ve ever been considered particularly bad. I hardly ever ate fast food, I’ve never been a big fan of candy; I am an occasional drinker but very rarely to excess. After reviewing the various established diets out there, I decided to base my new diet on “Paleo.” It seemed to share the greatest in common with the diets I’d read had worked for some but didn’t seem overly restrictive. After a few weeks I was noticing positive changes, not only to my skin but also to my waistline. After a year of very rarely ever cheating on my Paleo Diet (I’m talking, maybe once a month and only a little, like a piece of bread) I can report that it did seem to help my skin to essentially cut out sugar, refined and processed carbohydrates, and dairy—but the real wonders were done in melting away the extra weight I’d been carrying around (even though, as a writer, I get very little physical activity and wasn’t hitting the gym like I should—this is something I mean to correct). I attained a healthy body weight and my skin was a little better but this still wasn’t the solution.
I was starting to feel lost and hopeless again. Now what? Now where? One day, I’m reading this article, a little science flavored blurb because that’s the sort of stuff I’m into, about Ötzi The Iceman. Ötzi, according to scientists, was a 45 year old who has been frozen in the ice of the Ötztal Alps near the Italian-Austrian border for like 5,300 years. They did this biopsy of his hip bone and discovered non-human DNA. The DNA was from bacteria commonly found in humans’ upper digestive tract. This particular microbe was called Treponema denticola, a bugger responsible for gum disease. This “opportunistic pathogen” had found its way out of his mouth into his bloodstream and then into his hip bone.
The game was afoot!—or, a hip?
All the pieces suddenly fell into place. The inflammation, the organs and tissues involved, the resulting behaviors of hormone imbalances and immune functions, the reason people experienced a positive shift in their symptoms when changing their diets (cleaner eating meant more nutrition for the body and less fuel to set microbial populations out of balance). It wasn’t just one strain of “opportunistic pathogen;” any of the various microbes from our digestive tracts, where they normally reside, could be finding their way out into our body! Even Propionibacterium acnes, the little bastards responsible for acne when their population grows out of control, fit the profile. Maybe that’s why it hits teenagers as their new teeth are settling in.
Various types of these different microbes can be found in the inflamed joints of arthritis patients, in the inflamed prostates of someone developing cancer and even weakening hearts. The answer isn’t to go wipe them out—if you wiped out all the microbes in your digestive tract, you wouldn’t be able to digest anything; it would just be a tract… until you died. No, these guys are “opportunistic,” they’re going to leave and swim around if they find the chance and do what they do, where they’re not supposed to, causing inflammation and opening the door for further damage and disease—as we’re essentially being slowly digested alive. It’s the reason they don’t recommend pregnant woman get their teeth cleaned or worked on—if those microbes make it into the blood, they can harm or kill the fetus.
I adjusted my deerstalker hat, tapped my dramatically curved pipe and squinted into the unnatural glare of the computer screen. I may have just stumbled upon the slow murderer.
Possible route they might take?—that I could start testing immediately? The gums. Remember the lady that pulled all her teeth out?—or the guy who only ate fungus and bone juice? Maybe they really were onto something—but maybe there was a tamer version that kept more teeth and foodstuffs. I do still have all my wisdom teeth—maybe they needed to go? What about my tonsils? They’ve always given me trouble. First, I figured I’d start with the basics—let’s get my gums as they are in perfect shape.
I’ve never considered myself to have horrible gum health, they never looked terrible, people weren’t constantly commenting on my breath or offering me mints and kissing always seemed to work out very well—but the dentist had offered a few tips and recommendations over the years. I increased the frequency of brushing and flossing, started using my Waterpik more often. The increased attention I was paying my mouth was revealing some weak spots in my gums. I figured they’d toughen up in time but after several weeks they were feeling pretty sore. Back to the internet.
I started googling ways to help gums heal faster—the topic that came up most often was vitamin C. I was getting plenty of that on the Paleo Diet, I was eating mostly fruits and vegetables now and lots of orange juice to boot. That was enough, wasn’t it? So I started reading up on vitamin C. The first thing often referenced was scurvy, a condition brought on by a lack of vitamin C that sailors struggled with hundreds of years ago when it was difficult to get fresh fruits and vegetables while spending months at sea. British sailors often floated about with barrels of limes—hence, the nickname “limeys.” I noticed that many of the ways scurvy could present itself were eerily similar to fast-acting/exaggerated versions of symptoms triggered by various autoimmune conditions. Bleeding gums was usually always the first symptom scurvy brought to bear. I wouldn’t have gone so far as to say that I had “bleeding gums” but they were feeling weak and sensitive and there could be a little blood when I flossed. Did I have mild scurvy even though, in addition to my diet, I was taking a multivitamin and a vitamin C kicker?
It didn’t make sense. I was already taking more C than the recommended daily amount. So I kept reading. I found that humans are one of the few mammals not able to synthesize their own vitamin C—the others, off the top of my head, are primates, fruit bats and guinea pigs. Goats, for example, produce on average an additional 10 grams (10,000mg) of vitamin C daily on top of whatever they get in their diet—and, under stressful conditions (an unexpected visit from a goat mother-in-law?), can produce up to 100 grams! I took a quick average of what most other mammals were synthesizing in addition to their diets and found that it was approximately 1 gram (1,000mg) for every 50 pounds. I wasn’t getting anywhere near that. I was getting maybe enough for about two or three large cats. Are some of us burning through our vitamin C fast enough that we’re living with a sort of low-grade chronic scurvy that leaves the door wide open for all manner of other maladies?!
Although it’s nearly impossible to overdose on vitamin C, it seemed like doctors started issuing caution when taking more than 10 grams for an extended period of time. If my levels were low and I wanted to firm up my gums quickly, I wanted to test out some “medicinal levels.” I settled on 6-8 grams a day of Ester-C, they say it stays in the system longer and is easier on the stomach. According to what I was reading, I’d know if I’d ingested more C than I needed because it would then give me diarrhea (not too bad for being one of the worst side-effects). I never got diarrhea. What I did get was nice pink firm gums!—after about a week. I also noticed much more vivid dreams the very first night, a bit more “pep” and a general feeling of being a little sharper and more alert.
Now my skin isn’t “camera ready” perfection clear (I have high standards) but it’s actually better than the best days on the antibiotics. I keep up with my new oral health regiment and I notice a one-to-one relationship—if I damage my gums (like an awkward bite into something rough or hard, or brushing too harshly) I’ll have some little breakout(s) until it’s healed up again. Likewise, if I forget or miss keeping my mouth all extra sparkly, my skin may start a little protesting by that evening. However, these breakouts are nothing like the deep throbbing cystic red monsters of yore, these pass almost as quickly as they appear. For the first time in decades, my skin is looking really good and I’m not on any antibiotics.
In my case, it looks like the final step for eliminating any possible reoccurring inflammation on my skin will lie in closing the door the “opportunistic pathogens” have been using by having a medical professional address my tonsils (and/or wisdom teeth)—and I’m preparing to start that part of the journey.
The point here is that I set out to find the root cause of conditions involving “mysterious” inflammation, and I think I’ve got it. How that inflammation manifests in different body types can be subject to genetically (or epigenetically) predisposed vulnerabilities of the individual, the type(s) of microbes involved or even a luck of the draw on where those microbes end up—depending on where in the digestive tract they’re escaping from (although likely, it may not always be the mouth) and where the bloodstream takes them—but I believe the source is the same; “opportunistic pathogens” escaping the digestive tract, most likely in the oral region. No issues with your wisdom teeth or tonsils?—maybe they even been removed? Test by addressing your gums, even if you think they’re already top-notch. Vitamin C helps big-time; it’s involved in the health and maintenance of many organ and connective tissues, the absorption of iron from the food you eat (got dark circles under your eyes?—this will probably help that), as well as hormone levels and brain functions.
As an afterthought, once your digestive tract is sealed up nice: If you’re really into experimenting with food, you could try and manipulate the populations of little critters in your gut by finding out which ones are most closely associated with the causes of your condition and cutting down on what foods are their favorites and/or adding more of the foods their competitors enjoy to your diet to achieve a better balance. Simple example: Firmicutes (which enjoys processed grains, sugars…) levels drop and Bacteroidetes (whom dig on healthy protein, fat…) levels increase nearly linearly as an overweight person loses that weight.
It’s time now to broaden the scope of testing this Werewolf Cure Hypothesis but it may be years yet before I have final results for you—and, if you’re suffering now and looking for answers, it may be too long to wait. That’s why I’ve decided to put this all down for you as it is now, before I’ve set up official scientific testing but with all indications looking extremely promising. As far as I can tell—and “I’m a writer, not a doctor”—there’s no serious risks associated with attentive brushing and flossing and higher levels of vitamin C. It’s a possible solution so simple and seemingly disconnected that I’m not surprised it’s been so easily overlooked by a complex world (also, the profits—motivating companies to finance research in this direction—wouldn’t be immediately clear).
So, I’m welcoming you to join in on the testing of the Werewolf Cure Hypothesis. If you’re up against anything involving “mysterious” inflammation (allergies, certain cancers, lupus, gout, psoriasis, arthritis…), I think this could help. I don’t know that it will do much for acquired ailments (HIV/AIDS, Lyme…) or strictly genetic conditions (sickle-cell, hemophilia…), as the root cause in such cases has already been found to be an infection or mutation of the DNA—although, it could give the body one less thing to deal with if these bacteria are also in play. There is a possibility that it could help with some brain issues like ADHD, Alzheimer’s, and dementia; but at this point I’ve been unable to test this and can make no claims. I’ve done the initial heavy lifting and I’m looking into avenues for funding and conducting formal clinical testing (if you have any leads, people I should talk to or things I should look into to make that happen, let me know!). If you join in, I just ask that you share your personal findings with me. What are you facing? Are you noticing any differences? Experiencing anything unusual? Did you make any adjustments for your particular circumstances?
At very least, I hope to get the word out “with a spoonful of sugar,” nestled in the werewolf mythology of the new novel. So keep an eye out for that.
Thanks for reading and, whatever you decide, know that I’m wishing you a lot of luck—sincerely.
…Based on These Experiential Findings
While it would be impossible to “cure” someone of tripping once they’ve learned to walk, it would be possible to reduce their risk factors dramatically by having them quit their job at the marble factory, on the processing floor of the banana peeling plant or the playroom at the daycare. Once a person can walk, tripping is on the menu.
Likewise, in the case of autoimmunity, once an immune system develops the blueprints for creating ANAs (Antinuclear antibodies)—which normally destroy foreign microbes by targeting the antigen proteins from their nucleus—to target certain proteins contained in the nucleus of the body’s own human cells (autoantigens) the immune system can’t “un-know” how to do that. (A possible reset/”memory-wipe” of the entire immune system might be achievable with something as dramatic as replacing all of the body’s bone marrow—but something like that is incredibly invasive, risky and unbelievably painful.)
How, and why, might the immune system develop such “blueprints” in the first place? From the moment of birth, bacteria that begin populating our digestive tracts “teach” the immune system which bacteria to eliminate and which to spare (because they’re helping with digestion and even immune function). Some of these bacteria even have a chameleon-like work-around where they’ll present certain proteins to mimic human cells, like learning the secret handshake. All this is nice and tidy, and highly beneficial, within the digestive tract but is a setup for disaster outside in other parts of the body. If they get out, these bacteria have a free pass, and some even know the secret handshake, to explore and “help digest” where they shouldn’t. All of this is fact and evidence that strongly suggests this opens the doors for allergies, lupus, cancers… depending on which bacteria, where they end up and what they do when they get there. (Additionally, take note that the free pass can also apply to other escaping gut flora, such as fungi, protozoa, and archaea—can you say “yeast infection” and a whole bunch of other fun stuff?)
A Couple Possible Setups:
- For an immune system dealing with “secret handshake” digestive bacteria other places in the body—the actions, results and proteins presented by the bacteria doing damage and “wearing cell’s clothing” outside of the digestive tract may have now trained the immune system to put the body’s healthy cells on their hit list any time they present those certain “handshake” proteins.
- At the microbial level, misplaced gut bacteria could be doing their digestion-aid duties on healthy cells outside the digestive tract, disrupting the cells’ normal behavior and triggering the immune system to act against those cells by targeting their innocent protein signals. The disruption to the cell’s activity could also have a flip side where its normal signal to the immune system for its removal (something cells do when they’re damaged or old) might be unrecognizable or misunderstood by the immune system.
- Examples of the results of such a scenario could be the build up of dead scaly skin after sun exposure, cells that would’ve normally been eliminated, or a mass of damaged cells that keep replicating instead of being destroyed, cancer.
Once the immune system is ready to target “handshake” proteins or “innocent” proteins, it always will be—in fact, it’ll be ready to respond in force if it thinks it’s necessary. It’ll be a fact that’s always in play—but you can do your part to dramatically curtail the game by keeping those clever bacteria contained in your digestive tract. Remember, you don’t want to wipe out these bacteria yourself, or train your immune system to; you want them in your gut. There’s proof that the immune system can develop the “blueprints” and actually create autoimmune antibodies without falling victim to a full blown chronic affliction. Approximately 20% of healthy people have low levels of these ANAs that are targeting autoantigens without developing a full blown autoimmune condition—so the precedent for permanent remission is there.
Got your digestive tract all sealed up? Now you want to take things further? It might be theoretically possible to retrain your immune system to chill the heck out through a phenomenon known as “oral tolerance.” Basically, the idea is that you teach your immune system that certain antigens are okay and it doesn’t need to freak out—by eating them. Apparently, Native Americans demonstrated an ability to build an increased tolerance to poison oak by carefully eating the leaves. You may have heard that you can reduce allergic reactions when moving to a new locale by eating the local honey, made by bees from the local flowering plants that are producing that pollen. Theoretically, once you’ve sealed up any leaks in your digestive tract, you could experiment by eating things containing antigens closest to the autoantigens in the parts of you affected by your autoimmune condition—liver?—kidneys?—skin?—heart?—cartilage? Hello, pâté, foie gras, haggis, chitlins, menudo, sweetbreads, liver and onions, steak and kidney pie, bacon and chewing on the ends of chicken bones! (Take note that pigs are closer to humans than cows or chickens—don’t know if that could factor in.) Will eating this stuff work? I’m not sure—but it could be fun to try.
(As we work through this together, feel free to connect with other “testers” on social media using #WerewolfCure.)
Well, looks like it’s been around 8 years since my last update here. Life happens along the way, good and bad, but always educational experiences if you accept them. Every time I thought of making an update, I’d think, “But how will these findings perform under these other circumstances?” and I’d put it off a little longer. At this point, numerous circumstances have been explored, a Four Pillars approach has been refined and the time has come to share results.
Before we jump into the specifics, I’ll give you a quick update on my personal journey—
- I’m all good!
- My skin is reliably clear and healthy for the first time since before puberty! This aspect alone has been truly life-changing for me—I can’t stress that enough. To not have that constant pain be a part of my life anymore, it’s… well, it’s like a whole new life.
- I’ve maintained a healthy weight with no additional effort! I eat about 1/6th of what I used to, not because of any effort but just because as soon as my body gets what it needs from my meal, it signals my brain that I’m satisfied. No more stomach pain or acid reflux!
- I catch a standard cold/flu maybe once every 5 years!—I’m actually trying to remember right now the last time I was actually ill. In the “Don’t Try This at Home” category; about five years in, I wanted to put it to the test… I would lean in and breathe deep when someone sneezed or coughed around me, I spent time talking with the sick guy at work in his cubicle, and I even licked a few door handles. Stayed healthy even when an entire office was taken out, one by one. Again, don’t do these things—especially now!—I was conducting gonzo science in a different era… just a handful of years ago.
- I have more energy and better focus!
- Unexpectedly, I hadn’t really noticed that I used to have some mood swings that could take me from ecstatic to forlorn rather quickly—however, I did notice that I could have very long periods of deep depression—and none of this seemed unusual to me. Such is life, right? Wrong! My default state now is contentment! Sure, I’ll have positive or negative reactions to given stimuli or circumstances but I’m not bouncing off the walls or wallowing in a pit of despair anymore.
- My dentist and doctors consistently volunteer how impressed they are with my state of health.
So, for me, this is my life now and I feel no temptation to ever go back. An accidental win; as none of this is what I originally set out to accomplish.
Okay, so the Four Pillars are deceptively simple; Diet, Oral Hygiene, Vitamin C, and Exercise. Let’s get into the specifics a bit.
Don’t get hung up on the “paleo” title, it’s just the preexisting approach to eating that most closely resembles what’s going to help. Also, a lot of guidance and information on how it works is fairly easy to find online, which is very helpful in getting started. Essentially;
- Eat whole foods that are, at most, minimally processed
- Cut out dairy, grains, refined sugars, and, at least for a few years, legumes and nightshades (potatoes, peas, beans, peanuts, tomatoes, eggplants,…)
- Limit even natural carbs/sugars as much as possible
- Focus on making your diet primarily a range of vegetables
Is this really how paleolithic people ate? Maybe—but again, that’s not the point, as long as you’re doing it, call it whatever you want if the name bothers you. I call it the “Werewolf Diet,” ‘cause it makes me giggle and you’re welcome to giggle with me. Plus, the guidelines for the standard version of paleo don’t stress it being low-carb or mostly vegetables as I’m recommending here.
Why eat this way? Aside from the direct influence of various chemicals and toxins, the microbes involved in digesting many elements of the items excluded in this approach to eating are largely “opportunistic” microbes that can cause more damage than help.
You can likely eat a little barbecued cardboard (please don’t) and be okay but isn’t going to do you any good. If you kept at it, you’d become malnourished and your microbiome would be thrown out of balance.
One fast-food meal, a box of macaroni and cheese, or an ice cream cone isn’t likely to kill you but just the one time is going to introduce some unhelpful/damaging chemicals and set you back in being able to get proper nutrition from eating real food—let alone the damage from a lifetime of eating those things. The ecosystem of your body is remarkable and it will do its best to make use of whatever you swallow—but if you keep ingesting these things, the system gets corrupted and will eventually shut down. In my personal experience, I’ve found that it takes around two weeks on average for my system and microbiome to reset any time there’s a slip-up.
There are about 10-times more “alien” cells that make up “you” beyond what you would consider your own body’s cells. A lot of these microbes (bacteria, fungi, viruses,…) are living in your digestive tract. Overall, it’s a largely symbiotic relationship—you provide them with the raw materials they need to survive and, in exchange, they provide you with many nutrients, vitamins, acids, enzymes, hormones, etc… elements that your body needs to function and regenerate properly. To give you an idea of the scale we’re talking about here, a lot of the content of your bowel movements are these microbes—not to mention everything else in and on your body, like even all the spiders living on your face!
In discussing this with someone I was working with they mused that it was much like we’re all landlords with billions of tenants. I think it’s a bit more accurate to see yourself as a mini-universe or, at least, a little galaxy and all these tiny worlds are as much a part of you as you are providing them a home. They directly effect your thoughts and mood! Just think of those times you get “hangry,” that angry-hunger, as a small example. They’re constantly influencing what you think about and how you think about it through hormones, chemical signals, and other bodily functions. We’ve been colonized and indoctrinated into these “hiveminds.” How’s that for fact being stranger than (science-)fiction?
To summarize where this is going; if your diet includes super-processed “foods” laced with added chemicals, you’re going to end up with some super shady microbes that, at best, provide you little to no benefit and that, at worst, will cause serious damage.
What about the items listed that aren’t “junk foods?”
- As childhood progresses, people tend to lose the ability to produce enzymes necessary to digest dairy properly. For babies, a mother’s milk is perfect nutrition but as we grow and our personal microbiome develops, our need for milk wanes and, eventually, it becomes taxing on our systems to process it. Other microbes have to step in to help process the dairy and they tend to be problematic. This is a bad kind of stress on the body as opposed to a good stress, like exercise, which we’ll get to later. Are there healthy/beneficial elements to dairy? Sure!—but they don’t outweigh the ill effects and you can get those elements elsewhere.
- Similarly, grains have many nutritional benefits but they are essentially grasses and we’re not really built to eat grasses. You could probably survive cutting some grass from your lawn, washing it off, and chowing down but you’ll be doing a far greater disservice to your body than the good of any nutrients it contains. Again, you’ll also be fostering microbes that aren’t great for the human body. Bad stress.
- When it comes to legumes and nightshades the issue becomes more direct. Legumes, like beans and peanuts, contain lectins. Nightshades, like peppers and tomatoes, contain solanine. In both cases, these substances are present to protect the living plant, functioning as natural pesticides. The presence of these toxins in these plants is generally low, enough to defend against little pests. Someone in good health can eat some of these here and there without major issues because their body will be pretty good at filtering the low-dose toxins out. However, if you’ve read even this far, chances are that you or someone you know is in some degree of distress. Consistently ingesting these particular plants can lead to a build-up of these toxins in your system, especially if your system is already having a tough time—filtering the toxins becomes a lower priority for a body that’s busy addressing immediate threats. Once again, bad stress in the best-case scenario.
The diet change, for me, was probably what required the most willpower. I had lived on prepackaged and processed foods, pizza, and pretty much anything with a lot of cheddar on it. Loved chocolaty desserts but never considered myself to have much of a sweet tooth.
By common United States diet standards, I was eating pretty darn healthy on the surface—never much in the way of fast food, junk food, soda, and candy. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much sugar, grains, and legumes were being added to nearly everything I ate. YOU HAVE TO READ THE INGREDIENTS ON EVERYTHING. You’ll be amazed to find how many different words there are for sugar, how many grain derivatives are used in products, and how some form of soy is in just about everything.
To motivate myself (beyond the mission I was on, illustrated below), I told myself that I was just going to test this for a couple of weeks and take it a step at a time. First up, no more dairy, no more of my beloved cheddar. I was aggravated but this test was just “temporary.” After two weeks I felt so much better that I decided to make it a full month and, yes, I kept feeling even better. Next up was getting strict on refined sugars. Did you know that (especially refined) sugar stimulates areas of the brain that cocaine does? Yeah, this one was particularly difficult. For the first couple of weeks without refined sugar or grains in anything whatsoever, I had an unending gnawing in my stomach, I could never feel satisfaction, a nightmare of feeling hunger pains all the time. After the two weeks, I started to feel much less gnawing but it took about a month for the cravings to subside entirely—for a guy “without a sweet tooth!” So, after a couple of months with these initial tests, I was feeling so much better that I decided to prolong the testing. I guess you could say, I’m still conducting what is now a “temporary” 10-year test. Giving myself the option of going back gave me the strength to move forward. My psychological gymnastics proved effective.
The other aspect was that, back then, there weren’t really any good food substitutes for what I was giving up. I had to perform another psychological roundoff flip-flop… I mentally categorized cheddar, pizza, chocolate lava cake, and the rest in the same space as bicycle tires, bricks, and planetary orbits—existing but not food. See, I wasn’t “giving up foods,” I was just no longer putting things in my mouth that didn’t belong there.
Due to the lack of commercially available alternatives for the ol’ favs, I ended up eating a lot of homemade from scratch salads and soups because they were the quickest to prepare. This is no longer the case! There are tons of innovative and delicious paleo recipes to be found online. There are nut cheeses. There are treats and desserts that are wholly compliant (there’s actually a slice of key lime pie waiting in my fridge right now, a personal favorite). So, taking that leap now isn’t quite the herculean effort it once was—beyond those initial sugar/grain withdrawals; just know they’ll pass after a few weeks.
This is a big one. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “Eh, my teeth are doing fine.” I’ll say this, if that were truly the case, there’s a very good chance you wouldn’t be having health issues. Also, it’s far less about the appearance of your teeth and far more about the state of your gums. The mouth and upper digestive tract are crammed full of microbes. The skin-breaking bite from an average dog may even be less dangerous than the bite from the average human when it comes to blood poisoning. Also, avoid those biting people. (Are you seeing another level in my werewolf analogy?)
For the most part, these microbes belong there. You don’t want to eliminate them as they are the first step in helping you digest what you’re ingesting—but you do want to keep them from building up, causing an overgrowth or imbalance. You wanna keep them moving along and make sure they have no place to camp out.
Find a good dentist that you trust. Do whatever they recommend you should do. The essential idea is firm gums with no pockets around for microbes to hang out in and build little microbe cities. You should never see blood when you floss—and you should be flossing regularly. I also recommend getting a Waterpik to flush out food particulates stuck between teeth and the microbes under your gum line (where your gums hug your teeth). Think of flossing as brushing away the film that your toothbrush can’t reach. An electric toothbrush, Oral-B makes some good ones, is also a very helpful idea. Again, a good dentist will be able to provide these tips and more.
As mentioned 8 years ago, it seemed that I was having some tonsil issues contributing to my problems. Turned out it was actually that I’d never had my wisdom teeth removed. Something dentists were always recommending and I was always dismissing. After having the surgery and healing up, my inflamed tonsils calmed down and there were no more issues.
Many of these oral microbes are so “opportunistic” that they can wreak some serious damage and even death outside of their regular habitat. Essentially, this is the entire point of everything we’re talking about here; microbes where they shouldn’t be, causing lasting damage.
This thought applies to all Four Pillars in that public research is catching up every day to the findings I’ve made. Yes, that’s lovely and affirming but, even better, it’s reassuring. A particular oral hygiene example is that researchers have now tied the development of Alzheimer’s to specific oral bacteria breaking the blood-brain barrier.
We’re only getting enough C to stay alive, we’re not getting enough to experience the true benefit of it in helping our body repair and regenerate. Since we aren’t able to produce our own vitamin C like other mammals, we must rely entirely on our diet to acquire it.
Enter supplements. Remember that the conclusions here suggest that the level for a healthy human to supplement is 1-gram for every 50lbs of body weight. So, if you’re dealing with health issues, you’re gonna wanna ratchet that up. At my peak of recovery, after years of damage, I was doing about 26-28 grams for around two years, spread throughout the day.
Especially for women, due to higher risks of osteoporosis, you will need to pretty much match your level of vitamin C intake with calcium—this is the mineral that C uses to make its repairs in your body, if it can’t find enough readily available, C will start harvesting calcium from your bones. The next factor is that your body’s calcium levels are inversely related to its magnesium levels, you need to keep them balanced—so, make sure you’re supplementing as much magnesium as you are calcium. Zinc is helpful too and you can often find supplements that contain a good balance of all three, plus D3. Speaking of which, you’re gonna wanna make sure you’re getting plenty of D3, around 6000IU. There is the plant formulation of D3 and the animal formulation; the human body can’t do as much with the plant version so, make sure you’re getting the animal kind. Also, the sun!—humans can synthesize D3 in sunlight—but do it safely and don’t get burned.
This one is the easiest concept to explain. The goal of this exercising isn’t to build muscle or even lose weight, it’s to circulate your endocrine system. The endocrine system is even more prolific than the cardiovascular system but unlike that one, which has the heart muscle to pump blood around, the endocrine system relies entirely on the movement of your body to pump antibodies and such out to your extremities and bring back waste and toxins for disposal.
This is great for making sure all parts of your body have adequate defenses in place and that it’s continually flushing out unwelcome microbes so they don’t build up.
So, there are no intimidating goals you have to reach or anything; as long as you’re moving your core and limbs, you’re pumping. Sure, walk/run/jog, lift weights, juggle chainsaws (or don’t!)… but you can also just do some yoga, help your kids build a tree fort, play frisbee, clean the house, throw a ball around, laugh a lot, or do the sex! I’m a fan of doing the sex.
There it is in a nutshell. I know what you’re thinking; most of this seems pretty obvious but it really is the combination of all four measured aspects that delivers the magic. I’d been doing some form of all of these things my whole life but never with the proper measures laid out here.
What about the future? Do you have to be this strict and on top of it forever? Maybe not so much. A few years ago, I had already dropped my vitamin C supplementation back down to those “healthy human” levels of 1g/50lbs with no ill effects and then…
In these couple of years since the pandemic started, I must admit that I’ve gone a bit soft on my regiment, cutting corners. I haven’t been cleaning my mouth as thoroughly, several times a day, as I had been. My exercise has been infrequent, to put it mildly. However, while there has been more tequila and wine as well as hard ciders and kombuchas in my life lately, I have not otherwise wavered from my new diet—except that, a few years ago, I reintroduced occasional nightshades like, tomatoes and peppers.
Aside from the general malaise and anxieties caused by the pandemic itself, I have yet to experience any ill effects. This time has been sort of the final test and my inspiration to provide this update. I think that once you get your body back on track, adopt these healthy behaviors as habits, and enjoy a few years of improved health while following these guidelines faithfully, you may eventually be able to slack off a bit, cut some corners. What those corners may be for you depends on what you’re dealing with. For myself, I know that I can’t cut corners on my diet (except for occasional nightshades and even a little popcorn from time to time with the right movie). For you, it may be the exercise, the oral care, the vitamin C, or you may need to stay on top of all Four Pillars. What I can say from personal experience is that it will take a few years to get to the point where you can test it on purpose or accidentally. With that in mind…
Some additional things that can help make the healing happen faster:
- Do what you can to avoid antibiotics, except in case of emergency or to prevent a developing emergency. Antibiotics are being overprescribed (and way too often, misprescribed) in many countries, leaving only the most resistant and strongest bacteria replicating themselves, to the point that antibiotics are nearing the end of their efficacy before the necessary dosage will kill the patient too. For what we’re talking about here, it has more to do with how they not only kill the offending bacteria but many of the other microbes as well. These are your wacky life-partners, you don’t want to wipe them out. Also remember that, when it comes to viruses, like a genuine cold or flu, antibiotics have no effect.
- Conversely, where it makes sense, try using probiotics to treat bacterial imbalances. Many times, a sore throat, an upset stomach, a rash, etc. is an overgrowth of a specific microbe. Introducing more and diverse microbial populations can often muscle out the bullies who are causing a problem. In fact, use probiotics periodically regardless. This will help you build a healthy microbiome and “evict” the troublemakers.
- Drink plenty of water. Our bodies use water not only for overall hydration and optimal functionality but also for our natural filtration systems. Staying properly hydrated helps your body keep you clean from the inside.
- A little psychological tool—focus on the positive. Where we place our attention tends to be what we reinforce in our lives. So, frame things in the positive. Example: Instead of thinking about how much you want the pain to go away, think about how much you enjoy feeling good. Instead of thinking about how much you need money to get that something for yourself, think about how great it feels to have enough money to do kindnesses for others. As much as microbes can influence our thinking, our thinking can also have an effect on the physical environment we’re providing for our body’s personal galaxy of “tenants.”
I’ve worked with people on this whole approach with some remarkable results like my own and even better too. In doing so, I’ve also run across some who aren’t physically able to do a pillar or two of the four. If this applies to you due to physical injury or a condition, such as Hashimoto’s (where the body has trouble with vitamin C), don’t fret—the Four Pillars are the fastest and most efficient way to achieve and maintain the desired results (which took me about 2 years, after the 2 years of testing and refining) but doing as much of this as you are able is going to help a lot and may get you across the goal line, even if it just takes a bit longer.
Honestly, I’ve also worked with a lot of people who don’t stick with it—the call of cheesecake was too much for them to resist?—and it makes me sad. Not sad for myself but just in tracking their gains with them, witnessing them feel the promise and hope for the future, only to see it all flushed away.
Which might be the Fifth Pillar; trust in yourself. Take ownership, invest in you. The worst that can happen is that you put in a few months of testing and nothing comes of it, just like everything you’ve tried before. Which is EXACTLY what led me down this path. The best that can happen is that you get to live the rest of your life pain-free or, at least, with significantly less pain.
Nothing being sold here. No cult to join. This is a passion project I developed from zero for someone I dearly loved and I’m hoping it can help you—I’m hoping to spread the love.
– IN SUMMATION –
The Werewolf Cure Hypothesis is:
The main take-away and bottom line is to find where bacteria are escaping your digestive tract (probably happening orally) and stop their escape by sealing that leak, either through care/attention or having a medical professional address the area specifically (dentist/surgeon). This should put an end to the cause of the inflammation (the root of the affliction)—no more fighting and treating only the symptoms.
(Click the Tabs)
- Start testing by getting your gums and mouth healthy. Find a good dentist, do what they tell you. If not doing so already, clean the mouth after introducing anything of a digestible nature—use best judgment to remove anything that could be feeding bacteria to keep their numbers in your mouth to a minimum.
- For extra help and faster results, try supplementing 6,000mg-8,000mg (and even higher levels) daily of vitamin C, spread throughout the day and even better with at least a little food. After all, C is an acid. Ramp up to higher levels slowly, follow your body’s signals—once your body is comfortable with a given dosage, then add a little and wait until it feels comfortable again.
- The brand Ester-C has some calcium in it, but you should also supplement something like a Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc/D-3 pill at around 1/6 the Ester-C dose, more or less, depending on given calcium concerns particular to body type (and remember that calcium and magnesium levels need to balance with each other). This is because one of the things C does is make calcium “bioavailable” in your body—if there isn’t enough readily available to work with, it could eventually start looking to your bones and I’m pretty sure you’d like to keep them where they are.
- Eat minimally processed foods. Cut dairy, processed & cane sugars, grains, legumes, and nightshades out of your diet. Use The Paleo Diet as reference. READ THE INGREDIENTS ON EVERYTHING.
- Exercise. Do things that squish your organs around, things that pump your limbs. Make it fun!
- Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva production in your mouth and keeps any bacteria “moving along” when you’re in a bind to perform your regular clean mouth duties. Avoid synthetic sweetener alternatives.
- I found that witch hazel helps to calm irritated gums and, with the alcohol that comes in most off-the-shelf brands, it makes a pretty effective mouthwash. I have another kind of witch hazel without the alcohol but with aloe and rosewater that I swish with at bedtime.
- Another thing I tried that might be helpful (haven’t fully decided) is called “oil pulling.” The moment you wake, go spit out whatever’s built up in your mouth overnight, then hold about a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes, swishing as much as is comfortable. After the 20 minutes, spit it into the trash or something, not down the sink (it can build up, harden and cause a clog). This “pulls” the bacteria out of all the little nooks and crannies of your mouth.
- And finally, don’t “eat like a jerk.” Meaning, don’t feed the bacteria more than you’re feeding yourself by eating junk. Eating only whole unprocessed foods is going to make you healthier; cutting out cane sugar, grains and dairy is part of this too (some of the buggers live on that stuff).
If you have questions, send them to me. If I have an answer from the research I’ve done I’ll let you know—if I don’t, I’ll look into it. I’ll share the most common here.
(Click the Questions to Open the Answers)
Please do email me with your progress. Also feel free to post your comments and updates down below.
- As November 2014 dwindles, it marks two months with no prescription medication and now no inflammation for me.
- As a test, after Thanksgiving, I tried eating sugar and grains again regularly. My stomach eventually let me know it wasn’t happy about this—and so did my skin. I’d still like to think it’s not a requirement for everyone but it does look like diet can play a role. Just sayin’… I’m guessing it stoked bacteria populations while I haven’t had my tonsils ultimately taken care of yet.
- A feisty woman in her 90s from the Monterey, CA area tests the approach out after becoming uncommunicative and bedridden with joint pain and stiffness. After a couple weeks, she’s getting up again to clean her own darn bathroom, argue with her son, make her own breakfast and do the dishes properly. Her mysterious anemia also diminishes as her iron levels start balancing.
- A lovely young woman dealing with Hashimoto’s disease (as well as other conditions, as is often the case with autoimmune conditions “traveling in packs”) in Ohio decides to start testing this out and so far reports an improvement to her gums after just days—gums she had considered to be already fine and healthy.
- Emphasizing the theory; I was experiencing some breakouts by the evening of the other day. Sure enough, I’ve got a spot between two teeth that somehow jams anything fibrous I eat deep into my gums so that not even floss can reach and using my Waterpik in the evening liberated the culprits. Now everything’s returning to the NEW normal as the gums there heal back up. Gonna have to add that spot to my hit list and talk to my dentist.
What do you think?