Discovery is a funny business. Sometimes explorers set out for the new land, braving dangers & going where no one has gone before. And sometimes the process is much more serendipitous than that.
And it can be funny.
I am thinking of the story I heard about Dr Alan Ebringer, which may be at least partially apocryphal. In conversation with one of his patients, he suggested –in jest? Or in exasperation? –that the patient should consume only foods that are red: red wine, red meat & tomatoes.
Later –surprise surprise—when he followed up, inexplicably, the patient was in much better condition. I don’t know if this is a true story, but it has the bizarre ring of truth to it.
The patient’s ailment? Ankylosing Spondylitis, or “AS”, an inflammatory condition that is sometimes thought of as a kind of arthritis. It leads to such symptoms as morning stiffness, excess bone growing in areas such as the neck or tailbone, and can lead to other conditions, some innocuous such as eczema, some more serious such as iritis.
The accidental discovery –through the red items—seems to be that some foods may trigger AS. What was it about the red items? They had no starch, it turns out.
And so Ebringer is now an exponent of a dietary solution to AS, that may indeed apply to a series of other inflammatory ailments: the no starch diet, aka “NSD”, or low starch diet aka “LSD” perhaps in combination with drugs.
The really funny thing about this? Pharmaceutical companies can’t make big money off of a dietary choice. When my doctor asked me to take one of the “biologicals” –drugs that repress the immune system and leave you vulnerable to minor infections—I refused. The one she suggested sometimes causes leukemia.
So nameless doctor, wherever you’ve gone, I hope you can forgive me if I chose not to turn an elephant gun upon myself. Already –without knowing about Ebringer–i was seeing red. I retreated to the internet seeking alternatives, and google came to the rescue.
And I found one, thanks to Dr Ebringer, whose fame is all over the internet even if you’ve never heard of him. You can read about the NSD here.
Imagine then the choice, between….
- a carcinogen, that cost $10,000 a year (paid by my health plan), that requires one to go to an emergency ward if you get the sniffles?
- a non-invasive dietary choice that costs nothing
What’s more, it seems really clear to me that the expensive solution fights with my body’s inflammation but does not stop the inflammation at its cause, whereas the dietary choice fixes the inflammation at its root: in the digestive system. Even if this weren’t so, isn’t it safer to avoid expensive & dangerous drugs? Surely.
Here’s Ebringer talking about AS, as well as another related condition, namely fibromyalgia.
Finally… i hope no one is offended when i decline potatoes, rice, pasta or bread when offered. It’s simply because I’m seeing red: just like Dr. Ebringer. Oh and one last thought, namely THANK YOU DR EBRINGER.