Anyone heard of the Gerson diet?

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SoIGotIBD
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 244
   Posted 6/14/2010 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
They claim to cure ulcerative colitis... Im skeptical of any kind of special diet that claims to cure anything as they charge astronomical amounts for the information and the products... but a good friend suggested it and I thought Id ask you's.

http://gerson.org/case/case0.php?case=15

Supa
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 748
   Posted 6/14/2010 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
A particularly crunchy friend of mine has been pushing this on me as well. Like you, I am skeptical of anything that claims to cure UC, and this friend has no experience herself with UC, nor does anyone else she knows have it.

I was just thinking that I might mention it to my Integrative Doc the next time I see him, and see if he has heard of it and what his thoughts are. But beyond that, I don't have any plans of trying it.
Laura
Getting Closer to Remission!!!!
35 years old, stay at home mom of 2 girls, ages almost 5 and 3.5
Diagnosed in March 2007, symptoms started Dec. 2006
Currently on:
OUT of Humira trial-it stopped working
TAPERING pred (currently on 5mg), started REMICADE 2/26/10, otherwise taking Asacol (6/day), slow-fe iron (double dose), milk thistle, multivitamins, calcium, Ultimate Flora Critical Care, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. Using Canasa nightly. Adding DHEA, prebotics and Sacchromyces Boulardi


imagardener2
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3869
   Posted 6/14/2010 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Beware of those charging large money for cures.
Wikipedia says this:


Max Gerson (18 October 1881–8 March 1959) was a German physician who developed the Gerson Therapy, an alternative dietary therapy which he claimed could cure cancer and most chronic, degenerative diseases. Gerson described his approach in the book A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases. However, when Gerson's claims were independently evaluated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), it was found that Gerson's records lacked the basic information necessary to systematically evaluate his claims. The NCI concluded that Gerson's data showed no benefit from his treatment. The therapy is considered scientifically unsupported and potentially hazardous, and has been blamed for the deaths of patients who substituted it for standard medical care.

and this
The diet prohibited the drinking of water and consumption of berries and nuts, as well as use of aluminium vessels or utensils.

and this
Gerson's therapy has not been independently tested or subjected to randomized controlled trials, and thus is illegal to market in the United States. The Gerson Institute claims that Gerson's observational studies and case reports are anecdotal evidence of the efficacy of the treatment.[8] In his book, Gerson cites the "Results of 50 Cases"; however, the U.S. National Cancer Institute reviewed these 50 cases and was unable to find any evidence that Gerson's claims were accurate

Wikipedia source
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Gerson
In remission April 2010 after 10 years of suffering and no remission ever
Jan 2010 started SCD diet (modified to remove dairy, fruit & juices)
Bleeding stopped in 3 days, other symptoms improved slow & sure
Diet: Gluten/grain-free, fructose-free (blueberries OK), dairy free (swiss cheese OK), starch-free
I eat: Protein(meat/fish/eggs,no soy), nuts(soaked/roasted), non-starch veggies, nut-flour muffins
Daily: fish oil, Vit D3 2000 2Xday with oil/fat, veggie juice, sunflower seeds, probiotic VSL#3
Highly recommend: the book "Life without Bread" and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet


imagardener2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3869
   Posted 6/14/2010 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
sorry for the weird type in the above post. I didn't do it.
In remission April 2010 after 10 years of suffering and no remission ever
Jan 2010 started SCD diet (modified to remove dairy, fruit & juices)
Bleeding stopped in 3 days, other symptoms improved slow & sure
Diet: Gluten/grain-free, fructose-free (blueberries OK), dairy free (swiss cheese OK), starch-free
I eat: Protein(meat/fish/eggs,no soy), nuts(soaked/roasted), non-starch veggies, nut-flour muffins
Daily: fish oil, Vit D3 2000 2Xday with oil/fat, veggie juice, sunflower seeds, probiotic VSL#3
Highly recommend: the book "Life without Bread" and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25894
   Posted 6/14/2010 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't get why anyone would think that it would "work".....one case study...ooooo, now I'm convinced. pshaw.

q

SMfromCA
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 6/14/2010 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Prohibited drinking of water??? Did I read that right? What are we supposed to drink then? Beer?? :-)
Male 42
UC diagnosed in summer 2004
Currently on Asacol 3 X 4
Also Fish oil, flax seed powder, psyllium husks and powder, benefiber, pro-biotic tablets...


SoIGotIBD
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 244
   Posted 6/14/2010 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Somebody said...
What are we supposed to drink then? Beer??


Id have to be wine for me. Beer hurts... skull

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25894
   Posted 6/14/2010 4:05 PM (GMT -7)   
So, this was just a tongue in cheek posting from you?

q

SoIGotIBD
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 244
   Posted 6/14/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Somebody said...
So, this was just a tongue in cheek posting from you?


Did you mean the original post? No, no, no!! it wasnt a tongue in cheek post. I was genuinely asking... but the comment about the wine... well, it doesnt bother me as much as any other acoholic drink...

I honestly meant no offense... blush

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 6/15/2010 12:52 AM (GMT -7)   
SoIGotIBD said...
They claim to cure ulcerative colitis... Im skeptical of any kind of special diet that claims to cure anything as they charge astronomical amounts for the information and the products...


That should be a clue to stay far away...

"A person following this diet eats organic vegan meals and drinks 13 glasses of fresh organic juice a day (one juice every hour)."

I would be flaring on this diet. I'm fructose intolerant and cannot drink juice.

Anyway, it could work for some. But why would anyone need to pay astronomical amounts to eat an organic vegan meal and drink lots of juice?
Colitis is in remission. No longer get IBS.
 
Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.

What works for me: Fecal transplantation, Probiotics, Anti-inflammatory foods, No HFCS, No crystalline fructose, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, vitamins & supplements, Lexapro (for stress).

Post Edited (subdued) : 6/15/2010 12:57:04 AM (GMT-6)


deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2025
   Posted 10/11/2010 1:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Frankly, it does make sense. If you correlate this therapy to ancient Indian Ayurvedic medical system, its pretty much similar, in theory. I am planning to do it starting Feb next year (at home). May be their claim is too high but whats harm in giving a try and see if you get any results? Of course, I don't plan to stop my medications. Over the period of 3.5 years of medications, I know how my health is. If I see improvement then I would attribute that improvement to Gerson's diet. With modern medical system, we target one thing at a time (if we know). I honestly don't think its that simple e.g. Interactome database that tells you how your genes communicate by interacting with each other. My feeling is, Gerson's diet therapy targets many things at a time and that tries to balance the system. Similar theory is proposed in Ayurved too (and that is in use for centuries)

Few things do make me uncomfortable, like not eating berries, nuts, cucumber etc. I don't find a reason, why should you not eat this? Berries are full of antioxidants so what else do they have that could harm us?
Not using Aluminium vessels is pretty much understandable. Isn't this a well known fact? I remember my dad telling my mom to get rid of all Aluminium utensils in the 80s to replace it with steel or copper.

Some of the other members have posted concerns. Quincy asks, why would someone believe that it will work? I would believe because, just look at our older generations. Their health is lot better than the current generation. I strongly believe that its due to the fact, they were close to nature. Industrialization brought a lot of new stuff on this planet, that didn't exist naturally. We don't even know how its affecting us but its affecting for sure. For e.g. Bisphenol A story. Otherwise why our health is not as great as our forefathers when we share the genes from the same gene pool? This forum is not a great platform to argue, yet, when I will try it out, I will post my experience for sure.
Meanwhile, anyone who has tried this, the experiences/pitfalls are welcome.

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 10/11/2010 2:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I did a search:

The Gerson diet recommends doing coffee enemas, and coffee enemas have been...

"associated with serious infections, dehydration, constipation, colitis (inflammation of the colon), electrolyte imbalances, and even death."

http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/DietandNutrition/gerson-therapy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Gerson

deltaforce
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2025
   Posted 10/11/2010 6:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks subdued. I see your concern.
I came across Gerson diet just a week or so ago. I noticed conflicting information and hence I am giving myself time until Feb 2011 to thoroughly study proponents as well as opponents. After the picture is clear, I will decide which course I should take (if at all). If I don't go for coffee enemas, I will certainly try juices (have already done for a week but couldn't got any further)

Male, Otherwise healthy, Non-Smoker and a teetotaler.
Flared for about a year before colonoscopy and official diagnosis of IBD on 23rd March 2007, at the age of 30 years.
Currently taking -
Colazid 2250mg 3X a day,
Azathioprine 150mg a day,
Salazopyrine Suppository 500mg, one every night (Stopped since 2nd June 2010)
Mesalamine 1gm enema 2X a day (since 2nd June 2010)
Metaprolol 100mg, once a day for migraine (since 13th July 2010)

Otherwise serious migraine headache. Migraine is affecting quality of life way more than IBD.

I just give suggestions. You decide what to do with it.


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25894
   Posted 10/11/2010 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
why in the world would you want to try coffee enemas??

At least drink it...so much more satisfying I would think.

q
*Heather* I give suggestions, do with them what you will.
Status: ...Asacol 3 @ 2x daily; Salofalk enema @ 3rd night (nightly/ flares, tapered/maintenance)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol 20mg as needed; Ranitidine; Effexor XR 37.5mg (depression), Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~vitamins/minerals/supplements; Probiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care+Primadophilus Reuteri capsules @ bedtime
~Metamucil capsules 6 twice daily with meals; Vitamin D 2000 IU
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS" worth it !!!

Media Composer
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/16/2011 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I did not get the reference to coffee enemas in the Cartoon Futurama until I started researching Gerson Therapy (comedy is good therapy). You can watch a pro Gerson documentary on Netflix for free with their free trial "The Gerson Miracle", it's worthwhile to be informed although like many documentaries out there was more glittering generalities and very little clinical facts. The comparison of humans herbivores, and statements that digestively we are are no more less or more capable than cows of digesting proteins from meats, humans being nothing more than herbavores is in my opinion weak science if it is to be considered scientific theory at all.

The only facts I can really see are that no matter the cause of UC vitamin and mineral deficiency is a fact, The food isn't in your colon long enough for your body to get many essential building blocks, so depending on the person and tolerance, readily absorb-able nutrients that don't need much digestive processing would be helpful.

I've even been looking at IVC or "vitamin IV" as a way to help to stabilize the disaster that is going on in my colon.

As to meats in diets, if you are eating meat you must also consume enough enzymes to break down the meats quickly, and humans do like animals process food the digestive tract in as little as 4 hours. The funny thing is that with UC many of the items like sauerkraut and pickles are likely to cause issues depending on the condition of the colon at the moment.

Biggest concern for Gerson Treatment is there are risks including infection from using coffee enemas,

I really wish medical technology was much further along than it is, labs and blood screenings take too much blood and too long, it should be possible to test all the levels in the body in a passive manner, using non harmful lasers and particles, in astronomy they can determine so many things about a planet without ever going near it.

We need a active biological scan analogous to fmri. I hope that big Pharm realizes that it would be money better spent to be able to see live how their drug is affecting the human body, rather than making a pill and playing the guessing game via pitiri dish and test subjects.

Think about this when you go into a 3d sonogram for a baby checkup, they don't insert a camera.... sonograms should be a part of a UC follow up to determine healing, if you can see eyes and toenails on a baby, I'm certain you can see ulcerations. I get that there is only one way to get a biopsy, but waiting year to year to really look at things doesn't make sense.
Diagnosed Moderate Ulcerative Colitis April 8 2010,
Most recent colonoscopy Dx: Severe Ulcerative Colitis, ulcers in sigmoid colon
Past Meds ASA-5 not working Asachol HD, Pentasa
Current Meds: (daily)Prednizone 40mg, Azathioprine 50mg
Under consideration: Remicade, Gerson Treatment, Probitotics
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