This is not a story about weight
loss but a story about a miracle. My 17 year old daughter,
Vanessa, tried to join the Air Force in October of 2001. She scored
well and passed everything, but the urine test. She had too much
protein in her urine. We had her drink a lot of water and go back
the next week. The same thing occurred. We then went to our
family doctor who sent her for several tests. She showed positive
signs for lupus.
We were then sent to a pediatric nephrologist, who looked
at her records, then looked at her and said, "Vanessa has lupus
nephritis and I want to put her in the hospital to do a kidney biopsy
tomorrow." Although we expected this diagnosis and knew a
biopsy was the next step we were shocked to have it confirmed.
When we went to the hospital they started her on 60 mg of prednisone
and Norvasc, a high blood pressure medicine. The World
Health Organization (WHO) has classified kidney tissue disease into
5 categories. Vanessa's biopsy was categorized a 4, one category
before dialysis. Once a kidney reaches this point there is
little hope for it to get better. It can be stabilized, but
often digresses to a category 5, dialysis, and then a kidney transplant.
She was then required to take Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), a
drug used in stronger doses for chemotherapy treatment of cancer
patients. This drug could cause bleeding of the bladder and
sterilization, to mention a few side effects. Vanessa was
to go to the hospital once a month to have this drug administered
for six months and then another biopsy was to be performed to determine
the next plan of action.
My husband had been taking highblood pressure medicine for over
a year and was just put on a sugar pill for diabetes. In January
2002 a friend of mine gave me the book McDougall's Medicine –
a Challenging Second Opinion.
As I read this book I saw that it would not only help my husband,
but would also help Vanessa. As my husband and I did more
research we became convinced this was worth a try. Not only
does my husband no longer take any medications, but Vanessa's second
biopsy was between a category 1 and 2. The doctor has never
seen this happen. We have many people who pray for Vanessa
and God has surely shown His love for her with this miracle.
Her doctor is now in the process of reducing the prednisone
and has discontinued the Cytoxan completely. Vanessa works
full time at Shoe Carnival and enjoys riding her Yamaha 650 V-Star.
We have found that all of the recipes in the Quick and Easy
cookbook are wonderful. I have not found even one we did not
--Shirlene Jones (Vanessa's grateful mother)
The Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. says:
"Fad diets, advocating an excess or an exclusion
of certain types of foods, are much more likely to be
detrimental than beneficial in any disease, including lupus."
It is a good thing Vanessa and her mother did not read this
first – otherwise she would likely be tied to a dialysis machine
for life and heading for a premature, painful, death.
I find it hard to understand what motivates people, like
those from the Lupus Foundation, to make such statements,
especially when the current scientific information does not
support their negative position. Lupus is a disease of people
living in Western countries, consuming the American diet.
For example, lupus is rare in rural Africa – the first case
of lupus was described in Africa in 1960; by contrast, today
in the USA, African-Americans have the highest incidence of
lupus of any sub-population of people – reflecting the differences
in diet in these genetically similar people. Animal studies
show diet will cause and cure this disease and there have
been case reports of people cured of lupus with a healthy
diet (see my web site under "Diet, the only hope for arthritis,"
and "Common Diseases, Arthritis" for scientific literature
Lupus (also known as systemic lupus and lupus erythematosus)
involves the whole body, including the immune system. In sensitive
people food proteins (usually animal proteins) enter the bloodstream
through a "leaky gut." The body makes antibodies to these
foods proteins. Unfortunately, the antibodies do two things
that cause problems:
- antibody-antigen complexes are formed that persist and
become stuck in the skin, joints, and/or kidneys, and cause
an inflammatory reaction (like slivers of wood stuck under
- antibodies are made to these foreign food proteins that
also attack the person's own tissues (skin, joints, kidneys
and other tissues).
By both mechanisms the tissues become inflamed, eventually
die, and are replaced by non-functioning scar tissues. People
with lupus commonly suffer with a characteristic "butterfly-rash"
on their face, severe deforming arthritis, and nephritis of
the kidneys. Traditional medical treatments fail to arrest
this disease. A healthy, pure-vegetarian, low-fat, diet will
dramatically benefit and often cure people of this disease
– as in Vanessa's case. Approximately 1.5 million people in
the USA suffer from lupus – you must know someone you can
help. The same applies to other forms of inflammatory arthritis
(rheumatoid, psoriatic, ankylosing spondylitis, etc.)
Even though these results do not occur with everyone, they
are typical for people who make the diet and lifestyle changes
of the McDougall Program.
-John McDougall MD
The last time I wrote about Vanessa she had been diagnosed with
lupus. Her first kidney biopsy classified her kidney function at
a category four, one category before having a transplant or dialyses.
Her doctor told us it would take 2-3 years of drug treatment to
get her into remission. She was having a cytoxin treatment once
a month, taking 60 mg. of prednisone which made her face very full,
and medication for high blood pressure. Two months after her diagnosis
we learned about the McDougall diet for health. We had nothing to
lose. We began immediately. Four months later her second biopsy
showed her kidney had improved to be between a category one and
two. Her doctor had not seen this happen so dramatically. It had
improved so much her doctor stopped the cytoxin immediately and
began the process of weaning her from the prednisone after only
6 months. She continued coming off the prednisone a little at a
time. Her doctor was still skeptical but willing to work with us.
Around October of the following year, one year after her diagnosis,
she was taken off the blood pressure medicine. She was working full
time and people from work would bring cookies and candies and all
sorts of holiday goodies. When she got the next set of labs the
numbers went the other way. Her doctor thought it might be because
of taking her off the blood pressure medicine and considered putting
her back on it. I said "NO," give us one more month to
straighten this out. I was quite sure it might be because of our
slack eating habits over the holiday. We immediately went back to
square one. This was not a "one-time splurge" it was a "slow nibble," a little bit here and a little bit there.
The following month when her lab results came back they were better
than they had ever been. She is now off all medication. She has
been for about 4 months. She will never eat anything other than
low-fat vegan the rest of her life. She is afraid it will literally
kill her. It is well worth the life change in diet to not take the
drugs she had to take. She is now going to college, working and
having a great time with no signs of lupus. She has also entered
a beauty pageant. This is an incredible feat. One year ago she felt
so fat and ugly from the drugs she hated having her picture taken.
I thank God for leading me to find the McDougall plan. It has saved
my daughters life. She is now living in CA with her brother and
enjoying her life near the beach.
Picture, moon-face from Steriods
in Spring 2002 on Steroids
Millions of people suffer from autoimmune diseases and their future
is hopeless because they are not told about the curative benefits
of a low-fat, animal product-free, plant-based diet -- and the
medications prescribed by well-meaning doctors never cure the
disease and have serious side-effects. If you know someone with
one of these diseases please tell them to give one month of their
life to this cost-free, side effect-free, highly-effective potential
cure. (Unfortunately, once the tissues are destroyed they are
usually lost forever. Further inflammation can be expected to
stop and progression of the disease processes can be halted with
a change in diet.)
Common Autoimmune Diseases
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Other common problems
Autoimmune diseases are said to be due
to "the body attacking itself" these self-destructive
reactions are usually food-induced, but can be from other environmental
sources, like microbes and chemicals.
People with autoimmune diseases have everything
to gain and nothing to lose from this approach this is
the same diet that cures heart disease, high blood pressure, adult-type
diabetes, high-cholesterol, indigestion, constipation, arthritis,
and obesity. Reduction in food bills can easily be 40% or more
with this new diet. Savings on medications are astronomical. The
diet used is the McDougall diet (based on common starchy plant-foods,
with the addition of fresh or frozen fruits, and green and yellow
vegetables. Absolutely no animal products of any kind and no added
vegetable oils). Further refinements of the treatment can be made
for those few individuals who do not respond well to this initial
approach by following the elimination diet described under "Common
Diseases, Allergic Diseases" on my web site, www.drmcdougall.com.
Further information is available at my
web site, see: "Diet: Only Hope for Arthritis," "McDougall
Interview Roy Swank (Multiple Sclerosis)" and "Star McDougallers Jean Brown, Sabrina Nelson, and Cheryl Lambert."
Also the following Newsletters: July 2002 (Type-1 diabetes), September
2002 (thyroid), November 2002 (Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative
Colitis), and May 2003 (Many common autoimmune problems caused
by Dairy Products).