Get Started Search Icon

Sally B. Went Starch-Based and Healed Painful Arthritis

Updated July 27, 2023


I found Dr. McDougall and Mary from your lectures on YouTube and went plant-based using your wisdom 10 years ago. 

I was in a wheelchair with arthritis when I found your starch-based eating lifestyle. I gave up dairy totally, began going vegan and within 3 weeks, I was able to walk. My hands are now useful again. I had arthritis in my fingers so much so, typing was difficult and signing my name looked like I fell off the turnip truck on my hands. But they were never broken.

My mother suffered from gout arthritis and it was likely that this was true of me too. Without eating any more animal flesh, dairy products or seafood, the arthritis is in remission and there is no meal with animal products worth being in a wheelchair to me or not being able to use my hands. I’m so glad to be well. Only my pinky shows any effect of arthritis, it looks a bit quirky, and most would not even notice it is curved. I walk 4 miles a day now so long as it is not too hot or cold outside. And I can ride a bicycle, I got one for Mother’s Day this year. 

My husband would not follow my lead into being vegan even though he saw how much I thrived. The last year he worked while getting ready for retirement, he was having trouble with having to urinate frequently at night. He went to a urologist at Kaiser Permanente and was diagnosed with prostate cancer and it was stage 4! He had robotic-aided surgery and it was successful. It was terrible pain for him. I insisted he now try the food I was cooking for myself, it really does taste good and now there are two vegans who live more happily than ever before as we feel so well now all the time. We’ve both been losing weight and he’s finally gotten more serious and he has benefited from what I learned. The only thing he still needed was to lower his blood pressure. We got that down and he is finally seriously eating the diet and losing weight too.

We both got over asthma, I was pre-diabetic and of course, that is gone too. No more colds or flu. We are well all the time and I’m not complaining. Additionally, I got rid of a lifelong condition which nothing ever seemed to help, hyperhidrosis (severe sweating), mine was bad. But now it is GONE. 

I think growing up in an old house in Glendale, CA which had lead pipes and because I was so constipated from eating dairy all the time, my mother gave me daily enemas with the suspect water. I also stuttered. I have not stuttered in years but the sweating was with me until my 60s, which is when I went vegan.

I eat salsa daily and it contains cilantro, which is known for helping to get heavy metals out of the body. I was not thinking about the sweating issue, I just like the way it tastes in salsa. But slowly the severe sweating disappeared and now even in hot weather, I don’t sweat more than anyone else does. I researched if lead could cause hyperhidrosis. It took some digging but my hunch was right. It may have had to do with stuttering too. My best friend happens to be a vegan dietician. She thinks my self-diagnosis could be true.

I only know that the hyperhidrosis is gone and am so thankful as it had psychological effects on me. People just don’t want to be around you and the tormenting was awful. I learned what to wear to compensate for the constant wetness. It made me agoraphobic. I can overcome that now, but it has been a habit. I never thought anyone would marry me due to this but my husband has a milder form of hyperhidrosis with a touch of dampness on his hands.

My family are all dead now, I am the only one out of a brother and a sister and my parents and grandmother. My husband and I have three sons who are all married and we have four grandchildren and one on the way from our youngest son.

My oldest and our youngest son, won’t talk to their vegan parents — they’re so in love with MEAT. Fortunately, our middle son is a great man who has twin boys, with his sweet wife or my heart would just break. Believe me, I know about coping with rejection and sadness but you really do not get used to it. I was listening to one of Dr. McDougall’s lectures on his website, I like to listen to lectures while I walk my 4-mile trek around our neighborhood. The talk was on how starches help produce more serotonin and wow, it really has helped me in that regard too.

I just wanted to tell Dr. McDougall and Mary how much you have helped me and my husband. I’ve helped a few others go vegan but not our kids. Perhaps that will change in time. You do a wonderful thing for people. To not have YouTube ads interrupt lectures, I can listen and walk for an hour and 15 minutes.

I am 70, not bad for a lady who used to be in a wheelchair, huh? I’m not like Dr. Ruth Heidrich, yet, who knows….My mother and sister both died of breast cancer. I nursed our 3 boys and even though I was eating like every other fool in this country, the cancer did not come my way. I think God knew I had enough on my plate with the hyperhidrosis and am most thankful that is gone. You just don’t want to know what menopause was like with that condition. I have some tofu twice a week and that is enough to keep me feeling nice and cool. I cook fat-free tofu in my Cuisinart Griddler. I use my Instant Pot a lot for pinto beans and chickpeas and sometimes whole soy beans.

My best friend the vegan nutritionist, says the cilantro in the salsa I eat daily as the topping on my baked potato does a great job of chelation of even lead poisoning. Lead does have, in a few lists of its side effects on the internet, both stuttering and hyperhidrosis. I had both. My dad died of Alzheimer’s and my mother cooked in aluminum pots. I don’t have dementia and Dad got hit with that by age 60 and finally died by 85.

I have to forgive my mother for she did not know what she was doing to me. I would have given anything to have been raised vegetarian! But I am now. My husband Jim may not have even been alive either if he hadn’t changed his diet. Three other men where he worked had prostate cancer who retired about the same time as my husband. They chose chemo and radiation with no change of diet. All were dead within 6 months. My husband does get tested annually for PSA and has not had one bad test. I take no meds and Jim is slowly weaning off his blood pressure pill. 

Dr. McDougall and Mary have done so much good for so many and so unselfishly. Heather does not fall from the tree either. It is a rare thing indeed.

Love to you both and Heather too.

Sally B.