An Open Letter to U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen
September 4, 2011
Dear Senator Shaheen,
Today, Sunday, September 4th, my husband spotted you, then quietly, as you were getting into your vehicle, told me who you were. We were also stopping to get coffee and tea at St. Joe’s Coffee in York, Maine. We live in York, so you are not our Senator. But we share many of the concerns of our neighboring New Hampshire. And I recently read with great interest the article in the Portsmouth Herald about your granddaughter, Elle, being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and her involvement (along with your daughter, Stefany, and you) with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Children’s Congress. Type 1 diabetes, its causes, and management is something I know a great deal about.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 40 years ago in 1971 when I was 16 years old. Today children are being diagnosed more frequently and often at a much earlier age. But why? Is it because there are more victims of random accidents of nature? My very active research for the last 35 years have led me to conclude there are very specific causes. Changing the way we live can heal (not just cure) and/or prevent much, if not all, instances of the condition known as Type 1 Diabetes. Contrary to the official stance of the FDA, the CDC, the American Medical Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and countless others, I am convinced that these causes can be corrected if we summon up the courage to do so. But in order to identify these changes, we must first examine what changes have occurred that have been strongly linked to the increased incidence of Type 1 diabetes (as well as a panoply of “diseases” that are now the mainstay of current health care practice throughout the civilized world).
- The introduction and rapid rise in immunizations over the last half-century. -Even newborn infants are now being immunized in the mistaken belief that it will prevent any and all disease. However, research has not borne this out. Instead, pediatricians offices are now filled with children labeled with autism, ADHD, ADD, depression, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and a long menu of others, including Type 1 diabetes. Have we traded the “prevention” of infectious diseases that were relatively rare and even more rarely fatal for a confounding array of conditions and syndromes against which doctors are ill-equipped to deal? Some have suggested that immunizing an infant guarantees a lifelong dependency on the pharmaceutical industry. Autoimmunity, and its many faces, is rampant today but unheard of only two or three generations ago. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. Aside from the unproven efficacy of immunization, the injection of highly toxic heavy metals like mercury (the second most toxic substance in the world) and aluminum, both of which are used as preservatives in the immunizations, into the bodies of infants and young children and their developing immune systems is unconscionable.
- Significant Changes in diet which have occurred over the past six to ten decades – Below is a list of major changes in diet and nutrition, most of which have become commonplace, especially since the end of WWII:
Virtually all dairy products are now pasteurized. Before widespread pasteurization, many people consumed milk and dairy products directly from
the farm, either their own or the neighbor’s. Raw milk and cheeses contain beneficial bacteria and enzymes that help us digest and utilize the powerhouse of nutrition in these foods. Pasteurization degrades these enzymes and kills the bacteria, so digestion is then incomplete. This results in large, free-floating proteins that enter the bloodstream and confuse the immune system, prompting the body to treat them like an invading foreign substance. The body then creates antigens that attack the protein and other parts of the body that resemble
them—like the beta cells in the pancreas, the very sub-organs that produce insulin. Yet the USDA and the FDA, in order to protect the powerful dairy industry, and emboldened by legislation from Congress, demonize small family farms that attempt to sell raw milk and its products to informed, intelligent consumers who should have the sovereignty to make their own dietary choices.
There’s been a dramatic rise in the dependency of the U.S. population on grains, especially highly processed grains, for their caloric and nutritional needs. At the turn of the 20th century, grains like wheat and corn made up a small portion of daily calories for most Americans. At that, they were not highly refined nor reengineered into a myriad of food-like products as they are today. Wheat was carefully aged before processing and corn was consumed as a food, not as a constituent in virtually every type of food and beverage now sold in any grocery store. The combination of overconsumption and intense processing has given rise to a new phenomenon unknown only a few years ago: gluten intolerance and its many variants, including Celiac disease, IBS, and a host of other conditions. Like the dairy mentioned above, industrial practice has produced a renegade protein (gluten) that wreaks havoc in the gut and immune system, giving rise to more confounding “diseases.” Yet the treatment for these diseases is most often pharmaceutical in nature unless the gluten intolerance is discovered. Are you aware that throughout the world, physicians and alternative practitioners are finding that newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetics who are taken off all gluten and fed a healthful whole food diet low in dietary carbohydrates either get completely off of insulin or never need it to begin with? This is another example of “low hanging fruit,” in which the simplest and most obvious solution is usually the very best. But the established medical monopoly almost always opts for external, technological, and pharmaceutical solutions over dietary and lifestyle choices.
While there’s been a significant rise in the consumption of grains, processed foods, and pasteurized dairy, the consumption of saturated animal fats has dramatically dropped. Have you noticed that there was an entire generation that routinely lived into their 80’s, 90’s, or even past 100, but now people are fortunate to make it into their 70’s? Why has this happened, even though official government statistics tell us otherwise? Don’t deceive yourself but trust your eyes: people who are alive today and were born since around 1930 are not nearly as healthy as our grandparents and great-grandparents. Yet those old-timers were reared on high animal fat diets without exception. As of around 1920, Harvard Medical School had no curricula for coronary heart disease, oncology, diabetology, immunology, or any of the other medical specialities that we now know as standard lines of study at any and all allopathic medical schools. During the 1930’s something changed drastically that had perhaps a greater impact on human health than anything before and since—the widespread use of vegetable oils that has gradually replaced animal fats as the primary source of fat calories in the human diet. It began with the invention of hydrogenated fat in the form of Crisco shortening and margarine, and then spread until virtually all cooking, baking, and any other recipes use vegetable oil instead of lard, tallow, cream, and all the other animal fats our great-grandparents had relied on. Today, the most powerful agricultural corporations in the world are producers and processors of grains and their many derivatives. Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, and ConAgra control virtually all grain derived foods, hold patents on GMO seeds and pesticides, and reign over the American food system in a near-dictatorial fashion. The FDA, the USDA, and many members of Congress and the Senate, are beholding to the influence of these monopolistic giants. And through the combination of clever marketing, government mandated grain-subsidies, and the ruthless power of the courts, the American food system and the farmers who participate in it are held hostage by these self-serving corporate kings. With the full endorsement of weak and faulty science, one of the puppets of big Farming, Ancel Keyes, foisted a false belief on the entire population through the unwitting partnership of the USDA. The belief that saturated animal fats from animals raised on their natural diets is the cause of coronary heart disease, is not only false but dangerous, and has contributed to the meteoric rise in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and aging diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Low fat diets that are also high in carbohydrates have been shown to cause alarming rises in everything from hypertension to schizophrenia. Yet, the American medical system continues to build giant hospitals in nearly every community in the country while ignoring the simplest, “low hanging fruit,” of changes in diet and lifestyle that would reduce the size of the “health care” crisis dramatically while increasing the real health of every single citizen. The courage to face down the triumvirate of the Medical/Corporate/Pharmaceutical establishment is sorely lacking in elected officials. But when the health crisis hits home, as it has in your own family, it seems time to take a closer look at how and why we find ourselves in this healing crisis, even though we consistently trumpet the American health care system as the “greatest in the world.” Where’s the proof of that?
Relatively few mothers breastfeed their babies for 1-2 years, yet have introduced toxic soy into their infants’ diets. For countless generations, human infants breastfed on mother’s milk for the first years of life. This allowed these children to build strong immune systems from the combination of nutrients, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria contained in the milk. Today, infant formulas and early feeding of solid food, in combination with immunizations and irresponsible use of antibiotics, creates compromised immune systems from the early days of life and places children at risk for autoimmunity from a very early age. The addition of soy foods, both to infant formulas and to the adult food supply, has been especially pernicious in creating hormonal imbalances. Much of this soy comes from the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) advocates that has created consequences to health that can only be imagined. Soy, corn, & wheat and their derivatives have become the dominant source of calories in the American population from the cradle to the grave. This dependency, which wreaks havoc to both the health of the gut and the metabolism in the form of blood sugar imbalances, guarantees a health crisis as long as we ignore the verifiable consequences of overconsumption of grains and soy.
Senator Shaheen, what I have observed in my years as a Type 1 diabetic and researching health is simply this: The American Health Care system has become a system driven by high-tech attempts to solve perplexing health conditions, even though these conditions are not helped, and in many case, exacerbated by this approach. Pharmaceuticals, surgeries, expensive diagnostics, and extended hospital stays have done nothing to improve the quality of our lives. While many of the techniques and procedures of the current health care system were born of the battlefield and trauma care, these methods are not appropriate to the care and treatment of disease, especially diseases of our modern lifestyle. True health care reform requires radical changes in lifestyle, and in many cases, a return to the diets of our great grandparents and beyond. Below, I’ve suggested a few of the simple yet difficult changes that we all can make to further the health and well-being of ourselves, our families, and of generations yet to come.
These practices, when applied to newly-diagnosed Type 1 diabetics, have been very successful in returning them to complete health. Yet—a cautionary note—they cannot return to the kind of diet they ate before diagnosis! This is very important.
- Stop eating all grains and gluten-containing foods;
- Stop the consumption of all sweeteners, especially high fructose corn syrup and sugar;
- Buy all meat, eggs, and fish from farmers and fisherman that allow their animals to eat their natural diets. No grain-fed animals! The only way to truly insure this is to buy directly from farmers;
- Get tested for heavy metals and consider seeking out alternative practitioners to assist in cleansing these metals from the body;
- Be very active physically!;
- Regardless of whether or not you take insulin injections, eat a diet very low in carbohydrates and high in saturated animal fats and Omega-3 fatty acids, all from the kinds of sources listed above. Keep protein consumption to moderate levels since excess protein is converted by the body into glucose.
These suggestions can be found in numerous locations throughout the health research literature and by researching the Internet. Some excellent sources would be:
- The Weston A. Price Foundation and its many publications;
- Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudes;
- Deep Nutrition by Dr. Katherine Shanahan, M.D.;
There are many more, as well. I wish only the best to you, your daughter, and especially your granddaughter, Elle, and her journey to health. Please share this letter with them. I hope this letter will inspire you to tell other elected officials that we do have choices that can restore our health and the health of all Americans. With your help, we can find the power to heal that is our birthright.
Aimee Perrin, with Denny Perrin
September 4, 2011