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The Disease Delusion: Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer, and Happier Life Paperback – March 3, 2015
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“The godfather of functional medicine elegantly explains the core tools to overcome the chronic ailments of modern society.” (Mehmet Oz, M.D.)
“Dr. Bland’s book should be a textbook in medical schools all over the world. I wish I had found it while I was in medical school myself.” (Alejandro Junger, MD, Founder of the Clean Program)
“What the personal computer revolution did for old-fashioned mainframe computing—empowering us all—is what functional medicine is doing for healthcare; and if there is a Steve Jobs of functional medicine, it is Jeffrey Bland—visionary, innovative, and perennially two steps ahead.” (Dale E. Bredesen, MD, Augustus Rose Professor, Director, Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research, Director, Neurodegenerative Disease Research David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA)
“Filled with solid science, fascinating medical detective stories, and practical tips, this powerful book can save your life.” (Daniel G. Amen, MD, Founder, Amen Clinics and New York Times bestselling author)
From the Back Cover
Treatment of chronic diseases—diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, dementia, and many others—is responsible for 78 percent of total health-care costs in the United States. Yet instead of identifying, preventing, and addressing their underlying causes, we're managing symptoms of these illnesses with pills and temporary remedies. In The Disease Delusion, we learn how we can fundamentally change how we perceive illness and approach a cure.
Dr. Jeffrey Bland leverages a lifetime on the cutting edge of research and practice to create a road map to good health by helping us understand our bodies' fundamental processes and the root causes of chronic illness.
Complete with self-evaluation questionnaires and sample meal plans, and supported by the most recent advances in health science, Dr. Bland's book is indispensable for anyone determined to live long and well.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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So why the three-star rating? Jeffery makes some recommendations and uses some protocols that are actively dangerous, and can make you very sick. Then there are many recommendations that are not optimal, and a number of key things that are missing.
--- Dangerous ---
(1) Jeffery describes diagnosing and treating a patient with mercury poisoning, using a "challenge" test, where the patient is given a high dose of a chelator, followed by measuring the change in mercury content of his/her urine. The idea is that a large increase shows that mercury has been stored in his/her body, and that he/she needs to clear it to recover good health. The problem is that high single doses of a chelator mobilize mercury, move it around, and if it settles in the wrong place it can cause serious, possibly permanent damage. Google "DMPS backfire" for some examples. DMSA and EDTA, the other common challenge tests, have the same issue.
The correct way to diagnose and treat chronic mercury toxicity, and other heavy metal poisoning, is through a hair test, using Andy Cutler's diagnostic protocols. (See his book on Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities.) This is completely safe and indicates total body burden, as compared to blood/urine tests which do not show what has been stored in your brain/organs/bones.
(2) Jeffery's week of sample menus includes a meal with 6.5 oz of tuna. The danger here is that tuna is a high-mercury fish, and albacore tuna can exceed 1 micro-gram/gram of mercury. So 6.5 ounces (about 200g) can give you 200ug of mercury. This is not something you want, ever, because a percentage of this will end up in your brain and organs and slowly poison you over time. (The half-life of mercury in the brain appears to be about 20 years.) Even light tuna is a high-mercury fish. If you are going to eat fish, eat Alaskan wild-caught salmon, or small fish like sardines.
(3) Jeffery mentions andrographis. This is an excellent treatment for acute infections, but lowers progesterone and is used as a contraceptive/abortifact. Don't use it while you are pregnant or trying to conceive.
--- Non-optimal ---
(1) Jeffery doesn't have any way to treat heavy metal poisoning, except with nutrition, anti-oxidants, and time. These may help you feel better, but the only way to reduce body stores effectively is to chelate. The only chelation protocol that has been shown to be safe is frequent-low-dose chelation, which has been used by thousands of people. This process slowly clears the toxic metals from your body, without the risk of serious harm that comes from high intermittent doses. See Andy Cutler's book on Amalgam Illness, Diagnosis and Treatment : What You Can Do to Get Better, How Your Doctor Can Help for details.
Because Jeffery doesn't use hair tests, he cannot diagnose people who have heavy metal poisoning as the root cause of their poor health. For example, he treated a patient for Gulf War post-traumatic-stress-syndrome. This was likely caused by the thimerosol in the multiple vaccines given to these soldiers. (The French did not use thimerosol in their vaccines, and their solders did not get PTSD.) If so, then this patient would have been properly diagnosed with a hair test, and returned to true good health via frequent-low-dose-chelation.
Because many people have heavy metal poisoning, and heavy metal poisoning can cause any/all physical symptoms, a hair test for heavy metals should be the first test any health practitioner does for a new patient.
(2) I'm surprised that someone who mentions Weston Price has such a phobia for saturated fat. Weston Price observed many traditional cultures with very high saturated fat intake. All of them were extremely healthy and long-lived, with excellent bones/teeth and no chronic degenerative diseases or dementia. Instead of taking this information to heart, Jeffery's nutrition advice is far from optimal. The best book on nutrition ever written is the Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat, much superior to what's in this book.
(3) For food sensitivities and healing auto-immune disease, a much better book is Sarah Ballantyne's The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body.
(4) For treating thyroid/adrenal issues, the best diagnostic protocol appears to be temperature measurement twice a day, and supplementing with glandulars/thyroid until everything stabilizes appropriately. You don't even need to see a doctor. An enjoyable book describing this, and other helpful protocols, is Danial Forsyth's The Mercury Diaries.
--- Missing ---
(1) No mention of how posture affects health (poor posture is one of the key factors in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis). Best books for this are Esther Gokhale's 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot, Katy Bowman's Alignment Matters: The First Five Years of Katy Says, and any/all of Pete Egoscue's books. The Egoscue Clinics are extremely helpful in getting where you want to be.
(2) No mention of proprioception and how blockages can affect health. Best/only book is Simon King's Live Without Pain: A New Theory on What's Wrong with You and How to Fix It..
(3) No mention that our bodies are designed for frequent, low-intensity movement, and that this is essential for health. Best book is Joan Vernikos's Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death -- and Exercise Alone Won't.
(4) Jeffery does mention massage for improving lymph flow, but does not mention lymphatic drainage massage specifically, or medi-cupping, both of which excellent. Medi-cupping gets phenomenal results, highly recommended.
Now anyone can learn these concepts and practices through this new book, which I consider a masterpiece.
Do yourself a huge favor and read this book...
We are finally seeing that prophecy come to pass in the work of Dr. Bland and Functional Medicine. With The Disease Delusion you will be introduced to Functional Medicine and how you can finally understand the real root cause of health and of disease, and most importantly what you can do to create health and thereby stabilize and reverse the vast majority of chronic health problems. Your will learn that your environment, every aspect of it, is talking to your genes and creating your state of health or of disease. Your will also learn the tools to begin changing the messages from your environment to your genes to create health and begin the process of restoring vitality. I tell my patients who have suffered for years, often decades, to give me just a month of a functional medicine approach to health and then decide at the end of the month whether to continue the diet and lifestyle changes I recommend on the basis of Functional Medicine. Time and time again I see blood pressures fall, blood sugars normalize, mood stabilize, autoimmune conditions reverse. The need for medications steadily decline. People are able to reduce and eliminate medication after medication as their bodies repair themselves.
This book is life changing. It will give you the tools to understand how to become well once again. Terry Wahls, M.D., author The Wahls Protocol How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine.
My thanks to Dr. Bland for writing it.
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(I'm a board certified preventive medicine specialist, worked at or with CDC most of my career, taught at Emory Med...Read more