Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Fasting and Eating for Health

Fasting and eating for health is an approach where the future of medicine should be heading. This is a medical doctor's programme for conquering disease.

It is precise diet and fasting programmes to relieve headache, low sugar in blood, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, inflammation of the large intestine (colitis) and many other medical conditions. This programme has been designed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD., one of the remarkable physicians in the United States, a board certified family physician in private practice in Belle Mead, New Jersey, who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods.

He is an active staff member of Hunterdon Medical Centre and provides nutritionally oriented medical care to patients as well as nutritional education to other physicians.

I have tried this programme to a few patients who wanted to lose weight and some who had painful joints. The crux of the matter is, the regimen of fasting, must be supervised by a doctor and the two major organs the kidney and the liver have to be in good and healthy condition, to allow for the therapeutic fasting.

I must put it in black and white, therapeutic fasting is not the same as religious fasting. Dr. Joel Fuhrman has written a book on the subject of fasting and eating for health. By individually tailoring nutrition plans based on a case-by-case basis, Fuhrman has treated hundreds of patients with rheumatoid arthritis successfully.

Eating and fasting for health is neither alternative medicine nor conservative medicine, but rather progressive medicine. Dr. Fuhrman's approach offers individuals suffering from (chronic) diseases the only real chance for a meaningful cure. I have been fortunate to read and use his book and read the findings of the outcomes on the patients he treated. The book written by the doctor is revolutionary.

It shows clearly and unmistakably the way to recover health, and could change the prevailing way of treating disease. T herapeutic fasting goes back thousands of years, of course and was long regarded by doctors as being more appropriate for philosophers than physicians. Researchers, however, have investigated what occurs when the body takes a short break from nutrients.

They have studied the biochemical events that occur in the bloodstream, in the joints, in the fat tissues, and in the brain, and have found astonishing results. Rheumatic arthritis, for example, has long challenged physicians. Existing drugs are too weak to change the course of the disease, and are usually used to make the patient more comfortable as the joint destruction progresses.

But several teams of researchers have shown that within days of beginning a supervised fast, the joints cool down, as the foods that triggered the arthritis are identified and then avoided, the disease often disappears, never to return. We all know that our bodies naturally rebound from a cold or "flu." Our white blood cells seek and destroy the invading viruses, and all we have to do is get out of their way and let them work.

But our ability to restore good health goes much further than that. Built into our cells are natural mechanisms that can clean cholesterol, fat, and debris from our arteries; restore health to joints that are attacked by arthritis; and bring us to a level of health that we may never have anticipated.

The key to unleashing these wonderful functions lies in the nutrients the body has to work with. A s a rule, a man is a fool; he/she thinks there is a pill for every ill. When it is hot he/she wants it cool, when it is cool he/she wants it hot. Always wanting what is not. A revolution is occurring in the world of modern medicine. We now have the powerful tools against conditions that previously had defied our strongest medical treatments.

Where drugs and surgery have failed, these emerging techniques bring results that surprise the doctor and delight the patient. S cientific journals have now embraced this knowledge, and a growing number of doctors in the US, Europe, India and few in Africa and Asia are putting it to use in their daily practice. Individuals should work with these doctors, rather than fast on their own, because while fasting is safe, it is also powerful and should be monitored as health returns.

Therapeutic fasting accelerates the healing process and allows the body to recover from serious disease in a dramatically short period of time. Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his clinical practice has seen fasting eliminating lupus (autoimmune disease) arthritis, remove chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, heal the digestive tract in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and quickly eliminate cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and angina.

According to Dr. Fuhrman in the cases he treated and documented recoveries were permanent: fasting enabled longtime disease sufferers to unchain themselves from their multiple toxic drugs and even eliminate the need for surgery, which was recommended to some of them as their only solution.

The average individual (not over weight) would have to fast 40 days or more to exhaust nutrient reserves. As I said earlier the regimen for therapeutic fasting is supervised by the doctor to guide and monitor, it is not a self prescribed programme.

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