Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

New yahoo group for failsafe NT

with 9 comments

Steph from the yahoo NT groups and I have set up a new yahoo group for people interested in discussing food chemical intolerance and the failsafe diet in a high(er) fat, animal food oriented, nutrient-dense, Nourishing Traditions / Weston A. Price Foundation context.

We have all of three messages to our name at the moment (yey!).

I know I have about 400(!) regular visitors at the moment. I am telling myself that most of those visitors are the googlebot, or by now I would have stage fright. I hope some of you real people who read this blog and are interested in failsafe and/or NT and/or high(er) fat will join the group. I will be there most days to answer questions and discuss things (computer access permitting).

A couple of messages posted on NT boards in the last couple of days have been along the lines of “failsafe didn’t work for us, we ate a lot of white carbohydrate, i.e. rice, bread, etc, and my kids started looking malnourished.”

I hope we can help to correct this, because it’s no way to do the failsafe diet. No failsafe dietician would advise that kind of diet, and I can only think people need a little imagination! I know I feel worse when I eat high carbohydrate and neglect to eat red meat, regardless of the failsafe context.

I can see how amines can make people nervous of meat, but please don’t let this put you off eating properly and finding a good supply of fresh, non-vacuum packed meat. Vacuum packing does not preserve meat (any more than it preserves salad leaves), it allows the meat to decay silently without turning brown. Meat is something that I suspect a lot of people go wrong with. Some, because they don’t have a fresh enough supply of meat, so failsafe never appears to work properly. Others because they give up eating red meat and lose out on a lot of vital nutrients.

Why am I distractedly talking about red meat?! Well, since my car was vandalised I am stranded in Matlock and can’t get out to the Chatsworth farm shop to get some fresh meat. We ran out about a week ago. I have been craving red meat for about four days now. All I can think about is red meat! Nothing is substituting, not shellfish or fish, not eggs, not milk, not pulses and wheat germ, not iron supplements. How on earth I ever managed to be a vegetarian for so long is beyond me. At least I listen to what my body says now.

Back to the subject at hand. We really want to hear from people. We want to raise awareness! We want to make some noise! Heh. It’s ironic that at the same time the failsafe group was set up, an NT thyroid group was set up, and they already have 180 messages. I haven’t read them all but I clicked on a few, and they included complaints of: mysterious bouts of insomnia, nightmares, racing heart, palpatations, fatigue… These people all think they have thyroid problems because of these mysterious symptoms. No they don’t!

Did I mention what tyramine and salicylates do to the thyroid? Gosh I have a lot of work to do.


Written by alienrobotgirl

29 November, 2006 at 9:49 am

Posted in Personal Diary

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9 Responses

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  1. Wonderful!! I just joined 🙂 See you there.

    Mother Nuture

    29 November, 2006 at 2:21 pm

  2. I just found this blog but am familiar with Weston Price, failsafe, etc, and what I always wonder is what causes the salicylates and amines sensitivities in the first place, I’m pretty sure they’re not natural (except in large amounts like asprin) the cultures Weston Price studied ate plenty of amines and except for the far northern ones plenty of salicylates too, so obviously their systems were strong enough to handle them.It just so happens that recently I’ve been reading about biotoxins, certain types of toxins that about a quarter of the population doesn’t eliminate properly so can build up in their system and make all sorts of symptoms. Toxic mold is the most common source, lyme disease second, and other sources like pfeisteria algae and ciguatera seafood poisoning. The symptoms caused by them are remarkably similar to food intolerance symptoms, he believes them to be the cause of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and others like that, and has treated many patients, so I personally think it’s likely they’re related, the biotoxins causing food intolerance, although I haven’t found any info out there that puts these two subjects together. The book “Mold Warriors” by Ritchie Shoemaker describes the details of what these toxins do, he’s a bit arrogant at times that his way is the only one but he’s discovered many important things, and the website is


    29 November, 2006 at 11:08 pm

  3. Hi Snowman”what I always wonder is what causes the salicylates and amines sensitivities in the first place, I’m pretty sure they’re not natural”I have heard this before from people connected with WAPF. If only things were so simple. Unfortunately evolution is not a one way street in our favour. Plants and bacteria produce toxins in order to destroy pests, us included. Sometimes evolution creates changes in our genes that give at the same time as they take away, so the genes stick around.People find reasons that neolithic foods like dairy and grains should not be eaten, but can’t for the life of them think of a reason why “palaeolithic” foods like vegetables and aged meat could cause problems. The mistake is assuming that vegetables and aged meat have ever been a significant part of a true paleolithic diet.When given the choice, natives slaughter animals in a sacrificial ritual and eat them within a few hours of death. All native meat preservation techniques are designed to _minimise_ the formation of amines. This is offset against the risk of starvation. Life wasn’t perfect for paleo man. That’s why sometimes he resorted to cannibalism, warfare, and binge-eating.Chris Masterjohn compiled Price’s notes on plant foods in the groups of natives he studied. You can read those here.Thanks for the link!

    Alien Robot Girl

    30 November, 2006 at 7:52 pm

  4. Those four groups at the link did eat low saliclyates, they also happened to be in real cold climates, just like I said in my earlier post the far northern groups were an exception (and the swiss group at a high elevation making the climate more like far north), and i know the Masai in Africa too had low salicylates (from what i’ve heard of them they’re probably pretty close to failsafe too, but they’re also not ordinary). However price studied so many different groups in warmer areas with much more diversity of high saliclyate foods. What about the polynesians, australian aborigines, torres srtait islanders, peruvian indians, etc. And for amines, for one thing what about the fermented fish that the eskimos attribute their energy to? if it was just for use to prevent starvation then why would they attribute their energy to it. I still suspect although obviously don’t know for sure that salicylate and amine sensitivity is a modern (or at least mostly modern) phenomenon because of our physiologies being weakened and screwed up. If sensitivity to them is natural than why isn’t everyone sensitive, I see plenty of healthy people eating lots of salicylates and amines.


    3 December, 2006 at 10:49 pm

  5. Just wanted to mention I’ve been a regular reader for about the past month, and that I am not a bot, as far as I can tell. I sympathize with your current struggles, here’s to things getting better!


    4 December, 2006 at 12:59 am

  6. Thanks for the kind words Kyra.

    Alien Robot Girl

    4 December, 2006 at 6:03 pm

  7. Hi Snowman,Perhaps you should head over to native-nutrition and check out the old posts where this has already been discussed ad infinitum.Salicylate and amine sensitivities are not caused by a lack of vitamins or by obscure toxins, they are caused by a combination of genetics along with the excessive quantities of salicylates, amines, and additives in our modern diet.Of the apparently high plant-food groups Price studied, the plants were largely made up of cereals, beans and tubers, which are actually low salicylate choices. The same goes for fruits, for example, “Taro, bananas, papaya, and plums are all grown abundantly” ch 11 Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. These are low salicylate fruits. Further, wild grown crops are significantly lower in salicylates than modern varieties grown in monoculture. Native diets are nothing compared to a highly flavoured Western diet, which also includes liberal use of tea and coffee.Amine foods like Eskimo fermented fish were treated as delicacies, not daily staples. They would not have been higher in amines than the average lump of cheese, since no one escapes the effects of scromboid poisoning (i.e. histamine poisoning).The mistake is in assuming that all racial groups are equally affected, or that all individuals within a population are equally affected. Different groups of people have naturally different levels of various enzymes, for example Asians are low in alcohol dehydrogenase. Enzyme capacities naturally vary 10-15 fold within a population. Around 5-7% of people do not produce enough enzymes to clear the amount of salicylates they eat every day. Enzyme capacities tend to run in families. There is no evidence that such people are “damaged” by anything other than the consumption of food chemicals, and plenty of evidence that food chemicals have caused the damage.

    Alien Robot Girl

    4 December, 2006 at 6:19 pm

  8. Hi Snowman. Our experiences of NT differ considerably. My health got slowly worse whilst on NT. This is after swapping from an ordinary low-carb, high-fat wholefoods diet, which I had been doing extremely well on due to having cut out additives and lowered carbohydrates. I could be unfair and blame NT, but I am open minded I believe that NT had no real effect on my condition, just the increased amounts of amines and salicylates in my diet that NT accidentally caused.If your amine tolerance has increased since doing NT, I would suggest that this is not necessarily caused by NT per se, but could also be caused by avoiding amines for so long, or even lowering carbohydrates or raising the fat in your diet, as well as the increases in minerals and vitamin cofactors you are being supplied with. It depends on how you define “doing NT”.

    Alien Robot Girl

    4 December, 2006 at 9:25 pm

  9. My experience has been that that the healthier I am in general, the less sensitive I am, not just to food chemicals but other environmental chemicals too. I did failsafe over a year ago when I was more sick than now, and it was very helpful in reducing some symptoms, but I felt weak overall and felt like it was controlling symptoms but not doing anything to help the situation in general, so I changed to WAPF while still minimizing amines although not as much as failsafe, of course I don’t have additives either, (amines what I’m the most sensitive to (other than additives), I’ve never had that much problem with sals and don’t consider them hardly at all anymore). I’ve personally found that I can tolerate several times as much amines as i used to just a year ago, and I’ve done many things that have helped me (the mold toxins is just something I found about recently and I know I’ve had mold exposure but haven’t done anything yet about it because I’ve just found out.) Anyway, I’m not trying to discount food intolerance, just think it’s only a piece of the puzzle, and have a few issues with failsafe like it being anti herbal medicine, which I’ve seen great benefits from.


    4 December, 2006 at 8:56 pm

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