Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Buzz off

with 3 comments

I’ve decided to tell a little story I’ve been keeping to myself for quite a while.

Not long after we started the FailsafeNT yahoo group, I communicated with a lady I knew from a different group who believed that she had candida. I convinced her to give the failsafe diet a try for her mysterious symptoms, and it worked wonders. She had spent a number of years believing that she had been suffering from candida, but on the diet the ‘candida’ just went away. She had been a member of a notorious alternative health yahoo group called candidasupport, run by a woman called Bee Wilder.

Shortly after this communication, I happened to glance at one of the new member notification emails I received, and I noticed that Bee Wilder had joined FailsafeNT and was busy lurking.

Great! Thinks I. This will be amazing. If Bee stuck around for long enough she would learn about how some people who have (genuine) candida are cured by the failsafe diet, and she will be able to communicate that to her members and she will be able to help loads more people.

Sure enough, soon someone was asking about candida symptoms. I tried to explain in the politest, kindest terms that sometimes people think they have ‘candida’ when actually they have food chemical intolerance, which can manifest as the same set of symptoms to those thought of as ‘candida’ amongst alternative health circles. And that other people genuinely do have candida, and some of these people are helped by the failsafe diet, because food chemical intolerance makes one very vulnerable to various skin and mucous membrane infections that often clear up on the diet.

Someone else on the group – a complete troll – deliberately decided to take me to task over what he thought I was saying. Because he doesn’t read things properly, he thought I was denying the existence of any and all infections – obviously Beauchampians are one of his bugbears – and he went of into an aggressive Pasteurian rant.

Before I could reply to this nonsense, Bee unsubscribed from the group. Obviously she had no desire hear anyone out and was rather intent on confirming her prejudices.

This is what Bee has been up to in the mean time.

On candidasupport, someone asked Bee what her opinion of the failsafe diet is, here is her response:

==>Unfortunately I know a group that believes a person should avoid salicylate and amine in foods, called the FailSafe diet, and I believe it is doing a lot of people a lot of harm. I don’t believe people should avoid “good foods”! Not only does it drive people crazy trying to avoid salicylate and amine in foods but also they are doing themselves a disservice by avoiding foods that provide so many health benefits. Many people think that if they react to a food it means they are intolerant or sensitive.

==>However if they are sick, have a depressed immune system and/or have candida they will be intolerant and sensitive to many foods because those exact foods are what the body needs to heal and they will create healing reactions. Healing reactions are not intolerances or sensitivities, they merely mean the body needed them so it went into gear using those foods to heal.

Fallacy #1 of the candida diet is that when you react to a food you are having a ‘healing crisis’ or a Herxheimer reaction.

==>I believe it is wrong to malign good foods. I don’t believe nature gets it wrong – good unadulterated foods are what your body needs most in order to build up the immune system and become healthy again, no matter what the cause, which is my diet plus supplements.

Fallacy #1 of the Weston A. Price Foundation is that nature ‘doesn’t get it wrong’. Unfortunately nature is not getting it wrong – salicylates are pesticides and are there to protect plants from predators. Just like cyanide. That’s why we don’t eat plants that contain cyanide, because rather than just getting urticaria or brainfog, cyanide can actually kill. Plants weren’t put on the earth by God just for humans to eat!

==>If such good foods cause symptoms, which I believe are healing reactions, a person needs to introduce them gradually so they are not overwhelmed by the healing reactions.

==>I’ve read a number of posts on the FailSafe group and I can see that most of those people do have candida. I know a lady who is riddled with candida yet she first went on the celiac diet and when it didn’t help her she also went on the FailSafe diet. She doesn’t have a lot left to eat and meanwhile she is getting sicker and sicker. I had a friend who died of cancer who wouldn’t listen to me that she had candida for 3 years until she was riddled with cancer, and she went the same route. That was when I took a long hard look at allergies and figured out what was happening – her allergy tests had so many foods on it there wasn’t much left for her to eat! She also thought she was intolerant of coconut oil, garlic, etc. because they made her sick. Little did she know. It’s so sad. 37177

Actually, only a minority of people on ‘the failsafe group’ have candida. Some have thought they had candida but it turned out that they didn’t. Others really did have candida. Most people didn’t have candida. Urinary tract infections are actually more common (although I bet Bee thinks they are caused by candida).

Fallacy #1 of the critics of the failsafe diet is that you ‘don’t have a lot left to eat’. This is a basic confusion between quantity and variety that most first graders are able to distinguish between.

If the first individual to which Bee refers to above is who I think she is, she was actually doing extremely well on the failsafe diet. Unfortunately she went to an ‘allergist’ (quack) who told her she had dozens of food allergies. She reintroduced non-failsafe foods and became sick again. At that point she told us she was back on failsafe. I have no idea where she is now.

But get this: Bee thinks cancer is caused by candida. Sigh.

Someone asks Bee what she thinks of the Feingold diet, does she disapprove of that?

==>Yes, Christine I do. Whenever people start warning against God- given food I cringe. I wonder how they think our ancestors ever survived because they didn’t avoid these things, so it doesn’t make sense to me. 37195

Here we are with fallacy #1 of the Weston A. Price Foundation again. Food is apparently God-given. Aside from the fact that our ancestors didn’t eat a high salicylate or amine diet, food chemical intolerance doesn’t usually kill. It also comes with some devastating evolutionary advantages for humans, like increased intelligence.

==>Christine I’ve read Dr. Price’s book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” which I believe is the bible for natural nutrition. He found many primitive groups throughout the world who were healthy on foods direct from nature. I think it is insane to suggest otherwise. It’s like the new stuff on the market for candida, which wern’t known about or existed when I cured my candida 20 years ago. My response is “how in the world did I ever cure my candida without that new wonderful stuff”, i.e. whey, inulin, FOS, enteric coated probiotics, etc., etc.?” Duh? I agree with you about herxheimer reactions, which for others means die-off/healing/detoxifying symptoms and reactions that occur during natural healing. 37199

I too have read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, and I believe that if Bee actually went and read this book again and compared the foods described in it with a list of failsafe foods, she would discover that most of the tribes Price describes ate a very low chemical diet, and if she did even the most basic research into historical diets she would have noticed this.

Some poor unsuspecting devil on her support group dares to recommend the failsafe diet for an individual who has had a skin rash on her cheeks (rosacea) for the last four years:

Jewel, please do not recommend Failsafe on my Group. I do not believe in maligning nature’s foods like that. You can isolate any substance in foods and claim they are causing problems, when a natural diet from Mother nature was what Dr. Price found kept primitives and isolated groups he studied very healthy. I’ve known people who followed Failsafe and they got sicker and they are missing the point. Most of those people had candida and when they follow my program they will get well even if they consume foods with amines and salicylates. Besides there is no such thing as allergies. 43117

Apart from the blatant fib that people who follow the failsafe ‘have got sicker’, we certainly aren’t missing ‘the point’. ‘The point’ is that we are sensitive to natural toxins found in foods. Medical studies and evidence-based science proving this fact matter little to Bee, who has a deeply religious attachment to her beliefs about candida. Bee then shows her really expert understanding of food chemical intolerance with the throwaway remark ‘Besides there is no such thing as allergies‘. Amazing!

This is her response to a poster who developed anaphylactic shock after taking Nurofen (ibuprofen), whose doctor suspected salicylate sensitivity. She has been on the failsafe diet for about a year:

The Failsafe diet claims that salicylates and amines in foods should be eliminated, which leads many people to eliminate good foods for no good reason. Any substances can be isolated from good natural foods and be found to make people react negatively to them, but whole foods are different. I don’t believe in maligning whole natural foods. 43490

This woman had an anaphylactic shock reaction to Nurofen, and this is what Bee Wilder says to her?

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Written by alienrobotgirl

24 April, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Quacktitioners

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3 Responses

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  1. It’s a bit absurb that someone who advocates not eating most of the natural foods out there (ie no grains, dairy, legumes, nuts, fruit, etc) for years on end goes on how wrong it is to eliminate good natural foods on Failsafe. Funnily enough, my toddler’s “candida” got worse and worse on Bee’s diet, and miraculously cleared up on Failsafe. And my daughter clearly has plenty of allergies (intolerances) aside from food chemicals, contrary to Bee’s assurances that they don’t exist.

    So anyone who is sensitive to salicylates should avoid ibuprofen? I was going to give my daughter some ibuprofen for a sprained ankle yesterday but I didn’t give it to her after reading the warning about aspirin allergies on the label…that was before I read this.

    caedmyn

    25 April, 2008 at 5:17 pm

  2. I stumbled across your blog, and read some of your posts on Lyme, candida, etc. I have been diagnosed with Lyme, but have issues with the treatment since the symptoms resemble so many other things. Also I have had candida for 15 years ( I was on antibiotics for 15 years for acne). So your critisizm of the Candida Diet intrigued me. I have pretty much tried everything out there to solve my symptoms with no luck. I just keep getting worse. So I was about to try another round of the Candida Diet, but thought I’d try the failSafe diet instead and see what happens. My only issue with it is that it seems like a big pain in the a$$. The Candida Diet was hard enough. At least your didn’t have to read the ingredients on everything you got. You could pretty much just eat raw food and no fruit and you were fine. But the Failsafe diet requires one to actually learn the chemical properties of foods, which is a pain in the butt. So after reading a bunch of your blogs going on and on on how lyme isn’t real and candida isn’t real…how about more blogs on how to actually SOLVE to problem or TIPS on how to make the Failsafe Diet easier. Because as a “newbie” to the Failsafe Diet, after looking at the list of foods to avoid, it’s incredibly overwhelming- more than the Candida Diet ever was.

    circle11

    2 January, 2009 at 6:54 pm

  3. Hi circle

    > I have been diagnosed with Lyme, but have issues with the treatment since the symptoms resemble so many other things.

    Who diagnosed you with lyme? A REAL, allopathic doctor, or a naturopath? Naturopaths frequently diagnose “lyme” when the problem is really food chemical intolerance.

    > Also I have had candida for 15 years ( I was on antibiotics for 15 years for acne). So your critisizm of the Candida Diet intrigued me.

    Again, REAL candida, or fake candida?

    > I have pretty much tried everything out there to solve my symptoms with no luck. I just keep getting worse.

    That doesn’t sound like real candida to me?

    > So I was about to try another round of the Candida Diet, but thought I’d try the failSafe diet instead and see what happens. My only issue with it is that it seems like a big pain in the a$$. The Candida Diet was hard enough. At least your didn’t have to read the ingredients on everything you got.

    The key is to not eat anything out of a package. It’s rare that anything packaged is really failsafe, don’t bother looking. Eat real foods and avoid fruits and vegetables.

    > So after reading a bunch of your blogs going on and on on how lyme isn’t real and candida isn’t real…how about more blogs on how to actually SOLVE to problem or TIPS on how to make the Failsafe Diet easier.

    Well I’m not really here working at the behest of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. The Fed Up site has lots of helpful tips. Regarding solving the problem… The failsafe diet IS what solves food chemical intolerance. There is no magical cure.

    > Because as a “newbie” to the Failsafe Diet, after looking at the list of foods to avoid, it’s incredibly overwhelming- more than the Candida Diet ever was.

    I don’t really understand why people have problems with this but I’ve heard this complaint before a few times. I’ll put something up on the main site. The best thing to do is to buy Sue Dengate’s Failsafe Cookbook.

    alienrobotgirl

    8 February, 2009 at 7:19 pm


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