Minding Your Mitochondria: heal chronic illness with diet

updated 11/2012

I once posted about how psychiatric drugs seem to harm our mitochondria, among all the other things they harm: Iatrogenic illness caused by mitochondrial damage—psychiatric drugs major culprit


Most chronic illnesses respond to dietary changes. What this woman discovered to help heal her MS is very similar to my discoveries that are helping me heal my iatrogenic chronic illness.

This sort of diet can also help a lot of mental health issues. People learn to avoid taking psychiatric drugs to begin with by eating this way. Basically it’s a diet that helps one get optimal nutrition all around so that one can get as healthy as possible body/mind and spirit. It is essentially a paleo diet that I’ve talked about in this post too: Food as Medicine.  My own experience and understanding has already evolved quite a lot since I wrote that piece, but it still serves as a good intro.

And yes, I too, eat liver and other organ meats and seaweeds for nutrients. Nutrient dense foods are far better than a multi-vitamin!

This woman’s recovery is stunning and wonderful. There are many people who’ve gone on such diets that have had radical turn arounds in health. It’s also important to understand that while diet can and does often cure, it’s not a cure all. Not everyone can heal 100% from every chronic disease. But we can get as healthy as possible and learn to accept whatever it is we cannot change.

She prescribes very particular stuff for everyone to eat every day. More importantly is her suggestion to avoid grains and dairy. This means in particular all gluten containing grains.

Some other grains can be carefully prepared in very particular ways and be safer and some people can do well with them, and many people can benefit from cultured milk (yogurt and kefir.) She does not speak of this actually. It’s something I’ve learned. So there are always some exceptions to these basic rules. I personally do not eat any grains or dairy, other than ghee (clarified butter), at this time.

Updated note: In our society today whether people eat animal products or not is a hot issue. I would prefer not to eat meat but have found I must. I’ve also found that I’m intolerant of dairy and eggs, so that leaves only meat and fish. I have found others like me in my community with similar physical ailments who have found that animal products are essential. I’ve experimented heavily with purely vegetarian methods of nourishing myself without meat since I deeply value the lives of animals and have failed. This choice does not come without pain. I’m always happy for those who find they can thrive without animal products and I certainly don’t begrudge those who can. I hope someday to regain enough health that I might be able to once again carefully tweak most if not all of the meat out of my diet. I write explicitly about this issue because we are all different and people need to find what works for both their body and their spirit together. Sometimes the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit seem to conflict. Such is life. Never simple. I take comfort in the fact that all of nature eats itself and I’m blessed with a consciousness that can recognize that I am part of this web of life, complicated and lovely as it is.

Two books by the woman in the video: Minding My Mitochondria 2nd Edition: How I overcame secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and got out of my wheelchair. See also: Food As Medicine: The Foods To Eat; The Actions To Take For A BETTER BRAIN

Again, another article that excerpts from a study on mitochondrial damage:  Iatrogenic illness caused by mitochondrial damage—psychiatric drugs major culprit

My favorite blog that covers these issues is Chris Kresser’s. His blog used to be called Healthy Skeptic and I’ve linked to it many times.

Check out more info on diet and wellbeing here: Nutrition and Gut Health, mental health and diet

MORE: Info and inspiration for the CHRONICALLY ILL

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