on 28 January 2012
For anyone dealing with a serious illness, or that wants to avoid a serious illness, the books by Dr Sherry Rogers are absolutely essential reading.
Her books explain in a very easy to understand manner how to deal with the causes of disease using cutting edge medical knowledge, technology and testing, and not just how to mask symptoms with drugs and other superficial treatments (which lead to worsening problems in other areas of health).
As Dr Sherry Rogers writes in `Detoxify or Die',
`I have to laugh when people ask me if I do alternative, herbal, acupuncture or holistic medicine. 'No,' I reply. 'We do state-of-the-art medicine. In other words, we find the biochemical, nutritional and environmental causes and cures rather than blindly drugging everything. Sure, herbs are gentler, safer and more physiologic than drugs and holistic medicine attempts to incorporate many diverse modalities, etc. But there is no substitute for finding the underlying biochemical causes and cures. This is real medicine. This is where medicine should and would have been decades ago, if it had not been abducted by the pharmaceutical industry.'
The question is not whether you should read a book by Dr Rogers, but WHICH book of hers you should start with! Choosing which books to start with can be difficult and a bit overwhelming, as there are quite a few. My opinion, is as follows:
1. For healthy people that want to stay well, healthy older people who want to avoid degenerative diseases as they get older, or parents who want to keep themselves and their kids well, then the book you need is `Detoxify or Die.' This one book will probably contain everything you need to know as prevention is so much easier than cure!
After reading this book and acting on the advice it gives, you may then like to subscribe to Dr Rogers' monthly newsletter, to stay up to date with new developments - if your budget allows for this.
2. For those dealing with serious illness, you need both `Detoxify or Die' and `No More Heartburn: Stop the Pain in 30 Days-Naturally! : The Safe, Effective Way to Prevent and Heal Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders.' Almost all serious illness involve poor gut health and so poor food and nutrient absorption and one cannot improve with these diseases until the gut issues are dealt with.
As Dr Sherry Rogers explains, `The road to good health is paved with good intestines!'
It is very important that you heal you gut problems as much as possible, and treat any serious nutrient deficiencies before beginning any type of detoxification program as these types of programs use up a lot of nutrients and place additional stress on the body. Once you've worked on healing your gut, and your nutrient deficiencies, you can then move onto the information in `Detoxify or Die.'
These books will be helpful no matter what disease label you have, or even if you don't yet have a correct diagnosis. They explain how to heal the body, and how to identify via testing the individual factors that affect your health and so they do not provide disease specific information, generally speaking. (With some exceptions.) This is very good news for those that don't have a correct diagnosis, or that have a disease where very little or no specific research into your disease and how to treat it is taking place.
There are 3 basic principles of this type of medicine:
A. Get the good stuff in. Give your body the fuel and tools it needs to work at an optimum level. Good food, nutrients and all the proper vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Make sure you aren't deficient in any of the major nutrients as the different nutrients all work together.
B. Get the bad stuff out. Make sure your body can detoxify out all the toxic substances and toxic by-products of bodily processes properly. Stop as many toxins from getting in in the first place, and do a detoxification program to get rid of the ones you have. Stop doing or eating the things which cause inflammation and have a pro-oxidant effect, and so on.
C. Reduce your body's total load. The total load concept is that lessening the body's overall burden/work and stress level in one area, will improve health generally and improve the body's ability to heal because the body's total load (or burden) is lessened. Fixing one problem frees up bodily resources that can be then be used to help other parts of the body function getter or to heal. In other words, you need to look at the body as a whole in order to heal, and not just the one part of the body that is generating the most symptoms.
Dr Sherry Rogers explains that with treating the causes of disease, 'A life sentence to medications that block physiologic pathways is avoided.' She continues,
`Bear in mind that since medications do not fix anything, they allow the underlying problem to continue uncorrected and actually accelerate. Meanwhile, new symptoms and new seemingly unrelated diseases are the inevitable consequence of this biochemical faux pas. Furthermore, drug side effects are the leading cause of death. NSAIDs as an example of only one group of medications, are fatally toxic to thousands of people each year by damaging joints, lungs, kidneys, eyes, hearts, and intestines. And they are covered by insurance.
You and your doctor have been screwed into believing every symptom is a deficiency of some drug or surgery. You've been led to believe you have no control, when in truth you're the one who must take control. Unfortunately, the modus operandi in medicine is to find a drug to turn off the damaged part that is producing symptoms. A simple example is the prescription of calcium channel blockers, the number one drug used by cardiologists for angina, hypertension, congestive heart failure, or arrhythmia. But as with any drug, this does not fix anything that is broken. It merely poisons normal physiological pathways, thereby forcing the chemistry in a direction that attenuates symptoms.
Since nothing has been done in terms of getting rid of the underlying cause, the disease continues. In addition the missing fatty acids and minerals in the cell membranes that house and calcium channels are not identified and repaired. Nor are the sequestered membrane chemicals that caused the damage, like unavoidable PCBs and Mercury, gotten rid of. If this were not enough perpetuation and acceleration of damage, the side effects of drugs are not innocuous. For example, calcium channel blockers have been shown by MRI to cause definitive shrinkage of the brain and loss of brain function, a side effect rarely mentioned by clinicians or news media.
It should not come as a shock that this type of information is ignored, since studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association document how the practice guidelines for American medicine are made by physicians who receive compensation from the drug industry. (Choudhry, JAMA 2002; 287: 612-617). In addition so is the FDA, the very government regulatory body that approves drugs, riddled with advisers with financial ties to (and is heavily lobbied by) the very drug industry that is seeking its approval. And as the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association warm, even the hired clinical investigators for new drugs may have their price. '
If after following the advice in `Detoxify or Die' (and using your FIR sauna daily or every second day etc.) for a year or two, your progress stalls, then you need to follow a more intensive plan. The book `The High Blood Pressure Hoax' is the Part 2 to `Detoxify or Die' and shows you where to go from there to start making progress again with healing. Part 3 is called `The Cholesterol Hoax' and again this book is recommended only if after following the advice in Part 2, your progress stalls.
After reading a couple of Dr Rogers' books, you may also then like to subscribe to Dr Rogers' monthly newsletter, to stay up to date with new developments - if your budget allows for this.
3. Doctors are recommended to read `Detoxify or Die.' The book `Is Your Cardiologist Killing You?' is also recommended if they commonly prescribe statins, beta blockers, Coumadin and other cardiac drugs.
Information on each of Dr Sherry Rogers' books:
1. Detoxify or Die (2002) by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
This book is excellent. It is also very easy to read and understand. It talks about the importance of treating the causes of disease and the most important chemicals to avoid in food and in cleaning and personal care products, the impact of each of the major chemical types on the body, tests which can be used to determine your toxic load (as well as your nutrients levels and how well your detoxification pathways are functioning etc.), the problems with many common prescribed drugs, the benefits of a daily detox cocktail, the benefits of juicing and enemas, the benefits and safety of regular FIR sauna use, how to use the sauna safely and what to expect when doing a sauna program, and so much more. There is also a great little summary of the parts of the book on FIR saunas that is available as a free PDF online which is exceptionally good. (Google the relevant terms to find it.)
2. No More Heartburn: Stop the Pain in 30 Days--Naturally! : The Safe, Effective Way to Prevent and Heal Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders (2000) by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
This book is excellent (even if the title is NOT!). It is also very easy to read and understand. It talks about the importance of treating the causes of disease and why healing the gut is an essential first part of any healing program - whether you feel like you have any gut issues or not. It discusses food allergies and intolerances, low stomach acid, dysbiosis, the problems with many prescription and over the counter medications (such as NSAIDs, aspirin and ibuprofen) on gut health, rotation diets, Candida, enemas, and leaky gut syndrome and the tests which can be used to determine which gut issues you have.
It also discusses the importance of detoxification enemas and other detoxification regimes and the all-important concept of the `total load.'
3. Pain Free in 6 Weeks (2001) by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
This book may be useful if you are generally in good health, but suffer with chronic pain. If chronic pain is part of a serious disease complex then you'll be treating the pain along with all of your other symptoms by following the advice given in the books on gut health and detoxification and so this book probably wont be necessary. Several supplements which can help with chronic pain are discussed in this book as well as a nightshade-free diet, improving gut health and lowering your toxic load and detoxification enemas for pain relief.
4. Wellness Against All Odds (1994) by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
In most of Dr Rogers' books the only diet recommended is the macrobiotic diet, although every now and again there were also comments about how not every diet works for everyone and that some people may not do well on the macrobiotic diet and should read `Wellness Against All Odds' for more information about other diets. This book explains that while the macrobiotic diet suits a large percentage of ill people, some of us need far more protein and fat in our diets and do much better when our food is cooked rather than raw. Dr Rogers explains that some of us may need a raw food macro diet to heal, and others a cooked diet with lots of animal protein and fat or something between these two extremes, and that as we heal we'll all likely move more into the middle and eat some raw food, some cooked food and a balance of plant and animal foods. What is most important is eating whole foods and making sure to find the diet that works best for us at this point in time.
As well as discussing different diets, this book also contains excellent information on enemas, detoxifying salt baths, the liver and gallbladder flush, the castor oil and olive oil body rub and the use of systemic enzymes to treat cancer and other diseases. It's an interesting read and probably essential extra reading if you have cancer.
5. The High Blood Pressure Hoax (2008) by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
Part 2 to `Detoxify or Die.' Also contains useful information on how to treat and how not to treat high blood pressure.
6. The Cholesterol Hoax (2008) by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
Part 3 to `Detoxify or Die.' Also contains useful information on why the `cholesterol hypothesis' is dead and why statin drugs are hazardous to your health.
7. Is Your Cardiologist Killing You? by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
This book is absolutely essential reading for anyone taking statin drugs, daily aspirin, Coumadin, NSAIDs, beta blockers or calcium channel blockers etc. The information given on these drugs and the problems they cause was frightening.
Overall, this book is very easy to read and well organised and very clear in its message and with its references. If you're taking some of the above drugs, this book really is essential. It not only warns you of the dangers of these drugs but tell you how to safely get off them. (Very gradually!) If you aren't taking any of these drugs, you are much better off with 'Detoxify or Die' instead as it contains much more detailed treatment information for those of us with heart problems.
This book is highly recommended for any doctor that commonly prescribes the above drugs as well.
7. Depression: Cured At Last? by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
This (very long) book is kind of an early version of `Detoxify or Die' although it does contain a small amount of material that isn't in any of the other books. While I took 8 pages of handwritten notes from `DOD' I still managed to write 2 pages of notes on the new information in this book that was of interest. Most of it was information about the specific role of each vitamin and mineral. This book looks at how nutrient deficiencies and toxic overload are the root causes of disease, using depression as an example. It makes a strong case for the use of environmental medicine in treating all disease, including mental illnesses. This book is an interesting read if you're able to get a copy, and read such a large amount of text. It is probably essential reading if you have depression, anxiety or disorders such as schizophrenia or OCD and so on.
8. Chemical Sensitivity (1998), The EI Syndrome Revised (1995) and Tired or Toxic? A Blueprint for Health (1990) by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
So far I have chosen not to buy these books as a) They are older compared to `Detoxify or Die' b) I have read a huge amount about chemical sensitivity and its associated problems already and c) The book `Detoxify or Die' seems to be an updated version of all of these books, to a large extent. They are recommended reading if you are very new to the subject of chemical sensitivities and would like to know more about this problem and what symptoms it causes and so on.
9. The Scientific Basis for Selected Environmental Medicine Techniques (1994) by Sherry A. Rogers M.D.
This book is designed to be given to doctors and perhaps also insurance companies. It contains summarised information about the basic principles of environmental medicine, along with lots of reference lists. Unfortunately, as this book is now almost 20 years old, most doctors would probably see it as outdated and you may be far better off using books such as `Detoxify or Die' to try and get relevant information to doctors and other professionals. This book is not necessary for patients to buy for themselves and it doesn't contain any information that isn't given in far more detail in `Detoxify or Die.'
10. Macro Mellow : Recipes for Macrobiotic Cooking (1993) by Shirley Gallinger and Sherry A. Rogers
This is one of three books on macrobiotic cooking by Dr Rogers. I need to eat in a way quite opposite to the macrobiotic diet and so I haven't bought any of these books. These books are highly recommended if the macrobiotic diet works for you however.
General comments on Dr Rogers' books:
1. There is a bit of repetition in some of the books, as some reviewers have noted. But overall it isn't a big problem and it does help you remember all the major points she is making.
2. There are some typographical errors in some of the books, but please don't let that put you off. These books aren't produced for massive profits and are written by someone who never planned to be an author, isn't in it for the money and doesn't advertise her books, instead relying on word of mouth sales. There may be a few typographical errors and some books may have somewhat of a `homemade' feel to them in parts, but the information in the books and their references are spot on and that is what is important. The books are very well written and extremely well referenced.
3. The books almost always give recommendations for actual brand name products, as Dr Rogers notes that the quality of supplements varies widely and she only feels comfortable recommending trusted brands and long-term tested products. This is helpful as it gives you a starting point in your research of which products to buy, whether you end up buying those exact brands or not. Note that Dr Rogers has no financial ties with ANY of these companies.
4. All of the recommendations in the books can seem overwhelming, but all you need to do is start small. Do one small thing at a time and make gradual changes. The worst thing you could do, especially if you are very ill, is jump into taking and doing lots of different things all at once anyway.
(Actually, the need to start some supplements very slow is something I feel Dr Rogers could have given more attention to. Some of us would get (even more) extremely ill taking the amounts of reduced alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, reduced GSH and garlic etc. she recommends if we didn't raise the doses very gradually over 1 - 3 months or more. Perhaps this is just an issue for people like me who have M.E., that almost all have to be especially slow in introducing new supplements of this kind, but perhaps it relates to at least a small group other patients as well, which is why I am mentioning it. I can now take her recommended daily detox cocktail with no problems at all, but the first time I took 5 g of vitamin C, and even 100 mg of ALA daily, it really knocked me around. It was awful and very severe.)
5. Dr Rogers books are to some extent `do-it-yourself' health books but ideally Dr Rogers recommends that you get well with the help of a qualified practitioner that will be able to order the appropriate tests for you, and also help you interpret them.
6. One extra thing I feel I have to mention in relation to Dr Rogers' books is the amount of religious material some of them contain. In books such as the one on gut health and `Detoxify or Die' it is fairly minimal, but in books such as `Depression: Cured At last?' and `Wellness Against All Odds; and others it is quite extreme. Topics are mentioned such as the need for prayer in schools, what a terrible idea it is to teach kids about homosexuality and condoms at a young age, evolution is mocked as unscientific and the theory of intelligent design and creationism is discussed, evidence is given for biblical events/artifacts such as the Ark and the moral decay caused by more people rejecting religion. The push for readers to embrace religion and Christianity is very full-on and a very hard-sell.
I really hope that readers that have big problems with this type of information, or just with its appearing in a scientific textbook, will be able to take the mountain of very good information on health in these books and perhaps just skip over the religious parts (which are generally focused on one chapter towards the end of the book) and agree to disagree with the author on this topic. It would be such a loss for anyone to miss out on these books because of the religious content, I hope nobody does. It is also important that you know these books have this content if you are going to give them to others, so that you can also mention it to them beforehand, this avoiding or minimising any upset on their behalf as well (or a very unfortunate blanket rejection of all the health information in them).
7. You will often be referred to other books while you're reading one of Dr Rogers' books. I think I actually would really rather pay more and have the one BIG book (or set of 3 books) with everything in it and all up to date, rather than keep being referred to other books when reading. I'm ill and get easily overwhelmed, as I know many others do too. I'd rather not buy an extra whole book just for a few pages of relevant information in it too, but I realise the one big book idea may be too difficult to do for a whole host of reasons. (Sorry Dr Rogers, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I'm a big fan. This is just a suggestion.)
8. In addition to books by Dr Sherry Rogers I'd also recommend books by Dr Lawrence Wilson (and his website), Dr Abram Hoffer, Andrew Saul, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig (most especially `Eat Fat, Lose Fat' and `Know Your Fats) and any and all of the vitamin C experts such as Linus Pauling and Dr Thomas Levy. Other excellent books include `Good Calories, Bad Calories' and `Deep Nutrition' as well as books on the SCD eating plan and the GAPS diet for the treatment of dysbiosis and a diet-based plan to heal the gut.
BTW I'm writing all this as someone that subscribes to Dr Rogers' monthly newsletter and owns most of her books, and that is slowly improving month by month from a very severe neurological disease - thanks in part to the work of Dr Rogers, and others like her - that has left me housebound and almost entirely bedbound for many years. I wish so much I had had this information early on in my disease, rather than coming to it more than 10 years in. Healing is so much easier the earlier you start it.
Best wishes for future health to anyone still reading this far! And a big thank you to Dr Sherry Rogers for sharing all this valuable information!
Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E.