‘Cures’ of the past; implications for the present

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In the early part of the 20th century an entrepreneur name Charles A. Tyrrell developed and promoted an enema device called the J.B. L. Cascade (the J.B.L. stood for Joy, Beauty and Life). Mr. Tyrrell (later Dr. Tyrrell; he got a medical degree at age 57) found a ready market for his device – at that time a canvas-covered, rubberized-bag – because of the misbegotten doctrine of autointoxication that was prevalent during the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries.

During those years many health practitioners believed that the contents of the colon were highly toxic and could seep through the wall of the colon and cause self-poisoning or autointoxication. It’s kind of easy to see how this notion would arise since the contents of the colon are malodorous and not particularly attractive. No one with a properly functioning brain would want his/her colon contents running wild throughout the body. And the idea that many reasonable people held at that time was that constipation or even mild constipation allowed the ‘putrifying’ feces within the colon (and even the contents of the small intestine) to make its way from the colon into the blood and thence throughout the body.

Highly regarded physicians of the time created medical sounding terms for the condition and the diseases that resulted. Enteroptosis and visceroptosis were the terms used to describe stasis (or ptosis) of the small or large bowel, i.e., constipation. Or at least their idea of constipation. The results of this stasis was the toxic colon contents escaping and the resultant autointoxication, symptoms of which included depression, neurasthenia, fatigue, sinusitis, coated tongue, lassitude, hysteria, anxiety and a host of other common ailments.

The cures for this made up disease ranged from the benign – wrapping the abdomen to increase pressure to enhance evacuation – to the dangerous – complex major surgical procedures to remove ‘kinks’ in the colon thus allowing freer flow of the colonic contents.

This entire idea of autointoxication was, of course, nonsense. And it was nonsense that hasn’t gone away. I still read in the alternative healthcare literature about people who have a multitude of symptoms that have defied diagnosis who end up in the hands of those performing colonic irrigations. The stories often include descriptions of agglomerated masses of old capsules and other medications that are washed out along with the feces during the procedure. And in these tales the patients often recall that they took those medications years before, which, of course, means that they had been there caught up somehow in the colon poisoning the patient. During my surgery days I was involved in a lot of colonic surgeries for cancers, gun shot wounds, stabbings, abscesses, etc. and all the colons I saw were pink and smooth. Just the law of averages would require that here and there I would have found one with a pocket of putrified masses of old pills or whatever, but I never did. Now in the days of routine colonoscopy it would seem that if these pockets existed they would be found and reported on often. But they never are.

In days of old, however, these ideas were prevalent, even in the minds of people who should have known better.

One of the most common treatments for visceroptosis and its resultant autoinoxication was the enema. And here enters our tale of the good Mr. then Dr. Tyrrell.

Charles A. Tyrrell was a Brit who came to the United States in 1880, and after six years in New York suffered an attack of ‘paralysis’ which resulted in his admission to Bellevue Hospital where his condition worsened. He was moved to St. Vinvent’s Hospital where he was, in his chas-tyrrell-blogsize.jpgwords, “given up for dead.” While ‘dying’ there he read a treatise by a Dr. Wilford Hall extolling the virtues of the enema for treating virtually anything that might ail one. Tyrrell apparently had the tube up his rear in a heartbeat and soon recovered his health.

A few years and many enemas later, Tyrrell founded Tyrrell’s Hygenic Institute, a company in New York that manufactured and sold emema products for home use. In 1894 he published a book titled The Royal Road to Health (click here for a full-text version) that excerpted Dr. Wilford Halls book and quoted heavily from a surgeon named Henry Turner, who claimed that after his examination of countless bowels he was of the opinion that all disease arose from constipation and decaying and putrid fecal matter.

Tyrrell’s J.B.L Cascade device held five quarts of water and differed from the standard enema bag in that the Cascade had its nozzle protruding from the center of the bag, which was designed to be sat upon using the body’s weight instead of gravity to propel the fluid into the colon. Below is a picture of a modern version that is still sold today. And below that is a picture of one in use in the event any readers have little imagination.

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Tyrrell promoted his device tirelessly using ads in all kinds of publications and numerous customer testimonials. Here are a few that are typical.

Wrote Professor Arnoux

I bought one of your ‘Cascades against the advice from my physician. I am delighted with it.

Byron Cool said:

When our daughter was married, among the wedding presents, we included a J.B.L. Cascade outfit.

I would love to have seen the thank you note for that gift.

An Elizabeth Towne from Massechusetts wrote:

Why doesn’t everybody throw physic to the dogs and syringes to the junk man and use the ‘J.B.L. Cascade’?

And my favorite. A Mr. George Nutting writes

…a little over a year ago my house took fire in the middle of the night, and my wife, without as much as putting on her clothes, took the ‘Cascade’ under her arm the first thing, and started to leave the house without stopping to gather her clothes or valuables. I had the laugh on her later for it, but she said she valued the ‘Cascade’ more than anything else she had.

Through the years Tyrrell sold countless Cascades and became wealthy in the process. His relentlessly promoted ideas that constipation and autointoxication were the birth right of man and that a good enema (preferably with his contraption) could cure most anything were commonly held by many educated people until relatively recently. When I was a little kid staying with my grandparents and got sick or even acted like I might be sick, my grandmother hogged me down in a trice and filled me full of soapy water. And I always got well, or at least quit complaining.

Tyrrell’s immense success caught the eye of the medical authorities of the time, who, though still believers in autointoxication, felt that the enema wasn’t the proper treatment and verged on quackery. The American Medical Association (AMA) formed the Propaganda Department in 1906. (I guess at that time they called things what they really were. Alas the name was later changed to the Bureau of Investigation.) The Department took out after Dr. Tyrrell (he had received an M.D. from the Eclectic Institute in 1900) and wrote an article published in JAMA in 1912 that basically accused him of charlatanism and quackery. The AMA sent a copy to anyone who wrote asking about Tyrrell or his device.

The JAMA article was correct of course, but what I find interesting is that at the same time Tyrrell was making his outrageous claims as to the efficacy of his device and the enema in the treatment of autointoxication there were surgeons who were treating the same ‘disease’ with major surgery and no one at the AMA batted an eye.

One such surgeon, Willaim A. Lane, M.D., treated more than 1000 people by performing colectomies on them. A colectomy is the removal of the colon, major surgery indeed. Why didn’t the AMA bother with Dr. Lane? Because as reported in an article in the Journal of the History of Medicine he

was well-educated and conventionally trained, and he specialized in surgery. Like his orthodox colleagues, he was a part of a community that spoke the same clinical language, was familiar with a general pool of knowledge, subscribed to similar values, and strove for common goals. Lane’s versatility was such that he devised useful techniques for the treatment of fractures, harelip, and cleft palate, and infections of the mastoid.

Along with these accomplishments Lane believed that fecal retention caused disease. He felt that kinks in the large bowel, named Lane’s Links after him, caused the backup of bowel contents and the resultant autointoxication. He performed most of his 1000 colectomies on women because

he ascribed women’s perceived mental shortcomings and overall poor health not to the more popular nineteenth-century reproductive organs and gynecological etiologies, but to the causitive culprit of [intestinal] stasis.

So we have Lane and Tyrrell, both of whom profited from their treatment of a non-existant disease. One of whom (Tyrrell) promoted a fairly benign treatment, the other (Lane) who promoted a treatment attendant with much danger and many long-term consequences, yet the latter is embraced by the orthodox medical community while the former is scorned.

Things haven’t changed much today. I can think of two situations right now that are similar to the Tyrrell-Lane situation.

Unlike autointoxication, obesity is a real disease causing considerable morbidity and mortality. We have a perfectly good and benign way of treating it. It’s called the low-carbohydrate diet. And we have a way of treating it that is fraught with immediate peril and serious long-term consequences. That method is called gastric bypass surgery. Which one do you think the orthodox medical establishment believes in as the proper treatment for the morbidly obese and which one do you think is scorned as a fad?

One other is a treatment called insulin potentiation therapy (IPT) for cancer. Cancer cells by their makeup are glucose dependent. In other words, they need glucose to survive and grow, and they gobble it in huge amounts. Standard orthodox chemotherapy treats cancers by bombarding them with toxic drugs designed to kill the fast-growing malignant cells. Problem with this standard therapy is that these toxic drugs kill all of the fast growing cells, which include hair follicles and gastric mucosa to name just a couple. People who undergo chemotherapy lose their hair and are violently nauseated, not to mention seriously fatigued to the point of total debilitation. But that’s the price one pays to kill the cancer with orthodox chemotherapy.

Practitioners of IPT use the fact that cancer cells require large amounts of glucose against them. Physicians treat patients with cancers with IPT using the same chemotherapy drugs that orthodox practitioners use, but in much lower doses. Doses that are only 10-15 percent as much as the standard dose. These lower doses typically don’t cause the loss of hair, severe nausea and total exhaustion that the orthodox doses do. How do practitioners get away with these lower doses? By using insulin to reduce blood sugar and make the cancers more susceptible to the drugs. Here’s how it works.

Practitioners start IVs on their patients undergoing IPT and infuse the appropriate dose of insulin. They then administer the chemotherapeutic drugs when blood sugar levels are lowered enough to weaken the cancer. After a time the doctor infuses glucose bringing the blood sugar back to normal. During the time that the blood sugar is low and the cancer has no food to gobble, the effectiveness of the drugs is greatly enhanced allowing them to be used in much lower doses while achieving the same therapeutic effect. IPT doesn’t always work, but neither does orthodox chemotherapy.

But orthodox chemotherapy is regarded by most of the medical profession and certainly by the academicians as the only reputable way to go despite the huge morbidity it causes along with the lack of efficacy in many, many cases. These same people regard IPT despite it’s being grounded in science as pure quackery.

Besides these two there are many other examples out there showing us that the Tyrrel-Lane syndrome exists today. The take-home message is that just because the mainstream medical practitioners and the ivory tower folks are pushing something doesn’t mean that it’s the way to go. Many women who believed in orthodox medicine in the early 1900s and happened to live in the area where William Lane practiced ended up minus their colons.

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29 thoughts on “‘Cures’ of the past; implications for the present

  1. IPT is quite interesting; am I correct in inferring from the science behind it that the low-carb diet is to some extent effectual against cancers, by decreasing the available glucose? (It’s possible that I’ve read you saying as much and just blanked on it because, well, I don’t have cancer, and I tend to read through diabetes-colored glasses. So to speak.)

    Hi R. Francs–

    Yes, the science implies that low-carb diets can indeed put the brakes on cancer. There have been a few articles in the medical literature and even this recent piece in Time magazine.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  2. While looking for more info on Insulin Potentiation Therapy, I came across this site: http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/ipt.html

    They also had an article on low-carb diets, which gives you guys a passing mention: http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/lcd.html Any thoughts you can give on either of these? I admit that they raise a good point regarding Mr. Atkins’ cardiovascular system, assuming it is valid. It’s amazing how scare tactics and propaganda can work. Goebbels would be proud of the AMA, AHA, whatever the cancer societies are called, etc. because they are persuasive on suggestion, not proof. Since I doubt they’d provide much in the way of fact to prove their case, I hope that you will be of help, as you always are.

    Hi Chris–

    These sites are all about the orthodox attacking something that is out of the mainstream. It is to be expected.

    I think some of the criticisms of IPT are valid. I don’t think the practitioners of IPT really understand why they’re accomplishing what they’re accomplishing. I believe they’ve believe in the incorrect mechanism of action. But it doesn’t matter whether they’re wrong on why it works, what matters is that it does work.

    As to Dr. Atkins’ cardiovascular status…I wasn’t privy to the postmortem results so I don’t know. What I do know from see Dr. Atkins in the flesh a few times is that either he didn’t follow his own diet or his diet didn’t work. And I know it wasn’t the latter. I’ve got a tape of a debate between Atkins and Julian Whitaker from 10 or 15 years ago where someone from the audience asked both of them how either could possibly promote a dietary regimen when both were fat as pigs. Dr. Atkins lost a bunch of weight in the year or so before he died, but during the years before that he wasn’t an exemplar of his own program. If he had cardiovascular problems, I would imagine they stemmed from Dr. Atkins’ not following his own diet rather than from following it.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  3. I could have used a warning about the bee-hind! EEEEK! :O

    Fascinating topic as always Dr. M.!

    Sorry about the picture, but I did say that below the picture of the device was a picture of one in use for those readers with no imagination. So, you were sort of warned.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  4. Dr. Eades,
    What a well-written, sensible and eye-opening post to read–just like the rest of them. It’s funny, who hasn’t had one of those flyers shoved in his face, you know, the ones that have the re-copied x100 times photo of a sad looking colon with the title, “Death Begins In The Colon?”
    Your article was lots of fun to read (I’m a history buff, too) and absolutely made a great point in comparing what happened to those poor women then with what’s going on with both men and women today via the explosion of bariatric surgeries. It’s quite a horror how something so effective, so beautiful, so simple, and so life-affirming like low carbohydrate eating has been so terribly twisted with such venom–I fear the worst for the health of future generations, especially when I read that gastric bypass patients are getting younger and younger.
    I read you all the time and enjoy your writing. Your stuff is always exciting and interesting to read, but this got me thinking more than usual.
    Best,
    Adam

    Hi Adam–

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  5. The first part of the post reminded me of the whole “toxins” belief. People worry about these toxins and try to sweat or urinate them out. Whenever I’ve asked people what these “toxins” were, the conversation indicated that they did not know about by-products of biological reactions, and thought that things like urea were akin to mercury or something like that.

    The rest of the post got me thinking about other modern Tyrrell-Lane situations. (First of many, I bet!) None of these are as extreme as the blogs, though.

    One of my friends was told she had PCOS and put on Glucophage. The doctor never talked to her about a low carb diet. Why? Because you don’t treat PCOS with a diet that lowers blood sugar, you treat it with a drug that lovers blood sugar instead.

    Women are put on birth control pills for every problem under the sun. My own experience on them was so horrible I can’t recommend them to any of my young friends. My doctor never told me that BCP can cause all sorts of problems, perhaps because you don’t treat pregnancy with a device that blocks sperm, you treat it with a pill.

    A nurse cautioned me for taking some supplements to help with sore breasts (evening primrose oil, B comples, and E). She said, “You shouldn’t take those, you don’t know what kind of side effects they can have!” I replied, “I know that they might have side effects, but so do prescription medications.” I have no idea how the medical establishment treats sore breasts, but supplements obviously isn’t it. It works for me, and I can move without pain. Low carbing has also helped, but I still take my supplements.

    And then there’s the whole cholesterol debacle…

    Hi Kate–

    Maybe I should run a contest to see who can come up with the most outrageous Tyrrell-Lane situation. I could make the first prize a copy of Anthony Colpo’s book.

    Whaddaya think?

    Cheers–

    MRE

  6. It was probably a rhetorical question, but I’d love to see other people’s Tyrrell-Lane experiences and observations!

    PS: I always get a good giggle out of you mocking academia. I’ve spent enough time in college to know that having a PhD increases the likelihood of being a total idiot about something outside of the narrow field of research. Some of academia is just plain silly, such as my diploma that says “Masters in SCIENCE.” Yup, science. I can now be Doctor Science, from the old NPR show.

    Hi Doctor Science–

    It’s almost unfair because academia is such an easy target.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  7. The first three commenters addressed what I had intended to cover, so I will just say…that looks like one helluva whoopee cushion up there!

    Yes, indeed. And one you wouldn’t want to sit on without warning.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  8. For me personally, the most outrageous situation is pushing the low-fat high fiber diet. My mother followed such a diet religiously for 15 years because it was “healthy”. I don’t know anyone who followed the more fruits and vegetables, less saturated fat and dairy advice more strictly. In the end she passed away from colon cancer. Even while sick and despite my protests, she loaded on fruits and fruit juice. Which goes to show you how strong the current propaganda is.
    Thank you for the article about the high fat diet and cancer. I find it amazing that some people found it too hard to stick to the diet! You’d think getting cancer would be enough of an incentive to avoid soft drinks 🙁

    You would think that indeed. But it appears to be not the case for many people.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  9. Over a thousand colectomies! Given that Mr Lane operated before antibiotics, I wonder what his post-op mortality rate was?? Even if only a 5% rate, that’s over 50 people whose deaths he largely contributed to. He probably got a few merit awards as well, assuming they had them back then.

    For a total colectomy back then I would imagine the mortality would be greater than 5%, but then again, these were (sadly) mostly young, healthy patients who underwent the surgery, so the mortality rate could have been lower. Even if the mortality rate were 0% it’s still insane and a tragedy for those colectomized unnecessarily.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  10. IPT sounds very effective–and sensible. Just out of curiosity, is it typically considered ‘experimental’ by insurance companies, or is it something that the average patient with insurance can have access to as a tool in Cancer recovery/treatment?

    Hi Lena–

    I don’t know the answer to that question. I’ll try to find out.

    Best–

    MRE

  11. Hi Doc–enjoyed this post very much. How about a third example–the American Diabetes Association’s high-carb diet recommendations? My stepfather is diabetic and I’ve been unable to help him see the light–he eats loads of carbs and his physician says his diet is just fine. I understand the ADA does not recommend low carb diets because of the (unfounded of course) fear of heart disease and because, well, people just won’t follow them. So you can just eat all the carbs you want and oh, by the way, be sure to keep upping your meds.

    That’s the ADA way. Take your large doses of insulin and make sure to eat plenty of carbs so you won’t have an insulin reaction. Then the next time you go to your doctor and find your blood sugar levels are still too high, take more insulin, then eat even more carbs to cover the extra insulin. Stay on this treadmill until you’re taking huge doses of insulin and you’re fat, then well think about restricting your calories. But only the calories made of fat. It’s insane. But this is how diabetic medicine is practiced for the most part. And with the ADA’s approval.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  12. Why not have a contest:

    Of the top of my head:
    Lots of low weight reps as the exercise solution to weight loss vs. Slow Burn.
    Long miles of slow dreadmill vs. HIIT
    Eat less, move more vs. macronutrient control.
    Insulin Bolus vs. LC
    Statins vs LC
    BP meds vs LC
    Low fat vs. LC
    Man, could I go on.

    The rub is, I think alternative medicine is a huge breeding ground for scam artists. You may have pharisees guarding the temple of prescriptions and approved treatments, but in the wild wooly unguarded, you have colonic irrigation as the cure for everything, the lemonade diet, saw palmetto, glucosamine-chondroitin, and all those other products that can’t list the benefit on the package. You have certified organic TV dinners, sustainable bamboo everything (I like my bamboo cutting board, and I don’t worry about abusing it like my hardwood one), etc etc etc. I’m not saying all of those are scams, but how can you know until you actually know. And there’s a whole lot of BS being pushed as knowledge out in the world where supposed benefits can’t be listed on the label and first cut knowledge seems plausible.

    Rock on Dr. Mike.

    Hi Max–

    You’ve summarized the problem well. There is a lot of good in alternative medicine, but, unfortunately, it’s mixed in with crystal gazing, phrenology and a host of other idiocy. If you ever go to one of the big alternative medicine conventions you will find yourself in the middle of a huge moron reservoir. But in there with the morons will be a handful of true visionaries. The problem is separating the visionaries from the rest.

    The way I always evaluating new therapies is by asking myself first if it’s going to cause any harm. If it passes this hurdle I then try to view it through the Paleolithic lens, i.e., would this treatment be something compatible with our evolutionary heritage. Then I ask myself if it makes sense physiologically and biochemically. If it makes it through all this, then I’m willing to give it a try.

    Take, for example, Coley’s Toxins as mentioned in a previous comment. Do they do harm? Not really. They cause an increased heart rate and a fever, both of which can be easily treated with Tylenol. Does it make sense from a Paleolithic perspective. Yep. Paleolithic man had his immune system constantly invigorated, and, based on the ancient evidence, Paleolithic man suffered very few malignancies. Does it make physiological and biochemical sense. Absolutely. It’s a challenge to the immune system designed to fire it up based on everything we know about how the immune system works. Would I use this therapy to treat the common cold or strep throat. Absolutely not. But I would consider it for treating cancer. I think IPT is probably better, but a round of IPT followed by Coley’s Toxins or vice verse probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  13. How about the cancer treatment “Coley’s Toxins”, which is also from that era? This is where you induce a fever under starvation (or possibly low-carb) conditions as a last-gasp effort to get tumors. Barry Groves has stuff on it.

    http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/coleys_toxin2.html
    and a modern hypothesis of what may be happening:
    http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/thuo-hypothesis.html

    Should I be ashamed of myself for thinking “Wow!”?

    Hi seyont–

    Coley’s Toxins are famous in the alternative literature. They work by stimulating the innate immune system, which is the frontline defense against cancer and other foreign invaders. The thinking is (was) that a decline in function of the innate immune system allowed the cancer to form in the first place, so bringing the activity of the immune system back to normal or even better by triggering it with the ‘toxin’ will allow it to kill the cancer. All of which makes perfect sense. But it isn’t orthodox, so for all the reasons I mentioned in this post it won’t be accepted by the mainstream. And no ethics committee will allow it to be used in trials to compare it to the modern chemotherapy drugs, so we’ll never know how it stacks up. A few alternative practitioners may use it to successfully treat cancer, but their reports will be considered anecdotal and will be ignored.

    Question is, if you had a malignancy, would you opt for treatment with Coley’s Toxin or standard chemotherapy? Problem is that if you go with chemotherapy first, your immune system gets pretty much wiped out, so it would be tough to stimulate later if the chemotherapy failed. And the cancer would be even larger. It would not be an easy choice to make.

    Best–

    MRE

  14. Uh, I don’t know about the author, but who in the heck stores waste in their cellar?

    I don’t have a cellar, but if I did I probably wouldn’t store my waste in it. Maybe they did back then. Who knows?

    Cheers–

    MRE

  15. Sir i’d like to ‘go’ for the First Prize but via way of a saying, suitably coined by Charles ‘Rectum’ Tyrrell and his most overused phrase to his patients BEING.. and of course

    ” ONE UP THE BUM, NO HARM DONE !’

    Shall i send my address now or later?

    Reminds me of a former neighbor of mine who got said he felt like he was getting sick, and so rushed home to take an enema. He said the saying at his house growing up whenever anyone was sick was that they needed it:

    HIGH
    HOT and a
    HELLUVA LOT

    I was glad I had only to contend with my grandmother and her syringe when I was very young and not an entire youth of it.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  16. “Maybe I should run a contest to see who can come up with the most outrageous Tyrrell-Lane situation. I could make the first prize a copy of Anthony Colpo’s book.”

    Hmm, I don’t know what your stance on HIV/AIDS is, but I’ll nominate anti-retroviral drugs causing most of the symptoms of AIDS and slowly poisoning the poor bastards who take them.

    Here is an old post of mine on my stance on the HIV/AIDs situation.

    I’ll keep your nomination in mind should I actually ever run the contest.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  17. I think you posted on this previously, but after gastric bypass, don’t the patients basically eat low-carb anyway?

    Hi Dave–

    I guess it depends on the patient. The ones who manage to lose and keep it off usually go low-carb. Others think that somehow the bypass will allow them to eat all they want, and they slurp down shakes and ice cream and other such crap. They end up losing at first, but then gaining it all back. One of the little known statistics about gastric bypass is that the prognosis for long-term weight loss isn’t much, if any, better than weight lost by any method.

    There is a famous study out there done at the University of South Carolina showing that bypass isn’t any better than diet. There were a number of patients scheduled for bypass surgery on one day, and one of the patients showed up for surgery after having eaten within about 8 hours. Anesthesiologists refuse to put such people to sleep for fear of aspiration of the stomach contents and all the consequent side effects of that. Researchers asked the guy who couldn’t be operated on if he would instead participate in a study. The researchers analyzed the diets of all the people who did undergo bypass surgery on that day and provided that same diet to the guy who did not undergo bypass. He lost the same amount of weight as the people who underwent the bypass, indicating that it is simply the diet change and not the bypass itself that causes the weight loss. If so, why on earth would anyone want to endure such a procedure with all its attendant problems when the same degree of weight loss can be achieved with diet?

    Cheers–

    MRE

  18. Haven’t I read about studies on patients with coronary artery blockage. Didn’t a major journal study two groups, those who have had bypasses and those who opted out and did nothing (or possibly were medicated). The outcome is the same.

    Yep, medical treatment has been shown to be as efficacious as interventional treatment, but a lot less lucrative to the practitioners.

    Best–

    MRE

  19. Vegan vampire myth about the human colon. The one about the five pounds of undigested red meat in our colons. I know it’s kind of gross but I have asked several people after they had a colon scope done about what it looked like on the monitor and they all said pretty and pink. No mention of double cheeseburgers being lodged in there.

    That’s pretty much the case in colonoscopies. Pretty and pink. When I had one done about 10 years ago, which I watched in real time, mine was pretty and pink. The only thing found was one watermelon seed (Hey, it was summer in the South) that had survived the prep about which I was joshed and given grief by all my medical friends. That’s one of the downsides about being a doctor. If you go in for a procedure and something bizarre turns up, your physician may tell other physicians but no names will be mentioned. If your part of the medical community, however, it will spread like wildfire.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  20. Comment about “the picture” at least it was a before picture and not an after. That would have really stunk. pun intended
    Happy Friday

    Thanks for the potty humor.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  21. Hubby has weathered many a colonoscopy because of his ulcerative colitis and each time we are given a set of pictures of his pretty pink innards to keep. Should anyone try to tell me that colons are crusted with crap, I’m going to whip those babies out to show them.

    Back in my library days, I processed an interlibrary-loan request for a rather fascinating book that some guy had written, covering the toxic bowel in lurid detail. He didn’t stop at the crusted colon, though. He also held forth quite extensively about all the parasites and worms that just about all of us are harboring in our guts. In fact, he recommended that a strainer be placed in the toilet so that the poop could be caught and examined in great detail. Evidently he did so on a regular basis. He was also a big advocate of cleansing the bowl using bentonite powder.

    The only enema I ever had was when I was in the hospital to get my tonsils out. I was six and quite objected to the whole thing, the nurses had to chase me around and hold me down to administer it. Looking back, I wasn’t very cooperative at all for anything they wanted to do. They also had a devil of a time getting a urine sample from me.

    Please bear in mind that some of us read your blog at work. That picture isn’t what I’d call “work-place friendly.” I’d have loved to have been the fly on the wall, though, when MD was trying to convince you to leave it off.

    Oh, and I have to wonder, just exactly what did the happy couple think when they opened up their wedding gift and found the Cascade? Imagine writing that thank you note.

    Hi Esther–

    Many, many things have been left out of this blog (probably for the best) thanks to MD’s censorship. In this case, I figured, what the heck, it is a post about enemas with a special piece of equipment and I do have a photo of it in use, so… If you really want to see how benign that photo really is, click on Google images and put in the word ‘enema.’ That’s how I found the photo. I’m aware that there are a lot of weird people out there, but sometimes it takes looking through a bunch of photos like those to realize just how many and just how weird. I have a copy of Tyrrell’s book The Royal Road to Health, but, unfortunately, it contains no pictures of the Cascade in use.

    As to the Cascade as a wedding present…I hope it contained two tips.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  22. Great post Dr. Mike! I could have done with out the visuals but still a great post. It reminds of a show on TLC, The Truth About Food I think it was called. It leaned heavily toward a high fiber diet, at least in the 1 episode I tolerated. In part of this show they followed 2 cross country truck drivers who mostly at food out of cans or at truck stops. They each swallowed tiny transmitters to see how long it took for food to get from 1 end to the other. They were then put on a high fiber vegetarian diet for a week and then swallowed transmitters again (I am assuming different transmitters then the first time). The transit times were cut in half on the high fiber vegetarian diet and the implication was that shorter transit times are healthier (or “more healthful?”). Obviously their original diet was not a healthful one but can a long or short gut transit time mean anything useful?

    Dave

    Hi Dave–

    Sorry about the picture. MD told me not to post it, but I said no one would mind. So far now I’ve gotten two people who minded. I guess she was right.

    Carbs do indeed have a faster transit time through the gut, a fact I’ll never forget because screwing it up on a test cost me an ‘A’ in physiology in medical school. I remember the question vividly. It was a true/false question and it was: Carbohydrates decrease gastric transit time. True or False? I knew that carbohydrates went through faster, so I focused on the word ‘decreased,’ which in my mind meant slower, so I marked ‘False.’ The answer is, of course, True because a decreased transit time means it takes less time to go through, making carbs go through faster. Which I did know, but got wrong nevertheless. I was one point away from the cut line between the As and the Bs. Had I not misread that question I would have had an A.

    I posted on this issue a while back. The GI tract actually has a negative reaction to the damage carbs and fiber cause. I suspect the rapid trip through is the gut saying ‘get this stuff outta here quick.’

    Cheers–

    MRE

  23. Hi Dr. Eades,

    Thank you that was such an interesting piece.

    I found this just now whilst browsing and I know it is rather off-topic but you could almost be forgiven for thinking this happened in another universe and time, the stupidity of it all. Have you ever heard of this “biliary pancreatic diversion”. I’ve heard of obesity surgery but this seems to take the cake!

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22461098-5013404,00.html

    Glenice

    Hi Glenice–

    It does take the cake. I wouldn’t let anyone I know come anywhere near this kind of surgery.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  24. Simply viewing the “Cascade” device itself with the prominent upward facing “connection” is an effective lesson in anatomy for those possibly misled by the commonly-used term “rear end”.

    A very effective lesson.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  25. A possible factor in this particular obsession was the deplorable state of turn of the century bathrooms. I once found a health manual in my grandmother’s attic which went on for pages about ladies getting constipation from their reluctance to visit the outhouses of the time. A chamber pot was recommended.

    Hmmm. When I was growing up I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house on a small farm in southwestern Missouri. They had no indoor plumbing and had a pretty deplorable outhouse that was down by the hog pen. I don’t remember it ever slowing them down, and I don’t recall having a problem myself.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  26. Dr Mike,

    Following on from your comments about cancer, IPT and Coley’s Toxins, what would you do if discovered that you had a malignant tumour that needed to be dealt with quickly? Would you go conventional chemo/radiation therapy route, or would you try other stuff first?

    Mark

    Hi Mark–

    If would depend on the type of cancer. But, if I had one that would respond to IPT I would do that in a heart beat, especially if I could add a few little tweaks of my own.

    Best–

    MRE

  27. Another example of medical “science” gone terribly wrong:

    “Thirty years after doctors stopped performing lobotomies to treat mental illness, epilepsy and even chronic headaches, relatives of patients who suffered after undergoing the procedure want the Nobel Prize given to its inventor revoked.”

    http://www.livescience.com/health/ap_050714_lobotomy.html

    I wonder if the doctors of the time ever considered a nutritional alternative to jamming an ice pick in their patients’ skull.

    I don’t know if they did consider such an alternative, but they should have.

    Cheers-

    MRE