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Testimonial: Many useful observations from one person

The common thread with all of us is I believe this Vitamin A. I am sharing all this hoping that it might help you with your research and give further insight. I remember telling you that whenever I'd break from my supplements (probably because I would leave off of the VA [Vitamin A] for a while) and I just ate a simple, normal diet, without all of the emphasis on "eating clean" with loads of fruits and vegetables, I felt better.Now maybe we know why...nevertheless, the mystery continues and I hope there is going to be some closure to all these horrible health issues people are having.

One last thing 🙂 My contact with [person1] was established through her being a market partner for the latest hair products making the news lately: [MLM haircare product company, rhymes with no-mat]. I wanted to try it out after I was listening to an interview that [blogger, big WAPF fan] conducted with another market partner for [MLM haircare product company] on her facebook page.During this interview, [person2] was asking about women who had been reacting severely to the [MLM haircare product company] products: eczema, rash on the scalp, severe itching, etc.  This market partner of the company was completely dismissive of these complaints by these women who had tried the products saying that they were former hair dressers with the intention to try to bring down the company or something. I found this very strange. [my comment - there are multiple class action lawsuits against this company, and hundreds of complaints to the Better Business Bureau]I decided I had nothing to lose and wanted to try out the products because, again, I have severe hair loss, and in my moment of desperation, didn’t see any harm in doing so. That put me in touch with [person1] who and told me about the autoimmune issues that she had been suffering from and how much [MLM haircare product company] products helped her hair.I don’t know how this happened but just a couple of days ago, I was applying one of the intense repair sprays to my scalp when I felt a slight burning sensation and itching. That’s when I had my Rogaine flashback, remembering the severe reaction I had to it years ago. After reading the Accutane discussion in Grant’s book, I was sure Rogaine had loads of VA in it and sure enough, it does. Then I looked up [MLM hair product company] products and sure enough, there is loads of VA in them also! Even their hair loss nutritional supplement lists Vitamin A as one of its main ingredients.I immediately called [person2] and told her that I think I know what could be the root cause of her autoimmune issues and that I want to cancel my membership with [MLM haircare product company]. One thing lead to another and I sent her Grant’s books and a link to your website so that she could investigate further. Another healthy product craze, Dr. Garrett: [MLM haircare product company] may not be all that… and that just because it is free from ‘toxins’ as they see it, but they might be missing the biggest toxin out there: Vitamin A.Go figure.

I have to say Dr. Garrett, that I have never paid more attention to my body and its responses and symptoms as much as I do now.  Everywhere, everything is a clue, a piece of a puzzle of a greater picture I think it is essential that pay attention to.  That said, I have noticed a very, very important theme in all of this:  the body knows exactly what it is doing and to NEVER doubt this fact.  This is not only something that is emphasized by my faith, but proven over and over again.  A person should run very far away from anyone who claims that the body has to be fixed somehow.  This is the MAIN reason I decided to see you about my health.  I find myself examining what actually made me feel better more, rather than what made me feel worse.  

Another thing that I has been coming to mind repeatedly:  if this VA toxicity is true, this would explain why people react so differently.  Some people take CLO [cod liver oil] and seem to do fine, who don’t shampoo their hair and their hair is fine, who eat loads of health food and their health improves (maybe temporarily), people who go back to junk food for a while and feel fine… and on and on.  Others  have the completely opposite reaction.  Perhaps a person's VA saturation hasn’t been reached yet, or VA toxicity is relieved for a while, and there is an improvement in their symptoms.  This could be the common thread throughout all of this. Additionally, I have often thought that I was much better off (had very few health issues) before I started trying to do/eat “healthy things”:  eat more fruits and vegetables, CLO, more healthy fats, detox, etc.  It’s funny how I am going back to just doing simple things again.  As I continue to recall incidents and symptoms from the past, the VA toxicity picture becomes even more clear.  As you have constantly encouraged your patients to do, I am going to try to document as many symptoms as possible because they are very valuable clues.  That said, I know that not every symptom or problem’s root cause will be VA toxicity.  Here’s a (long) list:

  • About my daughter who has the continued vision problems, I recall very clearly that she has been suffering from excessive hair loss since our time in Phoenix.  She was between 7-9 years old during our stay there and I remember the bathroom floor being covered with her hair.  Then it stopped for a while, and then continued.Could it have been that we weren’t very consistent with our CLO [cod liver oil] and would go weeks without it?  Since we have been reducing our VA, she’s been telling me that her hair hasn’t been falling out as much.
  • We’ve even stopped shampooing our hair (until we find a better, safer alternative to the [MLM haircare product company], and usually, I will suffer through terrible hair loss if I no longer shampoo my hair.  Strangely enough, I don’t seem to be losing much at all except what I believe is perfectly normal and guess what else?  Our hair isn’t even excessively oily or greasy… Just rinsing with normal water several times…it doesn’t have the squeaky clean feel, but hair feels and looks fine. 
  • My mother in law consumes fish oil capsules regularly.  She eats salad everyday.  Not just this, but she LOVES her chili… she can eat the hottest chili like candy!  Her diet has VA written all over it!  Because there have been so many cancer deaths in my husband’s family, she is naturally cautious about her health.  BUT, she constantly complains of not being able to digest her food after a meal, stomach aches afterward and excessive burping.  My father-in-law would say that she would belch or burp thousands of times in a day; it’s so excessive that it’s noticeable.  She feels better when she takes digestive enzymes, but that’s not every time.  All her “tests” have come out clear and there is nothing apparently wrong with her according to the doctors here; but I strongly suspect it’s the VA in her diet.
  • Add to that, I no longer suffer from any of the bloating and gas now since I’ve been going little to zero VA lately.  What I needed digestive enzymes to do for me after a meal, I don’t have to worry about now that I’ve eliminated eating salad!  I get the same feeling after eating a meal that I would get after taking loads of enzymes: a feeling that my food has been digested, no bloating or anything.  I know I’d have a very severe reaction to chili if I ate a hot enough variety:  abdominal cramping and diarrhoea the next day; Grant talks about this in his book (p. 342).  Perhaps I don’t need digestive enzymes after all (and have been doing without them lately) and it was just VA aggravating my digestion and nothing else.  What did we say before?  Low stomach acid? H. Pylori?  Not even taking excessive Vitamin C helped my symptoms as much as just taking out VA foods from my diet did.
  • My KP [keratosis pilaris, "chicken skin"] has improved massively.Before, when I was taking CLO years ago, I would notice a temporary improvement in my KP.  I thought to myself: it must be the extra VA I’m getting because KP is a sign of low VA.  But is it really?  I mentioned previously, that in Phoenix, we were WAP-diet fanatics but forgot to mention how many eggs we consumed, which became a huge part of our diet.  Eggs were the one thing I didn’t eliminate from my diet when I went off of gluten, sugar, and dairy.  I remember that every single symptom I had previously improved when I eliminated these foods, EXCEPT my KP.  Now that I’ve simply eliminated VA foods in general, including eggs, I’m seeing improvement in my KP that I would only see if I took CLO, and even that was temporary.  As Grant would say, it’s not the actual food that was the problem, it was the VA IN the food.  
  • I had mentioned to you previously about how I felt when I tried to get my Vitamin D from the sun:  I felt sick afterward, as if I was a microwave and the inside of my body was heating up.  It was an OMG moment when I thought about the words the I used to describe my condition.  You mentioned to me at the time that it could be the UVC that is reaching the earth (which it is), but perhaps this is because of the VA once again.  Grant talks about this on page 340 of his book, and even uses the same word I used: “Microwaving" of the skin!  My time outside in the sun only left me feeling headachy, nauseous and unwell; a lot like how I used to feel when I took my VA drops. [my comment...these feelings were likely due to induced breakdown/detox/dumping of Poison/"Vitamin A" into the bloodstream from the sunlight, so the symptoms are the same as when she took a supplement]
  • On page 276 of Grant’s book, could you tell me what Grant meant when he mentioned the irregular eyebrow hair that was growing on the man’s face that is pictured?  I found this really strange because as of the past couple of years, I have been getting these really strange (about 1-2) eyebrow hairs on my right brow that grow long, and STRAIGHT UP, exactly as pictured in the book.  It happens to my husband also and I thought maybe it’s a married life thing or something lol, but now I’m starting to think this could be another clue (or maybe I’m over thinking it… I couldn’t understand why Grant mentioned this or was he just describing the guy)?  I have been told that the eyebrows are a sign of liver health. Also in the picture, the spider veins around the nose: I have this too and seems to be going away.
  • For the past few years, I have noticed that I stutter a lot more, unable to find the words I want to say (feels like how porky pig talks if you’ve ever watched one of his cartoons); I will have lapses in memory where my husband or my children will tell me something I said or did, and I have no recollection of it whatsoever.  Even my kids will do this a lot too:  they will not have any memory of something they did even if I saw them do it (and this isn’t a case of parenting or discipline or kids just being naughty).   There are times when I will have to read something a few times before I understand it (probably why it’s taking me longer than usual to finish Grant’s book) and this will make my eyes very tired and I end up reading very little before I fall asleep.  All these symptoms are ones Grant also mentioned when he detailed his declining health.
  • The most notable problem I have with my skin is its excessive dryness.  More specifically, my feet and what’s interesting is that this is the one part of my body that gets hot the most.  I often complain to my husband of my feet becoming excessively hot to the point where I just can’t stand to wear socks unless it’s extremely cold.  No matter how many pedicures I get or how often, the next day my skin will start to dry out again, crack, and become rough, no matter how many creams I slather of my feet.  This was one of the things that [another doctor] noticed as well (he obviously thinks this is linked to low thyroid function) while I lived in [US city], which is when I believe this problem really started; I have not always had this issue.  I also don’t have any eczema except for a very tiny patch of it under my bottom lip which doesn’t flare up or anything, but the bumpy skin will appear mostly when I consume some kind of dairy.
  • Speaking of dairy, when I would consume it, as I mentioned before, the skin on my face would dry up so badly it felt like sand paper.  What’s strange is that this doesn’t happen all the time; in fact, I might consume dairy and have zero symptoms except for some abdominal bloating a few days later.  I believe my reaction to dairy depends on how much VA I’ve consumed:  if I have consumed VA, then the dairy reaction on my face will switch on and if I haven’t consumed much VA at all, I will have a very mild, almost unnoticeable reaction to dairy.  I was able to test this out recently as well and it worked like a switch!  
  • In order to get enough protein in my diet, I consumed maybe 2-3 eggs a day; this is probably the only food that really aggravates my KP; in order to get more potassium, I’d eat more high potassium foods like dates and avocados.  I was consuming an avocado a day some days.  Isn’t that a very high VA food?  And I still felt like crap no matter how much potassium or protein I consumed.  This is explains why I would complain to you saying that I could eat all the foods I’m “supposed” to, but I felt better only when I didn’t!
  • Perhaps the VA explains my hair calcium issues also and the fatigue I feel, similar to what Grant documented about his own health.  This is why exercise is such a chore for me: the exhaustion I feel afterwards is such a turn off that I cannot sustain it.  My preferred way to exercise is simply to move a lot and be naturally active.  
  • When I went off all gluten, dairy, sugar years ago, I also lost weight effortlessly.  I thought it’s because of the foods I eliminated, but perhaps it’s the VA precursors that I eliminated.  During this time, my cycles were regular, my hair was growing back and was noticeably thicker too.  I don’t know what it is about my cycles these days:  they are no less than 50+ days apart.  Before I came to you, I had been taking excessive amounts of progesterone (through creams) because I was made to believe I was simply low in progesterone.  Low progesterone was also something I had during my early days being pregnant; my midwife would have me apply progesterone cream because of bleeding.  You cited evidence recently saying that VA toxicity has something to do with low hormone levels.  While I have been off of progesterone therapy (cold turkey) for several years, I have noticed one thing about my cycle:  my period comes EXACTLY 2 weeks (like its supposed to) after I ovulate (IF I ovulate).  It’s the time leading up to ovulation that is stretched out and delayed excessively.  So there is no issue once I ovulate, but getting to ovulate is the problem.  I hope there is a VA connection here also because that would just make my life easier wouldn’t it!
  • With regard to the weight loss and improved health; only when I went back to consuming more VA foods that my weight went up again, and same issues came back.  More specifically, all the improvements in my hair went down the drain (literally);  I remember I had started consuming FCLO [fermented cod liver oil] regularly and all the other WAPF [Weston A. Price Foundation] recommended foods.  Healing through food as they say.  I mention this because I think this is further evidence that there is an improvement in health when the VA toxicity is resolved by eliminating it or detoxing it for a period of time; if a person isn’t careful after that and consumes VA foods excessively, all the symptoms will come back again.  I would even say that my VA saturation level lead me to health problems which I temporarily resolved and then aggravated even further upon adopting advice from health “experts”.  Now we must not only avoid what is considered unhealthy, but also what is falsely assumed to be healthy.
  • I wonder if there is a connection between VA and seasonal allergies?  [my comment, YES absolutely]

As you can see, while I’ve had some slight improvements in my health since I began consulting you, the same issues are still there.  Each improvement has only been a tiny step in the right direction or the piece of a larger puzzle.  It’s only this breakthrough with VA and reducing its consumption that is really making a difference for me, finally.  I hope you find this journaling of symptoms helpful and useful.  You are welcome to use what I’ve shared as you wish.  I appreciate any advice and input you provide and more importantly, your desire to help people stop being sick and be free from needing medicine or treatment.  This is what I’m after.

Dr. Garrett Smith, the "Nutrition Detective"
Licensed Naturopathic Physician (NMD) in Arizona, home of the Love Your Liver program
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