I was born in 1955 and during the past 55 years I have been stunned by the huge advances in the field of medicine. At the age of 12 I watched a TV news report about a South African surgeon named Christiaan Barnard, he had performed an operation thought impossible, a heart transplant. Today, while hardly a trivial procedure, (there are thousands of Heart Transplants performed every year) it is no longer a newsworthy story.

There have been many other great advances in that time that have had a profound impact on the world. Global killers such as Smallpox and Polio have all but disappeared, relegated to the annals of history.

I am sure that most people hear about these wonderful breakthroughs and laud the amazing achievements. But are we really winning? Have we merely traded one set of killers for another?

I recently had the good fortune to read a couple of books by the husband and wife team of Mannie Barling and Ashley Brooks. My wife opened the package and declared “Oh Simon what have you got yourself into now”. I had to admit that I was not sure. The titles alone were daunting. What did I know about Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Gout, Colitis, or something called IBD?

The simple answer is I didn’t know anything about them, but I live to learn, and I learn to live.

I learned a great deal from both books. You can read my reviews here and here. By this time my curiosity had reached the red zone on my meter. My wife Jan likens me to the robot in  Short Circuit “More input, more input”. Number Five had indeed come alive!

In my quest to be Number Five I contacted Mannie Barling and invited both him and his wife Ashley Brooks to take part in an interview. You can listen to it here.

The interview merely served to get my naturally inquisitive nature into overdrive.

Mannie Barling is no ones fool, he is a retired attorney, and his wife Ashley Brooks is an R.N.

The medical world loves to create compartments for problems. There are a plethora of terms relating to the generic term ‘inflammation’. There is arthritis, Colitis, Crohn’s, Gout, IBD, IBS etc. The real question becomes, are these diseases related? Just as important, why are they becoming more prevalent in today’s world? Does our lifestyle have a bearing on the subject?

Following the interview Mannie, Ashley and I have had several conversations. Mannie and Ashley have spent many years researching the subject of these diseases. Mannie suffered so severely from Gout and other related issues that he found himself wheelchair bound for significant lengths of time.

Ashley also found herself dealing with a life threatening problem, one that had her incapacitated for a period of three years.

Their research into inflammatory diseases took them not only into the world of modern medicine but also that of homeopathic solutions. Both are very highly intelligent people, by no means were they looking to replace modern medicine, rather they explored how they could supplement and enhance its effectiveness.

What they discovered through much trial and error is that we are what we eat! Today’s fast paced and stress laden lives have made us dependent on processed and fast foods. Since people are too busy to cook, it is easier to stop at some take out place or pop something in the microwave.

While I am not a fan of Mc-Anything, I am as guilty as everyone else. The next time you cook a meal take a few moments to read the ingredient list on the dry, canned, or frozen products you are using to construct the dish. I will be willing to bet that unless you are a professionally trained chemist you will not be able to even pronounce half of the items, never mind understand their role.

There is a delightful term NIMBY, it expands to ‘Not In My Back Yard’, few home owners would take kindly to discovering that the land adjacent is to become a land fill, or a nuclear waste storage site. Yet we happily eat foods that turn our bodies into a toxic dumping ground.

I have an aversion to going to the doctor, they never seem to have good news, but I dread to think how Mannie Barling felt being told the news that he had Colon Cancer. Or the even ‘better news’, that the Colon Cancer has been fixed, now all you have to deal with is Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Gout, IBD, and IBS. I have to admit that I found this vaguely familiar with my own situation, numbness in my right arm made me head to the local hospital. My blood pressure was off the scale, and into the MRI I went. “good news Mr Barrett you have had a stroke, but it wasn’t today”. My stroke apparently had occurred years earlier.

Mannie Barling and Ashley Brooks have agreed to participate on the radio to talk about their experiences, and offer their knowledge to our readers and listeners. I am hoping that this will become a regular weekly feature. Millions of Americans suffer from some form of inflammatory disease, drugs help, but there is also much that you can do to help yourself.

I do hope that you will be able to join us at 1pm eastern on Saturday Sep/4. We will have the phone lines open, and we do encourage people to call in with their questions. The direct link to the program is here.

Simon Barrett

Be Sociable, Share!