A book in which a certified chiropractor tells how he discovered that allergy to the milk protein "casein" is the largest cause of neck, back and headache pain. Dr. Twogood tells the tale with folksy humor and a readable style accessible to all, even helping the reader find the names under which casein hides. He also deals with other problem foods, from MSG to wheat and corn.
If I lived in Dr. Twogoods town, he would definitely be my chiropractor of choice, for these reasons: his personal style is evident through his writing (he is a man of strong convictions, straightforward, honest, and speaks to the point, and has a wonderful sense of humor); that, and most of the tales he tells about his patients end with the patient leaving the office happy never to be seen again.
Now I will admit that, once-upon-a-time, when I was young and even more ignorant than I am now, I accepted all the horrors stories I was told about chiropractors. Some years ago, when my husband Daves chronic problems with the discs in his lower back led him to work-financed visits to chiropractors, my fears were not alleviated by their prescription for bi-weekly, then weekly, and then monthly-for-the-rest-of-your-life visits. The worst things I had heard, that chiropractors could permanently damage your spine, never did come true, so I gained an inch on my faith in them. Yet the other tales, that they could provide temporary relief but not a cure, that what they did only caused you to need them, thus lining their pockets with a steady income, seemed supported by the evidence of Daves visits.
Dr. Twogood seems to be of a different breed from the (possibly modern-mythical) chiropractors who live in the rumors. Clearly, his goal is to find a solution to his patients problems and send them away feeling well. That goal and an open mind led him to learn what others have not: that milk is the number one cause of the kinds of pain he sees in his practice: neck and back pain, and headaches. He was led to this discovery by listening to one of his patients describe the way in which his problems seemed to be caused by the occasional indulgence in milk. The doctor disbelieved at first, but kept his opinions to himself, and kept the idea in his mental database of information. Six years and many patients later, he is a believer.
I am a believer too.
It was my daughters behavioral problems which are clearly caused by milk and milk products that led me to Dr. Twogoods work. He very kindly sent me the book to read, and I started in on it, reading avidly when I could keep it out of the hands of my husband. Both Dave and I had suffered what is popularly known as "slipped discs" like clockwork, about every six months for more than ten years, and anything offering a solution to this cycle would be welcome.
In fact, when the book fell into our hands, Dave was in that "mounting up toward an incident" phase that had become so familiar to both of us: stiffness especially in the morning, along with a continuing feeling of pressure and mild pain in the lower back. This has led, every time, to Something Happening. Maybe we bend down to pick up something on the floor, or the tiniest little slip ends in that sort of tearing feeling -- no pain, just the feeling of "oops!" -- that always finds us, next morning, unable (well, unwilling) to move. If Something doesnt Happen, then it mounts up and mounts up until it happens anyway. Perhaps you just take a step and you feel this sort of "Pop!" and slide in the back -- the old familiar "oops!" and you know in the morning youll be in pain.
Over the years we have developed strategies to deal with this (involving heat and drugs and rest and certain exercises) but it still takes a minimum of three days to get over it and in some instances -- like the time our daughter Miri asked Dave to carry her in a box out of the back room, but neglected to tell him that she planned on leaping out of it yelling, "Surprise!" just as he was bending to put it down -- it can take many weeks to get over it.
So these incidents are always to be dreaded. And Dave was having one of those Building To The Climax feelings in his back when we got the book. He read about 1/3 of it when he could get it away from me, and then he started removing milk from his diet. This is not easy for someone who loves cheese (and has it as part of his staple diet), but slowly over time he managed it. And the Something never did Happen. Its been about two months now, during which he has occasionally slipped up ("Chocolate pudding has milk in it?") and during which we have worked on refining out even the smaller traces ("But it says non-dairy creamer right here on the bottle. How could it possibly have milk in it?" Read the ingredients list, youll see!) but as weve gotten better at minding the ingredients, his back ache has slowly faded until the low in the back, every morning ache hes come to feel is almost a part of his nature, is finally subsiding.
For myself, when I came to think about it, I realized I had not had a slipped disc -- though Id had them twice a year for fifteen years -- since I started on a gluten-free diet. This tells me that back pain must, indeed, have something to do with food allergies, and Dr. Twogood makes a terrific case for this in the evidence he mounts up in his book. It is also true that I am extremely resistant to the idea of milk and milk products being "bad for you," when it is part of the stable of comfort foods I grew up with, and all those ads out there are filled with Beautiful People wondering where my milk mustache is. I dont want to give up milk and cheese (and sour cream and cheesecake and ice cream and...) but as I continued to read through Dr. Twogoods book, I have become more and more convinced that even though it doesnt seem to be causing my back pain, it is clearly not good for me or anyone else.
If you suffer from chronic pain -- back, neck, headache, joint pain -- you cannot do yourself any harm by reading this book and trying the diet. This is not major surgery were talking about here, but an elementary experiment you can do to find out whether removing the culprit "casein" from your diet would make your life better. Try it for just a month or two -- no one says it has to be for life; its your choice -- and see if it has an effect. But if you do try it, try it seriously. Get this book and let it help you find all the places in which milk are hidden, so you can head for the grocery store well-informed and go completely and cleanly without for a while. Give this voice of experience a chance to help you, and you may find that life is so much finer when you are at last free of the pain that no one else could explain and cure.
Dr. Twogood's "No Milk : A Revolutionary Solution to Back Pain and Headaches" is now out of print, however, he's written a more comprehensive replacement, How To Rid Your Body of Pain which you can purchase through our online catalog (buying the book through us helps support this website).