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The One Diet That Can Cure Most Disease: Part I

The One Diet That Can Cure Most Disease: Part I

If I told you there was one diet that could cure arthritis, fatigue, irritable bowel, reflux, chronic allergies, eczema, psoriasis, autoimmune disease, diabetes, heart disease, migraines, depression, attention deficit disorder, and occasionally even autism and that it could help you lose weight quickly and easily without cravings, suffering, or deprivation, you might wonder if Dr. Hyman had gone a bit crazy.

But it’s true. And the story goes like this.

Food is medicine. Bad food is bad medicine and will make us sick. Good food is good medicine that can prevent, reverse, and even cure disease. Take away the bad food, put in the good food and magic happens.

The problem with current medical thinking is that it treats diseases individually, requiring specific diagnoses and labels: “you have migraines,” “you have depression,” “you have psoriasis.” And then you get the migraine pill, the antidepressant, and the immune suppressant.

What if you didn’t have to treat diseases specifically or even need to know their names? In fact, I often see patients—like one I saw yesterday—who came with 20 pages of analysis from a dozen doctors from the Mayo Clinic. Her “diagnoses” were “muscle pain, fatigue and insomnia,” and she had been given no recommendations for treatment. Not very helpful!

I recently saw a patient treated at Harvard by multiple specialists. She was on 42 pills a day for severe allergies, asthma, and hives. She even died twice and had to be resuscitated after anaphylactic shock. In just a few short weeks, simply by changing her diet, she got off all her medications, and her allergies, hives, and asthma were gone.

Another patient, who suffered for decades with reflux and irritable bowel and whose symptoms weren’t controlled with acid blockers and “gut relaxers,” got complete relief from his symptoms one week after changing his diet.

What if you could just treat the whole person with dietary changes, upgrading the information given every day to your body through food? Food is information carrying detailed instructions for every gene and every cell in your body, helping them to renew, repair, and heal or to be harmed and debilitated, depending on what you eat. What if you could send messages and instructions to heal your cells and turn on healing genes? And what if, by some simple changes in your diet, you could get rid of most of your chronic symptoms and diseases in just one week (or maybe two!)?

That is entirely possible. Some people call it detox, Some people call it an elimination diet. I call it the inclusion and abundance diet.

I call it UltraSimple!

The best part of this approach is that you don’t have to trust me or any “expert.” You simply have to trust your body. It will tell you very quickly what it likes and doesn’t like.

If you are constantly putting in information that is making your body toxic, sick, and fat—hyper-processed industrial junk food, sugar, flour, chemicals, additives, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, inflammatory foods, or what I call anti-nutrients—it acts like poison in the body. It inflames your gut and your cells leading to whole-body inflammation that you experience as pain, allergies, headaches, fatigue, and depression and that leads to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

This one diet, The UltraSimple Diet—getting the junk out, getting inflammatory foods out, adding healing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory foods—has the power to heal in a way that medication can’t and never will be able to.

I have used it for decades with tens of thousands of patients with remarkable results. We are beginning studies at Harvard that will look at how to tackle the toughest diseases with a simple change in diet.

This approach can work faster and better than any medication. The power of this simple diet change—getting rid of the bad stuff and putting in the good stuff—can often reverse the most difficult-to-treat medical problems and give people the experience of profound wellness, even if they don’t have a serious illness. It is something everyone should try just once. Most of my patients say, “Dr. Hyman, I didn’t know I was feeling so bad until I started feeling so good.”

Let me share a story, one that is very common in the world of functional medicine, which is the science of treating the roots causes of disease, the science of creating health.

One patient, a medical school professor and doctor, came to see me after struggling for years with psoriatic arthritis. He was crippled by pain and inflammation, despite taking powerful immune-suppressing drugs, including an ibuprofen-like drug, chemo drugs, and a drug called a TNF alpha-blocker that suppresses the immune response so much that its side effects include overwhelming infection, cancer, and death. Still, he wasn’t better, and at 56 years old, he was planning to quit. He couldn’t operate any longer and could barely walk up the stairs. He had psoriasis all over his skin, and it was destroying his joints. He also had reflux, depression, canker sores, constipation, and trouble with concentration. His liver function tests were abnormal, and he was overweight.

He had a horrible diet. He ate oatmeal with milk and sugar for breakfast, tuna with soup and cookies for lunch, and fish or meat with vegetables and potato or pasta for dinner. He snacked on cookies and protein bars. He avoided chocolate and fatty foods. He ate out more than five times per week and craved sweets and caffeine, consuming three to four cups of coffee and one diet soda per day. He drank about 12 alcoholic beverages per week, including wine and the occasional scotch.

So, I put him on The UltraSimple Diet, getting rid of industrial food, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar and adding whole, real foods. I also got rid of the most common food allergens and sensitivities.

At his first follow-up visit, he arrived pain-free and said he hadn’t felt so good in years. He reported an 80% reduction in pain, could climb stairs more quickly, and was no longer limping. All his pain and stiffness were gone. His hands had been swollen and difficult to open, but now, the swelling was gone and he could operate again. And he had quit all his medications after the first visit (even though I told him not to). His reflux and migraines were gone. His mood had improved, and he was less irritable. He was no longer constipated. And he lost 15 pounds.

If there is one thing I could encourage everyone to do, it is to take just one week to see just how powerful a drug food can be. There is nothing to lose but your suffering. It doesn’t take months or years to see change. It happens in days or weeks.

In my next blog, I will explain exactly what this diet is, why it works, and how it heals your body. And I will show you how to get started.

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below—but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (121)

  • Yes I started this same approach and cut out caffeine, alcohol, corn, wheat, sugar and dairy. No additives. Its amazing. Its not that hard to do and so worth the effort.

  • I wish it could have been so simple! My diet was not horrible to begin with [ate only organic, good quality meats and fish, plenty of raw nuts and fresh veggies, raw milk cheeses, never drank commercial sodas or ate things with food additives] so making a few more tweaks such as leaving out the few white flour products I ate here and there and completely avoiding sugar and dairy for a while were not a big deal.

    Unfortunately none of my symptoms of IBS, lethargy, sleep disorders, panic attacks, fogginess, muscle and ligament weakness and a host of other issues cleared up. Years later I found a chiropractor/nutritionist that put me on a yeast, heavy metal and parasite cleanse [in that order]. We finally figured out I had giardia [which I initially had picked up 5 years earlier!] and a low functioning thyroid. I really needed to treat those issues with herbs/minerals and natural thyroid etc before any of my chronic symptoms cleared.

    I drove myself crazy with diet, looking for the perfect combination of just the right holistic foods to make me healthy again. My body needed the extra support and treatment [giardia’s a real nutrient depleting parasite] before it was able to respond well to the healthy foods I was already putting into it. So although diet is incredibly important and all of these things certainly do inter-relate and need to be addressed, sometimes it is not as simple as just changing the foods we eat.

    • Thanks for this information. It’s very helpful to know that diet alone may not be sufficient to resolve health issues. But, there is no denying how important a good diet is.

    • Hello M Arra,

      Would you mind sharing what the yeast, heavy metal, parasite protocol entailed?

      Thanks 🙂

  • I am 56 years old and am suffering with bursitis of my left knee. I am looking forward to learning the way of eating healthy. I love to grow my own food but sometimes the pain limits my activities in the garden. Thank you for your encouragement, it gives me hope!

    • Hey, i think i have almost 100\5 got Giardia as i have just come back from Nepal where i bowel problems that will not go away and the doctors keeps saying its ibs even though i dont think it could be that much of a coincidence when nepal is so well known for the Giardia parasite. Just wondering how you got rid of giardia?

    • I had a bursities for which I was taking MSM 1000mg on an empty stomach [I think I took one before each meal] [can’t take it if you’re allergic to sulfur].

      Also, I have eaten only anti-inflammatory foods as described on the nutritiondata website.

      All the best.

  • Dr. Hyman, I’m a commercial pilot, age 56. A few months ago, I flew with another pilot who advocated your program and I bought “The Blood Sugar Solution”. After 6 months, I have not read the book yet. After reading this recent news letter, I have been inspired again to read your book and get active with its content. My health issue is one of occasional fatigue when I feel I shouldn’t be. I will give you a follow up. Thanks.

  • Thank you for all that you continue to do to help us in your electronic community to feel better. I am one of your participants who in January did your 10 day detox diet and have continued to follow your guidelines. This includes healthy diet, consistent exercise, relaxing, better sleep. In those 10 days, my cholesterol which had been high for the first time 7 months prior and from the blood test I had before staring the 10 days, had not changed; dropped 18 points and was back in the normal range. I have lost 19 lbs. since the first of the year. And even though it sounds repetive, I had no idea how bad I felt until I started to feel better! I am so grateful for your inspiration and guidance!

  • Hurry up! I want to get more info on your diet! Time’s a wast’n!

  • These stories are so inspiring. It must be becoming more & more clear that a nutritious diet
    is essential for good health, lets hope that the general medical profession will eventually take this
    on board and it will become part of mainstream medicine in our lifetime.

    Would you also consider that a vital ingredient in recovering from many of these illnesses is
    sound psychological support ? Stress seems to play a big part in many of these problems ?
    In an ideal world perhaps lifestyle/stress management & nutrition could become part of the curriculum in schools and universities, giving the young a better understanding of good health
    before they are released into the world of work/relationships/children etc etc & thus more able
    to cope & pass on their knowledge to their children.

    • Institute for Integrative Nutrition does teach about coaching individuals “bio-individually” on lifestyle, stress management, nutrition and much more.

      Ayurveda “the science of life” the oldest medical practice also teaches on lifestyle, stress management and more based on your Dosha imbalance.

      I love the functional medicine but most functional medicine Drs don’t help treat the emotional side of individuals or the other areas and people have a hard time switching to this type of diet because those areas are not dealt with and continue to be ill. We need Drs to treat the whole person.

  • I’ve been suffering with rheumatoid Arthritis for well over 15 yes. The last test has been terrible. Going through menopause and excessive weight gain. Im really anxious to.start this diet.

  • I am an RN working with special needs children. I would love to be able to help them with simple diet changes. Can’t wait to get the next installment of your blog. Be wel.
    With Love and Peace Linda

  • Thank you for continually reinforcing good advice. I’ve heard all of this before, but it is helpful to hear the message frequently to keep me on track from day to day. I’ve been off dairy, red meat, egg yolks, yeast for several years and am now getting off wheat & gluten. Knocking out one bad thing at a time and continually refining the diet is manageable. It is helpful to find ways to prepare kale, bok choy, chicken & fish that will make those healthful foods attractive so that the diet doesn’t get too boring. That is my challenge at present. Thank you for your cookbook recipes, too!

  • I have myself reversed my diabetes and hypertension for last two n half years.As rightly pointed out- my patients understand the diet but require psychological support-to believe that it is possible to live happily -a low fat healthy vegan diet-and they can do it !Many cases my own example helps them to get that confidence! Cheers for making it really simple and attainable!

  • I have many changes through the years the types of food I eat. But I do not call it diet just because the connotation of “sacrifice” the word has. I simply call it better editing.

    Better eating did not cure cancer per when my colon cancer mestesize to my liver. It did strengthen my ability to cope the the devastating effects chemo had on my body. Once over chemo I continued to improve to the point where I feel better in my 60s then I felt in my 30s.

    I Dr Hyman you are on target.

  • I read a few of your books early January. I had very bad acid reflux, severe sleeping problems and have suffered for years with advanced osteo-arthritis (2 hip replacements, 2 bone-on-bone knees, and bone-on-bone in both feet) – the pain in my feet was so bad that I could barely walk sometimes and felt like I had 2 broken feet. In early January I eliminated all processed foods and followed basically what is laid out in the Blood Sugar Solution (no white flour/rice/sugar, etc.). My reflux disappeared within the month – totally.

    You inspired me to make this the year I “took back my health.” I had never heard of functional medicine before and had always wondered about the root cause of my arthritis. I made an appointment for early March with a functional medicine doctor in my area and began an elimination diet which I did for 6 weeks and I am now in the reintroduction phase.

    I have dropped 32 pounds since early January. I am eating only foods that nuture me and ensuring I eat foods with anti-inflammatory benefits. While I can never repair the joints that have been damaged, I am hopeful I can prevent the arthritis from spreading further. Additionally, and most importantly the pain has subsided considerably. I no longer hobble, I no longer have to sit for hours with ice bags on my feet after a simple trip to BJs. I can go down stairs carrying things easily without even clinging to the banister. My husband can’t believe how well I am moving. Oh and did I mention I am sleeping quite well these days :-).

    Thank you for opening my eyes to a new path to better health.


  • Dr Hyman,
    I have been following JJ Virgins diet, as you know it is very similar to yours. I feel amazing since I’ve started eating whole foods and eliminated all processed foods!! It was much easier then I thought it would be! I wish people didn’t get that look of “Are you crazy? That seems like SO much work!” I felt a HUGE difference in only 48 hrs!! It really is “Magic” I want to thank you and your colleagues for getting the word out and speaking out against traditional medicine and giving people the power and “permission” to take control of what they put in their body’s
    Thank you,

  • Your wholistic approach and common sense recommendations are compelling. Why is it, do you think, that there are folks in the reading audience who are so vehemently opposed to you that they go to the extent of setting up blogs intent upon debunking you?

  • Definitely YES!

    Food plays a vital role in our life. For every disease in India the cause might be something, mainly pollution from industrial toxins and stress. Balancing diet and stress can even helps to eliminate industrial toxins and pollutants which are already there in our body. Lot of people feel better after going to alternative medicine practitioner because they give the patients strict diet and tell them to practice yoga/other relaxation techniques instead of prescribing them pills.

    Note that every individual should strictly follow his own diet . Avoiding meat helps someone and eating soy based foods instead of meat help others.


  • You say it so clearly, so powerfully:

    “Food is medicine. Bad food is bad medicine and will make us sick. Good food is good medicine that can prevent, reverse, and even cure disease.”

    I wish all doctors knew this and said it often and a lot to themselves and their patients.

    Thank you, Dr. Hyman.

    • I can’t seem to get through detox and need help in this area. I’m sure this is the part pertaining to feeling worse before you feel better.
      I have a prolapse in my transverse colon and it causes discomfort especially when I start to get hungry (toxic hunger)…
      Any suggestion as I get scared when I start feeling badly. I wish it were only a headache, instead it is weakness, sensitivity in stomach and colon, etc. I also know I have candida. How can I slowly detox without so much discomfort? By the way, I’m 67.
      I know what you’re saying has lots of merit, perhaps, reversal or healing, as well. Thanks, Luci

  • I’m using diet to try to rid my gall bladder of stones. They are small and many around the neck of the gall bladder. Wish me luck. I don’t want to have the surgery and I’m a firm believer in diet changes will heal most anything. I’m eating mostly raw almost all fruit, nuts and veggies and drinking lemon juice every a.m. to soften the stones. Any suggestions are welcome:)


  • I am so happy to have watched your videos which got me started on turning my diet around. I started by eliminating wheat, sugars,dairy and lost most of my belly fat. However, I need to do more work on lunch preparation etc. to make it more interesting…as Joan was saying. I enjoy your newsletters etc.. and will continue to follow your advice.

    Thank you, Dr. Hyman

  • I recently was told I had ‘silent reflux’. My doc put me on Prilosec, but in addition, I did some research and put myself on a diet recommended in a book by Dr. Jamie Koufman. Basically it was cutting out processed foods due to the added acid plus only eating low acid foods…so lots of fresh food, healthy bread made from ‘heirloom’, non-gmo wheat, etc. Before, daily my upper body would itch like crazy starting about 5 in the afternoon.Plus, other symptoms of silent reflux can include hoarseness, excess throat mucus, an annoying cough or a feeling that something is sticking in your throat, but typically does not include heartburn or indigestion. I immediately noticed these symptoms disappearing – and my body has not itched one time since I changed the diet. I am interested to see/hear what other changes could be incorporated into my diet that will make me healthier. (Obviously, from the statements above, the wheat may be out.)

  • Following your guidelines I went from an obese 182lbs. to a healthy and fit 128 over the last year. It was easy, I feel satisfied with the kinds and amounts of foods I eat and I am very, very grateful to you.

  • I am 38 and have suffered with my stomach reacting to certain foods for as long as I can remember. I have also never really felt ‘well’, I have a lot of emotional trauma inside of me which I believe the cause to a lot of my problems. Looking forward to reading the next article!

  • Dr Hyman you are doing a great service for people’s health. I have had a similar experience, but in order to get off all the addicting foods, i had to join a group that helps people with addiction – I joined Overeaters Anonymous and together with a healthy diet I have experienced all the benefits you talk about, as well as finding lots of new friends who help keep me on track. Thanks for all you do.

  • Okay stubborn people listen up. Dr. Hyman is right! I was fighting several illnesses all at the same time, and didn’t know it. Type II diabesity, high blood pressure, Lyme, cytomegalo virus, Epstein Bar, and what I believe is mercury poisoning from a flu vaccine containing thimerosal. In less than a year I am no longer diabetic. I have lost seventy-five pounds. Not by exercising, because mostly I can’t. My fight continues. Now I am trying to detoxify. I would like to know specifically how Dr. H got rid of CFIDS. That’s what I was diagnosed with years ago.

  • Dr. Hyman,

    I totally agree with you about food being medicine. The problem is that it is getting more and more difficult to find food that has not be changed by the food industry, ie. Monsanto and Dow. For example, Monsanto has been creating GMO or GME foods that are not good for us. Why would I want pesticides in the foods that I eat? Also, I recently saw an article in the paper and online about the dairy industry wanting to add artificial sweeteners to milk and not having to label it.
    It seems that we don’t really have much control over what we eat no matter how hard we try.
    I try to eat mostly homegrown veggies, fish, and chicken, but everytime I read something I wonder if even those are being contaminated.

  • “Let food be thy medicine” (Hippocrates) should be a no-brainer. Right?
    My daughter cured herself of colitis and crohns by changing her diet – slowly and by trial and error. The way for her, she discovered, is vegan/raw and though not a diet that suits everyone, she’s been SX free for almost 4 years. Now people are coming to her for diet tips:-) My late father, a physician (who would have been 97), taught us – and his patients – about the healing powers of food. Thank you for the work you do and for being an inspiration to so many.

  • Following the lifestyle you describe above, has kept me alive after significant toxic exposures. Since relocating to the Seattle area, I’ve been unable to find a functional doc taking Medicare patients– even with secondary ins. I’d gone thru bankruptcy same time as the disability process. I think my dilemma is a shared one and needs to be heard—–Medicare is MANDATORY for disabled persons continuing my work-related insurance. I pay an exorbitant amount for the secondary insurance–to continue meds Medicare won’t cover. One of those meds is initially denied and a pattern is repeated–I dispute the denial, resulting in months of delay until I can get my monthly “refill”. Without that medication, I suffer medical setbacks with more frequent ER visits, etc., and have to restart the medications at low doses, gradually building up to the therapeutic dose again. Then the insurance denies the next claim–and the process repeats. My body is so depleted that I am I am vulnerable to underlying bacterial infections, etc. The last med claim “denial process” left me completely deaf in my left ear, due to chronic sinus infection spreading into my teeth, eyes, ears, etc. ER again, CT scans, Xrays…numerous specialists…(the preceding “denial process” lead to ER visits identifying a kidney infection so severe fluid had built up around my heart and lungs. My urine was the color of burgundy wine, then I couldn’t urinate at all–I had breathing problems and left arm and chest pain…. leading back to a failed system. It is set up to delay or deny–both result in health decline for me…and the obvious final eventuality unless something changes.
    OK–I know you can’t help with the “politics” of the above dilemma–at least nothing immediate enough to help me. I want to do something to make changes for others, but am too weak at present.
    And I don’t want to just live–I want to thrive. I know I can with the help of a functional doctor ordering the needed tests and prescribing the related treatments. Does anyone know of a doc in my area accepting Medicare patients? Help me please.

    • Emily, I guess you have probably read the entire website? Maybe take another look at the info regarding glutathione and sulfur. If you google dr glen, msm, and wordpress ypu will find a helpful article about msm/sulfur. I am not familiar with practitioners in seattle, but you might try the Bastyr student clinic for lower cost treatments. They may also have more info regarding practitioners in the area. One more thing, articles and books by dr gabor mate may help also, especially for understanding impact of emotions and stress on the body. seattle can be a tough environment due to constant damp, if possible dont rule out a change of environment. i know that is probably the last thing you want to consider, but dont rule it out.

    • Why are you looking for doctors and medicine, get a juicer and lots of organic veggies – your body will heal itself with the faith to Jesus Christ. (Juicelady on Dr.Mercola show). Another way is get a good blender and make green fruit smoothies – organic products. ( Or do both. Drink lots of pure water. Organic fruits etc.

      • I am already doing those things…(see the first sentence in my blog)…and I have turned over my life and my healing to Christ Jesus. I juice and/or make my smoothies daily–have been for years prior to toxic exposures. I am chronically ill because of genetic inability to detox the way most people do. I inherited the gene from both parents–a double whammy. That’s why I need the functional doctor. Dr. Hyman talks about folks who need this type of doctor’s care in his books and online articles/correspondence.
        If there is someone out there who read my initial blog and knows of a Seattle-area doctor who specializes in functional medicine (and who takes Medicare, etc.) I would appreciate that information.

        • Emily,
          Try Anderson Medical Specialties Associates in the Northgate area of Seattle. I do not know that Dr. Anderson takes Medicare, but it would be worth talking to him about your situation.
          Hope this helps.

      • Just a note…”drinking” your veggies defeats the purpose….you separate the fiber of the food, and lose a TON of nutrients! The fiber of the foods actually help your body feel full. Smoothies on the other hand, include the whole food.

  • Dr Hyman,
    I have seen you on Dr Oz many times and receive your newslettter. I resemble the people in your recent article. Overweight, extreme nerve pain in my leg, hives and overall fatigue. I’m only 54 and feel like 70. I am looking forward to seeing how this works and am eager to get started. Wish I didn’t have to wait for your next installment.
    Thanks for your sound advise. I’m a firm believer that processed food is the culprit behind all the disease in America. Think back to when we were kids, our mothers made homecooked meals every night and even the deserts were made from scratch. The change in the American diet has had a devastating effect on our health. Thanks for opening our eyes.

  • One week after being completely on the advanced blood sugar diet I was a different person inside and out. I started slowly by adding breakfast back into my life. Then 10 days later I overhauled my snacks. Then lunch and by the time I got to revamping dinner I was fully educated and able to ad-lib as I had fully changed over. It’s been a simple transformation and easy to continue because how great I feel is motivating!!

  • I have been following you on TV and on my emails. I am diabetic, overweight, constipation, sleep apnea and have psoriasis and arthritis. I also follow JJ Virgin. I just dont know where to start. I want to get healthy. I have lost 25 lbs. By eating lots of vegetables, fruit and fish. But i want to feel and look better. so where do i begin?

  • Very inspiring. It does not sound easy. But, I need to start. I am overweight, menoapusal, underactive thyroid. I can barely function in the morning. On my way to diabeties. Depression. Im scared just reading this! Where do I start? Barb

  • I just finished reading Dr. Robert Morse’s “The Detox Miracle Sourcebook” that was recommended by my Doctor, along with Dr. Hyman’s book. When I am disciplined enough to eat whole foods and cut out processed foods, my acid reflux goes away. The more people who eat predominately whole foods, the better the market for these foods will be, so prices will come down. We must also lobby congress to stop promoting and subsidizing processed food producers. It ain’t gonna be easy! Thank you for being a voice, Dr. Hyman.

  • You’ve provided me with some good info in the past but recently all I see and hear is the bombardment of advertisement for the book “The UltraSimple Diet.” The reviews I’ve read on the book aren’t that promising and the relentless pursuit to sell this book seems very cheap to me.

    • Hi Jon,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. It is entirely up to you whether or not you wish to read The UltraSimple Diet. We have received excellent feedback from those who have followed the plan in the book. Here are testimonials from our site regarding results people have achieved, not just from The Ultrasimple Diet:

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • You’ve mentioned “canker soars”. You say one can get rid of them by changing diet. I’ve followed your advice for years in general with healthy nutrition. Actually became vegan. But I do get the “canker soars”. Nothing else bothers me health wise.

    Any suggestion, whether it’s a lack of some particular nutrient or a combination because of the “vegan diet”?

    Any reply dimmed useful will be appreciated.

    • Hi Roman,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. We can’t tell you over the internet what the cause of your condition is. Please consult with your physician for the most responsible advice.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I’ve avoided wheat and other grains for the last ten days while adding berries, salads, vegetables, lean meats. I’ve had dark chocolate and a few lapses, but even imperfectly implemented I see my hands are thinner, stomach is sinking in. Next will be getting rid of sugar. The point is I am not agonizing or perfecting, just changing toward healthy, less processed food. I’m tired of the big supervised push, and instead quietly am adopting “subversive” tactics toward advertising of manufactured food.

  • So what to do when you recommend diet changes to patients who don’t want to change? Or they give every excuse in the book? How do you motivate them? It seems so simple to me but apparently not to those I usually treat. I’ve had a couple of patients get rid of meds by dietary changes yet even their stories don’t motivate others. I just scratch my head…

  • Thank you so much for another highly informative and helpful article. I need to refine my diet because although I try to do much of what you suggest I still find it difficult to lose weight. I eat mainly organic vegetables and chicken fed with organic feed and also wild caught fish. I try also to avoid genetically modified foods. At a salad bar for example in Whole Foods I try to eat just the food labeled organic. I am sure I must need to fine tune my diet because I still have some health issues. For me this is an ongoing effort. Thank you again for your simple, practical advice. I eagerly await part two of your article.

  • Ever since I’ve had my Gallbadder taken out I’ve had digestive problems. I’m going to try this Ultra-Simple diet to see how it works. Thank you Dr. Hyman.

  • I’ve been told recently that I have the beginnings of Dupuytren’s disease. Is this something that diet can fix? Obviously, I can’t find anything about that on the traditional medicine sites. Thanks!!

    • Hi Anna,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Medical questions cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet. If you want to try a functional doctor please see the “Find a Functional Medicine Practitioner” link at the Institute of Functional Medicine website:

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • This is such good advice. Most doctors will just keep on prescribing meds, without looking at how the patient’s body is responding as a system. Diet is definitely the systemic way to get well. I look forward to the next blog on this topic, and I hope that it will include advice for how to eat according to the diet, especially for those of us who work a lot of hours and don’t have a lot of time to prepare their food. Thanks!

  • Hi Dr. Hyman,

    I have been trying to lower my LDL over the past few years. In July of 2012 my LDL was 151. Since then I started eating Kashi cerials with more insoluable fiber and using coconut milk or almond milk with my cerial. I had my cholesterol levels checked again in January, 2013 and I had a dramatic drop in my LDL, it was 80. My HDL has always been good; in 7/12 it was in 70’s and in 1/13 it was in the 80’s. My triglycerides in 7/12 were 47 but then in 1/13 they were 148. Now I know all of this sounds pretty good, but over the past few months I started having leg pain. When I wake up in the morning my lower legs hurt and when I get up to walk it seems like leg movements are a bit stiff. I am wondering now if this dramatic drop in my LDL has something to do with my leg pain. I am thinking of seeing my pcp to get my cpk level drawn. I wonder if I have muscle damage going on. Can a low LDL cause these kinds of problems???

    Thank You,
    Patty Hamlin

    • Hi Patty,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I hardly believe that a change in diet is a “CURE ALL” for all the things you listed such as Autoimmune disease and Autism and Arthritis. My husbands mother did one of these “all pure” no sugar no gluten diets to help with her Arthritis pain and it did nothing. She tried it for a year. I fully subscribe to the fact that healthy, low sugar, low gluten, whole unprocessed foods will help with lowering your chances of heart disease and diabetes but you are filling these people with unreasonable hoep and setting them up for failure. How could you do that and call yourself a doctor.

  • I have only one vice… morning latte. 1/2 cup organic milk sweetened with real stevia. It helps my mood. I am 61 and have never had any health issues. I do eat organic eggs and turkey (I don’t cook the yokes as to not damage the nutrients) and don’t eat chicken, wheat, beef as recommended by the blood type diet. This seems to work for me. I also take organic food based supplements, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and proteolytic enzymes, clean chorella, and spirulina. I guess I am hoping to get a pass on the morning coffee! My Mom has a lot of issues but I haven’t had any influence on her diet sorry to say. Your diet would be great for her.

  • This is a great article. I just have to say that good food is not always just the answer. I followed the ultra simple diet for a year. I saw a ND as well. Although I felt “better” I never fully recovered until I was put on a compounded t3 medication for my thyroid. I had some very disturbing symptoms that started years ago after my pregnancy. I tried every alternative treatment possible and spent major money. I was meticulous with my diet. My friends would attest to it. I was really discouraged as I ate all organic fruits and vegetables as well as organic grass fed beef and chicken. The medication was a god send! I actually have my life back, although I am sad that I spent so many years suffering.

  • I, too, am at my wits ends. Since 2004-2008 I supposedly had MD. Then hospitalization after hospitalization for CHF, weakness,
    2009 pacemaker implant. Now, neurologists say EMG shows improvement but still a muscular disorder. Had renal carcinoma last year, had a kidney ablation, and then 2 months ago, CT showed kidney blocked by scar tissue from ablation and kidney has quit working. Drs want me to go to Baylor for more in depth testing for muscle disorder, breathing difficulty and auto immune probabilities. I personally could do without going. So, I’m ready for something natural, holistic, and non invasive. I could use some help and with nutrition as well. Look foward to see what you have.

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. If you would like information on becoming a patient at The UltraWellness Center, please see “How to Become a Patient” at This site is designed to give prospective patients a comprehensive source of information about The UltraWellness Center. You may also feel free to call The UltraWellness Center at (413) 637-9991.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I truly believe everything you have said. I know when I eat healthier I feel better. I would love to get off many of the 20+ medications I am on and lose weight. I just can’t stick with it. How do you feel about Herbalife? Thanks, Shawn

    • Hello Shawn,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. We cannot comment on the effectiveness of Herbalife.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I look forward to your next blog. I have had 2 gastrointestinal cancers in the past 2 years. I think that surely, this must have something to do with what I am putting into my system. I want to limit chemical exposure as much as possible. It is very difficult to find organic produce where I live and there is a huge problem with obesity in the population here. From the water I drink, to the food treated with chemicals, to the air I breathe, I feel under constant attack.

  • Great article. Some 5 years ago a friend of mine gave me a publication to proof read for his father who is an alternative medical practitioner. In a nutshell it changed my life. I now understood for the first time how food plays a major role in all of todays health related challenges.. I met a lot of his patients over the years and saw the results yet this man would always be referred to as a quack.. Makes me laugh all the time.,

    just finished my yearly 2 month juice feast of fruits and veg and coffee enemas. feel on top of the world, I was in relatively good shape when i started as thankfully in my own case I’m playing the preventative role to which I’m very gratefull.

    Main diet now is primarily 80/20 plant based and now that I’m actually hydrated again the want for tea coffee etc disappears..

    Great work Mark and you have me now engrossed in the funtional medicine publication.

  • Good work doctor. You had diagnosed my hypothyroid over 12 years ago. No one in India did. You were also the first person to tell us about gluten and problem with wheat etc.

    You said I would feel like a changed person after following your advise and i did. Cannot say you saved my life,but you came close enough.

    Shalini my wife are forwarding your comments to everyone we know and look forward to more of your blogs.

  • I bought your book and I’m loving it. I started by minimizing the sugar intake (sodas, cookies, candy) and I lost 4.5 kilos in a month and a half. I have Hashimoto’s and low cortisol an now I’m in pain and low energy and haven’t gotten back on track. I hope the diet helps me with this. Thanks Dr. Hyman.

    • Try the Virgin Diet. I also have Hashimoto’s and have been on the Virgin Diet for 8 days now. I’ve already lost 10 lbs., my chronic pain has dimished greatly, my energy level is back UP and I’m convinced that eating the right foods is the key. Did you know that gluten can cause auto-immune disease to flare up? Just one of the many things I learned from the J.J. Virgin Diet. Following this diet, you eliminate the top 7 FI (food intolerance) foods for 21 days then reincorporate them to pinpoint exactly which foods may be a problem causing chronic inflammation, weight gain, inability to lose weight, etc.

      Cannot go wrong with this diet!!!

  • I bought your book and I’m loving it. I started by minimizing the sugar intake (sodas, cookies, candy) and I lost 4.5 kilos in a month and a half. I have Hashimoto’s and low cortisol an now I’m in pain and low energy and haven’t gotten back on track. I hope the diet helps me with this. Thanks Dr. Hyman.

  • I have been eating foods from whole foods but I still have the same health issues. If you are eating good say 75% of the time won’t you be at least feeling 75% better?
    Yes I still need to work on the 25% but I should be doing better health wise (I think).
    your thoughts??

    • Hi Patsy,

      You will reap as much as you expend on your commitment. Try your best to fully commit.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I believe in following a healthy diet, but cam mot understand why our ancestors, whose diets were presumably healthy, lived only to an average age of 40.

  • “…and craved sweets and caffeine.” That’s what caught my eye. I use the Ultra Metabolism food plan. It does what it promises. My health is improved since 2007, and I have maintained a 45 pound weight loss. However, the cravings didn’t leave without help. I am a recovering compulsive overeater and sugar addict. The food plan Dr. Hyman designs is only do-able for me with a 12 step way of life. Enjoying healthy choices is possible… with help.

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. The “we” would be scientists/physicians.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Thank you!!!!
    You are really good Dr Hyman – but I wish you could write shorter and denser articles – I dont have time to read long sections to get to the point.

    Could you please comment on why some people understand what you are talking about, find it good but still are not able to follow the advice (that’s me!!!) I crave chocolate, freshly baked bread with lots of butter and cakes all the time.

    Your advice works wonder when I am able to stick to them! (a pound a week and a good mood)

  • I’m currently on Day Two of the UltraSimple Diet. I found this program while looking for an elimination diet for food sensitivities. I’m also hoping it will help me identify what is causing severe abdominal bloating (gained four inches in my waist in less than two weeks!) and floating stools. I really enjoyed yesterday’s foods, but unfortunately had an allergic reaction to the UltraShake (possibly from the protein powder as rice is one of the foods I tend to react to), then by afternoon ended up with a massive migraine. I’ll be experimenting with the shake recipes (allergic to soy as well) and my head is a bit better today, so still sticking with it and hoping for some relief by the end of the week.

  • I left a question yesterday, but didn’t see it among the 11 comments above. I wanted to know how the Ultra Simple diet differs from your other books, Ultrametabolism and the Ultrametabolism Cookbook. I found these to be very good and full of great advice and healthy recipes.

  • I have secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and I’ve been on an elimination diet for 5 weeks. My symptoms have greatly improved, for example my brain fog has gone for the first time in many years and I also have much less fatigue. Friends and family say I’ve got my old sparkle back. It just goes to show the power of eliminating foods that were clearly causing inflammation in my body. Now all I need to do is work out what are the right foods that I should be eating and I’m looking forward to hearing more from Dr Hyman. I’d buy his book about this but I’m not sure which one to get. Hopefully his next blog will tell me.

  • My personal experience tells me that your UltraSimple Diet is RIGHT ON!

    I reversed my cervical precancer (CIN3) by avoiding my food sensitivities in 2007. Then my eating slipped and it returned that’s when the lightbulb went off – doh! I also have to follow healthy eating advice as well. And of course I reversed the precancer again and my organs are still intact, healthy and happy.

    It’s really hard to convince people that most of their health ailments are due to their food. And it’s even harder to convince them they can literally feel better (happier, more energy, pain-free, better mental focus, etc) in just a few days. I applaud your outreach and publicity – it helps me to be able to point others to your website to receive more encouragement and validation from an MD.

  • Please keep me posted, I’m excited to read about the diet! I’m 28 and have been suffering with awful reflux / GERD for about 5 years now, and nothing seems to help. I’ve been dieting and working out to try and help alleviate the symptoms, along with Omeprazole (Prilosec), etc., but I’m close to giving up. It’s so frustrating!

  • Thank you for your mission, I am constantly being encouraged by the amount of Doctors I meet lately that are looking for healthy non MEDS solutions for us! You are on an excellent path. Let me know how I may help!

  • I’ve purchased and read The Blood Sugar Solution… changing! I also read Dr. Wahl’s book, Minding My Mitochondria. These two books tell me everything I need to know. I look forward to getting more recipes in Dr. Hyman’s new book.

  • Dr. Hyman,

    Thank you for all the inspired work that you do in pushing the traditional “Western Medicine” paradigm. I am so encouraged to see Harvard getting involved. May your vision be achieved. As a health coach, I know you speak the truth.

  • It is just wonderful to get frequent reminders of such obvious things. When I read the China Study book I was so happy somebody was trying to drive people to think outside the Food/Drug box. You continue that line of research so beautifully and continouslly. Thank you and congratullations, Dr. Hyman.

  • Fantastic article by Dr. Hyman about using diet instead of prescription medication to treat illness! More doctors in the United States should adopt this strategy (albeit not in all circumstances, but definitely in some).

  • Hi Mark Hyman,
    For me this valuable information is very important. Diet with Ayurvedic treatment will be an awesome idea to loose fat. Thank you for sharing this essential details with us.

  • It’s a nice article, Thanks!!

    Please let me know if you have a natural remedy for ILD (Interstitial lung disease) / IPF (Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) cure or at-least “controlling its progression”.

    This is inspiring …

    “Food is medicine. Bad food is bad medicine and will make us sick. Good food is good medicine that can prevent, reverse, and even cure disease. Take away the bad food, put in the good food and magic happens.”

    Any reply would be a great support for those, suffering with this chronic deadly disease.

    Thanks and many good wishes!!

  • Hi Dr. Hyman,

    I am looking a diet to feel better. I was in surgery. I have colon cancer. I was eating “healthy,” but I had constipation, stress, shortness of breath, and other symptoms before doctors declared colon cancer. I ate tuna fish (not fresh, canned) prosciutto, cheeses (packaged) many products with additives. Currently, I am eating fresh food – organic – but I want to know more about how to cure forever this disease, increase my metabolism, and lose weight. I am walking with some difficult, and pain. I would like to know which other food can I eat to feel better. I am eating lean turkey, and chicken (organic) eggs (organic) and organic honey, fresh potatoes, squash, some oatmeal, yogurt, apple, banana, I cannot eat red meats, and sometimes is difficult to find all organic food. I am living in rural area.

    Thank you,

    • Hello Christ,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you a speedy recovery,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • fantastic article!Thank you for all the inspired work that you do in pushing the traditional “Western Medicine” paradigm.

  • Recently I’ve also changed from taking meds to purely a diet change. Was taking Atenolol, which are betablockers for high blood pressure. Now I’m falling the so-called dash diet principle… very low on salt.


  • I’m in my early 50’s and going thru Peri-menopause…… I think. I mean, I was experiencing major characteristics of it BEFORE, but now nothing:
    No hot flashes,
    No memory blanks
    No mood swings
    No hair loss
    No brittle nails.
    NOTHING. I’m approaching the end of it now, and my plant based diet has gotten me and my family thru the worst of it unscathed. 🙂

  • I am 32 and suffered from severe pms. I have horrible cramps, migraines, sinusitis, and severe heavy bleeding. What should I do and what my diet should be consist of?

    • Hi Marie,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I was wondering how this diet can help with stroke recovery. I have family members that have had pretty bad strokes and I was wondering how can I help them. I refuse to believe that stroke damage is permanent.

  • I’ve had symptoms for about 7 years – hormonal imbalance, food sensitivities, massive brain fog, hair and eyebrow loss, muscle cramps, loose stools, low WBC, etc. Have been eating a clean diet for several years but went on the UltraSimple Diet a year ago and am still on it now. The elimination of corn and potato seemed to make a difference for about 6 weeks – stools normalized – and then I started to backslide. IGeneX labs for Lyme came back “equivocal – ” functional medicine doc I’m seeing thinks it’s probably Lyme and I’ve had it for at least 10 years. I’ve been on a bunch of antibiotics and anti-fungals for nearly six months now and am only marginally better. I’ve been tested for just about everything out there – autoimmune disorders, heavy metals, giardia, diabetes, c-diff, etc. All come back negative. I appreciate that this diet is a miracle cure for people who eat badly, but for those of us who ate well before, it doesn’t seem to do much. My doc says antibiotics could take a year and a half. I sure hope something kicks in soon. It’s discouraging to do everything “right” and still feel unwell.