The Milk Diet

Chapter XI: Various Diseases

I am often asked if the milk diet is good for this or that disease, or if it will suit certain cases, as, for instance, where there is an aversion to milk, or a dilated stomach, or where it causes constipation or diarrhea, or if it not dangerous to use in heart, or kidney disease.

Anyone can take the milk diet, if he starts right, and it is good for any chronic disease, without exception.

I have never seen it used, in full amount, for acute diseases like typhoid fever, nor would it be practicable to give it during the height of an attack of appendicitis, but I have seen many cases where health was lost through typhoid and restored on the mil diet, and other patients subject to periodical attacks of appendicitis, have remained in perfect health after their course of milk diet.

It makes no difference whether a person likes milk or not. One of my most satisfactory cases was a lady who had not been able to take any milk for over forty years. There is no great difficulty in handling the proper amount of milk if it is taken in the small and frequent doses that I recommend, and the patient kept at rest until the stomach and bowels are working well.

Certain specialists say that a dilated stomach is a bar to an exclusive milk diet. This is a great mistake. A dilated stomach is one of the easiest things to cure on the milk diet.

Probably if only a small quantity was taken it might aggravate the trouble, but where the proper amount, or anywhere near it, is given, there is no difficulty in restoring the tone, strength and proper size of a weakened and dilated stomach. I think the stomach is the first organ to be restored to a healthy function, in nearly every case.

Chronic diarrhea can be cured on a milk diet in a few days, if the patient can take sufficient milk to raise the blood pressure and heart pulsations. One lady with a long standing case of this trouble, took milk for four weeks, with little apparent improvement, except that her weight increased from 85 to 94 pounds.

She had been weak and nervous, largely, I think, as a result of s severe capital operation she had undergone at Battle Creek, Michigan. She could only take about three quarts daily, and this seemed to be too little to restore the proper circulation.

But fortunately, when she resumed ordinary diet her bowels operated in a perfectly normal manner, and after nearly three years her health continues good.

A gentleman from Maine who suffered from membranous colitis, which had become so acute that he was losing five pounds a week in weight, took the milk diet carefully under my supervision, and at the end of five weeks I discharged him permanently cured.

Regarding kidney disease, some doctors without personal knowledge on the subject have declared that such excessive quantities of milk would ruin any kidney.

In answer I say that the amount is not excessive, but only the natural amount required, and that the kidneys do stand it, and grow healthier every day. It is no hardship for any organ of the body to exercise its natural function when it is given the proper material to work upon.

The function of the kidney is to separate from the blood and eliminate from the body certain salts and waste materials, and raising the blood pressure and increasing the amount of blood makes this function easier.

The fact that a much larger quantity of urine is passed on the milk diet than usual only indicates that the work of elimination is assisted by the larger amount of water passing through the kidney. The urine of a healthy person is more or less poisonous. It contains toxic materials eliminated from the blood.

In Bright’s disease these poisons are reduced in quantity or disappear from the urine because the diseased kidney is no longer capable of separating them from the blood. The sweat glands are able to excrete a portion of this matter through the perspiration, but sooner or later its retention in the blood is apt to cause uremic convulsions.

As the urine is increased to three or four times the usual amount by this treatment either one or both of two things must happen. The waste and toxic matter is very much diluted by the additional water, or, a very much larger amount of waste is excreted. In the first case the elimination should be easier by reason of the greater amount of fluid washing out the tubes; in the second case the blood is purified more rapidly.

The human kidney is never found in a perfect condition. Secretions for microscopic study in physiological laboratories are usually made from the kidney of some of the lower animals, or possibly from that of a child.

The adult kidney always shows more or less pathological change in the delicate structure and complicated arrangement of the uriniferous tubules.

I have seen many very serious cases of albuminuria and Bright’s disease take the milk cure, during the last 27 years, and I have never heard of any of them having any trouble from the disease afterward.

I believe that diseased kidneys are restored to almost perfect condition by the milk diet. Regarding heart disease, meaning usually organic or valvular disease, there is a general impression that the less fluids given the better it is for the patient.

Schroth’s method of an almost entire dry diet was through to be good for heart disease; Oertel’s method of dry diet, with active exercise, helped many cases, and Tuffnell’s treatment of absolute rest with a dry and very restricted diet has made some remarkable cures.

I was, for many years, under the impression that the milk diet could not be given in severe forms of heart disease, but I have so completely changed my views, simply from the result of observation, that I now feel sure the milk diet can be given to any case of heart disease, with the greatest success possible to any treatment. Further than that, I make the prediction that the future treatment of severe forms of organic and functional, or nervous heart disease, and aneurisms, will consist almost entirely of the milk diet and rest.

A broken or ruptured valve may not be restored by the milk diet, or any other treatment, but it can be compensated for, so that the possessor may live in comparative comfort. Almost any other form of heart disease can be successfully treated by means of the milk diet.

The simplest case of all is the weak heart of the anemic person. Such people, with poor circulation, white, pasty looking skin, usually underweight, but sometimes fat and flabby; weak and languid, disinclined to exertion and easily tired, with typical heart sounds – the “anemic murmur,” and a small, undeveloped heart, can obtain perfect health on milk and rest.

I have seen some of them lose the murmur in two or three days, followed by a steady growth of the heart in size and strength, with a corresponding improvement in the general health.

Every doctor sees young people with the disease, or condition, rather, called chlorosis, or “the green sickness,” which is often benefited by the administration of iron, because the blood of such people lacks the necessary amount of iron. Milk always contains iron, and a short course of the milk diet always cures chlorosis, and puts the general system in good order, a fact which is not always the case after the administration of medicine.

Some of the more severe forms of heart disease are complicated by dropsy of the feet and ankles, and other parts. Although perhaps of months’ standing, this dropsy always disappears in a few days on the milk and rest. Rest alone often relieves these cases, but rest without milk will not cure them. Regarding dropsy, of any part of the body, from whatever cause, I have never heard of a failure of this treatment to cure it. Any form of valvular disease may be treated by the milk diet, with the greatest possible advantage, but in these cases, more than in any others that we are called on to treat, rest, COMPLETE, ABSOLUTE REST, is essential.

Two cases of valvular disease of the heart have lost several pounds weight in the first few days on a full milk diet, but afterwards gained satisfactorily.

I mention this fact (which I cannot explain) because it is very rare for any patients (except those having obesity) to lose weight while on the milk. I have stated elsewhere that the heart increases in size, and this is true of every case, except in the dilated weak heart. It is not difficult to prove this, as any patient with a weak heart can observe the apex beat of the heart move downward and to the right as the cure goes on.

Growth of the heart follows the law governing all muscles, that, if the nutrition is kept up, increased work is followed by increased size. The very first work that the blood made on a milk diet has to perform is to nourish the heart itself, for the first arteries leading from the aorta, or main artery of the heart, are the coronary arteries, which turn back into the heart muscle to supply it with blood. Right here I wish to speak of a very common, but serious, disorder, the treatment of which by the milk diet is so successful that the fact should be universally known.

I refer to hardening of the arteries, or ARTERIOCLEROSIS, sometimes spoken of as a physiological process. “A man is only as old as his arteries,” refers to the fact that, while hard arteries are a frequent accompaniment of old age, they may also be present in a young, or middle-aged man, who has lived improperly.

Hardening of the arteries is perhaps the first apparent change in the blood vessels that indicates beginning degeneration. It is included by medical writers in the descriptions of degenerations, and, while it is admitted that the condition may continue for years before it becomes dangerous, it is generally considered the beginning of the end. It is surprising to see how little hope is held out to persons afflicted with this disease, by writers on the subject, who seem to take it for granted that there is no cure, nothing to do but to make them as comfortable as possible, “enjoin them to lead a quiet, well-regulated life, avoiding excesses in food and drink.” “It is usually best to frankly explain the conditions of affairs,” etc. After a certain time, the duration of which varies in different cases, the inner lining of these hardened arteries softens, ulcerates, and breaks down, resulting in aneurism, embolism, paralysis, and apoplexy.

I believe that almost every case of this disorder can be cured, if treatment is used before the ulcerative stage begins. One old gentleman whose pulse felt like a wire, took the milk diet treatment three years ago, and in less than four weeks his arteries were soft, and the neuralgia of the heart, from which he suffered intensely, disappeared. Neither the sclerosis nor the heart trouble has ever been returned since that time.

One disease that is difficult to treat with a milk diet is chronic inflammation of the bladder, especially in the tubercular form. This is usually considered incurable, and I know nothing better for it than this treatment, but these old, inflamed bladders with thickened walls and degenerated linings, have a very small capacity, so that even on ordinary diets urination must be performed very often.

With the amount of urine increased three or four times, and the diseased organ showing no immediate improvement, it requires considerable faith, or persistence, on the part of the patient to carry on the treatment.

The rubber urinals sold by druggists are of material assistance, and as the urine becomes soft and unirritating, the bladder can hold more of it than while the person is on an ordinary diet. Indeed, it is a great relief to these people to have the urine change from the fetid, irritating, amomoniacal, decomposing stuff to the almost colorless and odorless water characteristic of the milk diet.

The milk diet has proved invaluable to many young women with painful menstruations, misplaced, or undeveloped wombs, and other disorders peculiar to the sex.

Fibroid tumors of the uterus have been known to disappear under this treatment, and many other conditions, apparently only suitable for operations, have been remedied. There is a great development of the pelvic organs, while resting and taking the milk diet. Usually the best time to start in with the milk is right after a menstrual period. The next period may be, and often is, irregular as to time, but if three weeks elapse before it comes on, it is almost always the case that the pain will be greater than usual, and some patients are inclined to stop the milk to get relief.

The pain is due to the unusual amount of blood, in excess of the ordinary congestion of this period. If a woman can stand the pain, and keep the milk going, greatly improved conditions will be noticed at the next menstruation.

The relief experienced by these cases is similar to that occurring after a normal childbirth, when, as most married women are aware, menstruation almost always ceases to be painful. There is, perhaps, no part of the body that receives greater and more uniform improvement in this treatment than the generative organs. Milk is the best nerve food that we possess, and the connection between the nervous system and the sexual organs is a very close one.

The improvements in the two go on coincidentally. An exclusive milk diet has been in use for patients with diabetes mellitus since 1868, when it was introduced by Donkin. Prof. Tyson tells of one case taking fourteen pints daily. He regards the diet as the most important part of the treatment of this ordinarily fatal disease, and is confident that the exclusive milk diet is the most effectual way of treating it. I should feel certain of good results from the milk diet treatment in diabetes, but

I regret that I have no cases to report, never having succeeded in getting a suitable one for a trial. Since the above was written several diabetics have attempted to take the milk diet, but none have attempted to take the milk diet, but non have carried it on more than a week. They all lost weight, but two gentlemen seemed benefited by the short course. I still believe the treatment would cure suitable cases, not too far advanced.

I receive numerous inquiries regarding cancer, but I can only repeat what I have just said about diabetes, as I have the same lack of experience with true cancer.

Continue to Chapter XII

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. Consult with your physician before making any changes to your diet.