Book Review: The Autoimmune Fix by Dr Tom O’Bryan
Hi! My name is Miranda and like many who will read this review, I have Lyme or Lyme-like symptoms as some prefer to call it. I was formally diagnosed in 2014 after many years (well over 20 years) of strange symptoms, a situation I’m sure you can identify with. I was told I have Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella and Mycoplasma Fermentans.
I choose to have my condition managed by a Lyme-expert naturopath, originally recommended to me by the Lyme Disease Association of Australia, but I believe we are all responsible for our health and so being an avid reader, I scoop up as much information as I can about immune disorders in an attempt to get my health back to some form of normality.
Many books and pieces of literature I have read have been very technical and state what is wrong with you but fail to give you an understanding of what is really going on and how to recover in practical ways.
A few weeks ago, I watched the Lyme Summit 4 conducted by Dr Jay Davidson and one of the speakers was Dr Tom O’Bryan. Dr Tom was funny, straight to the point and explained so much about autoimmune triggers and why you feel the way you do that I immediately ordered his book.
In this book, he does not specifically cover Lyme although it is mentioned once. As Lyme is an autoimmune issue, it naturally comes under the umbrella of this book hence his involvement in the Summit.
Dr Tom tells you why you have that headache, why your legs are wobbly and you have trouble standing, why your brain is foggy and feeling like it is in a vice, why your heart is pounding for no apparent reason, why your feet and hands are cold, why you ache all over, why your hormones are all over the place, why your nerves are tingling – I don’t think I need to go on, as being a Lymie, I know you get the idea.
He explains each particular individual condition in great detail. For example, brain fog, what happens, what causes it and what you can do about it. He does this in an easy to understand manner (Well, occasionally by his own admission he gets a bit geeky but you can still understand). The main thread of the suggested ‘FIX’ is diet.
Having extensively studied about and experienced dietary issues all my life I was not surprised to learn that wheat and gluten, which he says not one person on the planet can effectively digest, is a large contributing factor in autoimmune dysfunction.
He explains that we are all different and the effects of eating wheat and gluten may manifest in different ways in different people even amongst siblings of the same biological family. I have experienced this as my sister has celiac disease (severe gluten sensitivity) and has Hashimoto’s disease (thyroid dysfunction) but not Lyme, whereas I do not have the celiac disease nor Hashimoto’s but we both have issues with wheat, which have contributed to our different autoimmune diseases.
I remember, in my late 20s, when I was still eating wheat, I wasn’t fully functional until about 11.00am when suddenly the brain fog would go away. One day, I finally couldn’t get out of bed. My naturopath said I had to get off of wheat. So I did, though it was hard as there was little gluten-free food available. I know what Dr Tom says about wheat consumption is right, as within 2 weeks of giving up wheat I felt like a new person and bounced into work at 8.30 am.
The book is not all about wheat and gluten though, it addresses other food triggers and he encourages you to find out what your individual triggers are. For example, eggs are mentioned as a common trigger and I had an “ah-ha” moment on reading that as with my Lyme experience up until a year ago when I gave up eggs, I’d get massive cold sores on my body every 8 to 12 weeks, which would about a month to go away. I had heard about eggs having an impact on cold sores so gave them up and so far, so good as I haven’t had a cold sore since. Yes, I miss eggs but boy is it worth it!
This book is one of the most helpful books I have read since being diagnosed with Lyme and I wish everyone to have the opportunity of reading it hence this review. It includes dietary plans, foods to avoid (some only need to be avoided temporarily) and there are recipes too.
As we are all on a different journey, only you can decide what is right for you but armed with all the appropriate information makes it easier to decide what path you want to take.
I wish you all the best on your life path and always be well.
Note: I am currently reading “You Can Fix Your Brain” also by Dr Tom O’Bryan and I am finding it an equally helpful resource to explain and help my Lyme brain which is one of my personal major challenges.
Dr Tom O’Bryan is an internationally recognised speaker and writer on chronic disease and metabolic disorders. He is considered a world expert on the impact of wheat sensitivity on autoimmunity. Dr O’Bryan has more than 30 years of experience as a functional medicine practitioner and is a member of the teaching faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine.