Book Review: The Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief

Another book with ‘cure’ in the title.  Does it actually cure? What does cure mean?  What does cure mean – in this book? The book title claims to present 101 natural solutions for real and lasting relief. Does that mean 101 cures? Or more?  Or less?

Review:

Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief doesn’t present 101 cures, as you might believe from the title.  It presents 101 causes of bloat, and in most cases, many solutions are presented. The first cause listed – acid blockers – lists 7 different actions. First get off the medicine. Then 6 actions to address the cause of the cause. This actually makes sense – once we know the cause of an illness, there are often many ways to cure it.

However,

much to the dismay of anyone attempting to cure their bloat problem… The causes in this book are listed in alphabetical order.

So.. If your bloating is caused by one of those appearing late in the alphabet, you’ve got to go through a lot of useless stuff to find your cause, and your cure. There is no attempt to organize the causes, nor the solutions, into any logical sequence that would aid someone in resolving their own problem, except perhaps the placement of ‘anatomical differences’ (eg. woman’s abdomens) near the front by choosing a name that starts with ‘a’.

The book reads like alphabetical list of 101 natural remedies – which are generally written and published by charlatans looking for a quick buck. A list of ideas to think about, with no logic at all to the sequencing. Each entry reads like a short, stand-alone blog post. I suspect that a lot of thought and effort went into getting exactly 101 entries. Somehow in all this work, the ileocecal valve was not mentioned – perhaps because the solution to ileocecal problems is not suited to the book format.  It makes me wonder what else was excluded, and how many were added to make the exact number 101.

The alphabetical form is an opportunity missed, and a shame. The book would serve much better if it was written in a fashion that would make it useful to someone suffering from bloat.  It needs to be written much as a doctor would question a patient. First, get some ideas about the bloating the patient is suffering from.  Is it frequent?  How frequent?  Has it been going on for years or is it something new?  If it is new, what has also changed at the same time? What has the patient tried to resolve it? These questions are ignored as a result of the alphabetical nature of the book.

The book is a list.  Anyone who has suffered from bloating probably has their own list. This book just adds more to the list, but it does not provide expert assistance.

There is actually a considerable amount of useful information in the book, but it’s like reading a dictionary.  Yes, you might learn a lot – but it’s certainly not the best use of your time.

What is the books ‘theory of cure’?

Is bloat a disease? No. According to the medical reference texts it is a symptom, but not a disease.  The ICD10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision) only lists bloating a sub-entry under Flatulence and related conditions. Amazon, on the other hand, lists many pages of books with “bloating” in the title.

Bloating is an illness, but has not yet reached the status of a disease.  An illness is the intersection of a cause and its negative consequences. It is cured by successfully addressing the cause. Many illnesses are cured without diagnosis.

What does the book actually say about cure? Other than the title, the word cure occurs 7 times (that I could find).

Three of uses of the word cure are ‘not cures’:
– cause rather than cure
– no miracle cure
– beware of signing up for internet cures.

Two of the uses of cure refer to vague medicines, nothing specifically recommended:
– homeopathic cures
– over the counter cures

There are two more references to the word cure.  They have almost exactly the same wording, because they are references to the same treatment recommendation: “The three pronged approach… offers the possibility of a real cure.”  Of 101 listed causes of bloat, the book recommends exactly one ‘possible cure’, for two of the causes.  The three pronged approach is actually a shotgun technique. It attempts to address a large number of causes at once.  I have no doubt that it can cure many patient’s bloating illness.

The book, however, does not define cure, does not tell you how to know if you have been cured, even though the title brags “The Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief”.  Is ‘real and lasting relief‘ a cure?

Does this mean the book cannot cure?  Actually no.  It means the author has not taken the time to think seriously about cure, about the meaning of cure. There are small suggestions (not state directly) that the way to cure bloat is to identify address the cause. The introduction uses phrases like; “there’s always a reason why you are bloated“, “understanding the different factors that conspire to bloat you“, “most of the things that bloat you are benign and flexible“, and “you’re just a few pages away from identifying the root cause of your bloating“.

But ‘cure’ is not defined for any of the 101 cases. Root cause – a bit of philosophical nonsense, is also not defined. This should nor surprise us. Cure is seldom defined, except for diseases caused by parasites or killed by surgery, and actual use of the word cure is often forbidden in modern medicine.

Can the Book Actually Cure?

Do any of the techniques in the book cure bloat? YES! But, first, let’s define bloat.  Bloating is a symptom.  Symptoms cannot be cured.

Illnesses can be cured.  An illness is the intersection of a cause and negative consequences. When we view bloat as a negative consequence of the cause, together, they are an illness. This book lists 101 causes – with the negative consequences of ‘bloating’.

The cure for any active illness is to successfully address the cause.  If your bloat is caused by one of the 101 listed in this book, and you address that cause – your bloat will be cured. I am certain there are many cases where this book provides a correct ‘cure’.  Of course the actual act that cures is up to the person suffering from bloat.

In many cases, if a patient has bloating, caused by one of the 101 causes listed, they can cure their bloat. Let’s take  a simple example, from the book:

Dairy:

Author Robynne Chutkan gives several reasons why consuming dairy foods might cause bloat. If a patient has bloating caused by dairy, then when they stop eating dairy, their bloat will be cured.

Corollory: If someone has frequent bloating, and they stop eating dairy, and the bloating stops – then dairy was the cause.

The cure is the cause.  The cause is the cure.

Multiple Causes equals Multiple Illnesses, which Require Multiple Cures

On the other hand, there 101 possible causes for bloat (as I read the book, there are more than 101 possible causes for bloat). Someone suffering from bloat might have two, or three, or five, or more causes of bloat. What then? Can the book cure?

Yes it can.  One illness at a time. Or you can use the shotgun technique, AKA the “three pronged approach” recommended in this book.

Shotgun Technique:

Find as many causes as possible for your bloat, and address them all – or as many as possible at once.  If your bloat is cured, then you had some of those causes.  This is not a joke – it is a serious approach to cure any illness.  Doctors often advise “try this and see how it works”, if it works, that was the problem.

You might later remove some of the ‘cure actions’, to see if you get ‘bloat illness’ again. If so, it doesn’t necessarily mean that was one of your causes.  During the passage of time, you might have easily bumped into another of the 101 causes of bloat illness, without realizing it.  When there are 101 causes, it stays complicated.

Curing is complicated, and time consuming.  It’s more complicated, and more time consuming to ‘prove’ that a cure was found.  That’s why most medical reference books, including this one – avoid actual use of the word cure.

To your health, tracy

References:

  1. Page 1.  Acid Blockers – “not realizing that they’re the cause rather than the cure
  2. Page 72. Dysbiosis – “The three pronged approach might take some time before the results are apparent, but it offers the possibility of a real cure.”
  3. Page 99 Hepatitiis – “Prescription medicines, homeopathic cures, and avoiding alcohol and other liver toxins are all part of the spectrum of treatment for hepatitis.
  4. Page 119 Leaky Gut – “There is no miracle cure for leaky gut.”
  5. Page 144 Parasites – “Treatments can differ dramatically from single dose over the counter cures to weeks of prescription medication.”
  6. Page 144 Parasites – “In the absence of a diagnosis, beware of signing up for internet cures that may or may not work and could have unpleasant side effects that you hadn’t bargained for.”
  7. Page 164 Small Intestinal Overgrowth – “The three pronged approach I outlined might take some time before the results are apparent, but it offers the possibility of a real cure.”

 

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About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Healthicine.org. Author of two books about healthicine;
Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness
Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine

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