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Divine Health with Dr. Don Colbert

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New York Times best-selling author, latest, Let Food Be Your Medicine, (Worthy Publishing, 2016)

Board certified in family practice for over 25 years and practices anti-aging and integrative medicine

Doctorate of Medicine: ORU Medical School

B.S. ORU & Christ for the Nations

Founder, Divine Health Institute, Longwood, FL which provides preventive, nutritional and anti-aging practices

Married to Mary

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In 1983, Don was in his third year of medical school at ORU. His health was great. As part of his fitness program he had to run a three mile race. The temperature was in the high 90’s with very high humidity. On the last lap, about seventy five yards from the finish line something happened to his legs. Mary, his wife, later said, “It looked like your legs were broken or like you’d been hit by a car. You seemed to have no control over your legs.” Don’s legs were in excruciating pain and he was very short of breath. After he crossed the finish line he collapsed to the ground and was taken to the hospital. He was eventually diagnosed with a heat stroke, massive rhabdomyolysis, and possible kidney failure. The doctors did not think he would ever walk again. Mary began to pray and heard the Lord say, “He will run and not be weary; he will walk and not faint.” Her words encouraged Don in his faith. “As I began to meditate on the word of faith, I began to take a few steps and then a few more…weeks later I walked back into the hospital,” shares Don.

After finishing medical school, Don and Mary moved to Florida when he began his residency program in family practice. Then in 1987 Don started his own practice, “I loved practicing medicine. I had always wanted to be a doctor, to help people, and this was my chance.” One of his overweight patients, who had gone on a diet, was scheduled for arthroscopic knee surgery. Don told her to go off the diet beforehand, but she chose not to. Three days following the patient’s outpatient surgery she suffered a massive stroke and sued the hospital, the orthopedist, and Don. He struggled with depression on a daily basis, “To say that I was stressed out would be putting it mildly! My prior heatstroke had nearly destroyed my leg muscles and now the lawsuit was a major emotional blow to my psyche.” Although the lawsuit was unjust, Don chose to settle the case so it did not adversely affect his practice and move on with his life.

A year after the lawsuit Don discovered a red, itchy rash that covered his body. He went to see a dermatologist and discovered he had psoriasis. There was no cure for this skin condition. The doctor prescribed coal tar, a smelly orange ointment to treat the psoriasis. After six months of fighting the symptoms, Don knew there had to be a solution that his medical training could not provide. Searching for the answer to his psoriasis he would scour the corners of the globe for information that might be helpful. “I spent thousands of dollars traveling, taking classes, attending events, going to seminars and conferences, meeting people and buying potions, lotions, and pills.” He would run his practice during the weekdays and then spend almost every weekend traveling, studying, and learning.

In the process, Don began to notice when he ate certain foods, his psoriasis would get much worse. He also discovered that the trauma of his heatstroke had damaged his body, and then the emotional trauma from the lawsuit had triggered the autoimmune disease psoriasis. His intestines were inflamed on the inside and his skin was inflamed on the outside. He took a food sensitivity test and discovered that he was sensitive to peppers and gluten. Both of these foods were the “thorns” that had inflamed his small intestines. Don changed his diet and within three to four months, the psoriasis was gone.  “It had taken me over ten years and about $750,000 to lick this thing…but I had finally won,” shares Don.

When Don removed gluten and peppers from his diet, his body was able to heal. “It was a tremendous feeling knowing I was free of the orange, asphalt-smelling coal tar that barely addressed my symptoms, but did absolutely nothing to address the root cause of my psoriasis,” shares Don.  He says, “The root cause of most common diseases is due to inflammation from the foods we eat.” When you continually eat foods that you are sensitive to, that eventually cause symptoms associated with inflammation and may eventually lead to disease. Consider:

  • Chronic inflammation of the joints causes arthritis, and 90 percent of arthritis patients have osteoarthritis
  • Inflammation of the brain is associated with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disease
  • Inflammation in the arteries causes most cardiovascular diseases
  • Inflammation in the muscles causes fibromyalgia
  • Inflammation in the skin causes eczema and psoriasis

The modified Mediterranean Diet is the best anti-inflammatory diet in the world unless you are allergic or sensitive to a food (peanuts, dairy, or fish). This diet can usually effectively cure, control or manage every disease. Don says, “Our bodies often crave the foods that make us sick.” He shares some of the cravings he has noticed and tracked with patients over the the past years:

  • Sugar: Usually craved by those with diabetes, cancer, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, obesity
  • Corn and wheat: Usually craved by those with dementia, autism, ADHD, IBS, diabetes
  • Deep fried foods: Usually craved by those with heart disease, vascular disease, arthritis, high cholesterol
  • Red meat/pork: Usually craved by those with osteoarthritis, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and hypertension

The modified Mediterranean Diet prevents disease and inflammation. He recommends a modified diet because the raw ingredients of today are not what they used to be. Most grains and corns have been crossbred, hybridized, or genetically modified. He offers the following advice when implementing the Mediterranean Diet:  

  • Avoid, minimize, or rotate every four days wheat and corn
  • Rotate your foods (vegetables and meats) every four days, do not eat the same foods every day
  • Diminish the sugar and eliminate processed foods in your diet
  • Reduce salt in your diet to 1.5 grams a day
  • Eat more living foods (fruits and vegetables)

With most diseases, there is usually an emotional trauma somewhere in the patient’s past. For Don, the trauma of his heatstroke and the heartbreak of his lawsuit were his sources of trauma. Don had to work through the process of forgiveness toward the woman who sued him. He says, “Practice forgiveness and let it go. Bitterness is not worth dying for.”

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