Dr. Ellen W. Cutler has been deeply involved in the clinical practice and research of natural healing methods for more than 25 years. For years prior to this, she had suffered from chronic constipation, bloating, tiredness, and was often depressed, especially by the end of a day after struggling to eat. These symptoms would develop no matter what she ate or when, how, or with whom she ate it. Her father and grandmother had similar complaints and she was told that she had inherited a life-long condition of digestive problems. Nonetheless, she refused to believe her problems were inherited and was determined to find a solution.
She began to study different areas of healing, initially with an emphasis on massage and polarity therapy. She studied homeopathy and nutrition with various doctors, including Dr. Bernard Jensen at his ranch in Escondido, CA, and studied every book about natural healing she could find. She experimented with vitamin and mineral supplements, homeopathic preparations, and many kinds of diets, including fasting. Unfortunately, nothing she tried ever made a significant or lasting change in any of her problems. At times, she was frustrated and worried that she might never find an answer.
After years of studying nutrition on her own, she decided to become a chiropractor, beginning school in 1972. Her twin brother had gone to medical school, but she was drawn to a more natural approach to health. Additionally, chiropractic college offered a course in diet and nutrition. Her symptoms worsened during her first year there, probably due to the stress of intensive studying. Her symptoms were aggravated by almost anything she ate, and she became severely constipated and bloated. She had diagnostic studies, including x-rays, barium x-rays, and blood work, at the school’s clinic. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
She followed recommendations made at the clinic and did colonics, fasting, and food rotation. This included doing a grape fast for almost three months. When fasting, her symptoms seemed to slightly improve, but quickly returned after resuming her regular diet. Different chiropractic treatments, additional homeopathy, and other new diets were tried, but again, nothing seemed to work.
After graduating from chiropractic school and practicing for several years, Dr. Cutler decided to enroll in a three-year post-graduate chiropractic orthopedics training program. It was through this course that she was introduced by one of her instructors to enzymes and enzyme therapy. Upon investigating this field, she discovered that she was carbohydrate intolerant, being unable to properly digest and assimilate foods containing sugars and other carbohydrates, especially grains and breads. She began taking a digestive enzyme supplement consisting of disaccharidase, cellulase, maltase, sucrase, and lactase to help with the digestion of sugars and starches. Only two weeks after beginning the enzymes, the bloating and constipation, which she had experienced her whole life, disappeared and never returned!
This total transformation of her digestive system was miraculous. She also noticed other changes in her health, having more energy, healthier hair and nails, needing less sleep, and no longer being prone to colds and flu. Dr. Cutler became very excited about the healing power of digestive enzymes. She studied enzymes and enzyme therapy extensively and began to utilize enzyme therapy in her practice. She recommended an enzyme protocol, along with a diet based on their specific food intolerances, for all of her patients. These diets, along with a comprehensive overview of the role enzymes play in health and longevity, is presented in Dr. Cutler’s book, MicroMiracles: Discover the Healing Power of Enzymes (Rodale 2005).
An example of one of the diets is the one designed for those who are carbohydrate-intolerant, and is called the carbohydrate-intolerant diet. The majority of individuals in the US are carbohydrate-intolerant. In fact, this is the diet that Dr. Cutler herself continues to follow. Dr. Cutler has found in her clinical practice that those who are carbohydrate intolerant often are suffering from symptoms similar to those she had before she started taking digestive enzymes, namely bloating, constipation, fatigue, and depressed mood, as well as to symptoms experienced in those with high blood sugar, adrenal dysfunction, asthma, hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, poor assimilation of foods, obesity or malnutrition, and frequent sore throats, ear infections, and colds. She has also frequently seen carbohydrate intolerance in those with chronic yeast infections and chronic food and environmental sensitivities. The diet is low in carbohydrates (no grains permitted), fruits, and sweet vegetables, and high in protein. A vegetarian version incorporates vegetable protein sources. It also recommends eating as much raw food as possible.
Dr. Cutler has seen many wonderful results in her clinic working with her patients over the years. Because of this and her own story, she remains very enthusiastic about enzyme support, so much so that many of her colleagues and patients jokingly call her the ‘Enzyme Empress’. Not only her patients, but most of her family and friends are now taking digestive enzyme supplements regularly. Dr. Cutler and many of her patients report feeling healthier now than ever before, owing much of this feeling of well-being to enzyme therapy.