Cayce Health Database
OVERVIEW OF OBESITY
I. Physiological Considerations
The problem of obesity in the practice of medicine
has remained a puzzle without adequate solution, in spite of the apparent
simplicity found in the production of excess fat in the body from excess
eating. The obese patient is usually dismissed with the advice to
eat less food and he will lose weight. Endocrine abnormalities -
notably thyroid and pituitary malfunctions - are currently recognized
as etiologic agents in some cases of obesity, but this is understood to
constitute a very small percentage of the total cases of excess body weight.
Clarity concerning this problem does not come readily
from the Cayce readings, perhaps because of the fact that few readings
were given only for the problem of obesity. Usually obesity was
concomitant with other conditions and thus treatment and etiology were
intermixed. It would probably be an accurate observation to state
that the readings saw obesity as a side-product of other body changes
that were in the process of causing what we know as disease.
In the cases reviewed in this Circulating File there
are four major factors of a physiological nature which contribute in the
greatest degree to the obesity for which corrective suggestions were offered.
The first and probably most important etiologic factor
is what Cayce calls an "excess of starches in the diet," which we probably
relate to the general problem of overeating. When these starches
are in excess quantity they create drosses in the system, and these "make
for a hardening upon the activity of the glandular system as related to
the glands of the body." (1268-2) Apparently these changes in the glandular
activity are not just in the endocrine glands of the body but also in
those tissues in the small intestinal wall - probably Peyer's patches
and other tissues which are active in the assimilatory process.
Each of these has glandular tissue as part of its structure which directs
and controls the reproduction and continuity of cellular structure unique
to that tissue. Thus changes in the glands themselves might well
alter the structure and nature of those cells which absorb and metabolize
carbohydrates. Then we might find that "there has been produced
in the glands - where the changes take place in the digestive system,
just below the duodenum, that condition wherein most things turn to sugars,
and these increase the avoirdupois of the system, especially about these
portions of the body - the torso proper." (56031) We might say, then,
that overeating starches is a prime cause of obesity and might create
an abnormality in the assimilatory cells of the intestinal tract.
Improper or inadequate eliminations are the second
cause of obesity. In 's case, lack and imbalance of eliminations
were probably one of the prime causes of the woman's psoriasis as well
as her obesity. In order to correct either, the eliminations had
to be improved and the balance among the liver, kidneys, lung, and skin
had to be restored.
Glandular imbalance was mentioned several times in
those cases reviewed, and thus appears as a third major causative factor.
The adrenals and the pineal particularly were mentioned as being first in
performance, but we also see the production of obesity in an individual
after  had a thyroidectomy; almost immediately after  had
her tonsils out (obesity which existed 11 years after a reading was obtained);
and almost immediately after  had her uterus surgically removed.
All of these are glandular tissues although the tonsils are not included
among major glandular structures. In any event, glandular function
or malfunction must be given its proper place in the etiology of obesity.
Incoordination between the cerebrospinal and the autonomic
nervous systems apparently plays a fairly important role in creating conditions
conducive to the production of excess body weight. As a fourth etiologic
factor, these incoordinations arise from other causes and are not primary
in themselves, but are found frequently enough to be considered as a physiological
malfunction in understanding the process of obesity.
It is important to be aware that obesity accompanies
the development of other diseases and thus we must question the theory
that obesity causes other diseases. Perhaps it may be only that
the changes in the physical body which occasion that which we call obesity
might also bring about other disease processes as a matter of natural
activity in a body that had adjusted itself to improper function.
II. Rationale of Therapy
In approaching therapy, we should remember that the
body has a capability of normal function:
Thus, we would administer those activities which
would bring a normal reaction through these portions, stimulating them
to an activity from the body itself, rather than the body becoming dependent
upon supplies that are robbing portions of the system to produce activity
in other portions, or the system receiving elements or chemical reactions
being supplied without arousing the activity of the system itself for
a more normal condition. (1968-3)
Any plan of therapy to produce a permanent alleviation
of the condition which we know as obesity should properly be directed
at entirely removing the causes of the excess weight. Thus, a program
of fasting or strict regimentation of diet might bring a person down to
normal weight where he would stay, in a small percentage of the cases,
but most individuals following their normal diet would again return to
the body weight they had originally, which is the state of obesity.
Recognizing that the body as a whole is the sum total
of its functions or activities, it is easier to understand that each activity
must be coordinated within itself, as well as with other physiological
functions. We must then recognize that individual cells and groups
of cells must be treated to restore their function to normal so that the
organ or gland or system to which they belong might then be normalized.
In order to have a normal body weight, one should
be eating a normal diet and should have adequate assimilations and eliminations
with a balanced function of the circulatory, glandular, and nervous systems.
This description certainly is one of good health, so correction of obesity
often is producing a state of health wherein sickness was existing prior
to that time.
Briefly, one might view the body as a site of constant
construction of new cells to take the place of those that are dying.
If assimilation is improper, not giving the bloodstream adequate nutritional
substances, the rebuilding process becomes a disturbed, distorted, and
incomplete thing. Likewise, if eliminations of dead cellular substances,
of used energies and refused energies is not properly taken care of, again
there is improper building because of the excessive amount of waste in
the bloodstream. Lack of balance in the entire glandular system
produces improper and insufficient amounts of those hormones necessary
to combine with available energies to produce new cells. The blood
and lymph circulation and the nervous system are intimately related to
this whole process in such a manner that any malfunction here also produces
lack of normal rebuilding. While it is understandable that the entire
function of the body is not this simple, yet these characteristics of
body function are undoubtedly valid. Thus when new cells are built
properly, they function according to their nature which might be as cells
of the retina, the skin, the hair, or perhaps even as cells of the adrenal
cortex. Proper function gives balance and health in individual cells
and in the entire body.
With this as a background, it seems then only reasonable
to base therapy upon a restoration to normal of the cells which are abnormal
in that particular body, keeping in mind the interdependence and the cooperation
and coordination that are necessary among all functioning parts of the
III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen
A program designed to accomplish the objectives just
outlined in the second part of the commentary would necessarily begin
with the most obvious point needing correction and proceed to those rather
difficult complications that are often found in the obese patient.
They might be enumerated as follows:
1. Rectify the diet;
2. Restore normal balance and efficiency of eliminations throughout
the body - lymphatics and emunctories, liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin;
3. Bring about changes in the cells of the intestinal tract which
will reverse the tendency of those cells to turn most things into sugar;
4. Balance the glandular system;
5. Correct other abnormalities which may be present: nervous system incoordination,
circulatory system imbalance, etc.
The diet must be changed rather radically in order
to begin therapy, and the major change brought about is the elimination
of most starches. If starches are eliminated, fruits and vegetables
must be added to take their place. No fried foods are allowed, and
the meat intake is limited to fish, fowl, or lamb. Since eliminations
are troublesome for most obese people, a diet including the factors just
mentioned is extremely helpful. Such a diet taken from case 
is found appended to this commentary.
In obesity complicated by psoriasis, the problem of
eliminations is more important. [24551 was advised to take occasional
vapor baths with varying types of rubs afterwards to improve skin eliminations.
Coca-Cola syrup without the carbonated water was suggested as a purifying
agent for the kidneys; and as a purifier for the intestinal tract, a teaspoonful
daily of a mixture of equal parts of sulphur, cream of tartar, and Rochelle
salts was suggested. The importance of adequate liver function and
production of bile cannot be overemphasized. Attention is directed
to the Circulating File on "Constipation" where this problem is discussed
The readings had a number of suggestions, all apparently
designed to restore the liver and the eliminations through the intestinal
tract to full activity. They suggested olive oil, one teaspoon with
each meal, as one alternative. Zilatone tablets, one three times
a day until bowels were moving actively and then cut down to twice a day
or once a day over a period of 10 days, was another regimen for the bowels.
Until the eliminatory organs are balanced and functioning adequately,
the obesity problem cannot be completely overcome.
Over and over again in the readings grape juice -
diluted two parts of grape juice with one part of water - was suggested
as an additive to the diet, to be taken one-half hour before each meal
and before retiring. This was to be done over a long period of time
with persistence and consistency. Apparently this has a function
of giving a type of sugar to the body tissues which does not promote weight
gain. It was suggested that when the body was satisfied with this
type of sugar, then those cells and glands in the intestinal tract that
tend to change most foods to sugar would not be called upon to function
in this abnormal manner. Only the passage of time and the replacement
of these abnormal cells with those built in a normal manner would finally
rectify the situation.
Glands throughout the body must be led into a normal
function to rid the body of obesity. In the case of [52,40] where
the thyroid had been removed, suggestion was made to continue the thyroid
extract by mouth. Stimulating existing glands toward normal function
is often done with Atomidine given in series - one drop a day for five
days, then left off for five days, and continued in this manner over a
long period of time. It may alternately be given starting with two
drops in a half glass of water the first day, three the second, and so
on, up to a dosage of ten drops on the ninth day. At that point
the dosage is decreased one drop per day until the original dose of two
drops is achieved. Then there is a rest period of five to ten days
and another series is begun.
In the difficult cases of obesity, the so-called radio-active
appliance (which has been renamed the impedance device) is suggested for
use. When it is used with the solution jar, in the case of obesity,
Atomidine is used in the solution. In 5603-1 the impedance device
was to be used every other day. Specifics can be seen in the individual
readings. [4030) was a young woman who developed obesity after a tonsillectomy
and who also was advised to use the impedance device. Apparently
this battery brings into the body a therapy not readily obtained in other
It would be proper to correct other abnormalities
in function which may be present. Osteopathic treatments are frequently
suggested in series of four or five up to 20 to 28 and also static electricity
through the use of the violet ray bulb hand applicator for incoordination
between the cerebrospinal and the autonomic nervous system. The
use of this appliance is described in case 3386-1.
Disproportion of Body Parts
Eliminations seem to be a major factor in many disease
processes. Obesity is no exception. In 's instance,
the glandular function was not particularly a major factor in her obesity.
It had begun to have an effect but, according to the reading, the eliminations
were producing conditions in the body which would bring about trouble
to the heart, principally through malfunction in the kidneys and through
the sugars created in the system.
Perhaps more interesting to those who suffer with
an overweight problem is that for  faulty eliminations are the principal
etiologic agent in producing disproportions of the body itself or the
depositing of fat where one does not particularly want fat. Corrections
were suggested (in addition to the diet which was primary) for 
to take colonic irrigations once every ten days until four or five were
taken, and sweat cabinet baths with massages afterwards. The following
extract is interesting:
... eliminations are those that cause the disorders
in the lower portions of the system; feet, ankles and limbs, as well as
those that produce a tendency for portions of the body, especially, to
be out of proportion to the body as a whole.
The conditions ... may be aided the most were the
body to be more mindful of the diet; not as an extremist, no - but as
one that would have the corrections made in the general eliminating system...
... this would be ... an outline for the corrections
of the physical conditions, that may later produce hindrances in the general
physical health of the body.
We would begin flrst with those colonic irrigations
- one every ten days until four or five are taken, which will overcome
this tendency of constipation through the system...
We would also, at least twice each week, have those
sweat cabinet baths, with a thorough rubdown afterwards with any of the
eliminants - or prepare as this: Take Russian white oil, one pint; alcohol,
one pint; witch hazel, one-half pint. Mix these together and massage
the body with same following the baths, see? Well to occasionally
leave off the oil rub and use the salt glow (that is, rub the body with
Since each individual case of obesity is different
from the next, a routine of therapy must be designed for each person.
Patience, persistence, and consistency certainly are necessities in bringing
about a successful conclusion in this difficult physical condition.
When one gets a bit discouraged, it might be well to keep in mind the
Keep up what we have given. Be a little patient,
but know that there is being brought about those conditions that will
correct the disturbance in this body, and that the body's strength - the
body-physical and the body-mental - is gaining. Set before self,
mentally, that the body would attain. Make it high, and keep the mental
lifted in that direction; for to heal the physical alone, and to have
the mental still distorted - would only be the return of the conditions
when activities would be renewed physically. But make the body physically
fit, that the body-mental may act through same and make the efforts to
bring about that as is desired, in a mental and physical body - but make
it high! Don't be satisfied with less! (5545-2)
[Note: The preceding overview was written by William A. McGarey, M.D.
and is excerpted from the Physician's Reference Notebook,
Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis
or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional
for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health