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 body.
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:
- Rectify the diet;
- Restore normal balance and efficiency of eliminations throughout the body - lymphatics and emunctories, liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin;
- Bring about changes in the cells of the intestinal tract which will reverse the tendency of those cells to turn most things into sugar;
- .Balance the glandular system;
- 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 rather extensively.
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 manners.
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 first 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 salt). (2096-1)
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 following quotation:
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.]