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Inherent Weaknesses

by June Butlin(more info)

listed in stress, originally published in issue 61 - February 2001

Wendy is a twenty-four-year-old secondary school teacher who has suffered most of her life from colds, sore throats and eczema.

She has taken various antibiotics over the years, as well as topical corticosteroids (anti-inflammatories) to treat her symptoms, without success. When she came to see me she just wanted to improve her health and well-being and get to the root cause(s) of her problems.

Her predominant symptoms were a bloated abdomen and a gassy feeling in her stomach, constipation, flatulence and bad breath. Her skin was itchy, dry and scaly and severe eczema erupted on her arms and legs. She had low energy, found it difficult to get up in the mornings, and became anxious and irritable at the time she ovulated and menstruated.

She exercised well, and as a survival mechanism, had learnt to switch off from her exhausting pupils and the hustle and bustle of her daily life, through meditation. She ate processed foods for convenience, drank lots of coffee and alcohol and loved cheese. She was also emotionally reliant upon scones, biscuits and cakes, calling upon them frequently when stressed.

A questionnaire and a kinesiology assessment revealed the Candida yeast, an imbalanced gut flora, staphylococcus bacteria in the skin, and a leaky gut. She had also developed food sensitivities to oranges, tomatoes, parsnips, dairy, and to most additives, preservatives and chemicals. A temperature test indicated low thyroid function and the pH meter readings of the saliva and urine were 5.6 and 5.8 respectively, indicating acidity in the body.

Although she had a variety of seemingly unconnected symptoms they were actually interrelated, and most likely stemmed initially from the predominance of unfriendly bacteria in her colon, caused by the unrelenting use of antibiotics and steroids over the past years. The wrong balance of bacteria and pH cause the commensal yeast Candida to transform into an invasive fungal form, which accesses the bloodstream and creates havoc in the body's organs. It also plays a role in a leaky gut, which then triggers an increased antigen load and a decreased level of Suppressor T cells resulting in immune problems.

The hormones are influenced by Candida and toxicity, particularly the thyroid and sex hormones. The latter are also affected by the high oestrogenic effect of some additives and preservatives and the birth control pill, which Wendy had taken for seven years. Candida, leaky gut, bacterial infection, allergies, poor digestion and elimination, and imbalances in the pH and gut flora are all implicated in eczema.[1-4]

The treatment strategy involved prioritization of the body's requirements to give the body the support it needed to heal effectively. In my opinion the body has difficulties responding if all the problem areas are targeted at once. The protocol we took was to build up the immune system by following a quality, organic, wholefood diet avoiding the food allergens. Essential fats were added (fish and vegetable oils) as eczema sufferers tend to have altered essential fatty acid metabolism and these are vitally important producers of prostaglandins (local hormones) necessary to support the immune system, and to keep the skin supple.[5]

Supplements taken were a multi vitamin and mineral without iron to support her physiological requirements. One antioxidant formula was added containing all of the following: beta carotene, reduced glutathione, vitamins A and E, as well as zinc, manganese and L selenomethionine for the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes, and vitamins B5 and B6 for the synthesis of antibodies. After five weeks a tincture of red clover and colloidal silver was introduced to target the skin bacteria staphylococcus. Two weeks later an effective treatment programme for Candida was adhered to as her body was strong enough to deal with the toxic Herxheimer 'die-off' reaction of Candida. The Herxheimer phenomenon results from the rapid killing of Candida and the subsequent absorption of large quantities of yeasts, toxins, cell particles and antigens. The beneficial bacteria were re-established with a supplement of bio-acidophilus. After twelve weeks butyric acid (a short chain fatty acid) was given to feed and heal the epithelial mucosal cells lining the gut wall. Wendy used a topical cooling gel containing glycyrrhetinic acid (from liquorice) on her eczema, which exerts a similar action to topical corticosteroids without the side effects.

She stuck rigidly to her diet and at this point in her healing felt brighter and healthier, and had no digestive, eliminative, immune or PMT problems. The pH in the saliva and urine was normal and her breath was pure. She had lots of energy and was free of eczema.

Wendy continued to keep to her diet, except on special occasions, and chose to have a check-up with me every four months. The findings over two years are that she has inherent weaknesses to stress, which not only causes her eczema to erupt, but also depletes her immune system so much that she is prone to sore throats and colds. She is truly allergic to dairy products, additives, preservatives and oranges, which induce flare-ups, as does chalk dust. And, finally, she has a tendency towards leaky gut. She now takes preventative measures to deal with these areas and Wendy is learning other relaxation techniques to help with her stress, avoids the food allergens, takes zintermittently to prevent sore throats and colds and a supplement to heal the gut wall three times a year at the change of each season. She now feels contented that she is, to a degree, in control of her own health.

References

1. De Maat-Bleeker F, Bruijinzeel Koomen C. Food Allergy in Adults with Atopic Dermatitis. Highlights Food Allergy. 32: 157-163. 1996.
2. Savolainen J, Lammintausta K, Kalimo K et al. Candida Albicans and Atopic Dermatitis. Clin Exp Allergy. 91: 668-679. 1993.
3. Majamaa H and Isolauri E. Evaluation of the Gut Mucosal Barrier. Evidence for Increased Antigen Transfer in Children with Atopic Eczema. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 97: 985-990. 1996.
4. Ionescu G, Kiehl R, Wichmann-Kunz F and Leimbeck R. Immunobiological Significance of Fungal and Bacterial Infections in Atopic Eczema. J Advan Med. 3: 47-58. 1990.
5. Lindskov R and Holmer G. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Plasma Red Blood Cells and Mononuclear Cell Phospholipids of Patients with Atopic Dermatitis. Allergy. 47: 517-522. 1992.

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About June Butlin

June M Butlin PhD is a trained teacher, nutritionist, kinesiologist, aromatherapist, fitness trainer and sports therapist. She is a writer, health researcher and lecturer and is committed to helping people achieve their optimum level of health and runs a private practice in Wiltshire. June can be contacted on 01225 869 284;  junebutlin@btinternet.com

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