Medical Blog

December 16, 2009


Filed under: Allergies — admin @ 12:12 pm

The difference between clinical ecology and conventional medicine becomes apparent as soon as one enters the waiting room. In my office, (or instance, the physical setup is adjusted to the needs of the susceptible person. This is done to provide a more hospitable environment and also because test procedures undertaken in the office itself might be ruined by chemical exposures.

No smoking is allowed, and this rule is strictly enforced. Signs to this effect are posted not only in the waiting room but in the bathroom as well, where confirmed tobacco addicts may be tempted to depart from the rule. Care has been taken in the selection of office furniture. Wood and leather are used extensively, not plastic or synthetics. Office machinery is kept to a minimum in order to avoid the kinds of fumes and odors which frequently foul the air indoors. Almost all of the typewriters, for instance, are manual, not electric. The copying machine was chosen because it emits the least amount of environmental pollutants. In fact, it is rarely used. Even the partitions are made of hardwood and not of any building material which gives off gases, as plastics often do. Nurses, secretaries, and other employees are instructed to refrain not only from smoking but also from the use of perfumes, scents, and after-shave lotions. We have little trouble in this regard, however, for almost all office personnel themselves have food and chemical susceptibilities, and are chosen with this fact in mind. Because of their own experience, they can provide more help and understanding to patients than those who are not aware of environmental disease in a personal way.

The office is located high above Lake Michigan, and the air is about as good as one is likely to find in a big city like Chicago. For heat, we employ portable electric heaters. In a sense, then, a patient’s treatment begins as soon as he enters the office itself, since the environment is conducive to recovery.


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Filed under: Allergies — admin @ 12:11 pm

David Hart was eight years old when he was brought to me. His problems were obvious: his face was never at peace, but was wracked by spasms; he was continually sniffing, blinking, and squinting. His eyes were red and rimmed by dark circles. Although his grades were average, he had frequent temper tantrums at school and at home.

In addition, David had a hearing problem, which seemed to increase as he grew older. He complained of a ringing in his ears, a condition called tinnitus. This had been unsuccessfully treated with decongestants and antihistamines. Sometimes he complained of having a “bug in his ear.” The slightest noise in class distracted him, since then he could no longer hear the teacher distinctly.

The routine five-day water fast in the Ecology Unit worked wonders: the mouth tic, eye-blinking, and hyperactivity disappeared. So, too, did the bags under the eyes, which are called “allergic shiners,” a frequent sign of food or chemical susceptibility.

When single foods, known not to have been significantly contaminated with chemicals, were returned to David’s diet, some of them brought on attacks of spasms and facial contortions. The worst offenders in his case were wheat, beef, corn, and blueberries, followed by haddock, cherries, peanuts, and potatoes.

Many foods, however, could be eaten without causing any symptoms, such as crab, chicken, pork, lamb, and onion. When some of these acceptable foods were given to David in their commercial, supermarket form, however, they caused grimaces, hyperactivity, eye circles, and gassiness. The boy became progressively more grouchy and twitchy after the second feeding of “normal” food, and this increased with each subsequent feeding. The avoidance of such foods paved the way for David’s recovery, and the last time I spoke to his family, he was greatly improved and doing well in school.

Like Paul Rossi, David was one of those hyperactive children whose problem was actually caused by a highly individualized reaction to the food and chemical environment, and greatly helped by avoiding those items to which he was allergic.


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