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Skin Problems

Many people suffering from rashes, acne, and other skin problems have trouble finding adequate solutions. In my practice treating people with all sorts of complaints I find skin problems are rather common. Teenagers and adults suffer from acne. Rashes of all sorts seem to bother people of all ages. People suffer from dandruff, contact dermatitis, dry skin, chemical sensitivities, athletes foot, and acne rosaceae. The list seems endless. I have seen all of these in my practice. From personal experience I have seen that most skin problems seem to have at their root several of a few simple, but serious problems.

At our office we treat people with injuries, chemical problems, illnesses, and emotional complaints. Often we find that someone comes in with a major complaint such as chronic fatigue syndrome. After treating them for the underlying problems causing chronic fatigue we see rashes and skin problems clear up. Now, the skin problems may not have been their main concern but they sure are happy when it clears up as a bonus! We often have patients coming in to us specifically complaining of skin problems, perhaps a facial rash or contact dermatitis from chemicals in clothing. We work on clearing up these skin problems with nutritional medicine and they notice they are less moody or have increased energy! Rarely does someone come to our office to have a complaint remedied and not have some unexpected bonus clear up also. I think this is because general, systemic problems in the body manifest themselves with multiple symptoms. Poor digestion coupled with leaky gut syndrome may give a person headaches, low energy, and dandruff. A yeast infection can give a person rashes, diarrhea, and affect our ability to think clearly. Absence of certain key nutrients can lead to extremely dry skin and hormonal imbalances. So you can see that large problems usually cause multiple complaints. When we clear up large problems with the correct treatment, we have huge improvements in well being and the clearing up of multiple symptoms.

I will touch on certain categories of problems that lead to skin complaints and then follow up with examples of people's return to health. The following are the large categories of health imbalances:

Infections: Infections seem to have their hand in all sorts of chronic health complaints. 95 out of every 100 people who come to me who have some sort of chronic infection causing health problems. The problems with infections is that they usually are found in the digestive tract. If the digestive tract is damaged, well then toxins, undigested food particles, our own fecal material, and even parasites and yeast can enter the blood and begin to circulate in our bodies! Our skin may have an allergic reaction to our internal toxins or it may try to push these toxins out through the skin since the skin actually can help us to detoxify. If our body is extremely burdened with infections and toxins leaking into our bodies we may become more sensitive to chemicals that touch our skin. One of the first things I do is identify chronic infections that may be in the digestive tract and eliminate them. When they are eliminated, often the digestive tract can repair and heal. By the way, this condition of leaking toxins into the blood stream is called "leaky gut syndrome." Leaky gut syndrome is primarily caused by infections, allergic reactions, and inflammatory responses to these two problems. By removing infections and identifying food allergies, leaky gut syndrome clears up on its own. Occasionally extra nutrients aimed at healing the lining of the intestines are needed but this is not common. Here are some common infections:

*yeast/fungal/mold- a common infection these days. It is found in 90% of the patients that I treat. All cases of athletes foot have a correlation to gut infections of yeasts, by the way. Exposure to high levels of antibiotics, steroids (topical or ingested), hormones (birth control pills, artificial thyroid hormones, estrogen replacement therapy, etc), or a high sugar diet makes individuals prone to yeast problems. To clear out a fungal or yeast problem a patient (and often their spouse) need to take special yeast killing medicines and follow a strict diet for 3 weeks. In worst case scenarios houses and air quality may need to be screened. Occasionally a "sick building" will be at the root of sick people's fungal illness and resultant complaints.

*parasites- a common infection found in my patients. Exposure to poorly handled meats or vegetables, poor water supply, pets, or travel to foreign countries may increase risk of parasite infections. Parasites need to be treated with special antiparasitic medications. Antibiotics will not work on parasites.

*viruses- many people have compromised immune systems. With lowered immune system function certain people are prone to long standing viral infections. Viruses are not easily eradicated except by your own immune system and white blood cells. Any therapy for viral infections needs to be aimed at improving immune system function. Specific herbs, vitamins, and minerals will help. Usually viruses are opportunistic organisms if the viral infection is long standing. Long standing, low grade viral infections are usually the result of a poorly functioning immune system.

*bacterial infections- certain bacteria are long term infections such as H. Pylori (a type of bacteria that lives in the stomach and upper digestive tract and causes ulcers and digestive problems). Certain bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics due to over-prescription of antibiotics and the fact that antibiotics are found in most meat and dairy products. Bacterial infections may need to be treated with antibiotic herbs or medicines.

Allergies: Allergies are another huge cause of skin problems. A person can have no other problems but a single food allergy and have rashes and itchy, dry skin! Allergic reactions to foods can affect your energy levels, affect your ability to think straight, affect your ability to feel the appropriate emotions, cause inflammation anywhere in the body, knock out your immune system and leave you vulnerable to every little cold and flu, and basically have their hand in almost any problem. I have learned by trial and error to look for food allergies no matter what a patient's complaint is. They are pervasive and very influential. Allergies and infections go hand in hand. Often a person's leaky gut syndrome leads to an increased number of food allergies. When infections are cleared out with the right antimicrobial herbal medicines, a person avoids suspected allergic foods for 3 weeks, and is desensitized to their food allergies then they usually are not allergic to most foods anymore. The allergies just disappear! Occasionally some people benefit from avoiding certain foods for life if the food just does not agree with them. These patients agree that it is worth it, though. They feel like humans again when they avoid these foods.

Digestion: Often patients'digestion is poorly functioning. This can be due to a deficiency in digestive enzymes, infections, allergic reactions to foods, or other reasons. If our body is not digesting the food we eat then the food is not being broken down and absorbed. So why are we eating it? I think that in some worst cases patients may be getting only 50% of the value from their food. Our food nutrients, especially our fats, may not ultimately be reaching our skin where it is used to keep it supple, flexible, and working well. I often supplement digestion with specific enzymes that may be lacking to help the body break down foods into small, easily absorbed particles. Also, infections need to be removed and allergies screened for as these also affect digestion. We need to make sure that we are adequately absorbing our foods!

Nutrient Deficiencies: Common sense says that we need the right vitamins and minerals for our skin to work right. I touched on the subject of poor digestion that may not allow these vitamins and minerals to be properly absorbed. But what if there is not enough vitamins or minerals in the food to begin with? That is often a problem I see with patients. They may not be eating quality food with enough micro-nutrients, they may have a genetic need for more of certain nutrients than the average person, or both! So we screen all patients for nutrient deficiencies and supplement with what is needed. We often recommend one of 7 different multi-vitamin formulas for a person. Sometimes we find a need for certain amino acids are called for. We screen for essential fatty acid deficiencies. We may recommend a certain calcium supplement, one of three that we carry. Each person seems to have an affinity for one form of calcium over others and we try to find out which calcium supplement is best for each individual. We screen each patient for any of the trace vitamins or minerals from vanadium to molybdenum to pyridoxal-5-phosphate. We do our best to not miss any one of the nutrients that may be missing. Most patients benefic from some nutritional supplementation.

Heavy Metals: Heavy metals, chemical toxins, and pesticides are increasingly in our air, our water, and our food. These poisons can be absorbed and affect our skin as well as any other organ in the body. At our clinic we screen for many different toxins and often find indications of poisoning from these chemicals. When we find these we use natural chelating agents to gently pull them out of our tissues and begin the process of detoxification. If possible we try to identify where these toxins are coming from and reduce our exposure to them. We are being exposed to small amounts of lead, mercury, aluminum, arsenic, nickel, tin, and others each day. Each one of these toxins has trademark symptoms and most have an affect on the skin. It is imperative to identify these if they are a factor in skin disorders and remove them!


*Suzie- a woman in her mid 50's, had been a patient of mine for many months. Her primary health concerns were unstable health, unusual sensations of burning in random areas of her body, migrating tingling sensations, unusual headaches, bouts of explosive anger, frequent nosebleeds, aches and pains, rashes that came and went on her face and arms, and frequent bouts of colds and flu. During the course of my seeing her she developed pain in her knees with no indication of injury. My examination indicated a heavy burden of homocysteine in the body, burdens of mercury, nickel, and lead, and muscle imbalances in the knee area. A combination of nutritional support for detoxifying the metals, nutritional support for detoxifying the homocysteine, combined with applied kinesiology treatment for the muscles of the knee helped her body to correct the problems in her knees. She is currently pain free in her knees. It is also worth mentioning that Suzie had her mercury amalgam fillings recently removed. Although this is a highly beneficial procedure it can occasionally cause more problems than it fixes if the person is unable to detoxify well. I believe this was the case for Suzie. Suzie reports that with continued nutritional support her health is stable. She no longer has unusual burning or tingling sensations. Her nose bleeds and rashes have stopped. Her aches and pains have calmed down tremendously and she is almost never sick. Her moods are much more consistent. I attribute most of these health problems to heavy metal poisoning aggravated by mercury re-exposure during dental surgery. I believe that Suzie would be labeled "hypochondriac" with the standard medical approach and received little, if any, help for her various complaints.

*Margaret- a woman in her mid-50's has been in my care for over a year. Her main health complaints have been depression, cloudy thinking, uncomfortable heart sensations, overweight, acne rosaceae on her nose and cheeks, and various aches and pains in her body. Acne rosaceae is a disease which apparently has no known cure and causes red, inflamed skin over the cheeks and nose, and a gradual swelling of the nose over the life of the patient. Margaret had been to see a dermatologist for her condition and was told to apply topical antibiotic cream on her face for the rest of her life as symptom management. Over the past year we have treated her for low-grade, chronic infections, supplemented her with digestive support and nutrition, changed her diet, and begun the process of detoxifying her from toxic metals. Margaret seems to be one of the most burdened patients I have ever seen with heavy metals including mercury, nickel, tin, lead, aluminum, arsenic, copper, antimony, barium, insecticides, and others! We are slowly and surely drawing these toxins out of her body. We make sure she drinks copious amounts of water and has proper support for her liver and kidneys (both important organs of detoxification.). Margaret also seems to suffer from an allergy to commercial pork products that affects her nose. We have her avoiding pork now. Margaret has felt like she was a hypochondriac. She had unusual heart symptoms that came and went at odd hours of the night. She couldn't sleep. Skin problems, feelings of dizziness, and water retention have bothered her. I am proud to say that Margaret has lost about 70 pounds, sleeps well, is no longer cloudy in her thinking, her heart symptoms are gone, and her aches and pains are gone. Her moods are much higher. She feels younger and looks 10 years younger. Even her acne rosaceae is gone! She no longer takes any medication for this condition. When she was at her worst, certain foods and even certain vitamins with unnecessary ingredients in the pill would make her feel like she was going to die. Now she no longer feels this way. We use Thorne nutritional products for our patients because many of them are sensitive to unnecessary ingredients. Thorne products are extremely pure, pharmaceutical quality nutritional supplements. I believe in them whole-heartedly.

*Kay- a woman in her mid-30's came to me complaining of a facial rash that would not clear up. The rash had been first on her forehead and now was on her cheeks and face. She had tried every topical cream including antimicrobial creams in the drug store but nothing was stopping this rash. Upon screening Kay we found indications of heavy yeast infection, a milk allergy, and a need for extra nutrition in the form of a good multi-vitamin formula. We sent Kay home with instructions for a special diet and a special antimicrobial formula for yeasts. She returned 3 weeks later with no facial rash at all. I want to point out that we did not put anything on her rash. She got better because of what she put in her mouth!

*Cecilia- a woman in her late 40's came to my office one day with a large, almost bleeding rash on both arms near where a T-shirt sleeves end. She told me that this rash had started after wearing a new shirt and was lasting for at least a week. She had tried putting various lotions on it to help it heal or calm down but nothing was working. Upon screening Cecilia we found strong indications of a yeast infection in her body. I recommended that she take a yeast killing formula, one that is an oil based one, and to also rub some of the formula on her rash directly. This cleared the rash up in about a day.

Conclusion: If we can be of assistance to you in finding help with skin problems or other health conditions- please give us a call!