Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Posts Tagged ‘chelation

The Biomed Extremists

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Kevin Leitch is the father of an autistic girl and the author of a blog that I respect. In recent months Leitch has been attacked by the biomed community for speaking out against the vaccination theory of autism, chelation, and vitamin megadosing. One prominent member of the mercury brigade responded by using the name and image of Leitch’s autistic daughter in emotive propaganda against him, at which point Leitch stopped blogging for a while, because much as he could cope with abuse directed at him, bringing his daughter into things was inappropriate. This is always a risk that internet debunkers have to take. When you start threatening people’s intensely held religious beliefs, it really upsets them.

In a blog post today, Leitch questions the behaviour of parents and DAN! doctors who experiment on autistic children. It is worth a read. I’ve seen stories like the ones that Leitch mentions over and over again on yahoo groups.

It’s very painful to visit those biomed forums and start reading the things that these parents are doing. When I read about the huge doses of vitamins and the chelation chemicals they are using, I get very angry. The parents even know that their children almost always respond negatively to these supplements, but they still give them because they are so desperate for their children to be ‘normal’. People seem think it’s okay, because these parents are trying to cure their ‘monstrous’, children of a ‘devastating disorder’ that will ‘ruin their lives’. I hate this attitude. If those children were neurotypical, their parents behaviour would be considered child abuse.

You see, I have been there as an adult with unofficially diagnosed asperger’s syndrome. I have willingly spent thousands of pounds experimenting on myself with supplements. I know what it feels like when you give an autistic child these supplements. People think that vitamins are harmless, but they are not. Especially not when you have a balance of neurotransmitters as sensitive and delicate as an autistic. During the last few months alone I’ve given myself a limp in my DVT leg with vitamin K, I’ve given myself serotonin syndrome with riboflavin, I’ve amined myself with folate and given myself a resurgence of eczema that took two months to clear, I’ve glutamated myself with B12, and I’ve given myself brain fog with B6. Sulphites – which cause the same reactions in autistic children as sulphur based chelators do – make me feel like death. You may as well bring back smacking, at least that’s a short-lived pain.

One might assert that most of these parents must be autistic themselves due to their complete failure to empathise with their children. Talk about pygmalion syndrome. Is it only ever neurotypicals who want autistic people to be normal? Or are some parents so afraid that they might be autistic themselves that they have to hate autism and find reasons that it isn’t genetic? Is this like the myth of the closet homosexual who is the most publicly homophobic person? I think thee protest too much?

An example of the paranoia and lack of medical knowledge in these groups is demonstrated in one of the messageboard quotes Leitch came across:

The past few days he’s had white chunks in his stool. Loser than normal stools, very light in color, almost like mustard with dark specs. DAN doc says yeast does NOT come out in poop … then what is it?

What is it with this dirty fascination with stool that the yeast/parasite/bacteria/SCD/GAPS people have? My dog does craps like this when he eats nothing but fat meat. Does that make him autistic?! Is he dumping yeast?! No! The white lumps people spot in poo are not ‘balls of candida’ or anything else alive. They are undigested fats that have saponified (turned to soap) due to the normal presence of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The colour of poo is determined by how much chlorophyll and haem (heme) you consume, as well as whether you are breaking down your own haem into bilirubin. It’s no big deal. I’ve known people freak out and stop doing failsafe because their poo went yellow when they stopped eating so many greens and so much aged red meat.

Leitch links to an old post of his where he describes a mother who is chelating her autistic son. This post contains a video which people should watch. I don’t think many people actually know what an autistic child looks or sounds like. You will be struck by how normal this little boy is. He sits quietly for two hours and writes down bus timetables on a board to keep himself amused. Is that something that needs ‘curing’?

This post demonstrates such a great example of a typical mercury-mom approach. Check out the boy’s lab report at the bottom of the page. Virtually every heavy metal is in the low-normal range, except for aluminium and lead, both of which are only marginally over the normal range. This is clearly not a case of heavy metal poisoning, but people are so fixated on heavy metals being the cause of autism that they ignore the evidence before their very eyes.


Written by alienrobotgirl

15 February, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Autism: a moral panic

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When the Centers for Disease Control announced last year that an average of one out of 150 children had autism, it convinced many people that America was seeing an explosion of autism cases.

Before the 1990’s, the official estimates were one autistic child out of every 2,000 to 5,000 children. Several autism advocacy groups took that as proof that some environmental toxin, such as mercury preservative in vaccines, had caused a huge spike in the autism numbers.

But there are now intriguing indications that most if not all of the autism increase is the result of broadening the criteria for the diagnosis and identifying children with autism who would have been labeled with a different diagnosis in the past.

A 2006 study in the journal Pediatrics found, for instance, that the national increase in identified autism cases in elementary schoolchildren between 1984 and 2003 had been paralleled by a similar decrease in the number of children labeled as retarded or learning disabled.

Paul Shattuck of Washington University in St. Louis, the lead author of the study, wrote last year that “in 44 of 50 states, the increase in autism was completely offset by a decrease in the prevalence of children considered ‘cognitively disabled’ or ‘learning disabled.’ “

Some very outlandish claims have made about the supposed ‘rise’ in autism from many quarters – some have even sneaked their way into Wise Traditions, a publication from the Weston A. Price foundation that I used to respect.

As someone who is a fourth generation asperger (that’s a family history of roughly a century, long before anyone had invented the term), and a sociologist, I would define the media rhetoric surrounding the supposed ‘rise’ in autism as a moral panic – a form of mass hysteria. Examples of other moral panics include, gay sexuality, the millenium bug, foot and mouth disease, single mothers, immigrants ‘taking over’, youths (‘hoodies’) who hang out on the streets, and bird flu.

Some of the features of a moral panic include the demonisation of a subgroup within society and the emotive language used to describe the phenomena. The media usually lead and fuel moral panics with the use of unrepresentative and extreme portraits of the phenomenon in question, and the misuse of statistics. If you are autistic and reading this, you are probably as sick as I am to read offensive and bigoted descriptions of autism as ‘devastating’, ‘monstrous’, ‘robotic’, ‘destroying children’s and parent’s lives’ and ‘stealing children’s soul’s’.

In an interview this week, Dr. Shattuck said that because of changes in the definition of autism and how it is measured, it is impossible to know how much it may have increased from past years.

But his study certainly suggests that “diagnostic substitution” — labeling someone as autistic today who would have been labeled as retarded 30 years ago — is a substantial part of the picture.

Dr. Shattuck’s study isn’t the only one showing this trend.

In a 2004 study, Lisa Croen of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute in California and her team found that the increase in children diagnosed with autism in that state between 1987 and 1994 was almost exactly paralleled by a decrease in those diagnosed with retardation.

In case you didn’t know, the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute is THE most trustworthy, independent, and thoughtful scientific institutions in existence. Kaiser operates independently of financial influences and makes highly critical scientific reviews and examinations of data based on extremely rigorous critera rarely employed by other scientists.

Nancy Minshew, the director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Excellence in Autism Research, said last week, “I used to think there were more cases [than in past years], but I don’t think so any more.” She is now convinced that the higher numbers are “not an increase in the number of cases, but are an improvement in recognition.”

In past decades, she said, it was often hard to get doctors or schools to diagnose higher-functioning children as having autism. They were often labeled as having “behavior difficulties.”

Dr. Shattuck said other epidemiological studies have shown that the rate of severe autism has stayed steady at about one to two children per 1,000, so that the main part of the increase to an estimated six to seven children per 1,000 has come in the milder, higher-functioning forms of the disorder.

That points partly to the broader definition being used for what are called Autism Spectrum Disorders today, he said.

“When we talk about autism spectrum disorders,” he said, “we’re talking about kids who have very different symptoms. Some are severely retarded; some have high IQs; some have pathological shyness; others want to have contact but are socially awkward.”

In other words, the definition of autism has expanded to include asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s syndrome was only added to the DSM-IV in 1994. At that point it became an official syndrome and millions of people who had previously been classified as normal were suddenly considered autistic. So when people talk about the ‘massive rise’ in autism since the early 1990’s, they are in fact talking about the ‘massive rise’ in asperger’s syndrome. With awareness comes diagnosis. A bit of a no-brainer really. Left Brain Right Brain has numerous good articles on bad statistics.

And when people say they don’t remember seeing so many autistic children when they were growing up, or ask where all the adults with autism are, there are two possible explanations, Dr. Minshew said.

One is that many autistic children in the past were never sent to school. In what she called the “Forrest Gump era, you didn’t even go to school, or you went to a totally separate school.”

Indeed they do. My aunt worked at a special school for many years until it was closed down. At the time it was closed under the misguided community integration policy, it was one of the few surviving special schools in Nottinghamshire. The children there received special therapies and had chill out rooms. I’ve no idea what happened to those children. You can’t put a child who rocks and headbangs, cannot speak, and yes, smears poo, into a mainstream classroom. At least, not unless you want them to be abused by their fellow students.

The other phenomenon was that some autistic children were labeled as schizophrenic, and many may have ended up in state hospitals or other institutions, she said.

There is even a kind of logic to that, Dr. Minshew said, because some of the hallmarks of schizophrenia — behaving oddly, a lack of facial expressions, poor eye contact, speaking in a monotone and using fewer gestures than normal — are “essentially the same” in both autism and schizophrenia.

David Mandell, an epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania medical school, recently surveyed the adult patients in Norristown State Hospital in Eastern Pennsylvania, nearly all of whom are labeled schizophrenic, and found that about 20 percent of them meet the behavioral criteria for being autistic.

Donna Williams was one of them. She was diagnosed autistic in adulthood, after a childhood where she was believed to be deaf, and labelled psychotic and disturbed. Neurologically and genetically speaking, autism and schizophrenia are not that far removed. One of the genes in common is a variant of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase, disproportionately found in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism.

While he believes misdiagnosis in the past explains a part of the increase in autism numbers, Dr. Mandell also believes the growth has been too great to be accounted for just by continuing genetic abnormalities.

“The increase is probably too fast to be genetics,” he said, “so there probably is something that is environmental, but there is nothing to suggest it’s the vaccines.” Studies raise questions about increase in autism cases

Let me see… what has changed about our diet since the early nineties? Well, schoolchildren have been eating an increasingly additive-heavy diet. During the same period the government has increasingly promoted the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and these fruits and vegetables have increasingly been picked before they are ripe, and the varieties used have increasingly been bred for resistance to pests. All of these factors increase salicylate consumption. At the same time, calcium propionate started to be added to bread products and is now ubiquitous. Simultaneously big supermarkets took over the meat supply and began the mass vacuum-packing of meat. It is quite normal for meat to be three months old before it is eaten now – something that taxes even the average person’s resistance to amines. So amines and glutamates have increased too.

From my own perspective, I was raised on a very bland diet of cereal, bread, milk, fresh meat from the butcher’s, and potatoes. I refused to eat fruit except for the rare banana, or in the form of Ribena blackcurrant juice, and I wouldn’t eat most vegetables with the exception of cauliflower. I didn’t taste broccoli until I was perhaps eleven or twelve years old. This was around the time that mum and dad decided we should all eat more interesting and experimental foods. Like pizza and spaghetti bolognaise. Yes, you did read that right. Those were exotic foods to us. When I was thirteen years old we were all diagnosed with fibromyalgia. During the same period my ability to socialise declined to almost zero. I spent most of my teenage years as a voluntary mute.

Written by alienrobotgirl

6 February, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Posted in Autism

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The problem with chelation therapy

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Something that often happens when people realise they are food chemical sensitive and/or especially if they are on the autism spectrum, is they automatically think the problem must be connected to mercury poisoning, or another heavy metal poisoning. But rule #1 any scientist should abide by, is that correlation does not denote causality.

People don’t like to think that autism is genetic: there is a moral panic in our society regarding the health of and how we raise our children, and a second moral panic in our society regarding industrial chemicals and toxins and the harm they can do to our health. The persistent assertion in our shared popular culture is that both of these things are getting worse in our society. These two moral panics neatly bisect on the subject of autism, and the natural conclusion of anyone introduced to the subject is that, somehow, heavy metal poisoning must be causing both autism and food chemical sensitivities, because neither of these health problems could be ‘natural’, could they?

The next reaction is to go through all of the alternative health theories of autism: that autism is caused by ‘gut dysbiosis’, by ‘parasites’, by ‘the wrong type of carbohydrate’, by ‘gluten and casein’, by ‘heavy metal poisoning’, by ‘vaccinations’, or by ‘vitamin deficiencies’. A number of these problems do correlate with autism – but that doesn’t necessarily make them the cause, rather they are a feature of the same underlying condition.

People with autism thought to be low on glutathione, sulphate, and methyl donors. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren’t. This means that they don’t detox a variety of chemicals and heavy metals from their body as well as other people. When autistic people are found to have high levels of heavy metals in their bodies (and not all are and non-autistics can have high levels of metals too), it is usually because they are not detoxing them as well as other people, not necessarily because they have been exposed to an abnormal level of a poison – be that thimerosal, MMR, amalgam fillings or any other chemicals or metals in the environment.

Heavy metal toxicity has a range of medically recognisable symptoms. If you have heavy metal toxicity and you are experiencing these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are also causing your autism, or your food chemical sensitivities, or your fibromyalgia. It is more likely that you are experiencing all of these things due to the same underlying pathway in the body being compromised. Unfortunately these symptoms heavily overlap the symptoms food chemical sensitivity, so it is possible to become very confused and convinced that you have a problem with heavy metals when in fact you do not, or that heavy metals have caused your salicylate issue, when in fact they have not, they just coexist.

Sometimes when people suspect that they are heavy metal poisoned, they will panic and have their amalgam fillings removed. This is a very dangerous thing to do. Unless you have your amalgam fillings removed by a specialist who uses a dental dam and piped oxygen, you are liable to actually give yourself acute mercury poisoning by having the fillings removed! Amalgams release much more mercury when they are disturbed than they do when they are sat in your mouth. If, three months later, you then have a metal toxicity hair test done, you are liable to confirm your worst fears!

Next, if someone finds they have an unusually high level of heavy metals in their body, the first thing they usually do is arrange chelation therapy. Sometimes people are so convinced that heavy metals are the cause of their problems that they will do this even if their heavy metal levels are in the normal range or only very slightly raised. Any very slightly raised level is seen as confirmation of a problem that in reality may or may not actually exist.

The problem with this is that the chelation chemicals in themselves are reactive and cause unpleasant side effects:

DMSO therapy: DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide), a sulphur based compound, and the liquid version of MSM. Any individual who reacts to sulphur will usually react to DMSO. It’s known side effects include nasal congestion, shortness of breath or troubled breathing (asthma), skin rash, erythema, itchiness, scaly skin, skin thickening, hives, swelling of the face, blistering, skin pain, nausea, diarrhea, headache, garlic-like taste in mouth, garlic-like breath, garlic-like body odor, transient hemolysis, dizziness, sedation, kidney injury, light sensitivity, color vision disturbance, corneal opacities in animals and birth defects in animals.

DMSA therapy: DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid), is also sulphur based, containing two carboxylic acid groups and two thiols. Any individual who reacts to sulphur will usually react to DMSA. It’s side effects include diarrhea, loose stools, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, skin rashes, chills, fever, immune system impairment in developing foetuses, and unpleasant odour of urine, sweat and faeces.

DMPS therapy: DMPS (dimercaptopropane sulfonate) is also sulphur based. Any individual who reacts to sulphur will usually react to DMPS. It’s side effects include ‘allergic’ reactions, agitation, burning sensation of mouth, throat and eyes, chest constriction or feeling of tightness in the chest, cardiovascular reactions – dizziness, weakness, lowering of blood pressure, heart palpitations or tachycardia, nausea, vomiting, and tingling of the extremities.

Reactions usually vary in character based on dosage. At a low dosage, you might experience histamine degranulation causing rashes, or asthma, and at a high dose
you might experience vomiting and diarrhoea. All of the sulphur-based substances need to be detoxified in themselves through the sulfite oxidase (SUOX) enzyme. People who have an upregulated cystathionine beta synthase (CBS) enzyme are already putting an extra load on this pathway. These are two of the enzymes that has been flagged up by Yasko and others as having an association with autism, and of course an intolerance and reactivity towards sulphur and sulphites.

EDTA therapy: EDTA (ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid) is a chemical compound containing two amine groups and four carboxylate groups. It ‘looks’ suspiciously reactive. EDTA in itself needs detoxifying from the body. It is known to cause ‘allergic’ reactions, and reported side effects of EDTA include low blood sugar, skin irritation, diminished calcium levels, cramps and tics, headache, nausea and upset stomach, dangerously low blood pressure, kidney failure, organ damage, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and even death.

EDTA is the only chelation therapy that Dr Amy Yasko approves of, because all sulphur based chelators are known to be so problematic to the chemically sensitive. However Yasko does not seem totally clear on the importance of avoiding food chemicals. The side effects of EDTA seem just as ‘reactive’ as sulphur-based chelators, and EDTA superficially resembles gallates and amines in structure.

Sometimes so-called alternative therapists will diagnose mercury poisoning purely based on a DMPS or other challenge test, consisting of injecting a quantity of the chemical into the blood stream and watching for reactions. If the patient reacts to the drug, they are diagnosed as having been mercury poisoned.

The problem with this as you can see is that chelation drugs have some very powerful side effects. They are in and of themselves reactive and tend to affect those with food chemical problems. However, the lay person and any badly educated therapist or quack will attribute these reactions to “mercury being freed up and circulating around the body.” The ‘mercury’ whether it exists or not is blamed for the reaction caused by the chelation drugs, and the hypothesis of heavy metal poisoning is reinforced.

What I find disturbing about this situation is that people can become trapped in a spider’s web of the mind: they blame heavy metals for autism or food chemical sensitivities, they undergo chelation therapy and react to the chelators, and then blame the reactions on the removal of mercury, when in fact they are side effects and are inevitable in those who have food chemical sensitivities. Every time they undergo chelation therapy, they keep reacting, which reinforces in their mind the need to continue with the chelation therapy to ‘cure’ their problems with food chemicals. This can continue ad infinitum for year upon year, long after the heavy metals are actually gone – if they were even there in the first place.

This is why it is extremely important to test and retest your urine, blood and hair levels of heavy metals regularly, and to think about using alternative methods of detoxification.

There are less painful ways to detoxify your body of heavy metals. Most people can detoxify normal amounts of heavy metals naturally – the food chemical sensitive and those with liver/kidney problems are more of an exception. When someone who is food chemical sensitive goes on the failsafe diet, it helps to restore their normal detox systems. They often find that a wide range of chemicals and metals start to come out of their body naturally when they stop eating them on a continual basis. This process may take several weeks or months. Genetically appropriate methylation/sulphation supplements will also help to restore detox systems, as will alpha lipoic acid and selenium, sweating more, getting enough sunlight, and using a far infrared sauna.

Written by alienrobotgirl

28 August, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Quacktitioners

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Are salicylates 'evil'?

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This is the kind of question that makes me laugh my ass off, not in the least because people psychologise me and think I must think it. “Salicylates are not evil!!!111!!!” is the kind of comment people toss over their shoulder as they gallop off into the sunset to do chelation therapy. Good luck with that.

Are salicylates ‘evil’?

‘Evil’ is a very peculiar value judgement that people put onto things. It is imposed. It is not possible for a thing – a person, an object, to inherently have the trait ‘good’, ‘bad’, or ‘evil’. It is just a way in which human beings choose to describe the world. Moreover, ‘evil’ is a blanket term, there are no shades of gray, no possible reprieve, no half measures. In reality the world is not black and white like this.

Let’s try experimenting with this question:

Are snakes ‘evil’?
Are pharmaceuticals ‘evil’?
Are volcanoes ‘evil’?
Are people ‘evil’?

See how silly it sounds? Let’s expand on it by answering a question:

If I really must place a value-judgement on snakes, lets equate ‘evil’ in snakes with biting. So some snakes bite all the time, so they are ‘evil’ all of the time, and all snakes bite some of the time, so they are ‘evil’ some of the time. But all snakes do not bite all the time, so all snakes are not ‘evil’ all of the time.

Even if you shoehorn the negative behaviour of snakes into a definition of ‘evil’, it’s still impossible to define snakes as evil, because there is so much diversity between snakes. All you can do at a stretch is place the rather strong value-judgement that some snakes have some evil actions. In reality, all the snake is doing is trying to defend itself, it isn’t ‘evil’, it’s just acting to survive. We choose to think it is evil because it is harmful to us.

Let’s ask another question:

Are drugs ‘evil’?

By drugs, I mean all drugs – drugs found in nature, drugs synthesized in laboratories, drugs that are prescribed for illnesses, drugs that are illegal and bought on the street, drugs that are in our food.

Almost all of these drugs, whatever their origin or purpose, have positive, negative, and neutral effects on the body. They can be useful in one context for one person, and unhelpful or harmful in another context for a different person. They can be useful and harmful in different ways within the same person. What distorts our understanding of drugs, is that when the effects are positive, we call these the drug’s ‘actions’, and when the effects are negative, we call these the drug’s ‘side effects’. In reality, all of these effects are the drug’s ‘actions’, both positive, negative, neutral, and mixed. Herbs sometimes have stronger ‘actions’ than ‘side effects’ compared to medicines, other times medicines have stronger ‘actions’ than ‘side effects’ compared to herbs. There is no hard and fast rule that one entire group is better or safer than another – it’s just that one group has had a lot more testing.

Are salicylates ‘evil’?

When a snake bites, it does so to defend itself. It is not ‘evil’. When a plant produces salicylates, it produces them as a toxin in order to defend itself from pests and predators. Human beings are just one more form of predator to a plant. The plant does not care who or what you are, it merely produces salicylates because it has a survival advantage to do so by repelling its predators.

Salicylates are natural toxins. In fact, almost all drugs are natural toxins. With most toxins, large amounts have a poisonous effect, whereas smaller amounts may have many positive effects, no effect, many negative effects, or many mixed effects. Whatever the effect on the body (positive or negative), it automatically treats these substances as alien to it and attempts to remove them because they interfere with it’s normal functioning.

The main effect of salicylate is to inhibit COX (cyclooxygenase) II, an enzyme that creates prostaglandins. These prostaglandins – also known as eicosanoids – have a wide range of effects in the body, both positive and negative. One of their effects is to signal pain and a type of inflammation. Because salicylate inhibits COX II in this way in a large enough dose it will stop you from feeling pain. In the short term we can describe this as a ‘good’ effect of salicylate, because pain is… well, painful.

– However, in the longer term you would not want to be without pain, as it is likely you would lead a rather short and disastrous life. The prostaglandins are also important for a variety of other jobs around the body, so you wouldn’t want to be without them. For example, without these prostaglandins, it is impossible to maintain proper intestinal integrity. One type of prostaglandin – prostacyclin – acts to prevent platelet formation and clumping in blood clotting and is also a vasodilator. A different type of prostaglandin, thromboxane, acts conversely to clot the blood and constrict blood vessels to prevent you from bleeding to death. So inhibiting COX II can also have ‘bad’ effects, and how you judge these effects bad or good, would depend on the situation you were in at the time. It would be ‘bad’ to have lots of thromboxane during a heart attack, but it would be equally ‘bad’ to have no thromboxane after a car accident.

What also happens when salicylate inhibits COX II, is that the normal fuel that the body channels towards COX II to make prostaglandins – arachidonic acid – is instead diverted towards making leukotrienes. This uses up glutathione. Leukotrienes are inflammatory in a different way from prostaglandins – they tend to produce reactions that look superficially like allergies – and their actions on the body tend to characterise the ‘side effects’ – or rather the ‘negative’ effects of salicylate, which are the effects that characterise salicylate sensitivity.

All people are affected by salicylates at different doses. All people experience ‘side effects’ from salicylates. Some people may experience stronger ‘actions’ versus ‘side effects’, other people experience stronger ‘side effects’ versus ‘actions’. Salicylates per se have the property of interacting with the body to cause these different effects. When scientists first discovered salicylate sensitivity, they realised that salicylates were the cause because salicylate sensitive people were experiencing the documented side effects of aspirin, not because they were reacting in an unusual or abnormal way to salicylate. Because prostaglandins are universal to animal life, animals and insects are also affected by salicylates, and this is how salicylates exert their effects as pesticides.

Are salicylates ‘evil’?

Salicylates per se are toxins produced by plants to disrupt prostaglandin production in predators. Salicylates can be useful for killing pain, reducing fevers, and blocking some of the ‘negative’ effects prostaglandins can have on the body. However, salicylates also have a wide range of side effects that can be unpleasant and undesirable, especially in the longer run. Whilst most people are less vulnerable to the ‘side effects’ of salicylate, some people are highly vulnerable to these ‘side effects’ and will experience unpleasant symptoms at extremely low doses.

Salicylates are not ‘evil’ because objects cannot be innately endowed with ‘good’ or ‘evil’, they are however drugs and toxins and should be treated with due respect and caution. They are not harmless plant chemicals to which your body is reacting abnormally, rather their effects are universal to life, but vary in intensity depending upon the individual’s tolerance level.

Written by alienrobotgirl

17 August, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Posted in The Science of FCI

Tagged with

I'm not back yet (part two)

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I guess part of the reason I disappeared over the last few months is that I was feeling fairly worn down with the whole thing. I wanted to find some sort of a solution to this problem, though ever since I started I’ve had the sinking feeling that it’s a part of my biology and hell, high water and wild horses aren’t going to do the slightest thing to change it. I’m not going to change the world or its eating habits either. The best I can do is try and spread the word as far and wide as possible so at least some of the most inquisitive, resourceful, and open minded people are able to figure out the causes of their ill health. Instead I got tied up in the minutiae of trying to help every individual try to figure out the cause of every little reaction they had so they could avoid doing the elimination diet and testing things properly.

People always have to do their own thing. People hate doing the elimination diet. People make exceptions for their favourite foods, or foods they think are nutritious. They take vitamin megadoses, or vitamins they’ve been told to avoid. They take probiotics that half the time make them ill. They try chelation therapy and when they react to the DMSO they think it’s because they’re moving mercury out of their bodies. They try to eliminate one chemical at a time and get locked into an either/or mentality. They make endless mistakes with what they can and cannot eat. They bitch about food not being tasty. They bitch about not having anything to eat. They become obsessed with eating foods that they should be using caution with, and then don’t understand they’re self-medicating their addictions. They become enamoured of the dubious “you need to eat more salicylates not less” theory of salicylate intolerance. They give their good money to bad quacktitioners who sell them NAET, hypnotism, acupuncture, and homeopathic cures. Belief is a very powerful thing. At the first sign of becoming sick, they bottle it and start using non-failsafe medications and herbal remedies. If they get sick, they blame the elimination diet and decide salicylates must be good for them instead of acknowledging the fact that their body is in turmoil and needs at least three months to reset. And they never, ever question the idea that fruits and vegetables are good for you – that the “wonderful antioxidants” they contain are the exact same reactive compounds that are making them ill.

This is pretty much why I needed the mental holiday. Not because I’m upset or having a rant about what is inevitable and a part of human nature and what we all have to go through (I went through it all too), but because I was so tired of going over old ground. When I have to say something more than about three times, I start to feel stupid and embarrassed at having had to say it again. I never know when I’m patronising people or talking over their heads. It’s just the way I’m built. Aspergers. I’d make a bad teacher.

That’s why when I get back on the case I’ll have to try hard to restrain myself from unnecessary posts and interactions with people in order to give myself enough time to get the information website updated and completed. Now I come back to look at it, I can see tons of errors and things I want to change. For example, salicylate, amine, and glutamate intolerance isn’t merely about detox or inactivation of the compounds involved. It’s also about inflammatory processes, about genes that effect neurotransmitters, and a kind of a sensitivity I can’t quite explain but seems to be integral to autism, asperger’s, ADHD, fibromyalgia, and other related conditions. I think it’s something that deserves a “syndrome” title – like “food chemical intolerance syndrome” – or “feingold syndrome”, except it isn’t necessarily ultimately about food, but an integral weakness or difference that is expressed when exposed to certain chemical, atmospheric, environmental, emotional, and food triggers.

I think it’s genetic, or at the very least congenital. I don’t think anymore that in some people might have anything to do with vitamin deficiencies, or with toxins like mercury, or with gut flora, or any other vague possibility that people have theorised. I think it is primarily a modern syndrome. I think it has something to do with our evolutionary diet being low in chemicals, and our evolving in a highly pressured, dangerous environment in which survival of the fittest is survival of the brainiest. I think it has something to do with eating a diet consisting almost entirely of fatty, fresh meat and bland root vegetables, and that’s why we do very well on this diet and very badly on a modern “healthy” diet. I couldn’t care less what various native tribes eat in obscure regions of the world where these genes probably haven’t propagated, as I think it’s fairly irrelevant. Dr Price did not in any case study the health of people beyond their ability to fend off infections and the quality of their bone development. This syndrome is far more subtle than that.

As I have always said, we are all affected by food chemicals beyond a certain point, and that point isn’t particularly high, but some people are particularly badly affected by them and they are different in some fundamental way that cannot be summed up and pinpointed with one gene, or two, or three, but perhaps a small, correlating group of genes. Is autism caused by food chemicals? Or do food chemicals affect autistics particularly badly? Is our inherent hypersensitivity to our environment caused by the food chemicals, or does this inherent hypersensitivity make us sensitive to the food chemicals? Is the hypersensitivity just a different unrelated aspect of the genes involved? Who knows?

Written by alienrobotgirl

27 July, 2007 at 5:18 pm