Mylene was a sturdy-looking little lass with wild, straw-coloured hair and large, trusting eyes. Yet, despite outward signs of robust health, her skin tone was slightly flabby and far too pale, and her demeanour was lethargic and lacked the sparkle of early youth. The little girl had lived with intractable nausea for much of her life. Even small serves of bland food could trigger a debilitating attack of sickness.
According to Mylene’s extremely unrelaxed mother, “She wakes up in the morning feeling squeamish. She feels queasy before meals and she doubles up with nausea the moment food hits her stomach. She feels sick from morning to night.”
It appeared that Mylene stolidly ate her way through small helpings of any food placed in front of her but, after the last mouthful, would curl up and dry retch or regurgitate most of the meal. The child took a long time to eat anything, but chewed every mouthful well.
“All her symptoms became much worse after she had a chest infection some years ago,” her mother contributed.
On examination, Mylene’s bone structure was solid and strong, but her ribs could easily be counted and her arms and legs were thin and stringy. Many doctors had been consulted over the years. Mylene’s stool tests always came back negative. Stools were of normal consistency and quite regular. There had never been a problem with constipation or diarrhoea.
Dozens of blood tests, repeated at intervals over the years, revealed hydrogen breath tests were normal; lactose tests — normal; fructose tests — normal; sucrose tests — normal.
Dairy foods, wheat, eggs, nuts and oranges had been eliminated, even though allergy tests had all come up with a negative result.
Mylene’s favourite foods were celery sticks, freshly podded peas and grated carrot, but liking them made no difference to the effect they had on her digestive system.
When long-term allopathic treatment failed to provide any answers, Mylene’s mother sought advice at pharmacies and healthfood shops. The child was given a number of supplements, including tissue salts to stimulate her appetite, but there was still no improvement. A local chemist suggested a probiotic regime, which the family followed for over two years — with no noticeable change in Mylene’s condition.
There followed a regime of Chinese herbs with an equal lack of success. Finally, Mylene’s mother consulted an acupuncture clinic but, once again, there was no positive breakthrough.
At this point, Mylene was taken to a new doctor. She spent a long day in hospital, stoically undergoing IV treatment and an MRI. Finally, a diagnosis was forthcoming. The MRI had revealed a benign cyst on the brain. (This later proved false). An ophthalmologist was also consulted for comprehensive eye tests.
By this time, Mylene was also losing her short-term memory. She was forgetting people’s names and couldn’t recall any of the day’s activities at school. Teachers noted that her reading and comprehension were deteriorating.
Complementary practitioners often find that the cause of chronic ailments and difficult diagnoses stem from impediments that do not show up on X-rays and scans and which standard blood tests fail to reveal. This proved to be the case with Mylene, who demonstrated the following anomalies:
- A major sensitivity to plasticisers
- A major problem with vitamin D deficiency
- Many mineral and trace element deficiencies, especially calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, copper and boron
- Several vitamin deficiencies, particularly vitamins A and B3
- An essential amino acid deficit (methionine)
- Pancreatic insufficiency
- Adrenal underactivity
- Sub-clinical gluten sensitivity
- Xenobiotic intolerance (synthetic, manmade chemicals, predominantly fat-soluble, which interfere in lipid-dependent biochemical pathways)
- Sensitivity to diesel particulates
The look on the face of Mylene’s mother when she was shown these findings was a study in disbelief, incredulity and dawning hope. Instructions to help Mylene were relatively straightforward:
- Avoidance, to the best of the family’s ability, of all non-thermoset plastics
- Avoidance, as far as possible, of heavy vehicular traffic areas
- Regular and plentiful exercise on wind-swept beaches and in large parks
- Placement of a negative ion generator, air filter and specific living plants in Mylene’s bedroom
- Choline-rich foods, plus a temporary choline supplement, to ensure an adequate source of labile methyl groups and facilitate the transport and metabolism of fats
- Homœopathic hyalophane for meningeal control of mineral metabolism
- Freshly shucked pumpkin seeds — one of the best sources of nutritional growth elements
- A herbal Brain–Gut Axis support formula including Mentha piperita, Zingiber officinalis, Pueraria lobata, Taraxacum officinale, Cynara scolymus, Cnicus benedictus, Achillea millefolium, Jawarish amla, Angelica officinalis, Curcuma, Gentiana, Foeniculum, Althaea, Matricaria chamomilla, Pinellia ternata and Wolfiporia extensa
- Conjugated linoleic acid to promote apoptosis or programmed cell death (cells that die due to apoptosis do so for the benefit of the whole system, targeting damaged or potentially harmful cells)
Important foods included regular serves of sweet potatoes, swede, kohlrabi, parsnips, carrots, lentils, beetroot, pumpkins, lima beans, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, turnips, leeks and fennel bulbs.
One week later, Mylene’s tummy pains were causing her much less stress. Instead of feeling constantly nauseated, she only felt sick two or three times a week. She was enjoying her meals and showing a greater interest in school activities.
By the end of a month, Mylene’s mother reported there had been “a big overall improvement”. Her daughter’s stomach pains had been cured and the incidence of headaches reduced to one out of 10. Life was gradually becoming normal.
Karin Cutter runs a naturopathic clinic in Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia. T: +61 2 6582 4435