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Common chemicals are ruining her health.

COUNTRYSIDE: In the nine years I've enjoyed purchasing COUNTRYSIDE (from bookstores and now, subscription), I've read where people want to get away from chemicals in the food supply, but no explanations as to why, other than it seemed people didn't believe it was a good thing. I've known since I was a child (I am currently 55) that I have a problem with chemicals, but didn't know which ones. My first memorable bad experience was with bubble bath--it had been given as a gift, used once and never again. I can't wear make-up or use store-bought soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc., because they make me itch and make a mess of my skin. I learned to cook-up my own soap more than 10 years ago. The smell of perfume, cigarette smoke, and household cleaning products give me a headache. My hubby is a chemical engineer, and while working in a plastics facility in recent years, could not come into the house wearing styrene on his clothes or work boots. The odor of styrene makes me ill in seconds.

In September 2009 after my husband was laid off, I started having unexplained random swelling in various areas inside my mouth. After several months of treating it like an allergy, with herbs and homeopathic remedies with what seemed like limited success, I decided that maybe I had become allergic to the herbs and homeopathic remedies I'd used for years for my allergies (ragweed, cedar, cats, horses and chrysanthemums). I began eliminating an herb each time the swelling occurred until I was no longer taking any herb or homeopathic remedy.

On Tuesday, February 23, 2010, one side of my tongue began swelling about 5:00 a.m. By 8:00 a.m., the swelling was severe. It was too late to start using the herbs again, since it was difficult to swallow. I had my husband take me to an allergy clinic for medical treatment. Because I'd been tested for the usual allergy suspects (including foods) several times in the past 25 years, I already knew what my allergies were. The doctor informed me that it was the herbs or homeopathic remedy that caused the swelling. (Duh! I'd already figured that one out, but not soon enough.) The doctor treated the problem in the standard way for a severe allergic reaction, injections of epinephrine, prednisone, and Benadryl. He told me that I'd have to figure out for myself what had caused the swelling, and gave me prescriptions for an Epi-pen and prednisone. By the time I'd been home from the clinic one hour, I realized that licking the envelopes for the monthly bills had caused the swelling. (No more touching envelopes without my wearing white gloves and using tape to seal them.) If I happen to touch anything with an adhesive on it, I wash my hands ASAP.

I had paid the doctor $300 for three injections and two pieces of information that were valuable:

1. From time of exposure to the onset of swelling can take days.

2. My treatment for the problem was better than the doctor's.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2010, I returned to the allergy clinic because I had had an adverse reaction to the intramuscular Benadryl they had given me. They were shocked by the localized reaction they had never seen before, and took measurements and pictures of my arm. They should have notified the FDA; whether they did or not, I don't know. I haven't returned to the allergy clinic. The reason for the adverse reaction was due to the preservative used in the liquid Benadryl, i.e., Benzethonium chloride. This preservative is in nearly everything that sets on the shelves of stores, or one of its sister preservatives, sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate. The FDA allows this preservative, actually a poison, to be used at five parts per billion. Switzerland considers it a Class-2 poison. This second trip to the clinic cost me $60 and I found the one piece of information I'd been looking for nearly all my life--my body doesn't like this poison.

Though I was encouraged to obtain a primary care physician, I didn't. I don't believe doctors deal well with chronic problems, and the most one would have done is probably give me a prescription for a pharmaceutical drug, which is just another poison in my book. I believe in giving the body what it needs to take care of itself. I don't believe pharmaceutical drugs do that. Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, a pioneer in amino acid/protein research stated, "If a drug is beneficial in healing, find out how the drug works and you will find that a nutrient can be found to do the same job."

I immediately began the switch to totally organic and do my best to recognize an adhesive when I see it. For a while, whenever the swelling occurred, I reached for blood cleansing herbs and homeopathic allergy remedies, though I knew it was a poison that was causing my problem. Then, I would ponder what I'd come in contact with so I could eliminate yet something else from my life.

When my tongue swelled on September 14, 2010, I couldn't figure out what I'd come in contact with that was different from the organic lifestyle I tried to maintain. I soon realized the only difference was the plastic wrap I'd put around my homemade bread. Could the use of styrene in the plastic recipe be the culprit? I don't know, but now I'm eliminating plastics from touching my food and am switching to glass and stainless steel.

Since the herbs and homeopathic remedy take a while to work and some herbs should be used only for a limited time, I combed through my books again on the morning of September 21st, determined to find a better alternative. I finally came across the information I'd looked for over the past several months. I knew that I should look for antidotes for poisons or toxins. In one book, I found in the index "Chemical Poisoning." The antidote it gave, my hubby and I had used in previous years because it would also eliminate heavy metals. The antidote used for many chemical poisonings is Alpha Lipoic Acid. This supplement is made in the human body in very minute quantities. We had stopped using it when hubby was laid off in September 2009.

I also hit the Internet for information and came across a report on benzoic acid and sodium benzoate by IPCS (International Programme on Chemical Safety) at which stated "benzoates at lower doses can cause non-immunological contact reactions (pseudoallergy) in sensitive persons."

Alpha Lipoic Acid along with the herbs and homeopathic remedy keeps the problem from becoming bad. Since the injection of Benadryl with Benzethonium chloride, I have become super sensitive to any foods containing any amount of benzoates, as well as BHA, BHT, and THBQ.

My husband has been working since May 2010. Now, Alpha Lipoic Acid will always be in our cupboard whether hubby is working or not. It seems ironic that a government that has allowed the food manufactures to wreak havoc on my life, might in the future require me to pay for insurance to cover medical problems that the government has created, while medical doctors would insist that I take more poisons and the insurance would not cover the cost of the natural remedies that actually help.

Good health to all.--Pamela, Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Title Annotation:Country conversation & feedback
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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