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Archive for the ‘Allergies’ Category



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How to heat a home according to sound, ecologic principles is a topic beyond the scope of this book (see “Suggested Reading”). However, certain basic guidelines can be given to those responsible for this area of domestic life. First, it is a good idea to have a heating engineer recheck the efficiency and safety of the heating system periodically. This will minimize undetected leaks or breaks in the system and save money, as well as trips to the doctor.

If a chemically susceptible person has a gas-fired heating system, he has to consider changing it, or changing houses, regardless of the immediate cost. The reason is that it is difficult for a susceptible person to remain in anything resembling good health if he is subjected to the fumes of such a system.

An oil-fired heating system may also present a danger, since the fumes of the oil and its combustion products can often make their way into the living quarters of the house. If the oil is accidentally spilled, it is almost impossible ever to remove it, and fumes and odors will continue to contaminate the vicinity of the burner and beyond.

The ideal solution is to remove the heating unit from the house and locate it in a separate area or building of its own, so that only the hot water pipes enter the house. Installing electric heat, with or without solar heat, is another alternative.

For those in apartment houses who have a choice, it is best to live as far from the boiler room as possible. Steam or hot water radiators, on floors other than the ground level, are fairly good ecologically. It is a good idea to clean the radiators periodically and to give them an especially thorough cleaning in the fall before the heat is turned on.




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Francine Phillips was a graduate student who had been periodically depressed and fatigued since high school. Basically intelligent and capable, she often had periods in which she could not perform even simple tasks. She also suffered from obesity.

She herself suspected that “sugar” was the cause of her problem (most people do not differentiate between the various forms of sugar). She believed, as well, that part of her weight problem was caused by fluid retention. She reported feeling swollen after eating a heavy meal. She said that she could gain three or four pounds in a day, but that she could also lose ten pounds on a crash diet. Miss Phillips also suspected that she was allergic to certain kinds of water and reported abdominal bloating whenever she drank tap water.

When she was treated in the Ecology Unit, her depression became worse before it gradually lessened. At the end of the fast period, she felt well. She was then tested on various waters, and she did, in fact, react to several of them, including chlorinated city water.

Her own suspicions about foods were largely correct. She reacted with depression, headache, or fatigue to corn and corn sugar and also to cane sugar, as well as to tea and coffee. She also had lesser reactions to onions, acorn squash, walnuts, lettuce, potatoes, chocolate, and honey.

She also reacted to some foods tolerated in their organic form when she was fed them in their commercial, supermarket form. This was taken as a positive test for chemical susceptibility.

Miss Phillips’ case was not very advanced, and her depression was rated at a minus-three level. With careful control of food intake and avoidance of environmental chemicals, she has been able to lead a happier life and pursue her studies without interruption.




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A food of chemical susceptibility usually starts with an addictive type of response, a “high” reaction. In time, however, this usually gives way to increasing periods of illness or depression. Sooner or later, the “down” phases become predominant, and it becomes more and more difficult for the addict to get any stimulation at all from his addictants.

The onset of this predominantly negative period of withdrawals is usually identified by the patient and all concerned as the “onset of the present illness.” This phase of the disease may be preceded, however, by a prolonged period of hyperactivity or other stimulatory symptoms. Even after the withdrawal reactions have become predominant, the individual may still experience periods of elation and stimulation, although less and less frequently.

The negative states, or withdrawal levels of reaction, cover a wide gamut of human ill health. They span both mental and physical diseases, since in actuality these are not distinct, totally separate entities, but rather parts of the same overall spectrum. Because of the many and varied symptoms involved, patients with such withdrawal reactions are frequently tagged “neurotics” by their physicians. Many physicians lack the theoretical framework within which to understand this disease.

In the following chapters, five common problems associated with food and chemical susceptibility are reviewed: headache, arthritis, fatigue, “brainfag,” and depression. Many other common or rare illnesses, however, can be associated with withdrawal reactions. It might be helpful, therefore, before proceeding with specific cases, to review the kinds of withdrawal reactions frequently seen by a clinical ecologist.