Dear All, Welcome to September, A time of the year in the UK when we don’t know whether we will be blessed with an Indian summer or just smothered by the cloud cover! Either way I am determined to try and ‘create my own weather’ (she says with sunshine pangs). At such seasonal changes we see various ailments in clinic from the so-called ‘common’ cold, through to asthma and in some, worsening of eczema indicating a lack of the body to adapt to ‘change’ efficiently.
Mentioning eczema, I will dive straight into Finn’s case. Nowadays most eczema cases that I see are usually suppressed cases, in other words whereby the eczema has been ‘pushed’ back into the body and not allowed to ‘heal’. In such cases the eczema can take some time to ‘treat’ from 3 months to 1 year or so. It very much depends on each individual case. ..Let me introduce to a ‘challenging’ case…
Finn a 3.5 year old came with his mother for his eczema. His eczema was very mild and it was on his face. I did not notice it until his mother pointed it out. He was also pretty ‘snotty’. All these symptoms started a year ago when he started nursery at the same time as the birth of his younger sibling which was further complicated by Finn beginning to wetting his bed at night.
His mother wanted a food ‘allergy’ test and a mineral sweat test to address his eczema and his ‘constant cold’. I explained to his mother that spending £175 on a food allergy test and £60 on a sweat test would not ‘treat’ the eczema if anything it will only manage it but the tests can help in devising a nutritional plan for Finn BUT not necessarily in ‘treating’ his eczema. His symptoms all seem to stem from some ‘major changes in his life’ which if addressed can more than likely ‘cure’ his eczema and cold-like symptoms as well as the bed wetting issue.
We sent off for an allergy and sweat test at his mother’s request. At the first session, I recommended various nutritional lifestyle changes as well as switching from tap water to more ‘pure’ water.
I did not prescribe on the emotional aspect that triggered Finn’s eczema as this was not ‘acceptable’ to Finn’s mum at this time. The follow up session was 4 weeks later by which time Finn had seen a dermatologist for his ‘eczema’ and was prescribed steroid cream and he had also just finished a course of antibiotics as he had got a urinary tract infection. He still had a ‘snotty’ nose and the eczema had worsened since the antibiotics were taken and Finn’s mother asked ‘if Finn should take more antibiotics for his skin and cold?’.
I explained the following:
Finn’s tests (food allergy and sweat test) showed no food ‘allergies’ but did show that he was low in zinc. The zinc would help in ‘reducing’ his symptoms but not in curing them
The fact that he is on steroid cream for eczema is ‘suppressing’ the eczema and can later manifest as another symptom in a deeper organ (such as the lungs)
Although the antibiotics ‘cleared up’ the urinary tract infection (suppressed in naturopathic terms), the antibiotics have added further burden to his detox organs and since the skin is a detox organ the eczema has ‘flared up’
The ‘snotty’ cold is more to do with Finn starting nursery and feeling ‘unsure’ which can lower his immunity and makes him more prone to developing colds.
Finn’s mum was more able to accept this ‘theory’ as she saw the impact of the antibiotics. In more not so ‘Politically Correct’ terms…this is what I perceived happened…
At 2.5 year Finn started nursery just 3 weeks before the arrival of his sister. He cried when he was dropped off at nursery, but all children do when they first start…so eventually Finn stopped crying as he got familiar with this change. By then he had the ‘snotty’ cold to date. On the arrival of his sister not only did he get ‘eczema’ within two days he also started to wet his bed. In Chinese medicine the kidney (including urinary tract) is considered to ‘harbour fear’. So as a practitioner, this was indicating that Finn felt vulnerable and maybe even fearful (by the arrival of a new person who is taking away his ‘mother’). The fact that he went onto develop a urinary tract infection just confirmed this.
So at the second session, the mother had decided to stop the ‘steroid cream’ for a while to give the naturopathy a chance to ‘work’. I prescribed a zinc supplement and a homeopathic remedy called pulsatilla. Pulsatilla covers all the above symptoms, from eczema, ‘snotty’ colds as well as ‘vulnerability’. This addressed ALL of Finn’s symptoms. His cold and eczema were ‘cured’ and his bed wetting also stopped, not to mention no more steroid cream.
Finn’s mother considered this ‘cure’ miraculous HOWEVER, I would like to emphasise this is ONLY mind-body medicine which can come across as mircaulous in today’s day and age of Wesetrn medicine. We can not ‘treat’ conditions without addressing the whole person otherwise we are just ‘controlling or managing’ the condition. So why not ‘treat’ the imbalance rather than constantly ‘band-aiding’ (does such a word exist? …hopefully you get the ‘gist’) the symptoms?