Addressing the cause to allow healing to take place
A client came to see me this week with systemic inflammation – medically diagnosed fibromyalgia and autoimmune conditions were the background. We had come to a well-managed state – no pain, and sleep had returned to a normal cycle. But just before lockdown he was moving some heavy objects and sustained a shoulder injury. He could not tolerate GP-prescribed opiate painkillers as they induced severe stomach and intestinal pain, and his sleep regressed to frequent night-time waking because of the pain.
He had already had Xrays and MRI imaging, & nothing abnormal was found. I referred him to an experienced physio to address the musculoskeletal issues and to continue rubbing in Copaiba, an essential oil excellent for this type of injury.
But what I was most concerned about was the gastrointestinal flare-up, as now foods he had previously tolerated now provoked pain and diarrhoea.
Three of these foods were potatoes, dairy and gluten, which I had previously warned were not helpful for autoimmune conditions. A new one to join these was cashew nuts, which my client was also eating plentifully daily. Cashews, potatoes and grains can be high in lectins, a type of protein found in most plants. Some plants have higher levels of lectins than others. The above named are not the only lectins, but they were the ones that featured most in my client’s diet. Lectins are there to serve as a protective function for plants as they grow, but for some sensitive human gastrointestinal tracts they may provoke irritation. My poor client had had his gut environment challenged by different prescription medications and now it took very little to aggravate the lining. I explained that the plan would be to remove the triggers & then employ a gut healing protocol involving a pre-biotic, a probiotic, a gut repair and mucosal anti-inflammatory, a particular range formulated to resolve stubborn & hard-to-treat cases. My client asked for the supplements before he left. My advice to him was to first remove the triggers, as it makes no sense to dampen down one corner of the fire while pouring petrol on another. Firstly, you will be unlikely to be effective, and secondly, it can be a waste of money. We agreed to meet again and review in another 3 weeks after avoiding the pro-inflammatory foods, when the gut will have started to settle down, and then slowly introduce the healing programme.
My priority is to look after the well-being of the client while looking at the contributing factors that have brought him into my clinic in the first place. This may mean a cautious approach rather than a “Band-Aid” approach.