I’d like to talk about a concept that has been developing in my mind over the past few months, that I call “the gap”. The gap contains the potentially helpful treatments, often based on scientific literature and capabilities of various healing systems, but not proven in the medical literature by double blind studies or evidence-based studies. Some of these are accessible only by extreme or serendipitous circumstances, such as a particularly skilled acupuncturist, or in the jungles of Brazil. Others are accessible by working via a combination of medically and scientifically based concepts through the perspective of integrative medicine and concepts borrowed from other healing traditions. It may employ energetic or other perspectives, such as Applied Kinesiology, which I use, to corroborate, point out, or refine diagnostic data and choice of treatment.
It has been my experience that people who are guided using methods as above have a good chance of healing skin issues that were otherwise designated as incurable, or as treatable only with medications with potentially life-threatening medications. Those medications or more invasive treatments may be crucial and lifesaving in some instances. But that space of “nowhere to go” when reasonable applications of integrative methods could control the condition, is what I call “The Gap”.
I have been fortunate in my career to have been helping a lot of people who have fallen into “the gap”. I hope that this kind of help, and the support that goes with it, will become a lot more available in terms of capable practitioners, insurance coverage, and available products. Besides safety, correcting underlying conditions to clear skin issues also improves other inflammatory conditions that have led to a multitude of problems often not even mentioned in a detailed medical history.
In the next several blogs, I will discuss this issue of “the gap”, the contributing issues, and what the benefits are of narrowing “the gap”.
“The medical term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis, and while it’s not very common, it can be debilitating. If you have an inkling that you may be suffering from hyperhidrosis, start by looking at the circumstances under which it happens, says Dr. Alan Dattner, MD, a New York-based holistic dermatologist.” (from Schmidt’s Natural’s website)
Got a problem with sweat? Don’t want to get expensive Botox treatment to stop your sweat or use aluminum-based deodorants? I recently talked with Schmidt’s Naturals about sweat. Take a look at the article here.
Essential oils are for example the various kinds of oils that have a strong fragrance in taste that tend to be either cool or hot now essential oils can be very valuable. They have various emotional effects they also are highly antimicrobial in many instances and they can be used even in cases where there are staph infection that are resistant to antibiotics.
They can be used to keep surfaces clean of those, various bacteria and also even to treat infections on the surface of the skin. Some people have even use them internally, they are good for brushing your teeth because they kill the bacteria that are living in between the teeth but there is a down side to essential oils. And that is that you can become allergic to them and develop all sorts of reactions, either locally at the site where you having the problem or elsewhere in the body.
One fellow who I know had a rash on the side of his chest for the longest amount of time and somewhere along the line he figured out that it was being caused by the cinnamon he was eating. And he got away from the cinnamon and that rash went away but sometime down the line he found himself eating some dessert that have cinnamon in it and sure enough he broke out in those same places on the side of his chest.
Now, that doesn’t mean everybody who has a problem with cinnamon or everyone who eats cinnamon is going to have a rash on the chest it could manifest many different places or he may not have a problem at all. Sometimes this comes from just having essential oils over and over and over again not just in your teeth but in your mouth wash and your food and may be in your chewing gum over and over.
So, some people have to get away from essential oils in order to get better, those essential oils I might mention include clove cinnamon and cloves and all those things that have a strong and also a lot of the perfumes. So one of the things you may find you have to do is take a break from essential oils.
Interviewer: So what are some of the common uncommon conditions you treated successfully with Holistic Dermatology?
Dr. Dattner: Well, anything that involves inflammation and most skin disorders do, I have had success. Some people say, “well, did you ever treat this before?” And I say, “no, but I think I can help you.” And they want to know I have treated 100 cases, but the truth is that the methodology when you are dealing with inflammation is really very much the same. So, I had a patient call me with a condition, they had a child with Lymphomatoid Papulosis.
Dr. Dattner: Which when you hear that word Lymphomatoid, you know that there is about 10% that converts to Lymphomas and there is some concern. There are hundreds of lumps all over the body and I wound up hearing the story. I did a few things and made some improvement and then I heard the story again, and actually this was I need to get to see them in person. And then I heard the story more carefully, listed in some information and found out it was by the holidays and [1:02][inaudible] came under the sugar and I changed the diet dramatically, used some supplements, the next phone call, 95% better. They were recommended to go on Methotrexate which is a…. you know….
Interviewer: Yes, sure
Dr. Dattner: Cytotoxic drug for two years.
Interviewer: Wow, you saved that person.
Dr. Dattner: So, I really feel that’s the kind of thing that warms my heart. I can save this poor kid for two years of Methotrexate, she would have spend the rest of her life dealing with this. You can have the possibility of side effects from that.
Here’s a Natural, Functional Medicine Perspective on tiredness…
Are you tired all the time? I think I understand that feeling. Of course, the biggest cause of feeling tired all the time is not getting enough sleep and that can either be because you have trouble sleeping, or because you’ve got too much to do, or you want to do too much. Of course, those are problems that need to be corrected by doing what ever it takes to manage to get more sleep.
Sometimes, even taking catnaps can be very helpful in restoring your energy when you haven’t had enough asleep at night. Because to push straight through really puts a strain on your adrenals and a strain on the rest of your body.
There are other reasons why people are tired all the time and one of them is chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue can be caused by chronic infections, by food allergies and by inflammation going on in your system. It drains your system of its energy because it’s so busy fighting the various targets that it thinks needs to be dealt with. If that’s the case, you really need to take care of improving your digestion, getting the inflammation calmed down and dealing with the underlying causes such as leaky gut and often dealing with the various hormonal issues that have arisen to compensate for the problems that have been going on such as supporting the adrenals or even the thyroid gland. In that way, you can begin to restore yourself and your energy.
I’ve seen people with everything from thyroid disease to just food allergy and inflammatory conditions that lead to tiredness and fatigue all the time, completely change their lives to the point where they just thought before, that tiredness was natural, a natural statement. They were amazed to get the amount of energy that they regained. That can be a really wonderful thing, because it can allow you to live more your life more joyously, so you are not dragging yourself from one place to another.
You can translate that into becoming more productive as well, having more time for you and more time to earn your living. Making the investment, working with somebody who does holistic and integrative medicine could be a big benefit, getting you back to your normal god given energy and back to actually enjoy your day.
Do you often wonder, “Does chocolate cause acne?” The old time physicians used to believe that chocolate was related to acne. Someone came along in the 1960’s and did a study and showed that chocolate did not cause acne. That study was part of Harvard dermatology resident bibliography.
And so the training programs all over the country in the early 70’s taught those residents; taught those dermatologists in training that acne had nothing to do with chocolate. Which was of course a great news for all kids because people love chocolate. The problem is, that acne can be aggravated by chocolate in a significant number of people. And so for a generation or so we used antibiotics to suppress the acne that was being caused by the chocolate. In the past a dozen years or so somebody came along and re-examined that study and showed that, that it was not true. The conclusions were not based on sound data, and that there is some aggravation of acne by chocolate.
Now it could be for several different reasons. It could be from the chocolate, it could be because a lot of chocolate is milk chocolate, and some people react to milk. And it also could be because of the amount of sugar, and also because people who are eating chocolate are eating other sweats with sugar in it. So there are a number of things that tie chocolate eating to acne. So it’s important nowadays for people who have acne to seriously consider removing chocolate from their diet and seeing if that makes a difference.
I remember somebody who came to see with a spot that still hadn’t healed after he had cut himself from shaving about a year and a half before, I took a look at it and it was indeed a skin cancer and had to be removed. His first impression of it, the first time he noticed it was when he cut himself shaving.
Sometimes people think that an accident that happens to their skin was the cause of the problem, and it was only because of the problem and they forget the possibility that something else could be going on and just brought that to their view.
It’s important that if you have something on your skin, and it’s not healing for a long time, you really need to get it checked out by a dermatologist for best natural skincare.
There are a number of conditions that are known as autoimmune conditions. That is you attacking yourself with your own immune system that have very obvious rashes associated. The typical butterfly rash from sun exposure, Lupus is one of the foremost ones.
People who have patchy hair loss, known as alopecia areata also have an autoimmune disorder as do people who have vitiligo. In many of the cases, they have an attack on the pigment cells in their skin. Any type of information can be a kind of an autoimmune disorder. If you have redness or any of the things that I’ve mentioned before, they are possible signs that you have some autoimmune condition.
It’s important to get to the basis of this, not just to try to treat the local area, so that your body stops attacking itself and causing destruction through autoimmune disease.
Let’s talk a little bit about a vegan diet and your skin from a holistic dermatology perspective. Now, a vegan diet has some wonderful aspects to it. First of all it is much more humane and many people like to subscribe to it for that reason. The second this is it avoids a lot of the various kinds of toxins that are present in meat and fish and diary products. These toxins potentially cause trouble for the skin and other parts of the body.
And also it avoids being vegan even milk which an aggravator for acne in a significant percentage of the population. So vegan diet can be a great boom to causing improvements in the health.
On the other side of it, when you go on a vegan diet, you limit tremendously your sources of protein. One way that that causes trouble is that you maybe lacking specific amino acids that are important for making complete protein. And we talked about a concept called the protein efficiency ratio.
So that means that if you are eating a whole variety of amino acids but you are lacking a few of them like, lysine and some amino acids. You are not going to make complete protein and you are not going to keeps the parts that you have assembled. You are going to get rid of those and you have to start all over again. So some diets have small amounts of meat in them that have traditionally being used in places like China, which compliment a mostly vegetarian diet.
So there are problems for some people using just a vegan diet if they are missing particular amino acids. Another problem is that if you have a diet which requires that you avoid gluten or grains you become tremendously limited in what you can eat, and so it’s very hard to get enough protein. And another aspect of a vegan diet that can be real problem is that, there are other things in foods that cause issues according to especially your blood type.
So for example if you have a lot of beans in your diet, you have certain kinds of proteins that come on those beans called lectins. Notice lectins grab onto the sugars on your red blood cells, and in many people also on your other cells. This can cause a reaction to occur inside those cells or punch holes through those cells, causing reactions that are inappropriate.
And they can be inflammatory reactions, so that they can cause leakage through membranes like the gut. So for many people a vegan diet may present an awful lot of challenges in getting enough of the right amino acids and avoiding various things are setting off inflammation. So it requires a lot of extra planning and in some cases a reconsideration of the diet in order to get rid of various diseases.
I want to speak about the condition that is so bothersome and horrendous that some people can’t even go to work and go out and function normally. The spectrum includes mild forms that are just plain disturbing, to other forms that completely make it difficult to want to be part of a society.
Hidradenitis is an accentuation of what acne is, especially occurring under the arms, in the groin area and elsewhere of the body such as below the breast. This condition is called Hidradenitis Suppurativa. I call it acne from hell. Sometimes involves draining lesions that can be as big as a golf ball or even as big as a baseball.
And the lesions may be draining chronically. It’s not fun. Some of the conventional treatment for this involve cutting the entire area out down through the fat. Current treatments for Hidradenitis are some of the new drugs, which poison the dividing white cells. And those are called biologics. For some they are successful ways of treating their acne.
But I fortunately have been able to treat some of these patients in the way that I treat acne. We avoid foods that are causing inflammation. By making a whole variety of changes in the diet and in the digestive tracks, in the hormones using supplements that contribute to the inflammation involved. So here is another inflammatory disorder that can be controlled by changing the underlying conditions for the inflammation. So, working to reduce inflammation is the one of the best cures for hidradenitis.