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Dr David L.J. Freed MB ChB MD CBiol MIBiol

14 Marston Road, Salford, Manchester, M7 4ER

Appointments:
Telephone/Fax : 0161-795-6225
E-mail: office@salfordallergyclinic.com


 

Overview of AEN Medicine

All medical conditions and symptoms have a cause. The commonest causes are germs, inhaled particles and gases, foods and drinks. Less common causes include physical stress and maldevelopments, psychological stress, radiation, and extremes of heat, light and cold. The whole environment, external and internal, has an impact on health. The various factors may act in combination and are frequently aggravated by poor nutrition.

Up until the 1950's, physicians were much concerned with identifying these causes, and had accumulated a certain amount of skill in dealing with them. In recent years, with the advent of powerful drugs, much of this earlier wisdom has been forgotten and doctors tend to concentrate on controlling the symptoms rather than the causes. Ecological Medicine, on the other hand, continues the earlier tradition and is nowadays powerful and accurate, thanks to new discoveries. Although as a registered medical practitioner I am entitled to prescribe drugs, these days I rarely have to do so.

Conditions that are suited to Ecological Medicine include asthma, allergic skin rashes (if they have been troubling you for a long time), Crohn's Disease, irritable bowel, migraine, tension headache, certain types of arthritis and rheumatism, hay fever, some cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ("ME") and most allergic conditions. Some of my most gratifying patients were those with "weird" symptoms that doctors don’t recognise. They had been diagnosed as depressed, neurotic, hypochondriac or even malingering by various specialists and many had started to doubt their own sanity. If you are one of these "weird" patients, take heart. I can give you the phone numbers of lots of people who used to be as bad as you, and can now hardly remember what it was like to feel ill (unless they "cheat" by eating naughty foods).

My approach is different from that of most doctors. I rely much more heavily on you to keep to the rules - and that usually requires some degree of dietary modification. I can achieve quite a lot by desensitisation (see below), but you must do your part as well. Of course, I cannot guarantee that you will get better - no doctor can - but I will not normally treat you unless I am convinced that you are able and willing to do your part, and that your chances of getting better are good and acceptable to us both.

I may tell you things that you (or your doctors) don't believe. I may well ask you to go on a strange diet that you don't like. None of this matters. You don’t have to believe in it, and you don't have to like it. You just have to do it. And the sooner you are in charge of your own health again, independent of me, the better.

I do not work with faith, mysticism, astral forces or the like. I do not use dubious diagnostic "tests". I use science, and every method I use (with one exception, see below) is approved by the Board of Registration of Ecological Medicine. Allergy practice of this type is not "alternative", but it is new and quite remarkably effective. Some of the techniques I use may be unfamiliar to your doctor; I can send him information on request, together with scientific references. If you want to come to see me please first fill in the Symptom Questionnaire, and bring it along with you to the first consultation. This will take about an hour (see "Referals and Costs" page). I may need to examine you and on rare occasions I may need to order X-rays or blood tests. It is usually helpful if your spouse, a friend or a relative comes along with you, to give advice, chaperonage and general support. If after the initial consultation I think I may be able to help you, I will explain what is required and how much it is all likely to cost.

See the Referals and Costs page

Desensitisation

Desensitisation has come a long way since the old-fashioned hay-fever shots that doctors used to give for pollen allergy. Hardly any doctor in this country uses the old methods now. The modern methods are far safer, quicker, and more effective. Severe allergies usually become moderate allergies, and moderate allergies are usually abolished. I will send details to your doctor on request, as he may not be aware of the new methods.
Legal note: desensitisation utilises medicines rather like vaccines, but different in that their composition varies from patient to patient and from time to time. For that reason they are classified as "unlicensed" (even though, paradoxically, some of them are actually made under Licence!) and no official body takes responsibility for them. This is perfectly legal but because of this quirk in the law, your GP may not wish to get involved. The manufacturers and I are entirely responsible for the purity and safety of the medicines.

Rheumatic Patches

These are painful areas of skin that contribute to the symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia and migraine. They are very common and are not always bad enough to cause symptoms. Patients are often surprised to discover that they have rheumatic patches, and indeed not many doctors know about them either (they are sometimes called "trigger points"). Do not be alarmed if, after examining you, I say you have rheumatic patches. It does not necessarily mean you are going to get arthritis, but it does mean that I might be able to reduce some of your misery fairly quickly. Note: unlike the other methods I use, rheumatic-patch injections do not fall within the area of Ecological Medicine, so they are not approved by the Register of Ecological Physicians. Nevertheless, after many years of experience I am convinced of their value, and using them in combination with allergy methods is very effective for fibromyalgia and several other pain conditions.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
("Myalgic encephalitis, ME")

All allergic conditions can be aggravated by biochemical, toxic, nutritional, emotional and hormonal factors. This is especially true of ME, in which allergy is cometimes a major factor but sometimes minor, and I can’t always tell in advance. In the days when I treated ME using allergy methods only about 65% got better (as against 80% for other conditions). True there were some spectacular successes, but also failures. Clearly, in many cases other causes are operating as well or instead. I now apply the methods of Dr Sarah Myhill, usually together with a qualified nutritionist, with better success. I quote Dr Michael Midgley, a retired GP who himself recovered after years of ME (using my methods as well as others) and who has acquired a great deal of experience with this condition. Dr Midgley has this to say:

"ME is not a disease but a syndrome (a set of symptoms). It is almost always multifactorial, that is, there is no one single cause but many, and usually several are operating simultaneously in any one patient. There is no one magic bullet. Every single case is different from all other cases.

"Nevertheless, there are common factors, and it will be your job to discover them. In most cases there is some malfunction of the immune system, endocrine system and/or nervous system (though widely differing from one sufferer to the next). The immune system includes the gut, spleen, bone marrow, thymus, liver, lymph glands, blood and (perhaps surprisingly) the nervous system. Modern psychoneuroimmunology shows that there is a continuous daily interaction between the mind and the immune system. ME is not all in the mind, but the mind/immune interaction can be upset by pollutants. Vehicle exhaust fumes are pollutants. Food additives are pollutants. Medicinal drugs are pollutants. So too are guilt, anger and fear.

"Many people say there is nothing you can do about ME, but that is the opposite of the truth. In reality there are tens of things, possibly hundreds of things that you can and should do. Many of these may well require input from different specialists, some orthodox, some complementary, and they can guide you but the responsibility is yours".

"Candida"

Candida albicans is the name of a microscopic fungus of the type called a yeast. This germ lives in the bowel in most of us, and usually does no harm. The large bowel contains an average of 100,000,000,000,000 germs, of various types (more bacteria than there are cells in the rest of the body), and C albicans is just one species. Normally these various germs are harmless and some are actively beneficial. Collectively they are known as the “bowel flora” and human excrement is largely composed of this. And that, in health, is all we need to know.

If however the balance of organisms that comprise the gut flora becomes distorted, by malfunction of the immune system, by antibiotics or (most commonly) just by ingesting too much sugar, more dangerous organisms can flourish and may displace the usual residents. This is usually a short-term imbalance but can sometimes become long-term.

Candida albicans, if allowed to multiply beyond normal limits, can be dangerous in its own right and can cause a number of conditions, ranging from the merely unpleasant (thrush), right across the spectrum to the severe (mucocutaneous candidiasis) and even life-threatening (systemic mycosis). Fortunately, nowadays we have several effective drugs that kill fungi including C albicans, besides which several foodstuffs and herbal preparations are thought to be antifungal, though not perhaps as strongly.

In the 1930’s an obscure illness was noted, mainly in women, consisting of abdominal bloating and vague symptoms such as general malaise, headaches, "brain fog", aches and pains and fatigue. It was attributed either to carbohydrate intolerance or psychosomatism, depending on the doctor’s prejudice, and was soon forgotten. More recently the syndrome was rediscovered by the American allergists Truss and Crook, who noted the frequent overlap of symptoms with those of food (mainly carbohydrate) intolerance states. Now armed with modern antifungal drugs, these doctors made the key observation that the illness can often be alleviated by a package of antifungal measures including low-sugar diet, antifungal drugs and "probiotics". These are cultures of living "friendly" bacteria, taken by mouth in the hope that some will reach the large bowel alive and there help restore the balance. From this clinical observation arose the "candida hypothesis", which proposes that once C. albicans multiplies in the bowel beyond a certain stage, it enters a mycelial phase in which fungal extensions (hyphae) burrow between the epithelial cells, making the mucosa excessively permeable ("leaky gut") and thus encouraging food intolerance.

Undoubtedly the "candida hypothesis" as explained in popular paperbacks is over-simple and inaccurate, and I myself was highly sceptical until recent years, when good scientific evidence began to accumulate that there is in fact abnormal fungal growth in the intestine in this syndrome, that it causes abnormal carbohydrate fermentation (which can be detected by laboratory tests), and that at least some probiotics do in fact work. There is indeed an intimate connection with food intolerance states and the two can aggravate each other. In practice I usually make the assumption that all multi-symptomatic patients are probably harbouring an abnormal bowel flora. I use antifungal drugs and/or probiotics in about a third of such patients, but most find that a low-sugar diet is all they need if it is strict enough, and combined if necessary with allergy methods – antifungals do not help much without diet.

Patients with this syndrome have often been told that they have fibromyalgia, ME, chemical sensitivity, hypoglycaemia, leaky gut, pesticide or mercury poisoning, hyperventilation, vitamin/mineral deficiency, hormone imbalance or latent infection (not to mention depression and/or hysteria!). These are not competing diagnoses, they may all be correct at least in part; the different-sounding names are often all describing the same thing but from different points of view, depending on what the therapist focuses on most.

Risk

Some degree of risk is inevitable with any medical treatment and it is the doctor’s task to minimise it and maximise the chances of success. Crossing the road and driving a car both have certain risks, as everyone knows. Getting out of bed has certain risks, and so does staying in bed. This world is a risky, hostile place, not one of us will get out of it alive. Nevertheless, it is my job to assess the benefit/risk ratio of treatment, including the risk of not giving treatment. I will not normally treat you unless I assess the chances of success at about 80%, and the risk at less than 1%. I will be happy to discuss all this with you in detail if you wish,
though most patients prefer not to.

Recommended Reading

The Allergy Bible. Linda Gamlin, Quadrille Publishing, London, 2001. ISBN 1 90275754 8

The Complete Guide to Food Allergy and Intolerance. Brostoff J and Gamlin L. Bloomsbury, London, 1989. ISBN 0 7475 0242 0

Diet-Related Diseases, the Modern Epidemic. Seely S, Freed DLJ, Silverstone G, and Rippere V. Croom Helm, London, 1985, ISBN 0-87055-503-0

Fighting Allergies: Health & Healing the Natural Way, Reader's Digest, London and New York, 1998, ISBN: 0-276-42268-6.

A Life Worth Living: A Practical Guide to Living With ME. Midgley JM, Overton Studios Press, 7, Bevan Ave, Colwyn Bay, LL28 5AD. Dr Midgley's web site is www.ostrust.co.uk and he can be contacted personally at michael@ostrust.co.uk or by phone at 01492 546879. But please ring him only between 8 am and 7 pm, and note, he only sees patients referred by their GP’s.

Mainly for doctors

"Environmental Medicine in Clinical Practice" (1997): Anthony H, Birtwistle S, Eaton K, Maberly J. BSAENM Publications, PO Box 28, Totton, Southampton, S040 2ZA, ISBN: 0-9523397-2-2. Obtainable also from Healthy House (below). NB this book contains useful lists of addresses and suppliers.

"Food Allergy and Intolerance" Brostoff J, Challacombe S (eds), Saunders/Elsevier, London, 2002, ISBN 0702020389.

(re: "candida") Is there an allergic and fermentative gut condition, and does it relate to Candida? Eaton KK. In Brostoff J, Challacombe S (eds) Food Allergy and Intolerance, Saunders/Elsevier, London, 2002, ISBN 0702020389, pp 351-363.

Useful Devices, Clothing and Gadgets for Sufferers

The Healthy House Ltd, the Old Co-op, Lower St, Ruscombe, Stroud, Gloucs GL6 6BU 01453-752216, (catalogue printed on chlorine-free paper).
www.healthy-house.co.uk

Pure Cotton Comfort, PO Box 71, Carnforth, Lancs LA5 9YA. 01524-730093.
www.eczemaclothing.com

Greenfibres, 99 High St, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5PF. 0845-330-3440.
www.greefibres.com

AntiAllergy Products (Listings)
www.AntiAllergyProducts.com

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