11 Sep “Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Gastritis and Colitis”
Health can be Restored When Causes are Identified and Addressed
Paul A. Goldberg, MPH,DC,DACBN,DCBCN
The Goldberg Tener Clinic For Chronic Disease Reversal
The cascade of new disease titles created by both the Conventional and “Alternative” Medical Systems continues to grow as humans struggle to adapt to an increasingly incompatible environment. With each new disease name created comes additional medical specialists, pharmaceuticals and alternative medical treatments, ignoring the causes behind the problems.
When I wrote my Thesis at the University of Texas Graduate School Medical Center forty plus years ago on Rheumatoid and other Autoimmune Disorders, there were about forty autoimmune disorders. Today the number tops 80 and continues to increase. The list of new medical diseases marches on and on. As a business model it performs well… as a way to help patients it leaves much to be desired.
One of the newer titles is “Eosinophilic Esophagitis” and its siblings “Eosinophilic Gastritis” and “Eosinophilic Colitis.” Many receiving these “diagnoses” are children. While the names sounds ominous, breaking them down reveals simply the assignment of titles for the manifestations of symptoms and signs a patient is experiencing, all unrelated to causal factors.
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell prevalent in allergies and parasitical infestations. The Esophagitis, Gastritis or Colitis placed after that designation is to identify the location in which these eosinophils, in large numbers, are congregating. That’s it. Nothing complex about it despite the invasive procedures executed to “diagnose” this scary sounding title.
Typically the patient, often a child, feeling unwell and experiencing allergic and or digestive symptoms, goes to their family physician or pediatrician. This is followed by an appointment with a “specialist” usually an allergist and/or gastroenterologist. Then a mandatory endoscopy (usually the first of many) where an endoscope is inserted down the patient’s throat. Following this invasive procedure, another invasive procedure, a colonoscopy, is likely to follow. Again a lighted scope is inserted, this time up the rectum and directed as far as possible throughout the colon again to assess the amount of inflammation and numbers of eosinophils present. The outcome? If an elevated number of eosinophils are present steroids with their many adverse side effects are administered to suppress the body’s production of white blood cells.
These invasive procedures are repeated as frequently as every four to eight weeks to “monitor” the number of white blood cells and accordingly increase or decrease the amount of prednisone administered. Accompanying the steroids with their many adverse side effects, there are often other drug prescriptions written for antacids and antihistamines. The patient now not only deals with the actual disease, but also the health destroying side effects of the drugs. It is a dismal story where causes are ignored and the body is flooded with toxic pharmaceuticals. Endoscopies become a way of life. Children in particular suffer as the drugs deaden their alertness and affect normal growth patterns by altering immune, endocrine and gastrointestinal function. The child’s life, which should be one of exploration and joy, turns into a nightmare of uncomfortable procedures to assess the amount of health destroying drugs to be prescribed (see video interview above with a patient from our clinic who experienced this all too common scenario). Additional case studies are shown below).
This is a “new disease” in name only. Eosinophilic Esophagitis, gastritis and colitis are new names for increasingly common manifestations. Despite the massive hospitals, white coats and technical medical procedures performed behind closed doors and these manifestations of disease simply represent maladaptive responses.
When the body is bombarded with foreign materials alien to its physiology, inflammation is the normal response. This brings with it an increased number of white blood cells i.e. eosinophils mediated through the immune system. On a basic level this is an allergic response. Indeed individuals labeled with these conditions exhibit allergic type manifestations e.g. runny noses, watery eyes and foggy thinking. As most immune cells are located in our gastrointestinal tract a host of GI symptoms such as indigestion and hyperacidity are common. The hyperacidity and accompanying “GERD” (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) are attempts by the body to neutralize (with additional acid) the increase in foreign materials entering, which the immune system perceives as being hostile. The drugs rather than addressing causal factors, suppress symptoms the body is producing in its attempt to neutralize the causal factors at play. In doing so ongoing illness of the individual is guaranteed as well as complicating their situation. The steroids suppress immune function, disturb blood sugar regulation, create mental instability, and thin the lining of the GI tract making the patient more susceptible to developing allergies and digestive issues. The antacids by limiting hydrochloric acid production needed for the efficient digestion of proteins increase the chances of ongoing allergic responses as the additional undigested proteins set off even more allergic responses (see video: How Ant-Acids Wreck Your Health).
The immune system’s basic function is to discriminate between relatively safe foreign materials, those a bit suspect and those that are dangerous. Under normal environmental and physiological circumstances this is an ongoing challenge for the body but one it can handle. In the modern world, however, the environment and the way people now respond to it has been altered making it more complex and challenging.
Children today are surrounded by a world of foreign substances the body no longer recognizes. The nature of the materials in the air, water and food supply, are now far different than even a mere hundred years ago. Tens of thousands of new chemical compounds confront us daily and the child is not biologically programmed for them. The body reacts by viewing the foreign materials as invaders. Thus eosinophils increase to neutralize the enemy as well. Simultaneously the body increases stomach acid and mucus flow to defend itself with. There are reasons for the symptoms produced.
There are two additional dimensions to the story. Children now spend an inordinate amount of time indoors, playing computer games, on their cell phones disconnecting themselves from the earth. This leads to the development of compromised immune systems. Lacking the proper challenges and microbial exposures required for proper development, the immune system become over-reactive. When confronted with what should be normal exposures to pollens, danders and food materials, the body over-reacts regarding viewing them as dangerous. Dr. Thomas Strachan of The London School of Tropical Medicine described this in his work the “Hygiene Hypothesis” deserving of consideration.
There are other factors to consider. The ingestion of devitalized diets, a lack of outdoor activity and widespread sun deprivation all contribute to a child not developing reasonable vitality. Starting as infants, children increasingly develop allergic problems, asthma, digestive and behavioral disorders. The Medical System responds to this disaster by naming more symptoms, creating more specialists, administering more drugs to suppress symptoms, running more invasive “diagnostic tests” and thereby turning our children into medical junkies. Modern Medicine fosters dependency while simultaneously destroying the opportunity these children have to grow into healthy adults.
The Alternative/Complimentary/Functional Physicians embrace a form of pseudo-medicine where additional mischief is created with an endless barrage of supplements, herbs, potions and therapies are employed to “treat” disease often in addition to pharmaceuticals. We often see parents who have taken their children to a trail of Alternative/Functional Practitioners under the guise of doing something “natural” with disappointing results.
Many patients present with a litany of allergy tests that have ben conducted. Allergy testing, both food and inhalants, can be helpful if performed appropriately by a competent laboratory but allergy testing must be understood in relationship to a host of other factors. It is not a panacea, but rather reflective of the manifestation of disease as opposed to its causes. Allergies change over time. Testing for allergies is sometimes useful as part of an evaluation but as a stand alone test without being accompanied by appropriate clinical epidemiological methods its value is limited. Our goal is not to simply identify allergies but to help the patient become more allergy resistant.
There are also the myriad of diets patients follow as they try to eat their way to health. Diet after popular diet are tried, following the latest fad whether that be“anti-yeast” FodMap, gluten free, “anti-autoimmune diet”, or a myriad of others. Diet factors are important, but diet is but one aspect of nutrition and health. The amount of frustration we hear from patients who have placed their children on one failed diet after another is significant. No canned program will work for all patients. The importance of an individualized comprehensive program is critical and this takes time, effort and skill to develop. Health is not something that can just be downloaded off the Internet.
Each child labeled with these conditions is different and needs to be viewed as an individual, not just as another “eosinophilic esophagitis” case to endure ongoing endoscopies and pharmaceuticals. Each patient needs to be evaluated as to the causal factors at play. This requires time and effort on the part of the practitioner. A thorough case history, physical examination and appropriate laboratory studies looked at in a comprehensive manner is essential.
The child is not the only one requiring attention. Parents can be challenging. They must be educated that there are causes behind the problems and that ongoing drugs or alternative pills and potions are not the answer. As faulty as the medical management of these maladaptive responses is, parents brought up in the medical system can find it difficult to not bow to its authority when their child’s health is on the line. They must also understand that to fall into the trap of “alternative” medicine brings with it the same illusions. Suppressing symptoms with “alternative treatments” even when laced with words like “ natural” and “functional” still leads us down the primrose path.
To build health the causes of the problems must be identified and addressed. Significant lifestyle changes that build health need to be instituted and the right conditions that foster health implemented. When proper investigative procedures are utilized and conditions fostering health are put in place, the patient can emerge from the chrysalis and vitality can be restored. This requires patience, time, effort and a willingness to look for the real while leaving the world of “treatments” in the dustbin. The alternative is to remain subject to ongoing medical procedures, drugs and a myriad of alternative illusions failing to hit the mark.
The Goldberg Tener Clinic BioHygienic System is not about any form of treatment. It is not about any product, potion or pill. It is a process that requires making the effort to identify causes, addressing those causes specifically for each individual and creating the right conditions for health to emerge.
See case examples from the Goldberg Tener Clinic of medically diagnosed “Eosinophilic Esophagitis” below.