(Health Secrets Newsletter) An estimated 300,000 people in the U.S. suffer from scleroderma, an autoimmune related disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs. Mainstream medicine attempts to treat the symptoms of scleroderma with immunosuppressant drugs,NSAIDS and corticosteroids, but has no cure and little advice for prevention. However, the world of natural healing has much to offer to help address scleroderma.
Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a widespread chronic connective tissue disease; its name comes from two Greek words: “sclero” meaning hard, and “derma” meaning skin. It is not contagious, infectious, cancerous or malignant. Skin symptoms are the most often ones associated with scleroderma and include:
*Blanching, blueness, or redness of fingers and toes in response to heat and cold
*Hard or thick skin that may be abnormally dark or light
*Shiny hands and forearm
*Small white lumps beneath the skin
*Tight and mask-like facial skin
*Ulcerations on fingertips or toes
Digestive tract symptoms associated with scleroderma include:
*Bloating after meals
*Esophageal reflux or heartburn
Bone and muscle symptoms include: joint pain; numbness and pain in the feet; pain, stiffness, and swelling of fingers and joints; wrist pain. Scleroderma can also result in breath problems such as dry cough, shortness of breath and wheezing and may cause eye problems such as burning eyes, itching, and discharge.
Since scleroderma is considered to be an autoimmune disease, natural immune modulators may provide great help in many instances. Some of the best immune modulators are:
*Oleander extract, available in supplement form, is effective against a wide variety of immune disorders. Though it is a powerful immune stimulator, it is also an immune modulator for such disorders.
*Vitamin D3 is an immune modulator and is essential for optimum health. Most of us do not get nearly enough vitamin D3. A recent study has linked vitamin D deficiency to autoimmune and other diseases.
*Magnesium deficiency has been strongly linked to autoimmune disorders and it is estimated that anywhere from 70 to 95% of us are deficient in this vital mineral.
*Curcumin is a powerful immune modulator which has many health benefits. It is also anti-inflammatory.
*Blackseed Oil (Nigella sativa) is another immune modulator and has been used for health issues for centuries.
A healthy, alkaline oriented diet is essential for helping relieve scleroderma. Apples (or pure unfiltered apple juice) may be particularly helpful. Apples contain pectin as well as malic acid, a substance that appears to ease pain and inflammation.
*Eat plenty of essential fatty acids and omega 3’s.
*Cut back on consumption of whole grain foods.
*Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners and foods containing bleached flour.
*Eat yogurt which contains active yeast cultures.
Toxin removal could make a difference, as toxins likely play a very large role in many autoimmune disorders and other conditions. In addition to cleansing the liver, colon/bowels and kidneys, parsley, chlorella, cilantro, and apple pectin are all good for removing toxins, especially heavy metals. Another item to strongly consider is removal of any amalgam fillings.
Bone and muscle problems can be especially troubling. Joint pain may be relieved with proven items such as a combination of plant derived minerals, colloidal silver, colloidal gold, MSM and GTF chromium. Many people have found black cherry juice very effective for relieving joint pain.
Note: Mainstream steroids/corticosteroids have been associated with increased risk of renal failure in scleroderma patients. Two natural items also warrant concern. Several studies have associated exposure to silica, especially silica dust, with scleroderma. Collagen buildup is a central feature and problem in scleroderma.