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- Dr. Gloria Gilbere's Articles -
Second Hand Reactions

The Road to Reversing MCS/EI
Is Paved With Good Intestines

By: Dr. Gloria Gilbere
EHN web-posted by permission of Dr. Gilbere

Published in The Townsend Letter for Doctors January 2001

"Disease enters and leaves man as through a door," wrote French philosopher Georges Canguilhem more than half a century ago, illustrating the notion that disease is a distinct "thing" that exists apart from the human body. This view prevails today towards the millions afflicted with the invisible disorders stemming from chemical exposures.

While our ancestors attributed their maladies of unknown origin to demonic possession (evil spirits), we now talk confidently about disease-generating micro-organisms. With multiple chemical sensitivities and environmental illness (MCS/EI), a not so different opinion has emerged among most physicians, families, insurance companies and employers. An opinion that those suffering the symptoms of MCS/EI have some sadistic demon that brings on these "invisible" symptoms, therefore, the illness cannot demand recognition in a traditional world that must have double-blind studies and a scientific name for the illness. The generalizations and varied symptomology makes for a confused patient and healthcare provider.

With MCS/EI, a very different opinion is finally emerging that disease is not a separate entity, but a changed state of the organism, a disturbance of the natural equilibrium or harmony of the body systems. This is not a novel new idea. Since the time of Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, various remedies were prescribed to restore the body's natural balance. Although these two views of disease appear to be incompatible, both are valuable in understanding how to reverse MCS/EI. What is equally important to note is that the insight of the past decade declares all diseases to be both genetic and environmental.

Most individuals that have acquired MCS/EI are looked upon as chronic expostulates. The few physicians and healthcare practitioners specializing in environmental medicine mostly deal with the patients' symptom-care and environmental modifications. What is grossly overlooked is the importance of detoxifying the internal organs of the liver, intestines (large and small) and lymphatic system of toxic substances. Equally as important is the purging of often-repressed emotions of pain, grief, anger and un-resolved traumas the true essence of Wholistic medicine -- the whole person as mind, body, and spirit. Only when detoxification of these organs and emotional issues are addressed, can there be true lasting reversal of symptoms and return to natural equilibrium of the body systems.

As expressed by the late Dr. Hazel Parcells, "Cleanse the body and mind, give it the right building materials, and nature will heal and build."

The most overlooked organ that must be cleansed in order to treat the underlying symptoms of MCS/EI and facilitate reversal of the disorders associated with the resulting maladies, is the large intestine. This organ, of approximately five feet in length is a virtual breeding ground for the toxic substances to which the body is subjected. The digestive system, which includes the large intestine, is a direct connection to all allergies, not just those caused by foods. Proper digestion assists the body in clearing out toxins. When digestion becomes impaired, the body looses its' ability to dispose of foreign substances, and therefore the body's immune system becomes overwhelmed and reactive.

Attention has been focused on the small intestine and the connection to MCS/EI, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, especially as it relates to a disorder called leaky gut syndrome, clinically known as intestinal permeability. This is where the villi (brush borders) of the small intestine are weakened and allow toxic material and food particles to permeate and enter the blood stream. What is not often discussed is the leaking of toxic matter from the walls of the large intestine. It's interesting to note that North Americans have a difficult time discussing the normal bodily function of the large intestine. This is puzzling, to say the least, since celebrities will go on national television and allow the country to view a colonoscopy being performed -- for the sake of early detection and education; politicians do television commercials discussing the latest drug for erectial dysfunction (ED) to show there's yet another drug for symptom-care and to enhance male sexual performance, and we now openly discuss breast and prostate cancer, safe sex and menopause. However, our colon is a subject most are not comfortable discussing. The colon is intimately connected through an elaborate system of veins and venules into the liver, through a portal venous system, and the lymphatic system through the cisterna chyli. The more appropriate name for leaky gut syndrome would be auto-intoxication.

This is the process by which the body literally poisons itself by maintaining a cesspool of decaying toxic matter in the colon. There are trillions of cells associated with the human body ninety percent are bacteria micro-flora microorganisms living in the large intestine. According to a leading expert in nutrition, Dr. Bernard Jensen, "Bacteria in our intestinal tract weigh nearly 3 pounds, and are metabolically active." The toxins released by the decay process circulate into the bloodstream and travel to all parts of the body. Every cell is affected, and because the toxins weaken the entire system, autointoxication and many forms of "incurable diseases" get their start in the colon. Still another source of intestinal poisons is putrefaction of the portion of the protein from food that fails to undergo absorption, caused by an enzyme deficiency.

Intestinal poisoning not manifesting immediate visible effects appear in disorders such as MCS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, lupus, and arthritis, to mention a few. Eventually, the chemicals produced by putrefaction are so poisonous they irritate the delicate lining of the large intestine and destroy the protective barrier keeping out the invading toxins. Damage from the chemical toxins is so destructive that the colon walls become leaky and allow penetration through the damaged barrier into the lymphatic and circulatory systems, especially through the hepatic portal vein. The lymph nodes acting as filtering stations, detect foreign and potentially harmful substances in the lymph fluid. The lymph nodes act like spongy filter sacks, and are part of the lymph system. Lymphatic fluid in an adult equals one to two quarts, and accounts for 1% to 3% of body weight. This is basically the body's secondary circulation system, and thus toxic substances are circulated throughout the system directly through the lymph ducts and nodes connected to the small and large intestines. Lymph vessels are located throughout the body and are more numerous than blood vessels. The Lymphatic system, four times larger than the blood system, provides the means for each individual cell to get rid of waste. Lymph handles only cell wastes, however, when the blood is also dumping waste toxins from the intestinal tract, into the lymph system via the liver, the lymph becomes overworked and its filtering/neutralizing function is decreased. This buildup of toxic lymph fluid is what contributes to the inflammation and pain in soft and connective tissue disorders as in fibromyalgia and myofacial pain syndromes.

When the body becomes overwhelmed with toxins it can't handle it becomes a raging fire on a path of self-destruction. The body then views any additional chemical exposures as enemies, and thus the birth of allergic reactions. This is not to imply that chemical allergens are not the smoking gun of allergic reactions; only that in order to reverse their effects once the trigger is pulled and the wound inflicted, the body's detoxification pathways must be cleansed and supported.

Colon hydrotherapy, along with specialized blends of herbal colon cleansing products, is the best way to detoxify accumulated toxic substances and facilitate repair of the immune system. Properly administered, colon hydrotherapy is not addictive but therapeutic; it encourages the restoration of the colon's natural function by strengthening peristalsis. With colon hydrotherapy, the entire large intestine is cleansed and the therapeutic benefits are much greater than those achieved with an enema. Enema cleansing is effective in the rectum area and, due to the body's natural desire to expel, is limited in duration. During typical colon hydrotherapy sessions, about twenty-five to thirty-five gallons of water are transported into and out of the colon. Just one professional therapy session could equal twenty or thirty regular bowel movements its no wonder the body becomes reactive to everything.

This system of cleansing must be monitored by a health care professional and continued for a significant amount of time, until the body can repair and become less reactive.

Aiming for the exact cause of MCS is like "shooting rubber bands at the moon". The causes are many a single toxic exposure, accumulated exposures, health depleting dietary habits, or toxic emotions. Repair starts with removing the offending allergens, cleaning the body's elimination system, repairing the entire digestive tract and cleansing toxic emotions, Naturally.

(30) The above article is excerpted from the book by Dr. Gloria Gilbere, "I was Poisoned by my Body" (Lucky Press, Ohio 2001).

# # #

This article is for the purpose of education and to provide support to the millions afflicted with allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities. To share your stories of challenges, solutions and living with these disorders, please mail to: MCS Stories, P.O. Box 3220, Bonners Ferry, ID USA 83805 or email:

Gloria Gilbere, N.D.,D.A.Hom.,Ph.D. is an internationally respected expert in EcoErgonomics, environmental health consultant, natural health practitioner, research writer, advocate for toxic free living and the chemically injured. She is author of I was Poisoned by my body (Lucky Press, 2000). Dr. Gilbere is Director of the Naturopathic Health & Research Center, Bonners Ferry, ID.

Gloria Gilbere,N.D.,D.A.Hom.,Ph.D.
Director, Naturopathic Health & Research Center
P.O. Box 3220, 7098 Ash Street
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805-3220 USA
Ph: (208) 267-5417
Fax:(208) 267-0617
web page:

I was Poisoned by my

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