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Helen Jones, a 35-year-old nurse, had suffered from sinus problems since childhood. She had also had periodic episodes of gas, bloating, indigestion, and, occasionally, diarrhea. Within the previous five years, Mrs. Jones had experienced increasing fatigue and the need for excessive amounts of sleep. Seven months after moving into a new house, she developed tendonitis of the wrists, soon followed by arthritis of the right shoulder and knee. After giving birth, she developed arthritis of the hands, feet, knees, and shoulders, as well as progressive weakness and muscular cramps in the right calf.

These painful joint and muscle syndromes were accompanied by other withdrawal-type illnesses such as fatigue, irritability, and depression.

In desperation, Mrs. Jones submitted to an operation on her right knee to relieve the pain and crippling inflammation. This procedure brought some temporary relief, but soon her left knee was in just as bad condition as the other had been. By the time she was admitted to the hospital for comprehensive environmental control, her left knee and wrist were swollen, tender, and inflamed, with sharply limited and painful motion. The knee which had been operated upon was still swollen, but no longer inflamed.

When Mrs. Jones fasted and avoided smoking and other suspected environmental factors, such as air pollution and household chemicals, she developed a severe withdrawal-type headache, but her arthritis improved. By the end of five days of fasting, she was able to walk without crutches for the first time in months.

When single foods, known not to have been significantly contaminated with chemical additives, were returned to her diet, reactions occurred to the following:

Corn: 10 minutes, severe arthritic pain

Cane: 15 minutes, pains in knees and hands plus abdominal cramps Apple: 30 minutes, abdominal distress and arthritic pain Lamb: 35 minutes, severe arthritic pain

Orange: 40 minutes, intermittent waves of apprehension and depression

followed by progressively severe arthritic pain

Crape: 40 minutes, increased dizziness and arthritic pain

Egg: 45 minutes, gradual onset of arthritic pain

Wheat: 1 hour, stiffness of knee; accentuated immediately after second

feeding 1 hour later

Pork: 1 hour, gradual onset of fatigue and depression with residual increased

arthritic pain

Rice: 1 hour, slowly increasing joint stiffness, fatigue, and irritability

Lobster tail: 3 hours, lightheadedness with increased stiffness of joints

Beef: 31/2 hours, gradual onset of arthritic swelling and pain

All other commonly eaten foods were tolerated with no flare-ups of her symptoms, but when tomato juice, which had been tolerated in its uncontaminated form, was given to her from a phenol-lined can, she reacted with stiffness of the joints after fifteen minutes, followed by rapidly increasing fatigue, irritability, and depression.

Upon returning home, Mrs. Jones was instructed to use only nonchlorinated water for drinking and cooking, to avoid all incriminated foods, and to rotate the use of chemically less contaminated foods.

She continued to improve steadily at home on this program but experienced mild recurrences of symptoms from massive exposure to plastics. During the past several years, there have been no troublesome arthritic symptoms. At the present time, she is able to eat pork, beef, lobster tail, wheat, egg, cane, and lamb once a week. Accidental breaks in the avoidance of corn sugar (dextrose) have been followed by bouts of irritability and depression but not arthritis. Corn as a cereal has not been tried. Mrs. Jones still finds that it is necessary to eat chemically less contaminated (organic) food to remain free of arthritis pains.

Several features stand out from this case. One can see that over a period of years, Mrs. Jones’ ecologic problems were progressing from minus-one symptoms (sinus problems, indigestion) to minus-two, especially arthritis and fatigue. At the same time, she was already entering a minus-three phase with the development of depression as a result of food susceptibility.

It is also noteworthy how quickly Mrs. Jones reacted to her test foods. For example, she came down with severe arthritic pains only ten minutes after eating corn and fifteen minutes after eating cane sugar. Generally speaking, the more severe a person’s arthritis, the more rapidly he will react to an incriminated food or chemical exposure.

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The same problems encountered in the home are also found in public places, sometimes to a greater degree. Deodorants, disinfectants, pine-scented sweeping compounds, and insect sprays are commonly encountered. How distressing it is, for instance, to enter a public toilet only to find it thoroughly polluted with some pine- or artificial “fruit”-scented deodorant. Acute reactions of patients after such encounters are becoming increasingly common.

Fuel-oil or gas space-heaters are also found more often in small shops, stores, and restaurants than in homes; these can be major causes of chronic reactions in workers and of acute responses in customers. One patient, for instance, tells of going to dinner at a small Italian restaurant. She had to change her seat a number of times because of currents of gas coming from a space heater in the kitchen every time the kitchen door swung open. Even so, she suffered familiar symptoms that evening, a kind of “spaciness” in her brain, followed by headache, which she often experienced after encountering natural gas.

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Home care

Do not attempt to treat an eye injury at home if the child cannot easily open the eye. Place a soft bandage over the eye, and see your doctor promptly.

Do not attempt to treat at home if the child has any of the following symptoms: bleeding from or in the eyeball; differences in the size or color of the pupils; differences in the color or position of the irises; any collapse of the eyeball; or blurring of vision. If any of these symptoms appear, place a soft bandage over the eye, and see your doctor promptly.

Do not attempt to remove a fishhook or any other object that has penetrated the eye. See a doctor immediately.

If a harmful liquid or powder enters the eye (acids, alkalis, caustics, petrol), immediate action is essential. Seconds count! Hold the eye open, and flush it with several pints of cool water. If possible, put your child into a cool shower, clothes and all, and wash out the eye. Then immediately take the child to your doctor for further care.

If none of the above signs is present and you see a speck on the eyeball or under the lid (and the child is cooperative), you may try to remove the speck by gentle strokes with a cotton swab. If the speck does not immediately come off, stop. The object may be embedded. See a doctor.

Precautions

• Be cautious about treating eye injuries yourself.

• Some golf balls explode if they are unwound and can cause eye injuries. Do not let young children play with golf balls, and do not allow anyone to unwind them.

• Beware! Aerosol spray cans and carbon dioxide cartridges explode violently in fires or in extreme heat. Be sure your child knows this.

• Machine sanders, paint removers, and grindstones throw off particles that can injure the eyes. Anyone around these machines should wear protective glasses. Keep children far away from such machines.

Medical treatment

A doctor can easily anaesthetize the eye and examine it internally and externally without pain or damage. Your doctor may stain the eyeball with drops to make small injuries and foreign objects readily visible. Areas inside and outside of the eye can be examined with a special microscope.

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