WHY ARE YOU SICK? FIND OUT WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT1
Dr. Rapp hopes to help everyone in her NOHA audience in some way, including those we love and even those whom we don’t like. She points out that we have polluted our air, food, water, schools, homes, and work places—everywhere. Our bodies have become toxic dump sites, full of chemicals that have been designed to be persistent. What we are doing is absolutely crazy. These chemicals affect:
For the first twenty years of her practice, Dr. Rapp practiced conventional allergy. Then in 1975 she went to a meeting of physicians in environmental medicine, where the doctors said that symptoms could be produced by food and/or chemicals. For the next twenty years she carefully took videos of her patients reactions. At first, she was expecting to prove the environmental doctors wrong. However, she proved herself wrong, there were dramatic reactions from foods and from chemicals, as well as from the expected dust, molds, and pollens.
Dr. Rapp pointed out many simple signs of environmental allergies: circles under the eyes—in children they can be blue, black, or red; the "allergy salute," rubbing upwards the tip of the nose; bright red cheeks and ears in infants. Suspect environmental allergies if you have relatives with hay fever or other allergies.
An individual’s symptoms can be dramatic, including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde mood swings, irritability, depression, including thoughts of suicide. When mood changes occur, Dr. Rapp says, pay attention and think immediately:
What did I eat?
What did I touch?
What did I smell?
Symptoms include headaches, bellyaches, joint pain, extreme fatigue or hyperactivity. Tissues swell and germs invade, causing children often to get earaches and adults lung and sinus problems.
Intestinal symptoms can include a bloated belly, nausea, diarrhea, constipation. The latter symptom often involves milk and dairy—not how much you take but how sensitive you are. To avoid problems, the food needs to be TOTALLY avoided. For example, if coffee is the problem, one cup a week could keep the problems going. Reactions can be instantaneous or be delayed even up to eight days. When checking foods, in a safe environment, eliminating the foods that cause reactions usually results in withdrawal symptoms for the first few days but, after a week, the person usually feels better than they have in years (or, for a child, in their lifetime).
Only 2 percent of our doctors know about environmental illness. We are fortunate in the Chicago area. Fifty years ago the late Dr. Theron G. Randolph, who was a founding member of NOHA’s Professional Advisory Board, discovered the "chemical problem." He treated thousands of patients and trained many of the 2 percent of doctors, who presently know about environmental illness. As Dr. Rapp said, if everyone had listened to him fifty years ago, we would not be in the mess we are in today!
In a question that aroused all of us, Dr. Rapp asked, "What do the alligators in Lake Apopka, the otters in the Columbia River near Portland , Oregon, and the beluga whales in the St. Lawrence Waterway have in common?" The answer is that they all live in water that has been polluted by estrogenic chemicals, which have resulted in penises 1/3 normal size and deformed, with testicles atrophied.
She told us about a study in Germany with female monkeys, who were given tiny amounts of dioxin and who developed endometriosis. How are we exposed? We get dioxin from paper factories, incinerators, and many other industries that use chlorine. In 1934, there were 21 cases of endometriosis in the world, now there are 5 million cases in the United States. Dr. Rapp pointed out that there is dioxin in tampons in the bleach that makes them white. Also, tampons contain asbestos to make women bleed more. There is no justice (only greed for more bottom line profits)! She recommends safe products. She points out the many carcinogens that are in cosmetics and hair dye. The Material Data Safety Sheets can be most deceptive. Most of a product can be listed as "inert," perhaps listed as "solvents." Dr. Rapp points out that many of these so-called "inerts" are know carcinogens. She says with humor that she would look twenty years younger if she dyed her beautiful white hair to look the way it does in the videos, which we saw later.
Fluoride is toxic. Dr. Rapp described a patient, who had been a vivacious, curious child until the age of eight. Then, this delightful child was prescribed fluoride tablets and developed depression, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal complaints, and extreme walking problems. She was taken to many specialists and had been confined as suicidal to a psychiatric hospital. Her mother had often suggested that the fluoride tablets be stopped, because all her problems started when she began taking them. All the doctors said that the fluoride tablets could not cause the problems. When she was ten she came to Dr. Rapp’s office, where they made an allergy extract with the fluoride tablets. She immediately wanted to hide and she put tears on the happy faces that she had been drawing. After successful allergy treatment, she has graduated from college at the head of her class and has won all kinds of awards.
Immunizations can be a major problem for some children. Dr. Rapp knows their importance for building up resistance for many diseases. However, she also recognizes that numerous children, who were normal beforehand have developed autism after inoculations.
We should avoid all plastic and avoid anything wrapped in plastic. The phalates in plastic are endocrine disrupters. Read Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers [reviewed in NOHA NEWS , Spring 1996] and join with others, saying that we will not tolerate the pollution any more.
Many of the chemicals that are used in schools, including pesticides and cleaning products, are known neurotoxins. She emphasized that excellent nutrition can allow a person to be exposed to some of these unavoidable toxins without reacting, whereas a person on junk food and with their compromised immune system, will react immediately.
Dr. Rapp has five criteria that she and we can use for identifying a reaction to being somewhere indoors or outdoors, or to a food or chemical:
She points out that children can think of testing rooms in their school as a detective game and enjoy the writing and drawing, the peak flow meter, taking their pulses, and observing each other. Changes in reading and writing ability can be spectacular. There is an amazing difference in the personalities, art tastes, and color preferences between children reacting from food and/or chemicals, and those who do not. The children who are reacting like to draw knives or guns using red and black colors and have violent and/or suicidal personalities; while the same children, when normal, often like to draw green, blue, and yellow flowers.
Children can become wiggley and hyperactive and have learning problems (after lunch?) She points out that after a classroom party with junk food the children usually become exceedingly difficult—some wildly active, others with miserable tummy aches. She commented that any psychologists in the audience would say the activity is just due to the fun of the party. Then, she describes a party with organic vegetables, where the children would make faces with the vegetables, have lots of fun, and no problems.
Dr. Rapp has observed children reacting with epilepsy to dust, mold, pollen, and to foods and chemicals in the office of NOHA Honorary Member William Rea, MD. Neurologists still say that epilepsy cannot be caused by food. However, Doctors Crayton and Stone of NOHA’s Professional Advisory Board are the senior authors of "Epilepsy Precipitated by Food Sensitivity: Report of a Case with Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Assessment."2 [This article is reviewed in NOHA NEWS, Spring 1986.]
Dr. Rapp can produce violence in her office and turn it off. She or a nurse injects in the arm or puts under the tongue a drop of the particular food, or chemical, etc., which is a problem for that child. Then, they find the proper dilution of the same substance and the reactions completely disappear. Dr. Rapp points out that we do not know just why this system works. However, the neutralizing doses work with her patients and have done so in the practices of many other doctors and for many years.
Total Body Modification (TMB) is a quick, cheap, and easy test for allergies and can often be correct. While standing the patient extends their arm horizontally (as if pointing to the horizon). They try to withstand the downward pressure the testing clinician applies to the arm. The patient is then exposed to the suspected allergen and the pressure test on the horizontal arm is repeated. If the patient is sensitive to the allergen, over half to two-thirds of their resistance to the downward pressure vanishes, and the arm is easily moved down. Dr. Rapp is interested in this and other modalities and wants to set up a medical center in Phoenix, Arizona, where these systems can be scientifically tested. There would be NO huge monetary payoff, as there is from new drugs, which, as we know, get enormous funding now.
In her many years of practice in Buffalo, New York, Dr. Rapp has videoed children, who want to bomb the whole world and many who have bitten and attacked their mother. We saw a video of a little boy, who received one drop of chlorine and immediately became violent, thrashing against the adults. With a neutralizing dose, he was again a beautiful, quiet child. He is now in college and doing very well. Another child received one drop of strawberry and along with his violence he got what Dr. Rapp calls "the demonic look." His mother’s arm is covered with bite marks. With mold, a seven-year-old boy became suicidal. We saw bite marks on his mother and also on his own arm. These children all became normal and happy after they received the correct dilution of their allergen. We saw children who were on Oprah and on Donahue—not just on Dr. Rapp’s tapes. Amanda was injured by dust, mold, and chemicals in her high school. Twenty teachers were diagnosed with cancer. Five died. Amanda’s nipples bled. Four other girls in her class also had to have mammograms. Oprah warned us dramatically about the dangerous chemicals in our schools.
1This article is a summary of the April 10, 2002 NOHA lecture by NOHA Honorary Member Doris J. Rapp, MD, who is board certified in allergy, pediatrics, and environmental medicine. She is the author of a number of best selling books, including, Is This Your Child? Discovering and Treating Unrecognized Allergies and her most recent book, Is This Your Child’s World? How You Can Fix the Schools and Homes That Are Making Your Children Sick.
2Clinical Electroencephalogaphy, 12(4): 192-8, 1981.
Article from NOHA NEWS, Vol. XXVII, No. 3, Summer 2002, pages 1-3.