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Nutrition and Treating P in Sweden
Fighting P with Zinc
Nice to hear about your Swedish background — there are a lot of
Swedish descendants in the U.S., I believe!
First of all, I
want to comment on the large dosages of zinc that you mentioned were
associated with one therapy there. From my own research on the subject I
have learned that daily dosages in excess of 150-200 mgs elemental zinc is
toxic for the human body and will often result in vomiting and diarrhea
just as the other
therapeutic dosages that are used to overcome a zinc deficiency usually
range between 60-120 mgs elemental zinc per day. In order for the body to
absorb this high amount of zinc there also has to be certain minimum
levels of other vitamins, amino acids, enzymes etc. present in the body.
Taking zinc supplements without regard for these other companion
substances is also to be avoided. A
comprehensive supplement program is necessary and should be composed by an
experienced nutritionist /therapist.
You are right
about the nationalized health care system in Sweden, but there it stops!
Traditional psoriasis treatment in Sweden is limited to topicals like
steroids and Dovonex (Daivonex) as well as light therapy and immune
response suppressors. Even mentioning diet and nutrition will make the
Swedish skin doctors shake their heads.
One of the skin
specialists that I used to see conceded that an allergy might contribute
to my psoriasis, but he did not care to go a step further and find out
what I was allergic to in the first place!
analysis that I referred to in my last email [see Backstory, above] was
performed by a lab at The Technical University of Luleĺ in Sweden, and
financed by my private means (approximately $150 US for each test).
As I wrote in my last email, a new test should be taken every fifth
month so that the proper dosage can be used. State subsidized hospitals
normally test blood serum only, which is a simpler and, of course, much
cheaper blood test. Their reference values are set with a very wide range
so that almost every individual falls within the normal scope and
therefore no one ever finds out about their nutritional deficiencies.
health care system is slowly falling apart and is currently undergoing a
financial crisis. In the future we might see our system moving towards the
American way, for better or worse.
there is some established psoriasis research in Sweden. Recently a
professor at the University Sahlgrenska in Göteborg discovered the
chromosome that carries one of the psoriasis genes. He had been working
with Glaxo-Smith but before the breakthrough the company abandoned him
since they did not find the area of skin diseases to promise much
potential profit. The professor was then given support by the Swedish
university and he personally invested in the research.
Finally, he received a patent for his work. For now the story ends
there, but I hope that some other company (AstraZeneca?) will find it
worth while to take up the good work with the professor.
Well, I am not
an expert on the areas connected to psoriasis — immune system,
nutrition, stressors, genetic materials etc. — but let's face it:
Who is? I hope that in
the future we will see enthusiastic graduates and professors dig into
these areas, that they will see the whole picture, make their studies, and
finally that their outcomes will give us flakers the path to healthy skin
and joints — things that so many out there just take for granted!
All the best.
Response: I’m sorry to hear
that the Swedish medical establishment is no more open-minded than the
Americans with regard to nutritional approaches to P treatment; I’m
sorry to hear that the nationalized health care system in Sweden is in
trouble; and I’m alarmed to hear that Sweden may be looking at the American medical
establishment as a model. About
that last ... I hope they don’t take a snapshot of the way things are
done here right now and then try
to copy it. Please assure us
that they are making a prolonged examination of the controversies
that define our medical establishment at this moment, and that they are
analyzing with us ways to make medicine work better for all of us in the future.
Every time I
write like this I get a handful of emails in response telling me I’m a
closet communist or simply belligerently unappreciative of the wonderful
health advantages I enjoy in this country.
of those things.
But let me
front some statistics. I just
emerged from a three month battle with testicular cancer[cancer.htm] and
have taken a moment to assess the bill for this battle.
Here’s the stats:
outpatient orchiectomy (removal of a testicle) I was charged a total of
$10,500 by all the service providers involved.
My insurance paid $4,451 and demanded these providers “write
off” the rest. In other
words, the providers received 42% of what they billed.
For the follow-on radiation therapy, the total bill was $11,667 and
insurance paid $6,269 — 54%. These
percentages are ridiculous. That
they are accepted means the charges were ridiculous.
All of this is of no consequence to me because I paid somewhere
between $10 and $30 for everything. Because I am one of the fortunate insured.
If everybody in the United States were insured we would not care
much about this ridiculous charge/pay dichotomy.
But unfortunately there is a large segment of our population that
is not insured or is inadequately insured.
They face these charges — ridiculous as they may be — without
help. I have had some
experience with inadequate insurance and am well aware that it means the
difference between receiving health care and NOT receiving health care.
Our predicament is an economic class struggle.
(I know that as a U.S. citizen I am not supposed to suggest there
are “classes” within our society.
But there are. Health
care is only one vivid indicator that there are.)
apologize for that little soap box speech, Karin.
I’m sure that as your experts try to salvage your own health care
system they will be attuned to the error of our
The story of
how your doctors have responded to your P sounds not that different from
many of the stories posted at
FlakeHQ. It makes me happy to
know — and to be constantly reminded — that flakers are not as
narrow-minded as some of their doctors.
We know that sometimes what’s not supposed to work, does work.
To a truly gratifying degree, we take charge of our own condition
and, most importantly, we talk to each other.
On that note,
please do stay in touch, Karin.