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May-June, 2010

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Mail = "Ed's Capitulation"

This Briefing should simply be titled “Ed’s Capitulation.” Mike B. writes about stress in this update’s Mail and catalyses my confession that I was too hasty to dismiss stress as a trigger in the 1st edition of Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic. Then Jean K. gently but firmly sets me straight on my allergies-&-P argument from last update’s Briefing. She is convincing.

Also in Mail, I’ve hijacked a most interesting post from PsorChat by Christine. In “Charcoal-filtered Drinking Water is Her Trigger” she relates a very compelling story about discovering her P trigger happens to be what some consider a P remedy.


“Pulling it All Together”

Keith White, a retired fellow living in Anchorage, Alaska, ended a post in PsorChat not long ago with a link to his ebook titled Healing Psoriasis Naturally: Pulling It All Together. I followed his tease to his website,, and was a little surprised to find the ebook downloadable with no fee attached. As far as I was concerned, White had already passed my first anti-scam test.

I downloaded the ebook (25 pages of narrative, 33 pages of Appendices) and read it carefully. Twice. I’m reading it for the third time, now.

When I read it the first time I was most interested in what White has accomplished. He’s taken the Pagano diet (well known from Pagano’s book, Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative) and combined it with insights from three other books, one on pH values in your digestive system, another on yeast infections, and a fourth on pre- and probiotics. “Pulling it altogether” in the title of his ebook means combining stuff from these four other books into a plan for treating his psoriasis.

I was so impressed by White’s study – and that’s what it was – that I’ve ordered the three other books, too. I’m really compelled to follow White through his “trail of discovery,” though I’m certain it’s not necessary if all you want is a logically thought out and well-expressed natural alternative to treating your P. You can simply do what White did and see if it works for you.

I hope to be back in late July (next update) with an interview with Keith White. In the meantime, he’s asked me to iterate that Healing Psoriasis: Pulling It All Together remains a work-in-progress. He’s adding new material now.


Sundown on the Biologics for Ed?

There’s another reason why I’ve become so caught up in Keith White’s approach to treating P. After landing in the hospital last month with my fourth serious head infection, doctors are suggesting I consider ending my long tryst with biologic meds.

I started with Enbrel in 2003, moved to Raptiva in 2004, was thwarted in my attempts to try Amevive in 2005, so moved to Humira and have stayed with it, now, for about 5 years. That’s about 7 years with nearly weekly doses of assorted immune suppressants. Between Enbrel and Raptiva I was back on cyclosporine for awhile – an oral systemic that also suppresses immune system function. Also, I used double the normal dose of both Raptiva and Humira. The prescribed dosages weren’t sufficient to clear me and, in the case of Humira, stop the PA.

Everyone who takes biologic drugs that suppress the immune system knows about the increased risk of infection. These warnings are mandated by law. After Raptiva was linked to a fatal brain infection that killed at least three people it was pulled from the market in June, 2008.

But the warnings and the facts suggest these drugs increase the risk of serious infection. They do NOT GUARANTEE serious infection. Thousands of people have been taking the immune suppressing biologics (and other systemic drugs that suppress the immune system) far longer than me — especially among people who take them for rheumatoid arthritis. We can be certain most of them have not been told by their doctors to reconsider their use of biologics because they are getting progressively more severe infections. It’s only some of us, a fraction of a single percentage of us, who have heard their doctors say this.

If — or when — I do stop using Humira I will be primed to try something altogether new. A regimen like the one Keith White describes in Healing Psoriasis: Pulling It All Together, may be the way I go.


New this Update

Have you ever started to itch when you watched someone else scratch? Ever seen a photo of a lesion then grown one exactly like it yourself? If so, you will identify with Sherry Sheehan’s contribution this update. Read Suggestible, or begin at the Sheehan page. -Ed

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