Friday, November 13, 2009

Licorice, Adrenal Fatigue and Allergies

I took my son to Dr. Morton Teich last week to ask about his thyroid medication and the chronic rash on face to the right of his mouth. From photos, it looks like it began last February. He had the rash from February to June, when school ended. Then it began two weeks after school started this year. Geri Brewster, our nutritionist, suggested it might be gluten that he is coming into contact with. I also consulted a mainstream dermatologist. I wasn't really impressed by the dermatologist's diagnosis (eczema) or his treatment recommendation (cortisol.) But, so far we haven't really gotten a handle on the cause or the cure.

For some reason, the rash really bothers me. It is a constant reminder that he isn't 100% healthy. It comes and goes depending on what he eats. Everything else is going well and it is the only indication that something is wrong. I know I should be thankful that a small rash is his major symptom, but instead it makes me want answers.

Dr. Teich suggested it might be adrenal fatigue and said we could try some licorice extract. I found this licorice extract online. Researching licorice extract it looks like a wonder drug--only it's herbal. It is good for way too many things for me to list here so I will provide a link to Licorice Root Benefits and Information. Here is what herbs2000 says about licorice:
"Licorice has an anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and antiarthritic effect similar to that of cortisone but without its side effects. This is because of glycyrrhizin which has a structure similar to hormones produced by the adrenal glands."


I have been thinking about adrenal fatigue for a while now ever since a mother of a child mentioned it in the office of the doctor who was doing thyroid testing. Although unrecognized by most mainstream doctors because testing for this condition is difficult, the condition is a major problem for many people. According to James Wilson's adrenalfatigue.org:
"Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a "syndrome", that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level."
According to the adrenal fatigue site's page on allergies:
"When the adrenals are fatigued they are less likely to produce enough cortisol to adequately counteract the inflammatory reactions, allowing allergic symptoms to continue unchecked.* People going through times of adrenal fatigue may notice that they seem to have more allergies or their allergies seem to get worse."


Signs of adrenal fatigue are: tiredness, allergies, arthritis, anxiety, depression and an inability to loose weight. Although my sons allergies are better on thyroid medication, it made sense that his adrenals were shot from the years of stress and inflammation. Dr. Teich based his diagnosis on decades of experience healing patients--not lab result--and recommended my son start with 100 mg of licorice extract and work his way up to 500 mg. Of course, I have started to take licorice extract too. It's not magic, but I feel better. Or it could be the nightly potato I have been eating trying to cure my sugar addiction. As I heard Dr. Hallowell say to a parent who was asking whether unusual behavior might have been a side effect from medication "Anything could be anything." That is what is so tricky about life.

For additional information on how to support the adrenals see Who Else Wants Help For Adrenal Exhaustion? Adrenal Support for Adrenal Stress.

5 comments:

BekahK said...

I would never have thought licorice could be the answer to a problem involving allergies and skin rashes. Sometimes we as parents must step up and find other alternative methods to what doctors claim could be the problem or resolution.

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Anonymous said...

When I got older, I started getting a rash on my cheeks. I always had oily dandruff, and used bizarre things like tar-based shampoos to control it, but hated how they smelled. Well, dermatologist told me it (oily dandruff; seaborheaic dermatitis) migrated to my face now. He prescribed cortisol cream, too. The cream worked, but was prescrip only. Tar shampoo also worked some, but expensive and smelly. One day, I was on a do-it-yourself-for-less kick, and read about people using baking soda to bathe / shower with. On a whim, I tried it. Got in shower, wetted down, rubbed baking soda everywhere. I noticed a bit of burning on my face and scalp where they were red from rash/dandruff. I let it sit for a minute or so, then started rinsing off. Tons of dead skin just started sloughing off my face, scalp and body. It was pretty nasty. But, when I got out of the shower, there was nice, clean, perfect skin left over. Within 2 days of showering with baking soda, my dandruff and facial rash were both gone. My theory is that we use way more soap than the human body has adapted to like. We use soap every day in the shower, shampoos, etc. While it cleans, it can be really harsh, it strips out the oils, and it dries. This would exacerbate during the winter when some folks get even drier skin...which soap just dries out more. This drying just kills off skin layers. It seems that even though I'd rinse well, the over-drying of the soap plus water drying off me would keep drying my skin for an hour after the shower. All this did was create a layer of dead skin. Then, the fresh skin underneath would produce sebum/oil, and natural yeast/bacteria on our skin would get in there and interact with it causing an itchy flair up. By using the baking soda, it broke up the dead skin, but left the good skin underneath with enough oil so it wouldn't continue drying after the shower. I also wonder if some of the ingredients in shampoo and body wash cause irritation. These days, I still use soap in the shower, but only like every 3rd day. I'll do one day where I just rinse with water, but use soap or baking soda on pits and crotch. One day I'll do a wash-rinse-repeat with soap, but I make sure to lather then rinse immediately, that way it's not left on for extended periods to dry things out. IE: while it used to work out ok to lather up, then use the suds from my hair to lather my face and shave, the minute or so with suds on my head drying my scalp out while shaving was too much. So, I do a separate pass with the shaving after I've made sure to rinse all soap out of my hair and off my body. I use baking soda as much as I can if I want to get clean. But, some days you just need a good soapy shower. I use antibacterial liquid hand-soap, b/c you can buy it in bulk, it's cheap, effective, and as a "body wash" type thing, it doesn't cause soap scum in the shower. Actually, what you'll notice is that the baking soda causes your shower environment to become saline, which inhibits mold and mildew from growing. I clean my shower once every week or two, and it looks great. No soap scum, no mildew stains, no weird stuff growing. When I clean it, it's mostly just residual baking soda coming off the walls of the shower. Takes me all of 5 minutes to rinse things down, rub them with a wash cloth and get done. I usually do it before I take a shower one day. Anyways, I had a girlfriend that had psoriasis, and doc had her on cortisol cream, too. I introduced her to baking soda, and it cleared it up

I've also struggled with endocrine issues, and found licorice root worked like a charm. But, I gained weight and had leg cramps while on it. So, be careful of the dosing.

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concernedparent said...

I was a patient of Morton Teich, A clinical ecologist/ environmental
medicine specialist. He uses tinctures of gasoline, urethane, formaldehyde
etc as medicine and diagnosed me with a masked allergy to formaldehyde which
he described as a non-toxic substance. He gave me injections and sublingual
\ tinctures of same. After becoming sick due to treatment I consulted the State
Health Dept. Div. of Medical Misconduct. There investigator told me there head
physician knew Teich and said hes a phony also double blind testing has debunked
these treatments. Through obfuscation and altering of my medical records including
of my own written statements Teich managed to keep his license. He is a good
salesman and very affable which may be be why Mount Sinai let call him call
himself department head for this quackery. He can make total b.s. sound reasonable
which makes him all the more dangerous. P.S. one of the 5 star reviews claims the
state board web site indicates Teich was never under investigation by the State.
Investigations which don't end in conviction are not recorded. Since Teich was not
convicted the record is not public. This is just the kind of deception that Teich
would engage in.

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concernedparent said...

I was a patient of Morton Teich, A clinical ecologist/ environmental
medicine specialist. He uses tinctures of gasoline, urethane, formaldehyde
etc as medicine and diagnosed me with a masked allergy to formaldehyde which
he described as a non-toxic substance. He gave me injections and sublingual
\ tinctures of same. After becoming sick due to treatment I consulted the State
Health Dept. Div. of Medical Misconduct. There investigator told me there head
physician knew Teich and said hes a phony also double blind testing has debunked
these treatments. Through obfuscation and altering of my medical records including
of my own written statements Teich managed to keep his license. He is a good
salesman and very affable which may be be why Mount Sinai let call him call
himself department head for this quackery. He can make total b.s. sound reasonable
which makes him all the more dangerous. P.S. one of the 5 star reviews claims the
state board web site indicates Teich was never under investigation by the State.
Investigations which don't end in conviction are not recorded. Since Teich was not
convicted the record is not public. This is just the kind of deception that Teich
would engage in.

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Anonymous said...

I am also a patient of Dr. Teich's. I have found relief with his help, but symptoms seem to come and go...and come and go. I get weekly allergy shots and my symptoms will occasionally get worse when I skip a week. This previous post is disturbing. Does the original poster have a response to this - or anyone else for that matter?

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