Autoimmune Polyneuropathy – Sjogrens Disease
A 73 year old woman came to the clinic from Columbia, South America. We had successfully treated her sister's cancer and she was suffering from a neuropathy that could not be clearly diagnosed. The neuropathy felt like a stabbing sensation and had started on both toes. It gradually progressed upward to the legs and then to the waist and eventually up to the mid chest. She occasionally had to drag her legs to walk. Whereas initially it had been sporadic symptoms coming and going, it was now constant and only lying down provided some relief.
The symptoms had started 6 years previously. During that time, she had seen 8 different specialists ranging from rheumatologists to neurologists, and many in between. She had tried different medications, chiropractic, etc. with no benefit. After a shingles episode in which she was hospitalized for a week, the symptoms only progressed to the point where she could not stand up without holding on to things. She was losing her eyesight, had painful watery eyes, and her bowels movements were poor with small amounts of stool passing in little pieces.
The patient's gait was very slow and unsteady and she showed signs of significant inflammation in the blood, along with leaky gut and overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria (SIBO). She tested positive for infections that can lead to neurological autoimmune reactions.
We reviewed the workup done by the other specialists and discovered when all of the labs were compared, that she had an unusual presentation of Sjogrens disease neuropathy that developed after her reaction to the shingles episode and activated the latent autoimmune tendency.
The results showed she had an intolerance to milk (dairy), as well as potatoes when eaten in combination with grain. She would meet with the nutritionist and also start the dietetic portion of a Nutritional Purification program, in order to review the naturopathic autoimmune diet that we prescribed.
Medicinal food concentrates were administered to reduce pain and joint inflammation and to detoxify the liver. Custom medications specific to her case, along with herbal extracts, were delivered to help stimulate her body to clear sub clinical infections associated with the autoimmune reaction. Nutritional supplementation was given to provide fiber and nutrients in order to support organs of elimination, which regulated her bowel movement, and provided immune support.
Naturopathic Treatment Procedures
For her case specifically, 2 forms of treatment were prescribed. Daily Bio-Thermal Therapy® Treatments (4 weekly) over 4 weeks were prescribed to improve detoxification, immune regulation, neurological function, and circulation to the periphery. Acupuncture was also used, in order to target problems in the liver, colon, and legs.
At her 1-month checkup the neuropathy she was significantly better with less painful flares overall. The neurological symptoms that ranged from the chest down to the toes, had begun to recede as she progressed through the month of 12 treatments. It continued receding downward to the abdomen, then to the hips, then at one month only was from the toes to the knees. Her energy level was much better, as well as her sleep. She was still having some mild bladder incontinence, but the urine stream which had previously been weak was now much stronger.
We continued with the treatment plan as she was getting better. She received treatments for one more month and then had to return to Columbia, after having 27 treatments in total. By the time she left, the leg pains were mostly resolved, the neuropathy was only on the feet to the ankles, and the bladder incontinence had resolved. We prescribed a home course of treatment for her in Columbia and it was reported that the neuropathy fully resolved soon after her return. She was still doing well 4 years later.