By Dr. Gene Clerkin
It started in my late 20’s. I thought I had flat feet because walking on hard surfaces, like in the grocery store, would cause them to ache. But as time passed the ache turned into intense pain and swelling. And the intense pain and swelling was no longer confined to my feet. Ankles, knees, wrists, elbow and more. It wasn’t flat feet.
By my mid 30’s I was becoming incapacitated. Every aspect of my life became limited. I began to wonder what I could do with my life if I became bound to a wheelchair.
My labs showed high levels of uric acid, so I was given a diagnosis of gout.
When I inquired with the medical doctor about what I could do, he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know. But offered genetics and diet as potential factors. When I inquired about solutions, he offered a prescription for Allopurinol to be taken for the rest of my life.
I was stubborn and I believed that my body could heal. After all, that’s what my chiropractic philosophy told me. And so, I began a quest to improve my health.
Like many, I began by seeking out natural remedies. I went through cases of cherry juice and Epsom salts. I made herbal salves and cut out foods that were bad for gout. But, no matter what I did, my condition worsened.
I knew there had to be a reason why this happened. But what could it be?
I’d read that there was a correlation between a traumatic childhood and autoimmune disease. I’m pretty sure I’d qualify for this category. So, I explored this avenue, seeking out many healing modalities, therapies, and self-help philosophies. I did a lot of healing but continued to struggle.
And so, I continued to seek out potential reasons why I lost my health. I spent the better part of a decade searching for the answer. I’m not sure I ever found THE reason, but in hindsight, I can see several potential contributing factors.
A stressful childhood with plenty of sugar and crappy food. Nine college years with a steady diet of spaghetti, ramen noodles, mac & cheese, pizza, subs, wings, and beer, coupled with more stress. A history of dental work – root canals, silver amalgam fillings, porcelain crowns and anti-biotic use. A plethora of other toxic exposures from the many jobs I had – like sanding the paint off the bottom of boats. An extremely stressful marriage & divorce along with enough beer to numb the experience.
Finally, a cruise to the Bahamas filled with overindulgences and a tropical sickness that I can only assume was a nasty parasitic infection, pushed me over the edge.
Two weeks later, my left knee swelled up and put me in the bed for a week and a half. Six weeks after that, my right knee swelled up. That began a life of increasingly frequent and more intense painful joint swelling episodes that traveled randomly throughout my body.
I spent much time looking for the magical cure. I never found it. But I did find, that when I began to handle each of the possible stressors, I began to get better. I had to detoxify my body with homeopathy, chelators and infrared sauna. I had to address the underlying stealth pathogens that always accompany inflammation-based issues. I had to repair my digestive system and my organs with a healthy diet and specified supplementation. I had to learn about environmental factors and how to mitigate their harms. I had to release the emotional traumas stored in my body. I had to heal.
Through this process, my episodes became less frequent, less intense, and shorter in duration. Over the years, I have continued the process of seeking out new ways to address, and a greater understanding of how to improve my health.
Approaching the age of 55, my health is continually improving. This year was better than the last, which was better than the year before. I fully expect this coming year to be better than the last. It already is.
For many, there is a major stressor that triggers the onset of a chronic condition. It could be an infection, a toxicity or even an emotional stress. In most cases these final triggers could be considered the last straw that broke the camel’s back. And, while they do need to be addressed, it is the accumulation of stressors over time that is the true culprit. We have found that addressing the full scope of root cause is the most successful strategy for resolving chronic health problems and sustaining optimal health.
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