Archives for 2012

Deodorant that Rocks!

This year, I bought most of my Christmas shopping online. We made humungous fragrance free gift baskets for every person we know who we’d ever want to come into our home. Cause, let’s face it: if they’re not FF, they can’t come in. (And we’ve been missing people. A lot.) My daughter found some deodorants while doing the weekly shopping at Lamana (an independent Grocery store) that we added to the baskets at the last minute; so, because we had already ordered fragrance free deodorants online (here), most people now have a choice of deodorants to wear when visiting us! (For some people (who use a lot of fragrance/haispray in their ordinary lives, we keep a change of clothes here for them. That way, they can ‘be’ fragrance free. Until, I can get better, this is something we may need to do more of.)

These are based on the same recipe that’s in all the Crystal deodorants, but they are packaged so that they come in a metal spray can that squirts, not sprays. I’d say these are marketed at teenagers, men, and women who are in the ‘cool’ crowd, because they look that way–cool. Well, in a Lynx-spray-can kind of way (not that Lynx is cool, but Unilever do a great job at marketing/hoodwinking it to be that way), so it’s great to see the companies, who are actually the good guys, catching up–because their products actually ARE COOL ( Well, at least, they are not causing the wearer of the product to infringe on other people’s right to breath, forcing those they come in contact with to breathe chemical laden air, and to get sick from fragrance ingredients dispersed in a solvent and petrochemical based hydrocarbon formula; and at most, they are not gassing young boys in their own bathrooms!), so it’s great to see some clever marketing in this area.

At first glance, you would not think these are fragrance free deodorants, at all:

 

Photo 24-12-12 10 49 31 PM

 

So I guess I haven’t done such a bad job at getting my teenager to read labels after all. I’m quite chuffed and proud actually.

But I’m supper proud of this company for going this way with the marketing, not sure if they intended this pun though:

“Natural. Feel fresh all day – even after strenuous activity. Give your commercial body sprays the ax.”

You see, overseas from Australia, ‘Lynx’ is marketed as ‘Axe’ by the same company, Unilever. (And for those who don’t know, Unilever are not only pushing fragrance chemicals to the masses, but using smarmy, sleazy, sexist, bordering on misogynistic, tactics that stink just as much as their ethics do, to get them to buy these toxic fragrance chemicals. Evil much?)

If you click on this here link, you’ll see the Lynx packaging (actually, I just changed my mind, after being excluded from classes this year (because of companies like this one) I can’t share my New Years cheer with them, so you’ll just have to imagine what a can of Lynx looks like); and if you click on this here link, you’ll see the Crystal Rock Packaging. Cause Crystal Rock Rocks!

More information: crystal rock natural deodorant spray for men – 24 hour protection – unscented (unisex no fragrance) 118ml. Ingredients: Aqua/eau/water, caprylyl-capryl glucoside, potassium alum, fragrance/parfum*, sodium bicarbonate, benzoic acid, zinc gluconate.

*The Unscented version (as shown above) does not contain the fragrance/parfum, which is listed on the ingredients of the unscented version found online. I know this, because I bought it. But you would not know it from searching online. It’s a bit stupid for companies not to list the fragrance free/unscented version without the fragrance/parfum in the ingredients listing: it’s not like it’s just a personal choice, for some people; it can be very serious whether the product contains that particular collection of ingredients or not.

Hopefully, you, or someone you know, can find this in your local supermarket. If not, it’s available online from places like here

There are a whole heap of fragrance free, although not necessarily unscented versions, available in Australia, here and here

In the US, the Rock Unscented version, and the others are available here

 

More Links for Deodorants 

Crystal Rock in the US

Refreshingly Free in the US

More Natural Deodorants, from Vrindavan Body Care in Austalia

Miessence Aroma Free (and other naturally scented) deodorants

Any company who’d like to become a Retailers or Distributors can find out more here

More Articles

In the US: Ron and Lisa: The Healthy Home Team: Deodorant: Ingredients to choose and ingredients to loose

Elizabeth Rose: Natural Beauty Guide: Natural and Eco-friendly

Natural Life Magazine: Spraying Yourself with Toxic Chemicals is Not Sexy

In Norway: Annelie Molin: Body spray – Lynx – Axe – Blacklisted

In Australia: The Allergy Whisperer: Scents and Smells

More in Australia: Sara Wilson: Part I Toxin Free Products

And Australia: Sarah Wilson: Part II Toxin Free Products

In the US: Campaign for Safer Cosmetics

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Smell the Roses

 

Love and desire: Aphrodite
    Fumes emitted from the human race
Breathe the scent of fragrances’ toxicity
    False rose petals; bottles, pretty as lace

 ~

Fumes emitted from the human race
    People: walking sources of pollution
False rose petals; bottles, pretty as lace
    All just a part of evolution?

 ~

People: walking sources of pollution
    causing one in fifty a headache:
All just a part of evolution?
    2-methyl-4-phenyl-2-butyl acetate

 ~

causing one in fifty a headache:
    Breathe the scent of fragrances’ toxicity
2-methyl-4-phenyl-2-butyl acetate
    Love and desire: Aphrodite

 ~

 

© Michellina van Loder, 2012

 

 

TOXIC FRAGRANCE BOTTLE


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Healing the Gut

All disease begins in the gut. ~ Hippocrates

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If that is true, then I’m on my way to a cure… Recently, I underwent testing with Doctor of Environmental Medicine, Professor Rob Allen, at the NIIM Wellness Clinic, Hawthorn East, Victoria, Australia. The Professor is a lovely older man, who is quite serious in nature, yet surprisingly humorous, which makes visiting him always a pleasure. (A doctor with a cheerful bedside manner is always a plus when you feel like putting yourself out in the back paddock to die off.) The last time I saw him, before my most recent visit as of October 2012, was at the end of 2009, and I’d had such a great improvement, I thought he’d be surprised, but at the time he just said that was to be expected.
This doctor agreed with the ‘practice of avoiding chemicals’, which is recommended by my other specialist, Immunologist, Dr Colin Little (and most other experts who treat this condition), but he also told me his theory of how, perhaps, some exposure to chemicals would actually be helpful by building up my immunity, and that complete 100% avoidance may be harmful as then my body wouldn’t be able to build up any resistance to fighting off reactions (meaning that complete isolation could actually be very bad for me in the extended future). (It’s just a theory, people.) At the time though, it was like a green light because, just like most people, I like going places—even with a mask, I don’t care (mostly), I like to get things done.
Now, fast-forward to October 2012, when I last saw him, and he was Professor-raising-old-spidery-grey-eyebrows-at-me surprised that I’m now much worse than ever. (Most of my readers know that I never had problems with foods; it was just ‘inhalant allergies’ to chemicals.) He asked me what happened, so I told him, this and that and rattled on for a bit; and you know what he said? I should have stayed living on the organic farm out at Mt Macedon! Well, I knew that already, but now it’s clearer what it is I have to do to help myself get better: Find a Time Machine! Seriously though: After picking myself up off the floor of My Impending Doom, I have this amazing plan for the future, but that’s another post coming up. So, back up now, back to Professor Allen (and his raised eyebrows):

These are the tests that the Thorough Old Fox ordered:

  • Functional Liver Detoxification profile (post coming up about this soon);
  • blood tests for vitamin levels: my vitamin D came back at 29 nmol/L, which is under what it should be (50 nmol/L is ideal);
  • allergy blood tests for mould mix, house dust and grass mix. Surprisingly, well, for the mould at least, these came up negative. Professor Allen said: “All that means is it’s a different kind of ‘allergy’, not the conventional type.” (Any perspectives on this will be appreciated, if you could pop them in the comments below. When it rains, or gets damp and cold, I know I get mould effected, in that my sinuses, face and head aches and pulsates with pain, and I would love to know of a blood test/scan that can show what this is. Note: I have had the sublingual-drops type of testing (with Dr Colin Little), where they make you sick by provoking a physical reaction to Cladosporium, and Aspergillus moulds, and then give you drops to take home);
  • And, finally, the CSAD level 1 test.
I was given two kits to take home, these included a Complete Digestive Stool Analysis – (CDSA) (and the Liver Function Profile). I’ll spare my readers the collection details of this test–except: it’s a shit of a process better left to emanate in the silence of the tail end of days gone past, behind this post. Okay, Poohy jokes aside… This is what the kit looks like:
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The test cost about $120 and it took about half an hour to complete: unwrapping it, filling out the forms (such detail!) and doing the biz. Funnily enough, I then had to give it to a delivery man who came knocking on my door a couple of hours later; kindly, Healthscope Laboratories organised for him to come pick it up. It’s a strange feeling handing over a box of my own poo to a delivery guy, I can tell you. Okay, in my usual practice of over sharing information, now for some important facts about this kit from the Healthscope website:

Complete Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA)

The Complete Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) is a functional test that provides an overview of the components of digestion, absorption, intestinal function and microbial flora, as well as identifying pathogenic bacteria, parasites and yeasts.

The CDSA is a non-invasive test providing invaluable information for the patient and practitioner in terms of understanding the role of poor digestive function in disease states.

Poor digestive function and imbalanced gut flora may play a crucial role in the underlying cause of a number of health conditions. Symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating, abdominal discomfort and bad breath are all indicative of poor gut function.

There are 5 different CDSA Level tests, click here, on the Download Different CDSA Levels link, if you’d like a rundown on all of them.

Digestive analysis and gut bacterium have been discussed extensively in the media lately. And I’ve been paying great attention due to the fact that so many foods are causing problems for me. At first I thought it was food allergies (don’t we always blame an allergy when something effects us?) but as the list of foods expanded, I realised my system was having a bit of a tanti. Now, after the results of this test, I’m thinking the whole system is having one-hell-of-a-massive meltdown, and I’d better find out what my body needs and damn well give it exactly that, cause it’s holding me hostage in here! I’m not kidding.
You could say, apples and vegetables are my best friends, and organic apples are now out of season, which is making life difficult (hey, there’s still chocolate!) but if I don’t eat mostly apples and veggies, my food won’t digest properly. And if eat the wrong foods (any junk food, pizza, toast, biscuits, too much meat), I get awful indigestion to the point where I nearly throw up in my mouth. And during extended chemical exposures (like in the car or a room where there is a lot of fragrance in the air) this is intensified and horridly uncomfortable [think vomit in your mouth, while wearing a mask over your face?!]; whereas, if I eat only apples or vegetables before an exposure, this doesn’t happen at all.
I’m also subsisting on chicken from this recipe. (It’s amazing.) My freezer is stock full of little meal size sandwich bags of the stuff. It’s cooked with the bones (As an aside to telling you about my cooking with chicken bones: In Mythology this year, we learnt about tribes who ate the whole animal because that’s like, way more respectful. And being an intensely passionate animal lover, I can relate to that. [my dog runs off.]; also cooking with the bones is supposed to facilitate healing the gut. So it’s yummy and good for me.)
My CDSA came back with 3 out of 4 of the good bacteria missing: Escherichia coli (0), Strep/Enterococci (0),  Lactobacalli (0)! (The exclamation mark means this is a good thing because finally, there is something effecting me that is within my control. I hope.) The last good guy, Bifidobacterium sp, came in at a (3)! Yay for Bifi! These ranges are expected to be 2-4 +.
Anyway, the good ol’, always ready-to-help-one-of-his-patients (at a price) Professor has given me Mutaflor, which I’m struggling with (the price and the Mutaflor). First, I left it out of the fridge for the last few weeks where I wasn’t thinking straight (My Mutoflor arrived from FXMeds, New Zealand without any information about keeping in the fridge. Two weeks later, I’ve found this instruction leaflet online. (So, there’s a link in case someone else needs it.), and I’m not sure if it’s gone off, or my system doesn’t like it (or both). It’s given me nausea and indigestion. As I said, if I don’t eat solely from fruit, veggies and chicken, indigestion is my constant companion, so I need to test further with the Mutaflor but going by the nausea, it’s a heads up that makes me hesitate. (I’ve found an interesting article on indigestion, which supports the ideas behind the paleo way of eating here. I’m eating paleo mostly, although I don’t think 3-4 apples a day is very paleo; but, I can actually visualise our ancestors doing that! It was probably akin to, like, a Mars Bar or something. (Oh, and I asked one of the Healthy Bloggers that I follow, about this very topic, and I got this reply. Nice! Thanking you, kindly, Life with Elizabeth Rose.))
The good doctor also gave me a probiotic called BioCeuticals Ultrabiotic 45 (which I’ve kept in the fridge because it said to do that on the jar), and I’m fine with it. This is the first time I’ve ever taken a probiotic, and if it’s true that the gut has 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body (which actually makes us more bacterial than human!), then, from what I’ve been reading, the probiotic is supposed to facilitate the multiplication of good bacteria, which in turn, should outnumber the bad guys, and create a healthy gut environment!  (So, Bang, Bang, you guys; you’re gonna be outnumbered and die!) My General Practitioner gave me Lamisal for a toenail fungal infection two years ago [over-share much?]; it was only one course but from what I’ve read on another blogger friend’s blog allergictolifemybattle, this could affect the good guys. Plus, recent studies have shown that antibiotic use causes a profound and rapid loss of diversity and a shift in the composition of the gut flora. However, I did go to Thailand in 2010, so I could have caught a travel bug while over there, which could have depleted these good guys too, which leads me to this next tunnel in the Labyrinth:
This: The other thing that Professor Allen prescribed for me is Paracea Forte, which I’ve been okay with too. The pathologist found Blastocystis hominid (a bad bug), hence the need for Paracea. (Some research suggests that its normal to have these parasites; however, other research suggests that it’s really bad. Me, I’ll metaphorically, and physically swallow anything in the hope that I’ll get better. There is also the suggestion that these bugs can make people crave sugar. If the shoe fits… ) The Kinesiologist I was seeing last year had me on this too, and the funny thing is, he didn’t order any tests, just pushed on the resistance of my arm, and said: “Yep, you have a bug!” I will post about this treatment another time, as I’ve been asked about it in comments; and ever since I’ve been so chemically-sensitive-like-retarded (Hey, I can say that about myself!), people keep saying to me: “Have you seen a Kinesiologist? I think you should see a Kinesiologist.”  So, yeh! I’ve seen one, and he was all right, didn’t cure me though. And cost a lot…
There is a whole bunch of other stuff I’m taking but I’ll share that in the ‘Healing the Liver’ post, coming up. But the other thing I’ll share that I’m taking, relating to my gut health issue, is a digestive enzyme called Biogest. Earlier this year (Jan 2012), when the digestion issues began to take control of my life, I met someone online who suggested I take Ox bile. (Yes, I took medical advice from a stranger on the internet. Doesn’t everyone?) You see, I posted my symptoms on an online forum called ei-resource (the ‘e.i’ stands for Environmental illness), and someone with similar symptoms said my immune system is down due to the mould exposure, and this would have affected my gut lining. He said I should try fermented foods, Kefir, Komucha, stomach enzymes, vitamin B12, and raw bee’s honey. I tried it all, of course. Who wouldn’t? Sometimes I feel like I can’t live like this you know? But really, of course I can, because if I look at it like this: my body must be sending me a message that I’d better heed, yes?  So I ordered the B-12, and Ox-bile from I-herb, and found them to work. I told Professor Allen about these and he said to keep taking them too. So, to stranger: thank you. You’re advice was right on for the healthy harvest. But, these last few weeks, since I’ve been taking the Probiotic 45, the Biogest has made my stomach hurt so I’m giving them a rest for now. (I haven’t tried the Kefir, but would love to know if it’s been of help to anyone else who has symptoms from moulds and chemicals! The Komucha I tried but it was with sugar, and I’m not good with much sugar right now too.)
I’ve found that when prescribed new medications and supplements, that it’s best to start each one by itself, that way I know what I’m okay with. Ideally, I should be able to take the Biogest, Probiotic 45, Mutaflor and the Paracea and be fine with them but as that’s not the case, I’ll keep mixing and matching until I get it right. I’ll be interested to know if anyone has any thing to add about Mutaflor.
Somewhere else where I always find useful information is over at Kathryn Treat’s, allergictolifemybattle blog, and I’ve been amazed at the similarities. This is a person who has trail blazed through it all and come out the other side! Kathryn posted a link to Wikipedia and Mutaflor, where I found this:

“In 1936, after the long term and intensive stress of being Chancellor and Führer of Germany, Adolf Hitler became sick with gastrointestinal cramps. Dr. Theo Morel gave Hitler capsules of Mutaflor, which contained ‘bacteria cultured from the faeces of a Bulgarian peasant,’ and Hitler, for a time, felt better.”

Which I posted on her blog because it was interesting in a what-a-weird-history-fact!/oh-my-god-am-I-really-taking-this-freaky-stuff? kind of way: But being a good researcher (hey, I passed the Writer Research module at Victoria University (VU!), and before reposting it here, I re-checked my facts with the intent to follow Wikipedia’s links and find their sources. And you know what? It has mysteriously disappeared, which means, perhaps, because they took it down, it wasn’t factually true?! But I’m sure this absurd fact still resides on the internet everywhere. I knew it was one of those history facts that was so bizarre there was no way it could be for real. So here, from Mutaflor Australia, are some more reliable facts about it:

Mutaflor ® capsules contain as the active substance the defined non-pathogenic strain Escherichia coli strain Nisssle 1917. Probiotics are defined as live non-pathogenic micro-organisms that, when ingested in adequate numbers, exert a beneficial effect on the health of the host.

The Mutaflor ® strain had its origins in 1917, isolated by Professor Alfred Nissle during the First World War from the faeces of a particular soldier who, “in contrast to the large majority of his comarades, had suffered neither from dysentery nor from any other intestinal diseases” The strain, Escherichia coli strain Nissle 1917, designated DSM 6601 in the German Collection for Microorganisms in Brauschweig is arguably one of the most examined and therapeutically relevant bacterial strains worldwide.

The therapeutic effects of Mutaflor® are strain specific and have been demonstrated by in-vitro and in-vivo experiments and clinical studies.

And according to a different manufacturer’s site, Mutaflor contains:
  • E. coli strain Nissle 1917 (2.5–25 x 109 viable cells (CFU))
  • Talc
  • Methacrylic acid-methyl methacrylate copolymer (1:1)
  • Macrogol
  • Dibuytl phthalate
  • Glycerol
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Iron (III) hydroxide oxide monohydrate
  • Gelatin
  • Beeswax (yellow)
  • Carnauba wax
  • Shellac
  • Purified water

The first time, I had this nose-bleeding-frustrating illness, I didn’t have food allergies or intolerances, only sensitivities to chemicals. Most people who I’ve met with chemical sensitivities have stacks of problems with foods. For me, in 2005, there were some early symptoms with tomatoes and potatoes but these disappeared as I got better. As did symptoms (face rashes and upper respiratory (eyes, and nose) breathing problems) related to eating foods (dates, fruits, nuts, seeds) that were even slightly mould affected–they came and they went. The only ‘real’ food allergy is one, with eggs, that I’ve had since I was a child. (And from a Paleo perspective that’s pretty horrid because they’re in so many recipes.) So, going by all this, if I look at it all as one Big Stupid Experiment: thrashing myself with chemical exposures while sensitive to chemicals can cause food intolerances. I mean, the symptoms, and the exposures have been relentless, it hasn’t stopped and it’s been 18 months now, culminating in my body’s tantrum chucking over foods (I know it can work the other way for some people too.) Whether this is via good bugs missing or bad bugs stripping them from the gut, or via some other biochemical process taking place in the body, it’s not clear, but it does suggest the problem can be fixed. And that’s the bright side!

I’ll be retesting in February 2013, so I’ll see how all these treatments work and re-post then.

(Oh, next I’m going to try Kefir. And I’ll let you all know how that goes!)

Three questions for you:

Do you have any tricks for healing the gut?

Do you have a theory on why food allergies/intolerances attach themselves to people who have allergies/sensitivities to chemicals?

And, this is what I’d really like to know: how can some people develop chemical sensitivities, and then later, develop intolerances with foods, and then other people who have the food allergies/intolerances first and then later, develop sensitivities to chemicals? 

 

More Gut Stuff from Two Gutsy Souls: Sarah Wilson and Dr Chris Kresser

9 Steps to Perfect Health – #5: Heal Your Gut

Moody? flat? it could be your leaky gut

And, more from Sarah Wislon: stuff I’m not paid to endorse: my best stomach fixes

Or, click here to listen to Dr Chris Kresser’s Podcast on these topics:

  • Digestive function – normal and abnormal, signs and symptoms
  • FODMAPs
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Gut pathogens
  • Maintaining healthy gut flora
  • The best nutritional approaches for gut healing

~

Update 2016:

The Lovely Professor Rob Allen has retired. I am yet to work out who has replaced him at the NIMM Clinic as Hawthorn is too far away for me to travel to now. However, hopefully, one of my readers will drop down a comment below of who they’ve found helpful.

Other Doctors at the NIMM Clinic in Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia

Due to the fact that I have such problems digesting meat (and other foods) I have gone onto a vegan diet (this may be a permanent decision based on the ethical realisations I’ve become aware of since making the switch). You can read My Vegan Story here.

2016 Post: Environmental Medicine Doctor, Dr Mark Donohoe‘s Document on Healing the Gut: Is Stewed Apple the Perfect Functional Food for the Gut?

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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