Paul’s Turnaround

Words: Dr Richard FIRSHEIN

No one will probably know exactly what hit Paul Moore so hard, including the loss of the use of his hands. But, his recovery was so complete that one ought to believe that a comprehensive nutritional approach worked in his favour. 

The story of Paul Moore is one of the strangest and most remarkable I’ve ever seen. At the young age of twenty-six, Paul was hospitalised with an involuntary muscle seizure disorder. A computer scientist, Paul had always been healthy, until one day when his hand started shaking spasmodically. From that day forward, Paul’s body was wracked with seizure-like episodes that attacked without warning, took over his bodily control, and shook him to extreme fatigue. His muscles began to weaken so much that he eventually lost the strength to walk, and even when his limbs weren’t jerking out of control, he felt numbness and tingling in his extremities.

Paul drove himself crazy trying to understand why this had happened to him; he worried that he had multiple sclerosis. But, doctors found no neurological deficits, vitamin deficiencies, electroencephalogram [brain wave] abnormalities, or signs of Lyme disease. Specialists prescribed him a long list of drugs, from phenobarbital for what they thought were petit mal seizures to Paxil for depression and Elavil for sleep disorders. Meanwhile, the brilliant Paul had been confined to a wheelchair and was highly susceptible to colds and flus, even as his apparent seizures continued.

When hospital staff couldn’t pinpoint his disease, they released him. Back at home, he attempted to continue his passion, computer programming, which led to carpal tunnel syndrome, since he was already so weak and chronically fatigued. This led to the loss of the use of his hands.

It was in this tragic state that he came to see me, seeking some natural respite from his bizarre illness. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do with him. Whenever I encounter anyone with such diverse panoply of symptoms, I begin with an attempt to return the body to its healthiest state through detoxification. Paul himself had considered the benefits of cleansing the body; he had used enemas in the past, but I wanted to start him on a much more comprehensive approach.

First, we’d have to put him on the purest of diets. He still clung to fatty foods like French fries and ice-cream, as though he was defying his bad health or, perhaps, seeking comfort in them. Tests for food allergies showed that Paul was reacting to a number of substances, including gluten, which is found in wheat products. Perhaps, this gluten sensitivity had triggered his numerous ailments. We eliminated every possible allergenic food from his daily diet.

Vitamin C and magnesium were two of the first supplements I prescribed for him, since they are known to boost the immune system. A stool analysis revealed severe intestinal dysbiosis, an imbalanced flora with many harmful bacteria. Paul’s gut lining was severely impaired, letting toxins and undigested food molecules pass through the now permeable gut lining into the bloodstream.

Once they were there, the immune system reacted to these foreign proteins and toxins as invaders and launched an attack. Symptoms that Paul had always had but were overlooked for their relative innocence, including acne, urinary frequency, canker sores, and gas, made sense if his gut wasn’t functioning properly. Metabolic markers also showed that Paul was low in short chain fatty acids like butyrate and propionate.

In order to heal his inflamed intestines, I gave him a host of nutritional supplements, like fish oils, silymarin, and glutamine, and glucosamine for his joints. Finally, I asked him to take one tablespoon of flaxseed powder daily.

After only three weeks, Paul told me that he was already feeling more energetic and in control of his health. The first major proof that the natural approach was working was revealed in small ways: his acne began to disappear, his fatigue started to dissipate, and his allergies spawned fewer symptoms.

A few months later, however, Paul’s seizures miraculously ceased. His health improved so dramatically that he soon felt good enough to apply to the famed Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. He was accepted. Paul had gone from being almost completely incapacitated to being at the top of his game.

We’ll probably never know exactly what hit Paul so hard. It’s been a few years since his curious symptoms improved, and we cannot tell yet whether he’d have reached this remission on this own. But, his recovery was so complete that I’ve got to believe that this nutritional approach worked in his favour.

Dr RICHARD FIRSHEIN, DO, is the Founder-Director of The Firshein Center for Comprehensive Medicine in New York City. He is a leading innovator and authority in the field of preventative and nutritional medicine, integrating Western and Eastern medical practices. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and has served as professor of family medicine. An internationally recognised leader in the field of integrative medicine and healthy aging, a cancer researcher, prolific author and writer, Dr Firshein has written several ground-breaking books, including the bestselling Reversing AsthmaYour Asthma-Free ChildThe Nutraceutical Revolution and The Vitamin Prescription [For Life]. This article is ©Dr Richard Firshein.

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