May-Jun '10 | briefing | mail | interviews | articlespsorchat |  don't say this | flaker creativity | flakers' jargon | spouses corner | other places | archives | send mail | ed dewkesearch | acknowledgments | legal stuff | Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic  | 2010 FlakeHQ, Inc.

Charcoal-filtered Drinking Water is Her Trigger
from Christina

(The following is reproduced from PsorChat [a Yahoo! Group], with permission from the author.)

Hello all.  My P started about 11 years ago and was set off by an allergic reaction to a medication. My symptoms are consistent with P, and some, non-consistent. As someone else mentioned, the pits in my fingernails have always confirmed my diagnosis. Also, the itchy raised areas on my elbows, knees, and behind my ears were also pretty consistent with P.

Now on to the non-consistent. I have had other symptoms that I don't think are P such as hives, cat scratches on my skin, pressure and release hives, various itchy rashes, dry/flaky skin on my face. The biggest problem was SEVERE itch of my labia. I would get this daily, and have scratched myself to infection. In fact at one time I self-diagnosed myself with a condition called Hailey-Hailey disease.

With all of these symptoms combined, all the docs have said "most-likely due to P." Hormonal changes; i.e., pre-menstrual and after my sons were born, are/were the worst times for me. I have done many experiments with diet, particularly cutting stuff out that I use daily as this vaginal itch was affecting my life.

I drink a lot of tea (mostly decaf). The water I use I take from my Brita filter system in my fridge. One day it hit me, could it be the filtered water? I purchased this system around the same time this all started. I experimented by using water from the tap ... NO MORE ITCH. I did take some of my sons Brita-watered-down apple juice by accident one day, and the hives and itch started immediately. I didn't make the connection till later.

I did extensive research online. I learned what the [Brita] filters are made of and how they work. I learned that I may have another condition (Gunther's Disease in the form of cutaneous porphyrias) which WORSENS when medical charcoal is introduced to the body, thus the Brita water.

The scales on my face have cleared up, and the bags under my eyes are gone too. I am still pitting in my fingernails though.

Just wanted to share this. Would love if my discovery could help even one more sufferer. I now await the blood/urine test results from my doc (who said he loves a challenge).

Thanks. -Christina

*****

Ed’s Response: Thanks for sharing on PsorChat this description of what sounds like a very complicated condition or set of conditions. You, like me, have a list of presumed allergy symptoms that appear related to your P symptoms. They are either (a) similarly triggered, (b) truly related in that one affects the other, or (c) one emerges from the other (i.e., the allergy “causes” the P, or the P “causes” the allergy). It’s a tough problem and the reason why most doctors prefer to say “no relation between the two diseases.” It’s much easier to treat them as separate conditions, the way we’ve always done.

Every so often the subject of filtered water comes up in P discussions. Indeed, it’s been pitched as a cure by some. Your research gives many of us something new to try. Charcoal water filters are everywhere; many of us have them in our homes. Where I live you can buy cheap units that just screw onto the end of your sink tap. It would be relatively easy for many of us to test life withOUT charcoal filtered water for a few weeks and see what happens.

Stay tuned, Christina. Hopefully we’ll hear from others. -Ed

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