I decided to do a trawl through the healing/”cure” claims that are posted in the recommended posts at the top of the forum, to try and see what those involved have in common. I'm sure it probably has been done before. But I thought i'd see what they have in common with my own recent improvements and try and come up with methods to cover a lot of what was said, just out of interest. I checked follow-up posts by those who claimed healing improvements to see did they fully cure, or how much improvement they actually gained. (I am not dismissing others who claim to be cured or healed. I just stuck to those posts due to time issues.)
The first thing that you realise is that very few are actually “cured”, in the sense of having eliminated the root cause, or at least they didn’t get back on the forum and mention it if they did; some made large improvements. Others claimed to be cured, but later noted that peeling did occur if they didn’t keep up a diet or some other method. If I had to make an estimate based on what was said, only three or four could be considered cured, if even that. Of course they may have eventually cured but not returned to post about it.
Of the 15 posters I narrowed it down to, for 5 people the major contributory factor put forward was undertaking a major diet, mostly an anti-candida type diet. For four other posters, diet played a major role, along with other detox methods and supplementation. Three posters seemed to put forward vitamin, mineral and other supplementation as their main contributory factor to success. For two others, major improvements were put down to mostly leaving the lips alone. Some mixed diet, detox methods, and supplements.
Here’s a short overview of some success stories(15 posters), broken into different categories, in alphabetical order:
Diet as main factor (5 posters):
lees: Felt macrobiotic - anticandida diet was main cause of healing. Also used antifungals such as plant tannins, raw garlic, and coconut oil; and probiotics such as bifidobacterium. Also omega-3 capsules, pro-green shakes, lots of nuts & seeds, and no alcohol. Switched to natural toothpaste too. Admitted in final post that sometimes gets a small outbreak of peeling if stressed, but lips return back to normal after one or two days.
montrealhomegrown: Claimed his diet was the main source of success (essentially a low acidic/high alkaline, very healthy diet), along with plenty of exercise, and healthy overall lifestyle. Found the elimination of “reactive” foods such White Sugar , white flour, soy milk, cheese, and cows milk a big help. Also felt taking organic coconut oil (thought to have antifungal/antibacterial & antioxidant properties) was very important and dealing with stress too. Took mineral/vitamin supplements over many months also, and green tea. Essentially thought cause to be related to digestive system & immune system problems, with stress a possible factor. Admitted last year that if he returns to terrible diet, peeling would return.
sans sucre: Doing anti-candida diet for many months was main source of success. Also addressing liver and adrenal issues. Found liver supplements such as Livatone and Livatone Plus helpful in particular.
tjhooper: Followed strict anti-candida diet for 1 year before healing occurred. Lips not completely healed, but claimed almost healed. Still adhered to a gluten-free, sugar-free diet most of time, as of last posting.
warriorqueen: Had success with anti-candida diet. Claimed 85% healing as of last post. Had gone through other diets before (meat- and dairy-free for 7 years; gluten-free for 5 months), before finding the candida diet worked for her.
Detox, including diet among other things (5):
ArcticMonkey: Improved the condition by about 50%. A homeopathist/reflexologist told him that lips are very good indicators for how are internal organs are behaving, and concluded that there was an imbalance in digestive system. Tests by homeopathist showed that liver, small intestine, large intestine, kidney, & lymphatic system were out of balance with each other. Regimen included taking 6 different vitamin and mineral supplements, & changing diet to foods better metabolised by the liver, i.e. not eating junk food or red meat or a lot of dairy.
bunny9dog: Suffered chronic inflammation on lips for nearly 3 years. Claimed 99% recovery after the following detox and supplementation methods: more than 500 coffee enemas; 5 successful liver flushes; diet of avoiding white flour and sugary foods; proper food combining; juicing, which involved taking lots of wheat grass juice and carrot juice throughout the day; acupuncture once a week.
Eedbeedee: Initially thought issue was solely bacteria and fungal related; then felt acidity in the digestive system was root cause, leading to inflammation. Agreed with ArcticMonkey’s views (mentioned above). Mentioned that the theory of acidity she referred to was put forward by Andreas Moritz , an alternative health “guru”. Felt alkalizing herbs and Colon Cleanses helped, as well as caprylic acid tablets (found in coconut oil), omega-3 tablets, & digestive enzymes. Also cutting out bread and sugary foods. Tests she carried out showed some bacterial problems, as wells as sensitivity to certain foods. Lips underwent improvements, but not full healing.
#43814: Had condition for about 5 years. Claimed improvement of about 80% after spending a year doing liver flushes, colon cleansing, and kidney cleansing, along with changing to healthier diet. Also referred to Andreas Moritz 's theories on inflammation in digestive system as cause of EC.
1122335: Claimed that after strict avoidance of sodium lauryl sulfate products for 1 month, lips were 100% better.
Vitamin, mineral and other supplementation (3):
blessed1: Claimed lips fully cured after taking the following three supplements every day: Multivitamin (mostly B vitamins); Fish Oil Supplement - 1000 mg; Evening Primrose Oil Supplement - 500 mg. Also felt plenty of water everyday highly important also
txkawboy: Took high levels of niacin (vitamin B3) to help treat the condition. Wondered if this helped tackle a potential iron deficiency. However, if he stopped niacin intake, after 2 days lips and skin go back to being as bad as before taking the supplement.
#94852: Had EC for 6 years. Claimed was 95% cured from taking BECOSULES, a supplement containing mostly B vitamins. No longer endured inflammation after taking these. No peeling either. Very tiny flaking as of last post.
Leaving lips alone (2):
cureforcurezone: Firstly claimed 30% improvement through eliminating shaving gel and removing a cat allergy. Then thought laser cauterization healed them. But lips didn’t stop peeling. Then claimed final healing improvements were due to intensive workouts in gym, lack of stress, and leaving lips alone. Felt main causes were over-use of chapstick, stress, and picking at lips.
monsterlip: Leaving lips alone/Japanese treatment. No lip creams, ointments, etc. As of last post, after 6 months of method, lips still peeled but peeling area much much smaller than before.
Here are some common issues/factors that pop up, not just in relation to the above posters, but also mentioned by other posters on this forum:
Diet: Most of those using the diets felt that some form of microorganism problem/digestive issue was at the root of their EC problem, especially fungus issues (mostly Candida, a yeast). Acidity issues were also put forward by some, potentially causing inflammation. The low acidity/high alkalinity diet undertaken by a couple of people is quite similar to the anti candida diet, in that it involves low sugar, low carb intake. I have seen it put forward that high acidity in the bloodstream can lead to skin problems, as well as inflammation problems. I have also read that a diet consisting of high glycaemic foods (starchy foods such as bread and potatoes) and indigestible foods such as dairy products, can be contributory factors with inflammation issues. (See inflammation below also).
So are these diets tackling microorganism problems for the above posters, or acidity issues, or inflammation? Or all three, or indeed something else?
Inflammation: Not everyone has symptoms of inflammation on their lips. I don’t have any on my lips. One poster here responded to one of my posts by putting forward that there may still be inflammation arising somewhere else in the body, and could be causing the lip problem even if there are no inflammatory issues on the lip. I do not know if this is possible. But two posters in the recommended posts alluded to a guy called Andrew Moritz, a health "guru". He felt that this was indeed the case, with inflammation occurring in the intestines and potentially the stomach. Acidity was felt to be a factor.
I came across a piece on inflammation in a magazine I picked up in my local health food store recently. It mentioned a couple of things that interested me. It put forward that the key factors that contribute to inflammatory health problems are: impaired liver detoxification; excess free radicals (a type of reactive oxygen species) versus insufficient antioxidants, which is what causes oxidative stress that I mentioned in my last post; lack of essential fatty acids (a type of fat); allergies; unstable blood sugar; abrasions/cuts/wounds etc. It got me wondering if inflammation is indeed a factor in my condition, maybe low level inflammation. Because a lot of the things I took that have helped with my healing cover some of these inflammation contributors, such as antioxidants and detox methods which may be helping the liver. Also, a major source of essential fatty acids put forward by alternative health people is oily fish containing omega 3 oils, such as mackerel, sardines, salmon etc. Some of the above posters were taking omega-3 supplements and oily fish supplements. Some mentioned oily fish as a main part of their diet. (I eat oily fish on a weekly basis.) Another mentioned evening primrose oil supplementation. I also started taking an evening primrose oil supplement and this is put forward as a major source of certain essential fatty acids.
Stress. Many feel that stress affects the condition. Long-term stress can end up seriously impacting the digestive system, nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system, among other things. Some who underwent major improvements felt stress impacted negatively on their final healing. I would concur with this from my own current experience.
Is leaving lips alone, in and of itself, enough to lead to healing?:
Some believe it is. Other, including myself, have had no success with this without other methods included.
Ultimately, despite certain common things above, I still do not know if the main cause of the condition is a microorganism/digestive issue, a liver or lymphatic system issue, an immune system problem, or something else. Or if inflammation is occurring in all. Or to what extent oxidative stress is playing a role, if any. Possibly a combination of things. But like most of those posters who healed, i'm convinced for most here that the problem is internal. I'm not sure if for some it was simply chemicals from products put on their lips that was a cause.
Ultimately, you could say that dealing with toxicity issues, such as toxic microorganisms, removing toxic chemical products, and other detox methods, is the common theme from the posters above. But until extensive tests on a range of things are carried out by the medical profession, such as extensive microorganism tests (it seems tests doctors carry out are mostly in relation to well-known dangerous microorganisms; naturopaths seem to do more intensive tests), the liver, and the immune system, among others, people will continue to come onto this forum and keep putting forward the same guesses that others have made here over the years, and unfortunately only a minor few seem to go on and become fully “cured”.
To finish, here’s just a list of things that aims to cover all angles in relation to what helped people in healing their condition. I'm NOT saying that doing all these things will cure you of your condition. But if I hadn't stumbled onto my own healing recently, i'd be trying a lot of them. Ultimately, it's not ideal trying lots of things in the hope of stumbling onto something that works for you. Ideally, try and get a good naturopath or other alternative health expert who takes in the whole health picture and preferably one that does microorganism tests.
A broad 10 point plan:
Some feel an anti-candida type diet is needed for a couple of months at least, essentially eliminating sugar, yeast and most starchy foods, among other things. Then finding out what foods are "reactive"/potentially worsen you EC. Some had succes with a high-alkaline/low acidity diet. A nutritious diet can only help your health.
The author of a good book I’ve read recently about digestive system problems put forward 4 steps in tackling what’s termed dysbiosis (an ecological imbalance in the digestive tract): 1) a candida type diet for a couple of months, including only reintroducing starchy foods on a on-by-one basis to see what causes health conditions to react, similar to what montrealhomegrown advises; 2) kill off the bad bacteria/other microorganisms using anti-microbials (microoganisms). He put forward grapefruit seed extract and caprylic acid (found in coconut oil, among others) as the most potent anti-microbials; 3) taking probiotics; 4) a vitamin/mineral supplement.
Also eliminate alcohol, and caffeine-containing products.
2) Deal with potential microorganism problems.
Preferably get extensive tests done (naturopaths seem to do more broad-ranging tests than mainstream practitioners). Diet is important (see above). Anti-microbials such as coconut oil and grapefruit seed extract are recommeded. Colon Cleanses have helped others with EC. Colosan was one product mentioned. I'm in the early weeks of trying a Colonix and Toxinout 3 month detox program, recommended by a few on the detoxing and cleansing forum on curezone. Offers 60-day money-back guarantee if no health improvements. See: http://www.drnatura.co.uk/
Be wary some cleanse products have high levels of herbs, and sometimes vitamins. Ensure not allergic to herbs. Research risks of high vitamin intake. Check with physician before use, etc, etc.
3) Other detox methods
Some of the following have proven beneficial to posters: Heavy metal removal/chelation (heavy metals include lead, mercury, cadium, arsenic); oil pulling; replacement of mercury Amalgam dental fillings (mercury can leak/gas, and is toxic); oil pulling; sauna(sweating out toxins);
There are forums on curezone relating to many of these detox methods.
4) Liver support and lymphatic system help
Liver is main organ of toxin removal in body. Spleen, kidney and Gallstones also important for this. Lymphatic system mostly moves toxins from parts of the body to these organs of elimination. Some of posters above benefited from liver-supporting products. Two herbs mentioned quite a bit in relation to this are milk thistle and dandelion. I use both in different products. Some found success using liver cleanse. Most famous one in alternative health circles is Hulda Clark lever cleanse. See: http://www.drclark.net/en/cleanses_clean-ups/liver_cleanses/liver_cleanse.php
Lymphatic drainage/massage may be beneficial to avoid lymphatic congestion. There are practitioners out there. A minor lymphatic self-massage for head & neck area is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA-wi0d7-Ro
5) Multivitamin, mineral, antioxidant, & other supplementation.
Deals with any potential deficiencies. Some posters above had succes with this alone. Many varying supplements out there. I've used immuneace during my healing success. See: http://www.vitabiotics.com/Immunace/
Two people have (including myself) found benefit with antioxicant Resveratrol (a substance found in fruit and some plants). Green tea is a strong antioxidant, and was mentioned by one poster above. Omega-3 supplements were mentioned by a couple of posters; recommended by many for fighting inflammation, among other things. Evening primrose mentioned by some also for essential fatty acids( i supplemented with this too).
6) Remove oral, facial, and other personal care products that contain chemicals until cure occurs. Helps reduce overall toxic load of body. May eliminate potential allergens. Products containing sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate especially. Try using bicarbonate of soda & Sea Salt as alternative to toothpaste. Switch to natural products found in health food stores at the very least
7) Leave lips alone
No lip products. Don't pick the skin/let layers of crusting grow for as long as possible. Try not to wet them.
Anaerobic exercise (such as weight lifting, sprinting) seems to have benefitted a couple of posters mentioned above; I personally find doing intense sprints at the end of jogging to be very beneficial (see aerobic and anaerobic exercise http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_exercise
Try and tackle any underlying stress issues. This is easier said than done, but many here feel stress negatively impacts on their condition. Long-term stress negatively affects the digetsive system, immune system, nervous system, and endocrine system, among other things( I personally feel anxiety and the resulting stress is at the root of my own lip condition). Environmental stress should also be addressed; even exposure to wireless electromagnetic fields form wireless internet/wifi antennas, smart phones, & ordinary mobile/ Cell Phone s should be limited if your immune system is impaired, as can add to the stress load.
10) Get plenty of sunshine (moderation in hot, sunny climate of course), water, and fresh air.
Looking at some of the above things listed, I personally feel that if you haven't tried the anti-candida type diet, and nothing else has worked for you, then you really have to give it a go. I personally haven't had to do it for my own healing (i'm still not 100%, but close), but it seems to have helped many. Like I said, trying a lot of different things in the hope of something is not ideal, but it's just a list that tries to cover things that worked for some.