Researching Nutrition 3b – All Great Truths Begin as Blasphemies
By Rob Swierski
As stated in my previous article, the treatment under discussion here – the one that I used to successfully reverse my Alopecia Universalis after nearly two decades – is in many ways only a beginning.
Yes, while it undoubtedly offers potential and promise as a highly safe and effective treatment strategy for all degrees of AA right now, it also asks us to re-examine our current understanding of the pathogenesis of AA. It also clearly exposes the limitations of current AA research and begs us to insist on a new and comprehensive strategy for future research….
Once again, this is the vision of Global Alopecia Mission: a comprehensive, sequential AA-only research agenda carried out by a multi-discipline collaboration of all relevant sciences, including much deeper examination of the microbiology and nutritional relationships of autoimmune Alopecia Areata.
Simply put, hair loss in Alopecia Areata occurs when the hair follicle is exposed to an inflammatory process through an undesired immune system response. AA is an ‘organ-specific’ or ‘organ-restricted’ autoimmune disease characterized by the immune privilege collapse of the hair follicle, wherein an as of yet unidentified ‘trigger’ in predisposed persons sets in motion a T-cell mediated process which arrests the normal growth (anagen) phase of the follicle.
In the strictest sense the hair follicle IS still healthy and capable of producing hair. The area of the follicle that contains epithelial stem cells is not affected. Therefore, the functional and structural integrity of the follicle is undamaged. The mechanical ability and innate ‘desire’ of the follicle to produce hair remains, witnessed by the intermittent appearance of un-pigmented, immature, vellus hairs that often appear even for those with complete AU.
The process of AA, as with other autoimmune disorders, is an exceedingly complex series of interrelated reactions. However, for clarity, we will oversimplify the disease process into three general categories. In order to reverse AA, at least one these points require successfully remediation:
1) Susceptibility – the genetic variation that causes the predisposition or susceptibility and permits the AA event to occur in the first place;
2) Trigger – the triggering event or stimuli (either a one-time occurrence or an ongoing process or pathogen), which when coupled with innate susceptibility, stimulates the onset of the immune response;
3) Immune Response – the resulting immune response itself, anywhere along the process from the signaling point to the resulting inflammatory event at the hair follicle.
All current medical treatments – in one form or another – including the most recently heralded research findings, are focused on the third category. The goal being to pharmaceutically target mechanisms involved along the immune response chain to disrupt the resulting inflammatory end process. In other words, to develop a drug that will break the chain of events somewhere leading up to T-cell activity at the hair follicle. Such a drug therapy – far downstream in the disease process – would require routine use because neither susceptibility nor trigger is addressed.
This would make great commercial sense from a pharmaceutical profit standpoint because AA patients would become indefinitely reliant on such a drug. And as a pharmaceutical friend of mine once told me, “the real success of a drug is measured by refills.”
Such a drug would likely become the standard pitch for any AA patient that presented even the tiniest patch of AA – not just as a curative, but also as a precautionary or preventative measure, whether or not it was in fact necessary.
Unfortunately, all drugs have side effects. For every action, there is a reaction. Trying to unnaturally force or trick the body against its natural processes without addressing the root cause always has consequences.
In the case of the most notable current focus that we have heard about – based on the ‘leading’ genetic research – of using IL (interleukin) blocking agents in either infusion or topical form to disrupt the immune process in AA, it’s important to note that blockage of interleukins also blocks their positive protective role in the body, resulting in immunosuppression and potentially opening the door for opportunistic sickness and disease.
Our greatest goal must always be to ensure that any therapy, drug or otherwise, is safe and effective; and must always aim for the highest goal which is a cure.
One possibility with significant promise, theorizes a microbiotic origin as the instigating stimuli and attempts to address Alopecia Areata further upstream than current research. This combination therapy method will be referred to as ‘RLT’.
For reference, RLT resulted in complete reversal of my Alopecia Universalis (and related arthritis and photosensitivity) after almost 20 years, with full regrowth of my hair in 43 days. RLT has been further demonstrated to effectively manage expression of my AA ruling out random regrowth as the basis of my recovery.
As a side note, I have made many attempts to share my experience with the ‘mainstream’ of AA research. Though some have labeled these mainstream players the ‘critical ear and voice of the alopecia areata research community’, their ear apparently is not tuned to the sound of any uniquely documented instances of recovery outside their particular concentration because I never received any responses. I consider that a very sad statement for the AA community, as should anyone who is concerned about genuine progress toward a treatment and cure, particularly when I believe that most who are familiar with AA understand that the ability to reverse and then control AU is an unprecedented development.
I have yet to see an equivalent documented experience. And there is no similar experience of complete reversal in only 43 days, of which I am aware.
So then, what is it that enabled me to reverse my longstanding AU and subsequently allows me to control its expression?
Assuming that microbiome dysfunction lies at the root of AA, RLT provides a comprehensive treatment strategy which addresses both the trigger and corresponding immune response to halt, counter and reverse the disease progression of AA, as follows:
1) Treatment to correct and/or restore stability to the microbiome of the intestinal tract which is the triggering stimuli of the inflammatory immune response. This is accomplished using one of two different methods or a combination of both, utilizing a specific intravenous and/or oral antibiotic regimen and/or fecal microbiota transplantation.
2) Dietary control to maintain stability and promote health of the microbiome through specifically designed and strictly controlled dietary measures,…both to act as a preventative and also as a curative; the diet therapy consisting of a 4-week ‘graduated oligoantigenic’ regimen.
3) Supplementation utilizing a specifically formulated dietary/nutritional combination intended to substantially boost meaningful vitamin/mineral levels in ratios that maximize levels of absorption. The subject composition comprised of a minimum of 24 essential ingredients provided for daily oral administration.
While the course of each case of AA cannot be predicted, statistically Alopecia Areata follows a progressive prognosis curve, moving from limited patchy AA to potential hair loss over the entire body in Alopecia Universalis. Indications are that less extensive or early-stage Alopecia Areata could be reversed using only steps 2 and 3, while more extensive scenarios require intervention using the third aspect.
Based on the underlying premise of microbiome dysfunction as the instigating factor in AA pathogenesis, RLT should be a beneficial treatment option for anyone affected by AA. Efficacy data is undetermined due to the need for further sampling, but speed and degree of positive patient response to RLT would likely vary from person to person as with any treatment.
Treatment guidelines are being prepared for release and will include discussion of each component of the combination therapy at Healing Alopecia Areata.
Your feedback and comments are always welcome. I can be contacted via email at email@example.com
Originally published July 31, 2012