Sunday, 10 May 2009

Hand and Foot Syndrome

The Itchy Skin

I have spoken to Danny, an acquaintance who is a practitioner in Traditional Chinese Medicine and he has advised me on the current problem. The itchiness I am getting is most likely a side-effect of Sorafenib. It is known as hand and foot syndrome.

In all skin conditions the skin is taking over from the liver as the liver is over-worked as it is. In such instances the skin, as a secondary organ of elimination takes over the process. Ideally you would want to tackle this at source but as things are, it might be better working with the symptoms.

There's a number of creams could be used to help suppress the itchiness. You could always use a combination of 100% essential oils of Tea Tree and Lavender mixed in a base oil such as olive oil at a ratio of 10% essential oil/90% olive oil and applied direct. These are good skin oils and will relieve itching and will also have numerous other benefits. As I write I am ready to be cooked!
An old but effective traditional Scottish remedy would be to boil up some oats, allow to cool, place inside an old sock or the like and gently rub over the affected area. Again this has an anti-itch effect and takes the heat out of the area.

In traditional Chinese medicine the condition is known as Fire Poison and a diet of cooling food is recommended. This would include celery, parsley, beetroot and cabbage. Cucumber and other cooling salad vegetables would also be useful. Juice vegetables consisting of 2 apples, 4 sticks celery, a thumb size piece of ginger and 1/4 of a cabbage. Blitz in the juicer and drink straight away, ideally 3 times per day. This will assist with general detoxification and improve liver function. It will not interfere with the medication.

Regarding bile salts, the primary function is to break down fats so if there is some disturbance in the mechanism then adapt your diet to cutting down saturated fats and avoiding completely hydrogenated fats. This will mean less work. Bile salts also prevent the formation of stones so it's important to maintain good function.

Now another aspect of the bile acids is the absorption of carotene's from food. This is what causes the skin itch as carotene/vitamin A is almost always depleted in skin conditions.

Finally bile acids also play a role in detoxification of cholesterol. To improve the production of bile? Bitter tasting foods - the salad vegetable chicory, popular in France, is very good but generally any bitter tasting food/substance will stimulate bile secretion.

Psyllium husks is basically indigestible fibre which gently scrapes through the length of the digestive tract but also improves bile detoxification. Drink plenty of water. 2.5 litres per day. Porridge with raisins will also help the mechanism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Try 1/2 a cucumber skinned and deseeded and chopped up into bite sized chunks. Then put in a bowl and pour over some natural organic yoghurt. Squeeze half a lemon into the bowl and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Finally chop in some coriander and maybe a wee bit of finely chopped red chilli.
You can eat this on pitta bread or with roti but its dead nice with some tandori chicken!!

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