A byproduct of his research, however, was the discovery that, of the women who survived TSS, a substantial proportion developed autoimmune disorders: 11 of the 123 women in one survey developed lupus and a further 40 per cent had early symptoms of arthritis a striking finding considering that most TSS sufferers were under the age of 35 (J Infec Dis, 1981; 143: 509-16; Ann Int Med, 1982; 96: 982-6; see also The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett, Penguin, 1994). But not all women infected with the
Staph a. virus develop TSS. The question is, is there a population of women walking around with more subtle self destruction taking place inside of them which is linked to the virus?
There are other theories as well. In America, Dr. William Crook has suggested that chronic intestinal yeast infections can promote a wide range of illnesses, from fatigue, depression, and bloating to more serious diseases such as lupus. The theory is that the yeast germ, known as Candida albicans, produces toxins which are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the body. These toxins are thought to provoke either autoimmune reactions or other adverse effects. (Nutrition and Healing, 1995; 2(12): 1, l0-11). Treatment with an anti-candida diet (see box p5) has been shown to reduce levels of anti nuclear antibodies (ANA), the cells which attack the body.
The link between food allergy and lupus is another fruitful avenue for exploration, according to the copious anecdotal evidence to date. In one report a child with lupus was found to have antibodies to milk. Symptoms vanished when he eliminated milk from his diet, and returned when he drank milk on a further two occasions (J Pedia, 1974; 84:59-647). In a study from Australia, four patients with lupus had marked symptom relief after following a programme that included nutritional supplements and avoiding allergenic foods. In addition to a reduction in symptoms, their ANA levels became normal (Int Clin Nutr Rev, 1985; 5(4): 166-76).