Navigating Today's Environment.
Article Type: Video recording review
Subject: Video recordings (Video recording reviews)
Books (Book reviews)
Author: Klotter, Jule
Pub Date: 02/01/2012
Publication: Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464
Issue: Date: Feb-March, 2012 Source Issue: 343-344
Topic: NamedWork: Practical Pearls to Help You and Your Family Today (Video recording); Practical Pearls to Help You and Your Family Today (Video recording); 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life (Nonfiction work); 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Rapp, Doris J.
Accession Number: 282825232
Full Text: Practical Pearls to Help You and Your Family Today (DVD) by Doris J. Rapp, MD

Available from

Two discs totaling 90 minutes; [c] 2011; $25

32 Tips That Could Save Your Life by Doris J. Rapp, MD

Tendril Press, P.O. Box 441110; Aurora, Colorado 80044; 303-696-9227

[c] 2010; $14.95

When Doris J. Rapp, MD, first encountered the ideas that allergies can produce symptoms in any body system and that chemicals can cause allergy-type reactions, she didn't believe it. These ideas weren't commonplace in 1975, and they contradicted her training and 20 years of experience as a board-certified pediatrician and allergist. Highly skeptical at first, she eventually become one of the pioneers of environmental medicine. Over the years, Rapp has written comprehensive books on environmental exposures and children's health and behavior, including Is This Your Child? and Our Toxic World. (Her 1996 book Is This Your Child's World? was my first introduction to environmental medicine.) As informative as these books are, Rapp has come to realize that their great bulk scares off many potential readers. Enter Practical Pearls to Help You and Your Family Today, a 90-minute DVD, and a small book called 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life.

The typical allergy symptoms - runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rashes, and hives - are widely recognized. Other frequent, but less acknowledged, symptoms include headaches, fatigue, depression, aggression, muscle tics, seizures, moodiness, irritability, intestinal complaints, fuzzy thinking, ringing in the ears, crawly skin sensations, irregular heart beat, and high blood pressure. If you have typical allergies, allergic relatives, look allergic, and/or feel sick all the time, you may have atypical allergy, says Rapp. (Bags and wrinkles under the eyes and red ears and cheeks tend to indicate allergies.)

In the role of doctor as teacher, Rapp clearly and simply explains the signs of atypical allergies and how to track down the cause. Rapp encourages viewers to become aware: "Keep asking. Why today - not yesterday? What was eaten, touched, or smelled?" Do the symptoms appear in certain places? In the presence of specific odors? After eating a particular food? Foods, molds, dust, pollen, and chemicals in the environment can all cause reactions in sensitive people.

Craving foods that incite allergic reactions is common. Consequently, Rapp says, the quickest way to identify food allergies is to list the patient's five favorite foods and two favorite beverages. When most foods on a person's list involve cheese or milk, dairy is most likely a problem. If pastas, breads, and pastries make up the most-craved list, the allergen is probably wheat and/or yeast. Rapp suggests testing suspect foods by eliminating them (in all forms) from the diet for at least four days to see if unexplained symptoms resolve. Some foods cause delayed reactions 6 to 48 hours after eating.

Allergic reactions cause changes in appearance, behavior/emotion, increases in pulse rate of 20 beats, a 20% decrease in breathing using a peak flow meter, or changes in handwriting or drawing. Rapp says checking these "Big 5" before and 10 to 60 minutes after eating, entering a new environment, and taking medication can be very helpful in tracking the cause of unexplained symptoms. Once allergens are identified, people can use air purifiers, rotation diets, and/or simple avoidance of the allergen to avoid negative reactions.

Provocation/neutralization allergy testing is also very effective, but insurers do not cover the costs. During provocation, a drop of a dilution made from a possible allergen is injected into the patient's arm. Any reaction that occurs (indicating sensitivity) is then neutralized with a lower dilution of the same preparation.

If it were in my power, I'd have public showings of Practical Pearls to Help You and Your Family Today in every clinic, library, and community center in the country. So many people are experiencing symptoms that conventional medicine cannot cure, symptoms that may be caused by allergies. This DVD helps viewers understand the range of symptoms caused by environmental exposures and foods. It includes several dramatic videos of patients, including a teacher who loses her voice and has difficulty breathing when exposed to school carpeting, a woman who experiences joint pain upon exposure to yeast, a teenage girl who becomes hysterical when a dilution of natural gas creates agonizing skin sensations, and a toddler with severe stomach pain after exposure to egg. The videos testify to the range of symptoms and to the dramatic effect of provocation/neutralization allergy testing.

In 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life, Rapp uses easy-to-read bullet lists to explain how to reduce toxic chemical exposures in everyday life and why making these changes is so important. The book begins with tips on food and beverages and then moves on to teach about common toxic exposures inside and outside the home and how to avoid them. Throughout these sections, Rapp illustrates hazards with patient examples. She ends the book with simple ways to enhance the body's detoxification ability and with a call to become proactive: "The first step to becoming pro-active is to stop making excuses, as legitimate as they may be or seen, for why it is too difficult, too expensive, or simply inconvenient to make changes. ... We need to demand more awareness, conscience, precaution from industry and government agencies charged with protecting us."

The DVD Practical Pearls to Help You and Your Family Today explains how to become the detective and track down food and environmental factors that cause physical and behavior symptoms. The book 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life advocates a precautionary approach to prevent problems before they arise. Together, they arm consumers with highly accessible tools for safeguarding their health and their children. Thank you, Dr. Rapp.

"The answer to many medical problems is not another overpriced toxic drug, even if it is covered by medical insurance. The answer is to find and eliminate the cause. If you have a nail in your shoe, the treatment is not a bigger bandage, but to pull out the nail."
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.