Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation
Jennifer Worth describes the EPD treatment that she has found so successful in combating her eczema and food intolerances.
Although many allergic people have heard of Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation (EPD) very few know what it is or how it works.
But what is an enzyme?
The official definition is 'a specialised protein molecule that acts as a catalyst for the biochemical reactions that occur in living cells' - in other words an enzyme is an enabler. The enzyme beta-glucuronidase is present in all parts of the body and is released into the tissues during an allergic reaction. EPD exploits this natural phenomenon by combining a minute dose of beta-glucuronidase with a minute dose of allergens.
I have said that minute doses of vaccine are used. This is important. EPD is an extremely low dose method of desensitising. The actual amount of beta-glucuronidase is less than that found in 1cc of blood from the average person; the amount of allergen injected is less than that used for a standard pinprick test. The dose of allergen does not increase with the treatment.
2. Food, drink and food additives allergens (food Mix - the IC mix plus a wide range of common foods and drinks, gut micro-organisms and many commonly used food additives)
3. Special vaccine for rare allergies (special mix - both of the above plus rare allergies such as building dust, algae or rare moulds, fungi, mosquito and some insect bites (not wasp or bee stings) some volatile chemicals and some type of latex)
Before and after
EPD has to be administered over a period of time as several months must elapse between each dose. The number of doses will depend on the age of the patient and severity of the condition. Most atopic adults will need three to five years to be effectively desensitised children respond much faster.
The treatment itself
My own experience
On a personal note 8 years ago I was covered in eczema from head to foot. My skin was cracking and weeping all over my body and the itching nearly drove me mad. I discovered by accident, that it was caused by a food allergy and strict elimination diet cured the eczema, but I was left with hardly anything to eat. Professor Jonathan Brostoff referred me to Dr McEwen. I have now had 5 years EPD treatment and can eat everything with no return of the dreaded eczema. Also I am far less hesitative to dust, pollen, grass, moulds, pets and so on.
Where is EPD available and how much does it cost?
Although EPD is available on the NHS because of the dearth of allergy specialists, let alone specialists trained in EPD, you will needs to find a clinic which can offer EPD – and to get referral from your GP who will probably never even have heard of it. If you cannot wait you can go privately; some health insurance schemes will even pay for EPD treatment. A list of private and complementary EPD practitioners is available from Action Against Allergy from The McEwen Laboratories (0118 984 1288) and from the British Society for Ecological Medicine
The Centre for the Study of Complementary Medicine in Southampton also offers EPD treatment including preliminary consultations and nutritional support. Costs vary enormously depending on what is required.
First published in 2002