Natural Health: Inclusion body myositis

Q. My father has recently been diagnosed with inclusion body myositis (IBM), a muscle-wasting disease.

Natural Health: Inclusion body myositis

We understand it’s quite rare and that there is no known medical cure. The advice is to manage the condition through physio, exercise, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc. Is there a course of treatment you could recommend?

A. IBM is thought to be primarily an age-related disorder, with symptoms such as muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, dulled reflex responses, and changes in nerve and muscle functioning.

There are two main forms — a hereditary form and a sporadic form. The hereditary form is considered to be very rare and is the result of a specific genetic defect. The sporadic form is more common, particularly in people over the age of 50, and is thought to be the result of two concurrent processes within the body — an autoimmune response where the T-Cells attack the muscles along with filaments and myelin developing within the cytoplasm and nucleus of the muscle fibres.

The advice that you have been given is really important to follow to maintain as much quality of life as possible. I would also suggest your father visit a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.

Dermot O’Connor offers a multi-discipline mind-body approach, using herbal medicine, nutrition and acupuncture. O’Connor has experience in successfully treating multiple sclerosis. While MS is an entirely different disease, it is also an inflammatory disorder where the body’s own immune system attacks the nervous system. The other main similarity is that MS is thought to be incurable.

What O’Connor has managed to do, using a combination of methods, is to remain symptom-free of his own MS for the past 14 years. He has also helped numerous clients with a wide range of conditions, often considered by others to be difficult to treat.

For an appointment, contact Dermot O’Connor at Haddington Road, Dublin, 01-6672222,

Q. I read your article on acne rosacea with interest as I suffered for about 10 years with the condition. It wasn’t until I turned into my 20s that it became prominent. The time and money I spent on creams, lotions, anti-inflammatories and laser treatment was astounding. Harley Street doctors, herbalists, acupuncturists were all consulted. In the end it was a waste of money as it came down to nothing but simple diet. As long as you can control your diet the rest falls into place. So when I see your article finishing off with a kicker about another type of remedial lotion I was a little disappointed. Creams and lotions for something like rosacea are not the solution, only a veil, if they’re that at all.

A. I agree with you. I have written about acne rosacea many times — each time recommending dietary changes, specifically removing common inflammatory foods linked with intolerances and including fresh wholefoods.

This time, I was excited to let readers know about the results achieved using a herbal remedy which is so much more than just a symptom-masking lotion. Kuswera Zuro effectively feeds the skin with the active ingredients in the herb, much as a nicotine patch delivers a drug via the skin, and so the plant is able to work on two levels.

Due to space constraints, I had to cut information on dietary suggestions last week. Your email is a reminder that it doesn’t matter how many times I write about diet being the key to unlocking optimal health, it is information worth repeating.

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

great irish summer

From walking and hiking, to day trips and camping, your guide to holidays at home in 2021


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up