Last Modified on Dec 27, 2013
What Is Crest Disease?
One subtype of scleroderma, Crest syndrome or disease is a limited form of scleroderma that typically affects lower arms and legs and sometimes the face and throat. Literally define, scleroderma means “hardened skin,” so Crest disease is a mild form of this more progressive skin condition.
The name “CREST” actually serves as an acronym for the symptoms that are present in a patient affected by the disorder. The “C” represents calcinosis or calcium deposits forming under the skin on the fingers and other parts of the body. “R” stands for Raynaud’s phenomenon or spasms of the blood vessels in the fingers and toes. “E” signifies esophageal dysmotility or difficulty swallowing. “S” designates sclerodactyly or the tightening of the skin on the fingers causing the fingers to bend or fold. “T” stands for telangiectasia or rather dilated blood vessels in the skin that appear as “spiders.”
Considered an autoimmune disorder, limited scleroderma is thought to be a condition in which the immune system turns against itself. Generally speaking, in limited scleroderma, it appears as if the immune system initiates the overproduction of collagen, which normally serves as a key component in connective tissue. This overproduction of collagen results in a buildup in the skin as well as the internal organs and impairs the overall function.
Natural Remedies for Crest Disease
With no known cure, Crest disease is often treated by focusing on the symptoms caused by the disease. While medical therapies may be prescribed, many natural treatments are more effective than medical means. Regular doses of disodium EDTA taken in conjunction with 1 liter of water, Chinese parsley and granulated lecithin help remove the toxins and particularly heavy metals from the body that may be causing the disease. Additional treatment options include regular vinegar or salt baths, taking apple cider vinegar as well as baking soda to detox the body remedy the symptoms of the disorder and prevent further progression. Continue reading below for more recommendations from Earth Clinic contributors.
Disodium EDTA, Baths in White Vinegar
[YEA] 10/09/2006: Shelly from Abilene, TX: "My question is regarding CREST syndrome which is also an autoimmune disease. Would you treat it the same as Lupus? Thanks! P.S. This website is a GOD send! Thanks for all the time you put into it."Replies
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Shelly: Yes, the possibility exists that CREST can be treated similarly by using the LUPUS treatment but there are differences in the approach due to the fact that the organism residing in CREST are somewhat different from those of LUPUS. However the reason for its similarity in some ways have much to do with raising your immune system in both cases. CREST is a bit more complicated than lupus.
Once difference in CREST and lupus is of academic one, both CREST and LUPUS is due to a tiny pathogenic bug inside your body. While CREST is very much like a nanobacteria, lupus is much more closer to those of the mycoplasma, where it exists similarly closer to fungus and bacteria in its environment.
The reason why I know CREST is due to nanobacteria is the calcium deposits it creates in some specific conditions of CREST, called calcinosis. This is a big clue since nanobacteria tends create calcium as a protective shells leaving the deposits and destroying or hardening of tissues as a way to multiply.
You might ask how to kill the nanobacteria? A nanobacteria exists in greater numbers in presence of heavy metals, especially free radical heavy metals. An easy way to find out is to do a heavy metals testing using Dithizone system. Metals in high amounts have a tendency to cause the destruction of collagen through a maillard reaction in presence of something such as iron, for example as a catalyst to sugar and proteins. The best way out, if this is so is chelation, or oral disodium EDTA mixed in all your drinking water. So my own personal estimate, when the time I was tested for positive heavy metal copper in my urine, was about between 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of disodium EDTA to one liter of water. Taking plenty of chinese parsley will also help chelate out heavy metals. Eating granulated lecithin 2 tablespoon with every meal long with food will also reduce the buildup. Taking baths in white vinegar will also remove the calcium buildup, killing the nanobacteria. In this instance, nanobacteria that is, I think taking apple cider vinegar would help, with added baking soda perhaps to reduce the problems of CREST as acetates, chelation, and alkalzing do have a tendency to dissolve microscopic calcium shells that nanobacteria build up. Most importantly is to take magnesium chloride (or citrate) and zinc acetate (or chloride, or citrate form) to reduce the calcium buildup as magnesium is antagonistic to calcium and zinc to increase immune systems against the stealth nanobacteria. Alkalizing certainly helps such as taking 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon citric acid with 1/2 glass water taken once before sleep and once in morning also. Licorice extract also helps in killing of the nanobacteria also.
This is what I would do different from lupus, but you can still use that, along with this added information to help with CREST."
05/27/2011: Kathyr from Blue Point, New York replies: "Hello Ted! It was so interesting to read about your theory about the cause of crest, Dr.S have not been very helpful, I have had it for about 14 yrs now, calcinosis is becoming uncomfortable on both elbows, can you give me amounts of epsom salt or white vinegar to be used in baths, also dosages of magnesium chloride, licorice, apple cider vinegar. I am thrilled to know there are treatments out there, that may actually help me. Can crest possibly be cured by using these treatments?"
09/16/2011: Shelly from Denver, Co replies: "Ted, I really enjoyed and appriciate your comments on CREST. I am wondering tho, you say that it is a nanobacteria. Do you have any comments on those out there that say there is no such thing? There are many such as this web site: http://www.drcranton.com/nanobacteria.htm"
Niacin, Vitamin E
[YEA] 10/24/2012: Deb E from Cedar Rapids, Iowa: "Suffering several yrs from Crest Disease... Best help I have found.. Niacin and Vit E. They warm your cold extremities but Vit E keeps you from forming blood clots in those small veins"
[YEA] 07/21/2011: Jessie from Linden, Tennessee Usa: "I have had crest for 50yr. And have suffered with raynaud's. I didn't have the help that is out there. I had an old fashioned Dr. who put me on time release niacin, 100 mg up to 5 times a day, vitamin E 1000 and multi B complex. I took this every day (365) as my symptoms decreased after 5 yrs (could be different for others)I only took it in the winter. Now I can go without it. I only start if I get bad in the winter till it stops. But if you need a fast warm up, Just vacuum for a long time I had the cleanest carpet in town."
Oil Pulling, Magnesium Oil
09/09/2011: Bikergma03 from Sweetwater, Tn: "I have been diagnosed with this rare disease "CREST". I have been looking for cures for some time now. Reynauds seems to be the worst part of it. I am going to try Oil Pulling and the magnesium I read up the list a few posts before this one! Thanks"
05/08/2011: Mark from Loveland, Co, Usa: "I have been diagnosed with Morphea. The earth clinic page for CREST calls it a localised sleroderma. CREST is actually a localised systemic sleroderma which is quite different from morphea. Morphea is a medical term for localized scleroderma. The disease involves isolated patches of hardened skin from excessive collagen deposition, there generally is no internal organ involvement which is very different from CREST.
I searched earthclinic.com and did not find any hits on Morphea. Does anyone have any suggestions?"Replies
05/08/2011: Fra-fra from Mineral Wells, Texas replies: "I have read that DMSO is good for scleroderma, you might try it and see if it helps."
05/10/2011: Dan from Whites Creek, West Virginia, Usa replies: "Try this:
Gluten and Morphea
* By Julie_NorthernCA
* December 9, 2010 at 12:24 am · 19 replies
Hi, I am new to the forum and want to share something I have "discovered" I was diagnosed about 7 years ago with Morphea.. A few plaques on my tummy and back. Recently they have spread to hips, ankle, underarms and inner thighs so my condition went from limited to generalized. The past two weeks I have been on a gluten free diet. Almost like an elimination diet one uses to diagnose food allergies. I have noticed that not only has my GERD become less troublesome but my lesions are not painful and seem to be diminishing. I have not used any perscription creams for the past ten days and still everything on my skin not only looks but feels better. I have also suffered from deep aching in my hips, particularly at night. Yes, I too have been told the pain has nothing to do with morphea!!! I just feel so much better. Gluten and Celiac disease may predispose some of us to Scleroderma. I know this diet is very alkaline as well as gluten free. I am going to continue eliminating gluten as I am convinced, at least for myself, that it has contributed to my illness. Anyone else have similar experience going gluten free?
* By mylivs
* December 9, 2010 at 6:28 am
Hi there! My 4 year old has morphea on her face and some parry rombergs symptoms. She is on metho and folic acid. I started her on gluten free a few months ago and the facial discoloration and hardness is barely visible! I'm sure it may have something to do with the metho as well but I have seen people on metho and their morphea didn't heal as fast! I researched gluten on my own and the reason I started her on it was because its supposed to boost the immune system and since the metho depletes the immune system I thought I would try to counteract it! Its a natural anti inflammatory as well! I have to say I agree with u 100%! My daughters doctors were blown away by how far she has come in the past few months! I'm glad its helping you too! LaurenAnne
* By LaurenAnne
* December 9, 2010 at 8:45 am
Thank you so much for sharing! There are definitely others who have eliminated gluten, other adults and moms, and swear by it! You've convinced me and will try it for my son! ------------------------------------------------------"