The patient: Chris, a 19-year-old interested in enlisting in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) with a disqualifying MRSA infection acquired as a high school wrestler.
Why he came to see me: After trying multiple courses of antibiotics, both orally and IV, he came after a friend told him that I miraculously “cured” his cystic acne. The Marine recruiter told him that if he could come back with no evidence of the lesion on his shoulder that he would admit him.
How I evaluated him: Since he had multiple physicals, I waived mine and focused instead on blood work performed by previous physicians. The one finding that stood out was a “high normal” level of a type of white blood cell associated with allergic sensitivity, which he admitted to having for many years. This elevated eosinophil count correlated with food and inhalant sensitivities that had produced respiratory congestion and digestive upsets and had been treated with short-term medication but never really directly addressed. He found that limiting dairy and wheat from his diet was helpful for digestion but ineffective for his seasonal breathing issues.
How I addressed his problem: His diet was poor and indicated that he could have nutrient deficiencies, most importantly affecting the strength of his immune system. The specific deficiency that can impair his ability to fight this antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus was the mineral selenium. My choice was to prescribe a liquid selenium supplement. I additionally directed him to go on a very clean dietary regime with an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables, lightly cooked meats, and seeds and legumes.
Over my 35 years of practice, I have successfully treated many patients with dermatitis by prescribing selenium salts. In super-physiological amounts (more than the body typically uses), excess is excreted into the outer layer of the skin, making it less vulnerable to microorganisms including molds and aggressive bacterial strains like MRSA.
The patient’s progress: Chris noticed improvement after 10 days and was sufficiently clear after a month that he passed his induction physical and is currently serving in the USMC. I wished him well and sent a few letters to him in Afganistan.