Light restriction

Marshall Protocol (MP) patients who are photosensitive are advised to limit their exposure to light. This article summarizes information related to light restriction for MP patients. In later stages of the MP and/or when the treatment is complete, veterans of the MP may choose to expose their eyes and skin to increasing amounts of light.


Main article: Photosensitivity

Abnormal sensitivity to sunlight and bright lights is known as photosensitivity and sometimes referred to as “sun flare” or photophobia. In the context of the MP, the ultimate cause of photosensitivity is the Th1 inflammatory disease process – not the treatment itself. Exposure to natural or bright artificial light in a photosensitiveAbnormal sensitivity to sunlight and bright lights. Also referred to as "sun flare" or "light flare." person can lead to flares of internal disease activity, including exacerbation of any inflammatory disease symptoms. Neurological phenomena also occur since the amygdala has nerves connecting it to a number of important brain centers, including the neocortex and visual cortex.

Photosensitivity can occur either when the skin is exposed to bright natural light or the eyes are exposed to either natural or artificial light. Photosensitivity symptoms can occur immediately after exposure or begin 1 to 3 days later, sometimes persisting 5 days or more.

Individuals who are photosensitive prior to the MP will likely become more photosensitive on the MP. Individuals who have no signs of photosensitivity may or may not become photosensitive on the MP. Individuals with limited inflammatory symptoms (suggesting early disease) are the most likely to be able to tolerate more light exposure while on the MP. There is no certain way to tell in advance precisely how photosensitive an individual will be while on the MP. Only after an individual has begun treatment can photosensitivity be assessed.

For many members but not all it is prudent to block sunlight from living space, work space and practice limited sunlight exposure and cover up skin with thick dark layers when going out as well as protect the eyes with the proper NOIRSpecial sunglasses worn by Marshall Protocol patients to block light. glasses.

When in doubt, patients should assume their intolerable symptoms are due to light exposure and reduce sunlight exposure and protect eyes with the proper NOIR sunglassesSpecial sunglasses worn by Marshall Protocol patients to block light..

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General rules for light exposure

  1. Differentiate between symptoms due to light exposure and immune system reaction symptoms. When in doubt, patients should assume their symptoms are due to light exposure and reduce light exposure if symptoms are serious, i.e., cardiac in nature.
  2. High risk patients should be more cautious about exposing themselves to light. MP patients with pre-MP levels of 1,25-D higher than 45pg/ml, those who have osteoporosis or may be at risk for osteoporosis, and those who did not assess their 1,25-D pre-MP should consider that light exposure may increase 1,25-D to levels that promote bone resorption. They should weigh the risk/benefit ratio of light exposure vs. their need or desire to expose themselves to light.
  3. Experimentation with sun exposure, is encouraged during all phases of the MP but should be done cautiously, and extra caution should be used if one's illness is severe. The symptoms and timing of a photosensitivityAbnormal sensitivity to sunlight and bright lights. Also referred to as "sun flare" or "light flare." reaction may change over time on the MP, and this should be taken into account. For example, a patient might have more of a delayed and longer-lasting response later in the MP than they did early in the MP. It must be remembered that all cremes applied to the skin, including Zinc Oxide 'screens', may be (partly) absorbed, and have a systemic effect on the body.
  4. Being on the MP is more important than 100% compliance. A less-than-ideal compliance with light avoidance may be better than no MP at all for many individuals who cannot or will not change their lifestyle to avoid light exposure.
  5. Take intolerable symptoms of light exposure seriously. Intolerable symptoms resulting from light exposure should be treated using the guidelines for cardiac immunopathologyAn exacerbation in symptoms of the heart muscle. Requires careful management by physicians. and/or the runaway immune system reaction.

Eye protection

Main article: Eye protection

MP patients who are photosensitive must protect their eyes from exposure to both natural and bright artificial light by using NoIRs or the equivalent sunglasses that prevent all types of radiation from reaching the eyes. Most kinds of glasses are not appropriate for use outdoors on the MP as they do not protect against infrared light.

Of the NoIR sunglasses, there are three options.

  • 2% amber (outdoor)
  • 10% amber (indoor)
  • 40% amber (low lighting situations)

Patients who would rather not wear NoIRs have the option to use certain kinds of stylish frames and prescription sunglasses.

Unless it obstructs vision while driving, photosensitive MP patients should wear eye protection (including at night, due to the effect of oncoming car headlights).

It is recommended that patients starting the Protocol buy and wear any of the recommended glasses for two weeks to be safe and to learn if light affects their symptoms in unanticipated ways.

Skin protection

Main article: Skin protection

Because of the effect of light on the skin, Marshall Protocol (MP) patients who exhibit photosensitivity must protect their skin from exposure to natural light. This involves covering windows of indoor spaces to block outside light. When outdoors, it means wearing dark, tightly-woven clothing or multiple layers of clothing, covering most of the body. Sunscreens containing a high percentage of zinc oxide (greater than 15%) may be useful in some circumstances but are not a substitute for other measures. Many MP patients wear hats and gloves as well.

Types of light

Outdoor (natural) light

Main article: Outdoor light

  • Natural light falling on skin may cause an excess production of 1,25-D in persons with Th1 disease.
  • Natural light exposure will not stop bacterial killing while on the MP, but progress may be slowed if either 25-D or 1,25-D are elevated by light exposure enough to inhibit immune function.
  • Natural light is defined as outside light from dawn to dusk, even on cloudy days, including reflected light, light coming into a building or through tinted car windows.
  • Dawn and dusk approximate the recommended low artificial lighting of 30 lux and may be safe.
  • Light intensity, as it relates to production of 1,25-D, is the same in northern latitudes as it is at the equator.
  • Individuals with darker skin are no less susceptible to the effects of light on the skin than are individuals with lighter skin.

Inside (artificial) light

Main article: Indoor light

MP patients need not cover their skin indoors if all natural light is blocked. If natural light has not been blocked from their house, they will need to cover their skin and eyes at all times. If natural light has been blocked but artificial lighting exceeds 30 lux, wear appropriate eye protection only. If all natural light has been blocked from the area, and artificial lighting has been reduced to no more than 30 lux, no precautions are needed.

  • Fluorescent lighting – MP patients must wear appropriate eye protection and a cap with a bill. Many stores, doctor's offices and other commercial establishments have fluorescent lighting, so adequate eye protection is needed there.
  • Incandescent light – Incandescent light must not be too bright or direct to eyes. MP patients must wear appropriate eye protection or dim to 30 lux.
  • Halogen light – To protect against halogen light, MP patients must wear appropriate eye protection and a cap with a bill.
  • Televisions and computer monitors – MP patients must limit their exposure to light from televisions and computer monitors by lowering the brightness on these devices and/or wear sunglasses.

Physics of light

Main article: Physics of light

Both the visible wave lengths and the invisible ultraviolet and infrared wave lengths of light can provide enough energy to create 1,25-D. MP patients must limit their exposure to ultraviolet and infrared radiation.

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