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Recovery Of Health
03-26-2013, 06:28 PM
Post: #1
Recovery Of Health
Polly: Each of the twelve people in this chapter has been blessed with a significant improvement in their health. Each had symptoms of fatigue and dysbiosis. Each took a different approach, yet each succeeded. Perhaps their stories may give some insight into how to approach your own health issues.

Sarito

Sarito: For 4 years, I thought I had candida. All the symptoms fit. I responded to caprylic acid and antifungals I felt better on the candida diet. I didn’t get a positive test for candida, but I didn’t think that was necessary. I could keep symptoms under control this way, but I was continually getting worse chronic fatigue, itching, colonitis, bladder problems, etc. Then I noticed how moldy my bedroom was. I started to consider a mold allergy. I read Dr. Rogers’s book E.I. Syndrome Revised, on environmental illnesses, and I finally moved out of my moldy house. As soon as I did that, my energy picked up. After a few weeks, I could start eating grains, a little fruit, etc. I’ve found that I’m allergic to a whole spectrum of things that I have to keep out of my environment. Following this regime I am gaining weight again and my energy is returning. So, if you are one of the many who are not getting better, start by reading Dr. Rogers book. You can order it through Borders or directly from her Prestige Publishing.

Polly: This website gives many practical suggestions on how to clean your home and car of mold. http://www.fungalsinusitis.com For instance, they suggest putting grapefruit seed extract and hydrogen peroxide in through the air intake that goes to the interior of your car. To find the intake, turn on the fan, set the intake to fresh air, and place tissue along the bottom of the outside windshield. Also, you can place special cloth filters in your home’s heating and air-conditioning vents. Mechanical and electronic filters inside the house may help. One place to purchase a mold test kit, and mold abatement equipment is National Allergy Supply. This is their website http://www.nationalallergy.com. Many pharmacies and places like Costco carry HEPA and other filters. Be sure to get one large enough to be effective in the space you are cleaning.

If you are having problems with moisture and mold, the basic steps that you can take to improve airflow and your house’s integrity are outlined in this excellent article http://www.fungalsinusitis.com by Donald P. Dennis, M.D., F.A.C.S. Among other things, he suggests:

Stop the source of the moisture (fix plumbing or roof leaks).

Install more vents and a fan in the crawl space.

Remove old plastic in the crawl space and replace with a new plastic cover with a six inch soil border

Install florescent lights in the crawl space.

Remove fiberglass duct board and blown in insulation in the attic. Spray the wood with grapefruit seed extract, and replace the insulation with Myraflex, which is fiberglass insulation covered with clear plastic.

I would also suggest that you remove wallpaper and paneling. The glue and cellulose are a perfect breeding ground for mold.

Anna

Anna Coy: Learning to get oxygen into my body has pulled me out of the dark abyss of illness and back into the light of good health. Deep slow diaphragmatic breathing provided the oxygen my body needed to heal itself. I suffered for 17 years from bouts of chronic sinus problems, candidiasis, allergies, asthma, low energy and a myriad of other symptoms all of which can be linked to a lack of oxygen in the body. Eventually, I ended up with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Weak, bedridden and in a life threatening situation, it was all I could do to get myself to breathe. So breathing is what I concentrated on. I discovered that the additional oxygen from proper breathing opened up my body both physically and emotionally to the process of healing. During this time, all the emotional and psychological barriers that had led to my illness surfaced. By using deep breathing, imagery and intention, my vital life force grew stronger. Ultimately, it led to my complete healing. Now I have an abundance of energy available for working and living fully again, and I no longer have the habit of storing stress in my body.

Polly: Anna Coy teaches classes on breathwork, and she also teaches breathing techniques to the patients of one of my doctors. She has a website at http://www.heartofbreathing.com. She has tapes for sale to teach you this breathing technique. This deep, slow, diaphragmatic breathing increases the oxygen that reaches your tissue. (More is said about this breathing in the Acid And Alkaline Balance chapter of book 3.)

Shelley: I really concur about the breathing. There are many ways to learn this Shiatsu, Yoga, classes specific to breathing, and Theresa Hale’s technique, as described in her book Breathing Free.

Polly: The breathing is very important, however, notice that Anna combined it with emotional work. There is also another technique that you can use to release emotions and the damage they do to your body. In its most basic form, it doesn’t cost you anything but your time. It is called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). You think of something that is bothering you and then you tap along acupuncture meridians on your body to get rid of the harmful response. In a small way, it is like the techniques they use to bring someone back from a traumatic experience --- if the incident or parts of the incident are related often enough, it no longer has its emotional impact. This is the EFT website http://www.emofree.com. They have a lot of free information there. They also sell video-training courses for the advanced student and professionals.

Dechen

Dechen: I’m in excellent health now. Since I’ve had the last of my amalgams removed, I’ve experienced a steady improvement, in terms of energy levels and of the complete disappearance of any digestive, allergic, or other symptoms.

I used to have some little flare-ups if I ate lots of sweets before I removed my three last amalgams, but since then, I’ve had no flare-ups at all, just slight gut irritation if I ate sweets. (I limit myself to figs, grapes, etc. No cakes, no cookies, which I don’t like anyway.) Now a few weeks after final removal of my last amalgams, I have nothing, no more symptoms whatsoever. I have loads of energy, like I never thought I would have again. Remember that just one year ago, I was in bed all day with severe colitis, serious food allergies, no energy whatsoever, itchiness all over. Now I’m just in perfect health, and what’s more, I’ve gained a lot of weight --- 10 kilos, a little too much, but I was a skeleton.

I did fight this thing with all I could find: Chinese medicine, natural and chemical antifungals, probiotics, meditation, acupuncture, diet, transfer factor, hormone rebalancing, etc. And I can say every little thing helped, but nothing like removing that poison from my body. It could be that I was mercury sensitive, or just too toxic, I can’t say enough good about this. This was the key to healing for me. It unburdened my immune system so that my body could really fight the candida. And from reading a lot on mercury amalgam poisoning, it just seems like such a destructive substance for the body. I’ll never regret removing my amalgams. I only regret waiting so long before doing it. I would have suffered much less.

Polly: Note, some people notice no change after removing their amalgams. There is no guarantee that it will help. Also remember that there is residual mercury in the soft tissue and possibly some stuck inside the intestines. Sometimes progress is not seen until this other mercury is also removed.

Beth

Beth: Let me first stress that in order to achieve wellness, you have to make sure that you cover all the issues that contribute to your illness. It’s usually not just one thing.

Back in ‘92 or ‘93, I was diagnosed by a dermatologist has having Rosacea (reddening of the face, red bumps, etc). My doctor prescribed topical creams and a daily oral antibiotic. I was on the antibiotic for two and a half years. Slowly I began developing abdominal symptoms. I was eventually diagnosed then as having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). By this time, I was suffering severely. At times pain was so severe that I’d pass out. I had chronic diarrhea, indigestion, etc.

I went to three different gastroenterologists. Each diagnosed me as having IBS. They couldn’t tell me what the root cause was, but one thought it was stress related my husband and I didn’t agree, but I did try several months of biofeedback but no improvement.

I did my own research and read about candida. I was convinced that I had it. I didn’t realize that I had other symptoms as well, since the IBS pretty much ruled my life. Then I found a doctor who took my entire family medical history, plus my notes and listened to me for two hours during my first visit.

He unpeeled me like an onion. We first addressed my food allergies, then the candida (we used diet and the antifungals Diflucan or Sporanox) for 8 months. I stuck to the routine. Then I went on a maintenance program. He discovered that I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and prescribed Armour thyroid hormone. That really helped to push me over the edge to wellness. Mind you, I didn’t have any normal “hypo” symptoms at all, but lab results did show that I had the disease.

Before my treatment with this doctor, I had three amalgam fillings replaced with composites. This may or not have contributed to my excessively high levels of mercury. You see, I thought I was cured from candida, but I knew that it was still lurking inside me. I never could really stray too far from my diet.

I decided to undergo DMPS treatments to remove mercury, which took 11 months. Towards the end, my mercury was almost to the normal range, but it remained at the same level. DMPS ceased to be effective. He suspected a parasite. In fact, we always suspected a parasite but it’s very difficult to get good lab results. Well, I did have a parasite. Once I was treated for it, I took two more DMPS treatments and that’s it. I was finally well.

Today I just take a normal amount of vitamins to maintain good health. I’m an avid bicyclist and am training for a century ride (100 miles). I teach water aerobics and manage a marketing department for a large company. I can’t tell you how great it is to be well. No more food allergies. My inhalant allergies are gone. I eat whatever I want to eat, but I’m trying (and failing) to avoid sugars, etc.

Polly is really good about pointing out that many things help contribute to the candida. Mine probably was the antibiotics and possibly the mercury. I tend to suspect that the mercury contributed to my thyroiditis. Which, by the way has continued to improve. My antibody count was reduced by 50% the last time I was tested (about 6 months ago).

Polly

Taylor: Hi Polly. How long has the yeast problem been gone? Do you have to do anything (antifungals, diet, etc) to maintain this truce?

Polly: It has been gone quite a while. I have had no problems with the yeast returning, even though my maintenance diet has not been ideal by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t use antifungals. Presently, I eat a reasonable amount of natural sugars from fruit, milk, honey and maple syrup. The only thing that I do to keep the yeast at bay is avoid the unsaturated seed oils. Eg, soy, corn, safflower, canola, flax and cottonseed. These oils suppress the immune system and make us susceptible to the yeast syndrome.

Eliminating the yeast isn’t the whole problem. You also have to correct the damage their toxins have wrought on your body. My health history is a clear example of this. Here is my story.

The obvious symptoms started about 20 years ago. I had migraines, food intolerances, flatulence and diarrhea. Yes, I had tests performed. The only thing that showed up was yeast. However, the doctor told me, “Yeast in the stool doesn’t mean anything because everyone has yeast.” I assumed he was right. Fortunately, one of the doctors told me to watch my diet and see what helped and what didn’t help. Even though I’d never heard of the yeast syndrome, my observations lead me to the classic anti-candida diet. I also found a few supplements that helped. I took vitamin A, E, buffered C, and digestive enzymes.

My diet included a pound of raw butter per week, and lots of meat, fish, and eggs. No unsaturated oil, except from fish. No sugar or fruit. I had to cook my vegetables in order to tolerate them. Potatoes were definitely a no-no for me. However, I was eating bread, and I never checked to see if eliminating it could help. If I had it to do it over again, I would have tried eliminating the bread, or at least I would have tried going to the non-gluten breads for a significant period of time. Perhaps I would have gotten well quicker. (Hindsight is wonderful.)

After about 10 years, the food intolerances and migraines were gone, and I could eat anything I wanted. However, I had developed a very foggy brain, and I had no energy. I think it was from the cumulative damage from the yeast toxins. By this time, I had heard of the yeast syndrome. So, I tried the antifungals Nystatin and Nizoral. They helped a little with the brain fog, but not enough to continue taking them. Over the next 10 years, bit by bit, I found several supplements that helped me regain my energy, brain function, and general health. In order of discovery, I needed coenzyme Q10, alpha-ketoglutartic acid with magnesium-potassium aspartates, natural progesterone, Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane (MSM), Armour thyroid, tri-methyl-glycine (TMG), a homeopathic remedy (for the removal of chemicals), the amino acid taurine, a little DMSA, and some T3 thyroid (Cytomel). However, there were several other things that were also very helpful, yet not as critical.

I would like to share this with you since I feel oils are so very important. One of my doctors asked me to make my own coconut cream. I did so and felt better on this than the usual store-bought coconut oil. Perhaps there is something more in the homemade coconut cream, or perhaps the oil is just better when it is truly raw. My doctor was very specific. I had to use the Green Life Juicer so that the oil was not heated. Other juicers would not do. Store bought “cold-pressed” coconut oil is heated too much in the processing. Much later I discovered a fermented coconut oil product that was made using very little heat. My body seems to react just as favorably to this oil as it does to the homemade coconut cream. However, if I cook the fermented coconut oil, I fall asleep after eating it, just like I do with the heat-processed oils. See http://www.coconut-info.com.

Fresh coconut is another option. If the coconut doesn’t smell or look right, don’t use it. The meat should be white, not clear or brown. You should be able to hear some juice when you shake the coconut. I found the best way to get to the meat out of the coconut was to first loosen the meat by tapping the coconut with a hammer for a minute or so. Then place the coconut in a plastic bag on the sidewalk, and give it a good whack with the hammer. Any meat that is still attached to the shell can be removed in small pieces by using a thick knife to make cuts in the meat perpendicular to the shell, and then wiggling (applying a torque) the knife sideways. There is also the more professional way. Strike the coconut with the backside of a cleaver. This should break the coconut in half. Then get a scraper to pull out the meat. The scrapers are sold at http://www.coconut-info.com.

If you try coconut oil, please start slowly, with a teaspoon or less per day. You must give your body time to adjust. Also, coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which kills yeast. You don’t want to suffer severe die-off symptoms.

Susan in Olympia

Susan in Olympia: Last spring I was suicidal on various occasions. I have some excruciatingly painful journal entries from April, May and June which continue to remind me where I was then. It was a palpable blackness... and eventually it, along with the symptoms of candida and fibromyalgia that I have lived with for four/five years... culminated in me taking a leave of absence from my job starting in June.

The depression turned out, as you say, to be the deal-breaker. It was the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. I could hobble to work with pain in all my joints and hands that could not clench enough to hold a pen (imagine a teacher unable to write for 6 weeks until the pain somehow subsided). I could go to work bloated and miserable and fatigued, piecing together every last vestige of determination to appear minimally competent on the job only to collapse at home and be consistently AWOL from family duties. This went on for quite a while due to a remarkable force of will. But I was ultimately no match for the depression. It sucked the life right out of me.

The first breakthrough I had in terms of depression was in taking SAM starting mid-June. The results were relatively quick (within 2 weeks) and included a remission of the blackness of depression, and a marked absence or alleviation of joint pain. It was, for me, dramatic.

My next step forward was when I started taking natural progesterone in July. By August I was feeling a lot more energy, further smoothing of my moods, softer skin (I had always lived with permanently chapped lips, sandpaper elbows and feet, etc), a miraculous disappearance of PMS and menstrual cramps, and more.

Since I wasn’t working, I was able to concentrate all of my increasing energies on diet: NO sugar or wheat (to which I am allergic) and that started working some magic too.

Then in October I started counseling with a psychotherapist. I had avoided this for a while because I felt that this illness is definitely NOT in my head... why would counseling about personal relationships, etc affect it? However, I did have a difficult childhood and suffered emotional abuse and neglect. Much of the patterns set then has continued even now with respect to my relationship with my mother. And every time my parents would come to visit I would have a mysterious relapse into intractable fatigue and the famous Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) headache that rendered me lifeless and in bed.

In short, counseling surprised me. While I agree with what Paul says about depression being biological.... somehow the counseling made me stronger on a psychological level and affected my biological responses.

In November I started working out fairly vigorously, four times per week or more. I tolerated it well, and have continued to the present. I echo the sentiments that exercise is a VERY important factor in recovery. In July when I had tried to even take a slow walk, I was bedridden for several days afterwards with fatigue. The ability to exercise was a clear marker that I was making progress.

In January I went back to work. And I found that a job I had blamed for stress is now easily managed and enjoyable to me. Funny, I always thought it was the job. Yet much of it was me, trying to do a normal load with less than normal resources.

I needed that break, that six month rest, the chance to gather my wits, to focus on my health, to make small steps of progress accumulate into something big... and the result has been that the situations I have always been surrounded by are now manageable and rewarding. I am a mommy who can get down on the floor and play race cars with my toddler son, dance with him to Cuban music, play hide and seek ‘til the cows come home, sail through my responsibilities at work without feeling run over by a truck...

SO.... I do believe it is biological. But I also believe that the mental/spiritual/relationship realm... it all affects the biological. AND... finding the right treatments, being sane enough and rested enough to focus on diet and exercise... all that stuff is part of climbing out of the pit.

I haven’t felt the blackness return since early December when I stopped taking SAMe (“I don’t need this stuff any more... I’m cured!” WRONG!) But since then I have switched to the much cheaper TMG (tri-methyl-glycine), with the same wonderful results.

I know this is long, but maybe it will help you find hope. Nobody who hasn’t lived through the maelstrom of depression has a clue how powerful and evil it is.

John Q

John Q: I was infected with erlichiosis, which is a particular form of Lyme disease. I want to share my story so more people will be better aware of the many different symptoms that this disease can present --- especially, since in my experience, it is easy for doctors to misdiagnose different forms of Lyme disease as a totally different medical or even psychological condition.

I believe I was infected in Iowa in the fall of 1997. I could have been infected in Oklahoma or in the Hill Country here in Texas. I had spent time in the outdoors in all three places from August to September of 1997. I did not experience a ring from the bite. The bite I remember getting looked more like a strange fire ant bite.

I began to feel tired in November 1997. I had cramps in my major muscles and my joints began to get stiffer than usual. I always felt chilled but I chalked this up to getting older and more out of shape. At the time, I was refereeing soccer every weekend. I was the commissioner of referees for my local soccer association. At Thanksgiving I remember developing a headache and noticing that my feeling of being chilled seemed like a virus or sickness. I took aspirin and went about my business. In December I began to develop an earache and I became dizzy and lightheaded. I never went to doctors and I decided that I better break down and see one because I thought I had developed an internal ear infection.

I initially went to see an HMO doctor in Bedford, Texas. I now know I was in stage one of the disease. This was in December 1997. He noted that I had swollen glands and a rash. I have always had acne and the rash looked more like acne to me. I did complain of the ring in the ears and the dizziness when I stood up. After he gave me an antibiotic Z-Pack (Zithromax 100mg???) I felt somewhat better, but then a week after the Z-Pack, I must have had a Herxheimer reaction. This is where I felt as if my legs came out from under me and the electrical shock sensations began, primarily down the left side of my body. I nearly passed out several times. It felt like I had a heart attack. My left arm hurt and was numb.

I returned to the doctor and told him how my left arm had gone numb and how this electrical shock pain was pulsing in my body. I told him that my heart hurt and I was having trouble breathing. We did an EKG and found nothing. He conducted more blood work and all that showed up was that my liver count was slightly high.

The pain and pulsing electrical shock feelings increased. The headache that never went away began. The doctor sent me for a MRI for my headache. Nothing. I was still always cold. I began to have horrible night sweats. The inability to sleep and now the irritable bowel became intolerable. I then began to complain about the pain in my stomach. My bowel movements were total mucus. Stool samples were taken. Nothing. My eyes hurt and ooze was coming out of them. I couldn’t stand to be in the sunlight. My skin began to peel and I showed this to my doctor. He prescribed Lamisil, which is an antifungal medication.

One morning before work, I felt very strange. I became short of breath and passed out. When I woke I could hardly breathe. I called the doctor’s office. After hearing of my list of strange symptoms, all they could say is that I needed mental treatment. I did not feel that it was only a mental or psychological condition, but they arranged for me to go to a private mental hospital. I spent a week in a hospital getting used to some very strong drugs. I explained my symptoms to the doctor (a psychiatrist) in the hospital before being admitted. I could hardly breathe without difficulty and feeling short of breath. He said take this Xanax and I began to get calmer and the breathing became easier. Xanax is just a Central Nervous system relaxant. You are really anxious was all he could offer as a medical diagnosis.

I was in constant pain, especially my head and stomach. I complained about my stomach to my doctor. He ran a sonogram. Nothing --- now he simply decided that I was a “head case”. They prescribed Effexor. This really made me hallucinate. Xanax helped me breathe and sort of helped me sleep. I saw a second psychiatrist. Told him all the same things and showed him my peeling skin. He changed me from Effexor to Busbar, another antidepressant.

A co-worker said if you are depressed I can get you into see the Head of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center. When I visited this new psychiatrist, I explained all my symptoms, the diarrhea, the electrical shock sensations, the headache, and the dizziness. I showed her my peeling skin. I remember taking my shoes off to show her how the skin on my feet was peeling off. She said this is a fungal infection. All she came up with was “you are really depressed and it is interesting to see that you are also anxious at the same time.” She prescribed Zoloft and Kolonopin.

I was in stage two of the disease and probably entering stage three of the disease when I ventured home to the University of Iowa in June 1998. I really was sick then. I became dyslexic and I couldn’t remember anything. I got lost driving to work --- I kid you not. I couldn’t speak. I forgot words. Again after the exam all they could say was that I am depressed and you need to see a psychiatrist.

I had seen the best doctors at two great state medical institutions. I could not get anyone in the medical profession to believe that I was sick. What was I to do? I accepted I was depressed. I considered traveling to the Mayo Clinic but now am glad I didn’t go because I probably would have ended up in a mental hospital or diagnosed with cancer like Senator Harris. [1]

In the summer of 1998, I really deteriorated. I entered stage three of the disease. People at work became concerned. I really could not complete tasks. I couldn’t concentrate because of the pain. All my muscles and joints hurt. The headache was completely unbearable --- a pounding throbbing ache. I had to hold unto to things when I walked because I was so dizzy. I had great difficulty driving. The pain in my neck was intense and the left side of my face went numb. I really never slept because of the pain.

I went to see the only naturopathic doctor in Texas (unlicensed in Texas but licensed in other states). I told him my entire story and how poorly I felt. He asked if my original doctor could order a special stool sample to see if we could find something. Again nothing. I went to see a yeast doctor in Houston. He was the only one that would truly listen. He started me on thyroid and Cortef. He tested me for yeast and I had high levels. I had read books about the yeast syndrome and I had all the symptoms listed in the book; but the stuff he put me on didn’t help. I explained the electrical shock feelings to him and he asked if I had played football. He said, “You must have a pinched nerve.”

A Chinese friend who works at my office took me to a Chinese doctor in December 1998. I was desperate so I told her I would go. She has an excellent reputation for acupuncture and herbs. She told me I had a parasite but she didn’t know which one. She believed I was sick. She said Western doctors do not see these types of infections often so they don’t think about them.

By this time my muscles were fisiculating (twitching) where it looked like there were worms crawling under my skin. This fisiculation came and went. At least two weeks out of the month I could not control it. I became very shaky like I had Parkinson’s disease.

I changed insurance companies and in January 1999 went to a doctor that everyone at my work goes to. I told him how I was feeling and he wanted to do a physical. He mentioned Lyme disease. I had already researched it on the web and he told me to write an account of where I might have gotten it. He still didn’t test me at the first visit.

The blood test came back and I went to the follow up exam in February 1999. He said my liver counts were high. He speculated I had hepatitis. While I was at the office for the second exam the fisiculation was very severe that day. I told him I needed to show him this. I stripped off my clothes and said, “Tell me that is in my head!” He then believed me and then tested for Lyme. God, another two weeks before treatment! I begged for antibiotics. He said he wanted to see which strain it was.

So now I knew I was sick. It wasn’t a mental thing. I had a Western doctor that believed me. We knew what we were dealing with, a tick borne illness, but I tested negative for borrealia (Bb) and babasia (Bm) as well as other spirochetal infections like syphilis. Once we had it narrowed down to erlichiosis, the insurance company would not pay for the conclusive test, which is the human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) test. Most HME cases were reported from the southeastern and southcentral areas of the United States. In contrast, the highest reported average annual incidence rates of HGE were in the northeastern and upper midwestern areas of the United States. Therefore I still can’t tell you where I picked this up. No conclusive test.

I had developed enough other symptoms to diagnose the disease clinically --- like the fisiculating muscles and my skin peeling off. I really looked like something out of a science fiction movie. The doctor that diagnosed the disease and who had seen the twitching muscles sent me to a neurologist. The neurologist did not believe I had Lyme disease because the blood test for Bb and Bm came back negative. He also knew I had seen a psychiatrist. His assessment was hypochondria. I showed him the peeling skin and the rash on my body and all he could say was, “You need to see a dermatologist.” (I saw the neurologist in an off week from the fisiculation. The fisiculations came in two week waves or growth cycles of the spirochetes.) I had no test to prove to this neurologist that I had the disease because the insurance companies refused to pay.

By this time, I was in search of relief from the pain of the fisiculating muscles. The Chinese doctor placed rings at nerve points where it would ease the twitch and ease the pain.

I also went to see an ophthalmologist at UTSW. He said he had never seen a diagnosed Lyme patient. He asked if I cared if his students could look at my rash and peeling skin as well as examine my eyes. It is sad to note, that of the many doctors I visited, this was one of the only doctors with any real curiosity.

Treatment: I went on a triple antibiotic attack of the disease. I took orally 600mg of Zithromax daily for three months and 750 mg of Mepron twice daily for four months, and then I had Recephon IM one gram twice a week for six weeks. (Note, this is much longer than the 6-week antibiotic cure that some insurance companies insist is sufficient.)

The doctor said you are also depressed and I expect you to be because you have been infected with this for more than 16 months. Since this is a total body infection and the liver is infected --- it does mess up the brain chemistry that is made in the liver. I was slightly reluctant to take the antidepressants because of the experience with the psychiatrists. He prescribed Asendin (amoxapine) 300 grams and a low dose of Wellbutrin 100 mg twice a day. I took the Asendin for just over a year. And I am continuing to take the Wellbutrin. The combination along with the antibiotics really helped speed recovery from the third stage of the disease.

My thinking began to come back. I had to teach myself to read and do math again. What an experience. I had lost over two years of my life to this disease --- due to the lack of doctors being able to recognize the symptoms. It really took almost a year after I was diagnosed and started treatment to feel normal again. How do you tell your boss you can’t read or you can’t comprehend numbers? I am fortunate that I didn’t lose my job. My wife nearly divorced me over the illness. All my wife was told by the medical profession was that I had a mental condition such as depression. All because no one was willing to listen to me or look at my physical skin peeling and take it seriously.

Rehabilitation was slow and painful. I joined the YMCA and told the trainer what I was dealing with. He placed me on a low weight high frequency weight lifting program. I stumbled around the track trying to rebuild my cardiovascular function. I sat in the sauna daily for as long as I could to try and cook the spirochetes out of my skin. I continued to get acupuncture until I felt I didn’t need it. It was expensive and not covered by insurance but it really helped the pain.

Doctors need to be taught to recognize the symptoms of this disease. The Head of a Department at one of our best institutions missed this in me. There also needs to be a state or regional testing facility, where blood can be sent and tested for all tick borne illnesses at a reasonable cost. Also, the insurance companies should be required to pay for the tests of all the various forms of Lyme disease. Available testing is very important. Some doctors (like the neurologist that I saw) do not have the intestinal fortitude to diagnose this unusual infection clinically. These doctors need a test. Without an available test, many people will continue to get sicker and die.

Doctors who diagnose this disease should be allowed to use whatever drug treatment and duration of that treatment that they feel is necessary. The doctor that treated me had not seen a person in the third stage of this disease before me. He used the Internet just like me to help figure a treatment and rehabilitation regiment. I am truly grateful for the treatment he prescribed --- it worked!

Ann

Ann: I could have been the poster child for Candidiasis because I was such a classic case of antibiotic overuse and having a poor diet. My health history started from a young age. By the time I was 9, I was immune to Penicillin because I had had it so often for colds, ear infections, sore throats, and sinus problems. I also had a very poor diet consisting of lots of sugar and refined processed foods. My overuse of antibiotics continued through my teenage years. At age 18 I hit my first health crisis. I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr and Mononucleosis.

After a couple of months my condition worsened and I went on a wild goose chase searching for the right doctor. In a span of 6 months I had seen over 7 different specialists and had been prescribed more than 36 medications, most of them antibiotics, steroids, and cortisone. I was literally dying from the drugs. My symptoms were fatigue, disorientation, brain fog, weight loss, allergies, chest constriction, sore throat, abdominal discomfort, etc Emotionally and mentally I was depressed.

It was at the end of those 6 months that I came across an alternative practitioner that said my body was so infested with Candida albicans that I was showing signs of leukemia. I started the protocol of changing my diet and eliminating all sugars, dairy, wheat and yeast products. I also started taking Nystatin (500,000 units), an antifungal drug, 1 pill 3x/day. It took me about a year on this regime to return my body back to normal.

Unbeknownst to me I did not know that I needed to moderate what I ate and watch my yeast levels because Candidiasis can come back even more virulent. At age 24 my greatest health challenge engulfed me, Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I was completely debilitated with MS. I had a near death experience and was ravaged with convulsive tremors daily. I was bedridden for a month and for the first two years I had ataxia (incoordination), paresis (muscle weakness), spasticity, numbness, disorientation, exhaustion, bladder dysfunction, pain, mood disturbances, speech-swallowing-mastication impairment, and cognitive dysfunction (thoughts & memory). The disease turned my world upside down. I walked away from Western medicine knowing that I was put into a box of “incurable” and that my only hope was some experimental drugs. I was done being a guinea pig.

I begin to read and research when I could. My research took me right back to Candida Albicans as the primary culprit to Multiple Sclerosis. I started up with Nystatin and took it for 2 years. I got back on my diet of no sugar, dairy, wheat or yeast products. I took vitamin. C, Evening Primrose Oil and drank red clover tea by the gallon each day to clean my blood and liver. I also had 15 amalgam fillings replaced. The missing ingredient that was crucial to my transformation was that I needed to address my belief systems, my thoughts and emotions. I changed my belief to knowing that my body could regenerate on a cellular level. I worked on releasing fear-based emotions, such as fear itself and feeling unworthy. I also changed my thoughts to making them more positive and envisioning my body healthy again. All of this was not easy and in addition to eradicating MS, I overcame an eating disorder and a suicide attempt to get to the other side of health.

I am now a Naturopathic Doctor & Clinical Hypnotherapist, specializing in Candidiasis, Allergies, Digestive Disorders and Autoimmune Diseases. I have been 7 years without one visible sign or symptom of Multiple Sclerosis. My body has transformed on a cellular level. What I do keep in check are my yeast levels, I watch my diet, and also take an herbal antifungal to make sure Candidiasis is not an issue for me. I do believe that the primary cause of MS is Candidiasis and once the yeast has gotten into the bloodstream it will attack what is most vulnerable in that person’s body. For me it was my central nervous system.

What I practice and know is that health is a balance of the body, mind/emotions, and spirit. To only address the physiological component means only part of the picture is being corrected. With my patients I am interested in complete transformation and I work at every level to assist them. Self-empowerment, belief and choice to have a healthy body, diligence to uphold that choice each day with actions and examining all facets of the self are key to transforming the body! Ann Boroch, ND. http://www.annboroch.com

Jenny

Jenny: I’ve been hanging out here for a few months, but I haven’t shared my story. Now is a good time because I’m feeling 96.4% better.

1993-1997: I biked home in the rain, went to Clayoquot to protest, got cold, didn’t sleep much, got sick. I had bad neck pain, as well as bronchitis-type symptoms. After 8 months of antibiotics, including Biaxin, I still wasn’t better. The pain started to spread to my arms and back. In April of 1994, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

1997-1998: My first yeast infection of my life. I bought Monistat. It went away and then came back. And then it came back and then it stayed. I was put on Diflucan (one pill), but it came back. I tried diflucan a few more times. It didn’t work.

I started to get a funny taste in my mouth and bad sinus headaches. Then migraines. My body pain got so bad I could barely work. I was depressed and suicidal. Every time my yeast infection flared up, I would cry for hours. In fact, I cried for a few months straight.

My doctor told me candida was a fad. It didn’t exist. I believed him. Then I was trying to figure out why I had bumps on my tongue. I read about thrush. There was something funny on my toenail. My doctor told me it was from highland dancing. I believed him.

I started taking garlic, echinacea, etc. These things seemed to work for a few weeks, then would quit. My sex life was pathetic. If I had sex, I’d get a yeast infection. If I thought about sex, I’d get a yeast infection. Desperation set in. I inserted garlic, SF722 (don’t try this at home) and many other dangerous things into my vagina.

January to March of 1999 were my darkest months. I did a lot of thinking and decided that I should rotate my antifungals. I used every form of divination to figure all this out.

March 22, 1999. I visit my doctor, hoping for long-term Diflucan. The test was inconclusive. The next day I got the worst yeast infection of my life. The yeast was in big huge chunks. I quit my doctor and decided to wage war on the yeast.

The diet: After a week on the diet I began to feel better. I chose the strictest diet I could find, so that when I cheated, it wouldn’t actually be bad. For me, Perrier was a BIG CHEAT. I began to feel more like myself. I was happier, in a lot less pain and hopeful.

The herbs: I took a lot of antifungals, sometime swallowing six or more cloves of garlic. I did: SF722, pau d’arco, echinacea, caprylic acid, garlic. Then I added colloidal silver, then olive leaf, then GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) and oil of oregano.

I figured the yeast was dying, but I wasn’t cured. I started taking psyllium. Then I did a two-week candida cleanse from Gaia Herbs. http://www.gaiaherbs.com The program was great and really helped a lot. The yeast infections were only bothering me three times a month (pre-period, post-period and at ovulation).

Step 2: Getting better. I visited a herbalist because I knew how to kill the yeast, but not how to get better. She suggested I drink oat straw tea to nourish my liver. She also suggested I douche with sage, oregano and thyme. Within a few weeks I was 80% better. The next month, I only got two yeast infections. The following month, only one.

Finally, I took the SBO (Soil Based Organism probiotics) plunge. I started gaining back weight. I have now gone 30 days with no yeast infection.

I’m not 100% better yet, but I’ve come a long way. I hope this helps others. A few months ago, those who considered themselves cured seemed so far from where I was. We can do this. I know there are others here with multiple problems, and I know we’re all at different stages, but we can all get better. This forum has taught me so much. It’s like a friend who’s always there. We just have to believe in ourselves. Keep the faith!

Taylor: Dear Jenny, It was quite a lift to read your story. I think I’ll go to bed with a big smile from one corner of my soul to another. Thank God people are getting help!

Who knows why we have had to go through these things...but one thing is certain, we will never let another doctor do our thinking for us, eh? I think that such a frame of mind is a strength and a discipline that might stand us in good stead down the road. Be well.

Alana: Thanks for sharing your story, Jenny. I am glad that you found what worked for you. Isn’t it so frustrating that the medical establishment can’t help us? When you rotate the antifungals, how do you do that, 4 days on one, switch, 4 days to another?

Jenny: Four days, yup. Although I wasn’t religious about it (ie I’d find every excuse in the book NOT to take Grapefruit Seed Extract. It tastes like bile to me.)

Mitch in New York

Mitch in New York: My Brief, Rough Personal History

Pre-teen: Antibiotics for ear infections.

Adolescence: Tetracycline for acne (big part of candida profile!). Blew out my Knee. Recurring severe sinus infections started soon after that and were treated by powerful wide spectrum antibiotics like Keflex. (To this day, I cannot take Keflex without a serious intestinal reaction.) Sinus surgery #1: Caldwell Locke procedure to remove a cyst and polyps followed by more antibiotics. **There is a connection between nasal polyps and candida. Mild Hypertension starts and continues through twenties.

Twenties: Sinus surgery #2 to remove polyps followed by a course of antibiotics. Developed recurring bronchitis and diagnosed with asthma. Treated with more antibiotics and steroids (Prednisone also is a big part of candida profile!). Multiple unexplained prostrate infections followed, which were all, blasted with antibiotics. Sinus surgery #3 (third operation finally repairs deviated septum!). Followed by, you guessed it, more antibiotics and eventually steroids, as it was allergy season. Also throw in a couple of root canals followed by the ever-popular antibiotics.

Thirties: More prostate infections. More antibiotics. The pneumonia I had five years ago required more antibiotics. Six weeks after I finished the antibiotics the lymph gland on my neck became enlarged. The eventual biopsy was negative. Four years ago I had some kind of weird abdominal inflammation that was quite painful. The beginnings of the epidydimitis perhaps?

The good news: I haven’t had one sinus infection, prostate infection or case of bronchitis since I changed my diet and stopped taking antibiotics. I also have not had hypertension since I diagnosed the candida and change my diet. The antibiotics and steroids not only damaged my immune system but also created optimal conditions for the candida to thrive. Antibiotics do not affect candida (it’s not bacterial). Instead they kill off the beneficial bacteria (L. acidophilus, etc) that compete with candida and thereby eliminating one of the body’s built in defense systems meant to prevent the overgrowth!

Patti

Patti: This is an update on my leaky gut and food allergies. (Leaky gut means increased intestinal permeability. This contributes to food allergies.) About November first, I undertook a four-week elimination diet that had me exclude almost all foods except 10. This is a fairly risky thing but it enabled me to unmask all sorts of food sensitivities that I was masking: to soy, wheat, dairy (cow, not sheep or goat), buckwheat, food coloring, MSG, rosehips, citrus, etc. It took about two months after for a state of hyperreactivity to go away. I would get pains in my neck, migraines, buzzing head, etc upon eating the wrong thing. I kept a meticulous diary. Sometimes I didn’t know what got me reactive; I was so reactive. Hence the danger of the elimination diet. (Thank goodness I had my trusted nutritionist to hold my hand through all of this.) Well, I retested things and found that over time I was much less reactive. I still have the major sensitivities mentioned above but won’t retest those until June.

I took antifungals for a month in January and since then I have been on a four-month leaky-gut healing program. Month one, I blasted my system with heavy antifungals. I used products by Biocare in England. Month two, I took glutamine, n-acetyl glucosmine and other things. Now it’s butyric acid, L. acidophilus, and some other stuff like quercitin (I have used this since December for calming the reactivities).

Anyway, when I started I was having daily migraines and life was unbearable. It has been what? 6 months? My life is far more normal. I have a few migraines around my period and a few at other times of the month. I still get bloated at times, but my energy is great thanks to working out my new thyroid regime (a mixture of T3 and T4 thyroid). I am now also taking hydrochloric acid (HCL) and digestive enzymes and extra biotin. It’s a fairly simply program, not too many supplements. (I take a low dose multivitamin too). Every day I feel I am getting better. I haven’t had a food reaction in a long time, maybe since Mid-January.

I haven’t challenged those remaining foods listed above (I am supposed to wait until the leaky gut program is finished in a month and a half.) It has been a lot of work but worth it. I am especially glad to feel like I am heading in the right direction. Every month gets better --- less migraines, less intense ones too when I get one. It is a slow process. The practitioner I work with is very conservative and doesn’t believe in overnight fixes. He wants the body to learn to heal whatever it can without a lot of extra help. Long process yes! But we are going for the 100% cure, even if it means a life of limited sugar. The high potency probiotics are the mainstay. I may never stop taking those.

By the way, I just tested for parasites given that I hadn’t gotten totally rid of my migraines. My nutritionist is going for a 100% elimination! (I must admit I saw stuff in my test that makes me certain that there are some “problems.”) I am going for 100%....and en route, my life is hardly the same as the poor miserable suffering person who tuned into this forum last August. Oh yes, progesterone 14 days a month, 1/4 teaspoon.....! Just wanted to give an update and report that there are successes on this type of program and encourage others.

Celeste

Celeste: When I look back, I believe I have had a form of candida for almost 10 years. Between birth control pills, carbohydrates/sugar diet, chronic (fake) sinus infections and of course their solution, antibiotics, I was a walking poster child for this so called “disease”. During those ten years I was able to control it by working out. But that stopped once I opened my own business and had an enormous amount of increased stress in my life. Last Christmas my health become much worse and I went and got another antibiotic (not knowing anything about candida and what it needs to grow). This time the 10-day antibiotic was no match to what was going on in my intestines. So that was when I started to educate myself with little or no help from the medical profession. I started hanging out at really good health food stores and co-ops. Most of the employees at these places understand candida and they educated

me! I bought my food, supplements, antifungals and books on candida at these establishments. Today is one year later and I have learned the cure. It takes discipline. If you’re sick of feeling lousy, this is the only alternative. It’s all about your diet and elimination.

Your intestines make up most of your immunity system and if you constantly feed yourself sugar and carbohydrates (which turn to sugar) you make your immune system weak. Now throw in some stress, antibiotics, caffeine, lack of veggies, lack of exercise, birth control pills or steroids and you have totally killed what’s left of your immune system (and healthy bacteria in your gut). So basically, to get better, it’s not just taking a quick fix like the prescription antifungal Diflucan. A pill isn’t gonna get you better when you still live an unhealthy lifestyle and eat like crap! Getting your intestines healthy so your immune system can function properly involves a healthy diet of veggies and proteins. No pasta (except brown rice pasta). No breads (except spelt or millet). Drink water to flush the healthy food through your intestines on a daily basis.

Do not waste your time with idiotic doctors that do not believe in candida. Contact the Great Smokies Lab and they will locate a doctor in your area that understands what you are going through. This way you can have the proper tests. By the time I found this doctor (two months ago) I had educated myself enough and followed a candida diet for almost a year. I went off the pill, gave up coffee and I began slowly exercising again. I also do yoga, take B vitamins and eat the proper grains to reduce my extra stress. The tests came back stating that I still had bad bacteria in my intestines. More supplements on a daily basis plus diet will ensure my healthy future. Eat and drink properly and your immune system can fight off everything!

Mr. Generic: Are you really cured, or just feeling a little bit better? Your tests say you still have a problem. What makes you feel this is all you need to do?

Celeste: Last year I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed to open my business. I felt as if I had a flu for three months. After Western medicine didn’t work, I went to Eastern where they too didn’t listen to my health symptoms and prescribed Chinese herbs. Prior to last year, I had sinus infections two to three times a year and was always prescribed antibiotics. Doctors said it was allergies...so off to an allergist I went for almost two years. So I pretty much exhausted all routes for better health. The Great Smokies Lab came up negative for yeast. As you read this forum, that is usually the case. However, my new doctor felt that since my tests proved to have some traces of bad bacteria (PS --- low levels) it was probably a good indication that we shouldn’t rule out candida.

Last year I wasn’t myself and I had nowhere to turn. No doctors had helped in the past. This year I am a completely different person. I run at least three miles, three to four times a week. When I do not run I work out in the gym with cardiovascular exercises and weights. I make it a point to do something at least five days a week. Although I have some health issues to deal with (as most people on this forum), I feel I am in control of my health.

references

1. Associated Press “Panel: Texans at risk of Lyme not receiving proper treatment” Corpus Christi Caller Times, a Scripps Howard newspaper. Friday, November 17, 2000, Senator Chris Harris of Texas had Lyme disease, and the Mayo Clinic missed its diagnosis.

©2002 by Polly Hattemer, also known as Pauline Hattemer
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