Category Archives: candida

Lyme Disease and Yeast: A Positive Update

Hello To All,

I know that I have a tendency to post when I feel poorly, so I think it’s high time for a positive update. Here it is: I feel pretty darn good! There are three things to which I can attribute this change:

1. My doc put me back on pharmaceuticals for yeast – indefinitely:

  • Diflucan, 200mg 1x per week
  • Nystatin, 1,000,000 IU 2x per day
  • Amphotericin B, 3X per day.

I started feeling better after a couple of weeks on this protocol. No more burning vulvodynia, fewer digestive problems, fewer headaches, less chemical sensitivity.

2. I started taking a low dose of Maca for the adrenals. Maca has turned out to be a wonder herb for me. My energy is much better and I feel more vigorous than I have in years. It is also beneficial for the libido, as people say it is.

3. I changed my diet (yet again). After years of being quite thin, I started gaining weight in my midsection after prolonged courses of ABX. That in combination with an obvious yeast problem made me seek out another low-carb diet. I started the Dukan Diet which is high protein, low fat, and low carb. Not only have I lost about seven pounds, but I feel much better on this diet. If I adhere to the diet, I have NO headaches and NO digestive problems, and NO bloating. I’m also in a better mood. Supposedly protein is beneficial for mood, and I think that’s true.

I have NO dizziness, vertigo, or lightheadedness. I have NO joint or muscle pain. I can drive for hours without problems, even on the highway. My mood has really improved, despite recent difficulties in the lives of my loved ones. I also feel mentally sharper. I recently made some art. I am even looking for a permanent job instead of little temporary ones. That’s a lot of improvement since the summer.

To follow up on my last post, I decided to try the Cutler heavy metals protocol. I tried low-dose DMSA but it flared the yeast. I’m switching to low-dose DMPS (which I’ve had before via I.V. Tx) I’ll let you know how that goes.

I continue to use a GB-4000 frequency generator for Borrelia and co-infections. I also started using it for fungus. I’ll see how that goes.

As I’ve said before, I believe that yeast/fungus is the big problem for me at this point. I think that diet, a long term killing protocol, chelation, and biofilm treatment are the keys to returning to health for me. Wish me luck!

Best,

Laura

 

Lyme Disease, Yeast, and Heavy Metals

Hello Again,

The yeast has returned… Just when I think I have it licked, it comes back. I’ve been through numerous courses of natural and pharmaceutical antifungal treatment and I maintain a good diet, but it always comes back after a couple of months. My doc figures that it’s a biofilm problem, so I’m back on enzymes.

Over the years I’ve experimented with many systemic enzymes for biofilm and yeast. By far the most difficult one is Interfase Plus with EDTA. Which got me thinking… State of the art biofilm treatment involves a chelating agent, like EDTA or lactoferrin, to pull the metals from the biofilm to help degrade it. Yeast and mercury, in particular, have an affinity for one another.

I did 11 months of intravenous chelation with EDTA and DMPS in 2010/2011. It reduced my lead and mercury levels substantially (and my bank account, too). However, my last test revealed that I still have some lead and mercury in me. My doctor says that amount shouldn’t be a problem, but others say any mercury in the body is a problem. I’ve heard people with chronic yeast say that it didn’t go away until they removed the ALL of the dangerous metals. So I’m going forth with more chelation.

In my research, I came across people online and in my Lyme community who use the low and frequent dose protocol developed by Andrew Cutler, PhD, a chemist. See http://www.noamalgam.com/ or www.livingnetwork.co.za. His protocol involves taking low doses of either DMPS or DMSA and later adding alpha lipoic acid (ALA) to clear mercury from the brain. His protocol has several important differences from the others.

  • Instead of taking high dose chelating agents once or twice per month, you take a low dose around the clock for several days in a row. This minimizes redistribution of the metals after the drugs wear off.
  • You must also take ALA which crosses the blood brain barrier.
  • You can do this protocol on your own at home.
  • The protocol is inexpensive.

Any chelation therapy has its risks, but his approach seems safe and logical to me. Also, this protocol is often done with young children who have autism. I’m reading as much as I can about the protocol and deciding if I want to do it. I’ll keep you all posted if and when I start.

Best,

Laura

#Lyme Disease Treatment with Andrographis Update

Hello To All,

I started taking the herb andrographis last month to help kill off the remaining borrelia. Both my naturopath and my LLMD thought this would be a good choice for me. So I started off with 1 pill per day with the intention of working up slowly.

Whoa…

My reaction to it was quite strong at first. I’m happy to say that I didn’t get a migraine, which is my usual signal that I don’t tolerate a substance. What I did get were classic die-off symptoms: fatigue, achiness, chills, irritability, and anxiety just for added fun. I slowly worked my way up to 2 pills per day 3 days per week. The recommended dose is 4 pills per day. It got easier, but it was still tough. But I felt optimistic because I knew that I was making progress.

Then I had a setback. I went a little wild with food while out of town and my yeast symptoms returned. I started on the Ampho B/Diflucan/Nystatin combination that has served me well in the past, but this time I crashed hard. It was probably the combination of the andrographis and the drugs. I had to stop the andrographis temporarily. It took about two weeks for my symptoms to subside. I feel much better this past week. It’s frustrating, though. Ever since the antibiotics, the yeast just keeps coming back. I’m looking into more long-term solutions for this, such as: systemic enzymes, iodine, monolaurin, and different probiotics.

On a positive note, some remarkable things happened in the last few months. I had some days where I felt great! Not just okay, not just good, but great! My sensitivity to food markedly decreased. I also woke up one day thinking that I’m finally healing and that I will make a full recovery. Is this false hope? I don’t know. But I’ve learned to pay closer attention to my body and listen to my intuition. It steers me in the right direction when I’m willing to listen to it.

Best,

Laura

#Lyme Disease and Vulvodynia

Vulvodynia is chronic pain in the area around the opening of the vagina that occurs even when there is no obvious sign of infection or irritation. The pain can be so bad that it makes sitting or wearing pants uncomfortable. And sex can be downright unbearable. Conventional medicine does not understand the cause of this problem. Hormone replacement therapy, physical therapy, and trigger point injections are treatments commonly available. There are also self-care guidelines that can help make it more bearable, but do not cure it.

I’ve suffered from this condition on and off for about thirteen years. I tried biofeedback, multiple short duration yeast treatments, antidepressants, hormone replacement, and topical lidocaine gel. None was helpful. However, the pain has improved markedly in the last two years, and I want to share the things that worked for me.

Treat Chronic, Systemic Candida Infection

Few doctors understand how candida can cause problems even after a course of treatment. I found the work of Elmer Cranton, MD, http://drcranton.com/ and http://www.fungusfocus.com/html/triple_rx_treatment_strategy.htm and Marjorie Crandall, PhD, http://yeastconsulting.com to be helpful. Persistent or systemic candida means that the body is out of balance and can be a symptom of a larger problem (as those of us with Lyme Disease know). It can also mean that some species of candida were treated, but the more virulent ones remain and continue to cause problems.

Dr. Cranton advocates triple antifungal therapy to increase the chances of killing off multiple strains of this fungus. After trying natural antifungals to no avail, I finally asked my naturopath to try this therapy in 2012. For a minimum of three months I took:

  • Diflucan
  • Nystatin
  • Oral Amphotericin B

I had no side effects, and no liver problems while on this protocol. Please note: none of these drugs will kill off all the fungus, but can bring the load down to a manageable level. Maintaining a healthy anti-yeast diet and taking effective probiotics (i.e. ones that actually colonize the gut) are also important.

Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture and a Chinese herbal solution called Yin Care (http://www.yincare.com/) were also very helpful for me. Chinese medicine views vulvodynia as a condition of dampness, heat, and pathogenic organisms. Yin Care contains a number of herbs to combat pathogens and lower inflammation. Dilute it 1:1 or weaker, saturate a large cotton ball, and apply as a compress as often as needed until the discomfort subsides. This stuff works like a charm for me. I keep a bottle on hand just in case.

Energy Medicine: NAET and BioSET

These treatments use the approach of desensitizing the body from allergens. We can become “allergic” to anything, but especially to things that we are exposed to regularly. After prolonged antifungal therapy, my Bioset practitioner treated me for candida sensitivity, and also suggested that other substances can be causing the discomfort down there. Cotton and urine are also two common triggers of vulvodynia! Both of these things are rather hard to avoid, right? Going pantyless at night and rinsing after urination are helpful. Semen can also be an irritant for some women.

The nice thing about NAET and Bioset techniques is that you can treat yourself at home. I’ll talk more about this in my next post.

I hope his information is helpful to other women with this miserable condition.

Best,

Laura

 

 

The Candida and Acetaldehyde Connection

Hello to All,

Lately, I’ve been doing some research on candida infection. As I’ve mentioned before, I suspect that candida is one of my more virulent infections. Unfortunately, testing is not reliable and many doctors don’t take it seriously. Most naturopaths understand it and will treat it. But treatment is often inadequate and recurrences are common. And when you do manage to kill it off, the die-off reaction can be miserable.

I came across practitioner and patient websites that tout molybdenum as an effective tool for minimizing candida die-off reactions due to its ability to neutralize acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of both alcohol and candida. Those of you who read my blog know that I detox poorly. Every time I take a medication that effectively kills one of my infections (even certain enzymes do this) I wind up terribly ill. When I found out my ADH gene (controls alcohol metabolism) was affected, I began to make the connection.

For those of you unfamiliar with the problem, candida albicans is a yeast that is a normal part of our diverse assortment of flora. When diet is poor, or the immune system is compromised, candida can grow to disproportionate levels and cause illness. People who suffer from HIV or diabetes know this problem well, as do those of us with Lyme Disease.

Like other infectious and toxic agents, such as borrelia and molds, candida produces toxins that can remain in the body, even after treatment. According to the article, Xylitol inhibits carcinogenic acetaldehyde production by Candida species, in the International Journal of Cancer, “acetaldehyde is a highly toxic and mutagenic product of alcohol fermentation and metabolism which has been classified as a Class I carcinogen for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO). Many Candida species representing oral microbiota have been shown to be capable of marked acetaldehyde production” (Uittamo J., et al. 2011).

This may be the reason why killing off candida is so unpleasant. Antifungals and enzymes dissolve the candida cell wall, releasing its toxins. Acetaldehyde toxicity is effectively a bad hangover. For those of you who have suffered candida die-off, think of the similarities: headache, dizziness, nausea, achiness, fatigue, etc.

Normally, the body converts acetaldehyde into the harmless acetic acid using the enzymes ADH and ALDH. But in people lacking these enzymes, (and other nutrients like glutamine, selenium, niacin, folic acid, B6, B12, and iron), or whose candida levels overwhelm the body’s detox ability, this can be inadequate.

Molybdenum may be a useful tool in this war because it converts toxic sulfites and aldehydes into harmless substances. Unfortunately, there is scant research on it with regards to candida. A researcher by the name of Dr. Stephen Cooter did a study on molybdenum to discover its usefulness in dealing with candida. Approximately 2/3 of the participants found the mineral to be helpful. For an excerpt from his book, please visit http://www.mall-net.com/cooter/moly.html. Here is a link to an article in the ever helpful Environmental Illness Resource site: http://www.ei-resource.org/articles/candida-and-gut-dysbiosis-articles/the-candida%10aldehyde-detox-pathway-and-the-molybdenum-connection/. Another nutrient mentioned in the above articles is pantethine (vitamin B5). Pantethine is touted as helpful for those with chemical sensitivities and candida when taken at doses of 600 – 1200 mg per day.

Here’s another interesting fact: aldehydes are best known as synthetic fragrances used by the perfume industry. Candida infection is linked to multiple chemical sensitivity. Fragrances are a major trigger for MCS. I, for one, get an instantaneous headache from many commercial products containing fragrances such as perfume, hairspray, laundry detergent, and household cleaners. Is this a coincidence? I doubt it.

I decided molybdenum was worth trying. I gradually added 750mcg of molybdenum to my daily regimen about 4 weeks ago. I did not notice any side effects. Interestingly, I started feeling very well in July. I’ve actually stopped many of my supplements and take only the bare necessities. My mood is good, food sensitivities are minimal, energy is good, exercise tolerance is up, and my brain feels pretty clear. I’m not sure why I feel so well, I’m just thankful. I’ll wait a while before I draw any conclusions, but perhaps molybdenum is a factor.

–        Laura

Lyme Disease and Candida Infections

As many of us with Lyme Disease already know, we are usually infected with more than one kind of bug. Today, I want to talk about what I’ve learned about Candida and my efforts to overcome it.

I believe that Candida is one of my worst problems, leading to gut permeability, food “allergies”, inflammation, and chronic headaches. I first figured out that I had a Candida problem in 2008 when my research on headaches and food allergies led me to this as a probable cause. After trying a few natural supplements and probiotics to no avail, I started taking oral Nystatin powder. Bingo! I had my first remission of headaches and misery in years. I was able to eat a wider variety of foods. But the effects were short lived. It seems the effectiveness of Nystatin wore off within months.

After trying numerous other natural and pharmaceutical antifungals and clays for gut detox, I had only slight and short-lived relief. Then my doctor put me on Butyrate in 2012. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was probably a major contributor to my improved health last year. That, along with NAET/BioSET treatments, toxin binders, and high doses of methylfolate to improve my detox system.

I discussed Butyrate in a previous post. Not only does it mop up excess ammonia, quell food allergies, and soothe the gut, but it actually disables the more virulent hyphal form of Candida. Following is some research I came across discussing the role of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) on gut health and Candida.

The American Society for Microbiology provides free access to full text articles on Candida and other fungal infections. Here is a link to an article in the Journal of Infectious Immunology from 2004 titled Regulation of Candida albicans Morphogenesis by Fatty Acid Metabolites: http://iai.asm.org/content/72/11/6206.full.pdf+html. Briefly, this article talks about how fatty acids disable the conversion of Candida albicans into their more virulent hyphal form that burrows into tissues.

And here is link to another article in the journal Eukaryotic Cell titled Conjugated Linoleic Acid Inhibits Hyphal Growth in Candida albicans by Modulating Ras1p Cellular Levels and Downregulating TEC1 Expression: http://ec.asm.org/content/10/4/565.full.pdf+html. The gist of this article is that CLA stops the virulent hyphal form of Candida.

In my ignorance and efforts to save money, I gradually stopped taking Butyrate, or only took it sporadically. I started it again at a high dose of 600mg, 8 caps per day, and have noticed a reduction in food-related headaches. So in order for me to eat enough to survive, I take 2 capsules of activated charcoal or clay 30 min before a meal, and 4 caps of butyrate at the end of a meal. Hopefully, this is a short term fix until I can actually kill off my gut infections for good.

My doctor also has me on Pau d’arco, a South American herb known for its antimicrobial properties. I make it into a tea and drink it twice per day. It tastes nice, like root beer. So far it has no side effects for me at this dose. Lapachol is a compound in Pau d’arco that is known to kill Candida. You can look this up in PubMed.gov and come up with journals discussing the research. Here is one source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7938274.

My next step with Candida is to try oxygen therapies, like ozone or oral liquid oxygen products to see if I can really kill it off instead of just keeping it at bay with fungistatic compounds and diet.

Best,

Laura

#Lyme Disease Nutrient Spotlight: Butyrate

I want to share one of my favorite supplements for managing symptoms related to Lyme Disease called Butyrate.

I’m a chronic headache sufferer, and my most frequent trigger for headaches is eating. I used to think food sensitivities were the problem, but I got to the point where eating solid food of any kind caused me a headache. I began to suspect the problem lied more in the process of eating and the toxic bile release that followed. I also noticed that when my general inflammation level was high, I was sensitive to everything, not just food. When the inflammation subsided, I had no problems eating anything.

My LLND gave me this supplement to calm food reactions. I take 3 or 4 caps of high potency Body Bio brand 600mg Cal/mag butyrate with or just after a meal when I feel the headache coming on. It usually stops the headache within 20 minutes. When I feel good, I try to remember to take a maintenance dose of 3 caps per day. When inflammation is high, I take 8 – 9 caps per day.

So what is butyrate? It’s a fatty acid that helps to combat ammonia, support the health of the digestive tract, and reduce cytokines (inflammation generating signaling compounds), among other uses.  Butyrate is proving to be a remarkable nutrient for a number of conditions.

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Mark Speight, MD.

…Butyrate is an amazing molecule. From cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, to irritable bowel, it is proving to be a powerhouse.

Butyrate is a four carbon chain fatty acid that the intestinal tract uses as food. It is generated from the colon bacteria in conjunction with fiber products. If you don’t have enough healthy bacteria and fiber in your intestinal tract, then the chances are good that you won’t make enough butyrate.

Butyrate has also been shown to slow the beginning of cancer, in fact inducing what we call differentiation (making cells that were previously behaving like cancer cells – rapidly dividing, become normal again). In one study some 20 years ago animals with chemically induced tumors in the colon had reduction in the size and number of their tumors when they were treated with butyric acid enemas twice daily for eight weeks.

More recent research suggests that Butyrate quells the storm of cytokines that causes inflammation in the brain leading to scarring and cell death. By doing so, it is thought that chronic degenerative diseases like Alzheimers, ALS, and others may be slowed or even reversed. In fact, preliminary evidence suggests this is so when this nutrient is given in conjunction with others.

There are different kinds of butyrate. Some butyrates are attached to sodium, others to calcium and magnesium. Most people need calcium and magnesium so calmag butyrate is a reasonably safe option.

Butyrate also helps clean the liver, the gall bladder, and biliary tree in the liver. It also helps clean the bowel, helps control ammonia, and removes unwanted “renegade fats”…

To read the complete article, including references, visit http://www.cfwellness.com/articles/butyrate

–        Laura