Tag 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

Progress Report July, 2016

Hello To All,

I find that my recent posts all begin with the phrase, “I haven’t written in a while…” When I started this blog I was newly diagnosed with Lyme Disease and I felt hopeful and confident that I would make a full recovery. Four and a half years later I’m still struggling, although a number of debilitating symptoms have improved. I ask myself, why do I still blog? What do I have to offer people except an ongoing experiment that may or may not fully work? I guess that I write for myself to chronicle the process, to help process my feelings, and clarify my thoughts on how to move forward. Mostly, I hope others can learn from all this and recover.

So, where am I in the process?

Symptoms that have improved since 2010:

  • Vertigo (started in 2011 and improved in 2014)
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache frequency and severity
  • Food intolerance (major victory!)

What still plagues me:

  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue (worse)
  • Anxiety (worse)
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Insomnia (worsened in 2012)
  • Adrenal and thyroid problems
  • Chronic yeast (worse since ABX)
  • Headaches
  • Mild dizziness/lightheadedness (worse in recent weeks)
  • Tinnitus (worse)
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • General fragility

As far as I know I have four underlying problems that are interrelated:

  1. Tick-borne infections
  2. Mercury and lead poisoning
  3. Chronic yeast
  4. Mold intolerance

My doctor thinks that I got on top of the Borrelia and Babesia. (Hurray!) I will continue to use natural antimicrobials and a Rife machine for these bugs. Unfortunately, my doctors can only guess what’s driving the rest of my symptoms.

I’ve been using a high fat diet to improve mitochondrial function, known as the Mito Food Plan. I haven’t noticed any positive effects. Yeast treatment and detox continue to be my most important treatments. However, when I stop the prescription antifungals I relapse, despite a moderate carb, low sugar diet. I’m still trying natural antifungals to see if I tolerate them and if they are effective.

The frustrating thing is the variability of my symptoms. I felt so well last summer and fall, then relapsed during the winter/spring. Despite the frustration, I still believe that my body can heal if given the right tools. So in the coming weeks I plan to research treatments for my remaining problems, talk to my doctor, and create a plan. I suspect that I need more work on the mold and metals part of the problem. This will be the focus of my upcoming posts.

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 Frequency (Rife Machine) Therapy

This year I underwent 5 months of antibiotic treatment for Borrelia and Babesia. I think it did me some good as the dizziness and vertigo subsided. Unfortunately, I wound up with digestive problems, increased fatigue, and depression after the ABX. My doctor rotated me onto herbs. Both Samento and Banderol (cat’s claw and otoba) gave me wicked headaches. I’m now on teasel root and it really wipes me out, even at a low dose of 1 drop every three days.

I also finally decided to try frequency therapy (aka a Rife machine) to help kill off the spirochetes. Members of my local Lyme Disease community who recovered said that this was an important part of their treatment. They also said that it caused a definite herx reaction. I wanted to know what a true herx felt like, as opposed to a medication side effect.

For those of you unfamiliar with so-called Rife machines, here is the lowdown. Dr. Royal Raymond Rife was an American scientist who built the first high powered microscope in the 1930’s. He also discovered that all organisms have their own electromagnetic “signature” – a specific pattern of oscillation. He then discovered that viruses, bacteria, parasites, and even cancer cells could be destroyed by intensifying those frequencies until the organisms explode, just as an intense musical note can shatter a wine glass. Dr. Rife then invented a frequency machine to vibrate and destroy the organisms. His original technology was lost (not an accident according to those who believe it was an act of pharmaceutical company sabotage) but modern replicas exist.

Proponents of frequency therapy say there are benefits. No antibiotic resistance. Penetration into deep areas of the body that ABX miss, such as the brain. No side effects. No toxicity. No damage to beneficial flora. No yeast overgrowth. But this therapy is considered experimental and alternative. It is not FDA approved. Your doctor will not tell you about it for fear of risking their medical license. When I asked my doctor about it he said it was a good thing to do – unofficially, of course.

I started using this therapy weekly in September. I’m using a GB 4000 frequency generator with a MOPA (Master Oscillator Power Amplifier) and a plasma tube. I get what seems to be a true herx response: aches, profound fatigue, mild fever. I don’t get my typical toxicity headache. This lasts for about 30 hours and then subsides.

After my initial experiment killing Borrelia spirochetes with frequency, I’m now following an established 7-day frequency protocol to kill Candida. My first treatment left me feeling exhausted and achy, so I’m assuming it’s doing something. I’ll keep at it and see what happens.

Until next time…

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

 

 

Renewed Hope for Lyme Disease and Biotoxin Illness

Hello to All,

I met with my third doctor in three years on my ongoing quest for health. I was impressed by his comprehensive approach to my illness. Here is the gist of it:

  • I have Lyme Disease (he is my third doc to confirm this*) AND
  • I also have Babesia (diagnosed by symptoms. Testing is $$$ and not always helpful) AND
  • Poor phase 1 and 2 detoxification ability resulting in inadequate glutathione production
  • Inability to detox mold resulting in biotoxin illness (revealed by genetic testing)
  • Methylation defects – MTFHR and others
  • Ongoing yeast problems
  • Increased intestinal permeability (aka Leaky Gut syndrome)
  • High levels of lead and mercury (though they came down significantly with IV chelation)
  • Reduced liver function
  • Reduced thyroid and adrenal function

Now, I already knew most of this, but it’s refreshing to have someone put it all together at one time. Now we’ll see if he has solutions for my problems. I can only hope that this is the complete picture of my health problems and there are no others in hiding. I’m testing my metal levels and spending the next 5 weeks detoxing before proceeding with Babesia treatment. Here are a few meds and supplements that I’ll be adding to my regimen:

  • Apex Methyl-SP formula, containing high doses of B vitamins, TMG and choline (given by my current naturopath)
  • Researched Nutritionals Liposomal Glutathione
  • Cholestyramine
  • Diflucan every other day
  • Nystatin twice per day

I’m also experimenting with my diet. I mostly avoid gluten, dairy, and sugar, and now I’m cutting down on the meat and omitting beef and pork entirely. I must admit, I feel a little starved.

I feel a renewed sense of hope after meeting with him. But as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I’ll track my symptoms and report back.

Best,

Laura

* Note: I have a Lyme Disease diagnosis by two naturopaths and an MD whose specialty is treating Lyme, ME/CFS and similar conditions. I’ve thought about seeing an infectious disease doc, but I doubt I’ll get any assistance from one. My diagnosis does not meet CDC criteria.

Lyme Disease and Genetic Testing Results

Hello to All,

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had genetic testing done in the spring. My doctor had me do the Gene SNP test which costs about $275.00. I’ll share the pertinent results with you.

Genes with impact:

  1. B Vitamin Metabolism: MTHFR, MTR, MTRR
  2. Phase 1 Detoxification: CYP 1A2*1F (deletion)
  3. Phase 2 Detoxification: GSTM1, GSTT1 (deletion)
  4. Antioxidant Function: PON 1, SOD 2
  5. Bone Density: VDR
  6. Glucose Balance: ACE, IL6, LIPC, PON1, PPARg, PPARGC1A, VDR, ADRB2
  7. Inflammatory Response: IL6
  8. Salt Sensitivity: AGT
  9. Alcohol Metabolism: ADH1C

I feel that this is an important test for me. It confirms what I already knew were some problem areas, alerts me to potential problems, and guides my lifestyle and Lyme Disease treatment.

In terms of nutrition: I need to take methylated B vitamins for the rest of my life, such as folate, P5P, and B12. I need extra vitamin D and plenty of antioxidants. Luckily, I eat loads of fresh vegetables.

In terms of avoidance, I need to watch my salt and sugar (which I already do). And no more drunken shenanigans! ADH1C controls alcohol dehydrogenase. Darn. And interestingly enough, there is a connection between candida toxins and alcohol toxins – a waste product called acetaldehyde. This may be a key to candida treatment for me. I’ll report more on that later.

I have IL-6 problems. Interleukin 6 acts as both a pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine (immunoregulatory protein that affects inflammation). In patients with Lyme neuroborreliosis, inflammation and symptoms of fatigue and malaise occur out of proportion to the relatively low number of spirochetes present. Previous studies have identified interleukin-6 (IL-6) as a candidate molecule for amplification of CNS inflammation in this disease (http://www.neurology.org/content/49/1/147.abstract). This means I need to find safe substances that control this particular inflammatory pathway.

And here’s the biggie: I completely lack the genes for Phase 1 and 2 detoxification. I possess neither. Nada. Pas de tout. Geen (Dutch). This is a big problem. In fact, this is probably the underlying reason some people get chronic Lyme Disease, and other people have numerous tick bites with no symptoms, or have a brief illness. I’m one of those unfortunate people who can’t get rid of infectious agents and toxins. My liver cannot make enough glutathione (a major antioxidant and detox agent). I will have to manually detox for the rest of my life to become and remain healthy.

This confirms my theory that my illness is like a perfect storm: exposure to bacteria and viruses, lowered immune response, exposure to mold, elevated stress, inadequate (American processed food) diet + genetic predispositions = chronic, debilitating illness.

So, detox, detox, and more detox. This will be the crux of successful treatment for me. Finding substances to kill the infections of borrelia, babesia, bartonella, and candida is not hard. Getting good nutrition is not hard (for me). But helping my body to dispose of the waste is proving to be a great challenge. I already use saunas, epsom salt baths, coffee enemas, activated charcoal, homeopathic and herbal drainage remedies, curcumin, etc… And that’s not enough, for heaven’s sake!

Whew! That was a lot of information to process. But I feel an even deeper understanding of my problems that ever. I meet with my doctor again in July and we will formulate my next plan of attack.

-Laura

#Lyme Disease Treatment Update for May: Feeling Well

Hello All,

After a miserable few months this past winter, I’m feeling good again. I believe that some of the medications I took made me ill, mainly the Byron White ABART and ketoconazole. So, how do we know the difference between medication intolerance and a true herx response? I think often, we don’t.

If you feel unbearably bad on a medication, tell your doctor. Extreme herxing and detox reactions cause runaway inflammation and can be both painful and damaging to the body. Always be sure your detox pathways are supported.

So I decided to see a new doctor and get another opinion on my course of treatment. Just having a fresh set of eyes on a problem can make a big difference. The first thing she did was have me create a timeline of my treatments and symptoms. This was incredibly valuable because it helped me see what I was doing last year that helped me feel better.

I realized that I was taking a high dose methylfolate supplement (Deplin, 15mg daily), and a high dose of butyrate (8 caps of 600mg daily) last summer. I went back on both of those.

She started me on a Chinese herbal combination: minor bupleurum formula, for liver stagnation, and also Ceanothus (red root) for babesia and bartonella and lymph drainage. She also put me on Pau d’arco for candida, which unfortunately gave me indigestion.

After about a month my pain and dizziness subsided. I feel much better! Almost normal, in fact.

I just received my Gene SNP test results back. It’s no surprise that I have the MTHFR mutation, and detox pathway 1 and 2 impairment. I see my doc tomorrow and will discuss my results with her and learn what they really mean.

Meanwhile, I’m still dealing with at least 8 days of bad headaches per month, MCS, insomnia, depression, and fatigue. My doctor suggested that I’m at a good point to try biofeedback for these problems. I met with a practitioner who does neurofeedback and I’m going to try it as soon as I have the money.

More on SNP’s and neurofeedback next time.

Best wishes to all,

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