Tag Archives: detox

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

Progress Report September, 2015

Hello To All,

I haven’t posted to my blog in months. I went through hell on antibiotics in the spring, and I felt like taking a break from it all this summer. On a positive note, I felt quite good from late June through August. Here is an update.

As I mentioned in the spring, I’ve been using a frequency generator (aka a Rife machine) for 12 months now to kill off the borrelia. My doctor is very supportive of this, but says that I need something to kill the dormant or cyst form of the infection. I tried grapefruit seed extract and that gave me horrendous headaches. Ditto for Samento and Banderol. I then tried Tinidazole. I lasted on that for three months and crashed hard with gut and yeast problems. I stopped the ABX, kept rifing and doing some serious detox over the summer and lo and behold, I felt pretty decent! In particular, I went back on three Pekana detox remedies (Apo-hepat, Itires, and Renelix). I’ve come to realize that these remedies are super helpful for me.

I started on the herb Cumanda this past month. I stopped it because it, too gave me horrendous headaches. My naturopath suggested that I try andrographis. According to Stephen Buhner, this herb also kills the cyst form of borrelia.

So, where am I after almost 4 years of treatment? I’m not yet recovered, but I have made progress. I’m just getting frustrated and impatient at how long this is taking. I want to go back to work. I want to have fun. I want my life back!

I was feeling a bit despondent this month. I went to see author Katina Makris talk about her recovery from Lyme. (She is the one who wrote Out of the Woods. She has a new book out and she is touring). I felt a renewed sense of hope after hearing her talk. Her recovery took a long time, too. But she’s doing great now!

I try to remain hopeful. I also try to remember that there are many pathways to healing from Lyme, and many people who do indeed recover. So I keep slogging away at it.

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 Recovery and Rehabilitation

Hello to All,

I haven’t written in a while. Honestly, I’ve been lazy and unmotivated. I’m also in a treatment slump. I’m backing off treatment for a while to enjoy summer. It’s nice not to feel awful from the herx reactions, but I’m also not making much progress, either. I’m just back to feeling intermittently crummy and decent in daily/weekly cycles.

I’ve been thinking lately about what this disease has done to my life. I stopped working full time almost three years ago. I’ve done intermittent contract work, but even that was quite challenging. My problems are mainly neurological: chronic headaches, dizziness/vertigo, balance problems, insomnia, cognitive problems, depression, and anxiety. I’m one of those people who doesn’t look sick. This is a double edged sword. It’s nice to look good, but most people don’t see that I’m ill, so they don’t take it seriously. I’ve only begun to take my condition seriously since my diagnosis in October of 2011.

Neuro problems make it hard to work on a computer for any length of time. It’s difficult to focus on anything, for that matter. I exist in a fog; conscious, but disconnected from the world. My days consist mainly of puttering around the house alone with minimal productivity.  Even on days with low pain levels, I have little energy or motivation.  My brain feels gummed up. I have memory problems, and my skills have gotten rusty. I simply cannot function at the high level I used to 7 – 10 years ago.

When I started feeling better last year I tried doing some of the things I used to do, both personally and professionally. I tried making some art. I soon realized that my muscle memory had faded along with my technical skills. I struggled with project management, technical writing, and editing. This was very upsetting to me. I now realize that I can’t just pick up where I left off. I need rehabilitation and remediation to rebuild my skills on many levels. I need to take classes or find mentorship to accomplish this. Unfortunately, I have little money for these things now, so I’m not sure how to go about it. I feel stuck. But at least I now accept the reality of my situation.

Some of you are probably familiar with the Stages of Change Model developed by Prochaska & DiClemente in 1983. The stages discussed in their change theory are:

  1. Precontempation (not yet realizing the need for change)
  2. Contemplation (acceptance but not ready yet)
  3. Preparation (develop a plan of action)
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance

Whenever I feel stuck, I find this model useful to get me moving. I’m in the Contemplation stage for this particular issue. I know what I need to do, but have not yet figured out how to go about it. I also have a ways to go for medical treatment, so I don’t want to be too hard on myself. The fact is, I have a sludge of infection and toxicity affecting my brain. But I’m growing impatient! I’m tired of existing in an unmotivated, unproductive fog. I have a good brain and I want to use it to its fullest capacity.

To tease the problem apart further, my treatment is stuck because of poor detoxification ability (confirmed by genetic testing). If I can figure out how to process out the toxins released by dying microbes, I can progress further. This is my next plan of attack.

One of the things I love about writing is how it helps me to solve problems. I may feel lost when I start writing, but I usually end up with a plan!

Laura

#Lyme Disease Infections and Intense Die-Off

Hello to All,

I’m sorry for the long absence. I’m at the tail end of the worst die-off/detox reaction I’ve ever had. I was struggling so much that I decided to try a new doctor in January. He put me on an anti-fungal, a biofilm dissolving enzyme, and did neural therapy (injections) into my abdomen, neck, and swollen lymph nodes.

Since that time, I’ve suffered from daily migraines, pronounced dizziness, increased insomnia, and eye pain. I’ve been unable to walk, drive, or even take a bus. I can’t view a computer screen for more than a minute without getting eye pain and a migraine. Every time I ingest solid food I get a headache.

I feel cut off from the world around me. All I can do is to sit or lie in a darkened room and maybe read an easy book or magazine. The vulvodynia pain also returned, so I can’t even have sex without pain. Almost everything right now causes me pain.

Pain.
Pain.
Pain.

This is the most disabled I’ve ever been. I’ve been unable to moderate comments or read or return emails during this time. I will return to these as soon as I can.

On a positive note, I’m so thankful for my parents, my friends, and my spouse who spent time with me, talked with me on the phone, drove me to appointments, and kept me from falling into total despair. Knowing that I’m loved makes it possible to endure this miserable disease.

-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

#Lyme Disease and Biotoxin Removal, Part Two

Hello to All,

After checking with my doctor, I have been following Richard Loyd’s detox protocol for about a month now. His protocol consists of absorbing bile toxins from the body with Cholestepure, doing foot detox with ionic foot baths and foot patches, and removing mold toxins from my home with a diffuser and detox oil.  See Dr. Loyd’s paper on mold detox at http://www.royalrife.com/mold_toxins.pdf.

So here is my report: My pain level is significantly reduced. I have little body pain and fewer, milder headaches. I currently have no food reactions. I am able to eat a wide variety of foods with no headaches. In fact, I’ve been eating too much and I’ve gained more weight than I needed. In addition, I have not observed side effects from treatment so far.

I have known for some time that when I’m flared up, all my symptoms flare, not just pain. When pain goes down, so do my other symptoms. I used to think these symptoms just co-existed. I now understand that reducing inflammation causes a reduction in my other symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.

I will certainly not say that Loyd’s protocol is responsible for the reduction of symptoms. It could be a coincidence. If my doctor approves, I will continue with this toxin reduction protocol and restart anti-microbial treatment to see what happens. I’ve had temporary reprieves before. We’ll see how long this one lasts.

I know that this is a long road, and there are more challenges to come. But I’m encouraged by this reprieve and very pleased to be feeling better!

Good luck to all,

Laura

#Lyme Disease and Biotoxin Removal Protocols

So after a tough month of detox symptoms following a new anti-microbial regimen, I decided to research an improved detox protocol for myself. I am cleaning up my diet (again) and taking time off from killing the infections until I can reduce my existing toxic load and improve my body’s detox system.

My understanding of this illness has deepened considerably in recent months. Chronic Lyme Disease is not a stand-alone condition. It is a complex interaction of impaired physiology, biotoxin load, and immune dysregulation. The infection is only a part of the problem. Borrelia and other pathogenic microbes are opportunistic and stubborn infections that will wreak havoc in the already impaired body.

My research has led me to the work of two researchers who advocate removal of mold toxins from the body and the immediate environment as the path to regaining one’s health: Ritchie Shoemaker, MD, a family practice physician, author, and researcher, and Richard Loyd, PhD, a researcher and nutritionist. According to these pioneers in the field of biotoxin related illness, treating mold and removing existing toxins from the body is vital for a full recovery from Lyme disease.

Both of their protocols use an intestinal toxin binder, such as cholestyramine or Cholestepure. They both work by binding toxins in the intestines that have been released from the gallbladder. Toxins are stored in fat cells. They are processed through the liver then on to the gallbladder until a fatty meal causes the gallbladder to release bile and the toxins into the gut. Without cholestyramine or other toxin-binding agents, they can re-circulate back into the blood stream. This is a self-perpetuating cycle. Even if you kill off pathogenic microbes in the body, their toxins continue to circulate in people with ineffective detox pathways. The gist of treatment is threefold: Avoid, Prepare, and Remove.

Note: Cholestyramine is a prescription bile acid sequestrate intended for use in lowering cholesterol. It has also has been found clinically to be effective in relieving the symptoms of toxic mold syndrome. It works by binding to the mold toxins in the gut and removing them from the body. Cholestyramine has been used for decades in mainstream medicine to lower cholesterol. It is also used by the U.S. military to remove neurotoxins after exposure in combat. It has an excellent safety profile because it is not absorbed into the blood stream. The most common side effects are constipation, heartburn, and nausea. Dr. Loyd suggests a product called Cholestepure as a natural, gentler alternative.

CAUTION: Lyme patients, or people with any severe biotoxin illness  may not be able to tolerate any cholestyramine at all. Starting a toxin binding protocol such as this can lead to intense detox (Herx) reactions. Talk to your doctor. And prep with a good anti-inflammatory protocol BEFORE commencing a protocol like this.

Step One: Avoid further exposure to mold toxins

Remove yourself from toxic environments, or remove the mold from your environment. See Dr. Loyd’s website and paper on mold http://www.royalrife.com/mold_toxins.pdf for mold removal strategies, including diffusing mold killing essential oils with a diffuser into your car, garage, and basement. Read Dr. Shoemaker’s books: Mold Warriors and Surviving Mold for detailed information.

Step Two: Prepare your system for the detox storm to follow

Cholestyramine can cause unbearable detox symptoms (inflammation!) in chronically ill patients. Once you start processing out the toxins, more are released from their safe hiding places. Though a number of physicians (including Dr. Klinghardt) once prescribed a short course of a drug called Actos to mitigate detox symptoms, this drug is now linked with increased risk of bladder cancer. This drug can also be problematic for those with insulin problems and low leptin levels.

See http://www.survivingmold.com/docs/biotoxinpathwayritchieshoemakermd.pdf for helpful diagrams of the body’s chemistry to better understand the inflammatory cycle and detox pathways.

Dr. Shoemaker now advocates preparing the body with very high doses of fish oil as a natural anti-inflammatory. The targeted dose of fatty acids is 2.4g EPA and 1.8g DHA daily for 8 days prior to commencing binding therapy. This can be 5 or more capsules of high potency fish oil!

Dr. Loyd suggests one of the following products: UltraInflamX, Kaprex, KaprexAI, BioticsKappArrest. They inhibit NF-kappaB, a messenger that causes the release of inflammatory cytokines. They are safe, natural alternatives to Actos.

In addition to fish oil, my doctor has me on a concentrated, highly bio-available form of turmeric called Meriva.

To my surprise, Dr. Loyd (and also noted LLMD, Dr. Steven Harris) also suggests foot detox to draw out toxins. He suggests electronic foot detox baths and foot detox patches. See http://www.royalrife.com/mold_toxins.pdf. Honestly, I thought foot detox was pure B.S. until I read his website. Scott Forsgren from www.betterhealthguy.com has also used the Japanese-made patches with success. Go to his website for brand suggestions, since there are likely many ineffective ones out there. This is supposedly a gentle toxin removal treatment without side effects. It may be helpful to undertake this before commencing with toxin binding.

Part Three: Bind the Toxins

Mix one packet of cholestyramine in water four times daily between meals, preferably 30 minutes before a meal.

  • As an alternate, Welchol is a gentler pharmaceutical binding agent that can be used.
  • As a natural alternate use 1 – 3 capsules of Cholestepure, three times per day in between meals.

Shoemaker requires a low sugar, low amylase (starch) diet to aid in the process and reduce detox reactions. Duration of treatment is anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the toxic load.

In Conclusion

Please be careful when taking any new medications/supplements or implementing a detox protocol. It’s tempting for desperate, chronically ill people to play doctor on themselves. But detoxing can have serious side effects, including runaway inflammation, which is not only painful, but is dangerous. Get professional help. Do your research. And go slowly and carefully.

– Laura