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