Archives for: August 2002, 05
I am 52 (O+ and I assume a secretor since I have auburn hair and green eyes) and have been in ill health for the past 20 years.
Up until I was 32 I felt great--no allergies, no food intolerances, tons of energy, perfectly functioning intestinal system, all coupled with the ability to roll quite well with the emotional punches of life. BUT then I came down with a bad case of the flu and bronchitis. Because I felt so awful, I went to the doctor (I didn't have a regular physician because I was never sick) who put me on erythromycin. That was the beginning of the end. I had a severe reaction to the erythromicin--bad rash, candida infection, and an intestinal system that completely stopped functioning for two weeks. Although the acute phase of the illness passed, I never got better.
I have been left with extreme weakness and fatigue, numerous allergies, arthritis, intolerances to almost everything I eat, dizzy spells, nasal congestion, intestinal problems, constant sore throats and colds, the inability to tolerate antibiotics of any kind, headaches that occur almost every waking moment, and many other symptoms, including inflammation that seems to ricochet all over my body. Doctors--both conventional and alternative have been of no help--although at least the alternative doctors believed me, while the conventional doctors kept telling me that it was all in my head (this in spite of the fact that at the height of the illness my blood pressure dropped to 80 over 60, I lost 20 pounds in less than four weeks, I ran a fever for three months, my skin was greyish green, I had trouble swallowing, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs, and every time I ate ANYTHING I doubled over in excruciating pain). (My favorite doctor was the one who told me that I was having an hysterical conversion reaction because my husband and I were in the same field and I was subconsciously competing with him.)
Be that as it may, I have managed to live a semi-normal life by doing a lot of pretending and pushing through the pain. (I even managed to have a baby who is now 14.) I have been on Nystatin, numerous supplements, B12 and magnesium shots, anti-parasitic formulas and amino acids and probiotics (none of which I could tolerate), Nizoral (which caused liver damage and almost killed me), thyroid medication, and lots of other things--nothing helped. I have tried the blood type diet for a number of months and it has quieted the symptoms down, but there's been no great change. The only diagnosis that I have gotten (and this was about six years ago) that has been confirmed by laboratory testing is intestinal permeability and the presence of blastocystis hominis. I was given aloe vera juice and evening primrose oil and a liquid charcoal drink and Chinese herbs--I just felt sicker and sicker with an overlay of extreme anxiety and depression, neither of which I'm prone to except as a side effect of any supplement or medication I can't tolerate. Needless to say, I stopped taking all that stuff.
In any event, I don't think the blood type diet alone will work. Do you have any suggestions as to supplements? I am already using the fucus, the larch, the methyl B12, and the blood type vitamin and mineral formulas. I am really tired of feeling awful. Many, many thanks. Sorry for the length of this. Deanna
Your situation is terrible, and I wish it were more uncommon than it is.
Right now I have more questions than answers for you, but in the space of this column I'll try to give you a start on the direction to head in.
The first event, as you pointed out, was: erythromycin destroyed your gut bacteria. In that process, it destroyed (1) your ability to digest food and (2) your immune system. It also damaged your digestive lining, including the stomach lining. As an extra added bonus, it compromised the nerve ganglia (the "gut brain") in your intestines. The candida gleefully rose up when the beneficial bacteria were killed by the antibiotic, and their free-for-all concluded with a feast on your intestinal walls. Every symptom you described is a direct and indirect result of this damage -- even low blood pressure and feelings of impending doom, which present quite expectedly with systemic candidiasis infection.
The fact that you have persevered for twenty years under these conditions is a testament to your natural strength, mental toughness and determination. That tells me that you are going to succeed. You will heal. Nothing is going to stop you.
Here are my recommendations:
Food won't do you much good until you can digest it. If you lived in Germany or Switzerland, you would probably already have undertaken a supervised fast -- but skilled practitioners in such matters are thin on the ground here in the States. For that reason, I do not recommend a fast. Instead, I suggest the following guidelines:
A. IF you tried the O probiotic and couldn't tolerate it, please email me at helpinghand. If you haven't tried it, please begin it now. Discontinue the vitamin and mineral formulas -- they're not worth the cost until you can assimilate them. They'll keep for a later date. Keep taking the larch, the B12 and the fucus.
B. Get a bag of whole organic flaxseed and stick it in the fridge. Gold, brown, doesn't matter. Also, a $10 electric coffee grinder from Braun or Salton. Don't use it yet. In a few weeks, grind a tablespoon into powder and soak in 1/4 cup of water for twenty minutes. Eat it down. If this gives you any pain, wait another three weeks and try it again.
C. IF you can tolerate both wild blueberries and rice, here's a nice German recipe for curing colitis. I suggest it to you because its action is to heal inflammation in the digestive tract, and provide valuable proanthocyanadins and many trace substances in a harmless package. My friend Joachim wrote it, and I have edited it for your use.
Boil white rice in plenty of saltwater until the rice is very soft. As you probably won't be able to buy fresh WILD Blueberries, soak dried wild blueberries in a little warm water (initially boil because you want to rule out any germs) and add the water + Blueberries to the drained rice. Eat this by carefully chewing. Drink wild Blueberry tea (2 - 3 tablespoons, boiled in a cup of water, let rest for 10 Min.), also eat a few tablespoons of dried wild blueberries in-between meals, and again chew carefully.
See the wild blueberry sellers page for getting the fruit.
D. Eat no grain whatsoever, neither whole nor sprouted, other than that rice concoction. Eat no dairy of any kind, and no dried fruit. Absolutely no refined sugar -- including molasses. DO use vegetable glycerine -- "NOW" is a good brand, and it's the only sweetener you should put in your mouth (for the moment). It will not feed the rapacious critters, and it will actually aid your cells in energy production. A little nutbutter or seedbutter every day is fine, but no whole nuts or seeds. Get some okra and eat it any way you can -- stewed, sauteed, etc. (not raw).
E. How are your teeth (and your budget)? If you have bunches of mercury amalgam fillings, it will help your cause to get them replaced with biologically suitable composites -- but ONLY by a dentist skilled in substance testing who has the appropriate equipment and experience to replace amalgams.
F. Lovely dark red hair and green eyes notwithstanding, I suspect you are a nonsecretor. We are hit particularly hard by unfettered candida growth, since we do not produce (as do secretors) the protective glycocompounds which inhibit candida's ability to stick to our sensitive mucosa. Once the deed (nasty course of antibiotics) is done, it's a long road back for us. Please consider getting the saliva secretor test offered by NAP on this site.
G. In the meantime, follow the standard type O meat, fish and vegetable diet (with the modifications noted above). Eat only the beneficial foods from these categories -- again, except for the specific modifications noted. Don't eat anything that gives you pain: concentrate on the wild blueberry/rice protocol and add other foods singly as you can tolerate them. Focus on oily fish like wild salmon (widely available canned), monkfish, mackerel, etc. Consider purchasing a product called "Omegasentials." Read about it at the Minnesota Wellness Directory pages.
H. Don't ever take any antibiotic again as long as you live. ;-) Instead, get a supply of "Heallix" from my friend Leo at www.heallix.com. It looks expensive (around $40 per bottle), but he offers specials all the time. This is an antimicrobial/healing combination of fulvic acid and ionized (NOT colloidal) silver -- well worth the price to have on hand. Read about it on his site.
Eventually, you won't need much in the way of fancy supps, and will prosper on your O diet. You can do all this by yourself ~ no doctors required. Please keep in touch, and let me know your progress. And keep that wonderful spirit shining!