Battling Chronic Yeast

My most visible CFS health problem has always been chronic yeast infections. Around the time the MD's were giving me the old "it's all in your head" trip in 1985-1986, I continued to eat my way toward the grave.

Christmas 1985, I was reduced to an almost vegetative state when visiting my family back in Montana. My grandmother, her sisters, and aunts had long established a holiday tradition in our family. Homemade Christmas candy was the pride of every household. My grandmother made the very best chocolate fudge, and in no small quantities.

At the time I was feeling very depressed. Something was wrong with me, that was for sure. My life had been so full of hope when I left college. I was worried that I was now going to die from whatever was making me ill. AIDS was at the beginning of it's sensational journey into the public mind. Never had I done anything to put me in a high risk group.

But there was no way to be sure what was truly known and unknown about that deadly plague. There was definitely something wrong with me was all I could ponder. Those blue feelings and an ever present plate of the worlds best homemade fudge were the formula for the biggest downward spiral in my decade long career as a person with chronic fatigue.

After returning to Oregon, I was not going to see 190 pounds on my frame or decent energy again until 1996. My friends didn't understand why I never wanted to do anything any more. My evening practice was to fall asleep in front of guests after dinner. My emotions were so raw, it is a miracle Carmen stuck with me.

The next summer we went camping with a couple we had met the year before. It was in a camper near the Pacific ocean at Astoria, Oregon that I connected my illness to sugar.

We had a good morning out and about and came back for lunch. As we finished eating I was drinking a can of soda pop. As I drank, my intestines bloated with gas, my head starting swimming, and my body began to hurt in the joints and muscles. I had to lay down for the rest of the weekend.

Carmen and I wondered why sugar would have such a profound negative effect on me. This question would lead me to "The Yeast Connection" and eventually my ND.

At this point I will say I believe this discovery saved my life. It didn't make my life instantly better, but it did stop the free fall I had begun with my grandmothers Christmas fudge.

There are more stories of my going to GI specialists who essentially laughed me out of their office at the notion that I had an intestinal yeast overgrowth. Mentioning it to you here is almost enough to purge my psyche. Let me just add that no experience in my decade long health plight has given me cause to trust my life unquestioningly to the practicing medical establishment in this great country of ours.

Many of you are equally versed in the yeast diet. No sugar, at all! all! all! all!
It doesn't matter how many times you remind yourself, you find yourself eventually sneaking sugar and regretting it later.

The other tenants of the yeast free diet are to go low carbohydrate and to always test for food allergies. It go so bad with me that despite it being a carbo, plain white rice was the only food I could reliably eat without an allergic reaction.

My nature is to be assertive, even aggressive. As I watched my weight go down I took action. Aggressive eating is the only way to describe my approach to the food problem. I was rude, gross, slobby, and obsessive about eating as much as I could. The only clear result was four or more bowel movements a day. I had no idea peristalsis could move so fast. The most distressing part was that I was recognizing raw input materials upon output.

The next trick was to try digestive aids such as papaya enzymes. These helped some.

My Experiences with Yeast Remedies

I'm going to jump out of any sense of chronology, and just start examining remedies I experienced somewhere along the 11 year saga.

Upon careful examination I noticed I had yeast growing everywhere. The bottoms of my feet were always sore and experiencing a burning itch. All of my cuticles, both hands and feet were severely hang nailed. The skin under my nails was always split and red. My tongue and throat were coated white. The lines of my hands were coated white. My private parts constantly itched. It burned upon urination and during other urinary track releases. And of course, my GI track and digestion, as mentioned before, were a dysfunctional mess.

The importance of the following remedy list has increased a hundredfold now that I know Candida albicans is transforming elemental mercury into methyl mercury through its metabolic processes.

Until you are completely cleaned up and cured, you have got to continue the battle with the yeast. Battling the yeast is only part of the success plan. You need to detoxify, renew your good bowel flora, and to get a good nutritional program going to restore your bodies metabolic processes.

Capryllic Acid - AKA Capricin. Over the counter was an important attribute of this remedy since I tried it right after I had sworn off "it's all in your head" MD's, and had yet to approach an ND. It has yeast killing properties. My first yeast die off was experienced under capricin. The problem with this remedy was that I developed an extreme intolerance to it. My GI just couldn't handle it after a short while.

Acidophilus - The war between good and evil, a morality play, right there in my gut lining. Wipe out the bad bugs, recolonize with the good ones. Uproot the weeds, replace them with flowers.

Intellectually this all made sense. I took live cultured yogurt until my body rejected all dairy products, something I now tolerate fine by the way. After that it was powder, capsules, and direct introduction to both ends of my GI track.

Acidophilus supplements were with me for the duration of the yeast wars. If they had an effect, it was to prevent something worse from happening, or some very gradual improvement. I can't honestly say I ever saw a direct health benefit. Intellectually it still makes sense though. It makes even more sense when you can realistically expect the yeast to stay gone.

Now that my own life processes are dominating my health situation, yogurt based Acidophilus is aiding in digestion and utilization of vitamins. At my current state, I can detect the positive result. Intellectually, having looked at the science papers regarding the protective effects of GI flora, I know this is a very good remedy to pursue long term. I eat low fat, no sugar, highly active yogurt daily.

Nystatin - This powder has long been my friend. I used to look forward to it's extremely bitter taste. Knowing it was reliably killing yeast gave me this odd anticipation. Nystatin stuck it out with me for 8 years, with only one pause when white rice was the only ingestion not irritating my bowels.

The nystatin controlled the yeast. That feature alone was important. Together with regular saunas, I saw my first sustained improvements in life quality from this yeast killer.

Fasting - This is one is scary. I would not do this if I lived alone, or felt my illness had worn me down to a point that death is a serious concern. What I did and why I did it were the following.

My ability to withstand food and treatments had reached the point that white rice was all I could eat. I had not yet considered enemas, let alone try them. I decided to quit eating for a day to starve the yeast.

After I cleared my bowel the following day, I took Nystatin and Acidophilus in sequence. The theory was that the yeast would be weakened and the nystatin would be more effective. The Acidophilus was there to claim any real estate made available by the evicted yeast. I did this several times over several months, and was able to turn myself around and start taking more food again. Based on what I know now, do the enemas instead.

Saunas - These are what saved my engineering career. Whenever I had something really important to perform in front of others at work, I would find a way to have a sauna 2-3 hours before hand.

The saunas were first tried on the theory they would excrete yeast toxins through sweat. I continued them because they worked, providing reliable alleviation of symptoms and a period of clear mind. I now know that sweat is a major excretion pathway for mercury.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was coping with my root problem with this remedy. I highly recommend saunas. They work as a mercury and toxin excretion pathway. An important aspect is that mercury leaving via this path doesn't have a chance to be reabsorbed.

Taheebo Tea - I used to buy this bark dust by the kilo. My ND really believed in it. Along with other things, I tried it often. Eventually I gave it up because I couldn't see what it was doing besides irritating my bowels and using my money.

Homeopathic Remedies - Sorry! None of these demonstrated any improvements for me.

Raw Cranberries - Here is a unique one. Somehow I picked up some cranberries to try as an alternative fruit. All other fruit sent me loopy from sugar. Not only did I tolerate cranberries, I perceived health improvements from them. As with everything that worked, I took it as far as it would go.

We used to buy cranberries by the frozen 40 pound box from a food wholesaler. My approach was to microwave the berries from frozen to the point where they just popped. Then I would add water, blend it, and drink it.

The order of water introduction was important. The way I did it produced the most sour taste, and perceived benefits. Adding water before cooking came up with less acidity and less effect. Eventually I quit cranberries because, ironically, they made my teeth hurt.

Nizoral - In Oregon an ND cannot prescribe this systemic yeast killer. I had to find an MD who recognized and treated systemic Candida in order to get this prescription.

My yeast noticeably cleared up on this stuff. While on the drug my sugar cheating did not receive it's usual rewards. It cleared me up quite well, especially noticeable was my GI.

Big Warning! This drug is very hard on your liver! When I went off it, my GI yeast were back full strength within the month. Other yeast growth locations were permanently moderated after this treatment. Nizoral gave me a taste of what it would be like to be well again.

Enemas - The holistic MD that prescribed the Nizoral also got me to massage my bowel and to consider this treatment. He really wanted to sell me high colonic's at $75 a pop in his clinic. My insurance wasn't going to pay a dime.

I was extremely uncomfortable with the whole idea, and didn't want any witnesses to my displeasure. I settled for an $8 hot water bottle, a tube of KY jelly, and the privacy of my own bathroom. Without discussing any more details than needed, let me tersely say I eventually came up with a 5 step program that produced whole bowel cleansing. My practice was to perform this program about 3 times a week.

Since then I've learned that there is a significant hazard with this remedy. You can become totally dependent upon it. Your body can lose the ability to move materials all the way through the intestines on it's own. For this reason, I don't recommend doing this more than twice a week. Always allow your body to perform the feat of excretion multiple days before cleansing again.

Here is my 5 step program for whole bowel cleansing in your own bathroom.

  • Clear the bowel as best as possible, the natural way, sitting on the commode.
  • Lay in the tub and using the hot water bottle, administer about 2 cups of warm water. I highly recommend KY Jelly for insertion purposes. I also recommend that you apply a little side pressure to the nozzle to be sure there is a vent for air to move out as water enters the bowel. Hold the water as long as you can, up to two minutes.
  • Trot to the commode with maximum sphincter power engaged. Let it all go down the flusher, stay until you are sure everything has released. Impatience can lead to an accident in transit.
  • Once again in the tub with a pint of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of nystatin powder and a teaspoon of Acidophilus powder. This time allow the mixture to remain in the bowel as long as humanly possible, up to 15 minutes. Take something to read, to distract you during the waiting. If your bowel is irritated, 15 minutes of holding may not be achieved for months. When you can go the distance, it's a sign that the bowel has significantly improved.
  • Once again trot to the commode with maximum sphincter power engaged. Stay on the commode until it has all drained out. If you are not sure, then stand and sit a few times to aid the movement out.

These helped me quite a bit, and marked another step up in sustained good health.

Now that I know about the Candida in the bowel transforming mercury into methyl mercury, I see this treatment as very important. Not only do you flush the yeast, you also flush the inorganic mercury and amalgam particles in transport.

Using the described bowel cleansing process is a fast track path to good bowel ecology that costs very little money if you do it yourself. I've never had a high colonic and cannot really comment on their effectiveness. Money has not been my number one barrier for treatments, yet I avoided colonic's at least partially due to cost.

Physillium Seed Fiber - Recently I've been made aware of this remedy. Normally it's prescribed for people with constipation. It has a regulating effect on bowel traffic. If it's moving too fast, then the fiber will slow it down, allowing the formation of competent stools. Elimination of constipation is true. The fiber may also help the transport of bile excretions out -- important for liver excreted mercury.

I recommend taking it daily, unsweetened. Metamucil, which is mostly physillium seed fiber, is heavily sweetened. Sugar is the curse of the Candida plagued.

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Vitamin B, and Vitamin E. - Yes, these are also the nutritional chelation vitamins. I add them here because I personally experienced a yeast die off 3 days after taking grams a day of the named vitamins.

The explanation for why I had this yeast die off is in the buildup of my immune system. There are several research papers that indicate that Nuetrophil's, a type of macrophage killer cell, are enhanced by the glutathione (GSH) produced from NAC and the other two amino acids.

Nuetrophil's are what your body uses to patrol membrane interfaces in the lungs and GI. These cells go after invasive Candida, toxins, and other pathogens.

The only side effect that I have noted is heartburn when I took them on an empty stomach. Vitamin E seems to absorb better if consumed along with some fat. The B vitamins eliminate NAC side effects, especially when you faithfully add Acidophilus culture.

Mercury Amalgam Removal, DMPS Chelation and Vitamin Replacement - Finally, a route to a complete cure ! 

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Copyright ©1996 / 1997 Jeff Clark