Getting Healthier Now

A Blog About Digestive Health

Tag: autoimmune

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Is it Your Thyroid, the Fluoride… or the Mercury?

How many of us have been exposed to high amounts of fluoride, a non-essential mineral that compromises thyroid activity, and is a known mutagen, from sources we never thought possible?

If you’ve ever taken antacids, or antidepressants, including Paxil and Prozac, plus countless other medications, including fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro and Levaquin, or if you’ve had steroids in the hospital, or drank from a municipal water supply, or used toothpaste, you’ve been exposed to it. Fluoride is even in our air from coal combustion and steel production.

Just as mercury bioaccumulates from smaller to larger fish, and then into humans, fluoride does the same. For most of us, it’s in the pesticides on the vegetables and grains that most of us consume, then it appears in even higher concentrations in the animals we eat, who feed on these crops, and feedstocks like bonemeal.

So it’s clear there’s a problem. How big is it?

One interesting metric are the rates of thyroid cancers but we can also look at the increase in dental fluorosis, which is far more than a cosmetic issue if it’s “a developmental disturbance of dental enamel caused by excessive exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development.”

fluorosis

Okay… onward!

Recently I started an iodine protocol, which you can read about HERE, largely because I had many symptoms of hypothyroidism, which developed after taking multiple doses of antibiotics like Cipro and Levaquin. Also, like many of us, I grew up chewing (and swallowing!) fluoride tablets to make my teeth stronger.

Iodine receptors get bound by fluoride, and iodine can remove it, thereby correcting a functional deficiency of iodine. It can also, quite often, give a big boost to thyroid function.

In my case, iodine unleashed a torrent of detoxing, mostly via the GI tract. Then, suddenly, I began to feel more energetic (although my fatigue is not gone yet), I had better sleep patterns, an increased libido, 75% less tinnitus, and (unexpectedly) relief from chronic fungal overgrowth – likely because my immune system could function again. It’s been quite a ride.

My only questions now are:

1. how long have I been hypothyroid, and

2. given how well I’ve responded to iodine supplementation… what can this protocol do for me in the long run?

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This is a serious question, indeed.

Where does one go from here?

If you listen to the naturopathic community, and a few doctors, Iodine chelates mercury, as well as fluoride, but conventional medicine is strangely mute on the subject. In basic chemical reactions, it seems to be the case, so why not in the body?

Perhaps I have two reasons to supplement with Lugol’s 2%, since mercury appears to cause its own thyroid issues. Hashimoto’s anyone? Who knew?

I’m a former 5-day-a-week consumer of seafood, so when I got my mercury levels checked they were “off the charts” as my doctor put it. I asked her how we could fix that and got a blank stare in return. My doctor paused for a moment, and then explained there was no diagnostic code for mercury toxicity, and therefore she had no way to treat it – at least within my health plan.

Sure, everyone has some burden of ingested toxins, it would be naive to assume otherwise, but I’ve got a body full of mercury and very likely fluoride, too. Readers here are familiar with my health problems, and how they came about. The tipping point was fluoroquinolones, but I’m sure mercury plays a role, too. The perfect storm of toxicity, and I’m very lucky to not have amalgam fillings, unlike so many others.

So what to do about this?

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That’s a question many of us are asking lately. We’re left alone to wonder: boron, Borax®, diatomaceous earth, bentonite clay, Zeolite, activated charcoal, grapefruit pectin, Modifilan (seaweed), psyllium husk, cilantro. How about the minerals, like magnesium?

The list of potential detoxifiers are endless, but what do we know about how they behave in the body? I’ve no doubt some can remove good metals and nutrients along with the bad, plus too much fluoride or mercury, unleashed too quickly, can burden the liver, kidneys, brain – everything.

So we need to be careful. We need to figure out what works for our given set of toxicities, and how to best approach it.

And that’s what I’ll be focusing on in an upcoming installment. Stay tuned.

 

Hookworm for Healing Prostatitis?

So seven weeks ago I did a 50 hookworm top-off dose, and I’m absolutely 100% allergy free right now: no asthma, no sneezing, and I’m also experiencing the characteristic lack of aches and pains I tend to enjoy when my hookworm are active and providing their benefits. This is now my third year of helminthic therapy, so my body is quite accustomed to it.

Side effects? Hardly any. A few weeks ago i had slightly increased mucus production in my nasal passages and sinuses, which is actually a sign of health for me, as this all disappeared when I got “floxed” with Levaquin antibiotics a few years ago. At that point my immune system was stunned. My nose always felt irritated, with a “tight” and “dry” sensation. Happily, I now have a very normal, unremarkable nose, and this means no more sinus headaches, either!

As far as gut function, I have a history of ulcerative colitis, and other than a brief flare that came on before my last dose of hookworm, I’ve been in total remission, for months. I was able to get rid of the flare using sodium butyrate enemas, and now it seems like my worms have it all under control.

Now, for something very interesting, indeed. In years past I’ve always noticed prostatitis is a problem for me as seasons change, particularly from Summer into Fall. Not so, this year, and perhaps this is also due to my hookworm! Why? My theory is prostatitis can be the result of seasonal allergies. In quite a few forums around the web I’ve noticed men wondering about a connection, and my experience could help to confirm it. I do hope in time hookworm will be put to use for this “off-label” condition, as I find it to be more beneficial than any other therapy I’ve tried!

It’s easiest for me to look at the prostatitis/allergy connection in terms of an inflammatory threshold. In past years, even when I was much younger, anything could be a potential trigger — too much coffee, alcohol, or spicy food, too much sitting, not enough exercise, infrequent sexual activity, general stress. Now, none of this matters. I just feel good.

I should add, I also include plenty of cultured foods in my diet, such as delicious homemade kefir, yogurt, raw sauerkraut, and probiotics in pill form. I am convinced this, too, helps prostatitis by improving the ecology of the colon. Considering the proximity of the colon to the bladder, and other male anatomy, it’s easy to see how a fungal overgrowth in the gut can lead to candida migrating into prostate tissues. Furthermore, it’s thought many of us are allergic to fungal pathogens, so once they invade tissues the immune system makes matters worse by mounting an ineffective inflammatory response.

Again, if hookworm tame the immune system, and a low-grade fungal infection is the trigger, it’s clear to me how helminthic therapy might play a role in easing prostatitis. I’ll have more to say about the impact of adding probiotic foods to my diet, and its effect on general inflammation, in a future post.

I’d appreciate hearing from you all in the comments section — of those doing helminthic therapy, is it helping to curb autoimmune response? And how many of you men out there have noticed if it helps with prostatitis? We self-experimenters are learning a lot about controlling inflammation, so much so that my doctors are really interested in updates — much of it gathered from you. Hopefully in time our knowledge can have an impact on mainstream medicine. Meanwhile, let’s keep up the good work!

Neurofeedback Helps!

I had my second session with the LENS neurofeedback system yesterday and my subjective opinion is it’s really helping, all the way around. I feel more energetic, my mind is sharper, and I’m more at ease. I’m not quite back to where I was between weeks 7 and 9 of my worm therapy, but if the trend continues, I’ll be there.

One bump in the road was a 7 day course of the antibiotic Levaquin. Some who take it suffer from anxiety and insomnia, and this was me. Fortunately the infection resolved early, and I am now off it, so I can begin the process of rebuilding my gut flora. I’m taking three types of probiotics, several times a day, and eating lots of soft-cooked vegetables to bulk up my stool and combat any yeast overgrowth. I’m also taking digestive enzymes to aid absorption of vitamins and minerals, plus much-needed fats, from my food. Vitamin B complex, a mineral complex, and 5K units of vitamin D3 round out my daily regimen.live streaming film Central Intelligence online

Coffee has been forbidden now, since the episodes of increased blood pressure, which are pleasantly absent since the Levaquin was stopped two days ago. I don’t miss caffeine at all, even decaf coffee, so chances are I will bid it farewell, at least for the foreseeable future. Sugar and any complex carbs are also off the menu, and have been for years. Many who do worm therapy discover they can re-indulge in these foods once they are getting longer term benefits, but I’m so keen on healing up I may never even test those waters.

Symptoms of POTS have been a real eye-opener for me, and strong motivation to get back to what works. My primary focus now is to reprogram my circadian rhythm, to get regular, restful sleep, and continue repairing my nervous system as best I can. Progress has been made on that front already, considering I now have no trouble typing or walking, and the paresthesias in my face, forehead, hands and feet are now practically gone. I want to make sure systemic candida is kept to a minimum, too, as it may play a role in autoimmune reactions related to POTS/dysautonomia, in my opinion. Anything that stresses the immune system, be gone!

As for my hookworms and whipworms, I’m hoping the antibiotics I took for a week did them no harm. An egg count, in another month or so, is probably the best way I have to confirm they’re still with me. Chances are they survived just fine, as I can find no reports of mass die-offs when helminths encounter those types of medications.

Autonomic Dysfunction

I’m still waiting to get some tests done — A brain MRI with contrast, an EEG, and flexion/extension xrays of my cervical spine to see if certain postures create greater narrowing of the spinal channel or impinge on root nerves. Meanwhile, I’m continuing to have these “attacks”, and they appear to be autonomic nerve-related: neuropathy in my face and hands, penis enlargement tingling in the top of my head, profuse sweating, extreme stuffy nose, high blood pressure spikes, dizziness, tinnitus, and a sensation in my body and mind like the onset of a seizure. Oh, and all of this makes me a bit anxious. One neurologist prescribed a sedative to abort them, which seems to work, but so do mega doses of vitamin C, so I’m trying to go as drug-free as I can when managing it.

What sets them off appears to be biomechanical. Last night all it took was sitting in front of the computer and shifting my weight slightly. Then I felt something slip, up high around C2 in my cervical spine, a clicking sensation was audible, then the attack started. No pain, just a lot of weird symptoms, including diarrhea. It’s as if my bowels don’t have a neural connection when this chain of events takes place. Sometimes I’m unable to even initiate peristalsis, and that’s a little spooky.

So what does all of this have to do with helminthic therapy? I see a strong potential connection, if I turn out to be one of the lucky people who get long term benefits. Apparently, many , even if they are currently in remission like me, can develop symptoms of autonomic dysfunction, or AD. If that’s the case, and if the helminths can keep my UC in remission, I’m willing to bet they’ll also calm the inflammation in my central nervous system. The fact that HT has been documented as effective against MS, where healing demyelination is the goal, perhaps if there’s an to my autonomic dysfunction I can find relief, too.

Right now I’m exploring the possibilities, and I’ll know a lot more with test results. When I look back over how my autoimmune issues have developed, this neurological component (high sympathetic state)  is something I’ve been coping with for a good part of my life. These most recent symptoms feel more like a progression from that early point, something where a low threshold was breached, rather than any isolated development. That gives me a lot of hope it can be reversed. Go, worms!