Any port in a storm?

water water everywhere

I chose this image of mine to illustrate the need of any port in a storm but it’s a disordered environment, really. The glowering images of a storm on a Norwegian sea I’d thought of to illustrate this post are on a packed away external drive at the moment. I feel now, this image works better – something’s wrong with what would normally be a charming image of rural countryside.

There might be any number of contributing factors that bring a hint of the nautical to what should be a bucolic agrarian scene.

Brain you tube: The body will keep circulation for as long as possible to basic stuff like breathing. The newer stuff – thinking, writing poems, doing a One Direction dance are not worth saving at all costs by the brain. They’re less important because they aren’t essential for our survival. I think it’s good to get an image of how things are supposed to be.

Fecal transplants seem to be something that’s been helping conditions obviously affecting the gut – Clostridium Difficile for example. Now it’s also being suggested for neurological disorders such as MS, Parkinsons and Autism.

This post will be full of things that have caught my eye recently. Here’s one to throw into the mix: alkalize for health. We all know that veg especially greens are good for us (read previous post here where I speak about folate) but also making our body less acid has untold benefits for a body that’s become used to one too many cakes or steaks (both food items I heartily approve of but probably not that extra helping?) Trying to increase the number and variety of veg in the diet I see as the take home message of the page.

Get to know your body whether it’s behaving well or not. I had my genome sequenced. I mention my experience of the process in previous posts here and here. It’s pointed out that my supplementing with

  • vitamin B12 will be better being done with hydroxy rather than methyl B12.
  • My vitamin D receptors aren’t working properly which could explain my especially bad SAD in December/January.
  • certain glutathione processing SNiPs were completely missing so it seems it would be a good thing to supplement with glutathione (I’m using a cream applied under the ribs (over the liver) that will be absorbed transdermally and will hopefully give my liver a bit of a leg up and help it rid the body of general day to day toxins. I hope this might result eventually in a bit more energy. I probably have a lot more reading to do!

Here is another page that highlights why we want to get all the vitamin D we can. The methylation cycle is fiendishly tricky to understand (well, it is for me anyway).You may have noticed from the flavour of the posts on here so far that I’ll point you toward things that aren’t necessarily cures – the approach, protocol or exercise regime won’t make you all better by tomorrow but I’ll suggest things that might make life a little better whether you may be someone with a condition, care for someone with a condition or, you’re entirely well and somehow ended up on this site.

How does this help?

It might not help anyone else but I take some comfort knowing there may have been an underlying reason I didn’t fully engage in life at school and could never have been considered life and soul of the party! Half the population are thought to have impaired SNiPs. The information I’ve found out about me makes me wonder about the worth of double blind placebo controlled trials for complex conditions and also all the people who grew up being told they were slow, stupid or lazy.

All these lines of investigation and exploration might help an individual a little bit. I believe any port in a storm will do for me. Having a chronic, neurological disorder I believe can sometimes be likened to being lost at sea. You can’t rely on a stable base or solid ground or anything!

Dr Amy Yasko, a molecular biologist with an interest in healing her child’s autism has written about the process she has taken to getting a disordered brain back to some kind of normal.

I consider myself to be at the beginning of this process.

  • I took a food intolerance test over 10 years ago so know what foods my insides prefer not to deal with (dairy and gliadin, gluten essentially).
  • I got 23andme’d this summer and have found out I need to reshape a malfunctioning (from birth) methylation cycle and
  • I’ve been on a candida clearout for the past few months (please read 2 earlier posts on the subject here and here).

I wonder whether a body not working optimally from before birth also contributed to some of the vascular issues whose existence is being debated in cases of MS. I went to get CCSVI’d by Dr Sclafani in Brooklyn two years ago and have mentioned it here)The hypothesis that Dr Paulo Zamboni first put forward in 2009 but was initially investigated by Dr Franz Schelling (which i talk about here) is called ccsvi.

As we know, MS (and life) is multifactorial.

Candida Overgrowth Part 2 and/or SIBO?

two cups of hot drink on desk

This is the second part of my candida cleanse collection of posts.

What can we do after finding our spit sinks first thing in the morning? (please see the previous post for details on sinking spit here).

I’ve entered into this protocol with a bit more vigour than in the past and am now into my 3rd month of a daily diet of pretty much no sugar, booze, yeast and/or vinegar but lots of fresh veg (mostly greens less starch) and no sweet fruit (green apples and blueberries are ok in moderation). Recently I have reintroduced fermented vegetables (I describe the making of them here).

I checked my spit this morning as I’ve been feeling slowly, slightly a little better in a number of areas.

  • My limbs feel more… reliable,
  • my balance seems more centred (I don’t feel like I might overbalance and fall over as much and
  • my head feels clearer. I appreciate none of those statements sound like gamechanging successes but
  • I no longer crave sugar! That I consider to be a resounding success.
  • I treated myself with a square of 85% dark chocolate and there’s still a quarter of the square left this morning!

I’m still not great at carrying two cups of hot liquid in both hands at once (a few drops spilt but neither cup tipped) these are all tiny signs (to me at least) that things are changing. Grated ginger in one and loose leaf green tea in a yellow submarine in the other are both I believe, polyphenol rich and therefore, desirable?

I have a question mark as there are so many things I don’t myself have proof of and have to take it on trust that various people on the internet aren’t lying to me and as far as I know, I’m not lying here either but like I mention in various other posts, your best bet is to do lots of reading from lots of different places and become your own research and/or researcher.

Anyway, let’s get on to how these happy changes may have come about.

In the previous post I spoke of hugely reducing my sugar intake, stopping booze, vinegar and generally what could be considered as excess starch consumption. It’s not like I was a booze hound or I ate all the cakes every day but even a tiny amount was giving fuel to the yeasts that I felt had grown out of control in me resulting in recurrent UTIs, fatigue and fierce sugar cravings.

Along with those dietary changes I followed the regimen of antifungals as suggested by Christa Orecchio when talking to Sean Croxton (both of whom I believe I mentioned in the previous post. So, I’m hoping to try and get rid of

  • recurring yeast infections
  • remorseless fatigue
  • bloating and gas
  • poor memory
  • brain fog.

At every meal, I have been starving the yeast of its favorite food (by not eating those foods) aswell as, in 4 day rotations, taking two at a time of:

  • pau d’arco
  • olive leaf extract
  • oil of oregano (this one is cruel as the smell reminds me of Italian food!)
  • grapfruit seed extract
  • uva ursi

As well as my

  • Betaine HCL supplements with every meal (the dosing of this supplement deserves its own post – watch this space).

This supplement enhances the amount of stomach acid to help digest a meal. When things are ticking along nicely Hydrochloric acid should be your first line of defense in killing pathogenic bacteria from food but age, a history of disordered eating, antibiotic use, stress and low salt diets can all interfere with our body’s natural ability to produce it. Every morning, before food I take a spoonful of

  • Diatomaceous Earth and
  • Bentonite Clay mixed with water.

The clay has a positive charge which can be lessened when it comes into contact with metal. Luckily the company I bought it from supplied a wooden spoon. The DE (food grade) has really sharp edges that scour out your gut and the clay clings to particles. Essentially the two products together behave like Harvey Keitel in any number of his roles as a ‘cleaner’ in films. Combined they remove the evidence of the bacteria’s presence in your body.

I think this subject could be spread into a third post but for the moment I’m stopping here. My spit was floating and I thought it might be safe to have a glass of wine, it wasn’t. So, I’m back to ensuring my spit doesn’t drown! I’ll keep you informed of changes.

I mention SIBO in the title and honestly have little idea of the difference in action of an opportunistc yeast and a Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth as I haven’t gone as far as sending my stool off to be analysed. I’ll see what I can do on my own for the moment as I understand there is some overlap between having an overgrowth of one organism when compared to another.

Candida Schmandida?

There’s regularly much mention in complementary/well being/alternative circles about troubles with candida albicans, its overgrowth and the many and varied symptoms it can create in humans. This post will be looking at just one strand of how to get a body working better by introducing how to see if it’s a problem for you.

My next post will go into greater detail about how to reduce it’s presence in the body. Have a look online there are many people who suspect it could be an issue for a great many people – not just those with MS or other auto-immune conditions.

  • Have you had what feels like fatigue out of all proportion to any exertion on your part?
  • Do you get aching joints not explained away by your activities?

These are just a couple of the symptoms attached to the actions of this opportunistic organism in your system. Fatigue and aching joints could be down to many other things so read on to find out how to rule this culprit out.

other beings

When I first started my ‘journey’ towards enhancing my wellbeing (soon after diagnosis) I spent the afternoon in a bookshop choosing which book to buy to tell me something about the condition, Multiple Sclerosis, a self help guide seemed to be the most positive in outlook and full of what appeared useful stuff.

This all happened in the days before I was introduced to the internet but it’s still a great book and the guidelines hold their own against many websites and blogs nowadays. I’m eternally grateful to the author Judy Graham for introducing me to an alternative way of looking at my condition before the tsunami of auto-immune journeys flooded the wellness side of the web.

I’ve hesitated to use the word empowering in previous posts but I think it’s an apt description of the book I read and how I felt after reading it.

Since then all the Ws have arrived and google helped the web become a place to go and find stuff out, whilst not even having to put your shoes on to leave the house… what progress!

Various candida cleanses are available so I thought I’d join in! Seems to me the best place to start is finding out if it might be an issue for you and could be contributing to existing symptoms you may have.

My thanks to Christa Orecchio for some of the detail collected from a talk given to Sean Croxton (I mention his JERFing mantra elsewhere on here). Just eat real food (his mantra) I mention in an earlier post and backed up by Dr Josh Axe and any number of naturopathic practitioners:

  • first off is candida albicans rampaging in your body?

After getting up in the morning, before you brush your teeth or have a cup of tea/coffee/hot water and lemon juice (helps alkalize your system, I’ll write about this in another post) pour a glass of water and work up some spit in your mouth then spit into the glass and leave it til after you’ve had some breakfast (not somewhere where someone might accidentally drink it!)

  • After half an hour or so has your spit stayed floating on the surface of the water or has it ‘grown legs’ and some or all of it has sunk to the bottom of the glass?

When everything’s in order and we haven’t been taking another curse* (sic) of antibiotics or been dealing with a range of different stressors on the body (including physiological stress from food intolerances as well as  emotional and/or mental stress) we manage to co-exist with an array of symbiotic hitchikers in our systems. These guys live in our gut and help to digest our food when all’s going well and communicate with other parts of us like our brains and fat storing departments.

*Don’t get me wrong, antibiotics have their place but it seems we, as a society have come to rely on them too much which has brought its own well reported troubles.

You may have noticed, as members of the western ‘developed’ world, most of us are pretty good at not allowing our bodies to reach calm. Buddhists consider our constantly gabbling brain to be a ‘monkey mind‘. this incessant internal noise can contribute to a poorly performing immune system which, in turn can pave the way for an opportunist bacteria to make a break for the big time in your belly.

Anway, I should stop showing you evidence of my monkey mind and get back to the detail of this particular candida cleanse.

  • Did your spit sink?

If it did that’s a sign there are too many things living in your digestive tract (the tube between mouth and anus). In earlier posts I’ve mentioned Hippocrates and him believing that all disease starts in the gut. Most, if not all functional doctors agree.

One of the first things to do is remove from your diet stuff that these rowdy inhabitants of our gut like to eat. Unfortunately it’s the same kind of thing we can be partial to, too:

  • sugar
  • vinegar
  • yeast
  • alcohol

Incidentally, this is how sugar effects our brain without any need for ‘outside’ help. Sugar it seems doesn’t do us or critters living in us much good.

There’s more to follow but try doing less of these things to start with and see if your body behaves a little better without their influence.

My next post will go into more about the symptoms and the 2+ month protocol involved in slowly removing this energy robber from your system.

I mention Judy Graham as she talked about candida and I read about it some 15 years ago and things might have progressed differently if I’d tackled this situation then.

I appreciate if, if, if don’t amount to a hill o’ beans suffice to say I’m two months in to the no booze or sugar protocol and I think it’s doing me some good but perhaps too early to tell?