Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Posts Tagged ‘candida

Buzz off

with 3 comments

I’ve decided to tell a little story I’ve been keeping to myself for quite a while.

Not long after we started the FailsafeNT yahoo group, I communicated with a lady I knew from a different group who believed that she had candida. I convinced her to give the failsafe diet a try for her mysterious symptoms, and it worked wonders. She had spent a number of years believing that she had been suffering from candida, but on the diet the ‘candida’ just went away. She had been a member of a notorious alternative health yahoo group called candidasupport, run by a woman called Bee Wilder.

Shortly after this communication, I happened to glance at one of the new member notification emails I received, and I noticed that Bee Wilder had joined FailsafeNT and was busy lurking.

Great! Thinks I. This will be amazing. If Bee stuck around for long enough she would learn about how some people who have (genuine) candida are cured by the failsafe diet, and she will be able to communicate that to her members and she will be able to help loads more people.

Sure enough, soon someone was asking about candida symptoms. I tried to explain in the politest, kindest terms that sometimes people think they have ‘candida’ when actually they have food chemical intolerance, which can manifest as the same set of symptoms to those thought of as ‘candida’ amongst alternative health circles. And that other people genuinely do have candida, and some of these people are helped by the failsafe diet, because food chemical intolerance makes one very vulnerable to various skin and mucous membrane infections that often clear up on the diet.

Someone else on the group – a complete troll – deliberately decided to take me to task over what he thought I was saying. Because he doesn’t read things properly, he thought I was denying the existence of any and all infections – obviously Beauchampians are one of his bugbears – and he went of into an aggressive Pasteurian rant.

Before I could reply to this nonsense, Bee unsubscribed from the group. Obviously she had no desire hear anyone out and was rather intent on confirming her prejudices.

This is what Bee has been up to in the mean time.

On candidasupport, someone asked Bee what her opinion of the failsafe diet is, here is her response:

==>Unfortunately I know a group that believes a person should avoid salicylate and amine in foods, called the FailSafe diet, and I believe it is doing a lot of people a lot of harm. I don’t believe people should avoid “good foods”! Not only does it drive people crazy trying to avoid salicylate and amine in foods but also they are doing themselves a disservice by avoiding foods that provide so many health benefits. Many people think that if they react to a food it means they are intolerant or sensitive.

==>However if they are sick, have a depressed immune system and/or have candida they will be intolerant and sensitive to many foods because those exact foods are what the body needs to heal and they will create healing reactions. Healing reactions are not intolerances or sensitivities, they merely mean the body needed them so it went into gear using those foods to heal.

Fallacy #1 of the candida diet is that when you react to a food you are having a ‘healing crisis’ or a Herxheimer reaction.

==>I believe it is wrong to malign good foods. I don’t believe nature gets it wrong – good unadulterated foods are what your body needs most in order to build up the immune system and become healthy again, no matter what the cause, which is my diet plus supplements.

Fallacy #1 of the Weston A. Price Foundation is that nature ‘doesn’t get it wrong’. Unfortunately nature is not getting it wrong – salicylates are pesticides and are there to protect plants from predators. Just like cyanide. That’s why we don’t eat plants that contain cyanide, because rather than just getting urticaria or brainfog, cyanide can actually kill. Plants weren’t put on the earth by God just for humans to eat!

==>If such good foods cause symptoms, which I believe are healing reactions, a person needs to introduce them gradually so they are not overwhelmed by the healing reactions.

==>I’ve read a number of posts on the FailSafe group and I can see that most of those people do have candida. I know a lady who is riddled with candida yet she first went on the celiac diet and when it didn’t help her she also went on the FailSafe diet. She doesn’t have a lot left to eat and meanwhile she is getting sicker and sicker. I had a friend who died of cancer who wouldn’t listen to me that she had candida for 3 years until she was riddled with cancer, and she went the same route. That was when I took a long hard look at allergies and figured out what was happening – her allergy tests had so many foods on it there wasn’t much left for her to eat! She also thought she was intolerant of coconut oil, garlic, etc. because they made her sick. Little did she know. It’s so sad. 37177

Actually, only a minority of people on ‘the failsafe group’ have candida. Some have thought they had candida but it turned out that they didn’t. Others really did have candida. Most people didn’t have candida. Urinary tract infections are actually more common (although I bet Bee thinks they are caused by candida).

Fallacy #1 of the critics of the failsafe diet is that you ‘don’t have a lot left to eat’. This is a basic confusion between quantity and variety that most first graders are able to distinguish between.

If the first individual to which Bee refers to above is who I think she is, she was actually doing extremely well on the failsafe diet. Unfortunately she went to an ‘allergist’ (quack) who told her she had dozens of food allergies. She reintroduced non-failsafe foods and became sick again. At that point she told us she was back on failsafe. I have no idea where she is now.

But get this: Bee thinks cancer is caused by candida. Sigh.

Someone asks Bee what she thinks of the Feingold diet, does she disapprove of that?

==>Yes, Christine I do. Whenever people start warning against God- given food I cringe. I wonder how they think our ancestors ever survived because they didn’t avoid these things, so it doesn’t make sense to me. 37195

Here we are with fallacy #1 of the Weston A. Price Foundation again. Food is apparently God-given. Aside from the fact that our ancestors didn’t eat a high salicylate or amine diet, food chemical intolerance doesn’t usually kill. It also comes with some devastating evolutionary advantages for humans, like increased intelligence.

==>Christine I’ve read Dr. Price’s book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” which I believe is the bible for natural nutrition. He found many primitive groups throughout the world who were healthy on foods direct from nature. I think it is insane to suggest otherwise. It’s like the new stuff on the market for candida, which wern’t known about or existed when I cured my candida 20 years ago. My response is “how in the world did I ever cure my candida without that new wonderful stuff”, i.e. whey, inulin, FOS, enteric coated probiotics, etc., etc.?” Duh? I agree with you about herxheimer reactions, which for others means die-off/healing/detoxifying symptoms and reactions that occur during natural healing. 37199

I too have read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, and I believe that if Bee actually went and read this book again and compared the foods described in it with a list of failsafe foods, she would discover that most of the tribes Price describes ate a very low chemical diet, and if she did even the most basic research into historical diets she would have noticed this.

Some poor unsuspecting devil on her support group dares to recommend the failsafe diet for an individual who has had a skin rash on her cheeks (rosacea) for the last four years:

Jewel, please do not recommend Failsafe on my Group. I do not believe in maligning nature’s foods like that. You can isolate any substance in foods and claim they are causing problems, when a natural diet from Mother nature was what Dr. Price found kept primitives and isolated groups he studied very healthy. I’ve known people who followed Failsafe and they got sicker and they are missing the point. Most of those people had candida and when they follow my program they will get well even if they consume foods with amines and salicylates. Besides there is no such thing as allergies. 43117

Apart from the blatant fib that people who follow the failsafe ‘have got sicker’, we certainly aren’t missing ‘the point’. ‘The point’ is that we are sensitive to natural toxins found in foods. Medical studies and evidence-based science proving this fact matter little to Bee, who has a deeply religious attachment to her beliefs about candida. Bee then shows her really expert understanding of food chemical intolerance with the throwaway remark ‘Besides there is no such thing as allergies‘. Amazing!

This is her response to a poster who developed anaphylactic shock after taking Nurofen (ibuprofen), whose doctor suspected salicylate sensitivity. She has been on the failsafe diet for about a year:

The Failsafe diet claims that salicylates and amines in foods should be eliminated, which leads many people to eliminate good foods for no good reason. Any substances can be isolated from good natural foods and be found to make people react negatively to them, but whole foods are different. I don’t believe in maligning whole natural foods. 43490

This woman had an anaphylactic shock reaction to Nurofen, and this is what Bee Wilder says to her?

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Written by alienrobotgirl

24 April, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Quacktitioners

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GAPS: a pile of…

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, quacktitioner extraordinaire and author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) believes that salicylates and SLAs are ‘high in antioxidants’ and ‘help the body to detox’. Apparently ADHD and other behavioural symptoms are the result of the ‘detox’ which is of course ‘good for you’. She recommends a gluten-free, casein-free, high salicylate/amine/glutamate diet to ‘cure’ autism and ADHD.

I came across a few blog posts from some poor soul who has been duped into doing GAPS by the bloody idiots at the Weston A. Price Foundation for various symptoms of ill health that rightly ought to be treated with a hospital monitored failsafe elimination diet. I’ll run through the sorry tale:

I had no idea that doing the GAPS diet would be so hard for me and on my family. I have lived without gluten for almost two years and dairy for 6 months so I thought…”hey I can live on soup for awhile”….hahaha….yeah right! I totally underestimated the power food has over my life and the power of the bad bacteria in my gut. This has truly been the hardest week of my life (besides giving birth).

[…]

I belive the reason this has been so hard for me was because my body had great difficulty expelling the toxic waste from my body (constipation) and going into the diet thinking that I would be able to add new things quickly.

When I began feeling some constipation issues I immediately noticed my skin starting to itch terribly (I think the toxins were trying to get out any way possible), my nursing daughter woke up with bumpy skin rash/eczema, and I experienced severe mood swings and terrible gas. I literally felt like the dead bacteria in my body were producing some sort of gas that was rocketing into my brain. I almost went to the hospital yesterday to get on anti-depressants. I was really starting to freak my self out. Thankfully my husband has been supportive but there has been some very hard times for us all. Oh another thing….my 12month old wakes every two hours at night crying. I’ve tried letting her cry herself to sleep but she literally continues to cry for hours so I finally go in to nurse her and she sleeps for a few hours and wakes again. This type of sleep is NOT good for either of us. In case we were not already feeling crappy, now we are purely exhausted. This is enough reason for me to want to get us better. I know her sleep troubles are diet related. I’m starting over

Despite this appalling and perhaps even dangerous reaction to the diet, this poor woman persists:

It has been a solid two weeks since beginning our probiotic Bio-Kult by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride. And at least 4 weeks since beginning the GAPS diet of bone broth soups, veggies, meat, beet kvass, ginger tea, fermented veggies, ghee galore, coconut oil, cod liver oil, some nuts, apple/pear sauce and fresh veggie juices.

Could this diet be any higher in food chemicals? I can just imagine what they are going to do to this poor woman.

I’ll list the positive improvements for Ani and I first: I’ve gained 12lbs, Ani only wakes twice a night and my bowel movements are pretty regular, coming once a day.

Because I began with two bio-kults per day and lots of coconut oil (major candida killer), Ani and I have had head cold type symptoms for last two weeks. Yesterday I began only taking 1 capsule per day and really cut down on the coconut oil. Today we both seem better but I really have to stay consistent with detoxing. We drink a small glass of fresh carrot/celery/beet/cilantro/garlic juice after waking (btw….beets are the best liver cleansers in the world, cilantro is known to expel metal toxicity and garlic kills bad bacteria), I’m drinking lots of beet kvass, and bone broth with ginger (another powerful anti-microbial) and of course eating lots of soups!! Despite these measures, I’ll admit that both Ani and I have die-off coming out of every area in our bodies. Ani has eczema on her legs and neck, she has a runny nose, watery eyes, and some emotional issues every so often. I have a runny nose, my ear aches a little, sporadic mood swings, and exhaustion.

You would think that these classic food chemical intolerance symptoms would clue this poor woman in that perhaps she should avoid these unpleasant and reactive foods. Her child has broken out in eczema for heaven’s sake. But no:

But these are all good signs really, because they present that things are taking place internally. They show me that I really need to work on my liver health and encourage the bad bacteria to be flushed out before traveling into my blood stream. I’m amazed that one capsule of bio-kult is doing so much when Dr. McBride encourages working up to 8 capsules per day and then tapering back down to 4 for maintenance. I’m also amazed by the power of coconut oil in killing candida.

With all my discoveries on this diet I really am beginning to think that probiotics should be slowly administered after a few weeks eating an SCD or anti-candida diet otherwise there is too much die-off at one time causing the body to be overloaded with toxins.

Well anyways, I must end by saying that I’m so happy to be getting better even though at times it seems like we are just suffering. Detoxing and Die-off

The alleged ‘power of coconut oil in killing candida’ is actually this poor woman experiencing horrible physical reactions to coconut oil, which are brought on because it is very high in salicylates and SLAs. In the cult of candida-land, this translates as being ‘a herx’ and ‘it means you are getting better’. I am just amazed how people do such horrible things to their bodies and still think they are doing themselves some good.

What happens a week later?

Though, I thoroughly love Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride and her work and her probiotics, I have currently disowned her procedure for healing leaky gut. Why? A few reasons, firstly, doing the diet as well as the probiotics (even in the tiniest amount) was too harsh on my body. Maybe a young child who has not had candida for very long could handle her method very well but for my own damaged gut, my body had difficulty expelling the toxins. Instead, the toxins were hitch-hiking through my blood stream. And somehow into my nursing daughter’s system too.

The author has been recruited by bonkers Bee Wilder and her anti-candida diet and is now eating a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. The diet is lower in food chemicals, but still relatively high compared to a normal diet.

After just a day or so on this new path, I felt so energized, strong and capable, so happy! It took a little while to balance my blood sugar levels until I learned that I wasn’t getting enough fat. I no longer have any blood sugar issues and my impulsive food cravings (usually for a handful of nuts) has disappeared. I can go longer between meals (I had been eating every other hour). I went running yesterday with my babe and daughter. Jason said I’m much more delightful. No more intense die-off, just a little here and there. A shift

I also experience the same energy rush and increased tolerance to food chemicals on a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. And I assure you it has nothing to do with candida and everything to do with the reasons the ketogenic diet is used to treat intractable epilepsy in children. But just like me, this woman is never going to feel truly ‘right’ on this diet.

How are things going lately?

Last week we went out to dinner and I ordered a thai salad. Though everything on it was ok (besides the dressing which I’m sure had sugar in it) the lettuce was raw and my gut is not ready for raw greens. I seem to do ok with a small amounts of fermented veggies like pickled ginger root and pickled garlic and any sauted veggies. But eating raw greens while healing a damaged gut is like eating sand paper, it is very irritating. I felt terrible for about 36 hours after that dumb mistake. My stomach hurts

She’s blaming all of her problems on tiny mistakes like slightly too many carbohydrates or too much fibre, just like I used to. Actually, the problem is the extremely high chemical Thai dressing she has eaten.

Another tragic victim of WAPF’s promotion of quack cures over science.

Written by alienrobotgirl

20 April, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Probiotics Don't Work

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The Biomed Extremists

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Kevin Leitch is the father of an autistic girl and the author of a blog that I respect. In recent months Leitch has been attacked by the biomed community for speaking out against the vaccination theory of autism, chelation, and vitamin megadosing. One prominent member of the mercury brigade responded by using the name and image of Leitch’s autistic daughter in emotive propaganda against him, at which point Leitch stopped blogging for a while, because much as he could cope with abuse directed at him, bringing his daughter into things was inappropriate. This is always a risk that internet debunkers have to take. When you start threatening people’s intensely held religious beliefs, it really upsets them.

In a blog post today, Leitch questions the behaviour of parents and DAN! doctors who experiment on autistic children. It is worth a read. I’ve seen stories like the ones that Leitch mentions over and over again on yahoo groups.

It’s very painful to visit those biomed forums and start reading the things that these parents are doing. When I read about the huge doses of vitamins and the chelation chemicals they are using, I get very angry. The parents even know that their children almost always respond negatively to these supplements, but they still give them because they are so desperate for their children to be ‘normal’. People seem think it’s okay, because these parents are trying to cure their ‘monstrous’, children of a ‘devastating disorder’ that will ‘ruin their lives’. I hate this attitude. If those children were neurotypical, their parents behaviour would be considered child abuse.

You see, I have been there as an adult with unofficially diagnosed asperger’s syndrome. I have willingly spent thousands of pounds experimenting on myself with supplements. I know what it feels like when you give an autistic child these supplements. People think that vitamins are harmless, but they are not. Especially not when you have a balance of neurotransmitters as sensitive and delicate as an autistic. During the last few months alone I’ve given myself a limp in my DVT leg with vitamin K, I’ve given myself serotonin syndrome with riboflavin, I’ve amined myself with folate and given myself a resurgence of eczema that took two months to clear, I’ve glutamated myself with B12, and I’ve given myself brain fog with B6. Sulphites – which cause the same reactions in autistic children as sulphur based chelators do – make me feel like death. You may as well bring back smacking, at least that’s a short-lived pain.

One might assert that most of these parents must be autistic themselves due to their complete failure to empathise with their children. Talk about pygmalion syndrome. Is it only ever neurotypicals who want autistic people to be normal? Or are some parents so afraid that they might be autistic themselves that they have to hate autism and find reasons that it isn’t genetic? Is this like the myth of the closet homosexual who is the most publicly homophobic person? I think thee protest too much?

An example of the paranoia and lack of medical knowledge in these groups is demonstrated in one of the messageboard quotes Leitch came across:

The past few days he’s had white chunks in his stool. Loser than normal stools, very light in color, almost like mustard with dark specs. DAN doc says yeast does NOT come out in poop … then what is it?

What is it with this dirty fascination with stool that the yeast/parasite/bacteria/SCD/GAPS people have? My dog does craps like this when he eats nothing but fat meat. Does that make him autistic?! Is he dumping yeast?! No! The white lumps people spot in poo are not ‘balls of candida’ or anything else alive. They are undigested fats that have saponified (turned to soap) due to the normal presence of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The colour of poo is determined by how much chlorophyll and haem (heme) you consume, as well as whether you are breaking down your own haem into bilirubin. It’s no big deal. I’ve known people freak out and stop doing failsafe because their poo went yellow when they stopped eating so many greens and so much aged red meat.

Leitch links to an old post of his where he describes a mother who is chelating her autistic son. This post contains a video which people should watch. I don’t think many people actually know what an autistic child looks or sounds like. You will be struck by how normal this little boy is. He sits quietly for two hours and writes down bus timetables on a board to keep himself amused. Is that something that needs ‘curing’?

This post demonstrates such a great example of a typical mercury-mom approach. Check out the boy’s lab report at the bottom of the page. Virtually every heavy metal is in the low-normal range, except for aluminium and lead, both of which are only marginally over the normal range. This is clearly not a case of heavy metal poisoning, but people are so fixated on heavy metals being the cause of autism that they ignore the evidence before their very eyes.

Written by alienrobotgirl

15 February, 2008 at 8:57 pm

More adventures in internet land

with 2 comments

Before I went on holiday I was trying to start up some dialogue with the Weston A. Price Foundation on the native-nutrition messageboard. I don’t think it really worked. I had some interest, but in general, people on that board are simply too prejudiced about natural foods vs. artificial foods to consider the idea that fruit and vegetables and aged meat can actually be bad for some people.

I rapidly got sick of nutters telling me I have lyme disease (in my opinion, lyme-disease-misinformation-disseminators belong in the ninth circle of hell, the level below candida-misinformation-disseminators). When are people going to realise that lyme disease testing and treatment is all a big scam? The antibiotics people are put on to treat “lyme disease” give them the symptoms of “lyme disease”. The non-profit websites that have sprung up all over the place are financed by drug companies who are making cash out of lyme disease testing and treatment. The Western Blot tests are appallingly inaccurate (false positives abound in lyme testing). Some people are absolutely convinced that lyme disease is “the cause” of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, you name it. No. Lyme disease is the cause of lyme disease. It should not be confused with other conditions.

One woman started emailing me off-board to accuse me of being “hostile” for not accepting her lyme disease theory (after I had given her a sarky reply on-board for her basically calling failsafe a dangerous diet – some people are just horrified by the idea of not eating fruit and vegetables).

I gave up trying to help the original individual who had asked for help and listed her symptoms under the umbrella term “fibromyalgia” (her symptoms sounded much more like classic food chemical intolerance than the fibromyalgia variety). I’m afraid you need to be pretty intelligent to be able to do failsafe, especially without support. Otherwise you are just going to get tripped up by all kinds of things you don’t understand, or you’ll cheat, and you’ll fail before you even get anywhere.

I feel like smacking my forehead every time I go near the messageboards I read. I’m going to have to unsubscribe from most of the groups before I burst with frustration. Native-nutrition is full of individuals who have food chemical intolerance related conditions asking for help (for example, today “head noise” is a topic of discussion, with symptoms like insomnia, crankiness, hypnic jerks and pounding heart beat). But do you really think they would listen to me if I mentioned the word “tyramine” to them? Well, they’d listen until I mentioned the words “elimination diet which cuts out most fruit, vegetables and aged proteins”). It hurts to know there are people out there who could be helped, who simply won’t listen to the answer they’re given because it contradicts their preprogrammed dogma about what foods are “healthy for you”, or because it simply sounds like too much hard work.

For example, there is someone I’ve been in contact with who has a definite self-diagnosed sulphur intolerance issue. Now, if you have a sulphur-intolerance issue, you probably need to try the failsafe diet. The same individual has a huge range of food chemical intolerance indicator symptoms. Now, I can show this person a piece of pure biochemistry, but though I explained to him that his symptoms would be relieved by the diet, he refused to even consider doing failsafe because he would “have to live like a monk”. Ironically, doing everything from juice-fasts to the Optimal Diet does not count as “living like a monk”. I recently sent him some pretty important information about sulphur intolerance, but rudely, he has not replied to me.

A subsection of people who do failsafe regain their tolerance for salicylates after doing failsafe for as little as six months. Apparently six months is too long for some, who would rather “treat” themselves – and their children – based on unproven and sometimes completely erroneous theories. The number of parents of autistic and ADHD children who I have come across who would rather megadose their kids with dangerous and even harmful vitamin formulas or use other dubious methods based on wild stabs in the dark is amazing. By contrast, the parents of such children who write on the sulphur groups demonstrate advanced knowledge of biochemistry, and a real understanding of how to perform controlled scientific experiments. I feel pretty sad for the kids whose parents don’t care enough, or don’t try enough, to get that far.

I think the only way I am going to get the message across is with a dedicated all-singing, all-dancing biochemistry website. Sigh.

It took Sue Dengate something like eight years to be willing to accept that salicylates were the cause of her daughter’s uncontrollable ADHD. I wonder if it will also take WAPF that long?

Written by alienrobotgirl

15 August, 2006 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Talking to the Brick Wall

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The yeast connection

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The possible role of yeast in causing chronic, ill-defined illness was popularized by Dr. Crook in the “Yeast Connection” in 1984. Other books and magazine articles have repeated the same idea without modification for 2 decades. This theory tries to explain the whole spectrum of delayed pattern food allergy as “yeast allergy”. The invisible overgrowth of candida is supposed to cause chronic and systemic symptoms.

Doctor Crook indeed! I’ve posted once or twice (or more) times about that snake-oil cure, the Candida diet. I happened across an intelligent article demolishing the Candida myth.

The “yeast connection” theory ignores the many types of adverse reactions to food. Many people with delayed patterns of food allergy believe that they have candida and have a hard time adjusting their thinking to accept a more comprehensive solution to their illness. The symptoms attributed to candida are typical of the wide spectrum of adverse reactions to food, and should not be interpreted as having a single cause.

Microorganisms often opportunistically inhabit favourable environments in and on the body when the body is weakened to the point where they are given the chance. This is why thrush can be a symptom of food chemical intolerance, but is definitely not a cause, nor is it a cause of the symptoms often referred to as “candidiasis”.

It’s pretty annoying that the Body Ecology diet by Donna Gates has won such approval from the Weston A. Price Foundation, who totally haven’t caught on to the concept of food chemical intolerance, even though food chemical intolerance is largely a disease of modernity and in most folks limited to additive intolerance. Instead WAPF touts nonsense like ‘dysbiosis’ and ‘vitamin deficiencies’ as the cause of so many annoying minor symptoms.

Written by alienrobotgirl

5 July, 2006 at 1:08 pm

Posted in Quacktitioners

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Candida, and abuse of the Herxheimer

with 11 comments

Bloody candida: why is everyone so obsessed with it? Looking around a famous candida self-help yahoo group (which I won’t name here), it is full of people who are very obviously suffering from food chemical intolerance symptoms. For example, people with rosacea, eczema, people with hypoglycaemia, or who can’t keep their emotions under control, who can’t concentrate, or people who “can’t tolerate any carbohydrates, not even green vegetables” (hah!).

The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction is a controversy in itself: it was first observed in syphilis patients who were given mercury as a treatment and was thought to be a symptom of bacterial die-off producing toxins at a rate faster than the body could deal with them, hence, when treatment began, the patient felt worse. Now, forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but giving anyone mercury is going to make them feel pretty bad, regardless of what the bacteria are doing. This is not to suggest that the Herxheimer reaction doesn’t exist, but that it must be questioned a little more closely!

The Herxheimer reaction (AKA “Herx” or “healing crisis”) as an explanation for idiosyncratic symptoms is very popular in some branches of alternative medicine. For example amongst those who favour collodial silver (see above for my feelings on what could cause this). It’s also very popular in candida circles, to explain why the diet doesn’t actually work. The problem with the candida diet is that you go on the diet, and you feel worse. Then you feel better. Then you feel worse again. That’s because the diet ought to be a Failsafe elimination diet, but it’s only a partial elimination diet. So you are on a constant rollercoaster of detox/retox. But no, it has to be ‘candida’, so any bad reaction has to be “because you are getting better”. It must be a Herx. It’s the candida “dying off and flooding your body with toxins”.

What are these mysterious toxins? Candida doesn’t produce amines. It doesn’t produce beta-glucuronidase or release phenols. Please somebody name the chemical structure of these ‘toxins’ and publish details on the web. Because when I search for candida ‘toxins’, I never get any scientific details back, just a load of woolly, fluffy nonsense.

The host of the aforementioned candida group blames all symptoms – even obvious infections or allergies – on ‘yeast die off’. It’s a Herx. It’s always a Herx, it’s never because you don’t have candida, or because the diet is wrong, or because you’ve been re-exposed to something bad. It’s nothing to worry about. Just another Herx. You’ll get over it. (Then you’ll have another ‘die off’ next week which you’ll also get over, then another one, for the next five or ten years of your life). This is a fantasy world! Some people (especially those who become gurus) are so obsessed with the idea that they are right, that they can’t see the obvious staring them in the face.

Candida is thrush, and it usually occurs after a course of antibiotics or during a time of high physical or emotional stress. It has obvious, easily diagnosable symptoms, and can be treated with antifungal medication. Invasive candidiasis – that is candida that has spread to the whole body – is a hospitalisable condition. It only occurs in people who are very, very immunodepressed like those with HIV.

Here’s what I think: if you suspect you may have candida, go to the doctor, and get a swab done. Then get a prescription for a product like Canesten Once, see if it works, and get on with your life.

If these proven treatments do not work, there is little point going on a crazy soul-destroying diet, because you’ve PROBABLY NOT GOT CANDIDA.

Written by alienrobotgirl

24 May, 2006 at 9:29 am

Posted in Quacktitioners

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Candida and amines

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For those who are curious: no, candida yeasts do not produce significant quantities of amines. In fact, candida growth appears to be inhibited by putrescine and cadaverine, and serotonin. This is not surprising. We have been using yeasts and moulds to kill bacteria and vice versa for over a centuary now.

One more nail in the coffin for those alternative therapists who eagerly diagnose “a candida overgrowth” without any proof, for those of us who are actually experiencing the symptoms of food intolerance and/or intestinal dysbiosis caused by amine-producing bacteria.

Candida is the cholesterol of alternative medicine: it gets blamed for everything.

Written by alienrobotgirl

25 April, 2006 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Quacktitioners

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