Update! Food allergies, autoimmune disease, parasites and the orthomolecular approach

Well, since my last post, I did on my health, “Food allergies and autoimmune thyroid disease” I’ve gone through many health changes.  I adopted the Paleo diet, avoided foods with lectins by following the Blood-type diet, I’ve cut down on sugar and fruit intake drastically to try to kill the Candida and avoided allergens.

Still something was wrong.

I reacted to food, but sometimes reacted to drinking water or exercising by bloating up like a pig.  Finally, in October, 2011, I saw a parasitologist (Dr. Kevin Cahill) who performed a sigmoidoscopy and found out I had Trichuris trichura (whipworm) and Giardia lamblia.  By the way, I got 2 stool tests in the 2 years prior to this and everything was negative – they don’t work!  You need to have them scrape your intestinal wall or you’re wasting your time.  I took all the meds and then got meds for Candida because it was out of control and…I felt better.  My running improved (again) and I had more energy…but still something was wrong.  The brain fog would come back occasionally, I had trouble focusing and my memory seemed to be getting worse.

Next I tried a hair mineral analysis in January, 2012 and was prescribed with severe adrenal fatigue.  Big surprise.  I was told to take a ridiculously large amount of vitamins and did for 1 month but was turned off by the fact that the amounts seemed to be arbitrary.  I tried enquiring from the guy who did the analysis about how each would benefit me and affect the others I was taking but got nothing.  I did feel a little better but stopped taking them – I can’t do a treatment without understanding why I’m doing it.

After that, I was desperate to focus and do my work so in May, 2012 I got a prescription for Adderall and took it for a couple of weeks.  It worked great but the withdrawal from it was wretched.  So I started taking L-Tyrosine, DL-Phenylalanine and other amino acids to jack up my dopamine and serotonin without becoming a drug addict.  It worked a little.  After reading books on ADHD and Asperger’s which I probably have some traits of each (though not full blown), I optimized my amino acid intake and started taking zinc and B6 which people with these afflictions often are lacking.

BINGO!!!

Something changed.  First, I felt crappy – no appetite, headache, really moody – then I started to emerge from this fear and anxiety cloud that has been plaguing me forever.  And I started to remember my dreams, not just the nightmares, the good ones too!  (B6 supposedly does that).  I then read about Pyroluria, a genetic disorder that results in chronically low zinc and B6 and figured I should be tested.  Without zinc and B6, it’s difficult to digest food properly, leading to chronic Candida, leading to leaky gut syndrome, leading to autoimmune reactions (thyroid, food allergies), all of which lead to vitamin deficiencies.  Oh, and there are plenty of links between ADHD, Asperger’s, food allergies, Candida and Pyroluria.  Start searching, you’ll see.

The only problem with taking zinc and B6 on my own was that I had no idea how much to take and in large doses both can be toxic to a normal person.  So in June, 2012, I ordered a pyroluria urine test through the mail from Bio Center Labs.  They told me not to take supplements for 3 days then do the test.  I did.  It came out negative (kryptopyrroles = 3).  Now what?

I was taking a cross-country motorcycle trip in August, 2012 so I decided to pass through Chicago and stop at Mensah Medical to get a full Orthomolecular workup.  That is, redo the pyroluria test, get my serum copper, zinc plasma, blood histamine and ceruloplasma levels checked and talk to some doctors who might have a clue.  This time I fasted from vitamins for more than 3 weeks to totally clear my system.  Results were as follows: positive for pyroluria (kryptopyrroles = 14.75), blood histamine was low, serum zinc was low and copper was normal.  I’m a slow oxidizer according to the hair mineral analysis –maybe that’s why it took so long for all my supplements to get out of my system.  All my values were borderline abnormal (nothing too extreme), but they still help explain my symptoms and why zinc and B6 seemed to help.

So, I started a strict, twice daily vitamin regimen on September 10th 2012 which includes: B1, B2, P5P, B6, Niacinamide, Biotin, C, D, E, Folic acid, Evening Primrose Oil, Chromium Polynicotinate and Selenomethionine.  I’m dopamine and GABA deficient so take GABA and L-tyrosine occasional to calm my ass down and focus.

Everything was going great for 5 days, then it was downhill.  Anxiety increased, stopped recalling my dreams, I slowly withdrew from people (again), got headaches and periods of brain fog.  All I could think was…what the fuck???  So what did I do, after 3 weeks of hell and getting progressively worse I did what any red-blooded American woman would do…I made brownies.  Healthy ones – Dark chocolate, hazelnut flour, Jack Daniel’s, applesauce, etc.  I felt much better….emotionally anyway.  As I was working, still on my chocolate high, I got a strong cramping feeling in my bowels.  I kept checking my belly, expecting to see a scene from “Alien” but nothing happened.  I got the distinct feeling that I was not the only one enjoying my delicious brownies.

Soooo, last Thursday (October 11, 2012) I went BACK to the Dr. Cahill (parasite dude) and got another sigmoidoscopy.  Turns out I now have Entamoeba histolytica, (a nasty amoeba) which I probably got from drinking bad water in Manitoba (it was one sip by accident…what are you gonna do?).  I actually did an over the counter parasite cleanse (ReNew Life Paragone) when I returned from the motorcycle trip because of that sip of water, but as you can see….IT DIDN’T WORK.  The only sure way to get rid of these bastards is to get your ass probed and then get medication – sorry folks!

I’m halfway through the Doxycycline and Paromomycin – 5th day – and am just starting to feel better.  The intense anxiety is starting to wane and I am getting more work done.  On a more positive note, I always suspected that my hair was thinning from the thyroid issues, but now I’m sure – because it’s growing back!  Just around my hairline, my hair is thicker with new growth (1-2” hairs everywhere).  Pretty cool!  I have not had my thyroid antibody levels rechecked but this is very encouraging.  Now, I wait to see if I return to feeling good like I did for those 5 days from the vitamins and minerals once the parasites are expelled.

I’m not sure when this ends, but I think I’m still making progress.  If anyone has any comments, suggestions or explanations that might help me understand this further, I would love to hear them.

Thanks!

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About scatdog

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's about 5 years ago and have since been controlling it with a strict, limited diet and supplements. I am an avid runner, scatdog trainer/handler and wildlife ecologist by profession. I have a PHD in Biology.
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12 Responses to Update! Food allergies, autoimmune disease, parasites and the orthomolecular approach

  1. Kev says:

    Wow, you have sure been through a lot!
    I found your blog searching for a connection between thyroid and allergies, and have a lot of similar issues. I also struggle with ADD type issues – feel a lot better having caffeine and Tyrosine to help me focus.

    I can’t help but wonder if all these issues just leave us more susceptible to things like infections, worms, parasites etc. Stress has bad effects on the immune system for sure. Do you take probiotics? Or have you tried the GAPS diet?

    Also I’m not sure if you’ve seen on Dr Wilson’s site the page about the sympathetic vs parasympathetic nervous system?
    I wonder if those of us who burn out from overuse of the sympatheic nervous system have more of these problems. The solution, to me, seems to be to start slowing down our lives in order to heal.
    I’ve certainly felt a lot better since I stopped “forcing” myself to be active and slow down, physically and mentally.

    Anyway, best wishes for your recovery!

  2. Kev says:

    Here is the page about sympathetic dominance on Dr Wilson’s site, by the way:

    http://drlwilson.com/Articles/SYMPATHETIC%20DOMINANCE.htm

    • scatdog says:

      Thanks for your comment! I’ve seen Dr. Wilson’s website – he’s the one who did my hair mineral analysis. I talked to him on the phone and bought his book and think he’s a little nuts… but he’s right about some things. He described my copper toxicity (detox) symptoms from taking zinc perfectly. According to my analysis I’m 1x sympathetic dominant, 3 lows, 2x poor eliminator and 9x burn out. I’m a real mess. He prescribed a ridiculously large amount of a specific brand of vitamins that contained rice flour, told me to stop being so active and to do coffee enemas everyday. I told him I’m allergic to rice and coffee and I do field work with a dog – I can’t NOT be active. Needless to say his system didn’t work for me. I do realize I need to relax and I do meditation when I can. It does make me feel better. Now I take specific vitamins and minerals that I am deficient in, each relating to a different condition (pyroluria, low histamine, etc.). That makes more sense to me.

      I heard of the GAPS diet, but never really looked into it. I went to the website and it makes a lot of sense and it’s not to far from what I’m doing now. Meat, vegetables, animal fat – I just don’t eat a lot of fermented food or dairy. I use probiotics though – HMF forte (human derived bacteria). I’m going to order the book. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. PG says:

    Do you read either the PPTU forum or Curezone parasite & drugs forum? Cahill is a regular topic there. I hope I can see him myself soon.

    I started a similar diet to GAPS and found myself developing serious reactions (Excruciating pain with blood, fat and mucous in stool) to foods I could tolerate before (Coconut, dairy, soy, etc.). People say GAPS is supposed to be a temporary diet, but I am stuck on a limited selection of foods and worry about getting enough fuel for my thyroid etc. Do plenty of research; I often find, and sometimes temporary, relief from symptoms with restrictive diets, but little in the way of actual healing.

    • scatdog says:

      I’ve been to those forums and some people like Cahill, others don’t seem to believe he knows what he’s doing. I am of the former group – I think he’s great. If you can see him, do it. But they are right, you need to be very aggressive with the secretary – she forgets to send stuff out.

      That’s interesting about the reaction to the GAPS diet – if you have blood in your stool, I WOULD STOP! One thing, when my gut started to heal, I found that my reactions to certain foods became unbearable. This is good – your body is telling you what you should avoid right now. You might be able to eat some of them later. I never knew I had a problem with soy until I gave up casein and gluten. Also, I read so many bad things about corn that I didn’t realize that I feel absolutely fine after it! Eventually, you figure out what you can and can’t tolerate. I agree with what you said about restrictive diets, I feel most of my healing has come from consistently taking the vitamins/minerals and the probiotics. Though avoiding certain foods (allergens, lectins) and adding others (homemade soup) certainly helps alot.

  4. Michael says:

    In your previous post you mentioned that you had had a food allergy test previously and it didn’t discover any. What do I need to look for in a test to be sure I’m getting the right test?

    • scatdog says:

      Well, I found a lab test done by any doctor through Quest Diagnostics is useless. Unfortunately, it seemed like every doctor that was a GHI provider used Quest, so I ended up going out of network and paid out of pocket for an allergist who did the tests through Metamatrix laboratories. I’m sure there are other good labs, but I would try to find a doctor who uses this one to be sure.

  5. murphyslaw says:

    Hi there! Wondering how you’re feeling now? I was recently diagnosed with e. histolytica by Cahill and given the doxy/paromo combination. I haven’t taken it yet and it seems it hasn’t worked for a lot of people. Thanks.

    • scatdog says:

      My advice is to not get retested until at least 6 weeks after you complete the medication. I got retested 3 days after as they suggested and it came out negative. Now, 6 weeks later, I feel that drilling sensation in my gut again and something is off. I just called the secretary and waiting for Cahill to call back to let me know what my options are. I’m not real happy right now.

  6. alleycatzz says:

    Hi Scatdog,
    Just read over your post. Our sage seems to be almost the EXACT same. And I mean EXACT same symptoms, down the line – along with the same attempted remedies (Aminos, Zinc and b6 for Pryoluria (although I just started and that’s helping). I too, just got diagnosed with EH by Cahill. How did your retest go?
    Feel free to write me an email. I have a feeling we’d be able to offer each other some helpful thoughts about what’s working and isn’t.

    • scatdog says:

      Didn’t get retested. I’m gonna starve the little fuckers out on my own for now and then do full round of Paragone (Renew Life) in a few weeks. I started totally Paleo and all the bloating and abdominal pain is gone. I don’t know how long I can keep this up but it’s working for now – only been 4 days. Just getting lightheaded from the transition to burning fat. I eat some fruit (~1 apple, some blueberries) but no starch at all, just meat, lots of fat, vegetables and nuts/seeds. If this keeps me from ever going back to Cahill, I’ll be happy.

  7. alleycatzz says:

    Oh, and I’m also in NYC.

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