die-off: it’s a pain

During the recent past it has finally been accepted, for the most part, that gut flora plays a huge part in our general health. More and more scientists and physicians are taking seriously the gut’s role.

I have fungal dysbiosis. In other words, my gut flora was very messed up from years of antibiotics, steroids etc. not to mention eating gluten and causing leaky gut and a plethora of food allergies. It’s not surprising that remedying that situation was part of my functional medicine MD’s plan.

I have at least two populations of organisms living in me that I need to evict; we, my functional medicine MD and I, decided to start with the “easy” one (yeah, right). At this point, we still don’t know what we’re going to use to deal with the Campylobacter, and I don’t even want to consider the unknown parasite, so let’s begin with Candida. The first thing I tried was oregano oil in October of 2012. It felt like I was drilling holes in my empty stomach with the capsules. Since I’ve had trouble with ulcers in the past, we decided to scratch that option and move on to something else. In November 2012, I started Berberine. Within two days I was crawling on the floor because my vestibular system was totally out-of-whack (which is something to say for someone with MS where balance can already be an issue) and my extreme fatigue. We decided this was also too strong for my system and resorted to SF722 (10-undecenoic acid) in June which is how long it took me to stabilize and recover from consuming Berberine.

You may notice we didn’t even entertain the thought of Fluconazole. I had no desire to force my liver to both metabolize this drug and deal with the yeast die-off, as well. I promised my MD that my system would NOT deal well with Fluconazole and promoted the slow route to success from the start. After the episode with Berberine, I know she was convinced.

10-undecenoic acid successfully reverts Candida from its hyphal to its yeast form. Excess yeast is then removed by the immune system. Sounds simple enough, right?

I’m not in a hurry. Yes, of course, I would’ve preferred to have this all finished yesterday, but I understand this is not possible. Mostly I know my body and what it will and will not tolerate. I also want to be able to FUNCTION while I’m doing all of this. Quality of life is a big deal to me.

The thing with SF722 is that you need to work up to 10 capsules /day (5 bid). This is no small order for me, or anyone else I am sure, but my increase was interrupted several times by surgery and then a course of Augmentin which was required for a cat bite. Each time you decrease the dose of the SF722 at that stage, the Candida are able to rebound. Once I had backed off due to unforeseen events, I had to begin the slow increase once again. Oh joy.

I’m now at the required dose of 10 capsules /day (5 bid). I’ll be here for 3-6 months.

Extra credit:
Tips for Dealing with Herxheimer or Die-off Reactions
Zonulin & Leaky Gut: A discovery that changed the way we view inflammation, autoimmune disease and cancer!
10 Candida Myths

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