I just got word about an amazing opportunity not just for all Lymies and people with chronic illnesses, but for anyone who is interested in learning more about anything and everything related to detoxing. I can barely calm myself down enough to type this post--I'm so excited to share this information with you all!
Deanna Minnich, PhD, is collaborating with The Institute for Functional Medicine to put on an eight day, completely FREE, online workshop/seminar/event centered around the following topic question:
Do you know how to stay clean in a toxic world?
Again, this online program (The Detox Summit) is online and FREE, and will be going on August 4-11, 2014. All you have to do to is go HERE, type in your first name and your email, and you're all set to attend this wonderful online opportunity!
There are several well-known names from all across the medical, nutritional, and health fields who will be sharing some invaluable information. From the Summit's website:
"The compilation of 30 experts in various areas of medicine, nutrition, and personal growth are what make this Summit unique, offering a well-rounded, credible approach to a much-debated issue. Learn to navigate your way through I day's toxic terrain by recognizing toxins, what to do about them, and how to change your life into a healthier you!"
This panel of experts includes names such as:
Mark Hyman, MD, Best-selling author and one of the most widely recognized, and respected, names in functional medicine today.
Kelly Brogan, MD, Board-certified in Paychiatry/Psychosomatic Medicine/Reproductive Psychiatry and Integrative Holistic Medicine.
Aristo Vojdani, PHD, MSC, CLS, Professor of Neuroimmunology at the Garrick Institute for Graduate Studies; Chief scientific advisor for Cyrex Labs, LLC.
JJ Virgin, CNS, Author, Fitness Expert.
Thomas Moore, PHD, Best-selling author
Mary Ellen Chalmers, DMD, Functional Medicine Dentist; Faculty for the Institute of Functional Medicine
And that's just a sampling--there are so many more wonderful experts on this list!
The topics discussed during this eighty day Summit cover every conceivable aspect of detoxification, including (but not at all limited to) topics such as:
The Biochemistry and History of Detoxification
Metabolic Disturbances and Detox
Toxicity and Brain Function
Staying Healthy with Nutrition and Detox
Toxicity and Impact in Women's and Children's Health
Cutting-Edge Diagnostics for Toxicity
Detoxing the Soul
Cancer Processes and Detoxficiation: Focus on Glutathione
And there's so much more that will be covered that I simply don't have the space to type it all in this post.
Just trust me, this is good stuff and will be worth registering--after all, it's FREE.
In fact, when you register, you actually get a few free gifts via email/download. These are:
Food & Spirit Nourish Your Whole Self™ Report by Deanna Minich, PhD. "This booklet gives you a unique approach to food and eating using a combination of modern science and ancient traditions. You will learn how foods connect to seven aspects of yourself: your body, emotions, power, heart, voice, mind and spirit."
Detox Your Medicine Cabinet: 26 Herbs and Supplements that Treat Common Symptoms by Aviva Romm, MD "It’s time we rethink our medicines. Cleaning out your medicine cabinet isn’t just about getting rid of expired meds that might be hazardous to someone in your household if accidentally ingested or that have had an FDA recall–although these are good reasons–it’s about ending over-reliance on common but potentially unsafe medications. What’s great about herbs and supplements is that many serve more than one purpose, and some are even common kitchen ingredients!"
Seriously, this is such an amazing opportunity I had to share it here immediately! I'm already registered and I hope some of you will seize this chance to learn everything you ever wanted to know (and possibly more) about the ever-so-crucial element of life--detox!
I've yet to meet a fellow Lyme patient who doesn't experience light and/or sound sensitivity to some degree. Sometimes these sensitivities are so severe they interfere greatly with everyday life; sometimes they're just annoying enough to make us squint our eyes or cover our ears with our hands for a moment or two to recalibrate and calm our minds. The spectrum of outside stimuli that can trigger a negative reaction vary, as well. There are obvious triggers like sudden bursts of sound (e.g. fireworks, sudden volume increases on the TV, police sirens) or light (e.g. overhead fluorescent lighting, sunlight reflecting off of snow or coming through a car window, action movies with lots of flashy scenes), and there less obvious triggers that seem harmless enough to an average, healthy person, but can send a person with light/sound sensitivity into a downward tailspin (e.g. the sound of a clock ticking, soft background music, the screen of a cell phone).
Most often, as with all Lyme-related symptoms, the severity of these sensitivities can wax and wane--meaning, they could be so intense on one day that all you want to do is hide in your bedroom, completely hidden under your comforter, and the next day they could be tolerable enough you're able to go out into the "real world" with minimal difficulty (as far as the light and sound sensitivities go). For some people, though, myself included, these symptoms stay at a very intense level for a long time, and persist until treatment is well under way or has been completed. Which makes complete sense, because we know the attack of the Lyme spirochetes is non-discriminatory--they make their way into every single tissue in our body, including all the muscles/organs/nerves, etc. associated with our eyes and ears--and only by treating Lyme and any co-infections (the underlying causes) will we get long-lasting relief from the symptoms.
In the meantime, though, I wanted to share some of the things I do to manage/cope with light and sound sensitivity, in hopes that some of you may also find them helpful.
1. Dark sunglasses
This one probably seems like a no-brainer, because many of us already have a trusty pair of sunglasses we can pull out at a moment's notice if the light around us starts to bother us, but I wanted to mention a couple specific things that have helped me get the most effective help with sunglasses.
2. Ear plugs
We all know about the basic function headphones serve--to allow us to listen to any type of audio without either disturbing those around us or without being disturbed by outside noise--but have you ever thought about what an asset headphones can be to your arsenal in the fight against light and sound sensitivity? Let me give you an example:
4. Blackout curtains
Before I even elaborate on this point, just take a minute to consider the two components of the object presented:
Another "common sense" measure I didn't think about taking until about 7 months ago. I grew up thinking that sleep masks were only for people who were so worried about their appearance they always stressed about getting plenty of "beauty sleep," which was an inaccurate assumption, yes, but a logical conclusion for a kid/teenager who had access to TV, movies, and books, becuase that's how sleep mask wearers are portrayed in popular culture.
Treatment updates: DesBio series for EBV and how intense treatment for systemic candida/yeast is a necessary evil.
Allow me to introduce you to something that I promise will relate to this post in just a minute. This is the Alpengeist:
The Alpengeist is my favorite roller coaster of all-time. Now, I haven't ridden the Alpengeist since the summer of 2000, but during that trip to Busch Gardens in Virginia, shortly after the Alpengeist first opened, I'm pretty sure my dad and I rode it at least 5 times. At one point in time, the Alpengeist held the title of the world's tallest inverted roller coaster, with its first loop being a 106-foot vertical loop and then including 5 other inversions (loops, corkscrews, and the like). I have no idea if it still holds that title with all the new coasters that have come about in the past 14 years, but the Alpengeist will forever be my favorite because it was an exhiliratingly smooth breakneck speed ride (and, okay, it has the nostalgia factor going for it, big time). That was back when I loved roller coasters. That was back when I could ride roller coasters. (That was back when I could ride across town in a car without feeling sick, but I digress).
For another quick introduction (that is still leading to a point, I promise), this is Deja Vu:
I have never ridden Deja Vu. Deja Vu resides at Six Flags, although I'm not sure which location, and was chosen to be a part of this post for a few reasons:
I'll admit, the roller coaster ride that is Lyme & Co's is nowhere near as fun as the Alpengeist was all those years ago. Honestly, you'd be hard pressed to find any Lyme warrior who thinks this roller coaster is particularly enjoyable, because it's definitely not. It's a constant cycle of ups and downs, emotionally, phsycially, spiritually, socially. After a while, yeah, you learn to accept the cyclical unpredictability as reality, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to deal with it.
As with roller coasters, I've noticed some of the hardest times I have (the lowest drops in the coaster of life with Lyme) tend to come after the higher points, just when you think you're gonna be able to coast on the track for a while, and I know many other Lyme fighters will tell you the same.
For instance, I am officially halfway finished with my second round of my EBV treatment. The entire first round (February through May) I herxed majorly for a few days with every single dose (I was, and still am, on a 5-day dose schedule). I'm talking in bed, unable to move/eat/drink, crawling to/being carried to the bathroom, then back in bed to repeat the process in a few hours, and that was with every dose of the first round of treatment. Then I'd have a couple decent days before I took my next dose.
This second round of EBV treatment has been much easier as far as the herxing goes. With the exception of the first 2 doses (I've now had 10 of the 20 in this round--still doing half-doses), I honestly haven't noticed much EBV-specific herxing at all (ie. debilitating fatigue/weakness, zero appetite, no strength to even open my eyes). That's not to say I haven't had those symptoms on flare days, because those all fall under the umbrella of symptoms of Lyme and multiple co-infections, but the days on which I've had the symptoms seem to have no direct correlation to the EBV treatment doses. Which is great news because it means we're getting closer to finishing this EBV treatment and moving onto the next culprit.
Naturally, we've been really excited with what we think is marked improvement on the EBV side of things. You could even say I've been enjoying the view from one of the smaller hilltops on the roller coaster. Or at least I was until a few weeks ago, when I started what will end up being at least a 30-day course of diflucan to treat this systemic candida/yeast issue I've mentioned a lot the past few months. I'll say this much: detoxing from yeast is no joke.
I thought I knew a little bit about how bad yeast detox can be after I had my first detox reactions when experimenting with the super strict anti-candida diet a few months ago, but I had no idea how intense yeast-related herxing can be. I took 6 days of the diflucan, and during those 6 days I not only experienced herxes that rivaled the EBV herxes as far as the fatigure/weakness/lack of energy goes, but I also had a resurgence of the constant severe abdominal pain I haven't had for several months, persistent nausea that no amount of detoxing (burbur, coffee enemas, activated charcoal, or anything else) could help, and that overall toxic, my-muscles-feel-like-they're-infused-with-lead feeling. Zero fun sir.
But here's the thing: if you have an issue with systemic yeast, like so many of us with Lyme & Co's do, you HAVE to treat the yeast issue if you want any of the specific treatment for Lyme & Co's to be successful. It doesn't matter how many different treatment protocols you do for Lyme & Co's, if yeast overgrowth is an underlying issue for you, you'll miss out on a significant degree of healing/improvement/restoration of health until that is addressed. To avoid making this any longer than it already is, you can read a more in-depth description of yeast (and specifically, the anti-candida diet, although I'm really linking it because of the general info about yeast overgrowth) here.
So even though yeast detox and herxing is BRUTAL ("with a capital [B] and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool"....yes, I know the first letter in the actual lyric is T, hence my brackets, but if you've read my posts before you know I tend to insert lyrics/adapted lyrics in the middle of a sentence at least every other entry I post), I'm still going through with it. God is going to heal me, as I've said before, and I still have no doubt about that, but I know He led me to my doctor (who I've mentioned is a man of strong faith), and I know He's using my doctor to help facilitate my healing process, so I'm going to continue doing everything I can to follow the plans my doctor and I have discussed and decided are the best courses of action.
And right now, that means finishing up round two of this EBV treatment and completing the remaining 24 days of diflucan (I took a break for a couple weeks because we had a couple appointments on the calendar that weren't able to be rescheduled) to treat this annoyingly persistent yeast problem, regardless of how bad I may feel while doing so. Most of you with Lyme totally understand the whole "you're gonna feel worse before you feel better" phenomenon, so you know where I'm coming from, and you know there's a lot of truth in that statement.
But I like the definitiveness of the phrase "before you feel better"--it reaffirms, in my mind, that we all will feel better, eventually. We just have to stay on the roller coaster till the ride's over.
Don't get freaked out by the title if you're one of the approximately 100% of Lyme & co fighters who is dealing/has ever dealt with candida overgrowth/systemic candida/candidaisis or any other systemic infection caused by Candida albicans, aka yeast gone wild.
I. Feel. Your. Pain.
Heck, even just a few months ago, I wrote a couple posts praising the strict no-grains, no sugar (not even fruit) anti-candida diet, and I still do think that's a method whereby many people see huge advancements in their healing! But after following that diet with zero cheats for two months, I realized I actually wasn't feeling any different than before I started the ACD, meaning it wasn't working for me enough at that point in time to truly deliver benefits. And that's okay, it's all a learning process.
So for a month and a half now, I've abandoned the super strict ACD and allow myself low GI fruits I'm able to tolerate in moderation, as well as adding back in grains such as brown rice, millet, etc. I'm still following the Lyme diet and my personal guidelines due to food intolerances (gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, peanut free, yeast free--with the exception of nutritional yeast, corn free, etc), and I haven't noticed any flares that coincided with the reintroduction of any of these foods, so that just shows me that even though yeast is a huge issue for me (more on that in a later post), fixing it solely through diet wasn't the path for me at this point. We're all different, so if a strict anti-candida diet has worked for you, by all means, please do what your body responds to!
But what does any of this have to do with the title? Well, it's easy to assume that if you've got a systemic yeast problem, you should avoid all types of products with "yeast" in their name. I used to do this very thing, which, sad to say, resulted in me giving an entire bottle of unopened nutritional yeast away for free, because I didn't know there is a distinct difference between nutritional yeast and the yeasts that overpopulate our bodies.
But guess what, guys? They are TOTALLY different.
Yes, I am telling you nutritional yeast is okay to eat when you're fighting a systemic yeast (candida) infection, and I'm also telling you it's super yummy. Like really, super yummy. On a yum scale of 1-yum, it scores infinity yum-factor.
* No, I'm not a medical professional. Yes, you should always consult an actual professional before taking the word of a blogger, regardless of how health conscious and knowledgeable he or she may seem to be.*
I'm going to briefly list the many health benefits of the awesomeness that is nutritional yeast directly below, but following this list are a few points of clarification designed to put to ease any lingering doubts or questions you may have.
Example Product: Bragg's Nutritional Yeast Seasoning
1. Properties of awesomeness
Great taste (cheese-like flavor, great for vegan cheese subs!)
Good source of B vitamins
No Candida albicans!
Did I mention its awesome, cheesy/nutty taste?
2. Nutritional benefits
This nutrition label wins at life. Protein? Fiber? B12? Folic acid? All those other vitamins? Sign me up!
And come on, especially if you're a vegetarian or vegan (like myself) adequate amounts of B12 and protein can be hard to come by--so start using nutritional yeast, and you're on the way to improving those necessary nutrients and minerals! Plus it just tastes so daggone good (much better than B12 and many protein supplements)!
Now, for some basic facts about nutritional yeast--and why it's not only safe, but also an excellent idea to eat--I'm sharing information below from bestnaturalfoods.com because they explain it fairly easily.
"The yellow flakes of nutritional yeast are a pure strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In the same family as edible mushrooms, yeast has been used in food and beverage production for more than 5,000 years. Today, the same strain is used to brew beer, make wine, and leaven breads as well as develop the nutritionally-rich food called nutritional yeast."
"Each batch of nutritional yeast is grown on a mixture of cane and beet molasses for a period of seven days. B-vitamins are added during the process to provide the yeast with the nutrients it needs to grow. When harvested, the yeast is washed, pasteurized, and dried on roller drum dryers before it is ready for market. It is then used by food manufacturers in food products, added to boost the nutrient levels in pet foods, and simply packaged for sale in natural foods stores."
"Unlike active baking yeast, nutritional yeast is grown solely for its nutritional value. It should not be confused with brewer’s yeast, a by-product of breweries and distilleries. nutritional yeast is a low-fat, low-sodium, kosher, non-GMO food that contains no added sugars or preservatives. The cane and beet molasses used in the growing process does not make nutritional yeast sweet and is not a source of simple sugars."
So, a quick recap:
1. Nutritional yeast is safe for most people, even those who are struggling with candida, because it is not a strain of candida and is made inactive during the heating period of production. The one exception to consider is that if you have just begun your journey to heal from candida, your body may have the tendency to treat anything that remotely resembles any type of yeast as more of the same bad yeast, so be aware and play this by ear if you're daring enough to try it in those first stages. Of course you should always eat everything in moderation, as well as keep track of any negative reactions you may have to this or other foods. These are often signs your system cannot handle whatever the trigger food was.
2. Nutritional yeast is gluten free, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, sugar free, salt free, so can be eaten by a majority of people who follow any of these dietary lifestyles. But goodness gracious, EVERYONE could benefit from nutritional yeast, so don't be stingy--share the yum!
3. Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B-vitamins, Folic acid, protein, and a whole host of other vitamins and minerals needed in our day to day lives.
4. Just making sure I mentioned how amazingly delicious nutritional yeast is. ;-)
Thanks for reading! Hope those of you here in the US had a good Fourth of July yesterday!