Leaky gut/candida/anxiety/adrenals; LOST, need help...
Forum: Leaky Gut Support Forum
Hello everyone here, in these numerous forums. I am crossposting this, as I feel it's applicable to multiple areas of disorder.
I will try to be concise, though this may not be a short message.
I am dealing with numerous health issues; I have been for quite some years. I suspect that they are all related. First, my suspicions as to what they are, not necessarily in order of severity:
1. Leaky Gut
2. Candida (and/or other dysbiosis, whether bacterial or parasitic)
3. Adrenal Fatigue
4. Compromised/altered immune system and elimination/detoxification system
5. Toxicity and/or mineral imbalance?
My symptoms are as follows, and hopefully will shed light on why I think the above (often connected) problems are what I'm dealing with:
-Food intolerances: I already know I can't have gluten, though I ate it for around 24 of my almost 28 years. A stool test from EnteroLab confirmed the presence of lots of antibodies to it. After I stopped it, the psoriasis on my elbows went away. The same goes for dairy (also confirmed by the same lab); a lot less mucus and yuckiness after eliminating cheese (I admit it was store bought and pasteurized). The only dairy I use now is butter.
There have been times in my life when other foods have caused me the following, though:
Headaches; dry, cracked knuckles; minor itches; red bumps where psoriasis used to be on my elbows; fatigue; fuzzy thinking; bloating.
The thing is, it hasn't always been the same food. I know for sure that really sweet or floury foods inevitably leave me feeling like crap, but there have been times when nearly anything, without consistency, has left me feeling bad. There've been a few occasions when eating *anything at all*, even plain lettuce, made me feel sicker and sicker, to the point of nausea and crushing headaches, and I had to lie down and fast on water for five days before I was well again.
-Apart from being told when I was still a kid by a more holistically minded MD that I "have Candida", I'm sure some of my symptoms correlate with that, including cravings for sweets and breads, low alcohol tolerance, white coated tongue, bloating, and I have had it manifest as thrush outside the body (sorry to be graphic, but anus, nipples, and scrotum).
-Regarding Adrenal Fatigue, I've had a poor response to stress for a long time, startle easily, have a hard time handling stressful situations, go into fight-or-flight mode too easily, stay in that mode too long, crave stimulants (though now I crave sedatives more to calm down), get low blood Sugar a bit easily it seems (hypoglycemia?), have had sexual dysfunction (though thankfully not the case anymore)...and for the last few weeks, a rapid resting heartrate, little "panic attack" adrenaline surges in bed, even laying there calmly...anxiety, overactive mind...being able to sleep many hours without generally feeling rested...
-I'm not sure how well I'm able to detox, given the above symptoms; as well, there are some environmental sensitivity issues, haven't been able to work normal jobs for years because of trouble with perfumes and synthetic cleaners and carpets, don't do well around lots of fluorescent lights/many computers/wireless gadgets long term, I *despise* the smell of fabric softener, it makes me feel half sick...
-And as for suspected toxicity and/or mineral imbalances, well, that can also tie into the above, right? Even things related to mood, my difficulty focusing, anxiety, etc. Where could toxicity have come from? Well, could be anywhere these days, but in the past (late teens to early twenties) I daftly experimented with synthetic recreational substances (MDMA and its analogues, amphetamine, methamphetamine, ketamine, Ritalin), and took mushrooms and used chronic amounts of cannabis (multiple times per day, every day, for years); I'm sure none of this helped my mind, and may have been toxic. Also I've eaten hundreds (wouldn't be surprised if it's close to 800) cans of fish over the last several years (not much Tuna, but some, and lots of Salmon (wild, at least), and a bit of sardines)...and who knows what other exposure. We have copper water pipes in this house.
So there you go.
I've decided to go about things more reasonably this time - in the past I'd take the shotgun approach to supplements, thinking, "hey, this'll make me feel better, maybe, and so will this, and this, so I'll try it all even though I don't really know what on earth I'm dealing with", and that probably didn't help much, and was expensive.
Here are some other things of note:
1. I'm currently on day three of a fast. The only thing I'm having besides water is something called "RevitalX", by Natural Factors; it's supposed to help with Leaky Gut Syndrome. Oh, and I'm taking a once a day (though sometimes I take two) FloraSmart Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 Billion probiotic.
A couple or few weeks ago, I caught a Norovirus (24 hour stomach bug); in short, it hit hard and fast, and I puked my guts out a few times, till nothing but yellow-green bile came out. The whole time, adrenaline was pumping out big time, it felt like a long-term panic attack. Not pleasant, I was very fatigued for days after, with diminished appetite. I slept fourteen hours after it was over.
As I began to eat again, I tried to go for a lower glycemic diet (the sort suggested for Candida, Adrenal Fatigue, Hypoglycemia), featuring lots of protein (in my case, salmon, some frozen, some canned, always wild), lots of salads and steamed veggies, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and almonds (always soaked 10 or more hours, then dehydrated at 200F), brown rice protein powder, a bit of almond butter, butter, minimal grains (except plain millet or quinoa, and the quinoa felt better to me), and minimal fruit (just apples), and scrambled eggs. I did the eggs with organic coconut oil, and used olive oil on just about everything else except the apples and seeds/nuts and rice protein. Real Sea Salt , and black pepper and dried herbs for seasoning, a bit of cayenne. NO dried fruits, honey, maple syrup, other sugar, caffeine, etc.
Should be good, shouldn't it? I felt a lot more "level" for a few days. Thing is, I got pretty fatigued again, and reacted to food more and more than I had in the past, even. I started getting red, itchy skin from eating. I was really sluggish (low blood sugar), and the skin rashes got worse - anything could set them off, even plain celery.
In the past I was nearly vegetarian, but I did a bad job (lots of bread, grains, some beans, not many veggies at all!).
Never been a big meat eater, though I don't despise it like I used to.
Fast forward to a few days ago. I began fasting (as described above). I'm still getting skin rashes, sometimes all over my torso, front and back, not so much on my legs. Hot water from the shower makes them jump right out, they are less when I haven't just showered (the water's not chlorinated, by the way, or if it is, we have a really good filter), but it's like there's something coming to the surface of the skin and staying there, not making it out, and hot water agitates it.
I itch other times, too (when not showering); it woke me up last night, so bad it was, on the inside of my arms at the elbows.
Besides fasting, I have been oil pulling daily, sometimes once, sometimes twice. Using cold pressed grapeseed oil, on occassion with coconut and/or a drop or two of oregano.
I recently added in Omega Alpha Liver and Kidney Flush (these should be pretty mild, right?): http://www.omegaalpha.ca/en/product/55/
I'm also taking an extra 5 grams of L-Glutamine powder each day to help the gut lining.
Could these rashes be in part a detox reaction, or yeast die off (from eating foods which starve the yeast (or parasites or who knows what), or toxins coming to the surface from microorganisms or the lungs or kidneys or lymph, or stirred up by the oil pulling?
In the past, I've used Candida killers and gone through a commerical parasite cleanse, but it was years ago that I made a real concerted effort, and probably blew it by going back to bad dietary habits. Even though it was "good" sugar, it was still sugar, and I ate TONS of dried fruit (I love the taste), and if honey's around, watch out, I could eat it by the tablespoon, and doing things like mixing fruit with grain, honey with grain, honey with dairy with grain, fruit with eggs, seeds with fresh fruit (that one always gave me a headache, though not dried fruit with seeds), eating gluten (which I didn't know about then), drinking yeasty beers, lots of green tea and Yerba Mate (6, 8, 10 cups a day), etc.
As for emotions, I know I've gotta work on them, too. I've had years of silent (mostly) anger, dare I say rage, and resentment and fear and anxiety (in part about these health issues and their impedance of me being able to work in most places), general humanity and its blunders, and so on. I know these emotions don't do a body good, and I'm sincerely trying not to fixate on them and choose positivity and understanding in spite of the way things are now.
Supplement wise, let's see, in the past I tried (on a regular basis), aphrodisiacs such as Tongkat Ali, Cnidium, etc., plus Aminos like Tyrosine and Choline. Now I use them infrequently, to better effect, as well as having simply worked on myself. I was taking a Natural Factors Multi Vitamin/Mineral. I took NOW brand Super Enzymes, and had recently added Betaine HCl to protein heavy meals. I tried glycerin for low blood sugar, but I'm not sure how I liked or if I even noticed results.
Right now I'm (apart from the RevitalX for leaky gut, which also has minerals and vitamins) using very small amounts of organic Kava Kava root (though will try discontinuing it just in case I'm allergic to it, as a few people are - a pity 'cause it's wonderful at easing anxiety), mild Wild Lettuce tea (also useful for anxiety), and very small amounts of Calamus (American, non potentially carcinogenic variety), for the same reasons.
I had been taking extra Vitamin C and B-5 for the adrenals prior to fasting, and Natural Calm magnesium; sometimes it really stopped the adrenaline, other times it made me too drowsy. I once tried New Roots Adrenal Extract, but only sporadically, so I don't know if it helped. I used Milk Thistle in the past. I used to take lots of Tylenol for what were even more frequent headaches (probably from gluten/dairy).
I'm considering Molybdenum if this is part overload from Candida's toxins.
Also, I have HPPD from psychedelic mushrooms (and perhaps some disassociative/unreal effects?) years after the fact.
I've always been very lean, worked hard over the last couple years to gain some weight and muscle, though I have a fast metabolism (or a leaky gut?). I used to weigh around 130 lbs and 5 feet 9 and a half inches! Too skinny, then.
I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do/how to proceed. There are a few tests I'm considering; money isn't limitless; in fact, it's tight.
1. Pyroluria Test (for hemoglobin problem resulting in low zinc/B5 (or is it B6); all sorts of mood/mental disorders are attached to this imbalance. I have some of the physical and emotional symptoms.
2. 24 hour saliva coritsol/DHEA test. Cleary a good idea, I think, so I know just what my adrenals are doing.
3. Hair Mineral Tissue Analysis at one of the two US Labs that does it right without washing the hair prior to testing.
Okay - let's say I do those tests, and at least two of them show something (I suspect out of the three it would likely be the cortisol test and the hair mineral test).
How do I proceed from there, if it's also evident (to me, but tell me what you think, too!) that I have dysbiosis/leaky gut/toxin overload?
I've read so many opinions of sequence, and I'm now so damn confused.
Is it correct that adrenal fatigue, if present, should actually be corrected before going on a major assualt on yeast or parasites so as not to tax the system too much if it's already insufficient? If the cortisol test shows a major lack, I am considering Isocort to give the adrenals a chance to heal/rebuild. Should I consider other products to help them heal, too?
If that's the case, and I do that, what should come next? Should I cleanse my liver first, or kidneys first? Is it okay to use the (what I assume to be) relatively mild Omega Alpha flushes as I am? Can I use both at once, or first one, then the other?
I took a tablespoon of InnoVite liquid Bentonite clay last night to help absorb toxins, but it made my rash worse...
And if I'm dealing with leaky gut, do I have to do a hardcore Candida/Parasite cleanse first (though I'd have to deal with adrenals first?), or is it good enough for now to eat foods which don't feed Candida, take probiotics, and still attempt to heal the gut?
If my hair mineral tissue analysis shows up something really off (I'm suspecting excess copper might show), when's the right time to address that?
Or should I just say hell with moderation and do a three day Coconut Oil cleanse (which is meant to be pretty hard but obliterate Candida/dysbiosis, and heal leaky gut in one swoop)?
Or am I doing too much right at once right now, hence the skin rashes?
Arrrgh! What? Do? I? Do?
And how do I eat when I start eating again?
I just want to be well, back in balance (if I ever was there), and able to eat food and be strong and healthy. I've been dealing with all this to varying degrees for years, and I'm tired of misfiring and feeling worse (so far as I can judge) than other people who seem robust enough to eat like sh*t, party hearty, work full time and be little worse off than an occasional hangover. (Not that that's the sort of lifestyle I want!) I'd like to get this right, this time 'round.
I've included links/pics of the rash, front and back, to give you an idea. It's fresh out of a hot shower, I did it that way since it brings it to the surface, just to show you all the places this, this...stuff seems to collect under the skin. A few of the red dots on the back are old acne scars, but most of 'em ain't!
I sincerely thank you all for your help.
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