HW – Day 6

I’ve decided to cut back on the activated charcoal since I’m not sure if anything is even being killed.  We’ll see how I feel.

My blood pressure is still high, currently 137/96.  I supplemented calcium and magnesium and at a lot of potassium-containing foods yesterday.  I’ll continue doing that and see how it goes.  72 hours off of HCTZ at this point.

  • Weight: 201.1
  • Fasting blood sugar: 114

HW – Day 5

Heart palpitations have continued, so I’ve stopped taking my hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) temporarily.  It’s been almost 48 hours since my last dose.  My blood pressure is high – 148/96 – but it was almost that high a few days ago while I was still taking HCTZ.  I’m nervous about stopping it.  I’m a little tired of being a slave to a water pill, though.  I’m going to pile on lots of potassium and magnesium today and see if I can’t bring it down.

I’ve been feeling pretty good – I think the Humaworm (HW) is killing off something because my mood is improving overall.  Not really seeing any other differences though.  I’m attempting some fibrous foods here and there, and so far doing ok.  Of course, it’s one thing to tempt fate during the kill phase, and quite another to do so a month later.  I’m also still taking activated charcoal to help with elimination and cleaning up of anything that may be killed.

I’ve been eating a pretty good variety of foods lately – some dairy, some nightshades, meat, eggs, aged foods, fresh foods, vegetables, fruit juice, V8, white sugar, chocolate…basically, this is a diet I could live on.  No digestive difficulties, no histamine reactions.  I have noticed as far as nightshades go that it’s specifically cayenne pepper that causes my patch of eczema to flare up – I can drink tomato juice all day long and no problem.  Weird.  I have not and will not be attempting to eat starches.  That has never gone well.  I would be content to be able to eat fiber again.

Fasting blood sugar this morning: 107.

Weight up a bit to 201.5.   A natural consequence of stopping HCTZ.

 

Humaworm – Day 4

The itching stopped.  Now I’m dealing with heart palpitations resulting from an electroyle imbalance, resulting from taking the laxatives in Humaworm along with Hydrochlorothiazide for hypertension.  I’ve been taking potassium and magnesium supplements and pounding lots of V8 (the “low sodium” variety has 900mg of potassium per 8oz serving!). Also eating lots of salt.  We’ll see if today is better.

I slept 10 hours last night, making up for the previous night’s insomnia.

I’ve been eating nightshades and adding in cooked veggies again, which were off the menu for a while when I was doing really poorly. So far so good.

Still no wormies or other pathological ickyness showing up.  It’s early.

Humaworm

I started taking Humaworm on Friday evening, so about 36 hours ago.  It’s a 30 day parasite treatment.  There are many folks on the web (Facebook, Curezone, blogs) describing their Humaworm journeys.  I’ve seen way more pictures of other people’s poop in the last 2 weeks than I ever thought I would. I’ve decided to not participate in the picture taking unless something really spectacular happens.  Some of the Humaworm stories involve the passing of lots of icky fleshy bug-like things.  Some describe detoxification system backups – constipation, headaches, flu-like symptoms.  Some people experience nothing.  I suppose that means they didn’t have parasites.

So I’m not sure what to expect.  Yesterday I felt tired and a little irritable at times, and occasionally throughout the day felt little stabby pains – right torso, left big toe – and some nausea.  I’ve passed nothing that looks parasite-like as of yet.  The Humaworm folks say to discontinue all other supplements, since their product contains 30 or so different herbs and there’s a possibility of interaction.  I’ve decided to take activated charcoal anyway.  I’m pretty sure it’s benign and doesn’t interact with anything.  So I’m taking that about 4-5 hours after each Humaworm dose to mop up any toxins released in this process.

I have been hesitant about Humaworm because it contains stimulant laxatives, which have caused me to have mood problems in the past. I have no reason to think this would be any different now, but if the mood problems are caused by the release of toxins by something living in my colon, then the activated charcoal should help.  Another hesitation I have about Humaworm is the possibility of dependency on stimulant laxatives – in other words, the body requiring their presence to poop after being exposed to them for a period of time.  For example, from the US National Library of Medicine, with regard to Senna, which is one of the laxatives in Humaworm:

Senna is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth long-term or in high doses. Don’t use senna for more than two weeks. Longer use can cause the bowels to stop functioning normally and might cause dependence on laxatives.

Hm….there’s also Cascara, which is another stimulant laxative in Humaworm.   That one happens to be Ray Peat approved.  I’ve seen no reports that people are constipated or requiring laxatives after using Humaworm, and the Humaworm folks say you should wait 90 days before using their product again, so it seems they’re on top of the laxative dependence issue.

Laxatives can also cause electrolyte imbalances, which I am particularly prone to given that I take a diuretic for my hypertension.  In fact, I started having heart palpitations last night so I supplemented about 500mg of potassium and they went away.  I’ll be doing that for the rest of the month (or however long I continue with Humaworm).

So despite these issues I decided to try it because a lot of people rave about Humaworm, and honestly it just seems like a really decent company.  So I’ll update as we go.

Updates

I don’t feel brilliant so I’m just going to do a bullet-pointed list of crap that’s going on.

  • I don’t care about my weight much anymore.  I hate to say I’ve given up on it.  Maybe it’s just been overshadowed by my focus on getting healthy.  My compulsive scale-stepping behavior is dwindling, and I don’t care.  I don’t care about being attractive to anyone anymore so maybe that’s part of the reason.  I still want to be clean and look professional for work, but other than that I’ve sort of given up on ever looking good again.
  • My blood pressure is high.  I thought it would be lower with all the magnesium and potassium I’ve been getting in fruit/vegetable juices lately…but it’s high.  Today it was 149/99.
  • I can digest more foods now, like nightshades, eggs, and cheese.  I’m not having a histamine reaction to everything anymore either. I attribute this to a month of colostrum and L-glutamine, combined with carbohydrates in my diet again.  I think for me a low carb diet reduces the building materials the body needs to rebuild the gut wall.  Won’t be doing that again.  I sold my Ketonix device on ebay.
  • I’ve been listening to Dr. Daniels’ podcasts.  She is really pretty way out there.  In a podcast I listened to yesterday (episode released 1/5/16) she was saying that ultrasounds during pregnancy are like dropping a grenade on the baby.  And she sounded critical of cutting the cord after a baby is born. I can’t decide if she’s nuts or brilliant.  Sort of the same way I perceive Jack Kruse.
  • I looked into getting consultation with Dr. Daniels. She charges $350 for a half hour consultation.  She apparently has a 16-week coaching program for $5,000, which is pretty reasonable considering it includes weekly 1-hour coaching calls with Dr. Daniels.  The initial $350 for an initial consultation is probably intended to screen out people who aren’t wealthy enough for the longer program.  She’s wrong though…I would consider spending 5K on a 16-week program, but we’ll never know if it would be a good fit because I wouldn’t spend that much for a brief initial consultation.  Seriously, it’s over $10 a minute.
  • I’m not confident in Humaworm.  Once I used a stimulant laxative (dulcolax) and became very depressed the next day – apparently agitation of the large intestine has the same effect on me as eating starch or fiber.  After ordering Humaworm I realized it contained Senna, which is a stimulant laxative.  So now I’m afraid the Humaworm is going to spin me into a depression.   I’m not going to be able to tolerate that for a month.  It ruins my ability to function in life at an acceptable level.
  • I’m fairly convinced I have parasites…but as I’ve mentioned before I tend to get my mind wrapped around a certain diagnosis and become convinced I have it. So maybe not.  I’m open to the idea of using Turpentine again, but I’m not sure how to increase bowel elimination to 3x per day.  Juice all day long leaves me hungry and I can’t tolerate fiber.  Meat and cheese probably slow down transit a little, but I’m not sure what else to do.  I dunno.  There are other kinds of laxative agents….maybe I’ll look into that a little.  I’m not constipated…I just don’t want there to be any chance that parasites or their toxins get reabsorbed.  My current elimination pattern is 1-2 times per day.
  • I have no idea who I am anymore.  Who would I be if I wasn’t battling this depression and anxiety?  This constant hunger and fatigue?  What if I could just be a healthy person whose body functioned well all day?  I can imagine it because I’ve had days like that.  But it doesn’t last very long.  I don’t even know if I’d be interested in health and wellness at all if not for my current struggle.  I used to be interested in eating disorders…until mine went away (thanks to eating more food and stopping the chronic dieting and starvation cycle).  I used to be interested in addictions until I stopped working at a restaurant and partying every night.  I used to be interested in helping people with relationship problems, and studied to be a counselor…until I got married and stopped being lonely.  No idea who I would be.
  • My focus in life has had to get very narrow.  I care about keeping my head above water at work (because I am financially supporting my family) and making sure my daughter has a nice life.  Those are the things I put my energy into.  I’m trying to fix my health so that those two things can happen.  Without it, both suffer.  Plus…it sure would feel good to feel good again.

 

New Plan 2.0

I don’t think I’ll be taking turpentine.  I’ve been a little freaked out this whole time by all the disclaimers and dire warnings and THINGS IN CAPITAL LETTERS about how you absolutely definitely have to pay attention to this rule or bad things will happen… I’m just not sure why I would do all that when there are effective treatments out there without all the disclaimers, warnings and death threats.

I’ve decided to try Humaworm.  My problems have not responded to antibacterial herbs much, so I’m going to try antiparasitic herbs.  I like how the humaworm site is open and honest about what they put in their product, and even shares the exact amounts.  No cloak of a “proprietary blend”.  I dig honesty, and these people seem to have it.  Plus, their formula includes herbs for dealing with not just parasites themselves but the toxins they release and their transit out of the body.  Turpentine seems to be great at the first of these three but you’re on your own to manage the toxins and the transit issues.

I’ve also decided to try a diet that is less meat and fat heavy and more fruit/vegetable juice heavy.  I’m unable to get the nutrients I need from endless pounds of chicken, yet I still can’t eat fiber without significant neurological and emotional problems.

Humaworm is on it’s way.  I’ll update when I get it.  Apparently it may take up to 2 weeks because the capsules are hand-filled by fairies or something.

Turpentine

It sounds completely crazy to say that I would ingest turpentine.  Apparently this is an old folk remedy to keep the digestive tract clear of pathogens.  I know, that’s not enough evidence to support imbibing something we all sort of know is toxic.  But what advocates of this method indicate is that the dose makes the poison.

Hence, the following disclaimer:

On this blog I am describing my own use of turpentine and am not here to encourage anyone else to use it. Turpentine, like many household items, supplements, and pharmaceuticals, is toxic and potentially fatal at the wrong dose.  So I strongly encourage anyone considering using turpentine to do your own research, within the context of your personal situation, biochemistry, environment, and genetics.

Do you like that?  Everyone talking about the Turp seems to have a disclaimer, so I thought I’d have one too.

So I’ll share the research I did, as well as some resources that helped me to understand how to use turpentine safely.  Keep in mind please – I’m no expert and this is new to me, so it’s possible the things I say are wrong.

My first exposure to this concept was a comment on here by Meme about a month ago, followed by a couple more info-packed and inspiring comments a couple weeks later (here and here), when my brain was functioning well enough that I could actually pay attention. That got me hitting Google and coming up with Dr. Jennifer Daniels name.  Apparently she was a US-trained and licensed medical doctor – earned her MD and concurrently earned an MBA from Wharton.  So no slouch in the brains department.  You can read her story here.  Apparently she was banned from practicing medicine in the US, probably due to her “eclectic” treatment modalities.  She now lives in Panama.

Dr. Daniels is very Ray Peat-esque in some ways – she makes her best ideas available to the masses for free, and her counter-cultural style has resulted in her living a somewhat reclusive life.  She isn’t afraid to tell the truth about the medical establishment, and she bases her opinions on science.  While Peat writes articles and newsletters, Dr. Daniels produces a frequent podcast.  I’ve only listened to a few episodes so far – it’s not polished and glitzy but it’s full of well-reasoned and science-based information on healing and medicine.

Dr. Daniels makes her Candida Cleaner report available to anyone who wants it for the cost of an email address, and in it she discusses her recommendations for the safe use of turpentine.  She seems to focus on candida, but apparently the Turp is extremely effective for lots of gut pathogens.  Folks on the Turpentine Facebook group and YouTube are reporting success with the passing of lots of parasites, and generally clearing brain fog and fatigue. It seems to be kind of a one-stop shop for gut nonsense.  And, believing myself to have unidentified gut nonsense, I was attracted to the idea.

The three greatest warnings about Turp seem to be:

  • Get the right kind of Turpentine.  The right kind is 100% Pure Gum Spirits of Turpentine.  This is probably not what’s on the shelf at the hardware store.
  • Watch your dosing. More isn’t better.  Dr. Daniels recommends up to 1 tsp per day, 2x per week.  Some people seem to be doing an initial 4 days in a row and then moving to a 2x per week schedule during treatment.  Then 1-2x per month for maintenance.
  • Keep the bowels moving.  Constipation is unacceptable, and Dr. Daniels recommends you don’t even try Turp unless you are having 3 bowel movements a day.  She also recommends enemas to keep things moving.  I haven’t done an enema yet – that would be uncharted territory for me. The emphasis on elimination is due to the importance of eliminating pathogens once they’ve been poisoned by the Turp.  If not eliminated through the GI tract there’s a risk that they may be reabsorbed or migrate to other parts of the body.  Yuk.  That makes an enema look like a walk in the park to me.

So, is there any science behind this folk remedy?  Well, there’s this 2009 review of the literature: The Essential Oil of Turpentine and It’s Major Volatile Fraction (α- and β -Pinenes): A Review. I confess I haven’t read the whole thing yet.  I’m not a role model.  However, my husband read it and gave me the thumbs up afterward, and he is very science-driven.

So over the past week I’ve been working toward getting my bowels up to snuff, increasing vitamin C and magnesium until I was able to eliminate 2-3 times a day.  I’m not able to do so 3x a day consistently yet, so this continues to be a work in progress.  I’ve eliminated dairy temporarily to see if maybe that was slowing things down.  Despite this work in progress, I started taking the Turp 2 nights ago.  I was feeling a little desperate to feel better, and I rationalized that the dose was going to be extremely small.  I started with 1 drop – one, solitary drop, about 1/75 of the recommended dose of 1 teaspoon.  Nothing happened. I didn’t sleep very well, but lately that’s not uncommon for me.

Dr. Daniels recommends taking the Turp first thing in the AM on an empty stomach.  So yesterday morning I did that – I took 3 drops on a sugar cube first thing in the AM.  And I felt great all day.  I felt some pressure in my spleen (which is common for me when I kill off yuckies in my gut) so I think it did something good.  I did the same thing this morning – 3 drops first thing in the AM. Each time I followed it with activated charcoal about 2-3 hours later, to mop up debris.

I’m going to follow the 4 days in a row and then 2x a week plan.  Dr. Daniels’ protocol involves dropping the Turp onto sugar cubes.  Others use castor oil as a carrier, which also increases bowel elimination.  I’ve read folks around the web are experimenting with dosing scedules, dosing amounts, and carriers.  I’m following Dr. Daniels’ plan – only more conservatively with the dosing to start.  I’m not inclined to go too rogue with something potentially toxic.  At least not right now.

I’ll be updating daily with updates on this.  I really hate talking about bowel movements, but I’m thinking that’s going to be unavoidable.  Sorry in advance.

Lab Results. WTH.

I got some lab results.  I don’t have them actually in my hand yet, largely because my doctor’s office forgot to send them to me, so I can’t share actual numbers yet, but I can share the jist of the results.  Four weeks ago I asked my doc to have me tested using Cyrex Array #2, called the Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen.  Basically, it tests for leaky gut and antibodies to lipopolysaccharides (LPS) aka “endotoxin”.

So what happened?  Well as I mentioned I don’t have the actual results in front of me yet, but the person I talked to indicated that all tests were normal.  Within range.

WHAT??

But….but….endotoxin and leaky gut were my best guess as to what is hijacking my health!

Normal?

So no leaky gut?

No endotoxemia?

Well then what the actual hell is wrong with me?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I got these results a couple of days ago.  First thing I did was come home and eat some eggs for dinner.  If I don’t have a leaky gut I sure as hell don’t need any stinking autoimmune protocol.  My stomach made some noise after eating them, but I felt fine otherwise.  Had more eggs the next morning.  And then last night too.  Noises are gone, feel fine.  Been eating dairy again too.  Fine.  In fact, I seem to be on a modified Ray Peat diet again, mostly because those foods taste great and make me feel good right now.

I wonder how much crap I’ve managed to make up in my own damn head, being convinced that a specific medical condition was at the root of my health problems.  Remember back when I thought I had cancer?  Or when I was convinced I had SIBO?  Add endotoxin poisoning to the list of nonsense I’ve convinced myself of.  Thank goodness for testing.

The moral of the story – get tested.  Find out what you’re actually dealing with.  Or what you’re NOT actually dealing with.

So if it’s not leaky gut and endotoxin, what the hell is causing my horrible mood swings, hormone dysregulation, inability to tolerate most kinds of fiber or starch, elevated histamine, brain fog, and fatigue?

Hmmmmm…..

Knowing my tendency to identify too closely with diagnoses I learn about on the internet, I’m hesitant to make any conclusive statements.

I’ve had a fair amount of stool testing done.  Back in 2015 I had the Biohealth GI Pathogen Screen 401 completed, and there were no abnormalities identified.  I don’t think I ever posted the results of that testing, so here it is:

gi path screen

I also tested negative for H. Pylori in another test.  I was so proud – my guts were clean!  And yet causing me so many problems.

I’ve since learned that parasites can be hard to detect and tests for them can often turn up false negatives.  I think stool testing is improving and becoming more sensitive.  The Comprehensive Stool Test seems to be more respected and accurate than the one I had – it’s probably newer. It uses PCR technology, whatever that is.

In any case, I’m not going to spend $300 on another stool test.

My new plan includes a $8.00 bottle of turpentine and some sugar cubes, with the goal of eliminating parasites and/or other as-of-yet unidentified pathogens. I started last night.  My fingers are tired so I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.   Suffice it to say I have not yet begun to fight!