Category Archives: Disease

Herpes Simplex & HHV

Herpes Simplex & Other HHV

Herpes breaks out of the skin on many different parts of the body. It starts as a tingle, continues as an eruption of a cluster of blisters which itch fiercely. The blisters break withing 2 days and then scab over and generally heal within a week. Some outbreaks can last between 10 – 21 days. Herpes outbreaks can be painful, are often embarassing and inconvenient, and at times disabling.

Once the human herpes virus has been contracted, outbreaks often reoccur when the body’s immune system is under stress. In the first year, recurring outbreaks average four to six episodes. Over time, the number of outbreaks usually drops off. Unless the person is immune compromised then outbreaks may increase and cause other complications. Women often get herpes blisters during their period.

Herpes is a contageous virus spread through skin-to-skin contact, especially when the blisters are wet. For both herpes simplex types, it is estimated that at least two-thirds of infected people have mild or no symptoms, and both types can recur. Some documents advise that contageon occurs only when the skin touches wet blisters but not when the blisters have scabbed, while other documents suggest that the herpes virus can be spread to other people through viral shedding, even when no obvious symptoms are present.

A simplified diagram of HSV replication
A simplified diagram of HSV replication (credit: Wikipedia)

Herpes viruses are defined by their ability to establish lifelong infections. Herpes viruses have found many different ways to evade the immune system.

The herpes virus is related to other viruses and members of the herpesvirus include the following variations of simplex and other related but different herpes viruses in the table below:

  • Cold sores (Herpes simplex virus or HSV Type 1, fever blisters, mouth or oral herpes)
  • Ocular Herpes (Herpes simplex virus infection of the eye)
  • Herpes Encephalitis (Herpes simplex virus infection of the brain)
  • Herpes Whitlow (Herpes simplex virus that outbreaks on fingers)
  • Genital herpes (Herpes simplex virus or HSV Type 2)

The genus Herpesvirus was established in 1971 and the system of naming herpes viruses originating in 1973 has been elaborated considerably since then. There are 8 herpes virus that affect human beings.

Type Name Latency Target Cell Pathophysiology
HHV-1 Herpes simplex virus-1           (HSV-1) Neuron Mucoepithelial Oral and/or genital herpes (predominantly mouth and face)
HHV-2 Herpes simplex virus-2             (HSV-2) Neuron Mucoepithelial Oral and/or genital herpes (predominantly genital)
HHV-3 Varicella zoster virus (VZV) Neuron Mucoepithelial Chickenpox and shingles
HHV-4 Epstein-Barr virus (EBV),  lymphocryptovirus B cell B cells and epithelial cells Infectious mononucleosis, Burkitt’s lymphoma, CNS lymphoma in AIDS patients, PTLD, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, HIV-associated hairy leukoplakia
HHV-5 Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Monocyte, lymphocyte, and ? Monocyte, lymphocyte, and epithelial cells Infectious mononucleosis-like syndrome, retinitis, etc.
HHV-6 Roseolovirus, Herpes lymphotropic virus T cells and ? T cells and ? Sixth disease (roseola infantum or exanthem subitum)
HHV-7 Roseolovirus T cells and ? T cells and ? Sixth disease (roseola infantum or exanthem subitum)
HHV-8 Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), a type of rhadinovirus B cell Lymphocyte and other cells Kaposi’s sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, some types of multicentric Castleman’s disease

See Textbook of Bacteriology  for more detailed information

The Difference between Herpes Simplex 1 & 2

The term herpes simplex was introduced in 1906 and at that time included herpes labialis (cold sores) and herpes progenitalis (genital herpes). These are now called type 1 and type 2 because they are different.

Under a microscope, HSV-1 and HSV-2 share approximately 50% of their DNA.  Both types generally outbreak close to the body’s mucosal surfaces, such as the mouth or genitals. Although commonly the difference is said to be that 1 is above the waist and 2 is below, either type can reside in either or both oral and/or genital areas.

Nederlands: Public Health Image Library http:/...
Herpes simplex lesion of lower lip, second day after onset.

The main difference between herpes simplex 1 & 2 is where each virus type establishes latency, or resides while dormant.

HSV-1 usually resides in the trigeminal ganglion, a collection of nerve cells near the ear. HSV-1 normally outbreaks on the face especially around the mouth.

HSV-2 usually resides in the sacral ganglion at the base of the spine and outbreaks close to the genital area.

Herpes virus outbreaks reoccur close to the spot or near to the original site of infection. Nerves can have many axons, and each nerve serves a particular area of skin that is called a dermatome. The herpes lesions are limited to the dermatome it initially infected, but the nerves in the buttocks, genitals and upper thighs are all connected. This makes it possible for HSV-2 outbreaks to appear on the vagina, vulva, penis, scrotum, anus, buttocks and thigh.

Other Symptoms of Herpes Simplex

Apart from the outbreak blisters, other symptoms that may occur include:

Headache and fever
Aching muscles and stiffness
Discharge from vagina or penis
Burning sensation during urination
Swollen lymph glands
Lower back pain and sciatica

Reactivation of the latent viruses occurs in many of the herpes virus types.

Following activation, transcription of viral genes transitions from latency-associated LAT to multiple lytic genes. These quickly replicate and produce the virus which leads to cell death.

Lytic activation causes the symptoms such as low grade fever, headache, sore throat, malaise, and rash as well as clinical signs such as swollen or tender lymph nodes and immunological findings in blood tests such as reduced levels of natural killer cells.

Virus pain and discomfort in the genital area is still sometimes felt after the blisters are long gone (post-herpetic neuralgia). Although this term is generally considered to be confined to herpes zoster, there is a lot of sufferers claiming they have what appears to be sciatic pain that is long lasting after the outbreak. See the reference links for herpes

It’s thought that about 50% of young adults have HSV-1 antibodies in their blood. After they turn 50, 80-90% have HSV-1 antibodies.

It is not a major thing for someone to admit to having a coldsore. There is social prejudice against admitting genital herpes. Medically there is no less danger of complication or contagion with a coldsore than there is with genital herpes.

The problem I guess, is how you must have got it. If you were virgins when you married of course, you may be one of the lucky few who never do contract herpes simplex. Just beware of kissing people.

Both types of herpes cause people discomfort, so it is important to actively protect other people by not having ANY skin to skin contact while you have active herpes blisters. Whether they are coldsores or sores that may be encountered during sex, they are both highly contagious and sore.



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Endorphins, LDN & Autoimmune Disease

Dr. Bernard Bihari talks about LDN in his Practice

This video is an hour long and has more to do with Low dose naltrexone and cancer or aids than other autoimmune diseases BUT Dr Bihari was the pioneer of LDN treatment and he has many interesting anecdotes about his practice and LDN, and on edorphins and the immune system.

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Naltrexone is a designer drug that was created specifically to block opioid receptors and enable addicts to beat their drug (heroin, morphene, opium) addiction. It appears to work in a similar way to the smoking addiction-breaking drugs, (Champix, Zyban, Varenicline), by blocking the bodys receptors from the pleasure the addictive substance gives. This enables people to quit their addiction with somewhat more ease.

A normal dose of naltrexone (50 mg)  blocks the opioid receptors for 24 hours.

The time-course of an immune response begins w...

As Dr Bihari describes in the above video,  taking a lower dose of naltrexone (3 mg) blocks the opioid receptors for only a few hours. A serendipitous side effect of a low dose of naltexone, is that after the body’s receptors have been blocked for a few hours, the hypothalamus becomes alerted to having insufficient endorphins, and so it responds and makes more ?-Endorphins (beta endorphins), melatonin, pro enkephalin, ACTH –  essentially sufficient new endorphins for about 20 hours.

Two endorphins – ?-Endorphins (with a half life of 20 hours) and Metenkephalin (which immediately enters cells and starts to stimulate them) are the two most important endorphins for this, because they have delta opiod receptors which are present in most tissues of the body.  Endorphins with delta receptors enhance immune system function.

Other endorphins are stimulated by other means, as described below…

Auto Immune Diseases

The body’s immune system needs to be able to distinguish between self and non-self in order to defend itself against disease. This is not a problem when the body functions normally.  In auto-immune diseases, the immune systems defence cells –  macrophages and cytotoxic killer cells – lose the ability to make that self / non-self distinction and start attacking normal tissue.

Auto immune diseases generally attack one system of the body but sometimes several systems are attacked. Blood tests for specific antibodies show doctors that an auto immune disease is present.

T helper cell function
Image via Wikipedia

The use of low dose naltrexone appears to prevent flares and halt the progression of auto immune disease attacks. The endorphins that are created appear to work by enhancing the functioning of the T cells, stopping the defense cells from attacking healthy tissue and restoring the proper function of the immune system. LDN is not considered to be a cure for these diseases, but rather a management of autoimmune disease. When people stop taking LDN, the AI disease continues to progressively flare up and destroy its targeted system.

Anecdotally LDN appears to hold progression and reverse the AI disease process in a wide range of autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune thyroiditis, psoriasis, excema and multiple sclerosis. See LDN Publications. No large scale studies have been done but several smaller scale studies have been completed and many more are underway. See Ongoing  LDN Trials.

My LDN experience so far…

It is necesary to get a prescription to try this LDN treatment and if that’s not enough it will probably be necesary to educate and then convince a doctor that such a prescription is worth a try. Good Luck!

I got my mom to send some documents to her rheumatologist after her lungs became affected after taking methotextrate. He dismissed it. I asked my GP if she would consider prescribing it, after taking same said documentation to her to look at. She had a relative who was studying endorphins and said she would call him and if he had heard of it, she would consider it. She didn’t call back or return my calls. I’m guessing she is protecting me from the evils of youtube and the misinformation of theinternet.

Forgive my being sarcastic. She is entitled to state that she doesn’t wish to risk her registration as a doctor. Does she have to be rude and patronizing as well though?

My next step I guess then, is to buy 50mg naltrexone online and then dissolve a tablet in distilled water so I can take a low dose of 3mg in drops.


The word endorphin means “a morphine-like substance originating from within the body.” Endorphins are produced by a persons pituitary gland and hypothalamus and produce a feeling of well-being.

the endorphins
the endorphins (Photo credit: Moonez)

Immediately after a severe injury, endorphins prevent nerve cells from releasing more pain signals to allow us the control  our panic and get to a safe place in order to recover. Aerobic exercise activates endorphin production ( it seems to me to be in a similar way to LDN). When the level of exercise intensity is between moderate and high, and breathing becomes difficult, the muscles use up their stored glycogen. Perhaps this triggers the creation of new endorphins, creating the Runners high or the Zone. People can keep running happily, continuously surpassing their limit and despite pain, an edurance trait that must have been vital to our survival back when we hunted for our meat.

From the third month of pregnancy, a placental tissue from the fetus excretes beta-endorphins into the maternal blood system. After baby blues is likely a side-effect of the sudden loss of these increased endorphins. Breast-feeding also induces endorphin excretion from the mother’s pituitary which may taper of the mothers dependency on these extra endorphins. However a sudden change like this, may explain the appearance of some auto immune diseases during and after pregnancy. The immune system does not bounce back correctly to make sufficient endorphins for normal function.

endorphins | day 85
endorphins | day 85 (Photo credit: ms.Tea)

Orgasm, meditation and relaxation in float tanks can trigger the production of endorphins. In 1999, clinical researchers reported that inserting acupuncture needles into specific body points can trigger the production of endorphins. Chocolate is said to make endorphins.

Boundless energy, elation, being at one with nature, peacefulness, the reduction of pain and several hours of cheery happiness – this describes some of the emotions, or the zone, created by endorphins.


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Legacy From Dr. Lowe

Death of and Legacy of Dr. John Lowe

John Lowe

22/1/1946 – 9/1/2012

I never met Doctor Lowe, nor ever expected to – but I felt I knew him, because he was such an honest writer. When I was first diagnosed as hypothyroid, Dr Lowe’s website on hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia was one of the first complex websites I started my research on and one of only a few that I return to often for further information.

If I had never been able to read his website, I would not understand my disease as well as I do. Nor would I have had the opportunity to experience John Lowe’s personality, his humility and generosity about sharing his immense knowledge and experience via his website’s Q&A section. Patient’s questions and his answers helped me to answer my own tricky questions, and his kindness and even handedness enabled me to trust his answers, more so than any other doctor (or patient) who has written articles about thyroid treatment on his/her website.

So it was with genuine sadness that I read his wife’s email informing us that Dr John Lowe died on the 9th of January 2012 due to complications from a head injury incurred in November 2011. Tammy Lowe was also thoughtful enough to reassure us that Dr Lowe’s website would remain available to patients online. My heart goes out to her as she faces his loss and to Dr Lowes family and friends.

In Memorium of Dr John Lowe

Dr Lowe wrote several memorials for colleagues that are published on his website, and the respect and admiration for these collegues just glows in his writing. As I read these I felt that it is like someone writing in memorium for him, just change the names.

Because Dr Lowe was a doctor who “took hard hits for his brave stance” like Dr Garrison,

On Dr Garrison Dr. Garrison and I didn’t agree on all matters. But our friendship was bound by a love of quality scientific work and the mission of freeing fibromyalgia and hypothyroid patients from the misery imposed on them by the false beliefs of conventional medicine. Dr. Garrison was one of the smartest and most courageous physicians I have ever known.

He took hard hits for his brave stance that we were right: that too little thyroid hormone regulation is the basis of most patients’ fibromyalgia. The hardest hits came from physicians who promoted the pseudo-scientific and quack notion that fibromyalgia is a psychiatric disorder. But he stood his ground and absorbed the political blows.

Dr Lowe also “directly took on conventional medicine” and “risked his personal career for the sake of truth and protecting patients” like Dr Mendelsohn

On Dr Mendelsohn His courage in the face of damaging political opposition in medicine was like that of my old friend Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD. He, too, is now deceased, but he directly took on conventional medicine in the 1980s. In doing so, he was almost single-handedly responsible for the justified contempt today of millions of people for the harm done by conventional medicine. He, like Dr. Garrison, risked his personal career for the sake of truth and protecting patients.

And like his good friend Dr Gedye, Dr John Lowe has had a huge impact on so many people’s lives.

On Dr. John Gedye It has been said that those who’ve left us have but one chance at immortality. That chance lies in what they’ve left behind: our memory of them. The impact of a person’s life, the effect that life had on other people, their experience of the person – this is what remains. We honor John Gedye by remembering, and continuing to remember, how he affected us and why we’ll miss him so much.

I know that thousands of people will honor John Lowe by remembering what he did for us all with his research and his enquiring and logical mind and his courageous refusal to be bullied by “the system”.

Dr John Lowe’s Legacy

The following text is a summary of

Dr. Lowe began using myofascial therapy in 1980 under the tutelage of the late chiropractic radiologist and clinician David Ramby, D.C. After studying factors that make myofascial patients treatment resistant, he began tenaciously studying biochemical abnormalities. Dr. Lowe found that hypothyroid fibromyalgia patients usually recover from their fibromyalgia symptoms and also found that most fibromyalgia patients who aren’t hypothyroid also improve or recover when treated with fairly high dosages of plain T3.

In 1995, one of Dr. Lowe’s patients who had recovered from her fibromyalgia symptoms through his metabolic approach convinced him to established the Fibromyalgia Research Foundation (FRF). The three purposes of this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization are to:

  1. support scientific studies of the metabolic treatment of fibromyalgia patients;
  2. determine the underlying molecular mechanisms of fibromyalgia; and
  3. educate fibromyalgia patients, clinicians,  researchers, and the general public about the findings of FRF-sponsored research.

Dr. Lowe has remained vocal about what his research group determined to be the ultimate creator of what we call fibromyalgia. That is T4 replacement therapy.

This therapy is so mistakenly conceived and clinically ineffective that since the early 1970s, when it was first imposed on thyroid patients, a range of mysterious new diseases have been reported. Published research shows that the plausible mechanism for most of these “new” conditions is too little thyroid hormone regulation.

In 2006, Dr. Lowe published the first two studies that showed fibromyalgia patients had resting metabolic rates about 30% below normal patients and had significantly lower basal body temperatures than those of healthy controls.

What Dr Lowe’s Research Has Really Shown:

A Clarification for Our Critics and Supporters

by Dr. John C. Lowe & Dr. Gina Honeyman-Lowe

  • Of the fibromyalgia patients we’ve tested, roughly 12% have had lab test results consistent with primary hypothyroidism.
  • Of the patients we’ve tested, about 44% have had test results consistent with central hypothyroidism.
  • The remaining 44% of fibromyalgia patients we’ve tested have  had lab results consistent with normal interaction of the pituitary and thyroid glands. Of this roughly 44% of patients, we have incontrovertible laboratory proof that about 75% have partial cellular resistance to thyroid hormone.
  • Together, lab test and treatment results of fibromyalgia patients we’ve studied strongly point to a conclusion: Around 90% of our patients have had thyroid disease of one form or another.
  • Most of the 90% of patients with evidence of thyroid disease also have one or more other metabolism-impairing factors impinging on them. These other factors compound the effects of hypothyroidism and/or thyroid hormone resistance in causing the patients’ fibromyalgia symptoms. The most common of these other factors are
    1. poor diet (most commonly one that causes blood sugar and cellular energy abnormalities),
    2. nutritional deficiencies,
    3. poor physical fitness,
    4. adrenal and sex hormone problems, and
    5. the use of metabolism-impeding medications.

Dr John Lowe has been an ardent advocate for alternate treatment to the standard hypothyroid treatment of T4 – the “one size fits all” approach of most GPs and endocrinologists. His three websites, his book The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia and his Curriculum Vitae are the legacy he has left in an effort to educate those doctors who are still “causing harm” instead of healing, due to the misinformation of their outdated training or the pressure of “big pharma”.

Thank you Dr Lowe and rest in peace.

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Persistent Candida Treatments

Persistent Candida – Understanding Treatments

Normal people rarely question WHY a remedy works. We have an ailment – a healer offers medicine – we take it and we get better. We don’t need to know why or how it works, because we’re cured. Hows and whys are for doctors, researchers and inventors. Unless we are not cured.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention. When the remedies fail to work then discovering how and why they are supposed to work so you can look for other remedies becomes more important. This is my patient “limited” understanding of why anti-fungal remedies are expected to work on candida.

Another preconception has hit the dust. Statistically speaking – some anti fungal remedies are better than others at curing specific fungi – but again – most of it is advertising. I would have preferred to go on believing that the chemistry is a science, but I’ve further opened the blinkers on my eyes.

It sounds like snake oil when herbalists say that one remedy can benefit  many, many varied complaints, but it’s actually a natural remedy norm. The anomaly is the pharmaceutical product – that only one remedy (and only one brand of it) will do the job. If there is a hole in a bucket, many different materials can be used to fix that hole or any other hole that might need mending. The same is true of most medications.

The rule here is – first try what has worked before, then what worked for someone you know, then what the doctor orders and finally, work your way down the “probables” list, until you find what works for you.

The Azole Candida Treatment – What’s in the Creams

English: Synthesis of Clotrimazole. Deutsch: S...
Synthesis of Clotrimazole

The first line of treatment I tried and which had never failed me before was Clotrimazole in a cream. Caneston was the brand choice although there was a chemist generic version also available. Bifonazole was the next try and actually appeared to have more effect than Clotrimazole, which made me wonder if I had a different form of candida. Unfortunately neither remedy “held”.

If you look up candida on wikipedia you will find that (my approximate) 80% of infections are Candida Albicans, but there are 5 more types of common candida and perhaps a hundred more, less common types.

Although there are types of candida and types of prescription antifungals, there is not a lot of public internet documents making connections between the two, so this info is not very useful for self-treatment. If you can get a swab done which tells you what type of candida you have, maybe your doc can pinpoint an azole or other anti-fungal that is known to work more effectively to cure it. But its a big maybe – because docs don’t get many cases of resistant candida.

If you are unlucky enough to have chronic or systemic candidiasis then you will need an infectious disease specialist who is privy to specific medical research. This is a case history of a child who suffered an ongoing severe candida infection due to a familial predisposition until finally it was almost reduced, or almost “cured”, by doctors using this Mucocutaneous Candidiasis Treatment.

Antifungals work by exploiting differences between mammalian and fungal cells to kill the fungal organism without dangerous effects on the host. Unlike bacteria, both fungi and humans are eukaryotes. Thus fungal and human cells are similar at the  molecular level. This makes it more difficult to find or design drugs that target fungi without affecting human cells.

Azole antifungal drugs inhibit the enzyme lanosterol 14 ?-demethylase; the enzyme necessary to convert lanosterol to ergosterol. Depletion of ergosterol in fungal membrane disrupts the structure and many functions of fungal membrane leading to inhibition of fungal growth.

Wikipedia On Anti Fungal Medications With Links to All Azole Entries

Azoles stop fungal growth by inhibiting an enzyme and preventing fungi from making an essential part of their cell wall. Echinocandins also work by disrupting the wall that surrounds fungal cells. The drugs called Polyenes work by attaching to the sterol component in the fungal membrane and causing the cells to become porous and die.

Unlike bacteria, both fungi and humans are eukaryotes meaning that fungal and human cells are similar at the molecular level. This makes it more difficult to find or design drugs that target fungi without affecting human cells.

There are three classes of drugs that are typically used to treat fungal infections: polyenes, azoles, and echinocandins. This article describes these treatments well.

What Type of Treatment is Required Where?

The treatment of fungal infections depend on its type and location. Keeping it as simple as we can – we need to decide on oral (medicine) or topical (ointment) treatment – or both.

External fungal outbreaks (eg tinea, dandruff, jock itch) that affect the skin, hair, and nails can usually be treated topically with shampoo, oils, astringents, creams or ointment.

Vaginal or mouth thrush treatment may use tablets as well as topical treatment. Thrush in the mouth may resolve with gargles or lozenges. Vaginal thrush may resolve with topical cream and/or  the insertion of medication in pessaries.

However oral and vaginal candida may be the external sign of an internal infection. If intestinal yeast infections (yeast in the tubes of the gut), or if yeast is in the oesophagus (the tube between the mouth and the stomach), then oral treatment (swallowing tablets of antifungal medicine) will probably be required. Candida is now becoming a more serious problem, as candida releases toxins that affect how we function and it can make holes in the gut through which it’s infection can spread further.

Systemic fungal infections generally only target people with weakened immune systems, to affect their blood and internal organs. These infections often require aggressive and ongoing treatment with strong antifungal medication and intravenous drugs. Doctors will also make prophylactic use of medication to stave off fungal infections in those whose immune systems cannot defend them.

Which brings us back to a cause, because persistent candida is not common in healthy individuals. This is because our natural bacteria and enzymes keep candida in its normal form, and do not allow it to morph and get out of hand.

Yoghurt and Digestive Enzymes As Candida Treatment

Antibiotics are a common cause of candida in the mouth or vagina. Prior to this infection, I have only had thrush after taking antibiotics. When I did get it I would also make sure I had some yoghurt to replace the “good flora” that was wiped out along with the bad during the course of antibiotics. I can’t say I ever made an effort to make sure it didn’t have sugar in it though. I looked at yakkult last week and couldn’t believe the amount of sugar in it. Can it really help that much while it’s secretly feeding the enemy?

As to enzymes, I have been reading about digestive enzymes and wondering if supplements of them might help – and perhaps they might – who knows? We use enzymes that dissolve stains in our clothes, and that works ok – so why not supplements?

The problem with enzymes is that they appear to need the body’s temperature and PH to be normal in order to work. The optimum pH for an enzyme depends on where it normally works. For example, intestinal enzymes have an optimum pH of about 7.5. Enzymes in the stomach have an optimum pH of about 2. And my temperature is not normal!

So although I can visualize little pacman enzymes rushing up to munch on and clear away the candida debris, I think my real digestive enzymes are on strike until I stabilize my temperature with some T3 for the thyroid. I’m beginning to wonder why I am gluten and dairy free – perhaps this persistent candida is just an enzyme issue.

Known Herbal Anti Fungal Treatments for Candida

On the  Wikipedia Page On Anti Fungal Medications  there is a small listing of essential oils that apparently have an anti fungal effect. I copied it and have added a few other ones.

Be careful consuming essential oils or using them topically. Most essential oils are not edible and should not be ingested. Cheaper essential oils for aromatherapy are impure and may be poisonous. Edible essential oils are more expensive and will be clearly labeled “therapeutic-grade” with said label stating nutrition values. Essential oils are also extremely strong and can burn skin, especially in the mouth or vaginal area. Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil using approximately 5 drops of essential oil to each ounce (30g) of say, olive oil.

Citronella oil – obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon (Lemon grass)
Lemon myrtle
Orange oil
Palmarosa oil


Neem Seed Oil

Olive Leaf
Tea tree oil – ISO 4730 (“Oil of Melaleuca, Terpinen-4-ol type”)
Oregano Oil
Coconut oil
– medium chain triglycerides in the oil have antifungal activities
Allicin – created from crushing garlic
Selenium – in dietary supplements or natural food sources, particularly Brazil nuts
– in dietary supplements or natural food sources, including pumpkin seeds and chick peas
IodineLugol’s solution

Rome wasn’t built in a day and patience is a virtue…

A new year started at the beginning of last week, which means I have been taking these supplements for Candida for about 5 months and I have not been eating wheat, dairy, yeast, soy, peanuts or sugar.

I have been adding Coconut Oil daily to my meals, and taking selenium and zinc as dietary supplements.  I have also been taking 2 drops of lugals solution for the thyroid. These have been recommended for me to take, probably for both the hypothyroidism and the candida.

Leaving aside the improvement in the thyroid disorder – there is no perceptible change in the candida. The only change is – it is bearable or quiescent – because I am careful to not eat sugar which feeds the candida. If I do eat sugar, the candida flares up and the itch and discomfort are just as before.

My Candida Treatments So Far – Warning May Be TMI

I bought some oregano oil ($35 a dropper bottle) and following incomplete instructions from a forum, smeared some on a tampon and left it in overnight. I withdrew it the next day only to see blood for the first time in 5 years (thanks to menopause that is) – so I didn’t repeat that remedy too soon.

Now I know to dilute an essential oil – and so do you!

I made a similar stupid mistake with tea tree oil and both these oils are very strong smelling. Don’t try these stinky oils if you are planning to go out anywhere.

I read good reports on Neem oil and almost went looking for it until I read that it’s another strong smelling oil and not a sweet smelling one. I decided I’d give it a miss. So the only main essential oil other than the citrus) left on that list I havn’t tried is Olive Leaf.

Garlic as an oil (Allicin) I didn’t try, but I did slice a piece off a clove of garlic, wrap it in gauze and tie it tight with dental floss (so that after vaginal insertion you can pull it out again).I did this for just over a week every  night and although I gained some relief from this, there are easier ways to gain relief if it fails to provide a cure. It is recommended you eat garlic though and eating it probably helps most people. My stomach rejects garlic quite forcibly, if I try to eat more than a piece of garlic bread, so garlic wasn’t the remedy for me.

I wouldn’t let patchouli anywhere near me in a hundred years unless I could see 10 people I know standing in front of me swearing it cured their candida! But the citrus oils, I wish I’d heard about them sooner. If I’m going to smell, I wouldn’t mind reeking of oranges and lemons. Well, it’s not too late yet , I’m not cured after all, there’s still time to try these sweet citrus scents!

Skin and Lung Absorption of Oils.

Maybe we think of topical treatment too specifically.  Our skin absorbs things and so do our lungs. We can dilute essential oils for massage and add a spoonful to a hot bath or a few drops to an small candle powered oil burner. We can rub it on the soles of our feet and the remedy will be absorbed by the skin and carried to where it will do some good.

Many essential oils seem to have some antifungal properties. I don’t know how they are meant to work or even if they do, but they are said to…

P.S. & BTW The MAJOR essential oil for curing candida is coconut oil as it contains caprylic acid – take 1-3 tablespoons a day (start small and work up) .You don’t need to dilute coconut oil. That is one essential oil that you can rub on your skin, eat it as it is, cook it into baked goods, spread it on toast or fry with it – just as it is – and it’s really good for you as well. Google “coconut oil”  if you doubt me!

What is left as Candida treatments?

There are several herbs such as Pau D’arco and other remedies and supplements that are said to help cure candida – such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, pre biotics, pro biotics, flavonoids and amino acids, enzymes and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

Along with coconut oil, zinc, selenium and iodine, I take magnesium every day and multi vitamins, especially B6 and biotin in a B vitamin complex.

Astringent Candida treatments

Preventive measures for candida (like not sitting around in wet swimming suits or sweating in synthetics when you can wear absorbent cotton undies) remind us that candida likes warm moist skin folds. Like growing mint or violets in your garden, if you take away the wet niche, they will die from being too dry.

I wish I could say these cured me but I cannot. However the difference I felt between these and other things I have tried and the reading of a few rare articles lead me to believe that if I can stabilise my temp, they may eventually “hold”. Certainly their relief lasts much longer than anything else I’ve tried.

The skin around the vagina and the mucus membrane skin inside the vagina may have different forms of candida so I’ll differentiate them as jock itch and thrush. I think this is maybe why the Bifonazole had an effect on the jock itch but neither it nor the Clotrimazole had an effect on the thrush. Fluconazole had an effect on a thrush but it didn’t last more than a day, and didn’t affect the jock itch.

Borax for Candida

Borax is said to be a very good cure for candida. One article I read said that 98% of vaginal candida cases are cured with this remedy. I can’t fathom the difference between borax, boron and boric acid – so please read the discussions on Borax at earth clinic .

I filled empty capsules I bought from the chemist with borax (bought from the laundry aisle in the supermarket) and inserted a single capsule vaginally at night. Sleep with a hand towel between the legs as you will become very wet.

Borax is a salt. You will probably read that it is poisonous (it is not approved as a food stuff), but it’s said to be about as poisonous as normal table salt. Borax draws water just like table salt draws humidity from the air on wet days . So I assume it takes the moisture out of the vagina (you do feel puckered after a few days) thereby starving the yeast of moisture.

The other remedy that alters moisture, is bentonite clay. I still haven’t managed to get such a thing as a single ingredient. At first I had no idea what I was looking for and all the shops I asked in said they’d heard of it but didn’t have it and couldn’t get it. I could have ordered some on the internet, but the reference to it was a single sentence in a forum that said that he cured his jock itch with bentonite clay. It was vague and not substantiated anywhere else I’d read at that time.

After researching a bit more, I discovered bentonite is used in wine as a preservative to stop hot days causing floating debris in wine, and also used in construction to line building areas as…

The high-swelling variety, sodium bentonite, absorbs nearly five times its weight in water and at full saturation occupied a volume 15 times its dry bulk; on drying it returns to its original volume.

… and then … eventually…  I read that bentonite clay was good for the skin.

So next time I went to a chemist I looked at the mud packs and face masks. Sure enough there it is in all its forms among, avocado oil and aloe vera juice and… it works, amazing. It goes on moist and then dries and sucks out all the moisture and keeps the skin dry until you wash it off.  The jock itch feels better, not cured, but better. Nothing else has made it feel better.

I believe you can take the clay and it helps as well, but I’ll wait until it may be possible to get some that says you can eat it, cause who knows what they put in these face packs.

Last but not least – adjusting PH

The effect of food on the body has nothing to do with its PH, but its PH has heaps to do with the body’s health. I haven’t got a handle on this yet. I can never remember which parts are meant to be acid or alkaline, but I do know that meat and carbs makes you acid and green vegetables and red fruits and things that are sour make you alkaline. Most herbs and spices make you alkaline as well. Alkaline is good BTW. Acid is bad.

Anyway, PH is the topic for another article when I “get” it.  My husband spent 2 days in hospital  between Christmas and new year – in agony, with a kidney stone. The earth clinic remedy was lemon juice and bicarb of soda. I’ve been taking this (or apple cider vinegar and bicarb) for 5 months now – for candida. See Teds Alkalizing Formulas  for more info.

The earth clinic also recommends this alkalizing for rheumatoid arthritis which my mother has, so it’s all good reading for me and I understand more each day.

OK thats all for this one. It’s taken me all day to write this!

I know its a bit late (but I’ve been stressed. Thank goodness for good friends that help you by driving you places (like hospitals) and keeping your spirits up.) Anyway, better late than never –

Happy New Year!

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Haskell Hashimoto Videos

Dr Alexander Haskell’s Videos
on Treating Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

I haven’t had a chance to watch these videos yet but there are good comments about them in various threads I have read so I have embedded them here so I can easily watch them

Hashimoto Thyreoidits Histologie

( without being distracted by other you tube videos such as the pretty histology videos and so many other doctors with advice … )  there is just never enough time…

Please view updated Hashimotos videos on Dr Haskells site.
Hope for Hashimotos

Video 1

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Bee Wilder On Overcoming Candida

Read Bee Wilder On Overcoming Candida

I had plans for this post. I thought it might be helpful to people to explain the remedies I’ve tried already to “kill” the yeast, or candida that I am having trouble eliminating. I have had this vaginal candida irritation for over a year now. I’ve tried lots of different things. They have all failed so far.

English: Canesten (Australian packaging)
Image via Wikipedia

When I read some forums, many people have had candida for many more years, some claiming to have suffered from it for over 20 years. Yet I have also read a few medical websites, and had my own experience with a doctor that I saw about it, that suggests that many doctors are unaware that not all patients are cured with Canestan or Fluconazole.

I may still go over some of the remedies I have tried but I am no longer sure that it will help anyone. It will be on a different post and after I have had time to think about this article.

I have just finished reading How to successfully Overcome Candida by Bee Wilder and my head is trying to shift gears again. Concept shifting is becoming second nature however at the moment. Most of what I thought I knew about diet has proven to be incorrect.

Changing My Diet

I actually thought I ate quite healthily!

English: An Australian Chokito candy bar that ...

Four months ago I restricted fats and oils, happily treated myself to occasional cakes and chocolate bars and daily biscuits and cheese. I ate toast for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, (brown bread) or had porridge with milk for breakfast and went to bed with a warm chocolaty milk drink.

Of course for dinner I had plenty of vegetables or salad and meat such as chicken, steak or pork, often with plenty of potatoes or pasta or rice. I also liked an occasional desert of fresh fruit or fruit from a can with icecream from the freezer. I often ate fish like tuna or salmon from cans, and had baked beans on toast and tomatoes from cans with bacon and eggs, and I loved the convenience of pre-made “chicken tonight” type sauces that I used to flavour my healthy stir fries. I drank mostly tea with no sugar and rarely ever had sweet fizzy drinks or fruit juice.

A Healthy Diet – Compared to What?

The truth is, compared to people who eat a lot of takeaway and drink 3-4 cans of soft drink a day, I did eat a healthy diet. It’s all in the perspective. Compared to other people, my diet choices stank!

Now I can feel easy about eating as much pork crackling as I like, and drinking as much coconut milk as I want and I don’t worry about saturated fats and heart disease. I won’t touch anything with sugar in it (unless I have conveniently turned a blind eye to the label or have misread it). Butter, and a tiny bit of lite milk in my tea, is all the dairy I allow myself. I no longer eat bread or anything made with wheat flour or any jar sauces containing yeast.

Even so the time I spent trying learn how to bake with alternate flours – nut (almond meal) and pea (besan) and seed (sesame, sunflower) and alternate grains (quinoa) that are gluten free – if not wasted, appears to be somewhat misguided. Bee Wilder, on the page I reference above, suggests we cut all carbs out of our diet or at the very least, keep them to the barest minimum.

A raw, paleolithic-style dish: A sashimi (raw ...

The paleo diet (not that I liked the idea of everything raw) seemed logical, being that our ancestors probably ate a lot of raw food.

Wrong!  We are carnivores not herbivores and unless we cook our vegetables thoroughly, we won’t be getting much nutrition from them. And eating raw fish won’t do you any good either.

But the kicker is her contention that if we get healthy, the yeast will return to its normal, non irritating self.

It is only because we are eating poisonous foods that the body is trying to neutralize and detox, that we have developed candida in its overgrowth form.

Throwing antifungals at our digestive system to “kill” the yeast, isn’t the answer.

Changing our diet and getting healthy is the answer.

Luckily, although there is a concept mind shift  here, the actual diet mechanics are not very different. The main and major difference, diet wise, is to take nuts and other carbohydrates off the table. (If you are going to follow this candida diet version that is.) Real food is something that can be grown and raised naturally. If it requires a factory to process it – eg could you make crystaline sugar from sugar cane? – then its probably not good for you. Also, many nutrients are lost as we process food in order to preserve it, so we can convenience shop in a supermarket.

Candida Is Not an Infection

English: Basic morphological diferences betwee...
Forms of Bacteria

If it were an infection, it could be infectious, but Bee doesn’t feel it is and medical research docs agree.

There are some very strong and controversial statements on Bee Wilders page.

Concepts that challenge our normal concepts about what a virus is and about bacterial infections.

Her take on vaccination is familiar to me, but I need to think more about many other things she says.

It was Antoine Bechamp (1816–1908), a contemporary of Pasteur, who discovered the true nature of germs, bacteria, viruses, etc. and that they change form, called pleomorphism. He discovered they all arise from microbes called microzymas which exist everywhere in nature and are found in all animals, fish, plants, rocks, insects, and in human bodies. Under certain non–optimal conditions when the body is overloaded with toxins and unhealthy microzymas change into viruses in order to affect healing and detoxifying of the body.

When the body’s condition is not improved, viruses change into bacteria and so on. Eventually, in the deteriorating cycle, candida and other fungus evolve, and also cancer. Therefore viruses, germs, bacteria, candida, and even cancer, are not the cause of, but the result of, disease, arising from tissues rather than from a germ of constant form. This is also called the “cellular disease theory”

Read Bee Wilders How to Successfully Overcome Candida page, there is too much on it to take in quickly and I am still trying to assess it’s truth for myself.

The reason your body creates candida/yeast is because the cells have changed over from oxygenation to fermentation mainly because of high carbs/sugars that are consumed. This is the same process in the making of wine and beer which is done by yeast acting upon sugars changing them into alcohol.

So with this in mind, I’m not going to write about antifungals like oregano oil (which didn’t do anything for me BTW) and instead I’m going to increase my intake of coconut oil (back to what I was taking when I started all this – but since I got distracted have forgotten to) Then I’m going to print off Bee Wilders page and go and sit down somewhere and try and get my head around everything that is on it.




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Can diet help cure Candida?

Can diet help cure Candida?

Candida is a natural part of the “flora” of our bodies but it can play havoc when it overgrows like a noxious weed that is getting out of control in your garden. Generally a topical or oral fungicide is used, in a similar way to a weed killer, to bring the candida yeast overgrowth under control. Symptoms subside and all is forgotten.

If however you are immune compromised in some way, the body will have trouble distributing and aiding the” weed killer” to destroy the overgrowth. As yeasts feed on sugar the Candida diet restricts all forms of sugar. It also restricts yeast (bread and Vegemite) and anything fungal (mushrooms and peanuts) and the two main allergen causing culprits – wheat (gluten) and dairy (lactose).


A simple, diagram labelled in English showing ...

But sugar is the main change the candida diet requires you to quit on.Français : Echantillons de différents sucres, ...Sugar describes many specific  types of sugar. In it’s most natural form it is a part of fruit and vegetables and is often called carbohydrates.

Many fruits “sweeten” as they ripen, like bananas, and many vegetables are naturally sweet like sweet potato and sweet corn. In it’s natural form surrounded by fibre and delivering a mix of vitamins and minerals as well as carbohydrates – carbohydrates deliver energy with nutrition.

Sucrose is found naturally in many food plants along with the monosaccharide fructose. In many fruits, such as pineapple and apricot, sucrose is the main sugar. In others, such as grapes and pears, fructose is the main sugar.

Although high sugar fruit and vegetables are forbidden for the first month of the candida diet, in the following months they are only restricted.

Foods containing processed sugar are strictly forbidden if you are to starve the yeast overgrowth. Cakes, biscuits, sauces, jams, jellies, icecreams, chocolates, crystalline sugar in tea or coffee – it’s a tough challenge I know, but you have to give sugar away totally if you want the candida diet to work for you. Most  artificial sweeteners are no good for you either, so don’t turn to aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium, or saccharin.

When you have been sugar free for a few months – your candida will flare with even a little sugar in your diet. I had a flare last week which puzzled me until I realized that the new bottle of vitamin C I bought didn’t say sugar free and sure enough when I scoured the label again I found glucose on it.

Alternate Names for Sugar

To give you a head start here are some alternate names for sugar – sucrose, glucose, lactose, dextrose, fructose,  galactose, maltose, saccharides, sorbitol, honey, golden syrup, sorghum syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, agave syrup, caramel, date sugar, palm sugar, treacle, molasses, muscovado, panocha, demerara, castor, erythritol, fruit juice, alcohol, etc.

For sweetness without setting off the yeast or causing tooth decay – turn to stevia – this sweet herb, used as a natural sweetener, has a zero glycemic index and zero calories. Stevia has been widely used for centuries in South America. It is available as dried herb or a refined sweetener in drops, or mixed with erythritol to resemble sugar. A sweetener that can benefit dental health is xylitol. Xylitol works to prevent bacteria from adhering to the tooth surface, thus preventing plaque formation and eventually decay. It is also becoming a better known sugar substitute, for more than just chewing gum.

Giving up Wheat,  Gluten and Yeast

Photograph of 4 gluten sources. Top: High-glut...

You can go looking for a gluten free bread if you want to, I did for weeks, but I didn’t find a commercially made loaf that didn’t have wheat (gluten), dairy, yeast and sugar in it.

So if you like snack food, this step is really hard and is best done gradually or you won’t have time to adjust breakfast and lunch to a non traditional meal of rice, meat and vegetables or foods made with pea, nut or seed flours.

Oats do not have gluten but may become contaminated with it from factory packaging. Substitute wheat pasta and noodles with rice or buckwheat pastas. Quinoa makes a good porridge substitute and a versatile savoury carb.

Yeast is not just in cakes and breads, like sugar it is in a lot of sauces and condiments. For some people the hardest loss will not be the toast but the vegemite!

Giving Up Dairy

Milk and cooky
Image by Salim Virji via Flickr

Milk, cream, cheese, yoghurt, butter, buttermilk, icecream, all contain milk sugars, so they are forbidden on the candida diet. I still have lite milk in my tea (it tastes awful otherwise) and cook with butter. Most people will dig in their heels about some things. Converting to the candida diet is better done as a gradual change or you’ll turn suicidal.

Give up things it’s easier for you to give up first and gradually substitute alternate foods for forbidden foods you like a lot, when you are ready to. No more milk and cookies before bed sounds harsh, but there are alternatives.

Almond milk is lovely but expensive, rice milk and soy milk are two alternative milks. I don’t like soy or rice milk and soy is said to interfere with the thyroid medication so I use oat milk. I also love coconut milk and cream. My favourite treat at the moment is a cold chocolate milk drink made with a tsp of cocoa (just cocoa no other ingredients) dissolved in a tbsp of boiling water, 2-3 drops of stevia, a generous splash of coconut cream and topped up with oat milk. Mmmm delicious!

I think maybe you need to have been on the candida diet for a few months to really think its delicious, tho. After a few months with no sugar, sour is not so sour, bitter is better and most flavours just taste a little bit different. The only time you notice tho is when other people say “How can you eat that?”

Other Forbidden Foods on the Candida Diet

There are many versions of the candida diet, some writers are stricter than others. Most agree on the above and then there are other forbidden foods depending on how “natural” their bias is.

Most agree that meat should be from ethical organic meat suppliers, hams and bacons should be free of nitrates, salami, sausages and processed meats are generally off the menu (but I sneak in some gluten free pork snags now and then) and shellfish may be forbidden.

I think many of the candida diet restrictions are due to the likelihood of people having allergies. Shellfish is high on the allergy list, gluten, lactose and casein are high. Peanuts are a common allergen.

The diet usually forbids peanuts – is it because it’s a goitrogen? or as is mentioned because the shells can have mould. If it’s mould which are like fungi which is like yeast and also like mushrooms – the connection seems a bit tenuous to me. So I eat mushrooms but steer clear of peanuts because of the thyroid. Some diets ban coconut but coconut, and especially coconut oil contains caprylic acid, an anti fungal specifically effective for killing candida overgrowth.

Some ban fermented foods – tofu, miso, tempah, kefir – while other versions of the candida diet recommend them. Some say no vinegar at all, others say apple cider vinegar and citric fruits. Some say no tea or coffee or cocoa, others don’t even try restricting these. Some list specific allowed fruits and others just restrict all fruits for the first three weeks and then say eat in moderation.

One version of the candida diet I read even allowed alcohol – gin and vodka I think, but I’m not sure.

I believe that you need to restrict sugar, gluten and dairy and that once you’ve reached a month or so, your body will start to tell you what you can and cannot have. So make sure you are listening to it. Be aware when you get mentally foggy, or severely itchy and prickly, or dizzy and make a note of what you ate that day. Don’t eat it again for at least four days and then see if that food or drink does it again. If it does – avoid it.

The candida diet is a strict diet which many doctors feel is unnecesary. Many deny that the candida thing is happening at all as a systemic problem. I was very skeptical myself to start with. Nothing like personal experience to make a convert of you.

Now I believe that the diet is genuinely helping to keep my yeast in check. I don’t think diet alone will cure my candida, but it is healing me slowly. The choices I am making are improving my immune system. The candida diet makes it easier for the antifungals I’m taking to do their job. If I eat something forbidden it’s not a major setback, but it’s sometimes very uncomfortable as the severity of the symptoms increases, yet within a few days these recede again, as long as I stay on the diet.

The most difficult thing for me to understand is the so called herxheimer response or die-off. It is described as flu-like symptoms as the candida dies off it and the toxins are being removed from the body via sneezes, mucus, skin, bowel and urine. You might see rashes, symptoms may get worse. If I feel worse does that mean I’m getting better or the yeast is winning – I get confused!

I have been on the diet 3 months now. I have tried various anti candida remedies but have not had any luck with a cure as yet. I’ll go through what I have tried in the next article. I am very tired of having this and would like to stop thinking about it, and researching new treatments that do nothing. But I will say that the candida diet helps to keep me relatively symptom minor. But a cure it is not.

I don’t know how long I may be need to be on the candida diet. Some people say 6 months, some suggest it may take 1-2 years. Others warn that it may be forever. Hmmm.

What Can You Eat on the Candida Diet?

When asked, I generally reply “Meat and Vegetables”. Of course it’s more than that, but that describes it well enough. The closer to nature the food is, the more likely it is you can eat it on the candida diet. The more processed it is whether commercial processing and packaging or complex cooking – the less likely it is that the food will be acceptable.

The paleo diet and the Atkins diet are the closest “famous” diets to the candida diet. The paleo diet would have you eat raw vegetables, and there is no doubt that this may be better for you – if you can tolerate it. If the candida or other auto immune conditions have damaged your digestive system though, to jump from a standard soft western diet to the paleo can leave you feeling most uncomfortable with wind and bowel disruption. So change your diet slowly – to tolerance – as they say, and give your body time to adjust to it’s new fuel.

You can eat fresh fish and you can eat good oils and fats. You can also eat eggs, rice, corn, buckwheat (which is not wheat) and nuts and seeds. Owning a juicer and a blender and a grinder will come in handy – of the three I use my small blender the most. It cuts up and makes dust of cashew nuts and almonds, so I can make nut paste that isn’t peanut, and almond meal for making cakes and “bread”. It also “blends” or purees softened fruit and veg to mix in soups, stews, cakes, sauces etc.

I have a juicer but haven’t used it much as yet, but as I learn to cook in a different way, I may. I believe vegetable stews close to raw are often made with grated vegetables and juice and pulp. I don’t have a grinder ( like a coffee grinder) but the blender doesn’t handle small seeds like sesame, so that might be good one day.

Getting Adventurous With the Candida Diet

Learning to cook with non gluten flours does require some study. Non-gluten flours are drier and burn more easily. They have no “stretch” and fall apart easily, so you need to use xanthan gum or eggs to bind them. Not using sugar – it being sticky – doesn’t help either. I haven’t found a way to make biscuits yet that are crisp without being hard. Maybe it’s not possible.

But I made an orange almond cake that was delicious and tried a No-guilt Brownies recipe from a book I got from the library that turned out pretty good. It takes hours in the kitchen and makes lots of washing up but it’s necessary with such a strict diet to have some treats now and then, or we start to feel too sorry for ourselves.

Anyway – baking aside – you should be starting the candida diet by eating red and green vegetables (white and orange vegetables are more “starchy” and therefore have more sugar), eggs, meat or fish, rice and rice snacks, nut pastes and nuts and seeds, good oils and fats, coconut products and an alternative milk. Where you go from there will be according to your nature, whether you stick to the diet, what you like and what you learn. Join the library and get recipe books out, it helps.

I have joined a local group called FIG which enables me to get organic vegetables from local farmers and suppliers. It offers me vegetables I might not always choose like Kale and Beetroot (you can eat the green leaves of beetroot – they are like spinach) and last week I had boysenberries for the first time in 15 years! At the moment I’m also exploring Indian food which uses a lot of pea and bean flours and exotic aromatic spices. I don’t especially like hot curry or chili but there is more to Indian cooking than the heat. I’m having fun exploring a local shop at Charmhaven with a huge range of ingredients used in Indian (and African) cooking including frozen vegetables I’ve never heard of. We also have a shop in Toukley (where I get my coconut oil from) with foods from Indonesia.

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Thyroid Dr Skinner Wins David and Goliath Battle

Thyroid Patient Avocate Dr Gordon Skinner Resumes Normal Practice After Wrongfully Being Accused of Reckless Prescribing

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you,
then you win.”   ~~Mahatma Gandhi

Quote from “What we have learned” STTM

And now for something completely different but absolutely terrific news.

I just read that UK doctor Dr Gordon Skinner has finally been released from his General Medical Council restrictions after 5 years. Is it any wonder doctor’s don’t speak up when those that do are treated in this way.

Why does it take 5 years to work out that thyroid patients are not happy with current medical guidelines on thyroid treatments.

Is it any wonder patients feel they are actually being better treated by natureopaths and “reckless” doctors.

Why don’t legal organisations like this read the forums on the internet? However “subjective” they may be, the sheer volume of complaints must surely be an indication of a discrepency between what is known by doctors and what is known by patients.

Ah well water under the bridge now, but three cheers for Dr Skinner for never giving up on this battle and winning it for all thyroid disorder sufferers as well as for himself.

News Articles

Reckless Mosely Doctor Has Conditions Lifted on His Medical Licence  – After more then five years of restriction, the General Medical Council (GMC) allows Dr Gordon Skinner to resume normal practice.

The Wake You Up Pill – controversial thyroid supplement help tiredness

(Such sensationalist headlines – How about “Effective Thyroid Doctor Wins a David and Goliath Battle About Old School Treatment.”. Or that tacky second headline – how about “Doctor Does His Job Well and Patient Feels Better” Ok, maybe no-one would employ me to write headlines. Who cares, he won!)

Info on Thyroid Treatment Written by Dr Skinner

People Power Will Continue to Work if Patients Sign Skinner’s Thyroid Register

Official transcripts from Dr Skinner’s GMC FTP Hearing and Related Articles

Diagnosis and Management of Hypothyroidism by Dr. G R B Skinner MD, DSc, FRCOG, FRCPath

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Can Diet Cure Diabetes?

Can Diet Cure Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease. 10-15% of sufferers have type 1 diabetes which typically occurs before 30 years and may have a genetic cause. 85-90% suffer from type 2 diabetes and this used to affect people over 55. Now younger and younger people are starting to get type 2 diabetes. Why?

Glucose is the energy of life and for our bodies to be “fueled” we need to convert glucose from food into energy. Insulin is the hormone responsible for the conversion of glucose into energy. When people have diabetes insufficient amounts of insulin are produced by the body. Without insulin, the cells cannot convert glucose into energy. In type 1 diabetes the pancreas stops making insulin.  In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes insulin but it does not work effectively, as parts of the body have becomes insulin resistant.

Glucose is the body’s preferred easy to absorb form of sugar which is in the foods we call carbohydrates like milk and sugar, fruit and starchy vegetables, cakes, breads and cereals.  When people with diabetes eat these foods the glucose from them stays in their blood as there is not enough insulin to convert it to energy. The blood glucose level is called glycaemia and is higher in people with diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes must test their blood glucose levels several times daily and  depend on up to four insulin injections every day to convert their glucose and save their lives.

When the blood is saturated with glucose it becomes thick and sticky and slows down circulation increasing the risk of gangrene in toes and strokes. Without daily injections of insulin, people with diabetes will burn their own fats to create the energy they need to live. This can cause a potentially life threatening condition known as ketoacidosis as the diabetes sufferer accumulates toxic chemical substances in their blood from the burning of fat.  At this stage nothing can be done to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes.  It is managed through diet and lifestyle modifications and by taking insulin.

Initially people diagnosed with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are generally managed with changes of diet and increased physical activity to reduce weight. Even so, many people go on to develop diabetes and need tablets or insulin injections to survive.

Exercise is important though NOT because it burns calories. It’s important because it improves skeletal/muscle insulin sensitivity. Because it (and its endorphins) reduces stress and the resulting cortisol release. Because it makes the TCA cycle run faster so the liver immediately detoxifies fructose – improving hepatic insulin sensitivity ( so it burns up before the liver converts it to fat).

Where did I get all that?. From the video Sugar the Bitter Truth, made by Robert Lustig that suggests that type 2 diabetes CAN be cured. That’s a BOLD claim. But he’s convinced me.

Fructose – Alcohol without the Buzz

I do have a short attention span sometimes and most you tube videos manage to hold my attention for a minute or so. Then again most you tube videos are only 5 minutes long. This one had me for 2 minutes before I carefully paused it, went and got a drink, and settled back to watch the other hour and a half . It is a fascinating lecture on biochemistry, clinical research, politics and public health by Robert Lustig, who is an endocrinologist.

He has “recruited me in the war against fructose” . Will you join us?

Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (saccharose)
Image via Wikipedia

Called “Sugar – The Bitter Truth”, it is a crash course in how the body metabolises glucose, sucrose, fructose and ethanol.

So if, like myself, you thought fructose (fruit sugar) is better for you than cane sugar – think again. It’s only better when its eaten as raw fresh fruit – not when its sucked out, concentrated and packaged so you can just pour it down your throat.

Something I often wondered about was why, as a child, we ate very well using lard for pastry and we ate crackling and pork fat and plenty of cheese. And we had deserts after a main meal with jam and treacle – but we didn’t get overweight. Yet now we see overweight people every where we look. What changed?

Lustig explains and it’s awesome to get an answer. Prior to 1900 an average daily sugar consumption was 15g, before the end of WW11 it was 25g. Japan made HFCS in 1966 and introduced it into America in 1975. In 1977 the average daily sugar consumption was 37g. In 1994 it was up to 54g. The current figure for adolescents is probably more like 75g.

I wasn’t hard to recruit as I haven’t deliberately eaten sugar for 3 months now and I know it’s evil. The change in me is I am no longer hungry all the time and my food tastes better. Only my imagination actually misses sugar, like chocolate, and I miss the ease of cooking pre packaged foods. Otherwise I know nutritionally and health wise I’m better off. Why did I have to get sick to learn this?

I wish I thought I might be a good soldier for Robert Lustig in this war against sugar- but I fear all I can do is share his information and if I have made mistakes in interpretation, I apologise. Watch the video – he is the expert, not me. I doubt I can even get my children or husband to watch this. But if you are here, reading this, please click Sugar – The Bitter Truth play and start watching – you won’t be sorry.

If you have the time and can bear with him through the science, maybe he can convince you. He is an entertaining and articulate speaker and presents some highly complicated science in an easy to understand way.

Sugar and Obesity in Children

Dr Robert Lustig sees 6 month old children obese due to high amounts of sugar in baby formula. Kids with a high metabolism may burn off sugar quickly but more sedentary kids get caught in a metabolic syndrome trap. The sugar tricks the brain into thinking you need to eat more by turning off the natural leptin CNS trigger. If the sugar is not burned off immediately the liver turns it into fat.

He has a simple lifestyle intervention plan to help kids slim down.

1. Stop drinking sugared liquids – drink only water and milk
2. Eat your carbohydrates with fiber or not at all
3. Wait 20 minutes before going for second helpings
4. Physical activity must match minute-for-minute “screentime”

Fructose is not Glucose – Glucose is the energy of life

Fructose is a carb. Fructose is metabolised as fat. Fructose is a toxin like ethanol. A calorie is not a calorie. Fructose is not glucose. Fructose is a chronic hepatotoxin.

He explains how LDL (bad cholesterol) is actually two different types of LDL – Pattern B which is bad and Pattern A that is not – but both get measured as one. He shows you how to check the triglyceride level (you want it to be low) against the HDL (you want it to be high) to work out if your cholesterol is really an issue. The alternate combination high triglyceride s and low HDL is plaque forming.

Fibre is an issue – 100 years ago we ate over 100g of fibre a day – now we eat 12g. Browning is an issue, the effect of high heat oil cooking is bad for the arteries. But it is fructose that he hates and believes to be the cause of metabolic syndrome.

Some typical alcoholic beverages.
Image via Wikipedia

When he shows you the way the liver metabolises alcohol and fructose, you can see that it is the same. The only difference is that alcohol is an acute toxin affecting the brain immediately. While fructose is a chronic toxin that may not affect you until you’ve had a 1,000 “doses”. Then hypertension ( high blood pressure), insulin resistance and other disorders start to occur.

BTW – Lustig is not a Wowser. The lecture isn’t suggesting prohibition come back for alcohol or be introduced for fructose. Just that people should be made aware of fructose does. At the very least there should be warnings on packaging for poison.

Politics has us sweeping the issue under the carpet rather than making plans to deal with it, because of our economy. But the health of our race is important so if the government’s hands are tied – ours are not. We have Facebook and Twitter and Blogger blogs  – so embed this video and share this article and message your friends. When word of mouth reaches the tipping point – the government will deal with the economy – maybe they’ll start making cheap sugar free food!

Alcohol is restricted to adults who are old enough to choose to consume it despite it being toxic. No problem with that. We have a right to the buzz – even knowing we’ll suffer a hangover for it. But no one has told us about fructose, so why would we think it is toxic? Sugar may be addictive and prone to give us tooth decay – but this? Diabetes and Obesity.

I expected that when (or if) my candida resolves that I would not have to check labels for sugar anymore. It is in everything by the way in one form or another – I’ve checked so many labels now I know . I have never been a really high sugar consumer. I have even gone out of my way to get some products without sugar – such as pickled onions and peanut butter which taste strange to me sweet. I don’t have sugar in my tea or coffee. However I like a glass of pernod, I love jaffa cakes and lindt chocolates , I like jam and jellies and occasionally a petit fou or a slice of cheesecake or citrus pie.

The more I learn about this, the less I think I want to add sugar back into my diet. But it’s not sugar that is the culprit or fibre filled carbs, or an occasional drink or sweet – it’s the HFCS type of fructose in every soft drink and so many pre-packaged “white” processed foods. In moderation, a little sugar  – like a chocolate bar or a cake each week – shouldn’t be a problem for a healthy person. Even so I’m going to continue experimenting with the herb stevia. Maybe it does taste a little like licorice and it’s not sticky enough to make jam with – but for now it is sweet enough for me.

If you make it totally through the first run of the video – well done. Honestly this video is truly entertaining – Lustig is funnier than Seinfeld and as bitingly satirical as House. I’ve watched Sugar – the bitter truth through twice now and I will watch it again in a month or so. The first run you just take in the main message. The second time you laugh more and take in more details. Watch it again…and spread the word to other people about it. You can get the embed code at the link below. I’m recruiting you…

Videos series from the UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment (COAST)
A thorough, science-based look at just how much sugar is too much.


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When Candida Becomes Resistant

It’s a shock when Candida becomes resistant to the usual treatment for it, whether that be the caneston cream or fluconazole or their brand equivalents for your country. It is such a common thing to have a bit of thrush after a course of antibiotics that you don’t even bother the doctor with it, you just go to the chemist. Within a few days the irritation is gone and you forget all about it. If it has always worked this way for you, you may even be suspicious about websites offering cures thinking they are a scam – because surely, all people need do is use the cream!

candida cartoon
Your doctor may not say this in words but its what he’s thinking.

I know I thought that way until I got an infection that couldn’t be quickly cured, and then I was just confused – what do I do now? It was even more confusing when the doctor had no answer.

Those sites that I was initially suspicious of suddenly became important reading matter. But there is so much information and so many different remedies and it’s very confusing.

What to do if your Candida is probably Candidiasis

First – Get blood tests

So the first thing to be done – and which I did eventually – is to get blood work done and check for immune problems. Candida is a normal part of our body and only generally gets out of hand when the body’s natural defences are lowered for some reason.After my blood tests I discovered I was hypo thyroid . But people with other disorders, like diabetes, are also prone to resistant candida. So if you’ve already tried the usual treatments for thrush and failed to cure it – go see the doctor and ask if you need to get blood tests.

Second – Read up on Candida

You’re doing that already or you wouldn’t be reading this, but don’t stop at a simple explanation. On the top menu there is a link called Reference links. This is where I have collected the links to websites I found really useful, especially the health boards ( forums) where patients give support to other patients. I will also add more articles here as I find the time, but on the health boards you’ll find people who have the same type of problems as you which may not be true of me. You may be looking for a cure of oral thrush or candida and another disease – use the links to find the forums and then search there for more information.

Third – Try some suggested treatments and keep notes

You don’t have to write a book (or a website like me!) just, keep a diary and write down what you tried and whether it helped, how long you used it for and other symptoms that occurred.

If you are lucky you’ll cure candida within two months, if not generally you’ll manage to reduce the irritation and keep it manageable until you find your cure for it.  Some people say this may take a year or more. The Candida diet is pretty strict but it does help and you may be required to restrict yourself to it for a few months before a cure will hold.

Start by removing all cane sugar from your diet and gradually reduce or refrain from eating the other food types as you can manage. Think of it as being good for you – either way!


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3 Treatments For Hypothyroidism

3 Treatments For Hypothyroidism

There is no cure for autoimmune hypothyroidism. A thyroxine replacement medicine will have to be taken for the rest of a person’s life and dosages must be carefully monitored. As there are only three options, you would think there’d be less controversy. Instead every forum thread and article comments thread are long and passionate about which treatment is best and why.

Alternate Opinions About Hypothyroidism Treatments

Some studies have suggested that subclinical hypothyroidism does not need to be treated. There is always the risk of overtreatment and thereby provoking hyperthyroidism. This article discusses the medical viewpoint on subclinical hypothyroidism in detail

The hormone feedback of the thyroid.
Image via Wikipedia

The thyroid also takes time to adjust when being treated, so it may take 6mth to a year before the right treatment stabilises and mitigates your hyperthyroid symptoms consistently.

The treatment of hypothyroidism may be conducted by a doctor, a natureopath or an endocrinologist.

This is the viewpoint of an endocrinologist on dessicated thyroid

I love to read the comments below the articles -they are true picture of what works for people.

Those physicians that are familiar and open minded about the combinations of the three treatments for hypothyroidism are highly sought by those patients who do not respond positively to the medically accepted T4 alone treatment.

Adding T3 to T4 Treatment

Under normal circumstances, the thyroid releases 100-125 nmol of thyroxine (T4) daily and only small amounts of triiodothyronine (T3). The half-life of T4 is approximately 7-10 days. T4, a prohormone, is converted to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone, in the peripheral tissues by 5’-deiodination.

At first, compensatory mechanisms maintain T3 levels. Decreased production of T4 causes an increase in the secretion of TSH by the pituitary gland. TSH stimulates hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the thyroid gland and thyroid T4-5′-deiodinase activity. This, in turn, causes the thyroid to release more T3.

First treatment is to provide T4 known generically as levothyroxine, with brand names including Synthroid, Levoxyl, and Levothroid . It appears however that some patients do not convert the T4 easily to T3 and therefore their symptoms are not eased by taking T4 alone. T3 treatment is more expensive and requires the patient to take it twice or more a day but may be added to the treatment if blood test results are not brought back into range.

Compounded slow-release T3 has been suggested for use in combination with T4. It’s advocates argue it completely mitigates many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and greatly improves quality of life.

Desiccated  Thyroid

T4 and T3 are synthetic prescription treatments. It is also possible to get desiccated (dried) thyroid. This is a prescription thyroid hormone replacement drug, prepared from the thyroid gland of pigs. Brand names including Nature-throid, Armour Thyroid, and Westhroid.  Desiccated  thyroid has been used safely for over 100 years and until synthetic thyroxine was introduced in the 50s, it was the only thyroid hormone replacement medication. It includes T1 and T2 which are rarely mentioned and are considered irrelevant as a treatment.

Desiccated  thyroid is now considered to be “old school” and a controversial alternative practioner treatment that is rejected by the conventional medical establishment.

However many patients swear by it, having  complete mitigation of their symptoms with no side effects. Some people hate it as it appears to be too strong and tips them into hyper. Others are completely happy with T4 and never try anything else.



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TSH Levels Hypothyroidism

TSH Levels and Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Early hypothyroidism may display very mild symptoms or have none at all.

Subclinical hypothyroidism occurs when thyrotropin (TSH) levels are elevated but below the limit representing overt hypothyroidism. The levels of the active hormones,  thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are normal and will be within the laboratory reference ranges.

Symptoms become more readily apparent in clinical (or overt) hypothyroidism.

In primary hypothyroidism, TSH levels are high and T4 and T3 levels are low. TSH usually increases when T4 and T3 levels drop. TSH prompts the thyroid gland to make more hormone.

The only validated test to diagnose primary hypothyroidism, is a blood test to measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (T4). However it is not totally conclusive, as these levels can also be affected by non-thyroidal illnesses.

High levels of TSH indicate that the thyroid is not producing sufficient levels of thyroid hormones (mainly thyroxine (T4) but also triiodothyronine (T3) in smaller amounts). However, measuring just TSH fails to diagnose secondary and tertiary hypothyroidism. So if the TSH is normal and hypothyroidism is still suspected, further blood testing may be required. Misdiagnosis is common in hypothyroidism, with types of thyroid dysfunction failing to be identified immediately by some laboratory tests. Further tests may be conducted such as…

Measure T3, T4

Free triiodothyronine (fT3)
Free levothyroxine (fT4)
Total T3
Total T4

or other things such as…

Free T3 from 24-hour urine catch
Antithyroid antibodies — for evidence of autoimmune diseases that may be damaging the thyroid gland
Serum cholesterol — which may be elevated in hypothyroidism
Prolactin — as a widely available test of pituitary function
Testing for anemia, including ferritin
Basal body temperature

(S)-Thyroxine_Structural_Formulae L-Thyroxine_...
Image via Wikipedia

There is a range of medical opinion on what agreed upon reference points a patient should be treated with thyroxine, the typical treatment for overt hypothyroidism.

Reference ranges have been debated regarding TSH. The lab that did my results in Australia used 0.4–4.0 mIU/L .  As of 2003, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (ACEE) considers 0.3–3.0 mIU/L within normal range. Previously 0.5–5.0 mIU/L was used, and many doctors (as reported by patients in the health forums) do not treat until the range is over 10.


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