Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Deworming Humans

Here's the deal . . . by the time an "infection" becomes "disease," your immune system is so worn out that it can no longer fight off anything. Which means that latent viruses (that everyone has) become re-activated. And the e-coli in that under-cooked burger, the bacteria on that improperly-washed salad, the tapeworm eggs in that sushi roll -- all of them are able to set up housekeeping inside your body. That's why the symptom list is so long: parasites invade every joint, every organ, every tissue. Once the parasites wear down your immune system, you won't have one parasite, you'll have half a dozen. You won't have one symptom off this list, you'll have a dozen of them. And as your immune system struggles to keep doing its job, you will have constant, low-grade inflammation throughout your body. Which further wears down your immune system. And which is why so many people with parasites think they have (or get diagnosed with) an auto-immune disorder.

Many parasites have "signature" symptoms that are important to know about when deciding what treatment might work for you. Here are the ones I know of at this time. If you know of others that should be added to this list, please let me know so we can make this list as complete as possible.

Lyme disease - sometimes has a signature bulls-eye rash. Before Lyme disease was called Lyme disease, it was called Montauk Knee because of all the people around Montauk, NY, who presented with swollen, painful knees. Many were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. But knees are not the only joint favored by Borrelia (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease). Another signature of this parasite is that they invade the soft tissue of all the joints so the pain moves from joint to joint almost daily with no rhyme or reason. The grimace of Bells-Palsy is also associated with Borrelia (although, in my opinion, the other brain parasites should not be overlooked as possible culprits; Dr. McDonald's research about nematodes in the brain is so recent that their possible role in Bells-Palsy would not be known. Also, nematodes and Borrelia are tag-team parasites, both of which cause destruction in the brain). One other signature of Borrelia is a very stiff and sometimes crunchy neck. If backing your car and/or singing has become very difficult for you, suspect Lyme disease.

Bartonella (also known as Cat Scratch Fever) - sometimes has a signature stretch-mark rash. The signature symptom is foot pain. Anyone diagnosed with plantar fasciitis who also has chronic-fatigue-like symptoms should suspect a Bartonella infection.

H. pylori (Helicobactor pylori) - Signature symptom is sternum pain that can be so severe that if touched in the sternum area it feels as if you have been punched in the chest. Also ulcers and digestive issues. Over 50% of gastric cancer patients are infected with h. pylori.

Babesia - this one is a cousin to malaria and for me has proven to be the hardest to eradicate. I'll beat it back and then a couple of months later will feel the creeping back in of these signature symptoms: air hunger (easily out of breath, inability to draw a deep breath, panting walking upstairs), temperature disregulation (constantly alternating between too hot - to the point of sweating and dizziness - and too cold), along with general malaise and exhaustion.

Fungus/Yeast/Candida overgrowth - Candida is a useful fungus in the body as long as it is in balance; unfortunately, Candida is easily unbalanced by the use of antibiotics. The antibiotic-induced overgrowth of Candida may well be the great over-looked medical problem of our time and (I think) it may be the root cause of many, if not most, of our "mystery" illnesses including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Auto-immune diseases (what if the immune system is fighting Candida rather than "itself," as we are often led to believe?), and too many others to list. Imagine this scenario: The use of antibiotics causes Candida overgrowth causes constant low-grade inflammation causes the degradation of the immune system creates an internal environment where parasites are no longer sought-and-destroyed by the immune system, causing chronic illness that is so multi-pronged that it is very hard to diagnose, treat, and eradicate. (It makes too much sense.)

My son Logan is the example I know of first-hand. He suffered ear-infections as a baby and was often given antibiotics. Throughout childhood he suffered digestive problems such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and pooping so often that "Logan in the bathroom" was kind of a family joke. He craved sugar and carbohydrates; he suffered many allergies. He played a lot of sports but was often sick; in high school he had mono and MERSA several times. (And more antibiotics.) Just out of high school he became so sick that daily functioning was difficult for him. As we peeled away the layers of his illness, down at the very bottom of everything, we found Candida. (I need to mention here that Logan's illness was many years in the making and one reason diagnosis is so difficult is that so much time can pass between the use of antibiotics and the onset of serious illness that it is nearly impossible to connect the dots between the two.)

(For example, this very same scenario happened in one of my fillies who, as a yearling, had an eyeball scratched by a tree branch. The ensuing infection became a melting ulcer that literally looked as if her eyeball was melting down her face. The eye was saved through several weeks of around-the-clock IV antibiotics. However, after the eye healed I noticed that the filly's personality had changed; she became grumpy and lethargic. I remember looking at her and wondering if the scar on her eye gave her headaches. For two years there were scant clues and I just couldn't figure out what was going on. Then, when she was three, I noticed her swinging her head around and scratching at her belly. Upon investigation, I realized that she had an itchy, gooey, scabby rash that ran along her belly from her girth area to her udders. Luckily, by this time I had had my own sad education and I was able to put the puzzle pieces together. I started her on probiotics, feed with no sugar, twice-daily applications of my homemade anti-fungal lotion, (and wormer). It took about six months, but her belly healed completely. Her personality is more like her old self. She remains on probiotics (Restore4Life is amazing) and a sugar-free diet. (It is worth mentioning that animals are good control subjects as there is no placebo effect with them.)

Nematodes - these bastards live in the spinal fluid and feed on our brains. These are the ones that cause unexplained (and often severe) back pain and the crazy neurological symptoms including changes to handwriting, walking impairment and general clumsiness, blurry and ever-changing vision (although this is not the only parasite that messes with the vision, but since they do so much damage in the brain, they should be considered a likely culprit). Also including the psycho symptoms of anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and all the other assorted things that make you wonder if you are losing your mind. Yes, you are, literally, physically, losing your mind if you have nematodes. If you have not yet watched this slide show from Dr. Alan McDonald about finding nematodes in every brain he tested from people who supposedly died of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and ALS, you need to do so now.

This is the most important new development in the understanding of Lyme and other parasites: the finding that Borrelia lives inside of nematodes and together they wreak havoc on humans (without ever having been bitten by a tick). Additionally, nematodes are the parasites we are constantly worming our pets for: roundworms, rope worms, ascarids, pinworms. strongyles, threadworms, stomach worms, etc. It is unbelievable (and negligent) that we know our pets have parasites and that veterinarians push us to regularly de-worm our animals, but it is not on the radar of any US doctor that we should also be regularly de-worming ourselves and our children. Especially if those children live (and OMG, sleep) with pets who are shedding parasites because they have been wormed.

(P.S. Dear Horse Friends, If you are actively worming your horses but not yourself, there is no doubt in my mind that you have parasites. Don't wait for "infection" to become "disease." By the time it does, you will have real and lasting damage to your brain and your joints.)

Having spent a life-time with animals (dogs, cats, horses) I was very familiar with the various de-wormers that veterinarians prescribe for our pets. Our old dog has eaten a Heartgard (ivermectin) treat every month for years. My horses had regular fecal counts for parasites and based on that, the vet recommended which wormer should be given. For decades, I had used many different wormers to de-worm many different horses. To say I was comfortable with wormer would be an understatement. So, when I first watched Dr. McDonald's lecture, I knew we were going to de-worm ourselves. I sent the lecture to our nurse practitioner and scheduled an appointment with her. I googled something like, "humans using wormer" and found many sites where humans were ingesting horse, goat, and fish wormer. I learned that the Jimmy Carter Foundation has shipped 240 million doses of ivermectin to countries in Africa and South America to combat the nematode that causes river blindness (which is transmitted to humans through the bites of black flies).

These are the wormers we’ve used:

Ivermectin: First of all a caveat: One of our great docs (who is a veterinarian and an MD and an acupuncturist and a healer) told us that ivermectin is "a machine-gun." It kills a lot of crap living inside us. By the time we took ivermectin we had been in intensive treatment for about seven months. Killing parasites at a slow pace makes us miserable enough; killing them fast and in great numbers can be dangerous (especially to the heart, brain, liver). IVERMECTIN IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS. Start with the mild wormers (listed below), kill things off slowly and do all the things you can think of to detox, which is a nice way of saying: pee and poop and sweat and expel mucus to get that crap out of your body so your liver doesn't wear itself out trying to deal with the dead parasites. Get that crap out of you! With any luck, you'll have so much success with the mild wormers you won't have to use the machine gun.

With that said, here is our story. I told our NP that we were going to use ivermectin and that she could write us a prescription or we would experiment with the horse paste. I had found groups on line where people were ingesting the horse paste, and while I was not (yet) willing to ingest animal wormer, I was willing to use it as a lotion, allowing it to soak into our skin. (One of the very important things I've learned on this journey is that EVERYTHING we put ON our body ends up IN our body.) Our NP wrote us a prescription but we suffered sticker shock when we went to have the prescription filled. I wish I could remember the actual amount but suffice to say it was over a thousand dollars. So we ended up getting about a fourth of the amount prescribed. One of my goals was to be able to find ways for people who couldn't afford expensive doctors and expensive treatments. As soon as I learned the ridiculous price for human ivermectin, I knew I would be using the horse paste as a lotion. So it ended up that Logan and I both used some of the human pills and some of the horse paste. We put small dabs of the paste on our spines (where the nematodes live). We both ended up being as happy with the paste as with the pills. The effect was stunning. We could feel stuff happening in our heads, jaws, teeth. (This after seven months of very extensive and expensive treatment.) And right away we both knew we were reaching the next level of recovery. We knew immediately. We probably used ivermectin for about a week that first time. We used very small doses for as long as we felt it doing something and then quit using it when we no longer felt anything happening. Then we would switch to a different wormer that targeted different worms.

Pyrantel pamoate (this is the active ingredient in over-the-counter pinworm medication which is commonly used for children suffering from night-time itchy butt (pinworms). In addition to pinworms, pyrantel pamoate kills large strongyles, small strongyles, and roundworms. Again, we took very small doses for as long as we felt it was having an effect. We used the liquid suspension so that it was easy to adjust the dose. We wanted to take enough to feel it working but not so much that a huge parasite die-off made us miserable. We bought this off of amazon but I am sure it could be found at any pharmacy-type store.

Praziquantel (also called Biltricide) - we used Equimax horse paste which is a combination of the very mild praziquantel wormer and a low dose of ivermectin. Very effective. Again, very small dabs of the paste on our spine for as many days as we felt it working.

Fenbendazole - The fenbendazole protocol at the FB group Morgellon's Support Protocol was one of the most effective treatments we used. There are two ingredients to the protocol: red reishi mushroom capsules and fish fenbendazole powder. Red reishi mushroom was amazing for me. I think I have had parasites for thirty years and I think they had been hiding behind fortresses of bio-film. The red reishi broke this up, causing me to vomit up thick slimy saliva (like dogs often do). Red reishi decomposes the bio-film attachment filaments like nothing else we have found. Be warned though, that when bio-film breaks up, all of the parasites are exposed and fight back. Logan and I both immediately came down with strep throat. My niece brought me a diffuser and essential oils (eucalyptus and thieves oil) which I put next to my bed and let all that steam blow over me. I spent two weeks coughing up phlegm and bio-film and, surprise, surprise, mold. Oh my God, the mold.

None of my extensive testing showed mold and I would have said I didn't have it, but I was looking at stuff under my newly acquired microscope and I could see it. And it wasn't all microscopic. Sometimes I would suddenly projectile cough out thick rubbery balls of slime mold. Over and over I had read that mold was at the root of all the parasitic diseases but I didn't believe it until I got the mold out of me using red reishi mushroom and fish fenbendazole powder. (1/16 tsp in liquid daily; it is tasteless and dissolves easily.) This protocol was game-changing for us. And has been for others I've told about our experiences, including a friend who has been in treatment with Dr. Horowitz for more than four years. Working with the practitioner she sees at Dr. Horowitz's office, she has been taking the red reishi and fenbendazole (human, not fish) and is also seeing amazing results.

I have not taken any wormers for several months, but I know that they are something that I will use on myself several times a year to keep myself as free of parasites as possible. Just as I do with my pets and my horses.

(2020 update: Here is a good article from 2017 that continues the discussion of signature symptoms of various parasites. Because the truth is, facing the lack of reliable tests that doctors give humans (as opposed to the very good fecal and blood tests that vets do in office on our pets), Lyme Literate doctors (LLMDs) often diagnose and treat based on an assessment of symptoms.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Second blog post: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Fast forward past a year of treatment that included all those medications from Mexico. The morning after the first dose of doxy, I could turn my head. My chronically swollen neck glands were less so. We took doxy and made it through the herxing (symptom flares from the killing off of parasites). We felt better but if we stopped taking antibiotics, our symptoms quickly returned. Continuing research had taught me the dangers of long-term antibiotics so I was nervous about that. We were using many of the supplements suggested in both the Horowitz book (Why Can't I Get Better) and the Buhner book (Healing Lyme). Some of them brought relief while others didn't. The point is, we never got better and stayed better. We underwent aggressive therapies from our renowned LLMD including ozone, rife, Myers cocktail, glutathione, Vitamin C, UV light, all of which seemed to help while we were undergoing treatment. But, within ten days away from the treatment, we could feel our symptoms creeping back in. I have a lot to say about those treatments, and especially the diet and nutritional changes we made and the supplements we took (and continue to take) that keep our immune systems strong. But first I want to talk about the thing that helped us the most and brought us lasting recovery: anthelmintics.

Dr. Alan McDonald's London Lecture of May 15, 2016, must have come across my newsfeed soon after it was recorded. Dr. McDonald's research made so much sense that I immediately emailed it to Logan's Nurse Practitioner (NP) Jennifer, who we saw at the prestigious LLMD's office. As a longtime horse and dog person, I was very familiar with the use of wormer in animals and it just made sense to me that people with parasites would also benefit from this treatment. So I began researching the use of wormer in humans. You should do this too. Do not take my word for any of this. Look at my links, study the information here, and then do your own research. Watch Dr. McDonald's lecture and heed his warning: People with Lyme Carditis (parasites in the heart) should be very wary of using wormer. I was desperate. I did my research, consulted our NP, and tried various wormers out on myself before allowing Logan to use them.

Here's what I learned:

There are groups all over the internet where people are ingesting horse and goat paste wormer. I wasn't willing to do that, but had realized the extent to which everything we put ON the body ends up IN the body. So my idea was, if we couldn't get a prescription for wormer, that we would use horse paste where the worms live . . . on our spines. (According to Dr. McDonald, the Borrelia-infected nematodes live in our cerebral spinal fluid and feed in/on our brains.) Watch Dr. McDonald's lecture!

The Jimmy Carter Foundation, along with Merck Pharmaceutical, sends millions of doses of ivermectin to countries in Africa that are stricken with River Blindness (caused by a worm parasite). However, Ivermectin is rarely prescribed for humans in the US and it is ridiculously expensive.

The next time we saw Logan's NP, we discussed Dr. McDonald's research. She wrote Logan a prescription for a low-dose (3 mg) of Ivermectin. When we presented the prescription to the guy working at the pharmacy, he warned us that it was going to cost some ridiculous price ($1200 comes to mind but so does $2000 so I wouldn't swear to either.). So we asked him to fill only a fourth of the prescribed number of pills, just enough to try it.

The test for nematodes in the spinal fluid would be a spinal tap. Our NP and I agreed that the test would be more invasive and harmful than the treatment. It's a shame there is not a better test. Veterinarians test and treat our pets for parasites everyday, using the office microscope. It is criminal that we are testing and worming our pets but not ourselves or our kids. Every month for fifteen years, I have given my dog Heartgard. The active ingredient: Ivermectin. I have a thirty-one-year-old horse who has been wormed every three months for the twenty years he has been with me. But not my kids. There is a real arrogance in the US. We know that people in developing countries have parasites but do not think that Americans have parasites. And it is so easy to get parasites. One improperly washed salad, undercooked burger, infested sushi roll is all it takes. Not even a bug bite, just eating. Or sleeping with your pet. Or going barefoot. Or swimming in questionable water (all water is now questionable).

This is one of many reasons why the Lyme test is unreliable. Not only is it very limited in hitting on the many different strains of Borrelia, it completely overlooks any of the other parasites that mammals can be infected with. When that Western Blot comes back normal, everyone is like, okay, whew, no parasites. This lack of testing for other parasites is devastating.

Here are links to the most relevant neurotoxin-elimination / anthelmintic protocols that I returned to over and over as we learned about and used various wormers:

Like Bryan Rosner's book, Freedom From Lyme Disease, this article by him is dense with important information and needs to be printed out and studied with pen in hand for taking notes. My copy is full of highlighted passages and scribbles. We had already begun our own parasite treatment before I came across Rosner's work, so we did not do the parasite protocol in the same order he did, nor did we take all of the wormer's that he has listed in his protocol. (Some of them I'm still trying to get my hands on.) But his work was definitely a big part of our learning curve and subsequent treatment. I bought his book because this article was so good and because I believe in supporting people who are doing good work and even giving some of it away to help people.

Here is an important article from Dr. Simon Yu (author of Accidental Cure) that contains useful information about the safety and efficacy of Ivermectin.

This article from Dr. Klinghardt does not contain a wormer protocol but it is full of valuable information for dealing with neurological symptoms.

This article is full of details about the use of the wormer fenbendazole used in combination with red reishi mushroom (capsules), which is a protocol found in the work of Steve Beddingfield on the FB group Morgellon's Support Protocol. This is not a group for the faint of heart as there are many graphic photos of Morgellon's sores and other squeamy things. The photos that Steve and others in the group post of their disease and infectious agents are what inspired me to buy a microscope and learn to use it. Looking at what was coming out of me on this protocol, I was very surprised to find that I was getting rid of a lot of slime mold. I would suddenly projectile-cough up thick rubbery balls. It was horribly amusing. Because of getting rid of mold (which I didn’t know I had) Steve Beddingfield’s protocol is the one that brought me the most lasting recovery so he is kind of my hero.

That's for starters. My next post will tell about our de-worming experience. Until then, please peruse the links here to decide if de-worming yourself is worth trying. There is a wealth of information in these articles and the one sure-fire way I know of recovering from these parasite diseases is to educate ourselves. For anyone desperate to get started, I would recommend using over-the-counter pinworm medication. Doctors routinely give this to children with itchy butt (pinworms); however, the active ingredient - pyrantel pamoate - kills more than only pinworms. I like using the liquid suspension because you want to be able to adjust the dose. Take very small doses over several days, adjusting it as needed. You want to take enough to feel that something is happening but not so much that a rapid die-off of parasites makes you feel miserable. Getting rid of parasites is definitely one of those "slow and steady wins the race" kind of things.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Beginning of Our Lyme Tunnel

In early May of 2015, my husband and 21-year-old son, Logan, took me to the Cincinnati zoo for Mother’s Day. We had been walking around for about half an hour when Logan sat down on a bench, put his head in his hands, and said, “If we are going to stay here, I am going to need a wheelchair. I can’t walk anymore.” My husband and I looked at each other, stricken. Logan was sweating and very pale. Our athletic son couldn’t walk around the zoo for an afternoon. We had been taking him to doctors for various “sports’ injuries” for more than two years. We had spent tens of thousand dollars on physical therapy and two surgeries that did not relieve Logan’s pain. When walking to his classes became too difficult, Logan had dropped out of college and moved back home. He did his physical therapy exercises with religious devotion, hoping to get back to school and volleyball. He began having headaches. His body alternated between fevers and chills. I remember looking at him one day that June and thinking, “You are dying right before my eyes. You are dying and I don’t know how to fix you.”

Fast forward two months to July of 2015. Logan, and I sat in a small lab in Tijuana, Mexico, alongside Dr. Manuel Lazo, as he looked at our blood under a dark-field microscope. On a large monitor mounted on the wall, we saw what we had come here to find: the spirochete Borrelia Burgdorferi, the parasite that causes Lyme disease.

I could tell you so many stories from that trip . . . stories of my exhausted son trying to make it through the long customs line to return to San Diego after a day at Dr. Lazo's clinic (Hospital Mexico); of taking bulging bags of Mexican prescription drugs through customs (without being stopped or questioned) and then flying home with suitcases loaded with boxes of Spanish-language antibiotics, antimalarials (for Babesia, which we had also seen in our blood), corticosteroids, and several other anti-parasite medications. We piled into our suitcases enough drugs to last three Lymies six months (there was a third person with us who has not gone public with Lyme so I will not out her here) and worried (needlessly) about getting through airport security.

That trip was the first step on the Lyme journey we have been on now for nearly two years. At the beginning, we took the desperate step of traveling to Tijuana because it was affordable and Logan could be seen immediately. Logan was supposed to be at a Florida college playing beach volleyball. But instead he was home, dragging himself out of bed to do all of the physical therapy assigned to him for his "volleyball injuries." He had already had surgery on an elbow and an ankle, neither of which had alleviated his pain. Then he experienced pain in both wrists but we were getting wiser. When he was told he needed two carpal tunnel surgeries, he refused. By this time, I was telling every doctor we went to that Logan had to have something systemic because it didn’t make sense that a twenty-one-year-old kid was experiencing so much pain and fatigue and unexplained illness. Some doctors were dismissive, others were sympathetic but stymied. Logan was tested for arthritis but x-rays showed nothing. There was talk of testing for auto-immune disease, but luckily, at that juncture, a dear friend began hounding me to have Logan tested for Lyme disease.
My college roommate, Jenny, posted regularly on FB about her family’s battle with Lyme disease. Upon hearing of Logan's ailments, Jenny convinced me to have him tested. But his test came back negative. Like many others, we would come to learn how devastatingly unreliable the CDC-approved test for Lyme Disease is and how much misery that unreliable test creates around the world. Luckily, Jenny is a persistent Lyme warrior and she kept hounding me. Eventually, a list of Lyme disease symptoms appeared in my inbox. After reading the list, Logan said, "I have every one of those." I looked at it and said, "So do I."
But here we are now, twenty-two months later, and we are as close to cured as anyone I've heard of who has had long-term, misdiagnosed Lyme disease. The suffering encountered by severely ill people in the on-line Lyme disease groups is overwhelming. People can't find knowledgeable doctors or if they can, it takes months to get in to see that doctor.  Because there are so few of them, Lyme Literate doctors (LLMDs) are able to command exorbitant rates. Even so, they can't keep up with the number of patients. My son and I have done many, many treatments and I know now that we spent too much money. I know which treatments seemed to help while undergoing the treatment, but did not have lasting effect. I know the importance of rebuilding the immune system, eating a healthy diet, and what veterinarians know about parasites: deworming works.
The renowned Lyme researcher Dr. Alan McDonald brought us lasting wellness. In my opinion, his 2016 slideshow and lecture of very recent research saved us. If you want to get better, watching this as many times as it takes to understand it is Step One. There it is, right up front -- the most important thing I can tell you about getting better. But there is so much more to tell you about why we’re sick in the first place and how to stay well. I'm convinced that those of us who know about human parasitic diseases are going to be the lucky ones.
There is a saying that no-one does better research than a worried mother. After realizing Logan was slowly dying in front of my eyes, I became a frantic, obsessed researcher. I learned about ozone therapy and the differences between classes of antibiotics. I learned about crazy conspiracy theories and some not-so-crazy conspiracy theories. In the waiting room of our LLMD, I glimpsed what the real zombie apocalypse will look like: mangled people in wheelchairs looking for answers. I learned about coffee enemas, urine therapy, and the distilled water protocol. I now own a salt lamp and know the properties of some of the essential oils. I bought and learned how to use a microscope, for crying out loud. I am not the same person that I was in 2015. I am wiser. I wear latex gloves to apply topical medicine to my pets’ skin problems. I will never again eat sushi. I know what it means to detox. I sleep at night and wake refreshed. I don’t get migraines anymore. I’m happy again.
These posts contain the information that I post over and over in answer to questions in the Lyme disease groups. I hope they are helpful.