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P Away After
a Candida Killing Campaign
Hi Ed, thought I’d write again as it looks like my P is finally on its way out the door after 10 long years.
I’ve been going to a naturopath who made some dramatic improvements with a Pagano style regime but then it all stopped. I was fed up with the restrictive diet so I thought I’d see an allergist to find out what I was really allergic too. Like many P sufferers, I lit up like a Christmas tree on the allergy tests — allergic to wheat, pollens, molds, cows (meat, milk, hair, probably hooves as well!) tomatoes, cat hair, the list goes on. The interesting thing was that the strongest reaction was to candida albicans. My allergist (who was completely excellent — a nice change in a doctor) said that when your body suffers an immune trauma (I got my P from a hyper-allergic response to using henna) the candida that lives in the gut can rapidly overgrow as the immune system is no longer suppressing it. It also apparently has root-like tendrils that can puncture the gut lining, which seemed to me to dovetail quite nicely with the ‘leaky gut syndrome’ Pagano depends upon. Wheat and dairy proteins are small enough to get through the holes and cause an immune response in the blood. Candida can also live on the skin surface, which would explain to me why antibacterial agents like tea tree oil have worked a bit on my lesions and why I sometimes get lesions where I previously injured my skin.
So anyway, I thought I would give this theory a go. For the last four weeks (over Christmas! How masochistic am I?) I went on a candida-killing diet — no sugar and no yeast, and took supplements of coconut oil, garlic and a yeast killing tonic, all of which are candida killing agents. I also applied coconut oil to my skin 3 times a day. Two weeks into this I started taking glucosomine, which repairs the gut lining. The change hasn’t been dramatic (although the improvement became more rapid when I started taking the glucosomine) but it’s definitely disappearing — I only had 30 spots when I started as I had been avoiding wheat etc and taking vitamins before this for 18 months or so. Now I have about 20 and they all look like small insect bites, have faded to healthy pink and some I can barely see at all. I’m aiming to be totally clear by the end of January and for the first time in 10 years I think I can actually do it. With any luck my allergies will have cleared up as well with the repairing of the gut wall (fingers crossed, I’ve promised myself pizza when the P goes). I just had to change my thinking from P being the problem to P being a symptom of the problem.
Obviously I don’t think this is a cure for everyone with P — but for people who know theirs came from an allergic response, or who have had some success on the Pagano diet it’s probably worth a shot. And its waaaay more comfortable — and cheaper — than Pagano!
Cheers, -Rae D.
Ed’s Response: What a terrific letter, Rae. Thanks so much for sharing! Of course, you've probably read that I've FELT an association between allergies and P ever since I was diagnosed, but have been unable to find a single doctor who would substantiate that feeling. Your experiment ties so much together! (Or at least, your theory around the actions you've taken, ties it all together!)
Please do drop me a line from time to time and let me know how you are managing. I'd love to be able to say "I told you so" to all the derms, GPs, rheumys and allergists who have pooh-pooh'd the notion of an allergy-P connection for years. And it would be terrific to hear from more people (inspired by your experience) who've "drilled down" through the grief of the Pagano regimen to a "happy compromise" that accomplishes the goal less painfully.
Looking forward to your next update! -Ed
Rae’s Response: Thanks Ed, it took a bit of internet research to find out about the candida, but the definite starting point was FlakeHQ and the letters archive. If any other guinea pigs are interested in giving it a go I’m happy to provide what I’m doing in more detail (food to avoid, vitamins, etc) — it would be interesting if it works for others as well. I wanted to use oil of oregano but its not available in Australia. On the 19th I’m going back to see the allergist and pick up a vaccine they made for my allergies — I’m interested to see what affect that would have.
Anyway, thanks for the website its definitely helped me a lot, and I’ll stay in touch.
Cheers, -Rae D.
Ed's Response: On a related note, don't miss this update's interview with Deirdre Earls.