You may have noticed that the blogging frequency decreased during the last week or so. So did my life expectancy: with the right definition, it dropped nearly 100% over the same week.
While I was feeling unusually healthy just 5 weeks ago or so, experiencing no more-than-cosmetic problems and having had no flu or cold for a year etc., everything is different now. Whether I will be around in a month is yet to be seen...
I feel almost certain now that I suffer from systemic Candida overgrowth, something that – according even to the most optimistic data – cannot be fully cured and damages all organs of the body for the rest of the life. The official lore says that it's a disease of HIV patients or people treated for cancer; I am neither at this point. A survey of discussions on the Internet makes it clear that many much more ordinary people suffer from it. To partially regulate the overgrowth, one has to adopt a diet without sugars (I started a week ago).
Wikipedia says that the mortality rate is 40%-50%: not exactly a source of optimism for me. 90,000 Americans get systemic Candida every year.
Four weeks ago, I noticed some discomfort in the urinary tract and some tiredness. But it didn't look too strange so I paid almost no attention to it and continued to live under business-as-usual. What happened about a week later was more unprecedented: I was feeling some kind of a disgusting sweetish taste in my mouth, especially a few seconds after I started to eat something sweet. It surely looked like the sugar was being processed in some unusual way. For more than week, I was just confused: it could have been any problem with the guts (including diabetes that is now ruled out). Exactly a week ago, during a more detailed search for the possible causes of the sweet taste, I learned about Candida.
It's hard to accurately describe the taste in words but it did remind me of something connected with my paternal grandmother (who died 20 years ago). If there's a logical explanation of this "instinctive connection", I had to feel that taste while I was visiting my grandma as a kid (because it's unlikely she could have communicated her own taste to me: how?). Perhaps it's the taste of the yeast (or yeast in action) and she may have used lots of it. Or maybe she had just used lots of sugar so that it sparked my Candida overgrowth already at some point when I was a kid but I hadn't experienced it for decades. Who knows.
At any rate, Candida – the most frequent subspecies is Candida Albicans but I know nothing about the subspecies' special properties – normally represents 10% of the gut flora, living in a certain equilibrium with more constructive parts of the flora, especially bacteria – Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and many others (you may also find some of them in a white yoghurt). When the balance is violated, Candida may become stronger, forming up to 100% of the gut flora. Because the yeast consumes sugars, it grows when you eat lots of sweet things and sugar (and I did increase sugar and vinegar etc. during the last month or two, just for fun: be sure that with the current knowledge, I would have done the opposite). Some other big imbalance in the body is needed for that.
I believe that my friendly bacteria were largely suppressed if not eradicated when I was given some extreme enough antibiotics at the age of four, to fight an infection. The socialist healthcare surely didn't think about long-term consequences. This – perhaps via Candida itself – may have helped my tooth decay. Moreover, when I was later given lots of mercury fillings, it's plausible that those contribute to the Candida overgrowth, too.
Even my modern dentist would always suggest that the silver fillings are just OK. In fact, they are good because they help to kill the bacteria, thus preventing further tooth decay a bit. Well, it's very plausible but only now, I realize that this is probably a big problem. The mercury probably tends to kill the "good bacteria" as well while the funghi seem to be immune to it.
It's likely that there exists a link of the Candida overgrowth to some other things from my medical past – acidic stomach (low pH is a comparative advantage for Candida), some fungal skin disorders I sometimes observed, and perhaps even to what I would previously consider my largest health problem, a corneal disorder.
Today, I made the saliva test. You are encouraged to spit on a clean water in a glass. A healthy person will see the saliva uniformly dissolve and become invisible, perhaps except for a few bubbles. I get clear "jellyfish" forming with legs at the surface; the legs want to drop to the bottom. The saliva never becomes invisible. A positive sign of Candida overgrowth that increased my belief that I suffer from that above 95%.
Now, my fate is highly uncertain. The tests I underwent last Wednesday didn't have a chance to find it even though I was already rather convinced this was the cause of much of my discomfort (I only found the term "Candida" one day earlier on the Internet). So the doctor sent me home and told me to consider a visit to the dentist. Now, the teeth may suffer from this yeast beast as well but they're not the immediate cause (and their fixing almost certainly won't cure my bad condition) and I don't have any clear infection in my mouth. The fillings may have contributed to the cause. Only after my teeth would be fixed again, I was told to consider full blood tests etc. It's likely that the blood tests done in my town wouldn't detect it, anyway.
I think the doctor fully misunderstood my serious condition. I was expecting some sophisticated version of the "diet recipe" plus some drugs. Instead, he hasn't really pronounced the name of the disorder at all (my "certainty" was only 60% or so at that time but it's much higher now: he just ignored everything I told him). Even if the beast were detected, it seems like the regular Pilsner pharmacies don't offer any of the anti-Candida or anti-fungal chemicals or dietary supplements.
Some of my "most lousy" conditions were probably signs of the "Candida die-off". By having reduced the sugars, the Candida population may have been forced to drop. The toxins released from this death have to be dealt with by the liver and one feels really lousy (brain fog, belly discomfort of various kinds). Moreover, feeling lousy isn't a proof that one will be getting better because aside from the dying Candida cells, there may be many (or even a higher number) of newborns somewhere.
If you look at the alternative resources, they contain a remarkably large amount of information. While I have no doubts that this species exists and causes serious problems when overgrown, it really does look like it is a topic that is taboo or unknown in the proper modern medicine. Some of the alternative groups suggest that up to 1/4 of the people in the West suffer from similar things to some extent.
Whether I will be alive or not, and especially if the answer is negative, it would be nice if the dear reader helped to ignite some serious research into those matters. Some of the questions may have been addressed in the literature; others could be new. Can someone please obtain and/or pay a grant for a comprehensive research of those things? Let me sketch some questions inspired by my experience as follows:
- How much do antibiotics "help" to eradicate the good bacteria and their biodiversity in the intestines and how long-lasting or permanent is this change?
- How much does dental mercury "help" to eradicate the good bacteria in the mouth, stomach, and intestines and their biodiversity and how permanent is the problem?
- What's the role of the pH? What does a low pH do with the composition of the gut flora?
- Do the antibiotics or dental mercury have a direct effect on the pH?
- How and why does Candida selectively interact with the tooth crowns? What is happening in the Candida interactions with the dental glue?
- Aside from experiments in the test tubes and those with animals, can you make a sociological research to measure the correlation between the amount of kids' or adults' dental mercury and the concentration of Candida?
- Does Candida cause tooth decay? And if it does, isn't it different from the bacterial tooth decay? Does it really make sense to treat it?
- Can the yeast species participate in eye disorders such as keratoconus?
(Just a few days ago, The Telegraph wrote about a research suggesting that toothpastes should contain coconut oil to fight Candida. I haven't been able to buy any so far. But it's plausible that mouthwashes and toothpastes are just completely incorrectly focused because the yeast, and not bacteria, may be the dominant sources of tooth decay.)
I won't write that it's the memo here because the word "memo" is way too definitive and sensitive in this context. It's true that if I survived but if I knew that the beast would be consistently and permanently damaging all my organs and crippling my mood and even my ability to think, I would probably think that it's not a life worth living.
If you know how to save my life, especially in a form I have known until recently, please, let me know. If you don't, couldn't you please try to save the lives – and the life quality – of others? Thanks.
P.S.: So far I still feel better than 8 people in Czechia (plus 10+ more in the pipeline) who died of methyl alcohol poisoning in recent days. Police claims that this came from the liquor factory Drak (Dragon). The criminals often use denatured alcohol which is used industrially and contaminated by gasoline or something like that (to prevent drinking) and they remove the contaminant by chlorine compounds normally used for disinfection of floors or swimming pools. Not sure how this creates methyl alcohol which should result from imperfect fermentation much like CO instead of CO2 results from imperfect oxidation. If you swallow methyl alcohol, it tastes like proper ethyl alcohol but you start to lose color vision and then all vision. The first aid is to drink 0.1 liters of a high quality alcoholic beverage before you get more intense help.