Last week, I read an article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine about the low fat, high carbohydrate diet. In “Is Sugar Toxic?“, Gary Taubes looked critically at the evidence that was available in the 1980s when we all got switched over to the low fat diet and where sugar fits into the diabetes epidemic. In some ways, I was fascinated because all the diets for people with chronic illnesses are low-carb, high protein, high fat diets. That includes my PCOS (a form of insulin resistance, somewhat related to diabetes) and my chronic tick-borne infections.
As I’ve written before, I avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates, as well as carbs in high doses, because the human body is less adept at using it in the digestive tract and in the blood than all the single-celled organisms that cause infections.
When I was reading the Times article, I read another explanation of how excess sugar can, over time, modify how our bodies react to insulin, creating a condition called insulin resistance. Taubes doesn’t explain the molecular mechanism, which I’m not familiar with either. In fact, I’m not sure whether it is known by the biomedical community. Like many articles about metabolism, it assumes that our human bodies work independently of all their symbiotic microorganisms and also ignores the infective agents that our immune systems must constantly suppress until we kill them, or when we can’t get rid of them.
So I got to thinking. There are some things we know about Lyme patients. Our body temperature runs low. Some in the medical field hypothesize that the reason is that borrelia bacteria prefer a cooler temp than 98.6 deg F. Thus, once the initial fever (part of the flu like symptoms) is over and the bacteria have modified themselves to the new environment, the bacteria may emit chemical signals that convince our bodies to lower the thermostat indefinitely.
There are other things like low blood pressure that may also be the result of chemical signals to prevent full oxidation of the parts of the body that Lyme bacteria like to hide in.
Swinging back around, Candida is everywhere. Everyone has some growing inside. I’m under the impression that a lot of people, awarely and unawarely, struggle with candidiasis. Most protocols for getting rid of it involve avoiding sugars, and many also include avoiding grains as well. I’m starting to wonder if the yeast overgrowth starts out from excessive sugar (and starch and alcohol) consumption…and if the definition of excessive from the perspective of Candida overgrowth is well below what we think of as excessive in the medical field or among the general public.
The reason this interests me is that I wonder if diabetes and Candida (or some other fungus or bacteria) overgrowth are linked to each other. I wonder if these microorganisms produce a chemical that causes our bodies to become insulin resistant. It would make sense that once they reach a critical mass, they need more food and find a way to get the host organism to provide it.
When we are insulin resistant, we tend to overeat because the mechanism for knowing we aren’t hungry anymore gets tampered with, and we tend to crave sugars and carbs. When we have candidiasis, we tend to crave sugars and carbs, and we tend to overeat to satiate the cravings even beyond when we “should” feel full. It sounds the same to me.
As a person trained in the sciences, I know that the easiest systems to study, learn from, experiment on and understand are the simplest ones. Why would an infectious disease specialist investigate the cause of strange metabolic symptoms associated with an infection? Surely it is enough to recognize it as a symptom and go after the infection. Why would an endocrinologist look into a Candida connection to diabetes? Candidiasis is an illness only rarely accepted as such, hard to test for, and everyone has some Candida anyway.
So I imagine that no one with their expert training would look at, never mind work on, this connection.
I’ve been thinking about all this as it pertains to my extreme swings in apetite. The longer I’ve been working on the Candida infection, the greater the swings in my apetite. I get terribly, insatiably hungry. I want grains and sweets (preferably in the form of a chocolate chip cookie, but banana bread with chocolate chips and walnuts would suffice). Then I go for periods of time when I just don’t want food at all.
The trick with insulin resistance is resetting the mechanism for knowing when you’re hungry and when you’re sated, usually through a low-carb diet, sometimes with a diabetes drug. I’m on both of those things. I don’t know if my satiation mechanism is working right just yet. Supposedly a high fat diet makes you full with fewer calories. So does that mean I’m not eating enough? Or that I can’t tell when I have eaten enough?
In my mind, the only way to know is if my weight is stable (recently it is, more or less). But that is a long term answer and doesn’t tell me if I need a high protein snack before bed tonight.
My experiment with Babesia continues. My liver is doing a lot better today and only started feeling sore to the touch at 9pm. My heart symptoms and fatigue were manageable but still present. I’ve decided to coil again tonight and increase the time again. The thing that lets me know I haven’t hit the Babesia Herx point is that I didn’t have a night sweat last night. I woke up a bit damp, but just enough to notice.
- Babesia, chest, 2 minutes 30 seconds; liver, 1 minute 30 seconds
- Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes
After coiling for Babesia, my headache got worse and the lump in my throat appeared. I started to get mild chest compression and air hunger (the sensation of not being able to breathe while breathing perfectly well). I took some magnesium citrate.
I had more scrambled tofu today, this time with a full teaspoon of turmeric. Other than that, it was the usual.
- homeopathic support
- juiced greens
- lime water
- skin brushing
- castor oil pack on liver
I’ve stopped recording my time on the BioMat. I use it for short and long periods during the day, whenever I feel the need to lie down. It’s getting too hard to keep track. When I venture up to level 5 or do a big sweat, I’ll include it in this section.
My symptoms seem like shifting sands. When the wind blows, their contour changes. The symptom profile changes much more rapidly with the coil machine than it did before any Lyme treatment or with antibiotics.
This is where we are with the Lyme Herx: I woke up today with a lot of pain in my lower back and legs. The pain was a combination of tingling, heaviness, fatigue and a dull ache. My legs and back felt very tired. So I spent the first half of the day on the BioMat. Even when I was up, my knees hurt a lot, and when I walked I had a sharp pain in my back just to the left of my sacrum. As I type, I’m noticing a mirror pain on the right side.
My spine was bothering me when I woke up, although it went away for several hours until the rain threatened to come (and came).
As mentioned, I woke up slightly damp. Not really a sweat, but something was on the verge of being expelled, which I say because my room wasn’t warm.
Tonight, my ribs are bothering me.
My hands felt better for a while. Now, after typing, my hands and wrists hurt. My upper spine and neck hurt and I’m noticing tension in my shoulders.
The floaters in my vision have partially depopulated.
I didn’t have a headache most of the day. It only started around 8pm. It includes bilateral eye pain.
I’m having more breakouts. They feel like cysts under the skin. Some resolve without ever making it to the surface. (Suits me fine that way.)
Despite all the pain, I’m still walking more steadily and with greater strength. Thank goodness.