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24
Apr

The Puzzle of H. pylori: My Personal Pylori Project

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Hi again! In Part 1 (The Puzzle of H. pylori: The Science) I explained what Helicobacter pylori is, how it invades the body, the symptoms it causes - basically, all the science stuff. Here in Part 2 of my trilogy of posts on my H. pylori experience I'm going to talk about my own personal H. pylori project i.e. my experiments with various foods and herbal remedies in my efforts to come up with my own treatment and eradicate the little pest from my body!

 

My personal pylori project

The core of my plan has been the rather fantastic mastic gum, a herbal remedy from a Greek pistachio tree with potent anti-pylori activity. A little goes a long way – my pot of 13g lasted me 3 weeks. I'd just like to run through some more of the details of my plan, to give you an idea of the natural products that can be used to discourage pylori.

 

Mastic Gum

When you chew the 'bobbles' they turn into a gum!

 

Most people seem to recommend cycling on/off, but the length of your on/off periods doesn't seem too critical. Personally I've been doing 3 weeks on, then anything from 2 weeks upwards off. As well as the mastic, I've been making a point of eating as many other anti-pylori foods and herbs as I can manage such as: brassicas (especially Brussels sprouts and flower sprouts), cranberries, triphala and lemon balm. So far I've done two rounds of treatment, building up the dose of all of these products gradually. I've found that combining 250mg of mastic with ½ teaspoon of triphala and taking this first thing in the morning seems to have the most powerful effect, judging from the die-off. I'm also trying to have as many stomach soothing foods as possible including: carrot, fennel and green juices, unripe plantain powder, cherries, persimmon smoothies, chia seeds and coconut. This apparently is important to repair the damage that pylori has done to the stomach lining. Judging from my symptoms of gastric irritation, my lining has indeed been left in a pretty ravaged state.

 

Good foods to help treat H. pylori

Some of my anti-pylori agents – brassica veg (Brussels and flower sprouts) and home-dried cranberries. Functional and fun!

 

Killing off the pylori overgrowth and repairing the stomach lining can be a fairly long-term project. Dr. Yasko says it may take months or years to address and also that once you've eradicated the pylori, symptoms can persist for perhaps 6 months afterwards. Obviously, this can make tracking progress a bit tricky, but I'm guessing it's wise to keep up with some kind of pylori control measures until you're feeling sure things are in a better state of balance. Some people say that the mastic also kills good bacteria, but instinctively, I feel comfortable with taking a low dose (500-750mg per day) and reassured that it's a daily part of the diet for many people in Greece and the Middle East.

 

Herbal Treatments for H. pylori – Mastic Gum and Triphala

Herbal helpers – mastic gum and triphala (an Ayurvedic remedy comprised of three sour fruits)

 

What happened next?

Some very wild die-off in the first few days which lessened as time went on, though even at the start, I felt remarkably better in between all the die-off. My symptoms included: severe nausea and reflux, the worst episodes of facial, arm and leg twitching and shaking I've ever experienced, feeling very fed up, bladder problems, especially bad delayed stomach emptying and more of a saliva shortage than usual. Plus a lot of episodes of the smelly sweating. And nope – I could not tell you what the connection might be with all of this!

On the plus side, I felt: improved energy, calmer, happier mood, significantly less burping and 'stomach squelching'. And once the dust had settled: generally smoother digestion, less irritable bladder symptoms and fewer twitching and sweating attacks. I have been so excited to start getting a sense in the past few months of what 'normal' feels like, when I've been having pretty extreme difficulties for the past 10 years! Improvements in the digestive department have been less pronounced so far than the general energy boost, though from Dr Yasko's info, that would be usual for the stomach to be catching up later. For now, I think my system is just relieved not to be permanently overwhelmed with ammonia.

I was hoping to try and add in some other herbs to alternate, but unfortunately my experiments with rosehips and broccoli sprouts haven't been a success. The others I've tried also haven't seemed to have such potent effects as the mastic, so I suspect I'll go back to this star-performing herb. As I'm sure you'll notice, this is really a make-it-up-as-I-go-along approach!

In the third and final part of 'The Puzzle of H. pylori' I'll look at the connection between H. pylori and environmental Illness (EI).

 

The Puzzle of H. pylori: My Personal Pylori Project

 

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People in this conversation

  • Hi Laurie
    That's really interesting to hear of your detox symptoms - sounds as if something is definitely happening. Let's hope you'll be over the difficult phase asap and feeling a whole lot better after. Best of luck & thanks for posting!

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  • Guest - Laurie

    Philadelphia, PA, USA

    This is very helpful information. I have been self treating for H. Pylori and have been experiencing the bad body odor, acne break outs, nausea, and upset stomach. Was trying to figure out if those were die-off symptoms.

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  • Goodness, you have been having a time of it... so sorry to hear how you've been struggling the past year. Hang in there Pete, it sounds like you're on the right track now. Personally I wouldn't worry about taking a break from the treatment then going back to it - Dr Yasko who deals in pylori a lot has I think found that cycling on and off the treatment is actually more effective than a sustained 'attack'. Totally understand why you feel the need to keep at it though ;-)

    BTW, have you seen a book called the Microbiome Solution by Robynne Chutkan? I found this a very helpful read and would thoroughly recommend it for anyone suffering gut issues after antibiotics. Also I was wondering if you've done anything for heavy metal detox or looked into methylation issues - just sprang to mind when you mentioned the Lyme as well. Hoping of course that the pylori treatment in itself might bring about a full recovery for you. As you say, it wouldn't be surprising if your body needs some time and space to regroup! Anyway thanks for sharing your story, it's so interesting to hear more about other people's experiences. Would be great to hear news on how you do if you feel like posting any updates. With best wishes for your better health!

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  • Guest - PeteJ

    Hey again. My stomach symptoms started last August while I was on antibiotics for Lyme. I started having having abdominal pain plus a churning feeling in my stomach, plus fatigue, muscles aches, and I had lost about 25 lb in a month. At the time, I had thought it was still effects from the lyme but it went on for a few months. Eventually I started having bad digestive stuff, like bloating and indigestion and a general foul feeling in my stomach, which was food sitting in there for too long I am guessing. I have also had this brain fog since the lyme. In January I went to the dr and got the pylori test which was positive. I did the horrible antibiotics which failed and probably took years off of my life. I was taking probiotics afterwards and got myself feeling pretty okay at one point, but my digestion was still a bit whacked, and other symptoms eventually came back.
    That was when I decided to try the mastic, since I knew the next course of antibiotics would be worse. That was maybe 4 months ago. I tried a few things along with it since then. Broccoli sprout supplements didn't really help, garlic wasn't helpful either, colostrum was effective but started giving me strange side effects so i stopped it. I am still taking lactoferrin since it supposedly helps with iron and I suspect I am short, but I am not sure if it is helping or not. I am still pretty fatigued and achy. I was about ready to give in and get my prescription of poison when I tried the honey. That was maybe 2-3 weeks ago. I think the honey may be even better than the mastic. I upped the honey and mastic to 3x a day 1.5 weeks ago, and that was seriously helpful. I went through a heavy die-off and now my head feels a lot more clear and my digestion is a lot better. My fatigue and muscle aches haven't really improved at all, but I am hoping that will improve with time. My body probably just needs a break and time to recover. I haven't really let up on my treatment since I started. I was worried that the pylori would strengthen again if I stopped treatment prematurely. I don't know, this whole year has been a battle. I'm glad things have been better for you.

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  • Hi again Pete,
    I'm happy to say that the improvements in most of the symptoms I mention have been sustained. My energy levels have unfortunately been more difficult to maintain. Also chemical sensitivity has continued to reduce, but the mold issues I'm still working on!
    After a few rounds of mastic I gave up the intensive treatment. I didn't actually seem to need to do it for that long to get a lot of benefit - plus I felt the need to be more cautious about using anything that can affect iron levels. I've had recurring problems with a shortage of iron and blood and I'm not keen to go back to the synthetic pills. They do the job but I've found they also increase issues with bad bugs in the long run. Just what I don' t need!
    For maintenance though, I've been using essential oils like lemongrass, oregano and rosemary and eating mountains of brussels sprouts! It's not been a wonder cure but this project has I'm sure been a really key part of my recovery so far. Overcoming CFS/MCS seems for me like a bit of an ultra-endurance event! Let's hope though that your problems might be simpler to fix - what kind of symptoms do you have that brought you to the pylori idea can I ask?
    Good luck with your plan and all the best.

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  • Guest - PeteJ

    May I ask how things worked out for you? Were you able to finish the job?

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  • Hi there Pete,
    Thanks for posting - great to hear that you're doing well with your anti-pylori plan. Yeah, I am hearing all good things about the honey for all kinds of bad bugs too. Sounds like a super-powered combo with the mastic. Best wishes for the continued improvements!

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  • Guest - PeteJ

    Newtown Square, Newtown Township, PA 19073, USA

    Thanks for sharing. I am going through a similar process. So far, mastic has been my best friend, and I recently found that the manuka honey(umf 15+) has a similarly powerful effect against the pylori. It is a bit expensive though since it is shipped from new zealand.

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  • Guest - Linda

    Wigan, Wigan, UK

    See the symptoms list at B12deficiency. info and also the diagnostic calculator at B12d. org

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