The Beast

I regret to report that Martin seems to be having a mild yeast flare.

For the first three years of Martin’s recovery journey, candida—yeast—was my constant foe. Before we started biomed, before I understood Martin’s health issues, Martin itched constantly. Self-inflicted scratches marred his legs and backside. The fancy dermatologist diagnosed “sensitive skin” and advised us to use Cetaphil or CeraVe products (!), which helped nothing. Once I realized that Martin’s constant itching and some of his bowel issues were connected to candida imbalance, we started to tackle the issue with diet and supplements, and we made progress. Nevertheless, yeast is tricky. If you get it under control in one form, it doesn’t wait long to rear its ugly head in another form. We clashed again and again, yeast and I.

Two years ago Martin started taking Candex. We’ve had the most luck with that product, and we haven’t really had a major yeast battle since.

And now—he’s itching his legs again, and asking me to rub cream on them. He has those stupid scratches. I snuck into his bathroom and witnessed a “fluffy” poop. (Sorry to throw that in unannounced! It was quite shocking to me at the time, so I decided to go for effect in my reporting of the incident.) Plus, he’s silly. So silly. Inappropriately laughing. Cracking himself up. Disrupting his school class. Silly, sill, silly. The situation isn’t out of control, but it sure isn’t great.

Is this a yeast flare? If so, what could be the culprit behind this yeast flare?

Possibility: Having been so many months without substantial candida troubles, I’ve loosened up Martin’s diet to allow more sugars. He’s eating daily fruit, including homemade vegetable-fruit juices, and scattered starches (potato) and carbs (quinoa, brown rice). (Wait, did you think I meant refined sugars? Oh, you made a funny! Martin never gets refined sugars.) Those foods feed yeast. I may need to tighten the diet back up.

Possibility: Especially as he’s working through his past immune insults, Martin gets healing reactions. His recent allergic attacks, for example, may be related to clearing vaccines. (The cats are another story.) Vaccines—indeed, any injections, as I understand the process—are notorious provokers of something like allergic reactions. Clearing vaccines, moreover, can cause silliness and inappropriate laughter. Maybe, in this kerfuffle as Martin’s body heals itself, it (1) loses track of yeast, and (2) compounds the problem with symptoms that mimic a yeast flare.

I don’t know if this really is a yeast flare. The symptoms are there, but symptoms can be deceptive. (Like, for example, the symptoms we call “autism” can be deceptive.) I hate the thought of having to conquer this beast yet again.

Eons ago, in college, my friends and I used to drink dollar pitchers of Milwaukee’s Best at happy hour. We called that cheap beer “the beast.” That beast—that yeast, that hops, that barley—was so much better than this.

This isn't the beast! This is the cutest little man ever. Martin, at play, Mountain View, California.

This isn’t the beast! This is the cutest little man ever. Martin, at play, Mountain View, California.

6 thoughts on “The Beast

  1. I was wondering if you are familiar with the microbiome? It is a vastly complicated world but basically 80% of our immune system is our beneficial organisms and they keep our harmful ones in check. There are a lot TED talks from microbiologists that are helping us understand this world and how vital it is to our overall health. Most likely the only reason your son keeps having flare ups of candida is because of the imbalance in his gut(microbiome) ratio of beneficial and harmful organisms. That and we require a large amount of specific different strains of beneficial organisms each doing different things, like producing enzymes, absorbing nutrients, fighting off pathogens, educating our immune system on how to fight off infection and many other things.

    We sound like both passionate people on a journey to save our kids, I firmly believe I can fully recover my son from autism, he has come so far. After he is fully recovered we are going on mission to help other families as the rate of severely autistic kids is on huge incline.

    Please email me, I would love for us to learn from eachother and save our kids and others.

    Here are some of the TED talks I have found on this issue:

    Rob Knight: How our microbes make us who we are
    Rob Knight is a pioneer in studying human microbes, the community of tiny single-cell organisms living inside our bodies that have a huge — and largely unexplored — role in our health. “The three pounds of microbes that you carry around with you might be more important than every single gene you carry around in your genome,” he says. Find out why.

    Are we too clean? How changing a body’s microbes leads to illness | Claire Fraser | TEDxMidAtlantic
    This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of theTED Conferences. We are more obsessed with cleanliness than ever: we use antibacterial cleansers, we keep our children away from dirt, and we give out antibiotics with little regard for long-term effects. But in the process we are altering our microbiota, the microbes that live on and inside us. And it’s causing us to be more sick.

    The gut flora: You and your 100 trillion friends: Jeroen Raes at TEDxBrussels
    This one covers a lot of how much bacteria there is and talks about research they have found about how antibiotics affect people as well as how bacteria is linked to many diseases.

    Mind-altering microbes: how the microbiome affects brain and behavior: Elaine Hsiao at TEDxCaltech
    This one is about Caltech scientists who have proven bacteria affect our brain function and disease.

    Are we humans or are we bacteria? Josh Neufeld at TEDxUW
    This video is about a micro-ecologist who goes into many different ways we inoculate bacteria into our guts to increase our bacteria diversity and many other awesome information into the world of bacteria.

    How bacteria “talk” – Bonnie Bassler
    This one is really cool, they have learned certain ways bacteria communicate and what happens when they grow to a certain population depending on the function of the bacteria.

    ​​You are your microbes – Jessica Green and Karen Guillemin
    This one is a nice short video that goes over a few nice mechanisms of how bacteria work in our gut.

    Cancer, Obesity and a Myrid of other diseases:
    “Can we eat to starve cancer?

    Ed Yong: Suicidal wasps, zombie roaches and other parasite tales
    ​This one delves into the world of parasites and mind control.

    How brain parasites change their host’s behavior – Jaap de Roode

    Paul Stamets at TEDMED 2011
    This is the video he talks about his mom’s cancer being cured, it is the last 3 minuts though I highly recommend watching the whole thing.

    Paul Stamets – The Future is Fungi [how to save the planet]
    This one is 1.5 hours and full of such incredible information, like how he has gotten so that our old grove forests are protected in defense of national security because of how potent certain mushrooms are at killing off viruses(specifically in this case the bird flu virus)

    • Hi, and thanks for the resources. Do you blog regularly, somewhere that you collect this? Yes, definitely I am familiar with the microbiome. It’s pretty much what my days are all about, at least for now! We’ve been trying to adjust the makeup of Martin’s microbiome for years. Progress comes slowly, but it comes.

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