About Me

I am a patient, not a doctor, so please keep that in mind when reading here. My blog is often about new medical research, not standard treatments, and GI health is the focal point. Bacteriotherapy, the use of probiotics rather than antibiotics, is the new paradigm, and I’m thrilled to be learning, along with so many others, who are healing their bodies after standard medicine failed.

Beginning in the early 1990s, my doctors gave me numerous courses of broad spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as Cipro and Levaquin. They didn’t know the damage they were doing at the time, neither did I, and by 2000 I had ulcerative colitis, from what those drugs did to my gut flora.

By late April, 2011 I had also developed numerous food allergies, asthma, prostatitis, and sinusitis, and UC had landed me in the hospital 5 times. Doctors wanted to treat me with Prednisone, Imuran, and 6-MP, drugs that weaken the immune system and carry the risk of cancer.

I followed their advice for a while, but ultimately just became weaker and eventually the steroids stopped working. I was at a crossroads.

One day I heard a radio show about helminthic therapy.  People were using Necator Americanus hookworms to heal from a variety of autoimmune diseases. How so? Hookworms modulate our overactive immune systems, to hide in us. These tiny roundworms, with us since the dawn of time, disappeared about 100 years ago, as humans shifted from outdoor latrines to indoor toilets. That “progress” broke the symbiotic life cycle of human and worm, and once gone from our our guts, hookworm took their calming chemistry with them, leaving our immune systems to run amok.

For me, helminthic therapy was far more effective than any toxic immune suppressors or steroids I’d ever used. With about 100 hookworm on board, I no longer had asthma or ulcerative colitis, even my sinusitis was resolving, and all the little aches and pains I’d come to associate with aging also disappeared. Happy days!

However, in August of 2011 I cut my finger while cooking, and was given Levaquin one last time. Within a few days I suffered a major adverse drug reaction, known as being “floxed”. Symptoms included horrible chronic fatigue, a burning sensation in my brain, anxiety, hyperadrenergic POTS, which causes blood pressure spikes due to neurological impairment, and SIBO. I was left nearly bed-ridden and unable to work.

It’s been a long road to recovery, but three years later, 2014, many of these symptoms are greatly diminished, thanks to probiotic retention enemas, fecal transplants and continued helminthic therapy. If anyone is shocked by a fecal transplant, imagine what you’d do to reclaim your life.

I’ve also adopted a lower carb “Paleo” diet, am eating plenty of cultured foods, such as kefir, yogurt, raw, organic sauerkraut, aged black garlic, and feel much better. The idea is to finally restore gut flora I’ve been lacking most of my life, due to antibiotics. I’m also beginning to supplement iodine, which may improve thyroid function. Early in that process, a chronic candida overgrowth is resolving.

I still am dealing with chronic fatigue, and POTS/SIBO symptoms do flare up when my stress levels increase or gut function is impaired. This is a process, and my goal now is to optimized nutritional status and rebuild my “microbiome” as best I can, safely and steadily, as I continue into my 4th decade of life.

Healing and learning has always been a “group effort”, and the relationships I’ve created in forums around the web are so valuable. We can all learn a lot from each other, so if an article on my blog strikes a chord, please add your voice to the comments.

 

Terry Chattsworth,  November 2014

 

13 thoughts on “About Me

  1. HI There, So interesting I stumbled upon your blog! I have a myriad of health issues that seemed to have come out of the blue and render me house bound a full year. It’s been 2 years and I am still not out of the woods but am able to be more and more active. My good days are inconsistent but building in number:)
    I found you while researching a connection between hypoglycemia and chronic high histamine (which I just recently confirmed). I wondered if the hypoglycemia could be a symptom of chronic high histamine.
    I was originally diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue but have come to the conclusion that more than my adrenals simply being exhausted (which it turns out they are not in that bad of shape, actually) I do have the histamine/methylation issue, likely dysautonomia (cause unknown, maybe metal poisoning, maybe chemical exposure, maybe a round of bad antibiotics?) which may or may not be of the POTS variety, nightmarish hypoglycemia, and possibly metal poisoning.
    I am looking for the connection and trying to understand how it all cropped up almost overnight.
    And meanwhile I am also doing a healing program called Nutritional Balancing. It uses hair tissue mineral analysis to test the biochemistry every 3 months and then applies the corresponding minerals and vitamins to balance out the deficiencies and toxicities. The idea being that if our bodies have all the correct micronutrients in the correct ratios they can generate enough energy to heal anything.
    It’s been a total life saver for me.
    We have a Facebook support and info page I wanted to invite you to join if you are interested in learning about it.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/148288765299635/
    Thanks for the information!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks for the kind feedback, sarah! very glad to hear you’re recovering. sounds like you’re on the road back, which becomes a virtuous circle as we begin to see small improvements we gain momentum. will have a look at your FB group!

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  2. Wow really glad you posted on the mag advocacy group page today. Had a quick read here and found it so relevant. Excited to come back later and read the rest. Thanks for taking the time to share. It is honestly like a pebble in a pond making ripples out and helping people on the way. Natalie

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    • Hi, Natalie – I love how this topic is resonating with you, and so many others. We’re not at all alone, there’s so much we can do to fix our bodies, and I can’t wait to hear more about your own results, in time. 🙂

      About 6 weeks ago I heard from a friend, who is in our FB iodine group. He described a healing process (using high-dose supplementation of iodine) that had taken months of near-agony (night sweats, fatigue, etc), as he rid his body of so many toxins, but he emerged from it feeling better than he had for most of his life.

      He is an instigator, in the best way. I couldn’t hear that story and not want to try myself. I really admire his courage for sticking with it.

      I’m not sure I’ve got the stamina to put myself through the same physical shocks, but I would like to try a slow and steady pressure, to perhaps accomplish my own level of healing. It’s only been a little while, and already I feel quite lucky to be where I am. Here’s to even better days ahead.

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  3. Hi Terry,

    I am recovering from a severe adverse reaction from cipro 3 years ago. I’ve tried many things.

    Although I’ve gotten better, I still deal with stomach/food issues, chronic fatigue, and most alarming, neurotransmitter damage. I don’t know what it is like to actually feel sleepy anymore, though I can sleep, I sure miss the feeling of ‘being sleepy’. I also have lost my ability to handle stress or feel calm and my connection with my higher conciousness. Big drag! (I suppose that is the clogging of the pineal gland)

    Anyhow, I have decided to go back to square one and heal the gut. The years of probiotics, digestive enzymes, gluten/dairy free diet, and cultured food has helped some but not healed my stomach pain, constipation, and reaction to foods.

    So, I am most interested in the fecal transplants and the worm therapy. I see you have given a source for the helminthic therapy but could you tell me who helped you with the fecal transplants? I have looked into it a bit in Portland, OR but it seems they can’t treat me unless I have c. difficile (though, they can consult me). Do you know of anyone that can offer the treatment for people with issues from antibiotics?

    I just requested to join the iodine group and looking forward to learning about that. (I have also lost my joy but am trying all I can to heal)

    Could you tell me what has helped improve your mood the most?

    Thanks so much for any feedback Terry!

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    • Hi, Gail – Your situation sounds all too familiar, and I’m really sorry you’re having to go through this. I do think helminthic therapy and fecal transplants would probably help you. However, if funds are limited, trying hookworm is probably a lower priority, unless you have severe food intolerances that are affecting your nutritional status (as was the case for me when I did hookworm as therapy).

      Fecal transplants can be done in a clinic setting if you can afford that. Taymount Clinic in the UK is quite good. You can also do it at home, with a healthy donor, should someone be available. This may be best, since it allows you the ability to keep it up for several weeks, or longer, if that’s how long it takes for the new flora to colonize your gut, and evict the old bacteria that is (very likely) damaged by fluoroquinolones.

      http://thepowerofpoop.com/epatients/fecal-transplant-instructions/

      The gut is the factory where so many essential neurotransmitters are created. I was amazed how quickly my mood changed after FMT. It probably took all of 20 minutes, and I was suddenly feeling joyful again. You can experience this type of transformation, too — I am pretty confident of that.

      Iodine might also make a big difference, but I say this with all the usual caveats, and more, such as: do this with a great dr, go exceedingly slow at first (I would say start with only the RDA, which is 150 mcg and stay at that level, even if you feel great, for a few days before trying anything more) because many who are hypothyroid can trigger hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid) with iodine. A slight chance also exists you could flip into a hyperthyroid situation, which is difficult to manage, so you can see why caution is advised. All this said, most people don’t have these bad reactions. The web is full of iodine success stories. I just think most people on a typical iodine protocol are taking way too much, and could probably benefit from a fraction of the dose.

      My current tiny dose (2.5 mg) is helping a lot with sleep quality, mood, energy, focus, and ridding my body of candida, which is something you’re probably dealing with, too. I am careful about getting about 100 mcg selenium as a supplement daily, and the rest of the selenium I need is provided via diet. I also take magnesium, a B-complex, and vitamin C. Since hashimoto’s is always a concern, I take fish oil daily and add gelatin to my meals, plus use unheated olive oil.

      Like you, probiotics are also a daily staple. I enjoy a pint of dairy kefir, and rotate through several types of probiotic pills. Every few meals I add a fork-full of raw, organic sauerkraut. Curiously, ferments became a lot more helpful after I added the iodine. My guess is my immune system was so dysregulated and my body was so full of yeast, all that good flora was fighting an uphill battle. Not any more!

      So you’re doing a lot already, and there’s more tools you can add if you choose. I look forward to hearing your progress, Gail. Thank you for sharing your story with us here!

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  4. Boy Terry….what a wealth of information you are. Thanks so much for your lengthy reply and help – not to mention your promptness…(; Yes, I forgot to add, my stool test turned up candida. I had hypothyroid before cipro but now have Hashimoto’s so I will get help if I try the iodine. I’ll keep you abreast with anything helpful I do in my journey to wellness. Thanks for the reference and the hopefulness with the FMT! (I am getting accupuncture with cranial-sacral work which is helping me feel more relaxed.) See you in the iodine forum! Wishing you well.

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    • I’m so happy if I can help. Good luck to us all. There’s no telling how many of us with Cipro and Levaquin damage may have hashi’s too, so it’s just another reason to be cautious with iodine dosing and getting tests along the way. Take good care, and I’ll see you on FB. 🙂

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