I have severe gut dysbiosis, and suffer from frequent urination, sensitive bladder, and functional dyspepsia. Testing shows that I have system-wide bacterial and fungal overgrowth, oral lichen planus, mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), histamine intolerance and severe food sensitivities. I also have problems with my feet. They are very dry, tend to swell up, and there are weird itchy red sores that may be related to athletes foot or to something else.
Over the last two decades my diet has become increasingly restricted and I now am only able to tolerate white sushi rice and lean animal meats. Whenever I stray from that diet, I get severe mouth/throat/upper gut inflammation. As a result, I am severely deficient in a number of vitamins, which I have to inject, as I cannot tolerate them orally. I must restore diversity to my gut, clear the infections and expand my diet so I can get nutrients, but given the reactions I have to most foods, I do not know how.
Early History of Poor Diet
As a kid I ate a lot of sweets and didn’t have the best diet. I took a normal amount of antibiotics as a kid but had a lot of strep throat and colds. In 1997, I had the chicken pox at age 23. It was a mild case. I became more health conscious in my mid 20s and after I got campylobacter food poisoning in 1998, from food purchased from the fast food restaurant Wendy’s. I was treated with ciprofloxacin and made a full recovery. After that, I completely stopped eating fast food. I would say my diet was pretty balanced up until 2002 when I got sick. I should note, I was first exposed to black mold in 2000 and again in 2015.
The Long Decline
In 2002, I was on a 6 month course of Levaquin for a prostate infection I didn’t even have. Shortly after, I contracted giardia on a kayak trip. I developed post-infectious gastritis and severe lactose intolerance. In 2004, I had mercury exposure from dental work and developed the early stages of histamine intolerance. I then developed gluten intolerance in 2006 and IBS symptoms with constipation.
Nevertheless, I was stable for a number of years and in 2007, I contracted Lyme, Bartonella, Babesis and Mycoplasma. I tested very high for mycoplasma as well as other infections like Epstein Barr Virus. From there, I then went on to develop frequent urination, sensitive bladder, and functional dyspepsia. I developed oral lichen planus in 2008.
In 2011, I was prescribed Xifaxan, a drug used to treat IBS with diarrhea or traveler’s diarrhea, and it gave me chronic bloating, which I have had ever since. I had walking pneumonia a few times (mycoplasma) and possibly whooping cough in 2012.
In 2015, I had the flu and was under a lot of stress and had a major autoimmune flare up. I developed geographic tongue and the lichen planus got worse, as did my histamine intolerance. I was exposed to black mold and aspergillus during this period as well. My digestive symptoms got worse.
Increasingly Restricted Diet
In 2018, I took a high dose of probiotics that I had been taking for years and doing well on and it triggered some kind of major mast cell reaction in my upper gut. I have had reflux and gastritis-like symptoms ever since. My MCAS got worse and since 2018 I have been losing the ability to eat more and more foods without a reaction. Last year I tried low dose naltrexone and I had a severe autoimmune reaction to it. I have become even more hypersensitive to environmental triggers like pollution and pollen.
Right now I am 40lbs underweight and survive on white sushi rice and lean animal meats every single day. If I try to eat any plant based food, I get severe mouth/throat/upper gut inflammation. I also believe I have hydrogen sulfide SIBO. In September, I did a nasal culture which showed large amounts of coagulase positive staphylococci. My throat culture showed large amounts of streptococcus A and pseudomonas. My gut also tested positive for actinomyces.
Multiple Vitamin Deficiencies
For years my Vitamin D was suboptimal and recently tested and its 19 ng/mL. I had been giving myself weekly vitamin D injections, as I can’t tolerate any supplements, but I have recently stopped because they caused some new symptoms including: headache, dizziness, off balance, visual disturbances and loss of appetite. I am still dealing with issues a few weeks after stopping the injections. I read this can be a common side effect when people do not respond well to cholecalciferol. My plan is to purchase a special UV light for vitamin D and will try to raise my levels naturally. This is an ongoing theme. Whenever I make a little progress, I always seem to get a setback in some form, which makes this very frustrating. I also inject B complex and B12 which seems to really help with my reactions. I am very nutrient deficient especially in fat soluble vitamins and vitamin C. Currently, I rub these vitamins on my skin and also use nasal resveratrol.
I must treat this severe dysbiosis somehow and am leaning towards antibiotics since I can’t tolerate probiotics or herbal formulas. I need to be extremely careful and have to come up with a really good protocol. I need to micro-dose and make sure I use the right antibiotic or combination of antibiotics. I also don’t want to flare up my gut or make my problems worse. If anyone can help me I would be grateful. I must restore diversity to my gut, clear the infections and expand my diet so I can get nutrients. Thank you.
As of December 2021 I have not made the least bit of progress towards recovering my health. I went for Lyme treatment at the New York Center for Innovative Medicine this Summer and was extremely optimistic and hopeful that this would cure me. A close friend of mine went there and got her life back. Sadly, I am now 5 months post treatment and don’t feel even a tiny bit better in fact many of my old symptoms have resurfaced.
A year ago, I had black mold exposure which caused vestibular trauma and also gave me a visual processing disorder. So I now have to deal with visual and balance issues on top of debilitating daily gastrointestinal symptoms. For 18 months, I have been eating white rice, poultry breast, egg yolks and cod and my esophagus and stomach will flare up if I consume even a tiny piece of any vegetable. I have severe depression, anxiety, and am living in fear every day of my life. I spent $60,000 on medical expenses in 2021 and have absolutely nothing to show for it.
I am going to a special gastroenterology clinic in Ohio in March and will probably get an endoscopy. I am afraid this test will make me worse but I just have no options. I still think I have some kind of stealth infection or parasite in my gut that is causing all these issues. If anyone has recommendations for me I would be grateful.
Every single day I am losing more and more hope and am not sure how much longer I will survive. I am having my will drawn up because I just don’t see a future for myself. On top of this my stepfather was just diagnosed with stomach cancer and is going through chemotherapy now and the whole family is stressed out and this is taking a toll on me emotionally. Thanks for listening.
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This story was first published on February 4, 2021. It was updated on December 29, 2021.