It has been reported that some people with CFS respond to antifungal medication. For details, please see REFERENCE #3. To read about a fungi-related CFS/FMS case, please click here. This fellow's torso pain sounded almost identical to George's case, and he responded nicely to antifungal medication as well. To read more about how fungi relates to CFS/FMS, please see Dr. Cranton's web site.
How To Test For Fungihere, here and here. There are many types of fungi, and this is why they are often difficult to see. You could drop $500 to look for 10 types of fungi, yet not be looking for the one you have. Another technique is to look for several of the more common forms of fungi in stool via a CDSA test. For an example of such a test, please click here. The CDSA has the same problem as the antibody test it only looks for several species. Another way to test for fungi is to treat for it for 45days and see if your symptoms noticeably (hopefully significantly) improve. And this can be done with an Rx prescription antifungal drug such as Fluconazole (same as Diflucan); or with Garlic and Thymus which can be purchased at the health food store. The Rx med is MUCH better, yet is not always available. Even if you don't want to take an antifungal over a long period of time, it is recommended that you try it for several weeks to learn about how fungi is effecting your body.
Testing for fungi (same thing as "yeast") is very difficult. There are several tests, yet they can easily produce false negatives (i.e. they don't see a fungi, yet you still have one). One $500 test looks for antibodies (solders in blood designed to attack specific invaders) to 10 different specific fungi. For an example of such a test, please click
Why Fungi Grow
Fungi easily grow in the body after the part of the immune system that controls fungi (i.e. kills it) has been compromised (e.g. by heavy metal molecules). If the immune system is 100% intact, then fungi should not grow in the body. The part of the immune system that is most responsible for attacking fungi is the neutraphil function, which can be impaired by any of the following: heavy metal molecules such as lead/mercury, excess sugar consumption, sulfites, H2S (hydrogen sulfide synthesized during fermentation in small intestine by harmful bacteria and yeast), and all drugs that impair the electron transport chain (since it is used for neutrophil oxidative burst). Another part of the immune system that fights fungi is Lymphocytes, which can be impaired by any of the following: impaired thymus gland, excessive levels of cortisol, mercury molecules, or low HGH levels.
Test For Fungi with a 45day treatment
To see if you have fungi, try taking an antifungal drug for 30 to 60 days. Many Doc's will not want to give you an antifungal drug unless they see fungi on the outside of the body. In one case, a patient pointed to the largest bump he could find next to a toenail and told his Doc that it itches so fierce right there he could barely walk. He got an antifungal for 30days.
Doing this on the Cheap, without a Doc
If you want to run the fungi test on the cheap, or without a Doc, you can do it with $20 of supplies from a health food store. Garlic fights fungi and several forms of bacteria, and also stimulates the immune system. Many double blind scientific studies have been done with Garlic to show it's efficacy. For evidence of it's this, do a medline search on the word "garlic" (or "garlic w/20 fungi") at www.medscape.com, Garlic is available in pill form and can be taken 3 times a day with meals. Kyloc and EnzymaticTherapy are 2 popular brands. These are odorless and are in pill form. Don't think, "I don't want to take Garlic all the time because I don't like Garlic that much." Think of these as just another pill. Also, one should take something like "Raw Calf Thymus", which stimulates the part of the immune system that fights fungi. Start with 50mg/day of Thymus, and try to work your way up to 200mg/day. At some dosage, you may find you cannot tolerate it (you will not feel well within 30min of taking it), in which case, reduce the dosage. If the amount of Garlic you are taking is causing side effects (e.g. soft stools), then reduce to a comfortable dosage. If you don't notice an affect after 30 to 60days on Garlic and Thymus, then discontinue use. Notice that one item attacks fungi and the other is for the immune system. Fungi and immunity are closely related.
Mr/Mrs. Scientist, Make Sure You Collect Your Data
While running any test, you must Document on a daily basis your symptoms and meds (e.g. pain, # of hrs of sleep before waking w/ pain, anything that you think influenced your symptoms). If you don't Document, you will loose important information. Make sure you get the data into your 3ring binder, or a file on disk. Checking the sedimentation rate (low cost blood test) can show the amount of inflammation in the blood. If the sed rate, pre antifungal to post antifungal drops like a rock, after being high for a long time, then the probability that fungi is involved in your inflammation is very high. Especially if a fungi antibody or CDSA test is positive.
If you suppress fungi with an antifungal drug for 30 to 90 days and your symptoms go away, the fungi could still be in the body, at a low level, and grow back. Therefore, some practitioners recommend that one take antifungal drugs for up to 9mths to completely kill the fungi (hopefully). The antifungal Rx drugs taxes the liver a little, therefore, it is sometimes helpful to take Ultra Clear Plus (available from www.ultrabalance.com) while on the antifungal to make sure the liver Phase II detoxification process is keeping up with toxins generated by Phase I (i.e. to help your liver filter your blood). Alternative to the antifungal Rx drug maintenance, one can take Garlic capsules with meals along with Thymus 1/day, possibly for a long time. And if the part of the immune system that fights fungi is permanently disabled, you may need to be on some kind of antifungal/immunity maintenance for the rest of your life. Some people with FMS/CFS become asymptomatic, yet still require maintenance to address permanent issues. The half life (time required to reduce level by 50%) of mercury in the brain, for example, is 15yrs. Therefore, someone with this condition may find themselves on maintenance support (Rx or over the counter) for a long time.
Goat Yogurt, H2O2 (Rx), MgO2 (Rx), antifungal Rx Nystatin, and antifungal Rx Amphotericin B are potent small antifungal therapies for fungi that live in the small intestine. Antifungal Rx Diflucan is great for Neural/Brain Candida at low doses of 50 mg per day for 5-15 days in moderate cases. For more details on replacing bad bacteria and fungi in the gut with good bacteria, please click here.
Dr. Cranton's web site provides some useful information about battling fungi.
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