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Gut healing - what seems to be helping me

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by bishbosh, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. bishbosh

    bishbosh

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    Hi all
    I'm new to the forum but have been reading posts for some time. Briefly, I've had CFS for nearly 8 years and would be classed as moderately affected.

    I see a lot of people referring to gut healing and wanted to pass along what seems to be working for me. A few years ago I did the adrenal fatigue "thing", including taking hydrocortisone for about 10 months. It was the worst thing I ever did. I had a horrible time when I was on it, doctor couldn't explain it and even after I'd weaned myself off it, I never recovered to my pre-HC days. That was 3 years ago. HC can supposedly cause candida/leaky gut so I assumed that's what it did to me.

    Probiotics and general candida remedies did nothing for me. Cleaning up my diet didn't help either.

    About 9 months ago I started making kefir; first with soya because I am intolerant of dairy milk. Then I switched to dairy about 3 months in and have stayed on it (without any problems). Kefir was the only thing I was doing for the first 7 months so I'm pretty confident when I say "kefir resulted in these benefits".

    Results;
    1. My MCS problems improved tremendously. I no longer feel like I'm choking if I walk past someone wearing perfume or hairspray. I still avoid chemicals as much as I can but when I encounter them, they dont affect me quite so badly.

    2. I had eczema occasionally on my hands; it was usually in reaction to wearing my wedding ring. That has completely cleared up and I can wear the ring without any issue.

    3. The most amazing thing (to me anyway) is what it did to my need for thyroid meds. I had a full thyroidectomy many years ago and have been taking Eltroxin/Synthroid (T4) since then.

    A month after starting kefir I had a blood test; my FT4 was too high so I reduced my meds. Every 3 months since then I've been retested and each time, the results (and symptoms) indicate that I have gone hyperthyroid again.

    In the last 9 months I've had to incrementally reduce my daily T4 meds from 225mcg to 150mcg today. I haven't been on that low a dose for 15 years, maybe more. So SOMETHING has been healed, although I cannot prove what that might be.

    There are anecdotal reports which claim that kefir can cure all manner of ills, but very little research that I can find. So I am guessing when I say that perhaps I had leaky gut syndrome and/or candida and that the kefir has helped my gut to heal, which in turn has resulted in my intestines becoming more efficient at absorbing the thyroid meds.

    Unfortunately, it hasn't done anything to help the brain fog or general energy and stamina. But, it is promising that one issue has been resolved.

    I started the methylation program + support factors 6 weeks ago, but only switched to the folic acid-free supplements a week ago. So far its been tough; I had hoped removing folic acid and adding carnitine fumerate would bring benefits but it hasn't. But I am dreaming a lot more which is new, so I have hope that I'm on the right track.

    Anyway, I hope that some of what I wrote will help others who are struggling with gut healing; I've never found any gut product which was as powerful as kefir. I'm in the UK and at the moment I have enough spare kefir grains to post to maybe 2 or 3 people which I'm happy to do if anyone wants them.....

    Oh, and another thing; anyone thinking of using dairy milk, you need to use non-homogonised milk. Pasteurised is fine; homogonised is just too sterile to work. Tesco & Sainsbury's sell it in my area; Asda & Morrisons do not.

    Also, I forgot to mention that my hyper-sensitivity to supplements has disappeared since starting kefir. There was a time when almost every supplement I tried made me very ill; I am much better in that respect. Without having crossed that barrier, I doubt I'd have been able to start the methylation supplements.

    BB
  2. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Bishbosh, im really glad to hear of the benefits keffir has brought you. I have been using keffir on and off for a while -i say on and off as the first lot i had was a sachet which i brought from Dr Myhill - it didnt last long and after a month went off (i used organic soya milk) i loved the kefir though and at one point it was the only food i actively craved. When this starter died i ordered the real thing and got grains (brought off the net) they went well for a while although the instructions said not to use soya all the time so once a week i used caows juice instead. My grains tasted very different to the sachet (not as nice) and they never really grew that much and eventually they died too (i was so sad!) now i have started up with another sachet and its going ok so far.

    I also can relate to your problem with the steroids -my latest relapse was made much worse or perhaps brought about by a year on steroid medication (for my lungs after measles then pneumonia) which as far as i can tell destroyed my health even further, my HPA axis went all over the place and i had severe menopausal symptoms (since cleared up) my immune system ws also horribly comprimised by them and that along with the constant antibiotics for ll the infections i kept getting left me with very severe systemic candida -what a mess!
    Im so glad you are finding things that help you and i look forward to hearing more about how you re doing.
    Justyx
  3. bishbosh

    bishbosh

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    Hi Justy
    Thanks for your input! I've only ever used grains and I must admit I really don't like the taste of kefir; I have to smother it in fruit, seeds and yoghurt to be able to drink it :) But its worth it for the benefits I mentioned. I found it worked quite well with soya and coconut milk but I was a little concerned about the coconut milk because its been sitting in aluminium cans for a period of time before I use it.

    Ditto the menopausal symptoms while I was on HC steroids. It was absolutely horrible. What was strange was during that time I had a urine cortisol test done, which showed mid-range (ie "normal") cortisol, which just shows how worthless that test can be.
    I hope the kefir helps you with the candida; its about the only thing that I've found in 8 years which has done something positive for me. Best of luck with it :)
    BBxxx
  4. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Dairy Kefir...

    Hi BishBosh,

    I'm hoping you can go into more detail. What kind of grains did you purchase (and/or where did you purchase the kefir grains)?

    And did you use raw milk, or regular, pasteurized "commercial" milk?

    And how long did it take to ferment until it was ready -- (how can you tell when it's ready)?

    Thanks in advance,

    Dan


    p.s. I tried 'water kefir' but it was too hard on my teeth. Even the "KefirLady" who sells the grains admitted that water kefir can be hard on the enamel. I'm hoping that perhaps, the calcium in the milk/dairy helps make this less of a problem.
  5. bishbosh

    bishbosh

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    Hi Dan,
    I got my original grains from a personal contact who in turn got them from someone else, but the grains which I got looked very similar to grains I'd previously bought (and killed!) from eBay. They look like little cauliflower heads (if that helps?)

    I would have preferred to use raw milk but I cannot get it here. Instead I use pasteurised, non-homogonised commercial cows milk. Note; homogonised milk does not work. Pasteurised cows milk works just fine as long as it hasnt been homogonised. My mother makes it from their own home-grown raw milk and that works equally well. Also, I can only get full-fat pasteurised milk here, so thats what I use, but I figure the fat in the milk has its benefits too.

    You can also use goats milk, soya milk, coconut milk. Coconut milk tastes the best in my opinion but I mostly stick with cows milk now.

    The following recipe takes about 24 hours to be ready to drink;
    approx 1/2 cup of grains
    1 liter of milk

    You should put that lot into a glass container, like a pyrex jug and let it sit at room temperature. I usually sit it on my counter top. At colder temperatures you may find it takes longer to "turn". Some people let it sit in a warm environment, like an airing cupboard but I've never found that necessary.

    What you're looking for is for the milk to take on the consistency of light yoghurt or cream. Its a little thicker than milk, but not solid. If you want, you can leave it a bit longer, like 36-48 hours. It makes it taste stronger. Its an acquired taste - it does taste quite strong.

    When its ready, you just sieve the grains out and use them to start your next batch of kefir. The grains will increase in size over time, so you'll find your 1/2 cup will become 1 full cup over the course of a few weeks. You can either eat the grains you dont need, or pass them along to someone else. You should avoid using metal objects on the grains, like spoons or metal sieves. Apparently it can affect the grains, so I use a plastic sieve and scoop.

    I'm not sure about the enamel problem - I hadnt heard that before. As it happens, I mix in ground hemp seeds and fruit to make the kefir more palatable so I have to brush my teeth after that lot! Maybe its a good thing :)

    There is a great website by someone called Dom who has pulled together a load of info about kefir. If you google "Dom kefir site" you'll find him. This stuff is so simple and inexpensive, yet it seems to genuinely help so many people so I spread the word whenever I can.

    I hope that's helped but if you have any other questions, let me know. I'm happy to help :)
    BB
  6. harrycat

    harrycat

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    I'd love to have some of your grains to give them a try if its not too much trouble BB? Let me know how I can give you my details if its possible.. I'm in the UK.

    Thanks :)
  7. bishbosh

    bishbosh

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    No problem at all Harrycat, I've got extra at the moment. If you send me a PM (click on my name and it will give you the option of sending a Private Message) with your postal address I'll post some to you. :)
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Kefir Experiences - Fermented Food Products

    Hi BB,

    Thanks for your detailed report on your kefir experience. I posted a few months ago on my own kefir experience. I noticed and experienced many similar results as you have posted here.

    One thing I've been thinking about recently: I often have quite a surplus of "kefir whey", which results from making kefir cheese. I'm so hesitant to throw away such a good food product that it can easily get to be several weeks old. Just recently I dug out an old jar that had been in the refrigerator for at least six weeks, expecting it probably was no longer good. Turns out it was just fine.

    This made me think of virtually all fermented dairy products which have a much longer "shelf life" than unfermented dairy products. And the likely reason being that the good bacteria in the fermented products quite readily keep the "bad" bacteria in check. When this happens in our own GI tract, it creates an environment where our gut finally has a chance to do some healing.

    I might just mention there are other fermented products besides kefir that might have similar benefits. I've been meaning to try to culture some kambucha tea, and other products as well (such as sauerkraut). Would be nice to have a little greater variety. But I'm really sold on the value of fermented food products. It currently makes up more than half my diet, and it's really improved my own GI health ever since I started about a year ago.

    Best Regards, Wayne
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Surplus Kefir Grains

    Just thought I'd mention I currently have a large surplus of kefir grains (just can't bring myself to throw them away). I could probably send some to anybody who might have an interest. I could also help walk you through some of the finer points of making it.

    Wayne
  10. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    kefir grains

    Did you get them from a group or from a commercial source? I have been hearing such good reports I do want to start making my own. Right now though, milk may not be the greatest--there is still a lot of radiation fallout.
  11. bishbosh

    bishbosh

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    Hi Wayne
    I read your post - its nice to hear other people's experiences. I think you enjoy the taste of kefir more than I do, but its OK for me with fruit and seeds :) You might be onto something about the good bacteria keeping the bad bacteria in check. Its probably also why milk drinkers who have difficulties with pasteurised or homogonised milk seem to have fewer problems with raw milk.

    Whatever it is, I'm pretty impressed with the results. It would have been nice if it had helped with the CFS and energy but I guess it cant do everything.

    Jen you can get grains from other people when they have excess grains (there is I believe a Yahoo group although I'm not a member), or you can buy them quite cheaply.
  12. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    Wayne, I made kombucha for a while - it's not hard - but the caffeine and sugar content was too high for me. I would love to have some of your kefir grains, and start experimenting with that. Could I PM you my address?

    Madie

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