A likable little green Cheeto? Not so much!
If you eat corn and it comes out looking like it went in, you may be hosting h.pylori.
Equally, if you have long term diarrhea, my account of the effect of Metronidazol may be of interest to you.
First of all, you may not know that diarrhea in some form is a persistent, common problem for many people with low vitamin B12. While you may be familiar with diarrhea, you may know little or nothing about h.pylori. I first heard of h.pylori when I began researching vitamin B12 and found publications like this:
Identification of the underlying cause is important in the diagnosis of vitamin 12 deficiency that is attributed to malabsorption. Helicobacter pylori (h.pylori) is one of the most common causes of peptic ulcer disease worldwide and a major cause of chronic superficial gastritis leading to atrophy of gastric glands… causal relationship between h pylori and food cobalamin malabsorption.
Food cobalamin’s absorption depends on its release from the binders in food. Malabsorption is marked by the inability to release cobalamin from food. If cobalamin cannot be released, it cannot be taken up by intrinsic factor for absorption. Release of cobalamin requires acid and pepsin. Most malabsorptive states can be traced to gastric defects.
It has been proposed that pernicious anemia may represent the final phase of a process that begins with h pylori–associated gastritis and evolves through progressive levels of atrophy until parietal cell mass is entirely lost. Helicobacter pylori–Is It a Novel Causative Agent in Vitamin [B.sub.12] Deficiency? Archives of Internal Medicine. May 2000.
Okay, back to my experience ~
I got Tetanus on August 15, 2004. (this is background) The ER diagnosed me as Paranoid because I was screaming from muscle contractions they couldn’t see: the site of the injury wasn’t swollen. The deciding factor for the ER was hospital records: several years earlier I had tried to kill myself while protesting abuse by IRS. A letter I’d written was pinned to me when I was taken unconscious from my exhaust filled car to the ER where I was revived and my “profound B12 deficiency” was discovered. Upon regaining consciousness I was taken to the psych ward where, because of protesting IRS, I was labeled Paranoid. Thus, more than a decade later the hospital referred to its records rather than my symptoms and “diagnosed” me as paranoid. Luckily they gave me some antibiotic, to humor me, as they put it.
US News & World Report used some of my IRS experience in a piece they ran ~ Read the US News piece.
It took nearly 6 months to get adequate Metronidazol to kill the clostridia bacteria. Metronidazol is the specific antibiotic recommended for tetanus, particularly if the person is allergic to penicillin as I am.
The delay and interim inadequate doses of antibiotic showed me something valuable, however.
The Erythromycin from the ER helped. After it ran out it took me days to get more. In the interim I got worse. When I got more antibiotic, I again improved, but ran out before the symptoms were totally gone. In each case the dose was about half of what is recommended for Tetanus.
Finally at the end of March, 2005, I had 17 days of 500 mg Metronidazol every 6 hours, prescribed by the doctor for the homeless, whom I was able to see because the privy pit caused my home to be foreclosed — I was able to get my home back, using bankruptcy and by selling a rental I’d had. (Now I’m once again praying for a miracle ~ to keep my home).
After the first 17 days of Metronidazol I still had symptoms, so the doctor prescribed the same again. And, that did the trick.
Full course of Metronidazol ended long-term diarrhea
After the full course of Metronidazol I no longer had the diarrhea I’d for a dozen years. (A nurse practitioner whom I saw in 2003 said that with the kind of B12 deficiency I have, I could expect to have diarrhea for the rest of my life.)
Each of the small courses of antiobiotic changed the texture of my stool (this is so gross, but it is also the only way to tell you this) however the changes didn’t last. The last course of Metronidazol not only changed the texture, the change lasted.
That means that among other things, when I eat corn now, it no longer comes out looking like corn. The most probable explanation is that I now have more stomach acid due to the antibiotic killing the h.pylori that had been attached to my stomach lining. And, I seem to be regaining some balance and not bumping into doorways as much. Living in the hydrogen sulfide from the privy pit had affected my balance, memory, soft tissue, etc. Incidentally, research verifies that “cathartic stools” shed h.pylori:
Helicobacter pylori (h.pylori) causes gastritis, peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. Half the world’s population has it but its mode of transmission is uncertain. It is shed in cathartic stools. Successful catharsis was defined as three or more loose or watery stools with a short interval between stools. Helicobacter pylori in cathartic stools 2003 Society for General Microbiology
Regaining balance could be because the homeless doctor also put me on a B12 shot a day for about two months because after the metonidazol/tetanus I had a lot of trouble with my feet going numb and feeling like they weren’t touching the floor, which made taking a step feel as if I was falling. The B12 helped enormously, way more than I would have thought possible, even given my past excellent results from using B12.
So it could be that I’m not bumping into walls and doorways as much because the B12 is restoring my nerves… or… maybe it has to do with killing the h.pylori or something that was living in my gastro-intestinal system or attached to my stomach lining.
I asked the doctor if he thought I could have had h.pylori. He said, no, that h.pylori tended to be associated with ulcers, which he didn’t think I’d had. But, he added, there were other things rather like h.pylori that it could have been. He didn’t say what.
Here’s my point, I had three small courses of antibiotic that did not affect the h.pylori or whatever in any lasting way. It was only when I had a really major course that there was a significant change for the better. The problem is that doctors overall, at least in my experience, are not keen to prescribe antibiotics, much less large doses of them.
What if, I wonder, there was something like h.pylori causing all my neuro symptoms? And, what if my mom had it, and it was the reason she was diagnosed in later life with pernicious anemia?
I don’t know the answers, but I saw an article somewhere that said they were looking at antibiotics in relations to ALS… this experience of mine made me really start thinking about that.
Karen Kline ~ August 6, 2005
Post Script: If you have had diarrhea a long time, then you might benefit as much from taking B12 as I did. (By that I mean that the nurse practitioner appeared to view my diarrhea as a symptom of B12 deficiency.) And, for the record, methylcobalamin lozenges are just as effective as B12 shots. (I add this because I am surprised at how many people are visiting this page.) Further, eating yogurt does two very helpful things: the lactobacillus in the yogurt gets rid of h.pylori, and in doing that it raises the amount of vitamin B12 you can get from the food you eat. Read more about Yogurt Benefits.
Karen Kline ~ August 16, 2005
Vitamin C and h.pylori
During the time that I couldn’t get more antibiotic and I still had tetanus symptoms (luckily not the muscle contractions in my back ~ I’d found I could keep severe symptoms away by staying still ~ I was taking 12 to 15 of the 500 mg vitamin C with rose hips, the cheapest variety at Wal*Mart because I was so impoverished, with a mug of tea plus saltines and additional water, three times a day, adding up to about 18 to 23 grams a day. That much vitamin C causes diarrhea, so it’s a bit daunting to take that much once you realize what’s going to come of it. But, here’s the thing: those large doses of vitamin C also caused a change in the texture of my stool. At the time I had no idea what that meant, or if it meant anything at all. I just happened to notice.
Then a woman wrote to me who’d seen some things I’d posted on a homeopathic site, where people had been major rude to me, I forget why, maybe because they expected me to improve from homeopathics, and I didn’t.
The woman wrote saying that a friend of hers had gotten tetanus and had been treated immediately, and was vastly better, but had some lingering problems.
The woman was (and is) a herbalist, and was worried about me when I told her what I was still experiencing. She sent me a huge box of home grown oranges, grapefruits, kumquats, HUGE lemons, two jars of honey from their bees, a tiny bottle of Oil of Greek Oregano, and a small packet of propolis.
She said that Oil of Oregano is a natural antibiotic, as is the propolis. Bees make propolis to protect their hives. I forget what she told me to eat with the Oil of Oregano, but I did… it tasted really Italian, like pizza or highly spiced spaghetti. She told me to have the propolis with honey.
When I took the doses she recommended the red lines under my fingernails faded, except for the thick one on my right thumb and the bright one on my left ring finger. The fading was a relief. (The lines, as I understand it, are called “splinter hemorrhages” and reflect blood infection.)
I also had red lines (they were not bright, but more a taupe/red) under my toe nail where the darning needle puncture had been. They too decreased a bit. I began to feel better. But, even though I was still soaking my foot in Epsom salts and using compresses of Epsom salts, both of which clearly helped, all of this did not totally get rid of the lines – or the infection which the lines apparently indicated. (The line on my right thumb had a reddish spot near the top of my thumb that was about the size of a lentil.)
When the homeless doctor gave me Metronidazol, the lines faded a great deal more, but the lentil sized spot did not go entirely away, though it did grow smaller, and the line became wider and less distinct. However, I continued to tire easily and my eyes would burn a lot, which I associate from childhood with infection.
About this time a friend sent me an article on Linus Pauling and Vitamin C. The article said vitamin C could cure some types of cancer. I was open to believing this because by this time I’d found a study done in Bangladesh in 1984 that showed that vitamin C, when given to people with tetanus, reduced the severity of the symptoms and none of the people who had vitamin C died of tetanus. Tetanus kills about 40% to 60% of the people who get it.
What I learned from the Linus Pauling article that surprised me, was that the amount of vitamin C I had been taking was not enough. The article suggested about 26 grams a day. (I think this varies in relation to the size of the person.) I’m huge, I’m six feet tall and by this time I’d gained quite a lot of weight from hardly moving at all for a year, so the amount of vitamin C I was taking was short of being enough by several grams.
I tried taking a full 30 grams a day for 5 days, to see if that made a difference. 1000 mg equals one gram.
It made a difference. My eyes stopped burning and the remaining lines got really faint. They still aren’t totally, completely gone, but they are not so visible that anyone who did not know where to look could see them.
If I had taken a larger dose of Oil of Oregano and propolis, or taken a full 30 grams of vitamin C for five days or a week, it may have killed the clostridia and the blood infection and I would not have needed the Metronidazol.
The reason I think that is that vitamin C appeared to control the tetanus. I had to keep taking the vitamin C because when I stopped the symptoms worsened. Plus, at one point I got a horrible toothache and infection where my dental implants were: I had completely failed to brush my teeth during the months when I couldn’t stand long enough for that kind of thing. (You would not believe how dirty I was after the months of not being able to shower for more than a minute because of how my muscles would tighten in a frightening way. A minute is not enough to wash my hair and body! I was crusty dirty.)
Okay, so the pain from the swelling and the infection in my gums was terrible. Ibuprofen didn’t knock it out at all. It helped, but it didn’t knock it out. This is when I learned, by using it, that Vitamin C got rid of the swelling and that meant it must have been getting rid of the infection. So from then on I took the 12 to 15 tablets of 500 mg vitamin C regularly to keep the infection away, up until I had the Metronidazol.
The homeless doctor said that much vitamin C could be dangerous. Strangely enough he didn’t seem nearly as worried about the huge amounts of Ibuprofen I was taking. (If you ever have to take a lot of Ibuprofen, be sure you take it with at least a couple of Saltines and a lot of water and tea and other liquid. It is important to do that because otherwise you can have a health devastating reaction to the Ibuprofen. I think this is true of all pain killers. So, be sure to remember to take pain killers with some food and LOTS of liquid.)
NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and their dangers ~ Read more.
The upshot is that I now keep a supply of several bottles of vitamin C on hand because I am sure, I mean SURE that if bird flu hits, the vitamin C will work much better than Tamiflu or any other new drug or vaccine that is around or in short supply at the time.
Vitamin C could be a life saver, especially if things grind to a halt as a result of some sort of epidemic, like bird flu, and getting any kind of help to include healthcare is nearly impossible. (Like it was impossible for me to get help with my tetanus for so long. But I survived.)
Vitamin C ~ Read more and watch video re cure of Swine Flu
Remember, if you are a smaller person than me, which most likely you are, you should take a proportionately smaller amount of C. I don’t know what that amount would be. You need to work it out. As you work out what amount is best for you, do it gradually, and keep notes so that you can see what you did and the effects. (I’m six feet tall and I weighed about 280 pounds. So that is pretty huge. You should not take as much vitamin C as I was taking if you are smaller than me. Equally, if you are larger it doesn’t mean you should take a great deal more. The difference for me came when I took 60 of the 500 mg vitamin C a day, instead of 45. Pauling’s article suggested the equivalent of 52 a day. in other words, 26 grams a day)
Also, I understand that the way vitamin C works, is that it combats whatever… so don’t take a large amount if you are well, because that would be bad for you because there would be nothing for it to combat. Do you see what I mean? This is important to remember. Do not take vitamin C in large amounts in an attempt to stay well, because that is not how it works. Taking it that way could make you sick. I believe the amount that Pauling himself took daily was 3 grams. He lived to nearly a hundred.
Finally, I wonder if Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel would respond equally well to high doses of vitamin C.
Karen Kline ~ 7/1/06
Merck on h.pylori ~ Read more.