Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stomach Medication = Candida Overgrowth

In my 12/20 post, I discussed my theory that years of acid reducing stomach medications may have contributed to my ME.  It turns out I was right.

Yesterday I visited my ME/CFS specialist (Dr. W) to discuss the results of a recent blood panel.  Of the several infections contributing to my ME, the worst, in terms of antibody titers, was Candida Albicans.  Candida is yeast that often grows out of control in the stomachs and intestines of people with ME.

After the appointment, I hit the internet to learn more about the causes and treatments for Candida overgrowth.   One of the top Google links was this page, about the risk of "proton pump inhibitors" (acid reducing stomach medications) leading to Candida.  Of particular interest was the following:

"...A significant lack of stomach acid may also result in proliferation of Candida and other yeast fungus organisms...
Treatments to Avoid
....Of the two varieties of stomach acid suppressors, proton pump inhibitors are the most potent. It takes only one of these pills to reduce your stomach acid secretion by 90 to 95% for the better part of a day....Before considering an antacid, I urge you to look up the possible adverse side effects of these and other drugs, because many of them can be quite serious." 

I wish I'd known this a few years earlier.

It's hard not to feel as though my medical care providers failed me, especially the doctor who continued to renew the prescription for 5 years, and the pharmacy for doing the same.  It's an example of why you have to be your own gatekeeper and not rely completely on your doctor's advice.


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