Update 26th June 2018: Everyone who thought that I was nuts when I wrote the below article: Well, you were most likely right. As it turns out the problem was not candida, but oxalates.
You’ve been on the Ketogenic Diet for a while now and you’ve been promised weight loss, more energy, clearer head, better sleep or possibly even ascension? But instead you got some or all of the following?
- weight gain
- stiff neck
- brain fog
- heart palpitations
- head pressure
- burning sensation in the mouth
- insatiable thirst
- impaired breathing / coughing / shortness of breath
- stiff joints
- muscle stiffness
- bloated, painful intestines
- constipation or diarrhea
- white coated tongue
- phlegm or mucus or the feeling of having a “frog” in your throat
- just overall feeling more miserable
But you aren’t willing to give up on the diet just yet because you were told all those negative symptoms you’ve started to experience were due to your body adjusting from a sugar to a fat burning metabolism? Or that your mtDNA was being repaired? That you just need to stick through it, or drink more water or take a few supplements? That in order to get well you have to get sick first? That the insomnia really is you having more energy and hence needing less sleep? And yet it’s been weeks, months, or more than a year but you still experience those symptoms and you’re not really feeling well and – surprisingly – you have actually GAINED some weight?! If so, then it might be time to consider that the Ketogenic Diet is actually making you sick.
How could that be? You ask.
And: Who am I to suggest such blasphemy?
I’m a former Keto Fanatic, someone who had been on the Ketogenic Diet for over 1 year until I realized that ketosis was wrecking havoc with my body, and now I’m here to tell you all about it. How did I get into the Ketogenic Diet? Did I go from eating pizza and drinking Cola straight to eating 4 eggs for breakfast topped with lard? No, I took a low carb Paleo Diet detour first which lasted for several years.
Humble Beginnings – the Low Carb Paleo Diet
It started as a trial-and-error journey to figure out why I was always experiencing a burning sensation down my esophagus after each meal, which made me – unknowingly at that time – stumble upon the Low Carb Paleo Diet.
After 1 year on it (during which the burning sensation and heart palpitations post meal which had been going on for 5 years, stopped entirely) I discovered that this way of eating had a name, that there was a science behind it, books were written on it, symposiums were taking place, doctors and other health professionals were curing all sorts of conditions with it.
But with the years some of the old symptoms started creeping back in, and instead of feeling energized like I used to at the beginning, I started feeling more and more exhausted after each of my low carb meals.
At the same time I was reading more and more about the evils of even small amounts of carbohydrates and the wonders of fat, courtesy of sott.net. So I gradually started cutting out low or medium carb foods like squash, carrots, beets, or almonds, assuming that that’s what didn’t allow me to reap the benefits of the cavemen’s diet like it used to.
Going Full-On Ketogenic
Eventually, I found myself at a point where I would eat slabs of organic grass-fed butter on top of beef patties made out of organic grass-fed 22% fat content ground beef for breakfast.
I would make pulled pork and slurp the released fat – that would be my meal.
I would eat spoonfuls of coconut oil or coconut butter (it would give me instant nausea and make me bend over from weakness – but hey, coconut oil is a miracle and super food, it HAD to be healthy, right?).
After all that I would just feel horrible.
Of course it had nothing to do with the diet, it couldn’t have, I thought at the time. After all I was on the best diet in the world – the Ketogenic Diet! It could even repair DNA and cure cancer I was told – so how could it be bad?
And yet: something was wrong. Very wrong.
I had developed insomnia. I would wake after 5 or 6 hours and wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep. I had developed an insatiable thirst – I was literally drinking 1 gallon of water per day. It didn’t help. My mouth was burning all the time. I was urinating and drinking constantly. My joints and muscles felt stiff and sore. I developed constant nausea and pains in my gastric area, and an extreme pulling sensation in my head and neck. My neck would be stiff like a wood plank.
What was happening to me?
On top of that I had gained weight which I completely couldn’t understand – how was it possible to gain weight on a virtually zero carb diet? It didn’t make sense to me. Maybe it was the trace amounts of sugars in the red meat I had read about?
At that point it started slowly dawning on me that things were getting out of hand if I was contemplating to cut out red meat in order to cut out carbs! I even started developing the post-meal burning sensation and heart palpitations which I thought I had already overcome years ago.
WHAT WAS GOING ON??!!
But I still wasn’t prepared to consider that there was something wrong with my diet. It couldn’t be! Sott.net was delivering a barrage of articles proving to me on a daily basis that fat burning is the answer to all of humanity’s health problems (and possibly turning us into 4D STO super-beings. And hell if I was to miss out on that ride!) I was feeling really miserable, yet if someone asked me at that time how I was doing I would say: “I’m GREAT! I eat meat and lots of fat every day!” then I would cycle back home and feel completely exhausted and fall onto my couch in a state of coma from a trip to the supermarket.
I was completely deluded, allthewhile being convinced that I was perfectly dietarily enlightened (which really is the worst kind of delusion).
So when did the bubble burst?
Ketosis Makes Candida Go Systemic
Somebody forwarded to me a German text by a German doctor who claimed that long-term low carb diets will make candida worse because candida can feed more readily on ketones than on glucose. I was incredulous. Having spent half my life in Germany I didn’t have a very high opinion of German doctors. I wanted to see whether I could find corroborating information in the English-speaking world. I ran a google search and an article by Mark Sisson from marksdailyapple.com popped up. It read:
“Avoid very low carb.
Paul Jaminet, who suffered from candida overgrowth, argues that since candida (being eukaryotes) have mitochondria that can feed on both ketones and carbs (as opposed to prokaryote bacteria without mitochondria), going very low carb or ketogenic will only provide more fuel for the overgrowth. Furthermore, since ketones are water-soluble and pass easily through cellular membranes, ketones will actually be a more accessible food source for candida. Don’t go high-carb, since any extra glucose will just be food for the yeast, but don’t go ketogenic, either. Stick to around 100-150 grams of carbs while still limiting sugar. Although other sources do recommend going as low-carb as possible, my money’s on Paul.”
It basically says: “Ketosis will make candida worse.” What?! I had never heard of that before. Everyone else was always suggesting low or zero carb for candida. And this guy – Paul Jaminet – claims candida feeds more readily on ketones than on glucose!?
I kept reading and I realized that I couldn’t dismiss the possibility that this was correct. It would explain a lot of what had been happening to me over the last year or so. I had to test it. Paul Jaminet claims that if you’re getting sicker on the Keto Diet because of yeast getting worse, that you need to get out of ketosis in order to stop the systemic growth of candida. The way to do it is by eating carbs.
The Candida Ketosis Test
When I read that it was late at night. I wanted to test the theory right away, but I didn’t have any carbohydrate rich foods in the fridge. I decided to get some sweet potatoes the next morning.
When I woke up I distinctly felt the nausea, the pulling sensation in my head and the unquenchable thirst I had nearly gotten used to during the past year.
I jumped on my bike, went to Whole Foods Market, bought the first sweet potatoes of my life and by the time I was back home the pulling sensation, exhaustion, breathing problems, thirst, burning sensation in my mouth got worse. Did the exercise push my body further into ketosis and made the yeast grow? I couldn’t dismiss it. By then I was fully tuned in to my body. I boiled the sweet potatoes and ate them.
Within 20 minutes of eating carbs the devastating thirst I had experienced for over 1 year had vanished. Same with the nausea. I felt a nearly immediate relief in fatigue and neck stiffness. The phlegm I had been spitting out regularly? It stopped. I could breath better.
It was a revelation.
Wow, I was really onto something here. Within a few more days of adding back carbs I lost weight. That’s right: I lost weight by ADDING CARBOHYDRATES to my diet. With time I learned to observe my body well and learned to know when it would go into ketosis so I always made sure I ate carbs at the right time. Yet, I also knew that by eating too many carbs I would make candida grow as well.
So it was a constant balancing act.
The thirst, burning in my mouth and esophagus, constant nausea, short sleeping periods, breathing problems, phlegm etc. which had gone overboard during the ketogenic period – it all resolved itself and stayed mostly gone (with some flaring up here and there whenever I would go without proper food for too long).
What remained was a constantly stiff neck and bloating after eating fruit. However, given that I was also suffering from other symptoms like adrenal fatigue, exhaustion, low blood sugar, difficulty concentrating, mood swings which I mostly attributed to mercury poisoning, I couldn’t entirely dismiss the possibility that candida contributed to those symptoms to some degree or another. In any case – I needed to get rid of it.
How to get rid of Candida?
Ok, so now I knew I had candida. I also knew that I could not starve it out because if I didn’t eat carbs my body would go into ketosis and it would feed the candida even more. Which is what had been happening to me for over 1 year of a low to zero carb diet. If I ate too many carbs I would feed the candida as well, since candida also feeds on glucose.
The best I could do with diet was to keep it at a balance and to manage my symptoms but the candida would still be there.
But how to get rid of it for good?
I didn’t want to settle for anything less. I knew some people were using things like Diflucan, caprylic acid, oregano oil, olive leaf extract to control candida. Some even claim to have completely eradicated it with those remedies. Nevertheless, I wasn’t willing to spend money on supplements just to find out that they didn’t work in my case or that I was in some form sensitive to them – something that I had experienced all too often in the past.
I wanted to do the best treatment possible which would go straight to the cause of the problem.
Enter Andrew Hall Cutler – the Mercury-Candida Connection
At that point I already knew that I was mercury poisoned from over 20 years of having 4 amalgam fillings in my mouth (plus all the mandatory vaccines I had received over the years). Andrew Hall Cutler says in his book “Amalgam Illness” that yeast problems are a common complication of mercury and that the “appropriate treatment is MERCURY REMOVAL”. He further explains how mercury causes candidiasis in the first place:
“Neutrophils are in charge of killing off extra yeast. Mercury is known to inhibit some of the specific chemistry neutrophils use to kill yeast.”
Many others agree (although most of them don’t seem to be aware of how mercury impacts the immune system): Dr. J Towbridge supposedly claims in his book “The Yeast Syndrome” that 98% of candida sufferers have mercury poisoning. He is also being quoted as saying said that
“I do know this, if you have high mercury levels and you don’t fix this problem, you will never get rid of your Candida.“
“It is speculated that the methylated mercury has a candida building effect in the intestines, and it is not until thorough mercury cleansing has taken place in these situations that the patient is finally rid of their chronic candida yeast infection. If you have a chronic yeast infections or candida you simply must look into the mercury connection.”
Natural News reports
“In the gut, mercury creates an environment that is not friendly for beneficial bacteria. An overgrowth of bad bacteria and Candida results.”
This study on neutrophil activity came to the conclusion that
“(…) HgCl(2) inhibited: (1) polarization and (2) immunoglobulin (Ig)G-mediated phagocytosis of sheep erythrocytes in a dose-dependent manner from 2.5 to 10 microM.”
Another paper presents the following negative effects of mercury on lymphocytes and neutrophils:
“Furthermore, mercury decreased the immune response, and age of seals had an effect on cell sensitivity to mercury. Concentrations of 10(-5)M of methylmercury chloride decreased phagocytosis and lymphoblastic transformation responses.”
So the picture seemed to be pretty clear:
In order to get rid of candida one has to get rid of mercury – the Andrew Cutler / Frequent Oral Low Dose Chelation
Anything else would offer just temporary relief but no complete cure.
Andrew Cutler suggests a unique protocol which might very well be the only correct way to get rid of mercury and the only one with minimum risks involved. It requires respecting the chelators’ half lives and taking them in low and frequent doses around the clock – day and night.
Luckily, I seemed to be one of the few who never tried any other chelation protocol before coming across Cutler’s research. Many others who try other modalities (like taking chlorella, cilantro, glutathione IVs, DAN! protocol, taking chelators outside of their half lives or doing EDTA IVs – all of which can redistribute more mercury into the brain) often become much sicker before they come across AC’s program and finally get better. [Please join the “Andy Cutler chelation think tank” group on Facebook to learn more].
To cut the story short: I’ve been on Cutler’s protocol since September 2013 (it’s now March 2015).
The gains in my health I’ve seen in that time are truly remarkable: my exhaustion is as good as normal most of the days (unless I increase the chelator dosis) – I can run errands and function, I can do things! Adrenal fatigue is at a minimum (I feel a little energetic low during the afternoon), ability to concentrate and to read is much improved, my mood has stabilized, blacking out after getting up (something I was dealing with since my early teens) is COMPLETELY GONE, waking up in the middle of the night due to low blood sure – gone as well, my dry skin has improved (it’s gotten worse on my cheeks, though. Is it because of mercury being pushed out of places which were in direct contact with the amalgams?), body stiffness has improved as well (the painful sensation in joints when getting up after a while of sitting in the same position) – I can go for a long and heavy walk several times a week.What still remains are my food sensitivities: thiol-sensitivity is probably the worst for me right now. Additionally to gluten sensitivity.
Has my candida improved?
It seems it has indeed.
The near relentless stiff neck and tension in my shoulders is mostly gone or much improved. Whenever I do allow myself to get into ketosis, it seems to take longer for my body to start experiencing all the symptoms I came to associate with worsening candidiasis. So I seem to be able to handle ketosis better. But it still impacts me negatively. So I still have reason to believe that there is enough of mercury in me to impair neutrophils’ candida killing properties. [As of mid-March 2015 I’m on round# 77 of the Andrew Cutler chelation. 100 rounds is often cited as a ballpark figure to see profound results.]
And as to the sudden nausea after eating some coconut oil? It turns out coconut oil brings the body immediately into ketosis – says Paul Jaminet – hence instantly feeding candida resulting in my case in equally instant nausea and fatigue.
Can the Ketogenic Diet cure candida?
There is reason to believe it can.
Are you confused?
There are indeed reports of people getting much much better or even claiming to have completely wiped out candida with the keto diet.
How is this possible? Are they completely delusional?
I don’t think so (and as you recall, I’m an expert on delusions).
If one understands the underlying mechanics of candida development, namely mercury toxicity, it becomes clear that different levels of toxicity are possible, resulting in different levels of neutrophil impairment. Some people might be so profoundly mercury toxic that their immune system is nearly completely shut down, resulting in profound candida infestation. It those cases ketosis can make things probably much much worse. Others might be only slightly mercury poisoned. So the benefit they draw from possible mitochondrial stimulation via ketosis might overcome the slight immune suppression via mercury, and they feel better on the keto diet. The candida might have not been entirely eradicated but lies dormant or has been pushed into the background enough to not be of much trouble. It can flare up or become worse if the source of the yeast, amalgam fillings or continued vaccination, is not removed.
Is to be able to eat ketogenically.
And I’m aiming to achieve that solely by continuing the chelation program.
It looks very much like ketosis is indeed the superior way of deriving energy. But I have learned that in order to be able to do this one has to have a minimum of health.
So yes, ketosis might be highly beneficial to the human body, but not if it’s poisoned with mercury and the resulting candida infection.
I see many people go on the Ketogenic Diet and they go through a similar experience like mine. It just doesn’t work for them. And it’s not due to lack of dedication or because they were unable to get over the “transition phase” from glucose to fat buring, or because they were not detoxed enough, or because they didn’t take the right supplements.
It’s just that for them the “feeling sick” before “feeling great” translates to constantly only “feeling sick” with the “feeling great” never materializing. Some of them go on to try the Blood Type Diet and start eating carbs again – and improve. They then remain convinced that it was because of having found the right diet for their genome. Whereas the reason for their improvement might just be that the added carbs got their bodies out of ketosis, hence stopped the systemic growth of candida – without having anything to do with the composition of their blood.
In the past 6 years I was sick with the flu only 1 time, which was at the height of my ketosis phase.
Cassiopaea Forum – A Great Review on the Effects of the Wrong Chelation Protocol and the Drawbacks of the Ketogenic Diet?
The cassiopaea.org forum is probably one of the biggest communities of ketosis enthusiasts with literally hundreds of pages and comments from people from all around the world who eat ketogenically.
Involuntarily, it offers a great study of the draw-backs of KD: one can read about people falling ill with infections frequently after even a whole year if not longer in ketosis; of hair loss (although the most ardent fanatics claim that KD can cure cancer and the Ebola Virus, yet it strangely cannot overcome thyroid conditions), of adverse reactions to coconut products, chronic fatigue, insomnia, diarrhea or constipation, all easily explainable once one understands the ketosis-candida-mercury link.
Unfortunately, cognitive dissonance doesn’t allow its members to realize what is really going on. Which is highly ironic since the forum’s sister website sott.net regularly posts articles on that very topic.
At the same time the moderators of the forum have declared the Andrew Cutler Chelation protocol as invalid and of no merit because Andrew insisted on having his copyrights respected and asked to have only a link posted to his research instead of the content of the whole page.
Yes, you have read that correctly: the body of work of a scientist was dismissed because he said he wanted to have a link posted to his work instead of someone copying his content, please read the ensued forum discussion (‘othree’ is me).
This results in the “Elders” of the Cassiopaea Forum promoting chelation protocols which can exacerbate mercury toxicity instead of removing it, potentially endangering the health of many who read the postings and trust in the judgement of those “experts”.
Is this why there is so much evidence of adverse reactions to the diet? Does the chelation program promoted by the forum (taking DMSA and/or ALA only few times per day without respecting their half lives) make candida in those people even worse due to mercury mobilization and redistribution or at the very best doesn’t allow them to benefit from ketosis the way a mercury free organism would?
If anything, the sott.net/cassiopaea community has proven over the years to be able to change their opinions and adapt to new evidence, be it from switching from the promotion of a vegetarian to a meat-centered diet or from the demonization of Putin to his support. Let’s hope not too many people will have to suffer due to a misguided sense of righteousness of a few before they understand the error of their ways.
Because delusions make one suffer every time – take it from one who’s been there …
Suggested reading: [easyazon_link identifier=”0967616808″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”thepowerofo09-20″ localize=”y”]”Amalgam Illness”[/easyazon_link] by Andrew Hall Cuter, PhD
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