Chris's Recovery from Sjogren's and Acid Reflux
Chris was a healthy, active weightlifter in his mid 30s when his health began to change. Chris began experiencing mild to moderate acid reflux. In addition, he developed a hiatal hernia. Naturally he visited the doctor, who prescribed the very common medication, Nexium (a Proton Pump Inhibitor, PPI). He took it every day and it gave him much needed relief.
Over time, he needed more and more of this stomach-acid reducing med and eventually, it provided no help at all. His stomach pain elevated to the level of “hellish”. Doctor after doctor prescribed him a new PPI, none of which lasted. His mouth turned white and he was downing Maalox like “an irishman drinks beer.” In addition, this once healthy athlete was diagnosed with osteopenia, hypothyroidism, and high cholesterol (to which his doctor assured him wasn't related to the Nexium.) He was a medical mystery.
Next stop for Chris was a visit to the Naturopath, where she prescribed Hydrochloric Acid with Pepsin to help with his stomach acid issues. He was skeptical. Once he got a second opinion from a chiropractor, he decided he would give the HCL a go. It helped immediately for both his stomach pains and cholesterol.
After about 6 months however, he noticed that his mouth was dry, his extremities would become cold and he developed pain in his prostate. WHAT NOW?? After a visit to the doctor again, he was prescribed a 3 month dose of Bactim (an antiboitic) for a Prostasis. He eventually went to a specialist who insisted he get off the Bactrim IMMEDIATELY, as it was destroying his gut even more. Too late. His mouth became increasingly dry, causing fissures and a whitish-yellow coating on his tongue. Next, it hit his eyes- pain and dryness with no relief. The doctor suggested a possible Sjogren’s diagnosis, but blood work came back negative (not a rarity with *Sjogren’s Syndrome). With time, fatigue, depression and anxiety crept in. Chris’s hands went from burning to freezing and turning a scary shade of red. He developed pain in his bladder and an urge to urinate every 30 minutes.
After further testing, Chris finally got a positive diagnoses for Sjogren’s Syndrome from a parotid gland biopsy. This landed him in the office of a rheumatologist. He was prescribed Evoxac and Plaquenil for the autoimmune disease and Effexor and Ativan for his newfound depression and anxiety. Coupled with personal issues, Chris was in a very low spot.
He began to cope by use of: meds, eye drops, sleeping with a vaporizer and with Xylitol mints (a sugar free alternative) to combat mouth dryness. He would wear goggles at work to prevent excessive eye dryness. In his words, he was “just surviving.” He tried Restasis with no luck. Dry eye tests showed he had 0-2mm of eye moisture at any given time (10 mm or greater is considered normal). His doctor told him there would be no curing this disease, only managing it. But Chris remembered back to when he was able to find relief from this stomach acid issues with the regimen his ND prescribed and knew there had to be a better way.
Chris tried many things. Here are some of the things that provided him relief:
-Paleo Diet- He experienced excellent results- pain in joints GONE for a time.
-Fermented Foods- this worked for about four months, then the pain returned.
-The Hannah Yoseph Protocol- drink healthy water, void of chlorine and fluoride and not filtered. Eat an Alkalizing diet. Make Collagen, Support nerve/muscle health. Support hormone function. Eat real foods that support brain function. Eat foods that rev up ATP production (think 10th grade biology). Avoid processed foods. Avoid PPG/PEG, sugar substitutes, preservatives. Eat fruit. With this came only minimal improvement. Moving on…
-Anti- Candida Diet- in addition to low carb and coconut oil, Chris was put on antifungals by his functional medicine doc (Nystatin and Fluconazole) due to link between long term antibiotic/ PPI use and fungal overgrowth. He experienced little results with this until WEEK 8 of the protocol. Then out of nowhere came a rash covering his torso (his doctor warned him about the possibility of this, called Herxheimer). Then hives. He continued on and added in Pao De Arco tea, raw garlic and grapefruit seed extract, all antifungals. The rash still hung around but he began feeling better so he persisted.
**Chris added back in fermented foods and symptoms returned. He started experiencing pain that felt like “fire” or “lava” in his joints and decided to throw in the towel.
-Hannah Yoseph Protocol again- Abbreviated- Chris drank only spring water. He began a protocol of supplements: chelated magnesium, calcium citrate (alkalinizing agent), zinc carnosine and a probiotic. Stayed on Paleo but limited acidic foods. He incorporated in the “collagen cocktail” of L-Lysine, L-Proline, Glycine and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). He also added L-Glutamine for gut repair. (See research by Linus Pauling for why this combination is effective.)
Chris saw no improvement after month one. Then little by month 2. A little more by month 3. At 4 months, he was able to discharge Evoxac and Plaquenil with no flares! Each month that passed, more and more improvement.
Today, Chris is living basically symptom free and continues to live a full and happy life! It is unclear exactly what led to Chris’s healing from this “incurable” disease. He believes it may have been a combination of the “collagen cocktail” and the anti-Candida protocol. You can find him back in the gym and looks healthier than ever. Hats off to Chris for his determination and diligence through this LONG and trying journey.
Read Chris’s full story here: http://www.whatyousjo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/My-Sjogren%E2%80%99s-Recovery-Journey-_-My-Recovery-from-Sjogrens-Syndrome.pdf
*Sjogrens Syndrome is an autoimmune disease affecting mucous membrane and moisture secreting glands-often affecting the eyes and mouth first. The AI condition came into the spotlight when Venus Williams was diagnosed.