Earlier this year I began my functional nutrition journey back to clear skin, good digestion, and optimal health.
I took a whole bunch of tests up front because I wanted a clearer picture of exactly what I needed to do (since I was pissed that my heroic efforts over the past 2 years of trying to clear my skin and fix my gut apparently weren’t enough – granted I did clear 90% of my skin and fixed most of my digestion on my own using the principles I outline in my book).
The first test that came back was my IgG food sensitivity test. This showed me that my body was producing antibodies towards egg yolks and egg whites, honey, brewers yeast and bakers yeast. Candida was a little high on that as well, which was suspect. That explained why I felt like passing out after eating eggs and always broke out when I ate honey (more on that later)
Then I got my 205V that checked my hormones. I found out that I was nearly in phase 3 HPA disfunction (formerly called adrenal fatigue). That made sense considering it was nearly impossible for me to get up, even after 8 hours of sleep. I’m feeling much better after a few months on supplements, btw.
Then my MRT food sensitivity test came back which showed that fructose was more inflammatory to me than gasoline on a fire. I immediately removed a ton of fructose from my diet (i.e. I stopped eating crazy amounts of fruit and completely eliminated agave -this is not healthy for you!). I also looked into FODMAPs and eliminated a lot of them and my IBD improved dramatically.
I got a few more tests, but to get to the point of this point, I’m going to skip to the 401H, which is the stool test that showed me that I had H. Pylori. I don’t have rosacea, but here’s an interesting fact; H. pylori was found in 17/26 (65.4%) of patients with acne rosacea.
Proof: At the bottom, you can see “Helicobacter Pylori Stool Antigen” and ” * Detected * ”
So, with the obsessive nature of my mind, I delved deep into learning everything about H. Pylori.
Here’s some fun facts:
- If someone’s stomach quickly reacidifies (typical of healthy adults), colonization is weak.
- More than half of the world population become colonized by the Gram-negative bacterium Helicobacter pylori and remain infected for most of their life time.
- Most people acquire H. Pylori in childhood.
- H. Pylori causes more than half of peptic ulcers worldwide, it’s been implicated in stomach cancer, and it has managed for eons to turn the acidic environment of the human gut into one in which it can thrive.
- The bacteria only affects primates.
- The most amazing fact is that Barry Marshall, a doctor from Australia, was fed up with being dismissed for his theory that H. Pylori caused ulcers, so he infected himself by drinking a broth laced with the bacteria, developed gastritis, the precursor to an ulcer, and treated himself with antibiotics. He won a nobel prize for that by the way.
Another fact I learned came from a call-in (it’s like a podcast) in my functional nutrition course, which basically explained that if someone has H. Pylori, they should hold off on the HCl supplementation until they take care of the infection. Then, if they need it, they can supplement with it to build up their stomach acid. This is important because HCl is used in a lot of protocols for gut issues. Hence another reason why getting tested is so important!
So here’s what the call-in had to say.
H. Pylori has two ways of infecting the host.
1. Antrum predominance: This affects the minority of people who are infection and occurs when the antrum, the lowest part of the stomach, is infected. This is associated with increased acid secretion in this area and that is what causes ulcers in people with this type of infection. The duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestines, should not be as acidic as the stomach. If someone has ulcers, this is the type of infection that is usually there. The bicarbonate secretion of the duodenum tends to become depleted with this type of infection, which irritates the duodenum of the small intestines because of the high acidity being released from the stomach.
2. Gastritis/body mucosa infection – This affects the majority of infected people and is associated with a decrease in acid production, due to an actual impairment and damage to the parietal cells (these stomach cells secrete acid). These people may have atrophy to their mucosa and have higher risk of gastric cancer. Atrophy to the mucosa of the stomach comes from h. pylori’s ability to convert stomach acid to urease. The crafty bacteria does this in order to decrease the acidity of the stomach, which helps it survive. The problem is that urease breaks down into ammonia, which is toxic to the parietal cells of the stomach. So, the more acid you have in the stomach, the more urease will be converted by the bacteria, and the more ammonia will be produced, further damaging the epithelial cells.
[pullquote]H. pylori does what it can to create a more alkaline environment in the stomach, yet it requires acid to proliferate.[/pullquote]
Conventional medicine uses proton pump inhibitors (acid blocking drugs) to decrease the stomach acid in the stomach, which disorients the bacteria and makes other treatments (antibacterials) more effective.
Evidence shows that the total number of bacteria colonizing the stomach is reduced when pH of the stomach is deliberately elevated. If people are on PPI’s and take a breath test, a lot of times you’ll get false negatives because of this, even though they may still be infected.
Another concern is that production of urease by the bacteria in stomach requires methyl donors, so the more stomach acid you put in, the more conversion is required for the h. pylori to continue to thrive, and the more it will rob you of methyl donors. A lot of mechanisms rely on methylation, including the metabolism of lipids. According to Ray Sahelian, M.D., “methyl donors help in the production of several brain chemicals and hence improve mood, energy, wellbeing, alertness, concentration, and visual clarity.” So obviously, we want to preserve our methyl donors.
Not using HCl when you have H. Pylori is a bit counter intuitive because most people with H. pylori have lower stomach acid, so you would think to give them more stomach acid. But a lot of evidence is showing that it’s best to not do that, but rather eradicate the bacteria first. And for those with atrophy of the parietal cells, which can happen after an infection, supplementation with HCl may be necessary after eradicating the H. pylori because they might have lost the ability to produce enough on their own.
In conclusion, get rid of the infection and then work on the gut mucosa and hydrochloric acid production.
On a practical note, these are the supplements I use (and am currently using) for bacterial infection.
Always consult with a professional before starting any supplements.
- Pyloricil – specific for H. Pylori
- Candicid Forte
- Paracid Forte
- G.I. Detox
If they don’t work after a few months – you have to Retest! – I’m not opposed to having someone talk to their doctor about using conventional methods of using PPIs and antibiotics. There is a 20% failure rate in antibiotic therapy, which is increasingly due to antibiotic resistance and necessitates the search for alternative antimicrobial methods.
If you found this helpful, you’ll appreciate your free Clear Skin Guide that will give you over 20 actionable steps to take for clearer skin, better digestion and optimal health. Sign in with your name and email below to get your free report.