First off, all is well....very well! No more asthma, skin is almost 100% clear, and I only get hives about once a week or so. Itching is WAY down...I now sleep without any benadryl or any antihistamine for that matter. I itch maybe twice a day if that and it's very minor and sporadic.
Here is what I am doing...I did a 40 gram a day trial of l-glutamine for a week and then tapered down to my current maintenance of 10 grams a day. I take this for gut healing. Within 4-5 days my asthma symptoms improved dramatically. And I am currently not taking anything for asthma - haven't needed my albuterol in over a week. I then started a new probiotic that got rave reviews for people with histamine issues like many of us have. It's called Custom Probiotics and I take the 6 strain one. It supposedly has the probiotics that highly benefit the gut but are lower in histamine than many others. It's VERY expensive. $100 for one bottle. I'm not joking and would have cried snake oil had I not tried it and saw a difference that very same day. My first reaction after taking one adult scoop was to almost vomit and have diarrhea for a few hours. I then cut back to 2-3 pediatric doses and then worked up to the adult dose. With taking this, my skin has become almost 100% itch free. I would put my itching at about 1-2 % right now. I get a few twinges a day but no frantic itching. Oh and the BIG kicker...I can now have dairy and gluten with no asthma or itching! And the hives are almost gone. Had a few yesterday and that was the first time in over a week. They lasted all of 30 minutes and went away on their own.
So why are probiotics so important? Here's the thing. As a nurse, I know that steroids when taken on a long term basis (orally) can lead to a depressed immune system and fungal/yeast infections. Why couldn't topical steroids do the same? Especially when slathered on daily for 30 years? So when the fungal/yeast count goes up in the body, one is prone to skin problems, especially itching. And if one also is placed on multiple courses of antibiotics over many years, that kills the good bacteria as well in the gut, allowing the yeasts to grow and multiply rapidly. See the problem? Now taking probiotics alone will not fix this. Maybe taking excessive amounts might do something but there are more healthy ways to balance everything out.
This has led me to where things started coming together in my head. You see, many years ago when I first started trying to eat healthy and researching eczema, I came across the hype of candida overgrowth...I had all the symptoms and went on a mission to naturally kill the candida. I took caprylic acid, ate lots of garlic, and tried to curb the carbs and sugar. But I never succeeded. I kept right on itching...and I felt worse than ever. I did this for over a year. Then I stumbled upon the Maker's Diet and went on that (no sugars or carbs for 1-2 months) and started back on my milk thistle. I lost over 50 lbs in 2 months, stopped itching, and looked and felt great. I was applying scant amounts of TS I believe to my arms now and then, but basically had not been using them very much as they never seemed to help. I spent 2 years feeling good and getting great sleep. Then I returned to work and started eating bad again and started amping up my use of TS again and lo and behold gained 50 lbs back and kept getting worse. Then I found out about TSW and went off all steroids (4 years ago now).
My TSW got better with the gene mutation treatment but I still had chronic hives and itching. And my asthma kept getting worse. It felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I went back on the Maker's Diet to no avail. Tried the GAPS diet and again no significant changes except in my asthma as my asthma seemed directly linked to what I ate. Took milk thistle to no avail. Still itched and itched (although thankfully no longer TSW skin so wasn't tearing my skin apart - just normal eczema). Then I read that fermented foods and drinks (important part of the GAPS diet) can actually make candida worse. And that candida overgrowth will cause generalized itching and eczema. And here's the kicker... I read that when one takes anti-fungals, the candida that die release horrible toxins that need to be processed through the liver. If the liver is not functioning properly, then itching can be a symptom of an overburdened liver. Hence, milk thistle or other liver cleansers are critical to take when taking anti-fungals. And that's how it all came to me the last few days...when I was taking the anti-fungals years ago, I was not taking a liver cleanser. When I started the Maker's Diet and milk thistle after I had already taken a year of anti-fungals, I cleared up miraculously and just attributed it to the diet and milk thistle (and probiotics I was taken at the time).
So while gut health I believe is critical in getting the immune system to function properly, one has to approach this carefully or disappointment will ensue. I know many people who tried GAPS while in TSW. A few did very well while many did awful and got only worse. Makes perfect sense... the ones who did well probably only had a small candida problem from the TS. While the ones where it made them worse probably had horrible candida - the more ferments they ate, the more they were feeding the candida.
I personally would recommend a good naturopath or functional doctor. Yeast in the blood stream is rare so a stool sample is the best way to measure the levels of candida in the body. Since I have seen my share of alternative practitioners and have tried so many things, I think I have finally come to the near end of my chronic health problems and can go it alone on this. I have started back on caprylic acid and garlic while increasing my milk thistle. I also wanted to try large doses of vitamin C but broke out in horrible hives with the vitamin C powder. So now I just juice my own grapefruit and oranges at home daily for fresh vitamin C - not going to get the large doses I wanted but should get enough to boost my immune system. I take the l-glutamine daily with the 200 billion probiotics daily. I also take my hydroxy B12 and folinic acid for my MTHFR mutations. I also take a few drops of sea-adine in my water for my thyroid which is on the low end of normal functioning. And I take a few other supplements like magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and B vitamins that have B12 and folic acid missing. Currently I'm very tired...killing yeast is taxing on the body and causes fatigue. But I know it is only temporary. I figure I should have my good energy back within a week or two. I'll keep you all posted! I do have pictures - but they are on my phone and I'm feeling lazy tonight - so I will post this blog post in the Facebook TSW page with my current pictures of a nice clear face and neck!