This is a third follow up letter from the anonymous man who wrote a letter to his friends about his withdrawal process from Zoloft and Lexapro. This letter contains updates about treatments he has tried and things he has learned His second letter is here.
Hey there friend,
It’s been about 3 weeks since I last wrote to you, so I wanted to write to you about what’s been going on. As usual, my efforts to understand what’s going on with my body and get back to full health are still the stuff of a LifeTime movie.
To remind you of where we left off, when I last wrote, I had:
– Stopped the diet the doctor in Milwaukee had put me in because it was literally killing me.
– I started a diet and supplement protocol with Dr. Humiston, a now Indianapolis-based physician who is an expert in all things candida and NAD IV therapy-related.
– I went to a chiropractor in Cincinnati named Dr. David Boynton, who had me have my stool tested to see what was going on.
– Was having a lot of ear pain, for which my Mom’s family doctor suggested I take tylenol.
Dr. Humiston had told me that shortly after starting his candida program, I would feel kind of sickly and calm. Unfortunately, that didn’t really happen. I felt very wound up with energy (not in a good way) and extremely agitated.
In addition, my ear was really bugging me again. Pain, feelings of fullness, ringing, etc. Dr. Humiston had suggested I try using colloidal silver and hydrogen pyroxide and Dr. Boynton had suggested garlic oil. So at least three times I day, I was putting various liquids in my ear which are antibacterial and anti-microbial.
However, it wasn’t really helping. My ear hurt all the time, my nervous system hurt, I was enormously agitated, and just barely getting through the day.
And I started to get really nervous because May 18th I was supposed to go to New York for a speaking gig at a BBYO conference in upstate New York. I wasn’t going to cancel the speaking gig, but I wasn’t thrilled about feeling horrible going through with it.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage – Vodder method
A week after I first met Dr. Humiston, I checked in with him by phone to tell him about my situation. After hearing about a lot of my complaints, particularly about my agitation and the problem with my ear, he told me he thinks what’s hurting me is that I have a build up of toxins in my lymphatic system.
We have between 500 and 700 lymph nodes in the body. All waste pass through the lymphatic system in your body. If you’re really ill and the lymphatic system gets clogged, you’re going to feel it.
Essentially, so Dr. Humiston put it, toxins have built up in my body over time, my body and nervous system are super inflamed, and it’s giving me a ton of discomfort literally everywhere.
Dr. Humiston recommended I start getting manual lymphatic drainage treatments due to his suspicions. He recommended I get these treatments specifically according to the Vodder Method, a particularly physically intense treatment development by (you guessed it!) a Danish guy named Vodder in the 1930s.
Dr. Humiston said the only person he knew who did this type of treatment according to the Vodder method was a woman named Yolanda in Indianapolis. She is the only person in the Midwest he could recommend. He said he himself had been getting it done and that it totally cured a foot injury he had.
I did my own research and tried looking up manual lymphatic drainage in the Cincinnati area. I found a bunch of massage therapists who do it, but none of them said they do it according to the Vodder method.
I called up Yolanda, who sounded pretty nice on the phone, told her about my ear and my whole health saga and how I was really nervous about being well enough for my speaking gig.
I arranged an appointment with her for that Tuesday (I had to fly to New York that Friday). Yolanda has her own wellness clinic (not covered by any type of insurance) that she shares with a nutritionist and a chiropractor.
When she told me that she is literally one of a handful of people who practice the Vodder technique in the United States, I couldn’t believe it. She said she learned it from a retired fireman who opened and later closed a school for it about 10 years ago. Apparently, it’s a popular treatment in Germany.
The room where Yolanda practices this treatment has a heated bed that I lay down on. She had two little dogs that would come in and out of the room. After Yolanda gave me some basic information about what would happen, she literally gave me the most painful but effective physical treatment I’ve had before in my life.
Yolanda used her hands to identify all different points on my body where there was backed up sludge and she’d physically push it out. She explained to me that all the trouble I’m having with my ear was really just my lymphatic system being blocked off. I don’t quite understand it, but she showed how lymphatic issues in my foot are directly connected to my ear.
When she identified “sludge” I could literally hear and feel as she pushed up through my body for it to be later processed through my kidneys.
The treatment lasted two hours and I felt easily 50% better and all the pain in my ear and ringing was completely gone.
I was amazed! Dr. Humiston had said he recommended I do 4 to 6 of these types of treatments to get my lymphatic system working properly again.
Yolanda, also had a lot of other tips about getting body back into my balance. She suggested taking a lot more magnesium (since my legs and arms were so stiff from the lymphatic issues), rhodiola for my overtaxed adrenals gland, and beet powder for blood circulation. She also suggested wearing Under Armour recovery wear when I sleep as it’s also really good.
She also gave me a regiment of doing jump rope, squats, and push ups each day to help my lymphatic system move.
To quote Yolanda:
“What do you think Steph Curry and Tom Brady are doing to keep their bodies in shape like that? They’re getting lymphatic drainage!”
Apparently some players on the Indiana Pacers go to see her too. Of course.
I went to see Yolanda again two days later for a final treatment before my trip to New York. Again, all I can see is that it was the most amazing physical treatment I’ve had before in my life.
It hurts like crazy. I was literally howling and nearly crying my eyes out (actually laughing), but it was insanely effective.
Yolanda’s theory about why I had trouble with my ear to begin with was that I had a simple inflammation that in my body, particularly from a different part of it, but that it manifested in my ear. Inflammation begets stress and once steroids, antibiotics, and anti-depressants are added your whole system goes haywire.
BBall Star who loves the cold
I went to New York the weekend of May 18th for a speaking opportunity to high school kids at a BBYO convention. My co-speaker at the event was a former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball star named David Blu. For those of you college basketball fans, David’s the nice Jewish boy from LA who dropped 27 on Kentucky to upset them in 2001 NCAA tournament.
David and I, total strangers, met at the airport and got a rental car to drive up to the camp. Naturally we started getting to know each other and talking about our lives.
Even though my ear was a lot better, I was still not really feeling “good.” I was feeling really physically agitated and uncomfortable.
David was telling me a lot about the struggles he’s had with injuries and taking care of his body after having been a professional athlete for 13 years. In particular he told me about this funny Belgian dude named Wim Hof, who has pioneered cold water therapy to heal injuries and boost overall health.
David said that cold water therapy gives the immune system a major boost and calms everything down. It’s also incredibly good for the lymphatic system.
I thought a lot about what David said. On Saturday at the conference, the two of us went swimming in a freezing cold lake. And the truth is that I went in the lake one person and then I left the lake an entirely different person.
After the cold water lake, I felt really chilled out, comfortable, and just a lot better overall.
So when I got back from New York about 12 days ago, I started taking cold water showers and cold water baths nearly every day.
Honestly, it’s made me feel a ton better. Really calms down my system. I recommend it! Thanks David Blu!
In the days after coming back from New York, I definitely was feeling some more energy and slightly better mood from the combination of lymphatic drainage, cold water therapy, and the supplements and diet Dr. Humiston gave me.
Dr. Humiston’s candida protocol is a 3 step program with different types of supplements taken at the 3 different stages. Last week I completed Step 1.
In between steps, you’re supposed to do what’s called a liver flush. The liver flush exercise extends over 2 days.
The first day, I had to eat a no fat no animal product breakfast and lunch and then start fasting at 2:00pm except for water.
At 6:00pm and 8:00pm, I had to drink 3/4 cups of water mixed with Epsom salts (the stuff you bathe in for Epsom salt baths). It was like drinking laundry detergent – totally horrible.
At 10:00pm, I drank a cup of half olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Also horrible. Then I had to immediately lie down and not move for 20 minutes. I wasn’t allowed to drink anything until 2am. Good news was that I was fast asleep though felt so sick.
In the morning at 6:30am and at 8:30am I drank 2 more 3/4 cups of Epsom salts with water. Literally gagged and could barely keep it down.
At 10:30am I broke my fast with some carrot juice and at 12:30pm I was able to eat normally.
The purpose of the lemon juice and olive oil is to get the liver to release toxins that have built up inside of it due to gastrointestinal issues. The epsom salts alkalize the body, so that the lemon juice and olive oil don’t cause excruciating pain.
The goal of all of this is, of course, to induce diarrhea, which I had constantly over the next 24 hours. But this diarrhea is different because what comes out of you is tons of liver stones (literally green pellets) that represent toxins that had built up in your body.
And honestly, as I was getting it out of my body, I started to feel really incredible. I had a ton of energy (in a good way finally), I felt really calm, good mood, etc.
It was like a miracle had happened. Dr. Humiston told me that that euphoric feeling wouldn’t last, but that tolerating the liver flush was a good sign that I really needed it.
Step 2 Misstep
After completing the liver flush last Friday, I moved on to Step 2 of Dr. Humiston’s program. He told me that about 70% of people successfully get to Step 2 the first time.
Unfortunately, I’m not in those 70%. In the days following the liver flush from Saturday through Wednesday, I started to feel increasingly horrible again. Severe agitation, sickly, horrible feelings in my stomach.
It was incredibly difficult to backslide. I couldn’t believe that I started to do well and then all of a sudden I was going back into my personal hell.
I called up Dr. Humiston to let him know what was going on. What he told me was kind of interesting. The supplements in Step 2 are different from Step 1, he said. If I have major gastrointestinal permeability, then the jump from Step 1 to Step 2 will be horrific. The fact that I felt so much better during the liver flush (when I didn’t eat), essentially showed him that I have a severe case of leaky gut.
Basically, so Dr. Humiston postulated, my gut’s lining is non-existent and is letting out lots of toxins that I should normally just process and excrete. This is creating agitation throughout my body as the toxins run wild in my nervous system.
He said that I’d need to go back to Step 1 of his program and take prescription anti-fungals he’d prescribe for me for about 3 weeks.
Poop Test Comes Back Positive
The same day I spoke with Dr. Humiston about my leaky gut and received his prescription for anti-fungals, I got the results back of the stool sample test that the chiropractor Dr. Boynton had encouraged me to do.
I went to his office, he shows me the lab results and says point blank: “Your gut is in terribly bad shape and I think this is causing all of your problems.”
The stool test said conclusively that yes I have candida and leaky gut, but I also have a number of parasites, ecoli, almost non-existent digestive enzymes, and low amount of “good flora.” Essentially, my gut is in really bad shape and is making my physically and mentally sick.
In addition to the anti-fungal medication Dr. Humiston prescribed, Dr. Boynton encouraged me to take digestive enzymes and a prebiotic.
How did I get to this point? According to both Dr. Humiston and Dr. Boynton, it’s normal to have bad bacteria, but when an external substance comes into the picture, like prednisone, antibiotics, and anti-depressants, it causes a cascade of issues.
Once you have one issue, like leaky gut, it’s really easy for all the other problems to develop from there.
Dr. Boynton said this to me after showing me my results: “Based on how bad your gut is, I’m surprised you can drive. Most people wouldn’t be able to function, even leave their bed.”
The good news
The good news is that the issue with my gut, now that we definitively know what it is, is very treatable. The two doctors said I should be feeling better within 5 days to 2 weeks, but that I’d need to stay on my diet and supplements for a total of 3 months or so.
I asked Dr. Boynton what he thought about anti-depressants plunging people into withdrawal for years on end, he had this to say:
“Nobody is in withdrawal for years on end. Anti-depressants screw up people’s gut health like crazy and it goes untreated in the vast majority of cases. Once you clean up the gut, everything else gets cleaned up as well.”
Since I started taking the medication and supplements for my gut, I’ve felt sick but in a different way. My stomach hurts and I feel fatigued because there is now a crazy battle going on inside of me. But my agitation is down and I’m feeling much calmer with fewer toxins going through my body.
I’m supposed to be in touch with Dr. Humiston about how I’m doing on Monday and may potentially do more NAD.
Both doctors are very confident I’ll make a full recovery soon. I don’t share their confidence. Based on everything that’s happened, I more just want to see and feel the results for myself.
If I do progressively get better, I’m hoping to come back to Israel towards the end of June/early July.