H Pylori, Anti-Biotics and detoxing. How ?
August 24, 2010 11:40 PM   Subscribe

I am recovering, hopefully, from H Pylori. I am trying to find out the best detox plan for being on such heavy meds.

3 days ago I completed an intense 10 day round of 3 heavy anti-bacterial infection meds for H Pylori. How I got the disease is a mystery to us all, but I have had stomach issues my whole life.

Today I started taking cranberry extract {i believe I have developed a bladder/uti infection}, probiotics, yogurt, etc. I am trying to increase the probiotic/acidophilious etc in my stomach and digestive for health purposes. But I also believe that in order to make serious life change s with my health I have to do even more with my eating in order to achieve this purpose. I have been fairly healthy eater for years, leading mostly an 80/20 life styles. I even became a vegetarian a year ago: But now, I know I need to release toxins and metals from my body, but what is the perfect route? I am trying my best to breath through everything, because I have developed an ulcer because of the H Pylori, but again, I need to cleanse my system and start a fresh.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Do I do a colon cleanse; a liver cleanse; a kidney cleanse? If more than one cleanse, what is the order and how long do I wait in between cleanses?

Does anyone have any ideas? I would love to hear suggestions. I wish I could just stick my finger in a socket and just completely recharge/refuel/flush bad fluids per se.

P.S. If you I don't talk much about it here, but I do have Gastritis. Left untreated for the last couple of years is a possible result of developing H Pylori. I have gone to many doctors to ask about symptoms, yet I was blown off a lot. Until recently, 3 weeks ago, when a doctor actually listened to me!
posted by eve28 to Health & Fitness (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Why do you believe you need to release "toxins" and metals from your body?
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:45 PM on August 24, 2010 [13 favorites]

To elaborate: yes, the strong antibiotics you were on likely killed off some of the good bacteria living in your digestive tract. But I'm not sure why that means that you need to cleanse or detox in any way (i.e. to remove anything). Cleanses and the like are generally not backed up with any good science.

Quick googling gave me: "Detoxification" Schemes and Scams"

Colon “cleanses”: A load of you know what… (Written by a surgeon.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:03 AM on August 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

IANAD, but since you're female, a concern would be that you'll be susceptible to getting a yeast infection due to antibiotics killing off the yeast-fighting bacteria in your vagina. In addition to eating probiotic-rich foods, inserting yogurt with a vaginal applicator or turkey baster has been shown to fight off YIs.
posted by thisjax at 12:18 AM on August 25, 2010

These "cleanses" are quackery and pseudoscience. A waste of your time, money, and energy.

You do not need to "release toxins and metals" from your body. Your liver does that for you.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:23 AM on August 25, 2010 [11 favorites]

It sounds like this has all been pretty wrenching for you. It's good that your new doc is supportive; I actually ditched a GP over a bout of gastritis, so I know how frustrating it can be.

Take it easy, stay hydrated, and keep in touch with your new doc about your bladder issue and your additional concerns about diet.

I know that when you feel poorly for a long time, there's an urge to re-establish control over the body, but you'd be best-served by careful, gentle, evidence-based approaches to your recovery. Your doctor should be your guide in that.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:57 AM on August 25, 2010 [10 favorites]

Raw Food Diet has been called a miracle for many with similar problems. Do a search on YouTube - there are channels and playlists on the subject that will help you make informed choices.
posted by watercarrier at 1:00 AM on August 25, 2010

The meds for H Pylori are not "heavy", neither as medication nor as far as antibiotics go. Just eat normally, you will be fine. I don't know what 'toxins' or 'metals' or 'bad fluids' you might have in your body, but I can promise you that they have nothing to do with either H. Pylori - which more the 50% of the world carries (80% have no symptoms at all), nor the antibiotics - most likely Amoxicillin or Clarithomycin - antibiotics that are widely used for a large variety of infections because of their efficacy and relatively low side effects.

Just take it easy, eat well, some fibre some, some vegetables, some yoghurt, and let your body - and nature - take its course. Remember, not every fart or cramp or indigestion is a symptom of greater malaise; regular people feel funny in the stomach, or tired, or have a headache quite a lot, too.

You're gonna get better, but just like you were sick for a long time, it might take you a while. But don't worry, you'll get there. :)
posted by smoke at 2:22 AM on August 25, 2010

Please be assured, you don't need to do anything more special than keep on keepin' on and simply maintaining a balanced diet. The truth is that your lungs, kidneys, and liver are fearfully and wonderfully made to do all your detoxing for you. I'd echo everyone else's advice for rest, hydrating, and good dietary choices, but please, don't stress your body out with any kind of fast, flush, or cleanse -- they're pointless at best for anything other than a purely psychological, placebo-effect.

There is a popular liver/gallstone flush regime that involves some permutation of short-term fasting, then intake of a ton of apple juice followed by olive oil and lemon juice... I had a few friends try it several years ago. They experienced an uncomfortable degree of gastric distress followed by what could best be described as absolutely explosive expulsion of... stuff... including some small solids which they believed were gallstones. This article from the Lancet details the lab analysis of such stones from a woman who tried the flush: not gallstones, just soap stones formed from the olive oil and lemon juice. Not worth the grossness.

If you're considering colonic irrigation, please also read through this article from the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. It's a short one and it discusses the history of the idea of autointoxication. It is, in the eyes of most of the medical community, also not worth the grossness, at least in the context of "detoxing."

I know the desire to reassert control is strong, but I really think all the flush/cleanse programs you could try would just stress your system out more than it would baby it, which is what you want to be doing! Just take it easy and enjoy plenty of yogurt. I hope you feel better soon!
posted by hegemone at 4:16 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would also ask why you think you have toxins and metals in your body? As I understand it you had a bacteria that left its natural proportion in your body and took over. No toxins/metals involved. Antibiotics have cleared the system.

If you really want to clean out your body, eat a generally healthy diet and drink a reasonable amount of water.

By doing some wacked out quackery, you are actually taxing your body. You want it to heal now, not going into a panic state.

Also, an enema at this time would be bad. Your body is trying to build up its natural flora and fauna, you don't need to be shoving new bacteria up there.
posted by sully75 at 6:06 AM on August 25, 2010

H Pylori isn't a disease, its a bacteria. You're on antibiotics. There are no "heavy metals" or "cleanses" you need. In fact, all things having to do with detox and cleanses is absolute bullshit. Eat right, get exercise, get good sleep, and talk to your doctor.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:26 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you feel like you have a UTI, please call your doctor ASAP. They can't be treated with cranberry after the bacteria have gotten a foothold in your bladder, and if the infection spreads you could end up with kidney problems. (And after being this sick, do you really need more problems?) The good thing is that you have a doc who is willing to listen to you.
posted by corey flood at 7:38 AM on August 25, 2010

Yogurt and water is probably the best thing you can do initially. Yogurt will help populate good bacteria to your digestive tract. This is important especially since you've been on anti-biotics. Good bacteria will eat up food resources more harmful bacteria like H.Pylori would go after. H.Pylori has a tendency to attach to the walls of your stomach and cause ulcers, so hopefully those are cleared up by now as well (if not, possibly ask your doctor about carafate if there's still a lot of pain...carafate is usually suspended in liquid doses, and coats ulcers to prevent irritation from stomach acids).
posted by samsara at 8:00 AM on August 25, 2010

thisjax: "inserting yogurt with a vaginal applicator or turkey baster has been shown to fight off YIs."

If you're going to go this route instead of just eating yogurt, you need to make sure it's not the flavored kind with any added sugar.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2010

I have similar health issues with lots of antibiotics, and I understand where you're coming from. I recommend very very highly a Paleo diet (you can google it). I have been following the whole 30 program at Whole 9, with excellent results. Feel free to Memail me if you want more detailed info.
posted by kch at 8:40 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

A really clean diet is the Green Faces diet. It cuts out most all of allergen inducing foods. Basically you can eat: anything that grows out of the ground and is green (not green apples) or anything that had a face - meat. Eggs count but milk and cheese doesn't.
I don't know much about detoxing but yes probiotics do work, and yes an unhealthy GI Tract can have adverse affects on your health.
You may want to look into HCL Betaine, there's an article about it here (at the bottom).
Here's another good article about GI health here, with half a page of references.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:29 PM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Also, its worth mentioning that your doctor can prescribe prescription probiotics that are of much higher quality than any OTC supplement.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:45 AM on August 26, 2010

There is evidence for probiotics, and there is evidence that GI tract problems are, well, problematic.

There's not good evidence that "cleansing" the body of "toxins" and metals is necessary or a good idea, though, unless you have something like lead poisoning--which can be detected with blood tests, and should be treated by a doctor.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:00 AM on August 26, 2010

Wow! Thanks all for the helpful updates. I will admit I am NOT going to be shoving a turkey baster with yogurt in my Va-jay-jay--but more power to you if that is something you are into.

The reason I was curious about detoxing, is because I have been feeling so uneasy for so long. I typically eat healthy, have transferred to an almost 80% rice diet, trying to eliminate wheat from my body, and just be healthy. I am starting to exercise again, which I wasn't doing much of for a while.

I do still have pain in my stomach, but the autho came from the insurance and they have approved me to go see a GI Specialist. I have a consult in 1.5 weeks. I am pretty excited because now I can find out what is really going on in my little belly and colon.

Thank you for the support and sorry it took so long to get back to you all. I had no internet and was moving.
posted by eve28 at 6:47 PM on September 4, 2010

@Smoke: The antibiotics are heavy in the sense that they were tearing up my stomach in the worst way. No matter how much food I ate, and I ate twice more than the normal amount of food I typically eat because I generally don't have an appetite and it still bothered me. I was extremely nauseated during the entire process, and suffered major headaches, which I later came to find out turned out to be a sinus infection that was not due to the H Pylori infection.
posted by eve28 at 8:13 PM on September 4, 2010

80% rice diet sounds amazingly unhealthy. Rice is pretty devoid of nutrients. Brown rice slightly better but not hugely.
posted by sully75 at 4:48 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

An 80% rice diet sounds like a recipe for type-2 diabetes. Just sayin'.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:46 AM on September 17, 2010

@sully75 and Mr_roboto:
My rice diet is not me eating only rice. It just means that I have converted eating foods that use wheat ingredients to rice ingredients. i.e. Rice bread, rice flour, etc. I still eat tons of fruit and veggies, and enjoy eating middle eastern cuisine {my staple- minus the meat now of course}, I also eat soy, tofu and try to lead an 80-20 lifestyle in the sense, that I allow myself to eat some "Junk" or somewhat processed foods on a limited basis.

If rice is a recipe for "type 2 diabetes" I will look into it, since I am not interested in getting Diabetes-especially since I am a girl with a sweet tooth.
posted by eve28 at 9:36 PM on September 24, 2010

If the goal is to eliminate wheat (or even gluten altogether), why limit yourself to rice? Branch out to include things like quinoa and other less-common grains (with the blessing of your GI specialist, who I imagine has specific guidelines for you.) As a plain cooked grain/side dish, quinoa is especially nice because it's high-protein and it cooks quickly but it's a whole grain (15-20 minutes to cook vs. 45-50 for brown rice.) And I believe it's lower on the glycemic index than rice.

I think what's setting off people's alarm bells here is that things like "detox" and "rice diet" sound (and generally *are*) gimmicky rather than balanced and thought-out from a science/nutrition point of view.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:29 AM on September 25, 2010

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