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Posts Tagged ‘Asperger’s’

Candida Die Off

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Nutrition, Food diary, Unforgiving Minutes on May 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

A few lost days recently, and mainly to Candida Die Off. Probably I have mentioned this before, and certainly I will mention it again. It may be that the mechanism for it is not yet quite fully understood and that it will not in future be described as Candida Die Off, but since the self-styled hard-nosed scientists who ridicule such ideas provide no better hypothesis for how and why I come to feel so shite before I come to feel better following the imposition of a strict dietary regime after a lax spell or the ingestion of probiotics, and since they get many details wrong when they swagger into the fray, since indeed those who talk of Candida die off, off-puttingly flaky though they may be, describe perfectly how I feel and give the only plausible reason why I should feel it, Candida die off it remains.

So, the hypothesis goes something like this:

Because of the increasing prevalence of highly refined carbohydrates and sugars in our diet, because of the high-yeast fast bake process, because of the shift towards milling of flours which removes all nutritional value, because of the over prescription of anti biotics by doctors and the use of prophylactic anti biotics in animal feed, the gut flora (the balance of “good” bacteria to bad and other strains), there is increasingly a problem of Candidiasis in Western populations.

Candida albicans is a common yeast-like microorganism which, given the right environment, and in a dearth of more desireable “gut flora”, can flourish, literally threading itself through the gut lining of suffers.

In itself it can cause a problem, releasing toxins. But this threading through the gut too can cause “leaky gut syndrome”, where particles that ought not to pass through the selectively-permeable membranes of the gut, can pass thorugh. Once they have done so they can in some cases interfere with the function of the central nervous system. In others, they can trigger food allergies which then further inflame the gut lining, decreasing absorption and leading to yet further problems.

To defeat this an anti-Candida diet has to be employed. I have benefitted from this myself, though I have never found myself able to persist in its strictures which involve the exclusion of all refined carbs (I couldn’t give up exercise, for one thing, which makes me crave carbs, I often say that if I had the organisational capacity to carry out the diet, I wouldn’t need it, and I have poor/non-existent impulse control besides). In addition, pro-biotics are important, to build up the immune system against the invasive organism.

While these necessary measures are being taken, though, something called Candida Die off occurs in which, depending on which theory you go for (to me the results are the same and so it makes little odds) either A> dying Candida releases the toxins that would otherwise be left inside or B> the Candida, now that the environment is more challenging, becomes more aggressive in order to bed itself into body tissues. In the process, you experience something called Herxheimer reaction (which also may or may not be the correct nomenclature). Essentially, this is toxic overload. You feel like hell, have all the symptoms of flu, including tingling skin (check), lethargy (check), sleepiness (check), and feeling cold.

Mine came on first a few days ago when I began eating home-made probiotic sauerkraut and took a probiotic capsule or two. I wasn’t quite getting it right. These measures should be rolled in slowly after the strict following of an anti-Candida diet. I hadn’t quite done this. My priorities and obsessions shift so much that I tend to be all or nothing most of the time, and I had come on too strong with the probiotics after too loose an interpretation of the Candida diet. (Another reason I have for believing this hypothesis incidentally, is the severity of the symptoms and the way they corrolate with how lax I have been in applying the diet, how quickly I move from eating badly to eating well – with or without probiotics – and how aggressively I introduce probiotics.)

In addition, I woke up this morning after sleeping badly last night, feeling like I had a cold. Though I had been shaky all day yesterday and knew I was coming down with Herheimer/Die off, I went for a fell run race starting at 19:15 and ran 4 miles with an 1100 feet climb. I came down and felt better than I had all day, but by the time it came to go to bed, I felt alert. My head was spinning. I couldn’t sleep until late, another symptom, now I look back, of Herxheimer. Exercise too helps to kill the Candida and I had ran pretty hard.

And so I have been achy all day, had loose stool (sorry), and felt too crabby for company.

Still, good and bad news. The good: I’ve still got a long way to go. The bad: I’ve found something that works, Sauerkraut and the fermented foods Natasha Campbell McBride believes to be so effective against such problems and the mental difficulties they can cause.

The only lingering bad in all of it, perhaps, is that tomorrow I’m off to do some Dry Stone Walling again and had hoped to chat to the Chainsaw Girl I met last time and who I have been daydreaming about since, but then, since I’m still profoundly ambivalent about relationships and siding, most times, with Gibbon (as Anthony Storr described him in Solitude) who said he often dreamed of being coupled, but was invariably glad to wake up from the reverie and find himself untethered, maybe that itself is no bad thing. All I’ve got to ensure is that I manage to cook something tomorrow morning!

Night Gav-watchers

Gav Belcher

What it means…

In A Walter Mitty Character, Autism Research Unit, Meta Gav, The Uglier House Gavzette, Uncategorized, Unforgiving Minutes, UoG Newsletter, Work Diary, Writing Diary on May 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

…to be diagnosed.

In short I don’t know. Peace of mind it isn’t. Not in itself. Not by a long way.

Regret and self-hatred haven’t been strangers the last few days. Those fifteen to twenty years that needn’t have happened as they did. Those relationships that needn’t have foundered. Those mistakes that might perhaps not have been made. Those mistakes that keep on being made now. The complexities that have gone on in those long days, months, and years building up into my personality. The fact that the direct difficulties of the disorders I have had to face unknown and unrecognised have become outweighed much of the time by second-order difficulties of social functioning, of past hurts. None of these things are easy to ignore, or to simply acknowledge as passing thoughts in the mind.

Still your face doesn’t fit. Still you don’t know what to say. Still you speak and make no sense.

Still the handful of people who make an effort to understand are few and far between, and the necessity of seeing on a daily basis the people who don’t get it, don’t want to get it, don’t need to care, goes on, making life some days like the necessity of walking those last drudging miles home with failing light, aching bones and muscles and blisters rubbing on every step.

Still people take a kind of unfamiliar pride in traducing you in any way possible, feeling better for it, feeling morally superior for it. Because people like you don’t understand the social niceties everyone has hard wired into them, and so you need to be put down for it until you learn.

Every day you trust less.

Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry
Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry

It’s the end of the beginning, with a long fight yet. A long walk ‘home’.

– Clatterbach

Diagnosis

In Meta Gav, UoG Newsletter on May 17, 2010 at 12:19 am

However much closer I may come in the coming years to my goals of developing a facility with words that matches that of many of my heroes, nobody will ever understand how difficult it has been to get to where I now am, that is, to borrow Churchill’s words, the end of the beginning. The Churchill quote is apt, since he has many times been for me a conscious example of how one ought to fight – and in this I mean at least as much his own personal demons as I mean Hitler. The word fight, too, is choice. It has been a fight.

Friday I was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with traits of autism. While I might quibble with the diagnosis (I certainly have more than “traits” of autism, fulfilling all of the diagnostic criteria of Asperger’s as a child, with them developing in a manner wholly consistent with highly intelligent aspergic individuals, and indeed, consistent with nothing else), this is further than I have been for years. Read the rest of this entry »

Ball ache

In Insomniac Blatherings on April 3, 2010 at 4:17 am

As was one of my former manager’s most comming saying. In this case, dhobi itch, eczema, post-whisky insomnia, after a day of otherwise being exceptionally good, cooking, running, and not eating the sugar-full, gluten-free cake that was left on the side, having been left by somebody around here.

Ball ache too being psychiatrists and my usual struggles with them. The usual catch 22 I find myself in with them where I spend my life, like today, working exceptionally hard, trying to implement a thousand hard-earned lifestyle tweaks and learned-the-hard-way coping strategies, still end up not sleeping, angry, and with a busy head, and yet, being higher functioning than I would be without them, still in some wide bracket where an individual with a high IQ, like myself, and a full-time job, will invariably be dismissed out of hand by these people. It makes me furious. It happens especially because, being less scientific than they consider themselves to be, they do not believe that food can affect mood and mental function to the extent that it in fact does, and so they do not believe that I have helped myself with food etc., and so they do not believe that I am helping myself, or that I would be worse without these coping strategies etc., which take over my life, and since they do not then see the most obvious symptoms immediately, dismiss my problems.
I hate them. And I hate the fact that anger towards them, because of their inflexibility, their God complexes, hubris and failure to adhere to the very scientific ideals they define themselves by, can take over at times.

I am really worried that even this latest consultation could go the wrong way.

Gav B

Víkendy bych zrušil

In Unforgiving Minutes, Work Diary, Writing Diary on March 31, 2010 at 10:19 pm

It’s not the weekend, admittedly, but these lats two days I’ve not been working, and it has been the toughest two days for a long time. Maybe only for a week, who knows, but tough. From one minute to the next unsettled, trying to get through the day doing one thing then the next, and not feeling right in any one of them. Wearing a stupid haircut again but not wanting to take time out to go and get it cut. Not in the mood to climb, or to run, in the nasty wet and then snowy weather, but not trusting myself to stick out writing and get something meaningful done either, nor able to relax into a DVD, or relax into anything for that matter.

It could be anything. Could be any number of things. I have to get back to Kedo still over the question of a holiday in Romania. Something we didn’t manage to do those years ago, years that have slipped by insidiously quickly in this very same confused anxiety of a mix of conflicting impulses. Holidays have led to so much stress with me every time I can remember. I had to drink myself to a sleep that didn’t come last time I went to Prague. And the run up to it, having to let down a friend to go to Slovakia instead of the Brecons or wherever he was going, I would myself up into a rediculous frenzy over that. I haven’t got back to Kedo over whether I can go to Romania in June. To do so I would have to broach the subject with my boss, tell him the dates and get the yay or nay. It’s always a simple matter like that that sticks in me somehow. Broaching Prague to my folks last time who were subsidizing my writing venture, breaking up the progress I was making on Scars and Tattoos, versus having a much needed break and getting out of my habit of reclusiveness I had fallen into.

With my brother too I have been planning a holiday. An active holiday. The first dates fell through. Can’t get the time off. And so it fell off my radar. Of course, in this time too, my mania for activities and climbing and kayaking and biking and all the things I should have been doing for the last ten years or so fell away. Writing and Czech were up there at the top again. More stress. More letting people down. More indecisiveness. More putting off decisions and conversations until it all came to a head, in my mind at least.

And then too, maybe with a few days of overcast weather and feeling out of sorts. Maybe with the one woman I know here going away and, as little as I spoke to her, being more able to speak to her about ADHD (which covers the Asperger’s I don’t talk about, though I have now quite calculatedly placed The Big Bang Theory downstairs in plain view), about depression and problems with relationships, I feel down, alone, and rejected by everyone around me, as if this is simply one more place I don’t fit in, not the first and certainly not the last in a life which will be lived from one to the next, constantly on the move, never setting down roots, and always burning bridges. And so slečna Barbora is back in the picture.

Ok, so she has been for some time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Referral

In Unforgiving Minutes on February 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Phone call from the doc today. Asking me whether I want to be referred to Maudsley Hospital in London or the Barberry clinic in Birmingham. I hesitated, not having much looked into the Barberry and doubting it a little since it is a new service. In my first letter I had specified the Maudsley hospital because it is a known centre of excellence and I didn’t much want to have to deal with another clueless doctor. The Barberry was, however, the centre I told the doctor about some months ago and which I asked to be referred to back then. I let him persuade me. I only now have to wait and see when they can offer me an appointment.

The PCT has only, this far, agreed to fund a first consultation. I’ll see how far that will take me.

GB

Vacuum Head

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Psychology on February 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm

This is a different kind of horrible. My head’s not exploding. I’m not feeling like I’m barely living unless I’m doing five things at once. I’m not angry. I’m not depressed. I don’t feel like there’s no hope in anything. I don’t particularly feel like I’m the worst kind of human being. I don’t feel lonely. I don’t even feel sad. This is vacuum head. I can’t explain it. It’s like Blaenau Ffestiniog to Snowdonia. It’s been there for years unexplored. Perhaps its the least worst of the mind states I experience. I’ve noticed it more recently, but I feel like I’ve never really thought about it or attempted to get to grips with it, and I feel like I need to address that. Now vacuum head doesn’t much lend itself to writing, and one thing I am certain of is that if I force to write in this condition I won’t sleep afterwards, but I know that nothing will remain of it afterwards. I have come through it and to the other side enough times to know that.

Context

As often with vacuum head, as I tweeted a few days back (yesterday?), I got it on returning from work. This lends me to suspect that vacuum head is a kind of mental over-exertion, and, in particular, a function of aspergic artificial emotional intelligence (AAEI) (which is as felicitous a spontaneous coinage as I’m likely to stumble upon mid Vacuum Head), that is, more intelligibly, the result in part of the mental exertions required by those who lack an intuitive grasp of social interaction. Power down your Normalcy Emulation Engine (sorry, on a roll with this shit), and the power drain leaves your mind this way like your muscles feel after a bout of anaerobic exercise.

Two things then. One. I was working with a Reciprocal Reactionary (RR) today (this one is an intentionally, that is, ironically awful coinage based upon R S Thomas’s notion of “reciprocal reactions” from people who pick up on his own social awkwardness). She is rather closed. My boss said he doesn’t think she is somebody you can ever get to know. (And god was I glad when I started hearing people saying negative things about her, because these RRs are the cause of a lot of tortured thoughts and negative automatic thoughts.) The two of us together are pretty stilted, and there we were working together for seven and a half hours with nothing to do for the most of it. The constant throwing of conversational dice in my mind is plenty enough to drain anyone’s mind, but there was, as ever, more than this, and I will try to summon some of it now.

Manafan – jingle, on dead air, from The Man Who Went Into The West by Byron Rogers, which I’m currently reading

Plans. To write back of the envelope flow diagrams of mind states and the way they move from one to the next, eg. social anxiety developing from a RR.

Various imagined scenarios in Capel Curig with moving there to live with two guys I don’t know and do a job I know scant information about etc. Writing in car, coming clean about ADHD, coming out as a writer, ADHD etc. etc. and then my food etc. Scenarios too surrounding the Welsh/English divide. Read the rest of this entry »

Cats among the Pigeons time

In Letters on February 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

The following was sent to my psychiatrist, a number of people at Dudley PCT (some of them, admittedly, addressed only as ‘The Big Cheese’, ‘Deputy to the Big Cheese’, ‘Deputy Arse Licker to the Big Cheese’ etc., to my MP, and GP. It is an angry letter with numerous errors of grammar etc. No doubt it is impenetrable in places. But it got written. I have tried to write this letter before and it didn’t get written. I sent it at around 1:30 last night.

Gav Belcher

The University of Gav

The Ever-so-slightly-Uglier House

Capel Curig

LL24 0EL

Dear Dr Cretenne II,

You have my as yet undiagnosed (or was it my now diagnosed, without my knowledge), certainly untreated attention deficit disorder to thank for my not having written to you sooner. Were I not now so determined to get your attention and that of your peers, superiors and other miscellaneous contiguous culprits, I have no doubt that you could rely on the very same for years to come – such a tenacity as mine and a capacity to fight you have not encountered in your whole life so far, believe me, without it I would not have come as far as I have come and got this far with the casual (or lazy) observer able to tell me how well I am coping. I have been ringing your office and been passed through the Kafkaesque switchboards of the Dudley Primary Care Trust over the last month or so with the plaint that I have been seeing somebody at High Strung House for the last 18 months to 2 years with absolutely no diagnosis or coherent treatment. As you perhaps know and have perhaps had cause to celebrate that I did not, it has been longer by a factor of two; such is the way my life is slipping away in a confused blur. I found an appointment card today for August 2006! It was by no means the first. Ben Jonson had it that a just anger puts life in man. There’s a lot of life in me right now as there has been a lot of misdirected life in me for years and years just waiting to get out. It may not be professional to say so, but to hell with it, I’ve got to get this letter out now or it will stall on me, and besides, I’m not a professional and may never now be despite my intelligence, so here it is: I’ve been fighting for years and years, more than anybody will ever know, and if I have to turn my fight on to you good people to stop fighting so hard so much – fighting with my head every minute of every day – then you are going to have to find out exactly how hard I have had to fight to turn up at your door in a state which enables you to fob me off with a few fatuous perfunctory statements about how well I am coping. Read the rest of this entry »

Demob happy?

In A Walter Mitty Character, Creative Writing Department, Unforgiving Minutes on November 27, 2009 at 12:14 am

I was out with a friend of mine and his son at fireworks night when we got to talking, not for the first time, about dating websites. He had met a woman over the internet, jokingly (so he says) made mention of a window in his schedule between the end of the working week and his psychotic ex popping round with his little boy. She said, ok, one o’clock you say, and drove the not-insignificant commute. Cue afternoon of rare athleticism. Read the rest of this entry »

Food and Mood Study

In Department of Nutrition on October 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Professor Gavin Belcher of the UoG Department of Nutrition is to head a new research programme into the effects of food upon mental functioning. Professor Belcher has invited students and members of the public to submit food diaries of themselves or of those in their care which catalogue the effect of food upon conditions such as ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, depression and schizophrenia as well as subjective feelings of anxiety, irritability, anger, or low mood.

Belcher, who has worked over the course of his career in close contact with Professor G Belcher of the University of Gav Department of Psychology, has often expressed regret that treatment for mental illnesses has most often in the recent history of the psychiatric profession heavily or exclusively relied upon pharmacology. The emphasis, in his view, has shifted more towards this approach in the years following the development and introduction of hundreds of thousands of chemicals into food products since the beginnings of the nineteen fifties. Belcher considers that many of these chemicals are proven neurotoxins, several are suspected of being so, others are antinutrients which have a detrimental effect upon the body’s ability to absorb, construct or utilize vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. In addition, the innumerable novel ways of food preparation and storage that chemicals and technology have facilitated have led to a marked reduction of the quantities of nutrients that even ‘fresh’ ‘natural’ products contain. The demands placed on the body by such foodstuffs is considerable and it is not only physical health that suffers.

Despite this, Belcher contends, the food chemistry industry and the pharmacological industry bankrolls a lot of scientific research and less money is available for those who would research the impact of these products. It is time, he said, that the UoG gathered information towards the elucidation of the links between nutrition and mental health. To such an end, Prof Gavin Belcher has invited students and members of the public to send observations of food upon their health, food diaries etc to prof.gavin.belcher@googlemail.com. Read the rest of this entry »