How I nearly destroyed my liver

IMG_2007-1000What’s in those liver stones that came out of my body yesterday in my fifth liver flush?? I’m so tempted to have them analyzed and I bet we’d find out they contain a cornucopia of drug residues from Ambien, Protonix, Prilosec, and Zantac along with a smattering of volatile organic compounds from paints, industrial adhesives and composites, PBDEs from mattress and pillow flame retardants, and heavy metals from paint, food and immunizations.

Back around 2005, I carried a little bag of rolled oats everywhere I went eating a teaspoon every time I got hungry. I ate nothing else until the pain in my stomach subsided after a week. I was in the process of trying to figure out my health problems. I had a very open-minded holistic integrative medicine doctor “helping” me.

Unknowingly, I was only two years away from falling off the metaphorical cliff. My doctor gave me Bactrim, a very strong antibiotic, but it didn’t help. He gave me pancreatic enzymes and they didn’t help either. I was also using a lot of Isocort (hydrocortisone) and got careless with it ignoring the warnings to always take it with antacid.

In addition to those three powerful stomach irritants, I was taking about 20 different supplements and all these things combined to give me a nasty case of  gastritis which led me to take proton pump inhibitors (prilosec, zantac, etc) continuously for a couple years. What I didn’t know is that proton pump inhibitors reduce stomach acids by up to 99% severely inhibiting vitamin B12 absorption and other methylation cofactors.

But the real nail in the coffin for my liver was my diet. I stopped eating fat almost entirely and that deprived my liver of the precious little choline it was getting. Just like most Americans, I was not eating a lot of eggs or liver even before cutting fat out of my diet. That’s a big problem because our livers are very dependent on a steady ample supply of choline:

Genetic research has shown that the gene responsible for synthesizing choline, the PEMT gene, is susceptible to common polymorphisms which alter its function by slowing it down.  In a recent study looking at a population in North Carolina, men and women of various ages were placed on a choline-deficient diet.  They were followed closely for up to 42 days on a low choline diet consisting of less than 50mg choline per day.

Throughout the study, the participants’ liver function was continuously assessed for any sign of fatty liver and damage.  After eating a choline deficient diet for just six weeks, 63% of participants developed liver dysfunction and choline blood levels dropped 30% in every single participant, including premenopausal females.7  During this six week trial of low dietary choline the odds of developing liver dysfunction were 77% for men, 80% for postmenopausal women and just 44% for premenopausal women.

A number of other genetic flaws related to the methylation cycle turned this into a perfect storm for my liver. I discovered all this as I was trying to organize my initially nonsensical post about understanding how liver function is affected by methylation.

You might be thinking that if this were true, my doctors would’ve easily caught it because they always test for liver enzymes when they do their basic blood testing. Well, I also read that it’s very common for people to develop fatty liver disease without elevated liver enzymes. Which goes to show you why your average M.D. won’t be of much help when it comes to many chronic illnesses.

The good news is that my liver flushes are expelling so much garbage. The stones you see in the picture came out along with around 170 small stones and my bile flow is increasing steadily. With choline supplementation, methylation support and many more flushes, I’m very hopeful that I have a good chance of full recovery. I don’t doubt it could take a few more years but I’m happy to put in the time.

I’ve been so fortunate to find all the pieces of this puzzle coming  slowly together!

 

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  • avatar

    Justin April 19, 2016, 10:38 am

    Eric,

    What is in the liver flush you are doing?

  • avatar

    Sinclair February 25, 2015, 12:18 am

    Hello Eric,

    Thanks for creating this blog. I have been following it for a while.

    I have been fighting ME/CFS for almost a year with noticeable improvements following anti-enterovirus therapy (Oxymatrine, Astragalus, Selenium, Isoprinosine). My CD4 and NK numbers are low. After tests that confirmed Coxsackie B2 & B4 and Echo 30 high titers (CMV and CPN as well), I recently started antiretroviral Epivir (lamivudine) on top of the other things.

    A recent hair test suggested moderate- high mercury poisoning in 2.8, and arsenic high too (no indication of transportation problems). I have had a couple of ammalgams for 20 years now that may be contributing to my condition. I plan to visit a biological dentist in a few weeks.

    However, my major concern and the purpose of my message requesting your advice is my liver:

    By 2010 I already had a lot of symptoms: mild fatigue and digestive issues (I now can assume that by then, my immune system was not working very well either) My symptoms worsened in 2011 after a trip to China, where I think I got infected by a yet unidentified pathogen. Due to the location of pain (hipocondrius and middle back right side), I have always suspected liver chronic infection. The pain comes and go and some pain relievers are very different such as Astragalus, Oxymatrine, Selenium, milk thistle, and some foods as beets, olive oil, chicken…

    When I was on pharma drugs, my pain increased as well as my thirst, so I quit all the drugs but for levothyroxine (I take it due to a Cancer Thyroid I had on 2012), and I believe this was a good strategy for liver protection. However, in order to improve my current therapy, I have recently experienced a worsening in my liver pain and symptoms since I started:

    1. Simplified methylation support (mB12 – folinic acid); (December)
    2. Antiretroviral therapy: my response to this made the doctor reduce the dose to a half (February)

    As you have posted before I don’t think my liver MD I visited a couple of years ago would be of much help for this chronic problem (of course, all conventional liver tests are OK).

    My questions are:

    1. Which liver problem better matches with my above mentioned symptoms? Chronic infection + Polymorfism + Mercury Poisoning is likely a perfect storm…

    2. Which strategy deserves priority (my intuition says the most successful in waking up my immune system without additional harm to the liver, but I am not sure what would be the correct order to do things)…

    3. I am quite convinced that I have a problem in the liver (pain, thirst, response to milk thistle, etc.)… but I ignore the severity, I don’t know how to objetivate or test it, how to convince others…

    4. Any suggestion is more than welcome…

    When I discovered Mercury poisoning could be a problem, I was very hopeful. However, the ME/CFS doctor I visited does not give significant consideration to this factor and, due to the reaction my liver had with methylation support and ARV therapy, I am not sure whether my liver is prepared for chelation…

    Many thanks in advance for your response. And thanks again for this blog.

    • avatar

      Eric February 25, 2015, 12:56 am

      Hi Sinclair, these are difficult questions. I personally have turned far away from the traditional M.D. thought processes. Hard for me to believe, but I think I put much more faith in Hulda Clark and Andreas Moritz now. If you follow their advice you would start with kidney and parasite cleansing and then move on to liver flushing. Just be careful if you do any digestive system cleansing that you use whatever is going to be gentlest on your liver. Oxy-powder/Mag 07 could be a nice place to start.

      That said, if you haven’t done genetic analysis, I’d start with 23andme. Maybe there will be nothing there, but it’s inexpensive and potentially can radically change your understanding of your illness. I think you’ve done well to look at your heavy metal and viral loads and I’m sure that both are significant problems.

      The question is where to start. As for convincing others, I hope you will give that less thought.

      If you want to wake up your immune system without harming your liver, you might look at ozone because I think it can address both the immune system and viral load at the same time: http://www.docrowen.com/ozone-therapy.html

      -eric

  • avatar

    Tara January 7, 2015, 4:44 pm

    Hi Eric,
    After following your site for a while, I too was wondering if you had been floxed. I noticed that the Mercola link you posted didn’t mention a few of the main side effects of flouroquinolone toxicity – mitochondrial damage and ruptured tendons (and general tendon issues). Also, have you looked in to lyme and co-infections?

    • avatar

      Eric January 7, 2015, 5:02 pm

      thanks Tara, I just went back and looked at my Lyme tests and they are all negative – from IGeneX…

      • avatar

        tara January 22, 2015, 2:58 am

        Eric, Did you have an LLMD look at your Igenex test? If you have any bands (especially the lyme specific bands like 39, 18, 31 etc) showing IND (a weak positive, but still considered positive) or a + then most LLMDs would consider that a positive test (though CDC negative). Also, clinical symptoms are important to consider as well. Lyme can hide so well from our immune system, especially chronic lyme, that often LLMDs consider it a clinical diagnosis.

        • avatar

          Eric January 24, 2015, 4:07 pm

          Tara, it was a famous Dr. an author who ordered the test for me and looked at the results and there was no weak positive – thanks for the extra detail though. Recently I have been experimenting with oxidative therapy and heard Dr. Rowan saying that he doesn’t even test for Lyme disease and considers it pointless since oxidative therapies are so powerful at healing lyme and virtually all other chronic illnesses. Following along those lines, I’m about to put up a post about my hydrogen peroxide experience… warm regards, Eric

  • avatar

    Susie Ramsey November 18, 2014, 5:20 am

    Hey Eric,

    Just wondering what kind of choline supplement you take. Does Phosphatidyl Choline cover all the bases when it comes to the choline that the liver needs?

    Susie

    • avatar

      Eric November 18, 2014, 5:11 pm

      Hi Susie, after doing this research I decided to try Choline Bitartrate because it is water-soluble and supposedly gets absorbed by the liver directly whereas the fat-soluble types do not. But, it wasn’t clear to me whether that only applies to infants or not. Anyway, I thought it couldn’t hurt to take more than one variety. In fact, I also added the CDP Choline too which supposedly crosses the blood brain barrier. The CDP costs a fortune and I will only take one bottle and then quit CDP. In addition I have been taking sunflower lecithin for a long time. I get some in my liposomal C and also take a sunflower lecithin gel cap and some sunflower lecithin powder (which I find delicious). -Eric

  • avatar

    Ms. A November 17, 2014, 4:20 am

    I’m curious, at any point did you take a fluoroquinolone class antibiotic?

    • avatar

      Eric November 17, 2014, 3:58 pm

      I believe I took Cipro and possibly Levaquin. Have tried many fancy antibiotics over the years although never for long periods of time. I also never felt noticeably worse afterwards except for Bactrim which tore up my stomach. Mostly the changes I’ve experienced over the years have been slow and gradual.

      • avatar

        Ms. A November 17, 2014, 7:42 pm

        Thank you for responding. Are you aware of the damage that class of antibiotics can do? Have you ever looked up fluoroquinolone toxicity? A “class-effect” of fluoroquinolone induced liver injury has been supported in a review by the national Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network. They also damage your mitochondrial DNA.

        • avatar

          Eric November 17, 2014, 9:50 pm

          Well that’s not a happy thought! Here’s a good primer on the issue, especially the reader comments: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/20/fluoroquinolones-side-effects.aspx

          • avatar

            Ms. A November 18, 2014, 1:14 am

            I’m very familiar with the article and FQT. I’m a floxie, I suffer from it.

            • avatar

              Eric November 18, 2014, 1:56 am

              So sorry to hear it! How did you find my site? Have you found anything that helps yet? How long ago did it happen?

              • avatar

                Ms. A November 18, 2014, 3:07 am

                Not sure how I found your site. I think I found you when researching MTHFR, maybe? (possibly through Phoenix Rising) Can’t remember, I’ve been following for a little while, even though you don’t post often. I was floxed a year ago, although I had a similar ADR over 30 years ago. Fluoroquinolones deplete the body of Magnesium, Biotin, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Zinc and healthy intestinal flora, so I made the decision to try to replace what they robbed from my body. Right now I am using Magnesium, B-Complex, D3, Zinc and Bioplasma Cell Salts. Doing much better than several months ago and have even gained back 10 pounds of the weight I lost. Others in some of the groups I’m in are doing many other things, but since I’m doing pretty well with what I’m doing, I don’t want to add anything else just now.

                • avatar

                  Eric November 18, 2014, 5:14 pm

                  Glad to hear you’re making progress Ms A, congratulations!! It’s amazing that those fluoroquinolones deplete so many vital things from your body – pure evil.

                  • avatar

                    whisperingsage April 7, 2016, 9:13 pm

                    Could be the fluoride component. Look up Cathy’s Horses, Se moved to Colorado with her champion Quarter Horses and they had fluoridated water, it caused them to develop Cushing’s, infertility, deformed bones and it was her vet that pushed her to let him take their carcasses as evidence to stop fluoridating at least their neck of the woods. Watch out for green tea or any of the teas- fluoride is high in many of the Asian soils where these teas come from. Google images of skeletal fluorosis. Also teflon cookware gasses off a lot of fluoride. Almost all reconstituted juices have used fluoridated water, also many crops that have been watered with fluoridated water are not off limits- woe to our fresh produce.

"...nothing ever goes away
until it has taught us
what we need to know.
"
-Pema Chodron

"God, whose law it is that all who learn must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
-Aeschylus

About


My name is Eric - I‘m 48 and saw a doctor for fatigue at 17. I lived fairly normally if a little subdued by lack of endurance at times. But then, 12 years ago I fell into a nosedive after moving to South Florida. Now, I know heavy metal toxicity is a significant source of my troubles along with genetic methylation cycle dysfunction and Lyme disease. I spent 18 months chelating the metals out and starting up methylation but stopped when I felt myself circling the drain. Currently going after Lyme and co-infections. More about me here.

* supplements
* hair test
* genetics
* lessons learned

"Battles are won in their darkest hours. Wars are won by learning something from each battle."
-Eric

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