Prior to March 2020, a woman in her late 40’s had a few minor problems with foods and her nerves but nothing major. Then she had COVID in 3/2020 with pneumonia and hospitalization. She initially tested negative but later she tested positive for the COVID antibodies. She had nerve and sensory issues. She was imagining things and felt she was losing her mind. She could not put numbers together. She had to stop working in her shop for four months. She could not do her taxes. She was confused and could not go up stairs. She had needles on her nose. Her left leg felt a different temperature than her right leg. One was hot and the other cold. She had anxiety and a dark depression. She had panic attacks and thoughts of wanting to die. She did not feel normal and could not process thoughts. Eventually, four months later, she started working again and would go to work, then be exhausted, go home, cry and go to bed. Vaccines did not help. The booster brought her COVID symptoms back. She had memory issues. She had weird pains, spinal pain and full body pain. She was exercising but exercise hurt. These symptoms went on for years with no improvement.
Four months ago, she rediscovered that she had a yeast allergy from tests four years ago (prior to COVID). She had tried anti-inflammatory diets and books but was still in pain. From the allergy test, she is allergic to saccharomyces and found that this was yeast (this yeast makes bread). She was told not to drink alcohol. One of her clients suggested the book Feast Without Yeast. She started this anti-yeast diet and then she felt better and better. She lost 7 pounds of swelling. She started the Feast Without Yeast diet around June 1. Since then, she has steadily improved. Memory and recall are better. She can remember what she reads. She is no longer so overwhelmed by problems. Her anxiety is much less. She smiles again. Her mood is better. She is not depressed. She is more sociable. All her pain is gone. Even breathing was painful since COVID and now this pain is all gone. Even an old herniated disc pain is mostly gone. Her hips are better. She has more energy and no longer wakes so tired. She is awake when she rises. She no longer has racing thoughts. COVID made the racing thoughts worse and she could not sleep at night. She is sleeping better.
To enhance the anti-yeast treatment, she went to her primary doctor to ask about nystatin, an anti-yeast medicine. She received a short term nystatin prescription. Nystatin is a non-absorbed anti-yeast medication which kills the Candida yeast in the intestine. She took nystatin for ten days. This prescription continued the improvement. Her movement became easier. Her joints are better. She had joint nodules. They are still there but shrunk and hurt less. Her mood and mental energy are the best she has had since her 20’s. Before this she would be down periodically. Now she feels good. Her mood went up and down in the past but this is better now. Now her mood is consistently good. She went off her thyroid medication about two weeks ago. This was due to heart palpitations. Exercise no longer hurts. She used to have episodes of the skin problem rosacea. This is gone now. She is able to write cursive intermittently now. Before she was forgetting how to connect letters.
This patient was seen about 9/1/23 because she wanted to continue the nystatin, which had no refills. She did not want to lose the gains she had made. Nystatin was continued.
Why did the long COVID symptoms improve on the anti-yeast diet?
Why does treating the yeast Candida albicans help with long COVID symptoms? Candida albicans is a yeast which can grow in the human intestine, especially after antibiotics have been given (Saccharomyces is the yeast which makes bread and beer and does not typically grow in the human intestine). Candida albicans makes toxic chemicals which can cause fatigue and depression. Candida can also cause some immune system problems, ranging from psoriasis to ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis. But what about long COVID? How might the intestinal yeast Candida albicans make long COVID symptoms both more likely and more severe? For an answer, we have to look back at some older research.
Back in the 1950’s, when tuberculosis was more of a problem, researchers asked a simple question. Do Candida albicans and the microorganism which causes tuberculosis grow better together? The answer is they do. Candida albicans provides growth factors for tuberculosis. They both grow better together. This experiment was repeated with some other pathological bacteria and the same result was found. These “bad bugs” grew better with Candida albicans. This experiment has not been done with COVID virus but I suspect that if it were, Candida would help the COVID virus grow better too. In other words, Candida makes the COVID worse than it otherwise would be. When the Candida is treated with the anti-yeast diet (Feast Without Yeast) and nystatin, the Candida is no longer there to help the COVID and COVID symptoms and problems improve and resolve. This is what we see in this patient.
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