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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Liver detoxing too slowly - should I try activated charcoal?

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Author Topic: Liver detoxing too slowly - should I try activated charcoal?
reflectlight
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Hi all!

I'm currently very frustrated because my LLMD has taken me off my antibiotic protocol due to my elevated ALT levels.

I have now been off the protocol for almost 6 weeks, and my levels have only been going down at 2-3 points a week! When they were first elevated, they were 56, and I just got this week's results back which say 48.

My LLMD says that I have to stay off the abx until they are at 30. I know that for a lot of people, these levels are not very high, and that even below 55 is sometimes considered "normal", but this is what my doctor considers normal and I appreciate that she is concerned about my long-term health.

However, I am SO frustrated that it's taking so long for my liver to get back to normal! My PCP has told me that it should not take this long to get my levels back to normal.

My LLMD has given me a list of detox methods to try. I have been doing them all.

They include:
drinking lots of water
detox baths
lemon water
milk thistle
NAC
alpha-lipoic-acid
dry-brushing

I've also tried colonics and coffee enemas.

I'm wondering if maybe the strain of all the supplements I'm taking is stressing out my liver (like most of us on the lyme protocol, I'm taking a huge amount of different supplements). So my plan is to stop all my supplements except for the ones above and vitamin C, which I think helps my colon. Does this seem like an overreaction... or has anyone else had this problem before?

Also, I'm looking for opinions about whether or not I should try activated charcoal. I've tried to do some reading on it online but it seems like there's a real controversy over whether or not it's helpful.

A staff member at the health food store nearby suggested it to me - but also said that it's been taken off the shelves here in Canada and that they can't sell it anymore! So that worries me...

I am desperate and looking for any other detox suggestions as well!

Thanks!

Posts: 24 | From Toronto, ON | Registered: Jan 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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-
First, "detoxing too slowly" may not be the problem at all. The liver can only work as fast as it can work and it must be healthy to do that work.

IMO, it is a huge mistake to stop milk thistle. This helps the liver tremendously. So does NAC. As does ALA.

To disregard your LLMD's advice on this matter of support could spell disaster for your liver - it needs this support -- or other support, perhaps.

Vitamin C and charcoal are not enough to do that, IMO. The list he gave you is good advice.

However, I hear the frustration in that what you've been doing has not been helping much.

You might be sure to add magnesium. That's good for the liver for many reasons. I did not see that on your list.

So, am overall different approach is needed.

But I would not take charcoal as that can be rather binding. And it can deplete your body of key nutrients and actually be harder on the liver then.

Milk thistle is much better for nourishing the liver. It's all about giving the liver good food, and milk thistle is one of the best liver foods.

This is not about "speeding up the liver" but about the tender care and feeding of the liver, so to speak.

And, you may need a different Rx approach to the infections.

LEMON WATER and DENTAL HEALTH:

Be very careful with lemon water. Immediately after drinking (even if you use a straw), RINSE AND SWISH mouth with water and a little bit of baking soda or sea salt.

The acid in lemon water can destroy tooth enamel. RINSE always after any food or drink - do not brush right away, though. Wait 30 minutes.
-

[ 07-27-2012, 07:21 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Keebler
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It may be best to consult a specialist in herbal medicine who can help with your liver support and - one who is ILADS-educated might have a different approach to to addressing infection, too.

A LL ND may have more time to teach you WHY and HOW all this works and they have knowledge of thousands of herbs.

Some of the links here offer explanations, too.

= = = = = = = = = = = ==

When considering herbal / nutritional / adjunct methods:

if at all possible - because each person & each case is different - it's best to consult with an ILADS-educated LL (lyme literate) doctor who has completed four years of post-graduate medical education in the field of herbal and nutritional medicine -

- and someone who is current with ILADS' research & presentations, past and present.

Many LL NDs incorporate antibiotics (depending upon the licensing laws in their state). Some LLMDs and LL NDs have good working relationships.

When possible, it's great to have both a LLMD and LL ND and even better when they have a long-standing professional relationship.

-----------------------

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/2/13964

How to find an ILADS-educated LL:

N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor);

L.Ac. (Acupuncturist);

D.Ay. (Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine);

D.O.M. (Doctor of Oriental Medicine);

Integrative / Holistic M.D., etc. (Be aware that those in this category can have various levels of formal herbal &/or nutritional education, perhaps even just a short course. Do ask first.)

Links to many articles and books by holistic-minded LL doctors of various degrees who all have this basic approach in common:

Understanding of the importance of addressing the infection(s) fully head-on with specific measures from all corners of medicine;

knowing which supplements have direct impact, which are only support and which are both.

You can compare and contrast many approaches.

BASIC HERBAL EDUCATIONAL & SAFETY links, etc.
-

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janice victorov
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What's NAC?

--------------------
jkv44

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Keebler
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-
NAC is N-Acetyl Cysteine

ALA is Alpha Lipoic Acid
-

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Summer3
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What meds were you on and what infection were you treating?

I had a problem with my ALT and AST for many months. I kept trying NAC, lemon water, detox teas, milk thistle, ALA glutathione IV's, etc. I was off everything and my enzymes would still randomly go up.

Eventually my LLMD decided to put me on doxy and my liver enzymes immediately started dropping. After adding Rifampin (which is known to be tough on the liver) I got my first normal liver test ever.

Sometimes I think it can be one of the infections raising liver enzymes rather than the antibiotics themselves. For me, the detox methods really did not drastically help.

--------------------
http://www.lymepie.blogspot.com

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Keebler
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-
Summer raises an excellent point. Infection can certainly strain and damage the liver. You may need a different anti-infective approach -- and maybe other infections also need to be considered.

Different medicines might also be less stressful.

This LLMD sounds like he has a full grasp of the importance of the liver and in liver support but you might ask him about different Rx and being sure there's not coinfection that might need to be addressed.

Are there other choices of LL doctors in your area? You might inquire at all area lyme support groups to see the range of expertise of other LL doctors.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=015508;p=0

Diagnosing Lyme Disease (&/or whatever else is going on)

Other tick-borne infections and other chronic stealth infections - as well as certain conditions - that can hold us back are discussed here.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

http://lymediseaseguide.org/lyme-disease-liver-dysfunction-more-common-than-many-doctors-think

Lyme Disease Liver Dysfunction More Common than Many Doctors Think.

by L Matthews -June 28, 2012

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

In general (not lyme specific):

Tilltoson says (somewhere in his book) that if a person does not eat enough vegetables & fruits, it is impossible to be able to enable natural detoxification processes. The antioxidants + fiber are key. Beyond that:

From The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook (Tillotson, et.al.)

http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com/diseases/understanding-the-liver.html

UNDERSTANDING THE LIVER


http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com/diseases/herbs-to-help-the-liver.html

HERBS TO HELP THE LIVER

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

http://www.vrp.com/liver-support/can-your-liver-rejuvenate-your-health

Can Your Liver Rejuvenate Your Health?
-

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Keebler
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-
Systemic Enzymes can be very helpful, too.

CarolinPA has posted a lot about those. There are several in this category but to start, you might search:

WOBENZYME
-

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Keebler
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-
If Rx is too harsh for your liver, you might consider a Rife machine. Liver support is still essential when doing rife but some who found Rx too harsh or not effective enough have done well with rife:


http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=117755;p=0

Topic: RIFE Machine - Reference LINKS
-

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reflectlight
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Keebler - thanks so much for all your tips! I actually meant that I will continue to do the NAC, ALA, and milk thistle because I know they are good for my liver. I am just going to stop taking the other supplements I was on (like l-glutamine, glucosamine, SAMe, etc etc). None of them were helping me anyway!

Because I'm in Canada, there are no LLMDs around here, so I've been seeing one in NY state. I think she is very good and most people in Canada go to see her and I know many who have had good results, so I plan to continue with her.

However I do think your idea of seeing an LLND could be very helpful, so I will look into that.

I am thinking of increasing my dosage of milk thistle. I'm right now taking 750mg, but I have concerns that my stomach does not absorb nutrients properly so I think I might not be getting the full amount of the supplements I am taking. Do you think it would be dangerous to increase my dosage of milk thistle?

Summer - That is really interesting... I hadn't thought about it maybe being the infection. My liver tests were normal before I started the protocol, but maybe it awakened something...

I've received positive test results for lyme and bartonella, and my LLMD also thinks I have babesia.

I was on plaquenil, doxy, biaxin, and flagyl for two months before I had to stop taking them due to my liver. I wasn't feeling any improvement or herx while on the treatment, just more fatigued. The increased fatigue has unfortunately remained in the past few weeks.

My LLMD plans to switch me to a plaquenil, mepron, azithromyocin, and flagyl protocol but I can't start until my liver tests are at 30 :/

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Summer3
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I was on Mepron when mine went up the first time. The next time I was on Biaxin alone.

My ALT/AST were okay before treatment but my bilirubin was always high even before meds.

For me we were thinking Erlichia might have been involved because of the dramatic and quick drop on doxy. I have bart and babs too along with Lyme.

My ALT and AST were over 100 and not budging despite aggressive detox and being off all meds. Doxy halved it in a week. Rifampin got it into normal range.

Another strange thing......you mention you feel fatigued when your liver enzymes are high? For me it is the opposite which I know is strange. I actually felt much better when my liver enzymes were high than I do now when they are normal.

--------------------
http://www.lymepie.blogspot.com

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Razzle
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reflectlight,

You may have a methylation issue that is slowing down your liver's ability to detox - even with all the liver support stuff.

Something to discuss with your doctor, at the very least...

Here are some links:

Methylation Cycle Genomics
http://heartfixer.com/AMRI-Nutrigenomics.htm

Methylation Test Panel
http://www.holisticheal.com/health-tests/nutrigenomic-testing/comprehensive-methylation-panel-with-methylation-pathway-analysis.html

DetoxiGenomic Test Panel (for liver Phase I/II detox analysis)
http://www.gdx.net/product/10038

--------------------
-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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reflectlight
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Thanks Razzle! I actually did a methylation panel a couple weeks ago and am waiting for the results still. Should be interesting!
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Robin123
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My LLMD recommends taking takesumi activated charcoal.

Also, what about trying detoxing in a portable far infrared sauna tent? That's what I'm doing and I'm getting gradually less chemical sensitive.

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rera2528
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I have used Pekana with some success in terms of liver detox.
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2roads
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pm'd you-
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annxyzz
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Check out at amazon or iherb : Himalaya Liv 52 or NOW Liver Detox and Regenerator - both with excellent user reviews . I lke the NOW product !

--------------------
annxyzz

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Carol in PA
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More supplements that help the liver make glutathione:

Magnesium
Fish oil
Undenatured whey
Acetyl L-carnitine
CoEnzyme Q10

How much of the N-acetyl cysteine are you taking?
I've read that this is what they give for tylenol poisoning, so it's potent stuff.

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reflectlight
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Robin, do you think the sauna would help my liver? I do the detox baths daily, do you find that the detox baths and the sauna produce different results? I sweat a LOT after the detox baths so I feel like that would help but my results are still so slow, I am not sure if the sauna would be any different.

I'm doing the Pekana Big 3, it increased the frequency of my bowel movements on the first day but then there was no change after that. :/

Thanks Carol - I am on all those except for the whey. I hadn't heard of that one before!

I'm taking 2000mg of NAC a day, as per my LLMD's suggestion. Do you think that's too much?

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Robin123
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Reflect, I don't know much about the detox baths, how they would compare to using an FIR sauna -

I just know about the FIR sauna - we sweat toxins out through the skin, followed by showering off afterwards. Also, I'm told it stimulates bile flow as well, and alternating with hot and cold showering off afterwards helps increase that.

I think results are slow - it took me 6 months of FIR sweating to suddenly be able to handle smells again. My LLMD said we finally reach a lower toxin threshold and then we can handle more.

And slowly I'm able to handle more touching of materials. Yes, slow and steady, it seems to me.

Back to your activated charcoal question - my LLMD says yes, taking activated charcoal can speed up detoxing, and he likes the takesumi kind.

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Carol in PA
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These are the two brands of whey that I used in the past.
They provide amino acids that the liver needs to make glutathione, which it uses to detoxify poisons.


ImmunoPro, Non-Denatured Whey Protein,
http://www.iherb.com/Well-Wisdom-ImmunoPro-The-Finest-Biologically-Active-Non-Denatured-Whey-Protein-Natural-10-6-oz-300-g/4797

Less expensive at Amazon:
Nutricology Immuno Pro Powder
http://www.amazon.com/Nutricology-Immuno-Pro-Powder-300-Grams/dp/B003SRI1YO/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1343534969&sr=1-1&keywords=immunopro


Source Naturals, True Whey
http://www.iherb.com/Source-Naturals-True-Whey-Premium-Protein-Powder-16-oz-453-59-g/8180

Less expensive at Amazon, with Subscribe & Save:
Source Naturals True Whey,
http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-True-Whey-Ounce/dp/B001G7R4HI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343534634&sr=8-1&keywords=true+whey

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reflectlight
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Thanks Robin and Carol, I will look into those!!
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2roads
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Reflect, please share how your enzymes improve in terms of time, as we have the same problem with our son.

His are taking months not weeks.

thanks

2roads

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Keebler
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-
Regarding WHEY, not to be used as a smoothie

WHY NOT to mix with certain other things and why not to use a blender:

(Same brand as Carol suggests)

ImmunoPro Rx

- a biologically non-denatured whey protein containing high levels of lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, active peptides and growth factors. * It contains an exceptional amount of covalent bonded cysteine, the critical precursor for the production of glutathione. *

ImmunoPro is not a by-product of cheese manufacture, which denatures the whey protein components.

It is GMO-free, and is from hormone treatment-free, disease-free, pesticide-free, chemical-free, natural grass pasture-fed cows.

https://www.prohealth.com/shop/product.cfm/product__code/N056

ImmunoPro Rx

Excerpt:

What is the best solution to mix it in?

Purified water is the best liquid to thoroughly mix ImmuneProRx.

Use a sealable container to shake it, or a manual eggbeater.

**** Do NOT use an electric blender. ****

The whey proteins are easily denatured through heat and pH change. Mixing the whey protein with any other types of food can induce a pH change and slow the transit time in the stomach through its digestive response to the solid food.

Liquids that are not neutral in their pH can also denature the proteins, for example: most fruit juices, coffee, and tea.

By following the above guide, the uptake of the undenatured protein fractions in the upper small intestine is optimized. A small amount of Stevia is an acceptable sweetener, if desired, for palatability. . . .

- Much more detail at link above.
-

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