More on the Candida theory, full spectrum lighting, etc..., by Dr. Paul Kwo....(long)

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Posted by Margi ( on December 08, 1999 at 13:16:32:

Dr. Kwo, I hope you don't mind me reposting this from last November.....I was doing some research on another topic and found this post in the archives. It's an excellent bit of info on the Candida theory and there seems to be a few questions lately about it.
Here it is...

Posted by Paul Kwo on November 11, 1998 at 08:45:03:

I posted this in the guestbook and thought I would place it here as well. Great site!
I am a physician who has had cluster headaches for 14 years. I would like to share my experience in the hope that it will benefit others who suffer from this awful syndrome. My headaches are left sided and occurred every two years until two years ago when they became annual. Ironically, my twin brother also gets them every other year, but his are on the right side. Medicines that have worked for me include verapamil, prednisone, sansert, oxygen and antihistamines such as claritin. Imitrex injection has always stopped these headaches though on occasion, I have still get more than 2 a day. I have had mixed results with the tablet forms of all of the new migraine medicines. However, these medicines do not work every time and it is that my experience that one must try all these medicines to see if it works for that particular individual for that particular cluster cycle. I have also found that trying to get a good nights sleep can be quite difficult and on occasion, melatonin, 3 mg sustained release tablets are beneficial in preventing awakening with cluster pain. Again, it has not always worked for me. Another therapy that I believe may be beneficial is full spectrum lighting. Particularly for those who get clusters in the fall, I believe that the amount of daylight that you are exposed to plays some role in causing the clusters. You can get full spectrum lighting at plant stores, or there is a company called Northern Lights that sells lamps for treatment of seasonal affective disorder, which is probably related to the amount of sunlight. Again, I do not believe this will help everyone but at times over the past few years I have found this quite beneficial.

Recently, I have become a believer that candida plays a role in these headaches in some individuals and I would like to share why I believe this is so. I have now stopped these headaches three times, with three different anti-fungal medications. I tried diflucan 200 milligrams daily for two weeks, and they stopped a cycle last year. This year, they re-turned and I tried lamisil 250 milligrams for four weeks (this is a medicine for nail fungus that also works against candida), and this also stopped the headaches cold. You can only stay on this medication for four weeks and approximately two months later, my headaches returned. I am now on nystatin tablets, one million units 4 times per day and this also has gotten rid of the headaches. The good thing about nystatin is that its side effect profile is quite benign, and can be taken for long periods of time safely. In addition, the generic form is quite cheap. There is a book that I ordered called the Yeast Connection and while little of it is devoted to headaches, there are guidelines to try to reduce the amount of candida in your body. Unfortunately, this organism is ubiquitous (everywhere) and it is impossible to eradicate your body of this organism completely. However, at least for the present time, my quality of life in the fall has been better this year than any time in the past fourteen years. Unfortunately, I do not believe that candida is the answer for all sufferers of cluster headaches. This is likely a process that has multiple causes with the cluster pain being the end stage manifestation. However, after reviewing the multiple reports of individuals at this site who have benefited from anti-candida therapy, I believe there is merit to this hypothesis. I post this in the hope that some of you will improve with some of the therapies I have listed. If you want to try anti-fungal therapy, this has to be done in conjunction with your physician and or neurologist (as do most of the other therapies that have listed above).

It is important that all individuals continue to post their experience with this disorder. There a lot of bright people out there who suffer from this, and I congratulate those who made the connection between cluster headaches and candida. Good luck, I would not wish this on anyone. For those of you who feel like giving up (and I have been there), I will say that I believe this condition can be inherited. One of the things that has kept me going is that my children may inherit this from me, and it is up to me to figure out how they can deal with this later should they come down with this.

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