Day 8: Skin Microbiota

A few months after being given the Cipro IV, my skin aged about 10 years in a matter of weeks. I developed acne and Blepharitis, and my body odor changed, vascilating between sweet and really dank, and my hair started to feel dirty and smell really bad. Even the roots of my eyebrow hairs started to hurt and get infected.

The sweet odor is gone as I’ve gotten a handle on the worst of the yeast overgrowth. My skin has recovered microbes in the normal fashion, through touching and hugging and kissing other people, but I still suffer from regular rashes on my neck and back and my eyelashes still get crusty in spite of scrubbing them well. I decided to include my skin and eyes in my microbiome rebuilding project.

Today I prepared my bed as a nest for encouraging new microbiota, with clean sheets and blankets. I soaked in a mineral bath for an hour, and scrubbed my eyelashes well, then rinsed my hair and body with a quarter cup of raw apple cider vinegar in 2 cups of water, working it down to the roots of my hair.

Then I towel dried and used a half ounce of human breast milk all over, especially in the nape of my neck where my worst rashes start, along my eyelashes and eyebrows, and on my toes where I battle fungus that causes painful peeling.

Then I went to bed to type this. I’m hoping that whatever transfers to my sheets will continue to innoculate me until the next time I change my sheets.

I have some cloths in my bag, and I as I interact with each of my insanely healthy friends (especially those who’ve recently traveled overseas) I’ll ask them to scrub their skin with a cloth, which I’ll then sleep with in the hopes that their microbiota will help rebuild the diversity in my microbiome.

Day 7: Human Breast Milk, BLIS K12, L. Sakei

My delivery of organic, antibiotic-free breast milk from a gluten-free paleo mama arrived today. It went straight into my freezer so I can take a couple of days to lower my stress level before I start using it to reintroduce microbiota to my system.

Because I’ve been battling thrush, I also ordered a bottle of BLIS K12, an oral probiotic. It’s fairly new on the market so not carried in stores, but Whole Foods was able to order the NOW! OralBiotic version… I wish I’d known about this particular probiotic before I put in my LuckyVitamin order because it’s much cheaper on their webiste, but I’m not going to wait for my next big order to get it.

Because I have chronic sinus issues and always have, I also went looking for a local source for L. Sakei, which is present in the sinus cavities of healthy people. Couldn’t find any, so ordered a packet of #19008 Bactoferm F-RM-52 from Sausagemaker.com.

Day 1: Setting the Stage

As I’ve been researching and reading over the past month and finally settling on my plan to rebuild my microbiome using human breast milk and a fecal matter transplant, I’ve learned some interesting things about our microbe friends and what an alarming situation most of us are in. I don’t know how many species I lost, but I feel like it must be a significant number, and I would like to maintain whatever I can recapture. There’s a lot of work going on that is helping demystify what supports a healthy microbiome, and luckily I’m already doing most of it, like eating organic, eating fermented foods, no processed food, no GMO, low-carb, but I upped my game a bit over the past month by adding raw apple cider vinegar to my daily diet, and by increasing my fiber intake with chia seeds and coconut flour in my smoothies. I also lowered my dairy intake a bit… I love cheese, but I’m cutting myself back to a few servings a week, and maybe a cup of raw yogurt a week. My real weakness is adding a bit of half-and-half to my morning mocha, but it’s just a couple of tablespoons to a half-cup or so of hazelnut or hemp milk and I’m just not ready to give that up… yet.

The biggest change is probably switching my coffee out for a blend of dandelion root, burdock root and chickory root, boiled and strained. It does not taste like coffee, but does impart a nice flavor to my mochas, and most importantly gives me a daily dose of inulin to support microbiota in my lower gut. I find that I don’t actually miss coffee at all, but I’ll allow myself a cup if I go out for a gluten-free pastry.

A friend gave me the link to OnlyTheBreast.com, and I located a mama today who is lifestyle compatible: eats organic, gluten-free, antibiotic-free, and paleo, who agreed to ship her milk to me frozen, so I’ve purchased 30 ounces. That will get my started and I can assess if I need more after I get into this process for a few weeks.

As of today, a few things have already improved. The horrible fungus on my left foot, that got 100x worse after I was floxed, seems to have started to clear up. My gut is functioning a little bit better than it was when I hit a crisis point 2 weeks ago that left me feeling like I’ll never have a normal life again. I’ll take these tiny signs that I’m on the right track and keep going.