Yeast Die-Off

I recently wrote of starting digestive enzymes with Skyler’s meals.  After much research, I chose Trienza from Houston Enzymes because it offered many people the benefits of a gluten/casein free diet without actually having to eliminate those foods.  I also wrote of the good negative side effects that showed it was starting to work.  Well, here comes the bad side effects…..

On Monday we upped the dosage on the enzymes.  Skyler had been taking one Trienza pill with dinner and breakfast for the past three days, so we added one at lunch on Monday. That night he woke up screaming at around 1:00 a.m.  He was inconsolable and obviously in pain.  After an hour and a half of relentless screaming and crying, I was able to get him back in bed.  Then an hour later, he did it again.  I had to sit him in bed with me with cartoons on to try to get his mind off of the pain.  It was agony for me because I knew I had caused this.  We got through the day, but Skyler was obviously feeling really bad and seemed to be coming down with a cold.  We took him to the doctor that afternoon, and she said that it was probably just gas build-up from the enzymes and advised us to stop them until he feels better.

Wednesday he did fairly well and seemed to be improving.  Then Thursday, we sent him back to daycare, but received a call a few hours later that he was running a fever and crying.  We went to get him, and he was pitiful.  Along with a fever, he again seemed to be in pretty bad pain.  With every exhale, he grunted or moaned like it was killing him to breathe.  I got scared, so we bundled him up and drove to the E.R. However, the car ride must have moved him around enough to let the gas escape because he was acting much better when we got there.  So without going in, we turned around and drove home. Unfortunately, after a little while back at home, Skyler again started having horrible stomach pains.  After unsuccessfully trying every over the counter treatment available, we again took off for the E.R.  We actually made it inside this time, but after a little bit in the waiting room, Skyler again improved, so we left.  Skyler and I spent the night at my parents’ house, and he was just so pitiful.  He wanted so badly to feel better, and my heart broke just looking at him.  When we put him to bed, I heard him moaning and saying, “I’m ok… I’m ok,” obviously trying to convince himself.  I just sat there listening and crying.

Friday, Skyler started to improve.  Over the weekend, he made a rapid recovery, and now on Sunday he is pretty much back at 100%.  Now I am scared to death about restarting the enzymes, but after talking to the enzyme company and researching for hours, it appears that the enzymes were actually working.  You see, we just got test results in the mail on Saturday that showed yeast and bacteria in Skyler’s gut.  Apparently, the digestive enzymes killed the yeast by starving it.  That’s good, right?  Well, unfortunately when you kill yeast too quickly, they cause what is called a die-off (Herxheimer) reaction.  This happens because the yeast releases toxins as they are dying, and too many can overload the body and wreak havoc.  Die-off reactions tend to mimic the flu, which is exactly what I had told my mom that Skyler acted like.  It can cause fevers, runny nose, abdominal distress, aches and pains, and a lot of just horrible symptoms.  So, with Skyler making such a quick recovery when we stopped the enzymes, it certainly sounds like yeast die-off was causing all of his symptoms.

So, where does this leave us?  The enzyme company recommended starting with a much lower dosage and increasing the doses much slower than we did previously.  I know I need to start the enzymes again, but it is so very scary when you see your little angel in agonizing pain that you’ve inadvertently caused.  I’m so afraid that he’ll hurt again when we start back, even if we go slow.  Can I really risk putting him through that again? It’s a horrible situation because I know we need to get rid of the yeast and bacteria.  I pray that going slower on the enzymes will cause the yeast to die much slower so that Skyler can get rid of the toxins without the pain.  I’ve read that activated charcoal helps to soak up the toxins released from dying yeast, so I am going to purchase some tomorrow, and hopefully I will get the nerve to start with the enzymes again at dinner tomorrow evening.  I will keep everyone posted on how Skyler does this time.  He’s a brave and wonderful little boy, and he trusts me to make things better, so I will never give up trying.

About Lori R. Edwards

I am the proud mommy of a wonderful little boy who has been diagnosed with Autism. We are currently working on his recovery.
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4 Responses to Yeast Die-Off

  1. Lisa says:

    My heart goes out to you! You are such a wonderful mother and I know Skyler loves you and appreciates everything you are doing for him!

  2. Cherin74 says:

    Hi Lori! Thank you for this post. I stumbled upon it because I was looking for similar side effects with the enzyme. Our son who is also 3 had the same symptoms as Skyler. We immediately gave him liquid charcoal yesterday and have seen some improvement. We were wondering if you came upon anything that recommended a certain dose for charcoal too. Thanks!

    • Lori R. Edwards says:

      I didn’t actually know there was LIQUID charcoal! That would have helped us a lot! I have used charcoal at times when I’ve given too much yeast medicine, but usually I try to go slowly so that I don’t need it. I like to stick with supplements that are easy to use, and charcoal was hard for me to get into Skyler because it was in pill form. I tried to open the capsule and empty it into a drink, but it would turn his drink (and mouth) pitch black. So I usually try to avoid the charcoal unless absolutely necessary. I’m glad that seemed to help with the side effects. What type of liquid charcoal do you use?

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