ADHD and Autism

#118: Andrea Maxim, ND- Beyond Gut Bacteria: Yeast, Parasites and Viruses

by Mike Mutzel

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About Dr. Andrea Maxim

Dr. Maxim is Southern Ontario’s leading naturopathic doctor and creator of the Maxim Movement, and author of “MAXIMized Health: The New Intelligent System for Optimal Digestion and Hormones.” To know a little bit more about formal education and background, Dr. Maxim earned her degree in biology and pharmacology from McMaster University, and attended Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine where she became a licensed naturopathic doctor.

Show Notes:

1:31 Life Change and Postpartum Hormones:  Dr. Maxim only took 5 weeks maternity leave.  A year’s leave is common in Canada.  Her child provides her with good grounding balance.  Dr. Maxim received many compliments on her post-baby body.  She thinks it is in part because she did not gain more than the recommended 30 lbs.  Also, she is young and her hormones were in good shape when she became pregnant.  It is the lack of muscle tone that makes us look so different.  Postpartum depression should be tested as soon as possible and treated as soon as possible.


9:13 Our View of Bacteria, Parasites, and Viruses: Our animals are checked and treated for bacteria, parasites, and viruses.  We humans see ourselves as above the general mammal state.


9:59 Why Do Some People’s Immune Systems React More Severely?  Reasons could be genetics that make us more sensitive, or possibly the hygiene hypothesis, where we have sanitized our environment.  Between the ages of 0 to 2, a child’s immune system needs to be challenged as part of its development.  Sanitizing their environment and experience puts their immune system at a disadvantage.  When they are exposed later in life, their body is not ready for it.


11:25 The Suppression of Our Immune System: We look at what might be suppressing the immune system: processed sugar, smoking, alcohol, heavy metals, environmental toxins or food sensitivities.  Food sensitivities cause an inflammatory response that greatly suppresses the immune system.  Antibiotic therapy can cause scrappy bacteria, parasites and viruses to adapt into superbugs, becoming antibiotic and other medication resistant.  Our immune system can be improved, but some things are beyond our control.


13:58 How does Yeast Overgrowth Present?  Yeast likes to live in your sinus cavities and shows as chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip or brain fog. Rashes in the moist areas of our bodies, or recurrent yeast or urinary tract infections can be yeast related.


14:50 How does Parasite Overgrowth Present?  Parasites can present similarly to food sensitivities.  With parasites and yeast, your immune system is chronically deficient.  You will have lots of colds and flu more frequently than normal.  Symptoms for parasites include random itchiness and weird rashes on arms and legs, or for things like pinworms, itching of the anus.  Parasites are most active during the full moon and least active around the new moon, so cyclical symptoms may be a clue.


16:22 How do Food Sensitivities Present?  It is the most common digestive upset, but it can be skin rashes, joint pain or muscle pain.


16:38 Checking for Yeast and Parasites:  Dr. Maxim tries to rule out yeast and parasites because it is so often overlooked and so costly to your body’s resources, immune system, and energy levels.


18:00 How Does Yeast, Parasites and Bacteria Get To Be a Problem?  We will always have a little yeast, a little bad bacterium, and a few environmental parasites. The question is what you are doing to your body to have it allow these to overgrow.  Often clinicians do not call them infections because it is more of an overgrowth.


18:40 Other Yeast Triggers:  Yeast triggers include anything that has yeast in it, like wine or baked goods that rise.  Another trigger is tropical fruits, which contain far more sugar than North American grown fruit.


20:43 Triggers in our Supplements: Even xylitol and stevia can impact sugar levels.  Also protein powders can have added sugars and other ingredients that may be inflammatory.


21:33 Can We Ever Eat Normally Again? If your immune system is healthy and your overgrowth has been balanced, you can probably consume a trigger food every now and then.  Health will ebb and flow.


23:58 Minimizing Alcohol Consumption:  One of her patients drank a LOT of beer.  When he did her 7 day detox, abstaining from alcohol, he lost 15 pounds.  After a month, he lost another 15 lbs. Alcohol is empty calories, and then we don’t usually consume it with healthy fats and proteins, so it turns to sugar in our system.  It is easy to overconsume alcohol and avoid healthy foods.  Alcoholics are malnourished because the alcohol satisfies their appetite.


27:07 Testing for Candida and Parasites:  The organic acids urine test for candida, bacterial and other fungal markers is phenomenal.  It also shows how your entire body is functioning.  Dr. Maxim also does stool testing.  Many of her patients, when suspecting parasites, have been to their doctors and had stool tests that almost always come back negative.  Dr. Maxim recommends that patients start a parasite and yeast cleanse a week before testing to coax the parasites and yeast out of the far reaches of the body and into the stool.


28:50 Treatments for Candida and Parasites:  Dr. Maxim’s go-to natural remedies are high dose garlic, delayed release garlic, black walnut with wormwood, and homeopathic remedies, especially for children.


29:35 Treat your Entire Family:  Kids are a cesspool for bugs.  Parasites are transferred easily in saliva.  Men are typically asymptomatic carriers of yeast.


31:07 Treatment Dosage:  Dr. Maxim always has testing confirmation before treating.  Herbal and homeopathic companies have different potencies, so recommending dosages in this venue is challenging.  Take herbs away from food.  They typically work best on an empty stomach.  Dietary changes are required as well.  Do not expect the overgrowth to be gone after the first 30 days.  Many of her patients are on the protocol for many months.  As parasites or yeast are being pulled from areas of your body, you might feel worse before you feel better. Almost any kind of shift, Dr. Maxim sees as a good thing. Retesting is very important.


35:35 Peeling Back the Onion:  The liver needs to be filtering toxins well.  The gut needs to be completely healed.  Heavy metals, especially mercury, can continuously trigger yeast overgrowth.  In the case of heavy metals, you treat the infection first and then the metals, not the other way around.  Otherwise the infection will persist despite the fact that you are removing the metals. In addition, you don’t want people to feel so ill that they cannot continue with treatment.  The fastest treatments are highly taxing and may not be the best for your body.


38:09 Bile and HCL:  For HCL, you can take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before a meal.  Eating slower and smelling your food before you eat will help.  A short term measure is digestive enzymes that contain a little HCL and bile.  Low stomach acid could be caused by things like h-pylori, gallbladder inflammation, or gallbladder stones.  There is a correlation between parasite overgrowth and gallbladder disease.  Parasites like to live in the gallbladder.


39:17 Reasons for Digestive Upset and Food Sensitivity:  We are on the go, eating more snacks than meals, not eating cooked meals, and not resting and digesting.  Dr. Maxim may run a stomach acid challenge or a zinc tally test.  She finds that if zinc is low, many other minerals may be as well.  Malabsorption of minerals is a sign of low stomach acids.


40:29 High Dose Probiotics: After a 30 day parasite or yeast cleanses or detoxing, Dr. Maxim recommends high dose probiotics to prime the digestive system.  Regular bowel movements during this time are very important to remove the bugs from your body, so you may want to take high dose magnesium or herbal laxatives.


42:35 The Basics:  The mainstay of Dr. Maxim’s practice is teaching people the fundamental things that need to be in place for their bodies to function.  Her approach is minimalistic and treats only one thing at a time.  She wants patients to take responsibility for their lifestyle.  Dr. Maxim would like us to connect with a supportive professional and not treat ourselves based upon what we read or hear.


45:46 Dr. Maxim’s Morning Routine:  Intermittent fasting works well for her body, so breakfast doesn’t happen until around 11 a.m. She feeds her animals and her child.  During her daughter’s morning nap at about 9 a.m., she gets to work.  She sees patients generally in the afternoon and evening.


47:37 Dr. Maxim’s Favorite Herb, Botanical or Food Substance:  Black currant tincture is at the top of her list.  Taking this is part of her morning routine.  Black currant is supportive of adrenals.

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