Are you looking for a possible remedy for chronic epididymitis? Perhaps something that might provide a little relief?
If you are reading this, chances are that you or someone you know is suffering with some horrible pain and may be looking for a cure or remedy for this horrible disease. What you are about to read is not a guaranteed cure by any means, but it is an opportunity.
First, I’m going to walk you through the allopathic way to address this, then I will discuss a more naturopathic way to address it. It is important to address the allopathic way though because the diagnostic tools are very important when it comes to this particular condition.
What Is Epididymitis?
Epididymitis is an inflammation of the coiled tube (epididymis) at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm. Males of any age can get epididymitis and the causes are many, but it is most often caused by the spread of a bacterial infection.
NOTE: If you feel that you might have this condition and have not be diagnosed yet, it is highly recommended that you see a physician immediately to rule out other conditions which have similar symptoms and come with horrible consequences if left untreated.
Culture, nucleic acid hybridization tests, and NAATs are available for the detection of both N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis. These are often the cause of acute epididymitis and are often treated through antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. Rapid identification of the organism is extremely important for successful and long-term treatment.
Your doctor will likely treat you with antibiotics through an IV, a shot, or pills orally. Often the treatment depends on the identity of the infecting bacteria; many physicians elect to treat with at least two different antibiotics because individuals are occasionally infected with more than one organism. Many times, the treatment is successful and the symptoms subside after a few days. Sometimes however, treatments fail, and acute epididymitis turns into subacute or even chronic.
NOTE: If your initial treatment fails, you need to see your physician for exploration of alternate courses of treatment. Your best bet is to try and find an answer before it turns into a chronic condition.
So what about chronic epididymitis? For patients with seemingly non-infectious causes of epididymitis (for example, chemical, inflammation) anti-inflammatory medication is often prescribed; occasionally, consultation with a urologist is recommended for additional treatments. Treatment options are limited but may include things like pain management to things like removal of the epididymis or even the complete removal of the testicle. That is of course, unless resolution is found in the interim.
The problem with chronic epididymitis (and even prostatitis) is that relapse and prolonged pain and discomfort are the norm. To further complicate things, many reports suggest that surgery did not fix the problem in about a quarter of all men who underwent the procedure. Other times, doctors simply cannot find anything wrong, and the pain persists.
In some of these cases, there is the possibility of an anaerobic bacterial infection which is hard to test for at times because the sample can die when exposed to oxygen, or the organism causing the issue is actually a part of the normal flora. This is really rough because in these cases, many doctors would not associate them with the problem. And since a specific pathogenic bacterium is not identified via basic labs, but the obvious signs of infection (such as pain and inflammation) remain, it must be assumed that an infection does in-fact exist. But what is causing it?
Something to consider: While rare, sometimes the normal flora acts in a pathogenic way. For instance, lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidum can sometimes act in such a way. These lactobacilli and bifidobacterium tend to colonize the mucosal surfaces of the oropharynx, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina. So even if the tests did find these bacteria under a certain threshold, it’s so rare that these bacteria cause a problem, it is possible that the lab would have more than likely dismissed it as normal flora anyway. But, while it is rare (or more than likely under-reported), reports have indeed shown that bacteria such as lactobacilli can in-fact cause bacteremia, subacute endocarditis, urinary tract infections, meningitis, chorioamnionitis, endometritis, abscesses, and even dental caries. And in the case of UTI’s, the possibility of the bacteria reaching the epididymis is increased.
However, the urogenital system is designed to ward off and limit infections like this, so what happened? My working theory (as of right now) is that sometimes things get backed into the tubes where they don’t belong; even urine can get backed into the epididymis. Something as simple as constipation can be a culprit. Sometimes the system simply doesn’t work correctly for any number of reasons and too much bacteria gets in at one time, which might simply inhibit the effectiveness of our natural defenses. But how?
Well this can happen for any number of reasons. For instance, lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium in large numbers can actually inhibit lipid peroxidation. This also means that other similar types of bacteria can do the same thing. So if (for example) someone was going overboard on taking probiotic supplements, it is possible to create an infection. As a result, these types of bacteria somewhat reduce the ability of our defense systems to kill invaders. In large enough amounts, the defense system simply fails and these otherwise beneficial bacteria, get in and wreak havoc.
Many doctors are not quite up to speed yet on this little known fact – and I do mean “little known”. This is why many doctors feel as though their hands are tied when it comes to treatment, and are willing to simply experiment with different antibiotics until they find one that works. Scary, indeed.
The problem with bacteria such as bifidobacterium bifidum, is that they are an obligately anaerobic bacteria which is unlikely to be susceptible to many antibiotics that are currently available. Similarly, lactobacillus acidophilus shows resistance to many antibiotics as well, especially the ones that would probably work for the bifidobacterium. And most of the antibiotics that could potentially work (because none are guaranteed), come with some pretty horrendous side effects that might make things even worse in the long run. In fact, according to Dr’s Keith Sehnert, MD and Lendon Smith, MD., (Authors of “Beyond Antibiotics“) antibiotics are very rarely needed, and most often they are very harmful. Furthermore, they state that evidence now indicates that people treated with antibiotics have more repeat infections than those who are not treated.
Further complicating the issue is that (and once again) the urogenital system is designed to ensure things don’t get in. This includes antibiotics which are simply not guaranteed to work. This is because our bodies are designed to ensure that we can procreate, so we are built with protective barriers to protect our “seeds”. So while obviously not impossible to get in, it is very hard and would require heavy duty antibiotics, and further suppression of our immune function, to correct it. This brings us back to square one really, because this might require someone to take things like probiotics to fend off the side effects such as yeast infections. And the cycle continues.
Then there is an emerging issue that most doctors aren’t even trained to look for yet. You need to be aware of this one. This is because the bacteria responsible for some cases of this type of pain, wasn’t even known to exist in a pathogenic form until very recently. If you have exhausted your options, but signs of infection still exist, then I would suggest you find a competent doctor who might be willing to check your urine and semen specifically for atypical mycobacterium or “nontuberculous mycobacteria” (NTM). While it is rare, there are clinical situations where genitourinary tract infections due to atypical mycobacteria have occurred; specifically when one partner comes into direct sexual contact with infected mucosa. Unfortunately, the NCBI states that although rare, genitourinary NTM infections pose a significant threat to life and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of genitourinary infections, especially when patients are unresponsive to conventional antibiotic treatment.
I’ve read that extrapulmonary mycobacterial infections are often overlooked when it comes to otherwise healthy people. Think about your partner for a moment. If your partner showed signs of severe sore throat, breathing issues and/or intense lower abdominal/menstrual pain before your condition began, and you had direct sexual contact during this time, this should definitely be something to consider. This goes as well for chronic or reoccurring lung or upper-respiratory tract infections when oral sex was a factor.
If you are looking for allopathic solutions, then let me recommend the following:
- Although your urine tests may be cleared and there is no identifiable infection, a urethral/seminal fluid sample should be taken to do a culture and sensitivity. The culture must be carried out for bacterial and fungal infection at the same time and the test should include both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.
- If the pain in the testicle area is constant, an ultrasound of the scrotum would be a good place to start. This should be followed up by computed tomography in an effort to avoid unnecessary surgeries.
- You should consider a digital rectal exam as well as culturing any prostatic fluid and possible trans-rectal ultrasound, especially if the initial prostate exam was negative. (Again: test for both aerobic, anaerobic, and nontuberculous mycobacteria)
- And probably most important of all: once you have tried a Family Physician and once you have tried the Urologist and those fail – if at all possible, attempt to bypass the Family Physician and Urologist and visit a qualified Infectious Disease specialist. ID doctors are great for a number of reasons: they are systems oriented, they have experience in finding the cause of issues that are difficult to diagnose, and they are experienced in helping those who do not respond to standard treatments.
If something is found, appropriate antibiotics will usually be prescribed along with anti-inflamatory to help ease some of the pain. Recovery will usually last between a few weeks to several months. But sometimes these tests will still show clear. Other times, a bacterium may be identified but the treatments simply fail. Before you go as far as getting an orchiectomy, or any other kind of invasive and potentially dangerous surgery, let me suggest that you try at least two more things. Try a different kind of antibiotic and/or try something natural.
Yes, these options seem limited and scary. But if your antibiotics haven’t worked and the doctors cannot find anything wrong, it does not necessarily mean that there is not an active infection. Again, and just for example, bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifidobacterium are sometimes hard to test for and there are hundreds of other types of bacteria that a part of the normal flora that are not even looked for because of how rare they become an issue. Anaerobic infection should be suspected when something smells foul or when a clear sign of infection shows no growth. Also something to note: with these types of infection, the epididymis is not always the only thing being affected. Sometimes, you may also be experiencing urethritis or even leg pain.
If this sounds like your problem, you might want to discuss antibiotic options such as metronidazole, carbapenems, tigecycline, and moxifloxacin. According to the journals, no single regimen appears to be superior in these cases as the causes seem varied. Something else to consider is the side effects as it seems these types of drugs come with a bit more risk.
One Last Thing to Consider: Studies have shown that bacteria that cause upper respiratory infections, have the ability to infect the urethra and attached systems. If your partner was sick and you engaged in unprotected oral sex, this could also be a potential cause. Unfortunately, most front line tests will not detect these bugs. The good news is that anecdotal evidence suggests that combination therapy that includes tinidazole and minocycline could be beneficial. However, that should be a last line considering the strength. Also note: for best results, metronidazole and doxycycline should not be substituted.
A Natural Way
The natural way can be longer process and/or can sometimes help with current regimens. Logic dictates that if we could just turn our defense systems back on, perhaps we could win. In order to do this, we need to turn up and equalize the seminal plasma lipid peroxide levels while at the same time, reducing inflammation in order to allow excretion. By doing so, we may be able to turn the natural defenses back on and fix the problem (at least in theory – but note that people have responded to this).
Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, there is currently not a drug on the market that can achieve this. So for the solution, we need to turn to one of my heroes when it comes to medicine. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, who once said “Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine.” So perhaps the answer lies in consumption.
Yarrow – Yarrow has a direct impact on the urinary system. This one is critical. Thankfully it’s also easy to come by and relatively inexpensive. I have written an article on this that I would encourage you to read – located here.
Vitamin D3 – As we have already read, antibiotics are often really not needed. So I begin with vitamins. Vitamin D3 is important because we now know that the body produces its own internal antibiotic to help defend itself against infections; at least when it is provided sufficient amounts of vitamin D3. In other words, vitamin D3 is known to boost the innate immune system to combat pathogenic infections in vitro, essentially allowing the body to make its own natural antibiotic. This is great because the body attacks the infection at the point of inflammation and from the inside. The ‘antibiotic’ effect of vitamin D3 appears to be turned on by the induction of the human antimicrobial peptide genes – to the tune of somewhere between 200 and 300 different types. Essentially, vitamin D3 is critical for “flipping the defense switch back on”. It should be noted that high levels of D3 may be necessary and this should be taken along with Vitamin K2 for safety.
Vitamin C – A multivitamin is important of course, but ensuring a decent amount of vitamin C is vital. According to Dr. Gary Gordon, “The right dose of Vitamin C will stop every infection in its tracks without needing to use antibiotics“. Of course, quality and timing are a factor, but therapeutic doses of vitamin C are critical and at much higher doses than the recommended doses provided by the government. Dr. Linus Pauling noted that “vitamin C is a critically important water-soluble antioxidant, as it protects proteins and lipids from free radical damage associated with infection, intensive exercise, and other stressors that can injure cells.”
It seems simple enough, but when we look at the research, we find a lot of hope. Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University reported they had discovered that vitamin C can kill bacteria, including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) bacteria; a known cause of chronic infectious epididymitis. David Brownstein, M.D. says that “Vitamin C fell out of favor when antibiotics came in, but this study shows the potential of using vitamin C to kill infection.” Dr. Brownstein generally recommends 3,000-5,000 mgs a day of supplemental vitamin C to maintain good health.
Magnesium chloride – Magnesium chloride (specifically) has a unique healing power on acute viral and bacterial diseases. Some doctors suggest it’s benefits are drastically understated. It has been known to cure even polio and diphtheria. Dr. Raul Vergini, M.D wrote once that a few grams of magnesium chloride every few hours will clear nearly all acute illnesses.
Iodine – Next is salt and iodine. In the face of ever increasingly strong super bugs that are resistant to all the antibiotics, and because according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that taking properly prescribed medical drugs was listed as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. (and this includes antibiotics), I have decided that iodine should be used in this protocol as well (if you are not allergic of course).
Iodine exhibits antibiotic activity against bacteria, molds, yeasts, protozoa, and many viruses. In fact, iodine is capable of killing all classes of pathogens: gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, yeasts, viruses and protozoa. What makes this a good choice here is that all excess iodine is excreted through the urogenital organs, and according to Dr. David Derry, “Iodine is by far the best antibiotic, antiviral and antiseptic of all time”. From my research, iodine actually boosts the immune system rather than suppressing it like many drugs and helps to clean out the urogenital tract. If you would like to learn more about salt and iodine, be sure to check out the Briobiotic Protocol.
Lipo GSH – You might also consider liposomal glutathione or (GSH). This is an antioxidant present in nearly all cells and is recognized for its function in maintaining overall health. It has been clearly and repeatedly documented that there is a direct link between lower levels of GSH and a dysregulation of essential T-cells associated cytokines. It has been repeatedly documented that supplementing with liposomal GSH has resulted in prevention of infection. This is due to a significant increase in the levels of TH1 cytokines and a substantial decrease in the levels of free radicals and immunosuppressive cytokines. It has also been shown that such supplementation has improved the function of immune cells that control infection. So basically, there is a direct correlation between low levels of GSH and increased susceptibility of infection, which can be relieved with liposomal GSH supplementation. The limitation with this supplement is absorption. It seems you’re just not going to get everything you ingest.
NAC – (N-acetyl cysteine) – N-acetylcysteine is well recognized as an antioxidant, and precursor to glutathione – meaning that it helps set the stage to make the glutathione that you need. That’s an awesome start. Another you issue you might be dealing with is something known as biofilms. These biofilms actually help hide infections from your immune system. If you’re dealing with a biofilm issue, we will need to break them up before you can heal. Not to worry. According to a study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, NAC is an adjuvant molecule in the treatment of bacterial biofilms, with an excellent safety and efficacy profile. NAC, in combination with different antibiotics, significantly promoted their permeability to the deepest layers of the biofilm, overcoming the problem of the resistance to the classic antibacterial therapeutic approach. This was actually just one study out of quite a few that I came across. But it turns out that this stuff can do so much more! It also improves male fertility by improving sperm quality, reduces tissue inflammation, and reduces your risk of leaky gut and so on. I’ve personally used this stuff for a variety of different ailments to great effect. Many have reported success when using doses ranging from 1600 mg a day to as high as 1600 mg twice a day.
Lumbrokinase – This heavy-hitter shouldn’t be overlooked and should likely be included in your stack as well. This is actually an enzyme sourced from earthworms. The process of making this is extensive so it can get pricey though. SHOP AROUND! When you research, you will likely come across its amazing benefits in regard to blood clots but keep an eye out for the amazing benefits of breaking down biofilms and boosting blood flow to your tissues. Those are both amazing benefits in regard to this particular condition but get this, according to Lyme expert Dr. Marty Ross, integrative medicine specialist and founder of The Healing Arts Partnership in Seattle, lumbrokinase actually promotes the delivery of supplements and/or prescription medication deep into your tissues. That’s the reason I include it in this stack.
Mucuna Pruriens – It took some digging to find this answer, but as it turns out, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, (U.S. National Library of Medicine) has confirmed that mucuna pruriens (an herb), not only reactivates the anti-oxidant defense system, but it also helps in the management of stress and ameliorates seminal plasma lipid peroxide levels. It basically cleans up the seminal storage area; IE: the epididymis and seminal vesicles. Saw Palmetto might also good because of its effect on the prostate.
Garlic – Garlic cannot be overlooked. You could eat the bulbs but this is unreliable not something most will stick to… and a regular Garlic supplement will simply not do. You need to find Allicin containing Garlic supplements. In fact, I would recommend either fresh garlic, extract of fresh garlic or simply fresh freeze dried. There are several different types on the market but know that the higher the Allicin content, the better. You will more than likely need to take double the recommended dose of Allicin powder capsules and stay on this increased dose for at least 3 months – even if you start to feel better soon. Do not let up.
Autophagy – I’m going to add this in here for the principle of the matter. Autophagy is actually a cellular process that kills old cells and makes new ones, but it has also been shown to combat infection with various pathogenic bacteria. While it is true that some intracellular bacteria exploit autophagy to promote pathogenesis, those are likely not what we are dealing with here. I’ll let you do your own research on this but I wanted to bring it to your attention because this a free way to heal yourself of quite a few different ailments and I think more people need to know about it.
Here are a few options to get you started… some others will be provided below:
This protocol seems to work because the body has identified the problem (as evidenced by the inflammation), but it simply has not been given enough tools to work with (likely due to the biofilms). Of course, this should be followed alongside my recipe for Foundational Health – (The Briobiotic Protocol), because the body needs to find homeostasis. Without the proper foundation, no medicine or treatment will work long-term. This includes things like ensuring copious amounts of oxygen gets into the blood because oxygen helps beat up the anaerobic bacteria, making them more susceptible to natural defenses, and getting enough salt water into the body to help flush out the toxins.
The other reasons are in the idea that we need to reduce inflammation, and ensure our bodies are getting everything they need to fight the infection naturally. The hard part for most is having faith in the idea that your body can do the job without a doctor. But take heart, according to Dr. Hunter Handsfield, M.D., “the immune system clears most infections over time, without treatment.” It should be noted however, that this process can take weeks, months, or even years. I would simply add that the body can do a much better job and reduce the time needed substantially if you provide the body with the various tools it requires.
The Chronic Epididymitis Recovery Protocol is as follows:
(the links below are sources for the these supplements if you need them)
Yarrow – Taken as directed on the bottle
Vitamin D3 – between 10,000 to 30,000 IU (depending on body weight), split into three doses daily
Vitamin K2 – at least 200 mcg per day (preferably split with D3)
Liposomal GSH – As directed – or you can make your own – at least twice a day before meals.
Magneisum Chloride – (either solution or pill) take as directed.
Vitamin C – no less than 3-5000 mgs mid-day – but I would recommend much higher.
Mucuna pruriens – two capsules twice a day
Iodine – take this away from the Vitamin C and take only as directed.
NAC – some take amounts as high as 1600 mg twice daily but instructions may vary on the bottle.
Lumbrokinase – As directed on the bottle.
Garlic – consume with meals and take for extended periods of time.
Colloidal Silver: If you decide to take colloidal silver, it is generally accepted that it can be taken as one ounce during a twenty-four hour period. This is the “therapeutic” colloidal silver dosage and is considered safe as long as it is not taken for extended periods of time. Small amounts taken daily as a tonic will give what some call a second immune system but this amount tends to be about one teaspoon and taken separate from meals. If you would like more specific information, Dr. Mercola has a decent article about it here.
Do this protocol for no less than 30 days. You may begin to feel better in many ways within the first week or two, but continue on for at least the full 30 days to ensure that the treatment was a success. Personally, I would recommend no less than six months, with a 3 day break ever other month. If you decide that you’re going to seek autophagy, just take your supplements with your meals.
NOTE: If the preceding does not provide the results you need, then I would suggest that perhaps there is something else at the root of your problem. In this case I would encourage you try Neem. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that some have benefited from this when other remedies have failed. I have written an article on Neem to help with your research – Click Here
Remember that recovery (regardless of allopathic or naturopathic means) can take weeks, if not months. If at any time, things are getting worse, or simply not getting better, you should go back to your physician or specialist because there may be an underlying condition that needs to be addressed.
It is highly recommended that you follow The Briobiotic Protocol to help address any underlying conditions.
Again… this protocol may not be a cure for everyone, but I provide a variety of options and considerations in the hope it helps at least relieve some of your pain and discomfort, or provide a few ideas in regard to direction moving forward. Getting the body back to where it needs to be can a long road for sure, but just keep at it. You will get there.
SILVER – Now, if you have tried all of the above and you are still seeing zero or limited results, you may try supplementing with colloidal silver. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that this seems to be a controversial suggestion, because individuals within organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and “QuackWatch” tend to suggest that there is no medical basis for its use, and warn of side effects such as condition known as Argyria, which is a discoloration of the skin. I would like to address that for a moment.
It is true that argyria is a possible side effect of CS. However, argyria occurs ONLY in extremely high doses and usually only after complete misuse. Furthermore, it is both treatable and only aesthetic. In other words, the effects are not life-threatening and only cosmetically undesirable… and that is if you ingest it in a REALLY wrong way. I’m also pretty sure that if were a real danger, NASA wouldn’t be using it and touting it’s medicinal applications. The part that people need to understand is that out of all of the years that silver has been used for medicinal purposes, only eleven (11) cases (at the time of this writing) of argyria related to silver supplementation has been reported to the FDA.
But consider this: if one were to consume too much water, they could die from so-called “water intoxication”, or dilutional hyponatremia. Yes, there is an actual term for this because it does happen from time to time. But are we prepared to say “water is bad for you”? Of course not. Well, I have personally found 17 of these cases since 1991. So does this mean that colloidal silver is safer than water? Of course not, but it really drives home the point. Now contrast all this with the fact that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in America, and we have ourselves a little perspective.
Still… I would like to show you a few more reasons why you might want to consider using colloidal silver:
Chemical & Engineering News | April 2006 – “…with antibiotic resistance on the rise, scientists are turning to silver once again to ward off infections.”
Herbert Slavin, M.D. | September 2006 – “Ionic silver is increasingly being recognized for its broad-spectrum anti-microbial qualities and the fact that it presents virtually none of the side-effects related to antibiotics. Ionic silver is entirely non-toxic to the body. Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that some resistant strains of disease cannot develop with ionic silver the way that they will with antibiotics.”
The Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2010 recognized the “Antitumor activity” of colloidal silver on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.
Numerous departments from the Tsinghua University in China studied and confirmed the antibacterial effects of Silver Ions on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This was later confirmed by the Department of Microbiology and KRF Zoonotic Disease Priority Research Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and the National Instrumentation Center for Environmental Management at the Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea… and this was published in the American Society for Microbiology Journal.
NASA documented their use of the Silver Ionization Process for water purification on manned space flights.
In the Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009, the bactericidal effect of silver nanoparticles against multidrug-resistant bacteria was documented.
And I could literally provide almost a dozen other journals that point to the amazing benefits of colloidal silver for various other ailments. But I don’t have to. Look at all of the products that mainstream medicine is now turning to: Silver Antibiotic creams, hospitals with silver laced endotracheal breathing tubes and catheters, silver solutions eye drops for babies, and so on. As a matter of fact, it is known now that many modern hospitals filter hot water through copper-silver filters to defeat MRSA and legionella infections.
Heck, even Hippocrates discussed the use of silver in wound care. The point is that it is not a horrible thing and generally pretty safe when used correctly. Plus, when normal antibiotics don’t work, plenty of anecdotal evidence suggests that silver really can help. For crying out loud, Dr. Oz endorsed its use on an airing of Oprah back in February of 2012. Remember though… all things in moderation and use them as directed.
David Robertson is not a medical doctor. This article is not medical advice, a professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or service to you or to any other individual. This is simply general information for educational and anecdotal purposes only. The information provided herein, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. David Robertson is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain or utilize. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN.