Klebsiella: The Cause of R A and Ankylosing Spondylitis, Part 3, Relief!

Klebsiella: The Cause of R A and Ankylosing Spondylitis, Part 3, Relief!

Klebsiella is a cause of different debilitating medical conditions and infections that can make the opportunistic bacteria both crippling and life threatening. Different strains of Klebsiella are normal flora in our body. As long as Klebsiella is kept in check by our immune system it lives as a commensal with us. Sadly, for some people, Klebsiella can become opportunistic and cause infections and the “autoimmune” conditions rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. So what can be done when you have an overgrowth of Klebsiella causing health issues?

What to Do if Klebsiella is Causing SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) or Colonic Overgrowth

Klebsiella typically inhabits our colon in our digestive tract. The bacteria’s colonization occasionally benefits us, it breaks down and ferments lactose in the intestinal tract. Klebsiella can break down quickly using its enzymes, resistant starch type two and three (corn starch, potato starch, rice starch). When Klebsiella is probiotic flora, it can help to break down occasional ingestion of resistant starch for better digestion by helping to feed our microbiome. Klebsiella is also able to break down and ferment the prebiotic FOS (inulin), fructose, and mannose. Some of the carbohydrates are used by Klebsiella for fuel and some it breaks down for us or other microorganisms to further use them.1 2 3 4 5

But when an overgrowth of Klebsiella develops, SIBO or colonic overgrowth can occur causing issues. Many people with digestive issues test positive for Klebsiella strains in stool tests. Depending on the strain of Klebsiella, you may develop either Th1 immune dominance from the endotoxins it produces or Th2/Th17 immune dominance if the specific strain of Klebsiella you are dealing with produces histamine. With Th1 immune dominance, you will have more inflammatory reactions with Th2/Th17 you will have more histamine intolerance symptoms. Depending on your immune reaction to Klebsiella you might need to follow a different protocol to help reduce the overgrowth in the gut and calm your immune system.

There are a few things you can do to help improve your health if you are suffering from Klebsiella overgrowth no matter what form of immune dominance it is causing.

First of all, immediately reduce the quantity of resistant starch in your diet; Klebsiella can easily break down resistant starch and use it to increase virulence. I would recommend most people follow the Perfect Health Diet (unless you are suffering from Th2/Th17 Dominance, if you are then follow a low histamine and low starch diet instead) and consume all starchy foods fresh and hot, do not refrigerate them and consume them later. When rice, sweet potatoes, oats, corn, beans, and potatoes are cooked and then cooled, resistant starch begins to form. Reheating the starchy food does not lower its resistant starch content. For example consuming jasmine rice after it is first cooked would have little resistant starch, if any at all. Letting it cool in the refrigerator and cooking it later in some vegetable egg fried rice, would cause the rice to have a good amount of resistant starch. In addition, starchy fruits like plantains and bananas should be consumed ripe; they contain a lot of resistant starch. Any type of ready-made starchy food including potato chips, potato starch, corn chips, corn starch, rice chips, rice crackers, rice starch, cereals, or tapioca starch also contain differing amounts of resistant starch. Wheat bread and gluten free bread also contain differing amounts of resistant starch. Whole grains would be a greater source of starch as well. Most flours also contain differing amounts of resistant starch sadly. Finally, I would avoid beans which are rich in resistant starch and large quantities of the prebiotic inulin, which feeds Klebsiella as well. There is a good list of resistant starch foods on Selfhacked that you may want to try to avoid under the starch and legumes lists.6

Proper exposure to the sun is also important as well to help reduce inflammation and calm and overactive immune system. Midday sunlight exposure increases endogenous vitamin D production and reduces overactive Th immune responses, calming the immune system and reducing pathogen load.

Klebsiella Overgrowth With Th1 Dominance Protocol

Antibacterial Agents to Reduce Klebsiella

  • Ceylon cinnamon oil – take one drop in one tsp. of extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, twice daily. Use with caution if you have hypoglycemia.
  • Allicin-C – two to eight capsules daily in divided doses with food.
  • Olive leaf extract – one – two capsules, twice daily with food.
  • Black cumin seed oil – one tsp. with breakfast and one with dinner.

Supplements to Reduce Th1 Inflammation

What You Can do to Support Your Microbiome

  • Ingest fermented vegetables like organic sauerkraut and kimchi, daily.

General Advice for Improving Klebsiella Overgrowth With Th1 Dominance

Cinnamon, allicin, olive leaf extract, and black cumin seed oil have been shown to be effective against Klebsiella in studies. Omega 3 supplementation, curcumin, CBD oil, acupuncture, and boswellia will help to reduce inflammation caused by Klebsiella endotoxins. Galactomune, and fermented vegetables will help to regrow and repopulate your probiotic microbiome. Many people with Th1 overactivity and gut overgrowth suffer from hypothyroidism and supporting your thyroid will improve your recovery.7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Klebsiella Overgrowth With Th2/Th17 Dominance Protocol

Antibacterial Agents to Reduce Klebsiella

  • Clove oil – take one drop in one tsp. of extra virgin olive oil (if you have issues with salicylates, mix it in ghee), twice daily.
  • Allicin-C – two to eight capsules daily in divided doses with food.
  • Black cumin seed oil – one tsp. with breakfast and one with dinner.
  • If needed add Zane Hellas Oil of Oregano (take two drops in one tsp. of extra virgin olive oil [if you have issues with salicylates, mix it in ghee]), twice daily, but I would not use it in a first run protocol because it is both systemic and broad spectrum, it will reduce your probiotic microbiome throughout your entire body.

    What You Can Do to Relieve Your Histamine Intolerance

    • Sodium ascorbate – take 3,000 mg, two to three times daily.
    • Quercetin (use with caution if you have a COMT mutation) – one capsule on an empty stomach, twice daily.
    • Ingest freshly grated ginger or consume ginger tea once daily.
    • If needed ask your doctor for a prescription of the mast cell stabilizer, cromoglicic acid.
    • DGL licorice may also help to relieve histamine issues.

    What You Can do to Support Your Microbiome

    • Liposomal Colostrum – one tbsp. mixed in filtered water, consumed at breakfast.
    • GutPro Capsules – one – two capsules before bed. Use filtered or bottled water when ingesting.
    • Choose either arabinogalactan or GOS to help rebuild your microbiome:

    • Arabinogalactan – one scoop mixed in filtered water, consumed at breakfast with the colostrum.
    • Galactomune – one scoop daily mixed well with filtered water at breakfast.

    General Advice for Improving Klebsiella Overgrowth With Th2/Th17 Dominance

    • Supplement with glutathione to see if it helps your histamine issues as long as you do not have any mercury amalgams or have tested positive for elevated mercury deposits recently.
    • Follow a low starch / low histamine diet as referenced above.
    • Supplement with magnesium or B12 if you are deficient.
    • Avoid a diet heavy in medium chain triglycerides (coconut oil, mct oil, or Brain Octane oil). If you are suffering from Th2/Th17, these oils may sensitize your gut to histamine, causing further intolerance issues and poor digestion.

    Clove, allicin, oil of oregano, and black cumin seed oil have been shown to be effective against Klebisella in studies and not effect histamine. Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine. Quercetin is a natural mast cell stabilizer. Ginger and licorice reduce Th2 immune reactions. Liposomial colostrum, arabinogalactan’s, and Gutpro will help to regrow and repopulate your probiotic microbiome.17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27


    Klebsiella overgrowth is hard to overcome, but I believe I have given sound recommendations and advice that can help people recover from it. Klebsiella is normal flora in the gut, you cannot rid yourself of it, but you can reduce the overgrowth and work on your immune system so that it can keep it in check and not cause debilitating conditions like RA and AS. No one should have to suffer from the crippling inflammation or histamine issues that Klebsiella causes. The protocols that are listed in this blog are basic templates, if you want more refined individual recommendations to help tackle Klebsiella overgrowth, contact me for coaching.

    See more from this series:

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678459/
    2. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/219907-overview
    3. http://thegutinstitute.com/2014/10/dont-take-raw-potato-starch-rps-temporarily-if-you-have-an-autoimmune-disorder-part-5.html
    4. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/hs/medical/pathophys/id/2008/utiGNR.pdf
    5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16233412
    6. http://thegutinstitute.com/2014/10/dont-take-raw-potato-starch-rps-temporarily-if-you-have-an-autoimmune-disorder-part-5.html
    7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586554/
    8. https://benthamopen.com/FULLTEXT/TOPHARMCJ-6-1
    9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4098616/
    10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881652/
    11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16867261
    12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1571646/
    13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1112084/
    14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
    15. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/893023/
    16. https://selfhacked.com/blog/supplements-people-th1-dominant/
    17. https://benthamopen.com/FULLTEXT/TOPHARMCJ-6-1
    18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881652/
    19. http://www.eurekaselect.com/110771
    20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4400296/
    21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25095772
    22. https://selfhacked.com/blog/deal-histamine/
    23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828828/
    24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15683853
    25. https://selfhacked.com/blog/supplements-people-th2-dominant/
    26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3563838/?report=classic
    27. http://www.pnas.org/content/95/6/3071.full.pdf
    1. Hi John. Thank you so much for your in depth research. I have just been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and I am trying to figure out what to do without taking medication. I am HLA-B27 negative and I don’t have any digestive issues. In your two protocols I am definitely much more likely to be Th1 dominant vs being Th2/Th17 dominant. So my question is do you think following your Th1 dominant protocol would be the right course of action? Thank you again for all your hard work and information!

    2. Great article John. How do i find out if i am th1 or th2 dominant?


    3. Hey John, great info here, thanks so much. I have a quesrion about galactommune.

      I have hugh titres for ASCA both igg and iga. I understand this is an intolerance to Saccharomyces cerevisiae and galactomune is made from that. Would this preclude me from taking it? Thanks for any help

    4. I would just like to share that I have a very good experience with CBD oil. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and water soluble BioCBDplus helps my pain in my joints when I put it on. – William

    5. I too thankyou john for all the thorough research and well written article.
      Frustrates me that two rheumatologists i have been seeing have mentioned nothing of this crucial information.

    6. Thank you for everything! I’ve often cross reference with your texts and sources. Here is one relevant study for Klebsiella: “Control of Klebsiella pneumoniae pulmonary infection and immunomodulation by oral treatment with the commensal probiotic Bifidobacterium longum 5(1A)” Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26548605

    7. Why do you discourage glutathione in patients with mercury. Wouldn’t it help to remove the mercury from the system? I would think that including alpha-lipoic acid and selendium would reduce any possibility of toxicity.

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