Able, thank you 🙂 That was really kind of you to say that at the end. Thanks, too, for continuing to share your details with us. It’s very helpful.
Neeky – I *know* you made Able’s day by saying his words stopped you from reintroudcing too quickly 🙂 warm fuzzies all around
Okay, so, Able. Here are a few more details of my symptoms and the (dumb) antibiotics. lol. okay, so I know they have their purposes, but I **really** don’t like to take them. Even before all this candida business, I avoid them like the plague unless they’re absolutely necessary.
Early on in this pregnancy (around 6 weeks in) I developed a yeast rash under my arms. Weird. I had the same thing in my 1st trimester w/ my last pregnancy 4 years ago, but over the counter Clotrimazole cream took care of it and I didn’t have any other observable yeast issues for the rest of that pregnancy. So, when I got the yeast rash at around 6 weeks pregnant this time, I knew right away what it was, used the Clotrimazole, and that was it. No biggie. Still weird, but I figured the pregnancies were just throwing my Ph off and leading to strange symptoms. Pregnancy can be unpredictable at times.
I had my first OB visit at 11 weeks along. They always screen a new patient’s urine because asymptomatic UTIs are fairly common in pregnancy and can become very serious for both mother & baby if left untreated. No biggie, again. I’d never had a UTI with my other 4 pregnancies, so I wasn’t concerned. A few days later, the OB office called and said I had a UTI and that my bacteria counts were rather significant and I truly needed an antibiotic. Yuck. I didn’t want to take it, but I also didn’t want to mess around with an apparently full force infection in my body so early in my pregnancy. So, I took the entire 10 day course of Keflex (my UTI was confirmed bacterial, by the way, not fungal). My underarm yeast rash reappeared (SHOCK!), and I again treated it fairly easily with the Clotrimazole. By the end of the course, the sides of my tongue were feeling rather stingy, though – almost like I had burned them on food or something. In retrospect, I think the malted milk ball Easter egg candies I was munching probably encouraged this a bit 😉 It only took about a day of feeling this way for me to make the connection to yeast and to realize I was developing thrush. I finished out the antibiotic and quickly researched natural cures for thrush. I dropped dairy and refined sugar like hot potatos.
I had an OB visit just a couple of days later. In my research for thrush remedies, I had come across candidiasis info. Not being a total stranger to alternative meds/herbs/diets, I *had* heard of it before, but I didn’t know much about it. I asked my OB that day if he thought it odd that I had both yeast rashes AND thrush. Then I asked him about candidiasis. He at least knew what it was! 🙂 He didn’t really outright say it was a myth, but he did say he was uncomfortable with how many symptoms were often said to be caused by candida. The “systemic” part was the part he doubted. Anyway, he agreed that day to let me treat my thrush with Gentian Violet instead of with a prescrition antifungal (which, although permitted in pregnancy after the 1st trimester, is not to be prescribed lightly – the antifungals DO pose some known risk to the baby). Good!
I read more over the next week or so and, after coming out as having “moderate” candida on several questionaires, decided to put myself on an ACD in early April. I remember I started on April 2nd because it was my Dad’s birthday party. Maybe not the best day to start 😉 It took me 2 weeks to get completely off of caffeine (I still had one small cup of coffee a day and – of course – chocolate in this pregnancy, and I knew it would be rough on my body to quit cold turkey). I also didn’t realize at this point that all my meats/yogurt needed to be antibiotic free. By around the 2nd week, I was following this Stage 1 diet zealously and had even ditched the dairy and hidden troublestarters like cream of tartar and alcohol in vanilla. Also around Week 2 I started taking garlic capsules and EV coconut oil by the spoonfuls. Around Week 5, as I’ve said before, I had a really noticeable change for the better. I felt amazing. I almost cried – it was like I had completely forgotten how I *used* to feel all the time! The last time I routinely felt that good had been about 4 years prior – *before* my first pregnancy with the yeast rash. Hmm.
Right around this point, I was diagnosed with another UTI. Talk about discouraging. I read and read and read about whether or not I really needed the antibiotic. It was such a tough choice, but because of the risks the infection posed to my pregnancy, I decided it was the greater of the two evils – the other one being, of course, the candida. I took 10 days of Bactrim. My thrush came back within the first 3 days on the drug. I prevented the underarm rash by using Clotrimazole and coconut oil, alternately, under my arms from Day 1 of the dosage. However, I developed mild cases of both vaginal yeast and ATHLETE’S FOOT (for pity’s sake!) for the first time EVER in my life. I felt like a walking yeast ball. And, of course, all that pep in my step was very quickly gone.
I stayed on the diet the whole time and nearly dropped all grains during while taking the drugs, finished out the antibiotic, my repeat culture came back clear (Praise GOD!) and I went right back to where I left off. I did, also, during the antibiotic reintroduce organic plain Kefir. I had been taking probiotics since initially starting the diet weeks before, but I wanted the Kefir, too. I waited 2 weeks more and started the garlic again. This is where I am now. About 3.5 weeks into my second round of Stage 1. The OB office just sent a suspicious urine sample out for a culture yesterday :/ BUT, this time I saw another doc in the practice that was rather alarmed by my yeast symptoms and he said he wouldn’t treat any of my UTIs with an antibiotic unless my bacteria levels passed a certain point. He would not, for instance, have prescribed my 2nd antibiotic by the standards he gave me yesterday. I was at least reassured by his willingness to be very cautious. He also openly admitted to me that my symptoms left him feelings rather “frustrated” because it was clear there was something wrong, but he didn’t know how to advise me nor did he know who to refer me to. I was encouraged by his honesty. He wasn’t blowing me off, he was frustrated that he had no knowledge of candida troubles like mine. I appreciated that honesty and the weight he obviously gave to my many presenting symptoms throughout this pregnancy.
If y’all pray, you could certainly pray I wouldn’t have another high-bacteria-count UTI. I *do* have an alternative herbal plan up my sleeve this time, but we’ll see how things go.