WEEK 5: UPDATE
Well, I’ve successfully made it to 5 weeks on the diet — wahoo! This was an interesting week with ups and downs including one very long work day, two doctor appointments, adding different items to my diet, and learning more about the effects of anti-fungals — all while preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac. First, the kefir…
After learning more about the benefits of kefir, I decided to introduce it to my diet as soon as possible rather than waiting until September when I would hit the 6 month no-dairy mark. My kefir kit arrived Wednesday. After letting it ferment for 20 hours, I tried 3 small sips as advised by Able when introducing a new item into one’s diet. Wow…good thing I took Able’s advice! I reacted almost immediately with my tongue burning more than usual and a dull throbbing pain creeping up my neck and settling into the base of my skull. As you can imagine, I was really disappointed. Not only was I looking forward to some variety in my diet, but also the additional calories and probiotics. After a long walk, soaking in a hot tub and hearing from Raster that such reactions with kefir are fairly common, I felt better. I really hadn’t gone backwards. Everything was still status quo.
I visited my general practitioner for the first time in nearly a year to give her an update on my situation — and it was a productive meeting. The last time we spoke I was seeking her input about seeing an alternative doctor. (She suggested I be slow and cautious with the approach and keep her updated.) For me, she’s great because she’s a very good listener, thoughtful and open minded. After explaining the candida diet situation, she readily admitted most Western doctors don’t subscribe to that line of thinking but she wanted to hear more. By the end, she was concerned about my various vitamin levels primarily vitamin C and B-12 and suggested I re-introduce those to my diet. I started immediately with 500 mg of vitamin C and by the next day bumped it up to 1,000 plus 500 mg B-12. She also wants me to have a full blood screen test to see how my levels are doing and she suggested my other other doc might want to add a few tests of his own. She also suggested I talk with a nutritionist she knows who has experience in dealing with candida diets. (I’m holding off on that for awhile.) Due to the extra omega3 nutrients, she likes that I’m taking flaxseed daily. I was concerned that flax was a potential problem for breast cancer survivors but she clarified that the amount ingested would have to be extremely high.
My other doc (the one who finally discovered the candida and leaky gut) is almost the polar opposite. His bedside manner is minimal and I would have fired him a couple of times except that he has a really good assistant who recognizes his faults and makes up for them, plus a friend is also his patient and has had great success. The appointment went really well. She completely understands my food reactions and why. (She’s been treated for candida herself.) She and the doc are concerned about my continued weight loss, so they put me on a protein shake with oodles of vitamins twice a day, if my system can handle it. It’s definitely not in sync with the strict diet, since each shake has 19g carbs. But, at this point, I think the benefit of 500 extra calories/day takes priority. Thoughts? I’ve consumed 3 shakes since yesterday and I’m quite excited. They taste pretty good and I’ve felt really good hours afterward. I’ve only had a mild reaction (light foggy brain) — not bad enough to stop. I figure it’s probably from the stevia, which I’ve reacted to by itself. They encouraged me to continue using coconut oil and garlic as anti-fungals and they gave me two other herbal supplements (samento and banderol) to use in very low dosages and slowly increase. Plus, I added in something called GlutAloeMine, which is supposed to help grow the gastrointestinal mucous lining. Even with an incredibly small dosage, I reacted quite strongly to this product. (I felt like I had just slammed a glass of wine.) Again, it’s probably due to the stevia. I’m going to lower the dosage even further and see if my body can tolerate it. To determine how much progress we’re making, they’d like me to do another stool test in October (oooh, what fun!). That will mark 6 months since I’ve been on probiotics.
Something definitely is changing for the better inside my body because I had a doozy of a workday Monday without a major setback. I worked 15.5 hours, which up until recently would have taken its toll on me with tremendous fatigue and incredibly sore muscles. I got 5 hours sleep and was back at work the next day fresh as a daisy. I also had a busy day yesterday preparing for TS Isaac and I had good energy to get through the afternoon after drinking my first protein shake. My biggest concern right now is my diet if I’m called into work for the storm. I have plenty of canned salmon and tuna on hand. I now have the protein shakes. I’m going to load up on avocados today and boil some eggs to bring in a cooler with my probiotics. I’m now taking so many supplements I might need to bring them in a separate suitcase. : ) If anyone has suggestions on what else I could eat away (from home without cooking facilities), I’d love to hear suggestions.
I didn’t really make the connection about garlic being a strong anti-fungal until I experienced strong die off this past week. I ate one minced garlic clove with lunch and within an hour or so the brain fog rolled in, my eyes blurred to the point I thought I needed a new prescription. The symptoms lasted a couple of hours then disappeared. Good to know! That explains why a couple of weeks ago, I felt horrible after eating dinner which included garlic. I suspected it at the time and layed off the garlic. Now I know for sure. I’ll stick to just one garlic clove at home in a controlled environment for now.
I’m taking 5 spoonfuls of coconut oil. Interestingly, I don’t experience die off from that. I prefer to put the oil on my veggies, but now that I’m taking so much it’s becoming difficult with the veggies getting overly saturated. I seem to be okay downing 3-4 spoonfuls right before oil pulling. How does everyone ingest coconut oil?
My weight is still fluctuating. I was at 109 and dropped to 107. Now, I’m at 108. Much of it, I think, depends on bloating and BMs. Speaking of which, it seems my BMs are becoming more regular now that I’ve added 1,000 mg of vitamin C into my daily diet. The bloating continues, although not as much as the previous week since I’m cognizant about avoiding foods which cause me to bloat.
Good news — the burning sensation on my tongue seems to be slowly clearing up. Very exciting! It’s probably 70-80% better. Instead of it being constantly painful all over my tongue, it’s now a dull burn toward the front only, which is a great relief. I don’t know if it’s the oil pulling, the probiotics or a combination, but it’s great! I can’t wait for it to completely disappear. My tongue has been burning, with no relief, for 7 straight weeks.
I made kale chips last weekend from the recipe posted on the forum. They’re delicious! What a delightful surprise. Not only are they yummy, they provide that much needed ‘crunch’ we lack with foods on the diet. I must confess…I made more a few days later. They’ve become a terrific snack.
When I feel up to it and when I have time, I take a walk after dinner. It seems to help settle my stomach. Also, ginger tea after dinner helps with that bloated feeling.
The past 3 nights I’ve been woken up in the wee morning hours by pangs in my digestive system. I’m not sure what that’s all about. It’s not painful….just annoying because it’s waking me up.
I’m getting into a good groove with my diet routine. Looking forward to making more progress! I’ll check in again next week.