Reply To: Need guidance from experts. Able, raster, dvjorge?

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Here’s my semi-expert take:

QUESTION 1. Earlier this week, I tested the Bentonite Clay/Psyllium Husk drink for two days (taking it once per day), and I experienced no pain or intestinal discomfort. Does this mean it is safe for me to take, or should I still use a different fiber?

Chia is a better fiber to take. Psyllium husk can be abrasive even if you don’t realize it. I personally find that it’s helpful to soak your chia seeds for at least 10 minutes before drinking them, so that they absorb as much water as they’re going to before you ingest them. Then just add more water so it’s drinkable again. It’s possible to become constipated from chia seeds if they’re not properly hydrated, since they’ll absorb water from your system. There’s more info on the cleanse (since I’m assuming you’re starting with that if you’re making this drink) here:

QUESTION 2. In my past failed attempts at the diet/protocol, I measured my success by the absence/presence of a vaginal yeast infection. When it came up, I knew I’d gone too far off track. However, three days into starting my Candida Cleanse, I had a flare-up. Since I hadn’t consumed anything to cause it, I knew it must be a symptom of Die-Off, and nothing else. So my question is: How do I know when a vaginal flare-up is due to Die-Off, or to feeding Candida? I fear the lines are going to be blurred once I start adding new foods.

This is sort of difficult to discern, but if you’re having other signs of die-off (headache, fatigue, etc), it’s a good bet that it’s die-off. This is where not cheating comes into play — if you cheat and have issues, it can be really hard to distinguish these setbacks from die-off. If you’re not cheating, you can pretty safely assume you’re on the right track. Also, you won’t really be introducing many new foods until you’re symptom-free, and at that point, it’ll be much simpler to discern what’s problematic and what’s not.

QUESTION 3. The cleanse has worked wonders so far by turning the horrible diarrhea I’d been having (from overdosing on CO) into regular, healthy bowel movements. Now that they’re healthy, should I be making sure my BMs are healthy/regular throughout this treatment? Or is it OK to allow some diarrhea/gas when using CO and probiotics? Does the diarrhea inhibit progress, or does it help me eliminate toxins faster?

As long as you aren’t experiencing chronic diarrhea, it’s not really too problematic. Constipation is a much greater concern, since the longer you have a toxin in your body, the more damage it can do.

QUESTION 4. If I have a vaginal yeast infection that is acute, should I be considering a dose of Diflucan to clear it up during the rest of the treatment? It seems like they tend to flare in the mornings, though the symptoms have always been bearable for me. As of right now, I am planning on soaking a tampon in CO and inserting it nightly, to see if that helps. Is this procedure worth it, or should I focus on the diet/CO/probiotics, and let the acute infection be? Is there a danger to letting an acute infection be at this point?

I don’t know what to tell you about Diflucan, but I am sort of wary of the idea of wearing tampons every night, even if they’re soaked in coconut oil. If you’re going to try that, I would strongly recommend using chlorine-free, organic cotton tampons. Tampons are full of chemicals, and the risk of toxic shock from them is higher when you’re not actually menstruating. Alternately, you might try just applying coconut oil by hand before you go to sleep, and just either wear old underwear or a pad. You can buy or make cloth pads that’ll further reduce your exposure to the weird bleachy crap they process feminine products with. Okay, hippie hygiene rant over.

QUESTION 5. By failing at the treatment, cheating, and then starting over again, have I effectively made the candida stronger? Am I worse than I was at the beginning? Or have I still been making progress despite setting myself back a bit?

I don’t know what to tell you with this. A lot of people do experience relapses of greater intensity than their initial symptoms when they stop and start. I would just recommend really sticking to it this time.

QUESTION 6. I never had allergies or intolerances to gluten or dairy prior to the diet, and even when I cheated with them after starting the diet, I didn’t have any reactions. Does that mean kefir and yogurt are safe for me to consume right away, now that I’ve begun a stricter diet? (The same question goes for other foods that I never reacted to before, namely almondmilk, stevia, and peanut butter.)

Homemade kefir is ideal, and I think greek yogurt is extolled more than regular yogurt. Stevia is included on Able’s strict diet, in its pure form (check the ingredients for xylitol, lactose, etc). Nut items can contain mold, so if you’re going to eat those, it would be advisable to make your own from soaked and/or roasted nuts. Making nut milks and butters is pretty easy if you have a decent blender or food processor. It’s not a bad idea to cut them out of your diet for a while anyway, to see whether you really react or not. I’ve been assuming my whole life that I can eat peanuts with no problem, but when I recently tried to reintroduce them, I reacted by getting diarrhea and acne. I was totally shocked.

QUESTION 7. Upon starting the cleanse, I had a flare of vaginal yeast, plus I began bleeding lightly for the next few days. This happened on two other occasions when I tried treating candida earlier this year. Is this normal? When it stops, does it mean that I’m no longer killing candida?

By bleeding, do you mean spotting/discharging blood vaginally? (I ask to distinguish from actual bleeding, like from a wound.) I personally have not had this symptom and can’t speak to how common it is, but I doubt it correlates strongly to whether or not candida is dying. When you change your diet drastically, your hormones tend to freak out a little. Or a lot, sometimes. I would keep an eye on this, but I wouldn’t worry much yet.

QUESTION 8 (MOST IMPORTANT). How do I know that I’m making progress? Half the time I feel like I’m imagining the good signs I see, and sometimes I am not sure if the signs mean I’m feeding or killing Candida (gas/bloating, vaginal infections, etc).

I guess I just don’t know what condition my mind/body should be in while I’m doing this diet. When I have Die-Off symptoms and diarrhea/constipation, I at least know that something I’ve done is killing yeast, but I don’t know to what degree that is good. When I don’t have Die-Off symptoms and my digestion is regular, I fear that I’m making no progress.

It helps to keep a journal or log of how you’re feeling day to day. I think it’s really difficult to discern day-to-day improvements, but in looking back over a longer period of time (weeks/months), the improvements are obvious and impressive. Day 12 and day 20 might not feel so different, but day 30 and day 60 certainly do. Documentation helps, since good days and bad days feel like they happen in no particular order sometimes.

I hope some of this helps. I’m sure all these hyperopinionated boys will be here soon to give their two cents.