- April 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm #117670
I have decided to chronicle my journey with the awful entity that is candida, both for my own mental ease and for anyone who might gain comfort or insight through my writing.
It started…when I was just a child.
As a child I frequently experienced a variety of stomach related problems, from tummy aches, to gas and near constant constipation. They were largely overlooked because they never resulted in anything “serious.” At puberty I began experiencing a host of other problems, from dry skin to easy bruising, but it was all written off as “hormonal” spikes. Around age twelve I developed serious anxiety and depression, which we all thought to be heredity (mental health problems run rampant on both sides of my family.) It wasn’t even until I was fifteen that I discovered I was lactose intolerant. At age 16 I experienced my first yeast infection. It was persistent and returned multiple times, with the women in my life assuring me it wasn’t a big deal. My Mom admitted to it being a common problem for herself as a young woman. Antibiotics did nothing, and I eventually managed to “solve” the problem with the help of probiotics and garlic.
Fast forward to four years later, me, age twenty. My depression is manageable with therapy, but I have a variety of dental related problems (always have, years of metal fillings) that I am waiting to get fixed when my insurance kicks in (just three months, thank goodness.) I decide to try welbutrin almost immediately after finishing a round of antibiotics for my gum infection. I am also eating a diet that, while healthy by my standards (a diet consisting of lots of vegetables, meat, grains, some soy) is also laden with sweets. With total financial independence, I frequently eat cookies, candy, pastries–anything and everything you can imagine.
Then “it” begins to happen. First, I begin experiencing headaches (I blame the side effects from welbutrin), my skin has been dry for months (I blame it on the winter), and then I begin to develop a rash on my palms and feet (my doctor tells me it is “dermatitis” which my father also has–I blame it on genetics.) The rash comes and goes, but then, even worse, I begin experiencing random itching across my body. No irritation is present, but any given time my chest, back, and legs become intensely itchy.
My body aches often, and the headaches become part of my daily life. Even worse, I develop extreme insomnia. While difficulty getting to sleep at a reasonable hour has always been difficult for me, falling asleep (or staying asleep) rarely poses an issue. Not any longer. The sleep itself becomes restless. Nightmares begin to creep in every manner of sleep I attempt–so intense that I wake up at least once or twice a night–in tears. My feet begin to sweat no matter the weather. My body feels dissatisfied no matter the temperature (either too hot, or too cold.) The bruising appears more frequently. The final straw, however, is the total decimation of my sex drive.
I have always had a sexual healthy appetite–even above average–but it has slowly declined from age 19, something I assumed was a normal part of aging. Then, it decides to disappear altogether. After an entire month of feeling like between my legs is a dead-zone, I realize there must be something seriously wrong with me.
I try google for all my symptoms: loss of libido, itchy skin, profuse sweating, headaches, nausea, constipation, forgetfulness, etc. I come back with only a few options: Lyme disease, cancer, hypothyroidism, or systematic candida. I decide to find a new doctor and make an appointment with someone who listen to me to rule out the other options (still pending) but I am almost immediately assured who the real culprit is.
I know I cannot go on living this way, and in fact, I refuse to. I spend hours researching diets, methods, the madness. I accumulate lists of foods and symptoms. I realize things I blamed on other causes could be the candida as well: itchy ears, hemorrhoids, dry mouth, lower back pains, iron deficiency, cold/shaky, lethargy, and so many more. When I’m done researching, I decide to pack up all my old food, and start fresh. On Friday, Marth 28th, I begin my journey towards healthy living.April 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm #117671
Vegan CatladyMemberTopics: 34Replies: 626
Looking forward to hearing you progress .
Welcome to the forum 🙂April 3, 2014 at 9:59 pm #117673
Thank you for your response. More posts will follow. Warning, as I do go into detail about bowel movements and much more.
03/28/2014 – 03/30/2014: The Cleanse
I begin with a cleanse consisting of only fresh and lightly steamed vegetables, and at least eight glasses of water each day. I imagine it can’t be that difficult (I love vegetables! I’ve considered becoming a vegetarian multiple times.) Boy am I wrong.
Day 1 – The first salad is delicious. The broccoli for lunch isn’t so bad. By dinner I never want to eat another green vegetable again. I am starved for starches and sugar. I spend hours scrolling through food on Tumblr, looking at everything I wish I could eat. While it is torture, it also helps me maintain some level of sanity. In addition to my veggies, I am take 2 probiotics with each meal. I soak each night in a hot bath with apple cider vinegar, and cease use of all soaps, shampoos, and conditions, less I throw off my pH balance further. I began squirting diluted ACV into my vagina, and sleeping with a clove garlic inserted inside along with a probiotic.
Day 2 – By the second day, there is noticeable improvement with my vaginal yeast infection, but I am already completely miserable. The thought of eating makes me want to gag. I am completely weak. At 12pm the postman rings the doorbell and I stumble down the steps to accept the package. It is my garlic capsules. A dizzy spell so intense occurs that I barely make it back of the steps. I feel entirely nauseous and fatigued. I sleep most of the day.
That night the dizzyness has ceased. I do my usual soak but I cannot make a bowel movement. I use a needless syringe to stimulate my bowels with warm water and pass what appears to be watery black sludge. Around 12am I manage to eat some cucumber slices. All food cravings have ceased. I never want to eat anything again.
Day 3 – Day 3 is more tolerable with the ability to eat meat looming in the horizon. I manage to eat 3 solid, albeit small meals. I attempt baked rutabaga fries for dinner and it is so disgusting I lose my appetite. I’m able to walk and move without dizzying spells. Again, no bowel movement without assistance. I soak again and head to bed.
With the worst behind me, I am feeling marginally hopeful but largely depressed. The cravings have returned, and I feel entirely socially isolated. All I can talk about is how miserable I feel. Despite the addition of meat I feel no joy.April 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm #117674
03/31/2014 – Diet, Day 1
Meals: I have a large salad for breakfast and a cage free grass fed egg over easy. The egg tastes strange to me (I later realize it is due to its “organic” nature) and not nearly as satisfying as I’d hoped. I have chicken and broccoli for dinner. I try keeping the veggie/meat ratio to 60/40 and fail miserably. I figure eating more meat is better than eating less altogether. I’ve already begun losing weight. For dinner I have a salad with chicken in it.
Bowel Movements: 1 w/ Assistance
Libido: Non-existent. Orgasms 1/10.
Mental Health: Depressed. It is today that I realize this diet is not temporary, until I’m “better” but likely forever in some way, shape, or form. I cannot bear the thought.
Die-Off Symptoms: nausea, upset stomach, headaches, itchiness, constipation
Supplements: 1 Candida Support Capsule & 1 Garlic Supplement with Breakfast and Dinner. Flaxseed Oil and Fish Oil with Lunch. 2 Probiotic pearls with each meal. Pau d’Arco & Chamomile tea with dinner. I cook only with coconut oil.
Other: Tonight is the first night I attempt to soak in tree tea oil (added into my hot bath.) I add to much and stay in for too long resulting in a dizzying spell and patches of burning skin. It leaves to mark and I sooth the pain with coconut oil mixed with pau d’arco.
I also want to take this time to list my available food choices: broccoli, radish, rutabaga, green beans, cauliflower, eggplant, garlic, coconut oil, limited amount of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, fresh herbs, spinach, kale, zucchini, okra, chicken, eggs, turkey, and beef.
I would also like to make note that I am no longer taking welbutrin or any medication or antibiotics. I have never been one to live life in half measures (hence my overindulgence in sweets) so I am excluding all forms of grains (including “safe” items like quinoa, brown rice, and coconut flour), nuts, produce, seeds, sweets, dairy (including plain yogurt), and coffee. I eventually plan to organic non-GMO produce and grass fed, cage/hormone free meat.April 3, 2014 at 11:14 pm #117681
03/1/2014 – 04/02/2014: Days – 2 & 3
Meals: I stick largely to chicken and eggs as my protein source for all of day 1 and two, and on day 3 I decide to make my own homemade broth. I boil 2 thighs in my crock pot on low for 24 hours, to get as many nutrients as possible. I add 3 diced celery stalks a third of a diced onion and several cloves of garlic. I have a “green” eggs (spinach blended with two eggs) and two pieces of gluten free, sugar free turkey sausage for breakfast. On day three I have the same with kale instead of spinach. I have the broth for lunch and dinner.
Bowel Movements: 1 With Assistance
Libido: Orgasm at a solid 2, but could be a fluke. Still intense lack of interest.
Mental Health: Day 3 is the most taxing, as I do not sleep at all the night before (bad idea.) I am exhausted and prone to moodswings the entire day. I bounce between extremely pessimistic and extremely optimistic in regards to my condition. I find a website where I can order grass fed, cage & hormone free meat, but am less excited at the cost. My hopes go up at finding various websites selling gluten free, sugar free treats (but still containing lots of “forbidden” ingredients) that I hope to one day be able to eat in moderation. The reality of almost never being able to eat normally is still setting in. Thinking about all the days I won’t be able to eat out with my friends, or meals with my family is crushing me.
I buy myself the computer I have been saving up for for months which improves my spirits marginally. On day 3 a pregnant cat under a year old follows me into my apartment, and I decide to foster her until she gives birth and her kittens can find homes. It helps to pull me out of myself and distract me until it’s time for bed.
Die Off Symptoms: dry, straw-like hair, mood swings, mental fog, forgetfullness, confusion, upset stomach, headaches. Ability to sleep through the night with minimal nightmares (only one, low-stress.) My skin seems to be clearing up. Itchiness on feet at night.
Supplements: 2 Probiotic Pearls with each meal. 1 mug of Pau d’arco tea with each meal. 1 Anti-Candida Support Capsule and Garlic Capsule with breakfast and dinner. Cayenne Pepper Capsules at lunchtime (to increase circulation) and flaxseed oil/fish oil.
Other: I would to let everyone know that the Candida Support Capsules contain a combination of herbal ingredients (Pau D’Arco, Black Walnut and Oregano Oil), Biotin (a B-complex vitamin) and Caprylic Acid (a naturally occurring fatty acid derived from plant oils). Kyolic Formula 102 herb and enzyme blend, contains a unique natural and synergistic combination Aged Garlic Extract, Ginger, Glucanase, Lipase and Protease
On days 2 & 3 I soak in tea tree oil. On day 3 my all natural bath supplies arrives, consisting of: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Soap in Lavendar and Tree Tea Oil, Biotin Shampoo, Argan Oil Conditioner, and Cinnamon Toothpaste. Still waiting on my Probiotic deodorant.
On day 3 I decided to make up an “Anti-Candida Timeline” so I can be sure to progress at the pace that is best for me.
March 28th – April 30 = Vegetable Cleanse
March 31st – April 30th = Meats, Steamed Vegetables, Fresh Veggies
April 15th – April 30th = Begin a parasite cleanse using Fresh Green Black Walnut Wormwood Extract, Organic Whole Psyllium Husks, and Bentonite. Introduce New (Better) Probiotics that dissolve in the gut as opposed to stomach.
April 30th – May 7th = Introduce some Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds)
May 7th – May 14th = Reintroduce Yogurt (Plain Only) & some low sugar berries, and Begin Eating Green Shakes (Kale, Spinach, and Other Green Veggies with a small amount of green apples) w/ Mediclear.
May 14th – May 21st = Slowly Reintroduce Some grain (quinoa, buckwheat, almond flour) and old foods (tomatoes, almond butter, small amounts of buckwheat pasta and other gluten free, sugar free foods) and attempt to make some bread with almond flour, as well as some no sugar lemon based treats.
My goal is to be able to eat a very small amount of a sugar free, gluten free lemon based or coconut based cake for my birthday on May 22nd. From there on I will take small steps and experiment to see what my body can accept. I will also be switching to grass fed, free range meat at some point via this website.April 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm #117718
03/3/2014: Day – 4
Meals: At the realization that I am losing weight (something that my frame cannot take much of before dipping into unhealthy territory) I decide that I need to eat more, even if it is not the “correct” food. I’m still sticking to the diet protocol, so for breakfast I have my usual kale eggs with 2 small gluten free, sugar free, turkey links. For lunch I have leftover chicken brother (including garlic, chicken, celery, onion, and zucchini noodles) as well as two hard boiled eggs to fill me up. For dinner I have leftover “Shepherd’s Pie” which consists of ground turkey, greenbeans, and a layer of mashed cauliflower on top. I ditch the mashed cauliflower in favor of not gagging.
Note: I know that I should be eating a 60/40 ratio of veggies and meat, but this was not filling me up, satisfying me, or helping gain weight. I am (and have been my entire life) extremely sensitive to foods I dislike. Rarely it is the taste itself, but many textures will inherently make me gag, or even vomit. I’ve come to realize these reactions are largely mental, but until I find a way to circumvent the issue I am stuck merely coping. I simply cannot eat foods I truly dislike or do not want, without gagging, vomiting, or triggering a stomach upset.
Bowel Movements: 1 without assistance! Hooray. Preceding the bowel movement was some moderate to extremely painful cramping, for about ten minutes. It dissipated after the BM. Despite the complications, I consider this a small success.
Libido: Orgasm seems elevated to a 3-3.5. I hesitant to call this an improvement, as it is so small and could easily be some other factor, like ovulation or the time of the month.
Die Off Symptoms: whiteish tongue, foul breath, headaches, extreme fatigue (unable to work, take small walks), muscles completely sore, difficulty sitting in any position for too long, bad dreams, dry hair.
Supplements: My supplement schedule has been updated as follows.
-Breakfast & Dinner: 1 Candida Support Capsule, 1 Kyolic Capsule, 5 Drops of Lugol’s 2% Iodine/Iodide Solution.
-Lunch: 1 Cayenne Capsule, Flaxseed Oil.
-Additionally, I take one probiotic with breakfast, and 1 Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and D3 pill with each meal. I also drink pau d’arco tea before bed.
Other: I did not shower or apply coconut oil today. I plan on experimenting with making a new lotion with coconut oil, tea tree oil, and a small amount of Lugol’s tomorrow. My probiotic deodorant also came today. I am excited to try it! I also went ahead and ordered my new probiotic (THORNE RESEARCH – Bacillus Coagulans) as I feel that my current supplement is not doing much to help.
I also haven’t been able to work (I work from home, luckily) throughout this whole process, and I am hoping I will be well enough by Monday to resume my full workload. I need the money, but the fatigue is making it hard. I also need to resume walking my dog (poor guy hasn’t been walked in a week.) Hopefully I am feeling stronger tomorrow!
I hope everyone reading is feeling just as good as I am, if not better.
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