- August 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm #88934
Inspired by Chlofoso’s entries, I’ve decided to chronicle my long journey with candida and efforts toward restoring good health.
About Me: Female, mid-40’s, college graduate, employed, 10-year breast cancer survivor, active, healthy (I never get sick)
The Beginning: Looking back, the best I can determine, I’ve had candida symptoms for at least 15 years, primarily foggy brain.
Current Odyssey: Almost 6 years ago, the wheels came off when I finished a 7-mile run training for my second half marathon. My body seized up and hasn’t been the same since. I could barely walk and immediately started physical therapy. With no improvement, I visited more than a dozen physicians and endured an array of tests and treatments including: x-rays, MRIs, cortisone shots, acupuncture, upper endoscopies, biopsy, colonoscopy, and food allergy tests. Nothing was ever found. No treatments ever worked. And, yet, I was living with chronic pain in my lower body (buttocks, hamstrings, calves). I could no longer run. And walking for exercise was nearly impossible. Each morning, I began stretching my legs while still in bed in order to be able to get up and face the day. (I still adhere to that daily regime.)
After having several extreme reactions following meals (muscle aches, vomiting), I started to zero in on my diet as the cause (even though the reactions were years apart). So, 6 years ago I began taking things out of my diet. First, it was MSG, then gluten, caffeine, chocolate, dairy etc. (I stopped drinking soda cold turkey the day I was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago.) Eventually, each item (except MSG) was reintroduced after its removal didn’t show any physical improvement. Suddenly, though, I started having reactions to many foods. I was chronically exhausted, losing weight and shedding a tremendous amount of hair. My job has been quite stressful the past 2.5 years, which has added to the fatigue.
Five months ago (in March 2012), I received the results of a food sensitivity test. I was off the charts sensitive to most common foods including chicken, turkey, chocolate, dairy, caffeine….and the list went on and on and on. I was instructed to avoid foods that I had a low reaction to for one month; foods with a moderate/high reaction 3-6 months. (Six months will be at the end of September.) I could eat lots of fruit and it seemed wine was back in play. (I had gone well over a year without wine due to adverse effects on my body which can only be described as near paralysis the following day.) Optimistic this new diet was my cure, I jumped in cold turkey but quickly discovered I was reacting to some foods which were on my ‘okay list’. A dietician with the company which conducted the test suggested a probiotic and enzymes. I consulted with my physician’s assistant about a probiotic and she wanted a baseline of my digestive system first. She suggested I could have something called candida. She said it could take a year to treat, but they’ve had good results with other patients. I happily saved stool samples for 3 days knowing this test would be the one to lead me to an answer finally. Well, it did. It showed candida.
Immediately, I was placed on an 80 billion probiotic (FloraMax) twice a day (early in the morning and just before bed), an enzyme to be taken without food three times a day (Interfase Plus by Klaire Labs), an enzyme to be taken immediately after eating three times a day (XymoZyme by Xymogen) and a prebiotic (Biotagen by Klaire Labs). Unfortunately, though, I wasn’t told to further modify my diet. I was eating a lot of fruit for breakfast and as snacks throughout the day. (It was on my ‘okay list’ and I figured it was healthy.) When I complained to my doctor and physician’s assistant that my tongue was burning chronically and I was still feeling sluggish, they explained it was the sugar in the fruit…that I should cut out bananas, cherries, and grapes. Feeling more and more restricted with my diet, and wanting to learn more about candida, I stumbled across this forum. That was approximately one month ago.
The Diet – A Progression: 6-weeks ago I eliminated wine, which I was having once a week. (Beer and hard liquor have been out since Christmas 2011.) The following week, I cut out all fruit. That wasn’t easy the first couple of days. After learning more on the forum about sugar and carbs, I started the strict diet 4-weeks ago — with a significant modification. I eat fish or seafood every day. A handful of eggs just isn’t enough protein to get me through the day. If eating fish daily is setting back my recuperation period a bit, it’s worth it to me to have the energy to get through each day and ultimately conquer this beast known as candida. I’m interested in hearing feedback on this aspect of my diet. The first couple of weeks were unpleasant eating just fish/seafood and vegetables. I kept telling myself, though, that I needed to get into a routine and I could do it.
Routine: I awake at 5:55 a.m. to take my first probiotic. Then, I drink a glass of warm water to kick start the digestive system. I brush my teeth and gargle with coconut oil for 15 minutes to try to help calm my tongue which chronically feels like it’s burned. I drink another glass of water with a heaping spoonful of flaxseed to help prevent constipation. Next, I begin cooking my fish and veggies for lunch. (Twice a month, I have to prepare both lunch and dinner because I work late, not getting home until 10 p.m.) Then, I shower (toward the end alternating between hot and cold water to help with kidney function). Then, it’s time for my first of 4 cups of nettle tea for the day (to help with kidney function) with a handful of vitamins, molybdenum and breakfast (either 2 soft boiled eggs, 2 poached eggs or a 2 egg omelette with onion, red pepper and fresh spinach). Every other day, after work, I go grocery shopping (fortunately, there’s a Whole Foods near work) for fresh vegetables (green beans, zucchini, spinach, kale, asparagus). My grocery bill has gone through the roof. I’m now spending $300-400/week just on (organic) groceries. Then, I wash the veggies, cook dinner, exfoliate my skin (to help release toxins) and soak in a hot tub for at least 15 minutes. Usually, by that time it’s bed time and time to get ready to do it all over again the next day. It seems my days are now consumed with work and my diet to the point that I’ve had to temporarily give up some of my favorite activities including photography which is upsetting. I really just want my old life back.
Die Off: I believe I experienced die off within the first 2 weeks of the diet via extraordinary fatigue/pain and a faux cold in which I developed a sore throat and subsequently lost my voice for a week.
Results: The first 2-3 weeks were especially difficult because I was adhering to the new stricter diet and yet I wasn’t yielding any results. But, suddenly, my foggy brain started to clear up. My vision, which oddly had become blurred when I was consuming so much fruit, returned to normal for the most part. Also, a planters wart which has been on the side of my big toe for several years virtually disappeared. (Attempts by a podiatrist years ago to remove it via freezing, burning etc. had failed.) Week #4 (this past week) was the best yet. I experienced three straight days of good energy, little pain, no brain fog and no blurry vision. I was getting excited I was on the right path! The diet certainly isn’t easy. But with measurable results, it’s worth it. Then I made a mistake….yesterday.
Mistake: Dropping even more weight, I became very concerned about my rigid diet just before week #4. I had lost another 6 pounds since starting this new diet. I’m down to 108 lbs. and cannot lose any more weight. None of my clothes fit, which makes me feel awful much of the time. I contemplated adding millet back into my diet but decided to hold off until I consult with my physicians. (I have two appointments with two docs this coming week.) I eat oodles of avocados and put coconut oil on my food but I cannot stabilize my weight. In hopes of branching out my diet, I ate one apricot last week. I experienced a faint reaction. (My tongue burned slightly but I didn’t know if that was the result of the apricot or something known as Burning Tongue Syndrome.) So, I tried one more apricot two days later (yesterday). What a mistake! Within 10-15 minutes, my head started hurting, the brain fog rolled in and that familiar dull ache slowly encased my body to the point that I could hardly walk. To make matters worse, I downed two spoonfuls of coconut oil plain (without any food) which upset my stomach. I’m rallying today after a long massage first thing in the morning, a lengthy shower and an omelette with avocado and nettle tea. I think it’ll be at least another month before I try to reintroduce something.
Adverse Effects: 1. Moody – my mood swings a lot with this diet. It’s very frustrating. One minute I’m fine, the next I’m angry and resentful that someone is eating ice cream or sipping a glass of wine. 2. Bloating – I’ve never experienced bloating like this before. My belly is continually distended and I’m constantly uncomfortable. I’ve been forced to eliminate or reduce foods known to cause bloating (e.g. broccoli and cauliflower). I enjoy oat bran with cinnamon in the morning but due to bloating I only eat that once a week now. Also, after enjoying large salads for lunch for one full week, those had to temporarily go. 3. Burning Tongue – My tongue continues to burn and I’m still uncertain if it’s due to the candida, questionable nutrition or Burning Tongue Syndrome for which there is no known cause or cure.
Future Plans: I plan to stay the course for awhile and do my best to maintain or gain weight. I’m looking forward to my two doctors’ appointments this week to get a feel for what they think about my diet and plan. Toward the end of September, I plan to introduce kefir. I’m looking forward to that! I’ve already ordered the kit online. The following month, I’m going on vacation out of state and I’m a little concerned how I’ll manage my diet. I’m staying at a place with an onsite restaurant and they’ve said they can accommodate my needs which is very helpful and eases my mind a bit. Also, there are a couple of chain restaurants (Outback and Carrabba’s) which I can rely on for a basic salmon and salad meal without having any negative reactions.
I’m cautiously optimistic (today…at this hour) that in one year my health will be much better. I’m thankful I found this forum and can hear how others are coping with candida. Very few people can identify with what we’re enduring.August 25, 2012 at 8:23 am #89358
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.September 2, 2012 at 6:38 am #89692
WEEK #6: UPDATE
TS Isaac came and went without any impact on me — except added stress, especially dealing with preps for my diet. But, at least, that was it, thank goodness!
I received my blood work results and learned I have a thyroid issue. It’s very interesting. When I had the blood work done, my general practitioner ordered a regular thyroid test (TSH) plus a detailed test looking at thyroid hormones known as T3 and T4, which, apparently, most western doctors don’t acknowledge. The TSH test turned up normal. The detailed test indicated, though, my T3 and T4 are out of balance. Turns out an imbalance can cause the following symptoms: fatigue, muscle aches, hair loss etc. — many of the same symptoms as candida. It’s rather complex and I won’t claim to understand a lot about it, but there’s a book and website called ‘Stop the Thyroid Madness’, which has quite a bit of information about it, if you’d like to learn more. My doc has been studying about it and said she’s had good results placing patients on a thyroid medication. Some feel better within two weeks. So, I’m now taking a teensy, tiny thyroid pill first thing in the morning 30 minutes before all my supplements. (I’m now starting pill intake at 5:45 a.m. or earlier.) I’m starting on a low dosage and will bump it up in one week. I’ll see how I feel….and get re-tested in 8 weeks. I’m cautiously optimistic. It would be unbelievable if some of my problems were due to my thyroid, which I’ve been tested for many times (just not the detailed T3/T4 test). Over the past six years, I’ve gotten my hopes up so many times, I have to be cautious for my mental and emotional well being. The thyroid issue wouldn’t solve everything, because, of course, there’s still the candida…..
Earlier in the week, I suffered a bad reaction to two herbal anti-fungals (Samento and Banderol) given to me by my other doc. That stuff is incredibly strong! I suspected as much because I was supposed to start with one drop of each in a small glass of water and work my way up to 15 drops. These are itty, bitty drops. I did one drop for 3 days and, for the most part, I seemed okay. Then, I bumped the dosage up to 2 drops each. Ugh! A couple of hours later, my energy suddenly was drained, my tongue was on fire, my muscles were so achey I felt as though I’d been beaten with a palm frond relentlessly and I had pressure under my ears. Definitely not fun. It’s been 6 days and my tongue hasn’t recovered. All the progress I reported last week with my tongue is gone. I’m so ready for my tongue to heal and return to normal. Having your tongue burn with pain 24 hours a day for 7 straight weeks is annoying, aggravating and disheartening. After doing some research online, I learned Samento and Banderol are from South America and primarily are used to treat Lyme Disease. Other people reported similar reactions and they thought it was die off. My condition is way too fragile to handle that kind of die off, if that’s what it is. I can’t help but wonder if those anti-fungals are just something my body doesn’t like and is responding that way. Anyway, I haven’t reintroduced the drops. I probably will attempt it again later this week with just one drop.
I’m having some success introducing plain Greek yogurt into my diet. I’ve experienced some mild reactions, but nothing severe enough to make me stop. I’m being really careful with it, but it’s nice to have something new in my diet.
The protein shakes are doing well for me calorie and weight-wise. I’m drinking two a day and the extra 460 calories and vitamins are beneficial. I gained 1/2 a pound since last week, so I’m up to 108.5 (although that extra weight very well could be due to bloating). The shakes are a drain on my wallet, though (in addition to the rest of the diet). They’re not any cheaper online at Amazon. According to the manufacturer’s website, I can order it directly from them with my doc’s approval, which I’m going to seek. I’ll take whatever price reduction I can get. I’m also looking to cut down on my trips to the doc’s office (which is way out of my way) to buy the stuff. We’ll see. One entire pantry shelf is now filled with pills and supplements for the diet.
In three weeks I plan to reintroduce chicken. I’ve been off it since March when a food sensitivity test showed I had a moderate reaction to it. I now know that reaction was probably a symptom of my bad leaky gut. But, I figure I might as well wait out the full recommended six months before reintroducing it. Plus, I haven’t been in a hurry, considering Able’s comments that meat protein slows down the candida recovery. If the chicken reintroduction is successful, I’ll probably aim for having it once every two weeks at first. Anyone have any thoughts on that? The idea of having just a bit of chicken and yogurt in my diet is very exciting — at least it’s something to look forward with the diet.
I’m trying to be patient with this diet. Everyone says recovery just takes time. But, overall, I’m feeling worse every day than I when I started the diet. From what I’ve read, that has a tendency of happening. But, I’m at the point now that I can’t sleep through the night due to waking up in chronic pain with my muscles and burning tongue. I’m ready to feel better — now! Looking forward to reporting improvement next week.September 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm #89899
WEEK 6: UPDATE
I just completed week 6! If you’re thinking, ‘That was her last post’, you’re right. I re-counted my weeks and, to my surprise, I was a week ahead of myself. (I suppose I could chalk that up to brain fog.) So, week #6 is now officially in the books. What a rough week physically and mentally. But, I’m pleased to report I’m feeling better.
For well over a week, I experienced awful muscle aches throughout my body and the foggy brain returned. I wasn’t 100% sure whether it was die-off, and I was feeling so lousy I decided I needed to take action. So, I eliminated two items from my diet: protein shakes and GlutAloeMine. I really didn’t want to stop the shakes and lose the calories, but I couldn’t continue wondering if every time I drank one I was exacerbating my symptoms. After four days off the stuff, I’m feeling better. (For me, the 4-day mark is critical since that’s typically how long it takes from something to completely move through your digestive system.) So, the question is: was I reacting to the protein shakes? Or the GlutAloemine? Or was it just a really bad case of die-off? In a few days, I’ll reintroduce a protein shake by itself and assess. Right now, I suspect the GlutAloemine was making things worse.
I also eliminated all anti-fungals for a couple of days to give my body a break. A couple of days after reintroducing coconut oil and garlic, I started feeling better. I’m not sure what to make of that. I think my body was absolutely overwhelmed and couldn’t expel the toxins fast enough.
One other dietary note: I stopped the Greek yogurt. I was only eating a little bit as a test and figured why bother at this point when I’m still reacting to it, if only mildly.
After being on the thyroid medication for one week, I’ve now increased the dosage to two itty bitty pills each morning. Within the next week is when I could start seeing improvement, according to my doctor. The day I increased the dosage is the day I started feeling better. Coincidence? I don’t know because it was also the 4-day mark with eliminating the protein shakes and GutAloeMine. So many variables! That’s yet another reason to reintroduce a protein shake soon and see what happens.
I recently purchased a Brita water filter. Due to continually having to fill the pitcher to filter the tap water, I’ve realized I’m drinking more water than I ever thought (and, I used to think I drank a lot!) During my bad week last week, I was incredibly thirsty. Thirst would suddenly overwhelm me and I would guzzle 20 ounces of water and not feel quenched. I understand feeling thirsty can be part of die-off, so I’ve tried to look at it as a positive (that the toxins are leaving my body) as I continue to chug water. By the way, my digestive system/leaky gut is so bad right now it won’t even tolerate lemon in water at this point. A couple of weeks ago, I squeezed a slice into a tall glass and immediately had a reaction.
Overall, I feel much better than last week’s post, thank goodness! My muscles still ache but not nearly as much. Now it’s a mild, tolerable ache. And, thankfully, my head is 90% cleared up today. My tongue is transitioning from a burning sensation to a feeling of very dry sandpaper, which I view as a good sign. Last week my tongue was burning so bad, I could hardly focus on anything.
I still plan to stay the course. The die-off is brutal. But, during the very rare times when I experience moments of pure clarity (when I’m brain fog-free) and I remember how I used to feel years ago, I know this is the right course of action.
I hope everyone is staying positive as best they can fighting their candida battle. Stay strong….keep the faith. Here’s to an even better week ahead!September 17, 2012 at 9:22 am #90137
WEEK 7: UPDATE
It was a fairly uneventful week…which is good in many respects. At this stage in the game, I’m not expecting to experience major improvements, so to have a week without any significant setbacks is a good week in my book.
As planned, I reintroduced a protein shake this week and I reacted to it. The immediate reaction was fairly mild and was limited to increased tongue burning and a bit of blurry vision. The achey muscles set in the following day. That was enough information to tell me I need to stay away from the shakes while my body mends. Good to know.
Also, I reintroduced the two strong anti-fungals, Samento and Banderol. The first day was okay with one drop. But, the next day with the same dosage I reacted.
During my bad week 2-weeks ago, I eliminated all exercise (which for years has been restricted primarily to walking). I felt well enough this week to take a 3 and 2 mile walk at a very slow pace. For someone who used to be so active, it’s just nice to be outside.
Good news regarding my weight: I believe I’ve finally stabilized! I’ve actually gained a couple of pounds from a low of 107. Now, I’m hovering at 109-110 (usually the upper end represents a lot of bloating). I’m learning to ignore the bloating. When I first started the diet, the sudden swelling and discomfort nearly sent me over the edge. Now, I just roll with it and know it’s just part of the candida and that some days/hours will be worse than others. I’ve even worked cauliflower back into my diet occassionally. Broccoli still creates incredible bloating. So, while I really like broccoli, I’m continuing to avoid it.
Also, my hair loss seems to be improving — at least in the shower. I’ve always shed a lot of hair, but it increased tremendously as my candida condition worsened. Now, that I’ve been on the diet for 7 weeks, it seems to be lessening. I made a point over the past several days to monitor closely how much hair I cleaned out of the shower drain. It’s definitely decreased! If only my tongue would stop burning…
I’m getting excited about my trip out of state to North Carolina next month and I’m feeling good about my ability to control my diet. I purchased a little portable water boiler, so I’ll be able to boil water for eggs, tea and oat bran. That will be perfect! It’s such a good feeling knowing I’ll be able to have my usual diet “comforts” while on the road. Having a routine really helps me stick to this diet. I’m hoping to test coconut bread within the next several weeks. If all goes well, I’ll be packing a couple of loaves for the road.
Whenever I start to get down about this restricted diet and my continued muscle pain and burning tongue, I remind myself of my victories so far:
* Brain fog – reduced significantly (almost gone)
* Blurry vision – reduced significantly (almost gone)
* Hair loss – reduced
* Planter’s wart – disappeared
Here’s hoping everyone has a good week with their diet. To good health! See you next week.September 24, 2012 at 8:26 am #90397
WEEK #8: UPDATE
Well, over the past week, my tongue transitioned from a burning sensation to one of a mild tingling. It sort of felt like I had just eaten something tangy. It was much better than the burning feeling and I viewed it as progress. And, then, I tried coconut bread again yesterday. All the progress with my tongue is gone. It’s burning as bad as ever. I’m very frustrated and disappointed. For two months, I’ve faithfully kept to this diet and still I cannot introduce any new foods. Up until yesterday, things were fine. I really felt like I was on the verge of my burning tongue disappearing for good. Now, who knows how long it will take to get back to that point. I’m feeling quite discouraged today. The emotional ups and downs of this diet are almost too much to bear.
The only other thing I have to report is that my appetite has really spiked recently. I’m eating two large servings of oat bran every day now and loading up on even more veggies for lunch and dinner. (Think Thanksgiving dinner type plate packed with greens.)
I was planning on reintroducing chicken and plain greek yogurt this coming week, but now I’m going to wait for my tongue to calm down. Hopefully, I’ll feel better within 3-4 days when the bread leaves my system. It’s just a matter of me enduring the discomfort and pain for now.
Hope everyone’s making good progress with their diet. I look forward to telling you next week that I’m feeling better.October 1, 2012 at 8:36 am #90550
Week 9: Update
It’s taken one week, but my tongue finally seems to have returned to how it was prior to eating the coconut bread. (I also ate some greek yogurt which may have delayed my recovery further.) I’m so concerned about experiencing another relapse, I don’t want to reintroduce any new foods until my tongue symptoms disappear 100%. The problem with that line of thinking, though, is that there’s still a chance I’m experienceing Burning Tongue Syndrome, for which there is no known cause or cure. It certainly seems to be connected to my digestive tract, though. Also, the end of the work week last week was quite stressful, which I’m sure exacerbated the burning sensation.
I’m continuing to lose less hair, so that’s a bit of good news I can focus on right now.
I’m still taking coconut oil and garlic most days as anti-fungals. My reaction isn’t nearly as profound as it was several weeks ago. Some days I don’t react at all, other days my head gets a bit foggy. It’s still easier for me to put the oil and garlic on food. I just don’t like the tast of the oil by itself. I worked my way up to 4 tablespoons last week. But, I’ve backed it down to 2 Tblsp. I’m interested in adding SF 722 or oregano oil, but, as I mentioned, I’m quite hesitant to add anything new to my diet. I haven’t wavered from my daily regime of micro-nutrients and vitamins.
One thing I haven’t really mentioned before is my bowel movements. For years, I had little pellet poos, after having been extremely regular. The first several weeks on the diet I was very concerned about constipation and added flaxseed to help things along. That worked enough to keep me going daily, but the results…how shall I say….weren’t really substantial. Within the past several weeks, something has changed. I now have ginormous stools every day. At times, I wonder how in the heck that came out of me. I’m just happy to get it out of my system!
And, on that note, I’ll leave you until next week. I’m looking forward to a calm week with no flair ups and less burning tongue. I hope everyone is sticking to their diet and remains optimistic about feeling better soon.October 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm #90700
Week 10: Update
Not much to report this week. The past couple of days, my lower back has been really hurting and I’ve been exhausted. I switched my probiotic from 50 billion to 80 billion during that time and I’m wondering if that’s why I’m not feeling well. Any thoughts? No significant change with my tongue. It’s still burning…sometimes more….sometimes less. Within the past two days, I’ve also periodically experienced an odd twinge under my tongue, almost like a cramped nerve. This is a brand new symptom and I don’t know what to make of it (if anything). I heard a really good message today from Joel Osteen, a popular evangelist. He was talking about how everything has it’s predetermined time by God. My body will be restored to a healthy condition again. I just have to be patient. So, know that I’m praying for God’s grace to be patient and accept his timing. See you next week!October 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm #90974
Week 11: Update
Well, I endured another bad weekend. This one, though, was by far the worst since starting the diet. My entire body was in such horrible pain, especially my lower back, buttocks and legs. I just wanted to sleep, but I was in too much agony to sleep very much or very well. I did two things differently this weekend which may explain the sudden increased pain: (1) I was out of town and once again took a higher than normal probiotic dosage (80 billion vs. 50 billion) and (2) I introduced the forum’s pumpkin muffins into my diet. It’s fall and I just wanted a taste of pumpkin. Is that too much to ask?! Apparently so. After buying all the ingredients and making the muffins, I was excited to try one — they smelled delicious! Well, I ate just one-third of a small muffin and immediately knew it was a really bad idea. I was down for the count the entire next day. I’m feeling much better today but still a bit frayed at the edges. (And, this occurred while taking molybdenum. I can’t imagine the state I’d be in otherwise.)
I saw my candida doc yesterday and he believes my system reacted negatively to switching from 50 to 80 billion and back again so quickly. So…I will not be doing that anymore. He also reassured me that a common complaint during the long healing process is lower back pain as the toxins leave the body. I’m going to do another stool test soon and will have the results back before Thanksgiving. Depending on the results, I might be able to start weening myself off some of the many supplements I’m taking, which according to my doc, will actually cause me to feel better. (Apparently, the digestive system doesn’t like the mishmash of all the probiotics and supplements required to eradicate the candida infestation. Thus, the bloating etc.) It’s nice to be reassured that feeling poorly is part of the process. I just need to find an acceptable balance of not feeling 100% but still being able to function and interact with people. My doc actually told me that those who say they’re feeling great after a few weeks on the candida diet probably are cheating. Lord knows, I have not cheated. Not once! And, I’m eagerly awaiting the big payout. I was reminded again that it takes time to clean out the candida — about 1 to 1.5 years. My eye is now on Christmas 2013.
Speaking of holidays, I’m starting to contemplate my Thanksgiving menu already. Instead of turkey, I think I’m going to opt for a Thanksgiving bass. (This makes me laugh thinking of an episode from ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’) Then, I’ll load up on every imaginable fresh vegetable I can find: green beans, brussel sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, celery, and maybe even some olives. Dessert probably will be a few bites of plain Greek yogurt, which my system seems to be tolerating, as long as it’s just occasionally. It won’t be a traditional feast…nevertheless, it will be a perfect feast for my digestive system right now.
Next week is my big trip out of state. It’s going to be odd being out of my comfort zone, but I think I’m as prepared as I’ll ever be. (I’m going to triple/quadruple check to make sure I don’t forget any supplements.) I’m going to boil lots of eggs for the road trip and cut up some celery sticks too. I’m also bringing a little water boiler for more eggs, oat bran and nettle tea. Lunch and dinner will be at restaurants which can accommodate special dietary needs. Wish me luck!October 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm #91184
Kris8MemberTopics: 5Replies: 15
HI, just a helpful tip for you. The lower back pain, buttocks, and legs is caused by blockages in your kidney and bladder energies. Your kidneys are being overworked processing all the toxins and it is causing excess energy to build up. The good news is you can release that pain fairly quickly by holding a few acupuncture points. I have fuond energy medicine to be an invaluable tool in healing. Everything is energy and the good thing is that if you know how to move that energy you dont have to feel so much pain! here is a link to innersource.net Donna Edens site (famous for her energy medicine). Hold the sedating points not the strengthening to release the blocked energy. Hold the points labeled 1st at the same time for 3 mins., then hold the points labeled 2nd at the same time for 2 mins. Try doing this throughout the day. I find it helps immediatly. What your eating is not necessarily causing the pain, the energy is! It changes from day to day from moment to moment.November 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm #91564
Week 14: Update
Well, I did it! I survived my vacation away from my very controlled eating environment. Overall, it went fairly well…but, I had about 1.5 days when I felt pretty bad. The worst things about travelling: (1) constantly wondering where I was going to get my next safe meal; (2) lack of readily available snacks; (3) watching other tourists enjoying the must-see, must-do, must eat things which I cannot enjoy. (It’s one thing to block it out at home. For me, it reached a whole different intolerable level being on vacation watching people gorge themselves with carmel covered apples, ice cream, beer, pizza etc.)
In an earlier post, I mentioned I felt good about my travels because I could count on chain restaurants like Carraba’s and Outback. That’s an understatement! After paying $$$ and being served an itty bitty serving of plain food during my first night in Blowing Rock, NC at a restaurant which I had enjoyed in my pre-candida days, I knew I needed to seek better options. Fortunately, there was an Outback in town. And, fortunately, my travel companion didn’t mind missing the ‘must-do’ restaurants. Outback has excellent customer service when it comes to special dietary needs. And, their food is consistently good with decent sized portions.
Breakfast each day was great. The inn where I was staying was really accommodating and made four plain poached eggs, a heaping pile of fresh spinach, Bob’s Red Mill oat bran and a cup of nettle tea for me every morning. Plus, I had avocados which I had brought with me. It was perfect! They also were happy to make hard boiled eggs for me for the day.
I did some hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and one day ended up eating hard boiled eggs and two cans of wild salmon for my lunch while on the trail. (Gone are the days of trail mix…bananas…and a sandwich.) I had so much fun on the hike, though, that I didn’t mind my less than appealing meal while my friend devoured a big ham sandwich. That particular trail I’ve hiked before. It’s quite strenuous and I wasn’t sure if I could do it again. Emotionally, I felt fantastic finishing the climb. What a great psychological boost knowing that I could do that once again! But, physically, I paid the price for about a week.
Snacks definitely were a problem on the trip. As you know, there just aren’t very many options. So, against my better judgment I ate a few raw cashews during the long road trip, which naturally led to a few more, and a few more. And, well, you get the picture. Ultimately, I over did it and did not feel well. I think my body can only handle raw cashews in moderation.
My bad days on vacation really were a product of my environment and lack of appropriate food. I took a road trip to the Biltmore Estate and figured I’d be able to find a plain salad with olive oil without a problem. Well, it was a problem. After a long drive and touring, I was exhausted and just couldn’t find what I needed. My friend ultimately got some spinach greens from a vendor and some olive oil and I ate that with some hard boiled eggs I had brought with me. Definitely, a memorable meal only in that it wasn’t a good experience. That was a rough patch during the trip. Somehow, though, I rallied for a big hike the next day.
The other rough time was in Savannah, Georgia, where we stopped along the way to and from NC. On the return trip, I ran out of Bob’s Red Mill oat bran, which I’d previously made in the hotel microwave without any problem. So, I ventured to a popular local breakfast establishment. I ordered several poached eggs and spinach and gave my usual explanation about my dietary needs. As soon as I bit into one of the eggs, I knew there was a problem. I think some restaurants must use Pam or something when making eggs. Whatever it is, my tongue doesn’t like it and immediately started burning, which, unfortunately, put me in a foul mood as I sat watching people stuff themselves with every kind of breakfast food you can imagine. And, I couldn’t even eat an egg without a problem.
Hopefully, the next time I go out of town for any length of time I won’t have such a restrictive diet. But, if I do, this trip helped me figure out how to be better prepared for my eating needs. Gosh, I don’t know what I’d do if I traveled with someone who wasn’t so understanding. I’m very blessed.
When I returned home, I took a blood test for my thyroid. Soon I’ll know if that’s improving. Honestly, I haven’t felt any different taking the thyroid pills for the past two months. Also, I took another stool test to see if there’s been any improvement with my candida growth. **fingers crossed**
Most people on the forum talk about feeling better after a few months on the diet. I’m not experiencing that and I’m wondering why. Hopefully, improvement is right around the corner. Hope everyone has been doing well on their diets!November 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm #91567
ThomasMemberTopics: 71Replies: 605
Thanks for you wonderful posts. I am following them.
Please check if you can get a breath test done. If you have high levels of Methane or Hydrogen gas that would show that you not only have Candida but too suffer from bacterial overgrowth. A lot of your sympthoms are that of endotoxins playing harvoc with your system.Hightend levels of endotoxins might just exceed the livers detoxifying capacity and spill over into the bloodstrea to cause systemic hyperalgesia. Therefore you pains in the body. Brain fog which is longer than you die-off time max 5 weeks is a good indicator for SIBO. Bloating, distension and flatulence are too strong indicators for bacterial fermentations in your small intestines. Especially when you wake up in the morning with a flat stomach and over the day you get round and bloated.
If you consider getting the breath test, please dont buy a home kit as the test have to be done at a doctors place and take several hours find a medical practitioner who uses a gas chromatograph from the company QuinTron SC which tests both Methane AND Hydrogen. You can get the info which doctor has this maschine from the company. Phone 800-542-4448 or their Website: http://www.quintron-usa.com
If you are afraid loosing more weight and cant stomach your protein drinks anymore try Vivonex which is pre-digested and gives your body what it needs. You actually can live from that stuff only if it would not be so expensive.
all the best to you
ThomasNovember 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm #91568
rasterParticipantTopics: 104Replies: 6838
Thomas: I am wondering how you are doing now? It sounds like you have educated yourself some on your health problems and have come a long ways…
-rasterNovember 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm #91570
ThomasMemberTopics: 71Replies: 605
raster;29962 wrote: Thomas: I am wondering how you are doing now? It sounds like you have educated yourself some on your health problems and have come a long ways…
Hi mate! Oh, I am happy to hear that I was worth a thought for you! 🙂
I did what I planned and I am still in the battle. I was so dam tired of not knowing what the sympthoms are, die-off, etc. I got lots of test done, fighting for every inch to get them but it looks more and more that I am SIBO. I have still a ELISA test coming next week to check for food intolerances. I still not discounting the possibility of candida lurking its ugly head and will see about thatlater.
What I learned is that: Low fibre eating make the world for me! That sugars are not sugars and how they affect the my intestines. That mucus production from my intestines to protect my lining seperates the food from the enzymes and will be eaten by the bacteria. The new plan of action for me is to get the food absorbed very fast in the first 2 feet of the small intestines.
I learned that there is no good bacteria or bad one but where they are will make the world. I felt terrible with pro-biotics and pre-biotics because they where counterproductive for me suffering already from too much gas and endotoxins. (to much bacteria)
With all the knowleadge gain in the last month I feel 80 percent better but I am not healed and very senisitive. I too tried my own kefir and felt being see-sick in a wink.
My problem too is that I get very quickly sick like being see-sick and brain-fog if I even eat right but too much.
Now I stopp eating every day around 20:00 hours and have a natural fasting until next day 8:00. I eat much less and plan with a nutrionist to figure the lowest amount of food for me which is healthy. When I had my total breakdown last year october I had no idea what hit me. Today I know it was a ketoacidosis where my liver could not handle anymore the amount of D-Lactic acid and endotoxins swamming my system. I suffered a mild form of metabolic acidosis. I say mild because it can be fatal, but it was not mild for me it was in fact so terrible that I never want to experience it again. Therefore I take it easy now with the killing of bacteria, fungus or changing diets. 😉 Slowly is better! Too much toxins which the liver cant handle can kill you.
thats all I learned the last year and I am still fighting on hill upwards!
I hope you guys are doing fine! How are you?
ThomasNovember 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm #91582
Thanks — so glad to hear you’re reading my posts!
Thanks for the information. I checked out their website, but unfortunately, it left me with more questions. I’m going to ask my doctor about it next week when I meet with her.
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