My Journey, Status, And Search for More Answers

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  • #170755

    The Dragon Reborn
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 6

    Hello everyone! First of all, I am honored to be here, amongst all of my fellow warriors who are or who have faught the vicious battle against poor health, infections, and doubt.

    For years, I was the victim of abuse- a near decade whose effects have finally caught up to my body. I’m 21, and have come a long way.

    Last year, I finally sought the help of an NMD, who diagnosed me with an infection with candida and low immune system. During that time, I was eating a full vegan diet; mostly for humane reasons, and a little for health, as I had read several ‘studies’ and followed many ‘cult leaders’ in that community who proclaimed the benefits of the diet. While I am not saying that veganism is a BAD diet, or wrong to follow, I do know that the importance of bio-individuality plays a central role in finding what ‘diet’ works best for OUR body!

    Anyway, this diet led to a few deficiencies (zinc, iron, some b vitamins, vitamin d, omega-3’s), low immunity, tons of stomach problems (which I will relate to in a moment), social anxiety amongst family, and, of course, why I am here, infection (candida).

    My problems with candida were not extreme, but enough to impact my quality of life. Mild, bothersome acne/skin sensitivity, constant flus, exhaustion/fatigue, bad breath, white tongue, headaches, loose, brittle hair, weak nails, hemerroids, alternating diarrhea and constipation, and, the worst offender, foul smelling stools (like CLEAR THE ROOM).

    So last summer, my doctor prescribed me a cleansing supplement containing capryllic acid, cinnamon, garlic, L-Glutamine, and some probiotics.

    It worked for a while, ridding my body of fatigue/headaches/brittle nails/susceptibility to flus-allergies. The smell sort of went away, but not entirely. That was around June. At the same time, I came across the Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates, and started dabbling in a few paleo blogs as well.

    I bought some supplements from the Body Ecology website that I still incorporate now that do make a difference:

    The Vitality Greens Powder and digestive enzymes. Great quality. Have reduced the smell from bowels a lot as well, but it still lingers. This was around July.

    In August, I took a hit to my pride and shelled out a ton of money from my savings (I am an unemployed yoga student- almost certified to teach soon!) and ordered a Comprehensive Stool Analysis from my doctor. The results? *I wrote this to a friend, so pardon the change in font.

    It did not say candida or even what kind of yeast it was- according to it, it says for yeast to be ‘abnormal’, it needs to be few or more. I got few. Not a lot. Just few. My healthy bacteria count is average; the description says not normal, but the chart puts it, numerically, at ‘normal’ (4+, anything 2 or less being bad; my results were 3+). No blood or pus was found. But there were substances – short chain fatty acids- that fight inflammation/infection that were discovered. The inflammation count was considered high. On a scale between 400’s-600’s, 600 being high, I scored 643. The test says this COULD be Inflammatory Bowel Disease, but my doctor never diagnosed me as having it. From looking at the test, I can see why this was so. It WAS high, but not anywhere in the HIGH 600s. Our stools can have high markers due to IBS, but also from infections and the flu; it’s a sign that the body is fighting something. My suspicion is that the yeast was causing inflammation, and the fact that I also had IBS/ intense stress made it worse.

    So this took place in the late summer. I would say that some of the inflammation has come down, but is still present. According to my doctor, I am causing most, if not all, of the inflammation from anxiety. I never have any pain in my stomach, or ‘cramps’. Really, this is what I am experiencing RIGHT NOW-

    Alternating constipation and diarrhea. Mostly constipation; even when my mood is well, I find myself ‘backed up’. Occasional minor bloat. Feeling that food just ‘sits’ in my stomach- mostly meat, and even grains (rice, millet, quinoa), with the exception of an organic, sprouted, bio-fermented brown rice protein powder that I put in my protein shakes (the ONLY protein powder that will not bloat me out). Occasional hemerroids. Feeling like I do not completely eliminate when I go to the bathroom. Still minor bouts of acne. And there is still a bit of smell to my stools- I think this is due to the fact that there may still be stools plugged up in my system, which are fermenting and smelling.

    Otherwise, I am confident and quite pleased that I have come across this far in my journey, making a ton of improvements, and so eager to learn and help others out. But here are a few suspicions I still have, and what I intend to do to sort them out. I would LOVE your input and advice!

    – Because I took my doctor’s candida cleanse for only a month, I doubt I gave my system enough time to fully rid itself of the yeast. I also suspect that I have a minor bit of bacterial growth, as I do not respond well to probiotic supplementation (MegaFlora, Renew Life, Primal Defense). I participated in a free online healthy gut summit a week ago, and learned A TON of information that I am currently trying to implement into my healing protocol.

    – Weakened stomach lining. Again, tons of stress has damaged it, which I believe is what weakened my immune system and made me susceptible to my yeast/bacterial infections.

    – Low stomach acid. I tested myself, and know for sure that I need to rebuild my acid levels, as I burp constantly after meals, and feel like my food just ‘sits’ in my stomach.

    So here is the game plan, folks. To preface, I cannot digest dairy whatsoever; I was born with colic, was never breastfed, and given lots of antiobiotics during infancy. Ironically, after my symptoms somehow ‘cleared up’, my family fed me tons of milk all the way into my teens. For the past four years I have cut it out of my diet, and that has also made a difference. I also adhere to the guidelines prescribed in the Body Ecology Diet- food combining, no gluten/dairy/soy/fruit (except lemons/limes), etc. I also workout regularly, doing yoga daily for stress (and because soon I will be teaching it!), lifting weights 3-4 x a week (bone health, and because I like being toned, strong, and fit), with a few HIIT sessions for cardio health (no more than 2; 3 every now and then). Ready? Because I sense that my condition is somewhat minor, I don’t think I need to go to extremes and take those intense cleanses/flushes I hear so much about. I also will not take an enema of colonic, as advised by my doctor, and how I instinctively feel about them.

    #1- Get Rid of the Yeast/ Parasites:

    I just purchased the Jarrow Formulas S. Boulardii probiotic to attack the yeast/bacteria. Right now, I am starting off with 1 pill a day with food, around dinner, so that way if any die-off occurs, it will most likely happen while I am asleep. My doctor suggested I do this when I was taking his candida cleanse, and it made a world of difference. From what I researched here in the forums, it seems to be a great probiotic to take overall, and even replaces a lot of herbs/antifungals. How long should I take this, and in what amounts?

    I also have Pau D’Arco tea at home, that I plan to brew and drink every other week so that the yeast does not adapt to it. Other foods that I am taking to combat it are garlic, coconut oil (this one is daily!)/coconut flakes (unsweetened), and some pumpkin seeds (not daily, but as a snack or sprinkled over a salad).

    #2- Continue to Re-Populate My Inner Ecosystem- I drink Coconut Water Kefir and consume almost 1/2 a cup of fermented foods every day to populate my gut with the good guys to fight against the infection(s). I tolerate them very well, and have read that these foods will really help to rid the body of the yeast as well as increase my immunity.

    There is a Probiotic that I have called Prescript Assist as well. I have not yet taken it, but have heard that it is good for those who cannot tolerate regular probiotics, have constipation, and are struggling with infections (my source comes from Chris Kresser). His advice is to go slow, starting with 1/4 of a cap then working your way up to about 2 capsules a day, then going down to 1 for maintenance. Any thoughts about this?

    Eventually, perhaps once my infection is cleared up to the point where I can consume regular probiotics, I want to try out a supplement called Floracor GI, which helps with Yeast infections. The reason I am not taking it right now is again because I do not respond well to conventional probiotics.

    #3- Repair Stomach Lining/Address Leaky Gut

    Most likely I have some leaky gut problems. Last month, I shelled out more from savings and the occasional odd job to get the supplements I have been listing; it causes much anxiety, but I like to call them investments in personal health. Anyway, I just bought a supplement called Collagen Peptides (Vital Proteins brand), the equivalent of bone broth (do not have access or means of making it). It supplies up to 18 grams of protein and is great for healing the gut. Good for joints, inflammation, and balancing out amino acids in the body. So I am starting to add it to smoothies, teas, and soups. Let’s see how it goes!

    L-Glutamine. Specifically, fermented L Glutamine, which I bought on Amazon. No additives or weird ingredients. Just plain, fermented L-Glutamine (5 grams per serving). Should I take this before bed? Or post workout?

    Considerations: A woman at my local health food store (Sprout’s) suggested DCL. Anyone had success with this? I like that it is inexpensive compared to other supplements. What I don’t like, however, is that most of the supplements for DCL contain sugar alcohols and funky ingredients that I would rather not put in myself. Any thoughts or recommendations, or should I hold off on this?

    Peppermint- Might help with the minor infection as well; some studies say is compares favorably to conventional treatments. What worries me however is that it may worsen my constipation; I’ve also heard the same for Glutamine. Again, what say you?

    The last consideration is to hold off on DCL and peppermint, or even an intestinal repair formula, like IntestiNEW (Renew Life) for a month or two while I treat the yeast.

    #4 – Increase/Restore Stomach Acid

    There’s a website I have grown fond of recently in the past week called SCD LIFESTYLE, and the creators have written extensively on the importance and role of stomach acid. As I’ve stated before, I am very low in my stores, and need to work my way up.

    Upon rising, I take a ‘shot’ of lemon, water, and a bit of Apple Cider Vineger (ACV). I also repeat this before dinner and sometimes in the afternoon if I feel a bit of bloating. It helps a lot. I also have a spray of ‘Swedish Bitters’ in my purse that cost under $5 at the health food store, which I use occasionally.

    I just bought the NOW Foods Super Enzymes, which contains Ox Bile, Bromelain (good for candida!) and HCL with Pepsin. The dosage is quite low, but in my case, this might be a good supplement to start with as I slowly progress in building up my acid. Also, I am looking to increase my intake of animal protein. I’m still mostly plant based, but have incorporated a few servings of either Chicken Livers, chicken, and fish (salmon, snapper, sardines, shrimp, tuna) around dinner. I’m going to start having eggs to see if I can tolerate them. The SCD Lifestyle website stated that another sign of low acid stores is the sensation of food just ‘staying’ in the gut, which I evidenly experience. So here goes that this will help! Especially with the constant burping.

    Also, I am continuing to take digestive enzymes before lunch and dinner, and hope to wean myself off of them in time once I am healed up.

    $5- Reduce Inflammation

    Stress is a big factor in my life. I am learning to control it through my yoga practice and deep breathing exercises. But with my inner health, my body, I am going to be targeting the inflammation big time.

    I’ve considered taking GAIA HERBS Turmeric Supreme PLUS, to address this head on. If there are any other herbs or remedies you guys would recommend, I really would appreciate it.

    Otherwise, I eat a diet consisting of good fats (coconut oil, nuts/seeds, avocado, fish), proteins (brown rice protein powder, nutritional yeast- does not seem to cause any problems, and my doctor has cleared it as safe for me-, some gluten free grains- quinoa, brown rice GABA, millet; I might hold off on these for a while though while I heal my gut-, and of course the aforementioned sources from animals- chicken, fish, livers, maybe eggs, and the collagen peptides), and fiber-rich carbs (leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, small servings of beets/squash/carrots- NOT daily; only on days when I am very active-, fermented foods, sea vegetables- nori/dulse/kelp/wakame/hijiki etc, herbs like basil/pepper/turmeric/cilantro/parsley etc).

    I’m honestly trying not to stress to much about this. I’m a writer, aspiring actress, illustrator, and soon-to-be yoga instructor. I blog, draw, workout, and meditate whenever I can. I have an awesome family and good support group to turn to. At times, this seems utterly impossible, but I have faith that with time, patience, and flexibility, I can conquer this.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I wish all of you the best of luck as well in your journey!

     

    #170762

    raster
    Participant
    Topics: 104
    Replies: 6838

    Your post is too long lol for me to conquer it.  I would only do fermented foods for a shorter period of time because eventually it will benefit the yeast and your beneficial bacteria at once.  I would only do it for a few months.

    -raster

    #170763

    Rabelais
    Blocked
    Topics: 3
    Replies: 268

     

    Why would fermented food benefit yeast and/or bacteria?

    Rabelais

     

    #170764

    The Dragon Reborn
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 6

    Because it contains GOOD bacteria- probiotics- that will fight out and overcrowd the bad ones. Body Ecology Diet highly recommends doing this- its founder, Donna Gates, used them to fight her own case of candida as well (amongst other things).

    #170765

    The Dragon Reborn
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 6

    Interesting thought. I wouldn’t think that fermented probiotic rich foods would work against you. But I know that people are divided on whether or not they will effectively do the job, or exacerbate the problem. Personally , I find them a boon to my treatment. Some people do really well with them especially when fighting infections, and of course others do not. I’m just honoring my intuition.

    #170767

    Rabelais
    Blocked
    Topics: 3
    Replies: 268

     

    Because it contains GOOD bacteria- probiotics- that will fight out and overcrowd the bad ones.

    I see.

    So you’re not talking about fermented food, but about food that contains live probiotics – which are two different things!

    Rabelais

     

    #170768

    The Dragon Reborn
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 6

    Yes! Sorry for the confusion- I’m talking about saurkraut, kimchi, and kefir (non dairy).

    #170770

    raster
    Participant
    Topics: 104
    Replies: 6838

    Kefir contains candida and we haven’t seen anyone cure candida with kefir really.  Just throwing that out there.

    -raster

    #170781

    Sanshou
    Participant
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 47

    Water kefir

    Species Candida
    C. gueretana
    C. lamica
    C. valida
    *does not contain C. albicans – the yeast associated with human yeast infections and ‘candida’ in
    general

    Species Torulopsis
    T. insconspicna
    *does not contain T. glabrata, also associated with yeast infections and ‘candida'</span>

     

    Seems ok to me as those strains don’t contribute to yeast infections and some actually help control them. More info on the bacteria strains here;

    http://www.yemoos.com/waterkefirstrains.html

    #170789

    raster
    Participant
    Topics: 104
    Replies: 6838

    I’m talking about dairy kefir contains candid albicans.  Either way, I wouldn’t use it long term and you should look at people on curezone that have done it long term to see if they cured anything.  I really don’t think it helps in the long term (all fermented foods pretty much).

    I looked over the products you have researched and plan on taking.  Many of them are quite specialized and in general they each contain a specific cocktail of probiotics.  The prescript assist one seems maybe one of the most iffy ones because its pretty expensive for the amount of probiotic you get, they only contain 650 million CFU per capsule.  That is very very low compared to most probiotics and is even lower than threelac which we don’t recommend on here either.  It really shouldn’t do all that much imo, because you need billions of cfu probiotics per day to get better and a lot of it gets destroyed by the stomach acid.  Ideally you need 30-120 billion CFU per day to get better.

    The floracor GI product is basically an enzyme probiotic/prebiotic combo product and its main thing that is unique is chitonosenese.  I would try to find just this enzyme seperate if you want to save money.  I couldn’t find any info on CFU amount and when they don’t mention it, it usually is pretty low.

    You listed out all of these different steps but in reality you should combine them all together at once, atleast that’s what my ND did with me.  He suggested using less probiotics at first and more prebiotics and then switching to more probiotics over time.

    Actually I would consider doing s. boulardii first for 1-3 months and then start on the probiotic/inflammation/stomach acid plan afterwards (all at once).  The boulardii will help normalize the stomach acid in your gut by itself because it produces lactic acid.  I would also consider drinking kombucha at same time to get more strains and wider variety of boulardii strains.  The boulardii will reduce the inflammation greatly too while you use it, so you will see your stomach get flat.  So its doing two of the 5 steps in the first step basically.  Once you are done, you might want to go back to it every 6 months or so for a month to reduce the inflammation again because its going to come back.  Its just one of those things you’ll have to address as you get better and kind of a losing battle because its hard to reverse it.

    You can take L-glutamine with anything really, so I would take it ASAP.

    I would avoid millet because it affects your thyroid.  Be sure to have a detox plan and supplement with iodine, because you wouldn’t be here unless your thyroid was slightly damaged, its the center of your immune system imo.

    For alternative products to look at, I would check out SF722 which is a mild antifungal that causes candida to morph from its pathogenic to non-pathogenic form.  It also aids in digestion and stomach acid and is a safe and gentle long term antifungal.

    HMF neuro is the only human derived probiotic on the market (another one in canada)..  You’ll need this more than anything else because you were never breast fed and thus you lack gut flora that should’ve been passed on to you.  Your body will recognize human derived strains more than cow’s or plant derived.

    I would look into zypan and AF betafood by standard process to aid digestion.  Zypan will help address the stomach acid problem.

    I use pro-gest digestive enzymes vs. the ones you mentioned and it has worked quite well for me.  The enzyme products are all similar and just contain different types of enzymes.  People on here have promoted the chitin one a lot so give it a go.  Shouldn’t really do that much other than help you digest your food and break down the candida some, maybe about as important as everything else.

    You’ll likely need these supplements long term for as long as 6-18+ months depending on how bad you are so that’s why its important to get professional advice when starting out because you could make costly mistakes (I am not a professional).

    -raster

    #170806

    texan
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 40

    The prescript assist one seems maybe one of the most iffy ones because its pretty expensive for the amount of probiotic you get, they only contain 650 million CFU per capsule. That is very very low compared to most probiotics and is even lower than threelac which we don’t recommend on here either. It really shouldn’t do all that much imo, because you need billions of cfu probiotics per day to get better and a lot of it gets destroyed by the stomach acid. Ideally you need 30-120 billion CFU per day to get better.

    Hi raster, just wanted to point something out that I’ve learned from my research! Soil based probiotics like prescript-assist are in a totally different category from regular lactic acid brands. The soil based bacteria are much hardier and easily survive the passage through the digestive tract. They also don’t need to be refrigerated because they simply survive really, really well. Regular probiotics contain lots of CFUs because most of those will die before they reach the intestines. Soil-based probiotics don’t die so easily, so they need far fewer CFUs.

    Lastly, Prescript-Assist is actually recommended by Chris Kresser (who is a genius when it comes to integrative health). I hope that helps!

    #170808

    raster
    Participant
    Topics: 104
    Replies: 6838

    Thanks texan,

    I still think human derived strains are more important than any other probiotics.

    Interesting analysis here:

    http://fixyourgut.com/hso-probiotics-part-3-prescript-assist/

    Good reviews on amazon and elsewhere.  Sounds like you take it for one month so give it a try.

    -raster

    #170815

    Rabelais
    Blocked
    Topics: 3
    Replies: 268

     

    Kefir contains candida

    I don’t know whether this is true, and if it’s true then I don’t know if it’s true for all kinds of kefir. I don’t know because I think it’s irrelevant.

    It’s irrelevant because I don’t think candida will survive passing through the stomach.

    Even if some of the candida would survive, it’s still irrelevant because everything contains candida. Candida is on your face, on your hands, in your nose and mouth, in your guts, on your chair – everywhere.

    Even if you stop consuming kefir because it might contain candida, you will still swallow candida after doing something as simple as licking your lips. You will get new candida after shaking hands with someone, or when sitting in a chair where someone else has been sitting.

    I’d rather focus on the benefits of kefir, and not worry about human symbionts that may or may not be present.

    Rabelais

     

    #170816

    raster
    Participant
    Topics: 104
    Replies: 6838

    The main thing thats bad about kefir other than that statement is it will feed the bad bacteria and yeast also not just the beneficial stuff.

    -raster

    #170817

    The Dragon Reborn
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 6

    This is the kefir I use-

    inner-ēco > Products

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