So, there I was bursting with adrenaline and no way to handle it. I was torn between staying in bed and sleeping as much as possible or making myself move, move, move to try not to think about it. I was so shaken up by the initial attack I had while driving, that I was fervently searching for an answer. Since my chiropractor had muscle tested me and was sure all of this was happening in my gut, I landed at my self-diagnosis: Candida.
There are a lot of symptoms associated with Candida and I had a lot of them, though none outwardly noticeable (thrush or yeast). Some symptoms associated with candida are:
- allergies (food & air)
- chronic fatigue
- ear or eye irritation
- feeling "drunk" or lightheaded after minimal amounts of alcohol
- GI problems (bloating, chronic diarrhea, constipation, cramps, gas, heartburn)
- heart palpitations
- loss of memory
- recurrent fungal infections
- respiratory problems (asthma, nasal & lung congestion)
- severe PMS
- sexual dysfunction
- sinus pressure
- sleep disturbance
(*Source: Goldberg, B. (Ed.). (2002). Alternative medicine: The definitive guide. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.)
These symptoms could be associated with so many issues and often get mistreated or misdiagnosed. I was sure that my two rounds of antibiotics in six months had contributed to some form of Candidiasis and I was going to treat it, kill it, and be done with it.
I threw myself into the Candida Diet. If you're not familiar, it's basically sugar-free, as in free of all sugar. No wine (sigh), no grains, no starches, no, no, no... It's everything I'm against. But I was scared. I was desperate, and I actually felt a little better on it. My worst attack happened after a cup of decaf coffee and a gluten-free cookie bar, so in my mind, sugar had played a huge role. I had a huge aversion to sugar anyway, so it wasn't that hard to connect the dots.
I learned a lot of new recipes. I even made a Pinterest board for Candida recipes. I made my own salad dressings and even made my own mayonnaise (I didn't like it). I ate a lot of eggs, meat, chicken, fish, and a ton of salads. I was starving all the time, but I was functioning. That was an improvement!
A visit to my holistic dentist's office only confirmed Candida. The woman who was working on my gums sympathetically listened to my story. She checked my mouth and said I had candida in my mouth! Gross. So, I took her prescription for Nystatin to a pharmacist and immediately started taking it. It was powdered. I swished it in my mouth four times a day and it was disgusting. Remember, though, I was desperate.
After a couple of weeks on the diet, 10 days on a CandidaGone supplement and several days on Nystatin, I found myself regressing. My body was wasting away. I felt weak, anxious all the time, and so hungry, but with no desire to eat. I lost a lot of weight (read: The Weight I Never Wanted to Lose) and I wasn't making progress anymore. The week of my birthday I started calling a local Naturopath, begging for an immediate appointment, no matter the cost. I needed a detective, someone who would listen to everything I had been through and hopefully see a pattern and a path back to wellness.
The first thing he said? "Get off that Candida Diet!" I was crushed. I thought I was helping myself, healing myself. I have all the books, education and research I needed to support what I was doing. He gently explained that the diet doesn't kill candida and our bodies will get sugar from anything they can, even if we remove all of it. The body will find sugar in broccoli or lettuce if it has to. He said my tongue didn't show signs of candida, but signs of a cold digestive system. This made sense. Everything was cold and tight and all balled up inside of me. As I sat in his office, I was curled up into myself, rocking, shivering and trying desperately to keep it together. I was scared to eat real food again, but also relieved to be told I needed to.
He gave me some herbs, a powdered probiotic MindLinx (which is a great option if you struggle with swallowing pills) and the charcoal pills I mentioned in my last blog. He also asked me to take an Organic Acids test. None of this was in our budget, but health is more important than money, so I did it. The results of the test took longer than I liked to receive, but while eating a normal diet again and taking charcoal at least four times a day and the herbs as well, I was actually improving.
I have a lot to say about testing, like the Organic Acids test I've done and others, that aren't available in regular medical offices. I just don't have the space for it here, so I'll stick to the topic at hand: Candida Diets.
As a holistic nutritionist, I would have prescribed this diet to anyone suffering. I would have done so knowing that this was the right form of treatment. And then I experienced it, and it wasn't right for me. It may not be right for you either. If you are struggling with similar symptoms and feel like you may have Candidiasis, please consider a powerful 30-day supplement program that will help destroy it, while also taking a healthy probiotic and charcoal. This, I know, will do better things for you than trying to starve the sugar beast from your body. I will post affiliate links below for the products I recommend.
About Candaclear Four: What I like about Candaclear Four is that it doesn't contain a lot of things that might upset your stomach. On the contrary, it's very simple. You take one white tablet after breakfast that contains garlic. After lunch, you take two capsules that are garlic and cinnamon. After dinner, you take the 4th capsule, which is filled with probiotics, L-glutamine, N-acetyl glucosamine, and Beta-carotene. None of these upset my stomach or were difficult to take. I also took the MindLinx after dinner to go along with the 4th capsule of Candaclear Four. I'm on Day 29 of my 30 days and am 95% better. I haven't had a panic attack in a month and each day I feel stronger.