My relationship with Candida began in University, many years ago. I felt tired all of the time, especially after eating. I found myself craving breads, sweets and fruits and having very little self-control when I tried not to eat those foods. Overall I felt foggy (I had difficulty concentrating), weak and sad; almost depressed. I decided that I needed to do something about it.
I had the good fortune that my parents had been to see a medical doctor who was open to healing through diet and other natural means and so they suggested that I see him.
Upon meeting him, he was very frank with me. He told me that from my symptoms and from a few other things that were visible to him (white spots on my fingernails, fungus on my toenails), that I had an overproduction of Candida. I had never heard of this before.
Candida? What is this?
Candida, also called Candida Albicans or Candidiasis is a microorganism that is found naturally in our digestive tract. Some people experience an overgrowth of this microorganism and various symptoms present themselves. If you read more about the subject of Candida you will find that including the symptoms that I experience, there are many more that are possible.
Some of these symptoms are
- chemical sensitivities (oh yeah that was me too!)
- memory loss
- sleep disturbances
- vaginal yeast infections
And there are more. It is easy to see that a yeast overgrowth has quite an affect on our body.
My healing process
According to the doctor I went to see, I would need to follow a diet of grains, beans and vegetables. No bread, no yeast, no sugar, no alcohol, no mushrooms, no peanuts…all that I heard was NO NOTHING! I left with a handful of recipes and a very tiny bit of hope.
Unfortunately I had difficulty motivating myself and soon went back to my old habits of bread and more bread…
Years went by and although I was now eating a cleaner diet, I still was having many of the same symptoms. For the most part, I ignored them. One summer day, I cut open a beautiful watermelon to share with my children. It was morning and this was my first food of the day. I ate several pieces and soon after began to feel a sensation that was as if I was drunk. I felt light-headed, giddy, dizzy; drunk. OMG! This was crazy! I was shocked that a piece of watermelon could make me feel this way but I knew what it meant. I knew that the yeast had really taken hold.
I began reading more on the subject of Candida. I began to follow any natural healing suggestion that was made.
I worked hard at eliminating the foods that the yeast thrived on, from my diet. These foods were
- yeast, breads
- fermented foods such as cheese
- vinegar (except raw apple cider vinegar)
I did the following
- Initially I followed a strict macrobiotic diet.
- I took food grade hydrogen peroxide.
- I took grapefruit seed extract daily.
- I followed food combining to the letter.
- I took probiotics and ate raw sauerkraut regularly.
- I learned to meditate to reduce the stress in my life.
- Later, I drank green juices regularly and ate more raw foods than cooked.
You name it; I most likely tried it.
I would feel better for awhile and then if I ‘cheated’ on the food just once, my symptoms all came back. It was a challenging time. I felt quite stressed with 3 children, a home to manage and a family business that had my husband working long days. The stress did not help the situation at all.
I found that I felt at my best when I was drinking a lot of fresh vegetable juices and eating mostly raw foods but I knew that something still was not right.
I went to see a Naturopath who suggested that I have a hair analysis done to test for heavy metals in my body. Apparently where there are heavy metals, there is yeast and where there is yeast, there are heavy metals.
Indeed the results came back with off the charts levels of lead, silver, & copper. There were also high amounts of arsenic & cadmium. To this day I do know exactly where I picked all of this up. My suspicions are that I got the lead from delivering newspapers for many years as a youth (back in the day when lead was still used in the ink) and perhaps from the pressure-treated wood deck at my childhood home.
The Naturopath had a long list of supplements for me to take as well as a chelation therapy regime and a sauna regime (I will share more about that in an upcoming post). I followed her suggestions for a while(although I did the sauna regime every day for 1 year) but money and life got in the way. I fell off the wagon with food choices, again. My diet was more cooked than raw, again. My body felt terrible, again.
Suggestions to Cure Candida
Candida overgrowth can be cured. To be successful, it is essential that the present yeast are killed, external sources are avoided and one must eat foods that do no feed and help the yeast grow and multiply. It is also important that your body becomes healthy, able to digest and assimilate foods properly. The body needs to become so strong that the yeast cannot regain control because the body has restored its natural defenses. This means that it is important to get the body alkaline so that the yeast can not thrive. It does require determination and persistence. Here are some suggestions.
- Eliminate the foods that the yeast thrive on.
- Eat more green vegetables and drink their fresh juices (this contributes to the bodies alkalinity).
- Eat raw sauerkraut and take a probiotic (inhibits the growth of fungus).
- Follow the food combining principles.
- Do a regular cleanse to help remove the yeast and other toxins from the body (I will talk about how to do that in an upcoming post).
- Exercise regularly since yeast do not like oxygen.
- Practice something such as Meditation or Mindfulness to help reduce stress.
One day, I came across a product called Allimax. It contains allicin, in a concentrated form, which is a compound found in garlic that is responsible for the health benefits of garlic. I began taking it daily, as well as continued with avoiding certain foods, etc. and felt a noticeable difference quickly. I went back to juicing and eating high raw. I felt even better.
I continue to eat high raw with emphasis on greens and green juices and I continue to take Allimax daily. Eating mostly raw foods makes it very easy to avoid the foods that yeast feed on. I also remember to eat fruit away from other foods, on an empty stomach. Remember traces of Candida albicans almost always remain in the body, even after treatment.
I would be interested to hear your experiences with Candida and what has worked for you or what is not working.