Im Possible

[Lots of Feminine Health Discussion to follow. Warning.]

Two weeks before Western Christmas and what did I decide to do? Start a strict diet to eliminate Candida. According to every book-writing expert out there, I am THE poster girl for systemic yeast overgrowth. Nummy.

I could have waited until January, after Nativity, when all the festive foods are in fat storage. Then my mind rationalized:

If I had a traditional disease for which I saw a medical doctor, would I wait 4 weeks to start the medicine s/he prescribed?

No, silly me, I would want to start getting better pronto. So I sized up the many dietary changes suggested through books and websites and averaged them out. This is the diet which seemed to be “middle of the road” in terms of severity of restrictions. It also has a protocol list of additional treatments, of which I am trying the Pau D’arco tea and taking probiotics. The tea tastes like clove/licorice/spearmint all in one. Weird, but decent to drink. I ordered the tea fixings from the Bulk Herb Store.

About 36 hours into the treatment and I am feeling pretty tired, itchy in all sorts of places, and have a runny nose. Feeling crummy the first few days is par for the course. It means the bad guys are dying off for lack of sucrose. The next 12 days are pretty much going to follow this pattern: grocery shopping, cook, eat, clean up, rest, repeat. Everything I eat must be prepared at home and cannot sit in the fridge more than overnight. After the initial two weeks, I can add in small amounts of non-gluten grains and a piece of fruit every now and then. I will be raving happy about a half cup of rice come Christmas Eve.

The Goal in all of this crazy dietary shenanigans is to restore my fertility. Candida overgrowth can contribute to menstrual irregularity. Last year (or earlier this year?) I tried low-carb to just lose some fat. I succeeded to get through one week the first go and about three days the second try. The interesting correlation with the low carb experiment is that the following cycles each time were normal in terms that I have not seen in years. That got me to thinking along these lines.

What was it about the brief stints of low carb that “fixed” my problem? I found the spark in Marilyn Shannon’s book, Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition. She basically describes what Candida infection looks like and recommends whom else to consult to fix it. Apparently, those few days of eating only meat, veggies, and cheese was enough to take the edge off the fungal onslaught. Of course, I returned to “normal” American food patterns afterwards and my symptoms returned, too.

The changes I am making now, albeit difficult, will pay off in the long-term. I know much more about cooking from scratch to make these first two “lower-carb” weeks bearable. And the next three to four months of strict no sugar, no dairy, and no wheat, are also ok with me. What is the worst that could happen? I gain a stupendous amount of health by deserting the Standard American Diet. Any which way, this is better than where I have been.


4 Responses to “Im Possible”

  1. 1 Kristie December 12, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Doug Kauffman wrote some pretty interesting books on Candida infections. I have a hunch that a lot of my issues stem from that, but it would be very difficult to implement such a drastic change in my diet (and my entire family!) I have found a couple of yeast fighting formulas that seemed to help, Yeast Assassin by Beeyoutiful and Spectrum’s Yeast Cleanse. The latter actually triggered a menstrual cycle for me (I am VERY irregular sometimes going over a year without one).

    Also, if you haven’t checked out , it has some great info on healthy living. Its probably one of my favorite forums, because so many ladies on there are Christians, and are so supportive 🙂 The have several sections on Candida diets and such, and support for that as it is a tough diet to stick with 🙂

    • 2 Anna December 12, 2009 at 10:19 am

      Thanks for the tips, Kristie! I searched for the “Spectrum Yeast Cleanse” but came up empty. Which company makes it? Is it Solray?

      • 3 Kristie December 13, 2009 at 8:22 pm

        Oh my, yes its solaray! I got it mixed up in my head. It has several ingredients, one of them is tea tree oil (the caps smell like it! lol)

  2. 4 Civilla December 22, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Garlic pills from the health food store solved this problem for me. Have you read an old book called “The Yeast Connection”? Oh, with the garlic pills, you take them at night because they can give you bad breath. Garlic also helps the heart with cholesterol and also helps the immune system. I just buy the cheapest garlic juice pills I can find. Haven’t tried Garleek, which is supposed to be odorless.

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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