I’m really sorry that I’m so late with comments, and everything else right now. Things have been a bit hectic this last week, and I have to be heading out to town sort out a misbehaving car and things in a minute, so pretty please have patience with me.
In case you noticed that my popping in and out of interweb world has been erratic and stranger than usual last week, I’ll just tell you why before venturing forth into the cruel, bitter wind outside – it really is rotten cold here. So.
After my mini detox the week before last, I did a spot of research because my physical reaction seemed way too extreme. Adding bits together (the addition of coconut oil, and the total exclusion of sugar and carbs to my diet) I deduced that I must have an excess of something called Candida in my old bod. So – being me – I googled like crazy, found a thing called the Candida Diet, and proceeded to hop right on in. I’m used to excluding things from my diet because I have celiac disease, but I can tell you that giving up anything at all would have been easier than giving up sugar those first couple of days. But I managed to stick to it religiously, as well as munching on raw garlic cloves, and swallowing lumps of coconut oil down with apple cider vinegar. I always do what I do to the max, but this time I probably shouldn’t have. Anyway. And then…
Wow, did I get sick. When I googled some more, I discovered a thing called Die Back – too late for me though. I can honestly say that nothing I’ve ever had before has made me this ill – not even malaria. Kidneys, liver, intestines, head – all felt like they were going some bad rounds with several large and mean wrestlers. Not to mention a rotten fever. I’ve also never slept so much – I reckon I slept at least 16 hours a day, right up to Saturday. Yesterday after a major morning snooze, I started to feel better, and today I feel amazingly better than I’ve felt in years, in every way, including, strangely, seeing better. My thinking seems to be much clearer, and as well as losing a couple of unwanted pounds I’m really feeling good. Weird I know, but true. Anyway, I’ve done a bit of research on this Candida crappy thing, and even though I’m no health expert, it seems that too much of it in your body can seriously damage your physical and mental wellbeing, even causing things like anxiety and allergic responses and all sorts of other things. It gets into all your body parts too – insidious and seriously dangerous from what I can see.
I don’t think that it’s a bad idea for anyone at all – especially anyone that takes antibiotics now and then – to google this, because it’s not an obvious thing to have – I never had a clue until I accidentally took something that killed some of the little buggers, and they fought back – boy did they fight back! I reckon I’ll be alright now, and by way of revenge, I don’t think that I’ll ever stop sending things inside that kill them – I quite like killing in this instance.
Anyway – got to go sort out my wheels now, and I promise to catch up with comments and everyone shortly. I’ll see you lovelies in a bit.
As I said – I’m not a health or candida expert, so I’m not planning on sharing multiple posts on the subject. What I’ll do instead is update this post now and then with things that I learn along the way – these being only my opinions, and in no way medical advice of any sort. You never know who might find these bits helpful in the future. That said, and being a writer, I’ve seen loads of articles which from my own experience and research just seem just plain wrong. So I’ll just post any bits that come to mind on here whenever they come to mind. It could end up a bit long, but never mind about that – whoever wants to can read as far as they like, or not.
CANDIDA IS A WOMEN’S PROBLEM
WRONG! Something I saw in my research was that mainstream medicine does not recognise this as an actual health issue. A bit weird really. It KILLS 30 to 40 percent of frail/elderly patients who get it – male, female, or health compromised child. It’s not picky at all. Everyone has candida – it’s part of a healthy gut when not in psycho overload mode, and when it’s there it’s going to have insidious effects on you whether you’re a gorgeous muscly guy or not. I’m not prone to any sort of infection. I lead a generally healthy life, and I’m fairly fit and healthy. I did not find the candida diet due to any unpleasant female symptom, but accidentally due to a combination of things that I either ate or excluded on a mini detox. In my research I found a pretty much equal amount of men, women, and young adults suffering from this particular lurgie. You can have an overgrowth of it from childhood without knowing that you do – for decades! The most important culprit to cause an overgrowth seems to be antibiotics. They kill off the good bacteria in the gut, but not candida, which causes an overgrowth. This is exacerbated by a diet high in sugar and refined flours, as well as anything that puts sugar into your bloodstream, ie. carbohydrates. It also loves any form of gluten.
IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL – JUST GO BUY SOME ANTIFUNGAL MEDICINE
WRONG! Candida overgrowth seems like a very big deal to me. Some guys tout it as a cause of cancer and many other illnesses including allergies and arthritis. My personal take on it so far after finding out a bit about it, and dealing with it for just under two weeks – bearing in mind that I’m NOT an expert, and am NOT suggesting that you do as I’m doing, is this:
ANTIFUNGAL MEDICATION: I’m not a fan of chemical medication, so I went the natural fungus killer route. For me these included coconut oil (the caprylic acid in it ruptures the little buggers – yeah!), raw garlic, and probiotics. When the candida are on a rampage, the good gut bacteria don’t stand much of a chance, so I figured that feeding them at the same time as killing off the bad guys was a good idea. I took three probiotic tablets a day together with a 1000mg Vitamin C tablet and a calcium/magnesium tab. Also three times a day I downed a tablespoon of naturally fermented apple cider vinegar mixed with a dash of cayenne pepper and topped up with water. Eyewatering a bit, but never mind.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: This is the only vinegar you should be using if you’re overloaded with candida. It is not candida’s friend, and is really good for you in many other ways. It seemed really sucky to me when I found this out, because I love pickles and condiments. Now I’ve stocked up on it, I will be pickling my own using apple cider vinegar and xylitol – so not a train smash after all. I’ve already made a mustard using dry hot English mustard, xylitol, and apple cider vinegar, and it’s lovely. No need to go without these things.
XYLITOL: Most people suggest Stevia, and it does seem to be a healthy option, but I don’t like the taste of it. Also in my research I saw no mention of the fact that it substantially lowers blood pressure, so that could be a little dangerous for anyone on blood pressure medication. I always research interactions and side effects before putting anything in my beak – and so should you. Xylitol on the other hand is actually recommended by dentists because it fights tooth decay. It has no side effects. Candida can’t process it. It’s made from actual sugar cane, and it tastes really good. Win, win!
NO CHEESE! NO BOOZE!
Most of the articles I read said these things. Since I’m quite partial to these things, I did my own research. Again – this is only my take on this, and I’m NOT advising you to do as I do.
All of the articles saying no cheeses cited lactose as a reason – it would give the candida sugar as an end result. I found that most of the lactose goes down the drain in the whey in the cheese making process, and the longer a cheese ages the less it has. I didn’t see high carbohydrates and sugar in most cheeses, so I’m still munching on it with no adverse effects. Also – goats cheese has capryilic acid in it which, as in coconut oil, zaps candida.
If you are unfortunate enough to have a severe die back, you are seriously not going to be in the mood to party, but since most of the articles I read on candida suggest at least four weeks on the strict diet, and you’re going to be feeling a LOT better afterwards, you might feel like a little tipple. From MY OWN research, I found that all wine, beer, and spirit drinks with sugary mixers are going to do you harm, so I certainly won’t go there for a very long while. However, all distilled spirit contains no carbohydrates and no sugar at all. I don’t see anything wrong with having a little gin or vodka with plain soda water and a slice of lemon. If you fancy a sweet cocktail, I don’t see anything wrong with mixing a little lemon juice with xylitol and soda water or water, and having that – I have, with no adverse effects. Again, I am NOT suggesting that you follow my lead here – just my personal trip.
A COUPLE OF INTERESTING SYMPTOMS THAT I HAD NO CLUE WERE CANDIDA OVERLOAD RELATED:
TINGLING: Occasionally my hands would tingle, and also I’d have a tingling sensation on the left side of my neck. When I looked in the mirror it would be a bit red and splotchy where the tingling was going on. When I was seriously going for the diet, this happened a lot. It’s totally gone now.
FOGGY HEAD: To be honest, I never realised that I had this until it went away, but WOW! I don’t think I’ve had such a clear and happy head for literally decades. Really cool for a scribbler, I can tell you.
DREAMING: Another one I never really noticed. I haven’t dreamt for a really long time, but I never noticed until this week, when I’ve had a couple of really cool, vivid ones – story fodder!
VISION: This one I really can’t get my head around, but it can only be related to having the candida brought back into healthy proportions. For about twenty years, I’ve had really bad night vision. This week I’ve been eyeballing everything very well, and in general, my eyesight had definitely improved. Go figure!
I’ll add more symptoms when I think of them, and will also include any that I find that I personally don’t have, like EYE FLOATERS, and JOINT PAIN.
It seems to me like candida is a bit of a clever bunny. If you’ve had an overload for any length of time it will lead to a leaky gut, which means that contents from your intestines leak into your body, ending up in your bloodstream. Obviously this is not good for you in any way, as well as causing new allergies – your blood not being keen on foreign bits in it. This I know a bit about because I was an undiagnosed celiac disease sufferer for so long. Candida rewards you with feel good feelings when you feed it what it wants (carbohydrates and sugar), and it punishes you when you don’t (intense cravings and the effects of it’s byproducts including ethanol!). I thought I was going to clock out with the serious cravings of the first couple of days, but now I’m really not craving anything at all. With the help of xylitol this is a very doable diet, and if you have an overload, probably one of the most important decisions you can make about your health and wellbeing.