Don’t worry – I’m still alive. There won’t be any food posts today. I hear some of you gasping in shock, a few of you crying, but my belly? It’s telling me to stop.
I’ve been dealing with indigestion and heartburn for about a week now. To deal with this, I haven’t been eating much during the day, because frankly, I don’t want to give my body anything it cannot handle right now. Fasting is an incredible way to allow your body to heal. It’s not abnormal or unhealthy in the least. Think about it: you probably eat dinner at 6 or 7pm in the evening, and don’t eat again until the next day. That’s roughly 12 hours of fasting right there. What do we call that meal? Breakfast. Read it slowly: BREAK. FAST. You are breaking your fast! So clever. I’ve read some amazing threads on Marks Daily Apple about people who’ve cured their asthma and eczema after fasting for a short while. Amazing stuff.
But today, I’m here to talk to you about
Candida is a form of yeast we all have in our guts at birth. However, after many years of eating refined, processed starch, sugars, loads of polyunsaturated fats, and taking antibiotics, the candida starts to grow and get out of control. It can cause an insane amount of health problems: from indigestion, eczema, fatigue, depression, PMS, and many others that are too numerous to mention. Candida also does this rotten thing of perforating your gut lining, allowing undigested food to seep out into your bloodstream! This causes food allergies! This is called “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. I’m now intolerant to eggs, dairy and chocolate. I know. I kinda sobbed too.
I was a very sick child. I had all sorts of stomach flus, and viruses. I remember taking antibiotics constantly. The role of antibiotics is to destroy all bacteria, but that includes the friendly gut flora you need to stay healthy.
If you do not replenish this gut flora by taking probiotics, or eating fermented foods, your immune system is compromised. Seriously. About 80% of your immune system is in your gut. That’s right. 80%! Of course, I never did replenish mine, so I continued to grow up as a rather unhealthy teenager, and rather unhealthy adult.
My battle with candida started sometime I believe, after I had my appendix and gallbladder removed in the summer of 2010. Your gallbladders role is to dispense bile when you eat to help break it down. Your appendix? Well, little did you know, but your appendix houses some good bacteria as well.
So, here was my newfound body, sans bile-dispenser and teeny tiny bacteria storage house. I was on heavy duty prescription painkillers to manage serious pain after two surgeries. These are also known to depress the immune system.
At this time, I was not 100% primal. I was lazy and would generally eat crap for dinner. In the spring of 2011, I developed some skin issues on my chin. One is called angular cheilitis. Go ahead, google it. It’s fucking gross. It’s painful, splitting skin around your lips. It’s awful, and makes you seriously self conscious. It is not something that can be dealt with using creams or salves. Your skin is your third filter, like another kidney or liver. If something is seriously wrong internally, chances are, your skin will tell you what’s up. I also developed perioral dermatitis around my chin and nose. Go ahead, google that shit too. Red, patchy, blotchiness, and tiny white-head like growths. This is fungus, essentially.
Now, reading about this crap on the internet is tantamount to madness. I’ve read some ridiculous claims, and absurd ways of curing this, all again, from the outside in. In my case, this is simply not possible.
Some of these claims:
• use Apple Cider Vinegar directly on your skin. First of all, OUCH! It’s acid! And it’s FERMENTED acid! You are FEEDING the fungus more fungus! Yes, ACV has anti fungal properties, but in my case, it made my issues much, much worse.
• Hydrogen peroxide. Another OUCH! It kills bacteria alright, but it’s much too potent to put directly on skin. OUCH!
• Some people claimed using Spectro Jel cured them of their dermatitis. Sure, it’s a great skin cleanser, but it’s no miracle worker.
• Baking soda: this one isn’t total BS. Rinsing fruits and veggies in a baking soda solution will kill fungus. I do apply a paste of baking soda and water to my skin at night for a few minutes before rinsing. It does sting, and it seems to help. Again, this is not a permanent fix.
• TMI FOR THE MEN: using vaginal yeast infection creams. It makes sense logically, and it has worked for some people, but not everyone.
There’s more, and they are too many to mention. I’ve tried it all in vain. The only thing that helped me start to see real results is giving up ALL wheat products: absolutely no pizza, no crackers, cereals, cookies, cupcakes, etc. No refined sugars, that includes honey, even raw honey. Candida feeds on simple carbohydrates and sweets. You must starve and kill candida. This is all done through DIET and some supplementation.
DO NOT eat the following:
• wheat products of any kind; this includes reading labels to see if the food product you’re about to buy contains gluten or yeast of ANY kind.
• fermented foods: some people benefit from eating kefir, drinking kombucha, eating kimchi and sauerkraut. Not this girl. I cut all this out. Fermentation produces yeast. You’re feeding your yeast with more yeast! Stop it!
• Eliminating coffee. Most coffee is mouldy. Do you want to feed your yeast? I didn’t think so. Read up on bulletproofexec about mouldy coffee. It’s disgusting and vile.
• starches in the form of sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, and fruit. Some people can tolerate one or two pieces of fruit a day with candida. I cannot. When I started integrating sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips, my dermatitis flared up. What a bitch.
• absolutely NO SUGAR; I had to give up raw honey. This made me kind of die a little on the inside. However, using raw honey as a facial cleanser is amazing. I’m serious. Try it. It blew my mind. Soft, beautiful, radiant skin. No need to moisturize after. Stop looking at me like I have 10 heads. Try it!
• no alcohol of ANY kind; it is fermented and full of sugar.
I am supplementing with strong probiotics, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex, B12, high-quality omega-3 in the form of krill oil. I was taking olive leaf extract as well with success. I’m eating lots of coconut oil as well, as it is a powerful anti-fungul. And I mean big time. I’m also taking an anti-candida supplement called Candida STOP. I just ordered a product called Candex, which is full of enzymes that eat away at the fibrous walls of candida. Sounds badass. I read many reviews on iherb.com and people talk about Candex like God Herself made it. I should be getting mine on Thursday. I’m psyched.
A few days ago, wifey and I hung out with friends and I cheated. Ate a bunch of chocolate and cookies. I had a delayed reaction. But my chin which was started to clear and look normal again, BROKE THE FUCK OUT AGAIN. Sigh. Back to square one.
I’ve concluded my recent indigestion issues are part of candida die-off. When you start fighting this bitch back, she releases toxins as she dies. It makes you feel like shit. I had nausea and indigestion weeks ago, and it has now returned. Mother of EFF.
I knew I had to write a post on candida and my experiences with it, because there’s so much out there on the web that it is overwhelming. I only knew for sure I had candida, when my naturopathic doc did a vega food test on me to check for intolerances, and found two strains of candida in my system. So, my theory was bang on: I had candida, which lead to leaky gut, which lead to food allergies.
I will probably continue to add to this post as I discover and figure out new things. I welcome your thoughts and comments. I’ve spent a shetload of time on the web reading about this, and talked to tons of people also dealing with this bitch of an infection. It takes a long time to cure oneself of candida. Be patient with your body. It will heal!