Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Willing to try

I've tried everything. Detox diets. Juice fasting. Massage therapy. A chiropractic doctor. Food allergy testing. Homeopathic remedies both dubious and unpleasant. I've been to my primary care physician three times and was told on the last visit that all I needed was a vacation. I took a vacation. I've tried adjusting my diet, exercising more, varying my exercise routine, not exercising at all. I'm in perfect health, according to my bloodwork and my vitals.

I still feel like crap. All the time. And after a brief, hopeless period in which I gave up on ever feeling healthy, happy, and energized, I'm determined to try anything if it will help. Acupuncture, hypnotherapy, whatever...I'm willing to try.

First, though, I'm going to try something a bit radical. I did a self-test for Candida Albicans, and based on that test and the symptoms associated with Candida overgrowth, I think this could be my problem. The good news is that you can get rid of the overgrowth. The bad news for a food lover like me? I have to cut a significant number of foods from my diet for an unspecified amount of time.

The background on Candida: it's a yeast that lives in all of our digestive systems. In a healthy system, friendly bacteria keep it in check, and the system remains balanced. When friendly bacteria are killed, however - by antibiotics, birth control pills, etc. - Candida grows pretty much unchecked and travels throughout the body, producing seemingly unrelated symptoms depending on where it ends up and what your diet is like. That's why it goes undiagnosed so often, and people end up frustrated trying to figure out why they feel so shitty.

Sugars are like MiracleGro to yeast, so those are the main offenders. Starve the yeast, kill the yeast. That means ALL sources of sugar have to be eliminated from your diet: fruits, fruit juices, dried fruits, anything fermented (vinegars, soy sauce, etc.), alcohol, and some starches. Anything that ends in -ose has to go (sucrose, fructose, dextrose, etc.). No honey, corn syrups, molasses, brown sugar, barley malt, brown rice syrup. Milk and cheese are also verboten on the anti-Candida diet, since they contain the sugar lactose. Coffee and tea are out. Even carrots, beets, and mushrooms have to be avoided. Can't have anything with yeast, either, so most breads and pastries have to go. This is going to be fun.

You know what, though? If this helps me feel better, what do I have to lose? It's always a choice. I can decide not to pursue it at any time if I decide I'd rather eat cake than have energy, or if it's simply not working for me. I have the luxury of making that choice for myself, deciding what's more important to me. And if I want to accomplish anything in my life, I have to make some sacrifices for the sake of my health and happiness. If this is it? So be it.

1 comment:

Louisiana Belle said...

Well, that's interesting. Did someone tell you about it or did you stumble on it by accident?

I wonder if I have the same problem. I'd be willing to try it too. I have felt like crap for years and just know something is not functioning properly in my body. I've attributed the sluggishness to stress, overwork, lack of exercise, poor diet, and not enough sleep. I'm tired of the excuses. I just want to be fixed.

Off to google!