My Candida Story

unaware

From an early age, there were many signs that I had an imbalance within my body, but the signs went unnoticed. Unfortunately, at this time I didn’t realize that my state of health had anything to do with the condition of the delicate ecosystem inside my gut. I struggled with thrush as a baby and later developed several stomach and skin infections that at the time didn’t seem to have any clear diagnosis. I had digestive issues that left me constipated and bloated the majority of the time. As I hit puberty, the acne started. It was extremely painful and embarrassing, producing large cysts under my skin that under doctor supervision we ignorantly treated with antibiotics. Unbeknownst to me this compounded the problem. The acne lasted well into my late twenties. Yeast infections were a common annoyance as well, and slid right underneath my radar. I had an especially bad case during my first pregnancy.

sugar addiction

The most ongoing and apparent sign was my incessant addiction to sugar and carbohydrates. I actually remember feeling sugar withdrawals, dreaming at night about the hot fudge sundae or sundaes I would be indulging in the next day. This addiction had me on a roller coaster ride for most of my life up until my mid twenties. I would have highs of hyperactivity and lows of fatigue, confusion and depression. If I was hungry I couldn’t think about anything else. When I would get my food, usually high in carbs and sugars, I would scarf it down like it was my last meal and never truly feel satisfied, just extremely full and bloated. Little did I know that the anxious, unsettled feeling I had grown accustomed to was greatly due to the foods I was eating, paralleled with some core beliefs I had about myself. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine told me that I didn’t need to live this way that I realized it was abnormal to plan my day around when I would eat and sleep.

becoming aware

During this time, around 10-12 years ago, I gradually started researching health and how the body works. I became more aware of my thoughts, my beliefs and the effects of different foods on my overall being. I began to make the transition into healthy living and eating. High fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils were two of the first things to go. Banishing refined sugars and gluten were the next changes to be made. And to my delight, my symptoms started to disappear! First, I noticed the intensity of my cravings was dissipating. The bloating lessened. My skin started to clear. The roller coaster ride seemed to be over and my life had now taken a turn down a much less turbulent path. My energy level for the first time felt consistently strong and my emotions seemed to level out. I knew that I would never turn back to my old eating habits. I felt better than I had ever felt before.

 

the candida realization

Then in August of 2012, after having my second child, I noticed a patch of itchy skin on my finger. It started out as a dry, itchy spot, soon small blisters started to appear and every day it was spreading. My hands became so incredibly inflamed with itching, open sores and tight skin that I couldn’t bend my fingers for months. I cried myself to sleep in an itchy, tortuous state of mind almost every night and woke up for many hours trying to find some sort of relief. I thought for sure it was Poison Ivy so I tried several Poison Ivy remedies to no avail. The western doctor said it looked like hand eczema, but I didn’t put too much weight into his diagnosis. I reluctantly tried the steroid cream he prescribed to me nonetheless. It did nothing. In my core, I felt that my body was undergoing some sort of detox, maybe related to the hormonal changes my body had just experienced from having two children. I also knew that our feet and our hands, the furthest point from our heart, often will be the exit point of any toxins our body may be trying to dump. Instead of masking the problem with a prescription band-aid, I wanted to get to the root of the matter to ensure for myself lasting health for years to come. I knew that the years of neglecting my body were catching up with me in a greater way now and this was how it was manifesting. My body was speaking and it was up to me to listen. I was just unsure of what it was saying.

That’s when another close friend of mine said it looked just like some skin issues she had encountered. The culprit? Candida Albicans overgrowth. Even though I had drastically changed my diet to suit better health over the past several years, which greatly helped regulate my moods and various other symptoms, I was still consuming many foods that created a perfect breeding ground for these little boogers and I had never gotten down to the root cause. Large amounts of honey, wine, oats, potatoes, rice and other grains were some of the foods I still had not dismissed from my diet. So again, I searched for more information. I learned a lot, but soon started feeling overwhelmed by all the endless points of view on the landscape. And my hands were not improving. I implemented many treatments from herbal to homeopathic, utilized diet restrictions, ingested many different kinds of pre and probiotics, essential oils, supergreens and attempted various spiritual practices. I’ve been through the gamut! Some of these changes seemed to work and others not so much. Some I’m still doing today and some I’m not. I am continuously learning and experimenting. I have provided on the Healing Practices page the tools that I feel have been the most beneficial to my overall wellness.

improvement at last!

Going through this experience has beckoned me to be in much greater attunment with my body, mind and spirit. Thankfully I have come into a place where my symptoms are nearly nonexistent and continuously improving. Through much trial and error I have found my balance. With so many options and protocols from which to choose, I found that it has been best to listen to my own internal guidance over anything and anyone else. I didn’t adhere to just one point of view, but gleaned from many sources to discover what would work best for me. I am still navigating this journey with still so much to learn. No one is the same. No treatment will be the same. I always remain open to new understanding and knowledge concerning my health, so my statement is simply that currently, these methods are working for me and hopefully they will do the same for you.

 

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