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5 Things that Help Cure Candia

Posted Apr 02 2013 7:04am

Before beginning this post, I want to be extremely clear – this is just my personal experience. I am a yoga teacher and a life coach, not a doctor, and I would highly advise consulting with your medical practitioner before embarking on any plan. Also, this post discusses some personal experiences and life choices, including birth control. Again, just my opinions.

It’s been quite a while since I touched base about my battle with candida.  However, yesterday I received a lovely comment from a struggling reader, dealing with the effects of candida on her skin. She talked about the shame and embarrassment candida has caused her, and how alone she has felt. So, I wanted to share an update on own personal struggle with the ailment, a controversial illness that some doubt even exists. For me, the symptoms included mental fogginess and severe and wide ranging digestive and irritation issues, and whether it was physiological or psychological or both, it didn’t matter. I was miserable.  If anything, I hope this (epic) blog post helps those who suffer to know they are not alone.

I was on a strict form of the candida diet for nearly eight months. While I’ve always had digestive problems, the onset of the rest of my symptoms coincided with my move to Brisbane, (stress as disease, anyone?) and were miserable. After a number of Western treatments, I decided to change my diet based naturopathic recommendations. The diet I followed was based on this website , after literally days of research and reading a variety of websites, books, and consulting medical practitioners. It involved very low carb vegetables, very little grain, no starchy vegetables, no fruit, no fermented foods including vinegar and wine, and very little wine. (Actually, it included no wine, but I may have glossed over that.) . Basically, I ate meat, kilos of non-starchy vegetables, some nuts, some beans, and a lot of fat.

taco salad

Candida friendly taco salad. 

I also battled the candida with a wide variety of antifungals and probiotics, ranging from diflucan to oregano oil.  I drank bone broth, ate lactofermented sauerkraut, and did whatever I could to heal my gut.

candida pizza

Candida friendly pizza. 

In this time, I also converted to eating mostly  primally . So, even though the candida diet allowed rice and grain, I decided to see how I felt not eating them. I felt great. I also eschewed beans at first, but found that I really, really missed them, so kept in soaked and sprouted hummus, making a batch or two monthly. I felt no worse from eating them, though I did (and do) find it’s hard to have just a little.

hummus

Making soaked and sprouted hummus. Yum!

To make a long story short, eating this way, most of the surrounding issues went away. Mentally, I was clearer and less foggy than I’d been for a long time. My digestion improved ten fold, my skin was glowy, and best of all, I was rarely hungry, something I always battled on my high carb (healthy carbs, but high carb nonetheless) lifestyle. However, I was still uncomfortable all the time.  I saw western medical practitioners, naturopaths, someone in between, to no avail. I was getting desperate, frustrated, and had no idea who I could trust. 

When I returned to NYC after the eight months for the holidays, I went to see my incredible acupuncturist, Shane Hoffman , completely at the end of my rope. I had just gotten engaged, and I just felt so gross, unattractive, and uncomfortable all the time. Shane, who is not only a brilliant practitioner but one of the kindest, most lovely and compassionate people ever born (I’d put him up there with a really funny Gandhi) got it instantly, put me on several different new herbs (including advaclear, candibactin, 4 unda homeopathic drops, and a new cream) and had me coming twice per week. I got home just as he was leaving for a trip to India, so he turned me over to his amazing partner, Teresa, who was incredible as well.  

accupuncturist

From the New Yorker. Caption: “Bless you.” { source }

Within a month, I was feeling dramatically better, and within two, I am grateful to say I have not had a significant flare since December. My tongue, which had a white coating, is now pink and normal. I have had moments of discomfort, but I have been able to have some berries daily, a glass of wine, some cheese, and some sweet potatoes and pumpkin often without any problems. I am back to having olives and vinegars with no issues as well. I am still on advaclear, an excellent probiotic, oregano oil, flax oil, and rhodiola.  I also still eat a few tablespoons of lactofermented sauerkraut a day, and enjoy sheeps yogurt daily as well for additional probiotic action. I should drink more bone broth, but I always forget to take it out of the freezer. I’ll go defrost some now. 

So, what changed?  I had seen incredibly competent practitioners here, I had tried several treatments, and nothing shifted.

I attribute my healing (which I am grateful for daily) to a number things.

  1. I saw someone I (and my body) truly trusted.  It’s hard to work with new healers with the same level of faith and trust as those you’ve worked with for a long time. I believe that my body was able to relax more fully with Shane, because I knew him and trusted him implicitly. I felt the same way with Teresa. Relaxing during treatments, I believe, is incredibly important to healing, as stress increases cortisol, which increases adrenaline, which flushes the body. Just a guess.
  2. I found a way of eating that works magnificently for me. Eating primally has changed my life.  I am energetic, vibrant, vivacious and happy. My moods, which used to swing like a pendulum, have stabilized to  a steady and happy wave.   (I also attribute this to rhodiola, but that’s another post.) I still keep my sugar quite low, but enjoy less than a cup of berries and some wine often during the week. I feel having a candida friendly food plan that makes me feel happy and satisfied is a key component to ongoing recovery.
  3. I removed my IUD. I had felt intuitively (and I trust my intuition implicitly) that mirena was contributing to my issues. Removing it was deeply unpleasant, but I definitely felt a hormonal shift afterwards.  For more anecdotal evidence about this, check out Charlotte’s post
  4. I invited in spiritual help, as well. I prayed to a higher power of my (lack of understanding) to either remove the problem, or tell me what I am supposed to do with it. I turned it over, and it went away.  I let go of the candida as a foe, and ceased engaging with it on a daily basis.
  5. I invited in support. I had been struggling alone with this, feeling like it was my problem, for the first few months. When I asked for help from my fiancé, my family, and friends, I received an overwhelming amount of love and support that helped get me through.  My mother-in-law made me special candida friendly meals, my mother mailed me a candida cookbook (no small feat to send 10,000 miles) and listened to me cry over Skype, and Anthony gave me foot rubs whenever I needed a pick me up. The love and support made all the difference. Ant and Kat

I do not take this period of healing for granted, nor do I assume any wellness is permanent. However, I feel better now than I ever have, and I am so grateful for the lessons candida taught me, and the changes it forced me to make. I hope this helps someone out there as well. 

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