It was at this time that I was getting worse and worse and beginning to share a little more with the people around me, still not wanting to be a burden to anyone. This diet was unreal. I am a true believer in the need for everyone to try it. 2010 marked the beginning of a long road to recovery with some side roads taken.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2010
The Diet That is KILLING Me!
It is a lot easier to admit this now that I am hopefully being healed as I type. I am sure I have mentioned my crazy health, but in the past two years it has basically sucked. I continued to have weird things start happening, being diagnosed with Sjogren's Disease (probably didn't even spell it right) and Thyroid Disease last year. The stress of our move started to bring out an array of symptoms, each progressing to almost intolerable pain at times even throughout my pregnancy with WHS. As soon as I quit nursing WHS, I developed terrible joint and muscle pain to the point that I was on chronic high doses of pain killers. I was so discouraged and I certainly didn't feel like a young new mom. When I was first pregnant with WHS, the husband of a sweet friend from high school was diagnosed with cancer. She kept an amazing blog about their experience and his healing that I kept up with regularly. His doctors put him on the Candida Diet while he was taking chemotherapy. I had never heard of it before, but as she spelled out what he wasn't allowed to eat, I discovered that most of those things were what were hurting me so terribly since I had been pregnant. (I went to the ER in my first weeks of pregnancy because the pain was so great, I thought I might be having an ectopic pregnancy.) I did a little research on the Candida Diet and with renewed hope started to really believe that I might have found an answer to all my ailments.... Candida Yeast Overgrowth. The possible causes of the overgrowth include: long-term antibiotic use (check), auto-immune disease (check), high doses of steroids (check), having a parasite (check), multiple child births (check, check and check) and use of chemotherapy. I had five out of six of the potential causes. As for the symptoms, one website quoted a possible overgrowth if you had 18 or more of the symptoms. I stopped counting at 22. I visited my nutritionist and shared what I had learned and he agreed. He said my blood work supported this and it was likely I could have Candida Overgrowth. He also told me something huge. My very first small symptoms began just after JBS was born and I decided at that point, through trial and error, that I was fructose intolerant. Every time I ate anything with fructose in it, I got sick. He told me that I was most definitely NOT fructose intolerant, as he did that specific blood test. With new perspective, anything with sugar was actually feeding the yeast and making me sick! Since I was pregnant with WHS, I couldn't begin to remove the Candida completely, so I was waiting until I had him and had finished nursing. In the meantime, I grew more and more confident and excited that this was what I had. I was talking to a sweet friend here who is a health guru and told her about my issues. She said, "OH! Penny, I have done the Candida diet and you need to talk to my friend Audra." And so it all began. Audra sells products thru Trinity Wellness and one line of products is made specifically for Candida Yeast Overgrowth. I called her as soon as I could, took a few tests, studied up and on January 7th, I started the diet. No yeast, no sugar, no stimulants (salt, pepper, caffeine, alcohol). The only way to fully get rid of the yeast is to starve it...and me. :) It is rough. By day two, I was nauseated and throwing up. I couldn't function and I was miserable. My body was literally detoxing. She said my score on my test was so high and this might take longer for me than most (lucky me). The yeast was revolting and demanding the sugars it needed to live. It somehow made vomiting feel better knowing I was throwing up loads of impurities. The supplements I am taking include supplements that are going to my organs and detoxing all the chemicals out of my body from anesthesia's past, epidurals, medicines. The crazy thing is that she told me that our bodies heal in reverse. So, she told me I will feel the pain of child birth again from WHS first, and I will feel the pain from my abdominal surgeries as those toxins are removed and pulled in to my bloodstream. I FELT IT ALL! I was amazed. Babe, who was almost as skeptical about all this as I was is now a complete believer as he has watched me and helped me through this miserable time. He wants to do the diet himself...when I recover, of course. I should mention that it was no small effort on my mom's part as she flew down here to rescue us on Sunday. She cooked for me, found new "legal" recipes" and forced me to eat. That is the hardest part for me. I don't eat enough. Who would when I have to eat cardboard and vegetables all the time? (I am not a big veggie eater...) Grammy had to leave today and I was devastated, but she can't stay with me forever, unfortunately. She did say that she made her bed and not to wash the sheets because she will probably be back (yeah!). So, I will struggle through finding tolerable things to eat this week to try and keep myself fed. Four pm becomes my witching hour as I start to get weak and nauseated and the cycle begins for the evening. It is not fun. However, I had to quit my pain meds to be on the diet. Would you believe that every day my joints feel better and better without any medication? For the last couple years my mom has told me something is wrong with me...my brain! I am always in a fog and can't make decisions. As it turns out that is a symptom of the yeast. My head is clearer today than it has been in years. Every day I notice an improvement in my symptoms and even in things I didn't know were symptoms! For me and for my family, who was starting to be more and more affected by my poor health, this is a complete miracle.
The doctors told me over and over again that all these symptoms were a part of having an auto-immune disease like Crohn's and basically I would have to live with it. They helped me by covering up the pain with medicine and pain pills and I just refused to live like that. I want to be healthy, I want to be able to exercise again and play with my kids without fighting back pain and I don't want to take a hundred pills every day.
So, that is where I have been...struggling to keep my head above water, relishing in the presence of Grammy to take care of us all and hopefully healing ever so slowly each minute of the day. Today is Day 7 for me. Most people move to detox on Day 8. Not me. Lucky me, I get to stay in the "Die Off" phase for another week making sure to kill every last little speck of yeast. I was miserable before the diet and miserable doing the diet. However, the misery of doing the diet with the hope of total healing on the backside really takes the cake. Praise the Lord!!