Managing My Candida (fungal yeast overgrowth) - Individuals with various immunological dysfunctions have been seen to be more succeptible to candidiasis.
My Candida Symptoms - Chronic fatigue; inability to tolerate alcohol; athletes foot, dry heel cracking; stiffness and pain in upper back, shoulders, ribs, neck; shallow breathing; hair loss; inflamed colon (painful bowel movement followed by constipation); vaginal burning; inflamation of the joints (foot joint pain, leg muscle pain and cramping); cold feet, ear ache, itchy rash, night sweats. MD diagnoses was arthritis and allergy.
Natural Healing with the Candida Diet
Candida is a fungus of the yeast category. In addition to antibiotics, the use of steroids (cortisones), birth control pills, antacid and anti-ulcer medications, are contributing factors since Candida proliferates rapidly in the presence of these substances. They should be avoided if possible. Antifungal and diet therapy can treat and cure. An antifungal, such as Oregano Oil and Healthy Trinity probiotics should be taken. In addition to following the No Starch Diet, sugar, dairy, nuts, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and mushrooms must be avoided. This includes fresh fruit as candida fungus feeds on sugar, and you will NOT kill the fungus until ALL sugar is eliminated. While a significant reduction in symptoms will often be seen in less than a few weeks, it is important to continue therapy until symptoms are eliminated. It may take 1 month of healing for every year you have been sick.
I previously had fungal in my body but was not aware of the significance of the problem until it became major overgrowth, 30 hours after receiving a Cortisone Injection. I had already been fighting a chronic case of Athletes Foot for 7 months that would not go away, even with prescription lotion. Another sign was when my body began rejecting alcohol. For at least the previous year or two, one glass of wine would cause me to become violently ill. (Candida overgrowth is mainly located in the mucus membranes throughout the body, i.e. ears, eyes, nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines, genitals, bladder, etc., but Candida puts out over 79 different kinds of toxins, most of which are alcohol, which cause the many symptons associated with candida. And alcohol itself is toxic and when you have candida, drinking it will add to the amount of alcohol circulating in your system, which creates more symptoms and problems.) My other aches and pains caused by the fungus were diagnosed by my MD as Spinal Arthritis, related to AS (but they are now under control as long as I follow the Candida Diet). About 30 hours after the cortisone injection I started developing extremly uncomfortable symptoms, my already chronic fungus went into major, unbearable, candida overgrowth.
Candida is a precursor to cancer. Everyone with cancer has fungus, but not everyone with fungus has cancer (yet). You want to do everything you can to eliminate fungus overgrowth in your body.
Take this quiz if you think you might have Candida.
I was in severe pain, had loss of appetite, and had severe chronic fatigue for the first 5 weeks of healing. I was barely able to get out of bed. My die off symptoms were so intolerable, I had to stop taking the Organo Oil, which is a very powerful antifungal, and just let the diet itself do the healing, in order to be able to function on a daily basis. I was able to tolerate mild antifungals such as Coconut Oil and Pau D'Arco tea so continued with those treatments daily. Epson salt baths, dry skin brushing, coffee enemas were all also very helpful treatments for making symptoms more bearable.
Following the Candia Diet for 3 months had eliminated all my symptoms. As long as I continue to keep my fungus in check, and not let it overgrow again by following this strict regiment, I feel that these symptoms will no longer be an issue. But it is a constant daily battle, I can never let my guard down. I am always in tune to the slightest fluctuations in my levels of pain, and ready to fight it off upon its return, which is usually caused by having too much sugar (fruit or diary).
After 10 months I was able to tolerate moderate amounts of fruit without return of symptoms. However, due to my weakened immune system, when other infections are invading my body, such as the common cold or flu, I must increase my dosage of antifungals and probiotics, while returning to strict Candida Diet, eliminating ALL sugars including fruit, dairy, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and nuts and mushrooms. While my already weakened immune system is being called to fight off other germs, the fungus jumps at the opportunity to overgrow again.
I seem to be most succeptible to fungus in the ear now, which creates extreme pain. I have found an ear drop solution of 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% distilled water to be very effective. Just put about 5 drops in each ear 3 times per day. You can also alternate with 5 drops coconut oil and 1 drop oregano oil in each ear as needed. It is also necessary to return to strict Candida Diet, eliminating ALL sugars including fruits, dairy, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and mushrooms for about 10 days, and increasing oral doses of coconut oil and oregano oil.
I also had a problem with an itchy rash on my face and neck. I have had success treating this type of fungal skin infection topically with a skin toner made by combining 50% hydrogen peroxide with 50% distilled water. Apply on skin with cotton ball 3 times per day. After that dries, apply coconut oil combined with 1 drop of oregano oil as often as needed. Periodically squirt the face with a fresh lemon juice spray (combine 1 Tablespoon juice with 1 cup distilled water in a spray bottle). A cold compress (soak a wash cloth in the lemon juice/water solution) will relive intense itchiness during the day time. If your scalp feels itchy as well, it will help to apply the oils and lemon juice. It is also necessary to return to strict Candida Diet, eliminating ALL sugars including fruits, dairy, alcohol, coffee, vinegar and nuts and mushrooms for about 10 days, and increasing oral doses of coconut oil and oregano oil. In order to prevent more damage due to excessive scratching, wear soft gloves at night when sleeping. It will never go away if you keep scratching it and making it worse.
Water - Chlorine kills microorganisms. When we drink it, it kills the beneficial bacteria our bodies need for proper balancing of gut flora. If Chlorine is added to your tap water, you can remove it by filling a large pot with tap water, and letting it sit uncovered for 24 hours.
In 2004 my municipality started adding Chloramine (chlorine and amonia) to our water supply. Chloramine cannot be removed as easily as chlorine. A granular-activated carbon filtration system is your best bet. But that option is very expensive, up to $15,000 for a complete house system, plus $1,200 yearly maintenance. I wasn't aware of any of this till 2008, but I am now getting bottled SPRING water delivered to my home, as the home filtration system is way out of my reach financially.
I believe chloramine is one contributing factor to the downfall of my health, which began in 2004. Since then, my body cannot produce enough beneficial bacteria on its own. I mysteriously developed a auto-immune disease and a chronic battle with fungal infections. And since my immune system is now so busy fighting off the fungus on a daily basis, I have become more susceptible to other infections invading my body. In addition to following a very restricted diet and detox program, I now have to take anti-fungals to kill off the fungus, and probiotics to increase the beneficial bacteria daily.
Chloramine is very drying to my skin. By not drinking it, it has improved, but bathing and washing hands often still causes dry skin. I apply lots of coconut oil as a body oil, and I make a body oil out of extra light olive oil that I infused with dried lavender and calendula flowers, by filling a large mason jar and letting it sit in the sun for 2 weeks, then straining. It also works as a shaving cream, just apply to wet skin while shaving.
EAT FOR NUTRITION Some healthy diet choices are:
Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut adds healthy flora (live cultures) which will help my digestive system work more efficiently. If you prefer to make your own sauerkraut, try this recipe. Take 1 Tablespoon of the sauerkraut with each meal.
Poached eggs on Swiss Chard sauted in coconut oil and garlic.
Meatballs (use Blanched Almond Flour as a substitute for Bread Crumbs)
Wild Salmon, grilled with Coconut Oil and Unrefined GREY Sea Salt
Mineral Bone Broth.
Steamed Broccoli, Cauliflower and Zucchini with Butter and grey sea salt.
Asparagus roasted with coconut oil and grey sea salt.
Don't use a Microwave
Don't use man made Vegetable Oils
Eliminate Processed Foods
Avoid Unnecessary Medications
ELIMINATE MOLDS IN YOUR HOME
Exercise Daily (Pain Permitting) Any movement is beneficial and relieves stiffness.
Swim - This is the single most effective exercise for decreasing stiffness and pain caused by Candida toxins. Until the benefits of the diet kicked in (about 3 months), swimming was my only relief from pain and stiffness. Before that, I could not get out of bed in the morning without first heating up with a heating pad. Getting started was the hard part, but once I realized the benefits......I wished I was a mermaid and could live underwater.
I hate chlorine, but I've learned to get around that. Before I get in the pool, I cover my body with lotion, to create a barrier. I also put some conditioner in my hair and wear a swim cap. And lets not forget the ear plugs. When I get out of the pool, I shower and I apply coconut oil to my skin. I have no itching since starting this routine.
I was not a swimmer before, so I had to start slow. The first week I did 4 laps in the pool, which equals 100 meters. Each week I increased it by 100 meters (or 4 more laps). After 11 weeks, I finally reached 1000 meters (40 laps!!), and it took me 45 minutes. I now swim for 1 hour at a time. I alternate breast stroke and back stroke every 50 meters.
Finding a pool - I go to my local YMCA, they keep the water relatively warm (85 degrees) for arthritis sufferers and hold aquatic classes all morning long, every day. My local hospital has an even warmer pool, used specifically for physicl therapy.
Bike - with a proper bike that allows you to sit upright, this exercise is much better for my posture then driving in a car, so now I'd rather take my bike to run errands then my car.
Walk - Focus on posture. Keep my shoulders back and tummy tight. I don't want to end up huntch back. It was painful to keep my shoulders back before I started swimming.
MIND BODY CONNECTION
There are many well-known pathways within the brain and central nervous system by which higher cognitive and emotional functions can modify the perception of pain and increase healing. The systems perspective on pain opens the door for many different possible ways to use your mind intentionally to influence your experience of pain and increase healing.
My Favorite Resources for Healing
Full Catastrophe Living and the Guided Body Scan are great tools to guide you in using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness.
The Twelve Steps of Compulsive Eaters Anonymous-H.O.W., is specific group of Overeaters Anonymous that abstains from sugar and flour. Meetings can be found all over the world. This has been an amazing resource for help with sticking to my diet to allow for natural healing. For more information read, Twelve Steps for Overeaters, An interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous
DETOXING WITH LYMPHATIC MASSAGE
Lymphatic massage or lymph drainage massage is a technique used to help increase lymph flow. Increased lymph flow removes harmful substances from the tissues and increases immune function. This type of massage therapy is crucial to keep our bodies free of toxins. With our dysfunctional immune systems, we can't do it alone.
In the beginning, you will experience an increase in die off symptoms as the toxins are released. Drink lots of water, and take as many hot baths with 1 cup epson salt and 1 cup baking soda as necessary.
Corns - take a piece of pineapple rind with some fruit left on it, and tape it to the corn overnight. Remove pineapple and soak foot in 1 cup epson salt and 1 cup baking soda, then rub it with a pumice stone. Dry feet and apply coconut oil. Repeat as necessary.
Use the pumice stone and coconut oil on dry, cracked heals as well.
Inflamation takes energy away from us. Eat healthy foods, exercise, get plenty of rest. Be militant about your daily activities, and stay in tune with how your are feeling thorughout the day and adjust your activities accordingly.
The fungus can also overgrow during cyclical change in hormones. It can cause more severe cramping, heavier bleeding, increase in vaginal yeast and burning, mood swings, increase of inflamation throughout entire body. When my fungus under control, I have none of these PMS symptoms.