Trying to get rid of Candida Overgrowth is a real pain in the ass.
I wanted to share this with you, because having spoken with many of my friends, clients, colleagues…I realised Candida was fairly common. But yet no one really talks about it or know they have it. I guess for those of us who have recurrent BV(Bacterial Vaginosis) as one of the symptoms, bringing the topic up to your colleagues on your lunch break isn’t exactly the easiest. LOL
So what is Candida?
Candida is a natural Bacteria present in every human’s gut. But when our immune system does get compromised, the Bacteria gets infected and multiply really quickly. One of the main causes of Candida Overgrowth is a prolonged use of Antibiotics. Other causes can also be a diet high in sugar, Stress, or any disease that is likely to have weekend your immune system.
Some of the Symptoms are Exhaustion, Fatigue, Sugar cravings, Recurrent Yeast Infections,Thrush, Bloating, Constipations .
Mine were IBS like symptoms , Fatigue, recurrent thrush and BV (for which I’ve had unsuccessful Antibiotics treatment in the past)
How did I found out?
About 3-4months ago, I noticed that my sugar cravings were getting out of control. I was juicing Fruits and Veg every morning because my body was constantly craving it. I would also bake regularly to satisfy my then very sweet tooth. Even though I used Maple Syrup and other natural sugars I was still feeding my bacteria without even knowing it. (Candida feeds of Sugar, including Starchy Veg, Carbs, Fruits…)
But what really made me tilt was that every time I had something sweet, my BV symptoms would systematically increase the next day. I was also getting more and more tired but in a very lethargic way which is very unlike me.
So I went to see a Doctor (Gp), explained my symptoms and begged for tons of blood tests and swabs. When I told her that I thought sugar was affecting my Vagina health, she flat out told me It was pathophysiologically impossible. Now, as a Nutrition student, currently going through Biomedicine at School and learning a hell of a lot, I knew her answer wasn’t quite right but, I didn’t want to argue it and just left it there. Despite her not really understanding and listening to my symptoms, I was still very happy she was giving me all the tests I needed.
A few weeks later, the Results came back with Candida Overgrowth, VB, Ok ish Blood sugar level and lack of certain vitamins and minerals. I was gutted but happy to have an answer to my symptoms.
In response to my diagnosis, the doctor than gave me 2 lots of Antibiotics, Flucanazole for the Candida and the usual Metronidazole for VB.
Now don’t get me wrong antibiotics can be very helpful even essential for serious conditions, but it’s also the worst thing you can do to your gut as It literally wipes out all the good bacteria in your gut and weakens your immune system. Antibiotics are also one of the major reasons why people get Candida, especially if they aren’t taking a course of Probiotics with it.
This year, with more knowledge, I decided to forget about antibiotics, go the natural route and go see a nutritionist myself.
The nutritionist suggested I take the flucanozole because we didn’t know how long ago I’ve had Candida and support it with a Candida diet and protocol (Supplements/vitamns etc..) so I took it. I didn’t take the other one as I didn’t want to weaken my immune system further.
(Please know that most nutritionists won’t tell you to take or not to take your doctor prescriptions. They aren’t allowed to do so because they aren’t medically trained to the extent of a doctor. Ultimately the decision will be yours, hence why it’s essential you keep yourself educated about what’s happening in the health world, especially if you suffer from a specific condition.Doctors know a great deal, especially when it comes to complex conditions, but they have themselves recently admitted that their lack of knowledge in nutrition was not helping them in every day cases.
The Candida diet
With the support of my nutritionist, I’ve started a Candida diet. And yes the struggle is very REAL.
No sugar.Zero, Niente, Nada. Nope, not even fruits.
My first attempt was a fail. For 2 main reasons.
1-I wasn’t well prepared/ nor emotionally or physically with no specific meal plans ahead
2-I was also going through an elimination diet to find out what triggered Chronic Hives my flatmate and I, have had for 3 years.
Lesson 1: Do One thing at a time. You don’t need to be a superwoman and go through 2 diets at once.
But I’ve learnt a lot from the first attempt and got more prepared for this one.
I have restarted the Candida diet 2 weeks ago , with a plethora of natural Supplements and teas to help me build my stomach acid (one of the reasons why I have candida), get rid of the yeast infections and eventually heal my gut. Patience is key in this diet. And you gotta take it 1 day at a time.
Mentally, I won’t lie to you it’s been tough, especially the past 3 days because I’ve been feeling mega exhausted. And that type of exhaustion makes it really hard to do anything, let alone teaching group classes! I’m not sure if the exhaustion is a Candida die off symptom, or just my body adjusting but it’s mentally really challenging
In terms of food restrictions I was much more prepared this round so I’m not having to many drawbacks. I’ve made great meal plans, adapted my favourites, even made a sugar free, almond bread loaf…so I can still have Avocado on toast ahahah… You gotta make it work my friend!
The one thing I miss a LOT is Red Wine and there is no healthy replacement to that one. LOL
But to be honest with, I’m eager to get well soon, so I would do whatever it takes to get my healthy gut back. And that’s all there is to it really.
If you have Candida, get it sorted now. I have a few friends who have it and keep pushing back the dreadful 6/8weeks no sugar diet. In the long run, it will bring complications, affect your energy levels, your mood and it really ain’t worth it.
Make meal plans, think things through and take it one day at a time. Don’t read too much crap online and listen to people who say, it will come back anyway. We all different. Some people beat Candida in 2 weeks some in 6 months.Some people have it recurrently, some once, some twice. Do the diet, be strict. If you fall, jump back on and try harder.
Alongside sharing my progress, I will also be posting Gut and Candida friendly recipes every Friday! So keep an eye out for them!
Thanks for reading