As I was attending and studying at the university, I was dealing with a terrible case of acne. Acne was not a part of my Cinderella Story and was definitely getting in the way of my meeting Prince Charming. So, I went to see a dermatologist who gave me vitamin B shots, sun lamp treatments and put me on a prescription antibiotic called tetracycline for several years. He didn’t put me on a probiotic to counteract the destruction of the good bacteria in my intestinal tract. The acne got much better, and I did meet Prince Charming, but my overall health deteriorated as the bacteria balance in my colon got goofy! Our overall health is directly connected to the health of our colon. If our colons are healthy, our bodies maintain a much higher fitness level.
Now that I had met Prince Charming and he had asked me to marry him, I went to the doctor, and he put me on birth control pills. The Bible says,” My people perish for lack of knowledge.” I didn’t know that antibiotics and birth control pills destroy the bacteria balance in the intestines. So, I ended up with a full-blown case of Candida (but didn’t know it). Oh joy, oh joy!
I was dealing with extreme fatigue, bladder infections, and acne. I would go to the doctor with a bladder infection and get more antibiotics to deal with the condition, which caused the Candida to continue growing. And I didn’t know I had this, so I gave it to Prince Charming; he broke out in an itchy rash behind his knees. We went to the dermatologist and got hydrocortisone cream. (Hydrocortisone is a steroid and not very good for the body.) We were addressing the symptoms; however, the underlying problem causing all sorts of illnesses was going undetected.
What is Candida?
Candida albicans is a microorganism, yeast-like fungus that inhabits the intestines, genital tract, mouth, esophagus, and throat.
This fungus lives in healthy balance with other bacteria until we use birth control pills, take antibiotics or have chemotherapy. These drugs and treatments destroy the balance of the bacteria in our intestinal tracks and cause these bacteria to multiply.
The growth of these bacteria weakens the immune system and causes an infection known as Candida.
This fungus can travel through the bloodstream to many areas of the body; this is called systemic Candida.
What are the symptoms of Candida?
This yeast overgrowth can move to several parts of the body, manifesting various symptoms. These may include constipation, diarrhea, colitis, abdominal pain, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, acne, tingling sensations, night sweats, itchy rash, extreme fatigue, clogged sinuses, bladder and kidney infections, hyper-activity, vaginitis, and on and on.
What diet changes do I recommend?
1. Take a probiotic that contains several strains of bacteria.
2. Eat a diet of fresh organic vegetables, squash, organic poultry, beef, lamb, buffalo, venison, wild-caught fish, and organic whole grains such as quinoa.
3. Drink filtered water free of chemicals, sugar, and carbonation.
4. Until you get Candida overgrowth under control, avoid sugar, yeast bread, aged cheeses, alcohol, baked goods, milk chocolate, dried fruits, fermented foods (yogurt and Kiefer), all grains containing gluten (wheat, oats, rye, barley), ham, honey, pop, nut butters, pickles, potatoes, raw mushrooms, soy sauce, and vinegar.
5. Eliminate citrus and acidic fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tomatoes, pineapple, and limes from your diet until the infection is under control. Candida loves these foods.
What are some additional tips that will help?
1. Wear cotton underwear that breathes. Candida likes a warm,
moist place to grow.
2. Don’t use birth control pills; use foam spermicide or condoms.
3. Treat bladder infections with cranberry pills, probiotics, and drink lots of water. If you start getting blood in your urine, go to the doctor.
4. Place yourself under the care of a doctor of naturopathic medicine or a nutritionist that can prescribe supplements to help fight the yeast overgrowth and help coach you through this process.
5. We used Gyne-Lotrimin Cream and Monistat 7 Cream on my husband’s rash, which was caused by yeast overgrowth.
Numerous books have been written on the subject if you want more information. “Candida, A Twentieth Century Disease” and “The Yeast Connection” are two books I have read.
Is there a simple home test I could do to find out if I might have Candida?
1. First thing in the morning, before you put anything in your mouth, fill a clear glass with room-temperature water.
2. Work up a bit of saliva and spit it into the glass of water. Check the water every 15 minutes or so for up to one hour.
3. If you see strings (fibers) traveling down into the water from the saliva floating on the top, cloudy specks (particles suspended in the water), or cloudy saliva that sinks to the bottom of the glass, you have a candida problem.
Candida is what I call a “hidden health issue.” Candida-like parasites (which I wrote about in a previous article) compromise the immune system and go undetected by doctors. Candida is a precursor to more serious diseases like cancer and chronic fatigue.
For Prince Charming’s healing and that of his Cinderella, we had to change how we ate and drank. We started going to a naturopathic doctor and taking vitamins and probiotics. But first and foremost, we changed how we ate. (Did I say, we changed how we ate?) What a difference these changes have made! I hope this has been helpful.