Harkening back to the rashes on my legs. I know, Oh God, Why?! Just listen, I promise I will keep it short. In going grain-free I saw a massive improvement in the redness, itchiness, and all around palpability of the rashes. However, I seemed to hit a plateau and the rashes just wouldn’t heal fully. So, in doing some reading and in working with my functional medicine doctor, I decided to consider a candida (a.k.a. yeast, candida albicans, fungus) overgrowth in my system. There are lab tests that can be performed to confirm this and I am in the process of waiting out those results. However, in the meantime, I was still experiencing some moments of intense itchiness which only irritated my shins, my brain fog that had lifted when going grain-free had returned to a small degree and my seasonal allergies had kicked in. In looking at my food journal, I had replaced my grain filled snacks with paleo-friendly sweet treats. Albeit, healthier than a Cinnabon, but still sugar (coconut sugar) none the less. Sugar, even from starchier vegetables and fruits, feeds candida. Add stress and hormonal shifts to an immune system that is trying to defeat opportunistic infections from yeast overgrowth and you get to feeling like crud. Here is a brief online article that I found most helpful in explaining it.
I have spent the last week and a half trying to cut out the sugar from my diet. Mainly I have stuck to my plant-based eating with a sprinkling of quality, pasture-raised proteins and nuts. But man, I have a sweet tooth and this has been harder than removing grains! I had a flop on Saturday and sheepishly took down a homemade grain-free peanut butter and dark chocolate cookie in the corner of my kitchen while Joel was away at a basketball game. In the morning, I confessed my sins to him and he shared that he had a set back at dinner before the game. We felt rectified in our mutual mess up and moved on. But, that itch returned in the shins and the fog moved in. I’m NOT writing off sugar forever, I just need to get this overgrowth under control. And, this process has revealed to me the hold that sugar can have on me. I’ve been reminded of my power over my eating and I don’t want to be so helpless to sweet treats again.
So, in such a strict removal of sugar, reader be warned, you suffer possible fevers, flu-like symptoms and just an all around blah feeling. Here comes the explanation of the supplements above. The first few days, I did it without them and felt like I ran into a brick wall. I went to the doc and listed off my symptoms and they swabbed me for a bacterial infection to which I tested negative…which leaves me with viral or fungal. Somewhat further proof to me that my labs are going to come back with candida overgrowth. So, I added in the 3 supplements above: Vitamin C, Milk Thistle and Caprylic Acid. The C is to boost the immune system while you detox, 2,000 mg a day is recommended. This is far above the 90 mg recommended for adults per day. The body will pass what it doesn’t need so, I took one in the morning and one in the evening to spread out the dosage. Milk Thistle assists the liver in removing toxins. As you flush out any candida and the other many toxins it releases in dying off, this is supposed to help with that cleansing. And, Caprylic Acid, this is the acid found coconut oil which makes the GI track an unfriendly environment for candida. With these, tons of water and a limited social schedule, I made it through hell-week. I’m dramatizing this but it wasn’t how I wanted to spend the week.
Just somethings to think about as you seek to master your full health potential. Lesson learned, I have an addiction to sugar and I can do better. Live better. To bring it full circle, the rashes look better than they ever have but are still visible. I’ll keep you posted once I have a full recovery on that point. Have a great week, Y’all!