Today is day seven of a yeast-free diet, and I’ve only had one severe emotional meltdown so far. :/
The good news is that I’ve already lost 5 lbs (2kg).
Last year, a friend of mine, who is HIV positive, told me about candida overgrowth in the body. He told me that for someone with HIV, it’s easy to fall prey to candida overgrowth if one has a bad diet. This can lead to complications such as chronic joint pain and dangerous gastrointestional issues.
He told me that he was using black walnut coptis to help purge the candidas. He was also using ozone enemas to keep his colon clean of yeast overgrowth.
For a person with HIV or AIDS, yeast overgrowth can be a death knell.
Anyway, I’d told him about my menstrual issues and how I also get serious gastrointestional problems every month. I told him I felt it was adhesions on my intestines from endometriosis.
Then one day in July, 2005 while we were talking, I told my friend that I’d just been pre-diagnosed with IBS, pending results of a stool sample. I didn’t believe the doctor’s initial diagnosis, and was venting to my friend about it.
That’s when my friend informed me that he didn’t believe I had IBS, either, but that I might have candida overgrowth, and he gave me some black walnut coptis and a blend of herbs to use in a tea.
Well… I didn’t follow through and use the stuff he’d given me, because I wanted to research it myself first before using it.
I never did get the results of my stool sample, so I’m gonna call the doctor tomorrow (it’s a clinic in Oakland, so even though I lost my health insurance in January, I could still go back to that clinic by filing for indigent care).
Anyway, the doctor was sure I had IBS before even having me submit a sample, and she had me monitor my diet and see what caused diarrhea or constipation.
I found out that I’m sensitive to ALL bean protein, right down to carob, coffee and green bean. I confirmed that I’m also sensitive to onions and bell peppers (I’d known this before by paying attention to effects post ingestion).
But that alone is not IBS, I argued the doctor. She simply stated that there is not one static definition of IBS – that it can be a number of things that contribute to it, and so she felt certain that she could say I have it.
That’s when I stopped going to that clinic.
And I still haven’t researched the herbs and coptis that my friend had given me.
But I did take his words to heart, and about a month ago, I made up my mind to start preparing for going on a yeast-free diet to see if I have candida overgrowth and if I can become more pain-free and lose weight in the process.
I started reading stuff on the Internet and I got diet tips on what to eat and what not to eat while on a yeast free diet. I’ve even ordered two cheapola used books, and I’m waiting for those to arrive.
On Monday, April 24th, pantry stocked and ready to go, I quit eating anything with sugar, including anything with even fake sugar such as sucralose in it. I quit cold turkey.
Since making fake meat tacos was easiest, by mid-week I was jokingly calling this the taco diet, because I’d eaten several taco meals by then. ;)
So all last week consisted of drinking water wtih every meal, or a cup of rice milk. I drank water every time I felt hungry, which was often, being that I wasn’t grazing throughout the day on popcorn, chocolate and other crap.
The first night of the diet, I had a nightmare.
I had another nightmare on the 28th, and another one this morning. I also had an emotional meltdown following the dream on the 28th. The meltdown lasted all day, complete with suicidal ideation and catatonic-like moments.
During all of that, I remembered something my above-mentioned friend had told me last year, about when he’d gone on a yeast-free diet. He’d said that the first week on it, the urge to go buy a candy bar was so strong that he thought he might lose his mind. He hypothesised that the candida, being a fungus, will overtake their host to get the food they need to keep reproducing. In a human, this leads to a hijacking of the body (host) and the brain, according to my friend, and therefore one may find all their thoughts devoted to feeding the bastard fungus more and more sugar so it can continue overtaking the host.
I agree with him. According to Wikipedia,
Yeasts and other unicellular fungi can reproduce simply by budding, or “pinching off” a new cell. Many multicellular species produce a variety of different asexual spores that are easily dispersed and resistant to harsh environmental conditions. When the conditions are right, these spores will germinate and colonize new habitats.
Sounds like an X-File, doesn’t it?
You think you have free will to go get a candy bar, but it’s really just the candidas working your thought processes. “Feed me, Seymour!”
So once I remembered my friend’s hypothesis, I had renewed determination to give this fungus the smackdown.
Can’t say it’s been easy, though. While I can boast that yesterday I stood around in a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop watching two friends enjoy their desserts without giving in or even so much as begging and crying for ice cream, today was different. Today the urge was so strong that I caved in and drank one of my boyfriend’s sugar-free lemonade drinks. It contains sucralose.
This, after I’d had an Atkins protein drink for breakfast, which also contains sucralose.
I get gurgly stomach/intestines even on fake sugar at the moment, so I have to keep it very minimal.
George will be here by Friday, so I’m chalking this up to PMS cravings as well as the bastard fungus shaking me to the very fibre of my being to feed them.
I noticed some pre-menstrual pain on the 27th and 28th, and today I had a quick stab in the anus. So I know that despite two weeks on the yeast-free/sugar-free diet, this menstrual cycle likely won’t be any different than usual, insofar as pain goes.
That’s why I’m going to give this diet 4-6 months, so I can really monitor over time any changes in my pain. And well, an awesome side benefit will be weight loss, as I’ve said.