In November 2018 I developed a horrible hot spot on the back of my neck. It was really painful, itched night and day and was oozing and scabbing over. I tried my normal natural remedies to no avail, some OTC itch creams, nothing worked. I tried some detoxing in terms of essential oils and strengthening my gut with probiotics, nothing.
I saw doctors, a dermatologist, and eventually a naturopath who diagnosed me with a severe Candida overgrowth.
What is Candida
Candida is a microorganism that lives inside everyone. Usually it lives in harmony, unless your immune system lowers and the Candida starts to over multiply. When it multiplies, it grows to a point it starts to deteriorate your body from the inside out. Candida is strong and resilient and sends cravings for the things that keep it alive (sugar and yeast), the more you eat, the more it thrives. In a less stellar definition my naturopath told me it starts to decompose your body while you’re still alive. Bleh, I’ll never forget that definition for as long as I live.
I had low key researched about Candida and tried a very loose candida diet in January 2019 in which my rash did improve. The part I didn’t do was, starve the Candida out completely, so the moment I resumed eating anything with yeast or sugar in it, my rash came back, worse than before.
How do you know you have Candida?
There’s a few questionnaires you can self do online and if you score a certain amount it’s a 99% guarantee you have an overgrowth.
There’s a spit test in a glass of water you can do
As well as a doctor given skin test
More than 80% of the population has a candida overgrowth and doesn’t realize it. Mainly because of our diet choices.
How do you get rid of Candida?
Just like with ANY gut related disorder, FOOD. Food is the ONLY 100% effective way to be rid of a Candida overgrowth. You have to literally starve the Candida out. Depending on the severity of the overgrowth you’re looking at a 30 day very strict, no cheating purge diet and then years to rebuild your microbiome in your gut to prevent against a further attack. There is no short cut. No magic drink, pill, etc. The only way to get rid of it, is diet changes.
What’s the diet?
The diet I used that actually worked (I’ve tried varying levels of Candida diets) was the one recommended by MLIS. Nothing else truly rid my body, my daughter’s or my husband’s body of Candida until this diet.
This diet was difficult. We had been vegan for several years and Paleo for years before vegan, so we had to go back to eating things we hadn’t eaten for nearly 5 years. We had severe detox symptoms for the first 4-14 days. My daughter would throw up water, I felt like I had the flu, and my husband was sleeping a lot, aching, and we were all irritable. Once we passed the 14 day mark it was as though the rainbows and unicorns came out. All of it was gone. And we felt incredible. My daughter wasn’t a picky eater anymore, my husband was getting more restful sleep, I felt alive and full of energy. This was really incredible.
Did you have any complications? Setbacks?
Oh did I. Well when we started this extreme candida starvation diet, turns out I was pregnant with our second daughter. So I battled Candida my entire pregnancy. I had to really watch my sugar and yeast intake or I would have a flare up. My body couldn’t grow a baby AND fully purge the Candida at the same time. It also was not wise to restrict fruits during a pregnancy as women really need well rounded nutrition during times of pregnancy.
We also had a cruise vacation in April 2019, in which the cruise had 0 candida friendly options available for all three meals. I cried a lot on that cruise and will probably forever hate Carnival for their lack of solutions for dietary restrictions.The way they handled our situation was just awful and we never received a reply from corporate after our very lengthy email describing in detail everything that went wrong.
We also moved to Germany in May 2019 and it took a long while to translate ingredients and learn what was safe to eat and not safe to eat.
I hired a dietician who claimed to be knowledgeable in Candida for my postpartum period to help me rid my body once and for all as pregnancy/birth can amplify an overgrowth, she wound up not being knowledgeable at all and I had a severe outbreak in November 2019, one month after she was born.
Needless to say I started relying less on “professionals” and becoming my own expert researcher and figuring out what was working for my body and my family. I now know enough about Candida and my body to know if I have a rash breakout if it is food related or emotional instantly.
Standby for part 2 on the protocols we used and what we do when we do overindulge in sugar and yeast on special occassions.