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My war against candida

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Yesterday was a real shit show. I woke up feeling flu like and lethargic, and by mid morning, I had a throbbing headache, couldn’t think straight, was completely bloated (AGAIN), felt like I was getting a yeast infection, and had the personality of a cranky wildebeest. I would also claw someone’s eyes out for a “hit” of carbs or sweets. No matter what I ate, my mind wandered to cookies, candy, and soda.This continued all. freaking. day.

Things really hit the fan when I got home from work and spent an hour attempting to make some sort of modified eggless/flourless/dairyless morning muffin that basically turned into oily turds in a muffin pan when I finished. I completely lost my shit when Hubs said he would prefer to eat soup from a can instead of the salmon I had also made, and then I spent a half an hour crying in the bathtub about the futility of “it all”–whatever “it all” is. Fertility? Diet? Job? The noxious fumes leaving my ass at 20 minute intervals?

The final straw was this morning (at 2AM) when I woke up drenched in sweat, and desperately craving sugar of any kind.

I got out of bed and Dr. Googled “night sweats and elimination diet”, but what I came up with wasn’t really about my “gluten free” elimination diet specifically. It was about my dear friend, candida, and the “candida elimination diet”. This diet is very similar to my elimination diet, only it is done to rid the body of candida. It basically eliminates all sugars, all alcohol, and all carbs in an attempt to “starve out” the yeast producing bacteria from your system. The only problem is, when the candida is being starved out, it releases toxins into your system when it dies, causing what is known as the “Herxheimer Reaction”. It’s basically candida’s final “fuck you” for trying to kill it.

Common symptoms of the Herxheimer Effect include:

1. Night Sweats

2. Headaches

3. Gas and Bloating

4. Depression and moodiness

5. Yeast infection symptoms/ hives

6. Cravings for Carbs and Sweets

Basically, every single one of my symptoms. The die off usually occurs about a week after the diet starts, which may explain why I went from feeling pretty decent on Day 4, to complete and utter doo doo on Day 6 and 7.

Here’s a picture of candida albicans. Does everything have to look like a sperm and an egg to me?

I have been a sufferer of yeast infections for as long as I can remember. I’ll get about 3 of them per year, some worse than others. In college, it was very bad, and I once had one for about six months. It’s weird to think that in my quest to help straighten out my system, I’ve stumbled on a diet that may actually be clearing up a systemic problem that was always sort of lurking in the background. The more I look into symptoms of systemic candida overgrowth, the more I realize that the problem I have with yeast could have been far worse than I imagined.

SO wish me luck. If my symptoms today are anything like they were yesterday, I’m going to need it. I am not giving up this fight that easily.