Candida Overgrowth Awareness

Lots of people are walking around with vague but disturbing symptoms and can’t figure out why they feel so drained and sick all the time.

They may be able to function but the energy and motivation is lacking or they tend to be a person who gets sick all the time with colds, have allergies or lots of GI symptoms (especially bloating). They can’t quite pinpoint the cause and doctors can’t find anything wrong (because quite frankly they aren’t looking for candida overgrowth).

Check out the symptoms below and see if any of them sound familiar.

If you have several of the above symptoms (especially if you consider yourself a carb addict) it is worth a try to eat from the candida diet. I’ve linked a bunch of good information below if you want to delve into the causes, treatments and what research is being done about candida.

The good news is that the damage it has done can be reversible. But remember…

This diet is not easy. If you have candida you are well aware that trying to cut carbs and sugar sometimes feels as bad as it would to deprive yourself of air. That candida wants to live and needs sugar and carbs for its survival. This diet is killing those little jerks. You have to be stronger than they are!

The foods list is here but I’ve made a cheat sheet for shopping purposes.

(This list is phase one of the candida diet, by the way. After a while on the above list you can start to incorporate other foods. You want to add things slowly so you can tell what intolerances you have or what food aggravate your symptoms. This list is where you start though. I highly encourage delving into this link to read a lot more about it.)

A general guide of food to avoid is at this link.

I’m on a water fast right now (which I’ll also blog about) but plan to start this diet as soon as my fast is complete. I, personally, know that I need to reboot my gut health because I have actually been diagnosed with candida overgrowth and leaky gut.

I’ve put it off because, quite frankly, my symptoms weren’t bad enough for me to stick with it. The candida makes you want carbs so badly and it’s difficult to start or stay on this diet. However, when people suffer enough they are usually more open to change. That’s where I am now. The bloating, nausea, inability to lose weight and constant fatigue has finally taken its toll on me.

If you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired you may want to give this a go as well! Unless you have other health conditions that restrict the way you eat like diabetes, kidney disease, etc, it’s a safe and healthy way to eat in which you’ll not only get rid of candida overgrowth but can start to heal leaky gut, if you have it, as well as lose weight and feel better overall.

Let me know if you’re going to try it!

I’ll post my progress under the category/tag “journal/personal” if you want to follow!

May you be happy and well,

Here are some interesting things to read:

CDC says antifungal resistance is a real problem.

Amy Myers, MD explains candida overgrowth

For the nerds like me. How they are studying Candida albicans.

Scientific proof that candida affects the immune system

Good information about candida and holistic treatments

How to beat dry skin for good!

There are a lot of types and reasons for dry skin:

  • Winter dry skin from lack of moisture in the environment.
  • Dry hands from use of detergents or chemicals
  • Chronically dry heels
  • Flaky dry skin from sun exposure
  • Facial dryness from using strong products like Benzoyl Peroxide.
  • Dry cuticles from using hand sanitizer or biting your nails.
  • Rough, dry hands from working with your hands
  • Being born with skin on the dry side.

As a nurse, I’ve seen them all. I was certified as a wound nurse, worked for a dermatologist and a plastic surgeon so I know about skin.

Here’s my nursing advice (Does it take the place of seeing a doctor? No. Could it help you until you can get there? Most likely, yes).

My disclaimer here is that if you have any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, pain, heat, discharge or odor, these tips are not for you and will not help you. You need to see a doctor right away. If you have any signs of allergic reaction such as swelling, hives, itching, redness you should also see your doctor so it doesn’t turn into an infection and you can find out what your allergic to.

Furthermore, if you have anything more than just dry skin such as a wound or clinically diagnosed eczema, psoriasis, etc, this post is also not for you.

Ok, shall we begin?

Dry Skin:

1. No hot water. Bathe when necessary only.

Hot water exacerbates dry skin. If you don’t have dry skin, you will if you continue to take very hot showers or baths. It strips the natural layer of oils your body has produced on your skin for protection. (This layer is called the acid mantle).

2. Use Ivory. Pits and privates only.

You do not need to soap up your whole body. Bacteria and body odor occur in the armpits and gential areas.

3. Olive oil in the bath.

One teaspoon does the trick.

4. Olive oil after bath while skin still wet.

Towel dry but try to mostly pat to keep the olive oil on. This is key: lotion and oils do not ADD moisture, they work by keeping moisture in. If you put lotion/oils on dry hands they are a lot less effective (but better than nothing).

Very Dry Skin:

All of the above plus…

5. Apply lotion 2-3 times per day to driest areas.

Use lotion that contains “dimethicone.” It helps seal in the moisture. A brand I like is Aveeno.

Extremely Dry Skin:

All of the above except: skip step 5 and replace with step 6.

6. Apply Aquaphor instead of lotion morning and night on the driest areas.

Avoid Aquaphor in creases of the skin such as groin or under breasts. Avoid using any lotions, creams or ointments in between your toes as it will cause a fungal infection.

Use Aquaphor on dry hands, arms and legs. It may be uncomfortable to have ointment on during the day. If that’s the case, apply at night. For better results, cover the area. Your legs can be covered with long socks or an ace bandage wrapped (not too tightly). Your arms can be covered with cotton sleeves. Even if you don’t want to wear a full shirt you can cut the sleeves off of a cotton shirt and use them to cover your arms or legs.

Miscellaneous:

  • Drink enough water. Chapped lips and dry skin are a sign of dehydrated skin. Drinking water helps. If your skin is dehydrated, you might be dehydrated inside as well.
  • Use sunscreen regularly, not just when your going to the beach or park.
  • Wear gloves if you work with your hands. Mechanics: wear gloves when you can. Gardeners, outdoor workers of all kinds, woodworkers, etc. wear gloves when you can. I realize it’s not always possible. Use extra lotion whenever possible if you can’t wear gloves.
  • Wear appropriate gloves if using any chemicals. This includes regular household cleaners. Bleach and other cleaners will strip the natural acid mantel (oils your skin produces) in a hot second.
  • Keep skin covered when outdoors to avoid the elements.
  • Wear a hat to protect your head and face when working or playing outdoors.
  • Avoid peak sun when working outdoors.
  • Be aware of hidden chemicals. Read labels of all products you put on your skin.
  • Wash hands thoroughly of any chemicals after you’ve used them but don’t over wash hands in general.
  • For dry cracked heels, exfoliate them with a pumice stone or special tool used for this and sleep with Aquaphor and socks for a few nights. (Be sure to avoid putting any lotions, creams or ointments between your toes).
  • For those thick dry heels that tend to get painful cracks: cleanse and dry well. Make sure the area is thoroughly dry. Inspect it to make sure it’s nothing more than a crack from dryness and there’s not an open wound (any drainage or redness around it, etc). Carefully apply a drop or two of super glue right into the crack. Yes, Super glue . Then, being careful to not get super glue on fingers, pinch the skin closed until dry. This should last a couple of days before having to repeat it. It’s a tip learned from working for a dermatologist. Use at your own risk and don’t blame me if you glue your fingers to your heel or cannot differentiate between a wound or dry heel crack. Use your best judgment or go to your doctor if you feel the need. if you’re afraid to use superglue you can try “New Skin” or “Wound Seal.” They even sell a brand for pets called “3M Vetbond Tissie Adhesive.”

A tiny story here. Once an elderly gentleman came hobbling into the dermatologist’s office with very painful cracked heels. He was really miserable since it was affecting the way he walked this wasn’t as active as he had been. Doctor gave him the super glue tip. He came back for a follow up. He started dancing with a big smile on his face. It was wonderful. Such a simple, inexpensive fix.

Also, super glue was originally made in 1942 to seal wounds quickly on the battlefields during WW2. The original formula didn’t work as well as they’d hoped for that purpose but today surgeons use a variation of the same idea. It works really well too. I’ve seen it a lot!

There you have it!

I hope this helps!

If you like posts like this please give it a like. If you have any suggestions for future health lists let me know in the comments!

Be happy and well!

  • How to boost your mood and get out of a funk.

    I’m not happy all the time. But, I do try to find something to be happy about every day. Even through depression and anxiety l have managed to do so almost every day of my life. Yes, I truly have depression and understand it better than I ever would have wanted to, and yes, I’ve found something to be happy about on my deepest darkest days when it felt like the world was caving in on me.

    How?

    Well, I’m not an expert by any means but have figured out my own ways, the hard way. That’s why I’m putting these in steps for someone who may benefit from my trials and errors over the years. They are working for me, anyway. My disclaimer here is that if you are suffering from severe depression or have suicidal thoughts: this is not for you. You should, instead, seek the help of a doctor ASAP or call a suicide help line.

    In the United States you can call: The National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255. They also serve Veterans.

    This is for people who have manageable depressive episodes or occasionally find themselves in a rut or “funk” as I call it. It’s worse than just feeling “blah” and can last days or weeks but isn’t as bad as suicidal thoughts or inability to function.

    1. Anytime you have a negative thought, find ONE thing to be grateful for. Just one thing can spark hope and begin to change your mood to a more positive one. You might have to do this 100 times in a day. Keep at it.

    2. Listen to your body. If you need to move then move but if you need to rest then rest. Oversleeping to the point of not wanting to get out of bed for days on end isn’t healthy. But if your mind is racing or dwelling it might be good to just get some sleep. I have found that if I’m in a funk and force myself into the bathtub, I just take the same mood with me there and back out. Sleeping is restorative and natural. You may wake up with a new perspective. Many times, for me, answers come to me in my dreams. On the other hand, exercise releases endorphins and can be an excellent natural antidepressant. Listen to your body. Our bodies have a way of telling us what we need.

    3. Eat healthy. I always feel worse when I eat carbs and snacks out of depression. Somehow it makes my mood even more depressed. You may crave it but I suggest avoiding it. Have something simple and at least semi-healthy.

    4. Understand that nothing lasts forever. Whatever you’re going through may be really tough but it will get better once you reach the other side of it. I try to think of mental situations as hills I’m climbing. It gets hard, then harder and hardest yet, but then you get to the point that you get passed the hard part and the next situation is much easier. When you’re feeling your worst you just have to keep going to get THROUGH it. Whatever it is, it will not last forever. If you’re lucky you’ll get to enjoy the view from the top (better situation), enjoy the hike down and maybe even stay in a valley for a while before the next unfavorable situation comes along. This is just life. But when you’re going through the hard part, I understand it feels like it may never end. It will end though.

    5. Have a self-care “kit.” It’s not really a physical kit (but could be if you want to make a box especially for this). I use these things regularly but moreso when I’m sad or in a funk.

    Here’s what’s in mine:

    • A Pinterest board full of inspirations, motivational quotes, happy images and saying that are pertinent to me and my personal journey. This is one board I’ve marked private that I keep for times when I’m down. Please note: this is not the board where you pin all the things you want but don’t have. That’s not fun when you’re feeling down. Don’t even look at those.
    • Massage tool (or your hands) and oils for self-massage. I’d love to go get a full body massage whenever I want but that is too expensive for me. Next best thing is to massage my own neck and shoulders (Use coconut or olive oil. It makes all the difference). I actually even keep one of those cheapy plastic massage tools you can find at WalMart or Walgreens in my bathtub as well so I can work the knots out of my neck and the top part of my back when I’m soapy. Also be sure to stretch many times throughout the day.
    • Journal. There is a trick to journaling though! Do not journal the negative stuff! You may feel that you’re getting it off your chest so to speak but honestly, you’re still just dwelling. Come up with SOLUTIONS to the problems or make a gratitude list. I have collected a gazillion journal “prompts” and have them on a Pinterest board. You want to take your mind OFF of the situations that have you down and turn your mood around.
    • A friend. I try not to “dump” on the same friend all the time. Let’s be real. That’s what it feels like. If you have ongoing depression it may seem like that’s all you’re doing is complaining over and over again. If you have a trusted friend, partner, family member, whom you know is supportive, that’s the one to go to. Always ask them first if they are in a good place mentally for you to vent and be respectful and UNoffended if they are not. You don’t want to drag anyone else down with you.
    • My dogs. No explanation necessary. Soooo therapeutic!
    • Nature. Having sunlight, for me, is critical for my mental health. I once worked in a cubicle. That lasted 3 months. It was torture! I even have a special light bulb that imitates the sun that I sit under on cloudy days. If we can (hubby and I), we like to go on hikes in the Colorado Rockies. It does take a little planning and is usually an all day thing. Sometimes I feel so badly I just can’t. This may be better categorized as a prevention. The sunshine though; it’s a must!
    • A note-taking app. I have made many notes that are uplifting and encouraging that I keep in a list app. I use “Evernote,” but any note-making app should do. I have a few favorite photos in there, some inspirational quotes or reminders to myself, poems, a little journaling. It’s nice to have when you can’t have an actual paper journal. I still prefer the pen and paper kind though.
    • Meditation. I do it every chance I can even if it’s only for a few minutes. When I first started meditating I could only sit still for one minute. I can now sit for hours at a time. Sometimes my hubby thinks I’m asleep but I’m fully awake. Since I’ve been meditating I’ve realized how much hubby moves. He never sits still unless I do a guided mediation for him. If you don’t already meditate, I highly suggest you start. It won’t seem beneficial at first. It may even feel like a struggle, but once you get into it you WILL notice a difference. It’s like this special, secret place you can go to anytime you’re stressed where you can tune out the noise of the world and your own mind. Plus, you can do it anywhere! You can do a walking meditation, sitting, lying or even standing in line at the grocery store (though it won’t be as deep of one but it’s still something). I have had some AMAZING insights (and visions!) when I’ve gone into deep meditation. The most important thing about meditation is not controlling your mind. That never works. It is to be the observer of your thoughts and emotions while allowing them come and go. I’ll have to do a blog post about this because I have some tips I’ve learned a lot the way that could be helpful.
    • Not for everyone, I know, but alternative/holistic healing. They are now doing scientific studies on the benefits of energy healing. We’ve known for years that the placebo effect works for some people. (Not that energy work is a placebo! Just mentioning that the energy of our mind is very strong). We’ve also known that just thinking positively absolutely has the power to heal. I actually invoke that positive energy and use visualization to surround myself with it as an imaginary white light. I use grounding techniques as well as energy protection etc. Essential oils, acupressure on my feet and hands and light therapy all help me when I’m down.
  • I hope that you can use some of my tips. Let me know what you think! Is this type of post helpful to anyone? Do you have other tips you can add in the comments? If so, I would truly love to hear them!

    May you be happy and well,