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

What every care giver must know for their own health!

the following information comes from this talk:

When the body says no- caring for ourselves while caring for others. Dr. Gabor Mate

To summarize this fascinating talk as briefly as possible requires a short medical lesson. Bear with me!

At the end of our chromosomes (the strands that make up DNA) are telomeres. A telomere is a sequence of repetitive nucleotides that keep the chromosome intact)

Without telomeres the strand of DNA would unwind and become unstable. Telomeres are long when we are born and shorten over time. This is one of the key factors of aging and disease.

*

Without a telomere our DNA would “unravel” causing whatever cell that happens to be to malfunction.

*

It has been found that caregivers of chronically ill babies have shortened telomeres. They are prematurely shortened by up to ten years!

Even though they rate mortality by different diseases, I always thought it strange that the focus wasn’t on stress. Stress really is the number one killer. What does it matter if it’s cancer or heart disease or something else? You’ll be dead as a result of any of them which are all ultimately caused by some form of stress. Stress on the body…perhaps from the mind.

For example: Instead of focusing on lowering cholesterol by restricting what we eat, if one focuses on stress- relief and being happy I believe the body will reduce its own cholesterol.** I will be posting a lot more about this with links and resources in the future.

I’m trying to post encouragement and ideas for stress relief in this blog for caregivers of all kinds as well as parents of medically complex children. If you read the above text about caregiving, you might realize that we all do more caregiving than we realize. Having a family is caregiving. Looking in on your neighbor is caregiving. Running errands for elderly parents is caregiving. You might be caring for one medically complex child or caregiving for a lot of different people.

The rest of the talk is also interesting and goes into the importance of having someone to talk with for stress reduction. People who hold it all in suffer from shorter telomeres than people who share their feelings. Even when they both have similar situations, the ones who share their feelings are healthier in this way.

Please remember to take care of yourselves. Your own life depends on it. As a caregiver for seriously ill children, I have to consciously make efforts to incorporate stress relief into my daily life. I’ll be sharing a bunch of tips with you in these blog posts. I do hope this is an eye- opener though and really emphasizes the importance of self-care. I am one who is learning self-care later in life. After years of being a “giver” and feeling like a bad person if I wasn’t, my life is changing for the better. I’m getting back to true health slowly. Not just physical but mental, emotional, spiritual, family, relationships, work and total overall health.

Self-care is something I wish I’d learned about a long time ago. My hope is to help others become aware of its importance.

May you be happy and well!

*Credit for genetics photos

**I am not a medical doctor and do not diagnose or prescribe. These are my opinions only. Please see and follow your own physician’s advice, do your own research and form a conclusion for a treatment plan that is right for you.

What is a warrior?

We may all believe we are warriors in our own right, and maybe it is so for some.

But what is a warrior? A true warrior?

Here’s a modern definition I came across online:

Neither is he a “peaceful warrior of the spirit.” True, warriors can be peaceful, and they can certainly be spiritual, but they are also capable of inflicting injury and death on a real enemy in the physical and spiritual worlds. It is a warrior’s honour and code which tempers his actions.

Spartan Code

The Spartan Warrior was a true warrior. He was plucked from his family at a young age, taught to read and write, also to become nimble through dance and exercise. By the time he was 12 he was given less food than needed to survive so that he fend for himself through stealing. If caught, he would be punished, not for stealing, but for getting caught. He lived only with other Spartans. He had minimal clothes and no shoes as to learn to withstand the elements. He slept on reeds. He exercised and trained every day for many hours past exhaustion. He wasn’t allowed to go to the market or speak to others who weren’t Spartans until the age of 30. Trained for battle, his code was his life. His shield was used to protect his fellow Spartan to the left, not himself. Working as a team they shielded each other. Spears forward, shielded by each other, they concentrated not on their own safety (because they trusted each other) but the task at hand. The only rest a Spartan got was during an actual battle.**

Check out these shutterstock images:

I’m not justifying the ways of the Spartan as it was a form of slavery and brain washing without doubt. But I am amazed at what a human can do when pushed to the limits. I hope to never be in a situation such as they were.

I’m also bringing to light the true meaning of the word that so many people use these days.

Are you a modern-day warrior? Do you know a warrior?

I’m not a warrior. I do my part and definitely stand up for what I believe. My strongest attribute is advocating for my patients. I’m a fighter, in a sense, because I would never abandon my patients no matter how difficult the shift or task may be. Somehow I get through it. Even when I’ve had to do the unthinkable I do what has to be done. I trust and rely on my colleagues to help me when needed. I utilize every skill I have to save their lives.

I know our men and women in the military are sacrificing and have sacrificed a lot. Many of them sacrificed their their lives. Yes, they are true warriors in my book. Heroes.

I’ll tell who the true warriors are in MY world.

The true warriors are the mothers and fathers of medically fragile babies or children. Especially the mothers of these children. They get up every time their child cries, exhausted or not, fight for that child, protect that child. They do without many things for themselves. Tirelessly, they keep pushing themselves to learn more about their child’s illness, seek treatments, sit with their child through those treatments. They shield their children rather than themselves. They would sleep on couches or floors to be closer to their child, go without food or a blanket, let alone a shower, if need be. With “spears forward” they fight whatever setbacks they get along the way.

I feel for my pediatric patients, I do. It’s my job to care for them and keep them safe. Each one has a piece of my heart. I am rooting for each and every one of them. I worry about them when they have a surgery or procedures. How can I not? I’m with one patient 40+ hours per week. I clean them up after they are sick, feed them, change their diapers, rock them to sleep, play with them, as well as do my best to comfort them on those unthinkable bad days, in addition to all the actual nursing duties involving equipment and procedures.

But I feel more for the moms. They aren’t my patients and there’s not a whole lot I can do for them except to take care of their babies the best I can. I know that means a lot to them. What they go through, though, is horrendous. It’s unthinkable. It’s devastating and heartbreaking. Honestly, I can’t even think of a word to actually describe the pain that I sometimes witness in them because the situation is so awful. Most of the parents of the pediatric parties I’ve had have questioned at some point whether or not their child would survive. I know that with every fiber of their being all they want is for their child to be well, yet they have to see them sick and in pain, sometimes suffering. It’s hard for them to find any time for themselves. They are exhausted yet somehow always find strength. Too many days are spent with doctors, at hospitals having procedures or surgeries. I’ve had babies that have had 6 surgeries before their first birthday and more to come. Zero days are spent being a “normal” family. What is normal for them? They give medications and deal with medical equipment on a daily basis. They have nurses in their home all the time, occupational, physical, sometimes speech, massage and music therapists regularly coming and going.

This is not to say that their children do not bring them immense pleasure and joy because they certainly do. It’s just not the life they chose or ever expected. They were thrust into it and made to deal with it.

I wonder then if a warrior is ever a warrior by choice? It seems to me that we humans have a way of adapting far beyond our comprehension. The will to survive and protect what is “ours” is miraculous. The capacity to recover from loss is also remarkable. To go on despite it all.

After being a nurse for 21 years, I’ve often found myself saying, “I hope I never have to find out how strong I am.”

*

If you happen to know a mom who has a medically complex child, why not bring her family a meal or offer to do some housework for them?

Count your blessings tonight. May you be happy and well. May all beings live their lives with ease.

Love,

*The source is a site called Angelfire. I do not recommend you go to it. It tried to spam me but I still wanted to include the quote because I like it.

**Interesting read