Tuesday, May 03, 2011

update for those suffering from redundant colon/digestive issues

So it appears I have some more answers regarding my digestive wars.

In addition to the lovely colon issues, I've also developed candida, aka a yeast takeover.

I won't go into all the specifics right now because I'm still in the process of figuring out the best approach for treatment. I will say, a medical doctor did not diagnose this. It was through the help of a nutritionist friend of mine as well as a naturopath that finally shed light on what has been wreaking havoc on my insides and making my digestive life hell. The one GOOD thing is that I do not have any symptoms outside of the gut (in regards to yeast overgrowth). I have only had one yeast infection *down there* and that was years ago in college. I also don't have skin disorders or athlete's foot (as far as I know?) but I did have a yuck toe a while back so who knows if that's related. But, in addition to the gut, I have a host of other symptoms that are not pretty and I was going out of my mind trying to manage them. It finally became unbearable.

And are you ready for the best part? I have probably been susceptible to this most of my adult life based on my history with antibiotics in the past, (was on them ALL THE TIME in college for strep throat until I finally got my tonsils out) and that is a huge contributing factor to candida growth. However, my body was able to fight it off naturally. It wasn't until moving here that this shit (or yeast) hit the fan and spiraled out of control. And here's one reason why...

"Vitamin D is another nutrient that is essential to healing. The majority of people today are deficient in Vitamin D. The best way to get Vitmain D is through exposure to the sun. Our skin uses the rays from the sun to manufacture Vitamin D. 

Most of us work during the day so we are not able to get adequate sun exposure. A fair-skinned Caucasian needs 30 minutes of exposure on half of their body per day in the summer. In the winter, the time needed is increased. The darker your skin tone, the more exposure you need.

The artificial form of Vitamin D added to milk and other foods does not have the same beneficial effects as natural Vitamin D. If you cannot get adequate sun exposure, then you need to supplement with a natural Vitamin D product. I recommend a Vitamin D Spray"

This information above is from this site and while I pop vitamin d pills like candy, it's still not enough. Plus I am cold, like not just "oh I'm a little chilly", I mean my hands and feet and face are ice cold to the touch. In order to help fight the candida attacking the body your body temperature needs to be regulated. I think the reason it has been so bad these past couple months is that we are still coming off a cold, wet winter (moldy environments are really bad for candida) and that is just what it needs to take over. Now people may look at me crazy (this has happened) because I have literally raced home when I see a glimmer of the sun appear and strip down half naked and stand in the rays in my bedroom with the door open. I've been doing this even in the winter months when it's cold, even before I knew about the candida. It's as if my body was telling me GET IN THAT SUN NOW. So hopefully, once it warms up and we have more consistent sunshine (fingers crossed?) that my symptoms will be somewhat alleviated for a while.

I'm also pretty sure this is why I'm still struggling with the adjustments of moving here.  It's been very challenging at times, affecting me physically and mentally and after feeling "off" for so long, I felt defeated and was ready to accept this is just how it's got to be. I am sooooo grateful for those who wouldn't let me give in to this and kept pushing me even though I was being a stubborn beast. And I won't be going back to my medical doctor anytime soon. 

Just wanted to pass this along to others who may be trying to figure out what is going on with their own stomach issues. Candida can also lead to a variety of other medical conditions (ADD/ADHD, depression, eye problems, eczema, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and cancer and typically the doctors are treating only those, before discovering the root cause. As I'm still figuring this out, I'll be avoiding all dairy, sugar, gluten and alcohol because it's been 8 days since I've had any and the results are already very positive. Oh and vinegar is another one to avoid. Learned that the hard way after having a little basalmic vinegar on a very bland salad. And one more thing, in an earlier post I mentioned how I would have horrible nausea after drinking the Almond Milk by Silk, and that was because it was reacting to the existing stuff in my gut. Before throwing it out, I waited a few more days and tried it again and was able to tolerate it. The nausea has greatly subsided but as the candida die off there are a host of other side effects. And that's what brings me to the now, trying to manage the best course of action to treat this with the least amount of side effects. 

With the support of dear friends, family as well as folks with the knowledge behind this, I'm hopeful to get this under control and start feeling healthy again. And once that happens I know I'll come to embrace everything about living here (fingers crossed again!) I love EVERYTHING else about being here! I really do. 

And if anyone has any questions please feel free to let me know. I only hope by posting this, that others may be able to benefit if they are struggling from something unknown too.

Don't give up!


karen gerstenberger said...

Laura, my dear friend Rita had been through this with her MD/Naturopath. She had terrible digestive issues (even went to the ER sometimes due to pain) and was eventually diagnosed with just what you wrote about. I would be happy to put you in touch with her if it would help. She has done lots of food testing and if I remember rightly, you are doing exactly what she did. I am so thankful that you discovered this!
Isn't it amazing how our bodies are so finely tuned? And what potential healing power is in just a little bit of knowledge? I will not be surprised if cancer turns out to be much more holistically treatable than is now believed.
YOU GO, GIRL! xoxoxo

Smileygirl said...

Thank you sweet love. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend but it sounds like she is on the right path too. And the pain is sometimes so unbearable that you think there is hot lava inside your belly. Can she eat dairy and sugar again or is she going to have to eliminate those for good? The Naturopath here in W. Seattle is amazing. And, it's all covered by insurance now. Finally, things are catching on! I have another appt. next week and she wants to test for allergies, sensitivities and also parasites! YUCKIII I can tell you more (if you even want to know about this!) on Saturday. So excited to see you. It's been too long. XOXO

karen gerstenberger said...

I can ask her about dairy & sugar, but I think she avoids them - and alcohol. And wheat was off for a long time, if I remember rightly. She has been on the new plan for several years, and went through the same business with antibiotics and candida - and the MD not reallly "believing" her! She found an MD who was also a naturopath, and that helped. It took time and patience, but she was very, very persistent and she didn't give up! And now she's much better. She has learned what she can & cannot eat, and her husband basically eats whatever she can, so she's not cooking two different meals all the time. There are lots of gluten-free options now - even a gluten-free bakery here!
Can't wait to see you, too! xoxoxo

Diane said...

Laura, I've had stomach issues for so many years and doctors can't help... I know what those sharp pains feel like and how they rob you of fun!!

Everything I eat is difficult and my energy in the last year has declined :-( I'm going to try juicing to see if that works! I've always exercised and ran 3 = 1/2 marathons last year and climbed Mt. Whitney.

I am so tired of this, I would love to have 1 week with no stomach aches... I hope you find the answer for YOU and would love to hear what WORKS for you!

My best to you,

Smileygirl said...

Diane, see if you can find a trusted Naturopath. Your symptoms sound very similar to a candida condition. I hope you find answers but it might not hurt to cut out dairy, gluten and sugar and see if you start to feel better in a week or so. Also taking probiotics and digestive enzymes may be helpful as well. A week without stomach pain is a very good goal to have! Don't give up.

Diane said...

Laura, wow, I just read your comment and looked up Candida and it lists all of my symptoms! Thank you.

I've had 2 colonoscopy's, admitted myself to urgent care because of extreme pain and bloating and no one has ever mentioned this!! I looked up a few site and have seen Threelac recommended. Do you know of this product? I live in San Diego, CA and can go to a very good store for these and I see they are on Amazon as well.

Thank you again, I have hope!

My best,

Smileygirl said...

Diane, I just updated a new post and listed all that I'm taking and doing. It is CRAZY to have to adjust to this sort of restricted lifestyle but to live without those awful episodes (have spent a time or two at urgent care as well) is going to be worth it. Just sucks that we aren't able to enjoy some of the simple things, like right now I am thinking about some crusty bread, soft cheese and a glass of white wine and I don't think I'll be having those simple little pleasures for a looooooong time. Or ever. But to feel better it will be worth it?? that's what I keep telling myself. Some days are easier than others. I hope you can get yours under control and start to feel better a little bit more each day!