You see, after my ginger-bread mansion madness pushed me right off my alkaline, sugar-free diet, I've had one helluva sugary-holiday season. So much so, in fact, that I have developed an overgrowth of yeast - and I'm paying the price of bread for it! I feel like an inflated loaf. Or at least I did, before I undertook my first New Years resolution: Get Clean!
Let me explain. Although I consider myself to be an extremely healthy person ( ok, some might call me fundamental, but they can stuff an olive), I admit that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. If you've been reading along with me for a while, you know by now that I have something of a licorice addiction (and a propensity for enjoying antioxidants in their most festive form). And all that seasonal spiking of the nog, and stuffing of the noggin', really put a spike in my blood sugar - oy!
For the last month I have been suffering with lower-abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation, and midnight bathroom runs (folks, I've been honest with you up to this point, and I'm not letting up now!). Right away I knew my system was under siege, and to combat the gastro-intestinal distress I starting popping probiotics like candy! Still, once an addict always an addict, and December found me hard put to say "no" to my neighbor's cookies. And mincemeat pie (the real deal, peeps!). And even a sneak or four of the " un-used" ginger-bread house decorations. Even though my body was reacting to unhealthy dietary choices, I couldn't stop sugaring; come Dec. 31st I had not only gained a few, but my fingers and joints were aching, my palms were rashing, and I felt like foie gras! I'm experienced to know that what I was battling was a growing case of Candidiasis. My first resolution: a candida cleanse!
What is Candida?
Candida Albicans are yeast that normally live in our digestive system: mouth, throat, intestines and genitourinary tract. Imbalances and overgrowth can be caused by exposure to toxins, chemicals, poor diet and excessive stress. Yeast makes bread rise, right? When our yeast becomes imbalanced, we rise, too. Blech. We can experience vaginal yeast infections, thrush, and even rashes in areas on the surface of our skin - like on the feet, under arm pits and in the groin.
Common symptoms can include:
- Craving sweets (shoveling them into your mouth at warp speed is a good indication)
- Feeling sick all over
- Heavy antibiotic use, for acne or other illnesses
- Chronic nasal drip and/or coughing
- Chronic yeast infections
A yeast imbalance can seem as benign as a common cold, but let me tell you: it ain't. An imbalance of yeast can cause problems from lowered immunity to more serious ailments - even cancer. Think about it: yeast is fungus, which creates a totally acidic environment. Disease thrives in acidic tissue, and the more of that we have in our bodies the more disease we invite to live within us.
An internal yeast imbalance can be easy to treat naturally, with probiotics and a strict diet. And by strict I mean strict: mainly proteins, oils and fresh veggies. No fruits, nuts, herbs (other than fresh) diary, or sauces - they can all carry mold and sugars, which encourage the sugar growth.
When do you need to take serious action?
Once Candidiasis shows up on the surface of the skin, however, it's time to take more serious action: with a cleanse. There are many kits on the market today, some using herbal blends and others with traditional digestive treatments. Kits are great to use in addition to a strict diet, since the yeast needs to be killed and flushed from the system. I've used Innovite Yeast Buster before, but found mixing the bentonite (clay for absorbing toxins)/ psyllium (fiber for pooping)/ caprylic acid (found naturally in coconut and olive oils, this is a key yeast busting ingredient) every day cumbersome. This time I'm taking Renew Life Candigone, which is an easy 2 pills and 20 drops to take. Day 3, and already I can feel a difference.
The only disadvantage to cleansing yeast is the die-off: gases released by dying yeast that can resemble household cleaning solutions in their volatility. Headaches, irritability, lethargy, achiness, and flu-like symptoms can ensue. Detoxing the system of yeast is like any detox - it is common for Candidiasis sufferers to feel worse before they get better, due to this effect!
Only 12 more days to go!