Its been a strange few weeks. Coming to terms with shattered plans and dreams has taken time. Time that we all have in spades at the moment. However, I also knew deep down that sitting in my grief of what was supposed to be, wasn’t a healthy way to be. I needed to move on.
This time that we had suddenly, unexpectedly been given, was time that I didn’t want to waste.
So, I decided to use it to get to the bottom of some health issues that have been plaguing me for quite some time.
I have always had digestive issues, for as long as I can remember certain foods would make post meals lurch anywhere from uncomfortable to disasterous.
My ‘bloated’ stomach has long been a bone of contention with me – not least because of the work I do.
I had already connected some of the dots – leaky gut is now widely thought to be responsible for many autoimmune diseases. I certainly ticked all the boxes for symptoms of leaky guy, and with rheumatoid arthritis, I tick the autoimmune disease box as well.
Leaky gut also causes hormone imbalances. Whilst my journey with menopause hasn’t been the horror story I read about with others, I certainly have had a smattering of ‘symptoms’ over the last few years. Weight gain and hot flushes being top offenders.
What caused my leaky gut though? That was the part of the puzzle that up until now was missing.
Enter the stage Candida Albicans. This is an innocuous pathegenic yeast that lives in everyones gut flora. Although its really not as harmless as it first seems. Its an opportunist little ****er and for around 75% of the worlds population it is a real problem.
The trouble starts when this yeast starts to grow out of control in the gut. There are various different reasons that this can happen.
- Antibiotic use.
- Oral contraceptives.
- Processed sugars and refined carbs in the diet.
- High alcohol intake.
- Weakened immune system.
Once it has taken hold, then it is difficult to get back into balance. It grows tendrils in the gut that then ‘drill’ through the intestine lining. This allows particles of undigested food and toxins access to the blood stream.
The immune system kicks in to do its thing, but with a constant supply of food and toxins leaking through the holes, the immune system hasn’t a hope in hell, and just continues to be on heightened alert. This increases inflammation in the body which eventually can lead to an autoimmune crisis/disease.
That is a very simplied description of what happens, and certainly not everyone who gets an overgrowth of candida will end up down this route. But, many people do.
But, back to connecting my dots. I remember visiting a naturopath back when we lived up in the Lakes. Must have been around 1999 – so 21 years ago (yikes is it really that long!). One of the things she treated me for at the time was candida.
I’m not really sure why I haven’t considered that this could have been the root of all my problems. I guess I thought I had dealt with it back then and it had disappeared of my radar.
A few weeks ago I came across the work of an American lady called Ann Boroch. She was diagnosed with multiple scerosis at the age of 24 and told there was nothing that could be done.
Within 4 years she had healed herself and was symptom free for over 24 years before her death (not related to her autoimmune).
How did she heal herself? By treating her overgrowth of candida. Simple. Heal the gut and you heal the rest.
I brought her book and have started using her protocol to heal my own overgrowth of candida. There is a very simple at home ‘spit’ test you can take that indicated I definitely had it. Also, there is a questionaire in her book. Anything over 180 is very definitely a candida overgrowth. I scored 314.
At the time of writing this I am on day 6 of a 90 day protocol.
I have eliminated all sugar (fruit included for the first 30 days), all processed foods, all alcohol, coffee, high sugar vegetables (potatoes, corn, mushrooms and peas), all legumes, most grains (although I don’t actually eat any), and if I ate it, which I don’t, I would have to eliminate diary as well.
The protocol includes taking herbal supplements to rebalance the candida in your gut, supplements to help heal the gut wall, and others to help support the liver.
2+ litres of water per day should be drunk, together with 4 cups of red clover tea (quite an insipid tasting tea, but not bad to drink really).
I am also adding in a few self-care protocols of my own to help with detox.
Coconut and oregano oil pulling first thing in the morning. Apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered and with the mother) drunk first thing before anything else.
Skin brushing after my daily shower, which includes some cold water therapy – known to boost circulation and reduce inflammation in the body.
All in all its going really well. Already I feel that my stomach is less ‘thick’ than it was.
Detox symptoms have been mild thus far, although the last few days have found me struggling to stay awake past 6pm. I have also had a few mild headaches, and the stomach has been, how shall we say, ‘a bit poppy!!’ but in all reality not half as bad as it usually is.
I’m also working out 6 days a week, and have fallen in love with fitness all over again. Working over the last year, teaching multiple classes as well as private clients has been great, but has also come with considerable travelling. It made me weary of it all and I have to confess that it did feel that I was on a treadmill – no pun intended.
Being made to stand still for the last 7 weeks has certainly put a new perspective on everything and I am grateful that it has allowed me the time to assess where I am, deal with my health issues, and find the passion in my fitness again.
Glad I sat back and decided to connect the dots…..I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes!!