For several years I was struggling with yeast infections and excessive discharge, vaginitis, and anal itching and had no clue what could possibly be causing all of this. It wasn’t happening all the time, but the problems were recurring. Going to doctors and getting prescriptions hasn’t ever appealed to me so I always let the infections, inflammations, and itchy rashes pass naturally. Normally they would be gone in a few days and I might get another one a few months later… I didn’t think much of it when I was younger. Over the years I have grown very aware of the foods that I eat and all the elements that I put in and around my body, so it’s ironic that these issues are worse now than ever before! I’m talking intolerable conditions when sometimes just walking out to the car puts me in extreme discomfort because of the swollen thrush on my inner thighs and outer vagina.
I realized about 2 years ago that what I have been experiencing all these years (off and on since I was 17, I’m 26 now) has been CANDIDA OVERGROWTH. What is candida? They are a yeast-like fungus that is present in almost everyone’s digestive system. They are totally normal, until you get too many of them and then they cause major imbalances in the digestive system, reproductive system, and immune system. There are many potential causes of candida overgrowth and I am certain that my problem arose when I began taking birth control pills. I only took them for maybe 3 months of my life, but after I started taking them is when I got my first yeast infection and the series of candida related discomforts that I’m still experiencing 9 years later.
The most beneficial way to treat candida is with diet, and for me this has been difficult. I concern myself a lot with the purity and quality of the food I eat. I’ve been growing organic food on farms and at my own home for 4 years now. The meat I eat is butchered by me personally or a farmer who I know grazes their animals on grass, uses no hormones or any antibiotics and other chemicals at all. I drink raw goat’s milk from a farmer who lives just outside of town, raises their goats completely naturally and in harmony with their ecosystem. I drink herbal teas that I blend myself. I juice several times a week. I eat fresh organic local fruits and veggies. I even make my own kombucha and kefir which I drink regularly! So what is causing my candida to hang around so long and be more invasive than ever? My guess is my love of whole grains especially gluten, possibly other starchy foods like tapioca, and the amount of fruit and other sugars I eat.
Gluten, starchy foods, and sugar are the main culprits in feeding the candida. So it’s simple, I just need to get rid of those items from my diet… easier said than done! I love baking brownies with freshly ground kamut flour and coconut sugar and I love eating sourdough breads from our local bakery. This summer I have been having serious fruit cravings and eating peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, berries, and every other sort of local fruit I can find on a daily basis. Since I’ve been pregnant my body has been craving so much fruit and I’m not considering denying myself of something my body needs. But maybe the sugar isn’t a big issue for me and it’s just the gluten I need to work on. Many people are able to eliminate their candida while still eating fruits. They eliminate the starch and yeasted or gluten products and they add lots of probiotics and other treatments into their life. I’m going to start by taking out one candida promoting element at a time and see what happens. First step is to eliminate the gluten completely.
I am going to defeat this candida. It is not something I want to live with and it can actually do a lot of damage over the years if left untreated. I’m also concerned that my baby is going to have issues with thrush since I am experiencing a lot of thrush in my reproductive organs. So here we are. I’m keeping a candida log on my blog so I can better hold myself accountable and also to reach out to others who are going through a similar experience. We can overcome!
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