Hello! Someday really soon…I hope that someone besides myself (and my poor husband) will be reading this post. To tell a little about myself… I have had some form of chronic illness for most of my life be it monthly sinus infections, autoimmune thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritic/fibromyalgia-like symptoms, and a whole range of what I now see are totally connected issues. A couple of years ago, I did some testing through our chiropractor and found out that I had some pretty extreme adrenal fatigue. I dubiously began a protocol of herbal treatment with Standard Process products. I also around that time did my first elimination/detox program. I was pretty astounded that YES…WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR BODY REALLY DOES AFFECT YOUR HEALTH! And also, that “simple” herbs that are written off by so many people made such a huge difference in the quality of my life. Anyhow…I continued on…feeling marginally better but still struggling with monthly sinus infections and the random antibiotics that always seemed so necessary for them to go away. I started seeing a local integrative physician in April of 2011, who identified alot of my problems as “leaky gut syndrome” and a systemic overgrowth of yeast.
I am going to back up a little bit and also add that my three children all have had some form of asthma, allergies, eczema and chronic pneumonia since they were infants. They too have seen the same physician that I have, have gotten the same diagnosis, and the treatment and results have been astounding.
Anyhow…fast forward again to my doctor visit. Now I was wondering WHAT THE HECK IS A YEAST OVERGROWTH??? I can’t even tell you that it is something that “the conditions have to be right for…” or that it’s “hereditary” or anything like that. It really is of our own making. My physician is a firm believer that “all disease begins in the gut” so I often wonder just how many people out there are walking around suffering with the same issues that we all have in our house. You might think that is crazy…however, all three of my children have gotten the same diagnosis (more on how that all came to be in future posts)…and have responded very well to treatment overall.
Sorry for getting off track but I have alot to say!!! Yeast overgrowth. Here is a great website http://www.health-truth.com/185.php that my chiropractor gave me when we started trying to weed through all of this. I am attaching the questionnaire to take a look at. We all have yeast in our body. You can never get rid of it. You don’t want to get rid of it, because frankly, when it’s “in check” it has it’s own benefits. And for the lucky folks like us – we will always be “predisposed” to have flares if we are not careful with diet. However, the problem starts when antibiotics (especially mulitple courses of antibiotics) are given. Now, I’m not a doctor and I freely admit that. I am not totally savvy on knowing if or that ONE course of antibiotics will do this – our own experiences entail MULTIPLE COUNTLESS courses of antibiotics. And antibiotics can be a great thing when they are truly needed. All of my children started taking multiple courses of antibiotics as infants for various chest colds, etc. I have been on more antibiotics than I can count during my 39 years. Suddenly they were sick all the time, and really sick. Then came along the trips to the specialists, and more meds and more steroids which are a topic for another day. I finally reached my point of desperation over a year ago when I booked my first appointment with our doctor, and subsequently ones for my kids, to try to deal with some of this. Antibiotics are not the sole problem. The problem is that the antibiotics kill ALL the gut flora. Except the yeast. And without the other good gut flora to keep those crazy candida/yeast in check…they totally run amuk. And sugar feeds yeast. And guess what…we Americans eat LOTS AND LOTS of sugar. Start reading labels if you don’t already, you’ll be amazed! So dead good gut flora + sugar = way out of control yeast = 1 really sick person. Often, people think it’s really weird, or remarkable that “we all have this strange disease”. I don’t think it’s weird or remarkable at all…but I do think it is utterly not recognized by conventional medicine, which is where most people head when they don’t feel good.
Our doctor told us “no white sugar, no white flour, no white potatoes” which seemed IMPOSSIBLE at that time. In all honesty, the further we go in our own journey, the more normal and easy all of that becomes. You have learn to think outside the box and COOK outside the box, and look past the frozen pizzas and mac and cheese because those foods will not heal or nourish your body. They will, if anything, tear it down in ways I never thought possible. We also did courses (sometimes multiple – those candida are pesky and really want to go on living!) of a couple of different antifungal medications – some of us for a really long time. We also took some pretty extreme doses of probiotics and other supplements to heal the gut lining.
Through all of this also came diagnoses of multiple food allergies for us all. So in our house we have had to avoid: dairy, all nuts, gluten, soy, rye, white potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, garlic, pork, chicken, rice, eggs…and the list goes on. My hope is that we won’t have to avoid all of those forever, and due to the healing that we have done have already been able to reintroduce some of those foods without them making us as sick as they had before.
The REALLY COOL THING: My 8 year old son who has been on asthma meds since he was 6 months old was able to quit all his meds over a year ago. He has not been sick. My 10 year old daughter was only recently diagnosed with food allergies, but we have suspected it for awhile. Once we ratched down our household’s sugar intake a year ago…her environmental allergies improved drastically. We notice that if she goes to a birthday party or in some way has more sugar than usual, she suffers for it for a few days. My 3 year old…is a work in progress. She had struggled with asthma-like symptoms since infancy and chronic pneumonia. Oh, and I can’t forget the severe eczema! She and I have taken a slightly different direction, which is a topic for many other blog posts besides this one. Through diet and supplements, we have healed the eczema and the cough issues. She continues to have bowel issues, which I’m hopeful we can clear up in the near future. And myself – my fibromyalgia like issues and pain are at a minimum – generally nonexistent. Illness has been few and far between over the past year, and my immune system is finally healing to the point that I am generally able to fight off things on my own…which NEVER happened before.
I guess I have probably rambled on long enough…but wanted to give any readers my starting point. Again, I note that I am not a doctor. I am not encouraging you to dump your doctor, or that you have the same issues that I have and should do the same treatment or any crazy thing like that. Everyone is different. I do, however, encourage you greatly to do your own thinking and research. If you have chronic health issues that you feel aren’t getting better…go off the beaten path and see a homeopath, or an integrative physician, or a naturopath…or a good chiropractor! Those folks do really important things like try to figure out WHY you are having the symptoms you are having…everything has a reason and a cause. They look at diet, and environmental factors and a whole lot of other things that really matter a great deal for our health! I feel proud of our accomplishments but see through our family that good nutrition, reducing toxic environmental exposures and just plain taking good care of yourself really can make a world of difference.
I am so excited to share my favorite resources with you…and new ones as I go along in my own journey! Welcome!!!