I had my first visit with my dietitian this week, and as promised, I wanted to tell you all about it.
First, I want to explain why I went to see a dietitian. Big warning here, if you’re going to see a dietitian, odds are you’re have some issues with your digestive system. I’ll do my best to keep it not too gross, but poop will most likely be mentioned. Sorry.
Also, before we get started, I am NOT an expert by any means; I’m just relating my story. I’ve done some research on these topics, but what I’ve learned has been what is relevant to my experience. I say it all the time, but it’s worth repeating: Everyone is put together differently and has different reactions to things. The way I experienced this could be totally different from how you would.
As I explained before, I started on a gluten free diet about 7 months ago last year. It was around this time that I started to notice some changes in my digestive system, and a lot of them were not good. For awhile, I was worried that the changes were because I had eliminated gluten, and I wasn’t getting proper nutrition without it. (There are plenty of benefits to eating whole grain breads!) It wasn’t until very recently that, while reading another blog about the gut and microbiome, I remembered that at the same time I made the choice to gluten free, my dermatologist also suggested that I take an antibiotic to help “finish off” the rest of the lingering acne. While I was a little hesitant to do it, I knew I had a probiotic that I took every day too, so I figured it would be okay. Antibiotics can wreak havoc on the bacteria that live in your gut – the good stuff and the bad stuff. I took my probiotic every day during the course of the antibiotic, and thought everything was fine.
Over the next 7 months after finishing the antibiotic, I noticed I was very irregular in my bowel movements, there was mucus in my stool, I would go back and forth between constipation and almost diarrhea in a day, I was really bloated after I ate, my tongue always had a white “film” on it, and recently, I’ve been stuffed up and suffering from post nasal drip.
December is when all these symptoms really came to a peak. I knew something was really wrong, and it wasn’t because I had given up gluten. I definitely got proper nutrition – I eat pretty healthy. And, the worst negative effect I found from someone giving up gluten was withdrawal-like cravings. I explained some of this to a friend (who is dealing with her own, similar problems), and she suggested that it could be candida.
Please, not that. Just another buzz word in the health community. I avoided thinking about it until I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t swallow comfortably, and I would stay in the bathroom, coughing up phlegm for an hour every night. I added up the symptoms, and looking online, found others who had the same problems, due to candida.
After meeting with the dietitian, I don’t have a for sure clinical diagnosis of candida or anything, but she agreed with me that it is possible that is what I am dealing with.
She suggested I eliminate gluten (check) and sugar completely. Gluten was one thing. But sugar?! Kill me now and put me out of my misery!
Candida is an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive system. Guess what yeast loves to feed on? Yup, it’s sugar. So of course, the best way to eliminate said yeast is to starve it. So, no sugar. In pretty much any form. That means no fruits that are high in sugar content. I can have berries, apples and pears, and stevia, if I’m really craving something sweet. But that’s it. Not even other natural sugars.
Guys, it’s been ONE DAY, and I’m going nuts. I was warned of the withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but this is like what I went through with gluten x 100. The dietitian suggested I do this for three weeks. Then I can slowly add sugar back in, and see if I experience any negative effects.
Lord help me.
There is only one thing that is helping me accept this. No sugar will make an enormous difference in my results with Hammer and Chisel. So “they” say, “exercise is an eraser, food is the chisel.” And “Abs are made in the kitchen.” So at least I have that to look forward to!
Over the next three weeks, I’ll keep you updated on the full-on sprint on the path away from candida. But for right now, I’m going to cry a little when I look at Pinterest and all the beautiful desserts I can’t have.
Anyone out there have any tips for me?! Anyone else suffering / has experienced candida?