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23 October 2008 @ 11:58 pm
An actual update  
Last Thursday, I went to see a Naturopath.  Several of my coworkers at GC have recommended him to me for one reason or another, and I have been having some symptoms that I haven't been enjoying and would prefer they go away, so I went.

We spent about 90 minutes together, but he had come up with and explained a theory that makes complete sense within the first few minutes.

It appears I have a longstanding, chronic, systemic Candida infection.

To clarify, Candida causes several things depending on its location.  In the mouth, it causes Thrush.  In the vagina, it causes a Yeast Infection.  It is, after all, a yeast.  But like e-coli, it's one of those things that we all naturally have in our bodies.  It's only a problem when it exist outside the area of our body that it's usually found, or when there's too much of it.

When it's in your whole system, it does lots of things.

It's a yeast, so it likes to hang out in damp areas like lungs and sinuses.  This irritates the tissues, which can cause mucous buildup (check) as well as a perpetually stuffed nose (check for many years.  Like, at least ten of 'em.).

It eats glucose (sugar and the things that turn into sugar), so it hangs out in the digestive tract, causing all sorts of issues involving improper digestion.  The ones that apply to me are cravings for starchy and sugary foods, mood swings associated with delayed eating, gas...heck, it could also be involved with weight gain or an inability to lose weight.  (If we take this as a key symptom, which I don't know that we should, then this probably started about nine years ago.  That's when I very suddenly balooned.)

Because it's a yeast (which is an inflammatory), and because it makes you crave foods that are inflammatory in nature, there's also an inflammatory response in the entire body.  This can cause:  redness, swelling, heat, pain, and/or loss of function.  Anywhere in the body.  Joints, muscles, skin.  (Check, check, and check.)  Taken to an extreme, it can cause the skin irritation/redness/itchiness/pain I've been having across my hands for several weeks now.

It's not directly responsible for giving you any specific illness, but (as the Naturopath put it) it's like the immune system is running a race with a 20 pound backpack on.  It may do well in the race, it may not -- but it'd get through a lot more effectively if it wasn't dragging the extra weight.

So what's the solution?  Supplementation and diet changes.  Thankfully, that's all of a temporary nature - once the infection is gone and the only Candida I've got is the stuff I'm supposed to, I can go back to eating like a healthy normal adult.  (Or like I have been for a while, although that's not recommended.)  The bad news is what's restricted.  As I say, yeast eats sugar.  So I can't eat anything that is, or directly converts to, sugar.  Which means no refined sugars, no carbs, and no fruits.  For 4-6 months.  (rice and potatoes are OK, but only occasionally)

Specifics are forthcoming:  my actual report of findings, in which Larry tells me specifically what I should and should not be doing, is next Thursday.  Which is good, 'cause I've got some questions on what I am or am not allowed.  Like yogurt and tortillas.  (not together.  Ew.)  And what the consequence is of a rare slippage off the wagon.  The holidays are coming up, and I don't relish the idea of going through them without a single thing off that list...but if a single slip-up means I lose all the value of the time I've spent dieting from now to then, it's not worth it.

So people are likely to ask me why NSA didn't help with this.  The answer is simple:  My body's been giving me signals for quite some time now that I eat poorly and should do better about my diet, and I've been ignoring it.  As I tell my practice members, the body does not like to be ignored: if it wants your attention, it'll get louder until you pay attention.  Which is what mine did.  Sometimes you need another voice to tell you what you should have already known, or to help you go about doing what you need to do.

Anyway, enough about me.  How are you?
Nentikobe - a work in progress: stealthnentikobe on October 24th, 2008 09:53 am (UTC)
Counting down til I see my friends. :) And counting down so this school year ends, I need a fresh start yesterday.

sencollins on November 20th, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
Health Stuff
Ewww- Yucky...

It was much more enjoyable to read that you had a "Canada" infection... shouldn't have re-read it...