Monday, January 23, 2012

Living Healthfully: On talking about healing in detail

Editor's Note November 2012: If you are looking for information on restoring your digestive system, please know that The Body Ecology Diet helped me, but it didn't completely restore my health. My body actually stalled out on the the diet, and I needed to go off it to heal other parts of my body. You can read about my last steps in healing by clicking here

A steady hesitation rises in my chest because this place where I living lately is sort of lonely and strange.

I've shared often that I'm still healing, still getting back to normal after the loss of two pregnancies this past fall and winter.

But I'm not just healing from the loss, the grief, the anxiety and overwhelmingness that followed.

Searching for careful words and taking a heaping spoonful of my own medicine-words to bring what's hidden in darkness into light, I'll detail without going into too much detail.

Two miscarriages, an improvement on a gluten-and-dairy-free diet, anxiety and some nutritional scans, a lingering sinus infection but continued to fatigue and GI upset all seemed to be pointing piecing the puzzle together into one big picture: a ystemic yeast overgrowth most commonly referred to as candidasis.

Yeah, ok, I'd never heard of this either. {That's partly why I'm sharing here because there doesn't seems to be a whole lot of support.}

My chiropractor/nutritional practitioner has suspected this since summer, when I shared with her my symptoms and how E and I struggled for months to rid ourselves of a thrush infection after E was born.

Fast forward to the end of December after experiencing some of the more odd symptoms -- the uprising of seeming food intolerances, the miscarriages, the sinus stuff, anxiety that skyrocketed out of nowhere -- and I was more ready to learn about the yeast overgrowth.

A friend, too, shared some of her story that similarly mirrored my onw, and she recommended I read The Body Ecology book, a guide for anyone who has food intolerances, GI issues, IBS and other strange-but-normalized-by-culture inner ecological system issues.

So I did, and I was only semi-shocked after scoring high on the self quiz assessing my likelihood of a candida infection.

Then I was pretty much blown away by how many of my symptoms were all linked back to a yeast dominance within the inner ecological systems of the body. {For the record, yeast and bacteria are supposed to live in a nice balance in your body. But yeast are opportunists and can over take the good bacteria leading to a lot of the symptoms I mentioned above as well as many I didn't mention.}

It took me a few weeks to wrap my head around this whole-foods-based cleanse and rebuild diet aimed at killing off the yeast and rebuilding good gut flora before I could even think about planning and getting on board.

But at the encouragement of my friend and support from my nutritionist, I started the diet January 8, and I immediately began experiencing classic yeast die-off symptoms.

I'll spare you the vivid details {think hives, rash, GI issues, chills, nightsweats}, but my husband, the knowledge-seeking, rationalist who was skeptical of all this -- said he never would have believed it had he not saw for himself the classic die-off symptoms my body showed. And yes -- all of that with only the whole-foods diet and a daily small does of oil of oregano.

I'm pretty shocked in the still-most skeptical of ways.

Basically, I thought I was going crazy -- feeling so off and feeling so weird but tons of traditional bloodwork and cultures all coming back normal.

My beloved family doctor even thought I was going overboard with even the mere questioning of a yeast overgrowth and brushed off my concerns, furthering leading me down the rabbit-hole of "oh, my gosh, what if I AM crazy?"

Though I've experienced one hard-core bout of yeast die off already {and I think I'm going through a second right now}, I'm still feeling hesitant on sharing this simply because of how much better I felt after coming off gluten and dairy and having thought that was the ultimate answer.

But, I have hope that this is the root cause of everything simply because with this it's normal to go through cycles of worse {cleansing} before finally getting better {rebuilding}.

It's like I've been the unhealthiest healthy person simply because the medical system here in the US doesn't really recognize yeast overgrowth as a condition. {But in Europe, they do! Go figure! Also, ironic, these yeast overgrowths are cause by things like antibiotic use, long-term birth control use, a diet rich in carbs and sugar ... all things very common here in the states.}

And that's where I've been living these past few weeks --

in this state of odd-feeling-worse-then-better healing combined with the loneliness that comes from being on a crazy specific whole foods diet that requires a crap-load of preparation and time and prayers that I'm finally, finally heading into the right direction to get well, get rid of the brain fog and the fatigue and the GI issues and ... etc.

in a state of hope that this is really healing.