I’ve talked a lot about the treatment of the whole person in this blog. Candida overgrowth is not just a gut imbalance that can be fixed long-term by going on a temporary diet. I believe certain life changes are the best way to engage this daily battle and win.
If you have read past blog posts, you have learned that there are 3 major reasons for getting Candida. The first is repeated exposure to antibiotics. The second is a high-sugar/high processed food diet. The third is stress. Sometimes stress is due to a traumatic experience and sometimes it is daily high-stress levels over time. Physical/emotional stress is a huge factor and it cannot be minimized.
If you manage the diet and start to beat Candida, but you don’t manage the stress in your life, you are not on the best path. Sooner or later, relapse is inevitable. Candida is a tricky beast. It will retract for a while, lying in wait for some advantage to “rebloom”. If the stress you are undergoing, starts to trigger chemical changes in your body, you may exhibit symptoms again. Stress is the hardest issue to manage. It is silent. When I think I am handling it, there may be subconscious issues that are festering.
When I look back a couple of years ago and see the emotional/physical stress I endured, it is obvious why I am walking with Candida. My husband and I were working 12 plus hour days to open his store. He was solely self-employed. I was homeschooling my kids during the day and getting just a few hours of sleep per night. I was cleaning houses and started waiting on tables as he opened the store. At the time, I felt like God was telling me to “let go”. My husband is a risk taker and I am not. We ended up taking on twice as much debt for the business as I thought we would and life was very scary for me. We had no other debt except our mortgage, and I am a “Dave Ramsey” follower (debt-free living). So life was starting to feel like it was controlling me. I tried my best to work as hard as I could so we could pay all our bills. I was always good at living modestly, but the financial stress of business and home was consuming me.
I am revisiting this part of my life in order to share with you the weight of stress over time and how it contributes to your health. Whether you are aware of the full weight you are carrying or not, it affects you negatively. We cannot separate our minds from our bodies. At least I haven’t found a way, yet. My thought life became so cluttered, and my gut health was deteriorating. I couldn’t see all the signs until over a year later. I was just trying to keep our heads above water every day, working as much as possible. Then I hit a huge wall when I had to force myself out of bed every day. I couldn’t imagine why I looked so old, and pain became the norm in my body. Vaginal yeast infections became a frequent occurrence. Depression became a guest in my house. I was struggling to be me. I didn’t trust myself or thoughts anymore. “How did I get here? I was physically strong. I was eating well. I was in the best physical shape of my life. Now what? Is this my new norm? How am I going to support my family?” I cried out to God a lot. That’s all I could do. I asked Him to fix it because I couldn’t “do” anymore. I was so tired and desperate. I knew I had to let go, and I didn’t know how anymore. I had been holding on so tightly because I was determined to not let life fall apart for my kids. At the same time, I was becoming a monster. I felt like I couldn’t interact with anyone properly. I was emotionally out of control, especially with those closest to me.
After I started the ultimate Candida diet over a year ago and https://www.thecandidadiet.com/ultimate-candida-diet/ sought medical help from Dr. Crystal, I began to make a lot of health progress. I was also taking supplements including antifungal herbs, probiotics, and fermented foods. Even including mostly organic foods in my diet brought me to a new strength and overall better health. However, I always knew my health improvement would be tied to my stress level. I knew that until my stress level changed, my diet may have to remain more strict. It was easier to see changes in my diet and how they affected my health, however, my stress level was a more complicated issue. Some matters were in my control and some were not. In some cases, I could try to change how I felt about the stressors, but I could not change the root cause of the stress.
Let’s talk specifics about the stress in my life. I cut back some of my church activities that I could no longer maintain. I also eliminated house cleaning as this was a large physical drain. I couldn’t change nuances of my husband’s business or the fact that we took on twice as much debt as I thought we would. I also couldn’t stop working. I informed my kids that their karate would also have to be cut. Our instructor was treating students poorly and using his gym to “perform” a comedy sketch for the parents at the children’s expense. We looked into other physical education options that were encouraging, but fostered discipline in an appropriate way. I had to assess all the different stresses in my life and prioritize what I could change and what I couldn’t. We all talked it over as a family. I had to make strong decisions because the toxic stress load needed to be minimized as much as possible on my body.
Currently, we have paid off the first business loan. I can’t tell you the huge weight that has been lifted off me. Just the process of paying this off and working on the second (last) loan, has increased my hope and renewed my spirit. It has shown me that God hasn’t forgotten me here. Even though I knew this in my head, I lost it in my heart. I was wondering if God wanted anything better for us. The strains of living were just overwhelming, but I had to choose daily not to focus on those difficulties. Even when circumstances weren’t changing, I had to talk myself into a better mind frame. It was especially challenging when Candida bore extra burdens on my mind. Now that this financial stress is improving, it frees up my mind and spirit. I can’t wait for the day we pay this last one off!
Presently, if I veer off the diet every once in a while, there isn’t an immediate negative reaction. The minimizing of stress has helped me in this manner. Instead of an immediate negative reaction from eating a small piece of cake or having a half of a baked potato, my body maintains. Would I include carbs, sugar, or gluten in my daily diet at this point? No way. The groundwork has been laid. The nutrients have been applied daily through the diet. Daily activities have been prioritized. The stress level has been minimized and continues to be evaluated. Sleep has been given a higher priority. The kids have been given extra chores to help lighten my load at home. All of these elements over time lead to a better quality of life for the Candida sufferer.
I am grateful that the Lord has led me here. As difficult as it is to say, He blessed me through this. It hasn’t been easy, but He has enabled me to help others. I am passionate about it because there is not much help out there when it comes to Candida. I had one person in my life to help lead me in the beginning. Without her, I would be taking meds for Fibromyalgia and convinced that this was my new life. Then, I met Dr. Crystal who helped me stay the course and achieve the best health I have had in a couple of years. If I can restore hope and healing to just one person by giving them the appropriate tools, the journey has been worth it.