Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day Eight: Setback with Antibiotics

I suffered a major setback with my trail, as I found out from test results that I have Strep G infection and I have to take another course of antibiotics. The only type that will rid of strep G is penicillin (the others I took before starting this trial was amoxicillin, which will not work with Strep G).

Allergy to Penicillin

Penicillin Antibiotics
Because I have had bad reactions to penicillin in the past, asked for an alternative. So now I am taking Cefalixin tablets, twice per day with a one-off thrush tablet with fluconazole. Great, this is just what I needed!

I took my first antibiotic today along with the thrush tablet. Even before taking the medication, noticed I had a dry eyes last night and awoke tired, puffy eyed with the same old Candida symptoms. I suffered terrible private itching last night too. This has left me despondent. The verdict is still out on whether the candida diet really works. Looking in the mirror, my tongue remains heavily coated towards the back and my eyes are surrounded with dark rings with puffy skin beneath.

I will stop the trial here, but will post some research on what Strep G is (never heard of it) as well as other findings about Candida whilst I am on the antibiotics before continuing with the diary.

It is questionable whether the infection I have is due to low immune function and leaky gut. Apparently when the yeast infection of the gut become systemic, the walls become more permeable, allowing microbes to leak into the bloodstream. This can cause food allergies and infections.

Anti Candida Diet

I have found out it is good to continue the probiotics during the antibiotic treatment, and will continue this diet as though nothing has happened. It is disheartening, but this infection has to cleared up before I can continue with this trial.

Antibiotic use with Candida Treatment

With these thoughts, I have to remind myself, that I have suffered vague symptoms of suspect candidia for most of my adult life. A week of taking antibiotics will not affect my experiment. In fact, it will serve as a tougher test on whether the candida diet really works. Usually after antibiotic treatment, the gut is left vulnerable for unwanted microbes to flourish. It is often the case that individuals will suffer a flare up of thrush once the antibiotic course is done. I suffered this myself after completing my previous course of antibiotics about two weeks ago. The private itching has yet to settle down.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day Seven

I was quite bolstered by some signs in my health after being on a low carb, high protein and fibre diet with anti fungals and probiotics for seven days now. My trial to see if the Candida diet really works is still under question, as I dislike rash claims and health quacks telling me such-and-such only to find it doesn’t work.

Causes of Phlegm Throat

I have always had phlegm at the back of my throat for no apparent reason and feel I always need to cough. Some say it is probably due to ‘nerves.’ I don’t suffer colds or sore throat often. And I am not aware of allergies. The phlegm throat persists regardless of time of year or location. I also have a stale taste in my mouth at various times and feel the need for (sugar free) mints if near others. I am fastidious with oral hygene (electric toothbrush and flossing every day). Yeast can cause bad breath which is something I loathe.

Candida Growth Causing Coated Tongue

However, I took a pic of my tongue on day 1 of this diet and again on day 7. As can be seen here, there is quite a thick coating toward the back of the tongue on day 1. Today, it seems to be receding and getting a little ‘thinner’. The back of the tongue is still quite thickly coated though and phlegm persists there.

No matter how fastidiously I brushed my tongue with an (electric) toothbrush or scraped at the coating with the edge of the spoon (ugh) the white coating remained. There is no ‘fixing’ in the photos here. I took the pics first thing in the morning before breakfast and brushing my teeth. The light was a little poor, as winter mornings are dark in the UK. But I did not use a flash. However, I managed to get an accurate comparison.

Healthy Low Carb Breakfast for Candida

Porridge and milled seed breakfast
On a bleak morning I decided to have a hot breakfast of porridge, a little almond milk with a sprinkling of milled nuts and seeds. Asda stock Linwoods milled nuts and seeds, which is cheaper than in the health shops. Today, I used flaxseed, almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts. I sprinkled a little Stevia on top.

Anti Candida Drink

After looking up what yeast don’t like, I have found an array of spices, including cloves, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic and onion. With this in mind, I created a blend of dried ingredients to create an ‘anti fungal drink’. It might not sound too palatable, but mixed with a little warm water and lemon juice or tea is really not too bad. I will drink a cup sometime in the day and before bed. It is also much cheaper than buying anti fungal agents in health shops. So here is what I added to a glass jar in equal amounts to be spooned out for a drink:

  • Dried cloves: said to be no. 1 on the anti candida factor, containing eugenol, a yeast killer.
  • Turmeric: anti parasitic and powerful anti inflammatory.
  • Ginger: Supports the liver that detoxifies candida byproducts.
  • Cinnamon: Supports digestion and the immune system.
  • Dried garlic granules: contains ancillin anti-fungal agent, a natural antibiotic and probiotics.
  • Dried onion granules: contains ancillin anti-fungal agent, a natural antibiotic and probiotics.
  • Cayenne pepper: Supports digestion and boost immune system.
  • You could add a little coconut oil: coconut contains caprylic and Lauric acid, which yeast do not like. Alternatively, Virgin olive oil, also good for the Candida diet.
  • Lemon juice to taste.
Spices that Kill Candida
I will put a level teaspoon into a cup, add a few drops of lemon juice and warm water. Don’t drink before a social gathering as you might have garlic breath.

Candida Symptoms

I am a little tired today, with dryness in the nose and phlegmy throat as always. My eyes are a little dry with itching around the ears and scalp. So not a top par health-wise today. As ever, I am using the sceptical approach on this experiment. There have been some encouraging changes here and there, but I need more before I am convinced.

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Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day Six

I woke up without dry eyes. I am cautiously optimistic. As can be deduced here, I am trialling the Candida diet to see if it really works. I have been plagued with dry eyes on and off for years, with recurrent conjunctivitis with other Candida-related symptoms including mood swings, eczema, itching and dry hair.

Brain Fog and Candida

By the way, it took me a few prompts to remember that word...conjunctivitis. It’s frustrating. Apparently, ‘brain fog’ is a feature of Candida. I have to write things down in order to remember what I need to do and often ask people what ‘that word is.’

Anyway, back to a general health report. I’m not feeling so tired today, but my tongue is still coated. Can’t wait for that horrible coating to go. I had the usual low carb, high fibre breakfast of plain yogurt mixed with a choice of ground seeds (pumpkinseed, flaxseed or sunflower seed, sesame seed and ground coconut). I used different seeds or different combination of seeds for variety. I’m not bored with it yet. Once I find this unsatisfying, will go onto porridge or a high protein breakfast such as eggs and bacon.

My appetite is still not good, so this small breakfast suited me.

Tiredness hit at around lunchtime, as I had a lot of housework to do for Christmas. By the way, starting the Candida diet is probably not wise at this time of year, but I am keen to say goodbye to these symptoms, I’d rather not wait until New Year.

Ingredients for my Favorite Flatbread
For lunch, I had Besam and Buckwheat flatbread that I made yesterday (it keeps fresh in the fridge) with olives, salad and garlic butter.

Besam on its own has a bitter, nutty taste with a creamy colour. Buckwheat on its own is very dry and grey. But used together makes a nice flatbread. The Buckwheat mellows that bitter beany taste of the Besam, and the Besam adds texture and colour to the buckwheat. I will be using the recipe in the future, but will experiment with other flours in due course. Quinoa for one.

Stevia in Cooking

I saved a spare piece of flatbread to sprinkle a little Stevia on top. I love Stevia. If used in certain ways, it is the best sweetener there is for Candida. I find it best sprinkling it on things rather than cooking with it. It is also a great sweetener for a hot lemon drink if feeling nauseous.

Dry Eyes and Tiredness

My tiredness came and went throughout the day but still got a lot done. The dryness to my eyes came on later than usual (almost 11pm) when it usually comes on at 9ish. I had no dryness at all yesterday which was great. My right eye usually gets dry before my left. Update, the dryness went off soon afterwards and I was able to read. Still, I do not expect improvement in a smooth gradual fashion, but fits and starts.

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Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day Five

I am asking the question whether the Candida diet really works. I have had a sugar addiction throughout my life and a tendency to eat wheat because it is the most convenient source of food in the UK. Pasta, bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits and more. When hungry, I just reached for the nearest, most convenient source of food. I have been munching at too many cookies per day and eating toast instead of watching what I eat. This has been going on throughout my life.

The Candida Experiment

Now on my fifth day of a wheat, gluten and low sugar diet, I could say I feel slightly less tired on rising, but have had days like these before starting this diet. My eyes and mouth are slightly less dry. My tongue is still coated, and I began to feel tired at mid morning. It seems my Candida symptoms come and go at random throughout the day. I had private itching this morning, but eased later. That is an issue I would like to say goodbye to forever.

Low Carbohydrate Breakfast

Again, I had a low carb, wheat free breakfast. Plain yoghurt with coconut flakes and flaxseed.  Some might find this bland and unsatisfying, but honestly can’t say I want anything else, as my appetite is shot anyway. Have experienced vague nausea, dry mouth with a stale taste. I am also taking an acidophilus tablet twice a day (with breakfast and evening meal) with a general vitamin tablet.

Candida Free Lunch

Buckwheat and Besam Flour Dough
My main problem is finding something to substitute bread and biscuits when the cravings or hunger pangs hit. This usually occurs around mid morning and in the evening. At the moment, I am experimenting with flatbread recipes which do satisfy.

Besam (chickpea flour) is rather bitter and Buckwheat (milled seed) is rather dry and grey. For this reason, I tried a recipe that combines both, and it worked really well. I also discovered that so long as the dough holds together, you don’t have to ‘fry’ the flatbread in oil, but dry fry it in a hot pan. Here is the recipe.

Besam and Buckwheat Flatbread

Mix half and half Besam and buckwheat flour to 4.5g
Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add a pinch of raising agent. I used baking powder.
Add water and knead into a soft dough (somewhere between 100 to 200 mls)
Make 3 to 4 dough balls, and leave to stand for half an hour or so.
Flatten into a pancake shape and dry fry on a large hot saucepan for around 2 to 3 mins per side.

Buckwheat & Besam Flatbread Lunch
The result is a nice, creamy coloured flatbread that goes nice with anything. Here I spread a little garlic and herb butter whilst hot and had a size garnish of olives and salad.

For a sweet snack, you can rub a little Stevia over the surface and sprinkle a little lemon juice or spread a little Tahini (sesame seed spread) over the surface. Nice with a cuppa tea.

I am avoiding wheat, gluten and high carbs. I have Buckwheat flour and chickpea (Besam) flour at my disposal, but will experiment with other flours during my journey.

Dry Eye Cure?

This evening I noticed my eyes weren’t dry at all. They usually go dry at around 9pm in the evening with an uncomfortable stinging sensation, as though the rims had been doused in vinegar. It’s a horrible sensation, accompanied with blurred vision. It gets to the point where I cannot watch TV or read. This is really one of the key reasons why I am trying out this Candid diet...for my eyes.

I went to bed without that chafing sensation of my eyes and eyelids. I read somewhere that there appears to be a link between alleviating dry eyes with taking probiotics. I am trying not to get exited, as I have had ‘good’ days before embarking this diet. What I am looking for now is a sustained effect. Will this continue? My eyes are particularly dry during menstruation. Blood loss and dry eyes often go hand in hand in my experience. Time will tell.

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Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day Four

On this fourth day on the Candida diet I have to remind myself, I used to munch through 1 to 2 packets of cookies per day. Yes, I was a fiend for the chocolate chip cookie and the cups of (albeit green) tea. Green tea is great, but cannot not detox a load of biscuits! So little surprise, I am still feeling tired this morning and a little nauseous. However, do get tired easily after doing tasks.

Nausea on Sugar Withdrawal

The main feature today is nausea, which is slightly worse than yesterday. I am belching a lot and feeling bloated. I also have a dull, mid abdominal pain. I am hoping it is the sugar withdrawal and not some virus I picked up.

I am sticking with the acidophilus twice a day with breakfast and evening meal. All meals continue to be low carb, high protein/fibre. For breakfast, I had plain Greek yogurt with desiccated coconut and flaxseed. (I had left the mixture overnight to soften). For tea, I had salmon with side salad. I skipped lunch as my appetite was off.

Auto Brewery Syndrome

I read somewhere that the Candida’s toxins are alcohol-based, putting the person in a state of perpetual low-level hangover. That is exactly how I used to feel around periods and odd days without drinking alcohol at all. The toxins that the yeast exudes are complex and many, including are acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is also produced during Candida die-off and during hangovers. Disruption to the Candida can come in tandem with fluctuations in the woman’s hormone changes, bringing on die-off symptoms. Just like a hangover.

Candida Loves Alcohol
All my life, I have suffered menstrual migraines with yellow skin, dizziness, sensitivity to light, feeling sick and terribly ill. It was just like a hangover. Was I suffering a hangover every cycle? Was this auto brewery syndrome?

At the moment, I am still experiencing odd itching around the ears and private area. My eyes are dry and my stomach isn’t happy.

Stevia for Candida

This wasn’t a full blown die off as such, I felt so icky at one point, I tried hot water with a few drops of lemon juice, sweetened with a little Stevia. Stevia by the way is a sweet-tasting herb that has been dried and milled. It looks and tastes like sugar but doesn’t leave that coated feeling on your teeth like sugar does. It leaves your mouth feeling ‘clean’, so you know it’s not sugar. It eased the nausea a little, only for it to return later.

I like Stevia but you have to experiment with different recipes, as it will not sweeten things in quite the same way as sugar. I also have Xylitol, another low carb sweetener that is ideal for the Candida diet. They aren’t cheap, but can be made to last ages when used properly. With this in mind, I experimented with another flat bread recipe.

Sweet Buckwheat Bread for Candida Albicans

As Besam flour has a bitter taste (it comes from the chickpea) I did not feel it would work for a sweet flatbread. Here, I tried Buckwheat. I am really getting a taste for flatbreads, as they are easy to make and tasty. Buckwheat in fact is fact not a grain, but ground seed that is related to the rhubarb.

Buckwheat is free from wheat and gluten and contains complex carbs. It is a little higher on the GI index than Besam flour, being around 70% carb, but is high in protein and fibre. With the introduction of flaxseed and desiccated coconut, the resultant flatbread can be made lower on the GI index.

Here I added a little finely-ground desiccated coconut (not coconut flour, as it is terribly expensive) to the buckwheat flour. I added a little coconut milk to the water. The result was that the flatbread fell apart a bit. Guessing the coconut element has nothing for the mixture to stick together. It didn’t taste too bad though.

With this in mind, I had to jig the recipe until I came to the ideal following formula.
Buckwheat Flatbread

Recipe for Buckwheat Coconut Bread

2 cups (8oz) buckwheat flour
2 tbsp of flaxseed meal
1 tbsp finely ground desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon of stevia
A little coconut milk
A little olive oil or coconut oil for frying

Mix the dry ingredients together.
Add the wet ingredients until the dough has a sticky consistency. Knead into a soft dough.
Allow the dough to sit for 30 mins.
Divide into dough balls
Roll out into circles. Add a little more flour to prevent sticking whilst rolling.
Fry on heated oil in a saucepan for 2 mins on each side.
Before turning, add a little oil to the dry side.
Agitating is the key to cooking flatbreads to stop them sticking to the pan.

Serve with hot butter or a sprinkling of Stevia to taste.
Nice with a cup of lemon green tea, as the Buckwheat is quite dry.

Suitable for freezing.

So will this satisfy me like the old chocolate chip cookie? Well, it won’t taste the same, but my taste buds are changing. Sweet stuff don’t appeal like it used to. For now, the symptoms persist, but will wait.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day Three

On my third day, I can’t really tell if the Candida diet is working. Slightly less tired getting up, but still looking puffy round the eyes with the usual coating on the tongue. I feel vaguely nauseous all day, and am off my food. This is surprising, as I was expecting sugar cravings. Could it be the acidophilus warring with the Candida in my gut?

Quick Candida Yogurt Breakfast

Had Greek style yogurt with desiccated coconut and a little flaxseed mixed together, like yesterday. As I am not hungry anyway, it satisfied my appetite in a rudimentary way. Have adapted the Besam flour recipe I used yesterday, as I found chickpea flour somewhat bitter. It perhaps might suit curries or other spicy dishes. Here, I added other ingredients that might enhance the flavour.

Garlic and Herb Besam Flatbread

Besam Flatbread can be Flavoured in Various Ways
Here I added a garlic and onion granules with herb to the Besam flour to create a little flavour. Served with garlic butter and a garnish of salad was all I wanted for lunch.

4.5 g of Besam flour
Salt and pepper
Dried garlic
Pinch of parsley and chives.
Pinch of garlic granules
200 floz water

Again, I gradually mixed the water to the flour to create a battery consistency and then fried in coconut oil (olive oil will do). Cook on each side for around 3 minutes.

For tea, I had mixed salad on the side of poached salmon. As can be seen from today’s menu, I believe I have kept well away from the old refined carbs, wheat and gluten. On the lead up to Christmas, I have found myself constantly refusing the offers of chocolates. I don’t really want them. My stomach is really off, although I am not constipated.

Coconut Butter for Dry Scalp and Skin

Coconut Butter for Dry Skin
I used the coconut butter in various ways today. I put a tablespoon of it into my bath and let it melt into the water. My skin felt silky after a half-hour soak. I also followed a tip to ease my dry scalp. I massaged a little coconut butter into my scalp, lightly coating my hair before bed, and slept with a bath cap on. If the cap is uncomfortable during the night, you can place a towel over the pillow instead. Next day, after washing the coconut oil off with Alum Atum shampoo, my hair looked silkier than it has done for months.

I will practice this tip regularly.

Towards the evening, I felt a little better. My eyes didn’t have that stinging sensation that has plagued me most evenings from around 8.30-9pm. Private itching didn’t come on until later than usual (9pm-ish). But when it did, it was back to the old scratching ritual.

After my low carb dinner with acidophilus tablet, I felt horribly tired, dry eyes came on with the dry mouth. Oh, well! Going to bed, I felt awful. Nauseous and blurry eyed. Not a new experience. Will keep hoping this diet will show signs soon.

Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day One

I have just completed a course of antibiotics and am now on my first day to see if the Candida diet really works. I have suffered a vague cluster of symptoms all my life and decided to make big changes to my diet, cutting out sugar and grains from my diet. Read about my Candida type symptoms on my other post, and the course of action I am taking. See also the rest of my candida diet diary.

Candida Breakfast

Greek Yogurt, Coconut and Seeds for Breakfast
I am new at this, and am learning things along the way. In a quest to cut carby wheat from my diet, I had oats and coconut flakes in yoghurt for breakfast. I had prepared it the night before, so the dry ingredients were soft and palatable. In a cup or small beaker, I put in about 3-5 tablespoons of natural Greek style yogurt and mixed in a tablespoon each of oats and coconut flakes. I wasn’t hungry anyway, so didn’t feel I needed more. With this, I took acidophilus and a generic vitamin tablet.

Energy: Finding it hard to get up today. No surprise. Have felt this way for a long time, and didn’t expect early miracles on the Candida diet. Felt sluggish going shopping and my joint ached in a vague way, almost like flu symptoms, but not so bad that I couldn’t function.

Symptoms of Changing Diet

Yogurt, Seeds and Coconut
Appearance: Puffy and dark beneath the eyes. Eyes feel gluey, getting dry in the evening. By nine o’clock, I could not watch TV or read comfortably. This has been a problem on and off for years, and have to use eye drops. They work for an hour before my eyes get dry again. Red around the rims.

Other notables: Having a bad breakout of itchy skin in private area due to finishing a course of antibiotics. Possible thrush. Gets worse at night. Rash on inner elbow, itchy back and dry scalp.

Feel generally nauseous all day with bloating. Oddly, I don’t crave carbs or sweets. The symptoms have put me off my food.

My biggest problem is finding a substitute for bread and biscuits, as the craving will hit when I am caught out with only sweet snacks in the cupboard. It’s hard to find anything suitable for the Candida diet in the average British supermarket. In a quest for the low carb bread, bought Polish bread, which is very low in carb, being only 45%. It is packed with rye, oats and wholegrain. Only afterwards did I realise it contains yeast and rye; two a no-nos in the Candida diet. So I will improve on this tomorrow.

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Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day Two

Finding it hard to get up again today. Feel fatigued and slightly achy round the joints. I cut out the oats for breakfast today, instead having yoghurt with coconut flakes with a tablespoon of flaxseed. You can get ground flaxseed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and other ground seeds quite cheaply from Asda. Most seeds are OK for the Candida diet.

Ground Seeds are Cheaper in Supermarkets
Health food shops tend to charge high prices for ground seeds, as they are sold a ‘health foods.’ Look under ‘world foods’ in the supermarket, and you might find the same thing at the fraction of the price. I would like to see more healthy stuff in the average British supermarket. Pictured are ground flaxseeds, almonds, brazilnuts, pumpkins seeds, sunflower, sesame seeds as well as goji berries.

Any would be the ideal accompaniment with plain yogurt or oat breakfast.

The coconut flakes add flavour and a natural sweet taste to the yoghurt, which was filling and provided a snack when peckish between meals. Oddly, I don’t miss bread or biscuits as I thought I would.

Coconut Flour for Candida

I have learned that coconut flour is one of the best anti-Candida flours you can use. It is low in carbs, high in fibre and protein. It also contains an anti-fungal agent, called caprylic acid. Great, I thought, I’ll make some coconut bread.

Chickpea Flour Bread

Besam Batter Mix
Sadly, coconut flour is very hard to find in the average supermarket. I found some in the health shop, but it was between £5 - £7 for a small bag. I decided to find a cheaper alternative, discovering that buckwheat and gramflour are allowed on the Candida diet. Buckweat is low in carb, high in amino acids and fibre. Gramflour is ground chickpeas. I brought Besam flour to have a go at my very first chickpea flour flatbread. Chickpea flour is around 60% carb, but high in fibre, protein and free of gluten and yeast. This makes it a good replacement for wheat.

Regarding the coconut flour, I bought finely-ground desiccated coconut from the world foods section of Asda. Not quite as fine as flour, but not far off, and could be used as an accompaniment.

For now, I decided to make plain Besam (a type of chickpea flour) bread to see if I liked the taste before experimenting further.

How to make Besam Bread

Besam Flatbread
I found a simple recipe from the BBC website.
I measured 4.5g of Besam flour then put it into a large jug. I added a pinch of salt and pepper for seasoning, then I gradually added 200 fl oz of cold water. Keep whisking the mixture into a sort of batter.

In a large saucepan, I heated a little coconut butter, then added the mixture, as I would a pancake. For 2 -3 minutes, I allowed the Besam batter to cook, before turning it over with a large spatula. The pancake-like mix did not stick to the pan, as would a wheat-based batter, but came off nice and cleanly. The appearance is a creamy-coloured flatbread, resembling a pizza base, only more rustic in appearance.

Place it on a plate, and it can be cut into segments like a pizza. It freezes well too.

What Besam Flatbread Tastes Like

This is my first encounter with Besam bread. The flour has a slightly bitter taste, rather nutty, that takes a little getting used to. The texture is very bready, and it would suit most accompaniments, like olives, relishes, salads and dips. I aim to experiment with further ingredients, to bring the carb quota down and to add active anti-fungals, like using coconut milk instead of water and spicing it up with turmeric, onion powder, garlic and herbs. All of these ingredients are tasty anti-fungal agents.

As yet, I have noticed little change in my symptoms yet. Continue to feel a little nauseous and bloated. Eyes getting dry at night and appearing puffy. The skin rashes remain, as well as the dry scalp.

Read my article on why I began the Candida diet.
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Does the Candida Diet Really Work? Candida Diary Day Zero: The Beginning

From the information I have garnered, Candida Albicans, the cause of many ills, is a form of yeast and the most common type of fungus.  It can be found in our guts and on our skin. Normally, it is harmless and poses no problems to health. However, bad lifestyle choices and diet can cause it to overrun, dominating our guts and killing off neighbourhood friendly bacteria. Candida running rife is bad for your health and can pave the way for degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth

Sweets and Fizzy Drinks
I have suffered vague, recurrent and sometimes debilitating symptoms all my life. After recurrent visit to the doctors have learned the NHS favours the local approach, dishing out costly and inconvenient treatments in the form of steroids, creams and antibiotics. But I suspected my symptoms were linked, leading to one suspect. Candida.

Are These the Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth?

So the symptoms that kept driving me to the doctors came in the form of some of the following:
  • Eczema of the scalp and general itchy rashes on the body, particularly the back, hairline and on chest.
  • Private itching, unbearable at night.
  • Puffy eyes, despite not being tired at the time.
  • Hair losing its youthful gleam, replaced with dry, crisp consistency.
  • Hairloss around the crown, eyebrows and particularly one or two patches of eczema in the scalp causing localized peeling of skin and small bald patches.
  • General tiredness and fatigue with difficulty getting up in the mornings
  • Dry eyes, mouth and skin, worse at night.
  • Blurred vision with stinging in the eyes in the evening.
  • Stale taste in mouth in the mornings with coated tongue.
  • Snuffly nose with frequent sneezing despite low pollen count and no cold/flu.
  • Dizzy spells.
  • Forgetfulness that would seem to fit ‘brain fog.’ Difficulty remembering names. Having to write notes to remember things.
  • Lethargy with vague flu-like symptoms, achy joints
  • Vague nausea
  • Despite having no weight problems, have developed a spare tyre around the middle that hung over my jeans.

And let’s not forget problematic menstrual cycle. Painful cramps, heavy blood loss with regular migraines, tiredness and muzzy head. Bad PMT and bloating. I read somewhere that hormone changes in the woman’s cycle can trigger a disruption to the Candida, bringing on Candida die off. Could it be that I had suffered recurrent Candida die off per period?

Admittedly, the groggy feeling was akin to a hangover. When Candida dies off, toxic substances are produced, like to the toxins after a drinking binge. The organs, particularly the liver goes into overdrive to mop it up. This causes terrible stress to the organs and symptoms that leave you feeling yuk.

A Time when No One Knew Sugar Was Bad for You

Candida Hates Coconut
I have had a love/hate love affair with sugar. In the seventies, no one knew that sugar was bad for you, so I was the typical kid who ate sugar in the form of chews, sherbets and smarties, like lots of other kids of the time.

I used to have 2 sugars in my tea (I shudder at the thought now), as well as guzzling cordial, lollipops and tiptops (remember those?). In my mid-twenties, I cut sugar in tea, but continued a love affair with chocolate. Easter, Christmases and birthdays was a binge of chocolate, as well at that time before the period was due. Yes, I love chocolate.

In later years, I have cut a lot of chocolate, but is now replaced with a love affair with biscuits and cookies, especially chocolate cookies. So it would seem I am simply replacing one sugar product for another. I am still eating lots of sugar (as well as bread).

So, OK, it would seem I would be the perfect subject to experiment for myself if the Candida diet really works.

After researching the Net, I have found the overwhelming conclusion that in order to beat this nasty bug, you have to do 3 things:

Cut sugar
Take antifungal agents
Have prebiotics and probiotics.

On the day of beginning this trial, I had just completed a course of antibiotics after a short illness. Antibiotics are good for Candida and bad for you. So the day I completed the course, I considered this as Day 1. Day 1, by the way, has occurred on 14 December 2015, so I have a few days to catch up here.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic
On the day of completing the antibiotic course, I got myself probiotics, natural yoghurt and changed my diet.

Cut Sugar I cut: all chocolate, bread, cereals, pasties, cakes, sweets, honey, jam, biscuits and other foods that are refined carbohydrates. Basically, grains, gluten and sugar are OUT. Also out are high sugar fruits and fruit juices.

Also out are stuff that yeast likes. This includes anything with yeast or mould, condiments, booze, mushrooms and mouldy cheese.

What is left? High protein and high fibre foods. These includes yogurts, (organic) milks,eggs, fish, poultry, beef, pork and other organic meats. Most vegetables are allowed, but root vegetables contain a lot of sugar (potatoes, carrots, beetroots etc.) so I went easy on these. I cut chips and crisps.

Nuts and seeds are OK. Not salted roasted peanuts that are mass produced, but raw, organic nuts and seeds including almonds, sesame seeds (Tahini), walnuts, hazelnuts and coconut. Get good quality, for the mass produced sort could contain traces of mould. Yeast likes mould.

Anti-fungals: Some everyday foods are natural antifungals, as they contain caprylic acid and a natural antibiotic called allicin that the good bacteria love. Anti-fungal foods include onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, seaweed, lemon juice, olive oil, and particularly coconut.

Coconut is very important in the Candida diet as Candida hates it. I include coconut wherever I can in coconut milk, cream, coconut flakes and coconut flour (not coconut sugar, as it is high in sugar).

Probiotics: Get a good, recommended brand. I used Holland and Barrett’s Acidophilus which contains a lot of good bacteria. You can also try psyllum husks that feeds good bacteria and has lots of fibre.

Raw veg will act as a natural prebiotic, which are the foods the good bacteria likes.

So now I am prepared for Candidacide! Find out how I began my journey into 
Go forward to Fighting Candida on day 1
View all my posts on candida
My horrible hair loss experience
12 ways to use coconut for good health
Read also the rest of my My candida diary
The truth about breakfast cereals
Net carbohydrate of breakfast cereals