Monday, February 13, 2012

Candida Cleanse

I think most people are aware of yeast issues.  But I also think a lot of people downplay how widespread of a problem it is.

I have a long, long history of antibiotic use, beginning at less than a week old.  Growing up I took antibiotics for chronic ear infections, chronic UTIs, chronic tonsillitis & several bad bouts of bronchitis.  Of course back in my childhood years they also gave antibiotics (erythromycin) anytime I was sick, even if it was viral.  And in 2008 I had a really severe spider bite that was MRSA+, for which I received tons & tons of heavy duty antibiotics (both oral & IV) & was even hospitalized for a short time during the treatment.  The tonsillitis subsided in my teen years.  The ear infections subsided in my early 20s.  The UTIs still occur occasionally, though I've now learned that they stem from Interstitial Cystitis & if I can keep that under control I can mostly avoid the UTIs.  That is my constant goal these days.  The bronchitis gets me still occasionally, but not nearly as often.  I now use propolis as my defense against coughs (I learned this from my mother in law) & it really does help me in most cases.  I had tried to use a pill form of propolis (simply because it's easier & not as messy) not too long ago but it didn't seem to be very effective I have to admit.  So I've returned to using the pasty form & it's working great once again.

Back in 2008 (right before I got pregnant & right after the spider bite incident) I was meeting with a naturopath doctor to address my chronic UTIs.  I desperately wanted to find the root cause & find a way to put a stop to them & my primary doc wasn't helpful at all in this regard.  As we reviewed my medical history (& she was taking notes) I finally came face to face with just how much antibiotics I had taken over the course of my lifetime.  I was actually quite shocked.

The naturopath doctor did some tests & found that I had a "leaky gut" & that I wasn't digesting fats properly.  My digestive system was not in good shape, which isn't too shocking given the amount of antibiotics I have ingested.  Right when we were about to begin treatment for this I found I was pregnant.  The doc chose to wait on treatment.  She said that some of the herbs she had planned for me were considered safe during pregnancy (& some were definitely not) but she still didn't like to give them, just to be extra safe.  I was supposed to meet with her once per trimester & then we would resume the treatment plan after the birth.  But of course none of this was covered under insurance & anyone with kids knows that budgets get tighter with the birth of a child, not to mention going down to being a one income family from being a dual income family.  And so it got put off & I still haven't gone back.

During the pregnancy I had a UTI & had to take antibiotics.  And during labor I had a fever & was given IV antibiotics.

I was concerned about Lil J's digestive health, that it might be adversely affected because of the state of my own digestive health at the time I got pregnant & also due to antibiotics during pregnancy & labor.  I've been giving him probiotics since shortly after birth in hopes that that would help him overcome any issues he might have.

I was struggling myself with skin fungal issues.  I started seeing another alternative med doc after my own primary doc not being any help at all.  (the alternative med doc was at the same office at the naturopath, but the naturopath was off work due to having a baby of her own at the time)  I tried lots of things with little success.  Finally, about 7 months after Lil J was born, I changed my diet.  I did a super strict anti-fungus diet for about 2 months & it REALLY helped.

Shortly after Lil J was born I somehow discovered a TV show called "Know The Cause" & I chose to follow his diet plan to accomplish this.  I purchased the eating plan book & the recipe book & followed it to a T for 2 months.  ALL my skin issues went away.  (I still hope to return to the naturopath doc at some point to see if I still need to do more to fully restore my digestive health)

I remember discussing Lil J's digestive health with the alternative med doc but we both agreed it was near impossible to do anything while he was an infant.  One of the big things that you have to remove from the diet is dairy & he was on a cow-based infant formula, so that wasn't really doable.  He's had a fungal foot issue (much like athlete's foot) since he was an infant.  I have tried tons of creams & am still using one that sort of keeps it from getting worse, but never gets rid of it.  I've had my suspicions that this is related to his digestive system & an overgrowth of yeast in his system.  Each morning after his bath I completely dry out the toe area with a hair dryer & then apply cream & then his socks.  At one point the fungus had spread from the toe area to the entire bottom of the feet.  But I have managed to get it confined back to just the toe area & keep it just there.  But I have NEVER been able to eradicate it COMPLETELY.

To make matters worse, once he was able to start eating he was only willing to eat wheat!  He wants toast, pretzels, crackers, things like that.  So I've known in the back of my mind that putting him on a candida cleanse would be a nightmare, because he would just refuse to eat.  But I've also known that at some point I was going to HAVE to do it.

For a while now (maybe a year or so), his breath (especially when he first wakes up after a nap or in the morning) is very yeasty.  And then last Friday when I was brushing his teeth at bedtime I saw it--YEAST growing on the back of his tongue.  He has thrush.  (I always brush lower teeth, upper teeth, tongue, & palate  in that order & I saw it while I was brushing his tongue)  I knew that I could no longer postpone treating this.  I prayed over him, explained the situation to my hubby, & asked him to pray & to be supportive during this tough time.

So starting Saturday morning we began.  Based on my own past experience I know that you can take all the supplements you want, but if you don't change the diet you won't get anywhere.  You have to starve the yeast.  Dairy has already been removed from Lil J's diet for a while now, but wheat & sugar & corn still needed to be removed.  I am not going to be quite as strict as I was when I did this myself, it's just too hard & drastic for a toddler who doesn't understand, especially as picky as he is.  My own diet was completely grain free.  I am allowing Lil J to still have brown rice (which still allows him his rice milk & rice cakes & puffy rice cereal).  And I'm allowing almonds, his favorite nut.  And I'm allowing a small amount of fruit still, since he really likes it.  I know all about sugars & starches feeding the yeast, but he's not even 3 yet, this is REALLY hard on him, my goal is to be successful but also understanding & working with him as well.

It's tough, don't get me wrong.  It's VERY tough.  Every time I serve him something to eat he throws a tantrum.  And later on, his hunger gets to him & he gives in & eats some of what I've served.  Some of it he's still refusing though.  He's eating nut based crackers, turkey slices, rice cakes, almond milk yogurt for the most part.  I am allowing a small amount of pureed fruit or fruit leathers each day.  I'm working hard on getting him to eat some fresh fruits & veggies during this time, but as of today he's still refusing.

I have to report that 24 hours into this his breath was normal again, not yeasty.  And as of this morning (48 hours in) his athlete's foot is already almost gone.  I am still praying & hoping we can get this squared away COMPLETELY & quickly.  And I am also hopeful that we can change his future eating habits for the better during all of this.

I also ordered "ThreeLac".  It's a supplement that my alternative doc had told me to take when I was struggling with my own fungal issues.  I was never able to find it at that time & had given up.  But as I was googling about the issue specific to toddlers I ran across ThreeLac & quickly remembered why it sounded familiar & ordered it.  I am hoping it will also be helpful & effective.

Prayers would be much appreciated as me & Lil J continue to work on healing our digestive systems.  :)


Danielle-Marie said...

Prayers for you guys...I hope J will cooperate for you. I have similar issues, with the UTI's, athlete's foot, and ear infections. This blog post was very insightful.

Frau Guten Tag said...

Thanks so much for the prayers