Hope you haven’t thought I disappeared! As you may remember, I alluded to an anti-candida diet I was considering committing myself to a few weeks ago, and I actually stuck with it for three weeks. Three weeks is nowhere near long enough to kill off candida – it takes about a month for every year you’ve had candida, so it’s a long term process.
I was feeling pretty good about doing it, since it was a big change from my usual way of eating, and wasn’t prepared at all for what’s known as Herxheimer’s reaction, or die off, when it hit. I knew about die off, but didn’t expect I would be hit by it, since I already wasn’t eating sugars and flours, plus I had taken out all starches for a couple of weeks a short while earlier and not had any die off reactions. I thought it was for people making very radical changes to their diets, and I didn’t put myself in that category.
Well, let me tell you, die off is seriously no fun. I was feeling increasingly tired, and by the third week, was really dragging. By the last weekend, I was so exhausted I was sleeping 18 hours a day, and severely nauseous every single minute. My husband was worried when he looked at me; he said he had never see me look like that – I looked really ill. I felt too sick to drag myself to the computer and research if it was normal, and after the second day of feeling this terrible, I had a potato (the only things I could think of eating were things that weren’t on the diet).
Amazingly, that ended the die off. The reason is with die off, what your body reacts to is the candida dying off, and as they die, numerous toxins are thrown into your system (most of which are alcoholic byproducts, which results in massive hangover like symptoms). It’s an important cleansing reaction, but can be very hard, as I found out for myself. As soon as you feed the candida, even something seemingly healthy like a baked potato, they stop dying and start growing again, and you feel better.
So the following day I did the research and it turns out that it was all very normal and healthy because the body was cleaning out toxins and to be expected – but I hadn’t been ready for it. It took a week of eating my usual way to feel back to myself, which leaves me discouraged that after all my effort, I undid all my gains. Since I really still believe that the candida issue needs to be addressed, I see this as just a short term approach to relieving the unpleasantness. With something like this, things have to get worse before they get better. Knowing that , I don’t emotionally feel good about not getting back on the candida diet. I know I should go back on the anti candida plan, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was totally non functional when I was going through die off, and even though now I’ve read about how to do it more gradually so the reaction doesn’t hit so hard, I’m really afraid to put myself in that position again.
I’ll share some links sometime over the weekend about nutrition that may interest some of you, and then get back to sharing some more thoughts on parenting and navigating through the wonderful opportunity we are given every day, called life!
Have a wonderful weekend,