I've had major stress in my life for a few years now, and whilst I won't go into detail it is one of the reasons why I've started to take my health so seriously, and may explain why some may think (and say even!) that I've turned into some kind of health 'freak', and so have now made it my business.
Just to give you a bit of background, I had excema as a child and was given steroids which were applied liberally to my skin, by people who knew no better at that time, leaving me with damaged skin and a damaged gut (the medical profession can debate this all they like but I wouldn't put steriods on my kids skin for all the tea in china).
Also, in our family (close and extended) it was the norm to eat puddings and have sweets as treats.Lovely at the time, but I grew up with a sweet tooth; a very sweet tooth. I also have a slightly addictive personality and if I find something I like, well, I just can't get enough of it. This has applied to alcohol, cigarettes and most definitely sugar. I once remember my sister and I eating a whole chocolate orange at one sitting - each(that was a confession that was hard to admit, by the way, given my lifestyle now).
Along with the current stress, all this 'baggage' from my past has taken a major toll on my body and has culminated in me having a candida overgrowth. Candida is a fungus which lives in the gut and feeds on sugar (and any food your body turns into sugar during the digestive process) and for many reasons it can get out of control and cause health problems.
Candida albicans overgrowth is a problem that is not necessarily recognised by GPs - yes they treat thrush and athletes foot with topical creams, pessaries etc. but they don't always agree that candida living in the gut can cause numerous health problems, and so treat it systemically.
Problems such as:
inability to think straight
.....and I could go on. Basically candida can attack the whole system and so any health problem is possible and the longer it's there the more problems can occur.
Candida feeds on sugar so logically to get rid of it one must kill it by depriving it of ALL sugar. Have you ever tried to take sugar out of your diet completely? It includes the obvious white refined table sugar (which is in most processed foods), maple syrup, golden syrup, etc. but also most fruits as the fruit sugar levels are too high - the only fruit I can eat are berries (thank God) and green apples. All others are off limits. It also includes alcohol, grains, root vegetables apart from carrots, peas, sugar snap peas,peppers, squashes and most pulses.
How limiting is that? I can therefore eat just meat, fish, eggs,some nuts (peanuts and pistachios are out), some green vegetables and carrots, green apples and berries, and coconut.
So what's the problem? That sounds like a very lovely healthy list of foods doesn't it? But I like to work to the 80/20 rule. I'm not a saint or a health 'freak' really. I'm rather partial to Green and Blacks chocolate and the odd glass of champagne, and bananas are always useful in a milk shake after a work out. And roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash are lovely with a sunday roast....
So I've had to rethink my whole diet to starve off these nasty fungal thingies. Easter was hard, parties are very hard, going to my mothers is hard because I associate it with eating puddings and sweets, and Fridays in our house is hard - we have 'eat what you like' day, so there is generally sugar around for the kids.
I'm also rattling with the number of supplements I'm taking, prescribed by an expert digestive specialist who uses natural and organic products of the highest quality only.
I'm determined and I do have will power but it's hard, very hard. I've slipped a few times and then beat myself up badly becuase of it. But tomorrows another day.........
Sugar is addictive, no doubt about it and it's a major problem in our society today.Its a cheap additive in millions of processed foods, and it gives us a temporary 'high' that makes us crave more when the high wears off.It also lowers the immune system ;just one teaspoon can supress the immune system for up to four hours. During stressful periods of our lives we are more likely to use sugar and alcohol as a crutch as it induces an emotional response which can help temporarily.
I would guess that there are millions of people wandering around with candida out of control inside them, but they're just not aware of it.Not just that, overusing sugar can result in diabetes, and we're now seeing this being more prevelant in children which is terrible and unnecessary.
Sugar to me is a legalised drug and there should be some steps put in place to control its use before more and more people develop serious health problems.
Wish me long on my quest to banish sugar and therefore candida, it can be a long process but I'm determined to rid my body of it however long it takes.
Today's Tip : Read food labels.