What is wrong with the so called Candida protocol – in my experience.
Context Is Key.
Having suffered with Candida overgrowth for a few years I found myself Googling every solution and supplement under the sun, which im sure most people with an illness or disease can relate to. The problem with this is that you can forget that everyone is different, Candida isn’t usually by my understanding the cause there is normally an underlying problem that lowers your immune system leaving it susceptible to chronic conditions such as Candida.
Eating is a lot more than the food you ingest.
This is where I made the most fundamental mistake of my journey. By nature I am overly-driven and my mind didn’t used to rest, so once I had found out that I had a stomach issue and a practitioner suggested Candida, that was it – I Googled and Googled and Googled (ironic to say I am a digital marketer) until I could only eat a bowl of dust for breakfast, washed down with water but only water that was used from a new born babies tears.
Ok so maybe that was a lie, but this is how strict I became on myself on what I was allowed to ingest with no gluten, dairy, wheat, fruit, sugary foods, nightshade foods, red meat, alcohol, caffeine etc. And guess what? It never solved the problem. For me anyway. Hence why I say that eating is a lot more than just WHAT you eat. External factors such as eating during high periods of stress and levels of cortisol, digesting heavy meals at night, fast and slow transit times, personal food intolerances, muscular tightness, fibre intake, HCL production, eating whilst driving and the list goes on.
My advice would be to find the root cause (see below) of what is causing the candida and then eat nutritious foods to naturally balance the candida albican levels in your gut.
Candida a symptom and not a cause?
Here is where the Candida Diet had a big flaw in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong I fully advocate a low refined sugar diet in the case of any illness, but there has to be more focus on the underlying cause rather than reducing the symptom surely? I found myself frustrated because the gut issues were recurring to the point in which I was actually doubting the diagnosis of Candida. I was so scared to have any type of sugar even in berries or apples that I was neglecting all the nutrients that provide excellent immune support in fruits. Not to mention how much I diverted away from sweet potato’s, carrots and squashes because they were the high in sugar – when actually the resistant starches in these foods created an excellent breeding ground for the good bacteria in my gut!
The basic candida diet doesn’t take into consideration variables such as pollution from location of living, posture, stress or other medical conditions that may decrease the immune system. I placed so much emphasis on what I was eating I didn’t realise it was the digestive enzyme production that was diminished, this was due to other UTI infections and chronic stress within the body.
So what is the best way to treat Candida?
First of all get tested! There is no point treating yourself for something unless you know exactly what you are dealing with. Then take a step back, write down the last time you can remember that you felt good and Candida free (well technically candida balanced as everyone has it in their gut). Once you have thought of this time then write down everything in that time which could have been a factor into contributing towards the change in health – anything from stressful periods, muscular injuries, change in diet, exercise routine down to sexual partners.
You now have a list in front of you in which you can work through to try and correct. Say if the first point was “driving became excessive, sitting down for long periods” then think of increasing movement before, during and after work. After all we are meant to aspire to achieving 12,000 steps a day! Follow this protocol using yoga, pilates and a good nutrient rich diet to see if you have gained any improvement. I would recommend around a month to 6 weeks to really see any benefit.
Once you have gave this first point sufficient time move on to the next possible cause. Whilst following this process you need to make sure that you are keeping a relatively consistent diet of one-ingredient foods (paleo type diet) to help your body build up its immune system fully. Try not to overload on supplements, concentrate on the ones which build up your immune system the most such as Colostrum, Zinc, Magnesium, Probiotics & Fish Oils. I also found psylium husk helpful in removing excess toxins.
There is no one solution for all candida issues, in fact for every gut problem there is several variables which need to be taken into account when assessing the best solution for each individual. Take a step back from the internet and look at the issue logically, with an open mind as well as plenty of determination to succeed. Use measures to de stress as much as possible and find time every few days to do something you really enjoy and that makes you laugh.
If you need any help or tips, send me a quick email or visit my online personal training page which I will try to assist you the best I can.