On Food, Candida and Healing God’s Way

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“In that moment it was clear: God gave me everything I need to nourish my body and stay healthy and I was looking right at it.”

It was three years ago, the day before I was to run the Seattle half marathon. I was sitting in Pike Place Market in a breakfast café overlooking a line of glorious stands that burst with splashes of color and mouthwatering edibles. I had ordered some kind of egg muffin from the server knowing that when it came, my body would most likely reject it.

I have suffered from digestive issues since the age of 16. With that comes a host of other symptoms ranging from bloating, irritability, mood swings, abdominal pain, acid indigestion, water retention and other “women’s” problems you don’t want to hear about—I’ll leave those to your imagination. Sometimes I can be in such discomfort I have to cancel social plans and just lie down.

For 22 years I have gone from one medical doctor to another, crossed the seas between the UK and Canada and not one of them has been able to tell me what’s wrong with me. Most of them have settled on the classic fallback ailment: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

It didn’t take me long to learn that I don’t suffer from IBS. I suffer from something far more complex.

Since the conventional medical profession was unable to assist, I sought the help of a naturopath. I am now on my third naturopath and getting closer to the root of the problem, although each of them seems to have their own way of solving it. They are, however, united in their diagnosis: Candida (yeast) overgrowth.

Yeast naturally occurs in our bodies in the form of bacteria. It lives under our skin, in the intestinal tract and in the mouth. Some of the bacteria are good (acidophilus being one) and some have a detrimental effect on our health. Normally the good bacteria keep the bad bacteria in check, but if the good bacteria are destroyed (through the use of antibiotics and unhealthy eating) the yeast becomes out of balance and the bad bacteria begin to multiply and wreak havoc on our health. There are many books out on the issue, some of which declare that the problem of yeast overgrowth as an epidemic responsible for many illnesses in our society. Yet few people even know it exists.

Back to the market …

As I sat waiting for my egg muffin, I looked down at those stalls brimming with oversized berries, apples, oranges, carrots, turnips, broccoli, peppers, fish and oils, and I knew I was staring at my answer

In that moment it was clear: God gave me everything I need to nourish my body and stay healthy and I was looking right at it. The healing foods were right there in those stalls.

Now, it’s one thing to acknowledge that, it’s another to actually put it into effect in a society where our food is so full of refined products, chemicals and has often been modified in one way or another. We almost have to search to find something that’s natural, and when we do it usually has a high price attached.

There isn’t a quick fix for yeast overgrowth. My naturopath has me on a sugar-free, wheat-free, yeast-free eating plan. The hope is that by starving the bad yeast of what it needs to survive—sugar and yeast—it will die off and the balance of yeast in my body will return to normal. It’s quite the process and certainly a challenge for a girl who loves her sugar.

I have been asking myself this question for a long time:

“Which do I value more—my body and its health, or the momentary joy of eating foods that make me sick?”

When phrased like that, the answer would seem obvious but so much of our social lives revolve around the enjoyment of food that it’s not quite so black and white.

I’ve been praying about this issue for several years now. When my symptoms prevent me from living a normal life, I call out to God in anger for not answering my prayers. But when I’ve finished my tantrum, I trust. I trust there’s a reason I am walking through this journey and I must see it through to the desired outcome.

____________________________________

Dear SheLoves readers, I would love to know:

  • Can you relate to my struggles? 
  • Where are you trusting God for changes in your life?
  • Any other thoughts or comments?
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Claire De Boer
Hi, I’m Claire and though you may only see my words here once a month I’m part of the wonderful sisterhood of women who edit, upload and brainstorm behind the scenes of SheLoves. I was born and raised in England but pretty much see myself as a fully fledged Canadian. I spend just about all of my spare time blogging, editing and creating stories. I’ve also ventured into the world of teaching and mentor students in using writing as a tool for personal growth. My passion is to help others find the value and beauty in their stories and to find healing or self-awareness via journaling, memoir, or just "soul writing", as I like to call it. To learn more about my journey and the work I'm doing visit The Gift of Writing
Claire De Boer
Claire De Boer

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  • kimberlee

    Claire, I struggle with overgrowth too! I don’t have digestion issues (yet). It’s in my ears and if I eat too much sugar the glands in my neck swell and so painful! But the itching never stops. 🙁 Here in the US there doesn’t seem to be any dr that knows about what to do with it. I haven’t considered seeing a naturopath. But how I would love to be set free from this! And I know it will take dying to my self and to sugar to break the bondage. Yet sugar is in EVERYTHING, well just about, so I say “everything.” I feel if I had a list of Do Not Consume I could make some real progress.

    • Hi Kimberlee,
      Yes sugar is in so many things – even tinned tomatoes, bread and some spices! I have become ruthless in checking ingredients and have also mastered that art of making cookies using stevia (a natural sweetener). If you are able to see a naturopath at some point I would recommend it – our medical drs here don’t recognize the problem either. There are also some great resources on the web and some good books that will lead you through the diet. Once you get used to not eating sugar it does become way easier. I hope you are able to get this thing under control – feel free to contact me if you need support 🙂

  • Egg Muffins are the best!!! 🙂

    Love this:
    “When my symptoms prevent me from living a normal life, I call out to God in anger for not answering my prayers. But when I’ve finished my tantrum, I trust.”

    Love you my friend (even if it’s from afar)…

    Hugs

    • Hi Teenbug – thanks for reading and commenting – love you from afar too 🙂

  • Heather Moll

    I’ve never commented on the blog before but had to after reading your post. I was recently diagnosed with candida but my naturopath and after a very intense treatment and diet plan, I can happily say the candida is under control. I still have some other nagging issues that we are now addressing but to say I feel better would be a huge understatement. It took me years of back and forth with medical doctors, counselors, chiropractors, etc. but I finally found a naturopath I love and trust and she’s helping me get healthy again. We’ve made some huge food changes in our family in the past couple of years and continue to make more and it’s been worth every ounce of hard work and trust that He has a plan and I can trust Him. I remember every time I wanted to take a bite of something I shouldn’t eat asking myself, “Do you want to feed the candida or starve it?” and it really helped me say no to things I shouldn’t eat.
    Thank you for sharing your struggle. It’s not one that is often talked about yet people still suffer. I hope and pray you find healing. Thanks for being brave enough to share.

    • Hi Heather – thanks so much for commenting! I’m so pleased to hear that you have managed to get your yeast under control – that’s what I’m hoping for with this sugar free eating plan. Finding a great naturopath who know how to deal with it is half the battle.
      Keep reading – we appreciate you 🙂
      Hugs,
      Claire

  • Margaret@WellnessCircle

    In this time, where you get to so much from the environment that will cause you different types of diseases, it is really advisable to be always health conscious.

    With your struggles, we all have struggles in this life and I too can attest to the things that will come your way when even in your darkest hour you still have that strong faith in Him, everything will still be alright. It may not be in your favor sometimes but in the end you’ll gonna say it’s best for everyone and it’s better than what you thought. Just be strong and you’ll get through things.

    -Margaret
    http://www.wellnesscircle.com

  • christinamom7

    I’ve been suffering with candida and yeast imbalance for some time and have tried a number of remedies recommended by my Naturopath. I was keen to the Lady Soma Candida Cleanse, because it is an all in one candida cleanse, containing anti-fungals, enzymes and probiotics, so I only need to take one product, instead of a whole series of different formulations. I took the full dose to begin with, and was pleased with the results, which started to kick in within about a week. Now I just take 1 capsule per day of the Lady Soma pill as a maintenance dose and that seems to be keeping things under control for me. For the first time, I feel like I have found a simple long term solution to keeping my candida at bay.