[NOTE 1, January 2014: There's another anti-candida experiment going on. Once you've checked out the information below, why not click HERE to see what's happening?]
[NOTE 2, July 2014: Important and exciting new stuff related to solving the candida problem - coming later this month. It's quite startling, what's happened! I tried something new and natural and so far it seems to have worked. Fingers crossed. My symptoms largely went away. The question has been - how do I present this latest stuff in the simplest way and explain what happened? I thought long and hard, and decided I couldn't do it justice in a blog. The photos alone don't belong here!! They're startling. So I've written a whole separate thing, which will come together in the next couple of weeks, then I'll tell you how you can get it. I can't believe how much better I'm feeling. Things may not be perfect, but it's enough to give me hope that I can be fully well again. I'll let you know more very soon.]
Some years ago, I was lured into having a course of colonics. I’m not sure why I did it. For kicks, probably, knowing me.
It involves lying on a table while an expert irrigationist in a white coat takes a tube and floods your intestines with warm water, pressing on your belly at the same time and flushing out all manner of horrors into a sink. Horrors that may have been stuck up there since childhood, including undigested food, mucoid plaque, and other debris.
It was more pleasant than it sounds, actually. In fact, I only stopped doing it after I arrived at the clinic one time and found the woman openly smoking a joint. Sorry, dear, but if you’re going to perform a delicate medical procedure on my rectum, I want you firm of hand and mind. That’s just me.
However, before I fired her, she said something alarming that stuck with me. She was examining the tube to see what was being flushed out and exclaimed, “My god, you are a candida factory, aren’t you?”
I tried to sound horrified, but in reality I had no idea what she meant.
Turns out, candida albicans is a microorganism. A yeast actually, and it’s essential to our good health. Without being asked to, it consumes heavy metals, undigested food, excess sugar, and various toxins that might overload our system otherwise. So three cheers for candida. But then, at other times, like guests who come to your home and stay too long, it can go nuts and take over.
A candida albicans overgrowth, or candidiasis as it’s known, is NOT fun. At its worst, the yeast turns into a beast. Colonies escape the main pack and start roaming the body, pitching camp and causing trouble. They’re like physiological Vikings. Their steady, slow invasion is similar to having an intelligent malignant force running rampant through your organs. That’s at the most extreme end of things, but those cases are rare, and are to be found in people with severely compromised immune systems. Half of them will most likely die of their problems. That’s how serious this is. Long before that happens, there’s a more common low-level kind of candida overgrowth. The Viking Level.
Vikings don’t care what inconvenience they cause, and their meddling can lead to all kinds of weird and mysterious ailments. Doctors might spend years looking at your symptoms and still not figure out that they’re caused by, of all things, yeast.
Symptoms of a candida overgrowth can apparently include prostate problems, fatigue, brain fog, cold hands and feet, spaciness, zits from leaky gut, odd rashes that linger inexplicably, food/sugar cravings, rectal itch, hemorrhoids, loss of sex drive, heartburn, a ringing in the ears, deafness, lack of impulse control - I mean, heck, it goes on and on – there’s a whole scary checklist. I went down it, marking off my symptoms, and found to my horror I had approximately all of them. Well, nine anyway.
There are about half a dozen ways to test for candidiasis. These range from the reliable and the scientific right down to ‘Oh, shut up!’ quackery.
The oft-suggested way to test for it is known as the spit test. Many experts I’ve come across scorn this approach as unreliable at best, but according to the National Candida Center (was there ever a more venerable institution?), first thing in the morning, before you go putting anything else in your mouth, spit into a glass of water. Make sure it’s saliva and not mucus. The spit’s activity over the next fifteen minutes will indicate whether you have issues. If it floats on the surface, you’re fine. If it sinks to the bottom in clouds, then you probably have candidiasis at some level. If it forms odd filament-like vertical strings from the top to the bottom, you also could have a candida overgrowth, it seems. This is all according to the NCC anyway. (Some people doubt the test has any value. See comments section below.)
Most of my spit sank. Sank, and hung ominously about the bottom of the glass like tweens around a McDonald’s. There wasn’t much of it, just three clouds with a couple of strings, but that’s enough, I guess, to set off alarm bells.
So what causes candida to thrive excessively, and eventually possibly turn into a Viking horde? Oh, many possible reasons, it seems.
- Overuse of antibiotics. Doctors routinely prescribe antibiotics for this and that as if they were M&Ms. Problem is, each time we take them, as well as doing what they’re supposed to do, they interfere with our system and encourage candida to spread. Plus, there are antibiotics in milk, meat, and poultry, so over the years we’ve been getting a steady supply. Every regular latte you drink, every unorganic burger you eat, every processed chicken dinner. Oh my god.
- Amalgam fillings. Seems candida loves anything metal. It uses heavy metals as a life raft and clings onto them. Imagine! Which is exactly what Vikings would do too, by the way. Candida thrives on mercury vapors from those old fillings, which are released every time you chew.
- Sugary, oily diet. Anything from bread to cake (the Food of Kings) to nuts to candy to…well, probably whatever you eat most days for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not to alarm you or anything. Anyway, it’s funny, I think, that eating candy may lead to candydiasis.
- Chlorinated water.
- Birth control pills. (Not guilty on this one. But it’s the only one!)
- Radiation from medical exams.
- Lifestyle. Anything fun, really – alcohol, sodas, chockies…they all feed the Vikings.
- But according to a fascinating post on Curezone not long ago, the real fundamental cause of candida overgrowth may actually be too much fat in the diet. OMG. Really?
And that’s where this experiment we’re about to do gets very, very interesting.
“When you eat too much fat,” the post says, “the fat starts coating all the cells and their receptor sites in your body, which makes it harder for insulin to do its job, and any of the glucose that can’t get into the cells remains in the bloodstream. High sugar in your blood is dangerous, so your backup system (candida) begins to eat all the excess sugar in the bloodstream. A side-effect of this is that the candida population starts to grow in size, but soon returns back to healthy levels once all the excess sugar is gone.
“The problem arises when people continually eat too much fat. That indirectly causes a constant supply of excess sugar in the bloodstream which keeps feeding the candida, causing the population to bloom out of control, and that is why candida is “nearly impossible to kill,” because even if you did start killing off the excess candida population, a person’s high fat diet will just keep indirectly fueling it.”
(I’ve added punctuation to this, otherwise it was just one long breathless rant.)
The post is written under a pseudonym, but whoever’s behind it is a genius.
There’s also a great little video you can watch HERE, in which a smart, healthy-looking woman called Rosslyn Uttley Moore points at blobs on a board, explaining why fat is the root cause of candidiasis.
As you’re aware, I’m no medical expert (if you’re in any doubt about this, please click on the Disclaimer tab at the top of the page, that’ll convince you) so by all means research this for yourself. Do not rely only on what others say, especially me. But as far as I’m concerned at least, this revelation is one of the most significant I’ve heard in the past ten years.
Of course fat is the problem. Why did I not think of this before?
Because it may be something else, that’s why!
But for now let’s say it’s not. Let’s say fat plays a role in candida overgrowth. What then?
An Amazing Breakthrough
Almost everything I ever eat has some kind of fat in it somewhere. And yes, the body needs fat, but surely not as much as I’ve been giving it.
For decades I drank lattes – which contain fat. I ate burgers and fries – they contain fat. Cheese – fat. Cookies, cakes, chips – fat, fat, fat. Good grief! And where there’s fat there’s very often salt and wheat and dairy and sugar, or combinations of these.
More recently, to help clear up a hearing problem and tinnitus caused, I believe, by candidiasis, I switched to a 70-80% raw vegan diet. And guess what, many of the things I eat on that diet now contain fat as well: avocados, nuts, oils, and seeds, for instance. I also eat salmon – contains fat; I drink goat’s milk – fat; consume bread – fat; chocolate now and then – fat; and will allow myself to splurge and eat normally at parties and dinners, which means I consume even more fat. In short, it’s a disaster. I even drink a tablespoon of coconut oil twice a day. More fat.
With that kind of steady continual fat build-up, glucose is probably struggling to feed my cells and can’t. So when I put sugar in, in any form whatsoever, it stays in my bloodstream, causing the candida to go bonkers and start running around my body creating havoc – blockages, ringing in the ears, rashes, pimples. To me, it makes perfect sense.
Even so, and even if fat plays a role, I think there’s more to the story. Fact is: there are many things we eat that we shouldn’t be eating. We know they’re bad for the body and cause blockages and inflammation, but we continue devouring them because they taste so great. I’m only passing on what I’ve read in books and blogs, and, in one case, the leaflet inside a box of kefir starters, but what they all seem to say is that the chief culprits oftentimes are dairy, wheat, sugar, and excessive salt. The first three in particular appear to play a large role in the development of a candida overgrowth. But isn’t it true that, generally speaking, when we eat these things, we’re often eating fat too? It’s true for me anyway.
A dear friend of mine, Ruth, died two years ago. She was extremely deaf by the end of her life, sadly, and things became very difficult. But here’s the thing about her – she wrote cookbooks, featuring food that was alarmingly old-school. Lashings of lard, cheese, butter, cream, pastry, oils, sugar, salt, meat, etc. (At her memorial service, guest speakers stood at the lectern and read out her recipes. It was hilarious.)
Ruth used to boast that she never ate vegetables, and would laugh hysterically at my healthy diet. Every day of her life she’d get up and cram down a couple of cinnamon rolls, and what are cinnamon rolls if not two giant lumps of fat, sugar, salt, and wheat crafted into balls?
Every other meal she had was pretty unhealthy too, jammed with all the wrong things.
Wheat, I learned recently, creates mucus and can cause inflammation as well as a bunch of other side-effects. Dairy is mucus-causing in a major way. Salt can contribute to blockages in the ears due to fluid retention. (How it does that I have no idea, but it came in a bulletin from the hospital, so I guess there must be some validity to it.) Food additives and preservatives generate problems that we don’t even begin to understand. Additionally, Ruth smoked for most of her adult life – more mucus created.
Well, guess what – turns out, Rush is deaf too. He has had operations, and he wears a device called a Cochlear Implant on his head to help him pick up vibrations. But here’s the thing: what if….I mean, it’s crazy, I know…but what if his problem is not defective hearing at all, but a blockage caused by mucus and various forms of inflammation due to diet, and even candida? What if he quit smoking those damn cigars and changed his diet for a year to a raw food-based nutrition system – would that help, I wonder? According to my theory, it just might.
What about Beethoven? He began losing his hearing at 27, with chronic tinnitus, and was totally deaf by 1815, when he was just 44. But hey, you know what the German diet consists of? Cakes, bread, cream, fat, sugar, salt, meat – everything that clogs up the body. What if there was nothing wrong with Ludwig’s hearing? What if he simply had a gluten allergy, or the salt, dairy, and sugar were too much for him, with candidiasis stirring the pot as well somewhere? An amazing thought, right?
Anyway, my point is, maybe that’s why my dear friend Ruth’s hearing was so bad. Maybe, because she had an out-of-control sugar, salt, wheat, dairy, and fat intake and therefore mucus and inflammation build-up in her body, it resulted in candida overgrowth, caused in part by glucose not being processed properly. I know she struggled with expensive hearing aids for years, when perhaps all she needed to do was cut down on the bad stuff for a while, giving her body time to adjust itself. Just a theory for the moment, but pretty massive if it’s right.
Which brings us to an even more amazing idea.
Hearing loss is rife among the elderly, right? How many of our older friends and relatives are forced to wear hearing aids past a certain age? Doctors tell us, “It’s just a normal part of growing old.” But what if it isn’t? What if hearing loss in seniors is simply a product of eating the wrong things over a lifetime, things the body has problems processing, and, bit by bit, that unprocessed junk has clogged things up, causing candida to go crazy and block the ears? There’s no way for medical procedures to detect that, I don’t think, or even make the connection. And every day, because more salt, wheat, sugar, and dairy are being eaten, together with more fat, the condition never gets a chance to right itself.
In which case, all the elderly would have to do is trim back their diet to healthy, regulated levels and, perhaps, over a few months their ears would recover. Wow. (In my case, however, before we get excited, I should say that reducing my sugar, wheat, dairy, and general fat intake is like a license to become anorexic, have no energy, and look ill. People have actually asked me, “Are you sure you don’t have HIV?” Incredible.)
So what now?
Well, clearly, this is a vast and complex topic with many different strands to it – like candida itself, in fact. I can barely scrape the surface in a short blog post like this one. But last year I did a 30-day Humaworm Parasite cleanse and chronicled it. You can read the blog HERE.
The cleanse was extremely successful and, in terms of traffic, is the most popular one I’ve ever written, mainly because of the results. I got a whole bunch of strange things out of my system during those 30 days, including worms. Just recently, I noticed that the same company, Humaworm, makes pills to combat candida overgrowth as well. And of course I can’t see something like that and not get excited. So I ordered them on the spot.
Because here’s the truth – I always have rashes or other odd skin problems; I told you, I get dizzy sometimes, I have cold hands and feet, sugar cravings, ringing in my ears, shifting deafness in one or both ears…it goes on and on. All of them candidiasis symptoms. Plus, the colonics woman confirmed I have industrial-strength candida overflowing out of my system. I’m essentially a walking yeast dispenser.
So, for the next 30 days, I’m going to sweep it all out. The candida won’t thank me, but it has to go. At the same time, I will be cutting down drastically on my fat intake each day. That way I can see if the two are related.
Of course, I’ll be chronicling my progress with Humaworm’s Candida Cleanse – or, as I call it, Viking Be Gone. In the instructions that come with the bags of pills it says you can continue to eat a normal diet while on the cleanse, but I’m ignoring that. I’m hardcore, remember. I’ll be cutting out all the things that cause these rugged Norse invaders to multiply abnormally – sugar, of course, but dairy, wheat, nuts, oils, soy, and even bananas (oh my lord, it seems bananas are horrific in their impact on candida!) Whatever it takes to rid myself of these horrible symptoms. [For an entirely different candida experiment, and perhaps a magic potion, click here.]
Hey, here’s an idea: why not come along on this journey with me? Bookmark this page or subscribe to it on your RSS feed, and read what’s happened each day. Let’s suffer together. And I say suffer because, when parasites die off, the effects can be horribly debilitating. That’s been the case in the past; I expect no less from my darling candida.
The 30-day Humaworm Candida Cleanse
DAY 1: Took the first two Humaworm tabs last night. Got drowsy early and fell into bed. This morning, I woke up with a thick head, blocked ear, and awful sensation of DIZZINESS. Yay! We’re on our way. The tabs contain an herb called wormwood, I think. And wormwood, someone just told me, can cause dizziness and other side effects. So if this is true, then dizziness and Humaworm’s candida cleanse may go hand in hand. We shall see.
Feeling very tired and lackluster already, and my very first poop on the cleanse already showed up white blobs, plus strange curly things in the water that look like hairs but aren’t. This is powerful stuff. I’ll keep you posted.
DAY 2: Tiny STABBING PAINS. That’s today’s big news. The first full day on the candida cleanse gave my system fair warning that the next week or so is not going to be pleasant, and it responded petulantly, with shifting aches – above my eyes, in my head, on the bottom of my feet, and so on. I got ZITS as well, even though I didn’t eat the things I’m allergic to, and I woke up exceedingly dizzy yesterday. Same today, as a matter of fact. In other words, the candida die-off seems to be accentuating the problem to begin with, getting worse before it gets better.
Had big gray rings under my eyes, and also the dizziness, which lasted ’til lunchtime and was a little creepy and worrying. Could yeast have such a grip on my body that it controls whether I walk in a straight line or not?
DAY 3: Woozy in the morning and zitty all day – that seems to be what it amounts to. I wake up and am a little unsteady on my feet. Left ear blocked more than usual, and one glance in the mirror tells me I have pimples on my face, especially an eyebrow pimple that doesn’t look like it has plans to leave any time soon. Yesterday, I got a very sharp pain in my abdomen five minutes after swallowing the Humaworm tablets, and I regularly feel recurring aches in different parts of my body, but mostly my head. I’m also very spacey and stumbly, and my memory keeps lapsing.
Overall, then, I feel groggy, lackluster, HALF-DEAF in a weird, echoey kind of way, and ready for a significant development. Make that happen, Humaworm.
DAY 4: This has just become a whole new ballgame. [See breakthrough details above]
Now that I’ve discovered that a candida overgrowth may be related to an excessive consumption of fat, I’m simply reducing my fat intake each day to miniscule levels for the next three weeks, to give my body a chance to begin redressing the imbalance. How exciting.
Today, though – rash on neck completely gone! Didn’t get out of bed feeling dizzy either. Zits on face already going away too. Hearing still bad, but the ears might take a while to unblock, if this new theory is true.
Every morning I eat the same thing – a homemade breakfast cereal consisting of pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. All of these contain fat. I might then have an avocado on wholewheat toast – avocados are really fatty, and the toast contains fat too. It turns out that the health food I’ve been eating is the very thing that’s contributing to the problems.
Normal anti-candida diets tell you to lay off the fruit, since the sugar is feeding the candida. But if you cut down on the fat instead, you can probably have as much fruit as you darn well like. Again, another breakthrough if it’s true. Anyway, that’s what I’m having for breakfast today – an egg white omelet and fruit. I’ll drink green juice, have a plain salad with no dressing for lunch, and some vegetable soup for dinner.
So there we are. To me, this is more interesting than the most interesting thing I can think of. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
DAY 5: Plenty of MUCUS to go around today. Come one, come all. Blowing my nose a lot, which is the body’s ways of ridding itself of stuff it doesn’t want. That’s why we get colds, of course, so I don’t suppress phlegm, and would never take tablets to dry my nose. I just let it all out.
The candida die-off – if there is any – is relatively tame, I’m noticing. I’d expected to suffer more with headaches, major limb aches, fatigue – at least. But really it’s been very easy. Later today I’ll do a coffee enema, to see if that helps things along. Having cleansed a fair bit over the years, I tend to feel disappointed if the result isn’t seismic. I want to feel bad and I want it now, damn it!
Yesterday’s diet was about as low-fat as a guy could go. Breakfast today has been grapefruit and green tea. (No fat there.) With fresh green juice to follow. (Ditto.) As a result I am not dizzy this morning, which is great. And my hearing has improved noticeably in my right ear. My left is taking its time and keeps fluctuating. Sometimes there’s an exact balance between the ears, in that both ears are blocked to the same extent and therefore I ‘don’t hear’ equally, which, in my world, is the equivalent of hearing pretty well. Happy about that, believe it or not.
Now that the focus has shifted away from eradicating sugar from my diet, which was my preoccupation initially, towards lowering my fat intake, things have become harder. Cutting out sugar is a breeze, whereas navigating my way through the rest of the week without taking in any fat is going to be difficult, since almost everything has fat in it. But we shall see. At the very least, when I eat out, I can always go for the low-fat option.
Feeling buoyed up and optimistic about this now.
Day 6: More zits, less rash. That’s today. Ears are much better, which is excellent news. Very crackly, and not so deaf. Something is shifting.
Last night, though, I woke up in bed with my FEET LIKE ICE. It stopped me sleeping, they were so cold and nothing would warm them. That, I believe, is also candida-related, so I’m not panicking. But there is no sign of actual candida anywhere – nothing coming out, that is to say. So I’m not sure what’s going on. Is it jammed so far up and clinging on so damned tightly that I can’t release it?
Anyone here like ghee? No, not the TV show, the clarified butter. I ask, because I made some ghee today, to help reduce fat intake even further.
Method: heat 3 sticks of butter in a saucepan on low for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will melt, then bubble erratically. The milk solids will rise to the surface and, magically, two minutes later, sink to the bottom. Take it off the heat and strain it into a ramekin. Place in the fridge ’til it goes solid. Voila! Clarified butter. Butter taste without the fat.
I am reminded, incidentally, by a lovely lady called Sylvia Hunter in the UK that ghee is still fat. However, it’s less fatty than butter, so it allows for a little indulgence. Even with this on the plate, I have still cut down on my regular fat-intake by, I would say, 85%. That’s not too shabby.
Day 7: I have noticed two things, one of them with a certain amount of alarm.
First, I have a zit on my cheek now which won’t go away. It just fills and fills. That is part of the die-off, I must assume. But there’s no – zero, zilch – candida in the toilet bowl ever. If it’s in there, it’s not coming out. I do feel light-headed and I woke up with a head ache, that is to say an ache inside my whole head, which suggests something is happening.
More worrying, though, is that the coldness in my right foot that kept me awake last night has not gone away. It’s on the underside, where all the nerve endings are, and peculiarly has graduated to a kind of weird numbness now. My hope, since cold hands and feet are a side-effect of candida, is that this is just one more aspect of the die-off. If it continues, mind you, and my foot gets colder and more numb, I may have to stop the cleanse.
Clearly, we are approaching a crossroads.
Day 8: Developments.
No light-headedness today, so that’s something. The zit on my cheek has dried up very quickly. Experiencing odd aches and pains that last about twenty minutes then stop. In kidneys, in pancreas. The cold feet thing has cleared up too. I am, though, feeling noticeably colder in my extremities than I did before. That seems to be an element in this confrontation with candida. (That said, it’s cold here, so I can’t ignore that) Also, I have a constellation of small zits that came up across my hairline this afternoon. No reason given, they’re just there. My skin is volatile generally. I scarcely dare look in the mirror. In the mornings especially it’s horrific.
This morning I woke with a nagging headache that lingered all day. I get these occasionally, whenever there’s rain in the forecast. My partner had one too. Something to do with living in California where the air pressure is usually high. When a storm front moves in, we get barometric headaches. However – and here’s the fascinating part – this evening I took my two Humaworm tablets before dinner, the way I’ve been doing, and the headache vanished within two or three minutes. Strange, eh?
Stranger still, I’m leaving FOAMY WHITE ISLANDS in the toilet when I pee. Not Minorcas or Icelands, but entire New Zealand-sized ones. Proportionately speaking. So I’m guessing that’s some kind of yeast deposit maybe? Candida? Not sure. I was expecting it to come out in my poop, so this is a surprise. Poop-wise, there’s very little action. I am a bit constipated. Then again, I’ve changed my diet, so my body’s in shock. Right now my organs are saying, “Where’s the fat? Where’d it go?” I hear this is the #1 hot topic around the water-cooler in my colon right now.
DAY 9: Wow, is it day nine already?
Oddly uneventful day. No headache, no dizziness – not even a little bit – no cold feet, no zits. No symptoms of any kind really.
Oh, wait, my SKIN’S PEELING. I’ve noticed this happening the whole time – around my eyebrows, like dandruff, constantly coming, leaving patches of redness. And there are red patches down the sides of my nose too. What I’m assuming is that there’s something in the tablets themselves that my body’s not fond of, and I’m having an allergic reaction to it. But it never goes away.
Also, ITCHING. So much itching in my calves and ankles, and it seems to come on in response to sugar and/or salt ingestion. Sugar mostly, I think. Which could tie in with candida overgrowth. There’s a whole forum here of people with the same problem, chronic itchy legs, and they’re completely mystified. Somebody says the solution is a tanning bed, another recommends drinking more water. And a third says it could be allergy to detergent that our clothes are washed in. Fascinating, and also annoying. Another thing that won’t go away.
So not uneventful after all. Sorry to mislead you.
Day 10: Oh dear. Starting to feel a bit rough now.
Couldn’t get out of bed this morning. Another dizzy attack that took four hours to wear off. So I spent half the day horizontal. However, d’you know what every dizzy attack has in common? It occurs either just after or just before I deal with my agent. I’m serious. How weird is that? Yesterday we swapped emails and I felt light-headed for an hour afterwards. Today I have a meeting with her at noon and I’m barely able to stand up. I recall clearly, the first time I had one of these episodes was on the day I signed the contract with her. What’s that trying to tell me?
Additionally, it’s possible I’m sickening for something, I suppose, or else it could be part of the wonder of Humaworm. At this stage I’m not sure. All I know is I have a sore throat, my eyes are starting to water, and my arms are very, very itchy. My bet’s on the candida cleanse, if only because when I did the parasite cleanse last year my nose ran for about four consecutive days non-stop. So this might just be the same kind of thing. I’ll let you know in a few hours. But right now, this ain’t good, people. You have been warned.
DAY 11: Another roughie. Not feeling good at all. Spacey, throaty, disoriented.
Somehow managed to work on my new book the whole day without much problem, but everything else – don’t ask. I drank tea and ate leftovers. If I so much as close my eyes, the room turns over on itself. It’s like being locked in a tumble dryer. Stress and sugar – they are now my enemies, which only makes me more stressed, and when I’m stressed I crave sugar. So this is an exercise in endurance as well as deprivation and discipline.
I feel like I could explode into a FULL-BLOWN COLD any minute. My voice has dropped an octave and I’m woozy. But at this stage, who can tell the difference between getting-a-cold wooziness and candida-die-off dizziness.
There have been moments when I think, “Jeez, maybe I’ve got something serious, like diabetes, brain cancer, or some disorder heralding imminent pancreatic failure.” Then I remember, I’m taking tablets to make me feel this way.
On the plus side, the ringing in my ears has completely subsided. Yay. And the hearing overall is better. Not brilliant, but better.
Unbelievably, I still have 19 days to go. Is this a cleanse or just masochism? The two have overlapped this time, that’s for sure.
DAY 12: I have a confession. Tonight I decided not to take my tablets. I honestly couldn’t face it. This is making me so ill and putting me out of commission to the extent that I needed a rest from going to bed dizzy for once, and feeling as though half my head is numb.
So I’m lapsing briefly. I’ll begin again tomorrow, knowing that within an hour of swallowing the pills I will be stumbling all over the room again, about to pass out. But I have to say, already I feel better without the tabs. The throat’s clearing up, I’m not dizzy, and I actually have a bit of pep in my step. So the die-off symptoms are pretty severe.
Today’s spit-in-a-glass test has a whole host of candida colonies floating around in the bottom third of the glass. If this is really an accurate test, then it looks pretty bad. Which would explain: a) the comment, ‘You’re a candida factory”, and b) why the die-off has to be so horrible.
In other news: the zits seem to have calmed down a little, and the feet are warm, but the tinnitus is back and I’m really deaf. Had to cancel a dinner engagement. Couldn’t face going out and straining to hear what everyone was saying. Additionally, I have had a sore and phlegmy throat for two days. That’s abated somewhat, but I don’t have much of a voice left.
This is turning out to be a cripplingly unpleasant cleanse. Humaworm has given me a shellacking.
Day 13: Alrightee, then. Back on the program. After a day of feeling great and convincing myself that I probably don’t have brain cancer after all, I’ve downed two more of the Humaworm pills. Back to business. Or dizz’ness. Whichever.
People cringe when I mention doing coffee enemas. I think they imagine that I stop by Starbucks, buy a vente mocha frappuccino and inject it into my backside. To clear things up, it’s nothing like that. Yes, I do use Starbucks coffee, but it’s brewed at home, and is ever-so-slightly warm, not freezing cold or, worse, scalding hot.
Personally, after huge reservations initially, I’ve found coffee enemas to be delightfully productive. Or, to give them their full title: coffee implants and retention enemas. So you implant the room-temperature coffee into the downstairs area, then retain it for 15 mins or so. They’d been used for hundreds of years before I ever heard of them, but were pioneered more recently by the legendary Max Gerson M.D. as a hydrotherapy treatment for his cancer patients, to “mechanically cleanse their colon”, and offer all kinds of benefits:
- stimulate the liver
- flush out toxins
- cleanse the intestine walls
- help eliminate parasites
- promote mental clarity
- stimulate bile flow
My partner and I do them twice a month. Not only do I feel incredibly perky afterwards, but the hour or so it takes to do the protocol gives me time to read, which is important. And in terms of this particular one, it removed a couple of hefty stones and hopefully helped with the candida cleanse.
If it stops me, even for one night, getting so dizzy that I fall over while I’m cleaning my teeth, then it will have done its job. Thank you, enema.
Day 14: Last night I found two CATERPILLAR-LIKE CASINGS in the toilet, probably as a result of the coffee enema. Don’t even ask me what they were. They could have been vegetable-based, from a salad or soup I’ve eaten, but they didn’t look that way. They honestly could have been dead caterpillars. Very odd.
This morning the dizziness is back, and I was woken up early by the loudest WHISTLING in my left ear EVER.
So I tried that spitting-in-a-glass experimemt again, which, if it’s a valid candida test, is a handy way of checking in each day to see how fast the blighters are dying off. To the left is today’s glass, and as you can see, it’s HORRIFIC. Like a photo taken by the Hubble telescope in deep space, with long strings that I’m told are candida colonies, as well as clouds of residue across the bottom. No wonder my ears are ringing.
So I take one day off, and this is what happens. It shows up again like an ex who’s been given your new address by someone you thought was your friend. If this kind of test is accurate at all, it’s SUCH bad news.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cough up some phlegm. (Yeuw!)
Day 15: Halfway through the cleanse. So many pills left. So many days of discomfort to go.
Non-stop COUGHING and zits – that’s today’s main event. The candida thought it would come out by means of cold-like symptoms, then had second thoughts and decided to stay in my throat. So I’m coughing at the same rate per minute that a dog barks when it’s trapped in a cellar.
Other than that, I feel okay. Decided to supplement the pills with olive leaf extract a couple of times a day. I have found this is a good remedy for the dizziness, and so it has proved. Since taking it, I’ve not been tripping over everything and walking into walls. Yay for O.L.E.
Day 16: Aaaaaah, the first signs of something tangible after all the suffering.
Toilet-talk: had a bowel movement, and it released a bunch of white objects into the bowl. You know when you scrunch up polystyrene with your hand and it flakes into bits? Well, like that. They floated around in the water for quite a while before sinking to the bottom. This, I must assume at the halfway mark of this cleanse, is candida finally making its way out of my system. (The picture on the left is NOT of the candida, BTW!)
We had a doctor friend staying with us overnight, and she was just as excited as I was. “Ooh, we should put these under a microscope.” Er….no.
Anyway, the zits persist, forcing me to wear a hat to cover them and putting paid to any social life for the time being. Plus, I’m coughing up a ton of phlegm, which is unpleasant. Otherwise, no symptoms at all. The initial fogginess I was suffering at the start has vanished, and my hearing is better. The tinnitus has subsided a fair bit.
I have no idea what to expect next. Do candida colonies just keep coming out from now until the end?
Day 17: Feeling subpar. On a scale of 1 to 10, about a 4. Coughing up stuff and feeling woozy. Yesterday I had another dizzy spell. This lasted half an hour, then dissipated and I was fine. But it was touch and go for a moment there. On the plus side, my ears crackled a lot this morning and when I blew my nose, my hearing suddenly got a whole lot clearer on both sides. Yay.
Saw a video today by a guy called Kal Sellers. Not sure who he is exactly, or what his qualifications are, and he does seem a little angry for some reason, but what he’s saying about candida makes total sense to me. His theory is that we’re eating too much, and too much of the wrong thing. If we eat sparingly, and switch our diet to things our bodies like and can process effectively, we needn’t even give a thought to candida – that’s his message. It seems to mean eliminating dairy products and animal proteins, and focusing on eating fruit, but always on an empty stomach so that it doesn’t ferment. As with everyone else in this field, he’s selling a course of information, so I’m leery. Still, his point is a good one.
Might I at this point urge you to read the comments beneath this post, because they contain some fascinating alternative takes on the information I’ve found out while I’ve been on this cleanse.
It’s amazing how many ‘experts’ on candida there are, both professional and amateur. And how many of them, by the way, tell you just to eat right and stop worrying, and it’ll all be fine. It’s also amazing how many ideas, myths, suggestions, and protocols there are to deal with it. I’m a little mind-boggled right now. Apparently, there have been 24,000 studies done on candida in the past sixty years. So that’s 24,000 studies, and about the same number of suggestions as to how to bring it under control. This is way more complicated than I thought when I set out.
And harder to deal with when you’re subpar. Bleh.
Day 18: Turned out to be a rougher day than I imagined. I woke up fine, but then took the candida tablets and within an hour I was UNABLE TO WALK IN A STRAIGHT LINE. The dizziness was atrocious. At one point, I was heading in the general direction of the post office (which is the best you can hope for, I’ve decided) and passers-by must have thought I was drunk, I was weaving all over the place. So I hurried home, took olive leaf extract, lay on the couch, and just waited it out.
I also coughed all day and my feet and hands were very cold.
So last night I had a talk over dinner with my partner about the whole thing. He thinks I should continue and see it through, whereas me – I’m all for cutting my losses before something more serious happens. Normally, you’d never hear me admit that. I have laser-like determination with these things and see them right through to the end, but this treatment is so debilitating that it’s preventing me from functioning on a daily level. I have deadlines and tasks to complete, but can’t because I have to stay glued to a chair or sofa, for fear of stumbling over sideways and throwing up. How do people with regular jobs get through this? It’s borderline impossible.
In the end, it might come down to taking a different route. I may just say no to my best friend sugar from now on, keep the fat-intake low, stay off bread, and gradually allow my body to put itself right. Candida can’t thrive if you don’t feed the yeast. I’ll make the decision later today. But for this morning only, I’m skipping a tablet again, just so’s I can leave the house without risking an incident, because it really panics me. Going to the post office, it was entirely possible that I could have toppled sideways into a hedge and just laid there until I was found, like a homeless person.
Last week, I went to the store a couple of blocks from here. Afterwards, I felt woozy, so I sat down on a metal bar that people use for chaining up their bicycles, and fell asleep. In a way, it felt more like passing out. Then suddenly I woke up, wondering where the hell I was. So it’s possible these side-effects have something to do, not with candida die-off, but with an intolerance to the tablets. I’m going to write to Humaworm this morning and ask. I’ll let you know what they say.
Day 19: If only you could have seen me. Last night on the toilet, I pooped and then stared for the longest time into the bowl. It was absolutely fascinating, because, as well as the poop, there was a very obvious slick of scum on the surface of the water, and this scum contained all kinds of white strands. Some of it looked like specks of white parsley. Then, around the feces itself, a white blob floated around, as if propelling itself, which it probably wasn’t. More likely, the current within the water was nudging it around. All the same, it looked like it was swimming.
So that’s a result, and cause for jubilation.
Otherwise, here’s the state of play: I didn’t take any tablets yesterday, and as a consequence I had no dizziness or other symptoms of candida die-off. My hearing was a lot better, there were no zits, and my cough is slowly clearing up.
Sadly, I heard nothing back from Humaworm after I wrote to them about the dizzy spells. I’ve seen comments elsewhere that their customer service is horrible when you have a problem. According to other people, Humaworm likes selling you its products, but isn’t so helpful when there might be an issue with those products. Which is now my experience as well. So on that score it’s a huge black mark for them, and you may need to be careful therefore before buying their stuff. Know that you’re probably on your own if you suffer problems.
Anyway, I have a new plan. I have a presentation on Tuesday and can’t afford to be sick for it, so I will begin the Candida Cleanse again on Wednesday morning, then see it through to the end. In the meantime, I won’t be eating or drinking anything that causes the yeast to flourish.
Increasingly, I’m coming around to the view that a candida overgrowth is caused (or certainly not hindered) by eating too much food, including too much fat and sugar. I am a compulsive eater. Often I’ll consume food for no other reason than out of boredom or greed. I just love eating, what can I tell you? As a result, the body gets overloaded, the liver can’t cope, and the entire biology of the system gets disrupted. Well, trust me, a lesson has been learned!!
This blog will continue in five days’ time.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Was due to re-start the candida cleanse today, but I woke up this morning DIZZY without even taking a single tablet. Worse, the dizziness has lasted all day. I called to make an appointment with my doctor, gave the nurse the symptoms, and – woah – they’re rushing me in tonight to check me out.
Suddenly my week just got a whole lot more interesting. I’ll keep you posted.
THURSDAY UPDATE: Lots of tests, lots of guesswork at the hospital last night. “Could be this, could be that – here’s a needle, let’s find somewhere to stick it.” All my vital signs are normal anyway, and today I feel better and am walking around normally. Even took a shower without falling over like an old person. But now, of course, I’m involved. The system has me. I’m being contacted by the hospital every ten minutes about what happened. Apparently, this ropes in several different departments – all of them curious about what might be wrong. I haven’t told them yet that it started when I took Humaworm tablets. I’m a little ashamed.
Oddly, the doctor said, “Your plan includes a course of psychological therapy – would you like that?” “Oooh, yes please,” I said, excited. As always, it’s not necessary, but I want to see what happens.
So the Humaworm candida cleanse is on hold. This all started during those first three weeks. I’m not blaming Humaworm – although they still haven’t replied to my concerned email, which is shocking, and exceedingly negligent of them, I think – but I don’t want to make this worse than it is, so I’m leaving off it for now.
SATURDAY UPDATE: I’m just about well again now. Hearing’s pretty good, skin much better, tinnitus minimal, and balance restored – but then again, I’ve not been taking the Humaworm tablets these past few days. Indeed, I’ve decided to come off the 30-day cleanse, simply because I felt it might be doing more harm than good. The trip to the hospital freaked me out, as you know. But also the fact that Humaworm don’t reply to messages if you have a problem – that doesn’t sit easily with me at all. There’s a thin line between poor customer service and hiding, and when they don’t reply like this, it suggests they’re hiding.
Therefore, not only would I not take their candida product again, but I can’t in all honesty recommend that anyone else does either.
These side-effects may be just normal candida die-off symptoms, and limited to me alone – entirely possible – but I can’t vouch for a product that puts me in hospital, even if, ultimately, it was only doing what it was meant to be doing. So this experiment is officially declared a bust. I would have continued to the end, but I was in danger of collapsing in the street, and that’s not good.
THE FOLLOWING TUESDAY UPDATE: Still off the tablets, yet last night when I pooped there were white strings in the toilet and a large white blob that had to be candida colony, I guess. It resembled a small flake of tissue paper. So I’m thinking the candida cleanse may still be working.
FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Got tests back from the hospital. Took me a couple of days to work up the nerve to open them and see the results, hence the delay. But I did and – I’m perfectly fine. Everything tests great, from blood pressure to cholesterol to colon to glucose. Basically, nothing wrong. Which therefore begs the question – if there’s nothing at all wrong, why am I woozy? The mystery deepens.
OSCAR NIGHT UPDATE: I discovered this today. It’s a list of foods that have to be avoided totally in order to beat a candida overgrowth.
What’s fascinating about it is that almost everything on that list makes me go deaf or gives me zits or headaches or makes my skin peel off. Which once again points to my having a candida problem.
So starting next weekend, and for two months – that’s sixty days – I will be avoiding every item on that list. And instead I will be eating everything on THIS list, which starves candida from the body. In order to keep track of this I will be starting a new blog post, which I will be updating now and then, though not every day, since I don’t expect the changes to be major. The details of this protocol are outlined in a video, which you can watch here.
GENERAL UPDATE: I bought pH strips from the drug store, and tested my alkalinity after one of the dizzy spells, in case that had anything to do with it. Well, it was right off the charts! The strips are color-coded – whatever color it turns, you match it to the guide on the back, and that tells you how acidic your body is. Needless to say, mine isn’t. Not at all. In my efforts to get rid of candida, I have turned myself into Alkalinity Central.
I read somewhere that being alkaline can affect the distribution of oxygen to the body, so maybe that’s what’s contributing to the dizzy episodes. Just playing around here, but clearly nobody should be this alkaline, it’s dangerous, and I have to remedy it immediately.
NEXT TO LAST UPDATE: My hearing is almost back! After six years of searching, it seems that I may be much closer to the answer than ever before.
When I went to the hospital to get some dizziness pills two weeks ago, they gave me an info sheet. On it, amidst thousands of instructions and warnings was a single line that said: ‘Eat a diet low in sodium to reduce fluid build-up in the inner ear.’
That was it. The light bulb went on. Fluid in the inner ear, huh?
So I quit salt. Not altogether, because the body needs salt, after all, but substantially. I kept a close watch of any salt going in and kept it to a minimum. I also cut back on sugar and fat, which are in the mix somewhere too when it comes to the cause, I think.
At the same time, I treated myself to a fresh organic green drink every day from a health food store, with kale, apple, spinach, carrot, wheatgrass, cayenne, and ginger. I did yoga in the morning and meditated at night to counter any stress build-up, in case that was contributing too.
Finally, an energy healer in New Hampshire did some long-distance jiggery-pokery to clear the backlog of emotional issues I might be hanging on to.
Then I waited, and guess what.
My hearing began to come back almost that same night!
It shifted from deafness in my left ear to equal deafness in my left and right, then the deafness began to dissipate overall. By today, I was able to listen to my iPod and actually hear in stereo for the first time in six years. Brilliant. Out in the world, I could hear all kinds of things I’ve not heard before. Very liberating.
However, this is an experiment, and a very important one. I couldn’t just leave it at that. So today I ordered food at lunch with salt in it, and also ate two small cakes from a bakery and a couple of cookies that I know to contain salt, plus sugar plus fat. Within two hours the hearing in my left ear had dulled to about 80% deaf, with a loud whistling.
Conclusion: we are almost there. Almost at the solution. Looks like an excess of salt is the cause – did you know that Trader Joe‘s canned soups sometimes contain 25% salt per serving? – with sugar and fat playing a part in the overall problem.
That’s six years of investigation, a thousand experiments, months each year of diets, cleanses, detoxes, retreats, and other eccentric inconveniences to my partner and friends that made me the laughing stock of the group. But hey, it looks like it’s paid off. Persistence and endurance won in the end, my friends.
The next few days will tell.
LAST UPDATE – PART 1: The vertigo attacks have continued. It’s now April 2013, and I’m still facing days when I can’t get out of bed.
Two weeks ago, I had a serious attack during a party we threw here at the house. I was supposed to be cooking and serving, but was so giddy on my feet that everyone thought I’d been at the booze since waking up, I was weaving all over the place. It was ghastly.
But then one of our guests said, “I had that too for about a year. In the end I went to see a chiropractor. It was a pinched nerve in my neck. He corrected it, and I’ve not been dizzy since.” The woman sitting next to her added, “I know a GREAT chiropractor, if you want his number.”
Next day I went to see the guy and he took X-rays. Yes, I have a pinched nerve in my neck, it turns out, which is impeding blood flow and could be causing dizziness and hearing loss. Indeed, he’s pretty sure it is. However, that’s not why I’m writing this, because he’s also a huge diet fanatic and he ordered me – ordered me, mind – to quit eating gluten products, gluten being a pernicious enemy causing mucus and inflammation, as well as dairy, excessive salt, sugar, and processed foods.
He urged me to replace this stuff with vegetables and wild fish and meat. “I eat lots of elk,” he said, and glared when I giggled.
Anyway, this accords with what I’ve written above. Candida thrives on wheat products, dairy, sugar, and in conditions of too much fat intake, we’re told. When my hearing came back earlier, I’d come off gluten and the rest and results soon followed. Then of course I got cocky and lapsed. So now it’s time to give it another shot. I have faith in this chiropractor and his elk diet – maybe he’s right.
I’ll keep you posted.
VERY LAST, FINAL UPDATE: I thought I’d considered everything on this topic. Every angle, every possible solution. And then I came across this video by a guy called Brian.
It’s lousy quality, but ‘out of the mouths of babes and amateur videographers’…right? And I think we should pay urgent attention, because Brian may have a point.
His theory about candida and parasites is this: that they generate physical symptoms in us, yes, but those physical symptoms are directly related to, and the product of, emotional problems. A lack of forgiveness, to low self-esteen, to grudges in our past, to unresolved conflicts. We get parasites, etc, because erroneous thoughts are acting parasitically on our body. Sounds far-fetched, but he says that 90-something percent of the people he’s met with candida have some unresolved personal conflict in their past, and I can confirm that from my own life. Friends of mine who claim to have candida are still troubled by niggling emotional issues and traumas from their history.
Imagine if that’s all it is. OMG. Imagine if that’s all we were looking for. Remove the emotional trigger, move beyond the emotional issues, forgive, leave the past behind, and the parasites serve no purpose any more and go away.
To some, that’s ridiculous. To me, with my background, every word rings true and I’m going to try the exercise the guy suggests, see what happens.
Make your own mind up. Take a look. I’m pretty blown away right now by the possibilities.
NOTE: I’m not promoting any product here, and I’m certainly not linked with any manufacturer or producer of candida remedies. This is an independent and honest study. If it doesn’t work, you’ll be the first one to know. Also, you already realize by now, I’m sure – because I keep emphasizing it – that nothing I say has been verified, validated, or approved by the FDA or anyone else in authority. This is a personal experiment only, but one I come at with the same spirit of inquiry I used for exploring the healing of cancer and multiple sclerosis in my A Little Book About Believing, which so many people have read and found incredibly useful. If you, or someone you know, is worried about cancer, this is a great book to read.