My Latest Health Challenges

Twenty-five years ago I couldn’t believe I was hearing the things I heard women discuss in the beauty shop right there in front of God and strangers and everybody. They discussed their bladders like they were discussing their hair, which is what I thought we were all there for. Well, all I’m going to say about mine is that it gets to go to a urologist and the antibiotic I had to take a few months ago and a couple of times since has caused some problems.

We have discovered that I’ve had Candida over-growth for years and I didn’t know that; I’d never mentioned the symptoms I was having to a doctor. We also didn’t know I was gluten intolerant until last fall when I went to a new doctor. A couple of months after coming off gluten I was really beginning to feel great. A month later I had an amazing energy level. I went from wondering how on earth people got up out of bed and went to work every day, to just about going into orbit over the joy of how good I felt and how I could do so much more and do it with energy. I won’t discuss the private stuff, but my hair (the thing I thought we were in the beauty shop for and which had thinned considerably over the past few years because of gluten intolerance interfering with absorption of nutrients) started growing back. I even have hair on my legs again; I thought it was gone because of age. I guess I’m not as old as I felt. Or, maybe getting old isn’t supposed to take one’s energy away? God willing, I expect I’ll find that out one day.

At this point, with my newly unscrambled brain, I went to the doctor about these other symptoms. They were mild at the time. In checking things out it was discovered that I had a bladder problem and had to take the antibiotic – the one that started this mess. After two days of the medicine, my belly bloated back up again like it used to be and the real trouble began. Oh, and yes, I was taking a probiotic , so who knows how bad it would have been otherwise?

In the meantime, we tried a variety of medications to clear up the Candida. Nothing was working; it only helped until I came to the end of the prescription, then my nurse practitioner would try something else. I was also taking supplements that I showed to her and had her approval. There is some good stuff out there for this, but I don’t want to take things like that without medical advice from someone with a degree. There are a variety of yeast (Candida) diets out there and I picked a pretty strict one to follow, again letting my nurse practitioner know what I was doing.

I’m not sure how long I was on the diet before I noticed an acidic smell that I’d never smelled before and it was coming from me. I thought it was because of one of the supplements and I quit taking it. I should have gone to my NP and told her and let her decide what it might be. I guess it’s hard to think straight when you’re hungry. I’d been on the diet for a month and when I started adding foods back, I kinda’ went nuts on biscuits and other carbs. I needed some energy! I had no stamina. I quit the supplement and added back carbs at the same time and didn’t know what I know now.

What I know now is that the smell was not from the supplements. It was from going on such a low carb diet. My body was going after muscle after it ate up all the fat I had. When I dropped under 100 pounds I sort of freaked out. I didn’t eat biscuits all day, but I sure have been eating and eating and trying not to spend too many of those calories.

I talked to my NP yesterday about the bladder problem and the yeast problem. That is how I get to go to a urologist and also, (YEA!) a nutritionist so we can build me back up. Most likely the yeast has messed up my intestines so much that I’m not absorbing enough of what I’m eating and that is why my hair is falling out again. A nutritionist can help me get the balance right so the Candida can starve instead of me starving, and also get me on the right supplements to build my muscles back up. I want to be buff.

So why, if I’m so private that I won’t discuss this in a beauty shop, am I writing about it here? Well, I’m not telling you details, am I? Nope. Not this shy violet. I’m telling you enough so that you will know that if you think you may have a gluten problem, don’t wait too long to get it checked out. Yeast over-growth is common with folks who are gluten intolerant. The other thing I want you to know is that if you are trying to treat a yeast problem, or gluten either for that matter, don’t try to doctor yourself. Even though there is a lot of info and there are a variety of products to help, it really does take medical supervision. You can see from what I’ve written how dicey this can be, and I’ve had supervision. And don’t pay too much attention to what you hear in the beauty shop.

Just a note about the supplement: Early last month, I emailed the company and asked if anyone had ever reported such a problem and they said they had never heard of it. I started taking it again and the only times I’ve smelled the smell is when I’ve dropped too low on carbs. Oh, and I’ve gained back a couple of pounds the past few weeks, so I’m over 100 now.

ADDENDUM: I’ve been reminded if you are gluten intolerant, you can’t eat it for decades and have everything be OK in a week;  it can take 3-5 years for gluten damage to heal. I’ve also read that sometimes, it doesn’t completely heal. Whether the problem is gluten damage or Candida damage or both, or whatever, I’m sure looking forward to getting well.

SECOND ADDENDUM: It was discovered that I had been eating almonds and almond butter that were “processed in a facility that also processes wheat.” This is why my hair was falling out again; it wasn’t caused from yeast damage. Once I quit eating those things and started watching labels for things processed near wheat and eliminating those things, my hair started growing back. I now have hair that is three different lengths because of gluten problems. Also, my hormones have been corrected, along with DHEA and I’m gaining weight back. Please do see a doctor if you are having similar problems. If you get one that doesn’t listen to you, or tells you that your tests are clear and you don’t have a gluten problem, then maybe they don’t understand non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. I’ve heard that some don’t, so find one who does and get some help.

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