Health stuff: Me, Fi, avocados, and candida.

  • After writing this, I thought, “How cliché!  I’m writing about a diet and it’s the new year, when everyone has made new commitments (again!) to some diet or another.”  But, for better or worse, that’s not what this post is about.
  • It appears my three-year-old, Fiala, has a crazy-bad body-wide yeast infection, and I was reading up on Candida overgrowth for Fi’s sake, when, to my particular interest, I read that Candida is frequently the source of hives in adults.  I’ve been getting intermittent hives for about the last two or three months, and the last two weeks have been AWFUL, with nightly hives (they’re always worse at night) and day-long burning and itching skin, especially on my hands, forearms, thighs, belly, and neck.  The whole world of Candida overgrowth is confusing and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.  Trying to establish some sort of anti-Candida protocol is really hard for a three-year-old;  you just can’t make them quaff a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, no matter how you disguise it.  For me, though, it’s a little easier.  I am embarking on a week-long cleanse.  I don’t even know if I’m doing it “right”;  I’m just following what seems logical:  Eating a all-sugar-free-even-honey-and-fruit, super-low-carb diet, basically a Paleo diet.  I’m counting my carbs (minus dietary fiber), and maxing them at 30g/daily.  I’m also supplementing with probiotics (lots) and with apple cider vinegar (lots).  Part of me is concerned that I don’t know enough to start the diet knowledgeably, but the other part of me has decided that doing the best I can, and adding to my knowledge as I proceed, is what I need to do, otherwise, I’ll keep dragging my feet and eating toffee.  :)  I figure that even if the hives are not from Candida, at least I’ll probably lose a few pounds this week.  At least, I hope I only have to do one week.  We’ll see.  Maybe it’ll be as easy as starting a gluten-free diet nine years ago, where I felt SO MUCH BETTER that how much “trouble” it was became a total non-issue, and I knew I could never go back.
  • The post from which this beautiful pic comes mentions the giant amount of "good" calories that come from avocados. For the record, I don't give a rip about calories, and my body doesn't, either. My body does, however, care about sugar. I can eat fat-laden meat and fruits and veggies and gallons of honey and never gain an ounce, but if I eat me some sugar, and too many grains, I *PACK* on the pounds. I think those Paleo folks are onto something.

    In news related to the above (and below), avocados, though they are technically a fruit, have NO sugar!  Well, not “no”:  An average-sized avocado has 0.4g sugar and 0.1g starch.  That’s pretty close to zero.  And they’re super high in fiber, avocados have a reasonable amount of protein (especially for a fruit!), and are crazy-high in Omega 6 fatty acids, and EFAs are also supposed to be good for Candida sufferers.  And, oddly enough, avocados are related to cinnamon!  I’ve long known that Fiala can handle cinnamon with no allergic reaction.  I wish I would have discovered the connection, long ago.  Fi’s been eating avocados like crazy the last week or so; a local grocer has them on sale for 4/$1.00 (Bashas’, for those readers in Arizona — the sale is good through Tuesday.)  I found this page very interesting;  it’s about different varieties of avocados.  I was trying to find what kind we have.  I’m still not sure.

  • Speaking of Fiala, you may have seen on OSC’s Facebook page that there was a chance she has Type I (juvenile) Diabetes.  I’m happy to announce that her urinalysis was clean — no glucose.  Part of me was kind of hoping that diabetes was at the heart of her life-long health struggles, because that would be a clear path, and it’s treatable.  But since she doesn’t… we’re back at square one.  I was really unhappy about that for a few days, and now I’m OK.  Better than OK, actually.  We see the naturopathic doctor again on Friday.  She’s planning on ordering up some blood tests based on what did or didn’t show on Fiala’s (very, very clean) urinalysis.  I’ll ask her about Candida then.
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About Karen Joy

I'm a homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 16, 14 and 12 years old, and three girls: 7 and 5 years old, and our newest, born in June 2013. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I am a natural childbirth advocate and fledgling birthing class instructor. I'm a CSA coordinator for a local organic farm, Crooked Sky Farms. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on January 3, 2012, in Allergies, Clean Eating, Groceries, Health, The Kids and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Haven’t even begun to scratch the surface…bwah ha ha. Sorry. Couldn’t resist. Darn I wish I had known about the avocado sale earlier. That’s a great price. I’m thrilled you found another safe food for Fi.

  2. I am sure you don’t want to hear this but you will probably feel like crap after a week on a low carb diet especially if you do in fact have an issue with yeast overgrowth. Die off symptoms can make you feel like death and it usually lasts a couple of weeks. I would urge you to try 30 days and then see how you feel. Check out the Whole 30 program at http://www.whole9life.com. Their site is down right now, I’m assuming due to traffic since it’s January 3rd. :-) The first time I went low carb I thought I was DYING!! I fell off the wagon after 5 or 6 days because I couldn’t take the agony. I just couldn’t go cold turkey. Maybe you are more woman than I though. Good luck. Keep us updated on how it is going.

    • So when you say you were in agony, what did that look like for you?

      I hit 42 carbs today… not the 30 I was shooting for, largely because I didn’t make any meat tonight. Ran out of time.

      I have heard of die off, but I’m not sure what’s all involved. I’m still way itchy and I have hives right now, so clearly, one day isn’t enough! :D

      I have done super-low carb before, when I was nursing Fi. Lost 30 lbs! I know it’s possible… It wasn’t even that hard, though I had supreme motivation, because the stuff was coming through my breastmilk.

      • I was weak, shakey, dizzy, headache, supremely irritable just miserable. As I write it, it doesn’t sound like a big deal but if felt horrible. When I broke down and caved I remember standing at the pantry shovelling handfuls of some hideous dry cereal and uncooked pasta into my mouth. I felt near immediate relief. I suspect my blood sugar was about 30. The cravings were so bad that I could hardly think of anything but food.

        It’s pretty common for your symptoms to get worse initially. As the yeast die they release all their toxins and the symptoms that arise from that are pretty varied. If I was as diligent as you I would insert a perfect link right here.____________ I’m not as diligent as you.

        • It does sound miserable. Knowing you, I CANNOT envision you with uncooked pasta stuffed into your mouth. That doesn’t even sound real. So, that helps me understand how on the edge you were! :(

          I’ve found quite a few pages on die-off. It seems that some supplements can help with the process. I’m going to buy some bentonite clay tonight for Fiala and for me. I’m semi-OK with die-off symptoms in myself, but it’s KILLING ME to watch Fi go through it. Her chin is better than when you last saw her, but her entire body is covered in the worst rash she may have ever had, and she is having debilitating leg pain. :( :( :(

  3. OH MAN! A light bulb just went off. Earlier this year I was covered head to toe in a rash. I literally scratched my arms until I bled. It was worse at night. It lasted months. I went to the Dr. who only prescribed an oral anti itch med that I wouldn’t ever take as it would have made me feel worse than taking Benadryl (tired) and he prescribed a steroid cream. Again, something I would not consider. The Benadryl didn’t help at all. Anyway, I then had that kidney stone in August. That’s when I discovered the connection between kidney stones and a high oxalate diet. I had been on a very high oxalate diet which was also low carb when this was going on. As soon as I cut back on my oxalates the itch went away. There is a low ox diet yahoo group and it was there that I read that a chronic rash/hives can be related to this oxalate issue. This time I do have a link. http://lowoxalate.info/recipes.html This was the info I worked from. An oxalate issue is genetic. Maybe Fiala……?

    • OK. I’m going to entirely ignore this comment for now. It kind of pushes me over the edge for what I can handle right now. Too much. Know what I mean?? HOWEVER, I will keep this filed in a back corner of my mind to pull out if we need to, which I pray we won’t.

      Oooh, just had a thought. I’m going to text you.

  4. Don’t want to complicate things but hives were a symptom of low thyroid for my son and myself. So if it doesn’t clear up with diet changes (paleo and low yeast) then you might want to have comprehensive thyroid testing done. Interestingly, paleo would probably help with low thyroid too as grains (gluten in particular) is very bad for thyroid problems. Here is a post on comprehensive testing for thyroid:

    http://whattofeedyourkids.blogspot.com/2012/01/info-on-comprehensive-thyroid-testing.html

    So often thyroid problems are overlooked because they don’t do all the necessary testing. Good Luck!

    • Yeah, I’m thinking I’m going to need to start seeing the naturopath for myself, so I’m sure she’d do thyroid testing, much more completely and knowledgeably than an allopathic doc. Thyroids are another really tricky world, so I’m hoping I don’t have anything like that…. I’d much rather see it resolved with diet than anything else, so that’s good to know about paleo helping. :)

      • I spoke to a naturopathic dr. about this and he said prescribing thyroid is “one step above giving a gumdrop.” because it is so important to health to have your thyroid working. It is especially important for proper brain development that children’s thyroid be functioning. I was very resistant to taking medication for thyroid but when I went off thyroid medication I developed hives and really bad acid reflux. I had no idea they were connected to low thyroid. As soon as I started taking medication it all went away. It turns out when you have low thyroid you can’t make stomach acid which can cause acid reflux. Also, a friend was “allergic to everything” and had off the charts IgE allergies to everything actually turned out to have hypothyroidism. She was taking Benedryl everyday. Anyway, you can definitely try to resolve through diet. Sometimes it works. But if it doesn’t work, I would have bloodwork done to see if that is the issue. That way, even if you wanted to address it through diet, at least you would know if it was a factor. Here is a good list of foods to avoid. As you can see when you are on a gf diet sometimes your diet is filled with some of the things on the list (tapioca, millet, peanuts, corn,sorghum.) http://feelgoodfoodforyou.blogspot.com/p/no-nos-for-your-thyroid.html Good luck I look forward to hearing how it goes.

        • Thank you for this! It reminds me that a friend of mine, whose son is just a few months older than Fiala, and going through some eerily similar issues… well, I saw the mother a few weeks ago, first time in a long time (as they have moved away), and she mentioned that the “latest” on her son is that he might have hypothyroidism. Pretty crazy for a 3yo to be diagnosed with that, but if that’s what it is… Golly. Our bodies are so complex!!!! That’s both good news and bad news sometimes. :)

  5. I have had myself lots of experience with very very bad rash. Here i my advice what has helped with me:

    Drink lots of Oolong tea. If you search on the internet with Oolong tea and atopic dermatitis, you will find that the tea has been scientifically researched to be effective for rash. To me it was very effective. But you need to drink 1-2 litres a day for couple of months.

    Eat daily lots of millet porridge. It strenghtens your basic metabolism making candida harder to grow. Millet is very healthy, contains lots of vitamins and minerals. Continue big dose daily for months.

    Eat 1-2 avocados a day for longer period of time, at least 6 months or more. Extremely healthy. Strengthens the basic energy and immunology.

    Go to a long term reflexology and acupuncture treatment with a very good practitioner. If the person is good it works very well. I know two people who does high quality work and very effective. But they are in my country.

  6. I had hives for almost a solid year! Big itchy wheels, usually round or oblong and raised. It was a nightmare. I went to a nutritionist in San Diego named Dr. Kellas ? think that’s how it’s spelled it also may have been in Encinitas (doesn’t matter he does phone appts)
    anyway. My anti candida diet was very strict. Also I had to take epsom salt and clay baths and sort of put my face into a large bowl of water that I believe had a litte peroxide mixed with filtered water. (don’t quote me on that peroxide though)
    the diet was green vegetables and only distilled water for 5 days on the 5th day I could add brown rice, quinoa or amaranth.
    the seasonings were limited to garlic, parsley, cayenne, sea salt and a few others.
    Eventually I could add leans cuts of chicken and fish and some nuts.
    on the 5th day the brown rice tasted as good as hot fudge. It’s amazing how when you take away all sugars, the simple sugars in foods are very satisfying.
    So he told me that if I followed the diet that on the 3rd day my hives would be the worse that they had ever been, like fire and everywhere! but on the 4th day they would be gone and they would never come back and that is EXACTLY what happened! To this day I’m hive free.
    He said to continue the protocol for a month and then gradually add others foods back.
    all good, all fine, totally worth the sacrifice!!

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