Confused? This post is number 3 in a series. You can catch up by reading:
{post #1 here.}
{post # 2 here}

Written Early December 2013 
I am shocked at my self control. Church activity refreshments, faculty room treats, and neighbor gifts have all been resisted with an iron clad will. As a result, my cycle continues to be regular, I rarely have sugar cravings, and I feel plain awesome. Unintended--but not unwelcome--results include fewer headache, faster growing hair and nails, and lost inches around my mid section. It helped that a warning was issued to my students that all sugary Christmas gifts would go instead straight to Mr. Ashmore. I just couldn't accept twenty-two plates of homemade fudge, gingerbread, or candy cane encrusted sugar cookies...and remain strong.

However, I did allow for concessions over the holidays. We indulged in our usual Christmas Eve chocolate fondue, I requested almond M&M's in my stocking, and for our anniversary we made a stop at the Cheesecake Factory. The main side effects of this sudden sugar onslaught included acne breakouts, immediate sore throats, fatigue, and a general feeling of nauseous ickiness. So far, it has not caused any irregular bleeding...which shows me I can have an occasional treat betwixt all this rabbit food! But still. The side effects I did have were negative enough that my no-sugar decision seems to have been justified. And so it continues.

This new year is going to be exciting. A new juicer and blender will allow for fruit and veggie treats that will be a welcome variation to what I've been eating. Plus, Andrew is all gung ho about getting back in shape. He wants to exercise and eat healthier...which will only make it easier for me to do so.

That entry makes me laugh. 
I sound so enthusiastic. So full of hope and enjoyment for life.

What a pathetic, naive soul I was back then.

I wrote that post right after Christmas. I kept it filed away as a draft because there was more to add. More than a month later, it still isn't finished. And...MAJORLY outdated.  But here it is anyway to accompany a real update of my crazy health crusade. 

Much has changed.

Since then, only knowing my issues were sugar and stress induced, I continued to research. Further underlying causes? Long term impact? Preventative measures? 

I began to notice common threads in medical articles, websites, health classes, and  conversations with others that intrigued me. Things like "estrogen dominance" "cortisol" "adrenal overdrive" and "candida" were everywhere. The word "Candida" seemed to echo in my mind for weeks. Finally I prayed about it. My answer was clear, direct, and undeniable. Candida needed to be my focus.

Most people associate candida with yeast infections. It's true they can be related, but candida is so, so much more. And it impacts more than just woman. Several sources I came across stated that 70-80% of all adults suffer from a candida overgrowth of some kind. 

Usually, there is a normal, healthy amount of yeast in our digestive tract. But sometimes an overgrowth of the yeast can occur. The body responds to these parasites by putting up hot, red walls of inflammation in an effort to block their progress. However, chronic inflammation can cause an insanely long list of health issues.

What causes an overgrowth of this yeast through the body? The following is a list of a few things that can literally feed the candida until it is out of control.
  • Chronic stress 
    • Causes the adrenals to overproduce which causes hormone imbalances with elevated estrogen levels. Estrogen feeds the yeast growth.
  • Birth-control pills 
    • Also causes an increase in estrogen
  • High-sugar diet
  • Antibiotics
  • Caffeine
  • Refined Carbohydrates
I find it very interesting I felt so inspired NOT to take the birth control pills doctors kept prescribing to me to fix my hormonal imbalances. It would have actually only worsened the underlying issue.

I also find it very interesting that when I was seeking answers back in September about my bleeding, the repeated response I got was limit my stress and limit my sugar! At the time I didn't understand why. Makes sense now, right?

The list below makes me wonder how many people are misdiagnosed and/or are busy treating symptoms for things that they never would guess originate from issues in their gut! Here are the most common areas problems arise.
  • Emotional
    • anxiety, depression, mood wings, intense cravings for sweet, salty, or dairy foods
  • Respiratory
    • asthma, coughs, sore throats, sinus issues, difficulty swallowing, chronic post-nasal drip, allergies
  • Digestive
    • constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, large abdomen "beer belly", pain, heartburn, nausea, bad breath
  • Skin
    • acne, eczema, hives, rashes, nail fungus
  • Mental
    •  inability to concentrate (brain fog), ADD/ADHD, insomnia, fatigue 
  • Reoccurring Infections
    • vaginal yeast infections, UTI's, bladder infections, earaches
  • Female Specific 
    • PMS, abnormal mentrual cycles, infertility, miscarraiges, endometriosis
  • Other
    • restless leg syndrome, headaches, sexual problems, high cholesterol, triglycerides, or blood pressure, swollen joints, gout, weight gain--especially around the mid-section, weight loss, dizziness, chronic pelvic pain, cold hands, feet, or nose, blurred vision, pale skin with dark circles under the eyes
And that is the short list. I am not going to fill you in on all of my personal symptoms, but if I were to highlight them for you, you would see why I am putting myself through this process.  

The above list is just the everyday symptoms. Chronic inflammation does much, much worse to us over time depending on its location. 

Crohn's disease. Multiple Sclerosis. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Heart Disease. Stroke. Alzheimer's Disease. One source said that doctors in Europe have begun requiring a candida cleanse from their patients before undergoing cancer treatment. They have found that you just don't have cancer without having candida as well. 

Well...this post is getting a bit long. So in two days, plan on a follow-up post that explains all the blasted things I have to do to get well again. It'll be filled with drama, tears, and angst. 

I'm sure you can't wait. 

These are a few of the sources I referred to as I studied all of this out for myself. If you have the desire to learn more, check them out.

P.S. I think I just wrote a research paper of my own accord...because I wanted to. What the heck is wrong with me? On the bright side, I won't have anyone grading me on how incorrectly my sources are formatted. 

See you soon,

UPDATE: Part 4 can be found here. It explains more about what I am going to do about the candida, now that I know I have it. 


Andrea said...

So happy you are feeling so well! This is really well written. Can I share it on my blog??? please??

beckystamps said...

I jumped to your blog because I had a question about construction, but having read your post, I plan on visiting your links. Thank you for helping others by sharing your knowledge.

Rachel Ashmore said...

Thanks, Andrea. Sure, you share the post.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...