December 22, 2013

Food for Healing. ~ Sarah Clark

For five years, I suffered from chronic bladder, sinus and yeast infections.

I had frequent headaches, moodiness, brain fog and days of extreme tiredness (I kept saying if someone would roll out a cot I would go to sleep). Since I naturally have high energy, I could luckily save my naps for the weekend.

I went into early menopause when I was 28 (both of my kids are from donor eggs through IVF), so I was on birth control and hormone replacement therapies for years. Turns out it was probably the Candida that was the cause of my infertility. I had signs of Candida back in my early 20s (I am now in my early 40s), such as acne, dandruff, skin rashes, bloating and vaginitis. I was seeing an urologist and gynecologist to help with my issues.

I always thought my health issues were hormone related, but it turns out I had a yeast overgrowth in my system. After taking a food sensitivity test with my naturopath, I learned I had Candida. Candida is a serious overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans. It was recommended that I eliminate sugar, gluten, caffeine, dairy, alcohol, corn and chocolate from my diet. I knew I would need to do something, but I had no idea it would be so radical. At that point I was desperate.

I was allergic to many different types of antibiotics, since I was taking them for my sinus and bladder infections. At one point I thought the house was infested with fleas because I couldn’t stop itching. I thought I saw a flea on my dog, so we fumigated the house with flea spray powder. After spraying the house and washing the dog in a flea bath I realized I was allergic to the antibiotics. Oops sorry Sadie (my cute little Bichon Frise), at least you got clean!

I decided to take the recommendations seriously and since I usually do everything full on, I immediately eliminated the recommended foods. The first three or four days were the worst. I had a major sweet tooth and was dreaming of sugar everywhere. I didn’t know what to eat. I thought of food constantly.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

But once I got through the middle of the first week it started to get easier. My headaches disappeared and I didn’t feel like I needed to go to the bathroom every minute. My sinuses started to clear. My seasonal allergies lessened. Previously, I was very allergic to cats and now I could tolerate cats without breaking out in hives. My bloated stomach disappeared and I no longer looked three months pregnant.

After about one month on the diet I found that gluten, dairy, corn and chocolate really aggravated my system. I would instantly get sinus congestion, my bladder would act up and my stomach would become bloated.

Turns out I had food allergies. This was the underlying cause of my Candida. Who knew? Undetected food allergies are extremely common and can be the root cause of any symptom or illness. There are delayed and immediate reactions. Wheezing, hives and swelling are immediate reactions occurring the moment after consuming the food. These make up only about 10% of food allergies. The vast majority of food allergies occur on a delayed basis – up to four days later. The common allergens are wheat, corn, dairy, citrus, eggs and chocolate.

Everyone asks what is left to eat, and I say I eat the most amazing delicious food. If I knew the act of what I put on my fork everyday could radically change my health I would have done it years ago. As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”

I want to shout it from the rooftop, is your food healing or harming you?




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Assistant Editor: Holly Horne/Editor: Bryonie WIse

Photo: Daniela Vladimirova, Flickr

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Sarah Clark