The years went by and up until about thirty four years old I had dealt with what I thought was normal levels of energy, it suddenly came to my attention that what I always thought was normal, was not normal at all. I think grabbing a quick ten minute nap in the day is normal, sleeping for two hours or more during the day apparently, is not. While I had a full time job, this meant I was extremely tired at work and not as productive as I should have been. It also occurred to me that sleeping for hours at a time during the day whilst not having the excuse of shift work, was in actual fact, wasting my life. I was simply sleeping my life away. It wasn’t really an option I was choosing, more like something my body was telling me it needed. I was lethargic and physically exhausted, my muscles were weak, my eyes were tired, dull and sensitive and my mood was very low as well as my self-esteem. I needed to sleep. Everything felt better when I slept.
I didn’t cease to exist though, I went to the gym three times a week, gave my family the attention they needed, held down a job and did work around the house. It was just very difficult and wiped me out as soon as I sat down or relaxed. Sometimes my muscles hurt so much I would practically crawl up the stairs at home, everything physical was hard work.
So, when it came to my attention that I was in fact missing out on a healthy life each day while other people were having productive lives, I knew I had to do something about it. I remember my mother mentioning to me that I could be allergic to gluten but up until now I had pretty much ignored this suggestion. But suddenly, one day, I must have had an epiphany as I realised she may actually have a point.
Note; always listen to your mum, it’s highly likely she does know best.
Straight away I began to research about gluten allergies but wanted to know what might cause the allergy or intolerance in the first place?
I was later tested at the local doctors surgery for Celiacs disease of which the test results came back negative. Luckily, I chose to ignore this diagnosis and cut out all wheat, yeast and gluten out of my diet anyway. I knew my body better than a doctor and I knew how it felt when eliminating things from my diet. Maybe I wasn’t Celiac but I was certain I was intolerant to certain foods. I was just going to have to take time to experiment with different ingredients.
After just a couple of days I felt an almost instant improvement in my body and mind, which I was very excited about. I felt like the fog in my brain was beginning to lift, I had more clarity of mind. My body was more energised and my moods felt as though they were stabilising. I was so excited at the prospects of these changes to my life.
The changes pushed me on to research what could be causing me the problems in the first place and after a lot of researching and reading, one word kept popping up; Candida‘Candida is a genus of yeasts and is the most common cause of fungal infections worldwide. Many species are harmless commensals or endosymbionts of hosts including humans; however, when mucosal barriers are disrupted or the immune system is compromised they can invade and cause disease.
Candida albicans is the most commonly isolated species, and can cause infections (candidiasis or thrush) in humans and other animals. Many species are found in gut flora, including C. albicans in mammalian hosts, whereas others live as endosymbionts in insect hosts. Systemic infections of the bloodstream and major organs (candidemia or invasive candidiasis), particularly in immunocompromised patients, affect over 90,000 people a year in the U.S.
The DNA of several Candida species has been sequenced.
Antibiotics promote yeast infections, including gastrointestinal Candida overgrowth, and penetration of the GI mucosa. While women are more susceptible to genital yeast infections, men can also be infected. Certain factors, such as prolonged antibiotic use, increase the risk for both men and women. People with diabetes or impaired immune systems, such as those with HIV, are more susceptible to yeast infections.
After reading the list of symptoms, which, I may say is quite a long list*, it was abundantly clear to me that my body was infected. Rather than just avoiding foods, I needed to introduce things into my diet that were going to promote good health, not just eliminating things to avoid a reaction. One of the problems that Candida may cause is what is known as a ‘leaky gut’. The gut feeds the brain and the brain feeds the gut. If one is not functioning correctly, then neither can the other.
I shall post a list of symptoms in a future blog
A possible cause of leaky gut is increased intestinal permeability or intestinal hyperpermeability. That could happen when tight junctions in the gut, which control what passes through the lining of the small intestine, dont work properly. That could let substances leak into the bloodstream. It was clear that even though I was keeping fit, eating healthy, certain things were making my gut inflamed and inefficient which had a detrimental effect to the brain and the mind, which affected all the messages being sent around my body.
I will post a list of symptoms and see if you suffer from any of them, you might be surprised at some of the things listed.
Read my future blogs to find out ways you can help rid your body of infection and chronic symptoms and begin to lead a happy healthy lifetsyle.