Saturday, January 11, 2014

3rd world living: candida cleansing #1

This blog is dedicated to third world missionaries sacrificing so much for the love and joy of the call!
I am not a doctor or a health professional but I just want to share the little I have learned and my experiences over the last 6 years working and living in East Africa.  The joys outweigh the sacrifices (on most days) but we have to learn in the throws of third world living to take care of ourselves and to stay strong and healthy so that we can continue the work!!!  A lot of what I will share will likely be a help to those not in third world nations as well! :)

My Journey
Over the last few years, my health has suffered tremendously on the mission field of Uganda.  Going into the deepest darkest slums, hospitals, and villages, we encounter the worlds most feared diseases, bacterias, and parasites etc.  no sweat for us we usually think!  Fearless bold and set on fire, but lets be realistic!  I don't think there is a missionary who has been on the ground for more than 2 years who hasn't been on at least a round of antibiotics for a nasty stomach bug! 

A year ago I was diagnosed with a high level of amoebas in my gut.  The docs pumped me full of strong antibiotics which triggered a shingles outbreak!  Oh my this was not fun.  My immune system was so compromised that the docs put me on bed rest and refused me to travel in writing!  A strong independent missionary who is a mom to 19 kids and an overseer to a school of 400 and boss to 25 staff, I was literally like a vegetable and for the first time in my life experienced fear concerning my health.  I was supposed to be heading back to the states to return to a ministry training school but instead I was forced to rest.  Lets be honest I needed it on every level but fought it on every level as well.

Six months later the amoebas resurfaced (they often go dormant) and another round of antibiotics did not kill them.  Two weeks later another round of antibiotics and I was not sure if they were gone or not because of a mixture of symptoms!  I went back to the states and tried to figure out what was happening!  Most western medicine doctors are not well versed in tropical medicine so luckily I found an international health clinic a few years back.  After tests they found..... Nothing.  Symptoms persisted.

I did a Chinese medicine herbal cleanse with a restricted diet which helped a lot but didn't fully kick out whatever it was! I confess I didn't stick to it very well though.  No sugar didn't last very long!  Chinese medicine is fascinating stuff though...

Candida ...yuck! 

A year after the first amoeba diagnosis, and voila!  Another diagnosis... Mass yeast overgrowth in my gut!   When I had been in the states, a friend told me she thought I should do a candida cleanse but I was just coming off the Chinese herbs cleanse and it was FALL in AMERICA!  It takes a soldier to fast through pumpkin pastries and pecan pies and chai lattes plus all the other foods I never see in Africa like sushi, decent hamburgers, Mexican food, etc. etc. etc. I was too weak.  ;-) 

So here I am in the middle of a 3rd world country and I am on day 4 of a candida cleanse.  After researching, the general guidelines of a candida cleanse look something like this:

1. A week of veggies, spices. and oils only fasting
2. A week of veggies plus a few proteins and oils
3. Continue the diet and add antifungals
4. Continue the diet another week.
5. Add probiotics
5. Continue the diet up to 60-90 days adding in a few grains like brown rice, quinoa, and barley until healed.

The reason for such a gradual lead up to the antifungals is to reduce the die off symptoms of fatigue, needing extra sleep, headaches, irritability, digestive problems, anger flares, etc.

My journey with candida:::

However because I was diagnosed with such a high level I started my antifungals right away as I began the cleanse.  I did a liquid fast day one and then went to two days of veggies only with one or 2 eggs per day.  However I found myself very hungry so decided to go ahead and add meat in. 

 I am now on day 4 of antifungals and day 5 of the cleanse.  I have definitely had die off symptoms such as light headaches, heart racing, very tired upon waking up, stomach discomfort, and some light sugar cravings.  I am drinking hot water with lots of ginger and a squeeze of lemon juice in the mornings in place of my usual sugary hot tea.  

I will be writing about the rest of my journey on the cleanse!  Here is my plan:  

Week 1: antifungals + candida safe non starchy veggies, water, eggs, minimal natural meats like chicken, beef, and fresh fish, olive oil and spices such as ginger, garlic, salt, cinnamon, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, cilantro, and curry 

Week 2: continue the above diet. 

Week 3: continue the above diet.  Add probiotic capsules + probiotic rich foods such as plain no sugar yogurt and kimchee.  

Week 4: continue week 3. 

Week 5: continue week 3. Add brown rice and maybe quinoa and barley if I can find it here.  

Week 6-8: continue week 5 until finished!  

This blog is in part to share what I learn and also to help me in maintaining this fight.  

It's gonna be a long uphill journey!  I'll be sharing some missionary health tips, recipes, and natural remedies along the way.  Here we go!!!! Here's to getting strong and healthy again!  :) 


1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

No comments:

Post a Comment