Ok you guys, time for a little real talk.
As you may have guessed, I try to be good to myself in how I eat and live (working out, attempting to get enough sleep [ok sleep I'm still bad at] but you know what I mean.). As a teen I was in and out of the doctors regularly. Blood draw after blood draw, test after test, coming back 'inconclusive' so I simply stopped going. 'Modern Medicine' became a dirty term to me; I hated all things medical... but I still had a lot of health problems to deal with and I was really unsure of where to turn. I did some research and realized that my diet could have a huge effect on my health, which is why I have been gluten, soy, and dairy free for nearly 5 years; this helped several of my health problems significantly. However, the last year or so has really put a strain on my health, often leaving me feeling like a 90 year old whose health was fading, rather than the vibrant 26 year old that I am... which is incredibly frustrating.
Fast forward to the fate sealing blood test of 2014. Turns out I have a condition called Candida, which (to keep it simple) is an over growth of bacteria (yeast) in my organs. Now, most people who have candida start having health issues and get it diagnosed quickly, therefore the ramifications of the 'disease' are much more mild... I have had candida my entire life therefore the infection is much more... substantial shall we say.
Reading through the symptoms and effects candida can have- migraines (something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember), fever, body aches, moodiness, extreme fatigue, food sensitivities, stomach pain, bruising (my legs look like an abused street walker) and a weak immune system (just for starters)... I just thought this is how people live, in pain and tired ALL OF THE TIME.
I KNOW! This is not normal... but when your life has been one constant stream of weird health problems just either accept it and move on or become a hypochondriac.
This whole thing is treatable with a candida killing diet and nutritional supliments... but you know how much I love food! I am 80% grain free (if not more), only having brown rice and quinoa from time to time (which I just learned quinoa doesn't even count as a grain!) no fruit, no sugar, no alcohol, no gluten, soy, dairy, vinegar (except raw apple cider vinegar), no potatoes, no nothing... it is crazy, BUT I am determined (also Drew has been a champ and encourages me to stick to it even though I complain about not having something at least once a day). The other reason I get discouraged is because my version of the disease has caused my symptoms to get worse before they get better. 'The die off' stage is incredibly painful; I have holes in my intestines leaking toxins into my bloodstream, I'm fatigued all of the time, essentially I don't feel well 90% of the time and it is exhausting.
All this to say- I am healthier, I look like a real human for the first time maybe ever in my life. My migraines only happen a couple times a month, instead of several times a week. My skin looks like it should (no longer grey and splotchy)... there is good coming, which is something I have to remember every time I smell pizza or see a plate of cookies.
I'm not saying this for your pity, I am saying to take power away from it, and to encourage those of you going through a health crisis to hold on! There is good to come out of sticking to your guns, even when you can't see the forest through the trees.
How do you find strength in times of struggle?
If you want to chat more about candida or any other health problems at all, I'm always available.
*My diet... plain, simple, fresh as possible... also if you have recommendations for getting through this I welcome them.