ignis, glacies et pertinacia

Posts Tagged ‘candida’

Candida Die Off

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Nutrition, Food diary, Unforgiving Minutes on May 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm

A few lost days recently, and mainly to Candida Die Off. Probably I have mentioned this before, and certainly I will mention it again. It may be that the mechanism for it is not yet quite fully understood and that it will not in future be described as Candida Die Off, but since the self-styled hard-nosed scientists who ridicule such ideas provide no better hypothesis for how and why I come to feel so shite before I come to feel better following the imposition of a strict dietary regime after a lax spell or the ingestion of probiotics, and since they get many details wrong when they swagger into the fray, since indeed those who talk of Candida die off, off-puttingly flaky though they may be, describe perfectly how I feel and give the only plausible reason why I should feel it, Candida die off it remains.

So, the hypothesis goes something like this:

Because of the increasing prevalence of highly refined carbohydrates and sugars in our diet, because of the high-yeast fast bake process, because of the shift towards milling of flours which removes all nutritional value, because of the over prescription of anti biotics by doctors and the use of prophylactic anti biotics in animal feed, the gut flora (the balance of “good” bacteria to bad and other strains), there is increasingly a problem of Candidiasis in Western populations.

Candida albicans is a common yeast-like microorganism which, given the right environment, and in a dearth of more desireable “gut flora”, can flourish, literally threading itself through the gut lining of suffers.

In itself it can cause a problem, releasing toxins. But this threading through the gut too can cause “leaky gut syndrome”, where particles that ought not to pass through the selectively-permeable membranes of the gut, can pass thorugh. Once they have done so they can in some cases interfere with the function of the central nervous system. In others, they can trigger food allergies which then further inflame the gut lining, decreasing absorption and leading to yet further problems.

To defeat this an anti-Candida diet has to be employed. I have benefitted from this myself, though I have never found myself able to persist in its strictures which involve the exclusion of all refined carbs (I couldn’t give up exercise, for one thing, which makes me crave carbs, I often say that if I had the organisational capacity to carry out the diet, I wouldn’t need it, and I have poor/non-existent impulse control besides). In addition, pro-biotics are important, to build up the immune system against the invasive organism.

While these necessary measures are being taken, though, something called Candida Die off occurs in which, depending on which theory you go for (to me the results are the same and so it makes little odds) either A> dying Candida releases the toxins that would otherwise be left inside or B> the Candida, now that the environment is more challenging, becomes more aggressive in order to bed itself into body tissues. In the process, you experience something called Herxheimer reaction (which also may or may not be the correct nomenclature). Essentially, this is toxic overload. You feel like hell, have all the symptoms of flu, including tingling skin (check), lethargy (check), sleepiness (check), and feeling cold.

Mine came on first a few days ago when I began eating home-made probiotic sauerkraut and took a probiotic capsule or two. I wasn’t quite getting it right. These measures should be rolled in slowly after the strict following of an anti-Candida diet. I hadn’t quite done this. My priorities and obsessions shift so much that I tend to be all or nothing most of the time, and I had come on too strong with the probiotics after too loose an interpretation of the Candida diet. (Another reason I have for believing this hypothesis incidentally, is the severity of the symptoms and the way they corrolate with how lax I have been in applying the diet, how quickly I move from eating badly to eating well – with or without probiotics – and how aggressively I introduce probiotics.)

In addition, I woke up this morning after sleeping badly last night, feeling like I had a cold. Though I had been shaky all day yesterday and knew I was coming down with Herheimer/Die off, I went for a fell run race starting at 19:15 and ran 4 miles with an 1100 feet climb. I came down and felt better than I had all day, but by the time it came to go to bed, I felt alert. My head was spinning. I couldn’t sleep until late, another symptom, now I look back, of Herxheimer. Exercise too helps to kill the Candida and I had ran pretty hard.

And so I have been achy all day, had loose stool (sorry), and felt too crabby for company.

Still, good and bad news. The good: I’ve still got a long way to go. The bad: I’ve found something that works, Sauerkraut and the fermented foods Natasha Campbell McBride believes to be so effective against such problems and the mental difficulties they can cause.

The only lingering bad in all of it, perhaps, is that tomorrow I’m off to do some Dry Stone Walling again and had hoped to chat to the Chainsaw Girl I met last time and who I have been daydreaming about since, but then, since I’m still profoundly ambivalent about relationships and siding, most times, with Gibbon (as Anthony Storr described him in Solitude) who said he often dreamed of being coupled, but was invariably glad to wake up from the reverie and find himself untethered, maybe that itself is no bad thing. All I’ve got to ensure is that I manage to cook something tomorrow morning!

Night Gav-watchers

Gav Belcher

Diař v češtině 24 Únoru, 2010

In Department of Czech and Slavic Studies, Food diary, Uncategorized on February 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Jak začít? Mám dneska volno. Začnul jsem minulý tyden novou praci na Severu ve Walesu ve Narodní Parku Snowdonia. Pracuju v hostelu a žiju s lidmi tady vedle v baráku co patří hostelu. Tady jsem chtěl utíkat z toho všeho problému doma v průmyslové oblasti Black Country ve střední Anglie, tedy poruchy pozornosti, Aspergerův syndrom, deprese, úzkost, problémy s socialní funkci: prostě nekonečné nešteští. Už 4 roky tenkrát vidím lekarí všech druhu, kromě tedy toho vhodného, odborníka ADHD. Už 15 let bojím cely den proti sve hlavě. Neumím relaxovat. Neumím soustředit se. Neumím být s lidem. Neumím ani být sám. Snažím se psát povídky, romány, poezie, ale neumím nic dopsat, nic dokončit. Moje hlava vždycke najde něco nového a ten co bylo nejduležitější před par dni už nic není, a když se snažím to psát, tak to je mučení.

Jídlo je další peklo. Miluju jídlo. Miluju vaření. Ale všechno mě ovlivnuje.

Když jím sukr, tak hlave vybuchne. Jsem potom naštvané, to je v hlavě jak mám všechny kanaly televize puštěné najedno. To je hlasité a nepřijemné. A navíc, představy doplnuje hlavu aby nebylo zádné místo pro nic jíneho. Třeba že křičím na doktořy, na ředitele, na neotesané lidí. Když v té situace někdo mluví na mně, skoro neslyším, mračím ošklivě se snahou poslouchat.

Sýr, mléko, lepek je stejně. Kvasnice je ještě hůř. A pak je chemické přisady, vajča, na čím mám alergie, alkohol, caffeine atp.

To znamená že každý den musím jíst pořadně dobře. To znamená se vyhnout všemu což je levné, jednoduché připravovat, příjemné jíst anebo zajímavé. Když dělám chybu s jídlem, tak to znamená že den je už v prdele. To znamená že budu mít představy tak “hlasité” že nebudu moct se sousředit na ničem, že budu naštvané, že budu celý den poletavat od jedné zaměstnání do druhého aniž bych se bavil ani dokončil nic.

Ironie dneska je že jsem se nejvíc snažil dneska udělat něco s jídlem. Jel jsem 30 minut do obrovského Tesca, koupil jsem jídlo co nemůžu dovolit, a se vrátil vařit. Problém je že diet co bych musel držet abych se uzdravil je tak dost těžké pro kohokoliv, pro někdo s ADHD je to uplně nemožné protože pořad mozek změní přednosti (jako že ted je čeština cíl a proto píšu v ní, zítra nebude a bude to něco jíného) a protože impulzívost je obrovské problém. Ale dneska nebylo ani otázka impulzivosti. Chtěl jsem najít jídlo co bych moct jíst bez problému. Předtím, první tyden tady, že jsem začal jíst třeba oves, což obsahuje lepek, ale v menším množství než pšenici nebo žito a které je “low GI” což znamená že, odlišné od sukru, tělo se pomalu ho stráví, což je dobré. Problém je že nemůžu jíst málo těch věcech co neměl jsem jíst. To je nemožné. A problém taky je, že až si dovolím jednu věc, tak brzo mozek mě klame abych si dovolil další. Jako že třeba byl nechan  v hostelu slaninu a “pork pie” v tydnu a pak jsem si řekl abych je vzal protože je zadarmo a nemám peníze. Vždycky něco. To je zákěrné. Read the rest of this entry »

Get your oats, or your goat’s yoghurt, or your g/f bread…

In Department of Nutrition, Department of Psychology, Food diary on January 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm

One of the ways that my maxims and priorities shift is with food. Managing to eat no sugar, no yeast, no gluten or dairy products, no fruit, no starchy vegetables, no fermented products, etc. etc. even, on some accounts, no grains, is, as you can well imagine, phenomenally difficult. What makes it worse is that there are, as I have indicated, so many different conceptions of the diet.

One type of diet which certainly benefits me is the candida diet. There are many forms of this. Some recommend that no fruit whatever be consumed with the diet since even fruit sugars help the candida parasite to thrive. Others recommend fresh juices and smoothies. Some say there may be no gluten. Others recommend whole wheat flour. Some say that honey can be consistent with the diet, it being a shorter chain sugar.

Then there is the gluten free, casein free diet for those with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This also benefits me. But of course, because the gluten and casein are avoided due to the fact that they break down into neurotoxins/opiates it is, in most conceptions of this diet, unnecessary to avoid sugars etc. One consequence of this is that whenever my mind has shifted towards this diet and I have allowed myself these sugary mass-produced gluten and dairy-free products that exclusively fill the free-from shelves, I have become very angry very quickly, my head full of intrusive daydreams and abstract anger.

Then there is the tricky problem of alcohol. There is a slight difference in the severity of the effects of beer and wine, which really knock me about for a couple of weeks, and spirits, which don’t affect me quite so badly, or in quite the same way. This small difference often becomes exaggerated in my mind, and also falls prey to the shift of priorities in my mind that keeping in touch with friends who may struggle with me when I’m not drinking, my social skills needing a little helping hand, is more important than excluding all substances which may aggravate a problem with candida, a maxim which most often alternates with the ‘weighty’ conception of life (on Milan Kundera’s polarity, discussed above) and of Candida in which it is necessary to be almost inhumanly disciplined for a period of a few months to wipe out the problem for good.

Most recently, a reading of a piece by Erica White on the Institute for Optimum Nutrition website sent her conception of the Candida diet racing up in the maxim stakes, replacing, to a degree, the one that has been foregrounded for a couple of months, that of the Gut & Psychology diet of Natasha Campbell-McBride. This led to my buying oatcakes on going out to buy water, and then, going further, to pop into Sainsbury’s, buying both gluten free porridge and rolled oats with soya milk.

On this conception, it would be better to eat a little gluten but be consistent with the diet by introducing a few ingredients that may be a little less bland than the usual fare, than to struggle so hard to exclude everything, but break every now and again and feed the candida by doing so, as I did, almost inevitably, over Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »

Insomnia

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Nutrition, Food diary on September 29, 2009 at 12:31 am

Something that’s happened too many times now for it to be coincidence is that I have felt spiked, uncomfortably alert and yet utterly tired, when I go to bed after drinking camomile and/or valerian tea.  I dismissed this link for a while, just as I dismissed the whole idea of candida for perhaps years. It was only when I started to build up a picture of how I felt following the ingestion of powerful known anti-fungals like pau d’arco, capryllic acid and garlic, that I began to take it all seriously, and only then by association that I began to ask questions about camomile which gave me a similar kind of insomnia to these others. (There are many kinds of insomnia, as I was describing to my doctor last night in great detail in the imagined conversations that went round and around in my overactive mind.) Read the rest of this entry »

Maté tea follow up

In Autism Research Unit, Department of Nutrition, Food diary on August 4, 2009 at 9:09 am

This is going to feel a little like filing a drug report for the Lycaeum¹. I drank two two mug pots of Yerba Maté tea yesterday. Both were made with boiling water. The first was drank at around mid day. The second at around six o’clock in the evening. The equivalent amount of tea or coffee, or indeed, any exposure to tea whether it be black or green, weak or strong, at the time I had the second pot, would usually result in my not sleeping at night until 2 or 3 in the morning. What I was testing was whether Yerba Maté tea is, as many claim, an alternative to tea and coffee with fewer of the ill affects despite the fact that it contains the same primary active ingredients as tea and coffee, caffeine. According to Wikipedia: Read the rest of this entry »