You may recall that shortly after Arc was born I was sick for a long time. I recently went back and figured out that start to finish, the whole thing lasted over 3 months. 3 months! Ever since I recovered I’ve felt like I wanted to share what I learned in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, it might spare someone else from going through what I went through.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I have no official medical training. When I get sick, or when someone close to me gets sick, I’m one of those people who reads everything I can find on the illness. Articles, books, web forums, medical journals…seriously, whatever I can find. This post and any that follow on the subject are simply my thoughts based on my experience.
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To begin, here’s a brief rundown on yeast infections: Yeast is a fungus, one that naturally occurs in the body. Sometimes an imbalance occurs and there is an overgrowth, causing an infection. A lot of the time there are obvious symptoms, like white spots if it’s in the mouth, abnormal discharge if it’s vaginal, brittle nails if it’s in the feet or hands, etc. A person doesn’t have to have obvious symptoms, however, and if left untreated a yeast infection can become systemic.
A systemic yeast infection has matured such that it enters into the bloodstream, traveling to other areas of the body to wreak havoc. This is what happened to me.
I had no idea a yeast infection could be responsible for so many illnesses until I sat down and specifically searched for a connection between yeast, extreme fatigue, eczema, digestive unrest, arthritis, and depression. Who would’ve thought they could all be related? Not me!
Step one was discovering the fungal infection (this took about one month). Step two was getting rid of it (this took about two months). I kept anti-fungal medication in the back of my mind, but that was going to be my last course due to various reasons. I decided to do my own research and learned that there are a number of fungal strains that are highly resistant to medications anyway, so if I could find something better I wanted to. What I needed to do was get the yeast back in balance, which meant simultaneously killing off the bad stuff while bringing in the good stuff. I tried my usual home remedies of yogurt, cranberry juice, apple cider vinegar, and garlic, but after one week of fairly heavy doses they’d barely made a dent. I needed big guns.
My mother-in-law suggested I look into kefir. About the same time one of my sister-in-laws suggested I look into coconut oil. At the time I knew very little about them, but I was desperate, did my reading, and started using them immediately (more on that later). This. This was the turning point. In three days time I went from so miserable I could barely get out of bed (most the time I stayed in my pajamas!) to being able to fix eggs and have energy left to do the dishes. Three days!
And then came a day that felt horrid. Wrong. That was the day that I learned that as fungal spores die, they release toxins. If you kill the spores faster than your body can flush the toxins out, it can make you sick. Really sick. If the toxin levels get high enough, it can be life-threatening. (I was not, by they way, anywhere near the dying bit.)
Right, so, I backed way off, gave my body a few days to recover, then developed a less-aggressive attack plan. It took around 2 months, but the progress was steady and at the end of it I was well. Completely well.
Here are a couple links if you would like to read more about the signs and symptoms of systemic yeast infections:
(As a note, I have no comment on any products sites like these offer for sale. I have not tried them, and I don’t necessarily advise trying them. I just went there for the information.)
Up next time: Kefir, coconut oil, and the connection between yeast and iron.