I’ve had such an overwhelming response to the last blog post about my Friend Dave’s experience with Candida, that I thought I would do a follow up on how the Candida actually developed and got out of hand in the first place!

Dave has always been aware of the fact that sugar is no good, but from his childhood he thought that it meant chocolate bars and candy.  What most of us don’t realise is that there are so many hidden sugars in processed food, bread, rice, corn and even fruit!  All of these food products feed Candida in the gut, especially when there is not enough good bacteria and an imbalance!

Stress is one of the biggest triggers for gut dysbiosis, as it increases your cortisol levels, which affects your sleep and creates a spiral of negative effects, such as increased caffeine intake, a sugary snack in the afternoon as a pick me up and a drink (or bottle) at night to unwind!

Here’s Daves story in his own words!

Wow everybody … When Karen asked if she could share this story I thought “Yeah who will care ?” However the amount of interest has amazed me. The number of personal messages and phone calls has been bewildering!

As mentioned I was lucky enough to meet with Ben Carter.  Nice guy! Last thing he said to me before I left his room was “There’s not point in you going on any diet until you sort out you Candida !” and that was it I left thinking WTF?

Candida?  Never heard of it! I spent the next 2 days researching …. OMG! I have never been so excited about my health ever.  I ticked so many symptom boxes and thought “can I really get rid of all these ailments by sorting out my gut?”

Having read for 2 days I traced back what had happened to me. Not long after I got to Australia I took a test for Helicobacter Pylorus – A stomach bacteria that is linked to ulcers and all sorts of nasty stuff.  The doctor gave me an incredible amount of antibiotics, my bacteria count was high….VERY high. After the dose I felt good, but did nothing about “restoring the balance”.  You know the good bacteria v bad bacteria? Those useless adverts for probiotics!  I imagine they’re not allowed to tell you what might actually happen if it does get out of balance because some government doctor might not agree.

So not long after 2 things happened.  I found a love for Australian Shiraz (primarily from the Barossa Valley) and I started suffering from reflux, nasty, nasty reflux! No problem, take these pills. Wow that’s great – no more pain. These 3 events could only have taken 3 months in total. But I truly believe that this was the catalyst for a decade and more of seemingly random ailments that would not go away.

It started with Athlete’s Foot.  Apply cream.  Goes away.  Comes back.  Apply cream.  Repeat forever!

Then a small patch of eczema on my leg! Apply cream.  Goes away (sort of).  Comes back.  Apply cream.  Repeat forever!

Next were the cluster headaches! Not very common, but their nickname is suicide headaches, which gives you some idea of what they are about.  They’re called cluster headaches because they tend to happen over a limited period of time.  For me it usually lasted for 6 weeks, and in the beginning that period started about mid-December.  The trigger for me initially was alcohol. When ClusterF**k season started I couldn’t drink half a bottle of beer before I had to go lie down for half an hour. Cluster headaches are short and sharp. The pain is immense, but to be honest I don’t think I suffered that badly compared to others (watching YouTube videos of other people just makes you cry). The result was (I’d imagine) like going 3 rounds with a professional boxer … Just totally exhausting .. pain everywhere. I reckon I must have had almost 6 years of dry Christmas and New Year. It became an annual event, but unfortunately after a few years they came all by themselves, AND they came every day!  And there was nothing I could do about it. Very scary when you’re in client meeting and have to excuse yourself when you feel a headache coming on and you know that within 5 minutes you will be writhing in pain and that you won’t be speaking to anyone for the rest of the day. Not sure if it’s a plus or minus but cluster headaches are so rare that Big Pharma don’t care about it!  No money to figure out what’s going on and Migraine medication didn’t touch sides!

Next on the list was sinus issues.  Damn that pain is annoying.  After spending $1000 for some consultancy (I’m sure he must have been the best), I was told it would cost $6000 to bore out my sinuses …. But … and here’s the kicker, It only works 50% of the time.  Never did get it done !

Meanwhile, I’m still smashing red wine.  Bread and all the other non-sweet sugars you can think of!  I don’t really have a sweet tooth, but bread, rice and pasta with potatoes served on top.  Can’t get enough !

In 2014 I started my own business. Not really a run of the mill business but one I enjoyed. I was lucky enough to know a great Indian guy who helped me out with this. And thankfully him and I are still trying to conquer the world today. I was lucky enough to be able to work from home.  I noticed a few changes then.  I have always put them down to working from home, and some level of boredom from the situation. Red wine probably increased, but I was tired, really tired!  I had a nana nap everyday – I used to tell Karen it was a good thing, it was natural…a little siesta!  The other change was the fridge.  Damn, I was in that fridge every hour, except for the ones I was asleep.  It was boredom right ?

Then came 2017.  I can’t and won’t tell the whole story but it was not a good year …. Every month seemed to bring some other stress. Proper stress!  Mother dying, business on the edge, daughter’s HSC, deciding to move countries.

Early 2018 we moved to Phuket, Thailand. Things were getting worse. Forever I had been the mild mannered janitor that had taken everything in his stride!  I had the patience of a saint.  The stress of 2017 changed all that.  Suddenly I would go mental over the most stupid things and I couldn’t let go of it.  Pretty bad when you’re telling yourself to stop being furious over XXXX.  The medication continued and I saw someone in Phuket and told them my story.  Have some Lexapro!

Man it was good!  No worries…

As a family we hadn’t been on one proper holiday in 15 years. Karen decided we’d escape the wet season in Thailand. She organized the most awesome, amazing trip to Italy and Croatia.  6 weeks of nothing but pizza, bread, pasta, red wine, Aperol Spritz, …. How awesome!  Holy Moly!  Came back in August tipping the scales at 108kg and was just hating myself!!

I first got fat when I was about 12 from eating too much chocolate.  I reckon I used up my sweet tooth a long time ago!  I’ve always been the fat kid – the good looking fat kid!  But, nonetheless the fat kid. Always fighting weight.  I knew what was right and what was wrong and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.  Could never persuade Karen that sugar was the culprit.  She came across a Netflix production called “The Magic Bullet” which transformed her ideas. Then we met Ben!  “You need to sort your Candida out before you go on any diet”!

But I will tell you I embraced everything they told me. I probably spent 8 weeks tackling it. Here are a few tips/tricks I followed:

  • I ate green veg, eggs, little bit of chicken, and occasionally some fish
  • I drank only water (and lots of it …. Like really lots of it) … no coffee, no tea, no booze ….
  • I swapped my drinks cabinet for Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil, and Flax Seed Oil (damn that tastes awful). I had “shots” of each of those 3 times a day.
  • I drank 3 x 200ml of natural Kefir everyday.  The good bacteria!
  • From a medication point I did take Flucanozole (100 mg) for 4 weeks … much easier in Thailand than other countries
  • While I always like a good broth … I didn’t go to some of the extremes around Leaky Gut …. But I do love a bowl of good soup (just without a loaf of bread with it)
  • I stopped taking the acid reflux medication.  Since found out (ironically) that acid reflux is caused by not having enough acid in your stomach.  The medication I’d been taking for 15 years stops acid production and Candida loves low acid levels in the stomach.

I can’t sugar coat this!  It’s not easy!  I was lucky that I could get the Kefir and Flucanozole fairly easily. I was lucky I worked from home and could spend the time preparing meals.

Saying that, having read about Candida and relating it to 15 years of ailments I didn’t find it hard – in fact I was excited.

So what happened:

As per usual when you change your diet, not a lot for the first month. Remember I was 108kg!  The first 1kg came off after about 3 weeks, woo hoo!

Then lot’s of things started happening. This might be a little too much information for some, but first thing I noticed was my toilet experience.  I was suddenly shitting like a 17 year old again. This was great and I started taking a little more interest and pride in my output.  One day, I noticed my output was covered in a fur like substance, WTF?  From subsequent research this was probably the Candida Yeast Chains.  Yes you can see them!

So after that momentous occasion :

  • I started dropping weight fast…real fast!  I dropped 23kg in the next 3 months, crazy right?  I spent most of that time lying bed or on crutches because of some unrelated issue. I am still 85kg today!
  • I didn’t feel hungry every hour.  I would get to dinner time and think, Dave it’s 7pm and you haven’t eaten anything today, you have to eat!
  • Energy increased.  No Nana naps!
  • Blood Pressure back to normal without pills
  • Cholesterol levels reduced to normal
  • Blood Sugar levels reduced
  • Felt sharper at work
  • No reflux
  • Skin/Nail conditions cleared up
  • Sweating reduced
  • No headaches
  • No Sinusitis
  • Too much money spent replacing my wardrobe

I’m now that weird guy who says NO to the free bread roll in the restaurant!  I ask for dishes without rice or chips. I throw the burger bun onto the side plate and ask them to take it away before I get tempted.  I eat Bacon and Eggs with Avocado almost every morning!

So, not everyone suffers from Candida Overgrowth, but according to Ben I was a Poster Child ☹. There are tests you can do – search for the “Spit Test”.   You can also have your bloods done, but the results aren’t always conclusive.

I’m not on the Candida Regime anymore.  I still don’t eat hidden sugars, I still drink too much alcohol, but it comes in the form of Vodka Soda (or Skinny Bitches so my daughters tell me). You do get used to them 😊. Still not exercising enough.  Still smoke too much!  And generally still have too much of a good time, but I do feel a lot happier … a LOT happier!

The medical profession “allegedly” have issues in recognising increased Candida with the negative symptoms and ailments and to be honest I can understand that.  Chicken, Broccoli, Apple Cider Vinegar and some Flucanozole isn’t going to make anyone rich!  OMG, the pills, creams and lotions I was prescribed!  Don’t even want to think about the dollars, nevermind how useless most of it was!  I am thankful every day for finding Ben and being on the Candida Protocol, otherwise who knows where or how I would’ve ended up!

I don’t know about you, but I have found Dave’s story incredible and it explains why so many people suffer from modern day illnesses, allergies and intolerances!  

It is my Mission to help anyone to overcome Systemic Candida Overgrowth, but in saying that, please do not take any of the above mentioned information as medical advice, as I am not a Medical Doctor and the information I share are personal stories and experiences used to help inform people, and encourage them to take responsibility for their health.