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For the last maybe 5 years, I've had some health problems. They started off mild, but gradually got worse and worse. I'd have this insane "brain fogs", where I literally felt like a zombie all day. Over time that became pretty much a daily occurrence, and it's something i've "just gotten used to". I've also had chronic fatigue - feeling like I could pass out at any moment, with barely any energy to make it through the day. I mean REALLY fucking tired, no matter how much sleep I get. I've almost fallen asleep sitting in my chair at work. I've had many days where the entire day just feels like a fog, and it gets to 6pm and I think "How the fuck did 8 hours just pass by... I don't remember any of it."
Eating food never helps - in fact, it often makes it worse and I'll have a severe crash after a meal. This happens no matter what I eat, whether it's protein, carbs, fat, or a combination. Sometimes I pass out after eating even small meals. Workouts have been hell - I pretty much ALWAYS have to have a nap after every workout. Stupidly, I've put up with these fucking symptoms for YEARS. I don't even have a reason for why. I think I assumed I had diabetes, but was just too pussy to go get blood work done and get a diagnosis. With coffee, I could "power through" and work my way through the chronic fatigue. But it's never been easy.
So like a dumb fuck, I've put up with that shit for years now. But recently some other shit has cropped up - I got "jock itch" (a rash on your thighs), weird rashes on my face, oral thrush on my tongue, and some other shit. It's part of the reason I haven't done drills - my face looked like shit with the rashes. And I was kinda freaking out since something was obviously wrong with me. Got bloodwork done, STD tests done, HIV test done, all say I'm healthy. Nothing technically wrong with me.
But I WASN'T FUCKING HEALTHY. Feeling like a fucking zombie every single day, having zero energy, rashes all over my body, brain fog, etc. Not healthy. So I researched like crazy, eventually stumbling upon a condition called Candida. Basically a fungal overgrowth in your gut, which if left untreated for years, can lead to every symptom I have. It's caused mostly by shit diet, which has honestly been my entire fucking life. I've always had too much sugar, junk food, alcohol, not enough vegies, too many carbs, etc. I've abused my body since I was like 16 (12 years now).
So the last month I've been trying the natural treatments I found on the net, taking supplements, cleaning my diet. The pace is slow, but I'm actually seeing recovery. The rash on my face is dying down and is barely noticeable now. Jock itch is better. I still have the chronic fatigue but at least now I know how to fight it, what foods to eat, what to avoid. I feel optimistic that I don't have to feel like absolute shit 24/7, as it's something I just accepted and learned to live with. But it's been debilitating as fuck. Purpose of this log:
I'm also working on losing some weight, plan on getting to 78kg (170 pounds). I'm 83kg (182 pounds) now. A month ago I was 2kg heavier than I am now, so I'm making good progress. Fighting Candida also means I'm losing weight easily, since I've cut out all the shit food and I'm not eating anywhere near as many calories.
I'll use this log to keep my diet accountable, and also note how the candida treatment is going. It's not easy to eat the kinda food you have to eat to beat it, so I wanna keep myself accountable. Some of the shit I gotta eat is apple cider vinegar (which burns your mouth), raw garlic, raw coconut oil, lots of natural cultured yoghurt, no sugar, cut down massively on carbs, no alcohol ever, lots of meat.
Good luck. I am dealing with similar issues, as well as two autoimmune conditions (to be honest, what you are describing sounds like it could be autoimmune as well - thankfully autoimmune issues can sometimes respond to an anti-candida regimen as well). It's been going on years, but I am VERY slowly getting better.
Some thoughts as one who is experiencing it, and as a medically trained person:
Whether candida or not, these issues, and autoimmune issues, are related to the gut integrity and flora according to the newer science - the kind naturopaths use but most medical doctors don't know about yet, because they tend to be chronically behind the cutting edge. If you can afford to find a savvy doctor or a naturopath, it might help to have them set a specific routine for you. That's not the route I went. My issues have been so severe that I had to develop my own plan, which came out of thousands of hours of research on my own. Sounds to me like you may have found this idea in your own research.
What helps me immensely is below. Keep in mind n=1 and what works for me may not for you; try it out and take the valuable bits, tell the rest to fuck off.
*Autoimmune Protocol Diet w/no or little starch/complex carbohydrates. This is basically paleo, plus other limitations. The AIP doesn't limit safe starches per se, but I have to due to the nature of my autoimmune issue, and it does wonders to my sleep, pain, brain fog and chronic fatigue issues. It can exist on a lower or medium carb spectrum. &ttp://www.thepaleomom.com/autoimmunity/the-autoimmune-protocol is the basic program lined out. It sounds kind of like this is almost the direction you're going on, when I read what you're eating, but it also cuts out nuts/eggs/nightshades/etc
*Antimicrobials: If you think it's legit candida, then antifungals are what you want specifically. I've found the most effective antimicrobial and antifungal period is garlic allicin. You can buy this in supplement form - I go for odorless allicin. I tried other things like berberine caps, grapefruit seed extract, coconut oil and straight up antibiotics without much success, but allicin helps me immensely. I see you mention raw garlic - to get allicin from raw garlic, the best way is to crush it into a small glass of water and let it sit for 15 minutes. This allows the enzymes to activate the allicin in the garlic (which chewing and immediately introducing it to stomach acid won't really do) giving you the most benefit. I personally get it in odorless capsule form to avoid the smell and digestive upset.
*A note that the AIP already addresses, but nutrient density is important. Including foods like liver/kidney/heart, leafy greens, healthy fats, mussels and oysters, etc. The body and brain can't heal without these nutrients long term.
*As much as I hated to hear it and believe it, I've learned that with chronic health issues like this they need to take priority, and that training/weight gain or loss need to take a breather. Often the body is under enough stress, and placing it under more metabolic/caloric/anabolic stress can stall all of your efforts.
Like I said, take what works for you. Best of luck.
Dude. I can't even begin to thank you for writing so much and providing so much information/motivation. Holy crap. Thank you.
Yeah I plan on finding a naturopath. From the research I've done and the many stories I've read online, a lot of people who have these issues just get handed pills by doctors which often make it worse (eg antibiotics).
Yeah at the moment I'm eating NO complex carbs, no alcohol, no diet sodas (just incase). Carbs I'm kinda avoiding at the moment, but plan on throwing in some brown rice soon.
Really appreciate the mention of those garlic tablets, will grab them. You're right that eating raw garlic isn't easy on the tummy and probably not something I want to consume every single day. Do you take liver tablets? I take a small handful a day.
Re: Losing weight, I realise adding extra stress to my body isn't the wisest thing. But it's one of my main priorities right now, so I'm definitely going to keep going with it. Truth be told I'm losing weight by default just from cutting out carbs - my diet really was trash before so just by eating healthy I'm dropping fat.
Again, holy crap I really appreciate everything you wrote.
So how are you going? You said you feel like you're making some progress?
Down to 82.7kg today. But today was a fucking awful day. Zero energy, brain fog, agonising headache all day, felt like passing out. I had to have some carbs (2 pieces of bread and a small handful of chips) which made me feel better within an hour or so.
Alright, I'm willing to admit doing a hardcore cut may not be all that smart right now. Tomorrow I'm going to go shopping and try that "Autoimmune Diet" (thanks Bearfoot). I'm sure I'll keep losing weight anyway, but I can't keep up this ultra-low calorie diet I'm on right now. I need energy to make it through the day.
I'll put more of a focus on healing my body and getting my energy levels back up to a level where I'm functional. Because right now I still have many days where I feel like a zombie.
I'm taking your story (and the others I've read on the net) as a huge warning sign. I've definitely gone downhill over the last few years, but this year in particular. And I know if I don't jump on this now, I could be in the same position you were (are) in. I want things to get better from here, not worse.
It's funny, my body's been giving me "warning signs" for the last couple years. First the fatigue and brain fog, which I just learned to live with. Then about 6 months ago, out of nowhere I just got oral thrush on my tongue. Ignored that. A couple months ago, the jock itch showed up on my inner thighs. Ignored it. And about a month ago, the rashes on my face, which I couldn't really ignore. A little annoyed at myself for letting it go on this long. Since it's been building up for quite a few years (my diet has been HORRIFIC, basically 90% sugar/simple carbs, mostly junk food and heaps of dairy and HEAPS of alcohol), I know it'll take months/years to get back to good health.
I'm willing to put in the hard work and do whatever it takes. I 100% agree with you that diet/fixing sleep/reducing stress/etc is a better solution than drugs. At the moment my diet is:
- chicken, steak, pork, fish
- as much green vegies as I can get down
- basically zero carbs
- absolutely NO alcohol, haven't had a drink in a couple of months anyway
- heaps of garlic (I got those tablets you suggested, thanks)
- nuts (walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, almonds)
- shitloads of coconut oil to make up the remaining calories
- some probiotic yoghurt that's super low carb
- huge bunch of supplements (turmeric, echinacea, vitamin c, other stuff) and probiotics
- got some liver tablets coming in the post so I'll eat them too when I get them.
I really like your story. A lot of people would have (and do) just give up.
What vegies do you eat? At the moment I'm just eating green vegies (cucumber, snow peas, asparagus, celery, lettuce, broccoli) because I'm not sure what other vegies I can eat.
I have issues with FODMAPS so I'm slightly limited with veggies. I eat carrots, celery, bok choy, kale, chard, collard greens, zucchini, cucumber, green beans, sometimes broccoli, beet, turnip, rutabaga). I'm not carb phobic. In fact, due to my history, continued carb restriction will probably just fuck me up more. I try to get over 100 grams of carbs per day, which can be difficult having issues with fruit and starch. The thing is, it's more beneficial for me than it is detrimental.
If you look up candida and the PerfectHealthDiet, there's some interesting research on candida and carbohydrates - TL;DR: A certain amount of glucose in the diet is actually necessary for the immune system to properly combat candida dysbiosis. Too much and the candida feeds on the carbohydrates; too little and candida can actually feed on ketones (very low carb diet). It's a rabbit hole.
Thanks man, I'm glad I can help in whatever way. PS: Your allicin tablets look good. I don't recommend them because they worked for me (people like to do that; it's dumb because everyone has unique templates) but because it does indeed seem like you're dealing with something fungal and allicin is a great antifungal. I really hope you find some success with it. If not, you can definitely try the crushed garlic in water deal and see what happens. Also I see you are taking coconut oil, another potent antifungal.
I use 'kyolic extra strength' which has a high allicin content, personally, but I live in Canada and I don't know about the availability. My naturopath recommended 'allimax'. Apparently allicin content can vary widely in non-regulated supplements... I've taken a NOW supplement which gave me horrible digestion with allicin, but kyolic doesn't bother me. It might take some experimentation. But what you ordered looked promising.
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