Candida Treatment – Round One – Days 1-4 – Goldenseal Root

Made it through round one of candida supplements. I’ve read to do anywhere from 3-7 days per round, so I chose four days.

The first round I used goldenseal root. I’m going to post something with all of the supplements I’ve been taking this past year (linking to specifically what I bought, not to sell it, but for reference if anyone is doing something similar and has suggestions or is trying to compile their own lists – so this isn’t medical advice, and I don’t get kickbacks – everything I’ve taken has come from my own research online, through Paleo Solution podcasts, etc.). I’ll also try to summarize how I approached the candida treatment, when I experienced side effects, etc. Again, I’m not sharing because I want to offer medical advice. In fact, I want to clarify I’m not qualified to offer it. And I’ve also never seen a doctor specifically about any of this. All I want to do is tell people what worked for ME. That’s how I’ve come up with the plan I’m using – through reading others’ experiences. So maybe I can be another blog among many blogs!

The first round (a round = 4 days) I experienced a myriad of not-terrible side effects. I was taking goldenseal root. I didn’t have any stomach problems, which is what I expected. I was no more or no less regular than usual. I do feel like I get constipated fairly frequently, but have read that going once a day is helpful with something like this. So I have been taking in a bunch of extra water, and putting ground flax seed and psyllium husk in my protein shake. I’m still only about every other day, but there have been times I’ve only gone once a week.

My first dose I took Friday night, and went to bed fairly soon after. I slept for almost 12 hours, and napped throughout the day. This isn’t unusual for me on Saturdays. I’m always exhausted come the weekend. I took another dose Saturday afternoon. And went out with friends Saturday night (no alcohol, though!). I didn’t get nearly as much sleep Saturday night, so that might have been part of my issue. But Sunday, it all caught up to me. I was tired in the morning, but couldn’t seem to get myself to sleep in. I took another dose and by mid to late-afternoon I felt ugh, and by late afternoon to early evening, I felt pretty bad. I was achy all over, and felt like I had swollen lymph nodes, including pain to the touch in my left hip. I didn’t see online that there were lymph nodes in my hip, but my mom said she thought they’re all over your body and if that’s it to not rub on them. I drank a lot of water and went to bed.

Monday was just as bad, or worse since I was at work. I was exhausted and I had additional swollen lymph nodes in my arms and armpits (as well as on in my neck and potentially one in the groin area). The one in my arm (triceps area) was making me miserable with my long-sleeve shirt rubbing on it. The shirt wasn’t particularly tight, but I felt trapped in it. I think how I felt was similar to being sick – everything is more annoying and my arms felt tired just typing. I didn’t have much of an appetite, which was very abnormal for me, the girl who is ALWAYS hungry! When I got home, I changed into a short sleeved shirt, and felt a lot better. However, I was still tired and achy, and the swollen lymph nodes were still there. I forced myself to have a protein shake, which luckily helped me go to the bathroom. At that point, my nausea subsided some, but I was still tired, achy, and swollen lymph nodes.

Although I know I never should have said anything about how I feel or used it as an “excuse” not to workout, I did mention it, and got pushed a lot to workout. And even got pressure to massage the swollen lymph nodes. I should have known from the latter advice about the lymph nodes to not take the former advice to workout. But for whatever reason, I felt like I was being a baby and should workout.

Not a good idea! My workouts are mostly heavy lifting. And even though I deloaded to what would normally feel like a light weight, the workout was miserable. I felt foggy headed to begin with, like my head was floating. As I did some reps, I started to feel more light-headed and even sick to my stomach. I had to sit down for extended rests between sets. After three sets squatting (normally I do five), I gave up. I felt like I really would pass out. I moved on to bench press, again using a weight that normally feels pretty light to me. My breathing was labored, and my whole body was screaming to rest. I also did three sets of bench, then realized, “This is MY body! Why am I letting someone else tell me what to do with it?” I quit, and despite getting more “did you warmup?” “How are you done so soon?!” feedback, I cut off communication with everyone, took an Epsom salt bath, and went to bed.

Tuesday was better. I still had the swollen nodes, but I wore looser-fitting clothes, and avoided contact with anyone who was going to tell me what to do with my body, or make me feel guilty for taking care of it. This is kind of the reverse of, “You deserve it” with junk food. In this case, “You need to workout” is also someone telling me to do something with my body I don’t want to. I realize I can simply say, “Thanks for the advice!” and move on, but for whatever reason, that’s not my style. I guess I don’t want people making me feel like how I feel or what I’m going through is fake. It’s not. Trust me, I’ve been in a groove with lifting and doing very well. If I felt healthy, I would have stepped up with heavy weights.

I did read a lot of other accounts of people feeling like this. People who had to call in sick to work – I could totally understand if I had to move around all day. Feeling run down, achy and even sick to your stomach is no way to spend the workday, even if you aren’t contagious. But they also expressed the same sense of shame and guilt that I felt. Like I was being dramatic, or making up symptoms. On all of those posts I thought, “Well, that’s stilly. Who cares what anyone else thinks?” But then I experienced it and I’m not sure if it was partially an issue because I felt sick, or what. But it was definitely frustrating. I think other people think, “Just stop taking the supplement, then.” But, honestly, those people are all weights they’re mostly satisfied with, or lose weight “easily.” So they aren’t struggling like I am to figure out what’s up with my body. I realize I’m self-diagnosing based on Robb Wolf (mostly). But, seriously, the stuff he’s suggested has improved my quality of life so much, it’s hard not to keep going. If I felt the way I feel and could drop about 40 pounds, I think I’d be genuinely satisfied with how I look AND feel. Which hasn’t happened in probably eight years.

Aside from that, I’ve had people bluntly tell me, “Losing weight is easy. If you’re not, then just eat less.” Then I find out they’re around my height, and eating 2,200-2,500 calories a day and losing. These aren’t men, either! Whereas, I can only lose if I consistently stay under 1,400. Those 800-1,100 calories are HUGE. At 1,400-1,500 calories I was so hungry I couldn’t last more than a week or two, and sometimes I’d cave in just a few days. I don’t think it being that hard qualifies as “easy.” And I definitely couldn’t lift weights at that few calories. The advice from these people? “EAT MORE!” Yeah, so I do that, and gain 15 pounds. Fifteen pounds I had to starve myself to lose.

Maybe I’m just a wimp, but honestly, those people who say it’s easy, I believe it really is easy for them. The first time I lost weight, I simply watched my calories (kept around 2,000), and worked out. It WAS easy. I just employed a bit of restraint on what I was eating. I even stopped weighing myself and several months later came up 20 pounds lighter. This time around, it’s nowhere near that easy.  I realize age affects that, but honestly, it shouldn’t this month. It’s almost exactly 10 years later, but I feel like there’s more to the story. Robb Wolf does say if anything weird is going on with your body, your body can’t be efficient enough to burn fat. For example, adrenal fatigue will make it almost impossible to lose weight. Leaky gut problems usually have to be resolved before you’ll be able to lose and keep weight off. And candida problems create these no-win craving cycles most people can’t ignore unless they find a way to muscle through the initial first days to get to less cravings. The cravings for sugars/carbs can be almost as bad as the cravings of an addict. The first time I lost weight, I didn’t have many cravings. Sure, I missed eating junk all the time. But I wasn’t consumed by the thoughts of sweet foods. Hell, I didn’t even eat that many sweets back then. Now I am constantly thinking of food. It’s consuming and does feel like an addictive thing. I don’t think I have an eating disorder, but I feel sometimes like I do.

Beyond that, simply eating less is NOT going to fix leaky gut or candida. So even if I do muscle in and eat less, unless I fight of the candida the cravings won’t subside, and I’ll probably eventually fall off the wagon.

With all of these things, of course you can have short-term success. But for long-term success, you have to have a very focused approach, understand your body, and start giving it what it needs (or stop giving it what’s hurting it).


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jennewby71
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 15:56:04

    ughhh I can SO relate to trying so hard to lose weight and nothing comes off!! it’s so frustrating!! I’ll work out 5 days in the week (for an hour burning anywhere between 500-900 calories according to my heart rate monitor), eat around 1500-1800 sometimes 2000 calories a day, and will maybe lose 1 lb if I’m lucky. i’ll try eating more the next week and it’s a 3 lb gain. I’ll eat way less, be starving all week and again, maybe lose a lb. Something isn’t right and I have yet to figure it out. I’m out of patience, so I’ve given up. I stopped working out this summer when we went on a 2 month long camping trip and vacation. When i got back I weighed myself and in 6 weeks of NOT working out one day, eating and drinking whatever I wanted, I gained 2 lbs. WHAT? How can i bust my ass 5 days a week working out for 8 months straight, watch what I eat for the most part pretty consistently and gain 1lb lose 1 lb. gain 3 lbs lose 1 lb over the whole eight months. Stop everything and then only gain 2 lbs!!?? So since I’ve been back in Aug. I’m finding it super hard to get back into the working out thing. It’s sporadic at best. 1-2 days a week here and there but that’s it. I’m not watching or logging my food anymore. Actually I just started again this week, but then only log breakfast and lunch and then give up b/c I’m starving and then blow it. ughhh it’s so frustrating!!

    THEN…I have a friend that is skinny mini. Gets pregnant with her 3rd, in less than 5 years, gains 60 lbs with each pregnancy, her 3rd is now 4 or 5 months old if that and she’s smaller than I’ve ever seen her! She drops weight like crazy and DOESN’T WORK OUT AT ALL!! She tries all these fad diets and can stick to it and will drop like crazy. last time it was no starches what-so-ever for 6 weeks. and only water to drink. She lost like 15-20 lbs and was almost anorexic looking. (not that I want to be like that) but she was doing a photo shoot and had to drop the weight before that. Not she’s “eating clean”. no processed food at all and I saw her a couple months ago and I still saw the baby weight. Saw he this past Sat. and she’s the tiniest I’ve ever seen her! I just don’t get it!

    Maybe I just don’t have the discipline. i can’t stick to anything so strict for more than 2-3 days. I lose it b/c I’m so hungry. I know my portions are out of control b/c I’m always so hungry so when i eat, I pork out!

    Well anyway, enough of me rambling….I hope you get it figured out. Like I said, I’m just too lazy to do it myself. I feel like I’ve given up. My husband is leaving the beginning of January off to training (military) and then back to CA and we (kids and I) won’t be moving until June, so I’m going to use that time to try and focus more on me, get back into the exercise habit and drop this weight by next summer. So yeah, I’m kinda using him leaving as an excuse to finally do something. But I need a goal and to be fit by June when I’ll get to see him again is a pretty good motivator!! Plus I always get on a good schedule when he’s gone. No idea why! I guess b/c I never do anything socially when he’s gone, so it helps. We’ll see!


    • stumbletowardhealth
      Dec 05, 2012 @ 17:28:36

      Oh, girlie, I can SOOOO relate. And the first two things that jump out is, exactly what you’re struggling with is what I’m struggling with. Exactly. I try so hard, try to starve myself, am too hungry not to eat, and then pig out. So I’d tried to be just OK with my weight, and go up to about 2,000 calories an “maintain.” And that’s how I gained 15 pounds. And I swear, it came on in about a month. Maybe even less than a month. SO FRUSTRATING. And that weight came on so fast, but will NOT go away. For anything! I feel like this cycle we’re in is a sign there’s something going on with our bodies. And that’s what I’m trying to figure out.

      Also, I don’t think you should feel ashamed of how you approach this stuff. Starving yourself isn’t realistic, long or short-term. And I truly believe the people who can “starve” themselves don’t feel crazy-hungry. In fact, friends of mine are like, “Well, I mean I say I’m starving myself. And I’m really not eating much, but I don’t really feel hungry, either.” So to them, “Starving” is just not eating, but not feeling compelled to eat. For us, “Starving” is not eating and feeling like you’re actually starving! Super-hungry!

      Part of me thinks these cravings and needs to eat are some type of cycle in our bodies. For example, if it is candida, then that yeast in our bodies is what makes us crave more. So the yeast wants the sugar to feed on, so it craves it like crazy. And that’s why I can’t stop eating ice cream now, when I used to before. Or why I need like eight pieces of bread to feel satisfied. The problem is, becuase we’re overweight, it’s “gross” to eat like that. If we were super-thin, it would be cute. Either way, I think it signifies a problem, but society has the social norms all jacked up.

      Also, I hear you on working out hard 5X a week. I finally told myself no more on that! I’m 3X a week, and that’s it! It’s more realistic and doesn’t make the rest of my life so hard to keep up with. I feel like if you’re burning 2,500 calories a week (on the low end ofyour average), even if your calorie intake stayed the same, you should be dropping more than half a pound a week. SO if you’re eating at a deficit on top of it, there’s no way you shouldn’t be losing. And the rebound gain, oh I know it so well. And it almost makes dieting and exercise not worth it!

      Anyway, hang in there! I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. If candida isn’t it, then I’ll keep looking and sharing. And as we discover stuff, hopefully we can both find the right answers for us!


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