For 15 years I lead a tough life and regularly had incredibly bad stomach pain, fatigue and almost constant flu like symptoms. At first I just put these down to my eighties lifestyle and just tried to ignore the pain and discomfort. Then after a while I went to my doctor and he told me to "stop eating curry for a while" and "take a long holiday"…brilliant advice!

I carried on but it was getting worse, sometimes it was so bad that I had to call out the doctor to have an injection to release my cramping stomach muscles. I went to several more doctors who were all as useless as the first. Another odd symptom was that I craved yeasty drinks like beer, and things like bread, pasta and ‘sugary’ foods*, I found this very scary, something inside me was forcing me to do things…! Finally the very worse thing for me was the constant fatigue, I have a very high energy lifestyle and I kept this up against the issues of being tired all the time…it was the pits.

After over 10 years I got really fed up and started doing some research on all the symptoms which included stomach pain, bloated stomach, gas, constipation followed by diarrohea and flu like symptoms. Now these can easily be associated with diet and the time of year and this is what made it so hard to really diagnose the problem.

Finally, having read several books and searched the Internet I came up with something called "candidiasis" (Candida Albicans) as the cause and went to my doctor of the time and he told me that "only women get that, not you".

I couldn’t believe it, I had got 5 books on the topic and was sure that was what it was – I had also read that 78% of Americans suffered from the disease but most were totally ignorant of it.

I took matters into my own hands and found an independent test lab and had my blood tested and this helped me find out more. First I found out that I did have a problem with candida, plus also a range of other things like brewers yeast and some temporary intolerances to odd things like tomatoes, white pepper, salmon, rabbit etc.

The benefit of the test was that it was scientific, incontrovertible, and it helped me change my lifestyle and diet to eliminate the problem. Needless to say I have never bothered with Doctors since, I self treated using herbal remedies and cutting out things where there were issues from my diet.

I cut out wheat, dairy, sugar, fruit and range of things I was intolerant too for over a year, and then phased them back in over time. I added Probiotics and took a course of herbal drugs to kill the candida.

 Today I still have to watch what I eat and go through candida treatments to help keep the problem under control once a year but I very rarely have any of the old problems and as a ‘foodie’ I don’t have to compromise my lifestyle as I can easily regulate what I eat to prevent the problem reoccurring now I know what the issues are.

Why bother telling you this story?

A huge number of people have the problem but have no idea they can treat it, or indeed that they have a problem at all. They have regular flu symptoms and work through constant tiredness and illness but can’t easily place the root of the problem.

Now you can easily get your blood tested and check, if this sounds like you then I suggest you get a blood test and find out what the problem is – it has made my life immeasurably better.

This is just another thing you can do to boost your performance and to make you more effective at running your life, you should have your blood tested in my view as you will be amazed at the results and it may change your life for the better like it did for me.

What is candida?

Candida normally exists in its yeast form in the digestive tract. Due to the effects of antibiotics, stress, poor diet or other things that weaken the body and it’s normal gut flora it can convert to its fungal form and spread throughout the body. The fungal form creates excessive toxicity which will affect the way every organ, tissue, and cell functions. If the healthy bacteria in the digestive tract becomes seriously depleted the candida proliferate and can produce root like structures which damage the villi along the intestinal tract leading to a ‘leaky gut’. Your antibodies attack the particles and wait for them to appear again ready for another attack when you eat the same foods. Then you end up with food intolerances and allergies as well as sensitivities to the environment.

There are many causes of candidiasis cited, such as:

Repeated antibiotic use, diet high in sugar/refined carbohydrates/processed foods, birth control pills, malnutrition, steroid medications, alcohol, cytotoxic drugs. Anything that compromises the immune system can result in the reduction of friendly bacteria in the intestines and allow Candida Albicans to proliferate.

Are You Suffering From A Yeast Overgrowth?
If many of the symptoms and factors listed below apply to you, it is likely that you’re suffering from candidiasis:

  • Bloating and discomfort, especially after meals.
  • Griping pains in your lower abdomen.
  • Constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Fatigue or muscle weakness.
  • Muscle or joint pains, or arthritis.
  • ‘Brain fog’, feelings of unreality or memory loss.
  • Thrush, athlete’s foot, ringworm or fungal infection of your nails.
  • Urinary tract infection or vaginal discharge.
  • Depression or tearfulness.
  • ‘Low’ immune system and frequent infections.
  • Sensitivities to foods, tobacco smoke, chemical odours or perfume.
  • Antibiotics taken for more than one month or more than four times within 12 months.
  • Prednisolone or other steroid drugs taken for more than two weeks.
  • Anti-ulcer drugs (e.g. Zantac, Tagamet) taken for more than two months.
  • Birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy for more than two years.
  • Cravings for sugar, bread or alcohol.
  • Symptoms worse on damp, muggy days or in damp, mouldy places.

Useful resources:

National Candida Society

For more information about candida, try two books on the topic:

  • The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough by William G. Crook
  • The Yeast Syndrome: How to Help Your Doctor Identify & Treat the Real Cause of Your Yeast-Related Illness by John P. Trowbridge
  • Beat candida through diet: by Gill Jacobs

I buy my supplements from:

* “Yeast seems to have a defence mechanism that makes the patient crave sugars (as that’s what yeast grow best on).