I am on day five of the Strict Diet Phase of the Candida Diet, and I want to quit. I feel like junk and I feel like I'm going crazy. I can't think straight and I feel like I've been hit by a bus. "But wait!" they tell me. "This is a good thing! It means the diet is really starting to work!" Yes, my friends, I am now experiencing what is known as Candida Die Off. And it sucks.
A search for symptoms of Candida Die Off provides you with many different options of maladies to choose from. You can experience everything from "fatigue, depression, aches, irritability and abdominal pains" to nausea, chills, fever, and hives. I have been experiencing the fatigue, aches, irritability, abdominal pains, elevated heart rate, and increased muscle and joint pain. Thankfully, it is a quite weekend for us at home and I have an amazing husband who is currently at the farmer's market shopping for fresh organic vegetables. I know I am blessed and I try to keep focused on that during this difficult transition for my body.
So what is Candida Die Off? Did you know your body can produce ethanol? I didn't know that until just now, so I'm guessing you didn't either. I thought ethanol was just something made from corn that you put in your car at the gas station. Turns out I was wrong. According to thecandidadiet.com, "When yeast cells are rapidly killed, a die-off (or Herxheimer reaction) occurs and metabolic by-products are released into the body. The Candida yeast cells actually release 79 different toxins when they die, including ethanol and acetaldehyde." I'm not sure I want to know what acetaldehyde is.
So what should I do about it? Well, it depends on who you ask. One book I have says "Please don't give up! ... Drink lots of water and know that you are making progress!" The Candida Diet website says, "Candida Die-Off symptoms will vary from person to person, as each will have different degrees of infestation. If you are having severe Die-Off symptoms, slow down your treatment and reduce your dosage of probiotics and antifungals. The liver is your main pathway for eliminating toxins, and the Die-Off symptoms mean that it is being overwhelmed." So do I power through or do I pull back? I guess since I haven't even started the probiotics and antifungals yet, I should just power through it. If you are experiencing the same thing, I wish I could give you a direct answer but, unfortunately, there just isn't one.
And there it is, one of my biggest problems and struggles with this treatment diet. There are no straight answers. What works for me might not work for you. It's all trial and error, and for me right now it seems to mostly be errors. I guess that's what this blog is for, to document the trials, errors, and (hopefully someday in the very near future) successes. I look forward to sharing my successes with you and being able to tell you first hand that it is worth all the confusion and effort.