*Why* I Quit Sugar
Last week, I came back from the dead and wrote a long post about how I quit sugar and lost 17 pounds. No biggie, right? So I quit sugar.
I freakin’ quit SUGAR! The sweet nectar of life, one of God’s treasures to show us that he loves us. It’s so sweet when it hits the lips…
Why on God’s green earth would I go and do something stupid and crazy like that? Well, don’t gag, but it seems I have a slight yeast problem.
I could write forever about this, but I really just want this to be short and sweet. So the basics are this…
- I’ve had a scalp condition for as long as I can remember. Like dandruff, but grosser. Coal tar shampoo and tea tree oil shampoo have been faithful companions for…ever.
- A good 10-12 years ago, I went to my gynecologist for an itch problem. (Contrary to popular belief, I am not a walking Monistat commercial. I don’t have that yeast problem.) That was the first time I was told I had a yeast-related problem, and promptly received my first of many prescriptions for topical steroids.
- After I had my first son, and I was struggling with breastfeeding, that same gynecologist diagnosed me with a yeast infection in my breast. (Eew. And painful.) Interestingly, on the insurance form he diagnosed me with mastitis, but specifically told me that yeast, not mastitis, was my problem.
- My itch problem continued to get worse as I got older, and I brought it up with my new gynecologist. Again, she confirmed that it was yeast related, gave me some lifestyle information on how to keep it at bay, and again wrote me more steroid prescriptions.
- And then last fall, I finally got around to seeing a dermatologist for my scalp and got an official diagnosis – Seborrhea Dermatitis, which is…wait for it…fed by yeast. And the multiple steroid prescriptions continued.
Over the course of many years, I’ve had three medical doctors diagnose me with a yeast-related condition. And every one of them insisted that topical steroids were my only form of relief. I felt challenged, like it was my duty to prove them all wrong – there had to be something I could do about this other than slather steroids all over my skin. Steroids, by the way, that were slowly depleting my immune system, thinning my skin and requiring ever-stronger steroids to continue working.
So I dove in head first. I have since become best buds with the owner of the local health foods store, Nutrition Stop. It was recommended I read “The Yeast Connection” by Dr. William Crook, the groundbreaking 1986 book connecting systemic yeast to a variety of disease. I Googled the hell out of “Yeast” and “Candida.” And did I learn more about Yeast than I ever, ever wanted to know.
Here’s a list of some of the things that a systemic yeast problem lead to:
- Gastrointestinal and digestion problems (check)
- Skin problems (skin infections, eczema, psoriasis, acne) and itchiness (check)
- Foggy brain / Trouble concentrating (oh, crap, check and check)
- Fatigue and exhaustion (yeah, check that, too)
- Anxiety, mood swings, anger, irritability (not so much anxiety, but mood swings and irritability, most definitely check)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) (No. Thank goodness.)
- Headaches and migraines (Not for me)
- Intense cravings for sugars, sweets, breads and alcohol (Doesn’t everyone? Oh, I mean, check.)
- Food allergies and sensitivities to odor and chemicals (YES! Wow! Check that one, too.)
- Repeated use of antibiotics – which I took fairly regularly in high school to fight sinus infections, bronchitis and tonsilitis
- Prolonged use of steroids – which I’ve been on, in various degrees, for over 10 years
- Prolonged use of The Pill – which I was on for 15 years
- Pregnancy – which I’ve done twice
- A diet high in sugar – which, if you live in America, you have a diet high in sugar
- “The Yeast Connection” by Dr. William Crook (or better yet, borrow it from the library)
- (Warning about this book: it’s chock full of info, but it’s very disorganized, and a bit outdated.)
- A well versed Chiropractor and/or Health Foods store manager or owner
The book and most of these sites also have questionnaires to fill out that score your history along with your symptoms. On every one of these quizzes, I scored off the charts before I even finished all the questions. But before you buy anything or begin any program, by all means, send me a note. Today marks two months since I’ve been on this diet, and I’m still fighting yeast with various treatment protocols. I have had a lot of trial and error, spent money on things I wish I hadn’t and there are things I wish I had known.
So that’s my Yeast story and why I quit sugar. If you didn’t catch last week’s post on how I’ve lost 17 pounds on this journey, check it out here. More healthy recipes, discussions on sugar and the diet, and other crazy stuff to come!