When you have digestive upset, you know how difficult it can be to track down foods that bother you most. This is especially true when you have yeast overgrowth (Candida). My experience entailed keeping a ‘food journal’, doing rotation diets, and of course elimination diets.
I made note of every single thing I put in my mouth for weeks, to no avail. While food journaling did help me see that some foods were causing me discomfort, I still struggled to find a pattern by which to connect the dots.
For instance, brown rice bloated me, sunflower seeds doubled me over in pain, and apples filled my ears with fluid and became terribly itchy. What could be more harmless than rice, seeds, and apples? All seemingly neutral foods that are not considered to be common allergens.
Now I know these foods, along with others, are high in natural sugars that feed yeast/Candida albicans in my gut, in everyone’s gut for that matter. For some reason I have too much yeast and bacteria; an excess that I have since learned is called pathogenic organisms.
Round & Round
Though my intent to track my food sensitivities was good, and my record keeping impeccable, I went about things in a way that weren’t bringing me to a place of understanding. Rather then bring focus to the activity in my gut, I was in circles trying to locate individual foods and food groups as the source of my problem. My mind was set on labeling foods that I must be “allergic” or “intolerant” to, so that I could eliminate them from my diet and feel relief.
Had I continued to not give focused attention to the yeast living in my digestive tract, I might never feel better because the very food I was eating were the ones that yeast thrive (and feed) on and contribute to them growing in population. Harmful yeast in particular like gluten, sugar, and yeast and these are the foods that must be avoided to starve the yeast and allow good gut flora to return to their natural balance (homeostasis).
Without looking at the overgrowth going on in my gut, the harmful yeast would have continued to crowd out the beneficial flora that should be living in my gut in balanced proportions; where they help to assimilate and absorb food. When gut flora are allowed to colonize in such great numbers, they can burrow small ‘pockets’, or holes, in the lining of the small intestine.
This condition is called leaky gut syndrome and allows undigested food particles to pass through and into the bloodstream where they can cause uncomfortable symptoms and allergic reactions, both of which only add further confusion to an already tough situation.
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Now I know that the foods I’ve been eating all this time were feeding the excess yeast organisms and helping them to thrive. Though I stopped eating gluten and refined sugar two years ago after my youngest was born, I was still eating yeasty food on a daily basis; including tempeh, mushrooms, and tamari. I also ate brown rice, beans, starchy vegetables, and fruit …. all of which contain natural sugars that yeast happily devour.
I’ve been eating these foods for years and until now regarded them as healthy and wholesome. I never thought twice about them being a source of my health problems. Now I understand that any food containing gluten, sugar or yeast is going to cause someone with yeast (or bacterial or viral) overgrowth problems.
Half the battle in overcoming a problem is naming its cause.
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May all bellies be happy!