Cynthia, I am in the process of helping my wife hopefully achieve some sort of meaningful life. We have dealt with Candida for nearly 3 decades. Many of the books you recommend she has read and tried many of the diets etc. Unfortunately mainly because of my lack of commitment we typically would initially see some results but then the arduous task of keeping up with everything would get to us and I was more than happy to go back to our old patterns etc. She would be okay (and when I say ok she is probably able to do 10% of what someone her age typically does) for a short time maybe up to 20% but would eventually wind up basically bedridden.
I am in the process of reading Candida Secrets and am fully aware of the need for the commitment to the dietary needs of my wife. My question to you is if we follow as many of the protocols not only in your books but others as well, what standard of living can we hope to get to? I know every patient is different and results will vary but can we hope to get back to some form of normal life? Also as we begin this journey once again if I have general questions can I just e-mail you or possibly schedule phone consults? Thank you for your time. ~Marty
These are some very good questions and ones that I’m sure other people have as well.
First let me say, that you are not alone. Unfortunately, your story is a common one for a variety of reasons. Many people can’t get their significant other to be on board, have difficulty remaining committed themselves and/or they face a variety of road blocks along the way.
Now, before actually discussing the standard of living she might be able to achieve, I think the first issue that must be addressed is the dynamics between the two of you that is keeping her in this position. It appears to me that you have a leader vs follower or person in power vs passive type of dynamics occurring. Sounds like you have the power over her behavior and she is willing to accept it.
The fact that you are reaching out to me instead of her and the fact that she so easily allows herself to be influenced by your behavior tells me that she is not committed to herself and her own path of recovery. This aspect must be in place. The healing path for Candida and all the other accompanying conditions takes immense commitment, determination and perseverance on the part of the individual inflicted. It also tells me that you are the one in the driver seat in the relationship and she is taking a more passive role.
Ideally, you want to be able to work as a team. However, even if that isn’t possible, she needs to want to get well enough that she is willing to stand up for herself and do what needs to be done for herself regardless of what you do. Just because you are willing to go back to the old ways, doesn’t mean she has to. Yes, that makes it a harder road, however if one wants to feel better they will find the ability to do what needs to be done, regardless of what those around them are doing. She needs to have enough self-esteem and self-worth to take the steps necessary to feel better with or without your support. Sounds like she needs some help in the assertiveness area.
I don’t say this to be harsh, but the bottom line is this, if these dynamics are not changed you are probably going to find yourselves in the same position you are in at this time repeatedly, regardless of what I say to you. I wouldn’t be doing you any favors by not pointing this out.
The first step in changing the dynamics in a relationship is awareness. The two of you need to become aware of the pattern you are stuck in and how your dynamics are affecting her health and probably the relationship as a whole. Then you begin taking the steps needed to change the dynamics.
You need to begin by looking at your situation honestly and realistically. Recognizing that she has a serious health condition that must be tended to in every way that you possibly can. Being bedridden is a sign of a serious deterioration in health. This should be alarming and motivate change.
Expecting her to continue eating a diet that makes her bedridden and her allowing it to happen because it is too much trouble to change, when both of you are aware that the diet is the primary underlying factor, should be unacceptable to both of you.
To help the two of you see her condition more realistically, I suggest making a list of all the ways that her health is impacted, so you have something concrete to look at. When your commitment begins to waver, then look over this list and discuss it. You both must see Candida for the serious health condition that it truly is, instead of minimizing and denying.
After you both become aware of the dynamics and what needs to be changed, I suggest creating some kind of checks and balance system. When one of you slips back into the old pattern, then call each other on it. Verbalize it and don’t allow it to happen. She needs to call you on your behavior of trying to pull her backwards and you need to call her on her behavior of being willing to be influenced by you.
You need to share some of the power with her and she needs to fight to get some of the power. She needs to become an active participant in her recovery plan and you need to be willing to support her or get out of the way. She needs to be a warrior for her cause. She needs to be her own best advocate.
On the other hand, if someone is trying to switch over to a healthier diet and other members in the family are continually bringing unhealthy food in the house, this makes the chances of success decline greatly. Most people with Candida are addicted to sugar and carbs, and it is pretty much impossible to overcome cravings for these foods if they are in the house. This is especially true in the early phases of recovery. Once addictions have been overcome and the healthier principles of living have been incorporated as one’s values instead of a demand this is not as much of an issue. So the kindest and most supportive step you could take would be to be completely cooperative on this matter.
Now with all that being said, once someone does make a commitment to do what needs to be done, the level of improvement that can be achieved depends on many factors, like how truly committed one is to the diet and the healing path in general, their current level of health, the expertise of their health care practitioners, how capable the body is of healing, how much damage has been done to the endocrine system, liver, immune system, organs, gastrointestinal tract and autonomic nervous system, how many other accompanying conditions one has, what kind of setbacks they encounter along the way and how much money you have to spend.
I don’t like to sound like a negative Nancy or potentially hold anyone back by defining limits on what can or cannot be achieved because we all have a different set of circumstances. On the other hand, I don’t like to set one up with false hope or unrealistic expectations. So I try to present the situation as realistic as possible.
Unfortunately, there is not an easy or quick answer. When someone has had Candida for several decades, it becomes deeply entrenched. The more deeply it is entrenched, the more difficult it is to eliminate. The gut is likely to be highly compromised and their may be significant damage to the liver, autonomic nervous system, adrenal glands etc. Some of this can be very difficult to turn around completely. The road to recovery is much more difficult than it would be for someone with a newly acquired and mild case of overgrowth. Although I can’t say what quality of living you can expect, what I can say is that you should most definitely see enough improvement that it would make it well worth your while.
The Candida diet is most important aspect of all. It is impossible to decrease Candida overgrowth and improve health without major changes in the diet. It is the foundation on which everything else is built. If it is not in place, then nothing else can be accomplished, because a poor diet will destroy all the good that anything else achieves. This is true of all health conditions, not just Candida. As mentioned in my Candida Secrets Ebook, I recommend a slightly modified version of the Paleolithic diet. Antifungals and probiotics are next in importance.
However, Candida is a complex and multi-faceted condition. It is pretty rare that Candida occurs in and of itself. It is typically accompanied by food sensitivities, adrenal fatigue , hypothyroidism, hormone imbalances, leaky gut, poor colon health, neurotransmitter imbalances, hypoglycemia, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, heavy metal toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, pesticide toxicity and other multiple chemical sensitivities, Each of these conditions can make Candida proliferate and Candida itself can cause many of these conditions. They perpetuate one another.
Not only that, the symptoms of each of these conditions overlap with Candida, so it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate what is causing what. Anyone with Candida must explore each of these conditions to see if they apply to their situation and address them accordingly. As you can imagine, it takes a great deal of time and money to work through these.
Roadblocks are another very significant factor that affects the level of functioning one will achieve or the pace they will achieve it. Sometimes die off from Candida or the healing crises that one may go through with any of the other accompanying conditions can be so severe, that it is unbearable to endure. The cure is worse than living with the monster. Many people are not able to function if they are too aggressive with their recovery, it hinders their ability to be a parent or partner, go to work or meet other responsibilities. A setback like unexpected exposures to environmental toxins, excessive stress or a traumatic event can hinder the process of recovery as well.
Probably the most significant roadblock that many people face is finances. Sadly, it takes a great deal of money to truly address all that needs to be addressed in order to achieve the highest level of health and functioning. There are many lab tests to be performed and reperformed, nutritional supplements, prescriptions, detoxification methods and other complimentary techniques that one needs to acquire the highest level of healing. The best physicians and treatment centers are out of reach financially for most.
Unfortunately, the level of health that one can acquire is largely dependent on how much money they have to spend. This is true not only of Candida, but any health condition. Many people are forced to live with debilitating conditions because they don’t have the finances to address them adequately. I personally believe this is a crime that should outrage us all, but unfortunately this is the reality of the situation in this country. With the state of the financial structure of this country being what it is at this time, there are scores of people who are in this boat.
However, don’t let this discourage you, hold you back or affect your decision to make a commitment to healing. You may not be able to achieve the highest level of healing as someone who is financially well off, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some significant progress and greatly improve the quality of life.
If one tends to just the basics of Candida recovery, which include following the diet, probiotics, antifungals, enemas, colonics or colon cleansing, exercise, reducing stress and cleaning up environmental toxins, this can result in a very noticeable improvement in symptoms and bring the quality of life up drastically. None of these steps cost very much. Following the diet faithfully can usually produce some very significant improvement and relief alone. You can also read this page on ten affordable ways to improve your health.
The primary key is to stick with the diet. You can’t do it just for a little while. If you fall down temporarily, don’t allow that to be a reason to continue down the path of destruction. Everyone falls down from time to time. It’s part of the process. You can find some very helpful information on this page on managing Candida flares , and what do I eat for breakfast. You may also find some inspiration on 50 reasons to cut the sugar.
As you may have noticed in my Candida Secrets Ebook, you must think in terms of permanent changes in diet and lifestyle. Healing is an on-going and lifetime process. Keep in mind that the diet and lifestyle that encourages Candida overgrowth is also a major contributor to type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, depression, anxiety, addiction, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, and poor physical and mental health in general. This is true for you and also your children if you have any. Nobody wins by eating a poor diet and being exposed to environmental toxins. So there are many reasons to make the changes in the diet and lifestyle besides Candida. You are looking at a lifetime of continued deterioration in health and more serious diagnoses as time goes by if the diet is not changed.
Can you ever get back to some type of “normal” life? Well that depends on your definition of normal. If you mean can you get back to drinking alcohol, eating sugar, having pizza, keeping up with the Jones’s etc. No. You can never return to the life that you once considered normal. If one returns to the things that made them sick to begin with, then deterioration in health typically returns as well.
When someone in the household lives with a chronic health condition, your definition of normal must change. The definition of normal for our society is very unhealthy. It consists of too much stress, poor diet, unrealistic expectations, and constant exposure to environmental toxins. Good health cannot exist under these conditions. You must also find new ways to make life meaningful by thinking outside the box. You may find a variety of helpful suggestions to address this aspect in my other book, Living Life to the Fullest: Creative Coping Strategies for Living with Chronic Illness.
So although I can’t give you a specific number on what level of health you can expect your wife to achieve, I would feel certain that she could be better than the level she is at currently. Even if one could move from being bedridden to being house bound is a change that is worth striving for.
At the very least she should be able to achieve a higher level of functioning, which would enable you to create a life that is more fulfilling, meaningful and enriching than what you have at this time.
Yes, if you need assistance throughout your journey or have other questions, I offer consultations by telephone. If you look in the back of the book that you bought, Candida Secrets, you’ll see that I offer a significant discount on the initial consultation.
All the best.