7 months. That’s how long it took for me to finally ‘see the light at the end of the tunnel’ and get the proper diagnosis (I basically knew I had). It took this long to getting my body and health issues under control and on the right track.
You might be saying to yourself, “Healthy?! She seems pretty healthy to me?” You’re right. I look healthy, however the inside of my body, not so much. It was doing
some a lot of damage to me.
7 months ago back in January (New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day to be exact), I had a horrible reaction to gluten. Happy New Year to me! It had happened prior to this many many other times (all of which I just shrugged off), and after finally narrowing it down to what could have caused this, gluten seemed to be the culprit. So I continued for the next month to try and ween myself off of gluten products (not so hard right I thought?…WRONG!) I decided in the month of February that if I was truly going to see if this was the culprit, I needed to completely cut it out of my diet. So that’s what I did and I have to say, I felt a-mazing! During this trial of mine, I put a call into my GI doctor, told them what was happening and he wanted me to come in as soon as I could. We discussed what was happening and how I took it upon myself to do an experiment (which was working), and he said he wanted to do an endoscopy in March. Great, I thought. Nope. This meant I had to now put gluten back into my diet, feel like crap, just to make sure this was my issue. During this time, I was also having a lot of other symptoms (tiredness, my eczema was absolutely horrible, itchiness in areas you shouldn’t always be itchy, acne, canker sores, etc.) and we were hoping the endoscopy would show what we needed for it to show. And it did. Test came back positive- Gluten Intolerance and G.E.R.D. Oh joy, I thought, problem solved.
Well…not so much. The next month (4 months in), I continued to live gluten free, took a now prescribed Prilosec daily and low and behold, I was still getting the same symptoms. Not good. I couldn’t understand how I was eating a healthy ‘diet’, having coffee less than I was before (doctor’s orders), and here I was not being able to hold a meal in. This was getting ridiculous. So, the next step, once I put in a call back into my doctor ( a little annoyed and concerned to say the least), was to have a colonoscopy procedure done. He, like myself, was not okay and comfortable with the fact I was still getting sick. We wanted to rule out Celiac and Crohn’s. So in month 5 of this ordeal, I completed my first colonoscopy (wasn’t as bad as I thought) except for the fact that I didn’t receive any helpful news. The only thing that came out of it was IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome). IBS? Seriously?? I could have told you that!!! Needless to say, I was not okay with this result and needed more answers.
6 months in, I ended up in my gynecologist’s office because I now had an irregular month prior. Now maybe I’m not like most women, but I am so in tune with my body that if the slightest thing is off, it’s because something is going on. He ends up taking a biopsy of my uterus and it comes back that it may be (what doctor says it may be) endometritis. Oh isn’t this great, I said to myself. It basically is an inflammation and he treated it with a very powerful antibiotic- doxycycline. Let’s just say, I am now allergic to doxycycline and it brings on horrific GI pain. But for 14 days, I finished the anti-biotic and was still getting sick. I decided I was going to take this matter into my own hands. Enter, the internet. I know they say the internet can be your enemy, but for me, it was my saving grace. I was reading an article about gluten intolerance and IBS and what may actually cause it, and I discovered candida.
Candida Albicans is a pathogen that takes advantage of a disruption in the balance of microorganisms in your gut. This balance of ‘gut flora’ is a crucial part of your immune system and digestive health, but it can easily be lost during periods of stress or after a course of antibiotics. When this balance is lost, the colonies of Candida Albicans are able to expand rapidly until they control a large portion of your gut.
Article after article, light bulbs were going off and flags were waving at me!! It was as if they were written for me! I immediately put a call into my PCP (primary care physician) hoping she could do a blood or stool test (2 ways to test for it). Feeling a little hopeful because she had diagnosed and treated me with h-pylori 8 years ago, she in the end said, “I’m sorry. We don’t test for that.” Feeling a little deflated, I then called my GI doctor hoping they could relook at my results from my endoscopy and maybe see if it showed something, or maybe they could even steer me in the right direction. “I’m sorry. We can’t see you until October, unless you want to see the nurse practitioner.” No, I’m good. I don’t have until October to figure this out. Plus, to be honest, the more I read about it, it goes undiagnosed and many doctors don’t diagnose because there isn’t a real way to ‘treat’ it. No pill, no prescription, no quick fix. So I decided to call my holistic chiropractor to see if she knew of anyone, and low and behold she did!!! I honestly should have gone to her in the first place. I probably could’ve saved myself a month of wasted time.
So here we are. 7 months later. 7 months that I went living with candida. 7 months from when my hell started and ended when I finally was diagnosed with candida today. Today felt like a victory for me. 3 months ago I had a doctor tell me that some patients just like to keep looking for something wrong when they don’t hear or get what they need or want. Well if I had listened to him, and had not listened to my instinct, I wouldn’t have felt elated and/or a sense of relief to have finally received proper guidance from the woman, Jane, I met with today at The Tree of Life. She gave me hope that this diagnosis isn’t forever. She gave me hope that I am not alone. There are so many people who go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and I hope that by sharing my story, you too, will feel not alone (or maybe even get yourself checked out).
Never, ever ignore what your gut (no pun intended) is trying to tell you. I’m so glad I stayed determined to get to the root of my problem. This is not going to be an easy journey for me, but I will get through it.
Do you have candida or know of someone who does?