Sara’s symptoms started several years ago at University. She noticed her energy gradually decreasing to the point where should couldn’t go for her regular run and, she was suffering from recurrent thrush. Previously to this she was on several long courses of antibiotics for repeated chest and ear infections. As her energy levels decreased, she started finding it difficult to concentrate and developed joint pain, abdominal discomfort and bloating.
Studying her questionnaire, diet and medical history it became clear that Sara was suffering from the classic symptoms of Candidiasis, a yeast infection. I outlined that the Candida Albicans yeast is present in us all but that if the bacteria and pH is out of balance, the yeast will multiply and transform into an invasive fungus and cause Sara’s symptoms. There are many predisposing factors to an overgrowth of Candida and, in Sara’s case, we traced it to the frequent antibiotic use and nutrient deficient diet.
The first stage for Sara was to follow a good quality, wholefood diet, eliminating the foods that Candida Albicans thrive on, which are those containing sugar and yeast. Dairy was avoided because of its high lactose content, which encourages Candida to grow. We also reduced wheat products to increase the variety of grains and thus nutrients into the diet, and added dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, garlic, ginger and onions to aid the immune system. I also suggested she take supplements with beneficial bacteria called bio-acidophilus and an anti-fungal. To help Sara achieve her programme, I gave her a recipe booklet with some ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
After the first month, Sara noticed an improvement in her energy levels and mental clarity but still had joint pain. The following month she felt that she was getting back to her old self and the joint pain had disappeared. By the third month, she was brimming with enthusiasm and health. I suggested she have a Candida test which confirmed no overgrowth of the invasive fungus. Sara feels healthy and energetic. She has lost weight and is able to cope with stress. Her digestion and immune system have improved and she has not had the recurrent thrush. She is now on a maintenance diet to re-introduce some of the foods that were excluded.
Laura said she came to see me as a last resort. She had been suffering from acid reflux for four years, taking eight prescription antacids per day and Gaviscon in the evenings. She had become so worried about food that she was only eating a very small variety. The discomfort she experienced which included abdominal pain, bloating, burning sensation, fatigue had taken their toll and she was finding no joy in life. So much so that was also taking Prozac for depression.
Dietary modifications that can help people with acid reflux include avoiding fatty foods, red meat, tea, coffee, chocolate, large meals and drinking with meals. I suggested she introduce whole grains and increase her vegetable intake and ensure that it was wide ranging.
Supplements included a probiotic called acidophilus (friendly bacteria), aloe vera (supports immune function, digestion and reduces inflammation), digestive enzymes (to encourage absorption of nutrients and food breakdown) and a multi-vitamin/ mineral to support cell metabolism. I gave her some handouts on ‘Wheat and Dairy Alternatives’ and ‘Improving Digestion’. I also suggested she take a walk every day in natural day light and consider gentle exercise e.g. yoga, tai chi or swimming
After years of watching what she ate and being worried about her symptoms, Laura was beginning to enjoy her food again. After two weeks she emailed me to say that she was only on one teaspoon of Gavison before bed as a precautionary measure. Within a month her symptoms had completed disappeared and didn’t need any medication. She said she didn’t feel depressed and that it was wonderful to have the energy to go out for day trips with her children – even spring cleaning the house was fun! She enjoyed the recipes included in my booklet and said she can’t imagine going back to eating such a small variety of food.
When John came to see me he looked tired and, had recently been diagnosed with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), a neurological condition with a range of symptoms including physical and mental exhaustion and muscle fatigue. He was unable to walk for more than 5-10 minutes or lift objects. For the past year he had also been suffering from swollen glands plus flu-like aching all over his body.
John stated that he wanted the treatment to increase his energy levels. In formulating his dietary programme there were two aspects of John’s health picture that needed to be considered. The first being his capacity to cope with the programme (mentally and physically) and the second being his chronic state which needed a gentle approach to guard against any reactions from detoxification.
I essentially suggested a gentle “clear the air” prescription which would give him space to regain some vitality and thus enable him to detoxify gently. I recommended foods that are known not to increase inflammation, support his immune system, detoxification pathways and regulate his blood sugar.
I saw John four weeks after his initial treatment and he looked brighter and said that he was now able to go for a half our walk per day. I suggested that his follow-on treatment should include continuation of the diet but that a good multi-vitamin and mineral formula should be included to support cell metabolism, detoxification and omega 3 oils.
Following a further four weeks John said his glands and flu symptoms had gone and that he went to a summer festival and, without realising it, had walked the whole day.