Saturday, May 10

Low Sugar Goodness

Goodness! We've had an exciting week or two around here (I say a little wryly), including some news which shifts our priorities quite a bit. And meanwhile I've had a bunch of health problems crop up (or worsen) all at once, which call for some dietary changes--pronto.

The first change is a low sugar diet, to deal with a yeast overgrowth. Yeast, also called candida, is one of the microorganisms which lives in everyone's bodies, in harmony with the other microorganisms. However when we take antibiotics, they diminish the good bacteria that lives in our digestive system. That leaves an empty space, which is prone to being repopulated by yeast instead of good bacteria. Then, as any baker knows, yeast eat sugar, and its presence in high quantities sets off a population boom, which is the primary cause of rising bread. Since most of us eat a high sugar diet, in the form of both sugars and refined grains, the population boom can happen inside us. Along with the good bacteria, our immune system helps to keep yeast in check. If one's immune system is depressed or overtaxed, that also leaves room for an imbalance.

We have evolved to have only a small amount of yeast in our systems. Yeast just doesn't work in our bodies in high quantities. If you've ever had a yeast infection or thrush, you know how uncomfortable they are. Yeast overgrowth can become a systemic problem, meaning that it can impact the whole body. Like any other systemic problem, this causes a wide variety of symptoms throughout the body that vary per person. In my case, it causes or contributes to anxiety, blood sugar problems, acne, digestive troubles and food sensitivities, a low immune system and joint pain. Likewise, sometimes yeast overgrowth is not the only systemic health problem, but part of a vicious cycle that started with something else, such as a depressed immune system. This vagueness makes candida hard to diagnose accurately. If you have yeast infections or thrush, you know that you have a yeast overgrowth, although it may be external only or internal as well. If you've taken antibiotics in the past few years that resulted in digestive problems, there's a good chance that yeast overgrowth may be an current issue or risk. Since a low sugar diet is also good for your blood sugar, it can be worthwhile to reduce sugar drastically for a few months, and then when you bring it back into your diet, to do so in moderation.

I recently came across Candida Cure Recipes, which overall seems like the most impressive resource on the candida-free diet I've seen so far.

My moderation has been slowly slipping in the last few months. It doesn't help that Gordan will happily get me any treat that I ask for at any hour, as long as he's awake! This was a huge plus in our early days, and it still is when I'm craving something savory. So now I am going back to the grindstone again. I'm starting by cutting out regular sugar and sweeteners, except that for now I'm keeping a small amount of agave nectar in my breakfasts. At this point I rarely get severe sugar cravings--my cravings are usually more like whims, however insistent--so this won't be as difficult as it was last time, when I weaned myself off of sugar by eating vanilla yogurt progressively diluted with plain yogurt. I'm going to continue taking my probiotic supplement. I'm not going to absolutely avoid refined grains, which I didn't need to do last time. However I am eating more whole grains than I was before, which takes us to the next dietary change, to a high fiber diet, which I'll post about tomorrow.

There's a lot that I'm leaving out here, so if you want more information about this, feel free to ask for more details.

No comments:

Post a Comment