I don’t really like giving these updates but since I mentioned my food issues some months ago, a few people ask about the situation from time to time and want to know how to pray.
If you don’t recall, I’ve been struggling with some digestive tract issues for about 5 years now. It has gotten progressively worse and new symptoms have appeared over time. The past year has been much worse in terms of pain and aggravation and we’ve focused attention on food intolerance, mainly looking at gluten and corn.
In May, I gave up on both of those as I began consuming them again and couldn’t tell any difference and at times felt relatively fine and then seemingly without warning, the problems would return. The abdominal pain never really subsided and for the most part remained at an elevated level.
In the past week, a new symptom arose. It is a bit too graphic to mention in detail but it was a clearly observable symptom and made researching it quite simple. As far as I can tell, there is only ONE cause for this new symptom AND all my prior symptoms also fit into the same exact cause! This is great news! We’re finally on to a track of diagnosis and treatment that is both logical and we think has a high chance of being correct.
It has to do with the “flora” in my digestive tract, primarily in the intestinal tract. It is basically what is commonly called a “yeast infection” especially when it related to other systems (i.e. G.I. or even mouth, as in thrush). It involves a “bad” bacteria commonly called “candida” and is naturally present in the digestive tract. However, for any number of causes, this bacteria can flourish to the detriment of the digestive tract. At the same time the good bacteria in the digestive tract has been damaged/killed. This simultaneous event, the harming of the healthy bacteria and the resulting growth of the “bad” bacteria causes every symptom I’ve been experiencing, especially the latest symptom.
If this is correct, and we think this is the most logical and possibly the only real conclusion, then the home treatment is fairly straightforward. I’ve gone to a local supermarket (few choices close to here) and purchased a strong probiotic (a 10 billion organism capsule). This encourages the growth of a list of healthy bacteria. I’ve also purchased garlic pills that are believed to kill the bad bacteria. Obviously, no one is too excited about the garlic odor (despite being an odorless product…so they claim), but it’s an obvious choice to have in the mix. There are also diet choices to make to help control the situation and to regain a balance in the digestive tract.
Some of the symptoms that I have been experiencing this past year or two and then growing this past month are headaches, lethargy, poor memory, abdominal/stomach pain, lack of concentration, and the list goes on. It’s amazing to come across this entire list that is a complete match with my symptoms. Praise God for sending me the latest symptom which gave us a huge lead on this perplexing and frustrating problem.
While the causes of intestinal candidiasis are varied, the most likely cause is through the overuse of antibiotics. I hadn’t been on many true antibiotics (2005 for salmonella or something similar…can’t recall exactly, and 2006 for another parasite). I have taken over the counter anti-parasitic medications numerous times since arriving in Mexico. Adding these together and the picture seems to be clear that all these medications have contributed to a very unhealthy imbalance of the bacteria in my digestive tract. It seems so obvious now that this would be the case.
We hope and pray that this is indeed the correct conclusion and the treatment is adequate. There are anti-fungal medications (probably prescriptions) that may be needed. We don’t yet know anything about what these might be.
Praise God for what appears to be the road to a solution. I’ve been ill for 5 years and it was taking its toll on not just my physical health but my emotional health as well. These tend to take a toll on one’s spiritual health too as depression tends to lurk in the shadows of such an experience. It’s hard sometimes to detect this when going through it, but I believe that I’ll feel better in all these ways if/when my body heals and I can regain whatever it feels like to have normalcy in this health issue.
I have appreciated your prayers on my behalf and I continue to appreciate your prayers with us as I discover if the home remedy will bring resolution or not. If it does, I’ll be sure to share that with you for one final praise! Wouldn’t that be great?!?