Part 1: Eaten Alive With Candida

I have promised to write about my experiences with Dr. Riesman at the MindBody Medical Center in Brentwood, TN. I encourage you to read all parts of this series, including the prelude, Shelling out the BIG bucks for the sake of HEALTH. This is Part 1: Eaten Alive with Candida. Next will come Part 2: Natural Remedies For Anxiety and Part 3: The One & Only Detox/ Cleanse You Should Be Doing

This my friends, is what a candida overgrowth, hell a candida infestation, in your gut looks like! In my case I had a widespread candida infection. And these are the results that I achieved after just a few weeks of taking supplements to combat the candida. I 13892259_500372300160468_2035746077029052994_nwasn’t doing extra exercises, I wasn’t dieting…the only changes I made were taking the supplements as directed by Dr. Riesman.

So lets start from the beginning. What is candida? Candida is yeast, a fungus, and it is in all of us. But you can get an overgrowth for many reasons. Maybe your diet is too high in sugar or carbohydrates, the alcohol you drink on the weekends is causing an imbalance of bacteria, or the oral contraceptives you take, or those antibiotics you had to take when you were sick… When most of us think candida or yeast, we think of a feminine yeast infection or athletes foot or a diaper rash, but there’s a lot more to a candida overgrowth than that.

Candida may manifest itself as:

  • Feeling tired, lack of energy
  • Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, or multiple sclerosis
  • Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog
  • Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  • Mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  • Vaginal infections or urinary tract infections
  • Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  • Strong sugar and carbohydrate cravings

Everything underlined above were symptoms I had. And who would have known? I mean my itchy ears have bothered me for quite some time now, and it was so annoying that sometimes I would sit around at home just twirling a q-tip around inside my ears for relief. But it just seemed like one of those things, and I never thought of it as being a health concern that would make me research why my ears were itchy. In fact, when Dr. Riesman specifically asked me if my ears were itchy, my eyeballs nearly popped out of my head. How in the world would he have guessed that my ears itched! HA!

But I was undeniably bloated. And although I could see and feel it, I didn’t realize just how bloated I was until I saw my own before and after photos. The candida overgrowth was causing a slew of symptoms. I couldn’t get rid of yeast infections because the problem was in my gut…that was home for the yeast, and it was going to keep reoccurring again and again until I destroyed the root cause, until the yeast didn’t have a place to call home anymore.

Looking back now I can also clearly see that my cravings for sugar and carbs was higher than it had ever been before. It was a slow process, little by little I craved more and more. And again this is one of those things I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until I didn’t have those intense cravings anymore. I’m not saying that I don’t love eating sugar and carbs now. I’m just saying that before I had intense cravings, and it was a fight to resist them, and at some point a long the way those cravings became what I thought was a normal amount of cravings to have.

A portion of my digestive distress I was having was caused by the overgrowth. The other portion was because I no longer had my gallbladder and my body could no longer make the necessary digestive enzymes (Shout out to the medical team who thought it was necessary to remove my perfectly healthy gallbladder, read about that here.) Dr. Riesman started me on 3 supplements to combat the candida and a digestive enzyme. I had to take 2-3 capsules of each of these twice daily, some with food and some on an empty stomach. I was actually taking 9 different supplements total, and to keep track of everything I used a sharpie on the cap to know when and how many and how often to take everything. “3, 2x, empty” or 2, 2x, food”.

“Is it too hopeful to think that I will be doing significantly better in time for my wedding and honeymoon this fall?”

During my first appointment with Dr. Riesman in mid June I asked, “Is it too hopeful to think that I will be doing significantly better in time for my wedding and honeymoon this fall?” I was still scared of being confined to a bathroom in cold sweats and in pain on my wedding day or not being able to enjoy the food and beach on my all inclusive honeymoon. He looked at me strangely and said, “I would be surprised if you hadn’t started seeing improvements within a week”.

Kyle and I made the 3 hour journey back home, with some unfortunate stops. I hadn’t eaten a single bite that entire morning or afternoon because I knew I would get sick, and I absolutely had to make my appointment. To go off on a little tangent, the week prior, I had a turkey sandwich at home about an hour before my dentist appointment. I hadn’t but just swallowed the last bite of my sandwich when I started getting cramps. They built up, I started sweating, I couldn’t breathe, and I ran to the bathroom. Feeling a bit better and hoping that would be the end of it, I got in the car and drove to my appointment about 30 minutes away. I had just sat down in the waiting room when the second wave hit me. This time the nausea came with it. To the bathroom again, and god do I hate using public bathrooms. As if the next hour and a half wasn’t going to be bad enough just getting a cavity filled, but I laid in that chair, trying to meditate with every ounce of my power. I kept saying “It’s going to be okay. Keep breathing. You are going to get through this. You aren’t going to need to use the bathroom anymore.” But those thoughts were overpowered with the thought of having to burst out of the chair in the middle of having my tooth drilled, with gadgets in my mouth, to run to the toilet. Or getting so nauseous that I would throw up on my dentist. And I kept thinking, “Why didn’t I stay home?” Somehow I miraculously made it through that appointment and got home, avoiding any disasters. However, getting back to my original story, on my way home from my first appointment with Dr. Riesman, I was to have the worst car ride of my life.

It was 6PM and Kyle stopped at a Zaxby’s for dinner. I was starving as well because I hadn’t eaten a single thing all day. I didn’t order anything, but I had a few bites of his chicken, a bite of toast, and maybe 2 fries. We had just gotten back into the car when my stomach started rumbling. “We can’t go yet.” I had to run back into the restaurant. On what was remaining of the drive home (about 2 hours), we had to pull over two more times. I was in tears. Tired of feeling sick. Tired of not even being able to make a car ride home. Tired of not being able to eat. Tired of the humiliation.

But I have been doing much better. And if my words aren’t proof enough for you, then those photos should be evidence enough.

I also want to include in this post a list of foods that cause inflammation that my doctor said I should limit:

  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Corn
  • Pork
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts

If you know me, I eat just about everything, and my general way of thinking is that everything is okay in moderation. Perhaps if I never ate any of these foods, I wouldn’t have any problems, but pulled pork is my favorite food (I’m serving it at both of my wedding receptions!), followed by shrimp, I love everything dairy, and I eat wheat and everything else on this list, and corn is an ingredient in it seems like EVERYTHING! HA! But I do try to be more aware, and if given the option to order one thing over another, I try to be mindful of what the better option for me is. But despite not “avoiding” these foods, and really not even “limiting” them from my diet, I am steadily improving.

And having less anxiety has made me a new person…but that’s for next time!

12 thoughts on “Part 1: Eaten Alive With Candida

  1. Great piece of writing and really good information!! Good to hear youre doing well! Hope all goes well with the career change!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea that pork and shellfish were something to avoid. I am so interested in learning a better, healthier way to live.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi! I am so happy that I’ve come across your blog. I’m in the Nashville area and have recently just begun suspecting that candida is at the root of so many symptoms I am having. Unfortunately, I’m having a difficult time finding a doctor that “believes” candida overgrowth is a real thing so I’m so excited to hear about your experience with Dr Reisman! I’m curious….how did he officially diagnose you with candida overgrowth? Blood test? Stool sample? Both? And how are you doing currently with keeping the candida at bay? Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there! Thanks for reading! I did do a blood test at the mind body medical center, but I don’t believe it pointed to anything in particular. He diagnosed me after a very thorough consultation with me. It was great to have a doctor finally really listen to me and believe what I was saying. My Candida was kept at bay for a long time, until recently actually. I had A LOT of antibiotics given to me (2 rounds oral, 2 rounds intravenously, and an antibiotic shot) over the course of a month back in Sept/ Oct because I went into labor prematurely (and they give them as protocol) and then developed a bad case of mastitis and was hospitalized a few weeks after given birth. The overload of antibiotics prompted the Candida to get out of control again, and I could really feel it by the time I was 3 months postpartum. I’ve went through a bottle of the Yeast Away again and then started an additional probiotic, did a month of grapefruit seed extract and protease (this digestive enzyme breaks down the biofilm created by the yeast), and I drink Pau D’arco tea every day (this stuff I recently discovered and is really powerful). My friend is an herbalist and suggested the tea and protease to me. The Yeast Away and grapefruit seed extract are two of the supplements Dr. Riesman has previously advised. I’m feeling much better currently. Yeast cells are very smart and highly adaptable. Dr. Riesman is great, I highly recommend him. Also, there is a “spit test” you can do from home that involves spitting is a glass of water first thing in the morning. When I’ve having issues with Candida, my spit is stringy and sinks, whereas it should normally float no matter how long it sits. You could give that a try!


      1. Oh goodness, so sorry to hear about your complications – so glad that you are okay! Also glad that you’re feeling better and ridding the candida once again!

        I’ve read about the spit test, and mine definitely have “legs” and sink so between that and the many common “candida” symptoms I’ve had for years, I feel certain this is what’s going on. I’m just excited at the prospect of a doctor (locally) that’s not only willing to consider it but that is somewhat knowledgeable on it! I can’t thank you enough! (and congrats on your little one!!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It makes me happy to have interested readers! I’m truly glad that I could do something to help point you in the right direction to I sing answers. The Southern Well Nut is also on Facebook and Instagram if you are on social media. I have a small follower base, but hope that I can slowly grow and help anyone else in their search for better health 🙂


    1. Absolutely! Those of us seeking answers are certainly glad you’re here 🙂 I’ll definitely follow you on facebook and IG! (and share your blog with others along the way, too!) Thanks again and I’ll keep in touch!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Michelle Shoemake October 15, 2018 — 11:48 pm

    Oh my gosh, I could be you! I’ve had issues with my stomach for 30 years and all everyone has wanted to do is put a bandaid on the problem. Whenever we go out to eat I get so anxious because I know what’s coming, my poor husband! I’ve been thinking about going to Mr Schwartz for a few years but for some reason never have. I live in the Nashville area and will definitely check into Dr Reisman. Thank you for your insight, great info.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment Michelle! I recommend them both. You have to advocate for your own health, as no one knows your body like you do. If you are on FB or Instagram, please follow me on there, as I am much more active on those sites than I am on my blog. I have found great relief through many of the same products I offer such as superfood shakes, high quality probiotics, quality essential oils and organic essential oil/ CBD vape pens. I also have found an herbal supplement called IBSolutions very helpful, I do not sell that, but it can be found on amazon.


    2. And you can also read above in the comments about some other products and herbs and teas that have helped specifically with the Candida.


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