Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

If You’ve Ever Eaten Sugar, You Probably Have Candida Symptoms (Yes, You. You in the Chair. Read This.)

March 25th, 2013 · 102 Comments · Natural Health

I always thought I was in excellent health.

I am not overweight. My cholesterol numbers make doctors weep with joy.

I made it through a year of student teaching without taking a sick day, and everyone knows schools are dens of supergerms.

I had three healthy, fairly easy pregnancies with quick weight loss and recovery afterward.

My genes are strong as all get out, as evidenced by an aunt who downhill skis in her 70s, another (older) aunt who is on her feet all day in retail, and the fact that the only regular prescription my dad had by the time he turned 70 was for reading glasses.

And I certainly didn’t have any food sensitivities or weak stomach issues.

I got a little big-headed about it, I imagine, thinking I was akin to Superwoman in the physical health category.



I suffered with a bit of the “I’m invincible” fallacy that adolescents often struggle with when they get their driver’s licenses.

Until I got into all this natural health stuff, I didn’t realize that the fact that I usually evacuated my bowels once a day meant that I was constipated my whole life.

Stinky feet? Just wore shoes that didn’t breathe.

A bit addicted to sweets, especially chocolate? Not a problem – isn’t everyone?

I never would have read anything about candida from the first person perspective, wondering if I had it.

Until this happened:

3 Steps to Fighting Candida Naturally

What started two years prior as an annoying itchy spot at the base of my hairline on the back of my neck, correlating roughly to when I started using the “no shampoo” method of washing my hair, suddenly started to get more intense, more itchy, more scaly, and much, much bigger last spring:

I don’t have a photo of it when it was small, the way it probably was for two years. I never saw it. I never had anyone take a look at it to see if it looked odd. I just tolerated it and didn’t take the time to consider it.

3 Steps to Fighting Candida Naturally

When I could feel it being scaly however, I started asking people: “What does this look like to you?

Most of them were pretty frightened.

When I realized one day that it had traveled around the sides of my neck, and even to the front, following the path of the chain on my necklace that I wore constantly, I started to get a little freaked out.

I was a nursing mom; I couldn’t have some contagious fungus or other sort of unknown evil rash that I could pass to my baby!

At some point I called to make an appointment with a dermatologist I had seen before, when I didn’t yet know how to cure warts naturally, and they could fit me in in a few short months.

???

Apparently there are plenty of people with skin issues.

Unfortunately for me, the fact that the rash had now covered my neck and upper chest (top photo) and was going down my arms made me think I didn’t really have two months to sit around and wonder, “What the heck IS this?”

Do you Have a Candida rash?

Do you Have a Candida rash?

I had to find someone who would see me immediately, and since I hadn’t found a new doctor when we moved a few months earlier, it was the perfect time.

I had recently written a post on how to find a naturally minded doctor, so I had some phone numbers at my disposal. The naturopath I chose to call, Dr. Kathryn Doran-Fisher at Elder & Sage, was available for an appointment that very day, and I was off to the races.

I also made an appointment with a regular MD locally, just to have something to compare to. Both docs had something to say about my rash within seconds of meeting me, but their thoughts on it couldn’t have been more different.

My First Naturopath Appointment

Natural Health Month at Kitchen Stewardship

It was one of the most fascinating experiences of my life.

I came home and hugged my husband, looked deep into his blue eyes as he looked questioningly back into my hazel ones, and I announced: “Honey, you married a blue-eyed girl!”

His reaction, also within seconds, was:

“She’s a quack!”

He’s really a very kind and gentle person, but he doesn’t put a lot of stock into natural health stuff until he sees the proof in the pudding.

I held off on calling the Secretary of State to change my driver’s license. ;)

At the appointment, after I learned that I am, in fact, NOT the only person in the family with brown eyes, I sat there listening with what had to have been the goofiest look on my face – a mixture of fascination and trepidation, tinged with joy. And bewilderment.

I even apologized at one point for the wide eyes and creeping grin, saying, “I’m sorry, I’m just so fascinated, but I wish we were talking about someone else!”

Here are some things that are different about a naturopathic appointment vs. a doctor’s appointment:

  • I’m a client, not a patient.
  • I get a suggestion and advice, not a diagnosis and prescription.
  • Dr. Kathryn looked at the striations on my eyes to learn about my health, which is when she told me that genetically, I have blue eyes. The rim around my iris is most certainly navy blue, surprise, surprise! The “hazel” is just other variations covering the blue. That means we have 100% chance of having a blue-eyed child if God has a fourth in mind for us!
  • She looked at my fingernails. Bet no one other than your beautician has done that before! My pointer finger has always had some sort of curve to it, which seemed significant to her.
  • Somehow she determined that I didn’t have enough hydrochloric acid. I can’t remember how, but I wrote it down…that may have something to do with the fact that beets turn my urine pink (did you know that’s not normal?) and impacts digestion.
  • There was no blood pressure taking or weighing, but there was a kind of spooky “compass electron” machine (or something like that) that read…something in my body…honestly, my notes on paper have been lost, my notes in the computer are missing, and most of the photos I took of the rash as it changed are also AWOL, so the details will be a little sketchier than I’d planned. Still trying to figure out God’s plan for all those misplaced resources…
  • Dr. Kathryn DID look into my mouth, but she wasn’t looking at my tonsils or my throat – she wanted to see my tongue. She saw some streaks, maybe (my memory is being challenged tonight) and said that they were a sign that the same thing was present all down my esophagus and through the digestive system, demonstrating a candida overgrowth (& that my digestive system was damaged because of it) –

Which is what she said practically before even bothering to take a look at the rash when I first sat down and explained it to her.

Sound like voodoo? It felt like it, just a little. But no more than a blood test seems ethereal and unknown to someone who is not trained in medicine.

Why wouldn’t the body, made by an omniscient, omnipotent God, have ways of telling us what’s wrong with it? I liken this experience to how Natural Family Planning helps me to read my own fertility – it’s our bodies’ clues to what’s going on inside.

And my body’s verdict? Blue eyes, candida.

What the M.D. Said

Do you have a candida rash?

Oh yeah, my face broke out, too. Super fun.

The MD, an elderly gentleman who looked about ready to retire (and did within months, I understand), whizzed in, listened half-heartedly for a minute while I explained things, made some disturbing “wow” and “erm” sort of noises as he looked at it, asked in a shocked tone, “Does that hurt?” and quickly began writing a prescription for a steroid cream.

Y’all saw that coming, right?

He did ask all sorts of questions about whether I had tried a new laundry detergent or come into contact with any chemicals lately (again, tried to explain our chemical-free household, don’t think he quite got the gist). He told me I had a probable allergy to something and that the scaly area on the back of my neck looked like psoriasis.

He recommended that I see a dermatologist and said that when I did, they’d start with a steroid cream, so I could tell them that I had already tried that. (Is there an element of defeatism there, as if he thought what he was giving me wouldn’t work anyway?) I tried to explain that I probably wouldn’t fill the prescription, but we really weren’t communicating all that well, and I left wondering why I had bothered going in in the first place.

Diagnosis? Probable allergy to unknown substance, psoriasis.

How the two things could possibly be unrelated, I’ll never know. In my mind, one clearly stemmed from the other. I felt much more at peace with the naturopath’s explanation, and the fact that she had many ideas about how to tackle the problem, rather than one catch-all that would have been prescribed for any skin issue.

What is Candida Anyway? What are the Symptoms?

Candida is a yeast that is part of our natural flora, which means it’s present in our bodies naturally. In this case, both externally and internally.

The problem that is happening when people say, “I have candida,” is really an overgrowth of yeast, which causes an imbalance and begins a domino effect of other problems. It’s called “candidiasis” or a candida yeast infection.

Symptoms of candida include:

  • acne
  • brain fog
  • athlete’s foot
  • cradle cap
  • diabetes
  • diaper rash
  • eczema
  • fatigue
  • fungal nail infections
  • heartburn
  • joint pain
  • migraines
  • psoriasis
  • respiratory problems
  • sinus congestion
  • thrush
  • UTIs
  • and more… source and here

Some say candida overgrowth and especially all these symptoms are literally a hoax, a relationship that doesn’t even exist that natural health practitioners use to describe any skin ailment whatsoever. There is little clinical evidence that an anti-candida diet, for example, does any good with a candida yeast infection, or that these infections can cause symptoms beyond the visible, physical symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection or thrush in the mouth.

However – perhaps that’s because there is little funding for clinical trials that don’t involve buying a product or pharmaceutical to cure a disease.

I know  or have heard of too many people who have mitigated or cured their candida symptoms with an anti-candida diet to believe that it’s a non-existent problem.

Candida yeast feeds on sugar, which is a primary culprit as far as causes of overgrowth, along with antibiotics, birth control, steroids, and pregnancy.

And that brings me back to the title of the post – I am getting a sneaking suspicion that our general gut balance as a nation is probably declining as the generations pass and our diets get worse.

It is likely that if I have a yeast imbalance of some sort, that I passed that on to my children, even though we are all now eating fairly well. Since I never fully addressed/eradicated my candida overgrowth, I have children with eczema, cradle cap, etc.

I was formula-fed (mom tried, but it wasn’t meant to be, and that’s okay) and ate white sugar all my life, and if my kids, who were fully breastfed and ate very little white sugar (if any, depending on the kid) before their first birthday, have issues with gut imbalance, what of the children of my generation who are sucking down sugary drinks and white flour munchies all day long from toddlerdom on? Then they’ll pass their messed-up flora on to their own kids, who will feed that yeast overgrowth with more sugar, and won’t it just keep getting worse? (Pregnancy can be one of the causal factors of candida, too, by the way.)

I’m hoping to break the cycle in my own family, but not everyone has the knowledge or dedication to do so. (I’m still not quite sure if I do, as a matter of fact…)

I Don’t Want to Heal Myself!

…because natural health can be tricky.

When I was working on fighting my candida (don’t worry, I will tell you how I did it eventually. I don’t look like a shiny red alligator anymore.), I felt a little “in over my head” and emailed Dr. Kathryn with some questions. She was very kind and thorough, and at the end of her email, she wrote: “I hope that I can continue to help you navigate how best to heal yourself.”

It just about put me over the edge.

I know she meant it as a nice gesture, but at that point, I was so overwhelmed by the simple fact that when treating yourself, you have to figure out what’s working, what isn’t, what do try next…keeping my brain so engaged was exhausting! I get it – why people just want a prescription and rules to follow from their docs. The responsibility of home doctoring is heavy on my shoulders and taxing on my brain.

My reaction to the email (in my head) was, “I don’t want to figure out how to heal myself! I just want to get better!”

Now that I’m on the other end, I’m glad I did it, but I still didn’t like it. In case that makes anyone out there feel better about their natural health attitude.

‘Cause mine stinks.

Like my feet used to.

Natural Remedies to Fight a Candida Rash

Remember that my awful rash was simply one sign that I was fighting candida internally, so just treating the rash would have been masking the symptom, but not addressing the root. Ironically, a naturopath would be similar to an MD in that they do look at most skin problems as a “one size fits all” issue – “the skin is trying to eliminate something from inside the body. What it is trying to eliminate and how it eliminates it are what determine how the skin appears.”

I asked Dr. Kathryn via email about her thoughts on psoriasis, because I was surprised to hear that diagnosis from the MD. She replied with the above quote plus:

In Psoriasis, the toxins in the bloodstream attach to cell receptor sites making the cells appear foreign to the immune system so it targets them for destruction at the same time triggering other hormones to increase skin cell growth. Thus you get the scales along with the redness and inflammation. Eczema and other dermatitis issues are more of the direct attempt at removal of toxins and pathogens. So you can see that in natural health we are going to address the toxins, acids, and pathogens in the bloodstream to improve the health of the skin. So it doesn’t really matter what “name” it is given. The cause is still much the same.

Therefore, to fight the candida rash, we needed to address the internal issues. Anytime you want to kick candida out of one’s system, you need a three-pronged approach against those toxins and pathogens:

  1. Starve.
  2. Kill.
  3. Rebuild.

It’s a bit less war-like than it sounds, but almost as fun as “you sank my Battleship!”

To be Continued….HERE is the post on how I battled candida both internally and externally, plus reader recommendations and resources. Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed so you don’t miss anything this week!

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102 Comments so far ↓

  • Mrs. Mac

    Oh .. this is a good read! My youngest has seborrhea and the same scaly red rash as your photo just at the base of his hair on the back of his neck … and gas. We’ve been using doTERRA wild orange essential oil .. and I use oregano oil. The scalp seborrhea is 95% better .. gas 75% better. It’s a battle .. so I’m very interested in your story. Our pediatrician prescribed steroid .. but i poo-pooed that. Also, I’m using doTERRA’s shampoo and their Salon Essentials root to tip serum .. with success. What a battle! BTW his doc totally blew me off when I suggested candida.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sarah via Facebook

    great post.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Hannah via Facebook

    Argh! Left hanging with the too be continued. Hope I catch tomorrow’s post. Thx fit sharing.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Christina Miskam

    This was a lot of reading to just be teased! I was really hoping to find out what you did to fight Candida. Nope!!! Just a huge long tease. Bummer!!!!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Mellissa Quinn Reply:

    I agree! Where is the how to? Very frustrated!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Melissa,
    Coming soon, hence the “to be continued” – please be sure to read my response to the gal you responded to for an explanation.
    Katie

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    Christina Miskam Reply:

    I aired my frustration publicly, so…I owe you an amends publicly. I am sorry. I have been sucked into things that turn out to be sales pitches at the end and worse. I jumped to a conclusion with out even knowing anything about you. I am very sorry, and I am sorry I hurt your feelings. I guess I should not be posting comments on no sleep, quitting smoking three days ago, and just plain angry. I am truly sorry!

    With Love and joy,
    Christina Miskam

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Christina,
    No worries! We all do crazy things when we’re tired. No harm done – but seriously, way to go on quitting smoking! May you keep it up!! :) Katie

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    Pamela Miller Reply:

    I agree 100%. I will ‘unlike’ this lead on facebook. I am extremely disappointed. I wonder if this site is not also selling something for candida. Their ego is off the charts!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Pamela,
    Coming soon, hence the “to be continued” – please be sure to read my response to the gal you responded to for an explanation.

    This post was actually quite humbling to write; I’m sorry it sounded as though I was pumping up my own ego.
    Katie

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    Blair Massey Reply:

    She said that this was part 1. At the end of the article is says, “To be Continued….more tomorrow on how I battled candida both internally and externally, plus reader recommendations and resources.” It pays to read the entire article before you post your response. As for saying she has an ego, may I suggest that you look in the mirror.

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    Sarah Reply:

    Oh my goodness. Katie has written a huge post and I’m sure that part 2 will be just as lengthy. Have a little patience, people!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Ladies,
    I’m a bit hurt. This is free content…and honestly, when it hit midnight last night, I decided to cut the post in half and do a “to be continued.” Do you cancel your subscription to cable when a show is a two-parter?

    “This site” is just me. Just a mom, a person trying to figure out natural health as I go to keep my family as healthy as possible. I don’t have the second half of the post quite finished yet, because I packed lunches, made breakfast, went to Babytime at the library, endured an hour-long fit from a 4yo, made lunch, and went to an appt. where we found out said 4yo is sensitive to corn, soy, millet and spelt. Which is probably why she lost control this morning after the fruit snacks at preschool yesterday.

    I will be forthcoming with everything I know about battling candida through research, experience, and conversation. This post is helpful as the prelude to the treatment, the story of how I figured things out, and I hope that it helps someone out there…if I had written the whole post in one part as planned, perhaps people would have been frustrated that my posts are too long.

    I hope you get to see part two….coming as soon as I can while also feeding my family dinner and going to a school music concert.

    Thanks for your input,
    Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Blair Massey Reply:

    Katie: you don’t need to defend yourself at all. This person has jumped to a conclusion without reading the end of the article. Foolish is as foolish does.

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    Stacey Reply:

    Please do not let a couple of complainers ruin your day. I’m sorry I don’t reply THANK YOU to every single post you write. I do read every one of them. Right now I’m drinking some kombucha I made for the first time last week and I’ll say THANK YOU for your encouraging words to take baby steps to making better choices in the kitchen and for natural remedies. I’ve taken so many baby steps in the past six months perhaps you would consider me a kindergartener! If not for the work you do on your amazing website, I would not be encouraged and challenged and empowered to make necessary changes in my family’s life. THANK YOU, Katie, for your hard work. I look forward to reading part 2 whenever you post it.

    I’ll share one of my favorite Bible verses to encourage you today: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

    Hugs to you!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Stacey,
    Aw, thank you so much! I’ll take that hug, and we can move on to first grade together – I don’t even make kombucha yet! Hee hee! :) Katie

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    Kelly Reply:

    Hey, thank you for this, and I can’t wait to read more! Question, you said you found out your 4yr old is sensitive to all that. Did you do a blood test? I’ve been threatening elimination diet to my family, but can’t make myself follow through! I feel both my kids, for different reasons, have food sensitivities. I’d love to know your findings.thanks,kelly

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Kelly,
    We did a minor elimination diet this month (http://bit.ly/14O51eu) and I was surprised to notice that after we re-introduced corn, my 4yo had tummy aches for a few days in the mornings and threw a massive, out of control temper tantrum. I wanted to know what was up with her and went to a chiropractor who does muscle response testing for nutrition. My husband looked into it after the fact and found only “it’s a hoax” type sources, so I need to delve in a little more myself, but that’s where we learned the 4 foods…

    Good luck! :) Katie

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    Sarah Reply:

    Sigh. I would love to believe the whole muscle response testing thing, too, but it just doesn’t seem like there is much objective evidence.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Sarah,
    In the week since I went, I’ve done more research, and I’m totally against it now…le sigh…so we’re just doing a food diary. Eh.
    :) Katie

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    Christina Reply:

    I must say that muscle response testing makes total sense to me, and I’ve seen it work SO well so many times for our family. Diagnosed my 8-month old’s potato allergy when I was at my wit’s end trying to figure it out, diagnosed my food sensitivities when I was reacting to everything in college (now I just need to steer clear of soy & gluten), and has helped me figure out the root of feeling gross in myself & my kids. Now there is even a computerized version called Computerized Body Analysis which some practitioners use (measures on electrical pulses by computer instead of the practitioner feeling them)… and I’ve FELT the difference between my own muscle response when holding a reactogenic food v not. Obviously, like anything, there are those who are good at it and those who aren’t… but in our experience it’s been hugely helpful and allowed us to avoid painful skin & blood allergu testing!

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    Sarah Mueller Reply:

    I’m encouraged by your positive experience. I have heard similar things from friends. Unfortunately, we had a bad experience with a highly recommended practitioner of bio-energetic testing. She found all kinds of issues with my husband and myself which don’t seem to be warranted.

    Two of my kids have had skin testing and it really wasn’t bad. I do know that there is the potential for false negatives and positives, though.

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    Janelle Reply:

    Katie, just putting the idea out there… Is the corn you’re eating organic? I’ve learned that genetically modified corn is very common in your country. Maybe your child is reacting to it perhaps?? Just a thought.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Janelle,
    In our home, it almost always is, except for the kids’ candy stash from parades and holidays. ??? Hopefully our food diary will shed some light, but that is an interesting thought as we examine trends. Thanks! :) Katie

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    Christina Reply:

    Just remember that food allergies/intolerances have lag times and take a while to cycle out of a system. Go with the muscle testing or ALCAT. Do a food diary for backup if you want but playing detective with a child is exhausting!

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    Rebecca Reply:

    http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/ItemLCM73001/Food-Safe-Allergy-Blood-Test.html

    That is my recommendation — it is an IgG immune response test for about 100 common foods, with the foods most noted as allergens included.

    Super inexpensive, I got mine done. I thought I had a gluten intolerance since I felt so much better when I cut bread out of my diet… but my joint pain was still bad. (I was eating a lot of corn unfortunately even though I know most of it was GMO). I already don’t eat sugar unless it is pure sugar cane, coconut palm sugar, raw honey or maple syrup, all in moderation (less than moderation maybe).

    But… when I got this food test back, I had no sensitivity to gluten or wheat… it was YEAST!! Brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast. No wonder I felt better after getting bread out of my diet.

    But, I also had a corn allergy as well. Whodathunkit?

    Anyway, I got my test results back almost 2 weeks ago, and I am changing my diet… again. I ate my first flour tortilla in a LONG time, made myself an egg burrito with sriracha sauce, coconut oil and cheese. YUM.

    Anyway, this is a super simple test to do, you should try it for your kids. (I am not affiliated with Life Extensions at all, just use their tests because they are inexpensive!) Good luck.

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  • Christina via Facebook

    This is one big fat tease article friends. You read all the way through the many paragraphs, only to find out :” If you want to know the cure, tune in for details later.” Seems like a big waste of time.

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  • Christina via Facebook

    I feel sad, because I really thought I was going to love this site, now, I just do not know!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kathleen via Facebook

    Christina, she’s a busy mom, maybe she just wanted to start with an idea, or maybe she got summoned in the middle. I have tried multiple recipes of hers and they are fabulous. Stick it out, it’s worth it.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Christina Miskam Reply:

    Yes, with a good nights sleep and reading these posts, I did in deed jump to a conclusion. I am sorry. I feel like a jack ass, but….I made a mistake and I am owning it. I apologize to all.

    Sincerely,
    Christina

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Emily

    God has definitely led me to this site. It is really encouraging to encounter someone else with the are skeptical husband and overall family health yet remains firm in her pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. There are many things I’d love to implement in our family but am waiting for the right time and way to do so. Thank you for doing what you do. I look forward to reading more!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Alicia via Facebook

    Have a newborn and myself with thrush, please tell me how to treat it. This hurts to nurse!

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    Sue M Reply:

    I don’t know what Part 2 says following this post, but I have been successful in healing the very same issue with all three of my children (yes it happened three times, sigh!) – the third time being easiest as I was strictly sugar-free for 8 weeks before giving birth.
    So yes, strictly sugar-free and breads aren’t great for it either. 2 cups of natural yogurt a day if you can. Look into some supplements and also I was offered an anti-fungal from my doctor, and I took that to really knock off the edge in the beginning. I hope you both feel better soon, it is horrible!

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  • Debra via Facebook

    Great info. I’m excited about ready the rest of the series.

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  • Sheila

    I don’t know … I mean, surely, with that rash, something is up with you … but I really can’t see “pooping once a day” as a symptom. I’ve read and read on the topic, from various sources, but it seems to me there is no one right answer to “how often you should poop.”

    Harvey Kellogg, the vegan guy and circumcision proponent, said we should go after every meal … but his reason was because gorillas do, and gorillas have a quite different digestive system than we do because they eat mostly just greens. To get his patients going as often as he thought was necessary, he had to give them frequent yogurt enemas …. which just doesn’t seem very natural to me.

    Meanwhile, my dog, who is an omnivore, goes once a day. Hm.

    I think I’m still going to go with “it doesn’t matter how often, it matters how much and with what consistency.”

    (By the way, I have actually cured my constipation which I used to suffer from … the secret was magnesium deficiency. I still go once a day, but I think that this is healthy!)

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    Laurel Reply:

    Yeah, I totally disagree with the poop theory. Constipation hurts & makes you strain uncomfortably. Good poop is comfortable, doesn’t go on forever and has a definite END & emptying sensation. Soft-serve or peanut butter is too soft. It should be well-formed but comfortable and relieving to pass with minimal pushing (because you should be going when your body tells you to go and never holding it).

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Sheila (and Laurel),
    You’re right, there is much discussion about appropriate poop…which is kind of funny, if you let it be funny. ;)

    For me, I can remember now being actually constipated and having to eat prunes and even having a laxative once as a school-aged child, and I also notice that my digestion completely changes when I’m grain-free – it’s much more of that “once per meal” or at least nearly every time I use the toilet. Soooo….maybe that’s saying something? But you make a good point that I DON’T believe in one-size-fits-all health. What is “normal” for me may be totally different for someone else’s constitution. That’s why we all need to diagnose issues with a professional, not just by reading others’ experiences…

    :) Katie

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  • Melissa via Facebook

    Ahhh – I hate to be continued:) Looking forward to the next post!

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  • Lona

    I have a similar rash all up my arms, beneath my breasts often looks like on your neck, and my scalp is driving my batty with thick cradlecap type dandruff. My new doctor is much more into natural treatments and I was really hoping to print off this article to discuss with him. Ill be back tomorrow for the conclusion.

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  • suzyhomemaker

    I cannot wait til tomorrow! Hubby and I have designated April as detox month, so I am sure this will help.

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  • Cyndi via Facebook

    Thank you for posting this Courtney! GREAT READ!!!

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  • Amy via Facebook

    Great info-I used to work in a docs office that was geared more toward natural ways vs tradition medicine and there is a difference of treatment for sure. Great read!

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  • Jessica via Facebook

    This is exactly what I need!! I am so looking forward to the next part! Thank you so much for sharing :-)

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  • Carolyn

    Oh, Katie … I KNEW that’s what you were going to say! I was hoping against hope you’d tell me it wasn’t a sugar/carb problem because I would really rather an easier way of eliminating this problem than starve, kill rebuild! Ah, well … I’ll be reading tomorrow.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    You and me both, Carolyn – although you’ll like the end of the story, I think, because I had a lot of success without a total candida diet. (No cheese??? Yikes!) ;) Katie

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    Heather Reply:

    Oh, thank goodness! After our failed attempts at GAPS (really I can’t deal with the 3.5 and the 33 year old boys fighting me at every meal) I was afraid tomorrow was going to entail a full on anti-candida diet. Something not all out I can work towards gives me hope (not that you have ever failed to give hope to us baby steppers).

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  • Carolyn via Facebook

    She is continuing tomorrow. Stay tuned!!

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  • Alana

    Thanks for this article! For two years, I struggled with terrible eyelid eczema and when I would go to the doctor, he or she would always just prescribe a steroid, which would fix the problem while on the steroids, but the problem would continue to come back. Only when I went off of birth control for a couple of months did my eczema completely clear up (and I changed to a low-sugar and vegetarian diet). Now the doctor has me on a different combo of hormones, but it is coming back a little. I am planning on switching to the fertility awareness method once I am done with school.

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    Sarah Reply:

    Birth control pills do terrible things to your body not to mention potentially causing miscarriages. You should Google this.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Thanks, Sarah – here’s my take: http://simplehomemade.net/nfp-natural-parenting-can-start-before-conception/

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  • Kathryn

    I have been a sugar addict since i was a small child. This is my year of no sugar, trying to kick that. I’d been discouraged in the past because several times of 6 weeks no sugar didn’t kick the cravings. Someone recently told me that if the addiction has passed the blood/brain barrier, it will take 10+ months to lose the cravings. That might sound discouraging to some, but i am actually very hopeful.

    I did have candida under my breasts, and did choose to use a topical nystatin powder. But it didn’t entirely eradicate the infection and then i found that myrrh oil does this very well.

    I’d read about systemic candida years ago, and presented that to the MD i worked with at the time as the possible cause of all my symptoms. He told me that only very ill people, like those with end-stage AIDS, had such candida infections. I was still “into” conventional medicine, but even then i didn’t 100% believe him. The “anti-candida” diet reduced my pain levels significantly.

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of your story.

    P.S. – Carolyn, i hate to tell you, but candida IS a sugar/carb problem. If you are struggling to give up sugar/carbs, almost certainly the addiction behind it is candida.

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  • Candice H

    I have dark grey/blue eyes both of my parents are blue eyed, my husband has true brown eyes with one blue and one brown eyed parent. We have 4 kids and only one of them turned out blue (kid #3)! None of them had blue when first born they were all milky grey and ALL but one kid had blue eyes at the beginning when they were tots. My first kid had bright blue eyes until 6m and now hers are a brown grey mix, the second is solid brown like his dad, and the fourth as true hazel eyes but hers were blue well past 1 year old! I love eyes they are always so interesting!

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  • MaryEllen@ImperfectHomemaker

    Thank you for sharing that your attitude stinks! This is exactly what I am going through with my naturopath too. I thought that she would tell me what my problem is, and what I need to do to fix it. Little did I know that was going to include taking out just about everything from my diet except for the foods I dislike. I’m thinking about food all the time, and trying to figure out what I can eat that will actually taste good. It’s only been two weeks, and I want to just give up and eat something I like! Thank you for sharing that there is someone else who fights this. I’ve not seen anyone else who is honest enough to admit it; all I hear is the glowing tales of how “it will be so worth it”! I know it will be worth it, but it is so. not. fun. in the meantime!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    MaryEllen,
    Want some more honesty?

    You said: “I’m thinking about food all the time.” Me too – and I think that stinks! As soon as I’m told I can’t eat something, that’s what I want. WAY hard. And it’s frustrating not to be able to “take a break” and order a pizza, even a gluten-free one, when I’m tired of cooking 21 meals (and 50 billion snacks) a week. So…I sure HOPE it’s worth it!!!

    Hanging in there with you!
    Katie

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  • Sherra Kinder

    Great article! I can hardly wait to see tomorrows post so I can know more of how to rid myself of candida!!!!!!

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  • Amy D.

    I am so confused…what does eye color have to do with it?

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Amy,
    Nothing! That was just a part of the naturopath appt. that made for a good story b/c of my husband’s reaction and disbelief…

    :) Katie

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  • Tammy

    I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how you addressed the problem in your system. Can’t wait until tomorrow. :-)

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  • Chris via Facebook

    tomorrow? i want to start treating myself now. same story basically, used to be small section of red dots, when i moved out to the mountains and changed my habits it spread like wildfire. had been told by a doc it was a fungal thing and he gave me yeast infection pills, helped for a bit but i came back worse.

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  • Meagan

    Thanks for sharing your experience with your naturopathic physician! I am studying to become an ND and am always so happy to hear when someone shares their own experiences. We are smart, motivated, and on to something! Most important, NDs listen, listen, listen!!

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  • Jami via Facebook

    I absolutely cannot wait for your next post! I have suspected that this is at the root of my skin issues that the doctor just keeps prescribing meds to treat (meds that aren’t working). Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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  • Jennifer

    Thank you for this. I too suffer from Candida and have been battling to keep it under control for about a year. Today, I have been listening to this free (at least today it is) online seminar by Donna Gates, which has been fascinating: http://villagegreennetwork.com/healthy-life-summit-donna-gates/

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  • Pam via Facebook

    This is nothing more than a tease and a long one at that. :(

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  • Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts

    I will be very interested to see if you gave up gluten because skin issues are often a sign of gluten issues, and also a sign of dairy issues, and both feed candida. Yes, candida is fed by sugar, but it’s also fed by much more, as I’m sure you’ve learned. Our bodies are always teaching us something new, and if we don’t listen the first time, they come at us from another angle. ;-)

    Shirley

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  • Tara H

    I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    I had a rash like this on my right hand that only appeared in the winter. As soon as it got cold, it would show up. Last winter I learned to treat it with MadeOn lotion and it worked, for awhile. But it didn’t address the underlying cause.

    This winter it showed up in November or thereabouts. But, when I began using plenty of FCLO along with magnesium lotion, it disappeared. And hasn’t come back. My hand is smooth and I’ve barely thought about it all winter. We also haven’t gotten sick much this past winter at all. I have since learned that vit D isn’t well absorbed if you are mag deficient, and that may very well have been the key for us.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Kate,
    I feel like magnesium is the new “thing” to try…and I do want to see if I’m magnesium deficient, but I haven’t messed with it much (yet). My rash was so crazy because it was summer rather than winter, which is when my kids get more eczema symptoms (but I just realized it hasn’t been nearly as bad this winter for my 7yo…either that or I just don’t know it b/c he showers himself now…).

    So awesome that you’ve found an answer! :) Katie

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    Charlotte Reply:

    Magnesium was a big breakthrough for me as well! I grew up eating constant sugar and packaged foods, and then after 2 years of eating a Weston Price type diet I still had severely dry skin, MAJOR sugar cravings, and a lot of other seemingly random symptoms that I finally read were all magnesium deficiency. I made my own spray really cheap (thanks to wellnessmama!) and within 2 days there was drastic improvement. It was like a magic cure! The sugar cravings and general snack and carb cravings all went away, and only come back after holidays or trips if I make a lot of food compromises. I guess it was the one thing I was missing in my otherwise very healthy diet. When I got pregnant a few months ago, a nice perk was no morning sickness this time — which I’ve read is a magnesium benefit.

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  • Summer

    Wow, these photos could be mine and i could have written this post as i have much of the same story, especially with my skin. When i was 7 months pregnant with my 2nd child i had a rash that covered my legs that i could barely walk.

    The GAPS (and SCD) diet has been the only true answer. My 3 sons had issues as well as my husband (not such a surprise for multiple family members to have “issues”) so we started on the GAPS diet a year ago and much to my amazement, all rashes healed and went away. As well as mental, speech, digestive issues in various family members — the healing in our bodies has been a true miracle.

    I think this is all much more than a candida issue, or gluten issue but 100% about dealing with the root of the symptoms — healing the gut (which in turns deals with candida).

    GAPS diet list of symtoms:
    http://www.doctor-natasha.com/

    http://gaps.me/

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Summer,
    I LOVE hearing success stories, thank you!!

    We did a very, very modified GAPS sort of “detox diet” this Lent just to cut a lot and re-introduce, and it has led to learning of a corn sensitivity in my 4yo (just today), so I’m grateful for that already.

    Here’s my breakdown of the different gut healing diets:
    http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/10/27/the-comparison-the-specific-carbohydrate-diet-scd-gaps-diet-gut-psychology-syndrome-and-the-makers-diet/

    :) Katie

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  • Sarah

    You mentioned it started roughly around the time you started using the “no-poo” method for washing your hair. I recently used that method for about 2-3 months. I liked the results of my hair, but I started noticing that I was way more itchy than ever. Never put it all together until I started thinking about how much my underarms itched if I sweat more (using my homemade deodorant), and my whole body started itching like crazy. I even developed what looked like some sort of rash on my upper leg. When I did some research I found that it was the baking soda. Stopped using it and the itchiness is considerably less.

    Having said all of that, I am intrigued by this post because I have had issues with itchy, flaky scalp since I was 15 with only coal tar, which I cannot stand the smell of, bringing relief.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Sarah,
    You know, the naturopath said it was probably the ACV that changed the pH of my skin a bit and gave the candida a place to exit there (or something like that – I know the pH part was in there). Hmmmmm….

    :) Katie

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  • Blair Massey

    Great post Katie! I have found an easy way to deal with this, but I will wait to see what you post tomorrow before I chime in. Yes, I am a tease and I am NOT selling anything. :-)

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Ha! Now I can’t wait to see what you’ll say after part two’s post!
    Thanks!!! :) Katie

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    Blair Massey Reply:

    Should be an interesting day tomorrow. :-)

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  • Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts

    Oh, and Katie, I wanted to add that I greatly appreciate each and every one of your posts (and often share them with others)! There is nothing wrong with breaking up this type of info at all. I also appreciate you being so honest and while there are common denominators among many conditions, you are right … of course, we are all different. Thank you for always broaching these topics and being willing to be so open!

    Shirley

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  • via Facebook

    I usually write uber-long posts and get teased for that, but last night I just couldn’t keep my eyes open to finish! The rest is forthcoming – it contains details on the 3 steps to fighting candida, the story of its demise and return, and a few dozen links and reader recommendations from you brilliant people out there in the KS community! Don’t give up on me yet Christina Miskam Hannah LeeAnn Surbaugh Melissa Conte Chris Ocampo :) :) :)

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  • Blair via Facebook

    Shame on all of you that have criticized Katie. She has written this article on a very personal topic and it is all free for you to read, but is not enough for you. You want it all NOW! How completely selfish. If you want to know how to fix your problem, go plunk down your own money to see a naturopath and stop whining. Getting off my soapbox now…

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  • Stacy Makes Cents

    This post scares me a little. Andy has cradle cap and diaper rash….and congestion – all. the. time.

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    janice Reply:

    stacy – at least you’re learning about this now – and can start implementing changes now! be strong, keep searching and thank God for katie and this blog! :) it’s so good to see parents finding this info while their kids are so young…mine are 18 and 22 and i can only wish i’d known about this when they were babies…you’ll be in my prayers tonight!

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  • LJ

    Hurry, hurry! Just kidding; I know you’re busy. But I’m seriously looking forward to hearing what you did. I am literally JUST beginning an anti-candida cleanse today. I’m on the liquid diet/colon cleanse portion and dying to hear what you did and if it worked (I really don’t want to have to re-do the liquid fast thing, haha).

    Oh and my biggest candida symptom is eczema, so I’m extra-interested in what you have to say since your problems were similar!

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  • Amirah

    Great post. I look forward to reading part two tomorrow. I didn’t realize that I was dealing with a yeast overgrowth until I heard Dianne Craft describe the symptoms that fit both my son and I to a tee. I had good success with Grapefruit Seed Extract.

    I also found that Apple Cider Vinegar is less expensive solution. I use about 2 teaspoons to 4 ounces of water. I do that daily when I have a flare up with bladder infection or scaly skin.

    My scaly skin is on my face. I thought I was just getting dry skin, but moisturizer made it worse. I tried Apple Cider Vinegar and got bright red rash. I tried watering down ACV by 1:5 parts water. Using a dropper, I put as many drops needed to wet a scaly spot on my face.

    If I remember to do this at night, I don’t have bright red skin in the morning. My skin looks great.

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  • Leah G

    poo to the cranky pants up there. Anyhow I am hoping its not GAPS. We have tried it all. While GAPS worked wonders with my youngest it actually caused a rash just like yours. 5 months of scratching and finally getting under control with vit E on the spots. I am curious about your post. I have hazel brown eyes and my husband blue. both of our children have very blue eyes… so interesting! Ignore the rude people and enjoy your family! thanks for the info.

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  • janice

    IT IS SO GOOD TO SEE A BLOG ADDRESSING THIS! i discovered my fungal problem over a decade ago and changed my diet along with taking lamisil (oral antifungal). for those of you that have external symptoms of candida overgrowth you MOST LIKELY have internal overgrowth also – a systemic overgrowth. if you don’t address it now you will continue to have it and your symptoms will increase – just look at the list katie gave us and you’ll find yourself…if not now then on down the road…

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  • Rachael

    Such a tease! But I’m glad you made it short and honest. My time is limited and I hate reading long things. I look forward to reading part 2. I’m looking for a DO and naturopath now too.

    But I was wondering if I could get some advice. My son is 11mo and has been on soy formula most of his infancy (please no breast feeding comments or donor milk suggestions). He seemed to be allergic to milk in the beginning. Two months ago I gave him a homemade goat milk formula but he got a yeast infection on his face, loose stools and a red inflamed bum. I figured he was allergic to it. Then back on soy for a month and he was fine again. My mommy gut was telling me to more soy so he’s been on raw milk for the last three days. He has the yeast rash again on his face and semi- loose stools staring today. Do you think that maybe he has an internal candida yeast infection or maybe it’s die-off ? I’ve started him on some kefir water hopingto help him. I just don’t think it a reaction to milk but something more. Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Rachel,
    I wish I knew more, but I’m really not even in a position to guess! I think I’d feel the same way you do – especially about finding a natural doc to help me out. So tricky in little ones, but I’m sure with your dedication to nourishing your little one (anyone who makes homemade formula is a hero in my book!!) you’ll find the solution.

    God bless your efforts!
    :) Katie

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  • Heather

    Looking forward to all you share with us. I bought the GAPS book about a year ago thinking the rash on my face (looks like your neck picture except around my nose/mouth…where you can’t hide it) had to be candida-related. I’ve been dealing with it for 11 years. It started as a little patch that I thought was a wart during my first pregnancy. That was before I had any idea about what candida is. It progressively got worse and at times would cover the lower part of m face. I just learned to “deal with it” and appreciate when it was less vs. more. Rearing its ugly head on the “more” side again, I’m at the point where I need to buckle down and do whatever it takes to get rid of it. My husband and I have 4 children so my big-thing is how to feed everyone the same thing ….that the will indeed eat (presupposing that I’ve passed on all this candida-bacteria to them). I feel we do a good job at nourishing meals but I also see that I/we need to eliminate grains/potatoes/rice, etc. altogether.

    I love reading stories of healing and am thankful you are taking time out of your life to freely and honestly share your journey with us. This story is so applicable in my life. Thank you!

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  • Sandi in MN

    Katie,
    Last year I heard Dianne Craft, MA, CNHP at a conference. She was presenting info on the Biology of Behavior, Exploring the Physical Causes of Behavior and Attention problems in Children(the name of her cd set).

    She talks about yeast over growth and how it affects us with behavioral symptoms as well as physical symptoms. She also talked about a reduce, kill and rebuild protocol. We started reducing carbs and sugar in our family, giving pro-biotics to build good bacteria and grapefruit seed extract to kill bad bacteria. I couldn’t believe how my sons acne cleared up in 6 wks! I also think my youngest son has an easier time paying attention in school (he is not ADD) with this new regimen.

    Can’t wait to hear what worked for you! Good job on the post!

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    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Sandi, That is SO cool! I just can’t read about so many successes and believe that “candida” isn’t even a real condition…way to go! :) Katie

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  • Anjanette via Facebook

    You know it’s a well-written, relevant post when people notice enough to find something to gripe about. ;) I’m looking forward to the continuation, too. Listening to Donna Gates’ talk on the Healthy Life Summit right now.

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  • Christina

    I’ve been fighting systemic candida since my son was 2 months preborn… he’s now 8 months old. Ugh. So many symptoms in both of us. Not the least of which is pain in nursing — it gets worse around ovulation. Anyway part of our underlying problem is probably parasites of some sort, as I’ ve had the most relief when combining a gluten/soy/sugar free diet with Heritage Essential Oil’s “Cleansing” blend (internally & topically, and Mountain Meadow Herbs’ “Olive Leaf” tincture.

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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