Long-time readers of this blog know that I have struggled with food intolerances including dairy and soy.  Recently I gave up gluten to see if that was the problem, but when it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference, I put it back in my diet.

Symptoms I Have

For the last year, I have known that something was wrong with me.  After I had my last child, my hair started falling out.  The doctor assured me that it was just the typical hair shedding that happens after pregnancy.  But a year later, the hair was still falling out.

Then, my body started tingling all over at random times, which prompted my physician to test me for thyroid problems.  It turned out I had low thyroid levels, so I was put on thyroid medication.  I have been on that medication for a year now, and even though the doctor said that was probably the cause of my hair loss, the hair is still falling out.   Even my hair dresser noticed and said something about it.  Luckily, I was blessed with a full, thick head of hair.  After two years of constant hair loss, I would say the volume has diminished by about 50%, which means I just have a normal head of hair now.  🙂

In addition, since my youngest was 4 months old, I have had chronic diarrhea.  (Sorry if it is TMI.)  At first, my doctor determined it was dairy, so I went off dairy and was fine for a few months, until it started again.  Then she thought it was soy, so I went off soy.  I was fine for a few more months, and then EVERYTHING made me sick.  When I complained to my doctor, she said it was no longer a medical problem, and I just needed to decide how much I wanted to restrict my diet.  Keep in mind, she had run no tests to see if any of these guesses were really the problem.

About a year ago, I also began experiencing numbness in my face at random times.  The doctor determined it was acid reflux and prescribed Prevacid.  I was better, unless I went off the Prevacid.  Within the last two months, though, I have begun to feel that my throat was closing up on me at random times.  The doctor assured me it was just the reflux.  Though it was extremely uncomfortable at times and made me panic a bit, it always went away after a few hours.

Not satisfied with my doctor’s dismissal of my symptoms, I went to a pain and wellness doctor.  The first thing he ordered was a stool sample.  While it was a bit annoying to wait 6 weeks for the results, I was surprised by them.

The Surprising Results of My Test

When I went to see the wellness doctor, he walked in with 3 interns, and I immediately freaked out.  I felt like a lab specimen, but luckily, it wasn’t that bad.

There were several problems he saw:

Yeast—I tested as high as a person can for yeast in the intestines.  The doctor seemed to think this was the main issue.  When I researched it further, I discovered that excess yeast can cause thyroid problems and reflux problems.  It can also cause intolerances and allergies.

Diminished pancreas functioning—Apparently the pancreas is supposed to excrete enzymes which aid with digestion, and mine doesn’t do that very well, which makes it difficult for my body to digest food.

Inability to absorb fat—The doctor said that my body basically can’t handle any fat and gets rid of it all.  So, while I was proud that my cholesterol was down to 172 at my last physical, it might not have been so much my diet but the fact that my body can’t absorb fat.  Because I can’t break down and absorb any fat, my body has trouble getting vitamins.

What’s Next?

I took a nutritional panel to see what nutrients I am deficit in.  (Based on my scaly skin and hair loss, I would say quite a few.)  The results for that will come back in October.

Conquer the yeast—I am now on an anti-yeast diet, which means I can’t have any fruit, fibers or starchy vegetables.  No sugar or sweetners either.  The only thing I can drink is water and herbal tea, and my diet will be primarily meats and vegetables.  It is restrictive for sure, but I feel empowered that I am finally able to make a change that will improve my health.  The new motto is “Kill the yeast!”.  I will also take medication in a few days to help kill the yeast.

Take digestive enzymes—I was also given digestive enzymes to supply what my pancreas can’t currently supply so I will be better able to digest my food.

Take an intolerance and allergy test—Later in the fall, when things settle down, I will take an intolerance/allergy test.  I may have the dairy and soy intolerance, or maybe (hopefully) my reaction to that food was just a matter of being unable to digest fat.

I don’t know that the yeast is the entire problem, but I am happy to finally feel like we are on our way to finding out the cause of the problem.  I look forward to feeling normal again, and I am so happy that I went with my instinct and sought out another doctor when my own doctor dismissed my symptoms.

Have you had intestinal yeast overgrowth?  Were you able to successfully treat it?

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