How in the world did I get a candida infection? This is not something that people just get. I have heard of women getting candida infections but that was always a local infection that was treated topically and pharmaceutically with something like Canestan. My candida was supposedly something that had taken over my entire body enough to affect my energy levels, musculoskeletal system, thought processes, and digestive efficiency.
I played Sherlock for quite some time retracing all the funny symptoms that I had over the years and I came up with this picture of sustained antibiotic abuse:
1997 – While living in France I became seriously ill and was on a steady diet of very strong antibiotics for over a month
1998 – While living in Prague the year after, I found it almost impossible to maintain my health. In 8 months I took 2-3 courses of antibiotics.
2003 – After catching who knows what in the Amazon jungle, I undergo another course of antibiotics. Shortly after this, my energy levels dropped considerably and never recovered.
2006 – After travelling through Asia, I fall ill again and take another round of penicillin
2011 – While travelling in India, I fall ill and take another round of penicillin
2012 – While travelling in Myanmar, I fall ill and take another round of penicillin
In all, 11 rounds of antibiotic treatment over 15 years. The most worrisome time being from 1997 – 1998 when I basically lived off penicillin, ingesting it for almost two months during a one and a half year period, essentially decimating my flora population. There were signs here and there that something was wrong. Some signs clearly pointed to a yeast infection, others, like a complete lack of energy, were harder to discern.
Antibiotics indiscriminately kill all bacteria it comes into contact with. This is essential in fighting off a bacterial infection, but also serves to attack the flora, or helpful bacteria of the digestive system. Flora has a key role in controlling the yeast population of the body. With my flora compromised and my sweet tooth fast developing into a sugar addiction, the yeast flourished and multiplied rapidly setting up colonies in the digestive tract. Yeast produce the waste product acetaldehyde which essentially acts as a poison. If allowed, yeast can develop into the mycelial fungal form which spreads to the rest of the body resulting in systemic candidiasis.
It was hard to take, but it was all starting to make sense. I decided to take the plunge.