Priscilla’s Hell Life With Candida

For the last 4 years of my life, my experience with Candida has been a nightmare. In January 2010, I started to feel sick and went to see a doctor. At first, they gave me antibiotics for cough and sinus. However, I got worse. I progressively got sicker because I couldn’t eat any food, my stomach was rejecting sustenance. I started to experience side effects like burping and I became weak. I went back to the doctor and he gave me another drug called Nexium to provide relief for acid in my stomach, and the pain I was suffering but nothing helped.

I have tried different tablets but nothing helped. Nothing the doctors were giving me brought any relief from my symptoms. My doctor decided to send me to a gastroenterology specialist who would ascertain what was causing the problems. I was still burping, it had deteriorated, I’d burp almost a hundred times a day and there seemed to be no cure (Note: I continued to take the Nexium for more than 6 months as there were no other options offered to me by my doctor).

I was down to 45 kg and couldn’t eat at all. This state progressed into anxiety, inability to focus and then I started to experience panic attacks, craving for sweets, insomnia, bloating, and flu-like symptoms. My mind felt like a fog had descended. It felt like I had a hangover every day, and the worst part was that I don’t drink at all! Meanwhile, I began to experience other symptoms. I couldn’t stand the smells of fragrances, I became oversensitive to all kinds of odours and now my body began to emit a chemical odour too.

My doctor advised me to go to hospital to meet with a specialist to assess me. I was told that I was healthy and it was all “in my head”.  This took me by surprise, especially when I was told to go home! Nearly every night I suffered awfully with breathing difficulties, so much so, I ended up going back to the hospital because I couldn’t breathe properly. Whenever I ate foods, I couldn’t digest it. I was still taking Nexium at this time and I felt that I was going to die.

I kept going back to the hospital, back and forth, at least 8 times. Emotionally I was feeling like a complete mess. I cried, I was angry and confused, my whole body felt awful, I started to think there was something wrong with my head too. I then decided to see a few more other specialist doctors and they kept saying the same thing over and over again. “Its in your head!”  I got worse, I felt sicker than ever before and I was still very skinny. I’d been skinny for the last 2 years, until 2012, I decided to go to see a naturopath.  This was my last hope, to try to find out what was wrong with me. I was placed on a diet which I stayed on for nearly a year; this only helped me minimally, and slowly, I saw no big improvement. I was still incessantly burping and my general state of health felt the same – not great!

My parents worked very hard to support me and spent approximately $23,000 on naturopathy, a lot of money for no result. So I said “It is enough!” I decided to see a Chinese herbalist, who successfully stopped all my burping but I still wasn’t well. I just didn’t feel 100%, my brain was still foggy, I still felt drunk and I still had a terrible odour that seemed to occur without warning. Unfortunately, I had no other choice but to research more for myself and I came across a book written by a woman who I would now describe as “a wonderful doctor”.  Her name, Dr Sandra Cabot!

Dr Cabot is based in Camden (Sydney), NSW. I decided to meet with Dr Cabot in person so I flew from Melbourne to Adelaide (for an appointment at her Adelaide Clinic).  I needed to ask Dr Cabot for her help with my symptoms. Almost immediately, Dr Cabot diagnosed me with Candida. She recommended that I consult with her nutritionist at the Camden Clinic who put me on a very strict diet and supplement program for about 7 months. At first, it was hard but I began to noticeably feel better again. I had never felt that I was getting better with any other doctors or even the naturopaths I had seen over the 4 years leading up to meeting Dr Cabot. In fact, up to that point, I had gone through sheer hell.

Looking back, I wish I had found Dr Sandra earlier. Things would have been so very different for me, and they would have saved me all of the pain and suffering that I had experienced earlier. Additionally, my parents and I would have saved a lot of money, rather than going to so many doctors who even recommended I see a psychiatrist; some even saying I just needed a holiday!  My family and friends don’t really understand my situation at all.

Symptoms of Candida can destroy your life and rob everything from you because you cannot do anything – no life, no study, no work, no exercise, I was full of anxiety and couldn’t go out of the house at the time because of the embarrassing symptoms. I had a hard time explaining to my family and friends over and over again and making excuses and I even shut them out of my life too! I feel like my family and friends because they didn’t understand what I was experiencing, treated me badly when I was ill. They didn’t understand why I couldn’t be normal and socialise like everyone else, assuming I was depressed even though I was not depressed, my symptoms were just awful.

The Cabot Clinic weight loss team watched over me carefully and for 7 months.  They helped to keep me focused on my gut and its needs like probiotics (good bacteria), lots of fermented foods; always keeping an eye on what I ate, remaining quite strict, but never berating or belittling me if were to eat something that was considered out of bounds; always making sure that I understood what was happening to my body each time I ate certain foods. They monitored and changed my supplements, setting up a regime for these.

I am feeling great and alive again! I’ve introduced exercise slowly, my skin is glowing and healthy and the darkness under my eyes is gone. I’m very pleased with Sandra who did a fantastic job to bring my life back. It was worth it in the end. I won’t be able to go back to eating the way I was and taking antibiotics like I did. I have been warned by Dr Cabot, that the Candida will return. Having experienced this scourge first-hand, I can honestly say that Candida was my worst nightmare that kept me feeling sick for such a long time.

My advice is for other people out there to be healthy, look after yourself rather than being in my shoes. I hope this story will help you to understand a little more about Candida. It was a horrific experience and I’d hate for anybody to go through the hell I did!

Once again, I can’t thank Dr Sandra enough for being caring and supportive and for sticking by me all the way. You were so kind and you believed me.