The Candida and Hypothyroid Connection
The following article was written by thyroid patient Mary who discovered the strong connection between both her hypothyroidism and the yeast overgrowth problem called Candida.
My name is Mary. I’m 40+ years old and live in Philadelphia. I am a television editor and play in a band with my friends. From the outside I probably seem healthy. Overall I am pretty fit and I eat well. But for years I have been dealing with some very odd health issues. It took me a long time to figure out that what I have is hypothyroidism. Today I feel better than ever but it’s been a long road and I still have a little ways to go.
How it all began for me
My journey into hypothyroidism was a strange one. It is hard to say when my symptoms began. As a little kid I had a lot of energy and remember always feeling cheerful. My mom even nicknamed me “Cricket”. But once I was a teenager I felt depressed a lot of the time and had trouble concentrating. I did well enough in school with a B average but looking back now I just wish I could do it all over again — this time with real energy.
The first obvious symptoms I ever had seemed so strange to me. I was in my mid 20s and remember waking up many mornings feeling so hungover. But I hadn’t had anything to drink the night before. I was often thirsty too. No one I spoke to could figure out what was wrong with me. I was so happy after a few months when the mystery illness went away. “That was weird,” I thought and I figured it would never come back….
But it all came back
In my early 30s, it did come back and this time it was horrible. My dad was dying of lung cancer, my niece had been diagnosed with leukemia and I had also just met the love of my life. It was a lot going on for one person! Well my body couldn’t take it and all the mystery symptoms came back. This time I also found myself feeling anxious, depressed and tired. I remember being at a wedding and I had cake and white wine. My throat became instantly scratchy and my feet were so sore on the bottoms that I couldn’t stand.
Over the next few months I found that if I ate a cookie I would get hives, if I had anything sugary or if I had alcohol instantly the terrible sore throat would return. I noticed little patches of white stuff on my tonsils. I was also very tired a lot of the time. Every night at 9pm I would become so fatigued that I felt like I had been drugged. Often I had a puffy face. It was so weird and no one I knew ever had anything similar to what I was going through. It was like living in a nightmare. And I had some strange yeast infection (accompanied by pelvic pain) that would simply not go away no matter what I did.
The diagnosis of Candida!
I finally found a great gynecologist and she told me that she thought I might have a systemic yeast infection — one that went beyond my vaginal area. It was in my intestinal track and throughout my body. It’s also known as Candida Albicans.
So I began researching and researching. I was so happy to have the hope of some sort of diagnosis. And I began trying to find a doctor who knew about this. It was near impossible. No one knew much. One of the first doctors I saw looked angry when I brought up the word Candida. She said, I kid you not, “maybe you are focusing on your health too much. If you just forget about it it will go away.”
Supplements I took
I finally went to the alternative health wing of a big hospital in Philadelphia. I saw a few different doctors there that put me on high-quality probiotics. I wasn’t sure if it was helping or not. Maybe a little. On my own I learned that I had to also take anti-fungal supplements like tea tree oil, oil of oregano and many others. And they had to be rotated every few days so the yeast wouldn’t get used to them and adapt. It sounds insane. But the worst part of it was having to go on the Candida diet. For 2 1/2 years I did not eat wheat, dairy, sugar (including fruit), alcohol or caffeine. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.
Cleansing my body
I felt better but if I ever strayed from the diet all the symptoms would come back. I knew there was more to this puzzle. I figured that there was something causing my body to be so weak. I had a mouthful of corroding mercury-amalgam fillings and started to suspect those. So I had all of them carefully removed and replaced. It was expensive. After removal I then had to get the metals out of my body tissue. So I went on another long journey of chelation and spent more money. I still wasn’t feeling much better after all this. Maybe a little. I still found that I couldn’t stray from the diet much without feeling bad.
By this time I was seeing a therapist. I certainly had a lot to get off my chest! Well thank goodness I decided to see her because she was the only person who wondered if I might have an issue with my thyroid. Her mention of it started a whole new round of research for me. I went online and almost right away I found the Stop the Thyroid Madness website. I was amazed at what I read.
My symptoms kind of sounded like low thyroid. Could it be?
As I read more it made sense that no one could catch this — so few are educated about hypothyroidism…By this time I was seeing something like my seventh doctor. He was an alternative minded doctor who was trying to help with my Candida. I had already spent thousands of dollars with him: blood tests, stool tests, lead and mercury tests, parasite tests, supplements. I told him about my new theory that I had low thyroid. He said he thought I might too but he didn’t want me to take desiccated thyroid medicine for it. He said he wanted to get to the root of the problem. “It would be like doing your child’s homework,” he said. He also said that my TSH result didn’t prove I had it. (Another uneducated statement.) I was so dismayed. Finally there might be something out there that could help me and I couldn’t get my hands on it. He also suspected that I had adrenal issues. But all he gave me were B vitamins and the like. I was one of the few who actually had the means (barely) to go outside the crappy health care system to an alternative-minded doctor and I still couldn’t get quality care. It was so frustrating.
Natural desiccated thyroid
Finally I basically forced him to give me desiccated thyroid. Once I started taking it I immediately felt different. I felt more alive, I had ideas for songs, I had energy! I joined the Yahoo natural thyroid hormones group and came across something someone said that made me feel that finally, after over 10 years, I had an answer to my mystery illness. She said “hypothyroidism causes low body temps which allows fungal overgrowth. Get the temps up and the fungal/yeast will have nowhere to live.” Oh! Of course! Why don’t the doctors know this?!! To this day I want to scream sometimes at the thought of all those wasted years. But at least I had an answer and a group of great people who were so well-educated. I knew I would slowly be able to feel better.
Unfortunately I made the common mistake of not raising my desiccated thyroid dose early or often enough. So my progress started out slow. And now I am addressing adrenal issues and low estrogen. I still haven’t cracked it completely but I feel like I am so close. These days I feel 85% normal. I still have issues with low libido, thinning hair and heart palpitations. But overall I am rarely depressed or too tired. (Although I do still have to go to bed earlier than most people.) I’ve never seen a return of the strange sore throats or painful feet and my yeast issues are completely gone. Sometimes I go a month or two feeling 95% normal. I know if I can address my remaining issues I will feel great again. I would be lost if I hadn’t found the Stop the Thyroid Madness website and I am so grateful that I did. I will keep researching and trying everything I can and I know I will someday feel the way I did when I was a kid.
The man I met when I first got all my symptoms is still with me today. He has supported me at every turn and never gave up on me — even in the dark mysterious days when we didn’t know what was wrong with me. He is so smart and kind and I am so lucky.
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