Oh, hell yeah, men if you are reading, it may help persuade you to NOT read this post if first I clarify one thing:

Candida = Yeast, like the kind that Monistat commercials insist their product can eradicate. And 1.. 2… 3…yeah, that’s the sound of millions of women in the country laughing out loud.

Or…you might be interested, since this post only briefly touches on the vaginal flora known as Candida albicans; the rest is all gastrointestinally/psychoneurologically related. ‘Tis fascinating stuff. Reeeeeeeeeeeaally.

But first, to give you a wee bit of context, I must venture into the territory of “WAAAAAAAAAY TMI.” Brace yourselves – you will know far more than I really would like for you to know about the workings of my innermost parts before the end of it. But…it is necessary to divulge, in order to fully convey the AHA! moment we had with BT the OT on Friday, (And, that is really why you love me so, isn’t it – because I am such a free sharer?) so for the sake of public service announcement…it works. Roll with me – if you no likey, there is a big red x to your upper right.

:sighs: Hoooooo-kay. So, Candida and I are like BFF’s, only, she’s the BFF that I REALLY can’t stand and wish would just go. the. F. away. Clearly it is an unrequited friendship – more like a parasitic relationship gone way past symbiotic civilities. Every month, after Aunt Flo comes in and messes around with me, my hormones, and oh, hello, SEX life, well Candida sends a little “note” that she’s coming over to crash the party that is my life also. I usually respond with an “Oh really? Gee, I’m not sure that’s going to work,” by way of an increased dosage of acidophilus (that I already take every. single. day), and when it becomes apparent that this is not working, I go get all buddy buddy with Monistat, hoping for the whole 3’s a crowd message. But, apparently, Candida is the type that just doesn’t get the hint, because my friend Candida has become resistant to Monistat 1 and even more recently, to Monistat 3. So now I’m stuck with choosing lucky number 7. Which means even further restrictions upon the sex life. Also: yes, another factor than the obvious emotional rift that exacerbates the sexual drought at Casa del Meyer. I just LOVE complication, don’t you??? It flat out sucks. Candida has made herself welcome all too often in the past 6 years, but within the last 1 1/2? I’m done with that bi-atch. Seriously. I was all ready to suggest to Charlie Brown that he go get a yeast test at our family doc’s just to ensure he wasn’t passing the joys of Candida around unbeknownst.

Oh, and another weird, ewwww gross thing? About every 3 months or so, I get this funky urine. It’s all cloudy, sweetish-but-stanky and freaks me the hell out. It is the same odor and it is still cloudy, albeit differing shades of yellow, whether I’ve had lots of water or not. Everytime it happens, I look up what my friend Dr. Google has to say and I could have kidney stones and/or infection (except that pain is not in the equation, so guess not?), diabetes, or some mystery issue. This has absolutely nothing to do with Candida, or so I thought.

Yes…I realize this is totally a woman story, telling you all the landmarks without telling where you are, but I promise, it does tie up neatly in the end. Hang in.

Please now divert your attention from everything I have just shared to the latest and greatest in LMNOB’s OT.

2+ weeks ago, LMNOB did her blank-stare-I’m-in-a-different-world-presently-thus-am-not-in-tuned-to-what-you-are-saying number in front of BT the OT. That was the visit where BT the OT wanted me to track LMNOB’s diet and behaviors and see if there tended to be any patterns. I’ve done the tracking – however, I have not gone back to see if there are any triggers that might be attributable to food.

Friday, she gave me an article from a 2004 Autism Asperger’s Digest that talked about some nutritional/dietary trends among kids on the spectrum. Which, LMNOB is not diagnosed with autism, but seeing as how 90% of autistic kids have sensory integration issues…yeah, might be correlated.

It talked primarily about IgG “allergies(I’m not gonna explain – it’s tricky, but the link does an excellent job!) which are primarily due to gluten (a wheat related grain) and/or casein (a milk protein). In fact, as I read about this, and how kids with spectrum issues are not “allergic” by a scratch test, but are (sorta…allergy, sensitivity…they can’t just call it what it is) with the blood tests described in the article, I thought about Purple Kangaroo and all her allergen issues with Baby E. Check out what this article that BT the OT gave me says (emphases mine):

Determining whether or not IgG food allergies are present is important. These allergies or sensitivities are associated with the reaction of foods with certain white blood cells that release powerful cytokines, protein like substances like gamma-interferon that can cause profound behavioral changes and even psychosis. IgG allergies are found in children and adults on the entire autistic spectrum, including autism, PDD, and Asperger’s Syndrome. These abnormalities are also very common in attention deficit disorder.

The Candida connection was also very alarming…(Again, my emphases, also: my paraphrases are italicized)

Another common abnormality in autism is a gastrointestinal overgrowth of Candida…There are about a dozen species of Candida, but three of the most common are Candida albicans, Candida parapisilosis and Candida krusei…

Excessive Candida can inhibit normal digestion and absorption of nutrients in the bloodstream, as well as prevent the production of important vitamins needed for optimal health. Candida produces many toxic by-products, including gliotoxins, which can impair the immune system.

Parts of Candida cells are similar to gluten cells, and thus Candida can sometimes (often) bind to a gluten enzyme in the intestinal lining. This binding to transglutaminase anchors long strands of the yeast cells to the intestine like ivy vines climbing a brick wall. This anchoring inhibits the yeast from being mechanically dislodged as food passes by. Also, this incorrect binding of yeast to gluten enzymes interferes with the normal function of this enzyme in the digestion of gluten. (My notes: especially a compounding factor, and problematic if there is already a gluten sensitivity going on) If Candida cell pieces enter the blood, because of the gluten mimicking it does, this can affect blood clotting activity, because it is tied to gluten enzymes. These modified proteins may not be recognized by the immune system, and can lead to autoimmune diseases. Lastly, the Candida cells can produce digestive enzymes like proteases and phospholipase that actually eat away the intestinal lining, allowing undigested food molecules to pass through into the bloodstream, and as a result, cause more food allergies….

It goes on, and on and on, about the yeast, talking of all this gluten mimicking and how damaging that alone is, but also talks of the yeast’s by-products, particularly if and when they ferment, and how they travel to the liver, to the bloodstream, and then some of them say bye-bye thru the urine! Eureka?!? Sweetish-but-stanky (hey, that’s what I thought fermented apple juice smelled like, sweetish-but stanky) urine experienced by a woman who is haunted by vaginal Candida – think there may be a gastrointestinal version of the Candida problem going on?

Not to mention for LMNOB, who, I’ve noticed – as did my friend DSW, who is an RN and commented on it once – also sometimes has that sweetish-but-oh-so-stanky urine. Hmmm….

We can do an elimination diet. But we also have a med lab that is wise to some of this IgG testing, and if we do both the IgG test and the yeast test (a poopoo and a urine culture – I soooo do not envy that person’s job!), it could give us answers fairly quickly.

And guess what? The article talks of a child with severe autism who tested for everything, (the article goes into mercury, clostridia, etc, etc, as well):

Two years later, I received a letter from the parents who had implemented all the therapies indicated by the testing. Their son had completely recovered and was successfully attending a regular school classroom without an aide.

I got goosebumps. Research does amazing things, eh?

P.S. For anyone who wants the article, e-mail me.