Did My Diet Cure Me? // Candida, Low FODMAP & Supplements Update [CC]
By Bryan Wright
Hi, lovely people! And oh my goodness, yes, I’ve actually made a requested video. You’ll have to excuse me if I seem a bit nervy today. I was just reading some more back issues of the Dark Phoenix saga and now I’m really emotional because apparently the X-Men are my life sometimes. You may also have to excuse me if I keep checking my phone, which is on my lap, which I will keep doing a lot because I am waiting! I am waiting for a very important text because I could become an auntie at any moment. No, OK, well – I’ll get the text saying she’s gone into labour but that’s something. Yes. If you didn’t know, Claudia’s sister is pregnant. We’re going to be aunties. Now we’ve got all of the excuses out of the way, let’s get onto the actual meat of this video and that’s giving you an update on my diet situation and telling you about the supplements that I am currently taking. Let’s begin with a little history lesson in the food that Jessica put in her mouth and whether or not that was a good idea. My parents very much had a policy when I was a child (to be fair, they still have that policy now) that you just eat everything – whatever’s put on your plate, you eat it. There’s always one thing on your plate that she knows you don’t like to make you eat it and make you try it so that you’re trying new things. It’s a great idea; I’d probably do it with my own children but it wasn’t a great idea for me. See, I’m quite happy to eat anything; there aren’t many foods that I choose not to eat. Even – like, I hate olives. I hate olives; they are so disgusting. And yet if there are olives at a party handed around or something, I will eat them because I feel like I need to train myself to like them. Even when I was a tiny baby and all I had to eat (eat?) (Drink, I suppose) was my mother’s milk, still there was something very wrong with my insides Which I now know is because I have a connective tissue problem and ergo my whole organs…they just don’t work so well. They just don’t work so well. But as a child, no one knew that. So I would be eating dinner every night, and about twenty minutes after we’d finished, every night I would get horrific stomach pains; really bad cramping. I’d be on the floor like [moans in agony]. Doing my homework. “And then the Romans did this – owww.” Then, when I was seventeen – as everyone knows; everyone who watches this channel knows, but, hey, you might be new; you might not know – when I was seventeen, I paralysed both of my arms for a year and a half, and the doctors thought that I might have some kind of a brain tumour, so they did various tests on me, one of which went wrong, and all of my spinal fluid leaked out and I was incredibly, incredibly ill. Very, very unwell. And I couldn’t eat anything because I was just vomiting – basically, my body just rejected everything. I also got pumped with a lot of drugs. I don’t even know what drugs were given to me, largely because I was a child and nobody… Nobody tells you anything. Yeah, seventeen. You’re still on the children’s ward – believe me, I looked really strange. I was about five times the size of everyone else there. I’m 5’9″ and a half. The nurses were probably about 5’2″, 5’3″. They’d need at least three of them to get me anywhere. But basically, all of the drugs that went through my body stripped me of all the good bacteria that lives in your stomach and in your guts. So my ability to eat got worse and worse and worse, even as I was getting better from this. I – every night – would be vomiting, just… An hour, even. I couldn’t–I just couldn’t stop it. My body would reject everything. Because I wasn’t digesting anything, either; it just sort of sat in my stomach all day long. I’m definitely going to put some kind of warning about vomiting at the start of this video. Warning! now, if you missed that as well. And the sickness seemed, instead of getting a bit better, it just seemed to get worse and worse and worse, and it got down to the point where I was being sick after drinking water and I was getting weaker – and something I now notice is that when I’m tired or weak, obviously my ability to eat gets worse, and the less you eat, the weaker you get; the weaker I am, the sicker I get. So you just tend to spiral, and I still have to watch that; be very careful about that. And at the time, I…I was obviously still a minor and some stuff happened in hospital. Mainly that there were certain doctors who thought that I had an eating disorder. Purely because I was a teenage girl. Like, thanks, guys. Thanks. Not gonna research what’s wrong with my stomach? No? Just gonna… just gonna put me on the psych ward. I will say at the time that I definitely I definitely panicked quite a lot when it came to food because so many things were making me ill I kind of developed like “safe foods” that I knew wouldn’t make me so sick. Third vomit warning. Third vomit warning. The safe foods were actually probably less about what didn’t make me sick and more about what wasn’t awful when you saw it for a second time. So, things like rice pudding, and ice cream. But don’t–you know, there are certain things you don’t want to eat. I mean, a curry, for instance. That’s not fun. And anything involving wasabi. It comes back straight through your nose. So, yeah, having having the safe foods probably didn’t help much. So I had the dietitians at the hospital who were putting me on all of these different diets, which were so much worse, and my stomach felt like it was getting more out of control. Some of which helped a bit. And at the same time, I was trying to find ways to protect my stomach essentially. And I was still being pumped with loads and loads of drugs, and I also had this other group of doctors, who were…talking over me and telling my parents that it was essentially my fault that this was happening to me. Anyway. It’s a kind of period in my life that is awful and hard, and I guess I don’t talk about it that much, because if I think about it too much, I cry like you wouldn’t believe. If I one day write a book about my life, um…it will probably feature, and I will tell you everything in that, but maybe it’s not something I can discuss. Listen to your kids. There you go. Moral for the day. Eventually, though: adult I got to do some adulting and tell those particular doctors to shove off out of my life. No, no, no. I was like, “No, I’m gonna take control.” “I’m gonna find the thing that helps my stomach and save myself.” I think it was my hospital’s dietitian, who suggested to me the ketogenic diet which is where you have absolutely no carbs or any kind of starches. All you have are fats and proteins, and in fact it’s mainly fats. Mainly fats and a little bit of protein. It’s something that body builders do quite a lot. And it really works for children who have epilepsy, and it’s been shown to help people who have neurological problems. Neurological and neuropathic problems – so, issues with their nerves. Well, hey. That’s this girl. So I started that, and it did almost feel kind of magical. The change. The way that it happened. Suddenly I had lots of energy – well, energy compared to what I’d had before; I wasn’t being sick all the time. Didn’t feel so weak. I felt like I was finally beginning to get my body back on track; I was putting on a bit of muscle, which was really nice. I say “body back on track;” that’s because my body looked like this. That’s my brother by the way. So, there you go, ketogenic diet. But the problems with the ketogenic diet are that you have to eat constantly. [Quietly] Constantly. So I’d be eating like eight times a day and…it’s really expensive, because all you’re eating are fats and proteins. Two pounds for your bag of rice and it can last you for an entire week but then if you buy some chicken…thighs, that’s like £4 and that’s two meals. Oh. You basically can’t go out, even, because you have to carry your little tub of cream cheese with you. So I did that. I’d go to class with my tub of cream cheese. And because your body’s in a ketogenic state, it uses just fat to power you. The only energy you have comes from your own body fat. So, if you’ve not got much of that to start with, that’s not great and if you don’t eat enough, you get horrendous headaches. But we pulled that back, and the ketogenic diet morphed into the low carb diet. So, now I also had vegetables – green vegetables; leafy vegetables. Any vegetables that were grown above the ground. Root vegetables I still have an awful lot of trouble digesting; that was just not going to happen. And some fruits, but not sweet fruits – so, berries were fine; but bananas wouldn’t be. Even strawberries, if they were too sweet, they wouldn’t be. Around this time, I also found that my ability to eat red meat was declining and so it was, you know, turkey; chicken; and fish and seafood. Those are the only… proteins–oh, wait, eggs. Eggs are a protein. Dairy. Well, no, actually. Dairy wasn’t that great, either. Yeah, so that was all I was eating. Any kind of carb was a complete no-go. Any kind of sugar, my body would read as “poison,” essentially. It’s a thing where you basically get a whole body muscle spasm. But, essentially, for ten years of my life, that worked. A bit. I just had to avoid any of the stuff I couldn’t have and I was OK. And people were like– I made a video about this, and people were saying, “How can you eat? What can you eat?” Looking back – excellent question. So, yeah, from the ages of seventeen to twenty-seven, I…just didn’t eat carbs. And then I met Claudia, and she was like, “OK…” “I can kind of get behind this, but also…weird.” “Really weird.” “Have you considered maybe that you might have some kind of a bigger problem that needs fixing?” “When was the last time you even saw a doctor about this?” And I kind of had a problem, obviously, when it came to doctors relating to any kind of food or stomach issues. For obvious and very fair reasons. Sorry if the camera angle just changed; there was a dog issue. So, I met Claudia. Claudia’s family are medical, so she took me to some new doctors. A new gastroenterologist; to see a new dietitian and they were like, “OK, I think your issue, with not being able to eat any kind of starches or sugars, probably isn’t something that you should just ignore for the rest of your life. Maybe we should try and fix it? And then you can eat more stuff.” I was a little scared. I was a little scared; I was apprehensive. Because, you know, if you’ve done something for ten years, changing that kind of feels like a big leap. A very big leap. And I was pretty terrified of just being so sick all over again. So Claudia took me to these new doctors and they discovered that my problem was that the good bacteria in my stomach and my gut had been basically just decimated . And I also have a thing called candida, which is a type of infection that lives in your gut. And you can blast it with lots of good bacteria, or you can go on the candida…diet. Which is when I made those videos about starting the candida diet. I did a whole, like, “Week one on the candida diet!” and I was gonna do the whole– every single week, and… Because I think it takes–I can’t remember now, actually. Is it six weeks? And there are just these side foods that you can eat, blah, blah, blah, blah. Mm, I guess for some people, it does work really well, but, for me, I’ve already got an illness; I’ve already got an energy condition, and I can’t run on no food. So, yeah, the week one on the candida diet was the most awful thing. Hello, sweetie. I… And I was so low, emotionally, as well! I sat in the bath and cried. Every evening. And Claudia came back like, “…What’s happened to you?!” So Claudia was like, “Just stop this, this is ridiculous.” “You’re not even functioning as a human being right now.” So I stopped it. And – one of the things, though: This broth involves a lot of onions and celery and throughout this week, I still had the terrible bloating and pain and just really bad stomach ache. So I went back to the gastroenterologist, who was like, “Well, your candida’s gone, so yay!” “Pills you gave me, as well and now everything sucks.” “I hate my life.” I didn’t, that’s very melodramatic “So, OK, well there’s this thing you can try; it’s called the low fodmap diet” – I actually made a video that explains the ins and outs of the low fodmap diet. And what that is is basically taking away different types of sugars, but it’s not just sugars as you’d think, like cane sugar or fruit sugars; it’s also…sort of carbohydrates that turn into sugars. I made a video that kind of explained this a little bit more but it’s things like onions. So I cut these things out of my diet, and she was like, “Well, you know, now your candida’s cleared, you can try to eat some other foods and even some carbohydrates.” I was like, “I can’t. M’lady, I’ve not eaten carbs for ten years, how will I cope?!” But, a little bit a day, starting an inch at a time and getting more and more, I was introduced to this magical thing called a sweet potato. Oh, it was so good. Ohhh…yeah. I still eat sweet potato every day. Through eating a little bit of sweet potato, I then started to introduce a little bit of rice – like a tiny little bit of rice grains. Little bit of rice flour. So it’s a year on, and I can probably eat just under one portion of rice. Now, it varies on the type of rice. I do find the brown rice – like darker rices – are actually much harder for me to digest. That’s not necessarily a fodmap thing. That’s just that the actual– I have a very delicate digestion. But it means that I can eat this wonderful thing called dim sum. And I’m obsessed with dim sum. So, yeah, let’s see. I would say, in the last year, my energy levels have–have actually dramatically increased. I mean, it’s so difficult to notice because it changes day by day…by day and it’s such a small thing, but looking all the way back now, I can see just how much of a difference being able to eat a little bit of rice and…a little bit of root vegetables has made to my life. I used to take a nap every single day for about two hours and yeah, chronic–I can’t say that I don’t have chronic fatigue any more, but it is greatly reduced. My immune system is a lot–oh, I love it, I keep swiping my nose because I have a cold right now, well, this year, I’ve managed to get through from November to where we are now with only – let’s see – three colds, one chest infection, and sinusitis. And that is amazing. That is doing really, really well for me, OK? I used to be the girl who got bronchitis and pneumonia at Christmas, so… we’re doing well. It’s also really handy to be able to eat carbs when you go out. Dim sum. Or sushi! And actually, pain – that’s something I’ve noticed that is a huge difference now a year later. My stomach used to constantly be bloated, painful; I’d get excruciating cramps, and now – it’s so rare, guys! It’s so rare! So root vegetables and I, we’re still a work in progress. Regular potato, not so good. Not so good. Work in progress there, as well. Sweet potato… that’s my friend. Would I recommend the fodmap diet? Yes. To everyone. I don’t care if you think you don’t have stomach issues. Try it. It’s awesome. Would I recommend a low carb diet? Yes, if you have a stronger digestion than me. I think it actually really does work if you’ve got chronic fatigue. I think it’s great. I think I had some of the most energy of my life when I was just living on fat. Is it sustainable? No. No. No, it’s not. But, of course, one thing I should stress more than anything else is the importance of research. Research your stuff. Talk to doctors. Read some books. Maybe even go on the internet – but, you know, internet: pinch of salt. Definitely don’t listen to random YouTubers. But… (Me) There are options out there. Don’t be like me. Don’t just, for ten years, stick in one box. Another thing that has really, really helped me are the supplements that I take. Claudia researched the hell out of these and made me a little plan of what I should take. And…and I follow that religiously. She’s a great wife. And so here are the supplements that I now take. It also contains a relatively high amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin D. Eating with a meal helps to slow the breakdown of carbs into sugar. It helps to relieve joint stiffness and I’ve actually really noticed, when taking it in higher quantities than you are supposed to, it helps repair my nails, hair, and skin. Also linked to improved cognitive performance. So, yay. [Struggling to spell and pronounce supplement name] OK, I can’t spell that. Thanks, Google. Echinacea is a very popular herbal remedy that Claud’s mother always made her take, and I’ve found it works for me, too. I’m currently living off Lemsip, as I’ve had a constant cold for the past two months, but it is way better than in previous years, so I’ve definitely noticed a change. Also helps with my eczema and apparently tinnitus, but I haven’t noticed a difference. So…pinch of salt. It also should improve athletic ability and strength, but…but how would I know? And, you know, I have to take it because I’m a woman… and I need that stuff, OK? I like to think it’s helping my energy levels, but it’s hard to tell. [Laughs] This stuff smells like hell! It’s sap mixed with bee spit. It supposedly helps my ligaments, tendons, and synovial fluid, which, thanks to my connective tissue disorder, are rubbish. I take it to help digestion, because it is easier than soaking flaxseeds every day of the night. It’s also very useful for a whole list of things I don’t have. A pretty vital ingredient for my muscles. It’s also good for organ regulation, including my heart, which occasionally does weird things. Just for the hell of it. There you go! A “quick” (when is there a thing I ever do quick?) a quick update on my current eating and my supplement regime. If you have any questions, please, do let me know down below in the comments. If you’ve been through a similar thing, to any of the stuff that I discussed, let me know, largely so I don’t feel so alone.