“Not being ruled by sugar is greatly freeing!”

Jane GolsonBy: Jane Golson

Because I was having babies and nursing for the bulk of 10 years, my body was in constant change. I was always feeling tired. I had minor abdominal pain, low-grade back pain (kidney), headaches, insatiable sugar/carb cravings, sore joints, nighttime urge to urinate frequently, occasional mucous-looking discharge, and a myriad of other low-grade symptoms. Because those were the years of bearing children, I put aside my symptoms as part of my “baby body.”

To keep up, I fed myself lots of quick bowls of sugar cereal and milk, or grabbed a cookie, granola bar, or king-size candy bar at the gas station. I didn’t give a lot of thought to what I was eating. I didn’t give a lot of thought to the signals my body was sending me either. I just knew I NEEDED that cookie or candy bar!

Occasionally, the soreness in my lower abdomen would flare up, and I was CONVINCED I had a UTI (urinary tract infection) so I would go to the InstaCare and insisted on an antibiotic. My urine sample was always clear, but my symptoms matched the UTI symptoms so exactly they always prescribed me the antibiotic. I also had seasonal allergies that usually turn into a sinus infection about once a year, so my doctor would prescribe strong antibiotics (augmentin) for that. This cycle went on for 10+ years!

I had a vague idea that antibiotics can disrupt the body’s flora, creating yeast infections, and that eating yogurt helped that, so I also was eating lots of sugary yogurt and taking probiotics thinking that was taking care of the effects of antibiotic use. (What I didn’t realize is that our body’s microbiome is so much more complex and plays a role in so many other health factors.)

After having five kids, moving multiple times, and never really thinking much about my health, my health MADE me start paying attention. I finally went to see my OB/GYN. After reading the lab results, he said something that made a dim light bulb go on in my mind, “Jane, you have NO good bacteria in your system.” It dawned on me that all the antibiotics I had been treated with earlier had killed off all my bacteria. Basically, I had a very sick microbiome!

The doctor diagnosed me with an untreated chronic yeast infection that had led to bacterial vaginosis and pelvic inflammation. He ultimately told me, “This is really hard to clear up!” He prescribed more antibiotics and creams and said I could take a gut probiotic if I wanted to. He left me feeling like I had a chronic condition without a cure. There was NO discussion about my diet. He didn’t offer any solution as to how to “get back” my good bacteria other than “you can try regular gut probiotics and eat some yogurt.”

This vicious cycle of antibiotics and creams was expensive and the problem was only mitigated a week before the symptoms would return. So I started researching. I also prayed and fasted heavily for help. I came across several homeopathic articles talking about chronic yeast that they were calling candida. The listed symptoms seemed to match all of mine. The treatment for candida (chronic yeast) was very strict; it was a NO sugar diet.

When I started learning about the connection of sugar feeding candida a “light” went on for me! I had not paid attention to the way I was being ruled by sugar cravings. My eating habits literally consisted of bowls and bowls of cold cereal, a bunch of cookies or waffles, and white bread toast. By lunch I HAD to stop at the convenience store for a king size candy bar and fruit. I ate the typical American food for dinner. Not a green thing in site for days at a time. I was into eating whatever was quick and easy. It didn’t even occur to me that I wasn’t eating healthy because my weight was “acceptable.”

I felt I had nothing to lose so I determined to try giving up sugar. I started the week before Halloween (on purpose). I figured if I could get through Halloween without eating any sugar then I really would have mastered something in myself.

At this same time, I started making the connection that not only sugar but my whole diet was the cause of this malady!! So I began devouring healthy eating information: the documentary Forks Over Knives, Jane Birch’s “Discovering the Word of Wisdom” articles on Meridian Magazine, and reading all I could from Dr. John McDougall. I could not believe what I was learning about whole foods, plant-based Word of Wisdom eating!!

In my first week of trying to starve the sugar-loving yeast by eating NO sugar, I ate a variety of delicious, plant-based foods. I stayed clear of dairy, gluten, and starchy vegetables as well. I discovered no-sugar almond milk. I drank lots of water with lemon and ginger. I learned raw garlic is a yeast inhibitor and added Pro B phresh probiotics (made for vaginal flora) to my diet. For breakfasts, I frequently ate homemade oatmeal with NO sugar and some frozen blueberries and walnuts. For lunches I ate black beans, brown rice and cabbage salad with a squeeze of lime. I learned how to cook red quinoa (easy) and turned that into a base for salsa (delicious!). I cut back on meat.

The first three days were torture! Luckily, the articles I read about candida mentioned withdrawal symptoms called “candida die-off.” Had I not known about this phenomenon, I would have given up. Essentially, “die-off” is just all the symptoms heightened for about three days. So the kidney pain got really bad, the sugar cravings were high, and headaches were terrible, etc. Those sugar-loving microbes were making their last, dying stand!!

BUT . . . after just one week of clean eating, I was totally cured! No kidney pain, no abdominal pain, and no headaches. I was clear from discharge that accompanies the yeast overgrowth! I couldn’t believe it was all curable with diet! Jane Birch’s articles on the microbiome helped me understand that rebuilding the good microbes depends on a diet of high fiber. After the yeast cleared up, I was able to add the starchy veggies and fruits back into my diet. I also cut out all meat, dairy, and eggs.

I can’t believe how addicted to sugar I was! I thought I was feeling hungry, but I was only giving in to sugar cravings. Not being ruled by sugar is greatly freeing! I can now sleep all night because I don’t feel the abdominal pain and need to frequently make trips to the bathroom that the chronic inflammation caused by candida was doing to me! Also, other inflammation issues like joint pain are gone, and my skin looks way better and the brain fog has lifted! So many symptoms I thought were unrelated all healed with clean eating! I can’t believe this miracle!

One unexpected outcome was my visit to the dentist for a regular check up and cleaning. The hygienist noticed that my receding gums were actually reversing/healing and asked if I was doing something different.

I consider this an example of how the Lord made a weakness of mine into a strength and a blessing! I never would have delved into understanding the Word of Wisdom to this degree without being led to it through chronic malady. I am grateful for the curing truths in the Word of Wisdom!

Since my OB/GYN never mentioned diet as a treatment for chronic yeast, I wanted to share my story. I am hoping that other women who experience trouble with chronic yeast after taking antibiotics will consider adopting a No sugar, Word of Wisdom diet as a help for their women’s health issues.

Jane Golson (41) lives in Morgan, Utah. She is a former elementary school teacher and in the last 14 years has lived in 5 different states. She and her husband have 5 children, ranging in age from high school to preschool. She reports, “My main job description lately is taxi driver to track practice, basketball practice, skiing and music lessons. I am grateful gas prices are low! If I could have a refrigerator, closet and bed in my Suburban I would have it made!”

Comments

  1. I’m particularly delighted to feature this story, which illustrates the importance of our microbiome and how important it is to take care of our gut bacteria. Thanks for sharing your story, Jane! I hope many others in your condition will read it and be motivated to get a whole food, plant-based diet a try!

  2. I have been a suffer of chronic candida for years since my 20’s! It was very hard for me as it seemed to get into the way of life! I never felt really good! I had a friend of mine hat suffered from the same thing and she had gone to a different country and got a pill that worked! I was so excited as she gave me some advised me how to take it and wa la that Candida was GONE! I thought hallelujah! And it was gone for a few years, but then it started coming back on! Then it came in like a vengeance! Ugh! I was so dishearted! I suffered with it for years tried different things but it never went completely away. Pro biotic’s would help, but it to never cured it. Last year I had an interesting experience I met a acupuncturist and he advised me what I was eating…..whole grains, meat fresh fruits, veggies, milk, yogurt….I was like yes, yes, yes, yes! He said to me stop it! WHAT?! He advised me that I needed to reset my system. He advised me that I needed to eat sugary cereals and white bread and junk food stay away from whole grains! Well I thought what do I have to loose? CANDIDA! And I was good with that thought! So I started my journey! It was true it did go away completely away! But I didn’t feel right! Oh my goodness I didn’t feel right! My colon was not cleaning my system out! It would work maybe once every two weeks l, or if I were lucky once a week I would have a bowel movement! I was miserable in a different way and felt HORRIBLE! That is when I started to study and I learned about this WFPB Lifestyle through a good friend of mine! Her inspiration and commitment got me! I started doing this and I am hooked! I love the way I’m feeling no more colon problems or candida! Go figure! I attribute the physical problems I was going through to meat and dairy as the acupuncturist advised me that my body was working too hard to digest the food and it was rotting in my gut! Ewwww! I’m so thankful that I finally committed to do this! At first I was like what! I was one of those raised I meat and potatoes type of food with dessert! We can still have the potatoes and lots more things as well! At first to be honest I did miss all the sugary things and the meat and the dairy as I had a favorite yogurt! But now I’m good with everything! I love he difference that I’ve seen and excited about our future! My husband is very supportive and he is coming right along side of me because of the benefits and the health problems in his family! Also the children well adult children that are still living at home have no clue half the time what they are eating! They are loving this as well! I’m sure they do cheat but it’s healthy when they eat here at home! Thank you so much for sharing this lifestyle with us Jane!

  3. Jane, I’m so grateful for Section 89 of the D. & C. and particularly that which the Lord tells us in verses ten through twenty one. Despite my M.S.W. degree, I am not as well read as you and many of your readers are when it comes to medical terminology, but I feel the Lord in His very ‘to the point description of how and what we ought to eat, really helps me to come up to par with most of your readers in the necessary essentials of handling or avoiding most medical challenges.”

    I don’t fully understand the meaning of the word “biome” and many other medical terms, but I’m sure that when I eat in full accordance of what the Lord has told us in those above referred to verses and seek His guidance in humble prayer, I’ll be blessed to handle all of the challenges that my body will be experiencing. Perhaps there are a good number of your readers who may feel as grateful as I am for the medical guidance out there in handling the challenges we each have to face” but at the same time are like me in being grateful for the direct guidance of His Spirit when it comes to assuring our selves of sufficient good health!

    • Neil, I think your mention of not “fully understand the meaning of the word “biome” …” is something that keeps only some people (temporarily) away from living a healthier life, but all is not lost. In my couple years that I’ve now lived closer to Jesus’ meaning of D&C 89, I’ve had a fair positive influence on people around me, including my wife and families that I Home Teach. In particular (which really pleases me), my wife is now about 90% living a meatless diet. I never “taught” my wife (nor my Home Teaching families, or other associates) a bunch of medical terms. My wife (and others) *observed in me* the difference. So you see, this didn’t come from knowing and teaching all the medical terms of good health to the people around me. It came about by the (Christ) spirit that lives within each and every person I meet, or am close to, and it is bearing witness, by letting them observe in me, by opening their eyes, letting them *see,” spiritually and physically, the difference: the advantage, of living the WofW makes.

      You and I, and other ‘oldies’ like us, spread Jesus’ Gospel of Good Living in this unique manner I mentioned above. Your daughter, Jane, who is more knowledgeable in the medical lingo than you and I are, is blessed in being able to do a most fantastic job of spreading the WofW using her talents, inspired through listening to the Christ spirit within her. All in all, the Christ spirit is encouraging more and more of us, more every new day, to live better, cleaner lives. To use a quote from the latest Star Wars movie, “The Force is Awakening!” LET US GIVE THANKS!

  4. Albert, (Schindler) I agree with what you said above. I will leave the medical terms to my dear daughter, Jane. I guess us “oldies” can survive using the terminology the Lord, Jesus Christ used in revealing to the Prophet Joseph Smith what He did when He inspired him to write the Eighty Ninth Section of the Doctrine and Covenants! I’m very glad that gradually more men in the category of “Oldies” are beginning to eat and be blessed in so doing, the Word of Wisdom Way! May the Lord continue to bless you!

  5. I’m so grateful for the Word of Wisdom and the insights it has provided us with our diets. I believe a mostly plant based diet is what we need more focus on, however, I do not believe the Word of Wisdom wants us to avoid meats, dairy, or eggs completely. Whenever we eliminate entire food groups we greatly limit our ability to obtain all the nutrients our bodies need. Take Vitamin B12 for instance. The only NATURAL source of this vital/essential nutrient comes from animals. If you don’t eat meat, dairy or eggs, you will not get any of this vitamin unless you eat a man-made soure of it. Another example is with Calcium. I recently attended a seminar that looked at a plant-based diet verses one that included dairy to see if enough calcium was obtained. Guess what? The plant-based diet did not provide enough calcium to meet our needs. So, unless you want to rely on a Man-made source of these vital nutrients you need to include some meat/dairy/eggs into your diet. I believe God doesn’t want us to be so extreme in anything that we miss out on essential nutrients. While I appreciate the focus on plant-based food, which in a typical American diet is lacking, pushing a no-dairy/meat/eggs diet is harmful to us and misses the mark of what the Word of Wisdom is teaching. Moderation and Variety of wholesome foods, which would include meats and dairy, are what we need in our diet. Some footnotes from D&C 89 include D&C 49:18, 59:16-20, and 1Tim 4:3-4 all of which address the the Lord’s view of abstaining from meat. He gave these sources of food to us, but wants us to be wise with our use and show gratitude for them. Are we showing gratitude for them when we abstain from eating them? My answer to that is no, we are not.

    • Becky:

      Please consider that the Lord tells us directly in D&C 89 that it is “pleasing unto me that they [animals] should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine” (vs. 13). So I, and everyone on this type of diet, agree with you, we should not totally give up animal foods, but rather save them for times of need.

      Just as D&C 49 tells us, our Church leaders will not command us to do this, but it is not meet that we be commanded in all things. In D&C 49, the Lord also tells us, “And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need: (v. 21). (See this site for more on 1 Timothy and D&C 49).

      We don’t need any animal foods for nutrition. (Otherwise, why would the Lord be pleased when we don’t use them?) Modern science demonstrates that we can get all the nutrients we need on a plant-based diet with (as you rightly point out), Vitamin B12 supplement (which MANY people who eat animal foods also need btw). (See here for more on vitamin B12)
      As for calcium, it is not how much we consume, but how much we absorb and need that are important. People who do not consume animal foods tend to have stronger bones and less fractures. Calcium is NOT a problem for people on plant-based diet. In fact, people on plant-based diet eat food with an overall better nutritional profile, and they enjoy much better health as a consequence.

      The Word of Wisdom does not preach moderation. It is trying to show us a more excellent way. I hope you’ll keep reading and maybe give it a try!

  6. Thanks Jane for posting your story! Can you tell us more about the starchy vegetables that you cut out temporarily and about what other starches, like rice, etc. you ate, if any? I recently had a food sensitivity test done and it shows that I have a candida albicans overgrowth. I’m working with a naturopathic doctor and the diet he gave me is not plant based and I’m trying to understand just what I need to do to heal the candida and eat WFPB at the same time.

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