After several months of feeling increasingly ill I finally got round to seeing my wonderful, Austrian homeopathist. Weird and wonderful tests revealed that I've got an overgrowth of candida in my stomach - again.
Candida is a minute microflora - a yeast that lives in everyone's tum. Unfortunately it can get out of control due to all kinds of triggers: stress, antibiotics, too much sugar etc. At best it can cause a whole raft of nasty symptoms and at worse can cause a debilitating illness akin to M.E. Luckily for me it just causes horrid tummy problems, ezcema and feeling so tired it's as if I'm carting a ton of bricks around, rather than my arms and legs.
How does one get rid of this evil demon? By starving the little critters (and the patient) with a strict, controlled diet and flushing those little devils clean away, helped by so many supplements that I swear I rattle as I walk. Basically one has to avoid all sugars, yeasts, cow's dairy, smoked or cured foods and refined grains, none of which really affect me, however the things that I will have to live without are hot spices, fermented things (no balsamic vinegar, no ketchup, pickles or alcohol), nuts (unless they're freshly cracked out of the shell), no chocolate and no fruit. The latter two are killing me although, thank heaven for small mercies, for a bizarre reason I am allowed lemons. Something to do with them actually being an alkaline food rather than acidic. I don't really care why, all I know that my fruit bowl is brimming over with these yellow jewels, waiting to yield their sparkling sunshine to brighten up my barren three week food gloom.
Lemons may prove to be the one thing which preserves my sanity for the next few weeks and will stop my tastebuds from losing the will to live. Oh, and my homeopathist did say that I was allowed the occasional vodka and spoon of apple puree if I really was going slightly round the twist. Vodka with a twist? Now we're talking. I think this is going to be bearable after all......