Hormonal Issues with suspected candida /sibo / leaky gut

Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the forum, I have ended up here multiple times during my long journey trying to figure out what is wrong with me so I figure I should maybe post in here and see if I get a good opinion...

It has been over a year that I have been dealing with strange sensations down my legs ( mainly at night at the beginning). Felt a lot like Peripheral Neuropathy at the beginning. At the time I went ahead and got an MRI to find out I didn't really have anything in my spine, got checked for diabetes also nothing (did a 2hr glucose test).  Most of the time these sensations down my legs would get worse when I would eat dairy, gluten, sugar in general, certain nuts and sometimes even chicken. It was almost impossible to predict what would give me these things. I also always felt very angry, a lot of mood swings, depression, anxiety, the list keeps going...

I went to an Endocrinologist and got my thyroid and other hormones checked:

LH 15.4 mIU/mL       /   FSH 6.4 mIU/mL

Calcium 5.6 mg/dL   /  DHEA-Sulfate  206.2 ug/dL

TSH 2.080 uIU/ml    /   Prolactin 24.8 ng/ml (came out high)

Estradiol 34 pg/ml   /  17-OH-Progesterone LCMS  91 ng/dL

Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy  37 ng/mL   /   Total T4 7.2 ug/dL

Free T3 2.2 pg/mL    /    PTH  28 pg/mL   /  Cortisol-AM  28.8 ug/dL (high)

Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO)Ab  23  IU/mL

( I have many more labs that I have done but thought these would be the most important)

While my Endocrinologist said "Everything looks fine" my primary care physician really didn't think so... she put me on a low dose Nature-Throid because she thinks my t3 was too low. At the beginning I got some relief ( but it literally lasted only 3 days..) She also told me to go back to my vitamin d3, something my endo had told me to stop because my d3 was "fine". I always feel a little bit of relief when I take it but doesn't last very long during the day. 

I also haven't had my period in over 3 years naturally... since I was a kid I was always given birth control pills but no one really told me why, I'm from brazil and there I was given one called " Ciclo Elani" which is drospirenona 3mg and etinilestradiol 0.03mg. 4 years ago I decided to stop because I was tired of the bad rep birth control pills had and it also always messed up my stomach.

My primary care has different opinion as far as what is going on with me, she is positive I have leaky gut, which with the fact that I respond terribly to multiple foods makes me agree with it. I suspect candida but the symptoms of it match a lot estrogen dominance as well, which I'm not 100% sure if I do have, I read online about the progesterone/Estradiol ratio and when I calculated it, it seemed like I was really estrogen dominant. 

Dr Jack Kruse a Neurosurgeon has a website online that talks about neuropathy and the effect estrogen, and multiple other factors that a lot of neurologist wouldn't think about, have on the nerves. He also talks about how any cause of leaky gut can also be an etiology for neuropathy even in a non diabetics. 

I'm so lost at this point, I went to a gastro and he didn't want to test me, he put me right away on Xifaxan (antibiotics) and gave me VSL#3 (powerful probiotic) to do right after the treatment. I haven't been feeling really good since then... Not sure if it would be die off symptoms at this point or if it is just all of the other problems that could be going on with me. I know the antibiotics wouldn't take care of candida if I did have it so I'm on a very low car, low sugar diet during the treatment, and yet gaining weight. I constipate a lot, and it's always a surprise how my stool is gonna look like when I do get to use the bathroom. 

I'm only 24, and all of this came to me as a surprise, it's been over a year that I have been dealing with this, and yet I was the healthiest person you could think of, I used to compete as a bodybuilder so to me diet and health was top priority. Not being able to barely walk my dogs now has been extremely depressing... exercising has been the biggest pain of my day too, sometimes I can barely get out of bed. I have a feeling of inflammation all over my body constantly during the day at this point. and I'm getting pretty frustrated with doctors, jumping from one place to another, a many trying to push me to go to a reumatologist so they can tell me is all in my head and I have fibromyalgia or restless leg syndrome... which I do not believe on, is a symptoms, not a disease.


Any help or thoughts would be extremely appreciated, thank you so much for your time.



Original Post

Hello Everyone,

Welcome Joy.

Your MRI results are a good thing though I realize there are many non MRI evident issues that could be happening. No matter what, I know it can be very frustrating not to know what is wrong.

I'll offer you a few comments as I go through your message. I hope they give you some helpful idea. 

Many inflammatory states (and conditions) can worsen according to certain foods (different foods for different people). It requires some serious tracking to connect consistent results, especially since some reactions can be delayed reaction. What you say makes me think that inflammation is at work but it does not mean the foods are the main cause. It's not any kind of brilliant conclusion to label what you describe as inflammation because hundreds of symptoms can be caused by different kinds of inflammation. Even depression can be related to inflammation. It is a good idea to track a few days of food at a time to see if we can decipher a pattern.

So eating as well as you know how, keeping a food diary and lowering your yeast levels can all play an important role in reducing inflammation. By eating well I mean a very low starch, sugar free, organic diet with plenty of healing oils. Keep in mind that when it comes to detective work around the best diet for you...sometimes just reducing inflammatory foods (esp gluten, sugar, soy, and commercial/non organic dairy), can improve many symptoms. Also, removing some foods can make you more tolerant to others. As an example I've actually seen. You might find that if you removed gluten and sugar, you might be better able to tolerate organic dairy.

However, having said this sometimes what we think is a food intolerance could even be something different or could be also caused by (worsened by), something else. It could be a disease state, a drug side effect, or a reaction to something in our environment, (electromagnetic, biological or chemical). The environment could be the issue and the food the sensitizer or vice versa or neither. 

And, yeast and fungal issues can definitely play both a causative role and a reactive role with any of the above. An overgrowth of fungus can result in an unnatural release of acetaldehyde and other mycotoxins (toxins released by fungus). And, yep, you guessed it, even those toxins can cause inflammation (and nerve sensations).

As for your labs, we do not have medical staff here so the only help we offer is guidance with the Whole Approach product protocol and the Whole Approach diet protocol. 

Natural hormones can get out of whack with birth control pills and it may take many months of a natural, healing (for you) diet to start to normalize it. You may wish to look into some of the herbs for normalizing cycles as well. Talk to your naturopathic doctor about Vitex (chaste tree berry).

It's good to test Vitamin D if you take it. However, as long as you don't get dangerously high (fat soluble vitamins can build up).

Inflammation in the gut of any kind can interfere with the integrity of your digestive lining and also with the types  of bacteria that inhabit your gut. If you supplement with healthy bacteria that have your well being 'in mind', you'll have a better chance of growing the most beneficial companions for it. The alternative is to enable pathogenic bacteria/fungus to flourish. 

I don't dispute the doctor's assessment of the relationships between the nerve and hormonal issues. However, I also believe there are ways to normalize your system so it is more resilient and so it can self heal. If the antibiotic started things off wrong, you may need to take more probiotics and perhaps complement with other natural bacterial sources like kimchee and kombucha tea. 

Antibiotics can worsen or cause candida overgrowth so it's a good idea to do a candida cleanse along with replacing some of the key 'good' bacteria.

The best thing you could likely do, in addition to learning about this diet and program (and I would do a no starch, no grains version of this diet to start).

And keep in mind, that although you've had a crash in your previous well being and are suffering, it is by no failure of yours that this happened. Our North American Diet, chemically laden indoor environments and extreme electromagnetic pollution, mixed in with excess electronic communications and many other kinds of stress and artificial lighting, and unless we are working hard to create a more natural diet, body state and environment, we will eventually get sick. Everyone living the status quo, eventually feels the effect. Your body is telling you now, you need to learn different ways of being and living and eating so that you can regain wellness in a sustainable way.

Have a look through some of those links up there and let me know if you have questions. And, in the meantime, you can start your withdrawal from sugar and starch. This is one THE best possible things you can do for your health.

Also, do you have a Naturopathic Doctor in your area? If you have more than one, we have a post about selecting the right ND for you.

Take good care and please let me know how I can help.


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