The holidays finally came around and along with them the merciful end to my semester. I had already decided that I would not be returning to school. I was simply too ill and had become too dedicated to my own personal research and quest for a cure. I spent the months leading up to Christmas on a strict ‘anti-candida’ regime which thankfully granted me some control over my urinary symptoms. I was still experiencing the same ‘burning’ pain but I was using the washroom at 45 minute intervals rather than 15, which enabled me a little more freedom of movement. Even with this slight decrease in urinary pain, my digestive distress increased, as did my heart palpitations. I was plowing through every detox regime imaginable; from colon/parasite cleanses to liver/gallbladder flushes, water and juice fasting, none of which yielding the kind of pain-free urinary existence I longed for.
Despite my questionable health, I decided to take a trip down south in early January to try and start the New Year on a positive note. Just prior to my trip, and following exhaustive reading on the anti-fungal power of coconuts, I attempted one last-ditch effort to “kill all my candida” through the pursuit of a coconut oil fast in which I consumed nothing but 14 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil and water a day. To my detriment, instead of gaining wellness, I became gravely ill, suffering from severe low blood sugar, nausea and ferocious vomiting, rippling stomach cramping and near fainting spells. I was forced to end the coconut fast dramatically after only one day. It was over 48 hours before I recovered to some semblance of the un-well girl I was before, nursing myself back on small easily digestible meals of fruits and steamed veggies. What I didn’t know then was that this calamity was just the beginning of a spiraling health crisis I was to come face to face with.
While on vacation days later, I indulged in a ton of fresh seafood as I enjoyed the ocean air. Crustaceans and shellfish galore; crab, lobster, shrimp and loads of seared tuna found their way onto my meal time plates day and night. It is important to note that I had cut out all meats, grains, fruit juices (and most fruits) and dairy months earlier as part of my anti-candida regime. I had thus increased my seafood intake as a means of compensating my diet. So one evening at the restaurant I ordered a large succulent garlic crab platter. As I ate it, I swore it was the best crab I had ever had in my life! However my culinary gorging was abruptly terminated as shortly thereafter, I began experiencing a powerful allergic reaction; my throat constricted, my heart began palpitating and I fell into a terrible panic attack. I immediately ceased consuming the crab out of fear. I felt as though any feeling of well-being that remained within me disappeared after that dinner. I felt faint, lifeless and my palpitations became unbearable. This incidence with the crab let me to notice a startling pattern between how my cardiac and anxiety symptoms increased with the amount of seafood I ate. Plugging myself back into online research I began digging into possible toxins in seafood which could be linked to my reaction. Many of the articles led me to the phenomena of mercury toxicity, and its potential role in human illness. As I delved deeper, I discovered that the chemical element mercury transforms into an organic form when introduced into the human or animal gut called methyl mercury which kills our friendly intestinal flora, paving a way for overgrowth’s of pathogenic bacteria/ yeasts, often resulting in candida albicans overtaking in abnormally large amounts. This candida then bonds onto mercury, further increasing chances of toxicity and hindering proper elimination and detoxification of this poisonous metal. At this point I realized that there was no way to avoid the undeniable connection between my “candida overgrowth” and mercury poisoning.