Brace yourselves, this is a long one.

For the last – almost 2 years, wow – I’ve been randomly cutting out foods and listening hard to my body’s response. Most of the reactions have been seemingly random. Some have been obvious looking back but not obvious at the time. This has been such a random and confusing process. My dad is doing the same thing as me as he seems to have a similar problem. I’ve been asked “how does this make sense?” more times than I can remember. And my response is always “I don’t know. I have no idea but maybe ______”. The blank has changed over the last couple of years.

Last September (2016) I got bronchitis badly enough that I needed to take antibiotics. It was turning into pneumonia. I had it for 3 weeks before I went to the doctor but I couldn’t breathe so Andrey forced me to go. I had a good period of time after that until I reintroduced white cabbage (sauerkraut for the probiotics). Then with the cabbage reaction I chose to take antibiotics (dapsone) to stop my skin issues from coming back. I went back on my antidepressants, dapsone, took gravol to sleep, took tylenol 3 for the pain, did everything I had been trying to avoid. And prescriptions helped the reaction not be as awful, it slowly went away and I stopped the medications again.


I found out I was pregnant at the very end of my cabbage reaction, late November. After that I had a period of almost 6 months of reacting to food I had originally ruled out as safe. This was very concerning. Could I be sensitizing myself by removing foods? Was this remission only for a period of time? Was this caused by the pregnancy?

I think I’ve figured it out. I initially blamed the pregnancy (as you can see in past blog posts), but I think it was at least partly the antibiotic use. I blasted myself with them in September and then in November and I think I destroyed all the progress I had made.

I think my problem is Candida overgrowth.

Here’s my thinking:

I started to react to sweet potatoes, asparagus, large quantities of broccoli, honey, the limited fruit I was eating. I cut out fish and turmeric because I couldn’t figure out what was causing my problems, and recently I’ve reintroduced them with no problems (YAY). What do all of those have in common? Sugar!

So when I realized that everything I was reacting to contained some amount of sugar I thought SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Basically you’re supposed to have most of your bacteria in your large intestine, but if it’s in your small intestine it is really not good for you. It can cause bloating, stomach pain, and a whole host of other nasty symptoms (brain fog, depression, joint pain, etc).

But then I tried probiotics. ProbioMax, 100 billion CFU. That’s a lot of bacteria. If your gut is healthy it shouldn’t make you sick. I took it for 3 days and by the 4th day I was crying for no reason and my digestion was destroyed. My arthritis even started appearing again. My skin got itchy and then my face broke out. I started being smelly. I freaked out because I thought maybe it was a month-long reaction and I had just started feeling better (this was after my “I’m feeling better” blog post). Fortunately, after about a week and a half, I started feeling better and after 2 weeks I was back to feeling good again. Why would probiotics make me sick? (and this isn’t the first time, every time I’ve tried to reintroduce them this happen). Candida.

What is Candida?

  • short answer, it’s a fungus that helps you digest sugar. If you have too much of it, it can cause a bunch of problems. It’s the normal cause of yeast infections.

How do you get an overgrowth of Candida?

  • you take antibiotics – antibiotics kill the microbiome that is keeping your candida in check.
  • you take hormonal birth control
  • you take immune suppressants
  • your diet is high in sugar

Kinda sounds like a problem most people could have. Anyways then I thought about my symptoms. Since cutting out fruit, if I eat fruit I feel drunk in about 10 minutes. Seriously. This often happens with yeast. Yeast produces ethanol when given sugar. So that makes a lot more sense than “grapes make me drunk haha (except not haha). Then I get mouth ulcers and arthritis and it hits my mood. When I was in grade 2 my mom noticed oranges made my arthritis worse. Nobody believed her but now I know oranges are really bad for my arthritis.

Turns out there’s something known as candida arthritis. No,w none of my doctors took joint fluid samples. They just diagnosed me and put me on serious medication. But if they had, would they have found candida?

I had thrush when I was under the age of 2, right before arthritis started. Thrush can be caused by candida. I’ve also had yeast infections after I take antibiotics almost every time. But then I didn’t really have that issue for about 2 years… So I didn’t think about yeast.

Here’s a list of the symptoms of too much candida.

Now the problem with this theory is, tons of theories encompass all of the symptoms I’ve been suffering from. But I do seem to get better when I cut out all sugar.


Why could I tolerate some sugar but not others? (honey but not cane sugar)

  • I’m going to have to wait to answer this. I don’t know.

Why did I get better when I was still eating some sugar?

  • I was eating sweet potatoes, apples, pears, peaches, plums up until recently. I got better when I was still eating them, then with the two round of antibiotics I couldn’t handle them anymore.
  • Maybe I killed off the microbiome I was regrowing with the antibiotics and I had a regrowth in Candida?
  • Dad never got 100% better with the original diet. He got 80% better but not 100%.

I tried a candida diet about 4 years ago. Why didn’t that help?

  • I went to a naturopath (this was when I thought they were full of it) and he suggested Candida was my problem. I didn’t believe him at all but I still tried the diet to make my mom happy. I didn’t cheat. It was known as a candida diet and it did absolutely nothing. Maybe this was because I was still eating IgG foods on this diet. Maybe it wasn’t strict enough. Who knows. I do know that how I’m eating is extremelyyyyy restrictive and the highest amount of sugar I’m eating is lettuce. Which doesn’t have much sugar in it..

How do I find out if it is candida?

  • I’m not entirely sure how to answer this question either. What I’m doing is potentially starving it. I started starving it accidentally but that’s what I’m doing. The next steps are to actively kill it. Unfortunately ,I can’t do that when I’m pregnant. I don’t know how to test to see if it’s Candida but I do think this is the most obvious explanation. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than “oh my body doesn’t like asparagus but i likes collards”. Collards don’t seem easier to digest! They look completely inedible. But I just listened and ate what made me happy.

I’ll write about a treatment plan (Andrey’s currently trying it out – he used antibiotics all the time as a child, they’re not prescription in Russia). We’ll see if it works. How will we know if it works? If we can eat fruit again. If he can eat it and not feel crappy, and if I can eat it and not get mouth ulcers, a drunk feeling, brain fog, arthritis, etc. But this has given me hope thinking if I can heal this problem I can expand the diet again. (Still avoiding IgG foods of course)

Here are some things I read to figure out a treatment plan:

Here’s some info on candida arthritis:

Here’s some info on candida depression – this doctor is probably seen as a quack to a bunch of people but so are most people who look into diet. The website is useful anyways.

Hopefully I’ll know in the next couple of months if it was Candida or some other type of yeast. A mix of candida and IgG reactions causing my problems? I know how it sounds but hey, it makes slightly more sense than random food reactions and getting drunk for no reason. We’ll test out the antifungals (all natural, I’m staying away from anything pharmaceutical unless I’m legitimately dying) on Andrey. He’s agreed. I’m not going to be able to take even natural antifungals probably until I’m done breastfeeding, which is really annoying because I like trying to figure things out.

So the take away? I’m feeling pretty good. Dad’s feeling pretty good.  I actually have a theory instead of random foods I can’t eat. I started a very low dose probiotic yesterday. 5 billion CFU. It’s nothing compared to the 100 billion CFU I tried. If I don’t get any side effects I’ll take a bit more and lower it when it starts making me feel bad. Maybe I can get rid of this problem by just starving it and treating it with probiotics. Who knows. Life is weird.

UPDATE 2018: I definitely had a candida problem (tested for in a stool sample), but it’s been resolved since the all beef diet (also tested in a stool sample).


  1. Tiago on June 9, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Maybe the reason why you can tolerate honey but not cane sugar is that it only causes issues with glucose? Honey is fructose, but table sugar is sucrose, which is both fructose and glucose.

    • Mikhaila on June 16, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      I actually figured that out the other day. I think you’re right. Apparently Candida eats glucose more readily than fructose.

  2. Mahsa on June 9, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks for your new post, it makes sense. I researched it more and I found this podcast from Chris Kresser (valuable information about 4 common mistakes people make in curing candida )

    • Mikhaila on June 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      I’ve been reading that website (and any other info I can get my hands on). At least this theory is google-able… As opposed to “I can’t eat anything for some reason haha fml”. At least this is a reason!

  3. Chris Malloy on June 10, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    For the first point, honey is also an antibiotic.

  4. C on September 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I used to have lots of problem with chronic yeast infections. I had a long history of using antibiotics. I tried all kinds of treatments. I did find oregano essential oil gave some short term relief. What really helped me was going very, low carbohydrate (ketogenic) with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (modified paleo diet). I did this very low carbohydrate approach for almost a year. At that point, the yeast problem was gone forever.

    If you haven’t heard about the SCD you might find the “legal” and illegal” food list of interest to you. For example the SCD allows honey but not sugar for digestion reasons. The diet has its rationale for why some foods are allowed and others restricted. You could look into the program and see if the diet has some utility for you.

    Personally, almost all processed foods are poison for me. I’m off grains for life and I don’t tolerate legumes or beans very well either. The question I can’t answer is it the foods themselves (processed foods, grains, legumes and beans) or is it the high carbohydrate load that’s the problem? Regardless if I ever know the answer to this question after many years I finally have good health!

    I was wondering if you had heard of Sarah Ballantyne? She’s written a lot about autoimmune issues. Her book might be of interest to you: The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.

    Good luck with your health journey! I wish you and your family the best. I’m glad to hear you had an excellent home birthing experience too!

    • Mahsa on October 23, 2017 at 1:24 am

      I think I have an answer to your question. IgG reaction can either come from foods with high amounts of phyto nutrients like nuts, legumes, grains, etc which are identified as the enemy in the body since they are have unbreakable hard structure, so the body will attach it as an enemy and produce inflammation and autoimmune symptoms. Also sugary foods feed the candida and candida produce biproducts that are identified as enemy in the body, therefore infalamation and autoimmune symptoms follow.

  5. Eric on November 5, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I eat LCHF have so for 9 months or so. I consume very FEW grams of sugar a day in any form (usually 85% dark Chocolate!) When I do have a large amount of Sugar ( Ex. Sister’s birthday cake Huge piece and Sweet potatoes on top of that!) the following happens. Later that day upset stomach that lasts through the afternoon the next day. Headache “hangover feeling” till the next afternoon. This has happened a few times so I guess it will just be a good deterrent for me to avoid Sugar. Wonder why this happens maybe something in the microbiome? LCHF has cured my Major Depressive Disorder … was on Meds for 10+ years none for 4 months now and feel better than I have in decades! I have shared your interview with many people … who knows how many chronic health problems could be fixed with eliminating the offending foods.

    • Mikhaila on November 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      I’m still trying to figure the sugar thing out… To me, it seems like something in our guts is fermenting the sugar/carbs. I’m still leaning towards a candida problem, but there are other bacterial strains that ferment sugar so who knows. Basically, you get an overload of ethanol in your body, so it is like you’re drunk. I get a full on ‘4 shots deep’ drunk feeling when I eat too many carbs, or sugar. Followed by a hangover the next day and a bunch of other symptoms (arthritis, itching, upset stomach, bloating, depression). I’m looking into microbiome tests to see if I can find anything there, and I’ll keep the blog updated on that. Good for you for sticking with a diet and solving your health problems. Thanks for the kind words.

  6. BZ on December 14, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Reading this reminded me of people that only eat meat/animal products, you know, because almost everything else seems to cause you problems. Have you ever looked into it? I think they call themselves carnivores/zerocarb.

    • Mikhaila on December 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      I’m actually going to try this out. I’m writing a post now.

  7. Omar on December 16, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I’ve been treating what I thought was SIBO but might now be candida with CandiBactin AR and BR, I also use allimed. I imagine they can be quite effective with the diet along with probiotics. I seem to not tolerate probiotics at all but I ferment some vegetables every now and again and I feel instantly better when I have them.

    Thanks for everything Mikhaila. Can’t thank you enough.

  8. Eamon Fahey on March 2, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Also there are DEFINITELY specific medical analysis tests out there you can do (I haven’t done any but plan to just for my own records) to find out your body’s individual response to food, candida, metabolism. Even our metabolism is genetic I think. You can discover the whole spectrum of your nutritional needs with the help of science. I have a list somewhere but A bit of research should turn up the options.

    • Mikhaila on March 6, 2018 at 12:11 am

      Nope, it is not nearly that simple. Not at all. If you’d like to send some of these tests along go ahead, but “science” actually isn’t where you think it is, if you think we can find out these things.

  9. Wendy on April 3, 2018 at 5:40 pm – Vaccinations cause arthritis in children I have seen others like yourself suffering from the damage done by vaccines. I am not a fan of vaccines at all they cause life long damage are not safe or effective and most diseases can be treated with Vit A, C and D good sleep, good water and good nutrition.

    • Chris Finn on April 11, 2018 at 8:52 am

      There is absolutely no scientific evidence for this claim. This is very dangerous speculation which should really not be given a forum. Vaccinations have eradicated some very nasty killer diseases. Vaccinating our children doesn’t just prevent them from getting debilitating diseases but protects the population from the same.

      Sorry I have made such a strong response Mikhaila but I’m sure your Dad wouldn’t feel comfortable about this sort off claim remaining here.

      FYI listening to your Dad has really fixed my head and I am about to tackle the psoriatic arthritis (which has plagued my life) with your diet!

      What a team (father and daughter!)

      • Kasey Adams on May 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm

        Well said, Chris!!

  10. paul on May 19, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Watch the video on prebiothrive and make a post about it. It is supposed to help exactly what you talk about here.

  11. Fiona on June 11, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Re-visiting this post from you Mikhaila! A friend of mine who also has chronic fatigue was looking into her issue, and through independent conclusions, suspects she probably has Candida overgrowth. Would be great if you could further investigate this theory!

  12. Elizabeth Plumb on August 16, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I’ve enjoyed reading this article! There’s a Dr I follow who talks about Candida and natural critter killer’s as he calls it. Dr Fitt (Dr Roby Mitchell). Google his site and he talks about an eating plan that he calls Bali. Great info about reducing Candida. Best of luck to you!

  13. Joseph on August 28, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Mikhaila, read up on Dr. Gundry’s research on lectins (his Plant Paradox Diet), or find his interviews on Youtube. He was former Chair of the American Heart Association and began to realize that a) he was seeing a massive surge in auto-immune disorders, and b) these disorders are causing inflammation and in turn disease. Reduce lectins – reduce inflammation – reduce disease. Plants make lectins as poisons to dissuade bugs and animals from eating the plant (since they can’t run away from you). Dr. Gundry cites evidence that your gut lining is one cell thick. When you take NSAID’s (you mention Tylenol – yikes!) it makes cracks in that membrane and the lectins get through your gut lining. Lectins are foreign invaders and your immune system begins attacking. If you live this life long enough, you can do irreparable damage to your body. It is worthwhile reading – it might change your life.

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