Question: I feel so awful since Halloween from eating too much of my kids’ candy.
What is it about sugar that makes you feel all crawly and itchy?
Answer: It may be fungal overgrowth both on the skin and inside in the form of yeast — an itchy head, “sore hair” where your hair goes into your scalp when you move it in the opposite direction, itchy ears with flaky white stuff, sinus congestion, itchy anus, itchy genitals and intense cravings for more sugar in spite of the fact that it acts as food for fungus. Watch your children. Are they itching, now getting sick, draggy and irritable?
Filling everyone up with protein at each meal and water between meals will help to level blood sugar and reduce cravings. B vitamins and magnesium are main energy micronutrients, and deficiency in these may have you reaching for quick but short acting sugary treats. Anti-itch creams with tea tree oil and chamomile can give some relief to skin, as well as tea tree shampoo for scalp. Antifungals such as Florabalance, grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano and garlic can decrease yeast levels internally.
Maintaining good intestinal bacterial balance with a probiotic with 12 different species can decrease the overgrowth of yeast.
Remember sugar, alcohol — especially beer and wine, mouldy foods such as oranges, strawberries, peanuts and mushrooms, as well as antibiotic use all encourage the growth of fungi — nothing “fun” about them in my opinion.
Question: The decreasing levels of daylight are really bringing my energy down and I am wondering if there is anything that could perk me up this time of year?
Answer: Yes, this is not unusual for people to experience this in fall and early winter. If you don’t get some rigorous exercise three times per week at least, then get going now so you can get hooked on it while the weather is still nice.
Low vitamin D levels may contribute to seasonal affective disorder or S.A.D., and I would recommend all adults take 2000 IU in an oil capsule at a mealtime (you need bile to absorb D which is secreted for fat digestion) for at least three months then ask to have the vitamin D level checked in your blood as supplementing low to moderate amounts does not guarantee optimal levels and some people need 4000 to 10,000 IU per day to reach optimal which is about 150.
In our office, we see many results well below normal and overt deficiency even in those people who have been supplementing vitamin D at a typical 1000 IU dose.
Also, remember sugar and coffee will not provide any lasting effects and protein at each meal. Green drinks, B compound and magnesium all contribute to energy levels.
You can also buy full spectrum light lamps to mimic natural light for home or work especially in the morning and late afternoon to bedtime may perk you up. I wish we were more like other cultures where the afternoon nap is standard practice.
Kali Simmonds, ND, is a doctor of naturopathic medicine who practices in Charlottetown. The information provided is not intended to diagnose or substitute the advice of your health-care professional. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes. She welcomes questions for this column, which is published every second Tuesday in The Guardian. She can be reached by mail at 34 Queen St., Charlottetown, C1A 4A3 or by email at email@example.com.