Sunday, May 29, 2011


TJ Hooker.
Hook 'em, Horns.
Hooked on Phonics.


Really, hooked on sugar. Oy.

All you mamas out there are probably familiar with thrush. I only ever knew about it in babies, but apparently mamas can get it, too. This mama got it. I got it bad*. If mama gets it, it's referred to as a yeast overgrowth, not as thrush. I prefer to call it thrush, though, because saying I have a yeast overgrowth makes me think of horrid Vagisil commercials, and that is emphatically not a problem that I've got.

Anyway, I was having some pain nursing since just after T was born, but it took awhile for the discomfort to be bad enough for me to start paying attention to it. Then it became actually painful. Then I started having pains really deep inside my chest. Then I started feeling like my breasts were filled with broken glass every time we nursed. Then I took to Google. I'd heard the phrase "broken glass" in reference to nursing before, and it's one of those things that Google automatically figures out for you. The blessed internet told me I had a yeast overgrowth.

Of course I figured that out when I was in quite a state of discomfort, which was, inevitably, a Sunday. Luckily, Drew's girlfriend works at an Urgent Care Clinic, and she was working that day, so I went a-visitin'. Most internet sites will tell you that you need Diflucan, but you don't need the same dosage that you need if your yeast problem is the typical "lady variety." You need a stronger loading dose, then 13 days of the regular dose (the regular dose is one dose, one time). I walked away with a prescription for the regular dose, but I didn't realize it until I picked up the prescription. I took it anyway, and I called my OBGYN the next morning. He thought the one dose should take care of me, but I was to call him back if I needed another dose. Which I did. He called me in another dose on Wednesday, and between the two rounds of Diflucan, copious amounts of Vitamin C, and loads of acidophilus, I seemed to be better. But it came back, which is apparently the reason most people need to keep up the Diflucan for two weeks. Yeast is a beast. You can fight it back, but it keeps growing. Like yeast.

I don't want more Diflucan if I can help it. Especially since it's not nearly as bad this time, so I'm hoping the yeast isn't so prolific. I'm trying a more natural approach. This has included a lot of research.

Yeast feeds on sugar, which as a bread baker extraordinaire, I know. That means that the yeast in my body (and your body) feeds on any sugar consumed. Therefore, I am now trying to eliminate most sugar from my diet. I say most because really eliminating sugar from my diet is rather impossible right now. I can't eliminate carbs and all fruits while I'm also eliminating dairy, soy, peanuts, and "gassy" vegetables. I'd be walking around gnawing on chicken legs and hunks of meat all the time. I am, however, trying harder than usual to stick to whole foods, and I'm steering clear of things that clearly have added sugar.

This isn't so bad. Really. But I've been doing this since Thursday, and I've had a couple of moments wherein I would've murdered a person for one sip of Coke. One sip.

What I have figured out, however, is that I have a little sugar problem, and frankly, you probably do, too. I'm hooked, and I didn't even realize it. I knew I craved fountain drinks sometimes, and I've always loved carbs, but wow.

Did you know that the RDA for sugar for a woman is 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons)? Did you know that one TBSP of French Vanilla creamer has SIX GRAMS? Did you know that if you, like me, use at least 2-1/2 TSBP of creamer in your morning cup that you've already had over half of that allowance before you even lift a fork to your lips? Forget about a second cup. Now I'm measuring my coffee creamer.

It's ridiculous really. The amount of sugar that we eat/drink. It's in everything. Granted, some of those sugars are naturally occurring. Like the sugar in fruits and vegetables. Or the sugar in milk. But, those Special K fruit crisps? Those suckers have added sugar. Seven grams of it. A little under 1/3 of your RDA. Honey Nut Cheerios have 9 grams in a 3/4 cup serving. Basically, you can take care of your daily sugar intake easily before you step out your front door. Check it out.

I've always been pretty maniacal about the things we eat, but I've always just glanced at nutrition labels. Now that I'm looking, I realize that S must walk around in a sugar coma most of the time. M probably does, too, because he believes in juice (to the tune of at least double his RDA.)

The amazing thing about this sugar revelation is that I'm a person who already thinks about stuff like this. My family eats a comparatively small amount of processed stuff. I cook a lot. With real ingredients. If we lived on things like fruit crisps, I can't imagine how high our sugar intake would be.

Seriously, look into it. Spend ten minutes looking into how much sugar you consume and what it can do to your body. It'll blow your mind. And I'm not really advocating that everyone run out and try to eliminate sugar from their diets, but even trying to stay within your RDA is probably cutting back for most people. If you drink French Vanilla creamer, that is.

Now, I'm getting off my soap box...or my sugar canister. I need to go marinate some chicken for dinner because there's meat in our lives these days.

*It's common in mothers who were given antibiotics in the hospital, which I was because we didn't have the results from my group b strep test...if you find yourself in this situation, take some probiotics to keep all the lovely flora in your intestines from being annihilated and causing this problem.


feather nester said...

Yes, it is insane. I went through a nasty little withdrawal when I started my clean eating thing last year. I truly never crave sugar anymore. NEVER. And I'm so much more sensitive to the natural sweetness in foods. Now, I can easily fall of the wagon. One chocolate chip cookie turns into five as easily as ever. But I never CRAVE that first one like I used to. Daily. Now it's just the occasional slip up that happens because I sometimes lack judgment when I've had too much to drink... That's a whole different post.

(I confess, I still totally use coffee creamer. The delicious, fake Coffeemate variety. We all have our vices, let's not get carried away. ;))

die Frau said...

Thanks for the tip! I already know I'm going to have to have antibiotics when I deliver for the reason you mentioned. So it's get ready with the probiotics, huh?

paulo said...

while i'm not crazy about getting rid of all the sugar in my diet, i've been paying more attention than ever to it.

this is a pretty interesting article that will get you thinking some more about it all:
Is Sugar Toxic -

Sarah Berry said...

Ughhhh, totally understand. Between the hypoglycemia and the scare with gestational diabetes, I feel your pain.

I have nowhere near the will power or desire of Feather Nester to nearly cut them out all together for such an impressive length of time, but I did do it for a month to drop the last of the baby pounds.

So interested to read the NYT article though...

Strongmama said...

Have you tried grapefruit seed extract? You can take it in pill form, or add a few drops to water (don't add too much or will taste gross). I have a friend who used this when she had major thrush problems and it cured it pretty quickly. Also, B's aunt uses it everyday and she's a super health nut. I have some here at home, unopened if you want me to send it to you.

Wonderland said...

The cardiologist I work for is OBSESSED w/ that NYT article. It's the hot topic at work right now and the drug reps have all been warned to bring fruit and yogurt now instead of donuts :)

Melissa said...

I found that when I stopped drinking soda for several weeks, I just did not crave it much anymore. In fact, it tasted like drinking the straight syrup when I did drink it again. Your body adjust with time. And I LOVE the Coffeemate creamer, but gave it up too because of the insane number of calories per bottle (something like 1200 in the small bottle). I do miss that, but my body doesn't.