Candida Free

22 07 2016

When the body feels good, enjoying a day in paradise is the icing on the cake.

Last Updated:  7/22/16

Candida is no longer the diagnostic mystery and treatment challenge it once was in the past. But if you suspect you have it or suffer from Candida, in order to relate and apply appropriate treatment, it first must be defined.

Wikipedia and other on-line dictionaries alike define candida as “a genus of yeasts and is the most common cause of fungal infections worldwide.” Whereas gut bacterial imbalance occur and infectious fungi culminate with potential to cause any number of illness and disease within the body. Thankfully many yeast and bacteria species are harmless commensals [i.e., different organisms that co-exist without harm or benefit to the other].

And where these microorganism colonies are often referred to as endosymbionts [i.e., microorganisms or bacteria that live in cells or body]; or gut flora [gut microbiota or gastrointestinal microbiota].

When mucosal barriers are disrupted and produce mucous: e.g., inflammation of digestive, genital…vaginal tissue, urinary tracts and mouth; or immune system becomes compromised health risk increases.

Mucosal “Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida. ‘There are over 20 species of Candida yeasts that can cause infection in humans, the most common of which is Candida albicans. Candida yeasts normally live on the skin and mucous membranes without causing infection; however, overgrowth of these organisms can cause symptoms to develop. Symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the area of the body that is infected. (CDC 2015)”

When Candida yeast microorganisms overwhelm our immune system it is likely the result of an alkaline environment caused by an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the gut. This often leads to overgrowth of a fungal colony species that can inflame and infect tissue at its origin, or spread somewhere else in the body, or infect others.

For example, when the fungal infection of thrush overgrows on the mouth, tongue or throat the slightly raised patches on the mucous membrane and beneath it are usually raw and bleeding.

Eat less processed foods and more whole foods.

Eat less processed foods and more whole foods.

Thrush is defined as “Oral thrush — also called oral candidiasis (kan-dih-DIE-uh-sis) — is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of your mouth. ‘Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on your tongue or inner cheeks. Sometimes oral thrush may spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums or tonsils, or the back of your throat (Mayo Clinic 2016).”

Even a newborn can get the disease if the mother had a vaginal yeast infection during delivery. Since newborns have an imperfect and immature balance of bacteria; and elderly with suppressed immune systems and medical conditions are more susceptible to infection of tissue.

Although not typically contagious between toddlers, if a child with thrush has put a toy in mouth and another shares that toy in the same way, then the risk is higher of contracting the disease. Or if an adult handles dentures for example. Whereas that object is handled by someone else and put into their mouth.  (WebMD 2014).  Or you share a toothbrush or drink out of the same cup, etc.

If the Candida albican yeast overtakes the bacteria balance of the stomach and small intestines and then becomes present in the large intestines, this is a sign your system is fighting a battle it can’t win unless something changes. If lifestyle change and treatment course are not applied at some point systemic bodily infection may occur. And when the immune system is suppressed or in a weakened state any number of ill-health condition(s) may manifest.

Below are 18 illness and disease risks with connection to increased Candida yeast through unhealthy bacterial gut balance and increased fungi growth preceded by inflammation and infection.

“1. Acne or psoriasis 2. Allergies 3. Diabetes 4. Digestive disorders that cause gas, bloating, colitis or IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) 5. Ear infections 6. Emotional upsets and depression 7. Energy imbalances or insomnia 8. Hormonal problems 9. Hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) 10. Hypoglycemia 11. Hypothyroidism 12. Lung problems 13. Obesity 14. Pollen allergies 15. Reproductive Organ Disorders 16. Sensitivities to foods, chemicals, and/or molds 17. Susceptibility to viruses, bacteria, and other infections. 18. Thyroid.” “Some practitioners believe that Candida overgrowth can lead to onset of chronic illnesses: Chronic fatigue symptom (CFS), fibromyalgia, Epstein-Barr virus, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, cancer, and autism (Jordan 2016).”

Kayak Pose

When free of Illness and disease we live life to the fullest.

Simply by examining one of these diseases in a study, it is possible to see how a fungi infection starting in the gut could cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or any other ill-health condition. This is explained by Professor Maureen Hanson, of molecular biology and genetics at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y.

She states, “Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have a different profile of bacterial species in their gut microbiome than healthy individuals,” “In the small study, she and her colleagues found that people with chronic fatigue syndrome had less diversity or different types of bacteria, compared to healthy people without chronic fatigue syndrome. People with chronic fatigue syndrome also had more species of bacteria that promote inflammation and fewer bacteria that dampen inflammation, the researchers found (Doheny 2015).”

Professor Hanson describes balance of certain bacterial species is essential at keeping inflammatory and anti-inflammatory bacterial colonies and infectious fungi concentration under control. And one way to do this is by adding probiotics to the daily diet. Normalizing and sustaining an acidic gut environment helps to keep candida yeast at bay.


Choose fresh poultry, meat and fish over processed foods to support balanced healthy gut bacteria.

“So returning your stomach to its normal acidity helps to restrain the Candida overgrowth.” A gut acidity environment is essential for healthy balance of gut flora. Healthy diet and “Probiotics are a great supplement to take whether you have a Candida overgrowth or not. They help with digestion and maintain a healthy balance of gut flora in your digestive tract, so you should consider making probiotics a part of your routine (Perfect Health 2016).

“Compelling new studies are showing how probiotics can help keep healthy people healthy. One study showed a decreased incidence of common infectious diseases among kids in day care.”
— Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders,
Probiotics Specialist

“Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes disease. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy (DiLonardo 2014).

Evidence from clinical research demonstrates that adding ‘good’ bacteria to the diet promotes a healthy digestive and immune system.”
— Dr. Allan Walker,
Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dietary Recommendation

Avoid the following foods that create an alkaline gut environment where Candia yeast can thrive.


Remove sugar from the diet

All sugars, baked goods, breads, refined flour, alcohol, vinegars, pickled vegetable, dried fruits, cheeses, mushrooms. Candida depends on sugar to survive. Cut off the food source and you’ll starve-kill the fungus. Also check food labels for fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, mannitol, sorbitol and sucrose. Avoid honey, maple syrup and molasses. Remove processed and packaged foods from your diet (high in sugars).

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, eggs, yogurt,

Chose to consume more fruits and vegetables

meats, fish, poultry, oils such as olive, sesame, flaxseed and sunflower, butter and lemon.

Supplemental Protection

Consider taking probiotic supplements as previously stated beneficial to good health by the experts.

“Taking probiotics is a habit that can really benefit the digestive system, which is intricately connected to our overall health.”
— Dr. Michael F. Roizen,
New York Times best-selling author, Chief Wellness Officer, Cleveland Clinic

Healthy Immune System through Exercise

“Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing waste products from your cells. When it is functioning poorly, viruses, bacteria and fungi can accumulate in the system, creating a great breeding area for

Exploring a beach is fun and adventurous exercise activity and gets the blood pumping.

Candida. Moving your body increases circulation of the lymph fluid, eliminating these pests quickly before they become a problem (Perfect Health 2016).

Treatment for itching, irritation and inflammation

Although there are many remedies and treatments listed on the Internet and books, I highly recommend you seek treatment for symptoms by a Digestive Health Specialist (Gastroenterology), or board certified Internal Medicine physician with a specialty in Candida diagnosis, treatment and other medical and dietary referral experience.

If you don’t apply relative treatment you may cause more discomfort and exasperate or hasten a state of infection to acute or systemic chronic disease.

Once diagnosed and treating Candida, it can take months to years to remove it. And it may take a combination of specific medical treatment, diet, exercise, and pre/probiotic supplementation, etc.

Candida can be treated and reversed. However what may work for others may not work for you. This is why it’s so important to receive accurate diagnosis and timely treatment prescription from a licensed and board certified medical doctor.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2016 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing,, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.


CDC. “Candidiasis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 12 June 2015. Web. 21 July 2016.

DiLonardo, Mary Jo. “What Are Probiotics?” WebMD. WebMD LLC, 2014. Web. 21 July 2016.

Doheny, Kathleen. “Gut Bacteria May Hold Clues to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”, 15 July 2015. Web. 21 July 2016.

Jordan, Jo. “Signs and Symptoms of Candida Albicans Intestinal Yeast Overgrowth.” Puristat. Puristat, Inc., 2016. Web. 21 July 2016.

Mayo Clinic. “Oral Thrush.” – Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2016. Web. 21 July 2016.

Perfect Health. “Exercise And Candida » The Candida Diet.” The Candida Diet. Perfect Health. All Rights Reserved. Design by Five J’s Design., n.d. Web. 21 July 2016.

Perfect Health. “Why Use Probiotics For Candida? » The Candida Diet.” The Candida Diet. Perfect Health. All Rights Reserved. Design by Five J’s Design., n.d. Web. 20 July 2016.

WebMD. “Thrush-Cause.” WebMD. Healthwise, Incorporated, 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 21 July 2016.



Why Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Challenge Pain Specialists

19 07 2012

Sticky Tongue to Ice Can Be Painful

Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) is a poorly defined condition “and somewhat” similar to fibromyalgia as a chronic pain experience.  CPS is where a neurologically based pain has not resolved, or finding the exact cause of pain may have not been identified.  We’ve all experienced pain at one time or the other, e.g., a broken bone, or speck of dirt in the eye, a bruised, or strained muscle, or maybe you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience a passing kidney stone.  These painful experiences are considered temporary or acute pain conditions.  If the injury heals then the acute pain will typically resolve itself within a 30 day window.  The difference between chronic and the acute pain, you healed and are no longer in pain, or that pain is triggered infrequently when aggravated.

If a pain condition has not healed significantly after 30 days, or you still experience significant pain for a 3-6 month time period, this is a chronic pain condition.  Those diagnosed with CPS can appear to experience pain all over and at any point of the neurological body.  This is much akin to those that experience frequent phantom pain anywhere at any time throughout the body.  You hurt and the pain varies in frequency and intensity throughout each day.  Nevertheless, your body always seems to be in pain.  For those with this type of chronic pain it is much harder for medical specialists to explain what is causing it, especially when a pain origin is not obvious.  Understanding and treating a CPS is certainly a challenge for the medical professional.

The most mysterious thing about CPS is that the chronic pain conditions can occur without evident exasperation, or aggravation of past injury, illness or disease.  And on the other hand, chronic pain can be a substantiated medical pain origin finding caused from illness and disease, i.e., cancer, immune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, back condition(s), past injuries and other radiating neuropathies that affect and cause pain.  CPS is typically a complex treatment pain story “often” without an origin of pain and/or lacks medically substantiated cause of injury or disease.

Regardless of pain origin or cause, or lack thereof, chronic pain patients will require a pain management specialist or team of various resources to treat a complex pain etiology, especially if the cause is unclear.  Those resources might include acupuncture, electroneuro-stimulation, hot/cold modalities, exercise, physical therapy, specialized diet, supplements, pharmaceuticals, or deep muscle massage, etc.

If you’re a pain patient with unexplainable pain and you’ve not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or some other form of immune disorder for example, you may likely be diagnosed with CPS.  What is the difference between the two diagnoses?  Fibromyalgia is a neurosensory disorder where one feels widespread pain throughout the body, but most specifically; joint and muscle stiffness and pain with fatigue.

During the early years of fibromyalgia diagnosis, it was thought this type of pain originated from the brain and where chemical imbalance may be connected somehow to the cause of muscle and joint pain.  In other words, at one time a great portion of the medical community believed it possible to think the pain and from the psychosomatic (brain-body) connection, the pain manifested itself into chronic pain.  Although this is partially true, it is not the whole truth.

The American College of Rheumatology diagnosis criteria has proven that the origin of pain does not solely stem from a brain signal that produces the pain.  Instead a physiological chemical shortfall is present in many pain patient cases that prevent the patient from completely alleviating pain.  In my mind, this would be the equivalent of a person whose immune system is down, gets a cold and can never completely get rid of the cold.  So you always feel under the weather sort of speak and where it does not take much physical activity or stress to aggravate low-sensory acute pain to a high chronic pain condition.

Another difference between fibromyalgia versus CPS appears to be three primary symptoms for those that suffer with fibromyalgia:  Muscle tenderness, aches and joint pain, which produce stiffness and fatigue and/or emotional stress that can continue for years.  There also appears to be a chemical identifier in the way fibromyalgia pain origins present pain symptoms.  That’s where the neurosensory pain connection between the brain and spinal cord are now known to be chemically interlinked.

People with Fibromyalgia tend to have a low chemical P substance, and low levels of neurotransmitter chemical production of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.  It appears pain patients with a low P substance condition are more sensitive to acute low sensory pain perceived by the brain and spinal cord.  So it can be stated, if our bodies are low on P substance and neurotransmitters, anyone of us would be susceptible to low-acute to chronic pain conditions by lacking the ability to immunological and physiologically low stress environmental aggravation we’d not experience otherwise.

If our ability to produce natural pain alleviating chemicals is compromised than it is reasonable to deduce this makes pain patients more likely to be sensitive to daily stress.  And this everyday stress pain could be amplified 10-fold from the way anyone else would experience it given the same environment.

So the stress most of us experience daily is likely shielded chemically by normal levels of P substance and natural neurotransmitters in the body.  If pain protection is not chemically balanced to shield the body from the mental to physical pain, then those that lack this protection will experience more pain.  In time this can chronically fatigue a person into manifesting itself into illness-disease and painful medical condition.

Patients now diagnosed with fibromyalgia are taken much more serious as a real chronic pain condition where chemical deficiency and immune systems are likely compromised.  I suspect there are many hormonal and chemical imbalances within the brain-body barrier that creates an unshielded pain recipient experience.  It is amazing to realize that ~35% of all Americans have some form, or have experienced chronic pain.  And some 50 million have experienced partial to full disability due to chronic pain.

Many patients that experience CPS also experience the same internalizing and rationalizing effect of fibromyalgia depression for lack of ability to provide help for self and family.  This depression stress is often brought about by the obvious… Chronic unrelenting pain and addiction to pain alleviation drug use, anxiety, fatigue, reduced activities including sexual desire, and maybe simultaneous experience of other disabilities that are secondary to the primary cause of pain and medications.

This vicious cycle of internalizing and inability to control the pain becomes exhausting and to the point where it is difficult to get a good night sleep.  If this exhaustion cycle is not alleviated the calamity of suffering, sleeplessness and sadness can have a demoralizing impact on self and family.

CPS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue pain patients are typically treated as outpatients and require a variety of pain alleviation drugs and other clinical resources to help manage their pain.

If you experience chronic pain, and/or pain depression and anxiety and are experiencing a complex pain condition and need help, be sure to seek medical referrals to a pain management specialist, rheumatologist, immunologist, or physiatrist through your primary care physician to get the treatment you need.


The Free Dictionary, by Farlex.  Fibromyalgia.

Dellwo, Adrienne. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.  July 2, 2012.

Wikipedia.  Chronic Pain.

Health Encyclopedia – Diseases and Conditions.

Singh, Manish K. Chronic Pain Syndrome.  Medscape.

Woodamarc.  Pain Depression Origins.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2012 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Why a Physiatrist Offers the Best Rehabilitative Course

23 06 2011
Korean War Memorial Honors Korean Veterans

The practice of physiatry is approximately 50 years old.  So how is it many pain and immobility challenged patients have never heard of this medical specialty?

    Good question, I guess it’s possible this specialty could be considered the gold standard of rehabilitative medical treatment.  And available to pain and immobility suffers once other medical treatment has been exhausted.

    If you don’t already know about the discipline of physiatry, I will now fill you in on what this specialization can offer a chronic pain and immobility challenged patient that requires rehabilitative services.

   A physiatrist is a medical doctor that deals with muscular-skeletal, neurological, acute and chronic pain and rehabilitative therapy.  They are also referred to as a doctor of osteopathy who specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R); using noninvasive diagnosis, treatment and management of disease through “physical” means (Physical therapy and medications).

    They can perform all types of specialized tests that range from nerve and spine imaging to determine severity of nerve damage (e.g. electromyography, nerve conduction) to evaluate various nerve disease/disorders, etc.  They also specialize and work with patients that have a history in degenerative back and neck disease problems.  To include, but not limited to:  Rehabilitative treatment with sports and work injuries; and those diagnosed with arthritis, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, myofascial pain and spinal cord injuries.

    There are approximately 6000 physiatrists to date that specialize and focus on bad backs and the relationship to other parts of the body that also become affected.  For many patients that suffer from back pain and distal radiating pain to other body parts a direct connection to the pain origin can be substantiated and treated.  Radiating or distal pain from the origin pain source can take years to diagnose correctly and can be very challenging for many physicians.  In other words, so challenging primary physicians may take a subjective “shot in the dark” in referring a patient to a medical specialist that may, or may not be of immediate help.

    Sometimes these “shot in the dark” referrals may not pan out.  For me this was the case.  And I suspect there are many of you like me that had the same experience of visiting a lot of specialists and the end result was temporary physical therapy sessions, shots and more pills.  And only until a significant amount of time passed while working through a medical “status quo” policy driven health maintenance organization, did I finally get the treatment I needed.  And this occurred after I learned how to properly advocate and self refer to specialists that could treat me relative to my unique pain issues.

    It is my personal experience many of my medical referrals throughout the years to determine my pain origins were a waste of resources and time that lacked relative treatment.  I believe in my case, I should have been first referred to a physiatrist to determine the best rehabilitative course.  And it is also my belief that if this would have been the case, much of my pain and suffering would have been alleviated five years ago.  And to be honest, I’m not sure what the long-term impact will be on my health as a result of untimely and irrelevant treatment.

    Let’s now take a look at what the physiatrist’s educational requirements are so you can better understand their specialty background and how they as a “direct” referral source to other specialists may help you.

    Physiatrists go through 4 years of medical school and 4 years of residency training (1st year – internal medicine/general practice; next 3 years emphasize specialty training; fellowships for additional specialization in sports medicine, brain injury (stroke), spinal cord, pain management and pediatric medicine.

    Their patient goal is also to treat the whole person’s physical, emotional, psychosocial and vocational goals.  This discipline also falls in line with Mirror Athlete’s principled fit-healthy concepts.  Mirror Athlete is about “ill-health prevention for the encompassing being (mind, body and “soul-spirit”) and is our principled fitness life philosophy.

    For many pain sufferers with chronic pain that have not responded to previous pain management and rehabilitative treatments, access to highly trained physiatrist resources can make a significant difference in increasing mobility and/or alleviating pain. 

    It is true; most of us have access to highly trained medical specialists through our referring physicians.  And it is also true a primary care physician will “usually” not refer you first to a physiatrist “for pain and mobility challenges. 

    You ask why this is.  My answer to you, I honestly don’t know.  The only thing I can think… Maybe it has to do with higher costs of services.  And maybe if you are stabilized and appear to be tolerating your disability, and/or don’t understand, or know you can self refer to see a physiatrist, the HMO policy advices primary physicians to follow a cost effective services protocol otherwise.

    However, I can share with you, if you can get a referral to a neurologist; you’re really in line to get a referral to see a physiatrist from that point if your pain is substantiated and will help with your disability rehabilitative objectives.

    It is surprising to me in the last 7 years; I’ve been referred to at least a half dozen neurologists, none of which led me to a physiatrist for my chronic back/leg pain until recent.  And what is most perplexing, my pain-medical story had not changed significantly through the years.  If I had known about physiatry resources 5 years ago, I would have known to self-refer from a neurologist to a physiatrist knowing what I now know.  Why not 7 years ago?  In my case, I understand now it took two years to determine and substantiate my pain origins.  And I now realize I could have self referred to a physiatrist after I had my second neurologist visit.

    My lesson learned and now passed onto you:  The medical policy and practice “status quo” when dealing with “substantiated” pain and/or immobility, coupled with depression will include pharmaceuticals and other treatment until (a) you reach a certain age.  (b) The pills are now creating other medical health issues.  (c) The risk of other complications is high if continuing the same pain and/or depression management course.  (d) Something substantiated and significant has changed, or has been found through CAT, MRI, x-Ray results and/or lab work and is complicating your pain, or mobility story.  (e) You self refer to see a neurologist from your physician, and then ask for a referral to see a physiatrist from your neurologist.   The later sequence is the best course toward rehabilitative pain alleviation of chronic pain, including range-of-motion and rehabilitative, limited mobility challenges [My experience].

    To treat a patient without considering the entire being is to allow a part of the component being to become ill.  When relative and timely treatment is not balanced, part of our “being” becomes depressed.  And it is also a fact as one will age; without relative and timely treatment, quality living experiences are negatively impacted.

    With the assistance of a physiatrist the patient has access to a team of specialists to assist in customizing a rehabilitative treatment program that incorporates healing for the encompassing being.

    The team of specialist the physiatrist may access to assist your ill-health conditions are: Speech-language pathologists, social workers, nurses, and psychologists, neurologic (brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injury), physical therapy, occupational and recreation therapists etc.  Other disabling conditions include amputations, complicated multiple trauma and pain, including burns rehabilitative therapy.

    Physiatrists also work with a whole team of specialists to restore independence in mobility, eating, dressing, and hygiene. The physiatrist also provides long-term continuity of care for functional problems that often persist after stroke.  Note: This is not simply a physical therapy program.

     In my opinion, a physiatrist is an encompassing-being, rehabilitative care provider.  And if you have not seen a physiatrist and if you’ve been suffering from chronic pain and/or are mobility challenged, also you have reached the end of your referral solutions; be sure to ask your primary care physician, or neurologist to see a physiatrist.

     A physiatrist referral sooner than later will provide most chronic pain and immobility sufferers pain relief and better quality care and living activity experiences.

 Internet Reference

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Unexplained Pain Disorders Commonly Diagnosed as Fibromyalgia

8 04 2010

Visit Mirror Athlete Chronic Pain Center

Unexplained pain disorder diagnosis is commonly & medically transcribed “characteristic of fibromyalgia pain.” However, the worse thing about unexplained pain depression is not knowing where the pain disorder originates and how to effectively alleviate, or remove the pain. So we seek medical help to resolve our pain disorder issues commonly treated with strong “mental health” prescription drugs.

In this case, instead of “status quo” pychosomatic (mind-to-body) pain connection; a “not so well known” reversal of “undiagnosed (not medically substantiated)” neurological soft tissue damage creates the opposite pain pathology… In which physical pain can cause great depression effecting mental health. This my friends is much harder for medical specialist to diagnose and agree upon actual causes of any particular “unsubtantiated pain disorder(s).” And in many cases, unexplained physical pain disorders are now receiving a fibromyalgia diagnosis which is an easy out for much of our medical community; good for the pharmaceutical companies and horrible for these unique pain disorder outpatients.

In otherwords, it’s much easier “in many cases, not all” for physicians to prescribe psycotropic drugs for mental health conditions believed to be the cause of physical pain (mind-body neurological pathology connection). But when unsubstantiated physical acute pain becomes chronic… Much pain depression occurs from the body-mind connection pathology. This in turn causes depression of the mind originating from the body (non diagnosed origin).

In many of those suffering from physical pain seek pain alleviation to no avail because the pain never originated from a mental health cause pathology problem. Now if this undiagnosed physical problem continues on too long without the necessary intervention; a mental health ill-health condition begins to surface, then “can cause” phycosomatic health issues. The bottom line… substantiated pain origins must be determined to not worsen encompassing health issues in these unique outpatient situations.

This is a whole different ballgame for which our HMO’s don’t handle well. I know this from personal experience. I know our medical community has the technology to provide appropriate diagnosis in many pain disorder cases. However, HMO specialist disagree all to often and always seem to subjectively diagnose, label and prescribe medications all too often that are not effective and potentially cause further harm to patients. Once given a “labeled” diagnosis through subjectivity makes it very hard for some patience to receive further appropriate and timely referals; and other necessary help, i.e., further safe/healthy treatment, state services, e.g., Financial disability assistance, etc.

Tell your story in the comments section about your pain depression, fibromyalgia experiences/connection, disability support, or lack thereof so we can help steer each other to pain free bodies and minds. If interested in a fresh chronic pain forum to discuss this issue in our Face Book Discussion room.  Simply visit Mirror Athlete Enterprises Discussion Room.  Begin chimming in on health matters of importance while looking for solutions and shared experiences.  You can also create your own topics of discussion in this room that matter to you and your family.  Pain management is the topic category.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

After Holiday Weight Gain Blues

23 01 2010

The End of Old Habits Are Near. Let Life Begin

Another year has gone by with all the Holiday décor and cheer with it.  I understand some of you had a tough time with the food choices and amount that you consumed.  And with this being said, should I dare say some of you are not only bummed out after you stepped on the scales, you are blue with depression.  This I understand and can definitely empathize.  The way I see it, you can continue to feed those screaming fat cells telling your stomach and brain it needs more, or you can deny them.  I know, easier said than done.  Cutting back after consuming all those rich foods will be the hardest thing you’ll do to get control of your weight for the New Year.  I also understand with the passing of the old year and in with the new, maybe last year’s resolutions to lose weight didn’t work out so well.  I’ve got to tell you; “don’t be so hard on yourself.”  There are many reasons weight gain occurs and I would never tell you I know what you are going through.    So many of us, when we get stressed, or traumatic change occurs in our lives, causes much long-term depression as well as over consumption of food.  Many at some point in time are at great risk of this prolonged weight gain habit being triggered during the Holiday season.  Because with the Holiday’s many emotions are triggered that can also set the stage leading to depression. 

Unfortunately too many of us deal with depression by consuming too much comfort food and drink.  After the consumption of too much rich food we get upset, frustrated and finally depressed about our weight because we don’t know why we can’t control this habit.  There is also an illness-disease cause and effect relationship that complicates controlling weight once we become obese.  At this point the mind-body “can” becomes susceptible to greater illness-disease risk.  For example, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), congenital heart disease, fibromyalgia, phantom pain, etc.  Over eating for many years will cause much discourse and depression in one’s life which complicates weight management, mood, and pain picture, relationships we have with people and life goals. 

Although I’ve written many articles revolving around depression, fitness and pain management, I have not written an article with regard to food habit & depression relationship triggers.   In general, stressful life events cannot be avoided in life but can be minimized by understanding the stress triggers and food consumption patterns.”  Regardless of season, or any day for that matter, you must learn to change behavior and habits to take control of your weight goals and develop better stress coping skills.  These skills can be greatly improved through healthy food consumption, relationship associations (behavioral food trigger habits), activity and exercise.  Learn to realize the stress triggers and substitute healthy food and activity as a stress reducer, i.e., walk-window shop, read a good book, call a friend, eat organic, or Mediterranean diet etc.  Whatever you do, don’t go to the fridge or quick mart and have a binge session.  This habit is very hard to stop.  Seek professional help if depression lasts longer than 14 days or frequently returns and/or if you become obese as a result of your habits and can’t stop them. 

Holiday’s and weight gain relationship is something I understand and have worked to avoid during this eventful time of period.  And I know the screaming fat cells will get over themselves once one gets back to a normal routine after the festivities pass.  But all too often, it is too easy to continue the party into the New Year, or look to celebrate every weekend.  Don’t fall into this trap.  To carry this habit into one year and then the next is really unhealthy and depressing as I know you may be aware. 

Alright, I know I said “don’t be so hard on yourself,” and “I would never tell you I know what you are going through…”  However, there is a difference with cheerful event weight gain and short-term depression versus long-term weight gain and depression.  One is short lived and the other is not!  For a few, I would say your weight gain unfortunately may be due to a metabolic defect of the thyroid, or pancreas for example, in which case you require a physician’s treatment.  Any long-term weight gain that has become an unhealthy condition putting you at risk for more illness, disease, depression and pain requires a physician consultation and treatment!  However, there is no reason not to pursue changing your life style to fit habits that incorporate specialized medical treatment and advisement from your physician. 

I now present 8 prominent weight gain blues and depression habits people get themselves into and don’t necessarily know how to resolve the weight gain quagmire throughout the year.  Below I have listed eight hard to break weight gain problematic habits that need to be realized before successful long-lasting health benefits occur.  It is the hope that by exposing habit/behavior relationships, one can change these unhealthy habits into healthy habits that are enjoyable.  

 8 Prominent Weight Gain Blues Behavioral/Habits that Require Change,

  1.  Holiday Cheer Weight Gain – What can I say about Holiday Cheer Weight Gain that I haven’t mentioned in my previous writings.  Have a Holiday battle meal plan before you set down at the table.  Read the following article, “Holiday Weight Management Tips.”
  2.  Last Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Failed – You know why you failed your weight loss program from previous years.  You did not resolve, or change your behavioral eating, drinking, or fitness habits.  To do so is still too painful for you for whatever the reason.  As I stated, “I will not pretend to know what you are going through…”  Until you can resolve and/or get serious about your weight loss/depression, or seek professional help, my fitness tips will fall on deaf ears.
  3.  Pain factor – All pain is directly related to illness, disease and/or injury.  And with pain comes more sedentary type activity.  It is for this reason, it is more important than ever you work with your primary physician and pain management specialists to find activities that you can do safely.  Also visit mirror athlete chronic pain center for other tips and recommendations.  All pain disorders are different and require customized fitness specialization in order to work around and prevent pain trigger aggravations, or worsen pain disorders.  It is for this reason you become proactive to find a fitness activity that you can participate in daily while pain managing with your physicians.
  4.  Stressful life events and comfort food – For many the trigger to eat comfort foods stems from everyday stress factors such as:  Work, bills, health, relationship, family issues, etc., the list goes on.  Stressful daily events can culminate into major depression and poor eating habits (these two things often go hand in hand).  This is a duel health hazard (impacts mental/physical) that effects millions of Americans causing the national obesity and ill-health mental crisis for our children as well.  We get so stressed out over our fast paced lives we can’t foresee how we could ever squeeze time in the day to maintain our overall fitness and healthy eating habits.  Then you tell yourself, I’ll take care of it later.  You must find time before, or after the day’s end to participate in a healthy fitness activity to thwart off daily stress and increase overall fitness levels.  Good diet and activity practices are important for the entire family where healthy habits is essential to establish early on in life and critical for good health “especially” as we age.    For example, my daily fitness activity is walking.  I also mix up the fitness activities with swimming at the local fitness center, light weights and other aerobic equipment.  My fitness habit is mid-day; although it was 5:30am and 12:00pm for many of my working years.  This habit for me reduced stress depression, built self-esteem, controlled my weight, and alleviated pain disorders while keeping the body fit.  I know AM routine seems tough at first, but become an addictive habit if you give it a try for a couple of weeks.  For most, I don’t recommend an after workout fitness habit unless it’s walking.  The stressful day will make the fitness habit seem like pulling teeth for which one will not adhere for a long period of time.  For instance, walking provides much less stressful and more relaxing with your spouse, kids, dogs in hand, etc., where stressful issues can be discussed into reasonable solutions and making better relationships.  I highly recommend mixing it up with after work walks and every other day morning fitness activity.  Look for weekend activities with family, e.g., hiking, camping, boating, walking the beach, visit historical places, etc. I promise you’ll get healthier while improving family relationships.
  5.  Carry the party into New Year – Some carry the end of year festivities into the New Year.  This behavior can last for months.  For many through the entire New Year.  The festive mood appears to keep your depression at bay while keeping you preoccupied with comfort eating, drinks and cheer with friends.  The basketball and baseball season is loaded with reason for bi-weekly celebration.  “First and foremost, you must understand this is occurring and must break this bad habit!”  It is not bad to watch sports, of course this may vary in opinion with your significant other as time is spent on viewing other than bonding.”  However, to continue the party festivities for weeks and months in over consumption indulgence will only drag on the inevitable weight gain and depression blues that accompanies this jovial behavior after the party. Although jovial is enjoyable and relaxing, too much of anything can be a bad recipe for disaster.  As we age and continue this type of lifestyle behavior, weight will pack on and become harder to lose creating many health risks.  If you’re hanging onto this habit and want to change, incorporate a plan to change using my recommendations here, or review anyone of my articles to assist in your weight management control and lifestyle change goals.
  6.  Fast foods after the Holiday’s rush continues. Too many Americans consume fast foods especially during the Holiday rush.  Here lies a crux for the American obesity problems.  During the Holiday’s everyone is in a rush to get the shopping done for gifts, Holiday meals and travel.  During this time there is a huge spike in fast foods and alcohol.  This is greatly reflected through our stock markets and retail purchases.  Yes, business booms almost in every sector of the economy, especially, retail, fast foods and spirits.  Let’s focus on fast foods.  Fast foods are convenient, chemically addictive and bad for your health in the long run.  Both fast food and drink easily bind one into an addictive habit that is hard to break if continued too long.  I’ve watched too many people throughout my life not understand the addiction, weight gain and ill health results from fast foods.  Most that continue the fast food habit don’t even realize this is creating their weight gain problem.  All too often after obesity strikes so does illness and disease.  If you are eating out more than once per week, this could very well be your weight gain problem.  I know, you’re thinking, what if I just give up the fast food places and eat out at restaurants?  While this is a better concept, you don’t know how much of the meals are preprocessed and then served, even in fine dining establishments.  Also, when you eat out most tend to eat more.  Instead of eating out, develop a healthy active habit of shopping for more organic type foods and preparing your own meals.  I highly recommend you read my article, “Restaurant Foods Healthy?
  7.  Love of Baking – I know, some of you carry your new found baking creativity and consumption habits into the New Year.  Although there is nothing wrong with healthy food baking habits, the pitfall is when you love everything you bake just a little too much.  I know the kids love your baking treats and it’s hard not to make cookies, cakes and pies after the Holidays.  Remember moderation with deserts.  Too much sugar, fats and salts are not good for anyone, even kids with fast metabolisms.  If you’re having a tough time with moderation of baking because of whatever is tugging at your apron, try changing up the desert menu a little.  Try to be creative with other types of deserts if the sweet tooth bug just won’t stop.  Try fruits-veggie tray, jello, pudding, etc.  Mix it up and break away from the continuous baking habit.  If you continue baking from one New Year into the next because you are the one that lacks the will power to balance this activity, I highly recommend you read the following article if you want to take back your weight control goals, “Will Power Weight Loss Secrets.”
  8.  Empty Nester’s Bake for an Army – Regardless of season, there are many empty nest couples that continue baking for their entire family after the children have left home.  There are many things tied into this habit which makes this pattern particularly tough to break, especially for those that want to take control of their weight.  And this is an especially tough feat if one wants to change the habit and the husband for example demands dinner meals that require traditional family recipes.  This is a tough to break psyche-food habit relationships for many empty nest couples.  For example, check out some of the tough relational habits after years of lifestyle practice:  Family dinners and social event food comforts; recipe serving portions equate to taste; favorite dishes tied to child personality, family traditions.  You continue to cook huge portions, eat bigger portions and/or store more.   The activity habit of hording food through continuous shopping may be a stress reliever as a form of social & physical activity.  You store excess foods in preparation for when family members visit.  You continue to invite your children and their children over for frequent mid-week and weekend meals.  You celebrate annual Holiday events to include sports playoffs with big meals whether family is there or not.  I could go on and on with this, but I think you get the picture.  Many empty nesters lived for their children where their food storing, preparation, celebration and eating habits were based on full house functionality.  As I stated, this is a tough habit to break but can be done.  If you fall into this category, you first must realize what you are doing and work to change this habit if weight loss and thwarting the blues and weight loss is your goal.  If you feel the need to change your traditional cooking habits into a healthy activity with your significant other…  Learn to cook Mediterranean type recipes, etc., and get exercise by walking to the local market to get the ingredients.  You will also have to learn to mix in your families favorite dish recipes, but modified to servings of two, three, four…   Also, make a huge effort to get in daily walks whether it’s coupled with a healthy walk meal shopping effort.  The idea is to get more activity and eat a healthier diet in proper proportions.  Walk to your local library, and pick up a healthy recipe books and/or look to take a Mediterranean, or low calorie healthy cooking class.  Consider previous MAE articles and apply this information to your lifestyle.  Visit Mirror Athlete’s health repository for other healthy habit weight loss and management tips and recommendations files under weight, holiday, depression and diet.

 After the Holiday’s it can be easy to get into a pattern of never ending “feel good binge eating habits” for whatever the reason and carried into the next New Year.  Just as any one, or combinations of reasons above apply to your particular weight gain and depression blues scenario through each passing year.  You cannot continue to mask your depression blues through food, year after year because your food habit controls your will power to change.  Once you begin to eat healthy and exercise, your fitness levels improve dramatically.  You’ll have the energy to walk and/or become involved in healthier hobby-exercise activities.  And with this habit change the depression blues will become infrequent to rare. 

 I would just like to end this article by providing a valuable bit of insight.  Too many people don’t understand this food habit relationship and the ill-effects it has on quality living.  The same is also true of natural addictive brain chemical stimulation through a more active life style and the effect it plays on weight loss and mood.  And with this being said, it is sad to say, all too many are now prescribed anti-depression pills to boost serotonin levels in the brain to make us feel better on a daily basis.  This does absolutely, or very little to promote increased activity, changing daily habits and weight management.  There is also known “secondary health risks” that “can/do” occur through long-term use of psychotropic prescriptions.  Instead, it would be wise to consider the natural alternatives in combating obesity and depression through increased activity which will naturally boost serotonin levels for healthy body, mind and soul.  If you now use psychotropic prescriptions to combat depression and it’s further complicating your health goals, please read the following article, “Activate Addictive Healthy Chemicals.”   Do not stop your medication; simply consider incorporating exercise and eating healthier while you work with your doctor.  You may be able to get off the medication, or reduce the dosage dependency, thereby decreasing other serious health risks. 

 Write us about your weight loss success and removing depression from your life.    We’ll publish your New Year’s resolution success story and identify your post with a first name and state you reside in.  Or make a comment in the posting log where this linked article resides in our healthrepository.  Simply email us with how you changed your habits to lose weight and/or thwart the blues and we’ll post for you under this article.  May this year be your year for weight loss success and defeating depression.  Good health to you and your family! 

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Candida and What to Do About it

25 04 2008

    Some think or suspect the Candida fungus is responsible for what ails them.  Since Candida resides in us all, it is not impossible to believe this particular fungus could get out of hand.  Candida is a yeast fungus that normally is present on the skin and in the mucous membranes of the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina, and that may become pathogenic, especially C. albicans, the causative agent of thrush (fungal infecti0n of the mouth or throat).  Infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans, is manifested by white, slightly raised patches on the mucous membrane of the tongue, mouth, and throat. The mucous membrane beneath the patches is usually raw and bleeding.  Candida overtakes your guts probiotics (read “Intestinal Bacteria & Nutrient Absorption?” at our home site), outnumbering the helpful bacteria as its food source.  Candida albicans then runs rampant within the stomach and small intestines.  When the fungus becomes present in the large intestines… This is a sign your system is fighting a battle it can’t win unless something changes. This is because your guts bacterial environment has become septic with the fungus.  With long-term infection the fungus actually sets up a root system penetrating the intestinal and mucosal lining of our guts.  Other harmful materials then are easily absorbed by this deep rooted system resulting in an immunological reaction, where the yeast syndrome impacts the entire body’s system.

 Health problems associated with this fungus – It is recognized, this deep rooted fungi system can introduce insidious pathogens in the body creating a condition where serious disease can thrive, e.g., “1) Acne or psoriasis 2) Allergies 3) Diabetes 4) Digestive disorders… Weight gain, gas, bloating, colitis (read “IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome” at our home site) 5) Ear infections 6) Emotional upsets and depression 6) Energy imbalances or insomnia 7) Hormonal problems 8) Hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) 9) Hypoglycemia 10) Hypothyroidism 11) Lung problems 12) Obesity 13) Pollen allergies 14) Reproductive Organ Disorders 15) Sensitivities to foods, chemicals, and/or molds 16) Susceptibility to viruses, bacteria, and other infections 17) Thyroid.   Some practitioners believe that Candida overgrowth can lead to onset of chronic illnesses: Chronic fatigue symptom (CFS), fibromyalgia, Epstein-Barr virus, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, cancer, and autism (reference, puristat com).  Once you are identified with Candida, it can take up to 7 months to remove it through proper diet.

Avoid the following foods that promote Candia thriving in the body:  All sugars, baked goods, breads, refined flour, alcohol, vinegars, pickled vegetable, dried fruits, cheeses, mushrooms.  Candida depends on sugar to survive.  Cut off the food source and you’ll starve-kill the fungus.  Also check food labels for fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, mannitol, sorbitol and sucrose.  Avoid honey, maple syrup and molasses.  Remove processed and packaged foods from your diet (high in sugars).

Foods to consume to rid yourself of Candida:  Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, eggs, yogurt, meats, poultry, fish, oils (flaxseed, olive, sesame, and sunflower), butter, lemon, etc.  See our health store for purity products, fish oils, etc.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008  Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing,, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.