This is the concluding piece in our sugar free journey with 8 year old Molly who has been diagnosed with candida, a fungus in her gut and mouth. This has caused her quite severe stomach cramps and cold sores on her mouth over a number of years.
If this was a Disney movie, Molly would face down her sugar free cravings and beat her demons - kicking candida out of her life with a cool karate move and some energetic, uplifting music (I can see the scene already…!) However, we don’t live in Hollywood and she’s better at hip hop dancing than karate so unfortunately, this is not a story with a happy ending (to date).
Molly fell at the feet of the sugar demon that is Hallowe’en. Having been shockingly amazing at steering clear of sugar for the previous 6 weeks to the point where she refused jellies from her teacher on the last day of term, Halloween just proved a temptation too far. I had agreed to allow her 10 things from her Halloween haul of about 100 treats to eat whenever she wanted which she inhaled straight away, only coming up for air. Silly me, I thought that would be it until I discovered she had hidden about 30 bags of mini jellies under her wardrobe “accidentally”. Cue complete confiscation of everyones Halloween loot to a safe place in the boot of Dad’s car.
But too late, the damage was done. About 3/4 days later, she started to complain about blisters in her mouth. Thinking she had burnt her mouth on something hot, I took her to the chemist who informed me that no, they were in fact from a fungal infection. Cursing silently under my breath, I quickly returned the cream the chemist had offered me and hightailed it home to check in with Margot, the nutritional therapist. She figured that Molly had more candida in her mouth than her gut and that we would have to start a new protocol to get rid of the fungus in her mouth.
After I finished the howling and gnashing of teeth, I had to get Molly back on board with new probiotics including powders, tablets and mouthwash. But it was too late - she had seen the other “sweet” side and completely refused to recommence the sugar free regime. With Christmas staring us in the face, I relented and after discussions with Margot, we have decided to resume in the New Year. I have explained to other parents in terms that they can relate to that candida is like head lice (I’m quite sure not medically, more nuisance-wise!). It’s hard to get rid of and if you don’t persevere and get rid of all the eggs/fungus it just comes back again and requires further treatment.
Having resumed her relationship with sugar, Molly’s temperament has not been quite so sweet (punny?)! And she has developed a massive cold sore on her lip where she always got them - coincidence? I think not. Useful? I think so. Not I can point out on a daily basis why we need to continue in the New Year with the protocol, if only to get rid of the cold sore.
So that’s our sugar-free journey to date. If you were leaving the cinema after watching our movie, you’d probably be disappointed at the blah ending (and suffering from popcorn belly but that’s another issue for another day!). But if I can leave you with one positive thought - if reading about Molly’s journey has made you more aware of the sugar your family are eating, then that’s a happy ending for you and for me!