Some people, like myself, love a good horror flick and one of the enjoyed genres is parasitic lifeforms taking over our bodies and beginning a reign of terror. AMC has a decent list of their top ten parasite movies that includes a couple of my favs, The Puppet Masters and Alien. The idea that something is living inside us, slowly killing us and maybe even taking over our bodies is truly terrifying. In The Puppet Masters, the alien parasites actually tap into our nervous system and brains and control our bodies. Our minds are lost and we are stuck suffering doing their will and bidding until they are ready to move onto the next warm blooded body. I think that is worse than having an alien egg laid in my chest, only to pop out and kill me as it’s being born, but that’s just me!
So how does this relate to this blog? More than you think… How do storytellers come up with this stuff, right? We all know of parasites in our real life worlds: ticks, leeches, tapeworms, etc. They are creepy crawlies that gross us out and have the potential to cause fear and panic because of diseases that may be associated with these things, some can lead to our deaths. However, there is a more insidious parasite (or parasites) out there that most people don’t even consider. It’s of the kind I mentioned, the kind that will take over your brain and make you do things you wouldn’t normally want to do.
Thinking back to my sugar blogs, and also based on a recent Facebook “conversation”, people crave foods. Our bodies get messages to the brain to tell them what needs to be fed. If you have a mineral deficiency, you may crave something salty since natural salt has so many minerals in it. But if you are using highly processed, iodized table salt, that craving will not go away. You find yourself craving more and more foods with no results. But this is a deficiency… not a parasite… What would be something that can be parasitic in nature, causing us to go crazy with food cravings and sending us on food binges against our will? You know the type! You go for a late night run to a fast food restaurant, or a store or gas station convenience store to get what you think your body is telling you to get because it just has to have it. You know with every fiber of your being that this isn’t good for you but you are helpless to stop it.
Now let me get this straight right now: food cravings are there for a reason. There is a reason that we are typically helpless against them. It’s not a matter of “will power”. Someone that continues to crave and eat unhealthy foods isn’t lazy and weak! This is a common perception – that if you know it’s bad for you, you just need to not eat it. It isn’t that simple. Tell a pregnant woman to not eat ice cream because it isn’t healthy and see what happens! And like a pregnant woman craving food, it is a way for our bodies to communicate what we need. The problem arises, however, when our bodies are out of whack and we crave things we think we need, but we are really craving what something else in our bodies need.
Sugar cravings, for example, could very well be because of a yeast overload. Anyone that has fermented anything knows that yeast feeds on sugar. So what do you think happens when there is too much yeast in your body? It east the glucose that exists in your body, then your body sends messages out that our brain picks up to say “Eat more sugar!” Then you run to the nearest store and get a large bag of M&Ms, right? To cure this particular issue, you need to seek help, preferably from a natropathic doctor or a nutritionist, to help rebalance the yeast issues. Can you rid of yeast through prescription medications? I don’t know for sure but if so, it’s not the path I recommend. What happens when you stop the medication but have not changed your eating habits and you continue to ingest far more yeast than you need? It will happen all over again. (Wellness Mama has more on yeast overload and how to help rid of it, but I highly recommend working with a professional as well, especially since die off symptoms can be very bad!)
Yeast isn’t a true parasite as far as classification goes. It’s currently classified as a fungus; however, fungi obtain food by releasing enzymes that cause decomposition. So they act like a parasite and when inside a living host, such as our bodies, we are causing the decay (think, fermenting) of our tissue and especially of any food in our bodies. If we have a slowed digestive system (as most Americans do thanks to a bad diet, but I’ll get to that in a second) then food sits in our digestive tract for an extended period of time. This allows for things like yeast to thrive because it gives them time to break down that food and it rots in our tummies. Yup, there is a real-life, gory horror flick going on right now inside our stomachs!
Yes, I said it, most people are fermenting food in their stomach and intestines without even knowing it. Gas, indigestion and other, even more painful, symptoms are evidence of this! A slowed digestion is the more likely cause of the average American’s indigestion issues than too much acid production. We’ve all seen the ads for over the counter and prescription medications for indigestion and the common idea is that there is just too much acid in our tummies and it comes back up the esophagus causing heart burn; over time there is damage to the esophagus which has its own list of problems. We run to get some meds, take them and hail their positive results… until the heart burn comes back, even while still on the meds. So you take increasing doses or mix meds to try and get it under control again. But seriously, when this happens, one can question the treatment and even the cause. What if it isn’t too much acid production? Chances are, it isn’t. Chances are, it’s the fact that food isn’t digesting and it’s just sitting there, rotting. It leaves less room for normal acid production so the acid comes back up your esophagus instead. The more you take meds to stop acid production, the less the food can be digested. This will lead to a plethora of problems, yeast overload being one of them. I was able to get control of my chronic indigestion and heart burn when I started seeing my nutritionist and began taking Zypan, which is Standard Process’s supplement that includes hydrochloric acid. Yes, it’s more stomach acid and it works like a charm!
So, be careful about how much candy you consume this Halloween! You may inadvertently be the battleground for your very own, personal parasite horror flick!