The vulvodynia was triggered after a horrible yeast infection. I was "fine" and then I wasn't anymore. I had what I thought was a normal stress level and okay health. I suffered from occasional migraines and 9 months prior to the vulvodynia I started to suffer from painful acid reflux. The doctor told me it was all about getting older. I was 41! My story is just like so many other women who have been stricken by this painful disorder except I figured mine out. I solved my puzzle because it didn't take long to realize that no one else could.
I ran to so many doctors, physical therapist, and psychologist. They all came up empty. I received drugs, toys, and electric instruments all given to me in an effort to "mask" the symptoms. Actually, now I refer to my symptoms as clues.
I have never been a great puzzle solver. In fact, the only game I am good at is "Wheel of Fortune" and that is because they help you by giving you more and more letters. But too much was at stake. So one day, exhausted from the constant burning, I sat down and thought about my body as a whole unit. Not just my vulva but the whole kit and kaboodle. And I had an "ah ha" moment. Acid Reflux is burning in the upper part of my digestion. Could my pain be heartburn in my vulva? I ran to the gastrointestinal doctor. He looked at me like I was nuts. "Could I have heart burn in my vagina?" His reply "I don't believe so." I then replied "Then why do I feel a bit of relief after I take an anti-acid tablet?" His reply "I don't know." While we were talking in his office I glanced down on his desk and saw an image. It was my slightly acid damaged esophagus. It looked like my irratated vagina. I knew I was on to something.
After doing tons of research about acid and alkaline I was convinced this was my issue. Moreover, I discovered that some people can not ingest "weak acids" found in a lot of fruits and some veggies. This is because of a depleted mineral reserve. This reserve is what the body calls upon to neutralize the weak acid in many foods. My body had no way of neutralizing these acids and it was getting dumped in the tissues of my vulva. They would be excreted out my vaginal fluids. This is why sex burned me so much. I went on an alkaline diet minus the foods with weak acids and slowly the vulvodynia dissolved. It took about a year. I had my life back....especially my sex life!
So things went well for another 6 months as I slowly added back some of my favorite "weak acid" foods. Then only a month and a half ago, I over-indulged at my daughters sweet 16 party. After being yeast free for 2 years, I developed a yeast infection. My body could not handle the sugar. I was so scared the vulvodynia would return. But it hasn't. In fact, this recent yeast was just another clue. I have since learned that the yeast or candida depletes the body of these minerals and cause a whole host of other health issues including migraine headaches and acid reflux. So I am no longer battling vulvodynia. I am battling a bigger monster...candida. The underlying cause for this whole mess. My poor diet, stress level, multiple childbirths, and long term use of antibiotics had weakened my immune system. In my weakened state, the flora of my intestestines was disturbed and I had developed systemic candida. I had to heal the vulvodynia first before battling the yeast. I am convinced of that point. There is no way my body could have handled the strong supplements I take to heal.
There is no magic pill or sugery. Just a strong desire to heal my body. I was extremely disciplined. That is how I was healed. I would go 5 steps forward 3 steps back. Some days I doubted myself but I hung in there. I hope others will be inspired to take control over their own bodies. No one knows your body as well as you do. Listen to clues. Make a list of your ailments. Journal your intake. You would be surprised that solving the puzzle only requires a few helpful "clues" to help you get the answer. I got mine!
Good health to all!
Mother of 3, Wife to a wonderful man
Pilates instructor and future nutritional health counselor (enrolled at Institute for Integrative Nutrition)