Ya'll might want to buy this woman's book. Apparently, she cured her multiple sclerosis by curing her candida.
Ya'll might want to buy this woman's book. Apparently, she cured her multiple sclerosis by curing her candida.
The silent epidemic in the United States is Candida albicans overgrowth. One out of three people are suffering from Candida overgrowth. This condition is continually ignored by Western medicine because its symptoms mimic so many other conditions. It is to be taken seriously and is one of the greatest causes of physical imbalance today.
What Is Candida?
Candida albicans is a harmless yeast that naturally lives in everyone's gastrointestinal tract, mucous membranes and on the skin. It lives there in a symbiotic world in a healthy person's body. When your body's ecosystem becomes imbalanced Candida overgrowth can occur thus allowing it to attack any organ or system in your body.
What Causes Candida Overgrowth?
Antibiotics, steroids: cortisone, prednisone, birth-control pills, estrogen replacement therapy, poor diet, chemotherapy, radiation, stress, and alcohol overuse are what cause Candida albicans overgrowth.
The Detriment Of Taking Antibiotics
The United States, because of its protocol of antibiotic overuse, has one of the highest numbers of people with Candida albicans overgrowth. A vicious cycle starts with the use of antibiotics. For example, you have an infection, usually a cold or flu, and you visit your doctor. The problem starts right there because antibiotics are for bacterial infections not viral ones. Antibiotics are useless when it comes to colds and flues. Overuse also creates super germs that are resistant to common antibiotics and these germs that you used to be able to kill off become life threatening.
Nonetheless, you take the antibiotic, which wipes out the good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract but does not affect Candida albicans. Without the friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria present, Candida albicans will multiply. It only takes having had one dose of antibiotics in your lifetime to raise yeast levels in the body. Think about how many times you've had antibiotics in your lifetime along with the antibiotics you get from consuming dairy and animal products.
You're not only dealing with yeast overgrowth but also the fact that Candida albicans puts out 79 toxic by-products, all of which weaken your immune system. One of the major toxins produced from Candida albicans is acetaldehyde, which is transformed by the liver to ethanol (alcohol), creating the feeling of intoxication and brain fog. There have been cases where Candida patients have been pulled over and tested positive with elevated blood alcohol levels above normal.
As the immune system continues to weaken from yeast overgrowth and its toxic by-products, more infections arise and you end up at the doctor's office taking more antibiotics. Thus a vicious cycle has been created.
If yeast overgrowth is not arrested it will change form into a pathogenic (disease producing) fungus with roots causing a myriad of symptoms. This fungus burrows its roots into the intestinal lining, creates leaky gut, allowing the yeast/fungus to go into the bloodstream. This systemic yeast infection is called Candidiasis.
A poor diet (refined sugar, dairy products, fermented foods) and high stress levels keep feeding the yeast overgrowth. Digestion becomes impaired, essential vitamins and minerals are lacking, and healthy cells are not replicated to repair the body. The result is chronic progressive disease over time.
What Candida Albicans Likes To Attack
Candida albicans overgrowth primarily targets the nerves and muscles, yet it can attack any tissue or organ in the body depending on your body's predisposition. The most common symptoms are, indigestion, bloating, gas, fatigue, disorientation, poor memory, numbness, abdominal pain, constipation, attacks of anxiety, depression, irritability and shaking when hungry, incoordination, headaches, rashes, vaginal yeast infections, and urinary frequency. You may experience a few of these symptoms or many to have Candidiasis.
Dr. William Crook, M.D. author of the book "The Yeast Connection" is an expert in Candida and his books describe the condition in detail. I've included his questionnaire so that you can score yourself to become more aware of the symptoms that correlate to Candidiasis.
As time passes without treatment of the Candida albicans overgrowth, your immune system becomes more compromised, and the fungal overgrowth can interfere with nutrient absorption, altering amino acid and protein metabolism, which can alter multiple body functions. These imbalances create a situation in which the Candida overgrowth may be primary or secondary as the core problem, but either way it must be treated.
How To Know If You Have Candida?
The way in which you identify if you have Candida albicans overgrowth is to see a healthcare practitioner that treats this condition. By taking Dr. Crook's test you will have a good idea if Candida is a factor for you. I use his test, along with taking an extensive case history, performing a physical examination, and if needed a blood test and/or stool test to detect Candida albicans overgrowth.
If my patient's test results are negative that does not mean that I won't treat them for the condition because I rely heavily on my examination and their case history. A negative result may also mean the yeast is localized in the gut and is not in the blood.
Emotional and mental imbalances are a common occurrence with Candida albicans overgrowth. Depression is an almost constant component of systemic illness related to chronic yeast growth in the tissues. The reason is the link between the gut and the brain. Leaky gut allows the fungus and toxins to reach the brain, especially with a liver that is overstressed.
Unfortunately negative labels are given when you are imbalanced emotionally/mentally, implying that psychosis or neurosis is your initiating cause. Do not buy into the judgments you may receive from doctors. Search for the right healthcare practitioner that will treat your body/mind as whole.
Once Candida albicans overgrowth has been identified, treatment follows by killing the fungus/yeast and its toxins. It is killed by taking an antifungal supplement and modifying your diet so that there is nothing for the yeast to feed on. Treatment is simple but takes diligence. An antifungal source either herbal or pharmaceutical must be taken. When your condition is mild an herbal compound/supplement is sufficient. If your condition is chronic or severe, Nystatin and/or Diflucan, or strong herbal compounds used by alternative health care practitioners are what I find to be most effective.
Go HERE to see a chart of conditions directly or indirectly caused by Candida Overgrowth (PDF)
Nystatin comes from a soil-based organism that is concentrated and works by directly killing the yeast. It is safe and effective and can be used with pregnant mothers and infants. 1 pill (500,000 units) taken three times a day is usually the recommended dosage for an adult. If the powder, Nilstat, is used a 1/8th tsp. is taken 3 times a day orally either directly on the tongue or mixed with a little water. Work up to three times daily to manage die-off symptoms. The difference with the powder is that it does not contain any dye and kills yeast living in the mouth and esophagus as well in the gastrointestinal tract.
Nystatin is not well absorbed into the bloodstream but with prolonged use it can get into the blood, helping those with autoimmune diseases. The problem is that most doctors prescribe Nystatin for less than 6 weeks. Better results show with a usage of three months or longer. In my case of MS I took Nystatin for two years. If you have a mild case of Candidiasis 3 or 4 months of Nystatin is usually sufficient.
Diflucan (fluconazole), an antifungal synthetic drug, is found to be effective against systemic (in the blood) Candida overgrowth. It is ten times stronger than Nystatin, but it also more toxic to the liver. If Diflucan is used longer than a couple of weeks have your doctor test and monitor your liver enzymes. When you have symptoms of depression or any mental imbalance, Diflucan can give you a jump-start on eradicating the fungus. I recommend taking one Diflucan pill (4 pills total), every other day for the first week and then switching to Nystatin because it is safer and can be monitored better. Unlike Diflucan, Nystatin permeates the areas of the GI tract where yeast overgrowth usually originates and it is essential to tackle both the blood and the gut in a chronic or severe case.
If your case is mild or a pharmaceutical antifungal cannot be secured there are many good herbal compounds available. Ones that I recommend are Candida Cleanse by Rainbow Light or Fungal Defense by Garden of Life (available at health food stores). If you cannot get either one then look for yeast eliminating products at your health food store containing a mixture of some of the following ingredients: Pau D'arco, Oregon grape root, garlic, berberine, undecylinic acid, caprylic acid, black walnut, grapefruit seed extract, and oregano oil, ginger, gentian root, marshmallow, and fennel. * Work up slowly to the maximum dose.
Note that starting a program of food elimination and taking an antifungal can create a Herxheimer reaction, in which you experience die-off symptoms from killing the yeast. Basically you may feel worse before you feel better. To assist with this process make sure that your elimination pathways are open such as the liver, bowel, kidneys, lungs, and skin.
A daily bowel movement is essential. If needed take fiber powder, a source with citrus pectin's, flax seed, or rice bran, not one with psyllium in it as it can create more gas and bloating. Gentle Fibers by Jarrow is a good fiber product. Take 1 level tbsp. in 10 oz. of water. Increase dosage in a week if needed. Drink a quart of red clover tea (hot or cold) daily to assist with cleansing the blood, liver, and kidneys. To make the tea boil 1 quart of filtered water and turn it off. Add 3 tea bags of red clover and let it steep for 15 minutes. Also engage in doing deep breathing several times a day to helps to remove toxins from the lungs. Exercise if you feel you can. Brisk walking or yoga is sufficient.
Symptoms of Die-Off
Flu-like symptoms, headaches, aches, or abdominal distress may be present as part of your detox process. If your die-off symptoms are too intense cut down on your dosage of the antifungal and increase it slowly as you feel you can handle it. Stick with the program and work with your healthcare practitioner. Having these symptoms usually means that you are on the right track because toxins are pouring out into the bloodstream. After a couple of days to a week these initial symptoms will pass. Consume as much water as possible in addition to drinking the red clover tea.
The other essential ingredient to killing off the fungus/yeast is making dietary changes. All sugars, dairy products, refined carbohydrates, yeast products and wheat need to be eliminated for as long as you take the antifungal. Wheat does not directly feed yeast but I find it to be a common food sensitivity and it is good idea to eliminate in it the beginning. Mild cases of Candida albicans overgrowth usually take 6 weeks to three months to feel better. For severe conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, myasthenia gravis, six months to two years may be necessary to feel the full effects. The excess yeast must be starved off, which can only take place by taking an antifungal and following a Candida-free diet. Doing one without the other does not produce positive results. Both the antifungal and diet must be done simultaneously and for a long enough period of time.
What To Do Once You Are Well
For chronic Candida albicans overgrowth cases it is important to take an herbal antifungal compound (Candida Cleanse) each day for the rest of your life at a reduced dose, increasing it during times of travel and holiday festivities. Candida albicans overgrowth can come back even more virulent if not kept in check. You can rotate with other antifungal products to make sure you are getting the full benefits from being on them. For more mild cases once you finish your program stay on a probiotic (good bacteria) lifetime to maintain a healthy GI tract. Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics 12 Plus by Essential Formulas is an excellent brand.
Moderation with your diet needs to be practiced once you stop your treatment. Take care with indulging in foods that contain sugar, dairy, yeast, and refined carbohydrates from here on out. A good way to be moderate is to eat healthy Monday through Friday and on the weekends enjoy a little of the "no-no" foods. If you notice food intolerances and reactions, such as a rapid pulse rate 90 to 180 beats per minute after eating, fatigue, internal itching, gas, bloating, headache, hives, stay away otherwise you might ignite another fire.
No Side Effects
The good news is that following the Candida albicans elimination protocol cannot harm you. The regime consists of cleaning up your diet and taking an antifungal. This is a protocol in which most everyone can benefit from doing. There are many good references now available to help you become educated, see resources.
Candida Diet - Foods To Eat
MEATS (Antibiotic & Hormone free)
Beef (small amounts - 1x/wk)
Flaxseed (not used for cooking)
Olive Oil (good to cook with)
Sesame Oil (not used for cooking)
Sunflower Oil (not used for cooking)
GRAINS (Whole - not refined)
Pasta (whole grains that are not wheat)
*If gluten intolerant stay away from barley, oats, rye, spelt
NUTS & SEEDS (Raw)
DAIRY (Antibiotic & Hormone Free)
All (except mushrooms)
Moderate potato (1-2/x wk)
Apple cider vinegar (raw & unfiltered - refrig.)
Fresh herbs (i.e. basil, parsley, etc.)
Spices (without additives, sugar, MSG, etc.)
Water - filtered
Herbal Teas (red clover, peppermint, etc.)
Mineral water w/no sugar (Perrier, etc.)
BEANS & LEGUMES*
All (except fermented soy products, i.e. miso, tempeh)
*Good to eliminate this group for the first month - then eat only 3x/week
Carob - unsweetened
Salsa (fresh w/ no vinegar or sugar)
FRUITS (1 per day)
Apples (granny smith - peeled)
All Berries (don't eat if visibly moldy)
* Stay away from common allergen foods if allergic (citrus fruits, corn, milk, tomatoes, wheat)
Candida Diet - Foods To Avoid
Processed & Packaged meats
Processed oils - label reads partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils
NUTS & SEEDS
All cheeses including cottage cheese
Cow & Goats Milk
Breads (unless wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar free)
Cereals (unless wheat, dairy and sugar free)
All vinegars (except apple cider vinegar - raw & unfiltered)
Jams & Jellies
Salad Dressings (unless no added sugar and only raw apple cider vinegar is used)
Spices with yeast, sugar of additives added
Gum (except xylitol sweetened)
Processed Foods (TV. dinners, etc.)
Smoked, Dried, Pickled or Cured Foods
BEANS & LEGUMES
No fermented soy products (i.e. miso, tempeh)
Sodas (Diet & Regular)
Teas - Caffeine (except green tea)
Dried fruits (prunes, raisins, etc.)
Brown rice syrup
Fruit juice sweetened
Raw cane juice crystals
* Stay away from common allergen foods if allergic (citrus fruits, corn, milk, tomatoes, wheat).