The Analyst™

Comprehensive diagnosis of your symptoms

Healthy

  Yeast / Candida  
 
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Signs, symptoms and indicators | Conditions that suggest it | Contributing risk factors | Other conditions that may be present | It can lead to... | Recommendations

 

Candida can be a difficult condition to diagnose, some treatments are less than effective, and recovery can be prolonged. However, when candida is a problem (whether lab testing confirms it or not) and treatment is effective, there can be great health gains. Attempts at diagnosis are made through questionnaires, blood tests, and stool tests. Some doctors use a questionnaire only because of lab test confusion. A comprehensive approach to presumed or documented candida should include:

  1. Eliminate the chronic use of antibiotics, steroids, immune-suppressing drugs, and birth control pills (unless there is absolute medical necessity).
  2. Follow the candida control diet suggestions given below.
  3. Enhance digestion. Check for hypochlorhydria and pancreatic adequacy.
  4. Enhance immune function. Consider thymus-containing products.
  5. Enhance liver function.
  6. Use nutritional and herbal supplements that help control yeast overgrowth and promote a healthy bacterial flora. Many combination preparations are available, and rotating products gives you the opportunity to see which are the most effective and reduces the likelihood of the yeast becoming resistant. Therapy may need to continue for 6 months or longer. Acidophilus supplementation has been shown to be ineffective in candidal infections when used by itself, but can be helpful if a deficiency exists or could be helpful when used in combination with other agents.
Suggested diets are a variation on these basics:
  1. Avoid sugars. Some doctors strongly recommend you cannot have ANY sugar or grains at all on a program and should also eliminate all fruit until the symptoms resolve. Others are less strict and suggest avoiding foods high in simple carbohydrates such as refined sugars (sucrose, fructose, corn syrup), fruit juices, honey, and maple syrup. Limit intake of high carbohydrate vegetables such as potatoes, corn, yams, and parsnips. How strict you need to be will have to be discovered.
  2. Avoid foods with a high content of yeast or mold including alcoholic beverages, cheeses, dried fruits, melons, and peanuts.
  3. Avoid milk and milk products with a high content of lactose.
  4. Avoid all known or suspected allergic foods.
Foods that can be eaten freely include all vegetables, protein sources (legumes, fish, poultry, and meat), and whole grains. Two to three one-cup servings of the following fruit can be eaten per day as well: apples, blueberries, cherries, other berries, and pears.

The most severe cases seem to be associated with the presence of mercury amalgam fillings.

Documenting and diagnosing candidal overgrowth can be very confusing as different doctors interpret lab tests differently. Despite this confusion, many people treated properly for a suspected infection improve significantly over time.
 

 
 

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Yeast / Candida:
 
 
Symptoms - Allergy  (High) intolerance of sugars

Counter-indicators:
  (High) tolerance of sugars

Symptoms - Bowel Movements

  Bowel movement changes
  Mucous in stools
  (Very/tendency to) infrequent stools

Symptoms - Environment

  (High) cigarette smoke sensitivity
  (High) chemical sensitivity

Symptoms - Food - Preferences

  Craving and/craving but not eating wheat

Symptoms - Gas-Int - General

  Meal-related bloating
  General flatulence
  Unexplained nausea

Counter-indicators:
  Absence of meal-related bloating

Symptoms - General

  Having a CFS diagnosis or history of CFS diagnosis

Symptoms - Head - Mouth/Oral

  Coated tongue

Symptoms - Head - Nose

  Allergic rhinitis

Symptoms - Metabolic

  Low stamina

Symptoms - Mind - General

  Spacey/unreal feelings

Symptoms - Nails

  Deformed toenails

Symptoms - Reproductive - General

  Vaginal itching
  Genital sores

Symptoms - Respiratory

  Discomfort caused by mold/mustiness

Symptoms - Skin - General

  Itchy skin
 Candida is one of the main causes of persistent itching.

Symptoms - Sleep

  Drowsiness after meals

Symptoms - Urinary

  Urinary urgency
 
 

Conditions that suggest Yeast / Candida:
 
 
Allergy  Allergies Indoor

Autoimmune

  Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk
 Lupus patients are at an unusually high risk for contracting candida (yeast) infections.

  Crohn's Disease

Circulation

  Mitral Valve Prolapse
 One doctor has reported that over 80% of the women who have been diagnosed as having mitral valve prolapse suffer from an overgrowth of candida albicans.

Diet

  Sugar Craving

Digestion

  IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
 Some doctors believe that many patients who have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or spastic colon, suffer to a degree from a fungus overgrowth of Candida. This condition is more prevalent in men who take repeated courses of antibiotics or who consume lots of sweets, breads and alcohol.

  Increased Intestinal Permeability / Leaky Gut

Immunity

  Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Infections

  Fungal Skin / Nail Infection
  Sinusitis

Mental

  Schizophrenia
 Although psychosis is not a common manifestation of candida, it has occurred. Symptoms have included fatigue, inability to concentrate, depression, mood swings, anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and suicidal or violent tendencies.

Musculo-Skeletal

  General Weakness

Organ Health

  Prostatitis
 A significant number of men with chronic prostatitis have found relief ranging from a cure to welcome reduction of symptom severity after following an anti-candida regimen. The full science behind this phenomenon is incomplete at this time.

  Gallbladder Disease

Respiratory

  Asthma

Skin-Hair-Nails

  Psoriasis
 A number of gut-derived toxins are implicated in the development of psoriasis including endotoxins (cell wall components of gram-negative bacteria), streptococcal products, Candida albicans, yeast compounds, and IgE or IgA immune complexes. These compounds increase the rate of skin cell proliferation dramatically. Candida albicans overgrowth in the intestines (chronic candidiasis) may play a major role in many cases.

  Pruritus Ani

Symptoms - Immune System

  (Possible) GI candida overgrowth
  General fungal/yeast infections

Counter-indicators:
  Absence of GI candida

Uro-Genital

  Vaginitis/Vaginal Infection
  Premenstrual Syndrome PMS A (Anxiety)
 Some researchers suggest systemic candida overgrowth may trigger PMS symptoms by activating an autoimmune response to sex hormones such as estrogen. The normal rise and decline of estrogen in the female monthly cycle could help explain the periodic flare-ups and subsequent quieting of candida symptoms, which can be similar to those of PMS. For women experiencing PMS discomfort who also have a high Candida / Yeast score, treating the candida may improve PMS symptoms.

  Vulvodynia / Vestibulitis
 Cyclic vulvovaginitis is probably the most common cause of vulvodynia and is believed to be caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to Candida. While vaginal smears and cultures are not consistently positive, microbiologic proof should be sought by obtaining candidal or fungal cultures during a symptom-free phase. The diagnosis of cyclic vulvitis is made based on the patient's report of cyclic symptomatic flare-ups (or, conversely, symptom-free days) and by the patient's report of symptomatic improvement after the administration of long-term topical or systemic anticandidal therapy. [Autoimmunity as a factor in recurrent vaginal candidiasis and the minor vestibular gland syndrome. J Reprod Med 1989;34: pp.264-6]


Counter-indicators:
  Vaginitis/Vaginal Infection
 
 

Risk factors for Yeast / Candida:
 
 
Circulation  Anemia, Megaloblastic
 Vitamin B12, B6, biotin and folate help maintain candida in its non-invasive form. A B12 deficiency is one of several conditions that can stimulate candida growth.

Digestion

  Hydrochloric Acid Deficiency
  Digestive Enzyme Need

Environment / Toxicity

  Mercury Toxicity / Amalgam Illness

Immunity

  AIDS / Risk
  Weakened Immune System
 Candidiasis is more common and severe in individuals with weakened immune systems.

Nutrients

  EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Requirement
  Magnesium Requirement
  Vitamin B2 Requirement

Organ Health

  Liver Detoxification / Support Requirement

Supplements and Medications

  Antibiotic use
  Tetracycline use
  Current birth control pill use
  Pain medication use

Symptoms - Food - Intake

  (High) refined sugar consumption
  (High) refined white flour consumption

Symptoms - Gas-Int - General

  History of unexplained nausea

Symptoms - Head - Nose

  History of sinusitis

Symptoms - Immune System

  Past general fungal/yeast infections

Symptoms - Nails

  History of deformed toenails

Symptoms - Respiratory

  History of asthma
 
 

Yeast / Candida suggests the following may be present:
 
 
Circulation  Mitral Valve Prolapse
 One doctor has reported that over 80% of the women who have been diagnosed as having mitral valve prolapse suffer from an overgrowth of candida albicans.

Immunity

  Weakened Immune System
 Candidiasis is more common and severe in individuals with weakened immune systems.

  AIDS / Risk
 
 

Yeast / Candida can lead to:
 
 
Digestion  Increased Intestinal Permeability / Leaky Gut

Mental

  Schizophrenia
 Although psychosis is not a common manifestation of candida, it has occurred. Symptoms have included fatigue, inability to concentrate, depression, mood swings, anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and suicidal or violent tendencies.

Organ Health

  Prostatitis
 A significant number of men with chronic prostatitis have found relief ranging from a cure to welcome reduction of symptom severity after following an anti-candida regimen. The full science behind this phenomenon is incomplete at this time.
 
 

Recommendations for Yeast / Candida:
 
 
Animal-based  Probiotics / Fermented Foods
 The use of probiotics to help keep candidal overgrowth from occurring is a common part of many antifungal programs. However, in a privately funded study, Lactobacillus acidophilus, when used alone as a treatment for candida overgrowth, failed to produce any benefit. L. acidophilus, along with other bacteria, should be used as part of a more comprehensive treatment approach for known or suspected candidal overgrowth.

Other bacteria have proven to be more effective. A product called ThreeLac claims to:
  • Inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria that cause digestive stress
  • Improve digestion of food and absorption of nutrients
  • Stimulate the body’s natural defense mechanism - the immune system
  • Reduce candida overgrowth
For maximum benefit, an anticandidal diet is recommended also.

Botanical

  Garlic
 Liberal consumption of garlic, ginger, cinnamon and other aromatic herbs can have significant antifungal activity.

  Grapefruit / Citrus Seed Extract
 Chronic candidiasis can be successfully treated with grapefruit seed extract according to the many clinics and medical practitioners now prescribing it. Dr Leo Galland, who prescribes it for chronic candidiasis, has reported treatment failure in fewer than 1% of cases, and considers it to be "a major therapeutic breakthrough for patients with chronic parasitic and yeast infections."

  Pau D'Arco / Taheebo
  Oregano Oil
 Place 3 drops of oregano oil into an empty gelatin capsule (or vegicap), or mix the same amount of oil into juice and take 3 times each day. Enteric-coated preparations are better for fighting candida and are available at about 50-100mg of oil per capsule or tablet. Several weeks of continuous use may be required for the anti-fungal properties of oil of oregano to clear up a deep-seated Candida infection.

  Wormwood
  Quassia
  Olive Leaf Extract
  Black Walnut
  Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)
 Stevia is an excellent natural sweetener and a good way to reduce refined sugar consumption.

  Chlorella / Algae Products
  Spilanthes acmella

Detoxification

  Supplemental Fiber
 Candidal toxins can be reduced by using a water-soluble fiber source such as guar gum, psyllium seed, or pectin, which can bind to toxins in the gut and promote their excretion.

  Bentonite Clay

Diet

  Candida / Yeast Diet
  Sugars Avoidance / Reduction
 Avoid foods high in simple carbohydrates such as refined sugars (sucrose, fructose, corn syrup), fruit juices, honey, and maple syrup.

  High/Increased Protein Diet
 A low carbohydrate diet, especially sugars avoidance and reduced grains, is foundational for treating yeast overgrowth. There are many anti candida diet examples available on the Internet.

  Grain-free / Low Starch Diet
  Coconut

Not recommended:
  Increased Fruit/Vegetable Consumption
 Based on their clinical experience and on very preliminary research, several doctors have suggested that a number of dietary factors may promote the overgrowth of Candida. Dried fruits, which are high in sugar, have been blamed for contributing to promotion of Candida overgrowth. Sugars avoidance is a standard recommendation on any anti-candidal diet.

Drug

  Antibiotics
 The most common prescription medications used to treat candidiasis are Nystatin. Diflucan Fluconazole) and Nizoral. Others include Ketoconazol, Monistat (Miconazole), Lamisil (Terbinafine HCl), and Sporanox (Itraconazole). Lamisil is a new fungistatic (stops growth of fungi) and fungicidal (kills fungi) which may replace Diflucan as the drug of choice for treating Candidiasis. Nystatin is the weakest antifungal and many yeast are resistant to it.

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs

  Test for Microbiological Imbalance, Stool
 Genova Labs offers a Candida Intensive Culture through licensed MD and NDs.

This test evaluates blood and stool for immune reactivity to Candida albicans, using the Yeast Culture and Candida IgG antibodies to create a comprehensive profile. It is useful for a wide array of symptoms, including irritable bowel syndrome, low energy, mood swings, and "foggy brain".

Mineral

  Molybdenum
 Acetaldehyde, a toxic byproduct of alcohol use or an overgrowth of Candida, can be converted into acetic acid in the presence of molybdenum and then removed from the body provided there is adequate molybdenum in the diet or through supplementation. Several doctors have reported improved detoxification and increased energy with the use of 100mcg of molybdenum TID for at least 4 months.

  Colloidal Silver

Miscellaneous

  Reading List
 Reading a book such as Dr. Crook's The Yeast Connection can be helpful in understanding the condition, as can spending time on The Yeast Connection website

Vitamins

  Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
 One Osteopath (DO) is known to use intravenous vitamin C followed by intravenous flagyl with good results for candidal overgrowth.
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Strongly counter-indicative
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
May have adverse consequences







GLOSSARY

Acidophilus:  A microflora (good bacteria) that acts as a digestive aid and lives in your intestines helping your body fight disease.

Anxiety:  Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.

Autoimmune Disease:  One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.

Bacteria:  Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.

Biotin:  An essential coenzyme that assists in the making of fatty acids and in the burning of carbohydrates and fats for body heat and energy. It is also essential for function of red blood cells and hemoglobin synthesis.

Bipolar Disorder:  Also known as manic-depression, this disorder is characterized by alternating periods of extreme moods, usually swinging from being overly elated or irritable (mania) to sad and hopeless (depression) and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between. The frequency of the swings between these two states, and the duration of the mood, varies from person to person.

Candidiasis:  Infection of the skin or mucous membrane with any species of candida, usually Candida albicans. The infection is usually localized to the skin, nails, mouth, vagina, bronchi, or lungs, but may invade the bloodstream. It is a common inhabitant of the GI tract, only becoming a problem when it multiplies excessively and invades local tissues. Growth is encouraged by a weakened immune system, as in AIDS, or with the prolonged administration of antibiotics. Vaginal symptoms include itching in the genital area, pain when urinating, and a thick odorless vaginal discharge.

Carbohydrates:  The sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar. Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes, and vegetables like potatoes, squash, and corn.

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Cobalamin:  Vitamin B-12. Essential for normal growth and functioning of all body cells, especially those of bone marrow (red blood cell formation), gastrointestinal tract and nervous system, it prevents pernicious anemia and plays a crucial part in the reproduction of every cell of the body i.e. synthesis of genetic material (DNA).

Colon:  The part of the large intestine that extends to the rectum. The colon takes the contents of the small intestine, moving them to the rectum by contracting.

Estrogen:  One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.

Fructose:  Fructose is a monosaccharide (simple sugar), which the body can use for energy. It is found mostly in fruits, honey and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). HFCS is added to many prepared foods and drinks. It is addictive. A high intake of fructose results in craving for sweets and calories.

Herbs:  Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.

Hormones:  Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.

Hypochlorhydria:  The condition of having low hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach, often the cause of digestive disorders.

IgA:  Immunoglobulin A. Supports mucosal immunity.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome:  (IBS) A condition that causes upset intestines for a long period of time. It is very unpleasant to the sufferer but tends to be harmless and usually does not lead to more serious complaints. The symptoms vary from person to person and from day to day. In order to be diagnosed with IBS, a person must have at least three of the following symptoms: pain in the lower abdomen; bloating; constipation; diarrhea or alternating diarrhea and constipation; nausea; loss of appetite; tummy rumbling; flatulence; mucous in stools; indigestion; constant tiredness; frequent urination; low back pain; painful intercourse for women.

Premenstrual Syndrome:  PMS consists of various physical and/or emotional symptoms that occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle, after ovulation. The symptoms begin about midcycle, are generally the most intense during the last seven days before menstruation and include: acne; backache; bloating; fatigue; headache; sore breasts; changes in sexual desire; depression; difficulty concentrating; difficulty handling stress; irritability; tearfulness.

Protein:  Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.

Psoriasis:  An inherited skin disorder in which there are red patches with thick, dry silvery scales. It is caused by the body making too-many skin cells. Sores may be anywhere on the body but are more common on the arms, scalp, ears, and the pubic area. A swelling of small joints may go along with the skin disease.

Refined Sugar:  The term 'refined sugar' includes not only the “sugar” listed in ingredient listings, but also brown sugar, glucose, fructose and dextrose. Obvious sources include jams and jellies; hidden sources are often mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressings and other condiments.

Simple Carbohydrate:  A simple form of sugar; glucose, lactose, fructose, etc. This type of sugar is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream.

Steroid:  Any of a large number of hormonal substances with a similar basic chemical structure containing a 17-carbon 14-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides.

Topical:  Most commonly 'topical application': Administration to the skin.

Vitamin B6:  Influences many body functions including regulating blood glucose levels, manufacturing hemoglobin and aiding the utilization of protein, carbohydrates and fats. It also aids in the function of the nervous system.

Yeast:  A single-cell organism that may cause infection in the mouth, vagina, gastrointestinal tract, and any or all bodily parts. Common yeast infections include candidiasis and thrush.