Yeast / Candida

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
Symptoms - Allergy  

(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
Symptoms - Gas-Int - General  

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  


Autoimmune  

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk

Lupus patients are at an unusually high risk for contracting candida (yeast) infections.



 


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  


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.



 


Immunity  


Infections  


 


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  


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.



 


Respiratory  


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.



 


Symptoms - Immune System  

(Possible) GI candida overgrowth



 

General fungal/yeast infections



Counter Indicators
Symptoms - Immune System  

Absence of GI candida



Uro-Genital  


 

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
Uro-Genital  



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  


 


Environment / Toxicity  


Immunity  


 

Weakened Immune System

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



Nutrients  


 


 


Organ Health  


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.



 



Yeast / Candida can lead to

Digestion  


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:



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.”



 


 

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.



 


 


 


 


 

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)

Stevia is an excellent natural sweetener and a good way to reduce refined sugar consumption.



 


 


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.



 


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.



 


 


 

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.



 


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

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.

Chronic

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

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.

Hypochlorhydria

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

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.

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.

Acidophilus

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

Simple Carbohydrate

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Anxiety

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

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.

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.

Bacteria

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

IgA

Immunoglobulin A. Supports mucosal immunity.

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.

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.

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.

Estrogen

One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.

Topical

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

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).

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.

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.

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