The first diagnosis I received that started me on the path of healing in my early 20s was having Candida overgrowth condition. This one piece of information transformed my life. I finally understood all my symptoms (fatigue, indigestion, headaches, insomnia, depression, inability to concentrate, frequent infections, etc.) were not "all in my head". I stopped seeing a psychiatrist and began the long road to recovery. Although chronic health problems are not EXCLUSIVELY caused by Candida overgrowth - the Candida infection and invasion of the organs is almost ALWAYS a major component of any chronic health issue and addressing it thoroughly is ALWAYS necessary to reach optimal health.
Do you suffer from any of the following? headaches;depression; insomnia; ADD, cravings for sweets/alcohol/bread/cheese; "beer belly"; bloating and gas; constipation and/or diarrhea; skin problems like eczema rashes, and psoriasis; fatigue, chronic muscle pain; cold hands and feet; PMS and more. Child symptoms include: early allergies to milk, chronic infections, cravings for sweets, milk, peanut butter, cheese, poor sleep patterns, too thin or overweight.
These are just a few of the common symptoms people have who suffer from candida infections. In this newsletter I will review with you what Candida is, how we develop chronic infections and an overview of the basic steps to heal the infection and keep your body strong enough to prevent re-infection.
James Jordan,CNC, JD
Create Vibrant Health
What is Candida?
|Candida Albicans under a microscope|
Candida (technically called Candida albicans) is a microorganism in the category of yeast, fungi and mold. It is normal for it to live in small amounts in the digestive system and on other body surfaces. However, under certain circumstances it will invade into deeper tissues and organs where it doesn't belong, such as the liver and kidneys, and become very abundant. Once it gets that far, it entrenches itself as fungi do (think of how hard it can be to get rid of athlete's foot or a fungal toenail). The yeast produces certain chemicals and affects cell functions in ways that create many symptoms, some of which can become serious.
The term "Candida" refers to the general overgrowth of various fungi and yeasts in the body, which flourish under certain circumstances to the point of causing illness. Candida albicans appears to be the most prominent of these microbes.
How to overcome a chronic Candida infection
How Did I Get Candida?
A healthy person has natural protection against Candida overgrowth. The two main parts of that protection are bacterial flora and a type of white blood cells called neutrophils. Candida has become a very common and often serious disease in our modern world, due both to modern practices that suppress these immune functions and to a fermenting diet.
Candida overgrowth and invasion occur when bacterial flora are killed, or when the immune system is suppressed and neutrophils are not as active or abundant. The expansion of Candida is also fostered by eating fermented or aged products and certain sugars, particularly maltose (malt, barley malt, malted barley or maltodextrin).
Four Stages of Candida Invasion
1. Candida overgrowth begins in the body due to exposure to antibiotics, chlorine, alcohol, or other things that either kill normal bacterial flora, suppress normal immunity or provide too much fungal nourishment.
2. Candida invasion of organs begins, with the liver being one of the most affected organs. This is due to the fact that the liver receives a large blood supply directly from the intestines, where Candida overgrowth usually gets its start.
3. Liver changes, cravings and appetite. Appetite (meaning which foods happen to appeal to an individual) is primarily a liver function. As Candida takes up residence in the liver, it chemically influences the appetite, and one usually begins to prefer or even crave those foods that feed Candida - fermented or aged items and certain sugars. The most common form is the craving for foods in the group of chocolate, bread, alcohol (beer, wine or vodka most commonly), aged cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan, etc.) or milk itself, nuts or peanuts, and fruit like apples, grapes or bananas. Less common - but seen in the more seriously affected - is the phenomenon of craving vinegar (includes ketchup and salad dressings) and pickles. In children ages 3-8, the very typical cravings are for milk, cheese, yogurt, macaroni and cheese, or peanut butter.
4. Fermenting diet and further invasion. The consumption of Candida-supporting foods in a steady and increasing fashion (a symptom which develops in most Candida patients) gradually but surely allows the Candida to grow more abundantly and entrench itself more deeply in the tissues of the body. Even if one stops eating these foods, established Candida will persist in the body until it's effectively treated.
To see if you have a candida overgrowth take my .......
Candida overgrowth questionnaire *
*Upon completion of the questionnaire contact my office at 541.482.2250 for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss options for addressing any Candida overgrowth condition you may have. I can customize a program that fits your budget and severity of condition
Three components of program to clear chronic, systemic Candida infection
Plant Derived Anti-fungal Medication
Because plants extend their roots into wet soil, fungal invasion and eventual rot are constant threats to plant life. Nature, therefore, endows plants with anti-fungal chemicals that course through their tubules (their circulatory system) and successfully keep fungi at bay. When this system breaks down, as occurs when a plant is damaged or diseased, plants break apart and soften up as fungus invades. Think of the rotting tree with mushrooms growing on the remaining bark.
Several of the top remedies in this category include: Pau Darco tea, tincture or capsules; Emulsified Oregano Oil, Olive Leaf extract and raw garlic. In addition to these plant based remedies I have found grapefruit-seed extract to be a potent anti-fungal remedy.
I recommend to start slowly with which ever remedy you choose and increase to the maximum dose you can take without die-off of the candida overwhelming your liver and bowel function.
The diet should focus on following these key principles:
- Each meal should have a moderate amount of high quality protein: free-range eggs and poultry, grass fed beef or Bison, wild game, wild-caught fish (moderation), raw nuts and seeds (moderation- and soak in water with GFSE overnight to clear mold).
- Each meal should include a variety of vegetables either steamed, sauteed, raw or juiced. Leafy greens, cruciferous, green beans, peas, smaller amounts of root vegetables.
- Each meal should include high quality fat - coconut oil is the best since it is high in Lauric Acid which is a natural anti-fungal compound found in coconut. Also, olive oil, butter from grass fed cows, high quality flaxseed oil are also beneficial.
- Nuts, seeds and fruits should be eaten in moderation - no more than 1-2 small servings per day. Fruit sugar can feed candida and raw nuts and seeds often have mold on them. As one reduces their Candida load gradually more fruit and whole grains can be added in to the program.
- Grains should be limited to gluten free since gluten intolerance or sensitivity is very common with people who have Candida over-growths. Quinoa, millet, tef and brown rice in moderation are fine.
- Beans, if digestible, are a great source of protein and carbohydrates during this diet and can be eaten as desired.
- Avoid the following to the best of your ability during the first month or two on the program: Alcoholic beverages including beer and wine, refined sugar, fruit juice, dairy (other than butter), gluten grains, all fermented foods including Kombucha, all cheese, vinegar.
Probiotics are supplements which contain live beneficial bacteria which help restore a healthy ecology to the intestines and prevent the return of candida overgrowth. There are numerous probiotic supplements on the market with varying degrees of effectiveness.
The top formulas I have used in my practice over the years include
- Prosynbiotic by Standard Process (See my 3-4 month Candida clearing program)
- Cytoflora from BioRay - a cell-wall lysed probiotic which operates on an entirely different principle than others I've used. I recommend Cytoflora in the early stages of the anti-fungal program (usually first 1-2 months). For a study on the effectiveness of Cytoflora on healing leaky gut Click HERE
- Natren's Healthy Trinity Formula - found in some health food stores.
- LB 17 from Osumex - 17 strain live cultured bacteria. Best introduced after initial clearing phase of program (at 2-3 month period).
For details on my 3-4 month Candida Clearing program including recommendations and doses CLICK HERE.
I hope this information has been helpful to you. Remember if your score on the candida questionnaire is 6 or higher you very likely have a candida infection. Your health will benefit in numerous ways if you take the time and effort to clear up this infection. Contact my office at 541.482.2250 for a free 15 minute consultation in which you can ask me questions about my coaching programs and see if I can help you reach your health and wellness goals.
James Jordan, CNC, JD
*Upon completion of the questionnaire contact my office at 541.482.2250 for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss options for addressing any Candida overgrowth condition you may have. I can customize a program that fits your budget and severity of condition.