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Killing your Candida


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 flu's. 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.

Antibiotic

Taken from William G. Crook, The Yeast Connection Handbook, Professional Books, 2000. Used with permission.

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/Mental Imbalances
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.

Treatment
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.

Herbal Antifungals
If your case is mild or a pharmaceutical antifungal cannot be secured there are many good herbal compounds available. Ones that I recommend are the Candida Cleanse by The Green Herb (available on our website) or a combination of 3 of the following Herbs listed below, including a high qaulity probiotic. 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.

Die-Off Reactions
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.

Dietary Changes
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.

ietary Changes
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.

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)
Chicken
Fish
Lamb
Turkey

OILS (Cold-pressed)


Flaxseed (not used for cooking)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good to cook with)

Coconut Oil (high heat cooking)
Sesame Oil (not used for cooking)
Sunflower Oil (not used for cooking)

GRAINS (Whole - not refined)

Amaranth
*Barley
Brown Rice
Buckwheat
Millet
*Oats
Pasta
(whole grains that are not wheat)
Quinoa
*Rye

Spelt

Sprouted Grains (Ezekiel bread)

*If gluten intolerant stay away from barley, oats, rye, spelt

NUTS & SEEDS (Raw)

Almonds
Brazil
Chestnuts
Hazelnuts
Macadamia
Pecans
Pumpkin Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Sunflower
Walnuts



DAIRY (Antibiotic & Hormone Free)

Butter
Eggs

Kefir (plain)

Yogurt (plain)

VEGETABLES

All (except mushrooms)
Moderate potato (1-2/x wk)

CONDIMENTS

Apple cider vinegar (raw & unfiltered - refrig.)
Fresh herbs (i.e. basil, parsley, etc.)
Dry Mustard
Pepper
Sea salt
Spices (without additives, sugar, MSG, etc.)

DRINKS

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

MISCELLANEOUS

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)
Coconut
*Grapefruit
*Lemons/Limes
 

SWEETENERS

Stevia
Xylitol

* Stay away from common allergen foods if allergic  (citrus fruits, corn, milk, tomatoes, wheat)

 

Candida Diet - Foods To Avoid

MEATS

Processed & Packaged meats
Hamburgers
Hot Dogs
Sausage

OILS

Peanut Oil
Processed oils - label reads partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils

VEGETABLES

Corn
Mushrooms
 

NUTS & SEEDS

Cashews
Peanuts
Pistachios

DAIRY

All cheeses including cottage cheese
Buttermilk
Cow & Goats Milk
Ice Cream
Margarine
Sour Cream
Yogurt

GRAINS

Breads (unless wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar free)
Cereals
(unless wheat, dairy and sugar free)
Corn
Kamut
Pastries
White Rice
White Flours
Wheat

CONDIMENTS

All vinegars (except apple cider vinegar - raw & unfiltered)
Catsup
Gravy
Jams & Jellies
Mustard
Pickles
Relish
Salad Dressings (unless no added sugar and only raw apple cider vinegar is used)
Sauces
Soy sauce
Spices with yeast, sugar of additives added
Tamari
Worcestershire

MISCELLANEOUS

Candy
Cookies
Chocolate
Coffee
Donuts
Gelatin
Gum
(except xylitol sweetened)
Fried Foods
Muffins
Pastry
Pizza
Processed Foods (TV. dinners, etc.)
Smoked, Dried, Pickled or Cured Foods

BEANS & LEGUMES

Peas
No fermented soy products (i.e. miso, tempeh)
 

DRINKS

Alcohol
Coffee
Fruit juices
Sodas (Diet & Regular)
Teas - Caffeine (except green tea)

FRUITS

Apricots
Bananas
Cherries
Currants
Dates
Dried fruits (prunes, raisins, etc.)
Figs
Grapes
Kiwi
Mangos
Melons
Nectarines
Oranges
Papayas
Pears
Peaches
Pineapple
Plums
Pomegranates
Tangerines

SWEETENERS

Aspartame (NutraSweet)
Barley malt
Brown rice syrup
Brown sugar
Corn syrup
Dextrose
Fructose
Fruit juice sweetened
Honey
Maltodextrin
Maple Syrup
Molasses
Raw cane juice crystals
Sorbitol
Sucralose
White sugar

* Stay away from common allergen foods if allergic  (citrus fruits, corn, milk, tomatoes, wheat).

Article Posted By - sfeldman
Article Date - February 27, 2008, 5




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