Everybody lives with bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms within their bodies. These microbes live in the throat, mouth, nose, intestinal tract, and other mucus membranes. Candida is one of these microorganisms whose job is to decompose or eat up putrefied food matter in the digestive tract that is left behind due to low stomach acid. Almost everyone will deal with an overgrowth of candida sometime in their lifetime. In fact, as soon as a baby is born, they have most likely already been exposed to candida.
There are more than 80 different kinds of candida. Candida Albicans and Candida Glabrate are two of the most common types of infections caused by opportunistic yeast that naturally lives in the intestinal tract, inside the mouth and other mucous membranes. When the body is functioning normally, candida is a fungus that helps us absorb nutrients through decomposition and aids in digestion. The problems with candida begin to show up when things get out of balance, and candida begin to over produce. This can be triggered by antibiotics, birth control pills, eating too much refined sugar or drinking too much alcohol as well as other invaders that upset the pH levels. The problem with antibiotics is due to the fact that they kill both good and bad bacteria, and you need a way to replenish the good.
If you have a problem with candida, you may experience mental fog, chronic fatigue with no energy even after a good night’s sleep, constipation, becoming easily irritated, weight gain, intense sugar cravings, bad breath, joint pain, recurring infections especially vaginal or of the urinary tract, chronic sinus issues and allergies, a white coating on the tongue called oral thrush, skin breakouts, insomnia, anxiety, depression, along with skin and nail fungal infections.
By the age of six months, approximately 90 percent of babies test positive for candida. By adulthood, almost all humans have candida. If you have ever taken antibiotics, been treated for cancer, are very young or elderly, or have a weakened immune system, you will most likely experience issues with candida. Diabetics have a higher chance of developing candida issues since it is a yeast which feeds on sugar. Oral candida can be passed between mother and child to her newborn, and shared child to child or with others through the saliva.
Though all share similarities, it seems every expert on natural remedies has their own version of the best way to clear candida. I would suggest to work with a Naturopath who knows your history and can closely work with you to bring balance to your gut.
Simple Home Test
First do a test to see if you have candida. Fill a glass with water, and set it by your bedside. First thing in the morning when you wake up, spit about a dime-sized piece of saliva into the water. Does the saliva grow legs, sink to the bottom or float. If it sinks to the bottom or grows legs, candida is probably your problem
Steps to Bring Balance
- Candida cleanse – The cleanse gets rid of excess candida by flushing out the digestive tract and then introduces fermented veggies and kefir. Liquid cleanse uses a vegetable broth, or a cleanse that includes food of steamed vegetables and eliminating grains, sugars, fruits, and alcohol for a few days. Another option for a cleanse is start with all liquids and gently progress to adding foods.
- Purge the pathogens – Antifungals and herbal bontanicals do this.
- Repopulate with good bacteria – Add specific strains of pro-biotics.
- Heal the leaky gut – Using marshmallow root and healing bone broth, okra, aloe, and cactus.
- Rebuild and re-balance hydrochloric acid – A lot of stomach issues really have to do with too little hydrochloric acid instead of too much.
Foods to Avoid
Slash inflammation- Avoid foods that help fester and feed the yeast. For at least the first three months or during the cleansing phase, you should avoid sugar, yeast, fresh and dried fruit, mushrooms, refined foods, fermented products, caffeine, dairy and nuts. Additionally, alcohol should be avoided. The trick is that sugar comes in more forms than just the refined version. Fruits should be avoided or limited because of their natural sugars especially fruits like pineapple, mango, plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, oranges, mandarins, bananas, grapes, all dried fruits, apricots, and raisins. Use enzymes to clean up the gut. Add bone broth, aloe, and turmeric.
Foods that Help
I am extremely strict about food intake when it comes to candida. Some Naturopaths are very careful about these restrictions, because they don’t want to stress the client. But if you eliminate all the candida causing foods right away the healing will come faster. Then you can gradually add foods that have been eliminated. Nuts and seeds are a fantastic way to get protein and other nutrients. Leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, arugula, kale, dandelion, spinach, silver beet, endive, or Bok choy are helpful. Root vegetables, cruciferous veggies, vine vegetables, onions and garlic are good. Eliminate grains like quinoa, barley, sorghum, and amaranth for a month then gradually add them to your diet one grain at a time. Gradually add in goat milk kefir for a healthy probiotic as well as fermented vegetables, kimchi and sauerkraut and unsweetened cranberry juice. For maintenance, you should eat a diet that is high in protein and high-fiber veggies while limiting the grains, fruits, high-starch vegetables and sugar while eating some amounts of fermented vegetables and kefir.
Since candida tends to bring on mental fog, lack of clarity in thinking, sleep disturbances, and mood swings, it’s no wonder that there is an emotional component involved. Not only does the discomfort of candida overgrowth effect the one suffering from it, it will most likely have a negative impact on those around you as well.
Herbs and Vitamins that Help
- A combination of a fatty acid called Calcium Undecylenate, Pau d ’Arco, Berberine and a vegetarian enzyme blend promotes a healthy gut.
- Caprylic acid which is a fat soluble short chain fatty acid found in human breast milk and coconuts.
- Fresh herbs such as basil, sage, thyme, mint, coriander, chives, marjoram, oregano, garlic, rosemary, parsley and ginger.
- After the detox phase, acidophilus and bifidus and other probiotics will be introduced back into your system. Krill oil and Omega fatty acids are also important.
- Vitamin C helps to boost the adrenal glands and supports a healthy immune system.
- Milk thistle helps to detox the liver.
- Bentonite clay helps to surround toxins and then cleanse them out of your body.
- Coconut oil is beneficial for candida overgrowth.
Since one main spot candida lives is within the intestines, it only makes sense that there will be intestinal distress with candida. This may include bloating, constipation, diarrhea, constant burping, gas, or cramping.
Essential Oils that May Help
Clove, oregano, and myrrh oil are great to use for addressing candida fungi. Lavender is another great choice to use to help prevent spreading the infection. Add a few drops of clove or lavender oil to coconut oil. Experts differ on the safety of ingesting essential oils, but even if you use it topically, it has proven benefits. Gargling with a couple drops of clove oil combined with coconut oil may help with candida symptoms in the mouth.
The discomfort of candida overgrowth is enough to create anxiety and raise stress levels, but it’s important to be patient during the cleanse and healing process as well since killing off the candida quickly has a tendency to trigger a metabolic reaction that sends more than 70 toxins throughout the body. If the candida cleanse is working, you may experience lessened brain function, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, intestinal distress, sweating, fever, flu-like symptoms, sinus infections, and breakouts on the skin. While, this may muster greater levels of stress for fear the cleanse is not working, take heart and be encouraged that the truth of it is that the worst is almost over. These symptoms usually don’t last more than a week to ten days, and then you will experience less stress with more focus and energy if you trudge on through the rough days.
Hormones That Affect or Are Affected
One of the signs that candida overgrowth has spread beyond the intestinal tract is that you experience signs of hormonal imbalance with factors that act like estrogen. You may experience early menopause, PMS, lack of desire for sex, endometriosis, migraine headaches, mood swings, retain water, and excess weight gain that you just can’t seem to shake. Birth control pills may contribute to yeast infections. Taking oral corticosteroids and asthma inhalers increase your risk for candida getting out of control, and insulin levels in diabetics make them more susceptible to having issues with candida.
Asthma Treatments and Candida – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12839324
Cancer Treatments and Candida – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15907554
Chronic Fatigue and Candida – https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/
Coconut Oil and Candida – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651080
Essential Oils and Candida – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16178366
DaVinci Protocol – http://www.naturaltherapycenter.com/candida-treatment-protocol/
Dr. Axe Protocol – https://draxe.com/candida-symptoms/
Christa Orecchio Protocol – https://thewholejourney.com/