Candidiasis (Candida) – Do You Have These Symptoms
Candida Albicans is a yeast (fungal) form that inhabits your gut, skin and vagina and when it gets out of control it can cause a myriad of symptoms which are often vague and seem unrelated. When the overgrowth becomes systemic (throughout your body) it can be the cause of major health problems both physical and mental. Here is a list of the physical signs which relate most directly to candida infection (print this list and tick the boxes):
Thick white/yellow fur in the middle of the tongue which looks worse in the mornings;
Flatulence or burping;
Anal itching (this could also be parasite or worm infestation);
Bloating after eating;
Mucus in stools;
Thrush which flare ups after intercourse;
Athlete’s foot &/or tinea of the groin;
Burning and redness of the eyelids;
Muscle pains and soreness especially in the hamstrings, low back and neck;
Postnasal drip (while eating food, gardening or just being outdoors)
A need to frequently urinate often with a burning sensation;
Fluid retention (if a number of other symptoms are also present);
Sensitivity to chemicals (perfumes & cosmetics), food, smoke fumes, and suffering from many allergies;
Being told by your doctor, “Its all in your head”;
Constant bouts of fatigue, drowsiness, mood swings, anger, irritability, defensiveness;
Frequent headaches and migraines;
Brain fog, poor concentration, poor memory, frustration;
A craving for sweet things or simple carbohydrate foods & constantly feeling hungry;
A dry blotchy red face.
Inflammation of the nail cuticles
Why Have I Got Candida?
Certain factors predispose people to getting a candida overgrowth;
Use of broad spectrum antibiotics without replacement probiotics
A period of unrelenting stress (work/family/location)
Pregnancy (possibly because copper accumulation increases during pregnancy)
Diabetes, hyperglycemia, adrenal exhaustion
Living in a humid climate coupled with one or more of the other factors
Poor digestion and diet deficiencies
High copper tissue levels
What can I do to Improve my Health?
If you have ticked a number of boxes it is more than likely you have candida overgrowth. What to do about it? Follow the 4 steps below.
Anti-Candida Eating Plan
1. Immediately adopt an anti-candida eating plan. Candida thrives on sugars and carbohydrates that break down into sugars easily in the body such as bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and grain based flours. The eating plan is about avoiding these foods and sticking to foods low on the glycemic index. Go to the end of this article and print off the plan which shows the foods to eat and those to avoid in your diet. Sticking to the diet can be hard work but having done so you will feel much better and any sugar cravings and most if not all symptoms will have disappeared. If you stray from the plan don’t think all is wasted and give up, start again and do your best.
Products That Can Help
2. There are various things you can take to compromise candida but in my experience they will not be totally effective in eliminating candida unless you stick to step 1.
When candida dies off in the body it creates toxic compounds which can exacerbate your symptoms often leading people to either give up on step 1 or think they must be doing something wrong. Headaches and flu like symptoms are common. Symptoms can be lessened if the body’s pathways of elimination – liver, kidneys and bowels (i.e. no constipation) – are clear. This is particularly important if you have sensitivities to food and chemicals. Liver and kidney support can be obtained from your health food store or naturopath. Senna tea is good for overcoming constipation and there are other things apart from laxatives. Drink plenty of filtered water – at least 1.5 litres per day.
As candida attaches itself to the gut wall it can cause damage and allow undigested foods into your system (leaky gut) causing “allergies” and “intolerances” and overloading the liver and kidneys. Aloe vera juice taken twice daily (about 30 ml) can help heal the gut. If diarrhea results cease taking the aloe vera or reduce the amount.
Citrus extract (grapefruit seed extract) is a powerful killer of candida. Beware however as the symptoms of a massive candida dieback can be very unpleasant. Start with a small number of drops (say 5 x twice per day before meals) in vegetable capsules (the extract is bitter and astringent to swallow in water although you can have it that way) and build up the number of drops per day over a 2 – 3 week period. If at any point the symptoms are too much stop the drops for a day and recommence at the point before excessive symptoms appeared. It is likely that the citrus extract is affecting your gut bacteria as it is a contact killer. In my view it is pointless taking probiotics whilst using the extract but immediately after ceasing commence a course of probiotics.
Diflucan is a one tablet solution and inAustralia is now available over the counter at a chemist. My experience both personally and as a practitioner is that it only works in mild cases and is not a substitute for the candida eating plan and other measures mentioned here when the overgrowth is significant and symptoms are many. Symptoms may lessen but return fairly quickly unless your whole person is in balance in particular your level of stress.
Nystatin is a drug available on prescription from your doctor which will help rid you intestines of candida. Because the yeast form candida albicans is in the environment it can re-infect you quite easily if you have not take steps to create a different gut environment, reduce your stress levels and improve your digestion and immunity.
Pau D’arco is a South America herb and has been used for centuries for the symptoms of a dysfunctional bowel. It has a compromising effect on candida. It is available in capsules or as a tea from your health food store. Tea is more effective. Pregnant and breast feeding women should not take it. Do not take in large quantities because it can weaken your immune system.
Kolerex Advanced Intestinal Care is a product made in New Zealand and contains Horopito leaf and Anise seed. The Maori people used Horopito as a pain killer and for ringworm, venereal and skin infections. It has been the subject of a study by theUniversity of Canterbury in New Zealand which showed it to have powerful anti-fungal properties.
Probiotics which are available from your health food store should be taken while you are on the eating plan unless you are taking citrus extract. Healthy gut flora helps keep yeast, moulds and fungal forms in check.
Black walnut, olive leaf extract, coconut oil, tea tree oil and oregano oil all have anti-fungal properties and should be considered for use in conjunction with those items mentioned above or as alternatives. Tea tree oil is very effective in treating tinea. Alternating what you are using to treat the candida is a good thing.
The link between Excess Tissue Copper Levels and Candidiasis
3. Candida overgrowth is associated with high tissue copper levels and relatively low zinc levels (zinc low relative to copper). Candida is kept under control in your gut by your immune system and good bacteria. High tissue copper levels tend to have a dampening effect on the immune system as does stress and lack of specific vitamins and minerals. A hair mineral analysis will give you a good indication of your copper/zinc ratio. For proper immune function you need a balance of zinc, copper, iron, selenium and molybdenum together with vitamins A, C & E. It is interesting that copper is an antagonist of zinc, iron, selenium and molybdenum and vitamin C. Note that vitamin E is destroyed by estrogens in the birth control pill and by some drugs including aspirin. You need to get enough of these vitamins and minerals in your diet and/or supplements. These nutrients will also bring down your copper levels. Other things that can help boost your immunity are echinacea, astragalus and garlic.
Stress – A Common Factor
4. I find the common factor with people who have candida overgrowth is that they have all had at some point in their lives a significant period of ongoing stress and/or have taken multiple courses of antibiotics for reoccurring bacterial infections – a sign of a weakened immune system. Antibiotics have their place but should always be followed by probiotics and foods which encourage healthy gut flora. Sugars should be avoided as much as possible. Stress often leads to an over reliance on stimulants such as coffee, tea and alcohol which have the effect of depleting the body of water soluble vitamins. These are B vitamins, vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Diuretics also affect the body’s ability to retain zinc and magnesium. Alcohol affects gut flora health. Most candida suffers have poor digestion and improving this will help tremendously. See my article on digestive problems. Kinesiology is a very good modality to help you deal with the stress in your life. Have a read of my article “Why Kinesiology” as this will give you a sense of how shining a light on you habitual responses to situations in your work and family life can be broken making life less stressful. Less stress equals better immunity and a healthier happier person.
Anti-Candida Eating Plan
All vegetables except those listed in Foods to Avoid
Meats, Fish & Dairy
All Meats (except those listed in Foods to Avoid)
All Fish and Seafood
All Poultry and Game
Lemons & Limes & Avocados
Nuts & Seeds
Cashew Spread, Almond Spread, Tahini (have these on pieces of celery), Butter
Vegetable Juices (no fruit), Spring or Filtered Water, Herbal Teas can contain moulds so don’t go overboard on substituting these for tea and coffee. Make herbal teas from raw ingredients like sage, mint or peppermint
Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Canola Oil, Fish Oil, Coconut Oil
(Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Fish Oils help compromise candida)
Foods to Avoid
Breads, Pastas, Rice, Millet, Buckwheat, Oats, Corn Flour, Wheat, Rye, Maize Flour, Rice Flour, Buckwheat Flour
Cooked Carrot, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms, Sweet Corn
Cakes, Confectionary & Drinks
Cakes, Pastries, Biscuits, Lollies, Chewing Gum, Chocolates, Crackers, Deserts, Ice Cream, Soft Drinks, Cordials, Fruit Juices, Alcohol, Tea, Coffee, Milk, Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Goats Milk, Sheep’s Milk
Processed Foods & Sweeteners
Vinegars, Mayonnaise’s, Sauces and Chutney’s, Jams, Vegemite, Marmite, Honey, Maple Syrup, Golden Syrup, Margarine, Peanut Butter and all spreads except those listed in the “Allowable Foods” list,
All fruits (tomatoes are a fruit) including dried fruits
Note: Leftovers should be refrigerated immediately and eaten ideally the next day as yeast and moulds can grow on them. Any dietary supplement you are taking should be yeast and sugar free.
Sources: Candida, the symptoms, the causes, the cure by Luc De Schepper M.D. Ph. D C.A., The Nutrient Bible by Henry Osiecki (Seventh Ed.), Visual Textbook of Nutritional Medicine by Dr Igor Tabrizian M.D.; Trace Elements and Other Essential Nutrients by Dr. David L. Watts D.C., Ph.D., F.A.C.E.P.
 Other symptoms are; hemorrhoids, heartburn, bad breath, sinus problems with a loss of smell and taste, weight loss or gain without changing diet, lack of coordination, suicidal thoughts, depression, PMS, loss of sexual desire, impotence, endometriosis, menstrual irregularities, prostatitis and pain above the area of the appendix (ileocecal valve is open). These symptoms may have causes other than candida overgrowth.
 If you have little white flecks on your finger nails this is indicative of a copper/zinc imbalance. Copper excess is associated with arthritis, fatigue, raised cholesterol, hypoglycaemia, thyroid dysfunction, fatty liver & liver dysfunction, constipation, viral infections, flushed red skin, allergies, headaches, agitation, depression, withdrawal, insomnia, aggressive behaviour, needy personality, hair loss and early greying.
 To some degree yoghurt contains lactose which is a sugar so do not pig out on plain yoghurt. Products like yakult taste sweet and whilst it may not contain added sugar it will not in my view help in your fight against candida.
 Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts and peanuts are high in copper so if you think you have an excessive copper level avoid these nuts.
 Some anti-candida eating plans advise not to eat legumes, beans and chickpeas as these can ferment in the gut and feed candida. To overcome this problem I suggest you take digestive enzymes as these foods are considered complex carbohydrates and contain protein and many valuable vitamins and minerals.
 Some anti-candida eating plans say to avoid pork, ham and bacon and all processed meats. Small amounts of these products I think are acceptable as long as they are not covered in moulds or have been covered in moulds when hanging.