Candidiasis, also called yeast infection or thrush, is a fungal infection caused by Candida species, of which Candida albicans is the most common.
Candida albicans is a type of yeast that live in our bodies (in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina). Normally, candida causes no harm if we are equipped with a sufficient number of probiotic (friendly) bacteria and a strong immune system able to keep candida under control.
Unfortunately, antibiotics, some medications, high-sugar diets, weak immunity, stress, zinc deficiency, allergies, accumulation of heavy metals such as mercury and lead, and other factors can cause the friendly bacteria to die, leaving candida free to grow unchecked causing many different symptoms.
Fatigue, bad breath, white coat on tongue and oral thrush, headaches, thrush, vaginal infections, fogginess in the morning upon waking (brain fog), digestive complaints, joint pain, skin problems, loss of sex drive, mood disorders, recurring vaginal and urinary tract infections,sinus infections, hormonal imbalance, etc.
Thrush is marked by soft white patches in the oral cavity, around the anus, or on the skin. It most often appears as a result of seriously compromised immune systems due to high sugar diet, antibiotic therapy, or undergoing chemotherapy.
A vaginal yeast infection, by far the more common manifestation of candidiasis, causes burning, itching, and soreness in the vagina, along with a thick, sticky discharge. It’s often the result of antibiotic use, poor diet, hormone imbalance, or a combination of these causes.
Candida can even penetrate throughout the bowel wall, passing into the bloodstream and through the body. Once this happens, it can cause depression, extreme fatigue, and a ‘hung over’ feeling in the morning.
Occasionally the candida spreads throughout the entire body causing a condition known as systemic candidiasis producing a wide variety of symptoms and is often at the root of a persistent, mysterious illness. If you feel sick but you are told that nothing is wrong, there’s a good chance that you’re actually suffering from systemic candidiasis.
- Diet high in sugar, cheese, pizza, refined products, junk food, dairy and meat products (contaminated with antibiotics). It is believed that in order to grow, Candida generally causes a craving for certain foods that feed it such as sugar, white flour products, yeast and pasteurised cow’s milk products.
- Prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics or corticosteroids that kill beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut is one of the most common causes of Candida overgrowth and thrush.
- Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) imbalance the gut in the same way as antibiotics giving Candida an open door to take control.
- Adrenal insufficiency and diabetes have also been mentioned as factors which encourage candidiasis.
- lso poor digestion, weak immune system, stress, hormonal imbalance, toxins, nutritional deficiencies, and some other factors may contribute to the overgrowth of candida.
EFFECTIVE WAYS TO KEEP CANDIDA UNDER CONTROL
- One of the obvious steps is to eliminate or cut down on simple sugars, alcohol, all refined carbohydrates such as sugar, white bread, white rice, pasta, cakes, and biscuits as they feed candida.
- Address Leaky Gut Syndrome, because intestinal permeability is believed to be a root problem of chronic and systemic candida.
- If you want to effectively fight candida do your best to promote the growth of friendly bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract. These probiotic bacteria are an essential factor for maintaining a strong immune system that keeps yeast levels in check.
- Learn to control stress as chronic stress can alter flora balance and can suppress immune function.
- If possible try to avoid birth control pills or other forms of synthetic hormones as they may set the stage for candida overgrowth. Instead, you can use natural contraceptives that are even beneficial in fighting candida. The best natural contraceptive is Neem oil >.
- Try to avoid over-ripe fruit, dried fruit, bananas, melon, or grapes because they contain too much sugar. Fresh fruits may be eaten but in moderation.
- No fruit juices, honey or artificial sweeteners. Stevia and Xylitol (prevents candida infections) are safe alternatives.
- Avoid food additives and processed food.
- Avoid or at least reduce consumption of cow’s milk and dairy products (especially cheese) including butter.
- Avoid all alcohol, margarine, refined and heated oils, and hydrogenated fats as they weaken immune system. If must fry your food use coconut oil and avoid overheating.
- Consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily as it has antifungal properties.
- Try to include the following foods: Garlic, onions, leek, onion greens, raw cabbage, raw broccoli, fresh raw vegetables, raw vegetable juices, sprouts, raw coconut oil, such as beans, lentils, plant-based yogurts, home-made sauerkraut (made from raw and not pasteurised cabbage), and miso.
SUPPLEMENTS & HERBS
- Take supplements such as Sacardi (with Saccharomyces boulardii) or FemProbio as they contain live probiotic bacteria that have proved to fight Candida and prevent its overgrowth.
- Grapefruit seed extract – 200 mg two to three times daily. Practitioners rely on this herb for its anti-candida properties.
- Zinc and stomach acid deficiency can also contribute to the overgrowth of candida. Certain man experienced symptoms of severe candida overgrowth and discovered it was mostly caused by lack of zinc and low stomach acid. Taking zinc with hydrochloric acid tabs for a month fixed the problem. Without zinc, it is difficult for the stomach to produce enough acid. On the other hand, without the acid body can’t absorb the zinc. Once the man started taking zinc and improved acid production in the stomach, he could stopped taking the hydrochloric acid and continued with the zinc. The candida problem disappeared permanently. In order to avoid nausea as a result of taking zinc supplements try zinc citrate (30 to 50mg) and take it only after meals.
- Chlorella and Spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial flora in your gut, which can help keep candida overgrowth under control.
- If possible consume raw garlic on a daily basis or to avoid the unpleasant smell take good quality standardised garlic supplements such as Garlic Max as allicin garlic also helps fight candida and fungal infections. Please keep in mind that many garlic products such as odourless garlic, powders, or oils won’t be effective. Effective garlic supplement must be standardised for the presence of allicin.
- According to some studies Bee Propolis, like garlic, also helps to fight candida.
- Take super greens such as Chlorella, Spirulina, Moringa, or Alfalfa that are known to support detoxification and increase number of good probiotic bacteria that help reduce number of candida in the gut.
- Evening Primrose Oil or Star Flower Oil (two times higher in gamma linolenic acid than Evening Primrose Oil) are known to help fight candida overgrowth and are even more effective when combined with Pau d’Arco.
- Caprylic acid supplements have been shown to have antifungal properties. The best food source of this acid is raw organic Coconut oil.
- Mix 4 drops of Tea Tree essential oil with 1 or 2 teaspoons of raw organic Coconut oil (or Neem oil) and use in the morning and evening as an external application for thrush or vaginal yeast infections.
Unfortunately, diet alone may not bring permanent healing if you fail to address the root cause of the problem which is often the Leaky Gut Syndrome >.
Sometimes in order to recover from candidiasis permanently, it is necessary to avoid other foods such as potatoes, yams, wheat, or grains including cereals. The reason is that disaccharides are present in many carbohydrates including all grains. An inflamed, imbalanced gut overridden with Candida is unable to digest double sugar molecules completely because the lack of beneficial gut flora has compromised the function of the enterocytes. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, a scientist specializing in gut research, the enterocytes are the cells that reside on the villi of the colon wall and produce the enzyme disaccharidase which breaks down the disaccharide molecule into monosaccharide. Unfortunately, when the enterocytes are not nourished properly by beneficial bacterial flora, they are unable to digest very large and complex starch molecules. As a result, these complex carbohydrates are left partially undigested and in this form they are a perfect food for pathogenic such as bacteria and yeasts like candida, thus leading to candida overgrowth.
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
- Murzyn Anna, Krasowska Anna, Augustyniak Daria et al (2010). The effect of Saccharomyces boulardii on Candida albicans-infected human intestinal cell lines Caco-2 and Intestin 407. FEMS microbiology letters. 310. 17-23. 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2010.02037.x.
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.