Candidiasis

by Glen Swartwout

 

Candida albicans is a yeast that under normal conditions lives inside the large intestines at about a 2% level without causing any harm. Temporary overgrowth can result in mild multisystem complaints to severe symptom complexes. Symptoms may include oral thrush, vaginitis, lethargy, irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual cramping, asthma, migraine headaches and severe depression. All symptoms may improve on a Candida regimen. Candida is related to immune dysregulation and frequently affects endocrine organs resulting in a diverse combination of symptoms, signs, and laboratory abnormalities.

What sets the stage for overgrowth of candida? The destruction of beneficial intestinal bacteria allows their replacement by Candida. A weakening of the immune system, the body’s defense system, can contribute. And, finally, changes in the normal gastrointestinal acidity play a role. these factors control Candida. When they lose control, the yeast changes into an invasive fungal form. It’s rootlike rhizoids penetrate the gastrointestinal walls, releasing metabolic toxins and intestinal substances into the bloodstream and allowing the Candida organism to initiate adverse reactions that can lead to tissue damage and systemic problems throughout the body. The result is the symptoms of Polysystemic Chronic Candidiasis.

How does this happen? Broad spectrum antibiotics used medically destroy beneficial bacteria as well as disease germs. In addition we may all be exposed to low levels of antibiotics thanks to their employment in livestock feed. Steroid derivatives, such as cortisone and birth control pills, weaken the immune system. So do stress and pollution. And the fast food diet so many of us eat changes the normal acid levels while flooding the body with carbohydrates Candida thrives on. As many as 30% of the American people show some signs of Candida overgrowth.

There are symptom questionnaires designed to pinpoint the overgrowth, as well as laboratory tests for greater diagnostic precision. The two goals of Candida therapy are: 1. to reduce the Candida population; 2. to restore the body’s internal balance through repair of the immune system, implantation of normal bacterial populations and normalization of G.I. pH. These goals are usually accomplished by a coordinated program involving dietary and hygiene modifications and nutritional therapy. Patient treatment may continue for three months or until symptoms disappear. Sometimes the “Herxheimer reaction” or die-off” is encountered by the patient. This describes an uncomfortable condition that may occur at the beginning of treatment when large numbers of Candida are being killed, resulting in a sudden release of toxic substances that produce intensified symptoms. The Herxheimer reaction normally lasts no longer than a week. If symptoms are severe treatment should be backed off to tolerable levels and built up over time.

Candida Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of fungal overgrowth are:

  • frequent headaches (migrain or sinus)
  • severe depression, lack of energy
  • recurrent bladder infection, vaginal yeast infection, rectal itching, chronic diarrhea or constipation (often alternating)
  • menstrual irregularity and severe cramping
  • frequent fungal infections such as athlete’s foot or jock itch
  • digestive disorders including recurring indigestion, heartburn, abdominal pain, bloating and gas, allergic reactions
  • Anxiety, mental confusion, lack of coordination, loss of memory, disorientation, insomnia, impotence
  • muscular weakness, swelling of joints, chest pains, blurred vision
  • recurrent sore throat, nasal congestion, fluid in ears, persistent cough, rashes or blisters in mouth
  • symptoms that are aggravated by smoke, perfume, fumes, chemical odors, damp days, moldy places, or by the intake of foods that encourage yeast growth
  • extreme cravings for sugar, bread or alcoholic beverages
  • especially in children: colic, recurrent colds or ear infection, hyperactivity
  • in teenagers: depression, nervous system disorders, substance abuse, underachievement, erratic behavior
  • esophagitis
  • uncontrollable crying

Medical History

Common factors contributing to candida are:

  • frequent or prolonged use of antibiotics
  • use of birth control pill
  • pregnancy
  • cortisone or prednisone use
  • diabetes mellitus
  • nutritional deficiencies leading to a run-down physical state
  • severe emotional upset, stress, anxiety

In his paper titled “Candida albicans: An unsuspected Problem,” Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry, suggests that because of the widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed, which then ends up in our meats, we are exposed to long term, low levels of antibiotics, which greatly increases the risk of yeast infection.

The following is an outline of the multidimensional approach necessary for overcoming Polysystemic Candidiasis:

Key-Stressors

Avoid:

  • Broad spectrum antibiotics which are usually analogs of fungal toxins, and lead to destruction of beneficial bacteria
  • Steroid drugs, which lead to immunosuppression
  • Yeast and mold containing foods, which can trigger candida symptoms
  • Sugar and refined carbohydrates, which fuel candida growth (limit to 100 grams per day)
  • Environmental pollutants, which lead to immunosuppression or allergic response
  • Alcohol and drug abuse, due to potential immunosuppression
  • Damp, poorly ventilated places, due to exposure to mold and fungi spores that can trigger symptoms
  • Destructive lifestyles and excessive stress, due to potential immunosuppression

Diet & Hygiene

Beneficial modifications include:

  • Nutrient rich and high fiber foods, which lead to restoration of GI pH and mucosal integrity
  • Foods with antifungal properties
  • Yeast-free, vitamin and mineral supplements to facilitate mucosal integrity helping to restore homeostasis
  • Regular gargling and douching with Orithrush (Candida thrives in body cavities)
  • Regular exercise and adequate rest for reduced adrenal stimulation and greater organ vitality

Nutrition

Therapies include:

  • Homeopathic dilutions of Candida Albicans allergenic extract: to stimulate immune response and systemic recovery
  • Nutritional supplements with antifungal properties
  • Antipathic symbiotic lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus to restore beneficial bacteria
  • Nutritional supplements that support the immune system integrity to help the body resist Candida proliferation
  • Hydrophilic mucilloid intestinal cleanser to aid peristalsis and removal of toxins and putrefactive substances
  • Detoxifying nutritional supplements to reduce the impact of environmental pollutants

Dietary Guidelines

Certain foods have direct antifungal properties or strengthen the immune system:

  • Friendly flora: live culture, raw-milk, plain yogurt
  • Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, kale
  • Other vegetables: onions, and fresh organic vegetables generally
  • Spices: cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger
  • Oils: olive oil, flax oil
  • Nuts & seeds: unprocessed nuts & seeds, especially Brazil nuts
  • Seafood: fish, shrimp, scallops, lobster
  • Red meat: in moderation and only if fresh and free of antibiotics and steroids (avoid all pork)
  • Other protein: free-range eggs, boiled or poached, free-range poultry
  • Peeled fruit (only in mild cases after 1st 2 weeks)
  • Whole grains (according to condition)
  • Yeast-free crackers and bread

Foods to Avoid:

Other foods are important to avoid as they either feed fungus or trigger an already sensitized immune system:

  • Sugar, including sucrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glycogen, glucose, mannitol, sorbitol, balactose, monosaccharides, polysaccharides, honey, molasses, maple syrup and maple sugar, date sugar, raw sugar and turbinado sugar, corn syrup (read labels)
  • Yeast and yeast products (again read the labels!)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Malt products
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard; ketchup; Worchestershire sauce; Accent; MSG; steak, barbecue, chili and soy sauces; pickles; relishes; green olives; sauerkraut
  • Processed and smoked meats, luncheon meats, sausage,hot dogs,pork,bacon
  • Dried and candied fruit
  • Leftovers (freeze instead of refrigerator)
  • Canned or frozen juices
  • All coffee and teas
  • Melons
  • Mushrooms, morels and truffles
  • Cheese, milk, sour cream and buttermilk
  • Tofu
  • Canned, processed and fast food since almost all contain sugar, yeast and/or chemicals
  • Most B vitamins formulations unless specified otherwise
  • White flour and enriched flour
  • Peanuts and pistashios, since they typically contain mold. In mild cases, Valencia peanuts may be allowed in moderation, as they grow in a dry climate, producing less fungal growth and therefore less aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known.
  • Avoid fruits in the beginning
  • Avoid dried fruits as yeast and mold naturally grows on them
  • Red meat and poultry grown with antibiotics or steroids

In mild cases be moderate with:

  • Whole grains and starchy vegetables until symptoms lessen
  • Nuts and seeds small amounts in the shell
  • Bean and legumes small amounts
  • Fresh fruit

In moderate cases:

  • Eliminate wheat,oats,rye,barley,fruit and fruit juices

In Severe Cases:

  • Eliminate all grains but a little rice and millet
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Herb teas and spices

Steps in Overcoming Yeast

1. Eliminate the fungal forms:

  • Avoid food that feeds them.
  • Daily use of garlic in supplement form and/or fresh garlic
  • Pau D’Arco (Taheebo) capsules or tea. In moderate to severe cases, add stronger antifungal herbs: Kolorex (with Pseudowintera colorata), SF722 (from Thorne Research, with Undecenoic acid from castor beans) and Spilanthes/Usnea Compound (from Herb Pharm)
  • Caprylic acid (possibly in homeopathic potency) this substance is derived from coconut and mimics the fatty acids produced by normal bowel flora, the good guys, and thereby destroys the yeast.
  • Biotin, a B vitamin that inhibits the yeast from changing into its more invasive fungal form
  • Olive oil
  • Acidophilus, bifidus and other friendly flora
  • OxyTrace or CellFood to oxygenate the digestive tract and body tissues, making the terrain unfavorable for fungi and other pathogenic anaerobes.
  • Mild Silver Protein or M-State Silver Oil if needed

2. Detoxify the bowels and liver

The intestines is where the yeast live and where they proliferate. The liver is one of the major organs for detoxifying the blood and it becomes overworked with presence of Candida as the yeast produce more toxins in their life processes. High fiber is very important, as it increases the absorptive surface of fecal matter and hastens the elimination of metabolic by products.

  • Bulk intestinal cleanser and toxin absorption
    1. Sonne’s products, NCA products, Yerba Prima
    2. Psyllium husks, guar gum, pectin
  • Olive oil and oat bran (2 tsp/2 tsp. x 3 a day) helps to create a barrier between colon wall and bloodstream blocks the holes created by the fungal form.
  • Lemon water to detox liver: daily intake of water should be 1/2 oz. per 1 lb. body weight (e.g.: someone weighing 120 lbs. should drink 60 oz of pure water a day). To detox the liver 1/2 of that 60 oz should be lemon water (30 oz). The proportion of lemon to water is 1 oz lemon to 10 oz water. Not more than 40 oz of lemon water should be taken daily.
  • Complete colon cleanse with a positive flora implant

3. Rebuild the friendly flora

  • At least 2 billion 3-4 x a day (bifidus plus other species)
    e.g. Friendly Flora, Ultrabifidus, Spectrabiotic, Ultradophilus
  • Feed with whey several times a week
  • Implant of positive flora is strongly suggested in most cases because of our culturally induced medical history (antibiotic, junk food, meat). Enemas with bifidus flora and yogurt

4. Rebuild immunity through supplemental nutrition

  • High potency B-complex: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and biotin (300 to 500 mcg taken 3 times daily)
  • Minerals:
    a. 300 mcg. Se daily
    b. 40 mg Zn picolinate or methionine daily
    c. 1000 mg Ca
    d. 500 mg Mg (this Ca/Mg ratio may be reversed according to certain symptoms)
  • Dry Vitamin E 800 units daily
  • Beta carotene 20,000 units daily
  • Vitamin A 20,0000 – 25,000 units daily of absorbable mycelized form
  • Folic acid 800mcg -1500mcg daily together with Vitamin A and folic acid the repair of the leaky gut from fungal invasion begins.
  • Vitamin C 1000 mg 4 to 5 times daily (diarrhea will indicate too much Vitamin C, cut back until it disappears)
  • Essential fatty acids: 2 to 4 capsules twice a day to support immune function and decrease inflammation
  • Flower pollen improves immune function
  • Amino acids helps rebuild depleted enzyme reserves
  • Immune formulas, Astragalus, Suma, plus Chinese and Ayurevedic herbs
  • Glandular support: thymus, spleen, etc.
  • Candida killers
    a. garlic (high allicin): 1-2 caps twice daily
    b. caprylic acid potency
    c. homeopathic candida and other fungi
    d. Pau D’Arco (Taheebo) tea: 1 cup 2-3 x daily (make with 1 or 2 capsules)
  • Olive oil plus oat bran: 2 tsp 2-3 times daily
  • Lactobacillus flora, acidophilus and/or other beneficial flora: at least 2 billion 3-4 times daily

5. Exercise and pure water

Pure water is imperative not to compromise the eliminative functions of the body with chemicals. Carbonated water and beverages create bloating and gas as well as carbonic acid which interferes with the pH balance.

At least every other day aerobic activity 10 -20 minutes, a brisk walk for 1-2 miles would be sufficient. Stimulate the circulation and respiration in order to help the body rid itself of Candida toxins as well as the every day toxins from our environment, stress and metabolic processes.

6. Stress Reduction

  • It is important to take the time to allow the body and mind to relax completely, as it will allow the body to restore and heal
  • Meditation, relaxation exercises, breathing exercises listening to comforting music

References & Cookbooks

The Nutrition Detective by Nan Kathryn Fuchs, Ph.D.
Yeast Free Living by Annette Annechild and Laura Johnson
Candida Albicans by Leon Chaitow, D.O., N.D.
The Candida Albicans Yeast Free Cookbook by Pat Connolly
Coping with Candida Cookbook by Sally Rockwell
Yeast Connection by William G. Crook, M.D.

Dairy Free Sources of Calcium

Fish and other seafoods are an excellent source of calcium.

Seaweeds:

Agar-Agar 400
Arame 1170
Hijiki 1400
Kombu 800
Wakame 1300

Vegetables:

Beet leaf 100
Mustard greens 140-160
Parsley 200
Radish greens 190
Radish root 400
Shepherd’s purse 300
Spinach 98
Turnip greens 130
Watercress 90

Seeds & Nuts:

Almonds, sweet 282
Brazil nuts 169
Hazel nuts 186
Sesame seeds 630
Sunflower 140

Beans:

Broad beans 100
Kidney 130
Miso 70-180
Natto (fermented soybeans) 92
Soybeans 190
Tofu (Soybean curd) 120
Tofu, Congealed 590

Foods containing Vitamin C:

Citrus fruits: lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerine and others are well known as a source of Vitamin C. Their Vitamin C contents are generally 38 to 61 mg per edible portion of 100 grams. Strawberries and other temperate zone berries are rich in Vitamin C. Besides fruits, many vegetables are rich in Vitamin C. For example:

Broccoli 113
Brussel sprouts 102
Cabbage 47
Cauliflower 78
Chives 56
Collard 152
Cress 69
Kale 186
Horseradish 81
Mustard 97
Turnip greens 139
Swiss chard 32
Watercress 79


Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture and Japan Nutritionist Association

Foods containing yeast:

Avoid:

  • breads
  • crackers
  • pastries
  • cookies
  • pretzels
  • cakes and mixes
  • hamburger buns
  • hot dog buns
  • flour enriched with vitamins from yeast
  • rolls, both homemade and canned
  • canned ice box cookies
  • milk fortified with vitamins from yeast
  • meat fried in cracker crumbs

Other fungal or yeast containing foods, because of their nature or fermentational manufacturing processes:

  • mushrooms, truffles
  • tomato sauce
  • chili peppers
  • buttermilk
  • cottage cheese and cheese of all kinds
  • mince pie
  • Gerber’s oatmeal
  • barley cereal
  • all vinegars: apple, pear, plum, grape, distilled
  • malted products: cereals, candy, malted milk drinks
  • root beer
  • frozen or canned citrus fruit drinks
  • catsup, barbeque sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • olives
  • pickles
  • sauerkraut
  • alcohol: whiskey, gin, wine, brandy, rum, vodka
  • condiments
  • horseradish
  • salad dressings, e.g. french dressing

Many natural vitamin products are, in fact, derived from yeast or have their sources from yeast.

After reading this partial list of foods containing yeast products, you now have a much better idea of the rather formidable task ahead of you. It is absolutely imperative while on the rotary diversification and avoidance diet that you carefully look at all labels on the canned and packaged foods and consult the list constantly, or you will continue to suffer needlessly the consequences of allergic reactions.

Yeast-Free Shopping List

Bread:

  • Essene bread (made from sprouts)
  • Irish Soda Bread (made with baking soda)
  • Some patients are able to tolerate Dimpflmeier 100% Rye Bread

Crackers:

  • Rice Cakes (Arden, Chico San or Lundberg)
  • Brown Rice Snaps
  • WASA: Light Rye
  • Crisp Cakes: Plain and Apple Cinnamon
  • Floridor Swiss Rye Crisp: Plain, Buckwheat, Millet
  • Fiber Crisp Cracker
  • Barbara’s Light Bread Whole Grain Crackers
  • Manischewitz Whole Wheat Matzos

Grains:

  • Soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • Westbrae ramen noodles (they cook quickly, but discard seasoning packet and add your own vegetables)
  • Oats
  • Corn pasta
  • Spinach pasta
  • Wheat pasta
  • Red pepper pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Eden rice noodles
  • Barley
  • Kasha (Wolf’s: use boullion instead of water)
  • Wild rice
  • Beans (aduki, chick peas, lentils, kidney, etc.)
  • Whole wheat or buckwheat pancakes

Cereals:

  • Kashi 7 grain cereal
  • Corn, rice, millet, wheat (spelt or kamut varieties are less allergenic), etc.
  • Read labels (no barley malt or sugar)

Spreads:

  • Apple butter (keep fresh, as it grows mold quickly: store in small plastic or glass containers in refrigerator)
  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Sunflower butter
  • Sesame butter
  • Sorrell Ridge Preserves (fruit only)

Snacks:

  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Squeeze orange or grapefruit juice
  • Yogurt: unsweetened. Add unsweetened frozen or fresh blueberries, strawberries, or banana. Put in a blender with a little oat bran (for fiber) and a few ice cubes.
  • Good fruits: apples, bananas, fresh pineapple, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Rice chips
  • Yogurt chips
  • Carrot chips
  • Corn chips (occasionally)
  • Popcorn (No peanuts or pistashios as they grow mold)
  • All kinds of vegetables (red potatoes are a good substitute for bread)

Refrigerated section: (Read labels)

  • Hummus Tahini dip and spread (chick peas, tahini (made from sesame seeds), lemon, garlic)
  • Mujadara (lentil salad)
  • Tofu
  • Taboule salad (parsley, cracked wheat)
  • Baba Ghannouj dip and spread (eggplant, tahini, lemon, garlic)
  • Mousaka (eggplant)

Frozen food section:

  • Unleavened Chapati (whole wheat flour tortilla)
  • Tortilla
  • Corntilla
  • Frozen Vegetables