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Candida 27 July 2009

If you have scored highly on the candida questionnaire available on this website then you almost certainly have a problem with a systemic candida infection. This is very common but remains a controversial medical diagnosis and is not widely recognised by mainstream medical doctors. In my opinion, it most definitely exists and is increasing because of the widespread use of antibiotics and increased use of refined carbohydrates and yeast in our diets. It means that the candida is not just localised but has become a systemic infection. Candida produces up to 180 different toxins (mycotoxins) in the body which can act like alcohols, block hormones, impair immunity and cause sugar cravings. The weakened immunity increases the risk of recurrent infections, leading to frequent antibiotic use….. perpetuating the cycle.

Symptoms of candidiasis can come from any organ in the body and include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation/diarrhoea, bread/sugar cravings, poor concentration, muscle aches, athletes foot, headaches, fatigue, rash, recurrent thrush, immune suppression, chemical sensitivity, depression and joint pain. Studies have shown that most chronic sinus infections are not caused by bacteria but by an immune system response to a fungus. Women are 8 times more likely than men to be affected by yeast overgrowth because of higher use of antibiotics, synthetic oestrogen and oral contraceptives.

I suggest undergoing a treatment for systemic candida if your yeast score is high, candida antibodies on a blood test are elevated or there is candida cultured from a laboratory test known as a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis. Unfortunately, the detection of yeast is rarely possible in routine medical testing- “dissemination of yeasts is unlikely to be recognised because they are rarely identified in the routine laboratory.” (Kibbler CC, Principles and Practice of Clinical Mycology 1996). The gold standard in the diagnosis however is by viewing the blood under high powered microscopy where the yeast can actually be visualised. For more information, see Live Blood Analysis.

There are a large number of potential treatment strategies. I have had the best results with my protocol documented below. The protocol is based on a 3-pronged approach- eradicate, eliminate and repopulate. Note that for the first 4 days when the candida start to die, a die off reaction can occur with flu like symptoms and malaise.

1) Eradicate

To start fixing the garden you first have to remove the weeds which are overrunning it. The herb Pau D’Arco is a very effective anti-fungal agent. The prescription drug nystatin is also a very effective way of eliminating candida from the bowel.

2) Eliminate

This step is designed to prevent yeast from regaining a foothold in your body. To proliferate, yeast requires a specific environment- moist, dark and a constant food supply. The gastrointestinal tract fits this description perfectly. Yeast require an acidic body terrain to grow in. The single most important thing anyone can do for their health is to drink adequate amounts of alkaline (pH 9.5) filtered water. Adopting an alkaline lifestyle concentrating on consuming 70-80% alkaline foods and reducing stress are also very important. If you do not change your diet to starve fungi of sugar then no amount of anti-fungal medication/supplements will be effective.

3) Repopulate

This step repopulates the colon with beneficial bacteria which normally live there. This involves a customized programme to repair the intestinal mucosa and repopulate it with probiotic organisms.

Note that during the initial stages of the programme, some people can feel worse (although this is a good thing as it shows the programme is working). It is called the Herxheimer reaction and is caused by massive die off of the yeast. Symptoms will pass after a few days or weeks.

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