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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 06, 2012

A Primal Primer: Candida

By Mark Sisson
201 Comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these, but I think it’s about time for a Primal Primer. Today we’ll be discussing candida, a genus (more than a species, less than a family) of yeast with many members, at least one of which is currently residing on or in your body: candida albicans. Candida albicans and friends are everywhere, and they’re usually a normal, healthy part of the human microbiome, but it can get a little out of hand. As I’ve mentioned before, the human gut hosts a tumultuous mix of microbial species vying for position and supremacy and trying to further their own ends. If all’s well, a balance is maintained, and the various species keep each other in check while promoting good health for the human host. But things can get out of whack. The balance can be upset. Certain species can gain ground on the others, perhaps by utilizing a new source of sustenance or taking advantage after a round of antibiotics, to our detriment. Candida is a particularly robust microbe who can thrive on a variety of fuel sources to apparently make itself a real nuisance in these situations. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

When most people talk about “candida,” they’re talking about candida overgrowth, or candidiasis, of which there are several types:

  • Candidal vulvovaginitis – Also known as vaginal thrush or yeast infection, this is a fairly common manifestation of candidiasis that causes pain during sex and urination, itching, redness, swelling, and/or vaginal discharge.
  • Candidal keratitis – Candidal infection of the eye.
  • Esophageal candidiasis – Candidal infection of the esophagus
  • Intestinal candidiasis – Overgrowth in the small intestine. This is the “candida” people are usually talking about.
  • Candidemia – This often fatal condition involves the presence of large numbers of candida yeast in the blood and typically arises only in severely immunocompromised patients.

Conventional medicine has yet to formally recognize candidiasis as an issue prevalent enough to seriously study. On one hand, I understand their hesitancy, as candida has become a catch-all explanation for dozens of symptoms online, some of which may or may not be interrelated. On the other hand, gut dysbiosis is a real condition with huge – if as yet to be completely understood – ramifications to our health. We have some idea of what is going on in our guts and how it all impacts our health (especially with regards to obesity and immunity), but the field is still in its infancy. Eventually, thanks to programs like the Human Food Project, we’ll have a stronger understanding. For now, we work with what we have. I seriously doubt claims like “99% of all people have candida overgrowth,” but I have an open mind, and if people are feeling awful and getting no relief from their doctors’ attempts to help, it makes sense to expand your search. Right?

One researcher even went so far as to orally inoculate himself with candida (he ate a very large dose of it) to find out of it was capable of colonizing his gut and entering his blood (PDF). Two hours after inoculation, he experienced chills and a headache. At hours 3 and 6, candida was cultured from his blood, and at hours 2.75 and 3.25, from his urine. The researcher was otherwise healthy, hadn’t used antibiotics in ten years, and had no preexisting yeast infections. This is but one example, but it suggests that candida in sufficient amounts can make it to the gut and through the intestinal wall, even in healthy people.

Diagnosis

Since the existence of intestinal candidiasis isn’t universally accepted among medical professionals, it makes diagnosis difficult to obtain. “Endoscopic brushings” (sounds pleasant, doesn’t it?) have been used in the past, as have stool cultures. You might read about the “candida spit test,” which involves depositing fresh saliva into a glass of water upon waking and observing its trajectory and behavior, but this doesn’t appear to be accurate. Further complicating matters is that dozens of candida species exist, even though most of the already limited research has focused on candida albicans. Still further, research suggests (PDF) that chronic candida overgrowth is almost impossible to fully diagnose with lab tests that measure immune response, since it often downregulates the immune system, thereby creating an “immunologic tolerance.”  Thus, symptoms may be the best we have, especially if we can’t get our doctor to run a stool test.

Symptoms

Unfortunately, going by symptoms can also be confusing, because candida overgrowth appears to have dozens of them, like headaches, fatigue, chills, feeling drunk or hung over, a lack of libido, weight gain, weight loss, food intolerances, bloating, joint pain, diarrhea, hair loss, gas, cravings, and depression. Just go to Google and search for “candida and [enter malady or symptom of your choice].” It’ll autofill before you can even finish typing and hitting enter will bring up tons of articles telling you that “yes, you are indeed experiencing symptoms of candida.” See the problem? Any negative feeling or symptom could be evidence of candida.

This doesn’t negate the reality of candida overgrowth nor its symptoms, but it does make figuring out whether you have it extremely difficult. It also makes an incorrect diagnosis fairly likely, since many of those symptoms can also have other causes.

Risk Factors

While absolute causes of candidiasis are tough to pin down, looking at some of the common risk factors for the condition can give us a hint. What are they?

Antibiotic usage

You know the drill here. We’ve discussed how antibiotic usage (especially flagrant, excessive usage) can have a “collateral damage” effect on “innocent” gut microbes in addition to the target microbes. We’ve also discussed how the delicate balance of gut flora can be disrupted, thereby opening up space for existing species to flourish and overpopulate. Antibiotics represent a potent disruptive force in the gut, and antibiotic usage has been linked to both candidal vulvovaginitis (yeast infections) and systemic candidiasis. Patients with antibiotic-associated diarrhea are often found to have greater levels of candida in their stool. One girl even developed an overgrowth of intestinal candida immediately following antibiotic treatment.

Diabetes

Diabetes is consistently linked to candida overgrowth, women who have diabetes are more likely to have recurrent vaginal yeast infections, and patients with elevated blood sugar (as is often seen in diabetes) are more susceptible to candida overgrowth, probably due to the yeast’s taste for glucose.

Immune dysfunction or suppression

Patients with poor immune systems, like those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, are at a greater risk of candida overgrowth.

Treatment

First and foremost, if you indeed have a serious candida overgrowth, it’s a complicated issue that may require a professional’s attention and the use of anti-fungals, like nystatinfluconazole, or anidulafungin. Unfortunately, as with bacteria and antibiotics, candida often develops resistance to anti-fungals (PDF), which may explain why treatment can be so frustrating and seemingly ineffective. Seek help if you’re really suffering.

That said, I’m no expert on candida, and I have neither the desire nor the ability to coach you through an overgrowth. However, the following “treatments” are generally pretty safe to try, and, even if you don’t have candida overgrowth, may result in health benefits. If you just suspect you have an overgrowth of candida and have no formal diagnosis, giving these ideas a try can’t hurt.

Avoid sugar and limit fruit.

Candida likes sugar (who doesn’t like sweets?) because it represents a quick food source. It’s also a fairly reliable source of energy, since most people are more than happy to pump themselves full of refined sugar. Fruits should be less problematic, but stick to lower sugar fruits and keep a close watch on how it affects your symptoms.

Avoid very low carb.

Paul Jaminet, who suffered from candida overgrowth, argues that since candida (being eukaryotes) have mitochondria that can feed on both ketones and carbs (as opposed to prokaryote bacteria without mitochondria), going very low carb or ketogenic will only provide more fuel for the overgrowth. Furthermore, since ketones are water-soluble and pass easily through cellular membranes, ketones will actually be a more accessible food source for candida. Don’t go high-carb, since any extra glucose will just be food for the yeast, but don’t go ketogenic, either. Stick to around 100-150 grams of carbs while still limiting sugar. Although other sources do recommend going as low-carb as possible, my money’s on Paul.

Consider a saccharomyces boulardii supplement.

S. boulardii has proven effective against candidal overgrowth, reducing both the resultant inflammation and the colonization of the gut. It appears that the capric acid released by s. boulardii deserves praise here, seeing as how it prevents growth, adhesion to the host, and formation of resistant candida biofilms. Coconut oil, another source of capric acid, has also been shown to inhibit candida in an in vitro study, but it will also promote the generation of ketone bodies, which may serve as fuel for the candida. Your call; they’re available online.

Use more spices and herbs.

Since plants often have to deal with pathogenic fungi, many spices and herbs have developed anti-fungal capabilities. Cumin spice exerts antimicrobial activity against candida. Oregano is a famous anti-fungal herb, and garlic has proved efficacious against candida biofilms in in vitro studies (and may even work synergistically with anti-fungal drugs against drug-resistant candida species). When you start getting into essential oils of the various plants, however, use caution, as these are highly concentrated and may be more powerful than you or your body are prepared to handle. Personally, unless you’re under the observation of a skilled medical professional, I’d stick to the whole plants and herbs. You might try drinking some strong black tea, too.

Ibogaine?

Even ibogaine, the psychoactive plant compound that William S. Burroughs went looking for to cure his heroin addiction, exhibits some effectiveness against candida. I’m not suggesting you rush out and find yourself an ibogaine tour to Gabon, but it’s still pretty interesting.

Die-off?

Formally known as the Herxheimer reaction, negative health effects – like headaches, fever, chills, and pain – resulting from microbial die-off are a real occurrence. When antimicrobials are administered to take care of certain infections, including syphilis, borreliosis (from Lyme disease), leptospirosis, Q fever, cat scratch fever, brucellosis, typhoid fever, and trichinosis, certain inflammatory cytokines are upregulated. It has been argued that endotoxins released from dying microbes are the cause of die-off symptoms, but studies call that into question.

Note that the existence of candida die-off has yet to be shown. Given that die-off exists for other microbial infections, however, I think it’s fairly plausible. What I find questionable is when every negative symptom under the sun is proclaimed to be die-off. Feverish chills? Okay, I’ll buy it. A slight headache and a weird headspace? Sure, that’s reasonable. Violent convulsions punctuated by frothy spurts of blood-flecked vomit? Eh, I think that might be something other than “candida die-off.” You might want to get that checked out.

It’s difficult to say anything absolutely conclusive about candida overgrowth. There’s no standard, easily-accessible test for it. There are so many signs and symptoms that they almost become useless for diagnosis. There are many species of candida, many species of other yeasts, and some candida can even be helpful in the right doses! However, even though it’s hard to get a doctor to test for it (if he or she even knows how) and it’s hard to know if you even have it, it looks like candida overgrowth is a real condition. Whether its prevalence is under- or overstated, though, we simply don’t know.

What do you know about candida? Have you had it? Do you think you do currently? If you’ve ever been treated for it, how’d you know it was actually candida? This is a hot topic in the health world, rife with misinformation on both sides of the debate, so let us know what you know in the comment section!

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201 Comments on "A Primal Primer: Candida"

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4 years 24 days ago

[…] at least one of which is currently residing on or in your body: candida albicans. Candida […] Mark’s Daily Apple Related Posts:Experts 30 years later – Intestinal fungi like Candida can contribute to […]

Anna
Anna
4 years 24 days ago

Do you have any evidence linking candida to birth control pills? I developed chronic vaginal yeast infections the day I started the pill. These continued until I stopped the pill, despite several doctors reassuring me that there was no link, and that I should just keep taking the pill. I think it’s actually pretty common, but is one of those nasty side effects that pharma prefers to sweep under the rug.

Stella B
Stella B
4 years 24 days ago

Yes, OCPs lower estrogen levels and raise vaginal pH. Vulvovaginitis from candida, bacterial overgrowth, and dryness can result. Big pharma lists the problem in it’s package insert, but it’s in the <1% category. Sorry it happened to you, but I haven't seen it very often in practice. If you still want to use hormonal contraception, you might do better on the lowest dose version. In my experience, female practitioners are better at dealing with female reproductive issues.

Anna
Anna
4 years 23 days ago

Thanks for your response. I didn’t realize it was rare. That’s what the doctors said to do, take the lowest dose. That’s what they said for any problem actually. They cycled me through basically all the brands on the market until I gave up.

Aurelie
Aurelie
4 years 23 days ago

Yes i have had to stop oral contraception for the same issue, i tried lots of different ones, every time i start one, i get a very bad case of thrush. I gave up too and my health thanks me for it. I am sure it is much more common than one percent of women.

sarah
sarah
4 years 23 days ago

I think I’ve had mild candidasis for years, that didn’t often go to a full-blown yeast infection of any kind. I had been on birth control for many years (mostly progestrin-only Depo-provera). In the last few years, I started to get dry, sometimes red and itchy patches of skin. A fluconazole course and low-sugar diet have almost wiped it out, but I still struggle. I’m now completely off hormones and went teh IUD route, which I’m totally ecstatic about! Docs push the drugs cuz they don’t want any problems with fertility complaints.

Primal Wanderer
Primal Wanderer
4 years 23 days ago
Uh! While taking birth control pills I experienced the worst thee months of my life! Throwing them away was the best thing I did (after going primal hehe), anyway I had a series of side effects that my gynecologist dismissed… Anyway prescribing birth control pills to a 16 year old girl is plain irresponsible, as the body is definitely still undergoing hormonal changes and it tries to balance itself… (also: there are things far worse than accidental pregnancy that pills do not prevent…) As I said, I got a LOT of side effects that persisted for more than a year… Read more »
Renee
Renee
4 years 23 days ago

I did alot of self-study about Candida back in the early 90’s. One of the side effects of taking birth-control pills and pregnancy was a tendency towards candidiasis because both raise your blood sugar levels.

Mia
Mia
4 years 23 days ago

Same thing happened to me, although resulted in chronic bowel infections. For which I had to take antibiotics, or die. Which further destroyed my gut, leaving me open to MORE bowel infections. It was a horrible cycle that went on for the better part of a decade.

Switching to the depo (progesterone only) injection was the best decision I made! No side effects whatsoever, I know many women don’t respond as well to it, but it’s been a godsend for me.

M
M
1 year 11 months ago

Same thing happened to me, the bill gave me an INCURABLE infection. Tried three different treatments with no success. After over a month of agony, I threw the pills out the the infection went away. Ater that I suffered from monthly infections for two years afterward and it took multiple high-dose diflucan treatments to end them completely. Doctors are NOT guru’s, they can help point you in the right direction if evidence indicates that the doctor is wrong, they’re probably wrong.

Susan
Susan
1 year 5 months ago

I had the same problem with one particular bc pill I took. I got a yeast infection like clockwork every month, but my doctor swore up and down that it wasn’t a side effect. When I stopped the pill I quit getting yeast infections.

Paleo Girl
Paleo Girl
1 year 2 months ago
this is such a good question on a great article. I was able to heal only after doing so much research.I did stop taking birth control but of course can’t say for sure if that was the reason I healed, I think it is a combination of things that cause the candida to thrive in the body, so the more unhealthy habits you clean, the more chances to heal you have… one thing to mention that I didn’t see here – its super important to do a colon cleanse before any attempt to treat candida to make sure these toxins… Read more »
Alex Fields
Alex Fields
4 years 24 days ago
Hi Mark! I really enjoy your articles, and the information you provide is very accuarate and good. However, since I’ve been dealing with the whole gut dysbiosis and candida thing for several years I have read most of the literature on the subject, and you fail to mention a couple of important things in this article. Normal bacterial populations keep candida in check and a severe gut dysbiosis is necessary in order for candida to overgrow substantially. Most people have a dysfunctional gut flora (missing species of microbes etc.) rather than actual candida overgrowth. I know you have previously linekd… Read more »
Helen
Helen
3 years 8 months ago

And one more thing Mark failed to mention is that a high level of arabinose (by-product of yeasts) in urine is a very strong indicator of yeast overgrowth.
Organic acids tests include arabinose in their profiles.
Great website Mark!

bigmyc
bigmyc
10 months 25 days ago

If you reread the post, you’ll see that Sisson covered those points.

Michael
Michael
4 years 24 days ago
I had Intestinal Candidiasisnad now I’m ok. I made several stool test with no much success (very difficult to find candida with regular stool test). So I first tried the GI Stool test (on DNA) from Metametrix which showed a strong dysbiosis (but with no specific evidence of Candida) and then I had my Kinesiologist to test my muscles strength who diagnosed Candidiasis. I had all of the symptoms you listed for many years, so I guess I not only had Candida. Since the last test, I went Paleo and since then things are going better every day. Anyway, by… Read more »
Aurelie
Aurelie
4 years 23 days ago

I have had “candida” problems for years after rounds of very strong antibiotics (I now think we should call it dysbiosis). I was on anti candida diet for 2 years, it helped a bit but was hell to stick with. Since i went grain free, i got rid of it !! And i can even indulge with honey and creme brulee with no return. Every time i eat grains again it returns….
I really think that telling people with candida to eat Gluten free grains is a bad idea.

Jules
Jules
3 years 6 months ago

I developed candida after visiting Africa and being on antiobiotics for Malaria over a period of 15 weeks. I found giving up gluten also helped me.

Shirley
Shirley
4 years 24 days ago

I went to my Doctor in 2006 with a bad head cold. I noticed he was also into natural healing. Dr.Ou is an MD and also practices natural medicine and he does field control therapy or FTC. I went through the program. The test did show some Candida although a mild case. Also it showed up mercury. Google FTC treatments.

Matt
Matt
4 years 24 days ago
I’ve seen a lot of improvement in my Crohn’s disease since starting a slightly more restrictive than normal Primal diet around 8 months ago. It was obvious I needed something more to keep my progress steady so I did some searching and found research on gut dysbiosis. I’ve been on a treatment plan of using high doses of a natural antibiotic (wild oregano oil) and supplementing with high quality probiotics (the good bacteria!) for the past two weeks and have already seen significant improvement. It sure seems like Candida and all these other not-so-helpful bacterias can cause serious problems and… Read more »
Carol Besch
Carol Besch
3 years 8 months ago
Hi, I would love to know about your oregano oil dosage and how you take it. I have a bedridden mother, 81, and her and my father think I am nuts when I talk about Candida. I am sure she has had something going on for years. Now, researching PH I come to yeast again. I was wondering if she is getting such bad rashes from to much acid in her urine. I would love to know how to help her but better yet, what I can have them read so they don’t think I am nuts. I am at… Read more »
Bjørn Larsen
2 years 6 months ago

Test the urin with a PH-strip. If its under 6.0 she can try å teaspoon baking soda (bikarbonate) in a glass of water once a day. or the best is to read about in on the net: Iam not a doctor MD http://www.drugs.com/cdi/sodium-bicarbonate.html Bjorn from Norway. Facebook; naturalnordic/diet

Alexa
Alexa
4 years 24 days ago

I’m not impressed with this article, probably because “candidiasis” is so overblown. Your article acknowledges that intestinal candida infection is not a recognized medical disease, the symptoms are vague and there are no reliable tests to diagnose it, and yet you think you know how to cure it?

It would be nice to see you go back to writing nuts-and-bolts articles about macronutrients and vitamins, exercise, and so on, and leave this pseudoscientific nonsense behind.

Melissa
Melissa
4 years 24 days ago

pseu·do·sci·ence/?so?od??s??ns/
Noun:
A collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

sci·ence/?s??ns/
Noun:

The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural…

Science is not a static collection of knowledge. The article is a survey of theories about Candida, and many of the links specifically reference standard scientific studies.

Personally, I am extremely grateful for the variety of health information consolidated on this site. I wish health were as simple as just paying attention to macronutrients, vitamins, and exercise, but it just ain’t so.

Alexa
Alexa
4 years 24 days ago
Thank you for the dictionary reference, but it doesn’t refute a word I said. 1. Intestinal candida infection is not medically recognized. 2. There is no reliable way to diagnose this non-disease. 3. The symptoms for this non-disease are non-specific. 4. From these pieces of information, Mark concludes that he knows the methods of curing this non-disease. This is insane, and it makes the Primal community look stupid. I used to like this site because it was very solidly grounded in science, but between this and the “don’t drink water while you’re eating because you’ll raise your stomach acid pH”… Read more »
Erin
Erin
4 years 24 days ago

Except that science is bought and paid for by drug companies.

PD
PD
4 years 24 days ago

Mark “concludes” that these are some treatments to “try” and “may” work. I think he was pretty solid on the fact this is something very vague, but mentioned often. I think this has value just for the basic information on the yeast itself.

Kelly
Kelly
4 years 24 days ago
It seems that you are the one drawing conclusions, not Mark. Here is his quote: “That said, I’m no expert on candida, and I have neither the desire nor the ability to coach you through an overgrowth. However, the following “treatments” are generally pretty safe to try, and, even if you don’t have candida overgrowth, may result in health benefits. If you just suspect you have an overgrowth of candida and have no formal diagnosis, giving these ideas a try can’t hurt.” I didn’t read into the above your claims: “…yet you think you know how to cure it?” and “Mark… Read more »
Alexa
Alexa
4 years 24 days ago

You’re right, Mark does use weasel words to excuse the inevitable failure of his advice to work. Why? Because we don’t even know if we have this pernicious “disease” in the first place, and there’s no way to find out. While we’re on the subject, I’m selling rocks that you can *try* and they *may* keep tigers from attacking you.

Maybe I’m going crazy, but I expected MDA to be evidence-based, and it sometimes is. But not here, and that’s a major lapse that raises serious questions of credibility.

WS
WS
4 years 24 days ago

In some of your critical comments on recent posts you keep referring to Mark’s advice on dinking water when eating. That was from a 2008 post. You think you might be able to find some more recent and valid arguments?

Zelli88
Zelli88
4 years 24 days ago
Alexa, KINESIOLOGY/Muscle Testing is not quackery. I had it performed on me for over year. I was diagnosed with heavy and toxic metal overload, and the holistic doctor was able to pinpoint where the metals were lodged and which kind were there. For example, I had loads of cadmium, lead and arsenic in my testes. Funny thing is, before he told me this, I was having loads of pain and tenderness in my testes. When I began detoxifying these metals, the pain increased tremendously to the point of crippling me from time to time. Over time, as the metals were… Read more »
Pen
Pen
4 years 23 days ago

Candida is real, and I’ve had 30 years of diarrhoea, depression, bloating and vaginal discharge to prove it. Alcohol, sugar and antibiotics lead to immediate flare-up. Total sugar, fruit, gluten and dairy restriction provides the only relief.

Anecdotal evidence? Yes. Pseudoscientific nonsense? No.

Siren
Siren
4 years 23 days ago

I smell a troll…

Shannon
Shannon
4 years 23 days ago

If intestinal candida infection is not medically recognized than why did my doctor, a Harvard Medical School graduate, diagnose me with it? Medical tests were done, the diagnosis was made and then I was prescribed Diflucan. There are many doctors who not only believe in disease from candida but also treat it.

It wasn’t very long ago that doctors believed that what you ate didn’t affect your health and thought you were crazy and/or stupid if you thought so. Medicine is evolving just like the rest of us with some doctors not as quickly as others.

Amanda
Amanda
2 years 11 months ago

Haha- thanks for the laughs as per all your moronic postings!

Art Flores
Art Flores
2 years 6 months ago

Hypothetically , If Candida infection did exist . And cool people would be abrasive and opinionated , do you think Zyklome B might kill the fugus among us?

Tammy Titwiggle
Tammy Titwiggle
2 years 6 months ago

Rock on sister! I, too, come here for genuine scientific commentary but it turns out that much on this site (the people included) is nothing but woo woo hokum. I’m sure we’ll be seeing articles on homeopathy any day now.

Joanna
Joanna
2 years 5 months ago

Yeah yeah I was diagnosed with candida overgrowth last month. Contact me so that I can show you my test results! Ignorance!

Alexa
Alexa
4 years 24 days ago

If you’re really curious about the validity of candidiasis, look at the poor commenter in an earlier thread who said a KINESIOLOGIST diagnosed it in him after MUSCLE TESTING. A quack pushed on his arms a little bit and concluded that he had an intestinal yeast infection. A pseudoscientist promoting pseudoscience.

Tim
Tim
4 years 24 days ago

I know, completely ridiculous. That’s “medicine” in the tradition of P. T. Barnum.

Zelli88
Zelli88
4 years 24 days ago
Also, the reason why candida is vague and may be responsible for most health problems is because it occurs in anyone who is malnourished and sick, which is a lot of people right now. It’s not a disease. It’s the result of poor health, not a contributor. Some even say the body creates it to help neutralize poisons in the body. Think of candida as horse flies, and toxic metals or poisons as manure. You won’t get rid of the flies without first getting rid of the manure. Get rid of the manure, you get rid of the flies. RE-Nourish… Read more »
Siren
Siren
4 years 23 days ago

WARNING: do not feed the trolls….

Kathy
Kathy
4 years 23 days ago

I agree, Candida is real and can be caused by a great variety of underlying health conditions. It is almost a side effect of other conditions, and shows that your body systems, particularly digestion are not in balance. Eating a super healthy diet low in sugar and food your body treats like sugar – such as grains – is a building block of good health.
Just because CW and allopathic medicine can’t explain it, does not mean it is not real.

a patient
a patient
3 years 9 months ago

Alexa,

Your negative opinions are not appreciated. This article isn’t making false claims or assumptions.
Clearly you have never been sick and searching for any kind of answer/information that might make a difference and make you feel better.
I pray you never have to go through something like that.
However, if you do become so ill that you’re almost ready to give up on the belief that you will EVER feel better again; I hope you shouldn’t have to read comments as negative as the ones you have provided on this site.

Danielle
Danielle
2 years 2 months ago

I was diagnosed by a stool culture from quest diagnostics as having many yeasts which is severe candida in my intestines. I also had a positive throat culture fir candids.
Im seeing an infectious disease dt who’s treating me with diflucan long term because it’s very difficult to eradicate.

TimA
TimA
4 years 23 days ago
Interesting reaction. So, there’s a topic that is frequently mentioned in this community, to the point that you say it’s overblown. Mark addresses the topic by documenting what we actually do and do not know about the subject (using links), clearly states that’s it hasn’t been well studied and has ambigous symptoms, tests and treatments. Makes clear that he isn’t an expert, but suggests some possible safe actions a person can take if they think they have the problem, while clarifying that anything beyond these simple steps should be done in consultation with a health care professional. And, you think… Read more »
Sharyn
Sharyn
4 years 23 days ago

+1

Alyssa
Alyssa
4 years 22 days ago

+1

Julie
Julie
4 years 19 days ago
Candida overgrowth happens in very ill people, which is proven, yes? Autistic kids oftentimes respond well to antifungals, either by killing off the candida or by eliminating something that their bodies are “allergic” to, which in this case is candida. Once you get into the chronic health problem community whether it’s autism, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, you learn how sick the American population is. Even if candida is NOT overgrown, something is happening to people to make their immune systems react to this microbe, evidenced by their increased health after using antifungals. It is a very real thing to have candida,… Read more »
Marti
Marti
1 year 10 months ago

Thank you for expressing just what I was thinking. +1

kate stone
kate stone
4 years 23 days ago

I agree with Alexa on this one. Mark shouldn’t have touched this with a ten foot pole.

Ashley
Ashley
4 years 23 days ago

Wow, from my experience with yeast infections in the past and my own recent infection, Mark is right on.

joanna
joanna
3 years 21 days ago

Yeek–lose the negativity- what was the point of this comment?? Mark didn’t say he knew how to cure Candidasis…he actually pointed out that he’s not an expert. This was just meant to be a general article on a subject that many people in our community are interested in or deal with—lets put effort towards keeping our community a positive and supportive one 🙂

Anita Corbett
Anita Corbett
1 year 3 months ago

That was harsh and unnecessary

bigmyc
bigmyc
10 months 25 days ago

Give it a rest, already. Why so irritable? He clearly was careful to avoid doing what you said that he did. What he said was, “It couldn’t hurt” to try the cited solutions..Based upon what we know already and my own experiences, Sisson was right on with his “recommendations.” There is nothing “pseudo-scientific” about candida overgrowth. It’s just that conventional medicine is slow to catch up with the condition (surprise, surprise). Relax a little, the cortisol that you produce from stressing the issue and projecting it upon Mark will only foster your candida issue.

Groktimus Primal
4 years 24 days ago

The only thing I know for sure is that if we wait for traditional medicine to figure it out we will die waiting.

Alison Golden
4 years 24 days ago

I am on the fence re. Candida. There is so much conflicting information out there, the situation is very unclear. Symptoms can apply to many other conditions and it’s difficult to know what is what. In the end, for mild cases, eat clean, do the work and trust the body will do its bit. For more severe issues, I think you have to pursue one angle (one of which might be Candida) then another until you’re good to go. Detective work, as ever.

JohnC
JohnC
4 years 24 days ago

Wow this topic I had never heard of really seems to have a lot of “woo-woo” surrounding it judging by what’s been said here. Maybe this topic isn’t quite up to the usual stuff?

Laurie
Laurie
4 years 24 days ago

A very timely post since I am finishing up 2 weeks of antibiotics for oral surgery. Anyone have experience with food grade hydrogen peroxide for yeast? I have used it in the past for its alkaline properties for intestinal issues.

Tim
Tim
4 years 24 days ago

Do not drink hydrogen peroxide. This is a very bad idea. Try probiotic bacteria instead, it may not help but at least this won’t hurt you.

H2O2 is a toxic compound, and you’re running the risk of giving yourself gastric cancer

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3180186

Matt S.
Matt S.
4 years 24 days ago

I am skeptical about candida diagnoses. I think in most cases what is going is the broader concept of intestinal dysbiosis, ie., the proliferation of certain bacteria in the GI tract at the expense of a normal balance. Diets way out of balance with excesses of carbs, and particularly glutinous grains, and antibiotic use are the culprits. I’m living proof. I had to visit ten doctors before I found one who had the right answers.

Tasha
4 years 23 days ago

I definitely agree with you on the dysbiosis. It’s probably diagnosed as “candidiasis” because that is the bacteria that presents itself in many of the symptoms (oral thrush, vaginal infections etc.)

high school biology student
high school biology student
2 years 8 months ago

candida is not a bacterium, it’s a fungus.

Tim
Tim
4 years 24 days ago

Candida might be important in people with actual gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. However, in healthy people it seems to be a normal part of our flora.

This is similar to the situation with Staphylococcus aureus, which is on everybody’s skin, but if it gets the opportunity (such as surgery) it can cause serious infections.

An important point is that antifungal drugs such as the azoles are quite toxic, so quacks over-diagnosing and over-treating fungal diseases would be a very worrying development.

Jecka
4 years 24 days ago
Wow, this is such a timely post! I just saw a Naturopathic Doctor after having completed the 21-Day Sugar Detox and having awful GI issues throughout it. When reintroducing sugar (in the form of dried and fresh fruits) my bad symptoms went away. The ND told me that I have dysbiosis which and excessive candida in my small intestine. When I abstained from the sugar during my detox (dropping to as little as 20g of carbs per day) my painful BMs and lower stomach pains began and didn’t stop until I started feeding the candida with sugar again. She also… Read more »
Danielle
Danielle
2 years 2 months ago

Hi jecka
So basically eating fresh fruit us better to cure intestinal candida.i was diagnosed by stool culture and throat culture. The intestinal burning and cramping is horrific. I also have tried only eating veggies but a lot of what I tead states I should be eating fruit
Please let me know. Thanks a bunch

hiimrif
hiimrif
4 years 24 days ago

I wonder if the Herxheimer reaction is a result of the Immune system up regulating after die off, as the immune suppressing candida is killed off.

bigmyc
bigmyc
10 months 25 days ago

Doubt it. That reaction is can be described as a “darkest before dawn” scenario. If your immune system is up regulating, that’s not the feeling that you’d get. You feel quite “off.” It’s actually like a magnified version of the day to day “off” that candida sufferers feel.

Melissa
Melissa
4 years 24 days ago
I am VERY familiar with candida. In 2004 I went through 51 weeks of chemo like treatment for Hep C (got it from a tattoo, thank you very much). In the last three weeks of treatment, I acquired a yeast infection. For the past seven years, I have suffered with an average of 8 yeast infections a year. Think about that. A yeast infection almost every month. I researched and researched and researched. I had my gyno doc on speed dial and had a renewable prescription at the pharmacy. There was no point in being seen by my gyno every… Read more »
Beth
Beth
4 years 23 days ago
Thank you for your post, Melissa. I am all too familiar with candida. I have been suffering with on going yeast infections for well over two years and despite my efforts and multiple doc visits, they keep coming back. I’ve been adopting the primal principles for months now and see results in weight loss but haven’t been as strict as I probably should be so the infections (I suspect) keep coming. However, the first week I started, I was very strict with my carbs and my lower region had felt better than it had in a long time. Since then,… Read more »
Melissa
Melissa
4 years 23 days ago
Beth – I do not stick to a certain number of carbs. I used to track every single morsel of food I put in my mouth. I burned out on that and when I found Paleo I was glad I didn’t “have” to track anything. I just try not to eat anything that my body turns into sugar. It’s not easy mind you. I do eat fruit but on rare occasion. When I do, it’s berries only. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Those only because I grown them in the backyard. I’m glad you found my post helpful. For those who… Read more »
Beth
Beth
4 years 21 days ago

Thank you Melissa (and Mark)!!!! I wonder what form of coconut? Oil or other? 🙂

Christine Z
Christine Z
3 years 6 months ago

Hi Beth, I have suffered from vaginal yeast that does not go away for almost 2 years now from antibiotic use. It has been very hard on me personally and luckily I have a very understanding husband also. I have gone to numerous doctors with no answers and have decided to give this yeast free diet a go next. I’m also thinking if going to a ND to help me along the way. Have you gotten rid of your yeast infections yet?

Tasha
3 years 6 months ago

Hey there. I can tell you right now that taking antibiotics is only going to make it worse. Absolutely go see an ND. I made my issues a lot worse by trying to handle it on my own. It seems that my body needs more starch, so going low-carb doesn’t help me. I’m currently following the guidelines that the Perfect Health Diet suggests, which is very much like Primal except that they advocate a lot of starches everyday for anyone, not just very active people.

Make sure you are consuming fermented/probiotic foods!

Christine Z
Christine Z
3 years 6 months ago
Thanks Tasha. I’m not currently taking antibiotics I’m just saying I believe this is how the problem all started for me. I was treated in 2010 for a lymes rash, treated for h pylori in 2011, had a tonsillectomy in 2011, and prescribed other antibiotics in the past that I prob didn’t need. This all started after my h pylori treatment. Now 2 years later, numerous doctors visits and money spent along with lots of tears and still no answers. All they do us say yup you have yeast and give me diflucan that relieves some symptoms but never cures… Read more »
Al
Al
3 years 6 months ago
Very happy that you are feeling better and I am going through fighting this right now after 8 years and prob 15-20 Drs and countless tests. If I may ask, what herbs were you given and what other changes did you make? I developed diabetes (under control at the moment) and gluten probs and a host of other awesome side effects in the past 8 years. All poss started with a surgery and there rounds of antibiotics within a year. Am attacking this hard and actually have been very ill for about 4-5 days now. Felt good for first time… Read more »
Team Oberg
4 years 24 days ago

This is a great article, especially for those people who struggle to cure their candida overgrowths with restrictive diets.

Haley
Haley
4 years 23 days ago
I totally agree! I took antibiotics for acne for nearly a decade and suffered some really weird but still benign health stuff throughout . . . Then this past year I received a heavy dose of steroids and my body crashed. Apparently I’d been developing gut dysbiosis for the past decade, and then with the full course of steroids, my candida went systemic, leading to serious neurological and gastrointestinal symptoms (primarily neurological – headaches, facial paralysis, vision problems, then food intolerances developed). Eight rounds of specialists couldn’t figure me out. Then some hippie suggested I had candida. I passed that… Read more »
TB
TB
4 years 24 days ago
Agreed, there is no clear cut diagnosis for candida. The journey to better health is like peeling an onion, as you peel away each layer the next layer may produce something else… My health coach (and also my MT advisor) uses FDN, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, which is an investigative process that employs laboratory assessments to identify the root cause/s of a client’s health complaints. My symptoms are mainly IBS related (and severe at times) even after being gluten free for 2 years & then primal (and dairy free) for the last 8 months, and I stick to this 100%. So… Read more »
Heather
Heather
4 years 23 days ago

“Agreed, there is no clear cut diagnosis for candida. The journey to better health is like peeling an onion, as you peel away each layer the next layer may produce something else…”

This is so true!

Alison Golden
4 years 23 days ago

Absolutely.

Martin
3 years 8 months ago

Leaky gut and candida/dysbiosis are often used interchangeably and there is a good reason for that. Although they represent different conditions they can contribute one to another, often coexist at the same time (also because they have common causes – bad diet) and they share the cure too (better diet). In the view of that is it really needed to distinguish between them?

jpatti
3 years 19 days ago
Well yeah, cause you don’t take Nystatin or Diflucan or use Miconazole for leaky gut. And a lot of stock/broth and butter aren’t going to help much with a yeast infection. A good low-sugar diet and probiotics certainly helps with either, but a round of antifungals helps much faster with yeast. While Mark is correct that there isn’t usually a specific test for intestinal yeast, any woman who’s had a vaginal yeast infection knows what it looks and smells like and will recognize it. If it shows up in her throat or poo, it’s pretty obvious it’s the same thing… Read more »
NME
NME
4 years 23 days ago
Thank you, Mark, for this well-researched and very useful post. I can say to the skeptics: CANDIDIASIS IS A REAL DIAGNOSIS. In many cases it is overblown or simply speculation, but it is often a very real problem. I have Esophageal Candidiasis, also known as Esophageal Thrush. It was diagnosed by a gastroenterologist. I have a photo of a yeast colony growing on my esophagus. It’s normally only seen in severely immunocompromised patients (HIV, cancer, the elderly), but I’ve got it, too. After years of ill health (all possible nebulous symptoms), I suspected candida, but had the same hesitations about… Read more »
Siren
Siren
4 years 23 days ago
I’m currently on day 18 of a self-prescribed anti-Candida diet, while also eliminating nightshades, FODMAPs, and nuts/ nut butters. So far, I’ve shown a bit of improvement, many of my symptoms have disappeared or are significantly reduced, but not all. Some are just as bad as when this all started 6 months ago. I’ve explored GAPS as well, but the first stages are too restrictive; I work full-time and can’t afford to take time off just to accomodate my diet. Though I intend to stay committed to the plan, I’m still convinced my issue goes beyond gut disbiosis and may… Read more »
NME
NME
4 years 23 days ago
Great that you’re making the effort! I also strongly suspected autoimmune, but after getting h.pylori and candida treated, my other issues (low iron, low vitamin D despite supplementing, elevated fecal calprotectin) are resolving themselves — my iron levels went up even without supplementation, and vitamin D is now optimal, at 62 (could never get it above 25 before). I’ve still got a lot to go and still can’t eat most foods without causing trouble, but sticking to the diet is making me healthier and slowly resolving my problems. It’s a long haul, but it’s worth it! Good luck!
W.J. Purifoy
W.J. Purifoy
4 years 21 days ago
Siren – Sniff, sniff, I smell it, too and agree that we shouldn’t feed them; maybe they will go away. At the recommendation of a friend, I located an ND (Naturopathic Doctor) and had very good success with him – he also started me on the paleo diet (it wasn’t called that back then). He helped me “cure” the depression for which I’d been seeing other doctors for 25 years and all they offered me were pills and guilt. If your new docs don’t help, you might try and ND. Good luck on your two new doctors. I hope they… Read more »
Christine
Christine
4 years 23 days ago

I didn’t feel very good on very low carb and felt very weak and felt as though I was developing a yeast overgrowth problem, so I followed Paul Jaminet’s advice and increased the safe starches and now I feel a lot better.

NME
NME
4 years 23 days ago

That’s great to hear, Christine, and glad to get affirmation that Jaminet’s plan works! I’ll be checking it out!

Charlie
4 years 22 days ago
I’ve long wavered back and forth as to whether my health issues stem from a candida problem or just general dysbiosis. Recently I’ve begun to lean slightly back in the direction of candida. I can definitely second that advice for lower-fruit. Eating any fruit other than lemons and limes unfailingly triggers acne for me. On the other hand, I’ve had no problems, and have actually seen some improvement with safe starches. Experiment! Speaking of experiments, does anyone have any experience with biotin for “candida”? I hear that it encourages the fungus into its non-pathogenic form, and I apparently had the… Read more »
Pen
Pen
4 years 23 days ago
Thank you, Mark, for writing about this controversial and little-understood condition. If the medical profession had been willing to recognise it, I would have been spared years of misery, leading to chronic illness, and my mother would have been spared the agony of not knowing why her child couldn’t keep any food inside, no matter what she tried to feed me. I now keep it under control with a rigid (Primal) diet, which is the only real solution that I have found. Any deviation results in flare-up. As to all those who claim candidiasis doesn’t exist – don’t knock it… Read more »
Amy
Amy
4 years 23 days ago
I agree that it is a real condition. My daughter was on antibiotics several times during the first year of her life. She kept getting respiratory infections and no one could figure out why, so another round of antibiotics was always the answer, but those in turn led to yeast infections… However, when she was one year old, we found out that she had a large Atrial Septal Defect, which is basically a hole in her heart. Her respiratory system was compromised which is why she got sick so much. Open heart surgery corrected the defect, but she still was… Read more »
Buddy
4 years 23 days ago
could we stop the squabbling and bicker backer and get to real discussions perhaps?? I had a serious candida problem from years of bi-annual antiobiotics to fight off sinus infections, and a very high sugar diet that had me close to diabetes, after reading the primal blue print i cut back on sugars and was really close to being in control of it all when i had a binge weekend relapse with beer and pizza, woke up with my yellow toungue back and sinus / intestina problems recurring that entire week, went to see my acupunturist (the only person other… Read more »
Tasha
4 years 23 days ago
Interesting debates in the comments. I was diagnosed with a candida overgrowth earlier this year. I was having recurring vaginal yeast infections and overall fatigue. I thought I had it under control, then sugar snuck back into my life and the yeast flare-ups started again. I went on Fluconazole last month and now my digestion is totally whacked up. The only thing that explains it: dysbiosis, basically that my gut bacteria is messed up. At least my yeast infection is gone? The yeast got bad again when I reintroduced sugar, so I think I was feeding an existing overgrowth. I… Read more »
Tasha
4 years 23 days ago

Also candidiasis is fairly well recognized in Europe, just not here!

Char
Char
4 years 23 days ago
I think this is article is great, it gives people something else to try if they have persistant problems that don’t clear up by being paleo/primal alone. It may not be “scientific” but it adds more options for self-experimentation to find solutions to personal problems. Also, trying some of the “treatments” that Mark suggests could potentially help numerous other problems other than “candida overgrowth” while doing absolutely no damage, so like he said, it can’t hurt. I have had problems with “Candida overgrowth”, and it is extremely persistent. For me symptoms were oral thrush, several food intolerances, low energy, and… Read more »
Suhail Mulla
Suhail Mulla
4 years 23 days ago

On a similar note and an intersting read:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19435442

Charlotte
Charlotte
4 years 23 days ago
This probably isn’t super relevant but I’ll chuck it in anyway in case it helps someone. I *battled* (seriously miserable constant recurrance) thrush for several years until I had to have a minor gynae op and before I was discharged my gynaecologist said she wanted me to take antibiotics while I was healing up to zap the yeast overgrowth. Killed it dead. Never had thrush since. I am not an advocate of antibiotics and I actively avoid them now that I am healthy and primal (I’d rather ride it out, and I treated an ear infection with topical coconut oil… Read more »
Tim
Tim
4 years 23 days ago

As a note, antibiotics (such as tetracycline or ampicillin) attack bacteria, anti-fungals (such as fluconazole) attack yeasts.

Antibiotics are pretty benign, at least in terms of toxicity. However, anti-fungals are toxic drugs you want to avoid if at all possible.

This is because yeast are much closer to us than bacteria in their metabolism (we’re both eukaryotes) so it is very hard to poison the yeast and not the person.

Charlotte
Charlotte
4 years 23 days ago

Hmm that’s interesting. I wish I could remember what I was given. I’ll have the hospital discharge letter somewhere. I am probably using ‘yeast’ overgrowth erroneously. Or she was using laymans terms when communicating the purpose of it to me.
However, it was my secondary point that although antibiotics are often blamed for squashing the ‘good bacteria’ leaving candida to run riot, in my case, if I was given antibiotics, and yeast was the problem, it helped. Make sense?

Stephanie
Stephanie
4 years 23 days ago

I was given Fluconazole after strong antibiotics for a sinus infection. I ended up on an extended dose of it (150mg x 7 days) at a later time and evidently the anti-fungals did more to clear up the ongoing sinus issues than anything else (including oral steroids, nasal steroids, antibiotics, etc.). I regained my sense of smell by day 3. Amazing. Now I’m more inclined to inquire about it than any other prescribed medication (well it’s OTC now, but still).

TB
TB
4 years 23 days ago

Anyone interested in reading about how yeasts are implicated in most of the illnesses we’re dealing with today, I highly recommend The Fungus Link: Tracking the Cause, Volume 2 by Doug A. Kaufmann. It’s a good read!

Meg
Meg
4 years 23 days ago
I had a very rare rash on my neck that was determined to be a yeast infection due to pregnancy. After months of treatments the only thing that worked was a yeast free diet. It was actually how I found MDA in the first place. We joke that it changed my life, but honestly I have never felt as good as I did on that diet. Did anyone here who followed the yeast free diet eat rice or other gluten free grains? Just curious as I found the “no fruit” tough without rice or something else besides veggies.
Eric
4 years 23 days ago
I use a soap with triclosan on my toothbrush everyday to control what I think is candida on my tongue. It’s the only thing I’ve tried that is effective in removing this coating on my tongue, or what I think is candida. My condition seems to be helped by avoiding dairy as well. I do not have lactose intolerance; however, if I drink milk or eat yogurt, it’s as if a weird whitish biofilm clings to my tongue. Any ideas on what this really is? I had a doctor prescribe a Nystatin swish years ago, but I remember the treatment… Read more »
Ed
4 years 23 days ago

Overall interesting article. I really think it is easy to over diagnose oneself with all the information on the web.

Since humans are not living exactly how evolution has designed us to, and the fact that we are living longer with illnesses that would of killed off the people with the, we are going to just have to deal with these issue.

Sadly those who need help with Candida will most likely not get it, and those wrongly diagnosed with it will go through unnecessary treatment. I guess that is what we have to look forward to with our advance technology…

Galina L.
Galina L.
4 years 23 days ago

I used to have vaginal yeast infections all the time until I started a LC diet about 5 years ago. Ketosis didn’t bring it back. For 5 years I also didn’t have any infection and didn’t request my asthma meds refill.

Weatherwax
Weatherwax
4 years 23 days ago

I can’t speak to the existence of intestinal candida, but I can vouch for brain fog and fatigue as symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection. After a single day of Diflucan, I was so much more alert and energetic that it was like a veil had been lifted off my face. I was shocked at how bad I’d been feeling without realizing it.

Andi
Andi
4 years 23 days ago

Alexa is angry. Get her some carbs.

Sarah
Sarah
4 years 23 days ago

This is real, and Mark’s paragraph about Paul Jaminet really hit home. When I went primal/low carb for overgrowth my heartburn went wild. It was so much worse and this seems to explain why – the bacteria/fungi were having a feeding frenzy and releasing lots of gasses. I’m still testing this theory, but I’m just glad to hear there might be a reason I felt worse. It seems that almost everyone else that’s gone primal and/or low carb has had complete relief of GERD and other digestive issues. Thanks Mark and Paul!

Kathy
Kathy
4 years 23 days ago
Thanks Mark for addressing this issue – from the responses it seems like there are some who have never heard of it or experienced Candida infections. A couple years ago I ended up with an unexplained rash and whitish tongue. I have a terrific Naturopathic Doctor that I always visit first whenever I have health issues. She treats Candida infections frequently in her practice and knew within a minute of looking at my symptoms that this is what we were dealing with. She set me up with Oil of Oregano (a great natural antifungal)- taken 4-5drops 3 times a day,… Read more »
W.J. Purifoy
W.J. Purifoy
4 years 21 days ago

When I did the candida diet, along with oregano oil, etc, I also took clay, activated charcoal and diatomaceous earth – they help absorb the toxins that the dead critters release into our systems.

shrimp4me
shrimp4me
2 years 10 months ago

Diatomaceous earth???? That’s what my husband uses in our organic garden to kill slugs–the diatom skeletons ask as an abrasive that injures them to the point that they die. I can’t imagine what that stuff is doing to your the lining of your Gi tract.

Amber
Amber
4 years 23 days ago
I had a variety of health issues for years (fatigue, brain fog, low sex drive, general sens of lack of wellbeing, digestive problems etc). Some days I could hardly do my every day tasks without significant mental effort and felt “out of it” al lthe time. I went to see a naturopath and she put me on Candida cleanse (diet plus some shake thing – don’t remember what it was). In merely _10 days_ I felt like a completely different person! I know the disease is not reacognised etc but this cleanse saved my life – I can know get… Read more »
Paretoparent
Paretoparent
4 years 23 days ago

I haven’t seen any mention of nipple thrush here – I’ve been fortunate to be pretty immune to thrush (unlike some of my friends) but when I was breast feeding I got nipple thrush. That is unbelievably painful and took me 3 doctors and persistence to solve… (the old guy knew immediately ) It’s a shame, I do think the medicalisation of childbirth and nursing issues means we are losing the wisdom of people like midwives with a lot of detailed experience to bring to the party, my thrush experience could have been so much easier!

Petra
Petra
2 years 4 months ago

I had problems with nipple infections when I was breastfeeding my babies 33 – 36 years ago. Never understood it. I went on the Paleo diet to stop getting thrush in my mouth and digestive tract a little more than a year ago. I often thought that my increase in energy and wellbeing was due to eliminating candida overgrowth. I did follow Christa Orechio s anti candida program. You can find it at Thewholejourney.com. it made a huge difference.

yvette
yvette
4 years 23 days ago

I had chronic yeast infections years ago due to using perfumed body washes. This also gave me abnormal PAP smears. It was reading the book “What your doctor doesn’t tell you” that helped me figure it out!! Believe me, it was a simple solution!! I just switched to Dove sensitive soap and my yeast infections went away, and my PAP smear came out normal!

Karen C.
4 years 23 days ago
I really can’t believe so many people are denying the very existence of candida overgrowth. Thrush is diagnosed daily as diaper rash in kids (my daughter has it now), and an oral infection in those going through chemo or on severe antibiotics (my mom had it during cancer treatment; friend’s son has it now after a tonsillectomy). As for myself – I had thrush in my milk ducts after my son was born. Painful? Like shards of glass! It took 4 months to clear it up. That’s 4 months of pain at every nursing, and nearly losing my nipple to… Read more »
James
4 years 23 days ago

It doesn’t seem to me that people are denying that thrush exists but more so suggesting that intestinal candida overgrowth specifically may not be responsible for the wide range of symptoms that alternative medical practitioners attribute to it.

This a controversial subject because there are no reliable tests for intestinal overgrowth and it’s difficult to establish cause and effect for both the symptoms and for treatment. I think its fantastic hearing the anecdotal reports from people who saw good results from making dietary changes. I don’t like to see the diagnosis of candida abused as a way to sell natural remedies.

MIKE
MIKE
4 years 23 days ago

COCONUT OIL

Bobert
Bobert
4 years 23 days ago

I am surprised no mention has been made of the red wine/resveratrol ability as an anti-fungal. There are many stories about candida exploding if someone stops drinking. Might also be part of the french paradox and why there are less wine bellies verse beer bellies.

Marissa
4 years 23 days ago

candida is such a nasty thing that, i think, most people these days are dealing with. i know i am after repeated antibiotics as a child. i believe candida can supremely screw up one’s health. now, i try to do all that i can to fight it, such as low sugar intake, etc.

Alexander Rinehart, MS, DC, CCN

Great article like always, very comprehensive and well-balanced. I agree with the herbal approaches you listed and learned a thing or two along the way. I just wanted to chime in that monolaurin, other medium chain fats, and Silver may also offer antimicrobial support.

Susan
Susan
4 years 23 days ago

Maitake and other mushrooms are effective against yeast. I was surprised it wasn’t mentioned.

Let me also add another to the count of former nipple thrush sufferers. I was eating SAD at the time. I hope to never have a repeat.

primal pat
4 years 23 days ago
Mark, Thank you SO MUCH for your post on this. I’ve been dealing with Candida on/off again for over a year. It’s unbelievably frustrating. I found a great naturopathic doc; she had me tested for food allergies when I first came to her with candida symptoms. I was at the end of my rope, having tried everything from kyolic garlic, to large doses of coconut oil, yeast-eating enzymes, you name it. It turns out I have a host of issues: gastritis (causing the indigestion), food allergies out the arse, and adrenal fatigue. The more I read about adrenal fatigue, the… Read more »
Maryanne
Maryanne
4 years 23 days ago

I’m sure I’ve got adrenal fatigue as well, since I’m dealing with candida and a thyroid issue – maybe you can try getting more organ meats/offal into your diet – that really helps the adrenals. It really seems to help me, and it can’t hurt to try. I’m so deficient in so many vitamins, and liver especially is so full of vitamins. And try drinking a shot glass of coconut oil in the morning – lots of people say that coconut oil helps with the candida.

Ashley
Ashley
4 years 23 days ago
This article is perfectly timed. I have really buckled down in going primal, but in the last week or so, my carb intake got really, really low. A few days in a row, under 30 grams a day. I have gotten yeast infections before, but just couldn’t pin down where this one came from. Looking back through my food log after reading this article and I think I have a very probably suspect. And how did I treat it? Garlic and plain yogurt. After an annoying incident with otc meds and antibiotics several years ago, that I have suspected ended… Read more »
Alex Fields
Alex Fields
4 years 23 days ago

This is something I would really like to read more about. A lot of people have a dysfunctional gut flora (not candida) without knowing it, promoting inflammation and leaky gut. And it’s so relevant to primal lifestyle since the primal diet is usually the best diet for individuals who’s got this.

It would be AWESOME if you could get a guest writer to make a post about this. I was severely sick, but found the best info on treatment from Dr. Art Ayers at http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.no/ and Eric Hunter at http://gutflora.com/

Grace (dr.BG)
4 years 23 days ago
Mark, Wunderbar PALEO PRIMER! I only developed chronic yeast infections after a titanium dental implant + tetanus shot (+/- adrenal dysfunction). I believe the candida was strongly heavy metal/MERCURY related. I’ve tried everything and the only things that worked to eradicate chronic bowel and systemic overgrowth are: 1. Removal of MERCURY and other metal sources (titanium for me) and identification of the ‘root cause’ 2. Efficient and safe probiotics: (a) GynaNATREN (b) Prescript Assist which I talk about in my AHS presentation (shelf stable + awesome) (vimeo.com/27958611) (c) Natren’s Healthy Trinity 3. Optimization of ADRENAL + THYROID function (which will… Read more »
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