Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Sep

A Primal Primer: Candida

calbicansIt’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!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. COCONUT OIL

    MIKE wrote on September 6th, 2012
  2. 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.

    Bobert wrote on September 6th, 2012
  3. 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.

    Marissa wrote on September 6th, 2012
  4. 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.

    Alexander Rinehart, MS, DC, CCN wrote on September 6th, 2012
  5. 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.

    Susan wrote on September 6th, 2012
  6. 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 more I realize how the symptoms of both overlap. In fact, adrenal fatigue is probably why most people get candida in the first place: if your adrenals are out of whack, they cannot regulate your immune system.

    I’m now trying to support my adrenals, and am also taking oil of oregano tablets, as these allow for a slower stream of oregano through the digestive tract.

    I hope everyone dealing with this garbage can hold on to some form of hope. I was (and still sometimes feel) ready to give up, and live with this crap for the rest of my life. But you can’t. Don’t give up.

    Thanks again, Mark :)

    PS. I had no idea candida can feed on ketones. WOW.

    primal pat wrote on September 6th, 2012
    • 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.

      Maryanne wrote on September 7th, 2012
  7. 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 up in a pregnancy, I have found natural remedies are the best way to go. My son is now 9:) and totally worth those infections though.

    Ashley wrote on September 6th, 2012
  8. 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/

    Alex Fields wrote on September 7th, 2012
  9. 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 be out of whack from chronic fungal overgrowth, excessive aldehyde and fungal toxins). Need decent body temps to control fungal overgrowth (read book ‘Hot Brain’). Need healthy adrenals for the TH1/TH2/NK immune system and antioxidant status. Take salt, adaptogens, relax/rest, no crossfit/endurance events, sufficient carbs matched with protein to prevent low BG’s, don’t skip meals, absolutely no IF. Yes sorry.

    Had to battle this for 18mos and I know this is tough for both men and women. Very real stuff… No dietary interventions worked FYI for me (mod carb, low carb, VLC, high carb, all = #FAIL). Need to find the root of the issues which is not uncommon in our toxic neolethal environment the presence of heavy metals, particularly the mercury amalgams and incessant vaccine programs, which the conventional medical/dental community clinical will fail to accurately recognize or have adequate therapeutics. Unfortunately toxic metals (mercury, arsenic, lead, antimony, aluminum, etc) affiliate with candida strongly which we’ve co-evolved with as eukaryotes… It does make evolutionary sense!

    g

    Grace (dr.BG) wrote on September 7th, 2012
  10. Very nice article. I have seen garlic helping me against fungal over growth.

    Is it possible that fungal growth is caused by underline allergy/autoimmunity? I also have Hashimoto and was wondering if there is any relation.

    Vizeet Srivastava wrote on September 7th, 2012
  11. I switched over to an osteopath as my primary care doctor a year ago, and the first thing she did was test me for vitamin deficiencies, candida overgrowth, and food allergies. My vitamin levels were all in the red, except magnesium (weirdly enough), it turns out I’m allergic to baker’s yeast (but not brewer’s yeast – yay!), and she also found an overgrowth of candida. I’ve had Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism) for over 6 years now, and the only symptoms I’ve noticed I attributed to the Grave’s, not the candida. I feel pretty good, other than the heart rate and a little rare fatigue due to my thyroid issue (I’ve had these symptoms since day 1 of Grave’s). She told me to clean out my diet for a month, and then to go on the anti-fungal Diflucan (sp), but I’ve just been focusing on the diet part; I think I’ll skip the medication. I know another person who has “lower” candida levels then I do, and they feel 100 times worse than me. I think Mark’s right though – whether or not you have it, focus on cleaning out your diet. You’ll only benefit from eating less sugar!

    Maryanne wrote on September 7th, 2012
  12. Thank you Paretoparent and Karen C. for seeing the value in the article for nursing mothers. My sister and a close friend both had babies with oral thrush that transfered to their nipples and back and forth.

    Amanda wrote on September 7th, 2012
  13. Maryanne: coconut oil didn’t work for me. Now I cannot stand the stuff straight off a spoon. I also eat liver 2 – 3 times a week.

    Vizeet: autoimmune/allergies/Hashimoto all go back to adrenal fatigue. It is the main cause of many conditions.

    primal pat wrote on September 7th, 2012
  14. There has been so many myths and so much alternative bogus talk about Candida, so it’s nice to read a serious article about this topic. Thank you, Mark :)

    Tribe of Nature wrote on September 7th, 2012
  15. Hmm, all very interesting.

    Since going strictly primal (no alcohol or sugar except from 1-2 servings fruit, maybe 1/2 sweet potato per day plus veggies), I feel sooo much better; however, I’ve noticed that if I have a kombucha I break out around my mouth. Self diagnosis: yeast and sugar, so I avoid it.

    Last week, however, I had grapes, which I had not had for months, and had the same reaction. I know that grapes have yeast on their skins and also a lot of sugar.

    I have no other signs of candida (I’m a primary healthcare practioner and know what to look for), but I think it’s interesting that those things which did not cause a reaction prior to my dietary clean up, are now so apparently irritating.

    My husband, who has also cleaned up his diet, had hangover symptoms and joint pain after the kombucha. In years prior, he drank it regularly.

    Jackie wrote on September 7th, 2012
  16. I have intestinal candida and it took me years of agony and unhelpful doctor visits before discovering it, and treating it. Investigating why I got candida led me to the primal movement, and helped me understand my earlier, pre-cursor symptoms for getting candida (as well as other things). Eating primally (with a few extra food eliminations) is what helps my candida stay healthy, instead of making me sick on a daily basis.

    Katherine wrote on September 7th, 2012
  17. I don’t know whether what I have is “Candida” or not, but I get recurrent athlete’s foot and what feels like an external yeast infection whenever I drink alcohol several nights in a row.

    Sometimes, when I stop drinking alcohol entirely (for months), but still eat grains (corn and wheat are the big suspects, I don’t seem to have issues with rice though I still avoid), it doesn’t go away. Eating grain free, low sugar, alcohol free makes it go away.

    Fructose malabsorption and dental problems run in my family. I know that folks with FM don’t break down the fructose, but the bacteria (and candida) in the gut break it down, instead. I know wheat contains a lot of fructose…

    Missy wrote on September 7th, 2012
  18. I have Chronic Lyme Disease and am undergoing treatment with at least 3 solid years of antibiotics. My doctor started me on Nystatin with the antibiotics, but had me switch to a paleo/primal diet a few months before starting the treatment to get grains and sugars that candida can feast on out of my system.

    I don’t know if I felt any candida “die off” but I can attest to how horrible a Herx reaction is when Lyme spirochetes are dying off. Your body is basically in a state of sepsis. It’s so bad that I was determined not to have problems with yeast on top of what I was already dealing with.

    I didn’t know about yeast feeding on ketones, though. I recently switched to a full-on auto-immune protocol so I cut out the little bit of dairy I was eating, eggs, nuts and nightshades. Adjusting to a new version of the diet was tricky and I ate only 20-40 grams of carbs for several days. I felt horrible and couldn’t figure out why. Increasing carbs a bit did make me feel much better.

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned adding fermented foods for probiotics. I was eating some kefir or yogurt every couple of days, but since cutting out dairy, I’m eating sauerkraut and drinking kombucha. Those seem to help a bit as well.

    Decaf Debi wrote on September 7th, 2012
    • Oh God,Yes….the die-off is horrible (I’m dealing with Lyme too) and I’m not handling it well at all.:(

      Dutchie wrote on September 9th, 2012
  19. Thanks for the comprehensive post. I have an infant and within a few days of his birth I started having deep breast pain – but not the kind typical of a plugged milk duct and infection. After dealing with it for a few days, I noticed white spots on the roof of his mouth and a lightbulb went off. Thrush!! I’d suspected that I have a difficult time with yeast overgrowth in general because after trying everything to lose weight last year, I stopped eating the minimal amount of sugar and fruits that I had been enjoying and the pounds just fell off! I wondered if yeast had been keeping me from losing. This time around it took about three weeks for the extreme pain to subside, but I was thankful that I was already familiar with eating sugar free and low/no grain. I had a PB&J the other day and the pain came back. Crazy, huh?

    Anjanette wrote on September 8th, 2012
  20. Hi Mark,

    Concerning your comment about Paul Jaminet&VLC, Josh Rubin,in this video,speaks about actually ‘feeding’ the candida by eating (healthy)sugar in the form of root vegetables,fruit/tropical fruits,dairy etc.

    You also wrote that Paul mentioned that Candida feeds off ketones just as easily.Yoy recommended 100-150gr.carbs daily,but what about fat?

    Also,in the Josh Rubin video,he mentions that Candida loves to feed on mufa/pufa and that one should eat mainly saturated fats. Also leaving out,fatty fish consumption for whitefish. However I wonder if consuming fatty fish(as virtually only mufa source),might actually help bc of high O3 content and it’s anti-inflammatory workings?

    Is there anyone who has some experiences/info on it?(I know nuts are a Candida source)

    Dutchie wrote on September 8th, 2012
  21. The issue of weather candida or applied kinesiology is ‘scientific’ or not, got me to thinking – the entire Primal/Paleo/Caveman/Etc. way of eating isn’t considered scientific. The vast majority of main-stream doctors tell us that our diets don’t have a thing to do with our health.

    So, who cares what anyone else thinks is ‘scientific’ or not. What is important is what works for me (or for you).

    W.J. Purifoy wrote on September 8th, 2012
  22. I have never read anything about nuts being a candida food, or MUFAs being a food source. Ever.

    primal pat wrote on September 8th, 2012
    • I know,within the world of GAPS’ers avoiding nuts are a big thing concerning Candida. Most of them actually claim to cut out all ‘sweet’ veggies,such as carrots&other root veggies,all fruits,raw honey(is kind of doable bc of it’s healing effects&enzymes).

      Here’s the link to the Josh Rubin video,where he talks about Candida/sugar&fats:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta28jJ9e_Uc

      Dutchie wrote on September 9th, 2012
      • Hey thanks for that youtube link. I like his take on it. Very interesting. I’m already in the moderate carb range, but I may bump my intake up a little farther and see what that does.

        I don’t know if the PUFAs are feeding the candida like he suggests or if I’m getting an immune reaction to the nut proteins via leaky gut, but nuts definitely trigger acne for me.

        Sweet vegetables or “below ground vegetables” as he calls them don’t seem to bother me at all, despite the fact that I believe many are pretty high in fructose. (Whereas just about all fruits seem to trigger acne for me)

        Charlie wrote on September 9th, 2012
        • No problem.:)

          I still don’t know what to think of it all,according to my energetic therapist,I should avoid all funghi/yeast-feeding foods which turn into sugar such as carrots,beets,banana,dairy etc. Though she ‘tested’ that raw honey would be ok.
          (I virtually eat no fruit/sweet potatoe bc of the higher-free-fructose content.)

          I think there’s definitely truth in regards to “as long as you feed your critters,they make you feel ‘good’/anxiety free/energetic etc. Back when I stumbled upon Paleo(didn’t know much about it though) due to foodintolerances/leaky gut/Lyme etc.,I felt ‘great’,no sugar cravings anymore….however I ate lots of beets,carrots,pumpkin and loved all kinds of smoked fish&beef,nuts,pork and chicken with skin etc. I was eating 3meals a day however.

          Later on,when I got more into Paleo and this site amongst others,I got so overwhelmed and scared by all the info&people about “IF,getting fat,3meals a day isn’t normal,too much carbs make you fat,too much fat makes you fat etc.”

          My story is fairly long&complicated,but now I’m falling into my “old habits” and totally falling off the wagon,but now it’s even with a harder vengeance since I’m underweight which is one of my anxieties that I turn fat/lazy/unenergetic/still lost in life&anxious&with lots of ‘food issues,no normal mealstructure(I don’t even know what’s normal anymore),binges,falling off the wagon”, out of frustration,anxiety and God knows what else….

          Dutchie wrote on September 10th, 2012
  23. Also, in the past few months I’ve become very aware of an unpleasant smell which I think I’ve tracked down mostly to cooking PUFAs and MUFAs, and diesel exhaust. I’m assuming it’s PUFAs (probably oxidized) in the air. I never used to notice or smell this smell, but now it’s quite obvious to me and fairly unpleasant, though other people don’t seem to be able to smell it.

    If candida do indeed feed on PUFAs I wonder if that is somehow involved…

    Charlie wrote on September 9th, 2012
  24. I have chronic candidal vulvovaginitis. I’ve tried a bunch of different treatments, but mostly I just apply canesten cream when the symptoms show, or a canesten-steroid mix when they get very bad.

    The doctor that diagnosed me (after a few that had told me ‘I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure it’s not thrush’) tells me that fair skinned red heads are particularly prone. I’d dye my hair if I thought it would help, but I don’t think that’s what she meant!

    Rather be anon for this one wrote on September 10th, 2012
    • I have also suffered from bacterial vaginosis. I have found that taking Trace Minerals from Morter Health Systems helps to balance my pH and alleviate symptoms. You may want to consider testing your pH regularly and taking steps to alkalize your body if you are acidic (add lemon juice or ACV to your water, drink alkalizing tea, etc.).

      Mary wrote on September 10th, 2012
  25. Here’s the 80% cure for candida…are you ready?…it’s a tough one: do not eat a diet based on fat and carbohydrate on the same day because of inefficient blood transport. Yes, that’s right candida is a food conflict problem. Why does the Primal Blueprint diet keep candida low? Because it’s a fat based diet. Why does a diet based on fruit also keep candida low? There is no fat around. Why is this so important? Sugar and fat in the blood in high quantity at the same time is inificient for us, but candida loves it!. So look at the typical failure diets: Vegans eating fruit for breakfast, then a fatty avocado salad for lunch, sure the digestion went over well because the two were eaten separately, but then you still have a sugar process going on in the blood as a fat process follows which causes all the problems. Better to wait more than 24h before eating fat in that case. I love eating bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast. What’s on the toast? That’s right, butter! Getting rid of the toast solves the problem. How could it be this easy you say? Thinking about what Mark is always saying, we should eat what we are designed to eat, how we are designed to eat it…an apple a day may be okay, but not more if you’re a fat based eater.. Now, if you don’t want to eat animals, that’s okay, but then the rule still applies. Eat fruit, veggies and keep fat out! (10% or lower!) Try a week of eating only fruit and veggies and your candida will most likely be gone! You say, but candida loves sugar! They’ll grow! Yes but efficiency transfer of fuel to your cells is so excellent on a raw fruit diet the candida die off fast and regulate themselves. Raw fruit is a healthy thing not to be compaired with the sugar in the white shaker on the table. This diet also works on some diabetes cases. The good news is we have several options to choose from. How close the options can be moved (eaten) together depends on many factors, each body is a bit different. I like Mark’s PB because I love steak!, but I’m intrigued by the 80/10/10 diet as well (Graham) check it out! I love the word pseudoscience, because it is usually used by people who offer zero data themselves! My source on the fruit is Dr. Douglas Graham’s book, and just like Mark S., he has a whole list of people who were “saved” by his fruity diet. I lean more towards Mark’s system because I like meat, but I love the flexibility Douglas’ diet gives too. Now, I’m going to have an indulgence by eating bread and butter! The good news is I know it is not ultimate, too bad I didn’t know that for more than 40 Years!

    William Perrigo wrote on September 11th, 2012
  26. I had chronic sinus infections. I was on antibiotics every 6 weeks for this. I had bronchitits 6 times a year. Almost every time I ate, I needed to use my inhaler. I had hives, I seemed to be allergic to everything I ate, smelled, or touched. The only day I did not have a headache was day 5 of a water only fast. My doctor put me on Dyflucan and told me to eat Grass fed meat and organic greens. I was to take a powdered vitamin called ALL ONE and a liquid mineral called Mineral Rich. I was told that under no circumstances was I to eat sugar, or anything that would turn into sugar in the blood stream. After I finished the course dyflucan I was put on nystatin powder that mixed with 1/8 cup water and was to swish my mouth with it and then swallow it, four times a day. After doing that for 6 months, I was put on nystatin pills. with the same instructions.
    I have not had a sinus infection or even a cold in the 4 years since I finished this course of nystatin.

    I will never take antibiotics again. Except to save my life…But really, I have not even had a sniffle since then.

    lynn wrote on September 11th, 2012
    • Congrats! Who was your doc who helped with this? Maybe I can contact.

      Jordan wrote on May 7th, 2013
  27. I went to a doctor steadily for 20years. He once treated me for thrush of the mouth. Too bad he didn’t follow thru and detox me, tell me how sreious candida was. Tell me to eat right. We all eventually learn. I just got tired of being tired. I also got tired of dentists drilling and capping my teeth, which I finally refused the last dentist to do. She said I needed a crown, and I said what for, I’m already the king of England, bad joke and not true, but decided right then to go vegan, no more sugars, meat, processed food. Just vegetables. It was hard. After a month my tooth cavity stopped hurting. After 3months I started seeing strands of candida coming out with my green poo. I’ve got it on the run. I feel great and I’m 60 yrs old, and feel like 20. Please understand if you have a child crying and upset, they probably have candida and maybe some parasites. Acidophilus, vitamin B, coconut oil one teaspoon a day. Rotate every 5days oil of oregano, pau’darco, grapefruit seed extract. At the initial stage, for 1month take the supplements green walnut hulls or wormwood, and cloves, just to clean you out. I know this cos I’ve been there, and I’m still working of improving my diet, still takin supplements. Just now, I eat about ten walnuts that I crack open and eat daily. Better fresh. Drink plenty of water. You’ll beat this thing and/or you’ll feel great eating so well.

    Bri wrote on December 26th, 2012
  28. I also want to say I’m not a doctor so I wouldn’t know exactly what to give a child if thay had candida. Maybe one 10th of what you would give yourself. It’s up to the parent. I just hate to see children with gas pains crying so much. At least you know what could probably be upsetting your baby and a doctor could help with a perscription. Nothing better for a fungal infection then good eatin and cleanliness. No sugars, no wheat, no processed foods. Eat good soup with chopped up kale, squash, zucchini, greenbeens, occasionally cooked potatoes, all chopped in small sizes, put in soup. Chopped celery in a soup. It’s all good for a family.

    Bri wrote on December 26th, 2012
  29. I was wondering if someone could give me some advice. After being on the combined pill for years with no problems, I started getting vaginal thrush monthly. This persisted for 6 months then stopped when I came off the pill after trying all other options. I then tried a lower dose pill which immediately resulted in an outbreak, after being thrush free for 5 months without taking oral contraceptives.

    Is it the oestrogen in the combined pill which causes the outbreak? because I am hoping one of the progesterone only forms…mini pill, implant, injection etc, might stop this horrible cycle but I know some of them stay in your system for longer so dont want to risk constant yeast infections again. Any advice would be great, thanks!

    rachel wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  30. Interesting and well-informed article! I too have the experience that a too low carb diet may exacerbate candidiasis instead of healing it and have just started experimenting with adding some ’safe starches.’

    I would be grateful if you could clarify your recommendation, ”Stick to around 100-150 grams of carbs while still limiting sugar”—do you mean 100–150 grams of _carbs_ per day, or 100–150 grams of carb containing _foods_, like sweet potatoes? The latter interpretation makes more sense, but less exact since carb sources vary greatly in carb content.

    Oskar, Sweden wrote on February 18th, 2013
  31. I have had a lifetime of bad health, body pain, fatigue, allergies, asthma, anxiety, depression, skin rashes like eczema, and many more, and i have always had a craving for sweets, alcohol, and my diet consisted mainly of breads, pasta, fruit, and other high carb foods. As a child I was given a lot of antibiotics for different infections, and in my twenties I used birth control pills. From 1992 – 2001 I lived in a house that had a mold problem. I was constantly cleaning mold everywhere. While living there my health deteriorated, severe asthma and fatigue, rashes. Everytime I ate my stomach would blow up like a balloon. 4 years ago after researching my symptoms, I came up with candidiasis. My doctor didn’t support me, so I started a candida diet and treatment with the Yeast Buster Kit by Inno Vite. I had significant improvement in about a month. I looked and felt years younger. I went from not being able to work to working 14 hours a day 6 months after starting the treatment and diet. For the last 2 years I have been eating foods that are not on the diet, although not sweets, and I am having symptoms again. I think I have had a candida problem all my life, and will likely have to follow a strict diet for years.

    Karen Ackert wrote on March 5th, 2013
  32. Hello,

    I was wondering about birth control pills and candida. I believe I have intestinal candida and have been diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome) so I have to be on birth control (at least that’s what they tell me). Can I cure my candida while simultaneously being on birth control? I’ve also read that their are links of candida and PCOS so many the candida has caused my PCOS?

    Thanks

    Kerry wrote on March 6th, 2013
  33. The mainstream health industry is not interested in a condition that is treated by diet and complex regimens, nor are they interested in performing studies that validate conditions which they can’t correct with a drug prescription or surgery…it is shameful that these studies aren’t conducted and peer reviewed (the peers won’t review!) because this gap in knowledge provides a space for opportunists to exploit people desperate for a real solution. The AMA knows this, and so does the FDA and the rest of the establishment. Conducting the proper research would settle the issue, so why don’t they conduct it? It’s the same with autism and other poorly understood conditions, the lack of studies means exploiters can say ANYTHING. Really, I’d like to strangle a lot of doctors and a lot of gurus. I mean, actually strangle them. Shame.

    Brendan FitzPatrick wrote on March 22nd, 2013
  34. Hi, my husband recently had a pollop removed from his throat, that tested + for candida. He said it felt like there was something in it and food felt stuck. Well now I am worried that I may have it as I feel the same thing in mine. Is that possible? Did I catch it? We both have recently had surgeries and corticosteroid injections.

    Sara wrote on April 10th, 2013
  35. The best book I ever read: The Yeast Connection, by William G. Crook, M.D.

    Yvonne wrote on May 17th, 2013
  36. Dude, nice article, most other articles on this stuff don’t have any references, and I don’t trust what anybody says without some good evidence.

    This seems like a nice blog, I might read more of it.
    Best wishes for you and your family, from Portugal.

    Rafael wrote on May 21st, 2013
  37. I have been struggling to work out why I have felt so rotten for 3 weeks after giving up chocolate and fruit/dried fruit (first time I ever gave up fruit). I just found this today and it seems to fit. I have felt like I was incubating a nasty germ for 3 weeks which never quite came out into a cold or sore throat, as if my body is engaged in some kind of awful battle which has worn it down. Exhausted, wake after 8 hours with very very tired eyes, one eye water, both eyes sore, tired, tired, tired (no weight lost) so feel a lot lot worse than when eating less well.

    I am going to buy Molybdenum today to see if that helps and will keep drinking loads of water (which I always do anyway). My stools are night right which is usually a sign of being ill too. If all this is doing me loads of good as things die off internally that’s great. If I am going to feel this bad forever then I might as well go back on sugar.

    I am being sure not to cut back my brown carbs yet (brown rice/baked potato) as they are the only things keeping me sane. I am having daily steams/saunas at the gym. I am not exercising much at all (yoga once a week) as my body needs rest. It feel very post viral as I sometimes have felt after a very bad term when getting better when I need rest rest rest.

    I have very rarely taken antibiotics in my life, headache pill once in 10 years and never even had the contraceptive pill and don’t drink or even have caffeine and I tend to understand my body and how it feels very well. I am just amazed by this reaction to stopping fruit. I did not have this reaction when I gave up chocolate/sweets for 4 years.

    However in a sense I feel that if the reaction by my body is so strong then it is even more important I give up all fruit at least for now.

    EnglishRose2012 wrote on June 13th, 2013
  38. Nice post. I became checking continuously this site and i’m fascinated! Very useful information specially the particular final section :) My spouse and i take good care of similarly info significantly. I had been searching for this specific facts for a long time. Thank you so much and associated with luck.

    hoetger wrote on July 5th, 2013
  39. I suffered a menagerie of symptoms for years! Chronic vaginal yeast infections included. I can’t tell you how many doctors I saw seeking help. A low carb, no sugar, Diet helped but wasn’t curring anything.

    Finally, in 2010, I found a doc who graduated from medical school in 1956 and was still practicing. He listened to me, had me take a quiz, told me that I had yeast overgrowth and needed to have my amalgam fillings removed, and take a test for heavy metals.

    I just couldn’t believe that our government would allow a harmful substance to be put into my body (boy was I wrong!!!)

    I had my amalgams removed safely, by a dentist who knows how to protect his patients from mercury vapor. The lab work showed some elevated heavy metals. For 22 months I have been chelating to remove the heavy metals from my body, the last 16 months I’ve been chelating according to Andy Cutler’s protocol. It has turned my life around. The yeast is dying off, my tongue is turning pink, the chronic itch in my privates is gone, as is the eye tick and muscle aches.

    If diet doesn’t resolve your candida related health issues, get a hair test, remove amalgam fillings if you have them, and chelate according to Andy’s protocol.

    I’ve learned that there is a symbiotic relationship between mercury in the body and candida. You can’t get rid of the yeast until you get rid of the mercury.

    J wrote on September 1st, 2013
  40. Most people have candida in their systems, but don’t notice any symptoms. Even if you don’t end up with itching, flaking, redness, or other external systems, candida can be causing your body problems on the inside and contributing to variety of symptoms many people never guess could be from bad intestinal flora (digestive issues, skin problems, trouble concentrating, constant tiredness, anxiety, mood swings, OCD, irritability, headaches, cravings for sweets, difficulty losing weight, etc.). I have been using the Lady Soma Candida Cleanse for years because its the only thing to has worked to get my body in balance. I’ve found that a coconut oil supplement works well too.

    Suyin wrote on September 12th, 2013

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