I am an adult male who has lived with candidiasis for at least 2 decades. My approach and dedication to dealing with it has been half-assed the whole time up until 2 years ago.
I read the books Yeast Syndrome and Yeast Connection when they were first published and thought I had an active yeast infection of the gut. I’m not sure how I got infected but I had done a course of Antibiotics once or twice. And back in my young days during the 90s I had been somewhat of a party guy (beer, wine, pot, cigs) but not every day.
I did not have what I would call a “sweet tooth” but I didn’t abstain from sugar. I understood from reading the books that Sugar was food for yeast and therefore a no-no. I cut back on anything really sweet. I didn’t even think about fruit having Sugar but I didn’t gorge on fruit.
The books said don’t eat anything containing yeast. I couldn’t understand the logic of this. Surely any yeast in a bakery product has been cooked enough so that any yeast is totally dead. I dare someone take a croissant and try to use it as a starter for a fresh batch of dough. It cannot be done. Now I know that what they should have stressed was that anything that contains GRAIN is a no-no.
Why? Because grains (and flours) are easily broken down into sugars by saliva and digestive enzymes. Back then, the idea of all grains being forbidden was so ghastly that I couldn’t accept it. What in the hell would I eat? So instead I focused on antifungals and probiotics. I got some caprylic acid, nystatin tablets and some ketoconazole tablets as my antifungals. Caprylic acid alone cause quite a bit of die-off. Nystatin and ketoconazole were more subtle in effect. They are systemic antifungals and prevent fungal formation. I do think they helped but after I ran out of them, the symptoms of infection returned.
I took probiotics but I couldn’t tell if they helped or not. Now I know that probiotics don’t help too much until most of the yeast is killed. Probiotics colonize the intestines especially the large intestine (colon) and keep yeast in check. Colonize means that they don’t just live inside the lumen of the intestines but that they live by attachment to the surface epithelial cells of the walls of your intestines. They can’t colonize until most of that yeast that has colonized has been eradicated. The whole goal of treating yeast infection is about restoring balance to the gut. One of the hardest things to know with candida is how bad or serious is the level or extent of the infection. When I started getting severe itching on my legs and ankles and when I got patches of Psoriasis and eczema I knew it was bad. When I get to my post on enemas I will explain how enemas will give you an idea on how bad or not bad your yeast situation is.
Candidiasis is more than simple overgrowth of yeast in the gut. Candidiasis is when the yeast colonize to such an extent that they now start sending “roots” (fibrous tendril mycelia) to penetrate the intestinal wall. This causes small holes in the intestines and is referred to as “leaky gut”. Leaky gut causes undigested food particles to enter the blood stream and interstitial spaces setting off an immune response by the body. food allergies and autoimmune diseases are now set in motion. The liver is taxed dealing not only with the acetaldehyde toxin from the yeast but also with toxins related to leaky gut. This situation must be dealt with or else health will continuously decline.
I suggest that if you want to get over your yeast problem that you go ahead and assume that you have a bad case of it. What I outline will give you relief. Even if your case is not totally severe, you will recover sooner than expected. Hooray. If you don’t aggressively deal with it, it will come back and all that work will have been in vain.
The hardest part in treating this condition is the diet. A strict diet is a MUST regardless of what else you are doing to treat it. Either the GAPS diet or the Paleo diet is recommended. In a nutshell, eliminate all sugars, grains, dairy, nuts, and starchy vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, beets, all beans except green beans, lentils, etc.)
Even with a strict diet you cannot “starve the yeast”. The yeast will not proliferate on a strict diet but it will be put in a holding pattern. When I started the diet, I had cravings for things like chocolate and fruit. And I slipped-up a few times.
Gradually I begin to feel really better on the diet and the cravings went away slowly or I should say became manageable. One thing that helped me stay on the diet was reading books like Grain Brain and Good Calories Bad Calories and The Paleo Diet. They emphasize how the human race did not evolve eating a grain based diet. Sugars were not consumed like we have today.
Cave men only got sugars in fruits and berries and they did not eat those in abundance, just occasionally. Eliminating grains and sugars is key to blood Sugar and weight management.
Even high fat diets have been shown to cause a reduction in weight and an increase in muscle mass. I know it is strange, but true. Watch the movie Cereal Killers. Goes against everything we’ve been taught by the medical establishment.
Even after I feel I am cured of candidiasis, I don’t plan on eating the way I used to eat. From my research I hear about folks who get rid of candida, go off the diet and it returns. Very sad. I think it is because there is a component of the immune system that is not restored immediately when the yeast leaves. I might take who knows how long for it to recover (2 years?). I will talk about this more in a later post.
This is my first post in this series. Stay tuned for more. I have learned a lot from the dedicated folks here on Cure Zone. I don’t want to be that guy who hangs out in CZ, finds his cure and then splits without a word to anyone about what worked for him. I want to give back from whence I received much help. Thanks.