I have a prospective client that has Candida, and I would love some information on the causes, treatments and exercise prescriptions guidelines. Can you put me in the right direction and give me any pertinent advise concerning nutrition and how Candida will affect response to exercise?
Candida is a common and fairly elusive problem. Because the symptom profile is so diverse, it is often mistaken for many other problems. For example, here are some of the commonly listed symptoms reported by Candida overgrowth sufferers:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Constipation, diarrhea or an alternation between the two
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Energy fluctuations throughout the day
- Episodes of fuzzy headedness or lapses of concentration
- Problems maintaining an ideal weight; particularly hard to lose weight even when making efforts with dietary and exercise changes (as typically prescribed that is!)
- Mysterious symptoms that are hard to figure out
- Skin changes ranging from spots, pimples, flaking, itching and more
Anyone who eats the modern diet and shops at typical supermarkets for commercially farmed foods and meats dramatically increases the likelihood of having Candida overgrowth or some other such form of yeast and/or fungal overgrowth. While Candida albicans is a symbiotic organism in the healthy host with balanced gut flora, it becomes parasitic at the point of overgrowth, which is indicated by the presence of multiple correlating symptoms or by the presence of antibodies identified through diagnostic testing.
Candida, like all molds, fungi and parasitic organisms LOVES SUGAR! It is not particular either. It is very happy to thrive on organic sugar sources if you should do what many do, which is justify sweet things because they are organic!
Anyone suffering from Candida overgrowth should go on an antifungal diet immediately! The best antifungal diet I know of is published in the book The Fungal Link by Doug Kaufmann (to find a copy, visit www.chekinstitute.com). The essence of an antifungal diet can be outlined as:
- No simple carbohydrates.
- No fruit is allowed other than green apples, which should be skinned first because fungus usually resides under the skin of fruits.
- Avoidance of all root vegetables, with the exception of carrots. Carrots have antifungal properties. Drinking one to three glasses of fresh squeezed (not pasteurized!) carrot juice per day, with as much raw ginger and garlic as you can tolerate, will be a BIG help!
- Eat no grain foods. That means no breads, crackers, pasta, breakfast cereals – basically all the garbage they sell in most stores!
- Avoid all commercially farmed and processed sandwich type meats. Many of the sandwich meats have gluten as a filler in them, which further inflames the intestines of a large percentage of the population. Commercial animal farms feed animals cheap grains that have such high levels of mycotoxins (fungal toxins) that they couldn’t be sold for human consumption. As you eat such meats, you ingest high amounts of the fungal toxins that have bio-accumulated in the animal’s meat and fat. Therefore, you must seek out free range and preferably free range organic meats.
- DO NOT drink any sweetened beverages of any kind. Coffee is a known fungal carrier, so that should be substituted for green tea and/or Yerba Matae. Stevia leaf extract can be used to sweeten as needed.
- Avoid all dairy except full fat organic cream and butter – unless you know you are dairy intolerant. In this case, Ghee can safely substitute for butter.
What You Can Eat
- Most all above-ground vegetables.
- As mentioned, carrots and carrot juice.
- All quality meats, foul and fish.
- Occasional fresh berries.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily, adding a pinch of unprocessed sea salt to each liter of water (preferably from France or New Zealand because the level of mercury toxicity in salt from those regions is the lowest).
This is basically what is referred to as a Cave Man Diet. I tell all of my patients, “If it wasn’t here 10,000 years ago, don’t eat it!” That rule alone will keep most people healthy! Another general rule of thumb is that the longer anything lasts on the shelf, the worse it is for you!
Other products that will assist in overcoming Candida overgrowth include the following:
- Raw goats milk and all raw goats milk cheeses. They have a very high quantity of friendly bacteria and have been found to be the closest to friendly bacteria in human intestinal tract. If you tolerate raw goats milk products, then enjoy them.
- Olive Leaf Extract
- Malic Acid
- Caprylic Acid
- Pau d’ Arco extract and/or tea
- Oil of caster beans
- Carrot juice
- Tea tree oil
- Neem oil (topical application only)
I recommend you consult a CHEK NLC II, or NLC III or a good naturopathic physician for guidance on the doses of these products before shot gunning them!
There are many factors that often lead to Candida problems that also need to be discussed and probably managed by a good natural physician. For example, those that suffer Candida albicans infection commonly have a history of antibiotic use, which kills all the friendly bacteria but does nothing to fungi, allowing any existing fungi family in your intestinal tract to take over. If you have EVER taken antibiotics without going through a recolonization process, that is a first step. The goats milk products mentioned above are very helpful, but a super high quality, human grade probiotic supplement is likely to be needed to restore balance to the gut flora.
The birth control pill is another common problem that facilitates Candida overgrowth. This is thought to be linked to the fact that estrogen and progesterone influence yeast production (This line of investigation comes from the fact that females have a noticeably higher incidence of Candida albicans infection than men).
I personally put all such patients on a four day food rotation diet plan as well as using a comprehensive blood test for food allergy. The goal is to remove any source of inflammation in the gut. When there is inflammation in the small intestine, for any reason, the likelihood of having what is called “leaky gut syndrome” goes up dramatically. The most common causes of leaky gut syndrome (lets the Candida leak into general circulation) are:
- Alcohol consumption
- Medical drug use
- Briffa, Dr. John. Body Wise: 10 steps to permanent weight loss and well being, Cima Books, London, 2000
- Watson, Brenda. C.T. Renew Your Life, Renew Life Press, 2000.