Candida: yeast-like fungal organism.
Sounds appetizing, right? Speaking first-hand, I can tell you that a Candida diagnosis is not one you’ll be thrilled to receive, nor will the diet that follows be one of your favorites, but I promise that if Candida overgrowth is an issue for you, and you follow this simple protocol, the end results (after the 7-8 week cleanse) will be well worth it!
So what is Candida, and why should you care?
Essentially, Candida is an overgrowth of yeast which is often the cause of many undesirable symptoms ranging from fatigue and weight gain, to joint pain, foggy brains and gas. It turns out that we all have some levels of Candida in our bodies; the issue arises when it’s allowed to grow, setting up shop in our intestines, and often times, throughout our bodies.
The cause could be anything from a few courses of antibiotics, a prolonged diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar, a lifetime of eating foods we’re allergic to, or even something as common as a lengthy period of stress at work.
Here’s a video of Ann Boroch, author of The Candida Cure explaining how Candida overgrowth is commonly misdiagnosed, and helps explain some of the more common symptoms and how they lead back to candida. She quite simply states how you clean up the fungus and help repair various auto-immune conditions, as well as MS, hyper or hypoglycemia, depression, anxiety and more. As she states, we don’t have a deficiency in prozac – we have a deficiency in nutrition.
Some of the common Endocrine System issues related to Candida Overgrowth:
You can download the full chart from Anne’s site here (it’s a quick review of how Candida literally takes over our bodies and upsets so many body functions!)
Speaking personally, I can tell you that I was having a terrible case of candida overgrowth, and had no signs of it (at least, none of the ones that I naturally thought of when I hear ‘yeast’). So after being diagnosed with a case of Candidia which had spread through much of my body, and successfully eliminating all food allergens that are present (due to leaky gut) I not only cleared up the brain fog and fatigue, but the joint pain & headaches are gone, and even more obscure, so is my asthma. Turns out it was most likely due to the presence of yeast in my lungs.
Pretty amazing, right?
Here are some of the common symptoms of a Candida overgrowth:
- Cravings for carbohydrates
- Digestive problems, including bloating, cramping
- Mood fluctuations
- Difficulty concentrating
- Joint or muscle aching
- General fatigue
- Urinary tract infections
- Intolerance to certain food
- Weight gain
- Inability to lose weight
So as I always say, I’m not a healthcare professional – just a girl who suffered through a ton of health issues, and has stumbled her way through diagnoses and treatments, and come out ahead. So here’s where I recommend you contact a holistic practitioner or experienced dietician who can have you tested and help guide you on your next steps. But to make sure you’re armed with as much knowledge as possible, here are my tips:
1. Ask for a food allergy and leaky gut test – you will most likely have leaky gut if you have food allergies/sensitivities.
2. If you’re the kind of person who needs to see it in writing before you’ll tackle the cleanse, ask for both candida and leaky gut tests.
Remember – if you have food sensitivities, you probably have leaky gut. If you have those, you probably have Candida overgrowth. If so, you need to eliminate all foods which are showing up as allergens, not just the main ones which come up on a standard food allergy panel. For example, my food allergies are primarily gluten and cow’s dairy, however, the panel we ran in conjunction with leaky gut and candida exposed several more (leaky gut causes food particles to ‘leak’ into your bloodstream, which triggers your body to see it as a foreign object/allergen, and develop an allergy to it). So the foods which my body now thinks are allergens are the foods I tend to eat the most, as more of those foods were making their way into my bloodstream than any others.
3. Prepare for an elimination diet: you will need to remove all allergens from your diet, as well as foods which tend to promote Candida growth. Those include anything sugary and with a potential to mold, such as alcohol, chocolate, dairy, cheese, mushrooms, etc.
4. Take a strong Candiaa die-off supplement. This will help ensure the dietary changes you’re making are supported in their effort to kill the Candida. Your doctor, nutritionist or wellness clinic specialist should be able to prescribe one, and if you want to do some research beforehand, check out this site for Syntol which is the product I took.
Here Ann Boroch talks about the important supplements to take for Candida die-off as well as many other supplements that we can all use given the common, modern-day diseases many of us face.
So the lesson here? Find a holistic practitioner who gets it, or seek out one online who will work remotely. If you’re in Austin, these are the guys I trust completely (an ND shares the practice with 2 MDs: Center for Health & Wellness, Hill’s Medical Group. )
If not in the Austin area, you can reach Chris Kessler who takes clients remotely and is well-versed on food allergies, sensitivities and I’m sure on leaky gut and Candida as well.
Here’s a helpful website you can browse too, which covers much of the Candida diet cleanse. Note that you’ll want to take a Candida supplement during the cleanse, which your doctor or healthcare professional can help you with. I used Syntol, which I believe you can order online. It’s gentle and effective – but pricey.
A good rule of thumb – once the cleanse is completed, you will want to take between 20-40 billion Probiotics count for at least a month (post-cleanse). Transformation Enzymes makes one daily that is 42.5 billion, though I believe you need a medical professional’s help to get them.
As always, I hope this helps you! Please share your ocmments below and let us know what worked for you, how you felt before and after, etc. I love to hear other people who have made the journey to rid Candida – it’s not a fun cleanse period, but it’s SO nice to be on the other side of the symptoms!