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Candida Confusion

This question pertaining to many of the confusing aspects surrounding Candida was in a blog comment and since it covered a variety of issues that others struggle with, I have moved it over here so others may benefit as well.

Cynthia, I was diagnosed with Candida overgrowth about 5yrs ago. Found it hard to stick with a yeast free diet. My candida got worse as the years went. I started having digestive issues. Now I get this full blown rash on my face and neck. I had gone to a dermatologist who gave me antifungal cream but never said it was candida. Started seeing a naturopathic who has giving me a food allergy test ALCAT. It showed I had candida and many other food allergy. I was to eliminate wheat ,barley, oat ,egg ,dairy,sugar of all kinds certain meats, veggies, and fruits. I tried the diet for 2mos. I also took supplements probiotic, digestive enzymes, and others. I would still get the rash on and off so fruit was eliminated. I was then to start re-introducing foods one at a time to see which ones I would re-act to. This was very had to do. I got frustrated and began eating my regular foods. I once again broke out in my rash face/neck burning, peeling etc. I went to my pcp he gave me antifungal cream and put me on Diflucan. My first dose 1xwk and my face/neck was the best I have seen it for awhile. I started my second dose but I am beginning to get patches on the side of my nose and forehead burning red. I have been trying to not have sugar but have been realizing I have been eating a lot of salty things instead. Could candida grow with salt? Because with the ALCAT diet the foods I was allowed to eat included corn, brown rice etc so I have been eating that. But I have been also eating mixed nuts the last 3days with salt. The Alcat diet said I could eat cashews but I have been eating several other nuts. I read your webpage and you mention candida diet and a lot of the foods you mentioned were allowed in the alcat diet such as the corn, sweet potato, brown rice, peas, cashews etc. I found you webpage very interesting. I seem to never really completely get rid of the rash. I always thought legumes were good for you. I have a hard time understanding what are veggies and what are legumes? You mentioned peas are not a vegetable but a legume. That is soo confusing. Can I have a list of what are veggies and legumes? Is there a more extensive list for the candida diet foods to eat or what is on your webpage is the extent to it all. Have you heard of the ALCAT food allergy test? I was very moved when I saw the ThreeLac advertised on the net. I guess it was too good to be true. It was having the best of both worlds. Being able to eat sugar and still control your Candida. Sounds like the diet is what needs to be done. It really hard because of all the temptation and I enjoy sweet. Holiday and special occasions are hard. Is it okay to have a probiotic and diflucan at the same time. My naturopathic has given me another food allergy test to broaden the ALCAT list of foods since I was so limited and having a hard time with it. But reading your webpage has made me see things in new light. It is very confusing because so many people doctors, naturopathic, on the web info all say something different.  Lisa

It would be impossible to provide you all the information you need to address this problem in a blog comment. You can find in depth information on the diet and all aspects of Candida in the Candida section of my site.

Additionally, there is an abundance of Candida info in the Candida section of this blog

If you would like to have more personal advice, I offer consultations by phone.

My book, Candida Secrets covers all the bases.

However, here’s a few tidbits on the questions you ask.

Salt itself will not feed Candida. However, if you’re using table salt, it has sugar added, so it could potentially feed Candida. Sea salt should be used to avoid the sugar. I prefer what is called Real Salt.

If you’re craving salt, there could be a variety of other causes for that. You may not have enough sodium in your body. One of your systems is not working properly. Your aldosterone levels may be too low. Aldosterone is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands; it regulates potassium and sodium in the body. You may have a variety of nutritional deficiencies. Craving salt is a primary sign of adrenal fatigue. You should look into that in more depth, it often occurs with Candida.

Yes, I understand it is very difficult to remain on the diet, but it is crucial. Here’s some pages with helpful tips:

Managing Candida Flares During the Holiday

What Do I Eat for Breakfast on the Candida Diet

Yes, I sell the ALCAT test myself. It is a wonderful tool. However, just because the ALCAT says you aren’t sensitive to something doesn’t mean it should be in the diet. There are many foods that simply shouldn’t be part of the diet on a regular basis, like grains, legumes, caffeine, and chocolate. I encourage you to read these three pages to learn why:

Paleolithic Diet

Good Carbs Bad Carbs

Healthy Diet Plan

The ALCAT test only identifies what you are sensitive to, it is not designing a diet that is for Candida and it isn’t telling which foods are healthy. You have to combine the results of the ALCAT within the guidelines of the Candida diet and what’s best for the endocrine, gastrointestinal and nervous system.

All grains should be completely eliminated, they destroy the gastrointestinal tract and cause nutritional deficiencies as well. They also break down into sugar in the body, which feeds Candida and causes a rise in blood sugar and insulin.

Cashews are high in carbohydrates, therefore they feed Candida.

No legumes, they are too high in carbs and feed Candida and they destroy the gastrointestinal tract and cause nutritional deficiencies as well.

Legumes vs Veggies

Legumes are beans. Yes, they do contain some nutritional value, however they have a variety of negative effects on the gastrointestinal tract and immune system and are best avoided. Additionally they are very high in carbs, which feeds Candida and causes a rise in blood sugar and insulin. You can read about them on my Good Carbs Bad Carbs page.

Any word with the word “bean” is a legume. Green beans are technically a legume, but they are allowed on the diet because they don’t contain the substance called lectins, which is what destroys the GI tract and inhibits nutrients. Additionally, green beans are not starchy or high in carbs and don’t cause a rise in blood sugar and insulin.

Peas are a legume, that is high in carbs and contains lectins, so not allowed.

Peanuts are a legume.

Soy is a legume. It is the most detrimental of all legumes as it is very high in a variety of anti-nutrients, high in phytoestrogens, harms the thyroid gland, is connected to breast cancer and brain damage and has a variety of other negative effects.

Sweet potatoes, yams etc., are too high in carbs. If you’re wanting to indulge now and then, this is okay for special occasions.

Yams, butternut squash, winter squash are veggies but they are too high in carbs.

Corn is a grain, not a vegetable.

Beets are a veggie but are high in sugar and should be avoided.

Potatoes are a veggie but they are very high in carbs, almost the same as eating sugar.

The best diet for Candida is simple. It is a slightly modified version of the Paleolithic diet. Meat and non-starchy vegetables should make up the majority of the meal. Small amounts of nuts, seeds and fruit, dependant upon how symptomatic they make you.

Yes, probiotics and diflucan can be taken at the same time. However, diflucan only kills Candida in the blood stream, it doesn’t touch what is in the gut, which is where Candida resides. If the diet is not followed and all other steps taken to reduce Candida, it will flare significantly once Diflucan is discontinued. Additionally, Candida usually gets resistant to Diflucan within a month, that means the Candida has mutated and the antifungal is no longer effective. That is probably why you felt great at first and then it stopped working.

Yes, there are many different opinions out there and it can be very confusing. The key is to learn how to listen to your body. Your body will tell you everything you need to know if you learn how to read its messages. The foods that produce significant symptoms are the foods that need eliminated.

Best
Cynthia

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