Well, once again I have gotten very behind in responding to questions that many of you have submitted to the ask Cynthia page. So this post is a collection of some of the burning questions that you have on your mind in regard to Candida and my responses. I apologize to those of you who have waited so long.
Q. Hi, I have just started a Candida diet and all is going well, but can I have lactose free milk, cheese and soft cheese. Thank you for your time. Irene
A. Hi Irene,
Whether one can include lactose free milk, cheese and soft cheese on the Candida diet depends on a variety of factors and will vary from person to person. First of all, if one is wanting to be 100 percent Paleo, then cheese of any kind is typically avoided. If you’re one of the many Primal folks who permit dairy to some degree or another, then lactose can be avoided by choosing the lactose-free versions, which would eliminate the primary problem that dairy causes for Candida.
However, do be sure that you aren’t choosing one that is made from soy because soy is comprised of an array of naturally occurring toxic substances that can damage the thyroid, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract, impairs nutrient absorption and is high in estrogen which can increase estrogen levels in the body.
Additionally, many people are not aware that aged hard cheeses like cheddar contain minimal to no levels of lactose, so choosing a well-aged hard cheese would be acceptable now and then. Soft cheese should be restricted because it is higher in lactose.
However, there are other things to consider in regard to whether dairy should be in the diet when one has Candida, like the fact that casein contains heroin like substances that can result in a wide variety of neurological and mental health symptoms in some people and lead to binging on dairy products which may then lead to cravings for carbohydrates and sugar. Be sure to read my page on dairy, to weight the negatives and positives.
Additionally, keep in mind that if you do permit dairy in your diet, it’s not something that should take up a lot of space on the plate. It should be consumed minimally.
Q. Cynthia, I need to begin a treatment soon. I have severe sinusitis and am beginning to have asthma. I also have been having problems with inflammation in my eyes. They feel like there are rocks in them. I can’t get started because I can’t decide which treatment to proceed with. The indecision is literally going to kill me! I’ve seen an ENT who prescribed Nystatin powder. I haven’t filled it or used it yet. I am also considering seeing a doctor of oriental medicine who specializes in leaky gut and candida. He uses Chinese herbs but sometimes uses Nystatin as well. The final choice is Undecenoic acid. I have been reading about the McCombs plan by Dr. Jeff McCombs, and I like his approach. It is something I think I could do indefinitely. What are your thoughts? Thanks, Andrea
A. Hi Andrea,
Well the most important point to be aware of is that neither Nystatin or Undecenoic Acid is going to eliminate Candida all by itself. Candida mutates and gets resistant to most antifungals, so antifungals must be rotated and they must be part of a comprehensive plan that addresses other vital issues involved with Candida like biofilms, mutation and resistance, the immune system, avoiding the wrong nutritional supplements, co-infections with bacteria, intestinal parasites and viruses, and the proper diet. I suggest you take a look at my Candida Secrets eBook, as it covers all these topics in great detail. Alternatively, you can find a great deal of free information in the Candida section of my site and blog, here and here.
Additionally, chronic sinusitis is almost always caused by fungus and it must be treated topically. So be sure to find a doctor who is aware of that and will address accordingly. It is typically treated with amphotericin B in a nasal nebulizer.
Q. Hi Cynthia,
Are gluten-free flours (blend of rice, potato, tapioca, maize, buckwheat) allowed on the candida diet? How about coconut flour and almond flour? Thank you. Andry
A. Hi Andry,
No, gluten-free flours that contain rice, potato, tapioca, maize or buckwheat should not be part of the Candida diet. They are all too high in carbs and will feed yeast, and maize and rice are grains which means they are accompanied by other problems like anti-nutrients.
When a flour is absolutely needed, then coconut flour and almond flour would be acceptable choices. However, do keep in mind that any recipe that requires a flour really should not be part of the diet on a regular basis. They should be reserved for special occasions. The diet should consist primarily of animal protein, fat, and low-starch vegetables.
Q. I am post menopausal and am on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. I also have been fighting Candidiasis with strict diet.. mostly paleo.. herbal antifungals and probiotics. I’ve read that some hormone treatments like birth control pills can feed Candida. Would vaginal estriol cream also feed Candida? I’ve tried to research this question and have not found an answer. Based on the extreme diversity and depth of your knowledge I’m hoping you may know. Thank you so much for sharing your vast knowledge. Judi
A. Hi Judi,
There are a variety of problems that occur with bio-identical hormone replacement and a woman who has Candida. For one, Candida can mimic estrogen in the body, therefore increasing estrogen levels excessively and symptoms associated with estrogen dominance. Additionally, too much estrogen increases the level of glucose in the vagina, which will serve as a food source for Candida. So it’s important to maintain balance.
On the other hand, Candida eats progesterone, so it can also make yeast proliferate.
However, each woman may respond to these treatments differently. Some women may not have any problems, while other women may be completely incapable of taking them. So, one should not just assume bioidentical hormones will be problematic, but proceed with caution, observe, and adjust accordingly with your doctor’s approval.
Q. I strongly suspect I have been suffering with the disabling condition of Candida since childhood. At present I am following Dr D’Adamo’s blood type diet, BUT as far as I can see, there is no protocol in any of his books for Yeast overgrowth, leaky gut, etc. For example I’m not sure if I should be eating carrots, or beets, or cherries or blueberries because of sugar contents therein. Is it okay or not? I only eat gluten free/yeast free bread. Very costly! I am a lady, early seventies. Elizabeth
A. Hi Elizabeth,
I do not believe there is any validity to the blood type diet. Please read the following page.
The diet that is going to be most beneficial for Candida is the Paleo diet and should not contain bread of any kind and fruit, beets and carrots should be very limited because of their sugar content. You can also find more info on the Candida diet here.
Q. Dear Cynthia,
Two years ago after fifteen years of suffering with stomach problems, recurrent infections, joint problems and some psychological problems too. I decided to go to an alternative practitioner since my head doctor was always changing his diagnosis to a worst one everyday I had an appointment, but not helping my health. So this alternative doctor put me on a screen out diet to detect my allergies and I discovered my gluten, milk, bean, beef, pork, allergies which restricted my whole diet but changed my life. I came across the candida diet and recognize all the symptoms I tried as hard to keep it but I lost more than 50 pounds I was feeling great but looking awful, people would ask me if I was sick. I talked to my doctor about it and he said I didn’t have that so I reintroduce some more carbs but I started feeling bad again I’m going to retake the diet. My son was diagnosed with autism and many of the behaviors he shows I used to have and some I still, share like problems when socializing, dislike for crowds, noises and so on. I have also read about the connection between candida and heavy metals exposure, and thinking back I have been highly exposed since I grew up in a country with little or no regulations in this regard. My son loves wheat products and milk ones too, he shows symptoms of candida overgrowth. My question is in your experience what would be this, genetic heredity, heavy metal toxicity or yeast infection? I also would like to know how to treat this on a budget since I don’t have a insurance and my son’s doesn’t accept this kind of treatments since they consider this to be not real? Thanks! Tyrone
A. Hi Tyrone,
Candida and autism are very complex conditions that can have many different contributing factors that may vary somewhat from person to person. Additionally, it typically isn’t just one factor, the symptoms of autism may stem from all three of the issues you mentioned (genetic, heavy metals and yeast infection). It is very common for a child with autism or autism like symptoms to have all these issues, but it is also possible that they may only have one or two. Candida yeast is very common in the autistic population and considering the fact you have it, then chances are very good your son does as well.
Plus, there are other factors that may be at play like parasites, bacterial overgrowth, environmental toxins like Roundup, methylation problems, food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies or imbalances, excessive levels of glutamate and inadequate levels of GABA. One needs to explore all issues and see if they apply to their situation.
However, autistic children almost always see significant improvements simply by making changes in their diet like those found in the Candida diet.
I would take a look at the following pages for more info on steps that can be taken, which won’t cost you anything.
Since your son loves dairy and wheat, you should also read the following pages.
Here’s a page with some tips for managing weight loss on the Candida diet.
My Candida secrets eBook is very affordable, which is a comprehensive guide for addressing Candida and can be found on the following page.
Additionally, I would shop around and try to find a doctor who has at least some knowledge in Candida and the real causes of autism that we have discussed.
Best Regards to You All,