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Pregnancy and Candida

Hi Cynthia, I’m wondering if the foods that are part of the candida diet are the best foods to be eating when pregnant, or when trying to get pregnant. I read somewhere that it is best to avoid red meat if trying to get pregnant. Is this true?

I’m planning on getting pregnant sometime soon. In addition to being on the candida diet I’m currently taking the following vitamin supplements: Vitamin B complex, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E – 1 tablet each per day. Is it good to be taking these vitamins before and during pregnancy? Is there anything else you would recommend that I do to promote a good pregnancy? Thank you, Jennifer

Hi Jennifer,

First I want to make sure you are aware that I am not a physician and I do not have expertise in the area of pregnancy. So I encourage you to be sure to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable alternative medicine doctor to be sure your nutritional needs are met adequately. A pregnant woman, or one planning to be, will have different nutritional and caloric needs than those who are not.

With that being said, the Candida diet that I encourage people to eat is basically a slightly modified version of the Paleolithic diet, also known as the caveman diet, hunter-gatherer diet or stone-age diet. It is my opinion that the Paleolithic diet is the healthiest diet we can eat, regardless of who you are, because it is the diet that human beings are supposed to eat. This diet tells us that we should only be eating foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate, because that is how are bodies were designed genetically and we have not changed very much genetically, even today.

Human beings have been eating meat since the days of caveman and meat is supposed to be a part of our diet. I am a firm believer in eating meat and that includes red meat. However, meat should be organic, hormone-free, free-range or grass-fed and unprocessed. You should pick whole cuts, not chicken fingers, bacon, or sausage. Do not fry.

The Paleolithic diet consists of eating meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, seeds and small amounts of fruits. No dairy, soy, grains, legumes – beans, peanuts, potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes or corn. This is the diet that the gastrointestinal tract of human beings was genetically designed to eat. For the person with Candida, then nuts and fruits must be limited more than the average person. I would add that the diet should be organic, the food our ancestors ate was not contaminated with destructive pesticides and herbicides and ours shouldn’t be either.

Although I generally follow the paleolithic diet in my own life on a day-to-day basis, at this time, I do allow butter and yogurt in my diet, because I haven’t noticed any ill effects from these. However, I rarely eat cheese, because I do notice gastrointestinal issues from this. However, the strict Paleolithian would not allow butter or yogurt and many people have a gastrointestinal tract that does not process any dairy product very well, especially those with Candida.

Other recommendations I would make to encourage a good pregnancy would be getting adequate sleep and exercise and reducing exposures to environmental toxins. Any toxins you are exposed to can, and probably will, pass over to your baby while in the uterus and afterwards through breast milk. By environmental toxins, I am referring to common everyday chemicals in your cosmetics, cologne, perfume, hair dye, perms, hairspray, nail polish, shampoo, dish soap, cleaning products, air fresheners, fabric softener, laundry soap and most importantly pesticides and herbicides.Exposure to common chemicals while in utero puts the child at high risk of a variety of health conditions, like autism and hyperactivity and more.

When the child is born, infants are extremely vulnerable to these chemicals, which can lead to numerous destructive effects on their emotional and physical health. Switch over to non-toxic and environmentally friendly personal care and household cleaning products and avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides. Make sure you breastfeed, as this is crucial for the child to develop a healthy gastrointestinal tract and immune system.

Keep in mind that women with Candida often pass it to the child. It is not uncommon for children to be born with yeast overgrowth, but the physician will never recognize this. It is the rule rather than the exception, and I’m not just talking about thrush. I’m talking about full blown yeast infection in the infants gut that will impact their physical and emotional health. Recurring ear infections, stomachaches, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, hyperactivity, autism, attention deficit in children is often connected to yeast overgrowth.

To protect the child and get them on the road to health, as soon as possible an infant child should be eating nothing but breast milk. It is believed that early exposure to milk and dairy products increases a child’s risk of a variety of autoimmune diseases. When whole foods are ready to be introduced, the child should be immediately put on the Paleolithic diet. Sugar, caffeine, white flour, additives, preservatives etc., should never be introduced into a child’s diet. It’s not something we are supposed to eat and will only lead to deterioration in health and the development of conditions like hyperactivity, depression, anxiety, type 2 diabetes, obesity, addiction etc.,

It’s also important to be aware that being pregnant is likely to cause Candida to flare quite significantly. Women who are pregnant are very susceptible to yeast infections, because when you’re pregnant the fluctuation in hormones and changes in vaginal pH often make yeast proliferate. During pregnancy, progesterone levels rise dramatically, and Candida loves to eat progesterone, thus overgrowth will increase. So following a Candida diet, taking probiotics and avoiding environmental toxins will be of the utmost importance throughout pregnancy. It will be especially important to avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, which is difficult for anyone, but will be even more difficult for someone who is pregnant and having cravings. You’ll not only want to follow a Candida diet, but you’ll probably want to be on some type of natural antifungals, but it will be important to talk with a physician about which products will be safe for the baby.

If you have severe Candida yeast, you may want to consider holding off on pregnancy until you make some progress in reducing overgrowth. Take some time to be sure your body and environment are as healthy, clean and non-toxic as possible.

In regard to nutritional supplements, a pregnant woman is usually advised to take prenatal vitamins that would be prescribed by a physician. Women planning to get pregnant are usually encouraged to take folic acid. Whether you should be taking them prior to becoming pregnancy depends on what your body needs and I have no way of knowing what that would be without extensive information from you. However, generally speaking most people take B vitamins, magnesium and C and they are often needed. They are water soluble, so they won’t be stored by the body and the body will eliminate any that it doesn’t need through urination. However, vitamin E is fat soluble and will be stored, so it should be regulated a little more closely according to needs. Taking too much of a supplement can be just as harmful as not taking enough, so always do your research and be sure you’re taking what your body needs.

All the best,
Cynthia

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Jennifer April 5, 2010, 9:39 am

    Hi Cynthia,

    Thank you very much for all of your advice! I’m wondering if there is a way to tell when our bodies have recovered from candida, or in my case, how best to determine if my body has reached a healthy environment for pregnancy. Can I approach my doctor and ask for a blood test of some kind or are there any other kind of tests available to determine whether there has been a reduction in overgrowth? Or would we just have to pay attention to our bodies?

    Thank you,
    Jennifer

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins April 5, 2010, 11:29 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    You’re welcome. There are a variety of tests that doctors use, but in my opinion none of them are reliable. You are throwing your money away. They have high numbers of false negatives. Dr. Crook’s written questionnaire in the Yeast Connection, that measures symptoms, is the only reliable test. The best way to test for Candida is through your symptoms, when symptoms are reduced, then yeast levels are down. However, it takes on-going, lifelong vigilance to keep it reduced. I talk about this aspect in these posts you’ll want to take a look at

    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/antibiotics-yeast-overgrowth-and-anxiety-attacks/

    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/managing-candida-flares-during-the-holiday/

    Best
    Cynthia

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