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When Candida Treatment Doesn’t Work

Q. Hi Cynthia! I was wondering if you can suggest testing I should have done. I originally had an organic acids test 8 months ago which indicated a yeast and bacteria overgrowth. I started Paleo diet without fruits, cut caffeine completely, added supplements, and Nystatin.

I have also tried a few 2 week periods of Diflucan so the yeast wouldn’t get resistant to it. I am still having chronic headaches, feeling of being off balance, insomnia and hormone imbalance. What should I do next? My doc is having MRI done to rule out MS and referring me to a neurologist. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks! Whitney

A. Hi Whitney,

There are several issues that may be occur when Candida treatment doesn’t work as expected. First, just because you took Diflucan doesn’t mean your yeast wouldn’t get resistant to Nystatin. Candida gets resistant to something it is exposed to repeatedly. So, it could have gotten resistant to Nystatin and Diflucan. I’ve seen resistance develop to antifungals within a week.

However, the dosage and form of Nystatin is important. Nystatin needs to be in powder form or lozenges so that it will cover the entire alimentary canal – from mouth to rectum. Candida lives in the mouth, throat, esophagus, intestines etc. So the Nystatin needs to come in direct contact with it. It may need to be taken for as many as 6 months and should be prescribed thee times a day at 1.5 million units. So if the wrong dosage or form was taken, it is not likely to produce results. If your yeast isn’t resistant to Nystatin, you should notice some significant die off symptoms and see some kind of improvement shortly thereafter.

Most people see improvement in symptoms with the Paleo diet alone. So the fact that diet didn’t help, then that indicates there are other significant contributing factors to your symptoms. That doesn’t mean you should abandon the diet, it is the most important piece of the puzzle and must be in place.

On the other hand, since it sounds like you didn’t get any relief in symptoms from Nystatin or Diflucan, your strain of yeast may have been resistant to them before you even started taking them. There are many different strains and each one may respond differently.

Other antifungals like amphotericin B, grapefruit seed extract, oregano, garlic, tannilbit, caprylic acid etc. would need to be tried to see if they produce any improvement.

If you can afford it, the GI Effects Stool Test, can test the yeast against antifungals and see which one’s it isn’t resistant to. However, that can change a week or two later, after the product is taken for a while. Antifungals need to be rotated to prevent resistance.

Second, you don’t mention if you took anything to address the bacteria. Your symptoms of headache, insomnia, hormone imbalance, etc. could be the result of the bacteria overgrowth. Saccharomyces Boulardii is commonly used for bacterial overgrowth, and it has some impact on yeast overgrowth as well.

Third, food sensitivities typically occur with yeast and bacteria overgrowth and they can produce the same types of symptoms as the organisms themselves. So your symptoms could possibly be caused food sensitivities. The ALCAT test is the test I recommend to identify food sensitivities.

Fourth, you don’t mention what other information your organic acids test revealed and if you addressed those issues. The organic acids test provides an abundance of information about nutritional deficiencies, detoxification, brain function, neurotransmitters, the Krebs cycle, methylation and more. If the other issues were not addressed, they could be at the root of your continuing symptoms. I would be happy to take a look at your organic acids test and see if something was missed. You can make an appointment for a phone consultation, if you’re interested.

The hormone imbalance could be related to adrenal fatigue. When there is an excessive need for cortisol, then the body must use all its precursors to make cortisol and there is nothing left to make our other hormones. The adrenal cortisol test can assess the functioning of the adrenal glands.

However, hormone imbalance can also be caused if you aren’t methylating properly and an overgrowth of bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria can prevent estrogens from being processed properly and result in too much estrogen. Saccharomyces Boulardii and calcium-d-glucarate are commonly used to address this issue. Mehtylation issues would have been revealed in the organic acids test and we already know you have bacteria.

Insomnia typically occurs when we are in a chronic state of fight or flight. Meaning the sympathetic nervous system is not shutting off. Something is keeping the body in stress mode. There are many different types of stress, you can learn about them on the autonomic nervous system dysfunction page and be sure to read about sleep deprivation.

A new monster on the scene for insomnia, headaches, loss of balance and much more is the Smart Meter. Smart Meters are being installed in homes across the nation by your utility companies that emit a dangerous level of EMF/RF frequency that disrupts the brain, nervous system, endocrine system, immune system and hormones. Many people are reporting insomnia, headaches, loss of balance, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure and more. If you’re symptoms are new, then might want to check and see if you had a Smart Meter installed recently. If you haven’t had one installed yet, then you should refuse to let them install one.  They are destroying people’s health.

Last, but not least, common everyday environmental toxins that are found in your shampoo, cosmetics, dish soap, laundry soap, perfume, cleaning supplies, pesticides, air fresheners, mold, etc. disrupt hormones, neurotransmitters and the autonomic nervous system and can result in all of the symptoms you are experiencing and much more. They also weaken the immune system, making it more difficult to eradicate yeast and bacteria.

So, if you are not living a green and environmentally conscious lifestyle, this could be a root of your continuing symptoms. Cleaning up the environment in which you live is an essential component of optimizing health regardless of what the diagnosis. Body organs, systems, nutritional deficiencies etc. cannot be optimized if there is repeated exposure to toxins.

Heavy metal toxicity often occurs hand in hand with candida and can result in a vast array of symptoms like headaches, insomnia etc. A hair analysis can be performed to assess heavy metal levels.

Keep in mind, that even if your doctor does find MS or some other similar health condition, that the root causes of MS would be candida overgrowth, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, heavy metal toxicity, bacterial overgrowth and/or food sensitivity etc. MS is just another label for a set of symptoms that occur in response to some kind of toxicity and/or inflammation.Labels are helpful to identify what we are going through, but we must always look at the roots of the label.

As you can see, identifying the reasons that Candida treatment isn’t working can sometimes be a long and complicated process, but don’t let that discourage you. The information you gather about yourself along the way is invaluable.

Best Regards,
Cynthia

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Sara February 18, 2013, 2:38 pm

    I have a history of Candida and have now been told through a saliva test that I am low on progesterone from my NP and that my adrenals are on the low side along with the fact that she thinks I have fibromyalgia symptoms. She mentioned me taking a natural form of progesterone and D-ribose. I called back in today after seeing that D-Ribose feeds candida and am waiting for her to call me back. I have a couple of questions – how do you know what is causing what? Did the Candida cause low progesterone and by treating am I feeding the Candida? Or was it the Adrenal fatigue? I still have IBS symptoms and am on a clean low carb paleo diet for 2 1/2 years, take fermented veggies, digestive enzymes, magnesium and Nature Throid for slight Hypothyroidism. I’ve had antibodies checked and check my levels every 3 months. I am just so confused on what to do really. Any feedback would be great!

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins March 11, 2013, 11:23 pm

    Hi Sara,

    There is not clear cut answer because all these conditions overlap and perpetuate one another. Progesterone is often low in people with Candida because Candida eats it and supplementing with progesterone can feed it. However, progesterone can also be low if one has adrenal fatigue because of a process called cortisol steal. When the demands on the adrenal glands are very high, it needs a lot of cortisol. The precursors to make cortisol will be used all up to make cortisol, and thus there will be no precursors left for the other hormones like progesterone.

    Some people with Candida do okay on bioidentical progesterone and some do not. One can only try and see. Same with D-Ribose. D-Ribose seems to cause a flare in yeast overgrowth for some people, but not everyone.

    Candida can cause adrenal fatigue because it is form of chronic stress that depletes them. While adrenal fatigue can also contribute to candida overgrowth as the chronic stress can make candida proliferate.

    If you still have IBS after doing Paleo diet, it could be because of Candida, but it is more likely caused by parasites. However, you may also have some sensitivities to healthy foods that are part of the Paleo diet like chicken, beef or eggs.

    Yes, unfortunately, the recovery process is confusing and never clear cut as it varies for everyone and each of these conditions are complex with many contributing variables.

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Janet September 30, 2013, 5:08 pm

    Please help I believe my family & myself are suffering from mold exposure or candida overgrowth. My Internal Medicine Dr. doesn’t believe in candida overgrowth & changed the subject when I told him I was exposed to mold for many years & strongly believed all my symptoms are from the exposure. However, he has done many test checking for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, thyroid, regular blood work. all is fine he says he has no diagnosis for me said could be fibromyalgia and said I should see a neurologist, I have an appointment in 2 weeks.
    I’ve seen a GI specialist and says I have eoisinophilic esophagitis & gerd, he sent me to a cardiologist.
    Cardiologist says my heart is fine just have mitral valve prolapse so he is running more test but says I’m fine & he referred me see a pulmonologist for the dry cough & shortness of breath and chest pains. I have an appointment for that. the weird thing is that I went to my gynecologist for a yeast infection and he sent me 3 pills of diflucan to take every other day. ALL my symptoms disappeared everything from pains in my body, neck & numbing in my arms and feeling like inflammation of my fingers, the dry cough, cleared my sinus, I was not having the disruptive sleep, better taste in my mouth, no more fatigue, no more irritable bladder,… the best I felt for a few years. but a couple days later I felt worse as if the medication worked systematically but was too short of a treatment to completely heal me from this hell I’m going thru. Soooo… this is when I put 2 & 2 together & figured this mold my family and I were exposed to is in our bodies and causing all these symptoms that have no explanation. I started reading stuff on the web about mold exposure also about candida overgrowth and I have allll the symptoms but my doctor thinks I’m crazy! It’s very frustration and I hope you can help me in giving me some advise. I can’t seem to find any doctor who understands what this is, maybe I just don’t know what specialist to go to. My husband and children are having similar symtoms :(

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins October 22, 2013, 10:42 am

    Hi Janet,

    The fact that you felt better on the Diflucan indicates there must be a Candida problem. Candida can be passed to other family members, so it is possible everyone in the family has it. It is also possible that there is a mold issue in the home that is causing or perpetuating the Candida. I suggest you get some mold test kits and test your home to find out. Time to find a new doctor. I suggest you find someone who practices Functional Medicine or Environmental Medicine. These two websites have a database where you can search by state.

    http://www.functionalmedicine.org

    http://aaemonline.org/

    Additionally, I offer consultations by phone.

    http://www.holistichelp.net/counseling.html

    Best
    Cynthia

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