Q. Hi Cynthia, I was diagnosed with a candida infection in my intestines after a round of ciprofloxacin for walking pneumonia left me extremely sick and shaky on Feb. 25, 2011. The doctor put me on diflucan for four days and pretty much left me to my own devices.
The diflucan gave me extremely bad headaches and made me dizzy, but I finished it. Then, I started eating activia.
Now, I had never heard of yeast in the intestines before so naturally, I got online to check it out. But, there are ways to get rid of it, unfortunately, I cannot afford all these ‘cures’ and supplements and I am only 98 lbs (due to genetics, my older brother is small like myself, too), so the diet is completely out of the question.
So, I am presently doing things I can afford; eating a clove of garlic a day ( straight out of the bulb), taking an otc probiotic every other day, cutting out the caffeine and sugar (I haven’t had coffee or my beloved Dr. Pepper in three weeks), no more smoking and no more oatmeal or bread. I even began eating an Activia once a day.
But, this morning I woke up with this white film on my tongue and this “mossy” fuzzy feeling in my throat. And no matter how much I brush or clear my throat, it won’t go away. I know it is thrush. I thought I was getting better.
I was wondering if there is a cheap solution for candida that will fit into my limited budget and won’t cause any weight loss? ~ Lisa
A. Hi Lisa,
The headaches and dizziness from the Diflucan could have been die off. Die off occurs as the yeast organisms are killed and they release a high level of a variety of toxins. Diflucan is not very effective for killing Candida in the gastrointestinal tract, but is very good for getting what it is in the blood stream. However, one round of Diflucan is not going to do very much. Since Candida primarily resides in the GI tract, that is where most effort needs to take place.
Following the Candida diet is an absolute must to reduce yeast overgrowth. It is impossible to do otherwise. Candida survives by fermenting the sugar in our body into its energy source, so its food source must be eliminated. Any food that breaks down into sugar must be avoided. Naturally, that means all refined sugars and junk food should be removed from the diet, but it also means there should be no starches either — including whole grains, because they too are broken down into sugar.
Contrary to popular belief, whole grains and other starchy foods are not good for you for a variety of reasons — they are a major contributor to nutritional deficiencies, obesity, weight gain, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, colon disorders, inflammation, depression, anxiety disorders, autism, hyperactivity and much more, so removing them from diet is beneficial in other ways, besides reducing Candida. They lead to a never ending list of diagnoses as one progresses throughout life. I recommend a slightly modified version of the Paleolithic diet. The diet is also the most affordable way to improve your health, because it doesn’t require spending any money beyond the cost of food.
Weight loss is typically an inevitable event on the Candida diet, because when the starches are removed, the weight comes off. In most cases, it is a welcome occurrence, but unfortunately that won’t be the case for you. I’m sorry I don’t have a solution for that. You can read this post I wrote previously, on managing weight loss while on the Candida diet. At the very least, carbohydrates must be minimized. So if complete avoidance causes too much weight loss, you could try allowing a small serving. However, most people report that they do not improve unless they remove carbohydrates. Here’s some other helpful pages to read on manipulating the diet.
Here’s some other pages you should read as well:
You have taken several good steps for yourself by removing the soda pop, caffeine and sugar, so give yourself a round of applause for that, but it will require much more. An important point to be aware of is that Candida gets resistant to antifungals. So the garlic may not be effective for very long, if that’s the only one you’re taking. Antifungals need to be rotated.
The white tongue and mossy feeling in the throat are undoubtedly yeast. There is no other explanation for that symptom. Garlic is an effective antifungal, but it is probably not going to reach what is on your tongue and throat. This type of overgrowth needs to come in direct contact with the antifungal. You need something that is going to coat the entire alimentary canal. Colloidal silver and food grade hydrogen peroxide are very effective and affordable. They can also be used to brush the tongue with and gargle and will kill it on contact. However, you must be very careful with these, as die off can be severe.
Nystatin powder would also be very effective, but it requires a prescription. You need to find a doctor who is more knowledgeable about Candida than the one you currently have, so they will know how to prescribe Nystatin in the appropriate manner. Beware that die off with Nystatin is very brutal for most.
A more powerful probiotic than Activia is needed for overcoming yeast overgrowth. Probiotics should contain at least 10 billion organisms. According to a study by Consumer Reports, Activia contains about 3 billion and out of that 3 billion, about 3 million make it to the colon. That’s not bad, but a higher dose is required. You may find a product like Florastor to be effective and it is pretty affordable as well.
Keep in mind that Activia is not made from organic milk. Dairy products that are not made from organic milk contain antibiotics, pesticides and hormones, all of which cause Candida to proliferate. Yogurt should be organic.
Another very effective step for reducing Candida overgrowth that is not very costly is a home enema. If you’ve never used an enema before, you can pick one up at the local pharmacy. If you can get a prescription for Nystatin, it can be used in the enema. Alternatively, food grade hydrogen peroxide can be used in the enema or so can probiotics. An enema usually provides immediate relief, because it physically removes the yeast. A weekly enema for a while can be a great way to make some significant progress in reducing yeast overgrowth, then use periodically as maintenance.
There are three basic steps required in reducing yeast overgrowth. None of these steps can be overlooked. They must all be done simultaneously.
1. Eliminate its food source.
2. Kill it.
3. Replace healthy bacteria.
However, there are many other factors that must be addressed as well, like pH, blood sugar, food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity and other environmental toxins, parasites, etc. You can find all the bases that need covered in my book, Candida Secrets. You may also find this post on ten affordable ways to improve your health to be helpful, as they apply to all health conditions.
Candida requires a comprehensive and long-term approach. It’s not as simple as taking a prescription or one natural supplement. You must educate yourself thoroughly on all the different aspects.
Resource for Activia Consumer Reports
Go Ask Alice http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/7427.html