Q. Hi Cynthia, Like you I’ve been through many addictions and now have 28 years in recovery from drink and drugs. I live in the UK. In recovery (1990)I had major surgery to remove a tumor next to my brain and then meningitis. Of course I was given lots of antibiotics and have had a few more over the years. Although I’ve always exercised, meditated etc, I’ve been tired, depressed and anxious now for many years.
I did the spit test which confirms that I have Candida. I’m on a restrictive diet (meat and veg) but also eat quite a lot of hummus, a little rye sourdough bread and a little porridge occasionally.
I’ve recently started taking anti fungals such as, Pau’darco tea, Oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract and apple cider vinegar over the last 4 weeks. I’m still feeling tired and depressed and wondering whether to try threelac or Xtralac.
Am I on the right track? Any tips will be most welcome.
Also wondering if you have any thoughts about the effectiveness of Spiritual healing or breathwork on Candida,
Many thanks and best wishes. ~Wayne
A. Hi Wayne,
I’m sorry you’ve been through so many ordeals and commend you on your commitment to move forward in the face of such adversity.
Addiction to drugs and alcohol is typically accompanied by depression and/or anxiety, because the root cause of addiction, which is an imbalance, depletion or disruption in neurotransmitters, is also the root cause of depression and anxiety. In many cases, the anxiety and depression were present before the addiction and thus one of the driving factors to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. When one puts down the alcohol and drugs, then the anxiety and depression do not get better, they typically get worse, because the drugs and alcohol are no longer available to medicate the symptoms.
On the other hand, anxiety and depression may present for the first time in sobriety, because they are just another manifestation of the underlying problem, neurotransmitter imbalances. When the alcohol and drugs are out of the picture, the root problem still exists and comes to the surface. If a neurotransmitter problem did not exist before addiction, it always exists after an addiction, because drugs and alcohol disrupt and deplete neurotransmitters.
Many active and recovering alcoholics and drug addicts have Candida overgrowth, it too is a driving force in the addiction process. It is one of many factors that disrupt neurotransmitters and instigate a variety of disruptive symptoms like depression, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, etc. that often push someone to seek relief in drugs and alcohol. Again, when one gets sober, the issue of Candida does not disappear, it becomes more apparent. Of course any course of antibiotics afterward would exacerbate the condition if it already existed, or bring it on if it did not.
In my opinion, the spit test is not necessarily a reliable test. However, considering your symptoms and your background, it sounds like the chances you have Candida are great. The most reliable test for diagnosing Candida is the written questionnaire in Dr. Crook’s book, The Yeast Connection.
Hummus, rye sourdough bread and porridge are forbidden on the Candida diet. Hummus is a legume and legumes destroy the gastrointestinal tract, cause nutritional deficiencies and feed Candida. Rye bread and porridge are also forbidden because they are made from grains and grains also cause nutritional deficiencies, destroy the gastrointestinal tract and feed Candida. The diet should consist primarily of meat and low-starch vegetables, with a small amount of fruit, nuts and seeds as tolerated. This is the diet that promotes optimal health, not only for Candida overgrowth, but addiction to any substance, overcoming anxiety, depression and fatigue, and health in general. An occasional digression with hummus, bread, or porridge may not be too harmful, but they should not be eaten on a frequent basis. You’ll want to read these pages on diet:
The antifungals you are taking are some of the most common and effective for most people. However, it’s important to rotate antifungals so that the yeast doesn’t become resistant. A good probiotic is crucial as well. I am not a fan of Threelac because it makes many people very sick. Please read these pages I’ve written about Threelac and the comments from site visitors:
Yes, it does sound like you are on the right track, but Candida, anxiety, depression and fatigue are complex, multi-faceted conditions that have many contributing factors. Sometimes one or two changes can produce significant improvements, while other times it takes a little more. It usually requires a little trial and error and a great deal of detective work. Healing is a process.
Other factors that need to be explored are nutritional deficiencies, food allergies or sensitivities, environmental toxins, heavy metal toxicity, parasites, bacteria, proper pH, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue and hormone imbalance to name a few.
You should take a look at the following pages
I have three books that cover the topics of addiction, anxiety, depression, Candida and fatigue that you should consider taking a look at:
Even though you’ve been sober for a long time, since your biochemistry was never corrected with the proper diet or nutritional supplements, you will still find the alcoholism book helpful, because it will help you identify all the issues that haven’t’ been addressed and help you understand why you have the symptoms you are experiencing today.
Yes, breathwork is an exceptional tool for Candida, anxiety, depression, fatigue and most other health conditions. I use it regularly and encourage all clients to do the same. Your breath can be used to relax, boost your neurotransmitters, soothe your nervous system, turn off your stress response system and cultivate spiritual awareness, all of which are important for overcoming Candida, anxiety, depression and fatigue.
It is vital to reduce stress as much as possible for many reasons, but in relation to Candida it is because when we are under stress it triggers the liver to release sugar into the blood stream, which feeds the yeast and often results in a cycle of hypoglycemic symptoms that result in cravings for sugar and carbs. In relation to anxiety, depression and fatigue, stress also causes excessive levels of norepinephrine and cortisol, which results in more anxiety, depression and fatigue . Using your breath is the easiest and most affordable method of achieving this goal. You can read these pages for more information on breathwork:
It is my opinion that spiritual health is always a component in achieving optimal health regardless of the condition, and by spiritual health I am referring to the relationship you have with yourself, your connection to the Universe and finding meaning and purpose in your life. However, very few people achieve complete healing with spirituality alone. It must be in place, but it must be accompanied by a good diet, avoidance of environmental toxins, nutritional supplements and addressing any other biochemical issues that may exist.
Primarily, that is because spiritual health and mental and physical health have an interdependent relationship with one another. On one hand, healing emotionally and physically are supported by spiritual development, yet on the other hand, spiritual growth and awareness can be difficult to achieve when neurotransmitters in the brain are disrupted by poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins etc. The healing process itself is a spiritual journey; one that often challenges you at your core.
All the best in your journey.