There are shelves of libraries full of books containing evidence of the ill-effects of Candida and a myriad of treatments against this yeast. The most common form is Candida albicans, which lives within most of us. Fifty per cent of women will house Candida in the vagina. Candida is not a particularly virulent organism, thriving only when our own immunity is low. When this occurs, however, Candida can be most devastating in its effects.
Orthodox medicine does not consider it to be a particularly relevant aspect of ill-health. The alternative bandwagon has enjoyed portraying Candida as the potential cause of many and variable ailments. As always, the answer lies in a balance between the two extremes. It is important not to get drawn into the germ theory’ that the orthodox approach portrays so fully. Candida itself is not particularly troublesome, it is the lack of immune system response and generalized ill-health within the system that makes it more aggressive.
Very often a diagnosis of exclusion is the only way to diagnose this condition. Candida in the system may not pass out through the urine or stool and may not be found floating freely in the bloodstream via blood tests. Diagnosis is often made by:
Exclusion of other causes
The symptoms of candidiasis are so varied that to list them would inevitably lead to missing some out. Any organ or system can be affected, either directly by the presence of Candida or by the toxins that Candida produces. Mental symptoms such as tiredness and lethargy may be produced by the poisonous effects of a small colony of Candida existing in the colon. More commonly symptoms such as vaginal thrush, rashes in infants, diarrhoea and itching may result from direct infection. A persistent presence of Candida in the bowel may activate the immune system in such a way that it overreacts to other things and can therefore be an indirect cause of allergies.
RECOMMENDATIONS ‘ Ensure an accurate diagnosis by some form of investigation. Many alternative practitioners have jumped on the bandwagon, suggesting that Candida is the cause of all problems and sadly often overlooking simpler and more easily treatable conditions.
1 Swabs from the vagina and stool and urine tests may isolate Candida. Blood tests may show antibodies to Candida. If these orthodox investigations prove negative, then consider the Humoral Pathological Laboratory Test or bioresonance. In principle, Candida is not a problem to the body unless the immune system is low and bacteria that compete with Candida for food are run down. The use of antibiotics and laxatives, which affect the normal bowel flora will allow Candida to flourish because of greater availability of food.
Candida, more than other organisms, flourishes on high levels of sugar and carbohydrates and these foods should be reduced, if not cut out, once a diagnosis has been made.
Avoid foods containing yeasts such as bread and live cheeses. Many yeasts excrete compounds that help yeast growth.
If over the age of 14 years, take 30mg of zinc each night. Below that age, discuss the matter with a complementary medical practitioner.
The fluid extract of broom – one teaspoonful 20min before each meal in a glass of water – or a low iron supplement can be taken daily.
Caprylic acid can be taken 15min before each meal and Lactobacillus acidophilus can be taken with the meal.
Anti-Candida diets and treatments
There are many anti-Candida diets on the market. My experience is that they are difficult to follow and the above recommendations often work without ripping into an individual’s lifestyle and preferred dietetics.
I do not recommend the use of anti-Candida drugs such as nystatin. Like most drugs, they kill the majority of the Candida colony but encourage the breeding of resistant strains, which will then multiply because nothing has been done to encourage the bowel bacteria or immune system. This gives a false sense of security, making the individual feel better for a short time but inevitably leading to a recurrence. The recurrence will be with a much tougher strain of Candida, which can lead to worse symptoms or new problems.
The same can be said for colonic irrigation. Whilst this does not confer the likelihood of resistant strains, it is often a temporary measure and should only be used in conjunction with anti-Candida therapy as recommended above.