The use of antibiotics and steroid medication (including the contraceptive pill) can lead to the spread in the intestinal tract and the body generally of yeasts that are normally controlled by ‘friendly’ bacteria which are damaged by this medication.
The main yeast engaged in such activity is Candida albicans, best known for causing thrush. Candida is dangerous because of its ability to turn from a simple yeast into an aggressive mycelial fungus which puts down ‘rootlets’ (rhizomes) into the mucous membrane of the intestinal tract, so permitting undesirable toxins to move from the gut into the bloodstream, with the strong possibility of allergic and toxic reactions taking place.
Among the many symptoms that have been catalogued in people affected in this way are a range of digestive symptoms (bloating, swings from diarrhoea to constipation and back), urinary tract infections, menstrual disturbances, fatigue, muscle aches, emotional disturbances, ‘foggy brain’ symptoms and skin problems.
Three-month anti-candida strategy
Dietary suggestions for candida
- Eat three small main meals daily as well as two snack meals where possible (no sugar-rich food).
- Include in the diet as much ginger, cinnamon and garlic (as well as other aromatic herbs such as oregano) as possible, as these are all antifungal and most also aid digestive processes.
- Avoid all refined sugars and for the first few weeks avoid very sweet fruit as well (melon, sweet grapes).
- Eat vegetables (either cooked or raw), pulses (bean family), fish, poultry (avoid skin), whole grains, seeds, nuts (fresh) and, after the first few weeks, fruit.
- To assist with bowel function, take at least a tablespoonful of linseed, swallowed unchewed with water to provide a soft fiber.
- Avoid aged cheeses, dried fruits (because of their fungal and mould content) and any food obviously derived from or containing yeast (in case of ensitization).
- Avoid caffeine-containing drinks and foods (coffee, tea, chocolate, cola) as these produce a sugar release which encourages yeast activity.
- Avoid alcohol.
- If possible, avoid all yeast-based foods, including bread and anything that has contained yeast in its manufacture or which might contain mould.
CAUTION: The patient may feel off-colour for the first week of such a program as yeast ‘dieoff’ (Herxheimer’s reaction) takes place. This will pass on its own; however, anyone with a severe and longstanding yeast problem might consider supplementing with high doses of probiotics for a week or so before starting the anti-candida program to reduce the intensity of the die-off reaction. Increased thrush activity may be noticed after starting the diet; this will usually calm down after a few days. The process of recovery from yeast overgrowth (candidiasis) can be slow (seldom less than 3 months and usually 6 months or more of strict adherence to the diet and nutrient/herbal protocol) and many setbacks are commonly experienced, especially when the patient attempts to return to a normal eating pattern.