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Get Rid of Candida for Good!

how to get rid of candida

Picture if you will, a garden with two things growing in it: flowers and weeds. If the weeds are kept under control, they really don’t do much damage and the flowers will bloom everywhere. If, however, the garden becomes overgrown with weeds, it’s a whole different story.

Your gut is exactly like that garden, but instead of being populated with flowers and weeds, it’s populated with what’s poetically called “gut flora,” the many organisms which reside in the intestinal tract.

In your gut, the part of the flowers is played by beneficial bacteria called probiotics, while the part of the weeds is played by a nasty little microbe known as Candida albicans —Candida for short.

Candida is actually a fungus, but in “normal” circumstances it lives in peace with the rest of the gut flora and isn’t much cause for concern. Unfortunately, this peaceful coexistence is often disrupted by a number of factors, resulting in an overgrowth of Candida which can wreak havoc everywhere in the body, affecting your immune system, hormone balance and even your thought processes.1

Most common symptoms of Candida overgrowth include bloating, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, brain fog, mood swings, sugar cravings and, most famously, “yeast infections.”

Anything that can affect the natural ecology of the gut can cause an overgrowth of Candida, but the usual suspects are antibiotics, birth control pills, and most especially, over-consumption of sugar, the favorite food for these little buggers. Antibiotics, for example, can easily alter the delicate balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in your gut (and for women, in the vagina) by killing off many of the good bacteria that help keep the yeast fungus (Candida) under control.

Without the good bacteria to keep Candida in check, the little buggers multiply like rabbits, ultimately damaging the intestinal lining and destroying cells.

It’s also important to remember that Candida are living organisms, and they produce their own set of toxins. “Greater numbers of Candida produce greater amounts of toxins, which further irritate and break down the intestinal lining,” explains Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN. “This damage allows macromolecules of partially digested food to pass through (the gut wall).”

The immune system takes one look at those partially digested molecules, realizes they don’t belong, treats them as invaders and sends out a bunch of antibodies. “The net result is increased sensitivity to foods and other food substances, and to the environment,” explains Lipsky.

What to do, what to do?

First and foremost, you need to stop feeding them. Since sugar is their number one source of fuel, the typical effective “anti-yeast” diet looks a lot like Atkins (very low carb). That means you avoid sugar, grains, alcoholic beverages, and yeasted breads. Even fruits (dried or fresh) are eliminated during the Candida “kill-off” phase. (You can eat all the grass-fed beef, free range poultry and eggs, vegetables, yogurt, nuts and seeds you want.)

While starving the yeast cells, you want to make sure to nurture the good bacteria that keep them in check. The best way to do this is with probiotics. Lactobacillus probiotics are particularly good at keeping Candida under control,2 but a good broad-spectrum probiotic supplement containing lactobacilli and bifidobacteria is always a good idea.

Remember, probiotics are living organisms, and like Candida, they need their own source of fuel. Probiotics love to dine on FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides). These molecules are also called “prebiotics” and many good probiotic formulas also contain some of these as well.

Many other substances are helpful in killing off Candida. At the top of the list is garlic (“my personal favorite,” says Lipsky), caprylic and lauric acids (both found in coconut oil), oil of oregano, pau d’arco and grapefruit seed extract.

Another terrific weapon in the anti-Candida arsenal is olive leaf extract. Olive leaf contains the active ingredient, oleuropein, which has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Barlean’s Olive Leaf Complex is a particularly recommended brand that comes in a liquid form that’s easy to take and tasty to boot.

Many practitioners recommend a strict “anti-yeast” diet for at least three weeks, and then suggest reintroducing “banned” foods slowly as your gut gets healthier. When Candida are killed, it may produce an antibody response that can result in a temporary worsening of symptoms (the “die-off” effect).

Because of this, “it’s important to begin therapeutics gently with small doses and gradually increase,” says Lipsky. “If your symptoms are still aggravated, cut back (on the yeast killers) and then gradually increase.”

And for women, for whom vaginal yeast infections are a particular concern, consider internal applications of healthy bacteria in addition to oral supplementation. Ann Knight, DC, a holistic chiropractor in Thousand Oaks, California has had much success with this protocol that uses a full-fat plain yogurt. “A broad spectrum probiotics mixed with yogurt and inserted into the vagina can be very effective,” she says.

In some cases more serious weapons like the antifungal med Nyastatin may be called for, but remember, if you’re still feeding the yeast with sugar (and foods that the body treats as sugar) you’re defeating the purpose.

The cornerstone of the best diet for getting rid of yeast is eliminating sugar, which is also, come to think of it, one of the cornerstones of the best diet for overall health.

References

  1. Lipsky, E. Digestive Wellness, McGraw-Hill, NY, 1999.
  2. Tannis, A. Probiotic Rescue, Wiley, NY, 2008.

[Ed. note: Dr. Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He's a board certified nutrition specialist with a Master's degree in psychology and the author of five books including The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. His latest book is The Most Effective Cures on Earth. For more information, click here.]

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Health Topic: Diet and Nutrition | General Health

Comments:

  1. Sammy Victoria says:

    The 1929 Ruby Red patent was associated with real commercial success, which came after the discovery of a red grapefruit growing on a pink variety. Only with the introduction of the Ruby Red did the grapefruit transform into a real agricultural success…

  2. Bode says:

    Isn’t Nystatin an antibiotic!!!

  3. Samer says:

    ive been taking a probiotic and anti fungi medicine now, my second attempt for stool test said that the candida is at a normal range which is good, however there is still the fungi. And i still feel the same symptoms and in a way they have increased now, i just hope this is the die off part as you stated or else i don know …

    • Karol says:

      My mom had a fungal infection on her lung that was detected shortly after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Long story short, the lung specialist wanted to put my mom on a very aggressive anti-fungal medication. It is so harsh, that the patient needs to have a monthly blood test to check for liver damage from the medication. We did a TON of research and had my mom take oregano oil drops under her tongue everyday for three months. She never did take the medication prescribed. The lung dr. ordered a new CT scan (post 3 months of taking the oregano oil) to evaluate the fungal infection on her lung. Amazingly, the lesion was now only half the size!!! Wow!!! She told the dr. that she never started his medication. He couldn’t comment on the oregano oil so she said she wanted to continue with what she was doing. Within 6 months, a new CT scan confirmed the lesion was gone. My mom had struggled for many years with candida overgrowth!!! Today, she is both cancer and fungal infection free!! Plus, for her, she elected not to do chemo or radiation do to her age and small size of her cancer!! Oregano oil is AMAZING!!! Its kind of hard to get use to the initial burn, but stick with it because it works!!!!

  4. Jane says:

    Anyone tried extra strength oregano oil to kill the candida for good? I’m thinking of trying it as I’ve read great things on it. Apparently it’s a crucial weapon to consider when on a candida diet or if you have cut out sugar completely.

    Advice appreciated.

  5. Sue says:

    The homeopathic remedy Candida Albicans 30c, one a day for a few days, will boost the immune system to kill it off.

  6. kim says:

    This sentence:
    “You can eat all the grass-fed beef, free range poultry and eggs, vegetables, yogurt, nuts and seeds you want.”

    Should actually say:
    “You can eat all the grass-fed beef, free range poultry and eggs, vegetables, yogurt, nuts and seeds you can afford.”

  7. Martha says:

    I hadn’t had a yeast infection in over 20 years. Then I started taking a probiotic (one with 10 billion active cultures)just because I had read about them and thought they were suppose to be so good for you. Ever since I began taking them, I started with thrush, then a vaginal yeast infection and now thrush again. Taking that probiotic was the only thing I did differently. Has anyone ever heard of probiotics causing problems with yeast? I thought they were suppose to help.

  8. Jacki says:

    @Karol, how do you use the oregano oil
    Do you insert it or take it orally?

  9. Teddy Flower says:

    The herbal therapy consists of the usage of various herbs such as aloe vera which can either be applied topically or taken internally. Branberry can fight infections and provide relief. Herbs like Calendula, Marshmallow roots, yarrow and goldenseal can be used for making tea or douching. They are known to fight yeast infections.

  10. Jennie loves mutts says:

    I found a combination of oregano oil capsules taken twice daily with consensual caps x once daily and acidophilus worked really well for my lung and systemic candida.

  11. Jan taylor says:

    I have candida in all of my fingernail!!!! Am taking Diflucan twice a week, coconut oil capsules 3x a day plus pro bio tics!!! Haven’t cut my nails in 6 months!!!! Have only been taking this concoction for three weeks, but am very discouraged!!!!

    • Kathie, IL says:

      For over 2 years I have been at war with fingernail fungus …my GP was happy to prescribe the itraconozole …. not much impact. Then the turbinifine … not much impact either. Btw, so many things impact the liver negatively — I did not personally think much of that as I have taken Milk Thistle capsules for years to aid the liver’s function (had tests during those months and the #’s were very good each time). I didn’t expect this to be too tough, since I have taken several extracts in water, a few times per week, for years (chlorophyll, wheat grass, etc.), take Bragg’s vinegar several times per wk, sip it throughout the day, diluted w/water, and have taken probiotics for year… For several years, I enjoy a big spoonful or 2 of coconut oil (for me, the very best, in flavor & texture, has been Whole Foods’ store brand, ’365′, in the plastic brown jar; it’s about $12.00/jar [also use over-nite on skin, all over -- amazing]. anyway….
      [oh, and I think that I contracted this from soil, due to learning as I research, btw..] What is finally working for me: oil of oregano capsules,
      pau d’arco [academic papers claim lg amounts of it have killed cancer cells], grapefruit seed extract,(i still plan to add garlic oil)….and I soak them in the cornmeal mush [ mix a paste of cornmeal with water and let sit out awhile for the chemistry to take place; then I take the dish
      of it and put my 10 fingers into it for 15 min or so -- as often as I can manage. You can find this online --- the microbes that the cornmeal creates (harmless to us, I THINK!!)eats fungi. My nails will look very different so I have seen it work...and all this makes for odd and time-consuming habits! It seems we all try a combo of things. Have not tried the nail laser which I may save up to do ...there are some reasonable deals for it on Groupon and other 'deal' sites periodically. At night I
      rub Vick's bcz the thymol is apparently anti-fungal. I use Liquid Bandage if it goes berserk and starts to split my nail --- it will 'glue' it and the active ingrediant, benzy___(? forgot)chromium is an anti-microbial.
      Since the natural nasty germ killer, silver, has been legal for medical use again (people used to store water in silver-lined urns for its anti-microbial properties), I apply Curad's silver gel (walgreens) a few times per week. [Some people take colloidal silver drops for immune protection (available at health food stores)]I have even been a pacifist by ‘asking’ them to move on in their journey, but they like it here, it seems.
      Well, I wanted to participate in the discussion because 2 years is a long time and I am so tired of it :-) ….before I close, I would like to say that I had 2 tests for fungus return as negative — this happens about 80% of the time, according to what I read. I went to 3 dermotologists — 1 wanted to do a ‘punch biopsy’, which I did not want, 1 said that I had Lichen Planus of the Nails, and another that I had Nail Dystrophy from absent-mindedly picking at my nails. ALL THIS while you can clearly see
      the black flecks, the fuzzy-type growth that starts to eat the keratin at the fingertips, the cracks or fissures along some nails, the waxy and thickened cuticles that fungi CREATES….1 thing that I have considered is getting a script for a different oral anti-fungal, as the sub-types of fungi, I hear, vary, so perhaps 1 of the “-azoles” wld help. Kathy

    • Cheryl says:

      Been detoxing and cutting out sugar (for the most part). I’ve read everything I can get my hands on and am taking caprylic supplements (found in coconut oil) and grapeFRUIT seed extract. I saw an article that the grapeFRUIT seed extract oil was used for nail fungus as well.

  12. Ted Bateman says:

    Been on candida diet for months.had blood work done.showed no candida.3 weeks later I’m having same symptoms as before. What do I need to do to get rid of this yeast infection. Thanks

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