I haven't posted in a while and I thought I would give you an update on my situation and capsulize what I feel are the key points in dealing with candida infection of the gut.
Well I can report that I am now cured of my candida problem which I suffered from for over 25 years in varying degrees of severity. I am not on the "anti-candia diet" which I hated the whole time I was on it. I can eat fruit, which I love. I eat dark chocolate (bittersweet) which is the healthiest kind. I don't gorge on it however. But even though I am not on the anti-candida diet, I still avoid wheat, barley and rye which all contain gluten. I do not have celiac disease but gluten causes leaky gut in all individuals so it is best to avoid it altogether. What I have discovered is that perhaps more than half of my problems when I had candida was caused by leaky gut. Wheat, candida, Advil, alcohol, etc. contribute to leaky gut which allows undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream which causes a cascade of immune responses causing allergies and autoimmune problems. I constantly had runny nose, a patch of Psoriasis
and a patch of eczema. When my candida was at its worst, I had a maddening itch around my ankles and shins. On top of that you have major mycotoxins (primarily aldehydes) released by the candida which sickens the liver and brain. I would suggest to anyone who is battling candida to do research on healing leaky gut also. Glutamine (20 grams a day in divided doses) powder and colostrum are great in healing leaky gut. Until you are healed, take 6 teaspoons of colostrum powder (2 teaspoons 3 times a day). Colostrum has lactoferrin and IgA immune factors and is great at fighting candida also. I found a great deal on high-quality colostrum on Amazon. One KILO of colostrum powder for $100 postpaid! One KILO is 2.2 POUNDS. Store it in the refrigerator.
Here is an excellent article on leaky gut. If you are serious about attacking candida you need to also focus on leaky gut:
Besides glutamine and colostrum for leaky gut I had major success taking Zinc L-carnosine complex (PepZin GI) 4 capsules a day as my sole source of dietary zinc. Quercitin, N-acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) and Ginko Biloba extract also were very helpful. NAG blocks candida from adhering to intestinal mucosa.
Focusing back upon the candida protocol, my successful plan can be broken down into 3 stages:
Stage 1: Strict anti-candida diet which means no grains, sugars, dairy, fruit or starchy veggies (potatoes, corn, carrots, beets).
Antifungals twice a day. Powdered nystatin should be here. A rounded 1/2 teaspoon of nystatin powder 2-3 times a day. You can order it from Fludan.
Get the 1 Billion unit product if you can afford it. It is a better value and should last the 3 months you are on antifungals.
If you have a severe case of candida you might want to also take a systemic antifungal like Diflucan (fluconazole) which is an excellent antifungal and less hard on the liver than ketoconazole. Systemic antifungals are good at killing candida that has penetrated tissues and is feeding on blood sugar. In fact, no other type of antifungal (the systemics) can reach this kind of infection. There are warnings about how Diflucan can be hard on the liver so you should take liver support supplements (milk thistle extract, n-acetyl cysteine, curcumin, and Vitamin C). I feel the benefits of taking 200 mg. of Diflucan twice a day outweighs other factors. I would not take it long term however. 30-45 days maximum is sufficient. Forget about a regular MD giving you a prescription for Diflucan. AMA doctors don't even believe that a person can get into trouble with candida infection unless they a severely immune compromised (have AIDS, etc.). What I have found is that you can get fluconazole on eBay. It will be listed as medicine for tropical fish but when it arrived, it is the exact brand (not Diflucan but a foreign generic) and make that is prescribed to humans! It is made overseas but the capsules are identical to what are prescribed to humans. The bottle says something to the effect: For animal use only, not for human consumption. But I'm pretty sure the people selling it know that people are taking it too. The people I bought it from are in Thailand. It is even cheaper than if you bought it here from a pharmacy. If you do feel you need to take fluconazole, make sure you take curcumin also. They work synergistically and the curcumin prevents the candida from developing resistance to fluconazole. Take 900 mg. curcumin with the fluconazole. This is what I took:
They also sell smaller size bottles if you are cash strapped.
One mistake I made when I initially started fighting candida was focusing almost exclusively on antifungals. I went overboard with high powered antifungals and I got into trouble. Specifically, I took broad spectrum antifungals such as oregano oil and grapefruit seed extract in fairly high dosages. What I didn't know was that these antifungals are also excellent antibacterials and they basically sterilized my gut. It was like taking high dose penicillin or tetracycline. We all know that Antibiotics
is the number one cause of developing candida infection. With a sterile gut, candida still exists in bioforms in the folds of the gut and will re-emerge and quickly repopulate the gut. So the end result of taking these broad spectrum antifungals is a worse case of candida. Instead of bringing a better balance to gut dysbiosis, it leads to more dysbiosis. Knowing what I know now, I would strongly suggest that if you have candidiasis of the gut, avoid theses antifungals completely:
Oregano oil (and all essential oils EXCEPT peppermint oil)
Grapefruit Seed Extract
(you don't need more that 50 mg. of Iodine
Good antifungals (that I haven't already mentioned) include: Pau d'Arco, oil leaf extract, caprylic acid, monolaurin, coconut oil, garlic, berberine, lactoferrin, SF722.
One of the best combinations of antifungals is coconut oil, monolaurin and peppermint oil. They are oily compounds that mix together and become a potent oil slurry that is devastating to candida. 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 2 scoops of monolaurin (Lauricidin) and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint oil is what I took. Take only once a day with meals. Can be unpleasant if taken on an empty stomach. You can buy monolaurin from here:
Because candida can hide from the antifungals and immune system by way of biofilms, you need to take enzymes that will dissolve these and allow the antifugals to get to the candida. Take these right before going to bed on an empty stomach. Then when you wake up, take antifungals on an empty stomach. I wrote a whole post on biofilms here:
The only other thing I want to mention about antifungals is the need to attack the problem from both ends (literally). Oral antifungals have a weakness in that they are largely absorbed into the bloodstream and metabolized before they have a chance to get where they are most needed: the colon. To address this, it has been found that taking enemas containg antifungals (nystatin specifically) is almost a necessity in battling chronic candidiasis. You should be taking a laxative daily (not a harsh one however). Enemas are done after you have had your bowel movement allowing the enema to get where it is needed: the upper colon in general and the cecum in particular. I wrote a whole post about this also:
In previous posts I said how I recommend taking milk of magnesia as a laxative. I have reconsidered and now withdraw that recommendation. MOM is too alkaline. Candida becomes its invasive fungal form in alkaline environments. I also do not recommend psyllium fiber either because when I was on that, I saw candida growing on it in my stool. A laxative is a must while battling candida and my recommedation now is to take either Miralax or senna (Senekot).
So to recap, Stage 1 involves a strict anti-candida diet, antifungals, anti-biofilm enzymes, nystatin enemas and laxatives. I don't even think you need any probiotics in the beginning but it wouldn't hurt. I just don't think you will see much benefit. A key discovery of mine is that while probiotics will come to the rescue eventually, during this phase of killing candida, the anti-candida diet just does not allow for probiotics to grow, blossom and thrive in the gut. This phase 1 should be adhered to for 3 months.
Phase 2: The only thing we are going to do in phase 2 is add two things: probiotics and certain prebiotics. Everything in Phase 1 will continue in Phase 2. It was my experience that adding probiotics while on the strict anti-candida diet did little to improve my situation. The probiotics were down there but they weren't blossoming and thriving which is necessary to displace the candida and make the environment unfavorable to the candida. I also discovered that one of the best sources of probiotics is fermented veggies: sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and other veggies that are naturally fermented and not just pickled with vinegar. Not all sauerkraut or pickles are the fermented kind. The fermented stuff will be in the refrigerated section of the grocery and will contain no vinegar. Personal recommendation: Bubbies Sauerkraut and Bubbies Kosher Dill Pickles. You can find these at Whole Foods and Sprouts. Fermented veggies contain more than the 14 strains of beneficial bacteria that probiotic capsules contain and a serving of the veggies contains trillions of CFUs. I still recommend taking a good probiotic capsule containg high amount of Bifido Bacteria. The Ultimate Flora brand is a good one:
Eat the fermented veggies twice a day. Take the probiotic capsule once a day or twice a day if you can afford it.
And now I want to share with you the discovery that really made a difference and was the key to my getting rid of candida. Prebiotics. No just any old prebiotics. You may be familiar with the prebiotics such as inulin, chicory root, FOS, etc. While I haven't done scientific lab testing on those prebiotics, I have a feeling that candida can feed somewhat on those prebioitcs so I would avoid those until you are over your candida problem. In case you don't know what a prebiotic is, prebiotics are food for the good gut bacteria that colonize your gut and keep candida in check. Candida is an imbalance in the candida to good gut bacteria ratio. Once candida is out of control it keeps the gut alkaline which favors the pathogenic invasive fungal form of candida.
The first prebiotic that I became aware of as being useful in getting rid of candida is Lactulose (thank you dvjorge). It feeds primarily the Bifido Bacteria which change the environment of the colon to more acidic which disfavors candida, specifically the virulent invasive fungal form of candida. Read my post in the link below which also contains links to posts by dvjorge about the benefits of lactulose:
Lactulose is available over-the-counter in Britain and can be purchased through eBay here in USA.
There is one other prebiotic that I feel is safe and beneficial to candida sufferers: GOS - Galactooligosaccharides. Taking this did not feed my candida but did feed my good gut microbes. It is available as the product: Galactomune. Take 1 scoop in a small amount of water every 12 hours.
After 2 months on this phase of high probiotics plus prebiotics I feel completely healed of candida.
Phase 3: This is where you can s-l-o-w-l-y re-introduce foods back into the diet. I was quite happy to find that I could eat a serving of potatoes and not have a setback with candida issues. I know strict paleo dieters avoid potatoes and all nightshades but with me I found that the potatoes which contain "resistant starch" further helped feed the good gut microbes and pushed me even further into healing. I now make fruit smoothies and eat dark chocolate without incident. Even though I know I could go back to eating basically anything, I won't. Till my dying day I will avoid wheat, barley and rye because of their ability to cause leaky gut. I also won't eat anything super sugary like cake, pies, cookies, brownies, etc. Humans weren't meant to consume concentrated Sugar
sources like those. It is now believed that Alzheimer's disease is basically diabetes of the brain. High Sugar
causes inflammation all throughout the body. Inflammation of the brain impairs brain function and causes toxic buildup there.
I'm cured of candida now but I will still take probiotics (mostly fermented veggies) and prebiotic (Galctomune). I feel great. I also discovered that the Depression
I experienced with candida was probably due to leaky gut. Bacterial cell walls contain a substance called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) which are transported to the brain and cause depression. I am not saying that ALL Depression
is caused this way. But if you don't have a reason to be depressed but are, this could be what you are experiencing.