5

votes

Candida - Is it a myth? Any experiences/success stories?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Ok, so I initially discovered Paleo by self-diagnosing and treating myself for candida in January 2011. I had been Google-ing symptoms and had so many candida symptoms - It made sense that I was suffering from a yeast overgrowth. I went through a really bad detox (something like a carb flu) once I started the candida diet but then starting feeling really well.

After discovering Paleo, I kept up the diet but added back in mushrooms and a few other foods that are 'forbidden' on the candida diet.

This past year, I've been doing well. My health, appearance and overall well-being have greatly improved. However, over the last few weeks, my health/energy have began to deteriorate and I am experiencing some pre-Paleo symptoms - i.e. eczema, constant hunger, gas (sorry, TMI!), brittle hair, facial zits and little spots appearing on my arms.

I'm trying my best to 'diagnose' what's going on! I hadn't been eating dark chocolate until the beginning of this month but then started eating up to 4 squares of Lindt 85% (sometimes more) each day. Now, with all of my meals, I am never satiated, no matter how much I eat. And if by a miracle I do feel a little satisfied by a meal, I'm hungry again an hour or so later. Also, last weekend, I was out with friends and had a little too much to drink (cough!) and felt like complete and utter s**t for 4 days afterwards - Really bad mood, confusion - I was all over the place, mentally.

Is this a blood sugar issue? Is it that my candida (if I ever had it in the first place) has returned? As of this morning, I'm starting a detox, big time. Only meat and veg for the next week or so to see if it will help my symptoms.

I've also been bingeing quite a lot this last week or so - Nuts, chocolate, potato crisps - Anything I can get my hands on, I'm eating.

Sorry for rambling on! Has anybody else had any experiences with candida overgrowth? Do you think that it is a myth and just a diagnosis for a range of random symptoms? I would really love to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanks everyone!

592fdaa77ec6342b736f1d25962aab7f

(547)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:01 PM

In no way is this helpful but as a nurse I can't read C.diff and not shudder. Sorry you had to deal with that!

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 17, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Stop eating chocolate. Even without the sugar, it's a psychoactive drug that gives you a high and a crash, and plays with your mental state. I find that I'm far more stable without it.

A4216f1b1e1f5ab3815bd91700905081

(1646)

on May 16, 2012
at 10:05 PM

Heh. I read the title as "Canada - is it a myth?"

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on February 23, 2012
at 07:38 PM

i think your "system" is totally confused and you don't know what will work for you until you do more research, get rid of your biases, and do a lot of self-experimentation. i've been where you're at and fixed it. took some real time.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on February 23, 2012
at 07:16 PM

True, but why would there be a random glucose exposure? Carb levels should be increased or decreased gradually.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 23, 2012
at 05:07 PM

Sure, it stabilizes but tolerance is reduced, resulting in higher BS volatility given an exposure to glucose of some kind. After resensitizing to insulin, these levels will come back to earth in a timely fashion, but I'd argue spikes in glucose levels are pretty bad for somebody with a systemic fungal issue. That's why I say check your own levels to try and optimize BS stability/minimization.

F38ece2204c6ab63fef7887e9f4e30d2

(100)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Just one thing. I would look at the sugar content of the Lindt chocolate you are eating. I find Swiss chocolate to have way too much sugar and to be absolutely addictive, unlike Belgian chocolate. if you have a Trader Joe's near you I recommend their 82-85% bar which has low sugar, or even the 72.

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I don;t think the yeast eats all the sugar... yeast is mostly in the colon and if your eating white potato, orange juice, and rice most of that is in the small intestine. The yeast will not see very much of that. It's the immune system that needs glucose.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:42 PM

Blood sugar doesn't plumment because of ZC. It stabilizes. Why is gluconeogenesis being ignored?

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on February 04, 2012
at 11:51 PM

@justing -rofessional's help on this one. Try Chris Kresser, he does Skype consults. To answer the question you actually asked: I knew my die-off was ending because my skin wasn't on fire anymore, I stopped yelling at everyone who came near me, and living became bearable again. Then, my energy started returning, I slept full nights, and my rashes and other symptoms disappeared. Please find some nutritional and lifestyle help, justin! I wouldn't wish 4 months of die-off on anyone. I think there are probably other factors in play for you that must need attention.

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on February 04, 2012
at 11:44 PM

@justin-- hey, if it's been 4 months and you haven't been cheating, your die-off is lasting WAY longer than mine did-- Also, since it's impossible to get balanced nutrition with "zero" carbs (NO fruit? NO veggies? AT ALL?!?!), you're probably exaggerating a little, and I don't know how to respond without more specifics. I'm tempted to guess that your regimen is incomplete. Are you taking GREAT probiotics with FOS-containing foods? Are you helping yourself out with Nystatin? Cutting out foods like vinegar and mushrooms? My main die-off only took 3 or 4 weeks. It sounds like you need a health p

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 03, 2012
at 12:50 AM

Justin, how is your digestion? What are the other symptoms you have? Were you diagnosed definitively? It is horrible for the first few weeks, but you should start to see things improve by the one month mark -- even if only slightly.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 03, 2012
at 12:47 AM

Let me be extremely clear: zero carb is no good. Even the strictest of the diets that have anecdotal successes treating candida recommend > 50 g of carbs a day. Have you had fasting blood glucose checked recently? My bet is that it is lower than it should be. Remember that Dr. Jaminet is absolutely correct in saying that glucose is required to support the formation of ROS (reactive oxygen species). I'm only proposing that you don't necessarily need to consume safe starches since for some people, that may result in more blood glucose volatility, which is exactly what the candida want.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:27 PM

@ PatternMatching - i've been fighting candida with zero carb since oct and i'm even more tired now! i know it's die-off but in ur experience, what was it like getting better? what were the physical signs? and did die-off get worse and worse for u as u approached getting better and healed?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:23 PM

@ bon - i've been fighting candida with zero carb since oct and i'm even more tired now! i know it's die-off but in ur experience, what was it like getting better? what were the physical signs? and did die-off get worse and worse for u as u approached getting better and healed?

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 29, 2012
at 12:29 AM

Finally, you might wanna get some Nystatin (a totally natural mineral, not a chemical drug, mined in New York, hence the name) cream or capsules or suppositories or a sugar-free swish-and-swallow (talk to doc for prescription) to deal with flare-ups. Nystatin kills yeast. Again, Grok didn't use it, but it's better than Diflucan or Monistat and not a chemical. On the scale of "natural," it's WAY more natural than protein powder! It'll speed die-off and give those good flora a chance to thrive.

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 29, 2012
at 12:23 AM

Also, antibiotics really do it to me, too! I have a great ENT now who actually HEARD me when I told him, so we went with Penicillin this time (not an option if you have sulfa drug allergies, talk to your doctor, only appropriate for certain infections, etc). And because it's mold-based, I was super vigilant about low-sugar during antibiotics and taking probiotics during the course of treatment (between doses, not with!), and had my first yeast-free antibiotic treatment in 15 years! So, it can be done. But you're not a dope for not having done it yet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 28, 2012
at 11:40 PM

Great answer, PaternMatching! I especially like the advice that not all food intolerances have to be permanent.

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 28, 2012
at 11:37 PM

It doesn't sound stupid AT ALL to forget about candida issues. At least not to me. I had legendary systemic overgrowth from age 11-20 (almost half my life!! Til I figured it out) and still, when I travel to a warm place and have one too many papaya smoothies with rum, I'm like "That's weird, what're these symptoms?" I think it's great to get to a place where it's no longer chronic, and you CAN forget about it because you're taking such good care of yourself. And yeah, if sugar begets sugar cravings for you...you're gonna have to come to terms with not eating 4 squares of choc a day.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on January 28, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Eat foods that are antifungal. Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut. Maybe take Candida Clear from Now Foods. And last but definitely not least, relax. Don't stress. Those are the things that really helped/helps me with my overgrowth and gut healing.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on January 28, 2012
at 10:55 PM

"Find something else to do for 10 mins when you get snacky. That usually helps me." This is one of the things I hate the most about exams -_-

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 08:41 PM

I've been researching all diets the people have mentioned today and none of them really strike me as one that might work for me 100%. I think that eating a sweet potato every day just somehow doesn't agree with my system, it may have contributed to this flare up of symptoms. The chips/candy was Thursday and Friday this week and drinking one night last weekend - I think that the whole lot added together has caused a massive reaction. I've got a history of bingeing, for almost 10 years or so now, and this week I've had massive bingeing urges, pointing a big finger at alcohol as the main culprit.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I was using Fitday for approx 1 month before Christmas but didn't record much of what I ate over the holidays - Although I was quite good and didn't indulge in gluten, only a little dairy (don't tolerate it too well). I haven't eaten much today and am exhausted so there must be some form of 'die off' kicking off inside me. I'm going to detox for the next few days and then see how I feel. If my problem is candida, I really want to get it under control once and for all.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 08:28 PM

Efaitch - How do I determine how my leptin is? I struggle to fully understand the concept?

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on January 28, 2012
at 08:25 PM

I take 5000 IU a day currently. Early on, I was quantifiably deficient so I was dosing 10000 IU.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 28, 2012
at 08:02 PM

But "and have been eating one large sweet potato per day for the last 3 weeks or so - I think that it has actually exacerbated the problem" doesn't make sense at all. What's more likely: that drinking/chips/candy causes worse symptoms...or sweet potatoes?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 28, 2012
at 08:01 PM

I think the PHD approach is a wise one, myself, but if she wants to try VLC she needs to give it a real shot.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 28, 2012
at 07:06 PM

How much vitamin D do you take?

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 28, 2012
at 06:46 PM

I only suggested more carbs because I interpreted the binging incident as a possible "panic response" to an otherwise carb insufficiency - something I dealt with as well.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 28, 2012
at 06:09 PM

isn't this the principle of the Perfect Health Diet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 28, 2012
at 05:17 PM

"thins" is supposed to say "this"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 28, 2012
at 05:16 PM

Great. It's always been the best way for me. Back to basics and build up from there. I don't know if candida is a myth or not but I have had something that sounded like what people call candida and it went away when I followed the advice of how to get rid of candida so even if it is a myth, the cure works on whatever thins thing is. I have had repeat episodes though when I have experimented with eating more of a particular food. It might be an idea to take a probiotic like Primal Defense 1-3 times per day. Good luck

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1801)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:56 PM

How's your leptin?

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:45 PM

AND........ I ate a huge bag of dates in about 2 days this week. Confessing all my sins here, my poor body! I'm really looking forward to feeling 'normal' again.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:41 PM

Also, I've got a history of binge-eating (sigh). It's under control most of the time but any ingestion of sugar can cause crazy cravings for me. Plus this week, I have been so so hungry. It's all fake hunger though. I'm looking forward to clearing this issue up and will make sure to keep it in check in the future. To be honest (and this sounds pretty dumb), I had completely forgotten about my candida issues from last year, until they all flared up again. I'm obviously very susceptible to candida overgrowth so a lot of factors need to be kept in check!

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:38 PM

Bon, thank you - What a fantastic answer! That all does make sense, and I think that all the 'smaller' factors (mushrooms, chocolate etc) have come together to cause this flare up. I forgot to mention that I was on very strong antibiotics for a few days the first week of January for a UTI - That's likely to have caused a huge candida imbalance. I don't tolerate dairy well but will buy some probiotics and start introducing those. I'm praying that any die-off symptoms won't be too intense, this will be a quiet weekend! I'm feeling so sleepy this afternoon, so something must be dying off already.

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:27 PM

Good call on the magnesium, PocketGrocket!

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:22 PM

Also, the thing about candida is, it's ALWAYS in EVERY healthy person's gut. So, the potential for an overgrowth never goes away. While you might be fine eating mushrooms every once in a while, it's possible that you need to cool it during an overgrowth, and maybe limit them to once every couple weeks. This is unfortunately a "know your body" thing. Did the mushrooms cause your overgrowth? Probably not. But maybe some mushrooms here, some chocolate there, not enough coconut oil, some potato chips, and BAM: a positive feedback loop of yeast growth starts. Yeah?

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:09 PM

No problem, Mashanshell. You might also explore something like fitday.com or chronometer to see what kind of nutrients you might be missing. Binging on chocolate may suggest you are low on something else... maybe copper or magnesium?

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:02 PM

Thanks Korion. I didn't consider that it may be the winter that's causing issues, but I'm going to try a low carb, total candida cleanse and hopefully that will have me feeling better! Good point about the probiotics - Should you keep taking them though, even if you feel that your candida problems have disappeared?

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:59 PM

Thanks Pocket Groket! I really don't think that higher carb will work for me though. I've been doing pretty high carb, and have been eating one large sweet potato per day for the last 3 weeks or so - I think that it has actually exacerbated the problem. Different strokes for different folks, but I think that low carb is what may work for me. I'm going to test it and see how it goes.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:57 PM

That's exactly my plan Warren D. I eat sweet potatoes almost every day but I'm stopping that and will re-introduce them in a month or so, depending on how this all works out.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:56 PM

My thoughts exactly Bruno - Very difficult to physically read/make any sense of that answer!

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I try to get all of my calories (carbs and otherwise) from real food so in addition to starches I eat organic fruit, drink raw orange juice and use raw honey or rice syrup as a sweetener.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Hi Pocket Groket. Does it matter what kind of carbs? I don't wanna eat safe starches.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:13 PM

What a crappy answer. And what's "a proven diet"? How the hell can you prove a diet :P?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 28, 2012
at 12:41 PM

I stopped taking probiotics though, might be that too.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 28, 2012
at 12:41 PM

Same story here. Started paleo when I thought I had candida. Ate only vegetables, meat and eggs. 6 months later now, feeling weaker, less libido, ... 10x better than pre-paleo, but not as good as the first 5 months on paleo. It could be the winter, maybe? I've started a double dose of vitamin D this week, we'll see. And I'm definitely not slacking : I eat lots and lots of vegetables, regular liver, fish, and I never cheat. All my meat is grass-fed.

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16 Answers

best answer

11
7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:17 PM

If you're right about it being candida (which I bet you are, but I'm not a doctor):

It's good to beat back the overgrowth (like you did by starving the little yeasties). But here's the thing: your body should have a natural system to keep yeast population in check. Once your diet improved and your overgrowth was conquered, your gut flora should be managing the yeast population for you.

The fact that the overgrowth is back leads me to question whether your gut has enough of the good gut bacteria to do the work for you. Not everyone needs probiotics, but people with candida overgrowth usually do. Are you getting enough: 1. Cultured foods (traditional, non-vinegar sauerkraut, pickles, etc; raw grass-fed yogurt if you tolerate dairy) 2. Probiotics in supplement form (BioKult is a therapeutic-grade brand with lots of lactobacilli). You don't want one with bifidum; they've been proven to overgrow and dominate the probiotic population, so all you get is bifidum when you really need lacto's, etc.

Make sense?

No, Grok didn't take supplements. But she also never had antibiotics as a kid to kill off her gut bacteria, or sugar alcohols for her whole childhood, silently feeding yeast. And so on.

And yeah, if it's a bad overgrowth, you'll have die-off symptoms. They suck. But they're a sign the yeast are going away.

One more thing: too mant lactobacilli in the diet can cause anal/vaginal itching: a symptom that feels a lot like yeast and is just as unpleasant. So don't go crazy on the probiotics: start on half a dose a day, and ease up to the recommended dose. You're going for balance, not domination.

Also, on the brittle hair/zits front, please make sure you're eating enough fats and fatty fish! Just because you should lay off the chocolate (4 squares of 85% a DAY seems excessive, especially during a yeast flare-up) doesn't mean you can survive on meat & veg. Coconut oil kills candida in the gut (which'll cause gas at the beginning, but then they'll be under control, and it will have been worth it).

Ok?

So, 1. Slow down on the chocolate (nothing to excess) 2. Probiotics (not to excess) 3. Omega-3 fats (coconut oil especially, and fatty fish)

The bingey stuff might be candida-driven cravings, it could be an insulin thing from all that chocolate, it could be adrenal from imbalance diet/exercise/stress/sleep...I don't know. I'd say, get the candida managed and stop eating potato chips, and find something else to do for 10 mins when you get snacky. That usually helps me.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:38 PM

Bon, thank you - What a fantastic answer! That all does make sense, and I think that all the 'smaller' factors (mushrooms, chocolate etc) have come together to cause this flare up. I forgot to mention that I was on very strong antibiotics for a few days the first week of January for a UTI - That's likely to have caused a huge candida imbalance. I don't tolerate dairy well but will buy some probiotics and start introducing those. I'm praying that any die-off symptoms won't be too intense, this will be a quiet weekend! I'm feeling so sleepy this afternoon, so something must be dying off already.

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:22 PM

Also, the thing about candida is, it's ALWAYS in EVERY healthy person's gut. So, the potential for an overgrowth never goes away. While you might be fine eating mushrooms every once in a while, it's possible that you need to cool it during an overgrowth, and maybe limit them to once every couple weeks. This is unfortunately a "know your body" thing. Did the mushrooms cause your overgrowth? Probably not. But maybe some mushrooms here, some chocolate there, not enough coconut oil, some potato chips, and BAM: a positive feedback loop of yeast growth starts. Yeah?

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 29, 2012
at 12:23 AM

Also, antibiotics really do it to me, too! I have a great ENT now who actually HEARD me when I told him, so we went with Penicillin this time (not an option if you have sulfa drug allergies, talk to your doctor, only appropriate for certain infections, etc). And because it's mold-based, I was super vigilant about low-sugar during antibiotics and taking probiotics during the course of treatment (between doses, not with!), and had my first yeast-free antibiotic treatment in 15 years! So, it can be done. But you're not a dope for not having done it yet.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:45 PM

AND........ I ate a huge bag of dates in about 2 days this week. Confessing all my sins here, my poor body! I'm really looking forward to feeling 'normal' again.

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 28, 2012
at 11:37 PM

It doesn't sound stupid AT ALL to forget about candida issues. At least not to me. I had legendary systemic overgrowth from age 11-20 (almost half my life!! Til I figured it out) and still, when I travel to a warm place and have one too many papaya smoothies with rum, I'm like "That's weird, what're these symptoms?" I think it's great to get to a place where it's no longer chronic, and you CAN forget about it because you're taking such good care of yourself. And yeah, if sugar begets sugar cravings for you...you're gonna have to come to terms with not eating 4 squares of choc a day.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on January 28, 2012
at 10:55 PM

"Find something else to do for 10 mins when you get snacky. That usually helps me." This is one of the things I hate the most about exams -_-

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:41 PM

Also, I've got a history of binge-eating (sigh). It's under control most of the time but any ingestion of sugar can cause crazy cravings for me. Plus this week, I have been so so hungry. It's all fake hunger though. I'm looking forward to clearing this issue up and will make sure to keep it in check in the future. To be honest (and this sounds pretty dumb), I had completely forgotten about my candida issues from last year, until they all flared up again. I'm obviously very susceptible to candida overgrowth so a lot of factors need to be kept in check!

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 29, 2012
at 12:29 AM

Finally, you might wanna get some Nystatin (a totally natural mineral, not a chemical drug, mined in New York, hence the name) cream or capsules or suppositories or a sugar-free swish-and-swallow (talk to doc for prescription) to deal with flare-ups. Nystatin kills yeast. Again, Grok didn't use it, but it's better than Diflucan or Monistat and not a chemical. On the scale of "natural," it's WAY more natural than protein powder! It'll speed die-off and give those good flora a chance to thrive.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:23 PM

@ bon - i've been fighting candida with zero carb since oct and i'm even more tired now! i know it's die-off but in ur experience, what was it like getting better? what were the physical signs? and did die-off get worse and worse for u as u approached getting better and healed?

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on February 04, 2012
at 11:44 PM

@justin-- hey, if it's been 4 months and you haven't been cheating, your die-off is lasting WAY longer than mine did-- Also, since it's impossible to get balanced nutrition with "zero" carbs (NO fruit? NO veggies? AT ALL?!?!), you're probably exaggerating a little, and I don't know how to respond without more specifics. I'm tempted to guess that your regimen is incomplete. Are you taking GREAT probiotics with FOS-containing foods? Are you helping yourself out with Nystatin? Cutting out foods like vinegar and mushrooms? My main die-off only took 3 or 4 weeks. It sounds like you need a health p

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on February 04, 2012
at 11:51 PM

@justing -rofessional's help on this one. Try Chris Kresser, he does Skype consults. To answer the question you actually asked: I knew my die-off was ending because my skin wasn't on fire anymore, I stopped yelling at everyone who came near me, and living became bearable again. Then, my energy started returning, I slept full nights, and my rashes and other symptoms disappeared. Please find some nutritional and lifestyle help, justin! I wouldn't wish 4 months of die-off on anyone. I think there are probably other factors in play for you that must need attention.

9
F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on January 28, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Confirmed case of candida albicans overgrowth following antibiotic treatment for clostridium difficile here. So in addition to the fungus, I was also dealing with opportunistic bacterial overgrowth.

Despite my symptoms being relatively severe, I had read that treating with antifungals were very hard on the body and didn't guarantee permanent success in eradicating fungal overgrowth. So, I changed my diet. Permanently.

I've gone back and forth on how I feel about Dr. Jaminet's opinion that carbs need to be at certain levels to treat efficiently. I've seen more anecdotal success by treating with a relatively low-carb diet. I am an example of this. I started out very-low carb (< 50 g) and this improved my symptoms markedly. I would at least try this first, understanding that you don't want to stay at < 50 g forever.

As symptoms improved, I slowly started to add in additional carbohydrates in the form of some berries (~ 1 serving a day) and began to juice leafy green vegetables. I currently don't go above 70 g of carbohydrates and I would say I'm about 90% back to normal after five months. Don't kid yourself about the time it will take to self-treat Candida. They are extremely stubborn and the toxins that they give off incapacitate your immune system. They elevate cortisol levels and wreak havoc on your endocrine subsystem, for example. Vitamin D is a great supplement and I highly recommend it. If you can tolerate it, green tea catechins are fantastic along with building up to a therapeutic coconut oil dosage (> 5 tablespoons a day). I would lose the 85% dark chocolate for right now. It contains sugar and any amount of it can be really counterproductive until you're a bit farther along. If that's an absolutely impossibility, do the 99% Lindt dark chocolate. It's very tasty. Make your own yogurt, eat fermented veggies, intermittently fast -- it all helps.

If it really is Candida, and even if it isn't, all of the above should help quite a bit. I happen to subscribe to the thought process that Dr. Campbell-McBride (creator of GAPS) and Dr. Art Ayers preach about food intolerance and that is that by healing the gut, you can resolve what most people refer to as food intolerances. Dr. Campbell-McBride talks about ways to diagnose true food intolerances in the GAPS book. I highly recommend it.

A concluding thought: healing and detoxifying your body is not a linear process. You may not be doing anything wrong but use slow self-expiramentation to find out if there is a symptom trigger. Gut ecology can shift every so often, leaving you with what seems to be regression. Do not lose hope. I wish you the best of luck and please don't hesitate to update us on your progress.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 28, 2012
at 07:06 PM

How much vitamin D do you take?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 28, 2012
at 11:40 PM

Great answer, PaternMatching! I especially like the advice that not all food intolerances have to be permanent.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on January 28, 2012
at 08:25 PM

I take 5000 IU a day currently. Early on, I was quantifiably deficient so I was dosing 10000 IU.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 03, 2012
at 12:47 AM

Let me be extremely clear: zero carb is no good. Even the strictest of the diets that have anecdotal successes treating candida recommend > 50 g of carbs a day. Have you had fasting blood glucose checked recently? My bet is that it is lower than it should be. Remember that Dr. Jaminet is absolutely correct in saying that glucose is required to support the formation of ROS (reactive oxygen species). I'm only proposing that you don't necessarily need to consume safe starches since for some people, that may result in more blood glucose volatility, which is exactly what the candida want.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:27 PM

@ PatternMatching - i've been fighting candida with zero carb since oct and i'm even more tired now! i know it's die-off but in ur experience, what was it like getting better? what were the physical signs? and did die-off get worse and worse for u as u approached getting better and healed?

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 03, 2012
at 12:50 AM

Justin, how is your digestion? What are the other symptoms you have? Were you diagnosed definitively? It is horrible for the first few weeks, but you should start to see things improve by the one month mark -- even if only slightly.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 23, 2012
at 05:07 PM

Sure, it stabilizes but tolerance is reduced, resulting in higher BS volatility given an exposure to glucose of some kind. After resensitizing to insulin, these levels will come back to earth in a timely fashion, but I'd argue spikes in glucose levels are pretty bad for somebody with a systemic fungal issue. That's why I say check your own levels to try and optimize BS stability/minimization.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on February 23, 2012
at 07:16 PM

True, but why would there be a random glucose exposure? Carb levels should be increased or decreased gradually.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:42 PM

Blood sugar doesn't plumment because of ZC. It stabilizes. Why is gluconeogenesis being ignored?

592fdaa77ec6342b736f1d25962aab7f

(547)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:01 PM

In no way is this helpful but as a nurse I can't read C.diff and not shudder. Sorry you had to deal with that!

7
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 28, 2012
at 06:15 PM

I notice some of the answers are saying you should try more carbs: "I've also been bingeing quite a lot this last week or so - Nuts, chocolate, potato crisps - Anything I can get my hands on, I'm eating."

Looks like you are already trying it. I think the most important thing here is to find a diet you can stick with, be it VLC or Perfect Health Diet.

Also, while I do believe fungal overgrowth is an issue, candida is just one of many funguses. Unless you have been tested, it's just a possibility you have fungal issues, not "candida," which is unfortunately a term that's been co-oped by a lot of questionable dietary gurus. I know these issues exist (since I've had them), but I can't peg them to specific fungi.

Also, don't rule out other issues like bad bacteria, food interolances,etc. A FODMAP-free diet, for example, covers both gut fungal and bacterial symptoms like gas.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 28, 2012
at 08:02 PM

But "and have been eating one large sweet potato per day for the last 3 weeks or so - I think that it has actually exacerbated the problem" doesn't make sense at all. What's more likely: that drinking/chips/candy causes worse symptoms...or sweet potatoes?

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 28, 2012
at 06:46 PM

I only suggested more carbs because I interpreted the binging incident as a possible "panic response" to an otherwise carb insufficiency - something I dealt with as well.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 28, 2012
at 08:01 PM

I think the PHD approach is a wise one, myself, but if she wants to try VLC she needs to give it a real shot.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 08:41 PM

I've been researching all diets the people have mentioned today and none of them really strike me as one that might work for me 100%. I think that eating a sweet potato every day just somehow doesn't agree with my system, it may have contributed to this flare up of symptoms. The chips/candy was Thursday and Friday this week and drinking one night last weekend - I think that the whole lot added together has caused a massive reaction. I've got a history of bingeing, for almost 10 years or so now, and this week I've had massive bingeing urges, pointing a big finger at alcohol as the main culprit.

05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on February 23, 2012
at 07:38 PM

i think your "system" is totally confused and you don't know what will work for you until you do more research, get rid of your biases, and do a lot of self-experimentation. i've been where you're at and fixed it. took some real time.

6
1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:03 PM

I had these experiences too. The solution? Believe it or not - higher carb. My theories, shared by others and based on what I've read/experienced, the yeast eat all the sugar available. When that runs out, they become invasive. I too severely reduced my carb intake and the problem got worse than ever. I think my body, in the absence of a dietary source, was trying to convert all the protein it could find into glucose. (Parts of your body like your brain need a certain amount to run properly). Non-essential systems like the reproductive system shut down while this more urgent problem is being addressed. Result? I had a raging appetite, low libido, weight loss (especially muscular) and crazy brain fog. Increasing my carb intake with things like white rice, sweet potatoes, fruit, and even orange juice helped tremendously. I eat as much as I'd like. The result - yeast issues and aforementioned problems are gone and I have not gained excess weight. Anyway - hope that is relevant/helps. Either way, best of luck to you!

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:59 PM

Thanks Pocket Groket! I really don't think that higher carb will work for me though. I've been doing pretty high carb, and have been eating one large sweet potato per day for the last 3 weeks or so - I think that it has actually exacerbated the problem. Different strokes for different folks, but I think that low carb is what may work for me. I'm going to test it and see how it goes.

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:22 PM

I try to get all of my calories (carbs and otherwise) from real food so in addition to starches I eat organic fruit, drink raw orange juice and use raw honey or rice syrup as a sweetener.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 28, 2012
at 06:09 PM

isn't this the principle of the Perfect Health Diet.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I was using Fitday for approx 1 month before Christmas but didn't record much of what I ate over the holidays - Although I was quite good and didn't indulge in gluten, only a little dairy (don't tolerate it too well). I haven't eaten much today and am exhausted so there must be some form of 'die off' kicking off inside me. I'm going to detox for the next few days and then see how I feel. If my problem is candida, I really want to get it under control once and for all.

7c49c5613f2e4eef605ed278b6675993

(125)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:27 PM

Good call on the magnesium, PocketGrocket!

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Hi Pocket Groket. Does it matter what kind of carbs? I don't wanna eat safe starches.

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 28, 2012
at 02:09 PM

No problem, Mashanshell. You might also explore something like fitday.com or chronometer to see what kind of nutrients you might be missing. Binging on chocolate may suggest you are low on something else... maybe copper or magnesium?

Ef4c5b09fdccf73be575d3a0c267fdd9

(2539)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I don;t think the yeast eats all the sugar... yeast is mostly in the colon and if your eating white potato, orange juice, and rice most of that is in the small intestine. The yeast will not see very much of that. It's the immune system that needs glucose.

4
4161a000c1f0f4332476ba43bf385876

(40)

on January 28, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Drastically increase your intake of fresh green leafy vegetables. This will feed competing, beneficial microorganisms in the gut while flooding your system with the micro-nutrients that you'd be lacking due to an overgrowth of yeast. To get the ball rolling, I would add a drink like kefir to your diet. Kefir is jam packed with many different strains of beneficial bacteria, more so than any other fermented dairy product.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:25 PM

Try a very strict low carb and high fat paleo diet.

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:57 PM

That's exactly my plan Warren D. I eat sweet potatoes almost every day but I'm stopping that and will re-introduce them in a month or so, depending on how this all works out.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 28, 2012
at 05:17 PM

"thins" is supposed to say "this"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 28, 2012
at 05:16 PM

Great. It's always been the best way for me. Back to basics and build up from there. I don't know if candida is a myth or not but I have had something that sounded like what people call candida and it went away when I followed the advice of how to get rid of candida so even if it is a myth, the cure works on whatever thins thing is. I have had repeat episodes though when I have experimented with eating more of a particular food. It might be an idea to take a probiotic like Primal Defense 1-3 times per day. Good luck

1
107d582c4ae73ccf254a815102b3ffc1

on October 11, 2012
at 09:27 PM

One thing that really struck me here is the dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains high quantities of the metal Copper. While copper is vital in our systems in VERY small amounts, some people get too much in their diet or other source and an excess can wreak havoc with their bodily functions from digestion to brain transmissions. Have a look on the internet for Copper Elimination and Copper Toxicity. Dr Wilson's pages are very informative. I have read reports of a woman only ingesting 4mg per day in supplement form and getting copper toxicity after a few weeks. I am carefully eliminating copper from my system after consuming at least 4-8 mg per day for more than a year - tanning tablets to protect my skin (didn't protect the rest of me). Symptoms for me? Insomnia, anxiety and hypoglycemia. Copper is actually a 'heavy' metal, and so is rather poisonous, yet remarkably we need trace amounts of it to function. Copper also has a unique relationship with yeast in the body. It is so easy to get too much from water pipes to copper rich foods. I can actually taste it in my mouth at night as I leech it out of my system with diet and some natural chelators. If anyone thinks copper is a dodgy subject in health confined to pseudoscience... I am 44 and lifting heavy weights 4 times a week, sprinting 100's, running ten miles a week - and excess copper nearly wrote me off for 5 months. It started with raised BPM, pounding heart, racing thoughts, and waking at 4am - wide awake. Then I had huge blood sugar swings after normal carb meals. It was like being on amphetamines for months! Elimination is like that of yeast - it gets worst first, then slowly improves. So look, why not check this out and eliminate it from your scenarios. Apparently chocolate cravers, especially women, are 'high copper' suspects. Hope this helps. Nick, N Ireland.

0
E4b8bbc92400a8d44de9ac5d7e6cacd6

on August 18, 2013
at 06:47 PM

I personally was tested by Cyrex Labs for food sensitivities. My results where sensitive to barley, rye, wheat, coffee, dairy, casein, sesame, & YEAST off the charts! So as a Nutritionist and fitness guru who is recovered from years of Eating Disorders. I did my research on yeast allergy & realized this means yeast overgrowth. I made the connections: 1. Grew up eating lots of sweets & not a lot of vitamins/veggies :( 2. Took antibiotics with out Probiotics at least 6 times in my past :( 3. Was on birth control methods (5 different ones):( 4. Was malnourished when I was under eating and over exercising or binge eating & purging sometimes :( 5. My yeast were fed by the above actions or supported to grow = systemic candida (yeast spread its waste toxins to other key areas if my body)= malabsorption of nutrients & development of food allergies (milk, wheat is a genetic factor) = hypothyroidism = hormone imbalances = PMS = cravings = blood sugar issues = urge to need to eat often = weight gain = depression = anxiety = urge to eat more to cope 6. Of course all my urges were from my "yeast babies" asking to be fed! Keeping the cycle going...

I stopped eating gluten, yeast products, and other food allergies like milk & dairy. I used stevia only never artifical sweetners or honey, agave etc. I had small portions of carbs to keep hunger levels in check. If I ate just a little to much carbs = hungry all day!

I found after going gluten free I had withdrawal symptoms: dull headache on and off for a week straight. Some fatigue & achy joints. I then eliminated dairy and had a few more days of withdrawal, but now I never I MEAN NEVER have cravings for sweets or dairy. Thank God I don't miss the food :)

I am now treating my fungal yeast by taking Diflucon for 6 weeks & a super strong probiotic. I also eat a lot of garlic (supplements too), take my usual vitamins tgst im low in, Green Smoothies, use psylliym husk fiber jn my water before bed and drink herbal teas to help clear the die off toxins.I eat half a piece of fruit at snacks with protein and fat. Thus works well. After being super active it a good workout I can have an entire portion of fruit or small sweet potato. I feel my muscles suck up the sugar before the yeast babies get a chance. I do have a drink on the weekend, but I only have one. I chose a very low sugar drink like vodka cucumber and basil, and I try not to have a lot if carbs at the meal with it. Oh, and the ability to get to and maintain my ideal weight is so much easier plus I'm almost of my Thyroid medications :)No more PMS or cravings at all!!

I feel the key to treat yeast overgrowth is a multi treatment approach not a hard core detox! I'm feeling great no for off symptoms. I exercise daily & keep focused in making their sugar & small portions of carbs according to my activity levels. This is a lifestyle change but is also a daily learning of what works and what doesn't. Every body is unique, but we also have a lot in common so do your best & work with a informed Nutritiknist like myself or some other professional that has experienced it personally!

Food is Medicine, Lindsay Johnson

[email protected]

0
B8563bce2ad4af6f29e18245c1cc3f11

on October 04, 2012
at 01:51 AM

I have had candida problems for at least 12 years probably longer that is when the natropath diagnosed me with it. Try cutting out the carbs and sugars for 2 wks and see what happens. As yeast die you will crave the crap that keeps them alive. I used the yeast busters kit when I did my first cleanse and it really helped. I found my cravings worse when I had eaten some yeast free, sugar free bread. This time I eat some fruit but no dairy or other carbs and the cravings are non existent. I found before I started this diet I craved food constantly and was always hungry but that has completely subsided. Good luck

0
D2051553a8bdd27c26fec84b47806714

on August 15, 2012
at 10:44 PM

Candida is just a symptom of an underlying health problem. Probably your body being unable to detoxify itself. Personally I am leaning towards that the "Candida diet" is contra-productive. You don't need to kill the fungus, the fungus is a part of you. What you need to do is to help your body detoxify itself. When the body has gotten rid of all the toxins, all the problems and symptoms associated with Candida will go away by themselves. Which is what I think happened to you.

Now since you're problems came back, it is probably something you have re-introduced into your diet. You mention that you eat potato chips. I would stay away from all oils except olive and coconut oil.

And it's important that you know that it's not the amount of food that you eat, but what it is you eat. It's also important to eat a balanced diet. Don't cut out carbs and fruits completely, your body needs it.

0
35c8f0c35da258ac54165ef14195e0b8

(167)

on May 16, 2012
at 10:02 PM

Sorry, only read through the first half of these answers, so if I'm being redundant -- my apologies. I find that my hunger spirals out of control when I start eating sugar. Seriously. I go from no cravings and then, if I'm being polite at someone's dinner and have just a little bit of desert, I crave sugar for days. Four squares of dark chocolate a day would be enough to cause me to go insane with sugar and junk cravings. So it could be yeast, but it could also simply be that you've thrown your system off by the sugar consumption. I don't think this is an unusual occurrence.

That said, I have been thinking about treating myself for yeast for years but it's a daunting process. Dr. Teitlebaum (nation's leading chronic fatigue doctor) once told me that I should try a drop of citricidal in water and increase the dose slowly. Also, no sugar, alcohol and limit one piece of fruit a day. I started that process and got a "die off" reaction and backed off of the treatment. I'm hoping to try again at some point. The reason I think I might have candida issues is because I have chemical sensitivities, year round allergies plus chronic sinus congestion. Those are symptoms apparently.

Anyway, good luck.

0
Ff5d6fd79983af7b92bfab38b71823fb

(290)

on May 11, 2012
at 02:59 PM

That is how I got here--searching for answers about candida. I am sure I must have it. I am really glad too that people here are talking about this. I am not trying paleo to lose weight, I just feel awful and want to feel better. Good luck!

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on February 23, 2012
at 03:41 PM

The thing that stops my cravings dead is green leafy vegetables.

I believe the desire for crisps is a misplaced desire for salad leaves.

0
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on February 23, 2012
at 02:32 PM

hey thanks for posting up this, i am in the same boat...really let myself get into a bad position healthfully due to ahem...old patterns of bingeing, even on healthy foods it really does a number to my body and i am struggling with a number of symptoms that correlate to too much candida. any how its really helpful to see that others feel the same and that perhaps initially i was making up all of these things in my head, but now my actions have made physical my negative emotions and habits and that its necessary to change:)

0
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on January 28, 2012
at 06:12 PM

Yes a myth, but at least it's better than SAD.

0
7703985af491af3d0ecd8f68c6e4ca64

on January 28, 2012
at 01:05 PM

I don't know if candida is a myth, but perhaps your ability to self diagnose is a myth.

You may have felt better because pre-diet change you were eating a ton of crap. Once the effects of crap elimination were done you feel like a new crap because your crap elimination diet, although not complete crap, is not as crap free as it could be.

Perhaps the foods are perfect, but the combination/ratios is crap, therefore crapifying your crap free diet.

I'd go to the doctor and follow a proven diet, like MDA, for a while to see if your causing the problem or if you are wrongly treating an existing problem.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:13 PM

What a crappy answer. And what's "a proven diet"? How the hell can you prove a diet :P?

421492f8989c426af583520a3d5fd136

(522)

on January 28, 2012
at 01:56 PM

My thoughts exactly Bruno - Very difficult to physically read/make any sense of that answer!

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