What is Candida?
Candida or more formally known, Candidiasis, is a general term to describe fungal and yeast infections commonly caused by species of Candida primarily Candida albicans. Candida albicans yeast is normal in the gastrointestinal tract and vagina. Most people have a certain level of Candida albicans in their intestines that lives with other yeasts and bacteria without causing harm. However various factors can contribute to Candida albicans getting out of control which can cause rapid growing colonies and biofilms which can wreak havoc on the body. Candida can affect areas in the gut, genitals, skin, throat and mouth. You may have a localized candida infection or fungal-type dysbiosis.
Signs and Symptoms
Chronic fatigue, fever, malaise, irritable bowel, brain fog.
Oral Candidiasis- White creamy patches on erythematous buccal mucosa (thrush). Perleche, fissures, maceration and crusting in mouth corners. Superficial glossitis beefy red tongue.
Erythematous Skin Lesion- Commonly found in the groin (jock itch), in between fingers and toes, under the breast, in the axilla, and nappy rash.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis- Thick white “cottage cheese” discharge, erythematous vagina and labia. Cervix normal on examination.
Candida balanitis- White patches on penis with penile pruritus.
Candida cystitis- Can be asymptomatic, but can cause increase in frequency, dysuria, hematuria, urgency, and suprapubic pain.
Asymptomatic candiduria- Can occur in catheterized patients.
Ascending pyelonephritis- Cramps, abdominal pain, vomiting, chills, fever, hematuria and flank pains.
Invasive yeast infection- Can occur in seriously immune compromised patients. Large abscesses, erosive lesions in the oesophagus, and stomach.
Carbohydrate cravings, painful reactions to sexual intercourse, and or urination, inability to lose weight, bloating, flatulence, acne, headaches, persistent cough, eye pain and insomnia.
Birth control- specifically ones that are high in oestrogen
Consistent emotional stress
Excessive alcohol, sugar or yeast consumption
Immune-suppressed disease states ( HIV, diabetes, Cushing’s disease)
Cortisone and other steroids
Pregnancy and menstruation
Proton pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists
Anti- Candida Protocol
STEP 1: Weed/ Starve the candida- It is vital to avoid the foods in the following list as sugar is the fuel for yeast, and these foods place strain on the immune system making it more difficult to fight the infection as well they will feed the bacteria. Leftover foods should also be avoided due to bacteria.
Avoid these foods for at least 2 weeks before commencing step 2.
Foods to Avoid
Fruits: Most fruits especially- bananas, dates, raisins (and other dried fruits), mango, grapes
Grains: Wheat, spelt, barley, rye, white-flour products and yeast containing products
Certain meat and fish: Tuna, processed meats (salami, bacon), pork, swordfish, shellfish, meats that contain antibiotics
Certain dairy items: Milk, cheese, whey isolate, cream
Nuts and seeds with mould: Peanuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios and nut butters made from these nuts
Condiment: Vinegar, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, horseradish, mayonnaise
Refined/processed fats and oils: Canola oil, fake butter spreads, margarine, sunflower oil, soybean oil
Sugar and sugar substitutes: Sugar, agave, cane sugar, aspartame, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses, sweets
Certain beverages +Caffeinated drinks: Black tea, coffee, regular and diet soda, energy drinks. Fruit juice, alcohol
Foods to Include
Non-starchy vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, eggplant, raw garlic, kale, onions, spinach, tomatoes, turnips and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut
Low sugar fruits: Olives, lime, lemon, avocado
Non-glutinous grains: Teff, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, oat bran
Certain meats and fish and other proteins: Anchovies, eggs, wild salmon, herring, chicken and sardines
Certain dairy products: Probiotic yoghurt (natural and unsweetened), butter, ghee, kefir
Low mould nuts and seeds: Almonds, coconut, flax seeds, chia seeds, hazel nuts and sunflower seeds
Herbs, spices and condiments: Apple cider vinegar, basil, cinnamon, thyme, turmeric, salt, rosemary, coconut aminos, cloves, ginger, oregano, paprika, black pepper, dill, garlic
Healthy fats and oils: Virgin coconut oil, sesame oil, flax oil, olive oil
Beverages: Filtered water, herbal teas, chicory coffee
Anti-candida Protocol continued
• STEP 2: Seed/Kill the candida- Using antimicrobial supplements and foods kill the overgrowth of candida. Using garlic, onions, rhubarb, and caprylic acid (which is found in coconut oil or can be taken as a supplement.)
• STEP 3: Feed/ restore healthy bacteria balance: (To be done 1-2 week after beginning step 2)- This can be done by taking an probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics should not be given at the beginning of treatment to prevent a candida “die off” which can cause worsening symptoms caused by rapid killing of candida and absorption of yeast toxins, antigens and particles.
Nutrients for Candida
Caprylic acid- Is a natural fatty acid (along with lauric acid and capric acid) which are found naturally in coconut oil. It is readily absorbed by the intestines. Caprylic acid is a powerful antifungal that can destroy Candida cells and can work to restore stomach acid level balance.
Grape seed extract- Is antimicrobial, anti-fungal and is effective in treating yeasts and moulds in the body.
Garlic- Displays significant antifungal activity and inhibition of Candida.
L. acidophilus and B. bifidum- Are strains of probiotics that are widely used in the treatment of candida to inhibit candida growth and maintain gut integrity and reduce gut derived inflammation.
* Please consult your healthcare provider/ Naturopath before taking any supplements or following any specific diet to determine if it is right for you.
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Hechtman L, 2012, Clinical Naturopathic Medicine, ed. Pickering S, Gorman J, Stewart-Jones H, Elsevier Australia, Sydney, Australia.
Metagenics, 2013, Candidiasis Yeast- Fungal Infections, Metagenics, viewed 25 April 2017,
Pizzorno J & Murray M, 2006, The Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rdedn, Elseveir, U.S.A
Richards L, 2013, The Candida Diet, viewed 25 April 2017, https://www.thecandidadiet.com/