Q: I am plagued by typical Candida symptoms – yeast infections, bad breath, constipation, fatigue, you name it! I have tried everything – colon hydrotherapy, diets, drugs, absolutely everything. Please help! C.S.
DR SANDI NYE REPLIES:
The first question that jumps out at me is whether you have been definitively diagnosed by a qualified health professional, or whether you have self-diagnosed your condition? I appreciate that the symptoms you describe are distressing, but the most responsible advice I can give you is to consult a registered health professional to establish whether the symptoms are in fact related to systemic and/or topical candidiasis, or indicate a different underlying condition, or both.
Anyone answering a query of this nature would need a complete medical history in order to advise you effectively, including your age, since age can impact on candida infections, plus whether you’re using oral contraception, hormone replacement therapy, etc. Immune status and gut health are among other factors that need to be established. The advice I can give you is therefore limited. Naturopathically, however, one would look at the ‘environment’ that supports the overgrowth of candida, and focus on establishing the cause of the problem rather than using loads of symptomatic remedies to address the symptoms. Trying all sorts of remedies can be compared to putting a band-aid on a fracture, so to speak, in that neither activity is likely to effect a cure.
In the interim, in case you have not yet tried them, here are a few substances that are known to be effective anti-candida agents.
Oregano (Origanum compactum or O. vulgare) essential oil capsules are available from some health shops, as well as certain private practitioners. There is a specific candidiasis protocol to follow, depending on the strength of capsules used and the virulence of the organism/s identified, so I can’t provide that information in this forum. Oregano essential oil is very effective, but it should not be ingested in undiluted form – it’s safer to take capsules, so please take care in this regard. Likewise peppermint oil, but origanum is more powerful. Warburgia salutaris, pau d’arco (Tabebuia avellanedae/T. impetiginosa), garlic and caprylic acid are all also indicated for candida infections, but you’ve probably already tried these remedies by now. Probiotics containing beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus are also essential for healthy bowel colonisation, especially if you’ve been on drug treatment for candida. Limiting carbohydrates, especially all forms of sugar (both obvious and hidden), is important since candida thrives on sugar. Also limit or eliminate (if possible) refined and/or processed foods, yeast-containing foods, fermented foods, gluten-containing grains and alcohol – but you probably know this and may already be doing it, since you mention having tried ‘diets’.
You have not indicated where you live, but candida and other organisms causing the symptoms you describe can be confirmed by a relatively simple but specialised stool flora analysis/test. This test is available via a number of integrative medicine practitioners, including some naturopaths, in the Western Cape and possibly in other provinces. An individualised treatment programme is usually designed for patients by their doctor, once the results are known.
I hope you find someone to consult, who can work alongside you in trying to sort out these symptoms.