What is Candida?©
It has been nearly three decades since C. Orian Truss, MD, an allergist in Birmingham, Alabama, presented to a medical forum his observation that depressed patients are affected by a yeast organism called Candida albicans. This yeast was not a new or unique discovery as it had been treated by gynecologists and pediatricians for years in the form of vaginitis in women and thrush in infants. What was remarkable about Truss’s report was drawing the relationship between clinical depression, a “mental” disorder and yeast, an infective organism usually associated only with superficial human infections. Truss presented a series of papers on the injury the yeast organism Candida subjects the human body to in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. By the early 1980’s, other physicians interested in chronic illness and allergy began to explore yeast’s relationship in causing numerous unexplained illnesses. By the late 1980’s, the medical community became divided into two camps: those who “believed” in the condition known as systemic candidiasis or CRC (Canadida Related Complex) and those who did not believe in it. The believers largely consisted of alternative medical practitioners who already subscribed to many theories lying outside the medical mainstream; the nonbelievers began to publish editorials in the orthodox medical journals claiming that the yeast syndrome was a fad and did not have any legitimacy in medical diagnosis or treatment.
While this disconcerting set of events has made candidiasis a difficult condition to work with as a patient or as a physician, there have been many rewards for both in pursuing understanding of the yeast syndrome. Chronic illness frequently is diagnosed in very black and white terms such as arthritis, asthma, ulcer and psoriasis. However, many chronic conditions are not as easily diagnosed and present incredible frustration for both doctor and patient. For example many patients have, at a relatively young age 30-40, difficulties with remembering and calculating simple sales register receipts. Obviously it is very unlikely that these individuals have major brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s. But what can explain these lessened abilities to think in apparently normal persons? Others continue to experience recurrent upper respiratory infections, sinusitis, sore throats, ear infections and colds with no apparent cause. Despite numerous rounds of antibiotics, even throat or ear surgery, they continue to have infection after infection. Other patients have terrible digestive tract disorders with continuous gas, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or heartburn, trying all sorts of medications and diets with little relief of their symptoms. What could be the cause of these symptoms? As unbelievable as it may be to many patients and doctors, this often ignored yeast, Candida albicans, can frequently be the culprit. Yet Candida is not easily “eliminated.” We all look for the simple pill to cure all our problems; Candida is just not responsive to the magic bullet.
We know that there is often a relationship between Candida and these treatment resistant chronic illnesses because when we attack the yeast and have the patient follow programs designed to control it, the patient responds remarkably. Even the patient who previously failed with a “quick” anti-yeast treatment will respond if a program is designed with an appropriate anti-yeast diet, long-term use of anti-Candida therapy and complementary nutritional supplementation. In addition, other modalities such as acupuncture and naturopathy can play an important role in supporting the restoration of the Candida patient to their normal condition.
It has been quite difficult to develop research studies on treating patients having chronic illness labeled candidiasis or CRC when Candida is not easily diagnosed by a standard test. Further, even when the patient and physician are open to treating Candida, the usual quick one or two course treatments of Nystatin, Nizoral or Diflucan are usually insufficient to eradicate the more chronic cases. S. Colet Lahoz, RN, a nurse and acupuncturist in Minnesota, decided to undertake a research study of diagnosing and treating candidiasis employing a well-scheduled program of diet, anti-Candida fungicide, nutritional supportive supplements, as well as acupuncture. The study followed patients who scored high on questionnaires designed by Crook and Trowbridge to screen for candidiasis. Patients were asked to compare their symptom responses following essentially no anti-yeast program, a drug regimen or the program designed by Lahoz involving diet, a four-part anti-Candida colon-cleansing component, as well as nutritional supplementation.
The results of the study demonstrated Candida symptoms could be better controlled by patients who followed the Lahoz protocol than patients who followed diet and anti-fungal drugs. More remarkable was the constancy of symptom response for those who completed the bowel-cleansing program. The study strongly suggests that the yeast syndrome is not only tied into many chronic illnesses but that the gastro-intestinal tract is the primary site where yeast settles. It argues again for the theory the hygienists championed a century earlier – that an unhealthy lower bowel is the breeding ground for infection and inflammation which can cause illness throughout the body; that cleaning out the lower bowel will only improve an individual’s health; that ignoring the bowel’s hygiene will lead to more generalized chronic illness.
Conquering Yeast Infections: the Non-Drug Solution for Men and Women by S. Colet Lahoz, RN, MS, Lac, is a book for believers in the yeast syndrome as well as for patients and physicians who have been frustrated by difficulties in managing candidiasis. It describes in a very readable format the basis for Candida as cause of chronic illness. Lahoz reviews the difficulty in diagnosing Candida by conventional laboratory testing and examines the tools most practitioners use in evaluating new and long-standing patients. She presents the data Dr’s. Truss, Crook, Trowbridge and Walker and others have published on diagnosing and treating CRC.
Lahoz presents the components of her four-part colon cleansing program comprised of Attogram Corp’s anti-Candida oil Caproyl, our liquid clay cleanser Bentonite, Psyllium powder, and probiotics. Lahoz uses the colon-cleansing program twice daily with the anti-Candida diet for a minimum of three months to effectively clean the colon of yeast overgrowth and toxins.
Embarking on the learning adventure of a new healthy diet is the important first step towards understanding your body’s health and nutritional requirements. The Whole Approach.com™ website is designed to support and inspire you on your journey toward the diet and lifestyle strategy that suits your individual needs. Just as each of us has a unique personality, health history, health challenges, and biochemical make up, we also have unique dietary needs. The information found on these diet pages will be invaluable to you both as a starting point as well as an ongoing reference.
The primary goal of an effective candida diet is to support healing and detoxification through a nutritionally-balanced diet that is low in carbohydrates. The ideal diet for CRC recovery reduces or eliminates hard-to-digest foods that stress the digestive system as well as allergens and toxins that suppress the immune and nervous systems.
In the page links on the right, WholeApproach will address some of the more significant diet theories and considerations in order to help you put together a plan that fits your immediate needs while providing the tools to help you tailor your nutrition plan as you recover.
Lifestyle considerations that will enhance your treatment program:
- Take control of your diet by preparing most of your food yourself.
- Eat nutrient-rich, organic, minimally-processed whole foods.
- Optimize your intake of essential-fatty-acid rich food sources through the use of healing fats and oils.
- Eat a wide variety of foods, preferably by following the four-day rotation diet.
- Drink plenty of purified water. Drink half your body weight in ounces (for example if you weigh 140 lbs, you should drink at least 70 ounces of water). Whether you have city water or well water, consider investing in a water purification system (i.e. reverse osmosis) or buy high quality purified water that is stored in non-porous plastic or glass.
- Drug use, alcohol consumption and smoking lower your immunity – so avoid them.
- Exercise regularly, allow adequate time for sleep. Develop effective stress management and relaxation skills to help combat both physical and emotional stress.
- Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics, steroid drugs and birth control pills when possible since they promote the overgrowth of candida.