I’ve felt sick for 10 years, and no one has helped me. I read on the Internet about Candida, and I have every symptom possible. I’ve eliminated sugar already, and after 2 months, I feel better. I just found your site and hope you can teach me more about this infection.”
–N.H. San Francisco, California
Answer: Just amazing, 10 years and YOU had to find out what’s wrong with yourself on the Internet? Candida is a fungus and even though most physicians dismiss this organism as harmless, I don’t. It’s part of the normal flora in the gut, but it can be dangerous for some people. Eat the standard American garbage diet and you will destroy your intestinal microflora and then get yeast overgrowth.
Candida is a highly invasive micro-organism that can make you very sick. There are about 80 potential symptoms of systemic yeast overgrowth including: Athletes foot, yellowish-green toenail fungus, vaginal yeast infection, intolerance to perfume, iron-deficiency anemia, hypothyroidism, diarrhea/constipation, gas, cystitis, prostatitis, spots in front of eyes, joint pain, acne, headache, brain fog, memory loss, bad breath, heartburn, belching, allergies, mouth sores, hemorrhoids, painful intercourse, eczema, psoriasis, chronic fatigue, asthma, itchy/burning eyes, depression, gluten or dairy allergy, and inability to gain weight (or wasting) because the Candida is ‘eating’ everything you put into your system so you develop malabsorption. See how confusing this gets? Doctors may overlook or dismiss a systemic Candida infection in a person, and just begin prescribing medications for one illness after another. There are tests, treatments and dietary changes which I will share in future columns and Facebook posts.
Candida is a fungus that can spread to your organs. The fungus grows like a plant does, spreading ‘roots’ which poke holes in your intestinal wall, then the fungus invades your sinuses, lungs, skin, reproductive organs, pancreas, liver, and so forth. Some health experts believe that Candida fuels cancer growth. The problem is not so much the fungus itself, but more the toxic compounds it produces, about 75 toxic substances! One Candida by-product is a potent neurotoxin called acetaldehyde. That’s the same exact substance you make when you drink alcohol or get drunk. I believe wholeheartedly that this is why Candida sufferers experience so much brain fog or hangover feelings.
Candida is a mold so it thrives in heat and in humidity. This explains why many of you feel better in dry or cool climates. Another surefire way to kill Candida is to eliminate sugar and starches from your diet while taking anti-fungal supplements or teas. I’ll outline those in a future column. Certain medications or lifestyle choices can cause Candida overgrowth: Birth control pills, steroids, antibiotics, chemotherapy, and many blood pressure pills, alcohol, and processed food.
Did you Know?
Studies suggest that eating 20 tart cherries a day (or drinking the juice equivalent) can provide more arthritis and gout relief than aspirin or ibuprofen.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.