Following my earlier post, Rheumatoid Arthritis – The Making of Candida?, now, here is the attack plan, to get back at these Candida.
Under normal circumstance, our bodies are able to resist invasion (as it does with other germs), but when our immunological comes under varied prolonged stressors, the yeast/fungal invasion can extend its reach to cripple our whole immune system so that it can no longer repel these invaders. As I explained on how Candida leads to leaky gut syndrome earlier, the proteins that are derived from the common DA structure, each time a new protein enters directly into the blood stream, it get recognized as an invader. This is how ‘cross-reactivity‘ occurs and increasing food allergies develops.
So, you see, Candida can be stubborn and has strong survival will, and if we want to successfully treat it, the following 4 modalities MUST be strictly adhered to, for it to be effectiveness. I cannot emphasize enough that, it needs an absolute 100% strict conformance to the treatment plan. If any one of these steps are neglected or inadequately followed through, the process will be delayed, prolonged, or ineffective.
The 4-Steps Candida Treatment Plan
These are the 4 crucial steps that must be followed through:
- Killing the fungus overgrowth with proper diet (by starving out the fungus) and medication (killing off the fungus), as well as management of the healing crisis.
- Nutritional supplementation and correction of vital nutrients to support the immune system.
- Planting good bacteria back into the gut and re-establish a normal good bacterial flora.
- Avoidance of antibiotics, hormones, steroids and allergic foods.
There are a number of conventional medications that are used to eradicate the fungus. Many physicians have used anti-fungal agents such a Clotrimazole, administered for thrush, Nystation for bowel therapy and Itraconazole and Fluconazole for systematic infections.
To avoid the side effects of these agents, the following agents are also often used nowadays:
A. Caprylic Acid – It is fungicidal for Candida albicans, yet harmless to friendly intestinal flora. It is also invasive against the mycelial form as well as yeast form. Caprylic acid is metabolized by liver and does not get into general circulation, as such, it must exert its fungicidal effect in the intestinal tract. You can take up to 5 tablespoons per day, but start on a lower does just in case you experience a die-off reaction.
B. Olive Leaf Extract – The oleuropein in olive leaf extract can obliterate Candida quite effectively. It can kill rather than just inhibiting its growth. If you are taking a 500mg capsule, you can take up to 2 capsules 3 times daily with meals and as maintenance, 1 to 3 cups of olive leaf extract tea per day.
C. Oregano Oil – the phenols in oregano oil are highly concentrated and its antifungal properties are demonstrated in a 2001 study showing its effectiveness against fungal infections such as Candida. It can be taken orally in capsule or liquid form. In liquid form, you may take 1-3 drops per day, under the tongue.
D. Garlic – Garlic is a very potent antibacterial and anti-fungal agent. It contains a chemical compound named Ajoene which has shown an effectiveness against 98.2% of yeasts, including Candida according to a 2009 study. It can be added to many different foods. Alternatively, you can also take standardized garlic capsules 3 times a day.
E. Grapefruit Seed Extract – The extract comes from the pulp and seeds of grapefruit. Also a highly powerful anti-fungal, you have to build up the dosage. If taking the liquid concentrate, 10 drops in a cup of water is a typical dose, to be taken 3 times a day. In tablet form, 100-200mg three times a day should be sufficient.
F. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – Raw apple cider vinegar is an enemy to the Candida. It balances the pH level of the body and prevent Candida overgrowth. Take a tablespoon and mix it with a glass of water and drink before each meal. It can aid digestion and prevent undigested food particles from feeding Candida in the gut, while creating an unfriendly environment for the yeast, and help rebuild a good environment for friendly gut flora.
G. Pau D’Arco – This is the bark of a rainforest tree which is inherently anti-fungal. It’s often brewed into tea. Drinking up to 3 cups of tea per day is an easy way to harness its anti-fungal properties.
On additional note, without any drugs or medications, it must be emphasized that the last thing that you want to do is to stop the treatment before the course is completed. It usually takes minimal of 3 to 4 months to get the overgrowth under control, and it is very tempting to stop the course as you feel much better. The danger of stopping halfway before any remnants of the fungus are cleared off your system is the fact that they can grow back quickly and build resistance to the anti-fungal agents you had used earlier to kill off those fungal overgrowth.
You shall also begin to commence the anti-fungals soon after you began the highly restrictive anti-Candida diet. Start with slow doses to prevent severe die-off (healing crisis) reaction. A large dose taken too quickly can kill off too much Candida and make you quite sick. For the same reason, it is also a good idea to try to leave a few days between starting the anti-fungals and your probiotics intake.
Another good tip is to rotate the use of the above anti-fungals from time to time, for instance, month to month. Candida is believed to be quick to adapt to a single anti-fungal over time, so by doing this, we can be ensured that these and other anti-fungals will not lose any of their effectiveness.
Remember, Candida feeds on sugar and all forms of it, such as lactose contained in dairy products, honey, glucose, fructose and sugar substitutes. It also feeds on high carbohydrate foods and gluten containing grains such as wheat, rye, and barley; as well as other yeast molds and yeasty foods. Sugar can also be found in most processed foods such as canned meats, ketchup, cereal and artificial sweeteners.Therefore, a strict total and absolute avoidance of the following must be followed:
- All sweets and sugary foods in any shape, form and fashion, e.g. desserts, honey, molasses and any products that end in “ose” such as fructose, glucose, maltose, lactose, etc.
- All breads and flour products of any kinds.
- All kind of alcohol beverages since they contain yeast and sugar.
- All gluten-containing grains e.g. wheat, oats, rye, barley; and starchy foods e.g. rice, potatoes, etc.
- Yeast in food production and flavouring of commercial breads, rolls, cakes, pastries, cookies, hotdogs, crackers, biscuits, soy sauce, mayonnaise, condiments, salads dressings, mushroom, etc.
- All milk and milk products e.g. butter, yogurt, etc.
- All forms of processed or refined foods.
Below are extracts from the Whole Approach® Candida Diet protocol (www.WholeApproach.com), which details very comprehensive 3-stages dietary protocol that begins with three full months on Stage One (regardless of your beginning score). Then, as healing progresses, you may move through Stage Two and Stage Three diet recommendations, followed by a maintenance (stabilization) diet.
Do not forget that anti-Candida diet is absolutely vital and crucial in the treatment, and failure to comply with the diet will likely result in failure of fungal overgrowth.
Management of Healing Crisis
On top of that, I’d suggest supplementing the anti-fungals with Psyllium and Bentonite, while taking the anti-fungals.
Psyllium gradually scrapes away Candida breeding ground from the colon wall, absorbs toxins within the colon and carries them out to reduce the die-off reaction from the dying Candida. It gives slippery adhesive bulk to loosen and pass out old, congested and solidified fecal matters that coat the wall of the colon.
Bentonite, on the other hand, directly absorbs Candida albicans and flushes them out. Basically, it therapeutic usefulness lies with its absorbent capability in detoxification of the intestinal canal. Since bentonite is not itself absorbedm whatever it absorbs will be removed in the feces.
Another novel way to deal with the damaging by-product of Candida albicans, mainly ethanol, and its descendant, aldehyde, is the study which shows that by taking 100mcg of molybdenum three times a day, together with adequate glutamine, selenium, niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine, cobalamin and iron, aldehydes continue to be metabolized into acetic acid, which can be excreted, or converted into acetyl coenzyme.
Die-off symptoms can also be alleviated by consuming 1g of Vitamin C several times daily or as needed, and taking an Epsom salt baths also help to draw toxins out through the skin.
Nutritional Supplementations – Vitamins, Minerals and Fatty Acids
In order to build immune system, it is necessary to correct any vitamins, minerals and fatty acids deficiency.
Good fatty acids (such as Omega-3 fatty acids) and oils (such as coconut oils) are essential to get Candida under control. It assists the body to absorb nutrients while providing an efficient source of energy. It is useful to also supplement with certain essential vitamins and minerals that are yeast free and sugar free, including but not limited to chlorella, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and so forth. For more on the proper nourishment that fits Candida as well as RA treatment, you may explore here.
Re-establishment of Normal Gut Flora
As the yeast overgrowth is killed off by anti-fungal agents, it is crucial to consume a constant supply of probiotics or the ‘friendly’ or ‘beneficial’ bacteria or microorganisms. The most numerous bacteria found in small intestines are species of Lactobacilli and those in the colon are the species of Bifidobacteria.
The best probiotics supplement shall be one that contains specific strain of bacteria that have been studied and verified as effective. Two of the many studied strains are Lactobacillus GG and Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1. In addition, we need to pay attention to its potency (the higher the better) and quality (stored in dark bottle to prevent lowered bacteriologic count caused by heat and light, and kept refrigerated).
Finally, it is best to avoid antibiotics in any form as well as hormones, steroids and foods that we are now allergic/intolerant to.
I cannot recommend enough reading up more on Candida-related information and find that Linda Allen’s Yeast Infection No More (TM) system and Dr Cook’s The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health particularly authoritative and useful. With the highly restrictive nature of anti-Candida diet, I have issues with diversifying my diet and what I can prepare for my meals. This book, The Yeast Connection Cookbook will be ideal for individuals, especially those of us on RA who are avoiding and rotating food due to food allergies and intolerance; but as you may imagine, you may find some of these recipes rather tasteless or unappetizing particularly if your taste buds are attuned to heavy tastes of the modern Western diet. But, do remember that, yeast only feeds on sugar. Just tough it out.
My final remark being that the treatment protocol that is listed here is generally safe; and if you feel that you fit the profile for Candida, I do not foresee any harms giving this protocol a try. You see, the anti-Candida diet is one of the most restrictive diets around and I reckon that it may, in fact, be a good idea for anyone with RA who begins exploring into diet to start off with this more restrictive anti-Candida diet.