Candida and yeast overgrowth is very common. The symptoms vary massively but typically include
IBS, including bloating and constipation
Allergies, having Candida increases your allergic threshold so you are more likely to react to allergens, whether you eat them or inhale them
Mental symptoms, Some people also experience mental symptoms such as irritability, confusion and brain fog.
Candida is part of the normal gut flora, and only becomes a problem if it overgrows. Unfortunately our modern lifestyles and diets can have detrimental effects on our resident gut flora and provide opportunities for Candida to overgrow. Frequent antibiotic use, high sugar diets or those lacking key nutrients, repetitive and highly processed diets, refined carbohydrates, high alcohol intake, poor digestion, birth control pills, frequent use of NSAIDS, and high levels of stress can all have an adverse impact.
Dysregulates the immune system
Heightening its response to allergens
Increases intestinal permeability
Allowing food proteins to cross from the gut in to the blood stream, which can provoke food sensitivities
Degrades Secretory ImmunoGlobulin A or SigA
Which is a key defence against all types of pathogens (including Candida!) and helps to determine which foods are friends and which are foes.
Identifying whether Candida is your issue is the first and most important step to take. Whilst it might be tempting to simply assume its existence, similar symptoms may be experienced from pathogens including a common parasite called B Hominis. Whilst an anti-candida diet (low in sugar and starch) is useful in eradicating many parasites, the anti-fungal supplements typically used to reduce Candida can be ineffective against B Hominis.
Once a Candida infection is confirmed, the Anti-Candida (A/C) approach can be begin. We approach Candida treatment in phases according to your personal case history and state of health.
It is often necessary to begin the treatment with a course of supplements designed to support the body’s immune system by increasing levels of SigA: low SIgA levels can contribute to Candida overgrowth as well as promoting food allergy and intolerance.
Very strict diets – often recommended for Candida overgrowth – can be counter-productive. As well as being very challenging to adopt, they may not be the best approach ito supporting your immune system, which is after all, going to be critical in preventing the return of Candida at a later date.
However, I do advise patients with proven Candida overgrowth to avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar, fruit and juices whilst undergoing treatment.
Supplements for Candida Reduction
At IBS Clinics we use a variety of supplements to assist the body in controlling Candida. These include probiotics and nutrient compounds that increase SIgA but also ensure the integrity of the gut lining.
In addition, I give nutrients that reduce the yeast as well as large doses of probiotics or ‘friendly bacteria’. These replace Candida on the gut wall. This IBS Clinics phased approach – typically, it takes 8-12 weeks – proves most effective in the long term, as it builds your immune system whilst reducing the Candida, meaning this can be the last ever anti-Candida treatment you need.
You are welcome to email me with quick questions or to call me on my phone clinic days. However, please understand that lengthier emails, by their very nature require a comprehensive response and for these there may be a charge or I may suggest that you schedule a 20-30 minute phone consult, which will be charged pro-rata.
Absolutely! I don’t believe that an individual needs to suffer just to prove that the approach is working and have found that there are a number of nutritional interventions which can be used to improve bile flow and speed up the removal of toxins from the body.
The symptoms associated with a Candida overgrowth are largely due to Candida’s ability to produce a toxin called acetaldehyde. When Candida is killed off it releases a large amount of this chemical so it is possible to begin to feel worse again which can be hard to understand as it often follows a period of feeling better.
This varies from person to person, but typically after a couple of weeks symptoms such as bloating and toilet frequency should begin to improve and after 3-4 weeks, you should feel a bit more ‘alive’ and like things have improved.
This varies enormously and will be in the region of £100 per month depending on test results. Expect to take supplements for three months to a year.
Two to three appointments is the norm to achieve the resolution of a Candida issue. The Candida protocol can be complex and many of my clients have found it beneficial to have a their progress formally assessed.
Because the IBS Clinics approach is to treat the individual as a whole, a we typically address blood sugar balance, adrenal fatigue and hormonal balance as part of the process. The goal is to get you feeling as well as possible.
This is your choice and this approach does have its merits, but the path to ridding yourself of Candida can be a long one and is dependent on a variety of factors. Testing provides important information on your progress, and also identifies if other interventions such as the use of probiotics, a low sugar diet or digestive enzymes could be beneficial.
The choice of test is up to personal taste and your budget. If Candida is found and is your only issue, the saliva test will be the least expensive option. If the test is negative for Candida and you still have symptoms, then you will need to undertake another test to look for other factors. Ultimately this could prove more expensive.
We use a simple saliva test, which checks for the presence of Candida antibodies and identifies a current and/or past exposure to Candida. A (more expensive) stool test gives a comprehensive overview of an individual’s gut environment. This shows the balance of gut flora (dysbiosis) as well as the presence of Candida and/or any parasites such as B Hominis or D Fragilis that can result in Candida-like symptoms.
You don’t need to travel to far flung remote destinations to pick-up a parasitic infection. Most are picked up by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water, through pets or contact with someone with poor toilet hygiene.
I have seen many clients at my clinic who display what appear to be Candida symptoms, however tests have shown in some cases that these are down to a parasitic infection.
Candida protocols and treatment plans can involve extensive changes to your diet & lifestyle combined with the use of anti-fungal supplements. Before embarking on such a regime it makes sense to identify the presence of a candida infection to be sure of the right approach.
Candida is a normal inhabitant of a healthy gut and poses no issue in healthy people. Issues arise when the immune system is compromised for any reason. Approximately 70% of the body’s immune system is in the gut and is comprised of a bacterial community the balance of which is vital for our health.