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My approach is much simpler than others I have encountered but please don't confuse simple with easy, You will need to be dedicated and willing to make changes for long term gain. It will be worth it. This step-by-step guide is produced with my clients in mind however I hope it will also be helpful to others.
I have worked with thousands of clients over the years working to eliminate candida and over that time I have shifted my approach and changed my viewpoint on the condition.
Candida Albicans is a yeast which is a normal part of your intestinal bacteria. It is one of a very small group of fungi that is able to colonize in the gut. When there is candida overgrowth in the gut it is an indication that the gut bacteria is out of balance. If the gut microbiome is well balanced, then the good bacteria feed on candida and keep it in check. So candida is essentially a symptom of a lack of balance and diversity in the gut microbiome which in turn creates a whole host of other issues.
In recent years increasing numbers of scientific studies are finding links between poor gut microbiome and health issues.
Candida itself is associated with recurrent urinary tract infections, thrush, jock itch, itchy scalp, ear problems, furry tongue, fungal nail issues, chronic bloating, foggy thinking, emotional disturbances, and when it becomes systemic (ie it has crossed the gut wall and is colonising in other parts of the body) it can cause itching everywhere and a whole host of other issues.
Candida decomposes cell membranes, so its presence in large numbers is a sign that your immune system is fighting a losing battle to keep yeast under control. A weakened immune system will wreak havoc on your overall health leaving you prone to infections, inflammation, colds and flu.
During a long-term infestation, yeast can change into its fungal form, developing roots that implant themselves in the intestinal wall or other mucosal linings.
These roots enable the toxic by-products of fermentation and other harmful material generated by the fungus to be absorbed, which can result in an immunological reaction. This, in turn, can develop into a yeast syndrome affecting all of the body's systems.
A host of health problems are linked to Candida overgrowth:
- Acne or psoriasis
- Digestive disorders including weight gain, gas, bloating, colitis
- Ear infections
- Emotional upsets and depression
- Energy imbalances or insomnia
- Hormonal problems
- Hyperactivity/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Lung problems
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Weight loss
- Pollen allergies
- Reproductive organ disorders
- Sensitivities to foods, chemicals, and/or moulds
- Susceptibility to viruses, bacterial, and other infections
- Thyroid problems
Take some time to think about when you first started to experience symptoms. When did you start to feel exhausted? Was it around the time or shortly after other events such as periods of stress, hormonal changes (such as pregnancy), antibiotic use, surgery, eating a poor diet etc. Doing this exercise will help you to determine how long you may have had your Candida overgrowth and will give you some idea of how difficult it will be to get rid of (although this is only a very basic guideline and it varies from person to person). If for example you have been feeling unwell for a long time then it is likely to take longer to completely eradicate the yeast.
Some practitioners believe that Candida overgrowth can lead to the onset of chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, Epstein-Barr virus, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer's, Crohn's disease, arthritis, cancer, and autism.
The bigger picture however is concerned with the lack of diversity in the good bacteria. Although we have a very long way to go before we truly understand the gut microbiome, early indications are that taking care of it is absolutely vital to good health long term.
Studies have made links with a whole variety of conditions including:
- Parkinsons Disease
- Heart Disease
to name just a small selection. If you are interested in knowing more about studies then I suggest you Like my facebook page/Detox Leeds as I regularly share reports on the findings of studies.
In addition, the absence of good gut bacteria means you will not absorb nutrients from your food effectively (the good bacteria are believed to act as carriers taking nutrients beyond the gut) nor will you be able to create your own nutrients such as vitamin K and many of the water soluble B vitamins.
We live in a toxic soup and the pressures of life in the 21st century and not conducive to maintaining optimal gut bacterial balance without conscious effort.
The following all contribute to the destruction of our gut microbiome (in no particular order):
Antibiotics destroy probiotic bacteria
Low Stomach Acid
- Diet – especially those high in fermentable carbon sources such as mono- or dimeric sugars (sucrose, glucose, and lactose - so that's dairy (especially skimmed and semi skimmed milk), refined carbohydrates, confectionary etc) – plays a key role in encouraging yeast overgrowth and creating an environment which does not encourage good bacteria.
- Vitamin, mineral, and enzyme deficiencies
- Low fat (high sugar) foods
- Heavy metal contaminaton (think vaccinations, amalgam fillings and heat stripping pre-1960s paint without protection and environmental pollution)
- Prescription drugs
- Lack of sleep
- Hormonal changes (puberty, sexual maturity, pregnancy, sterilization, menopause including peri- and post-menopause)
- Environmental toxins
- Constipation or diarrhoea and conditions such as Crohns, coeliac disease etc
- Insufficient leafy greens (which provide good bacteria) and resistant starches (which feed good bacteria)
- Artificial sweeteners have been found to be very destructive to gut bacteria
Many of the things we consume and/or are exposed to coupled with health-related conditions, can create an environment in which healthy bacteria cannot thrive.
Many factors associated with Candida overgrowth are disruptive to the body's endocrine system, causing hormonal abnormalities that, in turn, can be aggravated by antibiotics, and even by Candida Albicans itself.
The Good News: You can make significant improvements in your gut bacteria (in terms of killing off the bad bacteria and yeasts) in as little as three days if you follow the instructions and are 100% disciplined.
The Bad news: You can destroy all your good work in a 3 day bender.
The Good News: You can undo the damage of the bender by going back to the start.
The Bad News: When gut bacteria is out of balance it can be very difficult to be disciplined. Gut bacteria communicates directly with your brain via the Vagus. When bacteria is in good order it seems the communication is clear and harmonious. When bad bacteria is dominant then the messages are not useful and you may experience increased brain fog, anxiety, stress, sadness, cravings etc.
More Bad News: In the early stages, the bad bacteria and yeasts will be fighting for their survival and are likely to make you crave sugar, a lot, more than you have ever craved it. You will need to be strong, be ready for the cravings and don't give in.
And More: It is common for people to feel worse before they feel better. In the early stages of the protocol you may experience a cleansing reaction and could feel very tired and listless, snappy, angry, sad, more anxious, depressed etc. Any skin conditions may worsen, you may feel as though you have the flu or are coming down with something. Stick with the plan. For most people the cleansing reaction will be short lived but for others it can go on for a few weeks. Be sweet to yourself, rest, relax, get plenty of sleep and know that it will pass.
Do The Spit Test
You will need still, bottled water. First thing in the morning, before you do anything else (no drinks or eating), fill a tall glass (preferably a plain one) with the bottled water and then spit on top of the water. Leave it to stand for between 10 and 30 minutes. If the spit disperses amd disappears, its likely you are in the clear but then you would probably not be reading this. If anything grows under the spit, speckles appear in the water, a cloudy pool sinks to the bottom or all the water turns cloudy it's an indication your gut bacteria is out of order and yeast is dominant.
Do The Stomach Acid Challenge
After the spit test do the bicarbonate of soda test. Take a small glass of water (a half pint with three to four inches of water will be fine). Add a heaped teaspoon of bicarbonateof soda, stir briskly and when it's dissolved, drink the lot. When the bicarbonate of soda reaches your stomach, if there is sufficient stomach acid there will be a chemical reaction and you belch loudly and several times. If you do not belch like an uncouth person then you need to supplement with digestive enzymes. You can buy my Well Digested here but hang fire because there are other supplements you need.
Increase Your Water Intake
Many people don't drink the amount of water they need. None of the essential functions of your bodies various systems work properly if you are dehydrated. Dehydation leads to impaired:
- Cognitive function
- Elimination of waste (both through the kidneys and the bowels)
and a whole host of other issues.
It can take up to a year to be fully hydrated on a cellular basis. When you first start drinking enough, you will urinate a lot but this will settle down.
Supplementing with Essential Fatty Acids is important for general health and also to aid the rehydration process. Take a high quality Cod Liver Oil (make sure you find one with zero mercury contamination) or for vegetarians and vegans take Algal Oil.
Have a Food Sensitivity Test
Most people have some foods that do not agree with them however people with a gut which is out of balance are likely to have multiple food sensitivities. You can be sensitive to absolutely anything, including healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. So its important before you embark on this plan to establish which foods are not good for you or your gut. Even though the week one diet is fairly hardcore there is no guarantee that it contains foods which are all OK for you, so best to check.
I offer food sensitivity testing at my practice in Leeds. You can either have a full test or I would be happy to do a mini test and just check the foods you will be eating. I also now offer Bioresonance Therapy so once you have eliminated the foods (or stressors as I call them) we can start working on reducing your sensitivity to them. Some people will get good results from one session, others will need more. We casn also use Bioresonance to address candida and may well be able to speed the whole process up for you.
As I have mentioned previously, if your bowels are working at 100% efficiency and you eat 3 meals a day, with sufficient fibre and bulk, you should be evacuating two to three times per day. You cannot improve gut bacteria if your digestive system is constantly full. Getting your bowels moving more efficiently will pay dividends in the long run.
You can't beat colonics for getting a good clear out. If your bowels are functioning reasonably (i.e. you go once a day) then three sessions, close together, should get you on your way. Its also a good idea to factor regular colonics into your health and beauty routine to keep things sweet after you have done all the hard work. I have lots of clients who come for a session every month.
If you are constipated, then you need to have regular colonics until you are emptying your colon a couple of times a day. Have as many colonics as you can afford. Everyone responds differently. I have had people come to my clinic who are only eliminating once a week, they've had three colonics, followed the instructions and their gut has worked ever after so you just never know. You can also have Bioresonance sessions to work on your gut issues if you are really not up for colonics.
Enemas are a good option if you can only budget for one course of colonics. You won't get as good a cleanse but it is adequate. Buy a decent enema kit and it will last you for years. Keep it simple. Use bottled water if you don't have a good filter. Heat the water to body temperature. Use your tongue to test it (way more accurate than your fingers). You want the enema bag as high as possible above your head (2 to three feet when you are sitting). Sit on the loo, let a little water out of the enema bag (to get rid of any air), then insert the speculum and turn the tap on. Let as much water in as you can bear, hold for as long as you can and then release and repeat. You will get better at it very quickly if you just persevere.
Colon Cleansing Supplements
Oxy is, without doubt, my most efficient colon cleansing product. In addition, it is also gentle and not habit forming so you can use it long term if your gut remains sluggish. It helps to create an environment which is friendly to good bacteria and keeps waste moving through and out.
It's an issue that many people don't consider but bacteria from your mouth can have a negative impact on your gut microbiome. If you get blood when you brush, have any inflammation or tenderness in your gums then its worth having a trip to see both your dentist, to discuss any gum disease, and the hygienist for a deep clean.
I use a Waterpik and find it invaluable for keeping my teeth and gums in tip top condition. I also use a tooth and gum oil made with essential oils which I put on my gums after brushing before I go to bed and in the morning.
I also run regular therapy sessions on my gums with my Bioresonance Device. It's working as both my dentist and hygienist commented last ime I saw them that only were my gums in good order and improving but my teeth seemed firmer in their sockets. All good!
Your dentist won't agree (I've been debating the issue with mine for years and we are both entrenched in our points of view) but I don't think amalgam fillings, which contain mercury, are good for our health. It might be a good idea for you to research a range of opinions on line, both main stream and alternative, and make your decision from there. You might like to start with looking at the British Dental Association page on this issue: https://bda.org/amalgam Some cuntries, I believe Norway, Denmark and Sweden, have already banned the use of amalgam.
In common with the vast majority of alternative practitioners, I am all for getting them removed. If you decide to go down this route, be sure to find a dentist that has experience of safe removal procedures. Alternative dentists are few and far between but you may be lucky and find one.
- Eat organic whenever you can. When you can't buy organic use the EWG List to check which foods are OK and which should definitely be avoided. There are now many box delivery services for organic fruit and veg and most supermarkets stock at least some.
- Wash all produce.
- If you are using produce which is not organic, peel outer skins and discard outer leaves.
- If you eart fish, eat only wild caught.
- If you eat meat then buy only organic, grassfed and from producers that promise the very highest quality. In the Leeds area, for example, there is Swillington Farm and near York there is Rosewood Farm Remember that what your food is fed becomes your food.
- Eggs - Look for the best quality you can find. You want genuinely free range hens that get to eat what hens would naturally eat as part of their diet. Small, local producers are generally going to be the best option. Farmers markets are often a good source.
- Beans & Lentils - Absolutely must be pressure cooked. As a result, they are easier to digest and lectins (proteins that are damaging to the gut) are neutralised.
Fats - Need to be undamaged and not produced with heat. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is great in the fight against candida as it is a natural anti-fungal. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - make sure it's the real deal so avoid the bigger producers like Fillipo Berio and go for a better quality from a small producer. Although you won't be eating dairy in general, butter is useful for adding flavour (and nutrients) - buy organic. Waitrose sell a raw, unpasteruised French butter that I like. Avocado oil can be used for dressings (I don't find it useful at all for cooking). For the carnivores, animals fats are good too: use dripping, goose fat etc.
Week One - Seriously Hardcore
Purging this harmful and destructive yeast from your body requires patience, perseverance, and a multi-pronged approach. This week, its all about starving out the yeast and other yucky bacteria.
Supplements will assist the process and deliver results more quickly than if you just go with the dietary suggestions. You will need:
Well Digested - already mentioned earlier on. Will boost your digestion, correct the environment of your stomach (increasing the acidity so your food can actually be digested and protecting against H.Pylori overgrowth)
Yeast Balance - a herbal preparation which kills yeasts and other pathogenic organisms
L-Glutamine - an amino acid which is used by your gut to repair itself.
These supplements can be bought on this website. I would advise going for the Total Gut Therapy Pack which also contains probiotics which you won't be taking at this stage but will be useful later on. I will put a pack together which also includes L-Glutamine. In the measntime you can order the Total Gut Therapy Pack and just add a request that it has L-glutamine instead of Good Bacteria.
You will be taking Well Digested with every meal, Yeast Balance twice per day (morning an evening) and L-glutamine (1 teaspoon in warm water just before you go to bed).
I do not stock these supplements but they are valuable and will further enhance the results of your cleanse.
Slippery Elm - creates a layer of mucous inside the gut. This helps to stop bad bacteria, yeasts etc from crossing the gut wall. It also facilitates easy passage of waste through the gut and is both soothing and healing. Take before every meal.
Psyllium Husk - Helps waste to pass through the gut cleanly, replaces the insoluble fibre you wont be having and facilitates more efficient evacuation of waste (better poos). I don't stock plain Psyllium but I do have Go Daily which will work just as well and is great for long term use to keep your gut in good order.
MSM - Is anti-inflammatory, will assist healing of the gut and reduce inflammation. Take one before meals but don't take more than the manufacturer recommends.
Week 1 Diet
Protein: Two to three portions per day. Eggs, Wild caugh fish, shell fish, grassfed meat, poultry, pressure cooked beans and lentils.
Vegetables: For this week, concentrate on cruciferous vegetables: kalettes, sprouts, cabbage (all types and colours), spring greens, kale, cauliflower, brocolli, spinach, fennel. Eat as much as you like/want. Salad Vegetables: radish, avocado, watercress, lettuce (all salad leaves), cress, celery, cucumber (without the skin and seeds). NB: always eat veg and salad with fat of some kind. It facilitates the absorption of the fat soluble nutrients (for cruciferous veg that's K and E).
Nuts & Seeds: Maximum 50g per day and stick to Brazil, walnut, pecans, macadamia, pine nuts, flax, hemp seeds.
Drinks: High quality herbal teas (not fruit teas), water, water with fresh lemon juice, one coffee per day.
Seasonings: Vinegar,high quality sea salt or himalayan pink (less plastic ), lemon juice, mustard, wheat free wasabi
Milk Substitutes: Coconut milk
Mayonnaise: If you can make your own using only egg yolk and olive oil then you can have it.
Convenience Tips: I react badly to chickpeas which have not been pressure cooked. I do not react to shop bought humous so assume it is made with pressure cooked chickpeas. Useful as a filling snack, lunch or breakfast. Eat with raw cauliflower, celery, cucumber (with skin and seeds removed).
Soups: Soup is very filling and a nice easy meal. As you will not be eating onions or garlic this week you can build flavour using Asafoetida which is used as a replacement. Cauliflower soup made thick and creamy with coconut milk is especially pleasing.
Useful Health Food Store Buys: I See Bacon is a seaweed alternative to bacon and I love it. You cook it in oil for 30 seonds per side and it turns into crispy, salty bacon. Pricey but you only need a small amount for flavour: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sea-Bacon-Seaweed-75g/dp/B074V9P381 also makes a great snack.
Week 2 - Getting Easier
So last week was as tough as it gets. By now your sugar cravings should have reduced and you may well also be noticing less bloating and gas. The combination of not giving the bad bacteria and yeast any food, digesting what you eat more completely and using Yeast Balance will have killed off lots of unhelpful organisms and the L-glutamine should have started to soothe and heal your gut.
Supplements As Week 1
Week 2 Diet
As last week but now add in Sweet Potato, Jerusalem Artichokes, Globe artichokes, turnip, garlic, leeks. onions and parsnip. Keep the portions small for now. I prefer to roast my sweet potatoe, jerusalem artichoke and parsnip: makes my meal so much more satisfying.
Week 3 - Getting Easier
So last week was little less tough and congratulations for making it this far. By now your sugar cravings should be a memory.
Supplements As Week 1 and 2 plus add in a probiotic
Week 3 Diet
This week add in carrots, raw sauerkraut if you can get it (if you are in Leeds then Karpaty food centre sells raw sauerkraut). Mushrooms, plantains, cocnut yoghurt (Waitrose do a delicious one as do Cocnut Collaborative).
Week 4 - Almost Done
Supplements As Week 3
Week 4 Diet
Start to add in some complex carbs such as tortillas made with Coconut, Cassava or almond flour. Best to invest in a tortilla press (can be picked up reasonably on Ebay) and here is a link to a recipe for Cassava tortillas: https://paleoglutenfree.com/recipes/best-ever-5-minute-cassava-flour-tortillas/
Slowly, one item at a time, start to introduce foods you have not had during the last three weeks. Add tomatoes, skinned and deseeded. As with everything you add back in, have a small amount and wait to see if you react.
Your best option is to keep your diet free of sugar other than that from fruits (and even then don't go crazy) . Sugar is like heroin in that it is highly addictive. If you start to treat yourself you will very soon be on a slippery slope. Best to stay off it altogether.
It's also a good idea to keep alcohol to a minimum. People did not used to drink every night but it is common to do so now.
Make sure you eat a wide variety of foods. Eating what is produced locally and is in season will prevent you from developing food sensitivities. Don't eat strawberries at Chrsitmas for example: enjoy them during the summer only. I grow my own and they are availabe for a maximum of 2 weeks, then the respberries come out followed by blackberries and apples.
Probiotics - if your diet contains a wide variety of vegetables and resistant starches you do not need to take probiotics every day. Take them periodically and rotate the brands you use, choosing those with different strains. Diversity is everything in a healthy gut.
I hope you find this guide useful. If you have anything to add or have anyquestions please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.