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Candida Medical Treatment And Prevention

Posted by on Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 12:44
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Candida usually results from a variety of factors, each of which needs to be addressed directly. Because candida overgrowth slowly develops when these conditions occur over a prolonged period of time, patients must realize that there is no quick fix candida cure.

In order to achieve success, both time and personal commitment to dietary and lifestyle changes are required. Candida treatment also depends on the degree of yeast overgrowth and how severely immune function has been compromised.

When yeast overgrowth is confined only to the GI tract or vagina, the candida treatment tends to be shorter and less involved. In systemic cases, however, where yeast toxins have spread throughout the body, treatment protocols can last as long as six months to a year.

And in severe cases of leaky gut syndrome, successful treatment (requiring the healing of the bowel lining) takes at least a year or more. The comprehensive holistic approach consists of four components, and for best results you should start with stages 1 and 2 before progressing to 3 and 4.

1.    Kill the overgrowth of candida.

2.    Eliminate the fuel for the growth of candida through diet.

3.    Restore normal bacterial flora in the bowel.

4.    Strengthen the immune system.

Stage 1.

The holistic treatment of candidiasis can be effective if used entirely as aself care approach. However, if you’re convinced you suffer from candidiasis and would like the the most effective method for killing candida, then it would be helpful to seek medical consultation with a physician willing to prescribe one of the antifungal medications, such as Nizoral, Diflucan, and Sporanox.

Although each of these drugs has some minimal risk of liver toxicity, periodic liver function tests and taking the herb milk thistle (silymarin), which protects the liver, will usually mitigate this risk. A far more common side effect of these drugs is the “Herx heimer reaction,” or die off effect.

These medications are often so effective in killing yeast that as the organisms die they release a “flood” of toxins into the bloodstream that can cause fatigue, headaches, nausea, loose stools, flu like aches and pains, and any other symptom that yeast are known to produce. Increasing intake of distilled or filtered water, using water enemas, and taking vitamin C and ibuprofen all help to relieve these die off symptoms.

Although it’s possible that for a short time you might feel worse than you did before, you might also choose to look at a relapse resulting from die-off as a confirmation of your diagnosis of candida, as well as a hopeful sign that you are eliminating yeast and will be feeling much better very soon.

Another prescription drug that’s been used for many years (prior to the new antifungals already mentioned) is Nystatin. It’s available in tablets and powder and is much more effective for killing candida in the bowel, but not elsewhere in the body.

In spite of the potential side effects and expense (these drugs range in price from $3 to $13 a tablet), there is nothing that works as well in eliminating yeast overgrowth. Typically, the prescription will be 200 mg per day for at least one month, and depending upon the severity of the condition and the response to the drug, another two weeks or one month will be suggested. The second month might be every other day, or a similar strategy will be used for tapering off the medication rather than stopping abruptly.

For patients who are unable to obtain these drugs or who cannot take them due to their potential side effects, a number of other options are available, although none of them usually works as quickly or effectively. Among these are a variety of homeopathic remedies (many are available in health food stores).

Stage 2.

In addition to killing off candida, eliminating their fuel through diet and strengthening immune function are also essential. Dietary considerations comprise the second part of candidiasis treatment and should be adopted at the same time that you begin stage 1.

Although there is no single anticandida diet that perfectly meets everyone’s unique biochemical needs, the following principles can help most people. Eat primarily protein and fresh vegetables, with a limited amount of complex carbohydrates and foods rich in healthy fats, along with a small amount of fresh fruit (avoid fruit and juices for the first two to three weeks of the diet).

Avoid sugar and all concentrated sweets. For best results, rotate all acceptable foods, eating particular foods (especially grains) no more than once every three to four days. Usually three to six months is the minimum time required for maintaining the diet, although it can become less restrictive the longer you follow it. The more involved you become in shopping, planning your meals, and cooking, the easier and more rewarding you will find the diet to be.

Acceptable foods include raw or lightly steamed, fresh, organic vegetables, especially those high in water content and low in starch. These include all green and leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale, sprouts, greens, and parsley; and low starch vegetables such as celery, zucchini, squash, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, asparagus, tomato, onion, cucumber, garlic, radish, and Brussels sprouts.

Carrot, beet, turnip, eggplant, artichoke, avocado, and peas can also be eaten, although they contain moderately higher levels of starch. Proteins can be eaten freely. Meats that are free of antibiotics and hormones (free range, organic meats) and deep-water ocean fish are recommended. (Beef and pork should be avoided, however.) Organic seeds and nuts are also permissible.

Complex carbohydrates can also be used, but try to limit yourself to no more than one serving a day. These include potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, legumes, and whole grains (eat only nongluten grains brown rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat), either sprouted or cooked. For best results, wait until you are in the third week of your program before introducing legumes, and be sure to rule out any food allergies (see chapter 19) you might have.

Flax seed oil (one to two table spoons daily) used on grains or vegetables, or as a salad dressing, should also be consumed (do not heat it or cook with it). Other acceptable oils are cold pressed olive, linseed, walnut, and soy. Certain fruits are also permitted after the first two weeks, although you should limit yourself to one serving per day until you are sure they are not aggravating your symptoms.

For the first 21 days, start with melons and berries. Then add grapefruit, apple, pear, peach, orange, nectarine, apricot, cherry, and pineapple. Fruit juices in general are best avoided unless they are freshly squeezed or are diluted 1:1 with water. Candida cookbooks are relatively easy to find in most book and health food stores.

Foods to avoid include all foods containing sugar (cakes, cookies, donuts, ice cream, soft drinks, etc.), sucrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glucose, dextrose, sorbitol, honey.  Use sea salt instead of table salt. Milk and dairy products (including cheese) should also be avoided, although butter is acceptable in limited amounts, as is non-fat, unsweetened yogurt if you are milk tolerant. (Unsweetened soy milk can be used in place of milk.)

Also eliminate all bread and yeast raised baked products, such as whole grain cereals, pastas, tortillas, muffins, and crackers. Other foods to avoid include mushrooms, caffeine, white or refined flour products, packaged and processed foods, olives, pickles, sauerkraut, vinega~ mustard, ketchup, margarine, refined and hydrogenated oils, soy sauce, and tarnari.

Significant improvement should begin to occur within one month of following the above dietary guidelines and the steps outlined in stage 1. If little or no change is noticed, then you should probably be tested for food allergy and/or the presence of parasites. People with leaky gut syndrome make very slow progress.
Stage 3.

After you have followed stages 1 and 2 for about six weeks, you will be ready to begin stage 3, which involves restoring normal friendly bacteria in the bowel through the use of lactobacillus acidophilius and bifidus supplements, commonly available at most health food stores.

Good bacteria cannot fully grow back until yeast overgrowth in the bowel has been greatly diminished. Although there are many brands of these products to choose from, the majority of them are of little value, since they contain only a small amount of these living organisms. Even most freeze dried types are deficient in adequate amounts.

To ensure potency buy refrigerated brands with an expiration date between one and ten months from the date of your purchase, and supplying between one and ten billion organisms per day. Also buy only liquid cultures or powdered forms containing whey (dairy) or nondairv varieties, as only these forms provide an ample food supply to sustain the fragile lactobacilli. Take two servings per day, morning and evening.

Be aware that many yogurt products do not contain a high amount of viable organisms by the time they reach the consumer. This is especially true of highly processed ones or those with many additional ingredients. People who are sensitive to dairy products, as well as those with chronic respiratory conditions, should not use yogurt as a consistent source of friendly bacteria. Remember to those brands of yogurt that have added sweeteners.

Stage 4.

The final stage in treating candidiasis involves strengthening the immune system. One of the easiest ways to do this, along with proper diet, is through use of nutritional supplements. In addition to the  the lowing nutrients are recommended:

•    Biotin 300 to 1,000 meg three times daily

•    Flax seed oil (already a part of the candida diet) or other essential fatty(omega 3, evening primrose, or black currant oils)

•    Amino acid supplements balanced and broad-spectrum

•    Adrenal enhancing supplements

•    Pancreatic enzymes one or two tablets with each meal

•    Hydrochloric acid (HC1) one capsule with pepsin with every meal, to restore digestive function

•    In addition to the preceding, be sure to drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day, exercise regularly, and get at least eight hours of sleep per night

If, after following this program for six weeks or more, you still are experience little or no improvement, probably there are other contributing factors to your problem that still need to be addressed.

These can include food allergy and leek gut syndrome (both already mentioned), intestinal parasites (especially pancreatic enzyme deficiency, hypothyroidism, adrenal exhaustion, chronic infection, chronic fatigue syndrome, chemical hypersensitivity, and heavy poisoning, among other possible causes.

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