What Causes Candida Yeast Infection?
Candida is a form of yeast, or fungus, that’s naturally found on and in our bodies. There are more than 20 species of candida, but the most common is Candida albicans. Under certain conditions, an overgrowth of candida can occur, known as candidiasis, or a candida yeast infection.
Factors contributing to candidiasis include the use of antibiotics, birth control pills and steroids; diabetes; pregnancy; chemotherapy; immune system weakening diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and too much sugar in the diet.
Candida symptoms include vaginal yeast infections in women, thrush (oral yeast infection), skin rashes (including diaper rashes), athlete’s foot, fungal infection of the nails, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, cravings for sugar and alcohol, and intestinal symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
If the candida yeast grow up into the small intestine, they’ll irritate the small intestine lining, actually causing minute micro-punctures in the intestinal lining – which we call leaky gut – and then the leaky gut will allow the absorption of undigested food molecules and candida yeast toxins. So into the bloodstream come all of these toxins and undigested food molecules, creating antigen, antibody and allergic reactions.
An intestinal yeast overgrowth means that the normal intestinal yeasts have been given reasons to grow up into the small intestine and throughout the body. For example, antibiotics can kill good and bad bacteria, but what they don’t kill is yeast. So yeast fills in that vacuum and, especially if you’re eating simple carbs and sugars – it could be fruit sugar, milk sugar, table sugar, or fruit – you’ll feed the yeast and the yeast will overgrow.
Natural Remedy For Candida Yeast Infection
People with inflammatory bowel disease (and even irritable bowel syndrome) have to be very careful when trying to clear infections or do a detox, including a candida cleanse. Since their systems are so sensitive, protocols that are fine for most people will trigger a flare. Therefore we want to stick with very specific supplements that have already been trial-tested by thousands with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and proceed at a slow, gentle pace.
I spoke to my good friend Dr. Carolyn Dean – medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, herbalist, acupuncturist, nutritionist, lecturer, consultant and author – about the safest ways to clear candida overgrowth (candida yeast infection) and detox your system. Dr. Dean states that the basis of yeast treatment is:
- A candida diet that avoids sugar, wheat and dairy
- Taking some form of antifungal (olive leaf, caprylic acid, oregano oil)
- Detoxification with psyllium and bentonite
- Supplementing with probiotics (the good bacteria)
This mixture of probiotics, bentonite, psyllium, and caprylic acid, combined with an anti-candida diet, (and of course, addressing the underlying emotional causative agents) is an effective candidiasis protocol for just about everybody.
Dr. Dean recommends a caprylic acid that’s in an oil base as an anti-fungal. A mixture of the bentonite, caprylic acid oil, and psyllium powder or capsules create what Dr. Dean calls a “gel-like broom” for your intestines that is gentle for most people. This “broom” sweeps the candida yeast off the walls of the intestines; the caprylic acid kills the yeast, and the bentonite kills the yeast toxins, so you don’t have much of a die-off.
I haven’t experimented with caprylic acid (from coconuts) yet, but my readers and I have used a similar protocol: A combination of 1 tbsp. sprouted flax and chia powder along with 1/2 tsp. bentonite clay. and 10 drops of wild oregano oil three to five times per day as a candida cleanse, while following an Anti-Candida Diet. NOTE: You cannot use these remedies if you are on an exclusively elemental diet – only if you are combining Absorb Plus with regular foods.
If you don’t like wild oregano oil, you can replace it with 2 capsules of olive leaf extract. Many people also find it very effective to alternate wild oregano oil with olive leaf extract and they maintain that this is more powerful since it doesn’t allow the microorganism to adapt to any one substance. Listen to your gut and do what you feel would be best for you.
JINI’S CANDIDA PROTOCOL
- Take 10 drops of wild oregano oil first (or 2 capsules olive leaf), on an empty stomach, along with a glass of filtered water
- Wait 10-15 minutes and then take A combination of 1 tbsp. sprouted flax and chia powder along with 1/2 tsp. bentonite clay. I used to recommend MetaCleanse but the manufacturer has stopped producing it. NOTE: You cannot use these remedies if you are on an exclusively elemental diet – only if you are combining Absorb Plus with regular foods.
- Wait at least 20 minutes before eating.
- REPEAT THE ABOVE 3 – 5 TIMES PER DAY
- Last thing before bed at night, take 1 Healthy Trinity probiotic capsule.*
- After your candida has normalized, continue with 1 Healthy Trinity each day.
*Note: If you prefer, or if you are having more than 3 bowel movements per day, then take the Natren probiotics in POWDER form instead.
CAUTION: If you suspect you have an intestinal stricture, intestinal obstruction or narrowing, then you need to be really careful using stool bulking agents (like psyllium, flaxseed, etc.). In that case, you can use either very small doses, or you can just take the wild oregano oil – 10 drops, 5 times per day.
Candida Diet Tips:
An anti-candida diet is based on starving the yeast. So along with the Protocol above, also Avoid:
- Fruit juices
- Simple (starchy) carbs such as white flour, potatoes and legumes
- Grains (wheat, rice, quinoa, barley…)
- Yeast containing foods (baked goods, alcohol, products containing hydrolyzed yeast…)
- Vinegars and pickled or fermented foods (pickles, olives, soy sauce, hot sauce, many condiments and salad dressings…)
- Peanuts, pistachios, cashews, mushrooms (often have mold residues)
- Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
- Acidic and acid-forming foods (including alcohol)
- Milk (contains lactose sugar)
You can eat:
- Lots of fresh vegetables; preferably raw, steamed or juiced
- Plain Yogurt (watch for sugar), sour cream, cream cheese and butter
- Stevia and Xylitol
- Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- Organic and herbal coffee and tea
- Coconut, olive, grape seed and flax oils (cold-pressed)
- Lemon juice
- Raw nuts and pumpkin seeds
- Herbs and natural salt
- Fish and seafood (be aware of mercury content)
- Alkaline or alkalinizing foods
Be aware that you may feel worse before you feel better, as the candida yeast die off and release toxins. After two weeks you can start reintroducing some starchy vegetables and low carb fruits back into your diet, but pay attention to how they make you feel. For a healthy gut microbiota, it’s good to just keep carbs, fruit and sugars low on an ongoing basis – you’ll feel better and will likely lose fat and gain muscle too!
To receive full instructions on how to clear candida overgrowth, including Dr. Carolyn Dean’s advice for the 10 percent of people whose yeast infection doesn’t respond to a mixture of bentonite, psyllium and caprylic acid, sign up in the green box for my free CANDIDA, DETOX AND MORE! podcast with Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND.
Benefits of Probiotics for Yeast Infection and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
After you’ve cleared most of the excess candida yeast, the absolute best preventative measure is to populate your gut with really potent good bacteria. Taking probiotics for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is important, as having a healthy bacterial flora will help to inhibit or eliminate pathogenic microorganisms like yeast, fungus, parasites, and bad bacteria that wound or burrow through the intestinal wall.
Currently, I only recommend Natren brand probiotics as they are the only company that meets the basic standards for quality and bio-availability and guarantees the live count through to the expiration date. You need to take the full spectrum of probiotics (Megadophilus, Bifido Factor, Digesta-Lac) in powder form only.
I recommend people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) take their probiotics in powder form if they are having 3 or more bowel movments per day; as people with IBD often have very fast transit times through their gastrointestinal tract, so capsules are not always broken down and absorbed properly. Also, when you take the powder form, you’re ingesting the valuable supernatant (growth medium) along with the beneficial bacteria. If your system tends to be constipated, or you have less than 3 bowel movements per day, then you’ll be fine with taking the capsules (if you prefer).
When you first begin probiotic supplementation, I recommend proceeding slowly. This is due to a phenomenon called The Herxheimer Reaction (first documented by Dr. Karl Herxheimer) where the die-off of pathogens in the gut (caused by the good bacteria) causes various unpleasant probiotics side effects. Bloating, gas, headaches, colds, flu, diarrhea, etc., can result as these toxins die off and your body tries to expel them as quickly as possible.
To avoid or minimize this temporary reaction, start with only 1/4 tsp. of each powder (Bifido Factor, Megadophilus and Digesta-Lac) 1 to 2 times per day, or 1 capsule of Healthy Trinity every second day. Take them on an empty stomach, 15 to 20 minutes before food, or 2 hours after food. I also like to take 1 tsp. of each powder before bed (on an empty stomach) so the bacteria have all night to colonize undisturbed.
You can follow the dosage instructions on the bottle, and you can mix all three powders together in one glass of room temperature filtered or spring water (no tap water, as the chlorine in tap water kills bacteria). Some people’s guts are so toxic that they are only able to tolerate 1 capsule every four days. So listen to your gut and proceed at the pace that’s right for your body.
Eventually, work your way up to 1 tsp. of each powder 3 times per day, or 1 capsule of Healthy Trinity 1 to 2 times per day. Take this for at least 3 to 6 months to see really good, lasting results. If you have IBD, your gut flora is so compromised that you need consistent, high doses of the full spectrum of probiotics to affect any kind of lasting probiotic benefits. Then, take as needed – let your digestion and bowel movements be your guide.
See the Probiotic Supplementation section of my book Listen To Your Gut for complete information on probiotics for IBS. It is also a good idea to do Jini’s Probiotic Retention Enema once per month for three months if you can, since you’ll see the fastest results that way.
Natasha Trenev, co-founder of Natren Inc. (originator of 70 different probiotic products) and I tell you exactly how to use probiotics for IBS and IBD in our Probiotics Teleseminar, with instructions for things like probiotic layering and a probiotic retention enema.
Sign up in the green box to receive my free CANDIDA, DETOX AND MORE! teleseminar with Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND.
CANDIDA TREATMENT SUMMARY:
- An anti-candida diet that avoids sugar, starchy carbs, wheat and dairy, and is more alkaline than acidic.
- An antifungal such as caprylic acid, olive leaf, or oil of oregano (to kill the yeast).
- Bentonite (to clear the yeast toxins).
- Psyllium (to “sweep” the intestines).
- Probiotics (to repopulate the intestine with “good” bacteria).