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Candida

Candidiasis

Candidiasis or Candida is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of fungus belonging to the Candida species. Candida yeasts are normally present in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina without causing symptoms. Sometimes, however, the balance between Candida and normally present bacteria becomes disrupted. Candida is very common with kids on the ADD Spectrum because the GI tract is in dysbiosis meaning imbalanced gut flora.

Candida Symptoms

Candida is such a difficult condition to diagnose because it can affect each sufferer in a different way. For this reason, Candida is often misdiagnosed and the symptom is treated instead of the underlying cause such as a yeast infection in a woman where antibiotics are prescribed.

The consensus is that many more people are suffering from Candida than those few who are diagnosed correctly. You may find yourself suffering from any or all of the following symptoms if you have Candida:

Neurological

  • Inability to focus
  • Headaches
  • Poor memory, Brain fog, Irritability, Anger, Dizziness, Depression, Crying spells, Panic attacks
  • Low libido
  • Persistent extreme fatigue, Hyperactivity
  • Cravings for sweets and alcohol
  • Insomnia
  • Poor coordination

Your Digestive System

  • Acid reflux
  • Bloating, Flatulence, Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation, Stomach cramps, Indigestion, Burping after meals
  • Mucus in stool
  • Hemorrhoids
  •  Itching anus

Your Skin

  • Acne
  • Cysts
  • Hives
  • Night sweats
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema, Dermatitis
  • Fungal infections of the nails & skin
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Body odor

Your Mouth

  • Thrush (white coating on tongue)
  • Swollen lower lip
  • Bad Breath
  •  Metallic taste in mouth
  • Canker sores
  • Bleeding gums
  • Cracked tongue

Your Respiratory System

  • Persistent cough
  • Mucus in throat
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus congestion
  • Chronic post-nasal drip
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Hay fever symptoms
  • Sinusitis
  • Asthma

Your Ears And Eyes

  • Eye pain
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • Bags under eyes
  • Ringing in the ears, Ear infections

Your Genital-Urinary System

  • Recurring yeast infections
  • Recurring UTI’s (urinary tract infections)
  • Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
  • PMS & menstrual irregularities
  • Fungal rash

Your Immune System

  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Allergies
  • Sensitivities to food
  • Sensitivities to fragrances and chemicals (environmental)

Your Weight

  • Inability to lose weight
  • Water retention

Other Symptoms

  • Heart palpitations
  • Chronic body pain and/or joint pains, Muscle aches and stiffness

Candida Misdiagnosis

Your doctor might confuse any of the following conditions with Candida. The reason is that the symptoms are often exactly the same, and Candida may manifest itself in any combination of those symptoms. We have listed here some of the possible misdiagnoses, together with the symptom that your doctor has focused on. Remember, your doctor is relying on you for an accurate description of your symptoms, so make sure you tell them everything!

IBS – abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, indigestion
Arthritis – joint pain
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – constant fatigue
Diaper Rash – rashes and itching in infants
Athlete’s Foot – Fungus on toenails
Crohn’s Disease – abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, indigestion
Gastroenteritis – abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, indigestion

A Candida misdiagnosis may actually worsen your Candida overgrowth. If your doctor believes that you have IBS, Crohn’s Disease or Gastroenteritis, he may prescribe the anti-inflammatory Cortisone. This introduces steroids to the gut, which can increase the growth of Candida colonies.

Testing For Candida

Candida is something of a controversial illness, and many medical professionals have not yet recognized it. Regretfully, this means that many patients are turned away and do not get the help that they need. There are tests available to help rule out candida. If you are tested positive we can work with you on a customized protocol to help eradicate the candida infection. Here are a few tests available.

Spit Test
Here’s a simple test that some Candida sufferers claim will diagnose your systemic Candidiasis. As we’ll mention below, the science behind this is a little suspect. Feel free to try the test, but don’t rely on this test alone.
1. When you get up in the morning, and before you brush your teeth, eat or drink anything, fill a glass with bottled water at room temperature.
2. Spit some saliva gently into the glass.
3. Come back every 20 minutes for the next hour and check for some of these tell-tale signs of Candida:
– ‘Strings’ coming down through the water from the saliva at the top
– Cloudy saliva sitting at the bottom of the glass
– Opaque specks of saliva suspended in the water

Candidiasis diagnosis is no easy task, but your best bet is to go with how you feel, and ask for some blood tests. Read below to find out which tests you should get to confirm candida:

Lab Tests

Blood Test
An Anti-Candida Antibodies, or Candida Immune Complexes test. There are 3 antibodies that should be tested to measure your immune system’s response to Candida – IgG, IgA, and IgM. High levels of these antibodies indicate that an overgrowth of Candida is present. This is the most reliable test for Candidiasis that you can find.

* IgG Panel for Food Sensitivity blood spot test from Great Plains Lab includes candida on their panel. We use this test frequently at Karmic Health with patients.

Stool Analysis
Your stool is directly analyzed for levels of yeast, pathogenic bacteria and friendly bacteria. However Candida often does not show up in this test, so the blood test is more reliable.

Urine Tartaric Acid Test
This test detects tartaric acid – a waste product of Candida yeast overgrowth. An elevated test means an overgrowth of Candida. Again, this test can be unreliable compared to a blood test.
Candida Questionnaire

Here is an abbreviated version of a questionnaire, created by Dr. William Crook and designed to test for Candida. The main difficulty with testing for Candida is that everyone has it! It is not the presence of Candida that is a problem, rather it is the overgrowth of Candida that gives you all those nasty symptoms.

Interpreting the Results

Women
A score of 10 or greater indicates that your health problems may be connected to a yeast overgrowth.
A score of 13 or higher suggests that they are almost certainly yeast connected.
Men
A score of 8 or greater indicates that your health problems may be connected to a yeast overgrowth.
A score of 11 or higher suggests that they are almost certainly yeast connected.

Question Yes No
  1. Have you taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibacterial drugs?
                   4 0
  1. Have you been bothered by recurrent vaginal, prostate or urinary infections?
                   3 0
  1. Do you feel “sick all over,” yet the cause hasn’t been found?
                   2 0
  1. Are you bothered by hormone disturbances, including PMS, menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunction, sugar craving, low body temperature or fatigue?
                   2 0
  1. Are you unusually sensitive to tobacco smoke, perfumes, colognes and other chemical odors?
                   2 0
  1. Are you bothered by memory or concentration problems? Do you sometimes feel “spaced out”?
                   2 0
  1. Have you taken prolonged courses of prednisone or other steroids; or have you taken “the pill” for more than 3 years?
                   2 0
  1. Do some foods disagree with you or trigger your symptoms?
                   1 0
  1. Do you suffer with constipation, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal pain?
                   1 0
  1. Does your skin itch, tingle or burn; or is it unusually dry; or are you bothered by rashes?
                   1 0
  1. When you wake up, do you have a white coating on your tongue?
                   1 0

 The Anti-Candida Diet


The Anti-Candida Diet is a more balanced diet but it eliminates fruit, added sugar, most starchy vegetables, caffeine and anything with a high Glycemic Load. This phase is carefully designed to starve the Candida of food while giving you all the nutrition that you need.

There are also a handful of foods that actually fight Candida. These fall into the category of either antifungals or probiotics, and you should integrate them into your diet too. So you’ll be happy to know that foods like yogurt * and rutabaga are on the list, even though their carbohydrate content might have looked too high.

Below you will see lists of Foods To Eat and Foods To Avoid for the protocol as well as a bonus list of foods that literally kill candida so make sure you use them daily.

This stage can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It really depends on several factors – how strictly you follow the diet, the effectiveness of your probiotics and antifungals, and the severity of your Candida infestation.

*Unless sensitive to dairy, can use therapeutic doses of probiotics as prescribed.

Foods that FIGHT Candida

  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a potent Candida killer, and one of the most potent antifungals there is. It contains Lauric acid and Caprylic acid, which both help prevent Candida overgrowth and strengthen your immune system.

Coconut oil is very heat stable, so it’s an ideal oil to use for frying and cooking. It is also cheap to buy and has a much longer shelf life than other oils, so there’s no excuse! You can 2-3 tablespoons per day.

  1. Garlic

Garlic has powerful antifungal properties to attack Candida, while also preserving and boosting the good bacteria in your digestive system. Garlic stimulates the liver and colon, giving it a potent detoxifying effect on the body.
If you love garlic, then use it liberally to flavor your food. You can also drink 2-4 cloves per day, crushed and mixed with water as an anti-Candida tonic. Avoid taking it on a completely empty stomach, and try it with a tablespoon of coconut oil to cut down on the stomach burn.

  1. Onions

Onions have strong anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties. They also help to flush excess fluids out of the body – this is useful because many Candida sufferers experience water retention. Onions along with garlic can give you breath issues, so a handy tip is to eat them with a bit of parsley to counter the smell.

  1. Seaweed

Seaweed is a nutrient-dense healing food that will help the body in the fight against Candida. It is rich in Iodine to help balance your thyroid gland – Candida sufferers often experience hypothyroidism and its many symptoms. Seaweed flushes toxic pollutants and heavy metals from the body, and cleanses your intestinal tract.

Kelp extract supplements are one of the most potent sources of Iodine, but you should also try eating lots of different types of seaweed.

  1. Rutabaga

Rutabaga is one of the most potent antifungal foods that you will find. Although you might think it falls into the same category of foods to avoid as sweet potatoes and yams, it actually has some very strong antifungal properties. Try it in small amounts first – if you find that it causes Die-Off symptoms then you might want to try a milder antifungal like turnip instead. Rutabaga is a versatile vegetable – you can make a rutabaga mash, cut up some rutabaga fries or mix it into your vegetable soup.

  1. Ginger

Ginger has a detoxing effect on the body by increasing circulation and detoxifying the liver, in addition to stimulating the immune system. It has a positive effect on the digestive system and helps reduce intestinal gas. It also has a soothing effect on any inflammation that the Candida overgrowth may cause in your intestinal tract.

Ginger tea is incredibly easy to make – here’s how you do it:

Ingredients:
1 square inch piece of fresh Ginger root
Squeeze of lemon
2 cup of water

Cut off the outside of the ginger root, then grate it and add to boiling water. Boil for 20 minutes. Strain and serve with a slice of lemon.

  1. Olive Oil

Olive oil contains a plant chemical named Oleuropein, which is found in both olive oil and olive leaf extract. It contains powerful anti-fungal properties and stimulates your immune system response to Candida. It has also been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels – this is important for Candida sufferers because elevated blood sugar levels can feed your yeast overgrowth.

  1. Lemon and Lime Juice

Lemon and lime juice stimulate the peristaltic action of your colon, increasing the efficiency of your digestive system. Both lemons and limes are great options for seasoning your vegetable, fish and meat dishes.

  1. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic properties. ‘Omega-3′s also help combat depression and symptoms of Candida inflammation such as pain and skin conditions. It is a well-established fact that most of us do not get enough Omega-3 oils in our diet to maintain optimal thyroid health. Deficiencies in this fatty acid have been linked to lower thyroid hormone levels. For an easy Omega-3 boost, add these pumpkin seeds to cereal, smoothies, salads or even use them as a portable snack.

      10. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper gives natural support to your digestive system and immune system. It helps to digest food and reduces constipation by cleansing the bowel of Candida and other toxins. Cayenne also increases metabolism and circulation, which will help to reduce one of the most common Candida symptoms, fatigue. Use cayenne pepper liberally to spice up your favorite foods.

I hope this information helps you!

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The information provided in this site is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice and is not intended to provide complete medical information. KidsMisdiagnosed, Inc does not offer personalized medical diagnosis of patient-specific treatment advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. Remember, the failure to seek timely medical advice can have serious ramifications. KidsMisdiagnosed, Inc urges you to discuss any current health related problems you or your child are experiencing with a healthcare professional immediately.