Natural Health: Feeling Well With Candida Involves Diet Change

By Catherine Stack Niagara GazetteNIAGARA FALLS — A significant number of people suffer from systemic Candida or, more commonly, yeast.  Candida has a chameleon-like ability to change from non-invasive, sugar-fermenting yeast to a fungal form that has long root-like structures that can penetrate the intestinal mucosa.


This condition is commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome, which is responsible for releasing toxins into the blood stream.  This in turn leads to a wide range of problems from bloating, constipation and gas, to food sensitivities and allergies.  Slow wound healing is also common with Candida overgrowth.When people take antibiotics to cure infection or illness they fail to recognize that the good, health-protecting bacteria are also destroyed, leaving yeast (Candida) to flourish and take over.  It is the beneficial bacteria that keeps Candida at bay in a healthy body.  The over use of antibiotics is partially responsible for the large numbers of people who suffer from systemic Candida. Even antibiotic residues in commercial meat contribute to setting the stage for overgrowth. Other common medications that contribute to yeast overgrowth are birth control pills and steroids.

Many physicians are not familiar treating Candida overgrowth as the symptoms can present non-specific and vague.  In women, the diagnosis of yeast infection is simple to make and treat.  But for those who suffer from an occasional vaginal yeast infection, are likely loaded and should consider systemic treatment. The problem with using with topical and oral preparations such as Monistat and Diflucan is that it will potentially lead to resistant Candida issues.  These medications work well initially but because the underlying cause is rarely addressed, results are usually temporary and overgrowth will most likely strike again. If diet and supplementation are not addressed the medicinal action is only likely to suppress, not eradicate the problem.

Sugar, which is Candida’s favorite food, along with a diet full of refined carbohydrates (breads, crackers, etc), makes the battle almost impossible to win.  A strict Candida diet must be followed for at least 1 month or more.  This diet eliminates most dairy, all sugar, most fruits, alcohol and bread products.  This leaves you with what nature intended you to eat anyway.  Fish, vegetables, meat, lots of pure water, herbal teas (especially Pau d’Arco) and some whole grains such as quinoa would make you feel great in a very short period of time. Emphasis should be placed on foods known to have anti-fungal properties such as garlic, onions, broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, olive and flax oils, cinnamon and cloves.

The downside of getting rid of systemic yeast is usually short lived, but the symptoms can feel almost flu-like for a few days.  The sugar cravings will be pretty intense as well — the yeast want to be fed.

Diet modifications, as discussed above, are going to make or break your success when it comes to eradicating yeast. Nutritional supplements such as probiotic’s, colloidal silver, Vitamin C, herbal or homeopathic combination formulas are extremely helpful when it comes to killing yeast.  Alternative therapies such as colon hydrotherapy and FIR Infrared heat therapy will help to remove yeast die-off quicker than your body will do it on its own.

One of the most important things you can do to prevent systemic yeast overgrowth is to supplement with probiotics on a regular basis but especially when finishing a course of antibiotics.  So if you suffer from bloating, sugar cravings, sensitivity to smells, bad breath or body odor, joint pain or hard to diagnose skin rashes, be very suspicious of a yeast invasion.

Catherine Stack is a doctor of naturopathy and certified nurse midwife. Her practice is located at Journey II Health in Niagara Falls. She can be reached at 298-8603 or at her website at