Crohn's Disease linked with Candida*
by S. Colet Lahoz. MS. RN, LAc
Karen Henman was 28 years old when
she first came to our clinic. She was sick most of her life and at age
18 was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. This illness is also referred to
as ileitis or regional enteritis and is characterized by chronic inflammation
of the intestines. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, fatigue, weight
loss, abdominal cramps, joint pain and skin lesions.
Karen had minimal response to cortisone
and drug therapy--in 1995 they performed partial colectomy. Her symptoms
worsened. Rectal strictures became a constant problem and had to be dilated
once a week. The next step was to do an ileostomy, an operation in which
a major portion of the intestine is removed and the route of elimination
is created in the abdominal wall.
The Candida Question
Karen was evaluated for possible
Candida overgrowth using an in-depth clinical symptom questionnaire.
She scored extremely high, confirming my suspicions that this illness
was Candida-related. The doctors had missed that at age four Karen
had acute tonsillitis, was given a lot of antibiotics and eventually a
tonsillectomy. Candida overgrowth started then. Candida
toxins, especially acetaldehyde, a byproduct of high yeast and sugar,
cause a constant weakening of the lymphatics and all the organs and systems
in the body. No wonder she had been sick most of her life!
Candida albicans is the specific
name for a strain of fungus or yeast that naturally exists in the digestive
track. In healthy individuals it can co-exist with other microbes causing
no problems. When the immune system is weak, the diet is high in refined
breads, sugar and alcohol or when antibiotics or cortisone drugs are taken,
the fungal-bacterial balance is disrupted and the fungal colonies become
In Karen's case this overgrowth was
unrecognized. Most physicians are not looking for it. In fact, the drugs
they use encourage the overgrowth. Her symptoms were typical of candidiasis.
They included chronic fatigue, craving sugary foods or breads, constant
intestinal problems, allergies, chemical sensitivities, headaches, mood
swings, memory lapses, skin problems, depression and joint and muscle
pain. Women with Candida often suffer recurrent vaginitis, PMS
and even develop endometriosis. Birth control pills and hormone therapy
worsen the condition.
The predominant symptom varies from
person to person, which makes Candida difficult to diagnose.
The fundamental question regarding
treatment approaches led me to study which combinations are most effective
in curing candidiasis. I surveyed individuals who recovered from severe,
Successful treatment requires a combination
of modalities. Natural fungicides, a strict diet (yeast-free, sugar-free,
no alcohol) and acupuncture treatments gave the quickest, most lasting
reversal of symptoms. The average time for symptoms to reverse was three
months and up to one year in severe cases.
The appropriate fungicide and colon
cleanser are of prime importance if treatment is to be successful. A combination
of liquid capryllic acid, bentonite, psyllium powder and DDS acidophilus
was successful in my study. These four ingredients are taken together
in a mix twice a day for at least three months.
Liquid capryllic acid, a natural
product, is effective because it's a broad-spectrum fungicidal agent.
When combined with bentonite, an absorbent detoxifying product, die-off
is significantly reduced. Psyllium, made from high grade seeds and husks,
helps clean out built-up toxins and yeast colonies in the intestinal wall.
DDS acidophilus is the fourth ingredient and is needed to re-implant
beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Karen was given this treatment regime
and after the fourth acupuncture visit and four weeks using the supplements
and following a strict diet, the diarrhea and food cravings were controlled.
Her rectal strictures gradually diminished with episodic recurrences and
were completely healed after five months. Episodes of abdominal pain in
Karen's right lower quadrant were secondary to visceral inflammation and
responded to acupuncture points used in the lower abdomen. After just
five weeks and five acupuncture treatments she was able to get off both
drug prescriptions that she had taken for years.
She stayed on the program for five
months and received 25 acupuncture treatments. At this writing, which
is two and a half years since her first visit, she is a healthy, vibrant
young woman and just needs occasional follow-up treatments.
Other diseases linked to candidiasis
include chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, depression,
panic episodes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, endometriosis
and fibromyalgia. People experiencing no success with their current therapies
are encouraged to explore possibilities that they may have fungal overgrowth
and seek appropriate therapy. Colet Lahoz, MS, RN, LAc. is a board-certified
practitioner of Chinese medicine.
1. Collin, Jonathan, MD. Treating Candidiasis Without Nystatin, Ketoconazole
or Diflucan. Townsend Letter for Doctors,
2. Lahoz, S. Colet, MS. Conquering Yeas Infections: The Non-Drug Solution.
East-West Clinic Publications, 1996.
3. Lahoz, S. Colet, MS. Candidiasis: An Initial Indication of a Positive
Treatment Approach. Townsend Letter for Doctors,
4. Fuchs, Nan Kathryn, PhD. Controlling Candida Part Two: A Comprehensive
Approach That Works. Soundview Publication,
* Originally published on Alive Magazine, October 1999.