By S. Colet Lahoz, RN, MS, LAc

     Do you suffer from a chronic illness that does not respond to usual treatments? It may be because you have a condition called candidiasis. Candida albicans is a type of fungus that grows in the gastrointestinal tract. In healthy individuals the fungus coexists with beneficial microbes and bacteria and causes no problems. However, candidiasis is the term applied when these organisms become overgrown, producing mycotoxins (poisons) that are harmful to various organs in the body. When allowed to persist over an extended period of time, they can cause chronic illnesses and make existing illnesses worse.

Predisposing Factors

     Predisposing factors for candida overgrowth are:
1. A history of recurrent or prolonged use of antibiotics, cortisone drugs, birth control pills or chemotherapy;
2. A diet high in refined sugar, breads, carbohydrates and/or alcohol;
3. Exposure to household mould or toxins such as herbicides, chemicals or mercury.

What is the treatment?

     Eliminate the following foods from your diet: refined sugar, breads and other yeast-containing foods, alcoholic beverage, aged cheese and caffeine. Diet can include any of the following foods: vegetables, grains, beans, sprouts, brown and wild rice, raw nuts and seeds. In severe cases of candida, fruits are eliminated for at least three months.

     Drink eight to 12 glasses of non-chlorinated drinking water per day. Acupuncture treatments have also proven effective in helping to reverse symptoms.

     Why are many foods restricted on an anti candida diet? Yeast survives by eating sugar. Even natural sugars such as those found in fruits can feed yeast, making the infestation stronger. Yeast in breads and other food items can increase the number of yeast in the intestine, while alcohol and low-fibre carbohydrates, such as white flour, white rice and pasta, allow for an excellent breeding ground. Coffee, aged cheese and sweets make the intestinal pH more acidic, which encourages yeast growth.

     I also recommend four different antifungal regimens that should be taken in sequence, each for a three-month duration. The dosage and length of time it takes to stabilise the situation depends on the severity of the illness and the compliance to the prescribed diet.

Phase 1: caproil, bentonite, psyllium powder and acidophilus. In mild to moderate cases, one to two months on this program may be sufficient and the next phases will be unnecessary.

Phase 2: grapefruit seed extract combined with bentonite, psyllium powder and acidophilus.

Phase 3: Horopito colorata, anise seeds and a probiotic supplement including soil-based organisms.

Phase 4: olive leaf extract and a probiotic, including soil-based organisms.

      It is important to take the four phases in sequence. Doing phase one first causes the least "die off" reaction, which occurs when the yeast has died and toxins are released, often causing headaches and brain fog. The antifungals (caproil, grapefruit seed extract, Horopito and olive leaf extract) also need to be rotated to address the pleomorphic nature of fungi. Pleomorphism is when an organism changes form to survive. Just like bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, yeast can become resistant to the antifungals. To stop this from happening, every three months the anti-fungal must be switched.

S. Colet Lahoz is the founder and director of the East West Clinics in Minnesota. A practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine and a registered nurse, she is also the author of Conquering Yeast Infections: The Non-Drug Solution.

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This article has been published in:

Vista, Issue 21
Alive Magazine, January 2002


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