Treating Candidiasis without Nystatin, Ketoconazole, or Diflucan

 

Review by Jonathan Collin, MD
Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients - December 1996

Conquering Yeast Infections: The Non-Drug Solution
by S. Colet Lahoz, RN, MS, LAc
Pentland Press, Inc., 5124 Bur Oak Circle, Raleigh, North Carolina 27612 USA
1996 Softback, $19.95, 139 pp.

It has been nearly two decades since C. Orian Truss MD, an allergist in Birmingham, Alabama presented to a medical forum his observation that depressed patients are affected by a yeast organism called Candida albicans. This yeast was not a new or unique discovery as it had been treated by gynecologists and pediatricians for years in the form of vaginitis in women and thrush in infants. What was remarkable about Truss's report was drawing the relationship between clinical depression, a "mental" disorder and yeast, an infective organism usually associated only with superficial human infections. Truss presented a series of papers on the injury the yeast organism Candida subjects the human body to in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. By the early 1980s other physicians interested in chronic illness and allergy began to explore yeast's relationship in causing numerous unexplained illnesses. This led to Dr. Billy Crook publishing The Yeast Connection in 1984 as well as Drs. John Trowbridge and Morton Walker writing The Yeast Syndrome in 1986. By the late 1980s the medical community became divided into two camps: those who "believed" in the condition known as systemic candidiasis or CRC and those who did not believe in it. The believers largely consisted of alternative medical practitioners who already subscribed to many theories lying outside the medical mainstream; the nonbelievers began to publish editorials in the orthodox medical journals claiming that the yeast syndrome was a fad and did not have any legitimacy in medical diagnosis or treatment.

While this disconcerting set of events has made candidiasis a difficult condition to work with both as a patient and as a physician, there have been many rewards for both in pursuing understanding of the yeast syndrome. Chronic illness frequently is diagnosed in very black-and-white terms such as arthritis, asthma, ulcer and psoriasis. However, many chronic conditions are undiagnosed and present incredible frustration for both doctor and patient. For example, many patients have at a relatively young age, 30-40, difficulties with remembering and calculating simple sales register receipts. Obviously it is very unlikely that these individuals have major brain disorders such as Alzheimer's. But what can explain these lessened abilities to think in apparently normal persons? Others continue to experience recurrent upper respiratory infections, sinusitis, sore throats, ear infections and colds with no apparent cause. Despite numerous rounds of antibiotics, even throat or ear surgery, they continue to have infection after infection. Other patients have terrible digestive tract disorders with continuous gas, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and heartburn, trying all sorts of medications and diets with little relief of their symptoms. What could be the cause of these symptoms? As unbelievable as it may be to many patients and doctors, this often ignored yeast, Candida, can frequently be the culprit. Yet Candida cannot just be "eliminated." We all look for the simple pill to cure all our problems; Candida is just not responsive to the magic bullet.

We know that there is a relationship between Candida and these chronic illnesses because when we treat the yeast and have the patient follow programs designed to control the yeast, the patient responds remarkably even after many previous medical treatment programs for unrelated conditions failed. Even the patient who previously failed with "quick" anti-yeast treatment will respond if a program is designed with an appropriate anti-yeast diet, long-term use of anti-Candida supplements, and/or medications, complementary nutritional supplementation including herbals, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, whole food supplements, and homeopathic supports. In addition other modalities such as acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and naturopathy play an important role in supporting the restoration of the Candida patient to their normal condition.

It has been quite difficult to develop research studies on treating patients having chronic illness labeled candidiasis or CRC when Candida may not be quickly diagnosed by a standardized test. Further, even when the patient and physician are open to treating Candida, the usual quick one or two course treatments of anti-yeast Nystatin or Nizoral or Diflucan are usually insufficient to eradicate the more chronic illness. S. Colet Lahoz, RN, a nurse and acupuncturist in Minnesota decided to undertake a research study of diagnosing and treating candidiasis employing a well-scheduled program of diet, anti-Candida fungicide, nutritional supportive supplements, as well as acupuncture. The study followed patients who scored high on questionnaires designed to screen for candidiasis reported by Crook and Trowbridge. Patients were asked to compare their symptom responses following essentially no anti-yeast program, a medication program, or the program designed by Lahoz involving diet, a four part anti- Candida colon cleansing program, as well as nutritional supplementation. The results of the study demonstrated Candida symptoms could be very well controlled by patients who followed a rigorous dietary and colon cleansing program compared to patients who only followed diet and anti-Candida medication. More remarkable for those patients was the constancy of symptom response for those who completed the bowel cleansing program. The study strongly suggests that the yeast syndrome is not only tied into many of these chronic illnesses but that the bowel or digestive system is the primary site where yeast settle in the body and produce the toxic by-products which bring on the vast array of symptoms throughout the body. It argues again for the theory the hygienists championed a century earlier: that an unhealthy lower bowel is the breeding ground for infection and inflammation which will cause illness throughout the body. That cleaning out the lower bowel will only improve an individual's health; ignoring the bowel's hygiene will lead to more generalized chronic illness.

Conquering Yeast Infections: The Non-Drug Solution by S. Colet Lahoz RN, LAc, is a book for believers in the yeast syndrome as well as for patients and physicians who have been frustrated by difficulties in managing candidiasis. It describes in a very readable format the basis for Candida as cause of chronic illness, as well as the theory behind its causation. Lahoz reviews the difficulty in diagnosing Candida by conventional laboratory testing and examines the tools most practitioners who diagnose and treat CRC use in evaluating new and long-standing patients. She presents the data Drs. Truss, Crook, Trowbridge and Walker and others have published on diagnosing and treating yeast syndrome. Lahoz presents the components of her four-part colon cleansing program including an anti-candida oil called Caprol, as well as a clay cleanser, bentonite, a well-known fiber support psyllium, and the implantation of friendly colon organisms, acidophilus. The colon cleansing program is used twice daily with the anti-Candida diet for a period of three months to effectively clean the colon of yeast organism and yeast toxins. Following the theory, Lahoz presents data following Candida patients who actively followed the yeast program. Lahoz also provides guidelines for managing life following the completion of the yeast treatment. Throughout the text patient profiles are presented which clearly reveal the difficulties many patients of all ages have experienced in diagnosing their chronic illness, obtaining effective help for their condition, and the change in their life once the Candida was effectively controlled. Except for minor irritable periods when the yeast "die off," the program Lahoz proposes poses few significant side effects.

We have all spent considerable energies looking for answers to long-term chronic complaints, often with no better advice than our symptoms represent psychological stress. Lahoz's Conquering Yeast Infections tells a different story - one that most assuredly affects millions of Americans who never receive any relief until their condition turns from symptom and illness to major disease. Why do we need to wait for major disease before we get help? Why not consider the cause before our body degenerates and threatens critical illness? I would highly recommend that Conquering Yeast Infections be required reading for doctors and patients who are getting nowhere treating long-standing unsolved illness.

 

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