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
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.