The Many Factors Involved in Chronic Candida
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Marzia
Posted on: May 11, 2001

I hope you can provide me some insight into a recurring problem – yeast infections. Most doctors I’ve been to say it’s just a yeast infection but I don’t know if it’s something more than that given that I have one on a constant basis. I’ve stopped taking the birth control pill (Cyclen21); I’m trying to control my sugar intake (I’m not sure if sugar intake refers just to refined sugars or natural sugars found in fruits?) and avoid eating meat more than 2-3 per week; I keep my coffee intake to 1-2 cups a day (maybe that’s too much?); I wear cotton underwear; I avoid fried or very spicy foods. I’ve used Canesten and Terazol but they have no effect and now I’ve started taking "Probiotic Rebuilder" and "Candistroyer" from Nature’s Secret but I haven’t seen any change. I also try to eat more yogurt.

I know I carry Hepatitis B (I was sick with it as an infant but it’s not active now) and my husband had his vaccines for it. I’ve had my blood-sugar levels tested and I don’t have diabetes, although it does run in the family. I read somewhere and someone once told me that perhaps my lymphatic system is not functioning properly and if I don’t take care of it now I could run into worse problems in the future (i.e. cysts). The discharge that I get doesn’t smell but I notice I get more of it after eating something sweet. If I supposedly don’t have high sugar levels or diabetes, how in the world could my body react to sugar like that so fast??? Is it possible that after being on the birth control pill for about 7 years that my biochemistry has changed?

I hope you can provide me some more insight as to how I can cure this problem because it’s been going on for months and nobody seems to be able to help me.

Candida is part of the normal intestinal flora. Causes of its unchecked growth include dietary sugars and yeast, some drugs, including antibiotics, corticosteroids, birth control pills and hormone pills, emotional stress and low immune resistance. Because there are so many factors that can contribute to chronic candida, I advise you to see a trained, experienced natural health practitioner to sort out the factors that may be contributing to your infection.

Food "allergies" or sensitivities can contribute. You can try to eliminate from your diet the foods that most commonly cause sensitivities: dairy products, wheat products, corn products, yeast, egg, potato, tea, coffee, mushrooms, oats and chocolate or any foods that you find cause digestive problems.

Intestinal infections or inflammations often accompany recurrent candida. Unless these are cleared, the candida will continue to flourish. Foods that irritate the bowel include coffee, chocolate, mushrooms, alcohol, high fibre, foods, dairy, wheat, rye, oats and corn products, soft drinks, all junk food, all artificial colouring and flavouring. Herbs that support liver function, Dandelion root or Milk Thistle for example, are usually included in herbal formulas in these cases to encourage a good supply of digestive juices from the liver. A natural health care practitioner will recommend herbs that can kill off the candida, while encouraging healthy bowel function.

Along with clearing any bowel infection, it is important that a good balance of bowel flora be encouraged. Yogurt with active bacterial cultures or acidophilus supplements should be taken daily.

Lymphatic congestion can be a factor. Clivers (Galium aparine) is useful in clearing lymphatic congestion.

Stress and tension are often factors in recurrent yeast infections. In these cases, It is important that a relaxing nervine be included in your herbal formula.

Low immune resistance may be a factor. Echinacea is often added to a herbal formula to improve immunity.

Candida infection is easily passed between sexual partners, so your husband should be treated for infection as well. Abstinence helps herbal treatment work more quickly.

Your diet is important, but must be accompanied by herbs that will kill off the excess candida and heal the intestine. Try for a whole food diet, including mostly fresh vegetables and a daily portion of whole grains; avoid all sugars in foods (all foods containing sweeteners, honey or sugar), yeast in bread, mushrooms, and all alcohol during your treatment. The candida fungus is nourished by sugar and yeast. Amanda McQuade Crawford’, in "Herbal Remedies for Women" (Prima Publishing), recommends avoiding the tropical fruits (bananas, citrus and all fruit juices), and eating raw apples, pears, plums and peaches in moderation and in season.

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