WELLNESS RX SPECIAL REPORT: FUNGAL (YEAST) INFECTIONSWELLNESS RX SPECIAL REPORT: FUNGAL (YEAST) INFECTIONS
WELLNESS RX SPECIAL REPORT: FUNGAL (YEAST) INFECTIONS
Fungal (yeast) infections are one of the most common ailments experienced by individuals. While most people are aware of fungal sinusitis and the tinea family of fungal infections (tinea versicolor (discolored patches on the skin) & ringworm infections (athlete’s foot; jock itch; scalp; nail & body (red, circular lesions with raised edges), this paper will examine fungal infections caused by the yeast Candida.
In particular, the most common of the Candida family is the yeast candida albicans which is a fungus that naturally lives inside the body (mouth, throat, gut & vagina) or directly on the skin without causing any problems. When, however, there is an abnormal overgrowth of candida problems begin which can lead to a fungal infection called candidiasis. When candida enters the bloodstream or organs more serious infections can result.
Cases of candidiasis are classified as follow:
Mucosal Candidiasis: oral (thrush or white patches on the tongue or back of throat), vaginal, penis or esophageal, GI tract or respiratory infections which require an endoscopy (scope with a light & camera attached to it) to diagnosis. It is estimated that 75% of all women will experience at least one vaginal yeast infection in their lives (Candida vaginitis). Symptoms include itching, irritation, a white cottage cheese-like discharge, soreness & potential damage to the vagina and/or vulva. A culture of the vaginal discharge is recommended to confirm if infection is fungal or bacterial. A home test for vaginitis will test vaginal Ph. If acidity is normal, typically this will rule out a bacterial infection. Risk of vaginitis goes up with taking birth control pills, pregnancy, antibiotic use & hormone replacement & down with menopause.
Cutaneous Conditions: skin, perianal, diaper rash or nail infection (all require moisture to grow)
Antibiotic Caused Candidiasis
Systemic Candidiasis: invasive (organ infected) & chronic (bloodstream infections)
This report will concentrate on understanding and dealing with systemic candidiasis.
First, the physical and psychological symptoms often reported by an individual with known or unknown systemic candidiasis include:
Painful & persistent gas, bloating & belching. Often indigestion, nausea or vomiting
Internal cramps/body aching, constipation & diarrhea
Deep fatigue all day or signs of fibromyalgia
Depression, brain fog, poor memory & irritability
Skin issues like eczema, acne or itching rashes
Coating on the tongue, bad breath & mouth sores
Recurrent yeast infections in women
Individuals at greater risk for getting systemic candidiasis include: patients having surgery, receiving catheter care or undergoing chemotherapy; patients with immune suppressions conditions such as HIV/AIDS; patients taking prolonged use of antibiotics or corticosteroids; patients with diabetes, reduced digestive function or weakened immune systems, breastfeeding moms or patients with dentures, on routine inhalers or on a machine for apnea. Many experts now suspect that abnormal proliferation of candida in the gut may be leading to small intestine bacterial overgrowth or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s disease, serious food allergies or resistant nail infections. For anyone that is continuing to live with any one of these conditions even after multiple medical/drug interventions, systemic candidiasis should be explored as a possible issue that needs to be addressed.
TREATMENT OF SYSTEMIC CANDIDIASIS
In traditional medicine treatment is focused on giving the patient antifungal drug medication like nystatin, fluconazole or itraconazole for periods of 2 to 4 weeks. Medications should be taken with food to reduce nausea & the patient can experience abdominal pain or diarrhea during treatment. Treatment may also include having a Candida Blood Test or a Comprehensive Digestive Tool Analysis (CDSA) performed to look for IgG, IgM & IgA antibodies to confirm past or present infection with this common fungus.
In natural medicine a more comprehensive approach (which can take up to 6 months of commitment) is taken to ensure a complete eradication of the disease. For those who can afford it, it is highly recommended working closely with a certified naturopath to guide the road to success.
The first step to recovery is STARVING THE YEAST. Any food that a patient suspects that they are allergic to must be removed from their diet. Then no sugar in the diet since it will only feed the yeast. No milk or limited daily products. No glutens. No yeast-containing foods such as alcohol or peanuts. No fruits in the first two weeks of treatment & then add two low-glycemic choices to the diet. Not high in simple carbohydrates.
The next step is to KILL OFF THE YEAST. While there are many supplements, powders & special blended formulas on the market that claim to treat yeast infections, our report suggests that there appears to be strong evidence that the following botanical extracts, fatty acids, vitamins & natural foods are essential for success:
1). The herbs Oregano & Garlic in foods or as a supplement have strong anti-fungal properties.
2). The fatty acid Sodium Caprylate found in coconut oil disrupts the metabolism of candida (dissolves the yeast) & creates a hostile environment for colonization or multiplication.
3). The plant-root extract Berberine has strong anti-fungal properties & reduces the adherence of Candida albicans in the GI tract.
4). The B vitamin Biotin inhibits yeast from converting to fungal form.
5). The citrus-based Grapefruit Seed Extract has strong anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties.
6). The herb Black Walnut has strong anti-fungal properties, but must be used with caution.
7). While not an herb, colloidal silver can be used topically or internally (for no more than 14 days at a time) to kill all germs including fungal infections.
Many experts suggest using a different blended formula of these yeast killers monthly so that it becomes harder for the candida organism to form a defensive barrier against the kill.
Next, is REPOPULATION OF THE GUT, STRENGTHENING OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM & SUPPORTING THE BODY’S ABILITY TO DETOXIFY. Understanding that 70% of our immune system resides in our GI system or gut makes it easy to understand that the health of our GI system & other organs like the liver will be critical to success. We recommend daily Vitamin D, Vitamin C & zinc supplementation & strongly recommend adding a high-quality probiotic with saccharomyces boulardii to the diet. It is also important to work on stress management techniques since stress & prolonged periods of anxiety will only be counterproductive to sustained success. We also recommend that you remain hydrated (help flush out toxins & avoid dehydration) & ensure proper bowel movements or the body, especially with constipation, will only re-circulate the yeast. To help with elimination & immune boosting, we suggest adding flaxseeds, psyllium & chia seeds mixed into salads or smoothie to the diet along with fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt & coconut water. Other botanicals & natural products used to soothe the GI tract & help with internal cleansing include: ginger, cinnamon, olive leaf, cranberries, the essential oils rosemary, oregano, thyme & clove & the digestive enzymes lipase, protease & glucanase. To improve liver function it is recommended to look at biotherapeutic drainage & taking a supplement with milk thistle molybdenum.
By now, you are becoming a little overwhelmed by the intensity of ridding your body of this ugly yeast. Now, however, is when you must prepare yourself to cope, both physically & mentally, with the detoxification of the dead candida from your body. While everyone will experience differ detoxification experiences as toxins are released by the dead fungus, it is important to “take it easy” especially during the early die-off period when symptoms can be amplified. It is also important to not get discouraged & give on the process. There will be periods of when you feel ok & sudden periods when you feel bad. In the end, the detoxification process is important to success, is self-limiting & relatively harmless.
In science, the reaction of the body caused by the rapid removal of yeast candida is referred to as a “Herx Reaction”. This syndrome is similar to what a patient can experience with acute or chronic Lyme disease as dead Lyme bacteria (neurotoxins) leave the body. The symptoms of candida die-off can include: fever, chills, muscle aches, weakness, increased heart rate, mild reduction in blood pressure, vasodilation & skin flushing, skin rashes & ugly stools ( white, yellow or brown mucus or string-like substances, froth or foam).
If that wasn’t enough, there’s one final thing that we need to be aware of: Albicans Biofilms. Like Lyme bacteria, Candida albican can develop mucus-like shells or biofilms around itself during its maturation phase which provides protection from host defenses & anti-fungal medications. We recommend taking activated charcoal (25-35 grams/two doses/empty stomach) or bentonite clay during the die-off period to help with the absorption of the toxins & with the elimination of the toxins from the body. But, try not to take activated charcoal or bentonite clay within 2 hours of taking other prescription medications. Garlic, oregano, cinnamon, curcumin (turmeric) & ginger have also been found to help breakdown biofilms.
It is our hope that this paper has provided you helpful information on ways to address candida yeast that has entered your bloodstream and/or organs causing chronic illness. While we encourage you to experiment with regiments that will work in your daily life like making smoothies or special juices or teas, here’s some products and ideas that we recommend considering:
1). Start with maintaining hydration or about 4 pints of clean water daily. Drink a pint in the morning, another on the way home from work & place glasses of water in different rooms of your home. After a while, this will become routine & easy to follow.
2). Try to ensure daily supplementation of immune boosting aides especially Vitamin C (500 mg. every 4 hours), Vitamin D3 (2,000-5,000 IU’s), Omega 3 Fish Oil (1,000 mg. twice a day), Zinc (20 mg.), Chaga or Reishi Mushroom Tincture (one dropper twice daily), Quercetin (250 mg. twice a day) & Curcumin (500 mg. twice a day with food).
3). Do the best that you can in reducing the foods from your diet that can feed the yeast.
4). Try to add as many of the above mentioned yeast killers & biofilm breakers to your diet, definitely take a high quality probiotic daily & strongly consider taking digestive enzymes especially after you eat a meal. Some products that we like that can help with compliance are:
*CANDICID FORTE from Ortho Molecular is a high-quality supplement that contains Biotin, sodium Caprylate, Oregano, PauD’Arco (microbial-balancing properties), Berberine, cinnamon, ginger & chamomile to help soothe the GI lining. Ortho Molecular also makes two interesting products called Intestin-ol which is a blend of three therapeutic-grade essential oils (thyme oil, clove oil & oregano oil) to help promote healthy microbial balance & immune health & OrthoBiotic which is a very high broad-spectrum probiotic (blend of seven proven strains).
*LIFE EXTENSION has a unique product that blends together Super Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics to help with GI balance & to promote the optimal digestion of proteins & fats. They also offer a product called Kyolic which is a blend of aged Garlic extract, ginger, lipase, glycanase & protease to support internal cleansing & digestive balance.
*BALANCE MD has a unique product that contains high dose probiotics, aloe concentrate, oregano oil, caprylic acid, digestive enzymes & several herb cleansers.
*Yeast Arrest Suppositories and/or Candistat by VITANICA may also be a helpful combination in combating fungal infections. It is also important to consider hormone balancing when dealing with repeated fungal infections.
*NOW foods offers a Candida Support product that contains a blend of PauD’Arco, oregano oil, caprylic Acid & black walnut.
As you experiment with your daily diet & supplements, you may want to consider changing your regiment on a monthly basis to try to trick the Candida yeast. For example, maybe you try adding Colloidal Silver (500 PPM; one teaspoonful twice a day for 14 days) every other month or you add black walnut for 1-2 weeks a month. Regardless of the regiment, it is critical that you keep a daily journal of your adventure to heal yourself. Not only will the journal help with your review discussions with your coaches, but it will help guide you with compliance & provide you a clear record of success & failures.
-This Special Report on Fungal (Yeast) Infections has been researched and prepared by the Wellness Rx Pharmacy team spearheaded by Chief Pharmacist and CEO Edward A. Ullmann, with contribution from Dr. Judi Ryan, Naturopath, Wellness Rx Community Partner. This report may be republished and shared at any time with appropriate credit. Also, feedback or suggestions are welcome @ WellnessRxCEO@gmail.com.