I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Holiday Season! I can’t blame you if you got a little derailed from your health regime. I hope you enjoyed every bit of it! It’s never to get back on track. Right?
Like most of my patients and myself, January is a time to Clean Out and Reset after the Holiday Indulgences and Revelry. January is always a good time to DETOX and RESET. Adding a Candida Protocol to the January Cleanse can help to clear overgrowth of the yeast in our bodies that accumulates and overgrows when we feed it too much Sugar, Alcohol, Carbs and Antibiotics.
Below you will find a One Month Candida Protocol. But first let’s learn a little about Candida: What is it? Why do we get it? What symptoms are associated with it!
What Is Candida?
Candida is a type of fungus or yeast which grows all over the human body, especially in warm and moist areas like the mouth, nose, stomach, and vagina. The presence of candida isn’t usually a problem unless an overgrowth occurs. Although candida overgrowth is quite common, the severity of these infections varies greatly.
Candida overgrowth is also called:
- A Candida infection
- A yeast infection
- A fungal infection
A yeast allergy is a rare food allergy – this is a separate condition which has no clear connection to Candida overgrowth.
Candida albicans is the most common type of yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina (vaginal/genital candidiasis), and it may affect skin and other mucous membranes. If the immune system is functioning optimally, this type of yeast will not be harmful. However, if the immune system is suppressed the Candida overgrows into an Opportunistic Infection.
Candida is a yeast that aids with nutrient absorption and digestion when in proper levels in the body. When it overproduces, typical candida symptoms may appear. In the digestive tract, if left unchecked, it breaks down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrates the bloodstream. This releases byproduct toxins and other toxins from your system, causing leaky gut syndrome.
When your body’s natural pH balance is upset, the candida yeasts can grow out of control, creating a systemic problem and unpleasant candida symptoms. Good healthy bacteria and a properly functioning immune system are essential when fighting this stubborn infection.
Candida overgrowth syndrome, or COS, is the term used when candida has grown out of control in your body. Make no mistake: This is a chronic health condition. In addition to candida symptoms, individuals who have never experienced a serious yeast infection can find they have developed new sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances to a variety of foods. These foods include dairy, eggs, corn, and gluten.
Causes of Candida Infection:
There are many possible causes of Candida, including a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol that help feed candida. To add to that, here are six other potential causes below.
- Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics
Sometimes, antibiotics are needed to fight a stubborn infection to kill the offending bacteria in your system. The problem with antibiotics and with overusing them is that they don’t just kill the bad bacteria; they kill the good ones, too. The good bacteria in your system are responsible for digestion and keeping candida under control. After a long course (or multiple courses over a short period), antibiotics can make your body a literal breeding ground for candida.
- Birth Control Pills
Unlike antibiotics, birth control pills in and of themselves do not directly cause a yeast infection or candida overgrowth syndrome. However, when a woman consumes a diet high in refined sugars and has had a course of antibiotics, birth control pills can adversely affect her body, leading to a candida infection. Some women find that birth control pills seem to instigate yeast infections — and even long after the initial infection is gone, once they start taking the birth control pills again, candida can take root.
- Oral Corticosteroids
Individuals who treat their asthma with corticosteroid inhalants are at an increased risk of developing candida in the mouth, leading to systemic candida overgrowth. It is imperative that individuals using corticosteroid inhalers for asthma follow the directions for swishing the mouth out after each use. If oral candidiasis is detected, it can be treated with the gargling of coconut oil and a drop or two of essential clove oil.
- Cancer Treatments
According to the Department of Clinical Research at Merck Research Laboratories, candidiasis can become invasive in cancer patients and present a serious complication. In this study, one-third of patients being treated for cancer had invasive candidiasis. Chemotherapy and radiation can both work to kill cancerous cells and tumors; however, they also kill off the healthy bacteria that naturally fight candida.
In a Type 1 or a Type 2 diabetic, sugar levels in the mouth and other mucous membranes are traditionally higher than in an individual without diabetes. Since candida is a type of yeast and sugar feeds yeast, it is understandable that those with diabetes are at a greater risk for developing candida overgrowth syndrome.
- Weakened Immune System
Any individual with a weakened immune system more likely to develop candida. This population includes infants, small children, the elderly, those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
Candida Infection Symptoms
Candida yeast overgrowth can be difficult for a physician to diagnose. Possible methods of testing include stool testing, serum testing, candida DNA test, stool PCR testing and microbial organic acids testing. This type of systemic yeast infection presents different ways in different people.
Below are nine of the candida symptoms to watch for if you are concerned you have candida or candida overgrowth syndrome.
- Chronic Fatigue
If you have fatigue or exhaustion that you simply cannot shake, regardless of the number of hours you sleep, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome. The disease is characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts a minimum of six months and is often accompanied by other candida symptoms, including headaches, joint pain, difficulties with memory and concentration and sore throat. Often one of the candida symptoms is chronic fatigue. While a candida infection is not the only cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, many physicians believe it heightens the risk of CFS.
- Mood Disorders
One of the reasons it can be difficult to diagnose candida is that so many of the candida symptoms are common to other conditions, including mood disorders. Individuals with candida overgrowth may experience dramatic mood swings, anxiety, irritability, depression and even panic attacks.
- Recurring Vaginal and Urinary Tract Infections
When an individual experiences recurring infection in the urinary tract or vagina, candida may be at the root of the problem. It is important to realize that candida can be sexually transmitted, and partners can spread it back and forth. For women, reduce the risk by avoiding tight-fitting underwear or pantyhose and avoid hot baths during an active infection.
- Oral Thrush
Thrush is a yeast infection caused by the same strain of candida that affects other mucous membranes, including the vagina. It’s most often caused using prednisone or other oral corticosteroids as mentioned above. Left untreated, it may spread through the body, including the digestive tract, lungs, liver, and heart valves. Newborns can get thrush during birth; children can get it from sharing toys with other children; and adults can pass it back and forth through the saliva.
- Sinus Infections
As with many of these other candida symptoms, sinus infections are common today, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the root of the cause. Candida does affect the sinuses and can result in a persistent cough, post-nasal drip, an increase in congestion, seasonal allergies, and general flu-like symptoms. If you experience consistent problems with your sinuses, it’s time to check for a candida infection!
- Intestinal Distress
Ongoing intestinal distress is one of the more uncomfortable candida symptoms. Persistent flatulence, burping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and stomach cramps may be caused by a lack of healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.
When yeast overtakes the intestines, healthy bacteria are undermanned, and cannot fight off the infection alone. When the bacteria in your gut are out of balance, it’s known as dysbiosis. Many individuals experience dramatic relief of chronic intestinal distress when effectively treating a candida infection.
Symptoms of candida overgrowth in the gut include:
- Stomach pain
- Brain Fog
Along with mood changes and chronic fatigue, brain fog is often overlooked as one of the candida symptoms. However, candida overgrowth can cause a lack of focus, poor physical coordination, difficulty in concentrating on tasks and poor memory.
- Skin and Nail Fungal Infections
Athlete’s Foot and fungal infections in the toenail are common yeast infections, which stem from the same strain of candida. Continued infections may be a sign that you have a systemic candida infection.
- Hormonal Imbalance
A hormonal imbalance one of the candida symptoms that presents in many other health conditions. However, it is important to recognize how an infection can cause early menopause, PMS, a low sex drive, migraines, endometriosis, water retention, mood swings and an inability to lose unwanted pounds. While in the midst of candida overgrowth, your body becomes inflamed, causing the yeast to grow and spread beyond the digestive tract. One of the byproducts of candida can mimic estrogen, leading to a serious hormonal imbalance.
Now we will learn about “Candida Die Off” Reactions and how you can successfully manage your Candida Cleanse with less discomfort!
If you recently cleaned up your diet, gave up alcohol or went gluten-free and now you unexpectedly find yourself feeling worse than you did before, then you might be experiencing symptoms of “candida dies off.” Many people describe candida die off symptoms — which can include headaches, brain fog, nausea and more — as being “flu like,” or like seasonal allergies, because they can leave you feeling downright exhausted and crummy.
Another name for Candida Die Off is “Herxheimer Reaction” which is a negative reaction to endotoxin-like products that are released by the death of harmful microorganisms living in the body. What are endotoxins. They are toxins found inside bacterial cells that are released when a cell disintegrates. They cause the immune system to increase autoimmune responses and inflammation and can therefore contribute to several symptoms and even diseases.
You’re probably wondering: how long does a herxheimer reaction last? And what can you do to help manage symptoms? Below, we’ll cover a typical candida die off timeline you can expect, as well as natural ways to make symptoms more bearable.
What Is Candida Die Off?
Before diving into the details about how to treat candida die off, let’s start with the basics:
Candida is a type of fungus that is normally found in a healthy human body in small amounts because it aids with nutrient absorption and digestion.
When candida overproduces, an infection called candidiasis can develop in several locations throughout the body, including the mouth, ears, nose, toenails, fingernails, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina. This fungal infection is commonly just called “candida” and can affect both women and men. However, it is often misdiagnosed or never diagnosed at all.
Candida Symptoms can include exhaustion, cravings for sweets, bad breath, a white coat on tongue, brain fog, hormone imbalances and more
Why does Candida Die Off occur?
While getting candida under control is very important for long-term health, rapidly killing off candida in your body creates a metabolic reaction that releases over 70 different toxins. This is responsible for the uncomfortable candida die off effect, which, unfortunately, means your candida symptoms (and others) may get worse before they get better.
When you experience candida die off, this is a sign that your body is temporarily inflamed, including your liver, adrenals, kidneys, and other organs/glands. Metabolites like the neurotoxin called acetaldehyde or gliotoxin, as well as proteins and inflammatory cytokines (like tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, and interleukin-8) are circulating in your system, which causes you to feel “off.” The same type of herxheimer reaction can also occur when treating conditions like Lyme Disease some infections and other yeast infections.
You’re most susceptible to experiencing candida die off symptoms if any of these situations below apply to you:
You’ve recently given up foods like sugar, dairy and gluten, especially if you go “cold turkey” and eliminate them basically overnight
You recently started an elimination diet
You are avoiding alcohol, especially if you used to be a moderate or heavy drinker
You are taking medications such as anti-fungals or antibiotics, which affect your gut microbiome
Candida Die Off Timeline
When does candida die off start? Symptoms of candida die off can emerge within several days or weeks of you making dietary changes or taking certain supplements/medications.
How long does candida die off last? Candida Die Off symptoms usually clear up in 3 to 10 days. After symptoms have started, within just a few weeks, you should notice an increase in energy and focus, as well as relief from other symptoms, as endotoxins are cleared from the body.
Candida Die Off Symptoms
The most common Candida Die Off symptoms include:
Impaired brain function
Digestive issues like bloating, gas, constipation, nausea, and changes in bowel movements
Irritability and anxiety
Sweating and fever
Sinus infection, stuffy nose, and sore throat
Skin breakouts (not limited to face), skin rash and itching
Chills and aches
Soreness near your liver/abdomen
6 Ways to Manage Candida Die Off
Make Diet Changes Gradually
While making the switch to a clean, healthy eating plan is no doubt a smart move, you may be better off making changes gradually rather than suddenly starting an extreme detox diet or cleanse. Some practitioners who treat candida recommend gradually transitioning to a diet that includes less sugar and fewer carbs each day, rather than suddenly going sugar and grain-free.
If you’re taking a high-dose probiotic or antifungal, you may want to try reducing your dosage to help lower the amount of toxins being released into your body.
Some people will do best if they jump right into a candida cleanse and diet; it’s ultimately an individual choice and depends on your reaction. Be sure to consult with a certified dietician or nutritionist before making dietary changes.
Keep Eating a Clean Candida Diet
You may be tempted to call it quits and return to your old way of eating; however, in the long-term, this is only going to make the underlying issue of candida fungal overgrowth worse. Continue eating a diet that’s high in protein and high fiber vegetables, and limit grains, flour, fruits, sugar, and alcohol (the top offenders that cause candida).
Some of the best foods to eat currently to keep clearing the body of excess candida and endotoxins are:
Apple cider vinegar
Sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables
Green veggies and green drinks
Ground chia and flaxseeds
Unsweetened cranberry juice
Spices like turmeric and cinnamon
Your meals should include lots of fresh, organic vegetables (ideally that have been steamed), but limit starchy vegetables for a period, like carrots, radishes, beets, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes. You can also eat salads made with leafy greens or bitter greens topped with just a bit of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice). Continue to consume fermented vegetables and kefir to help your body stay in balance and keep the candida at bay.
Also, be sure to drink lots of water to help your body expel the endotoxins in your system.
Take Supplements That Support Your Immune System
The supplements below are useful for managing candida diet off symptoms because they replenish beneficial bacteria in your gut, reduce inflammation and help move endotoxins out of your system:
Glutathione, alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and n-acetyl cysteine (NAC).
Curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory component of turmeric
Quercetin, an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation
Molybdenum, which is a mineral that helps break down proteins and other substances. It is useful for those experiencing die off. Your body needs it to produce enzymes that convert the neurotoxin acetaldehyde into acetic acid.
Probiotics (50 billion units daily), or healthy bacteria, which can help reduce the presence of yeast
Charcoal and Bentonite Clay, which can help surround the toxins and efficiently remove them
Milk thistle, which supports your liver as it filters out toxins
Pancreatic digestive enzymes. to help with digestion (but not fungal- or plant-based enzymes).
Garlic (2 caps or cloves daily), which helps fight fungal infections and boosts the immune system
Vitamin C (1,000 milligrams, 2–3 times daily), which supports immune function, helps support health of the skin and helps fight off infections
Magnesium, to help constipation and keep bowels regular. Drinking lots of water and consuming flax seeds daily can also help with constipation, and if necessary, an enema is an option for fast relief.
Adaptogenic Herbs such as astragalus and ashwagandha, that build the body’s defenses against stress, fatigue, and illness
Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation
Do probiotics kill candida?
While taking a probiotic supplement and/or eating probiotic foods likely won’t be enough to get rid of candida overgrowth, in most cases it can help. Probiotics are especially beneficial if Candida is overgrown, following use of antibiotics, which wipe out healthy bacteria in the gut that keep candida in check. Even if you aren’t sure if you necessarily have candida, probiotics can help with digestion, reduce inflammation, boost your immunity and more.
On the other hand, some practitioners feel that eating lots of fermented foods may be problematic, when someone has candida or candida die off, because these helps feed not only healthy bacteria, but also unhealthy bacteria too. If you find that taking a probiotic supplement/eating fermented foods makes symptoms worse, reduce or eliminate them for several weeks to see if things improve.
Help Speed up the Process with Essential Oils
Several essential oils can help kill a variety of parasites and fungi, including candida, while also supporting your immune system. These oils include:
Clove oil and oregano oil (taken internally)
Myrrh and Lavender and tea tree oil (can be rubbed onto the skin to help with candida die off rashes, itching, etc.)
Oregano Oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal. You can use two drops of oregano oil three times daily for seven days to help control candida. Note that essential oils should only be taken internally for 10 days or less.
Reduce Stress and Your Exposure to Toxins
Prioritize relaxation, rest, slowing down and avoiding anything too taxing during this period.
Do activities that allow you to de-stress, since stress can further deplete your energy, weaken your adrenals and thyroid, and cause your immune system to take a hit. Aim to get plenty of sleep, at least seven to nine hours per night. Find some time to do self-care practices like walking, yoga, skin brushing, acupuncture, massage or using a sauna. All of these are great for promoting relaxation, increasing circulation, and supporting your lymphatic system.
If you’re dealing with candida die off aches and pains, try sitting in an Epsom salt or magnesium chloride bath, using a sauna, gently stretching, applying a heat pack and/or getting a massage.
Also steer clear of cigarettes or second-hand smoke, alcohol, too much caffeine and any unnecessary medications. Additionally, you can reduce toxin exposure by avoiding the use of toxic body products, avoiding fish/seafood contaminated with heavy metals and avoiding environmental pollutants as much as possible.
Keep an Eye on Symptoms
If you have chronic or unusually persistent candida and candida die off symptoms, you should consult your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of an underlying illness, such as diabetes or immune system dysfunction. If you aren’t feeling better within several weeks of your symptoms starting, be sure to rule out other contributing problems via a blood test, exam, etc.
When candida overproduces, a candida fungal infection can develop, which can occur in the mouth, ears, nose, toenails, fingernails, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina. Treating this infection causes endotoxins to accumulate in the body, which is referred to as “Candida Die Off.”
Even though Candida Die Off symptoms — like nausea, fatigue, brain fog, skin rashes and headaches are unpleasant — going back to your old habits and ways of eating will likely just bring the candida back all over again.
How long does candida die off symptoms last? You can expect symptoms of candida die off to typically last between three to 10 days. You should feel better within several weeks, which will hopefully make it all worth it.
To help manage candida die off, keep eating a candida diet, rest, use essential oils and investigate anti-inflammatory supplements.
Try a one month Candida Cleanse
to Detox and Reset you Gut and Immune system.
ONE MONTH CANDIDA PROTOCOL INCLUDES:
- Candida Diet
- What to Eat
- What to Avoid
- Supplement Protocol
- Extra Supplements to Support Candida Die Off
What to Eat
There are many delicious foods to consume on your Anti-Candida diet. The following are all on the What's In list:
- Whole unlimited fruits: Avocado, lemons, limes, rhubarb
- Whole fresh fruit limited to 1-2 per day: Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, papaya, pineapple, tangerine, coconut, olives
- Non-starchy vegetables: Artichoke hearts, arugula (rocket), asparagus, broccoli, Bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots (limit to 1-2/day), cauliflower, celery, chicory, chili peppers, collard greens, cucumber, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, escarole, garlic, green beans, green onions, jalapeno peppers, fennel, fresh mushrooms (Maitake), kale, kimchi, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, olives, onions, parsley, peppers (red), radicchio, rapini, shallots, seaweed, snow peas, spinach, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomato, watercress, sauerkraut (lactose-fermented or "raw" found in refrigerated foods. Avoid made by vinegar pickling),
- Squash & Root vegetables: Spaghetti squash, summer squash, cassava, radish, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, zucchini
- Meat & Poultry: Organic or free-range chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, wild game, grass-fed or organic red-meat, pork,
- Fish: Wild-caught - salmon, black cod (sablefish) trout, anchovies, herring, sardines (fresh & canned)
- Eggs: Organic or free range
- Nuts/seeds: Almonds, Brazil nuts, chestnuts, filberts, flax seeds, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (avoid peanuts)
- Beans and Legumes: black, red, white, garbanzo, lentils
- Soy: organic unprocessed soy such as legumes and tofu
- Herbs and spices: Fresh and dried, all are included
- Oils: Cold-pressed, extra virgin oils such as olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee
- Dairy substitutes: Plain and unsweetened almond and coconut milks and yogurts
- Dairy: Goat and Sheep cheese and yogurt, Organic Cow Yogurt and Cheese
- Vinegars: Apple cider
- Beverages: Green tea, herbal tea, coconut water
- Non-glutenous grains: (1 cup per day) quinoa, millet, buckwheat, brown rice, rice,
- Gluten-free flours: Almond flour, coconut flour, hazelnut flour
- Sweeteners: stevia, monk fruit, yacon syrup, agave, honey (limited)
What NOT to Eat
The following foods are not part of an Anti-Candida Diet. Do your best to avoid them.
- Alcohol: beer, wine, and all spirits
- Dairy: cow milk and ice cream
- Gluten Grains: including wheat, barley, rye, spelt
- Processed and packaged foods: chips, pastas, frozen dinners, white breads, energy bars. If it has a food label with ingredients you that you don't know what they are, it is likely on the out list. (These foods are high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, and chemicals.)
- Starchy vegetables: yams, potatoes, sweet potato, winter squash, corn, peas
- Processed juices: bottled juice
- Factory farmed and processed meats: including chicken, turkey, pork, beef, veal, cold cuts, canned meats, hot dogs, sausage
- Candies & sweets: All candies, cakes and sweets including chocolate.
- Sweeteners: honey, maple syrup, processed sugars (white, brown, beet, coconut), corn syrup, Agave, and all artificial sweeteners (including Equal and Sweet 'n Low)
- Soda and other sweetened beverages: teas, sodas, and other processed beverages
- Fats & Oils: animal-based saturated
- fats including butter, processed and refined oils including canola oil, vegetable oil.
- Soy products: nonorganic, GMO other processed versions
CANDIDA BASIC PROTOCOL:
DETOX SMOOTHIE BUNDLE
- 1 Serving for Breakfast
- 2 Pills at dinner
- 1 Pill at Bed
- 1 Pill at Breakfakst
- 1 Pill at Lunch
- 1 Pill at Dinner
LBS (optional For Constipation)
- 1-2 at Dinner
- 1-2 at Bed
- 1 Pill at bed (2-3 times per week)
OPTIONAL EXTRA SUPPLEMENTS for CANDIDA DIE OFF SYMPTOMS:
BUFFERED VITAMIN C POWDER
- 1 scoop in water and sip throughout the day
- 1 Pill at dinner
- 1 Pill at dinner
MAGNESIUM CHELATE POWDER
- 1 scoop in water and sip between dinner and bed