Chronic candidiasis, or yeast syndrome, is a complex medical syndrome attributed to an overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract of the usually benign yeast (or fungus) Candida albicans.
Fatigue, allergies, immune system malfunction, depression, chemical sensitivities and digestive disturbances are just some of the symptoms of yeast syndrome. Laboratory techniques, such as stool cultures for candida, and measurement of antibody levels to candida or candida antigens in the blood, can help confirm the diagnosis.
What Causes Chronic Candidiasis?
Prolonged antibiotic use is believed to be the most important factor in the development of chronic candidiasis. Antibiotics suppress the immune system and the normal intestinal bacteria that prevent yeast overgrowth, and thus strongly promote the proliferation of candida. Other factors that contribute to candida overgrowth include decreased digestive secretions, immunosuppressive drugs like corticosteroids and impaired immunity.
What Dietary Factors are Important in Chronic Candidiasis?
A number of dietary factors have been suggested to promote the overgrowth of candida. The most important of these factors are high intakes of sugar, milk and other dairy products; foods with a high content of yeast or mold, such as alcoholic beverages, cheeses, dried fruits and peanuts; and food allergies.
I strongly recommend using the RevitalX intestinal rejuvenation program (see Food Allergies) if you have chronic candidiasis. RevitalX from Natural Factors is a powdered drink mix that provides targeted nutritional support for the intestinal tract. The development of the product was spearheaded by Michael Lyon, MD. RevitalX is specifically designed to soothe the stomach, intestines and colon, and help to heal a “leaky gut.” Its low allergy–potential formula is designed specifically for people with food allergies, but is suitable for everyone. It provides balanced levels of vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, and probiotics to support the body while healing the gastrointestinal track. The RevitalXT formula base is GoldPeptidesT, a non-genetically modified protein source from golden peas. This is a superior source of protein to rice or soy in a hypoallergenic product because of its high-protein, low-sugar and low glycemic profile.
Since recurrent or chronic infections, including chronic candidiasis, are characterized by a depressed immune system, please see Low Immune Function for more recommendations.
Which Nutritional Supplements Should I Take for Chronic Candidiasis?
Foundation Supplements. There are three products from Natural Factors that I think are critical in supporting good health:
- MultiStart: Age- and gender-specific multiple vitamin and mineral formulas. Follow label instructions for dosages.
- Enriching Greens: A great-tasting “greens drink” containing highly concentrated greens like chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass juice and barley grass juice, along with herbal extracts. Take one serving (1 tablespoon) in 8 ounces of water daily.
- RxOmega-3 Factors: A true pharmaceutical-grade fish-oil supplement. Take two capsules daily.
RevitalX should be continued as a medicinal food. Take one serving daily for maintenance.
Probiotic products can help establish the proper intestinal flora. The probiotic bacteria L. acidophilus helps prevent the overgrowth of yeast. Take 5 to 10 billion live bacteria daily. Larger amounts may cause mild gastrointestinal disturbances, while smaller amounts may not be able to colonize the gastrointestinal tract.
Peppermint Oil Complex with Oregano Oil from Natural Factors contains volatile oils from peppermint, oregano and caraway seeds in an enteric-coated capsule, which does not break down in the stomach but is instead delivered to the small and large intestine. Take one or two capsules three times daily 20 minutes before meals.
Parasite Formula from Natural Factors contains a blend of herbal compounds that work against C. albicans, including berberine, an alkaloid found in various plants, including goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis); barberry (Berberis vulgaris); Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium); and goldthread (Coptis chinensis). Take one to two capsules three times daily with meals.
How Do I Know if the Recommendations are Working?
Improvements in symptoms associated with chronic candidiasis are the best monitor. Be patient; give the program outlined above at least two to three months to determine effectiveness.