Tag Archives: candida

Alternative Medicine Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Dietary Changes & Supplements for Removal of Candida Overgrowth, Part I

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Many people have yeast overgrowth in their bodies and don’t even know it. Candida albicans is a type of fungus or yeast which naturally occurs in the human body, and especially in the digestive tract. Candida levels are normally kept in check by microbes found in the digestive system. Each person normally has some yeast and other potentially negative microorganisms in the intestinal area. In ordinary circumstances, this situation is harmless.

Amongst people in the food/sustainable communities, implementation of the GAPS diet – created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is becoming a more and more common method of detoxification in the body to regain health. Before I knew about GAPS, I put myself through what I still call a candida cleanse protocol in 2006 that lasted about two years total in length. While this was going on, I ate lots of meat, poultry, fish, some cheese and lots of butter, olive oil, coconut oil, eggs, vegetables, and almonds and fruits now and then. I did eat grains occasionally – perhaps once a month or less, but they were always sprouted.

During this time, I didn’t know anything about the value of super-foods like cod liver oil, bone broths, or fermented foods like home-made yogurt and kefir or cultured vegetables. I was taking therapeutic-grade probiotics daily, digestive enzymes, and bile salts to make sure I was digesting my food. Because I lack both a gallbladder and an appendix, this was essential. Although not everyone is short these important organs, many people do have compromised digestive function (which can adversely affect these and other organs) due to poor dietary habits which can lead to their failure and ultimate removal.

I thought this cleanse was the way to regain health. But without following a protocol that heals and seals the gut such as the GAPS protocol, healing of the mucosal lining in the gut is incomplete. When this occurs, you will still likely experience symptoms of candida overgrowth.

This is why I highly recommend this protocol as well as using super-foods like cod liver oil, cultured vegetables, and home-made broth from the bones of animals during any type of detox you undertake, whether it be what is termed “candida cleanse” or some other protocol such as GAPS because these foods are highly nutritious, containing many minerals, vitamins, and amino acids which assist the body not only in healing but detox to be able to regain health.

An overview of candida overgrowth

When the immune system function becomes overly-reactive and its ability to effectively function, defend, and maintain a normal environment becomes compromised, that is when yeast have grown out of control in the body. In this type of environment, unfriendly microorganisms multiply rapidly, causing deterioration in digestion and elimination function.  Continued growth of harmful microorganisms and parasites, including toxins they produce enter the bloodstream. This causes damage to surrounding tissue and organ systems become involved, and the body is further weakened.

When a yeast overgrowth becomes excessive or reaches a chronic condition, its ability to trigger disease and illness can easily overwhelm the body.

What are the causes of candida yeast overgrowth?

When you experience a yeast overgrowth, the result can be a variety of unpleasant, and some seemingly unrelated symptoms. One of the most common causes of yeast overgrowth is the use and overuse of antibiotics – both directly and indirectly.  Antibiotics do not discriminate – besides wiping out harmful bacteria, they also eliminate beneficial or ‘friendly’ micro-organisms (probiotic flora) in the intestinal and vaginal areas, as well as other locations. Beneficial bacteria strains keep yeast levels in check. Without them, yeast can overtake tissue and organ systems.

Sources of antibiotics are not limited to the prescriptions we get from our doctors – a huge amount of the antibiotics we ingest actually come from our own food supply – from commercially-raised meat and dairy products.  According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, approximately 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used on healthy livestock to “prevent” disease. Here’s my question – What exactly is being prevented by raising animals on feedlots in filthy conditions, with mandatory antibiotic use to “control” diseases created by the very conditions in which the animals are made to live? The continued use of antibiotics in the food supply only adds to the resistance of super-bacteria, which will continue to add pathogenic yeast to your digestive tract and increase the risk of inflammation and disease.

If you have ever taken the following medications/drugs:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antacids
  • Anti-ulcer medications and steroids/cortisones
  • Birth control pills

Or if your diet regularly includes the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Diet lacking in nutrition and including high sugar and refined carbohydrates – including grains

Or if you experience the following conditions or symptoms:

  • Compromised immune function
  • Hormonal imbalance – thyroid, reproductive, endocrine, etc.
  • Chronic stress
  • Intestinal parasites and worms

you may have a candida yeast overgrowth.

How do I know if I have candida overgrowth?

Some of the symptoms experienced by patients with yeast overgrowth include:

  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue and malaise
  • Compromised immune system function
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Recurring yeast infections such as fungal nail infections, vaginal, athletes foot, thrush, athletes foot, etc.
  • Depression, mood swings, panic attacks, and other mood disorders
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Headaches, poor memory skills
  • Chronic or recurring allergic reactions, sinus issues, UTI infections, asthma and chronic chest congestion
  • A variety of digestive disturbances such as cramping, bloating, gas, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, etc.
  • Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
  • Dry and/or itching skin

These are just a few of the symptoms people may experience if they have a yeast overgrowth. It is also entirely possible to have a Candida overgrowth or candidasis and not be aware of it.

If you ask a typical doctor to help with a candida overgrowth, the most likely response will be either that you don’t have a yeast problem or you will be placed on anti-fungal medication to treat the condition. Many doctors simply disagree that candida overgrowth is a problem or can be the culprit of such a variety of health issues.  But the fact is, most people in developed countries do have a yeast overgrowth problem due to eating a highly processed diet replete with sugar, carbohydrates, and grains. For the most part, there are no tests conventional doctors perform to determine how much of an overgrowth existed, or if they do treat it with drugs, there is usually no way for them to tell whether the overgrowth had been fully removed.

You can find a variety of candida-self tests in books and on the Internet, but here is a good, self-assessment test available from Jigsaw Health to help figure out where you are at in the likely possibility that a Candida yeast overgrowth being the cause of your health issues, and also how much overgrowth exists in your body.  And, here’s a questionnaire specially designed for children too. The questionnaires were created by Dr. William Crook, author of The Yeast Connection Handbook.

You may be wondering: “If these tests are useful, why hasn’t my doctor ordered them?”  Because most conventional doctors either lack the experience, knowledge, or simply don’t believe enough scientific evidence exists to prove that Candida actually is the cause of many degenerative health issues for many people. The good news is that many individuals who have been unable to get help from conventional doctors have succeeded in using the self-testing method recommended above as a way to gauge where to begin to improve their health.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to read Part II of Dietary Changes and Supplements for Candida Overgrowth Removal. I’ll talk about foods to avoid and foods to include, the importance of probiotics (beneficial bacteria), quality supplements to assist in candida overgrowth removal for those who wish to use them, and how long you can expect to maintain a candida or yeast control diet.

Activism Alternative Medicine Green Living Healthy Living Real Food

It’s Time for A Fall Detox!

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The change of the season is a good time for detox, and we are entering the change from summer to fall right now, so it’s  a perfect time to start a detox regimen.  I’ve had various people ask me about detoxification and which are the best types to perform, so I decided to create this post to explain the fundamentals of detoxification.

Detoxing is a very individualized thing for each person, and it depends on your individual health, dietary habits, and willingness to perform it. You can detox with simple activities you do everyday, or it can be more complex, focused task that has a beginning and and end.

Some people believe they need to consult with a knowledgeable health care practitioner familiar with detoxification strategies. While this is not necessarily a bad idea, it can also be expensive and there are many different detoxing activities you can do on your own that are inexpensive and will be beneficial. Although a health care practitioner that has experience guiding clients through detoxification can help you to choose the right direction to take and the right supplements/products to facilitate what you are doing, it is certainly not necessary to get the job done.

It’s certainly true that you can waste a lot of time and money trying to figure  things out on your own, and randomly buying products from the health food store and on the Internet is not a good idea unless you know something has already worked for you.  You should also know that any practitioner who is willing to load you up on a lot of supplements (healthy diet or not) does not have your body’s best interest at heart, as supplements can do a lot of damage if not used properly and if too many are taken at once.

Here are some basic detoxification activities you can do with or without consultation from a knowledgeable health care practitioner:

If you are just starting out with the idea of detoxification, here are some basic things to get you going:

  • A healthy diet - this is a good base for starting out detox. If you are new to eating healthy and using detoxing in your body as a way to become healthier, eating healthy is one of the very first things you should do. Remove processed foods such as boxed cereals, crackers, desserts, sugary drinks, and industrial fats like vegetable oils and fake butter and other artificial fats from your diet. Eat organic and sustainable whenever possible. Try soaking and sprouting grains, grass-fed meats and meat products, and eggs and raw milk and dairy from pasture-raised sources.
  • Lemon juice in hot water, first thing in the morning. Helps bring minerals into the body and remove toxins from tissues.
  • Unsweetened organic cranberry juice, not from concentrate added to your daily water intake. You should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily. Add 8 ounces of cranberry juice to your water (you can split it up into two 32-ounce containers, each with 4 ounces of cranberry juice). According to Ann Louise Gittleman, cranberry juice decongests the lymphatic system – one of your body’s main detoxification pathways.
  • Probiotics and fermented foods - the quality of your gut flora is of great importance, and friendly bacteria populations are absolutely essential to maintaining health and are the foundations of wellness. You can find good therapeutic grade probiotics online and from health care practitioners. Probiotics sold in health food stores are often of inferior quality and don’t contain the bacteria counts claimed on the label. Good brands are BioKult, Advanced Naturals, Prescript-Assist, and Biotics Research (Biodoph7 Plus). Fermented foods in your daily diet are also important for health as they contain naturally-occurring probiotics. Home-made yogurt and kefir, lacto-fermented vegetables.
  • Omega 3, 6, 7, & 9 essential fatty acids, and important vitamins like A, D, E, & K from real food. These essential acids and vitamins are important for health and detoxification alike, as they are some of the foundations of health and elimination of disease and illness. A healthy diet complete with healthy fats, as listed above, will provide you with the elements, but cod liver oil is also very important. Green Pastures Blue Ice Royal fermented cod liver oil is the best product on the market, is not heat-treated, is combined with High-Vitamin Butter oil from cows on pasture, and is fermented slowly to preserve and increase nutrient value.
  • Juicing – making your own juices at home, with no added sugar or sweeteners, is a good way to start detoxification. For more information about good juicing ingredients and techniques, read The Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride and the GAPS Guide.
  • Bone broths – making your own bone broths at home from the bones of animals, birds, and fish and drinking it daily is an excellent way to facilitate detoxification and replace valuable minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients lost in your body.

When you have begun to eat a healthy diet and integrate these basic detox elements into your life, you can slowly start looking into other detoxification activities. You should give your body maybe 6 months to a year on a healthy diet that has eliminated processed foods before you start a complex detoxification regimen. Consulting with a knowledgeable practitioner can be useful to facilitate an optimal outcome for your detox efforts, and to know which protocols are best for your body at the right time.

The following are more complex protocols, some more advanced than others, recommended by various medical, nutritional, and detoxification experts in the fields of cancer management and wellness including Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, and  Dr. William Kelley:

  • Infrared saunas – these are safe and comfortable way to remove toxins from your body. Unlike steam saunas that can hold toxins in the air, infrared saunas are a dry heat mechanism that encourages your body to sweat and release toxins. This is especially useful if you are unable to exercise, but times and temperatures should be worked up to gradually at first.  Start out with 5 or 10 minutes to start, and less than 110 degrees.  After the first few sessions, increase the time and temperature by 5 -10 minutes, and 5 – 10 degrees incrementally.
  • Vinegar baths – This is a beneficial way to detox in the privacy of your home, and can be done on a rotating schedule. Follow the recommendations as provided in the link. You can also gain great detoxification benefit from using ginger, epsom salts, and sesame oil as well. For additional information, check out The Detox Specialist.
  • Mustard foot soaks – another good soak method to help remove toxins from the body that can be done at home.
  • Dry skin brushing – encourages lymphatic decongestion, and can be done several times a week or every day in your own home. Also check out Melissa’s blog, Cellulite Investigation, to learn more about skin brushing.
  • Oil pulling – by using healthy oils you have in your own cupboard such as olive oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil and swishing them around in your mouth in the morning before eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth for up to 10 minutes at a time, you can remove many dangerous toxins from your body.
  • Salt and soda baths – another good way to remove toxins from your body slowly and gradually. Using baking soda and epsom salts, mineral salts, or sea salt, you can remove harmful substances from your body while soaking in your bathtub at home.
  • Coffee enemas – these types of enemas help the liver to trigger a response to dump toxins, and are very useful in this process.  The coffee sold through Dr. Wilson, a renowned specialist on detoxification and cancer treatment, is the best quality product on the market.
  • Castor oil packs – Castor oil packs are great for removing localized pain and toxins, and are an important component of a detox regimen. I have used castor oil soaks many times and they are fantastic! I have had symptoms of PCOS for years and applied a castor oil pack to my ovaries to reduce the pain I had with this condition, and it went away completely in less than a half an hour. I am now pain-free from PCOS pain since the last three months.
  • Colonics – finding a knowledgeable hyrdo-colon therapist you trust is of great importance, and can be an extremely beneficial component of successful detoxification. Colonics help remove impacted matter in your colon, small intestine, and as part of an overall detox regimen, can also help the body purge other toxins from other places like the liver, blood, lungs, lymphatic system, etc. I have personally done almost 20 colonics and have received great benefit from this activity, and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to improve his or her health.
  • Oxy-Powder – If you are uncertain about colonics, but still want to remove toxins from your colon, try this product. It is a gentle, natural, and completely safe dietary supplement that, with a healthy diet, can help remove dangerous toxins from your colon that contribute to health issues and disease. Read about the safe, natural ingredients here.  I have used it with great success and did not experience any discomfort or malaise. Dr. Edward Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM and author who developed the product is a well-known practitioner and expert on natural healing and treatments, has over 20 years experience in the field, and now teaches individuals and practitioners around the world.
  • The liver/gallbladder miracle cleanse – everyone has stones and debris in their liver and gallbladder, and these substances can contribute to a variety of health issues over your lifetime. Read my review of this great book by Andreas Moritz and my experience with the cleanse. I had great results!
  • Clay baths – clay baths are especially useful for heavy metal, environmental, dental, and aluminum detoxes. Talking to a knowledgeable health care specialist such as a naturopath, chiropractor, or nutritional therapist is useful in determining the best type of bath for you. Many people need a variety of different baths at different times, and getting muscle-tested to determine which program to use is helpful to know which baths to do in which order.
  • Candida or yeast removal – requires a strict diet to avoid sugar, refined carbs, corn, most dairy, wheat, grains, nuts, and soy. These foods contribute to yeast overgrowth, which can cause a variety of health problems. The culprits of yeast overgrowth include processed foods like grains and legumes, pasteurized dairy, sugar, and processed corn, soy, and nuts.

When you have successfully removed yeast in your body, you can usually return to a normal diet, but you should replace all those foods with the traditional, unprocessed versions like soaked, sprouted, fermented grains and nuts, raw dairy, sprouted and fermented corn and soy, and other foods. During a candida cleanse, your diet should consist of meats from healthy animals (no antibiotics or hormones), safe seafood choices, vegetables, limited fruits, and occasionally fruits like berries and sprouted grains (avoid wheat).

Other factors that contribute to candida overgrowth are the use of antibiotics, eating foods with antibiotics in them like conventional meat, meat products, dairy, and eggs, and various medications like birth control and steroids. Each candida problem is different, but expect your cleanse time to last at least a few months in duration, in some cases longer. Depending on your yeast problem, you may also need to consider taking a yeast removal supplement. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are also important during this cleanse. Consulting with a knowledgeable practitioner about which supplements are right for you is always a good idea for a detox of this nature. The supplements you take will need alternating to prevent yeast mutation which causes it to survive and the cleanse to fail. If you take the same supplement for more than a week or so, mutation can occur and the efforts of your cleanse can go by the wayside.

As with any cleanse or detox, and especially with candida cleansing, you can expect to have a varying degree of “die-off” symptoms. This will vary depending on how quickly you try to perform any detox protocol. The best rule of thumb is to go slowly. With cleansing, the following symptoms can occur (but is not guaranteed):  headaches, sore throat, abdominal cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and even flu or cold-like symptoms. If you start to experience symptoms that are bothersome, slow down or back off.  Understand that most symptoms are not dangerous and are simply a sign of your body releasing toxins. And sometimes a certain amount of symptoms is necessary to get the job done.
Other ways to help facilitate detox through alternative and complimentary care and other modalities:

  • Yoga
  • EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques

Stress relief of mind, body, and spirit is also important in detoxification success, and should address emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.

Want more information?

How cleansing positively affects your health

Want to lose weight? DETOX!

If you are interested in finding out more about detoxification strategies and cleansing, talk to a knowledgeable health care professional to find out which protocol best meets your needs – naturopathic doctors, nutritional therapists, chiropractors, colon hydro-therapists are all great places to start.

This post is part of Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival.

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