Definitive Guide to Balancing and Defeating Candida

balancingcandida-peacockpose

I’d love to share some thoughts I have about candida with you. Candida is the worst thing in the world. I can tell you what I did, and what I would do if I could go back and do it again. If you’ve been reading the blog, you might know I have almost fully recovered from mold exposure by avoidance and by eating a Paleo-based low-carb, high-fat diet. Candida troubles are all connected in my opinion to a family of disorders that they have trouble pinning down like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity). I’ll probably end up getting way too specific and personal, but here goes.

When I first started to pin down that candida overgrowth was my issue, I was going on websites that gave all-out plans and tons of resources for addressing the problem:

So, based on all the random crap I was looking up while I was having insane insomnia (and waking up from nightmares and constant acid reflux even when I could fall asleep), I went full-on ketogenic to fight it at first. A ketogenic diet is very low-carb (around 50 g or less). I had to do so little carbs to fight off symptoms, that I even got it down to zero carb (just very green veggies). This, I think, was a bad idea, because it put a ton of stress on my liver, though I’m not sure if I could have tolerated much more than 20 g.

I was also doing a ton of antifungal herbs:

  • oil of oregano
  • grapeseed extract
  • raw garlic
  • ginger
  • lots of coconut oil

All of which I believe were also probably kind of a bad idea, for reasons that I will get into after I talk about something. I’m not going to say these things are completely useless. In my experience—and a lot of people on CureZone agree with this notion—antifungals double as bactericides, so you can kill a ton of good guys in the process. However, there is a time and a place for both antifungals/bactericides, like if you have strep throat or some severe candida symptoms. Sometimes you just need to shake things up and see what happens.

So there’s all kinds of bitter substances that nature/God has produced and humans have figured out stave off mold/bacteria. I didn’t cover all the “natural” antifungals/bactericides above, because I wasn’t getting great results from those standards you see there. I just kept waiting for something to change and nothing really did. However, I might have gotten some interesting results if I’d gotten into the advanced antifungals. I’ve heard some good things about:

  • burdock root
  • black walnut
  • barberry
  • cat’s claw
  • goldenseal
  • black seed

The list is just endless. However, there’s this one that just seems like the mother of all antifungals I listed above called black seed. I dare not take it right now, because I am trying to retain the balance that I’ve developed through probiotics, good bowel elimination, a little coconut oil here and there, good carbs, and a good green veggie–rich diet. This stuff is insanely potent, and it has quite a legacy. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for years and years, and it has even been covered in PubMed studies! The ancient medicinal practices of India are definitely getting a lot of coverage these days in scientific literature. I’m not sure why this is being allowed, from a conspiracy standpoint. I guess good stuff does get through in the scientific field once in awhile, after all.

In any case, the company I recommend to get black seed oil from is The Blessed Seed. If you believe that you are not in danger of killing off too much good bacteria (my caveat), then please try it, because this is a good source. However, I do recommend you be very aware of the possibility of worsening your condition. A lot of people do not grasp that a lot of digestive and inflammatory issues come from a leaky gut, which is directly exacerbated by a compromised gut biome. Bacteria are the gatekeepers of the gut, and in my opinion, more than anything else, they’re responsible for allowing foreign proteins through the epithelial tight junctions. So if you kill too many off, you’re going to have a noticeable increase in leaky gut presentation.

After all of my experience with these kinds of herbs, I have concluded that it is more important to focus on repairing the liver than anything else, because if your liver is tanking, no matter how much candida you kill, having an impaired detox ability will kind of negate the effect. I believe a lot of these Ayurvedic herbs that have known restorative properties, on top of being antifungal/bactericidal, also tend to stimulate bile flow, which is a huge key to a healthy liver and a healthy bowel. So, try and choose herbs that have more of a liver-stimulating effect than an antibiotic effect.

When dealing with yeast, I don’t recommend taking any alcohol-based supplements, though, because alcohol is related to yeast, obviously. Always choose powders, capsules, or pure oils. Blessed Seed black seed oil is 100% pure oil.

Candida Colony Collapse

Killing too much yeast but not taking care of my liver almost made me lose my gallbladder. The virtually no-carb diet (as opposed to low-carb) was probably the main culprit. It also contributed to my rapid weight loss, which is often associated with liver trouble. I actually saved my gallbladder by adding the liver support (below) and adding grains back into my diet. Eventually I converted from grains to white rice and sweet potatoes, but I think the grains were believe it or not good because they were slowly digested. This caused an avoidance of that blood sugar spike, which is bad for candida, who tend to like the sugar we can’t eliminate.

Gosh, I hate recommending whole grains to anybody, because no matter what, they have lectins and gluten-like compounds that are hard on your bowels, but if you need carbs but don’t want to spike your blood sugar, there are very few places to turn. Probably the best choices are quinoa and buckwheat, as they are way less inflammatory than anything else. Definitely don’t do brown rice (too inflammatory), oats, or anything with gluten. I’m not sure about millet and amaranth. I guess they’d be alright. If you’re fighting candida, try to eat them as little as possible without hurting your liver. Slowly transition away from them and start to try simpler carbs (which are less inflammatory), and see if your symptoms get worse/better. You’ll be happier for it as your body gets used to processing carbs that are more natural for your body, like sweet potatoes, plantains, and white rice. Whatever you do, don’t eat fruit!

Priority One: Repair and Protect Your Liver

The best things, in my opinion, for detox and support of liver are:

  • milk thistle
  • molybdenum
  • artichoke extract

I mentioned stimulating bile flow above, and that is what artichoke extract is for. It seriously helps in digesting a fatty meal, especially if you have biliary dyskinesia. In fact, it probably cured my biliary dyskinesia. I have gotten to where I don’t even need it.
Some people like niacin and other B vitamins for detox, but most of them are derived from yeast sources, so I think they’re a bad idea. I have also been meaning to try (for liver):

  • forskolin
  • choline

I’ve never gotten around to it. Dave Asprey includes these in his recommendations for a messed-up gallbladder.

The most important strategy I used to repair my gallbladder (ravaged by die-off of candida and rapid weight loss), besides artichoke extract, was adding more and more butter to my diet, but still keeping carbs involved at nighttime. I really was only able to tolerate 20-40 grams in a day (this is including the carbs in veggies/1 avocado/starchy veg/sweet potatoes I ate), because it would make me feel too weak after eating my carby meals. You really have to play with carbs for candida.

One thing I learned is that they can eat ketones if you’re eating very low carb. See the subsection “Avoid Very Low Carb” that talks about Paul Jaminet. I know this, because I’ve woken up with milky white spit (see the Candida spit test) on mornings after a full ketogenic day. Starving them definitely won’t kill them. It’s a complete Catch 22. All I can really say is, “not too much, not too little.” Definitely not too much, of course. You definitely have to try and shock the system, go into ketosis if you can, but don’t stay so long that you screw up your liver. Losing weight is good if overweight (because a lot of those toxins are sequestered in fat), but again, too much too fast can destroy that liver/GB. And I must stress, as little fructose as possible.

This is just general maintenance that will get someone where they want to go (and it could take years to get there if you just do diet and supplements). However, I’m going to tell you the key to turning the tide in this fight for sure and for good.

You have to use lufenuron to get rid of candida in a drastic way.

It works like an antibiotic, but it targets only yeast. It attacks the chitin in the cell wall, and it works. It is the active ingredient in a dog flea/tick medication called Program. It works on candida and ticks, because they both have chitin. In the process, you need to up the amount of your liver detox supplements and drink lots of clean spring water or filtered/remineralized water. Get lufenuron only from this site:

www.owndoc.com

As you’re going through this recovery, some other supplements that need to be incorporated are:

  • krill oil (awesome for any inflammation—hands down, the best)
  • activated charcoal (awesome for sopping up stray toxins and mental fog)
  • chlorella (awesome for same reason as activated charcoal)
  • probiotics (I use Seeking Health SCD/GAPS Compliant now; never use Garden of Life)
    UPDATE: I have transitioned to soil probiotic Prescript-Assist, which has had lasting beneficial effects
  • Vitamin C (try NutriGold or otherwise non-GMO)
  • extra credit antioxidant stuff: Vitamin E, N-acetyl-cysteine, R-lipoic acid
  • at least 5,000 IU Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K2 (Super K is the brand I use)
  • fermented foods that you are sure don’t have any mold or excess sugar; for candida, these can be really bad. Sauerkraut is great. The Farmhouse ones worked best for me, but I don’t know if I could have eaten them when I was very sick.

You can also target mold toxins directly with a prescription cholesterol drug (that is benign and not a statin) called Welchol. It helped me a lot.

Movements that Heal Candida

If you have candida overgrowth or imbalance, you might have noticed that you have a lot of fatigue. You might be so uncomfortable that you can’t sit, stand, or lie down for too long. This is what happened to me. It’s a serious pain. You need to exercise, though. You need to get outside and ground (walk barefoot on grass) to discharge electrons. A lot of people who have mold toxicity and candida problems report lots of electric shocks and static shocks. Grounding addresses this problem directly, as it discharges your excess voltage. Partaking in grounding also hooks you up with a pure form of antioxidants (electrons).

Your exercise should be yoga only at first.

Then you need to try and increase strength with weight training as you can stand it. You need to make sure you are recovering and getting enough sleep. Soreness is a good judge of this. If you can’t sleep, you can’t lift weights.

Walk, don’t run. Never go jogging, ever. It is especially hard on your heart and muscles if you’re sick with candida, because the toxins build up and it gives you a steady trickle of cortisol. If you are interested in running, start to slowly work on sprints. There’s nothing like that feeling of tearing across the grass barefoot as fast as you can. No matter how sick you are, it makes you feel like you can take on the world. Make sure your heart is healthy enough to do this, though. Like I said, it might take a bit to get up to speed, but you eventually will just have to jump in and sink or swim.

If you can, sit Indian style while eating and after eating to give your body a rest while it digests.

Different sitting styles while eating or having a meal from different cultures and nationalities countries

I was unable to sit like this while I had bad acid reflux, but I worked toward it by doing yoga 3 hours after eating, which targeted and healed my digestion, helping to decrease the inflammation over time. It was a horrible nightmare, because I didn’t know then, but now I know that it’s better to sit hunched over while you eat, even though that’s completely contraindicated for acid reflux. Indian and Asian people sit on the floor for a reason when they eat. It keeps the blood in your gut and helps you digest your food.

sarvangasana-shoulderstand-illustration

Don’t walk after a meal. A lot of people have this thing called early dumping when their digestion is out of whack. Not a lot of people seem to be talking about it, but it definitely has been an issue for me. Taking a walk within 30 mins-1 hour after a meal moves food along too fast in your stomach and will give you indigestion. It isn’t natural, and definitely not Paleo. I always imagine a caveman lying down after a big fatty meal and just chilling out. Why would they get up? Are they going to do dishes? No.

Of Detox and Chemicals

Saunas can be very good for detoxing. Make sure they are dry and that they are not tainted by people going in there after swimming in chlorinated pools. Don’t stay so long that you feel you’ll pass out. 10 mins is a good start. 20 mins max. Every other day is probably good. Pay attention to your heart. When it starts to beat fast is a good sign. Also, I have learned that saunaing after, before, or during weight training isn’t that great. We’re not huge fans of hot yoga or Bikram yoga, either.

Avoid chemicals that worsen your gut bacteria when they’re breathed in, consumed, or absorbed:

  • BLEACH AND CHLORINE SUCK
  • Don’t swim in chlorinated pools
  • Don’t drink tap water (I drink Deer Park)
  • Change your dish/clothes detergents to non-bleach and natural
  • Watch out for formaldehyde (yes, I have run into that)
  • Anything that makes you dizzy if you walk into a room and it has a “chemical” smell
  • Aerosols (air fresheners)
  • Certain types of paint (whatever bugs you)

In other words, follow your nose. Don’t be brave and tough it out. I ended up with a slightly asthmatic condition for a couple of weeks when I hung out too long in a food truck construction shop. It turned out they used a lot of formaldehyde, which is very hard for someone with mold issues to detox. If you find yourself in an untenable respiratory situation, try not to be too much of a pain, like me. Just be polite and say that you need fresh air if something is bothering you.

EMF Protection for Healing

And now for the coup d’état. This is the biggest thing I would change if I could go back:

FOCUS ON EMFs, grounding, and your environment!

Tell anyone with candida to buy a Cornet EMF detector and try to stay in an low-EMF area, far away from cell towers, smart-meters, and portable or cordless phones.

This means no personal cell phones especially in close proximity to your body (except for emergencies), wireless routers, wireless tablets/laptops, baby monitors, Wiimotes, walkie talkies, or anything that emits a frequency. Opt to remove your smart meter.

Be around these things AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, especially at night!

Your healing will be manifold if you cut out harmful frequencies. Yes, your body can heal in the presence of low amounts of these frequencies, but if they are strong enough, it may not, and may continue to diminish. I have had weeks where I’ve done everything right but felt awful, only to find that there was a new source of RF sabotaging my cells, my gut bacteria, and thus the entirety of my well-being. Read more on EMF dangers from my previous article.

Colon Cleansing

Avoiding constipation is very important, too. Colon cleansing (through supplements) helps a lot for candida, because those toxins keep circulating in your bile if you don’t do anything. The best ways to get the colon moving I’ve found are:

  • magnesium oxide (only if nothing else is working) —brand “Good Move” which has some extra ingredients that are herbal and anti-candida
  • Bulletproof coffee (lowest possible mold content, but it is still kind of hard to tolerate when very sick with mold illness; work up to it as you detox)
  • castor oil (make sure it’s food-grade); watch out, though because it can kill gut bacteria
  • MCT oil (which also might work because it is killing bacteria)
  • again, fermented veggies

So, simple, huh? No, it’s not. Through a lot of love and support from my family and my wife, as well as lots of prayer and God’s grace, I have gotten to where I am. I hope to keep getting better and better, and I wish the same for you.

I hope I remembered everything. I really wanted to emphasize the things that really worked for me and I think should be focused on for anyone dealing with yeast problems.

Good luck and good health!

About Rob 70 Articles
Rob was the valedictorian of his high school (his last claim to fame), but now believes that academics are overrated. He is a musician and former copy editor, and is now studying independently as an amateur nutritionist, businessman, and writer/rocker against world government and for liberty. He is also attempting to obtain a PhD in squats, deadlifts, shoulder raises, rows, bench press, dips, and pull-ups.

12 Comments

  1. No one has commented? How can this be? You’ve written such a wonderful article on how to heal from mold toxins. I think everyone needs their own individual plan, but I agree with most of your suggestions. I’ve been sick for three years after leaving a moldy apartment from hell, and I am constantly trying new protocols.

    I think carbs are the trickiest things with mold illness. As the disease has progressed, I can handle less and less. Even if I have a TABLESPOON of black rice, I become bloated and inflamed. This complete sabotages my constant efforts to get back in pre-mold shape. Last year this did not happen. I was even able to have cold process micro filtered whey a few months ago, but now – forget it! So for the time being, I’m keeping my diet 90% raw with greens, rice and hemp protein, raw eggs, wild fish, and barely cooked non-hormone pumped red meat. It’s so ironic because I’ve barely eaten any meat in 10 years, but last night I had bison and it sat very well inside me! This is good news because I have anemia. Eventually I may have to carb up (as in…maybe half an apple or a tbsp of organic grains), but I will stick to this style of eating for as long as I stay lean and until I beat this fungal infection.

    I would love to hear back from you and further discuss this topic if you have time. Take care.

    • Thanks so much, Beth! This is great feedback. I am always up for discussing anything with a reader. Glad to know you are making strides in balancing your system. I have heard some people doing well with raw, but others doing very badly with raw for candida. I personally like to have my greens well-cooked, because it makes the nutrients a little easier to get to (at least that’s my understanding, I know there’s all kinds of other theories).

      With carbs, perhaps you should try a less grainy rice. I know I recommended grains in the article, but if you can tolerate Japanese sweet potatoes, that might be the best. It’s really hard to say, though, for many different reasons and factors.

      Way to go on the bison! Yes, you really can’t go wrong with red meat. I eat that stuff once or twice a day. I must be ready to have a heart attack. What else did you want to talk about?

    • Hi Beth,
      How do you know for sure you had fungal infection? Where there tests involved? Was it systemic? I lived in a moldy apartment as well for several years before I got out. I feel a lot better now, but still have some issues that issues that I know are candida/mold related. my doctors dismiss me quickly when i bring it up. Please let me know if you have any names of specific tests, so i can get to the bottom of this. I plan on getting my almagen fillings out and then starting a detox.

      • Carolina,

        Thanks for reading! I have an answer for you, but you might not like it. There is actually no definitive way to determine candida overgrowth. I have had labs done that check your stool, but the readout it gave me on yeast was like a number from 1-10. In other words, I don’t think they’re very accurate yet. Yeast is present in everyone’s bowels, but it’s the amount that counts.

        If you have taken antibiotics or lived in a moldy house, you definitely have more yeast than you should. Trust your symptoms, because they are all you have to go on. Yeast causes so many problems, especially fatigue, sugar cravings, foggy brain, and food allergies. You are not wrong, and you are not alone in your struggle with your conventional doctors. Really, if you can afford to go to a naturopath or DO, you’ll be much better off, because at least they will try to approach these things wholistically. However, they will try to get you to take as many tests and sill try to prescribe stuff and convince you that they’re right. They’re not always right, but they’re more right than most conventional practitioners.

        Ultimately, you are your own doctor. You need to do the research yourself and continually improve your diet and environment as best as you can. Many have overcome these problems to managable levels, and don’t assume you’ll have this problem the rest of your life. I am even about 80% better off than I was before. I definitely look healthier than I’ve ever looked in my life, even with all my allergies and chemical sensitivities. God bless, and be well!

  2. You’re welcome. It is true that everyone responds differently with diet. I will look into Japanese sweet potatoes, although I definitely can’t handle an American one. Right now I’m actually debating when to try the green plantain I recently bought. I’ve been doing well on organic blackberries, so it’s hard to say when I can switch up the carbs.

    I really did enjoy the bison the other night, but I ended up having frightening symptoms the next day…it felt like a panic attack combined with the flu. I’m not directly blaming the meat, but I’m going to hold off on it for a whole for piece of mind. What I AM enjoying right now are those grass fed Epic bars (only the beef which has the fewest carbs).I’ve been eating one a day for four days with no problems. Beats the heck out of the Quest Bars I used to have. I can’t believe they switched from oligosaccharides to corn fiber!

    One thing I didn’t notice in your blog is sinus problems. Were you lucky enough to not have yours infected? Every day for three years I’ve woken up with sinus pain or pressure (I also feel it in my teeth). I’ve sprayed every natural antifungal up my nose that I could get my hands on, but nothing has seemed to kill the colonies. I really feel this is the main reason I always feel so crappy. Any thoughts?

    • Sorry for the delay, Beth! I don’t know why, but I haven’t been getting comments in my email for a couple of weeks.

      I definitely understand being cautious with introducing new foods. Trust me, I still have my concerns for myself. Eggs are particularly of concern to me (and they are known to ba universal allergen for people with digestive issues). I’ve noticed that when they’re cooked into something (like almond pancakes) or fully cooked, they’re less of a problem. The same goes for nuts. I do much better with roasted nuts, but when they’re raw, I often get rashes on my abdomen.

      I haven’t tried Epic bars yet, but I’d like to, as long as they don’t fruit added or anything. I do not do well with berries and fruit. I’ve really been meaning to try them but never got around to it. Eww, corn fiber? Yeah, never tried Quest.

      I used to have sinus infections ALL THE TIME. If you read some of the entries where I cover what I was like as a kid, I discussed how I thought my sinus problems were from mild to severe mold exposure leading to immune problems throughout my life. Dave Asprey had this particular problem as well. I’m not sure what to do about that problem if it were happening now. What I ended up doing that eliminated it basically from a teenager into my twenties was actually from conventional medicine. I had an ENT do a surgery where they fixed my deviated septum. Everyone thought I was getting a nose job. But really, that made a big difference in the frequency and duration of the infections, because it stopped the phlegm from building up in the sinus cavity. It was no picnic, but it pretty much worked.

      With my new diet and lifestyle, I still get phlegm (especially in Winter), but generally not too much problems. OH! And I just thought of the best advice that does fix the build up of mucous. A lot of people don’t know this, but low humidity is usually the cause of a ton of terrible symptoms in the winter, because we have so many heaters on and stuff. You NEED to keep a humidifier going, and monitor it to try and get up to about 40% humidity in your house. It took me forever to realize this (I only noticed it when we started using dehumidifiers actually, haha; we overdid it and I started to get worse symptoms, because it thins out your mucous membranes). On the way down, those membranes get really sticky and nasty, causing all kinds of headaches and sinus problems (which can lead to infections). So if I were you, i’d really commit to trying to keep the humidity up in your house. It is a pain, but it is definitely worth it. Make sure you use filtered water, so you don’t put chlorine gas into the air. Tell me how that helps. I am pretty sure it will!

  3. Now I’m the one who’s giving a late reply – sorry!

    Carolina – I knew I was exposed because I had my apartment tested. My symptoms matched for mold toxicity. Three years ago when this happened, I had no insurance, but I am now catching up on testing to see how bad my inflammation is. Here is a link to recommended testing :

    http://www.survivingmold.com/diagnosis/lab-tests

    Good luck with your filling removal! Mold is known to hang onto heavy metals.

    Rob – Hmm. Your food scenario reminds me of how I tolerate the buffet at Whole Foods better than when I try to make meals myself 🙂 Maybe they sprinkle in digestive enzymes, lol.

    Oh, I envy your courage to tackle your sinuses conventionally. Ironically I think my septum is slightly deviated, but it NEVER bothered me until I was exposed to mold. I’m not convinced though that surgery would solve everything anyway. I still need to try a couple of antifungals. I’m all about getting to the root of the problem. Those buggers would probably grow back fast unless I defeat the mycotoxins systemically.

    As for the humidity issue, I’m on the opposite side of the fence. This winter here is NJ was miserable for me because it was HIGH. There were only three days it was below 60%. I was miserable. Now that it’s been around 40%, I can definitely feel the difference.

    I will definitely check back here more often! I’m enjoying our discussion.

    • Beth,

      Thanks for sharing about the sinus troubles after exposure to mold. That helps me to put together some pieces in understanding that it really might’ve been just mold that was causing it. Interesting stuff to ponder as I continue to learn and more research is carried out.

      -Rob

  4. Rob, very good article. But whereas low carb is good in fight against candida, going into ketosis (extremely low or no carb) is actually very bad. Why? Because candida loves ketones. Don’t just take my word for it .. look into it ..

    • I absolutely believe you, Ryan. I had a very bad experience with ultra-low-carb, and I would never recommend that to someone who is being exposed to mold or dealing with candida. It almost killed my gallbladder losing all that weight, too. Dumping all the toxins in the liver is my guess for why that’s bad as well (low-carb really makes you lose weight and is still my recommended weight-loss strategy, in combination with the CRUCIAL ELEMENT of eating a lot of fat (remembering to use a good bile stimulant like artichoke extract as well if your gallbladder is bad)). I recommend a moderately low-carb diet for candida. You should always do the majority of your carbs at night. Green plantain and white rice are currently my favorite recommendations for carbs. I also really like japanese sweet potatoes, but I’ve gotten kind of sensitive to sweet potatoes lately from a th1 problem I’ve been dealing with. I’ll be doing articles on that in the near future.

  5. While some of this is helpful, no one is going to take all those supplements. Also, keep you hippie BS on lectin/gluten/EMF grounding out of medical science. We don’t have celiac, we have candida. And anytime you touch something metal you are “grounded” so walking around barefoot has nothing to do with healing from candida.

    • Zach,

      Thanks for your saucy comments, following your kind compliment (what a rollercoaster our relationship has been thus far!) Grounding with bare feet on THE EARTH (grass, sand, or rock) is absolutely essential to your healing journey, especially with something like candida that often results from high amounts of stress. Touching one’s bare feet to the ground (AND I EMPHASIZE NOT to the insulated floor of your house) is directly linked to lowered cortisol.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/

      Candida is directly linked to chronic cortisol elevation, because that results in a lowered immune system. Grounding also directly modulates your immune system. Combine that with expertly timed sunlight exposure (to eyes and skin, equally important) and fresh air, and you can make your outside time a triple duper anti-parasitic super-drug.

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