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Dietary Recommendations for Candidiasis Candidiasis or yeast syndrome is an infection caused by an overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract of the usually benign yeast (or fungus) Candida albicans.i,ii Normally, Candida albicans lives harmoniously in the inner warm creases and crevices of the digestive tract and vaginal tract in women.iii
Candidiasis or yeast syndrome is an infection caused by an overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract of the usually benign yeast (or fungus) Candida albicans.[i],[ii] Normally, Candida albicans lives harmoniously in the inner warm creases and crevices of the digestive tract and vaginal tract in women.[iii]
The immune system usually keeps candida proliferation under control, but when the immune response is weakened, candida growth can proceed unhindered. Candida is an “opportunistic organism” which, when given the opportunity, will attempt to colonize all bodily tissues. The uncontrolled growth of candida is known as candida overgrowth. In small amounts, this fungus is harmless. However, when there is an overgrowth, it can be destructive and can cause numerous health problems. In fact, candida can produce the symptoms of over 140 different disorders.
Candida thrives on sugar (including natural forms from fruit and unrefined sweeteners), carbohydrates, yeast, preserved, processed and refined foods, and molds. These are the foods to avoid in the treatment of candida overgrowth.
The main concept to follow is the whole foods philosophy. This involves choosing and eating foods in their natural, whole form, or eating foods as close to how they occur in nature as possible. This means not eating over-processed, boxed or canned foods.
The entire healing/rebuilding process usually takes around 3 to 6 months. The change in diet and lifestyle habits can be radical for some individuals. However, these changes are extremely beneficial for your body and will be the best way to treat, prevent and control this destructive fungus. Do not eat any refined sugars for at least 6 months after recovery, in fact, it is best to avoid refined sugars overall as much as possible all together. Having candidiasis once predisposes one to getting it again so be very careful after you are well. It is wise to work with a physician experienced with recurrent yeast infections and also pay attention to your own sensitivities.
The length and degree of dietary strictness are dependent on the individual and the severity of the problem. After the initial changes are made and maintained for the necessary time, more foods can be added and tested.. Added foods should be tested one by one and eaten three times during the day, then avoided for the next 72 hours. During this time watch for reactions to occur. If no reactions occur, these items can be added back into the diet on a rotation basis, or eaten every three to four days and another food can be tested. If a reaction does occur that food is best left out for at least 6 months before testing again. After the initial candida diet is complete, a whole foods diet with little, if any, processed foods should be maintained.
Hass, Elson, MD, 1992. Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA.
Page, Linda Rector, Ph.D. Healthy Healing. 1996.Healthy Healing Publications.
[i] Truss CO. The role of Candida albicans in human illness. J Orthomol Psychiatry 1981,10:228–38 [review
[ii] Crook WG. The Yeast Connection, 2nd ed. Jackson, TN: Professional Books, 1984, 1–2 [review].
[iii] Pizzorno, Joseph, N.D and Murray, Michael, N.D. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 2nd Ed. Churchill Livingstone. 1999
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