Candida: Causes & Solutions

By Ronald Wayman

Warning: the following is for information only. Seek professional help with any medical and health condition.

What is Candida?
Candida is a detrimental, yeast-like fungi. Of the 70-different species of Candida yeast, the most well-known is Candida albicans. Candida albicans inhabits the intestines of all humans. The excessive proliferation of Candida albicans is called Candidiasis, which can be found in the intestines, vagina, mouth, or esophagus. Systemic Candidiasis is an overgrowth of candida throughout the body. It is estimated that 1/3rd of the world’s population suffer from Candida albicans overgrowth.

Candida is usually found in the colon, but with excessive growth, it can penetrate the lining of the colon, then may spread to the bladder, vagina, small intestines, blood, lymph, brain, lung, and other areas of the body. Usually linked with bladder infections, it can also be associated with:

  • sore throats
  • mind confusion
  • headaches
  • body aches and pains
  • most major illnesses
  • minor and major fatigue
  • dizziness or vertigo
  • ear problems
  • fluid retention
  • cravings
  • athlete’s foot
  • psoriasis
  • extreme sensitivities to the environment
  • mood swings
  • vaginal infections
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • bloating
  • and others

When a person is experiencing Candida overgrowth, it may become difficult to lose weight, to regain health if in poor-health, to build strength, to learn, for some to get pregnant, and many other manifestations. People who continually get streptococcus or staph infections could consider candida overgrowth. People who suffer from sinus headaches, ear aches, lung congestion, or migraines could also be assisted by the Candida Diet suggestions and supplements.

Most often allergies or food sensitivities are accompanied by Candida overgrowth and can add further stress to the body. The body’s immune response to Candida increases the food sensitivities, and the food sensitivities burden the immune system, thus creating a vicious cycle. This cycle begins in the intestines. The bowel normally blocks toxins and larger food particles from the rest of the body, but when invaded by yeast overgrowth, the intestinal lining becomes inflamed and larger particles can then pass through this lining into the blood stream. The blood travels to the liver, which becomes overwhelmed with these large particles and with the extra detoxification needed. 

The liver cannot handle all the extra load, so the lymph system takes part of the burden. The lymph triggers the body’s immune response, which is already confused and overwhelmed with the yeast and candida overgrowth elsewhere. Also, the kidney is challenged when the lymph is struggling. The kidney needs to process proteins, and immune cells are made of protein.

The body becomes “sluggish”, fatigued, sick, and thus begins a downward spiral of illness. In fact, in the liver, if candida is not detoxified, candida can produce other toxins such as acetaldehyde, which converts to formaldehyde, alcohol, carbon monoxide, and other toxins.

How did I get it?
There are many factors that can cause Candida overgrowth. Mishandling stress, not enough sleep, lack of proper nutrients from the diet, poor eating habits, excessive use of antibiotics, excessive use of drugs, steroids, for some – the contraceptive pill, pregnancy, hormonal changes, excessive use of low-quality supplements, eating sugar, excessive carbohydrates, for some- sensitivities to dairy and/or gluten, MSG, alcohol, coffee, tea, too much junk food or processed food, mercury or metal toxicity, environmental toxins, injury or surgery, stress caused by abuse or trauma, and lack of proper enzymes. Another view, is the stressful living of western society causes the adrenal glands to become overwhelmed and fatigued. B vitamins are then in demand by the adrenals and the liver and when the B vitamins are low, it is possible that fungus and Candida have a bigger foothold in your system. These are just some of the possible catalysts for Candidiasis.

So, how do I get a handle on it? 
One way is through the diet. The diet full of junk food and sugar and/or “eating on the run” will feed and maintain the candida in the body. This diet is usually lacking in enzymes and causes stress on the body’s endocrine and digestive systems. When the digestive system is taxed, then fungus, bacteria, molds, other yeasts, viruses, and Candida can have a great time multiplying in a body. 

You can minimize the overgrowth by eating correctly:

  1. Chew slowly
  2. Eating a variety of foods
  3. Eat foods that are fresh
  4. Avoid juices and eat whole foods
  5. Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates (i.e. pastries, candy bars, donuts, etc.)
  6. Supplement with digestive enzymes
    1. Digestive enzymes make a major difference in most people’s diets. Not only do they assist in breaking down the yeast, the enzymes help the body assimilate badly needed nutrients.
  7. Eat a papaya or pineapple with your meal
    1. (if you get sores by eating pineapple, that is a viral issue)

You are what you assimilate and absorb from your food.

Drink water, stay hydrated, take enzymes, eat a balanced diet, stop eating junk, eat in peace, and work toward a balanced emotional life.

If you take care of your current and past emotional stresses and consume a proper diet of live and whole foods, you might not need so much supplementation. But until you choose to do that, balance your diet as much as possible, supplement with enzymes, and begin taking care of your emotional and mental stressors.

Emotionally, Candida is associated with helplessness, hopelessness, secrecy, fear of responsibility, too much responsibility, overwhelming burden, suppressed rage, terror, lack of confidence, or betrayal. Often, there are beliefs that can bring in negative thoughts and negative feelings that keep a person stuck. Beliefs, such as, “no matter how hard I try, I can’t _______”   (win, get what I want, be loved, have control, be happy, be loved, be good enough, etc.). 

Candida overgrowth is not just about food! To truly heal, you must address your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Focus on those stagnant emotions you’re holding in your body, mind and heart. Find ways to download these emotions. Dig deep, remembering that anything you can release, is something you no longer must carry around. Utilize a journal, a friend, a therapist, an animal, or whatever works for you. Just get it out! By this I mean trapped emotions that you have stuffed in your body, which can suppress your immune system and inhibit your ability to release Candida. This includes resentments to people, events and for many, to oneself.

Let it go and get well.

For a diagnosis, see your health care professional. For your personal interest, use the following chart to find the foods that are suggested for people with Candida problems. Often, the Candida spreads to areas that are not tested in standard medical practices, so after visiting your medical professional, it can be helpful to visit a Naturopath, Homeopathic Physician or Applied Kinesiologist for additional assistance.

For emotional assistance with candida consider Life Centering with Breath and Awareness

Anti – Candida Diet Suggestions
These are suggestions. This is a general list. Each individual should seek professional health advice from their health practitioner. For some cases, ask your practitioner about using nutritional plant enzymes and the bifidobacteria form of acidophilus.

Warning: the following is for information only. Seek professional help with any medical and health conditions.

Added SugarsJam, Honey, Fruit Juices, Syrup, Biscuits, Dried Fruit, Chocolate, Yogurt, Drinks, etc.
FruitNo Fruit except Avocado, fresh Grapefruit, Lemon, Banana, for some Sour Apple, for some Orange.
Yeast ProductsBread, Pizza, B Vitamins from yeast source, Breadcrumbs, Citric Acid from fungal source.
AlcoholWine, Beer, Brandy, Cider, etc.
Fermented ProductsMiso, Vinegar, Tomato Sauce, Pickles, Barbecue Sauce, Olives, Horseradish, Salad Dressings, Relish, Sauerkraut, etc.
MSGSome Chinese food, 2 minute noodles, some soups, flavored chips and snacks
GlutenWheat, Cakes, Pastries, non-pure Rye, for some Oats, for some Barley, for some any rice, for others just non-brown rice
Dairy ProductsMilk, Cheese, Ice Cream, for some eggs.
Molds and FungiPeanuts, Pistachios, Soy Sauce, Mushrooms.
StimulantsCoffee, Tea, Cola, Cigarettes
Food AdditivesColoring, Flavoring, Preservatives, Thickeners, Anti-Caking Agents
Processed Meats/Smoked MeatsSalami, Sausage, Hot Dogs, Pastrami, Corned Beef, etc.
Processed FoodsProcessed Cheese, etc.
OilsHeated Oils (except pure virgin olive oil), Oxidized Oils, Margarine, etc.
Left OversIf they grow mold.
Starchy VegetablesCorn, Potatoes, Dried Beans, etc., for some peas.
The FOODS that are Allowed
Meats/FishMeats that are Free Range (Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Lamb). Fresh Fish, Seafood, Tuna, Salmon.
VegetablesAll vegetables: except Potatoes, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, for some Peas, Corn.
SproutsAlfalfa, Lentil, Mung Bean, Fenugreek, Flax Seed, Radish, etc.
LegumesFor some people they can have Beans, Chick Peas, Lentils, hummus without Vinegar, Peas.
FruitLimited – Coconut, Lemon, Banana, Grapefruit, Sour Apple for some.
Grains and PastaFor some people – Brown Rice, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth, Buckwheat
NutsUnprocessed Nuts: Almond, Brazil Nut, Walnut, Hazelnut
SeedsUnprocessed Seeds: Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Linseed, Pumpkin Seed
Nut ButtersTahini, Almond Butter, not Peanut Butter
OilsCold Pressed Oils: Olive, Sunflower, Safflower, Linseed, Avocado, Apricot, Almond
YogurtNon-Sweetened Yogurt, Pure Yogurt, Goat and Sheep Milk Yogurt
MilkSoy Milk, Almond Milk, for some Rice Milk. Without maltodextrins or sugar.
SpicesCinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Garlic, Onion, etc.
SweetenerStevia (for some), FOS – Fructo-oligosaccharides which assist acidophilus bacteria
BreadSprouted Grains, Spelt, Pure Rye (for some)
CrackersRice Cakes, Pure Rye, Buckwheat Crispbread
Other FoodsKelp, Spirulina, Carrots, Garlic
Herbs and Foods that Inhibit Candida Albicans
AgrimonyAnti-Fungal properities
BarberryInhibits proliferation (Berberine)
Black WalnutAnti-Fungal, Anti-Parasitic
CarrotInhibits Candida (Phytoalexin compound)
CinnamonInhibits growth
Dandelion RootTea – Cleanses liver, inhibits growth of Candida
EchinaceaPrevents recurrence of Candida proliferation
GarlicCan eliminate Candida from body – not in excessive amounts
GoldensealSuppresses Candida (Berberine)
Lemon GrassOil – inhbits proliferation
MasticInhibits and destroys Candida albicans
NeemInhibits growth
Oregon Grape RootInhibits the proliferation
OreganoInhibits growth
Oregano oilInhibits growth (to be used topically and cautiously)
Pau D’ArcoInhibits and destroys Candida albicans
PhellodendronInhibits and helps to destroy
PropolisBee propolis (regionalized) suppresses the proliferation of Candida
SpirulinaInhibits Candida Albicans
SumaInhibits Candida
YogurtNon-sugar, more pure forms of high quality bacteria. Lactobacillus acidphilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosis, Bifidobacteria bifidus
Supplements that Enhance the Eradication of Candida
BiotinHelps prevent the proliferation of Candida
BromelainDigestive enzyme found in pineapple enhances immune function against Candida
Caprylic AcidInhibits Candida growth
CellulaseA plant enzyme for breakdown of plant fibers
Coenzyme Q10Helps with the elimination of Candida
CopperIncreases immune function if in proper balance with zinc
GermaniumMineral – inhibits growth of Candida
LactoferrinA form of Bovine Colostrum or whey protein
NystatinOn contact kills Candida. May not go to all parts of body.
ProteaseDigestive enzyme
SilverColloidal Silver destroys Candida
Tea Tree OilFor vaginal proliferation
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
ZincIncreases immune function helping the body fight Candida
Kinergetics Unit 3, Philip Rafferty
Hyperhealth Pro ver.3
The Yeast Connection by Dr. William Crook.