Improving Digestive Health - Addressing Candida
by Brenda Watson N.D., C.T.
A 30-day detoxification program with supportive therapies and the proper diet work together to perform a general cleanse on the digestive system and support the organs of elimination. However, some people have specific conditions that require a more advanced cleanse, like those that deal with Candida, parasites, heavy metals, or liver toxicity. A person suffering with these conditions needs to establish and maintain the right ratio of good bacteria to bad (80:20) in the intestines for good health.
If the bad, or in some cases, benign microorganisms (yeast) are prevalent, a condition called dysbiosis can occur. Dysbiosis is a state of imbalance of the intestinal flora (bacteria and other micro-organisms) and can have numerous causes. Dysbiosis results from high levels of stress, chemical exposure, poor diet, and/or overuse of antibiotics, birth control pills, and drugs of all kinds, thus oftentimes the condition is self-induced. It is the overuse of antibiotics, however, that is probably the most responsible factor for imbalances in the digestive tract.
To regain bacteria balance, you need to eliminate Candida and/or parasites (if present) and re-establish good bacteria. In dealing with either problem, the following protocol is important to follow:
2. Starve the yeast (with dietary changes)
3. Exterminate the yeast (with natural anti-fungals)
4. Kill parasites
5. Replace the good bacteria
6. Support the body, especially the immune system, with supplemental nutrients
The diet needs to feature an abundance of fresh organic vegetables and lean organic low- and medium-stress meats (fish and poultry). The high stress meats or proteins (peanuts, non-fermented soy, pork, lamb, veal, beef, commercial cow milk) take large amounts of energy to digest and should be temporarily avoided during this cleanse; theneaten in moderation afterwards. Vegetables to emphasize are those low in starch (i.e. green leafy), though it is fine to eat small amounts of the starchy vegetables (Lima beans, peas, potatoes, etc.). The goal of this diet is to avoid anything that will either feed the yeast or otherwise contribute to its growth. There is no set duration of this diet, but you should consider following it for at least three months. Generally speaking, when symptoms have subsided, foods may be slowly added back, starting with fruits, then grains (wheat last), and dairy products.
To better support these dietary changes, a natural anti-fungal cleansing program is necessary. Such a formula will target the many different types of yeast organisms. The program should be followed for at least 15 to 30 days in conjunction with the diet previously described. An effective formula would contain ingredients known to be helpful in eradicating yeast as well as compounds that kill amoebae. Ideally, the following agents would be included:
Calcium undecylenate (from castor bean) – An antifungal effective in killing Candida
Neem leaf – An East Indian herb providing anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory actions
Olive leaf – An anti-bacterial that also stimulates the immune system
Oregon grape root – Contains alkaloids which have anti-bacterial effects and prevents infection
Oregano leaf – Contains anti-microbial and anti-fungal oils
In addition to dietary and herbal supplementation, there are three other important components necessary for any cleansing program: fiber, specifically flax fiber; probiotics; and a digestive enzyme formula to balance the flora and digestion of food in the GI tract.
During a Candida Cleanse, you may experience discomfort as the yeast dies off. Die-pff symptoms may include headaches, food cravings, nausea, body aches, and irritability. Using powdered vitamin C (1/8 - 1/2 teaspoon in water between meals) or L-glutamine may help alleviate these reactions. Following a Candida diet and cleanse program is the first step in obtaining bacterial balance.