Candida and What Your Healthcare Team May Not Know by Dr. Sara Detox Toronto Naturopath
Blog Health + Wellness

What Your Healthcare Team Might Not Know

August 2, 2017

By the time most people seek advice from a naturopathic doctor; they’ve likely seen a physician (or two) and have spent hours looking for answers on Dr. Google.

This often leaves them feeling frustrated, confused, and discouraged.

Today, I have good news to share.

If you or someone you know has been battling symptoms that appear to be unexplainable, uncomfortable, and untreatable, please do not give up.

It is possible there is an underlying culprit that has not yet been considered by your team of healthcare professionals.

Let me introduce you to Candida albicans!

It’s a stubborn yeast organism that can wreak havoc on your health. What should typically be a harmless, normal resident of the gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts, can change and actually be the cause of your so-called untreatable symptoms.

Candida Yeast from Source: Candida Hub

Candida albicans is supposed to live symbiotically and in low numbers along with trillions of other microorganisms.

When we consider the huge numbers of bacteria in the mouth, digestive system, and vagina, Candida is a small player and should not be multiplying out of control in healthy individuals.

However, for many people, the Candida epidemic is a real problem.

Candida has found a way to flourish in the intestinal tract and may be the leading cause of many unexplainable and persistent health problems.

Perhaps you’re wondering what feeds this yeast organism, allowing it to grow in great numbers?

There are 2 main reasons why Candida thrives in the modern day human gut.

ONE – Most people do not have a healthy army of friendly bacteria in their intestinal tract.

‘Good’ gut bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum are typically lacking in numbers. These bacteria along with other Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are required to control the spread of Candida, as well as other pathogenic bacteria.

TWO – Most people have a poor diet.

With a diet that is rich in refined carbohydrates, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and yeast – along with a generally unhealthy lifestyle, Candida albicans is able to overgrow, disturbing the normal digestive tract environment.

What was once a harmless occupant in the gut, is now thought to be a harmful invader and may actually be the underlying reason for symptoms, such as:

  • headaches
  • gas
  • bloating
  • weakened immunity
  • weight gain
  • depressed mood
  • skin issues

Since a poor lifestyle is to blame for this widespread epidemic; treatment requires lifestyle changes.

With different approaches to addressing Candida within the natural health community, it can be quite confusing to decide what is best.

Today, I’m sharing my simple 3-step Candida treatment plan that does the following:

1) Starves Candida albicans.

The main food source for Candida albicans is sugar, therefore by consuming a diet rich in natural whole foods and low in carbohydrates and sugar, you can stop feeding the yeast.

Although many diets tend to come and go depending on what’s trending, The Candida Diet has been used time and time again over the last few decade and is surely here to stay.

It is an integral part of combatting Candida and although there are many different versions available, they are all based on the same philosophy – stop feeding Candida!

2) Destroys Candida albicans.

Look for an herbal Candida Cleanse that contains ingredients such as; Uva Ursi Leaf, Garlic Bulb, Caprylic Acid, Pau D’Arco Root Bark, Barberry Root, and Neem Leaf. These herbs provide not only anti-fungal properties but also anti-bacterial.

It is important to include anti-bacterial herbs, because when ‘bad’ bacteria overgrows, it produces an environment where Candida can thrive. By removing the ‘bad’ bacteria, ‘good’ bacteria (e.g. acidophilus) can flourish and greatly reduce the chance of Candida re-infestation.

I’ve also found that tinctures are quite effective and I frequently recommend herbal tinctures containing Oregano Leaf, Orange Peel, Oregon Grape Root, and Cinnamon Bark to my patients.

3) Restores healthy flora.

This is accomplished with a high potency multi-strain probiotic supplement that contains at least 50 billion active bacterial cultures. Always look for a probiotic that has a delivery system such as enteric-coating, as this will ensure that the live bacteria survives the harsh acidic environment in the stomach and makes it to the intestines where they are needed the most.

For women that struggle with yeast infections or chronic urinary tract infections as a result of Candida overgrowth, I typically recommend a vaginal support probiotic supplement with 50 billion active bacteria that is designed to re-establish the flora in the intestines as well as locally in the vaginal area. Please check with your Naturopathic Doctor for specific recommendations that best suit your needs.

Be aware that DIE-OFF symptoms might happen.

Here is a list of common Candida die-off symptoms:

  • fatigue or exhaustion
  • skin rashes or skin itchiness
  • headaches
  • congestion
  • gas
  • bloating
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • brain fog
  • anxiety

All of these may present while Candida is being destroyed and will typically resolve in less than seven days. Adequate fibre and water intake are essential in order to minimize these uncomfortable symptoms.

Wondering how Candida albicans overgrowth is diagnosed?

A Naturopathic Doctor can test your blood to look for elevated antibodies against Candida albicans. As an alternative, many people opt for a simple questionnaire, like this one here.

Happy Candida Cleansing!


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Dr.Sara Celik
Dr. Sara Celik is a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and is the Spokesperson for Renew Life Canada. She is a leader in the health and wellness industry and is regularly featured as a sought-after expert on television programs and in health publications. Dr. Sara carries over 15 years experience and her private practice and work in the community is focused on digestive health, detoxification, and clinical nutrition.
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