HEALING CANDIDA CHANGES YOUR LIFE
Healing the body from candida overgrowth truly changes your life. It has been well over a decade since I was ale to fully restore my intestinal health and rid my body of candida, and after sharing my exact program and protocol in the Heal Candida Now program, I have received countless testimonials from women all around the world who are completely shocked at the radical transformation their lives have had since using the exact same protocol I used.
The thing about candida is that it affects everything in the body from how we feel physically, to how we feel mentally. Candida is linked to infertility, depression, low libido, low energy, trouble sleeping, lack of enthusiasm for life, and as a precursor to many other health issues including autoimmune disease. The issues we experience with Candida go far beyond the 'yeast infection' that many women don't even get.
As a clinical nutritionist I have always referred my clients to the Candida protocol before doing anything else. Why? Because close to 80% of women are harboring excessive candida in their bodies. Once you rid the body of Candida, you can see if any remaining issues persist and then deal with them one by one. But the reality is that after the Candida program, most women report that there are no remaining issues - meaning, clearing their body of Candida clears up things they have been struggling with for years and years, and in some cases decades.
The tragedy is that there is a lot of bad press and marketing when it comes to Candida. I have heard some of the most crazy anti-scientific claims about healing Candida including: you can eat fruit and heal Candida. Now as much as I LOVE fruit and eat a lot of it today, and acknowledge it as one of the healthiest foods on the planet, the body does not distinguish between sugar sources. Sugar is sugar and sugar feeds Candida. Another one: you should consume apple cider vinegar for Candida because it is "special" and will help kill the candida. No. It won't. It contains yeast and is a huge source of food for Candida Albicans. Sadly, millions of people are consuming cupfuls of water with ACV daily, not realizing the damage that is occurring under the surface. Another one: you should drink Kombucha. No. Again, anything fermented is a huge no for Candida.
The irony is that most online "gurus" promote fermented food and have jumped on the fermented food bandwagon. In reality, "back in the day" when people ate a lot of fermented traditional foods, they were not the victims of antibiotic onslaught, birth control pills, a contaminated food supply included animals pumped with antibiotics and hormones, and the lack of proper sleep schedules causing imbalance in the body's circadian rhythm. There were not as many babies being born via C-section which also greatly increases chances of Candida overgrowth.
Today, consuming a lot of fermented foods, drinking Kombucha and ACV are the perfect recipe for an explosion of Candida overgrowth.
ABOUT CANDIDA AND YOUR INTESTINAL TRACT
Your intestinal tract is sometimes referred to as “the densest ecosystem on the planet,” and is approximately 25 to 28 ft long. The surface area measures about 200 square meters, roughly the size of a tennis court. It contains around 100 trillion cells. The human body as a whole, excluding the digestive tract, contains only 10 trillion cells! Thus, our health is directly related to the healthy functioning of our intestinal tract. When candida takes hold in our digestive tract, it can affect the inflammatory response in the body and destroy immune cells.
WHAT CAUSES CANDIDA OVERGROWTH?
There have been over 26,000 studies on Candida Albicans since the introduction of antibiotics in the late 1940’s. What is clear from the research is that systemic fungal Candida infections are most likely to develop due to only a handful of causes.
The primary cause of Candida progressing from a harmless – to a pathogenic fungus – is antibiotic use. If you have taken antibiotics, particularly the broad spectrum antibiotics that kill a wide range of bacteria, they also destroy the good bacteria that exist naturally in your gut. These powerful drugs do not discriminate between “good” and “bad” bacteria, and they go through your system and clean house. Of course, for people suffering with very serious bacterial conditions, these drugs can be life-saving. However today, people are using antibiotics in excessive amounts, often for infections that are not even bacterial. Parents often request their pediatricians to prescribe antibiotics to children who have colds and flus. Over-use and indiscriminate use of antibiotics leads not only to candida overgrowth, but also to the creation of many of the deadly “super bugs” like MRSA, found in hospitals today.
What is even more alarming is that people are not only exposed to antibiotics from prescription use – but also via the food supply. If you consume, or did consume, animal products, you are ingesting significant doses of antibiotics as the livestock industry gives antibiotics to the animals to prevent them from becoming sick and dying in the cramped and overcrowded feed lot facilities. Even people who consume only “grass fed” animals, are still ingesting antibiotics as they are given to animals that are sick. Remember, everything the animal consumes, you consume.
When you take antibiotics, and your beneficial gut flora are killed off, Candida begins to multiply and alter the pH of your gut in a very short period of time. Once this happens, the Candida begins its transformation into a pathogenic fungus. Once your healthy gut flora is compromised and weakened, your immune system becomes weaker, and the candida begins to multiply and release toxins into your blood.
REMEMBER: We get our initial gut flora during birth from our mothers, and the remainder of our immunity comes from our environment and our diet. It is vital to not use antibiotics indiscriminately, because once you have destroyed the gut flora population, your gut can take several years to fully recover.
Stress is another major contributing piece of the Candida puzzle. As an opportunistic pathogen, Candida albicans responds to a body that is compromised by stress with an increase in growth. Stress is often an overlooked factor in candida programs, because for many people, stress seems to be an inevitable part of life. However, psychological stress has been found to suppress the immune responses that are important in limiting the proliferation of Candida, and so it is a factor that I believe should never be ignored in a complete candida recovery program. In my own personal situation, when I had Candida, I was working 70-plus hour weeks as an attorney, with enormous pressure and stress, which created a perfect storm to allow Candida over growth to occur. Reducing my stress, along with finding ways to change my body's response to unavoidable stress, were both critical to my recovery.
When our body experiences stress, the hormone cortisol is released as a result. Cortisol can depress the immune system, as well as raise your blood sugar. The elevation in blood sugar can feed the yeast cells allowing them to grow quickly. With a depressed immune system, you are more susceptible to increased yeast growth. Although it is not possible to eliminate ALL stress from our daily lives, it is entirely possible to implement strategies and techniques that effectively help your body deal better with stress. This can be done with the use of certain herbs, as well as some stress-relieving practices. In Heal Candida Now, I made sure to include two special supplemental sections that will help you manage the stress you face daily, both with herbs and with body/mind strategies, which will help lessen the negative effects of stress on your body.
MY JOURNEY WITH CANDIDA
My journey began when I had Lyme disease as a senior in high school. Doctors treated me with a harsh and powerful broad spectrum antibiotic for several months. Everything seemed to be fine. But by the time college began, I started experiencing yeast infections. I also began to suffer PMS in the form of bloating and very powerful cravings for sugar. I was often fatigued, and I began re-experiencing some of my Lyme symptoms such as severe joint pain. I remember not even being able to open the flip cap of a shampoo bottle because the pain in my fingers was so severe. And I wasn’t even 20 yet.
I had no idea that I was harboring candida overgrowth for what would be close to a decade.
I was extremely busy at school and had very little sleep for four years. My path turned into three years of law school with a maxed-out course schedule. The cycle of being over-stressed and sleep deprived continued. So did my unhealthy eating.
As a young attorney in New York City at a huge law firm, the cycle continued. In fact, it became worse because I was working inside, under fluorescent lights, with very little sunlight, for more than 10 hours a day on most days of the week. Most meals were either at my desk or out with clients, and almost never involved healthy food. Coffee, bagels, sugar – that was my mantra back then.
My systemic candida overgrowth went undetected for several years. Initially, I had no idea that anything was wrong with me. I needed to drink lots of coffee just to “wake up” and get going for the day, but I excused that as something related to my hectic paced life at the time. I was bloated a lot, especially before my monthly cycle, and once again, I blamed it on my menstrual cycle. I actually believed that bloating was normal. I now know, as do many of my clients, that this is not true. In fact most "PMS" symptoms are far from normal, but have become "normalized"
My weight had slowly crept up since I had been diagnosed with Lyme and taken antibiotics, and I ended up gaining a dramatic amount of weight over a period of ten years. I was living off of refined carbohydrate foods like breads, pastas, and bagels. At the time, I failed to see the connection between my increase in weight, my cravings for high sugar refined carbohydrates, and my antibiotic use.
My digestive system was awry, and I would alternate between constipation and diarrhea. Unfortunately, it was years before I made the connection and came to understand that my antibiotic use had set the stage for candida, which created almost uncontrollable cravings, which led to significant weight gain. Add my high stress career, late hours, and lots of coffee (another major contributing factor in candida), and my health was truly a house of cards, and one thing began to go wrong at a time. Before I knew it, I had adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and candida all at once, which by the way, is not that uncommon.
The reality is that many of us experience symptoms in our everyday life that may seem unrelated to one another. Often when we experience a collection of symptoms, we are not 100% sure of what is causing them because symptoms of different conditions can often overlap. For example, you can be bloated and have digestive issues from candida, but it can also be because of parasites, or it can be IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or any number of other issues causing those symptoms.
It can be very frustrating and stressful for candida sufferers because they are often told “it is all in your head”. Despite the decades of extensive research confirming the devastating effects of candida on the body, in many cases, trying to convince a medical professional of that when there are limited diagnostic tests can seem impossible. I have tremendous respect for those in traditional allopathic medicine – the doctors, nurses, and others who work tirelessly to save lives. But unfortunately, Western Medicine fails us in many of the chronic diseases that people are battling with daily. If you have a heart attack, surgeons can replace arteries to keep you alive. But yet, it’s entirely possible that you will suffer with candida for a decade or more and be diagnosed with everything from lupus to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis to Fibromyalgia before finally figuring out on your own or with the help of an alternative practitioner that you actually have Candida. That is just the reality of medical care today.
So, for me, when doctors had no acceptable answers, I began to do my own research on what could be wrong with me, and I discovered through months and months of intensely studying the research, that I had a serious Candida overgrowth. Nutrition became my obsession, and I put everything I had into learning about the body, hormones, adrenal fatigue, Candida, Lyme disease and toxicity. In fact, it was what later led to my attending nutrition school. My sincere hope is that this information empowers you to take charge of your health, and finally recover from Candida. I encourage you to check our Heal Candida Now, and join our online group.