If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you are probably familiar with my friend Kibby Miller. She’s a total superstar and was one of my very first dedicated readers when I started this blog 3 years ago. We became fast friends (although we’ve never actually met in person) and exchanged numerous emails and phone calls. One concern that Kibby had was that even though she was eating really clean, she still had digestive issues, rashes, stiffness, and fatigue. I recognized the symptoms right away and immediately suggested that she start a candida protocol. We worked out a specific program for her to follow which worked like a charm! Kibby recently wrote an super thorough and detailed post on her blog outlining her experience and I thought it would be great to share with all of you! I’m sure most of you will relate to what she wrote as candida is much more prevalent than you could imagine. I would even go so far as to say 80% of the people who read this article would be greatly helped by doing a candida cleanse.
In my own experience, I had to continue the regimen for 4 months before all my symptoms cleared. Throughout my lifetime I had so much candida built up in my system from taking antibiotics, acne medication, diet pills, overeating sweets and carbs, drinking alcohol, etc. that I had to really stick with the program for an extended amount of time. I am so thankful I did because it was that final puzzle piece to help me lose the last 10lbs, clear my persistent acne once and for all, and help me sustain high energy throughout the day (before that I felt like taking a nap everyday at 2pm)!
I’m sure you will find this info highly informative and helpful!
The following is from Kibby’s blog, Kibby’s Blended Life, with some additional notes and edits from me:
This post is long overdue to share with you all. I have had many emails and friends asking me what I did to get my Candida overgrowth under control. So, here it is. Every little detail I researched, experienced and healed from. I had candida for YEARS and didn’t know it. I hope this post helps you on your quest to get rid of candida and heal yourself. Be prepared – it is very long!
What is Candida?
Candida albicans (its official name) is a yeast that inhabits the mouths and intestinal tracts of all humans. That’s right! Everyone has candida. When you are healthy, the candida in your body lives in a symbiotic relationship with you. It will help to detect and destroy other harmful bacteria from harming your body, as well as helping to clean up any excess sugar that may be floating around in your bloodstream that your cells are not able to absorb.
Every time you eat, there will be a small candida “bloom” as the candida feeds on the sugars that are in your blood stream waiting to be ushered into the cell with the help of insulin to be used for energy. Then, once that sugar has been processed, the candida will reduce in number back down to their normal levels.
When there is an imbalance in blood sugar levels (note from Linda: this could be from sugar, carbs, alcohol, or additives like preservatives), candida will be given the opportunity to grow to a level that is not optimal for the human body. It has the ability to morph into different structures and will take advantage of its host.
While it is normal to have some candida in the gut, an overgrowth of candida is problematic. Like everything else, candida creates a byproduct. In this case, the byproduct of candida is toxic to the body. The more candida you have, the more toxicity it produces. I had several of the symptoms listed below. My symptoms were classic: gassiness and bloating upon eating a meal – especially fruit, INTENSE itching all over body and especially in my nose (? I don’t know, but I did!) to the point it drove my crazy at times, lethargy, funked out, foggy headedness, stiff joints).
Candida has been lead to several common issues such as:
- Thrush – in the mouth or other areas of the body
- Athletes foot
- Poor Digestion (gas and bloating)
- Loss of appetite
- Extreme sugar cravings
- Rectal itching
- Excessive fatigue
- Brain fog – lack of ability to focus the mind
- Mood Swings
- Sore throat
- Low sex drive
- Muscle weakness
- Chronic pain
- Weight gain
Other imbalances in the body can cause similar symptoms as well. I feel it is important to rule out other issues like gluten or dairy sensitivity, adrenal burn out, blood sugar imbalance issues, emotional issues and even general fatigue before diagnosing yourself with candida overgrowth. There are always “layers” to our healing process.
If you have several of the symptoms for a candida imbalance, following some simple steps for re-balancing your body should help move you in a healing direction whether or not the root issue is a candida imbalance, or if the candida imbalance is a symptom of another issue. If you are experiencing many of the symptoms mentioned above, you may also want to go see a Naturopath or holistic practitioner just to be sure that there is not a deeper imbalance going on that needs professional attention. Never feel bad about seeking help.
What Causes Candida To Grow Out Of Control?
There are several things that support a Candida overgrowth and thus lead to an imbalance. Some of them include:
- Blood sugar imbalances – Poor insulin receptivity of the cell or other reasons that keep sugars in your bloodstream too long.
- Bacterial imbalance.
- Over use of antibiotics without replacing lost beneficial bacteria (probiotics). (All my life I had been off and on antibiotics till my early 30’s). I’m now 43.
- A nutrient poor diet that is rich in refined carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.), processed foods, cola drinks, etc.
- A compromised immune system
- Heavy metals in the body. (Mercury fillings feed candida).
- Birth control pill (I took for over 10 years when I was on it – have been off it since age 29).
- STRESS! depletes everything in the body on a physical, cellular and energetic level.
- Lack of sleep and poor sleeping patterns.
- These two things (stress and poor sleep) in particular will compromise your good bacteria balance, as well as your blood sugar balance.
As you can see, the causes can be multifaceted. Our bodies are very wise and have many systems in place to protect us from things becoming unbalanced. It is when the body becomes overloaded with influences that are counter-intuitive to health and balance that issues like candida arise. Our bodies are brilliant energy sources and if we just listen more and pay attention to little nuances and symptoms of it speaking to us – we would be far better along our healing journey. It took me a long time to listen (or even be aware of the fact), so just take it one step at a time and “be there” for yourself.
Do I Have A Candida Overgrowth?
Questions to determine if you may have Candida Albicans:
- Do you have skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes?
- Do you have mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression?
- Are you typically bloated, especially after meals?
- Do you have trouble losing weight?
- Do you have constant cravings?
- Do you have thrush (a white coating of the tongue)?
- Do you suffer from frequent colds or flu?
- Do you have night sweats?
- Have you used antibiotics or birth control pill in the last 2 years?
- Do you have gas or bloating?
- Do you have sugar cravings?
- Do you have low blood sugar?
- Do you have history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral, athletes foot, or jock itch?
- Does your partner have a history of yeast infections, vaginal, oral, athletes foot, or jock itch?
- Are you sensitive to smells?
- Are you sensitive to alcohol?
- Do you suffer from symptoms that your doctor cannot explain like; headaches, migraines, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, IBS (Irritable Bowel syndrome), itching, menstrual or sinus problems?
- Do you feel fatigued all the time?
- Do you have a hard time concentrating?
- Do you just not feel right?
Candida Spit Test
This is an easy way to test for yeast overgrowth in your gut. When you wake up in the morning (before you eat or drink anything or brush your teeth) fill a glass with room temperature water. Then work up at least a dime-size amount of saliva in your mouth and spit it into the glass of water. You will be watching what happens over the next 30-45 minutes, looking for where the saliva goes.
- If it stays on top it indicates that there is not excessive mucous in your mouth harboring candida.
- If it grows tentacles that hang down toward the bottom you have some candida in your gut that likely needs to be addressed.
- If it sinks to the bottom you likely have significant candida overgrowth in your gut and you need to take action.
OK! So, if you suspect or you’re pretty sure you have Candida overgrowth to some extent, what to do about it? It starts with altering the diet. A few dietary and lifestyle changes can go a long way to bringing your body back into the balance it naturally wants to be in. Remember that your body is designed for health. It wants to be and fights to be in balance. Choosing dietary and lifestyle habits that support your bodies natural balance will help lead your body back to balance.
Remove anything from the diet that will help feed candida albicans including:
- all forms of sugar (white sugar, honey, maple syrup, dates, yacon syrup, coconut sugar, etc) ** STEVIA is really the ONLY safe alternative and NuNaturals STEVIA was a life saver for me during this time (and still continues to be!)
- gluten (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oatmeal) – No crackers, breads, etc.
- packaged or processed foods (including meats)
- condiments (ketchup, BBQ sauce, pickles, mustard, soy sauce) – hidden sugars and refined ingredients.
- dried or candied fruit
- Reduce or Eliminate Dairy – Dairy (especially cow dairy) is one of the worst offenders when it comes to candida imbalances, if you are going to consume dairy, goat products are ok.
- alcohol (including beer or wine)
- Vegetables that are high in carbs (potatoes, peas, corn, winter squash) (Note from Linda: I did fine with peas and winter squashes, just pay attention to your body, if you notice bloating or inflammation after you eat these then it’s probably a good idea to stay away during the cleanse)
- all grains including quinoa, rice, millet, etc.
- nuts, and fruits should be limited. ** (green apples, pears and bananas (yes, BANANAS are OK) in moderation. Even the iridologist guy said bananas were OK when on a candida cleanse. (Note from Linda: I personally could not tolerate ANY fruit while doing the candida cleanse and would recommend completely eliminating all fruit for the duration of your protocol.)
- These are the basis of the diet.
So, “What the heck DID you eat?!”
1) Lots of veggies! Any way you want it: steamed, raw, blended, juiced, soups. Avocados are a great addition! I did a lot of steamed broccoli and roasted veggies during this time. Sweet potatoes and winter squash are great baked with goat cheese. Baking the carrots and beetssalads
4) Do regular enemas or colonics (talk with your colon hydrotherapist about this) the first few weeks to flush the candida out of your system quicker. If you don’t have access to colonics, just implement enemas during this time and you’ll be fine. With the higher protein usage, I got constipated a little more, so the enemas were good.
5) Supplement. I took a product that did wonders at speeding up the KILLING of those little buggers and getting the population under control. It is called A.D.P. by Biotics Research Corporation – it is emulsified oil of oregano -natural anti-fungal, anti-biotic. I started with one tablet at every meal then after a week, I went to taking 2 tablets with every meal. I still keep a bottle on hand to use if I ever feel the symptoms pop up – not very often at all. Within a few days of these supplements and changing diet, I am back to normal. Remember, listen to thy body. (Note from Linda: ADP Oregano Oil
6) I also employed SWEATING to detox and cleanse more effectively. Infrared saunas are nice or just get out in the sun and sweat. Linda says: hot epsom salt baths are also great!!
7) Reduce stress and rest more! This means taking more time for yourself in a loving, compassionate, SLOWER way. Learn to slow down by practicing deep breathing (your yoga practice should have this down for you), but practice it when you are traveling to and from work, during work, during food preparation, anytime that you can consciously be aware of it. When you sit down to eat, relax before you put food up to your mouth so that your body is calm and NOT stressed. Eat in awareness – slowly – chew more – act like it is foreplay – take your time with it – make your meal something that is beautiful to you and for your body (I know this sounds weird, but it has been helping me). Take a bite, put down utensil and enjoy the food, enjoy your company and chat, make meal time fun, with no distractions of smart phone, internet, tv, chaos, etc. Some good music in the background is great!
8) Sleep. When you sleep your body is busy repairing damage, filtering out toxins, absorbing nutrients and generally healing. Without adequate rest it is very difficult for the body to bring itself back into balance. Try to aim for at least 7.5 hours or more, if you can swing it.
9) Take a quality probiotic to replenish the GOOD flora and bacteria in the body to help balance out bacterial imbalances, and help to fight candida. I made almond milk kefir. Great way to drink your probiotics and it tastes great (especially with lemon or orange slices in it). Note from Linda: use the code WAG472 to get $5-10 off your first order plus free shipping.
I had some days where I felt sluggish and slow – it was a way my body was telling me to slow down, rest and let the healing occur. This is part of the detox – cleansing the candida out of the system. Don’t push yourself on these days. Listen to your own intuition and not your ego.
Once I felt comfortable that the candida was back in its box, I slowly started incorporating some quinoa into my diet and saw I how I felt/reacted. I did the same for sweeter fruits and green smoothies – as long as I didn’t get any symptoms or reactions, I continued with them. Always listen to your own intuition and body response.
I know this is a lot of information, but once you get it down, it’s very do-able. It’s only temporary and will spark you to get a bit more creative in your life. Some of you will probably lose some weight during this candida cleanse.
I look back on it and say “Thank You” to my candida overgrowth and healing protocol journey. It taught me so much about myself, my lifestyle patterns and habits (that needed tweaking and changing), stronger connection with my body – deeper intuition and so much more. So, embark on this cleanse with a positive attitude of “What can I learn about myself and draw from on a deeper level?” Note from Linda: Love this Kibby, you’re such a doll!)
What it boils down to: having a balanced lifestyle is your best defense against a Candida overgrowth. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
Thanks so much to Kibby for putting the time and thought into this awesome writeup! Be sure to check out her blog for yummy recipes and inspiration! I know this information can be overwhelming at first but just take it one day at a time. If you need additional guidance (which is totally normal) leave me a comment, shoot me an email or sign up for some sessions (all packages are currently on SALE!) so we can get you squared away and feeling like a million bucks in no time!
Candida friendly recipes:
- Roasted Veggie Salad
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Superfood Salad
- Red Snapper with Corn & Avocado Salsa
- Halibut & Roasted Veggies (minus the potatoes)
- Tomato and Asparagus Frittata
- Salmon with Dill
- Asian Slaw
- Veggie Soup
- Ahi Tuna Poke
- Sesame Salmon Salad
- Cucumber Corn Salad
- Low Carb Crustless Quiche
- Baked Sweet Potato and Broccoli
- Eggs in Purgatory
- Turkey Osso Buco
- Avocado Kale Salad
- Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs
- Eggs & Avocado
- Roasted Tomato Bisque
- Kale & Butternut Squash Salad
- Eggs & Kale
- Spinach Zucchini & Tomato Fritatta
- Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad
- Peasant Style Frittata
- Raw Blended Corn Chowder
- Chef Salad
- 5 Min Tomato Soup
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