EP 97 – Eat This: Fungus, yeast and candida

While it’s not a usual to talk about anal itching, vaginal itching, jock itch, athletes food, crusty itchy skin amongst friends, that’s the kind of thing that we talk about here. How about bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, that white coating on your tongue, recurrent vaginal infections and thrush, yet another urinary tract infection, chronic ear infections, brain fog, crappy sleep, fatigue, carb cravings, anxiety, inability to lose weight, headaches and migraines, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) that looks like acid reflux, burping. Then there’s hives, acne, PMS, endometriosis, painful intercourse, infertility, prostatitis, MS, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD, autism, depression, chronic fatigue and allergies. Oh man, these can all be the annoying and even life altering symptoms of Candida albicans.

Candida is, first of all, a yeast, which is a type of mold. It just happens to be the most common yeast to cause infection in humans. From that list of issues and symptoms, I’d take a guess that there is at least one symptom that people would rather not be dealing with, wouldn’t you? I mean, just how this could be the culprit in affecting your sex life is enough to make you sit up and listen. That is unless you have a low libido and don’t feel like having sex–which can also be because of candida. Ooh this is a big topic, and sadly it’s one that’s mostly overlooked and poo pooed by the medical profession. And with so many symptoms associated with this overgrowth of fungus, mold and yeast that lives inside all of us, it’s one of those perplexing situations, and really is one of those times where having more of it is NOT better.

There are influences like a typical diet of eating sugary and refined foods, that’s a staple in most people’s diet, right? Then stress is another contributing factor–who isn’t experiencing a boat load of stress these days? Then the alcohol consumption to mitigate that stress, yep, add that to the list of contributors. Another on the list is medication like antibiotic use, the birth control pill and even pills you take for pain and headaches all tip the scale towards having more candida. It seems easy to point fingers at just about everything that’s going on for you on this, and it’s something that is naturally occurring in your gut, normally lives on the skin and inside the body, in places such as the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing any problems, but you may be thinking whaaaa? Can everything be down to this? Yes, it’s possible, although there are other issues like SIBO – that needs to be treated differently, that’s Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. It’s when candida gets out of control and becomes an overgrowth, that it wreaks havoc with your life, in every way possible.

So today on EAT THIS with Lianne, candida, yeast, mold and fungus – which are all one and the same, and yet give the most annoying and life altering issues that can actually be addressed. 

If I were to tell you that in Autistic children, their gut issues go hand in hand with candida and when addressed, their lives can improve just from dealing with the overgrowth of yeast in their gut, would you believe me? How about that unsightly toenail fungus that makes wearing flip flops embarrassing, because your toenails are thick, yellow or even blackish looking. And who wants to be sitting in a chair, at work or home, doing a chair dance, wiggling around because of the itchiness going on in their nether regions is a yeast rash, discomfort and smelliness, that’s all because of yeast? I tell you, this situation is one that is a bugger to overall health because it does affect just about everything. And if you have symptoms, if what I’ve mentioned so far has you wondering if this is you, let me tell you, it likely is – it just depends on the degree. 

Let’s get into this with what’s normal or ideal … You may have heard me say this before, that when the microbiome in your gut has a balance of about 80% good guys and 20% bad guys, things are pretty balanced. We always have some E. coli hanging around, some other bacteria as well as candida that’s a part of that twenty percent bad guys. There are billions of microbes living in us, and it’s good and normal at that 80:20 level or so and your health can look pretty good there, generally speaking. But when that balance is off, your can symptoms worsen. Maybe you were someone like me who suffered with yeast infections, especially when I was pregnant. Wowsers, those hormones were all over the place and they made the pre-existing situation much worse. But I also suffered with sinus infections before my pregnancies, then during, and after. That was where it hit me, literally in my face, giving great pain in my teeth, a very sore face, and it was awful. But it could hit you in a different way; I have supported clients who have dealt with UTI’s for years, and no one told them that it was from yeast. Or kids who have recurrent ear infections, no one is asking what’s the root of an infection that doesn’t always respond to antibiotics, and yet they’re given three, four, five times in a row. There are tests to find out how much this is affecting you like; Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, test for candida antibodies, and organic acid test that looks for metabolites in your urine. I’ve done these with clients in the past and it’s good to know where you’re at, but in the end the treatment is the same–more on that shortly.

Alright, let’s look at how you got here, to any of the issues that I’ve talked about? Well the first consideration is did you get it from mom? What happened at birth? As I talked about in the babies episode, last episode 95, I shared how we take on mum’s microbiome as we are born vaginally, and travel through the birth canal. Likely a conversation that you haven’t had – Hey mom, how was your yeastiness? Did she take antibiotics during her pregnancy, or were they given during labour or delivery, or postpartum? If so, they all had an negative impact.  Or if you were born by cesarean section, then going from a fairly sterile pace swimming in mom’s uterus to hospital room, well that inoculation of microflora was missed. Some hospitals know this practice of vaginal seeding. That’s when they inoculate cotton gauze or cotton swab with vaginal fluids to transfer the vaginal flora to the mouth, nose, or skin of a newborn with a kind of wipedown. Many studies now show that the gut microflora of a baby born vaginally versus cesarean differs for between 6 – 9 months. Well any parent knows that while in the large scheme of a lifetime, that’s not much time but at that period in life, it feels like it will never end. Research published in the British Medical Journal, found that newborns delivered by C-section are more likely to develop obesity, asthma, and type 1 diabetes when they get older. Could that have anything to do with the microbiome and candida? Yes, it can. 

Other than at birth, how many times have you taken antibiotics in your lifetime? Were you a kid with all those ear infections, and had a bunch of them. Or like me, in my teen years, I had tonsillitis over, and over, and over again. I can’t imagine how many rounds of antibiotics I had. Then I had them when my wisdom teeth were moving into my mouth, and I had more–actually that was when I learned that I was allergic to penicillin. My body blew up, hives from head to toe, and that rash took over a month to go from my legs. Brutal. Anyway, antibiotics aren’t specific to killing just the bacteria that you want rid of, it kills the good microflora. That’s an opportune time for yeast to take over, like weeds on a lawn. Have you ever ended up with a yeast infection after taking antibiotics? Bingo, that’s one of the places where it came from. The birth control pill is another medication that contributes, and steroid drugs. Stress and trauma are massive contributors. Anyone who is immune compromised in any way, is more susceptible too. And to dig down on that, stress suppresses your immune system, so I guess we are all in that boat, right?! 

Yes medication is a bugaboo or this but I’d say the biggest issue in our world today is our nutrition. We have a huge amount of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and processed carbohydrates that are mainstays and make up the majority of our diet. That’s starchy foods, flour, anything processed that comes in a package or box and is not protein like meat, fish or found in the produce section. Those people who crave carbohydrates and can’t lose weight, listen up. When you eat these foods, all the bad bacteria that live in us including E Coli, Klebsiella, Clostridium, Campylobacter for instance, all proliferate and aren’t kept in check by the immune system. Sugar is like jet fuel for candida, so spoiler alert, can you guess what’s going to be a part of the dietary recommendations? Yea, sorry, not sorry. Any genetically modified food alters the gut microbiome, so that’s another to watch out for as it’s in so many foods. Drinking alcohol ranks up there, as it’s such a refined carb really and takes so much for your liver to process. Chemotherapy and other reasons to be immunocompromised, all give free reign for the candida to get a boost and bring up a bunch of issues and symptoms. Oh and stress, trauma, accidents can all lead to issues here. 

I once treated a guy in his 20s who had M.E or chronic fatigue. He couldn’t work, couldn’t get out of bed actually. I started him on a strict anti-candida diet, one that I don’t use anymore actually as it’s too strict in my opinion, but he did improve, after a healing crisis, or herxeimers reaction where all his symptoms got worse, at different times. First he was flat out again, like could not get out of bed. Then once that eased, and he could start to live a little, then his yeasty symptoms took over and he had jock itch. Well as he was healing, he started seeing someone, and that wasn’t good timing and his sex drive was also improving. And yes, you can pass candida to your partner. Anyway, it took a year for him to improve enough to have a full time job and live normally, but he still had to keep his diet in check to avoid a flare. 

Ok so what can you do about this? That’s what you want to know now that you’ve heard enough about all that issues that have your name on them… 

Basically we have to kill it, and replace the good bacteria from the bad. Diet first, without a doubt. You can’t take enough garlic or berberine to kill this off if you’re still eating all the processed foods, all the sugar, drinking wine or spirits daily, and stressed to the max. 

Top things to focus on are diet; ditch sugar and processed foods, limit alcohol and reduce stress. 

An easy ‘diet’ to follow is the mediterranean diet. Fruits, vegetables, protein, small amounts of dairy like butter, yogurt and kefir, but only plain. And dairy doesn’t agree with everyone, so sometimes we start with ditching it. 

First thing is to keep a food diary. What are you eating that needs to be switched out. Toast for breakfast? It has to be sourdough for instance, and from organic grains so you avoid the GMO. Or try out my Cinnamon pancake recipe in Sprout Right Family Food. I just made it recently and forgot how filling and satisfying it was. Then if you’re grabbing a sandwich for lunch, nope, find soup, made with homemade broth and packed with garlic and vegetables. The pizza or pasta has to go too, sorry. Really it’s eating real food that you make from home. Ditching sugar is hard at first, really hard – listen to Episode 7 with Barry Friedman about Sugar is Evil. For you right now, it is. Honey is the only sweetener that you can have, just a bit though as it’s anti-bacterial. 

Now this is just a list of a few, it would really be best to do a consultation and make sure that you’re not taking ALL food out of your diet and getting the nutrients that you need. 

There are antifungals that you can take from the doctor, called Diflucan and Nystatin and they’re effective, but this is a long game, so I test people for berberine, artemisia, garlic, grapefruit seed extract and some other homeopathic remedies that really nail this. It takes time too, so know that it’s not all that easy and the cravings need to be dealt with too. Probiotics like my Take this by Lianne probiotics are key, and again I test my clients to make sure that they are taking the right one that’s an energetic match to them. It might be HMF Intensive, or my Bio Boost. Usually the latter, but if you’re buying it, you’ve got to make sure it’s going to work. 

Then support your liver with water and lemon in the morning, caster oil on your abdomen, HepataGest, glutathione, NAC,  that you’ll find on SproutRight.com, all come in here. So it’s something to get help with and not just jump in with. Sure stopping sugar could help your skin, your achey joints, sex drive, brain fog and energy, but you’ve got to go deeper here. 

It’s a complex one, that’s for sure, and takes a lot of planning and effort. I don’t want to put you off, just to say get help. On both Liannephillipson.com and SR.com you’ll find a link to a discovery call so you can see if it’s a fit for us to work together.

Thank you for tuning in as always, and I’ll sign off with please remember to eat one mouthful at a time.

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