It’s been almost a year since I wrote the last article on persistent candida and treatments. I meant to write this following article two months ago but sometimes you just never seem to find enough time so it never got done. So here goes, I am not sure that my candida is totally cured but it’s certainly not the bane of my existence as it was before. If a doctor examined me he would not find any sign of it, but there is an awareness I guess that its only just gone, not that it is so normal you take it for granted.
I outlined many things I tried and why, but didn’t cover many others. Overall I had vaginal thrush for a year and half and although many remedies gave some relief from the itch they could not be called a cure.
Contributing or concurrent symptoms are also important to note as candida appears to need a specific environment to morph into the unpleasant thrush from its more normal state in our body.
It’s impossible to definitively state my cause. I have had herpes (HSV 2) for over 20 years. I have been under debt stress for 10 years. 2 years prior to this I had an ablation at around the same time I’d be entering menopause. I had not had any antibiotics for maybe 15 years previously. I developed persistent candida. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos hypo thyroidism. My temperature was consistently between 35 and 36 degrees.
And I had thrush I couldn’t cure.
What did help to remove the itch and to reduce the severity?
1. The Candida Diet
The candida diet is not something to take lightly, it is a very restrictive diet and for most cases of candida it is unnecessary to start something that makes your life so hard. That said, many many people will feel so much better if they adopt some or all aspects of the candida diet. I ‘ll be honest and say i thought I’d try it for 3-6 months and see, but now I cannot see me going back to a normal diet.
I have days when I’ll grieve for a jam donut like a lost love, when a sandwich sounds like something on a five star restaurant’s menu and biscuits and milk are a happy childhood memory. We adapt. There is no question but that the restrictions change your life and people don’t understand. Only you can decide if it’s worth it. For me it’s worth it. I have fallen off the wagon sometimes, and the result is pain.
The Primal or Paleo diets are close to the Candida diet. It is simpler to say you can eat most protein and vegetables, than to list all the restrictions. However, the full diet will have you go grain free, low carb, no sugar, no dairy, no yeast, very small amounts of fruit with initial restrictions on high sugar ones, no peanuts, no mushrooms and there are probably other restrictions I don’t recall.
I am gluten free, semi dairy free (I eat a small amount of cheese as a treat perhaps once a fortnight, use ghee to cook with and have milk in my tea – but keep away from a big glass of milk or a punnet of yoghurt or a meal with a cheese sauce) totally sugar free, I drink only tea and soda water, I eat vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, and now use some gluten free flours to bake muffins or make pancakes.
Coconuts are the major part of my new substitutions, I use the milk for cereal and drinks and milk substitutions, and the flour for baking, and the oil for cooking with and added to my breakfast quinoa porridge. Buckwheat, besan, rice and coconut flours substitute for wheat. Stevia substitutes for sugar.
When I first started on the diet I would have an an increase in candida white pricklys and itch after eating a banana because of the sugar in it. After about 6 months on the diet I could finally tolerate a banana again. Now they have no effect at all on me.
Reducing the Candida Itch
Apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide 3%, witch hazel – these were the best for swabbing with to reduce the itch. I really didn’t like creams at all and gave up using them because they gave me no relief.
Finally I discovered zinc creams and powders. These helped. Applying the zinc powder to the external skin after a shower and sometimes in the night as a quick fix to keep the skin area fully dry. The thick zinc oxide cream as a barrier cream for when the internal skin area is feeling sore or tender.
There is a product called Aci Jel which Dr M suggested. It may be hard to get, but it is a gel and has glacial acetic acid as its main ingredient. Yep, Vinegar is dilute acetic acid. By restoring vaginal acidity this gel discourages candida growth there. This is as messy as borax btw, so a small towel is advised. I found that 3 days treatment offered about a weeks relief and this was a turning point for me. After using it and resting it about 4 or 5 times, the severity decreased for longer periods of time.
Another article I read advised using Vitamin C. Take orally in high dose and also use as a pessary. Ditto to the towel. I still take 1,000 vtC a day.
What Cures Candida?
I think it is probably Borax…Maybe it is molybdenum, maybe its vitamin C…
I cured my candida by taking this product. I have written the other things I tried because they came before and by the time I took this, I had very little thrush irritation left to get rid of, as the diet and ph change had done some work towards curing it, so i don’t know if you need to do this too. Maybe you do. Maybe you need to do the diet as well. I don’t know for sure…
You may have to ask for this product by name in your local health food store or from a naturopath.
Metagenics Femme Essentials
Multivitamin and Mineral
Women’s Multi with Detoxification and Antioxident Support – Practitioner Only Range
My actual final candida cure came after I read an article about molybdenum taking out the candida trash. I went into the health food store asking the assistant if she had any or knew about it. At first she didn’t seem to know a product which contained it, but after we talked a while about systemic candida she ran out the back and reappeared with this multivitamin and mineral supplement from Metagenics.
It cost me around $45 for 60 tablets, and is marked practitioner only range, meaning you won’t just find it on the shelf, and you probably won’t be able to buy it online. There is a similar Metagenics product you can get online, but it probably won’t help for candida. The key ingredients to cure candida I believe are in the borax and molybdenum which are not in the generally available Metagenics product.
I always felt that borax was the answer to cure candida but I couldn’t find a way to take it correctly. I tried the way the earth clinic suggests but got such severe pain in my stomach I couldn’t take it constantly. The trick I guess is in the dose and this is the only product I’ve found that has it right.
I tolerated it very well with no ill effect. I took one a day, all the 60 tablets, until the bottle was finished and then I had to stop myself rushing to the store to get another bottle.
I was well, the candida was gone, I was cured – but it was hard to believe it was permanent after a year and a half. What if it comes back I thought? But you can’t take supplements forever and shouldn’t if you don’t need to. I still take Vitamin C. If I forget I feel a phantom itch! But I finished the metagenics tablets a month ago and I’m still totally candida free.
My temperature is stable around 36.5 and I’m on permanent thyroid replacement medication and daily zovirex. I am and think I will probably remain gluten free but am gradually relaxing other restrictions. Not sugar just yet though, maybe I’ll have a little honey next year.
A Favour Please?
I hope this will help other people suffering from persistent candida. If it does help to cure your candida please find a way to link to the article in some way. Linking to it in a forum or on a blog helps to bring the article to appear on Google search pages when people search for cures for candida. You can also comment below if it helped you so people can see it helped more people than just me.
Normal people rarely question WHY a remedy works. We have an ailment – a healer offers medicine – we take it and we get better. We don’t need to know why or how it works, because we’re cured. Hows and whys are for doctors, researchers and inventors. Unless we are not cured.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention. When the remedies fail to work then discovering how and why they are supposed to work so you can look for other remedies becomes more important. This is my patient “limited” understanding of why anti-fungal remedies are expected to work on candida.
Another preconception has hit the dust. Statistically speaking – some anti fungal remedies are better than others at curing specific fungi – but again – most of it is advertising. I would have preferred to go on believing that the chemistry is a science, but I’ve further opened the blinkers on my eyes.
It sounds like snake oil when herbalists say that one remedy can benefit many, many varied complaints, but it’s actually a natural remedy norm. The anomaly is the pharmaceutical product – that only one remedy (and only one brand of it) will do the job. If there is a hole in a bucket, many different materials can be used to fix that hole or any other hole that might need mending. The same is true of most medications.
The rule here is – first try what has worked before, then what worked for someone you know, then what the doctor orders and finally, work your way down the “probables” list, until you find what works for you.
The Azole Candida Treatment – What’s in the Creams
The first line of treatment I tried and which had never failed me before was Clotrimazole in a cream. Caneston was the brand choice although there was a chemist generic version also available. Bifonazole was the next try and actually appeared to have more effect than Clotrimazole, which made me wonder if I had a different form of candida. Unfortunately neither remedy “held”.
If you look up candida on wikipedia you will find that (my approximate) 80% of infections are Candida Albicans, but there are 5 more types of common candida and perhaps a hundred more, less common types.
Although there are types of candida and types of prescription antifungals, there is not a lot of public internet documents making connections between the two, so this info is not very useful for self-treatment. If you can get a swab done which tells you what type of candida you have, maybe your doc can pinpoint an azole or other anti-fungal that is known to work more effectively to cure it. But its a big maybe – because docs don’t get many cases of resistant candida.
If you are unlucky enough to have chronic or systemic candidiasis then you will need an infectious disease specialist who is privy to specific medical research. This is a case history of a child who suffered an ongoing severe candida infection due to a familial predisposition until finally it was almost reduced, or almost “cured”, by doctors using this Mucocutaneous Candidiasis Treatment.
Antifungals work by exploiting differences between mammalian and fungal cells to kill the fungal organism without dangerous effects on the host. Unlike bacteria, both fungi and humans are eukaryotes. Thus fungal and human cells are similar at the molecular level. This makes it more difficult to find or design drugs that target fungi without affecting human cells.
Azole antifungal drugs inhibit the enzyme lanosterol 14 ?-demethylase; the enzyme necessary to convert lanosterol to ergosterol. Depletion of ergosterol in fungal membrane disrupts the structure and many functions of fungal membrane leading to inhibition of fungal growth.
Azoles stop fungal growth by inhibiting an enzyme and preventing fungi from making an essential part of their cell wall. Echinocandins also work by disrupting the wall that surrounds fungal cells. The drugs called Polyenes work by attaching to the sterol component in the fungal membrane and causing the cells to become porous and die.
Unlike bacteria, both fungi and humans are eukaryotes meaning that fungal and human cells are similar at the molecular level. This makes it more difficult to find or design drugs that target fungi without affecting human cells.
The treatment of fungal infections depend on its type and location. Keeping it as simple as we can – we need to decide on oral (medicine) or topical (ointment) treatment – or both.
External fungal outbreaks (eg tinea, dandruff, jock itch) that affect the skin, hair, and nails can usually be treated topically with shampoo, oils, astringents, creams or ointment.
Vaginal or mouth thrush treatment may use tablets as well as topical treatment. Thrush in the mouth may resolve with gargles or lozenges. Vaginal thrush may resolve with topical cream and/or the insertion of medication in pessaries.
However oral and vaginal candida may be the external sign of an internal infection. If intestinal yeast infections (yeast in the tubes of the gut), or if yeast is in the oesophagus (the tube between the mouth and the stomach), then oral treatment (swallowing tablets of antifungal medicine) will probably be required. Candida is now becoming a more serious problem, as candida releases toxins that affect how we function and it can make holes in the gut through which it’s infection can spread further.
Systemic fungal infections generally only target people with weakened immune systems, to affect their blood and internal organs. These infections often require aggressive and ongoing treatment with strong antifungal medication and intravenous drugs. Doctors will also make prophylactic use of medication to stave off fungal infections in those whose immune systems cannot defend them.
Which brings us back to a cause, because persistent candida is not common in healthy individuals. This is because our natural bacteria and enzymes keep candida in its normal form, and do not allow it to morph and get out of hand.
Yoghurt and Digestive Enzymes As Candida Treatment
Antibiotics are a common cause of candida in the mouth or vagina. Prior to this infection, I have only had thrush after taking antibiotics. When I did get it I would also make sure I had some yoghurt to replace the “good flora” that was wiped out along with the bad during the course of antibiotics. I can’t say I ever made an effort to make sure it didn’t have sugar in it though. I looked at yakkult last week and couldn’t believe the amount of sugar in it. Can it really help that much while it’s secretly feeding the enemy?
As to enzymes, I have been reading about digestive enzymes and wondering if supplements of them might help – and perhaps they might – who knows? We use enzymes that dissolve stains in our clothes, and that works ok – so why not supplements?
The problem with enzymes is that they appear to need the body’s temperature and PH to be normal in order to work. The optimum pH for an enzyme depends on where it normally works. For example, intestinal enzymes have an optimum pH of about 7.5. Enzymes in the stomach have an optimum pH of about 2. And my temperature is not normal!
So although I can visualize little pacman enzymes rushing up to munch on and clear away the candida debris, I think my real digestive enzymes are on strike until I stabilize my temperature with some T3 for the thyroid. I’m beginning to wonder why I am gluten and dairy free – perhaps this persistent candida is just an enzyme issue.
Be careful consuming essential oils or using them topically. Most essential oils are not edible and should not be ingested. Cheaper essential oils for aromatherapy are impure and may be poisonous. Edible essential oils are more expensive and will be clearly labeled “therapeutic-grade” with said label stating nutrition values. Essential oils are also extremely strong and can burn skin, especially in the mouth or vaginal area. Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil using approximately 5 drops of essential oil to each ounce (30g) of say, olive oil.
Citronella oil – obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon (Lemon grass) Lemon myrtle
Palmarosa oil Patchouli
Neem Seed Oil Olive Leaf Tea tree oil – ISO 4730 (“Oil of Melaleuca, Terpinen-4-ol type”)
Coconut oil – medium chain triglycerides in the oil have antifungal activities Allicin – created from crushing garlic Selenium – in dietary supplements or natural food sources, particularly Brazil nuts
Zinc – in dietary supplements or natural food sources, including pumpkin seeds and chick peas Iodine – Lugol’s solution
Rome wasn’t built in a day and patience is a virtue…
A new year started at the beginning of last week, which means I have been taking these supplements for Candida for about 5 months and I have not been eating wheat, dairy, yeast, soy, peanuts or sugar.
I have been adding Coconut Oil daily to my meals, and taking selenium and zinc as dietary supplements. I have also been taking 2 drops of lugals solution for the thyroid. These have been recommended for me to take, probably for both the hypothyroidism and the candida.
Leaving aside the improvement in the thyroid disorder – there is no perceptible change in the candida. The only change is – it is bearable or quiescent – because I am careful to not eat sugar which feeds the candida. If I do eat sugar, the candida flares up and the itch and discomfort are just as before.
My Candida Treatments So Far – Warning May Be TMI
I bought some oregano oil ($35 a dropper bottle) and following incomplete instructions from a forum, smeared some on a tampon and left it in overnight. I withdrew it the next day only to see blood for the first time in 5 years (thanks to menopause that is) – so I didn’t repeat that remedy too soon.
Now I know to dilute an essential oil – and so do you!
I made a similar stupid mistake with tea tree oil and both these oils are very strong smelling. Don’t try these stinky oils if you are planning to go out anywhere.
I read good reports on Neem oil and almost went looking for it until I read that it’s another strong smelling oil and not a sweet smelling one. I decided I’d give it a miss. So the only main essential oil other than the citrus) left on that list I havn’t tried is Olive Leaf.
Garlic as an oil (Allicin) I didn’t try, but I did slice a piece off a clove of garlic, wrap it in gauze and tie it tight with dental floss (so that after vaginal insertion you can pull it out again).I did this for just over a week every night and although I gained some relief from this, there are easier ways to gain relief if it fails to provide a cure. It is recommended you eat garlic though and eating it probably helps most people. My stomach rejects garlic quite forcibly, if I try to eat more than a piece of garlic bread, so garlic wasn’t the remedy for me.
I wouldn’t let patchouli anywhere near me in a hundred years unless I could see 10 people I know standing in front of me swearing it cured their candida! But the citrus oils, I wish I’d heard about them sooner. If I’m going to smell, I wouldn’t mind reeking of oranges and lemons. Well, it’s not too late yet , I’m not cured after all, there’s still time to try these sweet citrus scents!
Skin and Lung Absorption of Oils.
Maybe we think of topical treatment too specifically. Our skin absorbs things and so do our lungs. We can dilute essential oils for massage and add a spoonful to a hot bath or a few drops to an small candle powered oil burner. We can rub it on the soles of our feet and the remedy will be absorbed by the skin and carried to where it will do some good.
Many essential oils seem to have some antifungal properties. I don’t know how they are meant to work or even if they do, but they are said to…
P.S. & BTW The MAJOR essential oil for curing candida is coconut oil as it contains caprylic acid – take 1-3 tablespoons a day (start small and work up) .You don’t need to dilute coconut oil. That is one essential oil that you can rub on your skin, eat it as it is, cook it into baked goods, spread it on toast or fry with it – just as it is – and it’s really good for you as well. Google “coconut oil” if you doubt me!
What is left as Candida treatments?
There are several herbs such as Pau D’arco and other remedies and supplements that are said to help cure candida – such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, pre biotics, pro biotics, flavonoids and amino acids, enzymes and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
Along with coconut oil, zinc, selenium and iodine, I take magnesium every day and multi vitamins, especially B6 and biotin in a B vitamin complex.
Astringent Candida treatments
Preventive measures for candida (like not sitting around in wet swimming suits or sweating in synthetics when you can wear absorbent cotton undies) remind us that candida likes warm moist skin folds. Like growing mint or violets in your garden, if you take away the wet niche, they will die from being too dry.
I wish I could say these cured me but I cannot. However the difference I felt between these and other things I have tried and the reading of a few rare articles lead me to believe that if I can stabilise my temp, they may eventually “hold”. Certainly their relief lasts much longer than anything else I’ve tried.
The skin around the vagina and the mucus membrane skin inside the vagina may have different forms of candida so I’ll differentiate them as jock itch and thrush. I think this is maybe why the Bifonazole had an effect on the jock itch but neither it nor the Clotrimazole had an effect on the thrush. Fluconazole had an effect on a thrush but it didn’t last more than a day, and didn’t affect the jock itch.
Borax for Candida
Borax is said to be a very good cure for candida. One article I read said that 98% of vaginal candida cases are cured with this remedy. I can’t fathom the difference between borax, boron and boric acid – so please read the discussions on Borax at earth clinic .
I filled empty capsules I bought from the chemist with borax (bought from the laundry aisle in the supermarket) and inserted a single capsule vaginally at night. Sleep with a hand towel between the legs as you will become very wet.
Borax is a salt. You will probably read that it is poisonous (it is not approved as a food stuff), but it’s said to be about as poisonous as normal table salt. Borax draws water just like table salt draws humidity from the air on wet days . So I assume it takes the moisture out of the vagina (you do feel puckered after a few days) thereby starving the yeast of moisture.
The other remedy that alters moisture, is bentonite clay. I still haven’t managed to get such a thing as a single ingredient. At first I had no idea what I was looking for and all the shops I asked in said they’d heard of it but didn’t have it and couldn’t get it. I could have ordered some on the internet, but the reference to it was a single sentence in a forum that said that he cured his jock itch with bentonite clay. It was vague and not substantiated anywhere else I’d read at that time.
After researching a bit more, I discovered bentonite is used in wine as a preservative to stop hot days causing floating debris in wine, and also used in construction to line building areas as…
The high-swelling variety, sodium bentonite, absorbs nearly five times its weight in water and at full saturation occupied a volume 15 times its dry bulk; on drying it returns to its original volume.
… and then … eventually… I read that bentonite clay was good for the skin.
So next time I went to a chemist I looked at the mud packs and face masks. Sure enough there it is in all its forms among, avocado oil and aloe vera juice and… it works, amazing. It goes on moist and then dries and sucks out all the moisture and keeps the skin dry until you wash it off. The jock itch feels better, not cured, but better. Nothing else has made it feel better.
I believe you can take the clay and it helps as well, but I’ll wait until it may be possible to get some that says you can eat it, cause who knows what they put in these face packs.
Last but not least – adjusting PH
The effect of food on the body has nothing to do with its PH, but its PH has heaps to do with the body’s health. I haven’t got a handle on this yet. I can never remember which parts are meant to be acid or alkaline, but I do know that meat and carbs makes you acid and green vegetables and red fruits and things that are sour make you alkaline. Most herbs and spices make you alkaline as well. Alkaline is good BTW. Acid is bad.
Anyway, PH is the topic for another article when I “get” it. My husband spent 2 days in hospital between Christmas and new year – in agony, with a kidney stone. The earth clinic remedy was lemon juice and bicarb of soda. I’ve been taking this (or apple cider vinegar and bicarb) for 5 months now – for candida. See Teds Alkalizing Formulas for more info.
The earth clinic also recommends this alkalizing for rheumatoid arthritis which my mother has, so it’s all good reading for me and I understand more each day.
OK thats all for this one. It’s taken me all day to write this!
I know its a bit late (but I’ve been stressed. Thank goodness for good friends that help you by driving you places (like hospitals) and keeping your spirits up.) Anyway, better late than never –
Confused? Is it Candida, Fungi, Yeast or Candidiasis?
Fungi is a biological group of organisms that include yeasts, molds and fungi – meaning that yeast is fungi but not all fungi are yeast. Candida is a group name for this type of yeast. It is normal to find Candida on human skin. Candidiasis (which I really think should be spelled candidaitis*) is (so far as I can tell) a term that means than candida has turned into a disease. Candidiasis is also technically known as candidosis, moniliasis, and oidiomycosis.
Candida albicans is part of the normal flora of the mucous membranes of the respiratory, gastrointestinal (gut or intestinal flora), and female genital tracts. In healthy people it causes neither irritation or disease until it changes form and starts to overgrow.
a yeast or single cell form
a cell wall deficient form
a colony of cells or mycelium
a chlamydospore or cyst like form
Candida yeast can exist in the above four forms : The single cell form is normal. Candida Albicans is the most common disease causing species of yeast in our body.
There are over 150 species of Candida such as Candida tropicalis, Candida glabrata, Candida pseudotropicalis, Candida guillermondii,Candida krusei, Candida lusitaniae, Candida parapsolis, Candida dubliniensis, – that can cause disease, especially if the immune system is weakened.
NB. Blue links on this page lead to wikipedia descriptions. On the Candida page you will see a list on the right of various different species of Candida, many of which have pages of their own.
Candida is not a disease as such. It can get out of hand however as Candidiasis or yeast overgrowth and that can disrupt the body’s normal functioning and lead to disease.
If yeast overgrowth escapes from the intestinal tract, it can invade virtually any organ of the body, including the blood, the lungs, bones, kidney, liver, eyes and brain. Candida bloodstream infections are called candidemia. In very severe infections, systemic candidiasis, people with low immune systems can die from a fatally high fever such as Candida meningitis.
There are treatments for systemic candidiasis. However, yeast overgrowth is difficult to test for as pockets of yeast can hide almost invisibly. Risk of contracting the systemic form of candidiasis is mostly confined to immune compromised infants or the aged, or to patients with AIS conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV, who have weak immune systems.
Thrush and Tinea
Most people who have yeast infections have external or superficial yeast infections in the mouth, in the vagina and on the skin. Oral candidiasis or thrush in the mouth and common in elderly denture wearers, is called oropharyngeal candidiasis and vaginal thrush is called vulvovaginal candidiasis. Nappy Rash may be caused by Candida.
Athletes foot or Tinea is a common fungal infection, as is jock itch in males. People also get fungal infections under their nails called onychomycosis . Vaginal yeast infections in women are common after taking a course of antibiotics but regardless of gender, prolonged antibiotic use increases your risk of a yeast infection.
If people get a yeast overgrowth in their intestinal tract, their symptoms may not be specific enough to diagnose yeast overgrowth. The candida may penetrate the GI mucosa, damaging the gut walls and leading to IBS. More symptoms may include fatigue, achy joints, sleep disturbance, brain fog, bladder and bowel disruption, increase of allergies and sensitivity to foods and chemicals.
In healthy people, yeast infections can be cured with topical or systemic antifungal medications you can buy from the chemist such as the topical creams clotrimazole, nystatin and ketoconazole. A one-time dose of fluconazole (150-mg tablet taken orally) is reported as being 90% effective in treating a vaginal yeast infection.
In most cases of Thrush the yeast overgrowth is treated with a cream and subsides in a few days to a fortnight. A single dose fluconazole tablet is a one day alternative treatment to the cream. Both generally work quickly and effectively. In severe infections amphotericin B, caspofungin, or voriconazole may be prescribed.
When Treatment Doesn’t Work
However sometimes these treatments don’t work. Perhaps this is because the yeast has adapted to the treatment and it no longer works. Or because the form of candida is not susceptible to it, such as Candida glabrata that may be less susceptible to the currently used azole antifungal treatment.
Then we start guessing as it gets more complicated from here.
The hospital doctors are aware of resistant candida, but by the time you’re in hospital with this, your other disease will be more important to them. General practice doctors are resistant to believing candida can be a major problem.
The treatment of candida now becomes a matter of opinion. The best is subjective – trial and error via anecdote such as discussions in forums. And website information from doctors – although some of these may be somewhat biased towards specific remedies.
Suffix denoting diseases characterized by inflammation, often caused by an infection.
(humorous) Used to form the names of various fictitious afflictions or diseases.