Given the recent focus on Candida Elimination on this blog, I have received an overwhelming number of questions about Candida, what it is and how exactly my daughter and I are fighting against it.
First, let’s talk about what Candida is and how to identify if you potentially have an overgrowth.
Candidiasis is the official name for infections caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida, the most common of these is Candida albicans.1
Every human being has Candida on some level. Typically, Candida yeasts can be found on the skin and mucous membranes without causing harm. However, thanks in large part to the overuse of pharmaceutical medicines and acidic, unbalanced diets, as many as 90% of Northern Americans have Candida overgrowth, explaining a myriad of symptoms and illnesses.2
Candida overgrowth can reveal itself in hundreds upon thousands of different ways, although the most commonly listed include: 1,2,3,4
- Yeast Infections
- Athletes Foot
- Jock Itch
- Incapacitating fatigue
- Problems with concentration
- Flu-like symptoms in the absence of a flu virus
- Extreme tightness in shoulders and neck
- White coated tongue
- Chronic sinus problems
- Chronic dental problems
- Blurring sensitivity to light and eye problems without needing a change in prescription
- Panic attacks
- Mood swings
- Irritable bowels, IBS
- Ear infections
- Rashes, dry flaking skin, dandruff, eczema
- Sensitivity to foods, newly developed allergies
- Tinnitus, ringing in the ears
- Weight changes without changes in diet
- Restless leg syndrome
- Low sex drive
- Brain fog, feeling of floating or not quite being in your body
- Attention deficit, hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Cravings for sugar, chocolate, milk, cheese, vinegar, pickles, alcohol, bread, nuts or fruit
- Metabolic syndrome
- Adult-onset diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure
- “Beer belly”
- Acid reflux or GERD
- Autoimmune disease
- Thyroid issues, both Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism
- Adrenal fatigue
- Muscle or joint pain including fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis
- And many, many more
Generally speaking, a person with Candida overgrowth will identify with at least 2-3 of these symptoms, though many identify with any number of these.4 I know I did.
There are several available tests to help diagnose Candida. Unfortunately, no test is one hundred percent accurate and none of them will truly decipher what specific level of Candida overgrowth is plaguing you.5,6
There are many medical professionals who will tell you Candida doesn’t exist. This is something we struggled with for years. While my daughters’ symptoms and lack of any other definitive diagnosis all seemed to point to Candida, I had many specialists, family physicians and pediatricians tell me point-blank that Candida does not exist.
It was not until I turned to a holistic practitioner that I finally received a viable diagnosis and have been able to effectively treat not only my child, but also myself as a result.
When you do find a practitioner willing/able to test for Candida, there are several routes they may take. Anti-body blood testing may reveal if you have any specific types of allergic responses to any level of Candida. Electro-dermal testing by a natropath or clinician may tell you if Candida overgrowth is the most stressful problem you are facing, although if there are any other illnesses related or unrelated to Candida that are reacting as a higher priority, your results for Candida on this test may be deceptively low. Stool testing will tell you if your levels of yeast fall within ‘normal’ range, although what is ‘normal’ for you may be different than what is ‘normal’ for everyone else. There are also various questionnaires that are available online, through your practitioner and through various publishing’s which are often used to identify Candida-related health symptoms and history.5,6,7
Ultimately, educating yourself, understanding and gauging your Candida-related symptoms are the most reliable means of diagnosis you can find.6,7
The following resources may be helpful in your efforts to find a holistic medical professional:6
Academy of Environmental Medicine:
American Holistic Medical Association:
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians:
Doctor of Orthomolecular of Medicine:
Once you find a practitioner you are comfortable with and receive the appropriate diagnosis, it is then vital to find an elimination protocol you are also comfortable with and can succeed on.
A Paleolithic Approach to Candida Elimination
There are two key factors in eliminating Candida: Diet and Supplements
Fact is, no pill is going to fix Candida.
Synthetic drugs will only increase the infection and only make your symptoms worse. Processed foods (which are, in reality, synthetic themselves) are not only lower in nutrition and harmful to your body…processed foods are filled with everything that Candida thrives on!3
There is a lot of information on eliminating Candida through dietary means. Unfortunately, much of this information is conflicting.
Some diets boast that a vegan lifestyle is the only way to battle candida…others say high protein, low carbs are the way to go…and the vast majority say simply eliminate sugar and white flour and you are good-to-go.
As it is with most things, I believe the truth lays somewhere in the middle of it all.
When working with our practitioner on the finite details of how we were going to eliminate both my daughters and my own Candida overgrowth, my personal focus was learning how I could adjust the Paleo diet to fit the needs of the elimination. Knowing that a diet filled with nutrient-dense foods could only benefit us both, our practitioner was excited to explore the options and help me write up a protocol to fit these needs.
She was also the one that suggested we look at using high-quality essential oils and whole-food bioavailable vitamins and minerals to aid in the elimination and ensure success.
Following her advice, my daughter and I began a diet filled with nutrient-dense vegetables, minimal fruits (citrus juice used for cooking/flavor only and avocados for the first month), high-quality grass-fed, sustainably raised meats and wild-caught fish.
While there is no caffeine, sugar, honey, etc. in the first 2-6 months of the protocol, we are allowed stevia which has made it possible to keep my 9 year old happy versus having her feel like mommy is simply trying to torture her through it all. Treats are still possible, we just have to be a little more creative about how we make those treats…but that’s okay…being creative is what I do. 😉
With additional evidence and significant research, we also added in the Supplemental Protocol found here and further refined by Dr. Lawton and then individualized for us by both my practitioner and myself.
How does this help you?
As a professional Wellness Advocate, I am able to offer wellness counseling on a professional basis. Combining my experience in food preparation and education with the power of essential oils, I am able to focus on all of the healing powers Mother Nature has to provide.
I have been able to help hundreds of clients with great success and I would be happy to help you, too!
Beyond the successes I have had with clients outside of my family, I am constantly amazed at the improvements I have seen within my family as well. My husband has positively supported his PTSD and anxiety using essential oils; we have reduced stress and supported improvement with my son’s ADD symptoms using essential oils; we have eased discomfort with burns, bug bites and bruises using essential oils…and most recently, my daughter and I have begun to win this battle against Candida using essential oils to support proper functioning in our gut.
The additional bonus? Using this protocol, I have lost more than 20 pounds!
I firmly believe that your body is a miracle. When we give it the right things, when we stay away from processed foods and give our body the proper tools, our body will cure itself.
Feel free to message me to set up your individual wellness consultation today.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!
- CDC (2012). Candidiasis. Centers for disease control and prevention. Retrieved on June 1, 2013 from: http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candidiasis/
- Martin, JM, Rona, ZP M.D. (2000). Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook, Revised 2nd Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Prevention, Treatment & Diet. Prima Health.
- Lawton, S. M.D. (2012). Natural Solutions for Candida with Dr. Sue Lawton. Retrieved June 1, 2013 from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOTMr9GTMeQ
- CandidaMD (2011). Candida symptoms. Retrieved July 15, 2013 from: http://www.candidamd.com/candida/symptoms.html
- Whole Approach (2013). Diagnosing Candida. Retrieved June 1, 2013 from: http://www.wholeapproach.com/candida/diagnosingcandida.php
- Perkins, C (2010). Diagnosing Candida. Retrieved June 1, 2013 from: http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/diagnosing-candida/
- Crook, WG M.D. (1986). The yeast connection, a medical breakthrough. If you feel sick all over, this book could change your life. Vintage Books
*Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: Sunny Busby is a professional Wellness Advocate with dōTERRA Intl, LLC. Statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not meant to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease or replace traditional medical attention. Your doctor treats symptoms and fixes broken parts. Your body cures disease. Always consult your medical professional before changing any existing medications or treatments. If you purchase products through the links provided, your cost will always be the same but I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!