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Conquering Candida Overgrowth

Candida yeast is a normal part of your body’s microflora (the bugs that live in and on you). It lives in your mouth, intestines, skin, and vagina. In your gut, its job is not only to maintain microorganism balance but also to help with food digestion and nutrient absorption. As long as Candida is properly balanced with the other bugs in your gut, things run smoothly.


In addition to 'bug balance', the lining of the gut also needs to be healthy. Cells that line your intestines are coated with mucus that lubricates and protects it. When candida overgrows in the gut, it can damage the cells which make this protective mucous. When this cell lining is damaged, not only can candida easily enter your bloodstream, but so can all of the other gut bugs (and their toxins...Yuck!). This is often referred to as 'leaky gut'. Once Candida enters the bloodstream, it can invade other tissues and cause numerous annoying health issues.


Candida Corroborators

Countless things in your daily environment can create the optimal environment for Candida to overgrow.

Here are some of the more common ‘candida corroborators’:

  • Prescription medications: Anything that messes with a gut bug balance can fuel Candida overgrowth. Antibiotics top the list. By killing off intestinal bacteria, these medications tip the gut bug balance in Candida's favor. Steroids, birth control pills, and all medications that affect stomach acidity (like Pepcid and Prilosec) are also offenders.

  • Chronic health conditions: Any health condition that causes disturbances in stress hormones, blood sugar levels, and immune system function can cause Candida overgrowth. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and autoimmune diseases are some examples.

  • Dietary influences: The Standard American Diet contains significant amounts of the sugar, the primary fuel source for Candida growth and survival. Typical food culprits include sugar itself, foods containing sugar, alcohol, and anything that converts to sugar after it’s consumed. Refined carbohydrates, like white flour, and even fruits can all contribute to Candida overgrowth.

  • Chronic stress: Stress can promote candida growth and overgrowth in one of two ways. One is by stress induced increases in cortisol production. Cortisol suppresses immune system function and raises blood sugar levels. The Candida yeast feeds on the extra sugar, and a suppressed immune system can’t effectively control it. Secondly, chronic stress alters the gut microbiome and causes intestinal dysbiosis. This tips gut microbiome balance in Candida’s favor.


  • Suppressed immune system function: Many things can weaken the immune system including chronic stress, chronic illnesses (i.e. diabetes and autoimmune diseases), immunosuppressant medications, chronic infections, and poor diet.


  • Hormonal Changes: Changes in hormone levels, such as those occurring during pregnancy, hormonal birth control use, or improperly dosed hormone therapy, can contribute to Candida overgrowth.

Symptoms of Candida Overgrowth


Any of these symptoms sound familiar? It's truly scary how much of a negative impact uncontrolled Candida can have on your health. Have any of your doctors even considered this as a cause of your symptoms? Probably not!

When Candida overgrowth is confined to your intestinal tract, symptoms are typically gastrointestinal and include heartburn, bloating, excessive gas, bad breath, constipation, and diarrhea. Once it enters the bloodstream through a leaky intestinal lining, it can cause numerous symptoms literally everywhere else in the body (refer to the above chart).

Candida also causes weight gain and difficulty losing weight in a number of ways. One way is through 'Candida cravings'. Candida will make you crave what it needs to grow…namely sugar. As we've already discussed, Candida can also cause leaky gut which allows other bugs and toxins to enter your bloodstream. Digested food particles can also enter the bloodstream, and this can increase your risk of developing food sensitivities. Widespread inflammation and secondary hormone imbalances follow creating the Candida 'perfect storm'.

Do You Have Candida?

I think it's fair to say that if you have or have had one or more of any 'Candida Corroborators', you probably have Candida. Many integrative healthcare practitioners will treat patients based on symptoms alone. However, there is testing available that is very helpful in knowing how extensive the problem is and how best to treat it. Be advised, some people with Candida overgrowth in their intestines will NOT have Candida overgrowth in their bloodstream, so it's important to check both stool and blood.

  • Stool Testing. Integrative healthcare practitioners often work with specialty labs that offer stool testing. These tests will tell you exactly what' growing in your gut (bacteria, yeasts, and parasites). Good quality tests also provide additional information about inflammation and how you are digesting and absorbing your food. Here is a sample test report from one of the companies offering testing. (**Please note: these types of stool testing aren't offered by regular laboratories such as QUEST or LabCorp.)

  • Blood Testing. Blood testing is helpful in determining if Candida has entered your bloodstream. The markers that are typically measured are IgA, IgG, and IgM antibody levels. These levels measure your immune system's reaction to Candida. Some practitioners will also prick your finger and look at your blood under the microscope where Candida can sometimes actually be seen.

Saliva testing is also available and is used mainly to check for Candida overgrowth in the mouth. Urinary testing is also offered and measures the 'by-products' of Candida overgrowth. The problem with the urine testing, however, is that if the results are abnormal, you still have to do other testing to find out where your Candida is overgrowing.

How to Conquer Candida


Tackling Candida is a long-term process which requires diligence and strict adherence to a solid treatment plan. Not only have I had Candida overgrowth more than once, but I’ve also treated countless patients with both intestinal and systemic Candida overgrowth. There’s so much misinformation out there when it comes to the safe and proper treatment of Candida, so I created my own Combat Candida Program. It's worked great for over twenty years and counting....Here’s a basic overview of my treatment approach:

  • Dietary changes. No supplement or prescription medication on the planet will crush your Candida if you keep feeding it with things that make it grow. In fact, eating foods that fuel Candida while you are on treatment will only help the Candida to become resistant to therapy. There are countless Candida diets out there, but many of them contradict each other and are unnecessarily restrictive.

  • Herbal Candida Crushers. I always opt for natural options as first-line treatment for combating Candida. Some of the best anti-Candida herbs are Oregano, Olive Leaf, and Ginger. Caprylate is a medium chain fatty acid that has also been shown to have excellent Candida killing capacity. It’s super important that you don’t skimp on the supplements. You will absolutely get what you pay for, and if you don’t purchase good quality, pharmaceutical grade supplements, all your efforts (and money) will have been wasted. A pharmaceutical grade, full spectrum anti-Candida supplement works best.

  • Probiotics. Since Candida overgrowth usually starts in the gut, it’s very important to add a pharmaceutical grade, high potency, broad spectrum probiotic to rebalance your gut microbiome. I use a one that has at least 100 BCFU per capsule.

  • Food Sensitivity Testing. If you are eating foods that are inflaming the lining of your intestines and causing ‘leaky gut’, the Candida in your gut will continue to enter your blood stream. Testing for and eliminating food sensitivities is a key component of healing the lining of your intestines and preventing the Candida from escaping into your bloodstream.

  • Prescription Medications. Anti-Candida medications should only be used as a last resort when natural treatments alone are not working or if the Candida overgrowth is severe. There are several prescription anti-fungal medications available to treat Candida. However, most of them have many side effects that can be worse than the Candida overgrowth itself. Here are the two main anti-fungal medications I’ve prescribed for my patients:

    • Nystatin is an anti-fungal medication which is not absorbed into the bloodstream. As such, it is used to treat intestinal Candida overgrowth. It will not work very well for Candida overgrowth in the bloodstream. Although it has fewer side effects than other anti-Candida medications, it can cause gastrointestinal side effects, especially constipation.

    • Diflucan is a more potent anti-fungal used to treat widespread Candida infections. Healthcare practitioners often prescribe this medication as a one-time dose for vaginal yeast infections. Diflucan has numerous side effects, including liver issues, so monthly blood testing is required.

Candida pic.webp

Are You Ready To Conquer Candida?

Treating Candida is a process that requires diligence and commitment. But, your efforts will be rewarded with weight loss, better mood, clearer thinking, and an overall improvement in your health and well-being.

Save yourself the time, energy, and confusion by following a tried-and-true anti-Candida program with a proven track record of safety and effectiveness. The Combat Candida Program I've created includes the everything you need to kill your candida...a probiotic, a potent anti-Candida supplement, and a detailed treatment guide. I've recommended it for my patients for over twenty years, and the results have been resoundingly positive.

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