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Do you think candida overgrowth is real?


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I went to a dr. recently and this was suggested as cause of all my troubles. I'm quite dubious as it seems candida is just another buzzword in the natural health community. It is also suspicious of course because using the guidelines she listed pretty much every female is suspected of candida- have you ever been pregnant, been on birth control or took antibiotics? That has to cover nearly the entire female population. Your thoughts?

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Well, everyone (to my knowledge) has some candida. I mean, it's yeast. A candida infection is where the balance of candida (yeast) to other organisms (that we also naturally have/carry) is out of balance (that is, too much yeast).

So yes, yeast infections are real.

You can help maintain a good balance of organisms through avoiding antibiotics and taking probiotics. You can also eat plain unsugared yogurt. (Actually, if someone has a candida infection/rash, you can apply the plain yogurt directly to it). 

I also think eating garlic helps, as it is anti-infective.

I struggle with candida pretty much always while nursing (thrush). But yogurt and garlic seem to help. 

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This makes sense.  He is having these visible obvious symptoms.  I don't know that I'd believe it if someone has no symptoms like that.

There are other, more vague symptoms, too. He was first treated at 18 months. There were a lot of little things that didn't seem right, he smelled bad, he wet a ton, insatiable thirst, unexplained crankiness, as well as the rashes. He had food intolerances, too, which was also causing problems.

Many of his symptoms have slowly returned, so we're doing the Candida diet. I don't know if it's helping yet. He has a rash again. It's so hard to get rid of it.

 

Yeast occurs naturally in our bodies. It balances the friendly bacteria which is responsible for much of our digestion. 

When the yeast outgrows the bacteria, it results in a yeast infection. When the bacteria outgrows the yeast, it results in bacterial vaginosis, and I am sure, other conditions.

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It's real, but like most other things that become the popular diagnosis, not nearly as prevalent as some would have you believe.  A bunch of years ago I had some weird symptoms and they decided it was candida.  Treated it and all that stuff went away and I've been fine ever since (it started just after my Lyme treatment - 9 or 10 weeks of antibiotics can really do a number on you - I've never had a problem after a single course of antibiotics or even the time I was on them 3 weeks because the first course didn't work).

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I've had candida overgrowth. 

 

I went on a solid no -ose of *any* kind diet. (unlike some woman who is currently trying to sell a book about doing a no-sugar diet for a year, but ate fruit and added dextrose in recipes. and bread, and cheese . . .   that isn't a 'no-sugar' diet.).  though even mine wasn't completely non-sugar.  I added my homemade pickles to things (but it turns out picked food is good for you), and the canned tomatoes for pasta sauce had sugar in them.  (not *nearly* as much as canned pasta sauce. someone gave me some once, and it was sickeningly sweet.)    I also didn't eat leavened breads, because they use sugar to feed the yeast.

 

 that was after I had taken nystatin for a yeast infection.  believe me - I could feel the yeast die off.

 

do you have lots of sugar cravings (yeast craves sugar), excessive mucous production?

 

things that changed after I went no -ose. (no milk - lactose, no fruit - fructose, etc. no artificial sweeteners either.)

my dry skin wasn't dry anymore.

I could think clearly

my allergies disappeared.

I had TONS of energy

and of course, weight melted off and I was in better shape than when I was in high school and walking everywhere.  after having three kids.

I had blood work shortly for something completely unrelated after all this that included cholesterol, and the dr drooled over my numbers they were so good.

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Of course it is real.  As other have said, it is a yeast and people do get yeast infections.  Sometimes those yeast infections are in specific locations (like a  vaginal yeast infection).  Sometimes they are systemic.  But I think the real question is "is that really what you have"?  It can be over diagnosed in some circles.  But if you've ruled out other causes for your symptoms, it is a valid thing to check out.  A doctor can order a stool test to check for yeast, but I'm not sure how accurate that is.  

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Yes, it's a buzz word, and many people who think they have it really do not.

 

Yes, candida overgrowth is real and causes real suffering.

 

I dealt with it, and I have never been so sick in my life. I had to take 5 courses of Diflucan over the course of a month, and I did a no-sugar diet for eight months to kill it. It was grinding misery when I was sick. The die-off period was even worse. I've never been so exhausted or achy. Once I was well, though, I literally had never felt better in my whole life.

 

I get frustrated when people who are basically okay say they think they may have it. Those of us who have actually lived with this know that there is no way to mistake it when you have this illness. You will feel horrible, and the illness is obvious.

 

That said, any person will feel tons better, generally speaking, when on a sugar-free diet, candida or not.

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I didnt believe in it, but eventually I started to.  

 

I had chronic yeast infections from age 20 on . . . very chronic.  Monistat for 3 weeks straight and I'd be in pain again in 3 days.  I also had no health insurance for a long time.

 

Then i went on my food allergy trip and yeast showed up as a sensitivity, and i ignored that bit . . . i only had 20 safe foods, and grapes were on it, so I used vinegar as a condiment . .. all fermented foods can be a problem when you have yeast issues

 

Anyways, I kept getting sicker and sicker (intestinal issues) and then i got a yeast infection - my ob-gyn had given me a refillable rx for an anti-fungal.  Not only did the yeast infection go away - so did the stomach problems.  

 

But i kept eating a lot of vinegar, and the same routine happened again (and this was a very unique stomach issue, without going in to the TMI).  The antifungal again kicked out both the yeast infection and the stomach symptoms

 

I cut yeast out of my diet and both improved.  I started adding supplements like probiotics, digestive enzymes, and trying to watch my sugar (which is hard).  I have been on the antifungals once a month for years and slowly have been needing fewer

 

but my PCP did not believe in full boy yeast infections - my ob-gyn had suggested I get him to test me and give me a higher dose antifungal, but he refused.  

 

anyways, depending on what your doctor is recommending, you could always try for a month or two and see if it makes you feel better. 

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Yes, it happens to me! 8 years ago I came off antibiotics for a sinus infection at the same time we received our daughter (adoption), they called one morning, we came home with a newborn that afternoon. I'd never had a new born before. Needless to say, I was under tremendous stress. A few weeks later I developed staph infections in my cuticles and my fingernails started becoming very gross. My GP gave me Cipro for the infections, but they never went away. Another round of Cipro. Staph infections kept coming back, fingernails continue to be gross. Finally, I went to a derm. who cultured my fingernails - it was Candida overgrowth. They put me on 4 months of diflucan. That took care of it.

 

Fast forward to now.... I've had a couple sinus infections that had to be treated with antibiotics, I am in my mid-40s, so I've been getting more yeast infections right before AF, but they've all been treatable with OTC stuff. 3 weeks ago, I got another yeast infection, treated it as usual it didn't go away. Kept working on it, but it still didn't go away. Finally went to my GP (not the one who was giving me Cipro) and she said the systemic yeast infection is back, so yes, another 4 months of diflucan. I'd gotten away from taking my probiotics for some reason, but for me the kicker is antibiotics + stress = Candida overgrowth.

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The part I love is that they would suggest the candida is the cause of "all your troubles" as you put it without actually caring why you got the candida overgrowth in the first place.  Sure antibiotics, but how about low tone, bowels not clearing, a diet high in white flour/cheese/red meat and low in fruits/veges that clean out the gut.  It's not like this happens in some vacuum.  It also means certain populations are going to be more prone to have problems from it.  

 

You'll sometimes see it as a white film on your drinking glass in the morning if you drink before brushing your teeth.  

 

You can get the candida to dump with a diet high in fruit and veges, working on getting the bowels moving.  It makes for a gentler, but still effective approach, and it can be a lifelong change that ensures you stay well.  

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It can be real but it has become one of those natural cures to everything and is overdiagnosed like gluten issues. People really do have issues with gluten and some have it so severe they can't even have traces of it but everyone out there doesn't need to avoid it. I think it is similar with overgrowth of yeast. It isn't the cure all for all. Everybody out there doesn't need to go on yeast overgrowth diets but there are people out there who are having issues and do.

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I worry about misdiagnosis in one direction or the other, causing an imbalance in one direction or the other.  For that reason, I worry about using "killing" products rather than a more mild approach such as probiotics or diet change.  I have used a product called Yeast Cleanse - that stuff works, IMO (maybe better than Diflucan), though again, it's a yeast-killing product, maybe heavy-handed.

 

As far as myself, since changing to a LCHF way of eating, I'm not concerned about having excessive yeast.  My kids, on the other hand (carb hounds that they are)... I just don't know - I'd be willing to bet that one or more of them might have some excessive yeast.  Symptoms are vague.  (As an aside, anyone want to diagnose a red rash on the back of my kids' hands - three of them - that seems to start on the outside-side and is especially a problem around the knuckles by the pinky, to the point where it can get cracked and bleeding if not slathered with ointment on a regular basis?)

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We did yeast treatment for my little one on the advice of her biomed dr (Nystatin + high-dose probiotics + oil of oregano, though not all at once). It didn't help with her autism at all, but she was fully daytime potty trained within a week of starting the Nystatin. This after 6 long months of working on PT with very little progress. Could be coincidental, but either way I'll take it!

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I believe it is very real. My dd was really ill--stomach pains, tired, but couldn't sleep, reflux issues, short temper and more. She would get fungal infections on her skin. I listened to Dianne Craft's stuff on candida and followed her supplement program, and my dd was totally healed. No joke. This was a battle we were fighting for months, if not years, that was solved by these supplements.

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I can tell you as someone who has IBS and now takes probiotics and flax based fiber every day that those 2 things make a huge difference in my health and well being in general.  I think, like many disorders of the day, it can be come a tag thrown around to cover everything not really understood.   So yes, I think it's a real thing.  But may be over diagnosed right now. 

 

I agree think gluten issues are over dx-ed right now too.  I went GF for a time, and really, gluten is not my issue.  Processed crap is an issue for me.  Corn syrup is an issue for me.  But for someone like me who saw improvement off gluten eating less processed foods may think gluten is the answer.

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I just read the info from CDC and they recognize candidiasis but not as described by those involved in the natural health movement. They are referring specifically to a blood infection whereas others describe it as a gut condition. The CDC also doesn't recognize diet as a treatment and that is seen as one of the major component of treatment.

 

I'm not trying to be obtuse and I think everyone for their information and thoughts. I'm certainly not feeling myself and haven't for a long time, since my last pregnancy. I had been feeling better but then worse again. I'm so ready to feel like myself for good but I don't want to waste anymore time pursuing anything without making sure it is worth my time, effort and money.

 

So, hearing so often how candida overgrowth can cause nearly symptom under the sun I'm feeling a little dubious and right now I'm rather weary. Of course my friend who has had adrenal/thyroid issues thinks it must be that and my friend who is the gf fanatic thinks I need to do auto-immune paleo. 

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So, here are my questions for those who had an overgrowth-

 

1) What kind of tests were done? I'm reading/have read very conflicting info about what tests are accurate. If testing wasn't done then how were you diagnosed?

 

2) What was your treatment plan? Did you do an anti-fungal- prescription or over the counter? Did you follow a particular diet?

I keep reading that certain supplements are helpful but I'm not finding hard evidence here. Likewise the diets I'm seeing for Candida seem to vary greatly.  

 

 

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This site is geared towards autism, but has good info: http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/what-is-yeast-overgrowth/

 

I talked with youngest DD's biomed dr. about testing, but he felt that it was expensive and often inconclusive. He said that Nystatin has a very good safety profile (it is apparently available OTC in certain European countries, it's that safe). So he recommended skipping the testing and just taking a course of it. He had her start with an anti-yeast diet (it was low-carb but also excluded certain other things as well) and taking probiotics. I gave oil of oregano as well but I can't remember if it was before or after the Nystatin.

 

Epsom salt baths are supposed to be helpful during the die off phase.

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I gave oil of oregano as well but I can't remember if it was before or after the Nystatin.

 

Epsom salt baths are supposed to be helpful during the die off phase.

 

How did you give the oil of oregano?

 

Ideas on why epsom salt baths could be helpful during die-off?  A route for magnesium that doesn't rely on the digestive tract?

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How did you give the oil of oregano?

 

Ideas on why epsom salt baths could be helpful during die-off?  A route for magnesium that doesn't rely on the digestive tract?

Oil of oregano comes in a liquid and in the form of capsules.  I prefer the capsules.

 

Epsom salts not only is a transdermal route for magnesium, it also draws out toxins.  

 

I've had doctors who have felt that if you have a tendency to certain yeast problems (vaginal yeast infections, skin infections and thrush) that chances are that you have a bigger problem with yeast in general.

 

In my case, I did a 3 month yeast cleanse and it did nothing for me.  So I stopped gladly.  

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So, here are my questions for those who had an overgrowth-

 

1) What kind of tests were done? I'm reading/have read very conflicting info about what tests are accurate. If testing wasn't done then how were you diagnosed?

 

2) What was your treatment plan? Did you do an anti-fungal- prescription or over the counter? Did you follow a particular diet?

I keep reading that certain supplements are helpful but I'm not finding hard evidence here. Likewise the diets I'm seeing for Candida seem to vary greatly.

When the infection was manifesting itself on my fingernails, the dermatologist did an actual nail culture and determined it that way. With this latest one, just the fact that I have been treating this infection and it is not going away, and given my history, my dr. concluded that it was systemic.

 

My treatment plan both times was 4 months if daily diflucan. I'd already tried Monistat numerous times and it didn't touch it. I am taking probiotics daily again.

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 My kids, on the other hand (carb hounds that they are)... I just don't know - I'd be willing to bet that one or more of them might have some excessive yeast.  Symptoms are vague.  (As an aside, anyone want to diagnose a red rash on the back of my kids' hands - three of them - that seems to start on the outside-side and is especially a problem around the knuckles by the pinky, to the point where it can get cracked and bleeding if not slathered with ointment on a regular basis?)

 

 

 

 

If this is on-topic enough, can anyone comment on specific probiotic choices for kids?  I recently ordered more of the Infant probiotic from Klaire Labs (a brand I trust but much more expensive than others), because a particular bacterium(?) was recommended to me that's in there.  I've used the Nature's Way brand with them (as recommended by Dianne Craft, when I had one of the kids following the protocol) but that didn't seem to do anything - it's hard to verify if there aren't outward signs.

DS gets this on his hands. It gets very painful and bloody. I started giving him (and my other kids, too) probiotics and it went away. I have this stuff on Subscribe and Save, coming monthly:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Life-Defense-76-8-Grams-Plastic/dp/B0010WD31A/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1397599710&sr=8-8&keywords=probiotics+kids

 

The recommended dose is 1/4 tsp; DS takes 1/2 tsp on his yogurt or oatmeal in the morning. 

 

Before I did the probiotics, I did a hand mask/massage thing with avocado, aloe (directly from the plant), and coconut oil. I may have also put olive oil in it. I rubbed it in for 5-10 minutes at  a time, twice a day (just because that's when I had time to do it). It turned his hands super red, killing all that yeast. His hands healed up in a few days, but then was back after I stopped doing it!

 

I now limit how much bread and white rice he eats. He'd eat rice all day, every day if I let him! So, 2 small servings or either bread or rice. He doesn't even eat toast all that much anymore because he knows it makes his hands hurt. And we don't keep rice in the rice cooker anymore either, unless it goes with our meal.

 

I'm not extreme with our food choices, but the combo of probiotics and fewer breads/rice servings a day have helped heal his hands!

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So, here are my questions for those who had an overgrowth-

 

1) What kind of tests were done? I'm reading/have read very conflicting info about what tests are accurate. If testing wasn't done then how were you diagnosed?

 

2) What was your treatment plan? Did you do an anti-fungal- prescription or over the counter? Did you follow a particular diet?

I keep reading that certain supplements are helpful but I'm not finding hard evidence here. Likewise the diets I'm seeing for Candida seem to vary greatly.  

 

With regards to what tests, I'm honestly not sure. My gynecologist made the diagnosis. In that office visit I had both a pap smear and a blood test. He checked for many things because even though I had itching in the "area" I also had so much pain there and abdominally, and so much achiness and exhaustion, that I really didn't think it was a yeast infection. When he called me back, he said I had a yeast infection, "a big one." It was his opinion that it was, "just all over, totally systemic" and advised me to "try going low carb for a while." He also prescribed both Diflucan as well as a heavy-duty prescription suppository. I took the Diflucan for three days and was no better, so went back to him for more. I ended up taking 5 rounds of Diflucan (3 days each time) and had to have two refills on the suppository.

 

After the initial diagnosis I happened to have a chiropractor appointment. I told her what the doctor said, and she advised me that trying to go low carb for a while really wouldn't cover it. She advised the total no-sugar diet. I'm glad she did, as it was very, very hard to kick this infection. I actually became sick again 2 1/2 months after the initial bout and had to try the meds again.

 

I did a full no-sugar diet (including avoiding almost all fruits) for eight months before layering back in carbs very slowly over another six months.

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Here is other opinions on the candida stuff from science based medicine. I tend to agree with them for the most part with small difference although I don't think it is a money thing and they are a little off on trends. The candida thing isn't being replaced it is part of the "natural" nutrition hype that includes a lot of other claims about "the right way" humans should eat. Here is the other side.

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/candida-and-fake-illnesses/

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/is-gluten-the-new-candida/

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My doctor suspects a candida overgrowth in me.  I've had skin and nail issues, my allergies are really bad, I'm EXHAUSTED all the time, crave sugar and carbs, and several yeast infections.  They are having me take Diflucan and Grapefruit seed extract.  I've also cut down on my carbs (though that is PAINFUL for me), but the doc said it would take a while for it to really do anything.  She did warn me about the "death" of the candida and how miserable I'd be.  I'm not looking forward to it.

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My whole body was in crisis, particularly after a nasty round of antibiotics, which was followed by some steroids (after I developed neck to knee hives and poison ivy blisters and didn't even know where I got into poison ivy--maybe oils on clothes). I had a lot of minor symptoms before that (I can trace some back to high school), but my skin went wild with yeast/fungal issues. I felt like I had PTSD, I had symptoms of perimenopause, my blood pressure was wigging out up and down all over, etc. I had weird, weird stuff in my ears that I was eventually told was probably fungal or yeast (it was wet, sloughing skin that smelled like toe jam). I had head to toe inflammation all over my body. I was sure I would die within a year or two. Docs in our area are NOT open-minded. I googled. I knew docs here would blow me off, put me on a cocktail of meds for individual symptoms, etc. We already ate quite well--much better than the standard American diet. I finally decided to try the candida diet. After eliminating gluten, I couldn't add it back in--it makes me feel horrible, so I am assuming that was part of the underlying cause. I do have at least one other relative that doesn't handle gluten well.

 

I mentioned the candida stuff just once to my most open-minded doc, and she completely dismissed me (and she KNOWS that I know my own body really well). I don't really tell doctors much of anything I do.

 

A lot of my symptoms overlapped with adrenal/thyroid stuff, but I had had my thyroid tested a couple of years before with normal results. I think it's typical for a person's body to have those sorts of symptoms any time it's overly taxed and stressed (mental or physical stress). My understanding is that the body depletes certain nutrients faster under stress, and that further stresses the body. I've met other people (including men) who've had these issues after periods of stress or fighting illness (such as after traveling to a developing nation with interesting bugs). One friend did not do the candida diet, but he supplemented, ate really well, did his best to rest, and took big probiotics, and his thyroid/adrenal symptoms eventually went away.

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How did you give the oil of oregano?

I did the drops because youngest DD isn't able to swallow capsules yet. It tastes pretty nasty so I hid it in a bit of Zevia (stevia-sweetened soda). Supposedly stevia is safe on the anti-yeast diet.

 

The epsom salt baths are supposed to draw out toxins from the body that the yeast die off causes.

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Here is other opinions on the candida stuff from science based medicine.

That particular website is notoriously against anything remotely holistic/integrative. It's like Mercola, only pro-allopathic.

 

Kids with autism can't wait 15+ years for cutting-edge research to become so fully 100% proven that it becomes accepted by the medical establishment. Our kids need help NOW and so long as the proposed treatments have a good safety profile, the worst that can happen is they don't work and the parent is out whatever money was spent.

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That particular website is notoriously against anything remotely holistic/integrative. It's like Mercola, only pro-allopathic.

The website is not anything like mercola but it certainly isn't a source I would use for a research paper either. It is only a blog. To really study the issue you need to look at actual studies using an account where you can do that. I can't offer that so I linked a site that there is another side out there to look into as well.

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Dd21 hasn't been diagnosed, but has decided to try eliminating most carbs and all sugar possible from her diet. She has a history of thrush on her tongue, and recently could not seem to get rid of it. Her allergist is backing off of her asthma medications that are known for encouraging yeast growth. (yes, she was already rinsing after inhaling) She had developed a face rash, basically facial dandruff, that was causing her to lose her eyelashes and eyebrows in addition to being painful. Yeast is one of the highly suspected causes of this rash according to medical sources, even though the dermatologist said it was probably from using cinnamon flavored toothpaste??? After researching the diagnosed rash, she decided to start trying yogurt facials in addition to the prescription ointment she was prescribed (contained an antibiotic). The yogurt mask had better results. She also had started having a lot of stomach discomfort and became very gassy. Depression was starting to take hold, and she was very low energy. All this, and some internet searching, made her decide to cut the sugar and carbs. Her thrush went away completely; the rash got better (but still flares sometimes), and her stomach got back to normal. I think she could really benefit from an antifungal, but I doubt a doctor would prescribe it for her. After all, this is just a fad. Right? Anyway, she feels a lot better and has decided to try to continue with this diet. It is really, really hard for her because she has so few foods she can eat due to food allergies. Now, she is basically eating meat. Before she had meat and breads. 

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I enjoyed reading both sides and found arguments from both that are laughable, like the argument that antibiotic use has no effect on candida OR candida causes cancer. It is quite evident reading stories here that people have had candida overgrowth, evidenced by readily identifiable infections. I guess the question is can candida those cause all these symptoms? It seems it certainly has caused major difficulties for some. Can candida cause all these symptoms even in the absence of a visible infection? I have no clue. It seems that perhaps there is some truth between the sides. I cannot help but think that there is more of a continuum than surface infections and full blown blood infections. I feel both leery and dubious of the claim that there is no way to really test, on one hand that is very convenient but likewise just because there is no test doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

I have had some outward symptoms that seem indicative of an overgrowth of yeast. I'm hesitant to put the blame for everything on candida for everything but I'm strongly considering doing some difulcan treatment, if nothing else it will take care of part of my issues. I'm also getting several blood tests done today to rule out various other things. 

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When it comes to diet, I try to follow Cynthia Kenyon and Thomas Seyfried's advice. I'm in the camp that believes too much sugar (actually elevated blood sugar levels) causes problems. I also try to eat fermented foods and am trying to learn how to do that myself.

 

My dad worked with pharmaceuticals all his life, and he knew many decades ago that the indiscriminate prescribing of antibiotics could cause short-term and long-term problems in individuals. We kids (my five siblings and I) were not allowed to take antibiotics willy-nilly at all. We did take them for things like strep but afterward, my mother would give us things to take that were suggested by a friend of hers from India.

 

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I enjoyed reading both sides and found arguments from both that are laughable, like the argument that antibiotic use has no effect on candida OR candida causes cancer. It is quite evident reading stories here that people have had candida overgrowth, evidenced by readily identifiable infections. I guess the question is can candida those cause all these symptoms? It seems it certainly has caused major difficulties for some. Can candida cause all these symptoms even in the absence of a visible infection? I have no clue. It seems that perhaps there is some truth between the sides. I cannot help but think that there is more of a continuum than surface infections and full blown blood infections. I feel both leery and dubious of the claim that there is no way to really test, on one hand that is very convenient but likewise just because there is no test doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

 

I have had some outward symptoms that seem indicative of an overgrowth of yeast. I'm hesitant to put the blame for everything on candida for everything but I'm strongly considering doing some difulcan treatment, if nothing else it will take care of part of my issues. I'm also getting several blood tests done today to rule out various other things. 

The problem is that many of those symptoms are ones that can be found with all sorts of chronic or systemic problems.  So a hidden infection (not yeast) can cause fatigue and achiness (not sure what other symptoms you might have).  But so can yeast because your body ecology is out of whack and the yeast has certain toxins released as a by product.  Parasites can do the same because again  it disrupts the body ecology and releases certain toxins - that's why Lyme disease has similar symptoms.  But then so can fibro (which I have).  In my case, a doctor felt like my fibro symptoms might be caused by yeast.  This actually would have been welcome news because at least you can do something (as hard as it is) for yeast.  But in my case, it wasn't yeast.  So I do believe that it is there and can cause these symptoms.  But . . . not all headaches are caused by a brain tumor and not all yeast symptoms are yeast.  

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