An entire world exists inside the lining of your digestive tract. Two of the primary microorganisms that live there are probiotics and a yeast called Candida. God created us so that there is a perfect balance between these microbes so they live harmoniously in our guts. Unfortunately, there are many products in our foods that harm the delicate balance of these microbes. The standard American diet contains dyes, chemicals, excess sugar, and the residue of pesticides and herbicides, which disrupts the gut equilibrium. However, the primary culprit of this imbalance is antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the beneficial microorganisms and cause a bad guy—Candida—to overgrow.
Candida eats sugar, alcohol, wheat, and processed foods, and that is what it makes a person desire. Do you crave these types of foods?
Even though I am a nurse, I was never taught that I should also take probiotics while taking antibiotics and continue taking the probiotics for a month or two afterward. When the antibiotics kill off the good microbe–probiotics–the Candida takes over. So you need to reinoculate your gut with probiotics.
Candida can cause a person to overeat refined carbohydrates. Therefore, if you crave sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, you might have an imbalance in the flora of your gut. An imbalance, also called dysbiosis, means the helpful microorganisms (probiotics) have been killed off. The destruction of these beneficial microbes allows the harmful microbe, Candida, to multiply.
Candida Albicans, a yeast common in the gut, can grow roots into the lining of your gastrointestinal (GI) system. The fungal overgrowth can create openings in the bowel walls, which is known as leaky gut. These holes allow harmful microorganisms to enter the bloodstream. Our bodies don’t recognize these particles, so our immune system creates antibodies that cause food allergies and autoimmune diseases to develop. Do you suffer from a food allergy or an autoimmune disease?
When Candida spreads and takes over your digestive tract, it acts like a parasite sucking the life and energy out of you. It is like a monster growing inside of you, craving sugar, and it is hard to fight its never-ending appetite. I had an overgrowth of Candida, so I know how hard it is to fight this offender. Every night I (or maybe it was the Candida) enjoyed Ghirardelli chocolate and red wine.
My Candida Infection
I had an abscessed tooth that caused ten medical diagnoses. (If you would like to read about my health crisis click here.) One of those issues was a candida infection in my colon. I had never heard of this type of infection before despite being an RN since candidiasis (candida infection from a Candida fungus) of the gut is not taught in mainstream medicine. Even my internal medicine doctor didn’t know how to rid me of this yeast infection.
A candida infection in your colon is like a vaginal yeast infection that women are prone to getting when they take antibiotics. The drug kills off beneficial flora in a person’s body. I had just consumed antibiotics and a steroid because of an abscessed tooth. A person could have candidiasis and not even know it. I did! That is why I created a quiz to help people figure out if they may have it. Check out my quiz at CandiQuiz.com. Don’t let this bug wreak havoc on your health.
You have to figure out how to kill the overgrowth of yeast. To kill the Candida, you take a candida cleanse and eat an anti-candida diet. This is a low-carbohydrate, low-sugar diet which I explain in my best-selling book 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates.
To kill the bug in my gut, I stopped eating sugar, fruit, wheat, and rice for eight months. I had to limit my alcohol consumption to vodka because it is distilled not fermented. Therefore, it does not contain a grain like wheat. Most, if not all, alcoholics have candidiasis (a candida infection).
During the eight months of my strict anti-Candida diet, I also took large doses of probiotics (up to 100 billion units/day). Today, I still take probiotics but not such a large dose (10 billion units/day). I recommend taking a probiotic that contains at least ten billion active cultures from at least ten different strains. I posted photos of different types of probiotics that I have taken in my closed Facebook Group: 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar, Carbs, and Gluten. To get a wide range of beneficial microorganisms, I change the brand of my probiotic every time I purchase a new one.
I also recommend eating probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi. Eating a tablespoon a couple of times a week is all you need. You can’t get all your probiotics from a supplement; you need to get them from foods too. And yogurts do not provide enough probiotics from food. I know because I tried that and had a stool test that showed that I was not getting enough probiotics from food.
I killed the Candida in my colon, but I still cannot eat high-sugar foods, or the Candida grows again. I can tell it is growing when I crave refined carbohydrates and feel sluggish, so I limit my consumption of sugar to less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that you limit your daily sugar consumption to less than 6 teaspoons or 25 grams for women and 9 teaspoons or 36 grams for men.
There are several ways to determine if you have a candida infection. You could be radical and have colonic irrigation, like me. A colonic irrigation is like a royal enema. However, I suggest two simpler methods of diagnosis. First, look at the list of symptoms below. These signs might arise from an overgrowth of Candida. The more symptoms you experience, the more likely you are to have a candida infection.
_____ Mood swings
_____ Poor memory
_____ Food allergies
_____ Foggy brained
_____ Decreased sex drive
_____ Hormonal imbalance
_____ Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia
_____ Craving sweets and refined carbohydrates or alcohol
_____ Digestive issues (bloating, constipation, diarrhea) or disorders
_____ Skin and nail infections such as toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, and ringworm
Candida will take over your life if left untreated. It did mine. Candida even began infecting my nails. Do you have hard, thick, overgrown toenails? That is a sign of Candida infecting the nail bed. If you exhibit many of these symptoms, you need to restore the balance of microorganisms in your gut. The more times in your life that you have taken antibiotics, without replenishing your gastrointestinal tract with probiotics, the more likely you have a candida overgrowth.
The second way to diagnose Candidiasis is a simple spit test. First thing in the morning, before you drink anything or brush your teeth, spit into a glass of water. In one to three minutes, check the cup to see if any strings hang from the spit—strings are a positive sign of Candida. The spit will resemble a jellyfish. If the water becomes cloudy or the saliva sinks to the bottom, this is also a positive sign. Healthy saliva floats on the top of the water with no strings hanging down.
How to Kill Candida
Now let’s kill the bug in your gut—Candida. Take an anti-Candida cleanse that you purchased from a health food store. The best Candida cleanse I found is Biocidin Liquid. Read the instructions on the cleanse package. Initially, I recommend taking the cleanse every other day for the first week to minimize tiredness. You want to avoid becoming constipated while taking the cleanse, so drink plenty of water and increase the fiber in your diet. You will not need to be close to the bathroom when you take the cleanse. It is not that type of cleanse.
Next, you need to stop eating the foods that the Candida desires. Sugar, carbs, procesessed foods, and alcohol. I used The Body Ecology Diet book when I was first diagnosed to help guide me.
After a week of being on the cleanse you will feel better than you have in a long time. You are just about to get the life back that Jesus wants you to experience—one that is abundant and full. May God bless your endeavor to improve your health.