Candida Yeast Can Hurt You

Dear Pharmacist,

I’ve felt sick for 10 years, and no one has helped me. I read on the Internet about Candida, and I have every symptom possible. I’ve eliminated sugar already, and after 2 months, I feel better. I just found your site and hope you can teach me more about this infection.

–N.H. San Francisco, California

Answer: Just amazing, 10 years and YOU had to find out what’s wrong with yourself on the Internet? Candida is a fungus and even though most physicians dismiss this organism as harmless, I don’t. It’s part of the normal flora in the gut, but it can be dangerous for some people. Eat the standard American garbage diet and you will destroy your intestinal microflora and then get yeast overgrowth.

Candida is a highly invasive micro-organism that can make you very sick. There are about 80 potential symptoms of systemic yeast overgrowth including: Athletes foot, yellowish-green toenail fungus, vaginal yeast infection, intolerance to perfume, iron-deficiency anemia, hypothyroidism, diarrhea/constipation, gas, cystitis, prostatitis, spots in front of eyes, joint pain, acne, headache, brain fog, memory loss, bad breath, heartburn, belching, allergies, mouth sores, hemorrhoids, painful intercourse, eczema, psoriasis, chronic fatigue, asthma, itchy/burning eyes, depression, gluten or dairy allergy, and inability to gain weight (or wasting) because the Candida is ‘eating’ everything you put into your system so you develop malabsorption. See how confusing this gets? Doctors may overlook or dismiss a systemic Candida infection in a person, and just begin prescribing medications for one illness after another. There are tests, treatments and dietary changes which I will share in future columns and facebook posts.

Candida is a fungus which can spread to your organs. The fungus grows like a plant does, spreading ‘roots’ which poke holes in your intestinal wall, then the fungus invades your sinuses, lungs, skin, reproductive organs, pancreas, liver and so forth. Some health experts believe that Candida fuels cancer growth. The problem is not so much the fungus itself, but more the toxic compounds it produces, about 75 toxic substances! One Candida by-product is a potent neurotoxin called acetaldehyde. That’s the same exact substance you make when you drink alcohol or get drunk. I believe wholeheartedly that this is why Candida sufferers experience so much brain fog or hangover feelings.

Candida is a mold so it thrives in heat and in humidity. This explains why many of you feel better in dry or cool climates. Another surefire way to kill Candida is to eliminate sugar and starches from your diet while taking anti-fungal supplements or teas. I’ll outline those in a future column. Certain medications or lifestyle choices can cause Candida overgrowth: Birth control pills, steroids, antibiotics, chemotherapy and many blood pressure pills, alcohol, and processed food.

Did you Know?

Studies suggest that eating 20 tart cherries a day (or drinking the juice equivalent) can provide more arthritis and gout relief than aspirin or ibuprofen.


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Suzy Cohen, RPh

Suzy is a graduate of the University of Florida and has been a licensed pharmacist for nearly 20 years.  People call her “America’s Most Trusted Pharmacist” because she has spent the last 10 years writing a syndicated column on health which reaches millions of people each week. People write to her from all over the world and thank her for giving them natural options, or for helping them stay safe on medications they need to take.  She realizes the importance and need for medications, but prefers to think outside the pillbox.  This mindset comes through in her work and has made her quite popular around the world.

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  1. Nancy, NJ says

    I was diagnosed with candida 6 year ago. I had a lot of the symptoms mentioned above. My doctor recommmed I see a nutrionist. She suggested I try the Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates. With in 6 weeks I lost 20 pounds and brought my colestorol, blood sugar and blood pressure into the normal range plus all the symptoms went away.

  2. Anonymous says

    To the above question, yes, men can have it.
    I am a male and have had difficult to diagnose health crisis/problems for as many as 15 years. My family doctor couldn’t find anything. Again and again and again. I had to diagnose myself with the help of the net and books which lead me to doctors and practitioners that recognize these problems and the interconnection of the body systems. I have all symptoms above and more. My Candida has become very bad digestion, LGS, food sensitivities, hormone problems, adrenal problems, wicked insomnia, joint pain, memory problems, crushing fatigue. It has totally destroyed my life. I have done almost 2 years strict candida diet, (a diet made even more strict and complicated by GERD and multiple food sensitives shown in Igg blood work.) I’ve tried every folksy remedy I came across on the net, (eg. crushed garlic, coconut oil, etc…..) tons of products like VSL-3, Candida Clear, Kolorex Practioner candida care, Berberis formula, digestive enzymes, betaine hcl, TONS OF Threelac, (they did not refund my money, so much for their guarantee), Digestacure (they also did not refund money, so much for their guarantee), Candex, Physician strength oregano oil, billions and billions cfu’s of many different probiotics. Many of the items I’ve tried really aggravate the GERD. I’ve tried way more things than I can or will list. Have spent a bloody fortune on supplements, doctors, 2 gastro-docs, 2 chiropractors, 2 acupuncturists, worked with a ND, also a holistic Dr. I have tried NAET. (Namrumbidpad’s Allergy Elimination Technique).
    Feeling like I’ve tried everything only to get worse, and with such deprivation, feeling sorry for myself because nothing has worked, I slipped on my diet by indulging in items I’ve not eaten in over 2 years and I am now sooooo much worse than ever.
    One thing that I’ve found is that I never get over cravings and missing food that I used to eat. I have not had a good chunk of whole grain artisan bread with Camembert and a glass of wine or a micro beer in over 2 years. Haven’t been out to eat in the same time. I am so sick of freaking veggies. Every time I smell a bbq or the smells emanating from a restaurant I want to scream.
    I could handle all the deprivation if I was moving towards health, but after 2 years, I think that this is it, I’m done, there is no getting better.

  3. val says

    A daily drink of bi carb soda – 1 teaspoon in a glass of water – will kill candida.
    After trying everything else, this works!

  4. says

    Welcome to my life!!! Candida!! It is really hard to diagnose with doctors. My case was diagnosed by my Chiropractor!!!!! He was the ONLY doctor, (out of about 4-5), that even SUSPECTED candida as the culprit for my problems. Read the above symptoms.
    I had been going to my Chiropractor for about 4 months, and every time told him my problems. I originally went in for back and neck problems as I have neck degeneration. Finally, 4 months into it, he says “I’m going to check something”. He did a kinesiology test with what appeared to be a cigarette case. I tested weak to it….I said “what was that????”
    He said “you test weak to CANDIDA!!!” Candida was in the cigarette case.
    We did Undecenoic acid, 45 days. Did not kill it. So, I went on the internet and did an in-home saliva test. I was totally positive. Finally found a product called THREELAC. You can get it now days on AFTER 1 BOX I FELT BETTER!!!!!!!
    It took about SIX BOXES over about 8-9 months….I had a bad case!!!!!! Lots of the above symptoms, including ARTHRITIS….which went away….it is caused by impurities and toxins that cause an inflammatory reaction in the joints!!!!! Toxins are an irritant. GET RID OF THE CAUSE AND………
    IT IS A PRODUCT THAT WORKS…BUT ONE BOX IS NOT A CURE!!!! It contains 3 lactic acid bacteria that EAT and cut back the yeast, they are naturally in the gut, you are only RESTORING something that really belongs there naturally. SO THIS IS A NATURAL CURE!!!!!! FIGHT A PEST WITH IT’S NATURAL ENEMY!!!!
    Threelac is made by a Japanese Pharmaceutical company. So it is made under laboratory conditions. I find it to be excellent!!!
    Undecenoic Acid did not work for me…. Oil of OREGANO, did not work for me….
    TAKE CARE OF THE CAUSE….YOU TAKE CARE OF THE CONDITION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AFTER the candida was taken care of…you still have the INTESTINAL DAMAGE TO DEAL WITH!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM NOW GLUTEN INTOLERANT. I was on a product called INTESTINAL REPAIR COMPLEX……FOR FOUR YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Candida overgrowth wears into your intestinal lining, making it permeable to even sugar molecules. So, ANYTHING you eat can go through into your body, and blood stream. This is why your auto-immune system is going off like firemen to a FIVE ALARM FIRE!!!!! You literally have CRAP in your BLOOD, that is going to EVERY PART AND ORGAN IN YOUR BODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Imagine your BRAIN ON FIRE!!!!!!!! That is what I FELT LIKE!!!!! Spicy food, ceyenne pepper, then gets into your blood, and goes to your brain. When I stopped having the ceyenne my brain cooled down!!!! No kidding, BUT TRY TELLING A DOCTOR THAT!!!! HE WILL TELL YOU IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your brain can’t FEEL anything!!!!! WELL SOMETHING MADE ME FEEL THAT WAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Toxins also made by the candida are also getting into your blood and going everywhere. They can irritate also!!!!!

    So get Threelac, you won’t need anything else!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After the Threelac and you feel better, go to the health store and look for some intestinal rebuilding products to RE-THICKEN YOUR INTESTINES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I speak from direct experience!!!


  5. Anonymous says

    I have just read your artical on Candida, I would ask, is this a female thing or can men suffer with it as well?

  6. Anonymous says

    Im sorry buddy truly! Me too, I’m never getting better. In the end this will kill me and that makes me sad. I think i have liver damage from it. i quit going to the doctor cause they are no help to me and its sad cause i have a 3 year old son. im a single mother. my whole family and every doctor i go to thinks that im crazy so. I give up!

  7. Cheri says

    cellulase is fairlly cheap and I have heard that it actually eats the candida thus eliminating the die off crisis. It is just a thought, my friend swear by it

  8. says

    To anonymous with the bad 15 year case. I FEEL FOR YOU!!!!!!
    One thing nobody realizes with Candida is the SECONDARY CONDITION that is caused by the Candida. Leaky Gut Syndrome. The Candida in Fungal form puts down “feet” into your intestines. When you get rid of the candida you now have HOLES in your intestines! That can leak bowel matter into your system. That is how the toxins and waste get into your body. A sugar molecule that could not go through, now does. It only takes one drop of matter to leak through. Your bodies auto-immune system kicks into high gear, and you feel like you have a constant fever. Oh, the doctors give you more anti-biotics for that, killing even more good bacteria! Thus worsening the condition. It is a nasty cycle!
    The thing to realize is now that the candida is back under control actually, you will still have your symptoms, because they are caused by this secondary hidden condition! To handle the leaky gut syndrome I was on Intestinal Repair Complex for 4 years. This is a nutritional supplement that thickens your intestine lining. I also took Ultra Clear Plus. These are powders that you mix like a shake and drink. EASY!
    Not cheap, but it did work.
    So, realize. Candida is not just one condition. IT IS TWO CONDITIONS. DIE OFF IS ONLY THE FIRST STAGE OF HEALING!!! The second is healing the secondary, leaky gut syndrome. There is a test your doctor, or chiropractor can give you to take home. It is called the Intestinal Permeability test. It is drinking a liquid with two sugars. One is insoluable. If that is detected in your urine, you are positive. Because it leaked there into the blood stream, then got filtered by the kidneys into the urine.
    So people. Now that you have done the Candida treatments, if you are still having symptoms and feel aweful, it is time to check out the leaky gut stage of this insidious condition.

  9. Anonymous says

    I would sincerely like to know if Candida has anything to do with chronic sinusitis. My daughter has been through sinus surgery and although the doctors are saying she needs revision surgery after 2 years, I am thinking that there is something much deeper going on with her auto immune system that needs to be dealt with in a natural homeopathic manner. Please advise and recommend – anyone who is reading this! Thank you and kind regards, A VERY WORRIED MOTHER

  10. Johnlatter says

    I’m in the UK. The whole medical profession stinks here – they just pound you with antibiotics – you don’t want them, but that’s all they can think of when you go to them with prostate pain, bladder problems, gut problems. They deny candida and fungal dysbiosis – why? Because it is antibiotics that cause it. It’s there drugs that damage the immune system. Why cannot the medical profession work to heal people – because of money – drugs means money and doctors and drugs can earn a fortune out of chronic illness. I was given antibiotics as a child constantly and later on in my life. My immune system got messed up – sinus problems, allergies, bladder, bowel problems, skin problems, toe nail problems – everything. And still the doctors give out antibiotics – when is it going to stop. The whole world should know about fungus.

  11. Anonymous says

    I just started on the McCombs plan for candida. This plan is the best and makes the most sense of anything I’ve read about. He explains how starving your body completely of sugars or bombing it constantly with antifungals will only cause the candida to become more systemic. So his plan includes fruit, potatoes, and brown rice. With his plan you take undecenoic acid, which turns the candida fungus back into it’s yeast from so your immune system can get rid of it. It’s not about bombing or killing the candida, (which you do when you use caprylic acid, nystatin, or Threelac), but about getting your system in balance so your immune system can take care of it. Yeast is so adaptive that you will never kill it, (and indeed you do not want to, as it serves an important function in your body when it is in balance with your other organisms), but if you keep trying to it will only create resistant strains. If you eat no natural sugars (i.e., fruit), you will have a weakened metabolic system, and candida will be much harder to fight. He also includes protocols to minimize die-off, such as trace minerals to get your bowels moving, and a sauna or steam bath daily to get rid of toxins. His plan is the most intelligent and most well-researched plan out there. I had never heard of him until a week ago, when I was doing desperate searches for a cure. I was just about to buy Threelac, but then read some weird things about it. It contains some strains that will kill the candida quickly, but will put your body even more out of balance by creating a microbe war inside of you. And I also read some truly scary horror stories about people who used it and got adverse reactions, some of which sound irreversible. I actually ordered Threelac and returned it before using it after reading this stuff. Then I watched a number of Jeff McCombs’ videos on YouTube, and was finally able to understand the science behind candida. He himself strongly cautions against Threelac. Anyone who is remotely interested in how candida works inside of the body should look at his videos on YouTube. They are an eye-opener. So to the person who has been suffering for 15 years, I would strongly recommend that you get on his plan and see if it works for you. It’s possible that what you have been doing has been making your condition worse. He thinks that candida overgrowth can be cured, but that people don’t go about it the right way and that’s why they think it’s incurable.

  12. mariapeterson says

    Thanks for Blog. A daily drink of bi carb soda – 1 teaspoon in a glass of water – will kill candida.

  13. missy says

    Im 30 years old, and have had candida from birth! i actually didnt no about it intill 10 years ago after giving up on the drs and seeing a health dr which is when i had the stool test and then found out more about it and answerd to why i had been unwell for all my life! ive looked in to candida being genetic and it does say that its possable. I no it is genetic for me, as my nan had it and my mom so it does pass threw to the child. Anyway all i can say is candida has ruined my life so far, im still on antidepressants due to the mental problems you get. I have tried threelac and only got threw 1 box, just to have horrible die of :( so gave up, now ive started threelac again! about a week in and feel nothing, no die off! also im taking candex about a week on them. Its really importent to take fiber to get rid of the toxins. Plus the horrible diet! and sweating is a big key part, to rid of the toxins. Also im taking parazyme before meals, as candida can also be part of low stomach acid. I have read alot about dr mccombes plan, and yes it seems good, thing is it all comes down to money because the supplements are not cheap! plus the foods. My symptoms of candida vary from itching skin, bloating, headaches, allergys, hair thinning, depression, anxiety, suicide thoughts, well theres lots more! oh and for 11 years ive had constant ringing in the ears :/ candida is such a big problem in the world yet the drs dont like to listen. I just hope il find something to get me better and feel like a healthy person :(

  14. ruth1969 says

    Im 42, been ill for years but struggled on, as everytime i went to Drs in UK they couldn’t find anything other than Colitis wrong with me.. Said it was due to stress.. I got to the end of my rope, so my brother brought me over to Hong Kong where he lives for a few months.. Went to see a nutritionist, one of the main things he found was Candida in my blood and colon and brain.. I looked it up.. Wow !!! I have been getting all the symptoms and illnesses it stated … i am so pleased that finally i am getting help.. Its along process i know.. But it wasnt all in my head….. so i am on lots of natural stuff and a new diet

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