I get asked a lot of questions about candida so I thought it would be a lot easier if I made a Frequently Asked Questions page. Now I dont class myself as the world’s greatest candida expert so my replies are just from my own experience and research. So if anyone has any better replies or wants to add their own thoughts to my replies then please let me know via the Comments box at the bottom of the page. And finally if you have a question that is not listed please let me know.
Best wishes, Katie x
Q. How do I know if I have candida?
A. Good question! I think a lot of people mistakenly attribute their ill health to candida and I know I certainly have fallen into that trap myself. It worries me when I meet people who are excluding important foods from their diet for long periods and trying different remedies from the health shop without professional help and advice. The DIY approach can be dangerous although I do understand why people are tempted to see if it might help. Personally I strongly recommend that you find a naturopath in your area who can test you. I am currently researching other methods and I will expand this answer in the near future.
Q. Why do I have to exclude certain foods from my diet if I have candida?
A. There are two main reasons. The first is simply that the candida lives primarily in your gut and feeds off certain foods that you eat. So by reducing or eliminating the foods and drinks which feed the candida then you should be able to slowly starve the candida and reduce the levels in your body. The second reason is that the candida can create what I call ‘temporary food intolerances’ and other temporary allergies. So you may find that certain foods disagree with you and yet you have been able to eat them in the past. Or perhaps you’ve noticed hayfever-like symptoms and wonder if you are allergic now to pollen or dust etc.. The good news is that these allergies are not long term ones and if you avoid them as much as you can for 8 weeks while you do the candida diet then there is a good chance you will be able to slowly reintroduce them. The next obvious question is…
Q. How do you know which temporary intolerances have you developed?
A. Personally I never found trial exclusion worked despite keeping a detailed food diary for months. The only thing which works for me is allergy testing using kinesiology. I dont do it myself – I found someone who is trained to use this method.
Q. How long will it take me to get better?
A. It is really difficult to predict. It depends on how long you have had candida and how bad it is. I have also learnt that it depends on how low your immune system is and if there are any other underlying health problems. I know people who have undertaken the 8 week candida diet and treatment and have been able to clear the candida completely. They are able to put it behind them and get on with their lives. Lucky things! I had underlying problems, stress and a weakened immune system so its been harder. But I’ve managed it and if I can do it then I’m sure there’s a good chance you can too!
Q. How bad was your candida?
A. I can recall being really ill before I was diagnosed and during the early stages of the treatment. I can remember literally staggering to the local health shop in despair. I felt so dizzy, weak and ill that I could barely walk and I couldnt even manage to get the shop without feeling I was going to pass out. In complete despair I bought a chocolate bar in the nearby shop and stood leaning up against a wall with my eyes closed eating the chocolate and praying that the sugar would give me enough energy to get the health shop. I knew the resulting energy would drop off massively and I had to hope I could get home safely before that happened. I stood in the health shop gripping hold of the side of the counter and feeling like the whole shop was swimming before my eyes. I managed to explain what was wrong and the owner gave me some anti-candida remedies. I got home and I collapsed on the sofa. The next thing I knew it was an hour later as I had fallen asleep as soon as I lay down. That was just one example of some of the bad times. I’ve had bad spells in the supermarket, in the middle of holding a training session (I was the trainer) and in the middle of the night. I have collapsed due to the candida. I can remember lying on the floor of a restaurant toilet and people stepping over me tutting about how ‘drunk’ I was. I wasn’t drunk. I had drunk one glass of red wine and all of a sudden I couldn’t focus properly. In fact I couldn’t see properly and I felt like my entire system was shutting down. It was terrifying. I crept to the ladies toilet but I couldn’t make it to a seat and I collapsed on the floor. Luckily someone brought me a soft drink and the sugar helped me to come around. In fact weirdly within minutes I had gone from being unable to stand, see or talk properly to feeling full of energy. It shook me up and I just went home really worried. It was sometime later when I discovered that I had several health problems and a severe candida infection which was affecting my blood sugar levels. One of the worst aspect was that the bad spells knocked my confidence massively. I became really nervous of it happening and I developed panic attacks whenever I was faced with a similar situation. I have had to get rid of the candida and learn how to overcome the panic attacks and rebuild my confidence. The good news is that I’m fine now and I’ve put it all behind me. I just hope that my experiences will help other people.
Q. Can you now eat whatever you want?
A. Yes but I dont go overboard. I try to keep everything in moderation as I don’t want to push my luck! To be honest I was starting to think I would have to live the rest of my life with candida and I would never be able to eat sugary things again. It was really depressing. I remember realising that there were whole aisles in the supermarket with absolutely nothing in them for me to eat e.g. the bread and cakes aisle. I found that depressing too. But now I can eat anything and everything. I have sugar every day in my coffee and a biscuit. I enjoy ice cream, chocolate and the occasional alcoholic drink. I dont go crazy and I’ve been warned that my favourite tipple (red wine) is particularly bad as its laden with yeast and sugar so I have the very occasional glass. I dont know if I would fine drinking it every week but I’m not a big drinker so I’m not interested in finding out. But I’ve noticed I can eat sugary foods and still remain healthy. I dont say this to boast but to give hope to anyone reading this who wonders if they are ever going to get better. It is possible to get better and put it behind you so stay positive and I hope my blog will help you.
Q. Do you recommend going to your GP for candida treatment?
A. It depends on your Doctor. Personally I have given up on my Doctors for candida help. Years ago I asked them for help and they recommended peppermint capsules which I tried with no success at all. I returned and asked for a referral to a consultant which I ended up paying for as I didn’t want to wait a really long time. I went along to a Bupa specialist and he told me that my problems were due to ‘hidden’ stress relating to an accident years earlier. It was a total waste of time and money. When I returned to the Doctors and complained the GP just shrugged. At that point the candida (I didnt know it was candida then) was ruining my life. I had no social life and friends had drifted away as I turned down invitations as I had such bad stomach aches each night. I was only young and when I asked the Doctor what could I do as the peppermint didn’t work, he didn’t have an answer. I remember saying “Am I going to be like this for the rest of my life?” and he just nodded. And by the way I saw several doctors at my surgery in a vain attempt to find one which would help. However now I am 100% better I returned to the Doctors and explained how I have got better. I asked if they could recommend a naturopath to anyone else that they are unable to help as I would hate to think there were other patients at the surgery suffering in the same way. Suffice to say that the Doctor I saw was not in the least bit interested. But you may have a more enlightened Doctor so I would give it a go and see if they can help.
More questions and answers will be added here shortly. Please let me know if you have any questions to add or if you have any comments on the replies given.