Dr. Richard Podell is a clinical professor at New Jersey's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He has special interests in fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, stress-related disorders, and clinical nutrition. Dr. Podell has offices in Springfield and Somerset, New Jersey. For more information, see DrPodell.org.*
“Candida develops within a web of interactions among all of the body's natural healing systems. Thus, the full range of health problems needs to be recognized and treated.” – Dr. Podell
In the late 1970's Orion Truss, MD, proposed that Candida yeast, which normally lives in the human intestine, can also secrete toxins. Truss believed that these toxins can disrupt normal metabolism, causing or worsening a vast range of health problems.
All physicians agree that yeast infection treatments can help vaginal Candida infections. However, Dr. Truss argued that Candida diets and yeast infection treatments can also help many other health conditions.
Conditions That May Respond to Candida
Diets and Candida Treatments:
- Chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
- Immune system dysfunction
- Arthritis/joint pain
- Fibromyalgia-type muscle pains
- Migraine and tension headaches
- Hypothyroid, low thyroid, thyroid inflammation
- Eczema and other skin rash
- Insomnia and non-restorative sleep
- Irritable bowel and irritable bladder syndromes
- Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- Gastritis and heartburn reflux
- Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome
- Asthma, nasal and other allergies.
- Depression, anxiety and stress related-disorders.
- Chronic Lyme disease and co-infections
Candida Yeast Vaginitis
In the early 1980's William Crook, MD, himself a Candida patient, popularized Candida diets and treatments through a series of books, including The Yeast Connection. In contrast, mainstream physicians felt that Candida diets and yeast infection treatments were nonsense, or worse.
After all, they argued, Candida yeast normally lives in our intestines and on the skin. So how could it harm us? Surely, Truss' and Crook's wonderful Candida diets and yeast infection treatments had to be just placebos.
Despite this skepticism, alternative, holistically-minded physicians throughout the country increasingly report that Candida diets and yeast infection treatments really do help their patients, just as Truss and Crook claimed. Recent scientific research makes these claims plausible. For example:
• Candida has been shown to suppress one branch of the immune system - the part that helps fights infections.
• Yet it stimulates another - the immune system branch that makes allergies worse.
• Candida also increases the harm caused by certain toxins, such as those of “toxic shock syndrome.”
So, it's not a great leap to suppose that Candida yeast products, absorbed through the intestine, might cause harm to the body.
Still, the question remains controversial and unanswered - Are Candida diets and medical Candida treatments placebo, or do they really work?
Dr. Podell has added Candida diets and Candida treatments to the medical therapy for more than 1,000 persons since he first worked with Dr. Truss and Dr. Crook in the early 1980's. The excellent results that so many patients report have convinced Dr. Podell that the Candida Yeast Theory is real, and that adding this therapy can help many people.
Fortunately, adding Candida treatment is inexpensive, not too difficult, and relatively safe, providing that it's done and monitored with modest good sense.
What Are Yeast Infection Treatments
and Candida Diets?
The most important Candida treatment is moderately reducing the carbohydrates in your diet.
• Candida diets sharply restrict “empty calorie” sugar products, grains, and alcoholic beverages.
• They may also restrict foods that are high in yeast, such as mushrooms, stinky cheese, vinegar, olives, soy sauce and pickles.
Dr. Podell finds that a slightly more liberal Candida diet usually works just as well as the extremely strict ones.
Dr. Podell's Candida diet:
• Encourages vegetables and allows moderate intake of fruit and berries, nuts, seeds, legumes non-sweetened yogurt, cottage cheese and plain cheeses.
• Usually allows up to two slices of bread daily OR one serving of pasta OR one serving of cereal.
• Like other Candida diets, strictly limits sugar, honey, molasses and “empty calorie” junk foods.
If a Candida diet alone is not enough, Dr. Podell's Candida treatments select from among a large number of natural supplements and/or medication for yeast infection treatments.
• Dr. Truss advocated Nystatin as the main Candida yeast infection treatment. Oral Nystatin, in most cases, is not absorbed [into the bloodstream] from the bowel. This makes Nystatin extremely safe as Candida treatment.
• Diflucan-type antifungal yeast infection treatment medicines are also used. As medicines go, Diflucan (generic name fluconazole) Candida treatment is relatively safe. However, Diflucan is absorbed systemically and must be monitored for potential side-effects and drug interactions.
Do you Need Candida Treatment?
Dr. William Crook proposed the following Candida Yeast Infection Treatment Questionnaire as a first screening test. If your answer is "yes" to any of the questions below, circle the number associated with it. When you've completed the questionnaire, add up the points.
Dr. Crook’s Candida Yeast Infection Treatment Questionnaire
1. Have you taken repeated or prolonged courses of antibacterial drugs?
2. Have you been bothered by recurrent Candida vaginitis, or prostate or urinary tract infection?
3. Do you feel "sick all over," yet the cause hasn't been found?
4. Are you bothered by hormone disturbances, including PMS, menstrual irregularities, sexual dysfunction, sugar craving, low body temperature or fatigue?
5. Are you unusually sensitive to tobacco smoke, perfumes, colognes and other chemical odors?
6. Are you bothered by memory or concentration problems? Do you sometimes feel "spaced out"?
7. Have you taken prolonged courses of prednisone or other steroids; or have you taken "the pill" for more than 3 years?
8. Do some foods disagree with you or trigger your symptoms?
9. Do you suffer with constipation, diarrhea, bloating or abdominal pain?
10. Does your skin itch, tingle or burn; or is it unusually dry; or are you bothered by rashes?
CandidaTreatment Scoring Scale for women: If your Candida treatment score is 9 or more, Dr. Crook inferred that your health problems are probably Candida yeast-connected. If your score is 12 or more, your health problems are almost certainly yeast-connected.
CandidaTreatment Scoring Scale for men: If your Candida yeast infection treatment score is 7 or more, Dr. Crook inferred that your health problems are probably yeast-connected. If your Candida Yeast Infection Treatment Score is 10 or more, your health problems are almost certainly yeast-connected.
Please understand: The Candida Treatment Questionnaire that Dr. Crook developed is only a screening tool. It does not actually diagnose Candida yeast infection or tell you that a Candida diet or Candida yeast infection treatment is definitely what you need. For more information please visit The Yeast Connection® website.
[In particular, see the advice regarding “Yeast-Fighting Nutritional Supplements.” The Candida-fighting basics discussed there include: (1) Probiotics to regain and maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive tract, (2) Digestive Enzymes, (3) Herbs & Nutrients known to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, such as oregano oil, black walnut, Pau D'Arco, or grapefruit seed extract, and (4) a daily vitamin & mineral supplement.]
Your decision about Candida yeast infection treatments should include consultation with a knowledgeable health professional - one who appreciates that yeast infection treatment could be important, but who does not prescribe Candida diets and Candida treatments for each and every patient.
A Holistic Approach to Candida Diets
and Candida Infection Treatments
Your doctor should understand that Candida yeast problems rarely occur alone as the sole critical factor affecting your health.
• Most people who score high on Dr. Crook's Candida Yeast Infection Treatment Questionnaire have multiple valid physical and/or mental health problems - not just Candida.
• These other problems may increase vulnerability to Candida yeast.
• Candida yeast infections, at the same time, increase vulnerability to these other problems.
• Candida develops within a web of interactions among all of the body's natural healing systems. Thus, the full range of health problems needs to be recognized and treated.
We discuss this holistic interactive model on several pages of our website, particularly in our fibromyalgia page and in our chronic fatigue syndrome page. Both pages contain a section titled: "Eight Vicious Cycles That Interrupt Healing." The Candida vicious cycle is just one of several important ones that should receive attention.
Dr. Marjorie Crandall has a useful website on Yeast Consulting Services. [Dr. Crandall is an independent consultant/medical researcher who specializes in counseling patients on diagnosis and treatment of yeast infection and “yeast syndrome.”]
Richard Podell, MD
The Podell and King Medical Practice
105 Morris Avenue, Suite 200
Springfield, NJ 07081
Somerset, NJ office: 732-565-9224
* This article is reproduced here with kind permission of Dr. Podell, from his educational website (DrPodell.org). © 2002 Podell & King Medical Practice.
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is for general information purposes only and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any condition, illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.