Candida and MS

By: Elna Botes van Schalkwyk

Many practitioners would say there is definitely a link between Candida and MS. Candida is a fungal overgrowth in the gut. We all have some fungus in the gut, but when it proliferates out of control it overloads the immune system. In Candida, the normal yeast has had a population explosion and changed into a parasitic fungus that penetrates the bowel wall, puncturing it with little holes. This causes the leaky gut syndrome, where partly digested foodstuffs leak into the bloodstream, causing havoc.

Because candidiasis can affect many areas of the body at once, it can cause a variety of disorders and symptoms. In the mouth, C. albicans can produce thrush, or white plaques in the mouth and throat. In women, it is one of the sources of vaginitis, which produces itching, burning, and a sticky white or yellow discharge. Overgrowth of yeast may result in weak nails; skin infections, marked by redness, inflammation, and itching; or digestive upsets causing abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, rectal irritation, and colitis. Candidas may develop in the urethra or sinuses. Other symptoms can include fatigue, memory loss, mood swings, muscle and joint pain, nagging cough and congestion, and numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes. Home remedies for candida can help with many of these symptoms.

Although grapefruit seed extract (GSE) was not widely used until the 1970s, its use since then has rocketed as both doctors and patients have realized its broad applications against all kinds of infections, including Candida overgrowth. In a 1990 study, grapefruit seed extract was found to perform as well or better than 30 antibiotics and 18 fungicides. However, as a non-toxic, natural remedy, it had none of the side effects of the other treatments!

  • Grapefruit seed extract has a great selection of vitamins that can both do wonders for your general health, and also help you through your treatment for Candida overgrowth. It boosts your immune system and helps to repair liver cells that may be damaged by the release of Candida toxins in a Die-Off reaction.
  • Take Lactobacillus and bifidus probiotic supplements daily. These friendly bacteria grow to form a protective lining over the digestive tract that keeps yeast colonies from forming.
  • Avoid refined sugar, honey, maple syrup, and fruit juices. Also avoid chewing gums flavored with xylitol, which may aggravate thrush. Avoid antibiotics, steroids, and birth control pills unless medically directed to take them.
  • The beneficial bacteria acidophillus is thought to control candida by making the intestinal tract more acidic, discouraging the growth of candida, and by producing hydrogen peroxide, which directly kills candida.
  • One teaspoon to one tablespoon of soluble fiber containing guar gum, psyllium husks, flaxseeds or pectin can be mixed in an 8 oz glass of water two times per day on an empty stomach.
  • Oregano oil, peppermint oil, and other volatile oils are thought to prevent the overgrowth of candida. It is usually recommended for at least several months. A standard dosage is two capsules two times a day with water, in between meals.
  • Barberry tea will help, but not just on its own. The herb barberry is rich in the alkaloid berberine, which has a powerful effect on the immune system and in cleansing the colon. You can take it either as a tea, a tincture, or in capsules mixed with other herbs which help colon health.
  • Diet is an important part of the Candida cleanse. Make sure you follow strict alkaline diet! The length of time on the Candida cleanse depends on the length of time one has had symptoms, symptom severity, and overall health. People may notice improvement after strict adherence to the diet for two to four weeks. For others it takes months. Once symptoms are gone and lab tests show significant improvement, foods from the restricted list can be slowly incorporated back into the diet.

Here is a sample list of foods to temporarily avoid while on a candida diet.

  • Sugar: Refined sugar is thought to encourage the growth of Candida yeast. Foods containing refined sugar include: white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, maple sugar, molasses, date sugar, turbinado, raw sugar, demerrara, amasake, rice syrup, sorghum. Read labels carefully because there may be hidden forms of sugar. When reading the label, words to watch out for include: sucrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glycogen, glucose, mannitol, sorbitol, galactose, monosaccharides, polysaccharides.
  • Fruit : Fruit contain natural sugars that are thought to support the growth of yeast. Fruit that are typically eliminated include fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruit and juice.
  • Yeast: Foods that contain yeast are typically eliminated. Yeast-containing foods include: Baker's yeast, Brewer's yeast, Engevita, Torula, and any other types of nutritional yeast.Baked goods raised with yeast such as breads, rolls, crackers, bagels, pastries, and muffins are not permitted.
  • Foods Containing Gluten: Gluten-containing foods include wheat, barley, and rye. This includes products made with these ingredients such as bread and pasta.
  • Vinegar: Includes all types of vinegar, such as white vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, and balsamic vinegar, and any food made with vinegage, such as mayonnaise, commercial salad dressing, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, BBQ sauce, shrimp sauce, soy sauce, mustard, pickles, pickled vegetables, green olives, relishes, horseradish, mincemeat, and chili sauce.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are typically not allowed on Candida diets.
  • Also make sure that you limit your intake of dairy products and eggs.