TREATMENT: DRUGS, DIET AND LIFESTYLE
If you have candidiasis, there are two generally accepted treatment plans. The first is to use an antifungal treatment, which works against candida by disrupting its cell walls. Options include ointments or vaginal tablets or suppositories for vaginal yeast infections. Most treatment lasts from two to three days up to two weeks, and should be taken as prescribed to make sure the infection is completely eradicated.
But antifungal treatment only addresses the surface-level symptoms, which will keep returning if you don’t tackle the cause of the imbalance – your diet and lifestyle. Candida thrives on sugar and carbohydrates, so removing these from your eating plan will reduce your chances of developing an overgrowth. The ‘Candida Diet’ eliminates things like high-sugar desserts, soft drinks, chocolate bars, flour and sweets. But it is most effective when you also remove complex carbs from your diet, such as fruit, bread, pasta and potatoes.
Fortunately, there are many wonderful real foods left that don’t feed the candida, and by following an LCHF or paleo lifestyle, you will already be avoiding the foods that need to be eliminated.
Alcohol, as mentioned, is another candidiasis trigger. It has a negative effect on the immune system, prevents restful sleep and lowers energy levels – the perfect way to kickstart a yeast infection. If you already have an overgrowth of candida, cut out alcohol until your health is restored. Then drink again if you like, but reduce your intake.
In terms of what to add, probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium are effective in helping to restore a healthy balance in the bowel and mucous membranes. Other supplements that help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system include vitamins C and E, selenium and a mix of omega-6 (evening primrose oil) and omega-3 (fish oil). Many alternative healthcare practitioners recommend eating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kefir, which encourage good bacteria to flourish in the gut. Start with one or two teaspoons a day and increase the dose as your body becomes accustomed to it. But, as always, consult your doctor before using new medications or supplements.
Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut encourages good bacteria to flourish.