Have you ever walked into a kitchen right about the time a fresh baked loaf of bread comes out of the oven? The aroma of fresh baked bread is intoxicating and it fills the entire house with…. Temptation! Then there is the aesthetic value of the golden brown crust virtually spilling over the pan, crunchy on the outside yet hot and moist on the inside. Ok, I confess I just took a break from writing and toasted two slices of bread and covered them with real butter, yum! It is amazing to me that a tiny little organism called yeast makes the bread dough raise and expand; it doesn’t take much a little goes a long way!
This month’s topic is candida albicans, a fungal yeast that can cause numerous health conditions if allowed to proliferate in the human body. If you have read any of my previous articles you are well aware of my angle, I find a spiritual application for each months health topic and leave the clinical info to the guys (or girls!) in the lab coats! With all of that said, candida albicans can make your life miserable, I know I suffered with it for years.
As a teenager, I was blessed with great skin. In high school I would see kids walking the halls with acne covered faces and thank God for my clear skin. When I entered my mid twenties however, things began to change! I developed a form of cystic acne that left untreated usually resulted in permanent scarring. I made an appointment with a dermatologist and he gave me a prescription for tetracycline and said I would need to stay on it indefinitely. Before long the acne disappeared. A few months later other symptoms started to surface, a toenail fungus, bloated abdomen and brain fog (spacey feeling). I went to the doctor and he could not find anything wrong. My health continued to decline, I became weak, tired and started to develop pain in my joints and trigger points for this the doctor prescribed prednisone. Now remember at this point I am a twenty-five year old musician with a poor diet and absolutely no idea what I was doing to myself!
After taking prednisone the joint pain subsided however the bloating got worse and I started bleeding when I used the bathroom. I didn’t notice it for some time but I even started withdrawing socially, my bubbly outgoing personality was morphing into a depressed, isolated survival.
After a year of antibiotics and months of prednisone my immune system started shutting down. I had to avoid sick people like the plague, as I had no defenses left. One day as I was walking in downtown Atlanta and I came across a heath food store and went in. I had no way of knowing that I was about to meet a man who would change my life forever.
I looked past the counter at a man with a kind face and a name tag that said “Bill”. He looked over his glasses at me with that; “you have never been in a health food store in your life” face, then he said, “can I help you son”?
Maybe it was his kind face, maybe it was my desperation but I broke down and told him everything, without emoting he said, “It won’t be easy, but we will beat this thing” What “thing” I asked, the next sixty minutes was like Neo meeting Morpheus!
Bill took saliva samples, checked my pulse, looked at my eyes, had me fill out an exhaustive questionnaire and finally the verdict… you guessed it, candida albicans! Little did I know this “chance” meeting with Bill would catapult me into a lifelong study of health and wellness which would eventually bring me to you today dear reader.
Like I previously mentioned, I will leave the research data and clinical research to the professionals, my job this month is to bring hope and peace and a little spiritual correction to those who suffer or have loved ones who are suffering with this potentially devastating condition. I know what you are thinking, “did you recover”? And if so “how did you do it”? Yes, I recovered, how I did it is another matter all together. You see, there is no “one way’’ of attacking candida albicans it is a living organism that plays a vital role in the body, as long as it remains in check.
You see it was created to live in symbiosis in your body. God created your body to operate flawlessly as long as there is balance (homeostasis) When we abuse antibiotics, take prednisone (steroidal) and live on a high carbohydrate low protein diet, we create an imbalance in our body which in turn creates the ultimate environment for candida albicans to proliferate. Candida albicans favorite food is sugar, the more you feed it, and the more it grows. So even though candida albicans is more prevalent in females, it is extremely opportunistic anyone with a diet of predominantly carbohydrates (sugars and starches) who is using antibiotics and/or suffers from a deficient immune system is a prime target. Another problem with candida is it doesn’t want to leave it likes the environment you have created for it so it will morph into resistant strains that will require you to occasionally change your protocol to have success beating this stubborn foe. In advanced cases Candida albicans can permeate the blood/brain barrier, which can cause a myriad of problems including psychological issues like, forgetfulness, depression, confusion, brain fog, mood swings even mania. Likewise candida often permeates the intestines causing digestion problems known as leaky gut syndrome. I suffered from all of the above and recovered and so can you IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP!
I wish I had more space to go into detail on my personal protocol, I will share what I can in the space allotted and I would highly recommend reading every article in Barton Publishing “home cures that work” so you will have a comprehensive attack plan.
The first thing you will need to do is radically change your diet! For some of you, removing sugars, starches and most dairy products (especially cheese) from your diet will be a titanic challenge however it is nigh unto impossible to succeed if you don’t. Believe it or not the candida in your body is causing you to crave the food it needs to survive! When I learned this it made me mad enough to do something about it, there was no way I was going to let an opportunistic fungus tell me what I was going to have for dinner!
The next step was realizing that doctors were not initially the modality that offered the best solutions, as many were in denial of the condition all together. There are many wonderful natural alternatives that are extremely effective. Outside of the multitude of candida cleanses available online or at your local health food store, here are four things that you can try that helped me initially.
- Pau de Arco tea, a wonderful and unique tea made from the red lapacho tree bark is your new best friend, drink it as often as you like.
- A quality probiotic, I used “Bio K” but any good “multi specie” probiotic will help as you will need to get as much “friendly” bacteria in your system as possible to offset the candida overgrowth.
- Deodorized (social) garlic capsules at least three times a day and finally
- Caprylic acid, this little dynamo is derived from coconuts and will create a ph environment that creates havoc for candida! (Important side note) remember, candida albicans is a living organism if your case is advanced, any remedy that is effective is actually “killing off” the candida, and therefore during the die off stage you may experience a Herxheimer reaction or healing crisis. This healing crisis is completely normal yet can be uncomfortable, symptoms may include, headaches, body odor, dizziness and flu-like aches and pains.
There is nothing to be alarmed about and the quickest way to get instant relief is an old school coffee enema (instructions can be found on google). Everyone responds differently to candida protocols, if you are uncomfortable going it alone you may want to seek a naturopathic doctor in your area or contact one of our qualified contributors.
Mark 8:15; “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
Finally, here is a secret to overcoming your condition. The medical community has an overarching description of candida interestingly they call it a yeast infection. When baking bread the yeast or leaven is added to the dough to make it rise. In the Old Testament especially the book of Exodus, twelfth chapter we see the Israelites are instructed to rid their homes of yeast for seven days and to, verse, 20, “Eat NOTHING made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.” A closer examination of the text will help us unlock the mystery. The yeast of the Pharisee and of Herod had a root… PRIDE, which fueled their hypocrisy. You see, leaven or yeast causes the host to rise, become puffed up, self-absorbed, self-centered just like it causes bread to rise.
When we become prideful or self-centered we begin to believe the whole world revolves around us! God was not concerned with the yeast from a nutritional standpoint, it was a symbolic decree, which rightly interpreted said, I want a humble people not a prideful posse of self absorbed worshippers. You see, he asked them to eat unleavened bread, or as it is commonly referred to, humble bread. You see friends, when I was suffering with candida I completely adhered to the proper diet, took all of the right supplements, read every book on the subject, consulted with experts and ultimately only found an element of success. And one day (with help from my wife Lillian) I realized the truth, I had become so obsessed with my “cure” my wellbeing, that everything became about me! As a minister, counselor, friend, husband, I had abandoned my call to give and was only concerned with receiving! When I began to help others with their burdens, mine became lighter, when I began to push past my discomfort to comfort others I was comforted. When I resumed my place as a healer, I was healed! Was the therapy helpful? Yes! Was the diet important? Yes! But the healing came quickly once I determined not to make candida albicans the motivating factor of my life. Pride is subtle it cloaks itself beneath suffering so stealthily that you may believe that nobody cares how much you are suffering, you can actually believe that your condition is more important than anything else in the world.
I read this once and it cut me to the heart, “I once complained that I had no shoes till I met a happier man with no feet.” Friend, if you have candida you WILL recover, but if you live a self-absorbed life of pride, candida will be the yeast of your problems. When you help another hurting soul you will soon discover the healing power of these words, “ It is more blessed to give, than it is to receive.” Be Well! Michael