What is Candida? (and How to Tell if You Have It)

Candida - what is it and how to know if you have it

Note from Katie: I get a lot of questions about Candida, and I only mentioned it briefly in this post about gut bacteria, so I asked Christa Orecchio, who is a clinical nutritionist and holistic health coach to share her program for identifying and eliminating Candida. Enter Christa…

It’s safe to say by now that we all know sugar is bad for our health.

We know that we shouldn’t consume it often, but that’s much easier said than done. Sugar is a sneaky, addictive substance and the break up isn’t always as easy as just making the decision to stop. That’s why we have to understand what it does to our biochemistry well enough to put an effective and long-lasting sugar-kicking strategy in place.

In some cases, it’s not our fault that we are collectively addicted to this stuff. Our food supply has changed so dramatically in the last 60 years, that we kind of got lulled into it.

For example, the average soda size in 1955 was only 7 ounces. Over the last five decades, it slowly crept up and now we have the Big Gulp weighing it at 128 ounces (that would be like 17 sodas in 1955)!

What Qualifies Something as an Addictive Substance?

  1. Having just a little bit creates a desire for more
  2. Suddenly quitting causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings, and fatigue

This addiction has led to a downward cycle of health issues including mineral deficiencies, thyroid imbalances, adrenal exhaustion, leaky gut syndrome, autoimmune conditions, and digestive and mood imbalances.

It’s a slippery slope, but sometimes the sugar cravings are bigger than us.

I have seen this so often in my practice and experienced it acutely myself. When someone comes to me with sugar cravings that “take over” (like a craving that has you running out for something sweet at 11pm in your pajamas) then I test him or her for Candida as a root cause not only of their sugar addiction, but also of all the issues listed above.

What is Candida?

Candida albicans is an opportunistic organism and pathogenic yeast. We all have it in our bodies, and most of the time, it’s harmless. But when it overgrows, it causes major problems and symptoms such as:

  1. Persistent constipation, bloating, or gas
  2. Mental fog you simply can’t shake
  3. Debilitating chronic fatigue/exhaustion
  4. Intense sugar cravings
  5. Chronic sinus infections
  6. Excess mucous
  7. Recurring vaginal yeast infections
  8. Persistent food or environmental allergies
  9. Depression and anxiety
  10. White coating on the tongue
  11. Hypothyroidism (Candida inhibits thyroid conversion)

In a perfect world, our good bacteria would keep Candida in check and it wouldn’t be a problem, only we are doing so many things daily to kill our good gut bacteria that so many people unknowingly struggle with it.

What Contributes to Candida Overgrowth?

  1. Antibiotics- even just one full-spectrum round can cause it
  2. Antibiotics in our meat supply
  3. Overconsumption of sugar and processed, refined foods
  4. Overconsumption of alcohol and coffee
  5. Chronic, prolonged stress
  6. C-section deliveries
  7. Mercury exposure from dental fillings, vaccines, & tattoos.
  8. Birth control pills

Any one or a combination of these things kill our good gut flora, thin our gut lining, and compromise our immunity enough to allow this opportunistic organism (and often times many other pathogens) to take over and dominate our gut health.

And when anything dominates our gut health, it’s only a short matter of time before it dominates our hormonal health and immune health.

How to Test for Candida

There are stool, blood, and saliva lab tests for Candida overgrowth. While I prefer to run an 8-day stool test on someone when looking for pathogens in their GI tract, many people cannot afford to run labs and many don’t want to go through the hassle of testing.

When that is the case, there is a fast, easy, free DIY Candida spit test you can do at home.

For six days, keep a pen and paper in the bathroom. When you wake up, (before you eat or drink anything), fill a glass of water halfway and spit a dime-sized amount of saliva into the glass.

Watch it a few times (you don’t have to stare it down) over a 45-minute period and record your results each day for six days.

Your saliva will either stay floating on top, it will sink to the bottom, or it will grow legs. If it stays floating on top, there is likely no Candida overgrowth to worry about, but if it grows legs or especially if it sinks, then Candida is likely an issue for you.

I have run this test in tandem with stool, saliva, and blood tests many times and it has proven accurate. The reason you must test daily for six days is to mitigate variables. Keep to your normal diet while testing.

I have a short video showing you exactly how to do this DIY test here.

How to Get Rid of Candida

If you have Candida, don’t worry; you can get it back in balance. You can break up with sugar, for good. You can get your thyroid working well again so that you have mental clarity and can lose weight and keep it off with greater ease. You can have good digestion, a strong immune system, and good moods.

If you suspect you have Candida and want to know more about how to get rid of it, I have a 30-minute TV episode that shares my protocol on how I’ve helped countless others kick it in 6 weeks time.

We use a combination of a carefully crafted no sugar, no fermentation, diet (here are 52 Candida-diet friendly recipes) along with a 16-day antifungal rotation that includes grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, olive leaf extract, and Pau D’arco. There are also GI cleansing agents involved like food grade diatomaceous earth and bentonite clay as well as the yeast eating strain of probiotic called saccharomyces boulardii.

This cleanse is then followed up with gut rebuilding agents to re-establish good gut flora, repair the mucosal lining, and rebuild hydrochloric acid. All of these components are necessary for lasting positive health changes and to be sure the Candida does not return. After digestive repair is achieved, then we give the thyroid and adrenals a boost.

Note: if you are pregnant or nursing, you cannot take the majority of the supplements I recommend in my Candida Protocol except the probiotics. You can instead do it through the Candida diet and by increasing antifungal food sources on a smaller scale.

After a decade in private practice and working with thousands of real people, I cannot have a stronger belief in the power of the human body. When you give the body what it needs and remove what burdens it, it will heal itself and it will thrive.

You don’t have to live your life craving sugar, being tired, or managing a litany of other uncomfortable symptoms. You can use food as your medicine to heal and to thrive.

About the Author: Christa Orecchio is a clinical and holistic nutritionist with a mission to help as many people as possible using food as medicine so that they can thrive. She’s a Wellness Media Featured Contributor, and author of “The Whole Journey Cookbook: 180 Delicious Ways to Use Food as Medicine“. Check out Christa’s website, The Whole Journey, to learn more.

Do you have symptoms of candida? Ever been tested? Want to try out the Candida Protocol? Share below!

Candida is a type of yeast that naturally occurs in the body but that can be harmful in abundance and can lead to sugar cravings and health problems.

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Reader Comments

  1.  Just wondering if you have read the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride?  Even if you don’t have major health issues, following her diet plan for awhile really is a great guide to learning how to eat healthy. We have been off and on it a few times and each time my sugar/sweet food cravings are almost eliminated just after a couple of days.  Anyways. just a thought.  Good luck on your journey! 

  2. I understand about the fruit.  Although I did not eat as much of it as you were (are) eating, the idea of living without fruit was unimaginable.  However, once I made the commitment to eat low carb, fruit had to go, and after a short while, I did not miss it.  The only fruit I have had in the past two years is berries, and that is rare. 

    I know you have been reading books that are telling you that eating that much fruit is unhealthy.  I know, because I have read all the same books.  At some point, it comes down to you deciding what you are going to do, and then making the commitment to do it.

    Can you be addicted to fruit?  I think so.  Your body can be so dependent on the sugar that you are eating that it cries out for it when it is not there.  The only thing to do about an addiction, in my opinion, is to break it.  Stop eating vast amounts of fruit.  Believe it or not, your body will adjust over the next week or so and the cravings will end.  Eating the amount of sugar you are eating is only leading you toward Type 2 Diabetes and other illnesses.  Just because it is “natural” does not mean it is healthy.  If you cannot give up fruit all together, I would suggest limiting yourself to 1/2 cup of some sort of berry per day.

    I know that in your heart you know this is not healthy.  From what you have said, even your own body is trying to tell you to stop eating all that sugar.  You have cravings, sure, but so do people that are addicted to Coca-Cola or chocolate.  Just because you crave it does not mean you should eat it.  And the cravings will stop, believe me, when your body readjusts.

    • Im sorry but i disagree. Eating fruit is goof for you. candida or not. its better then eating artificial sugars. Eating Whole vegan is very healthy. I dont see Raw vegans sick. they are a lot healthier. Especially if you are eating locally grown organic fruits and vegetables.

    • You have a major problem with this. Fruit and greens is our natural diet. It us what humans were designed to eat and what they did eat before they invented weapons and discovered fire. You need fruit sugar to live. Every cell in your body needs it including your brain. Without glucose you die.

      • You are wrong. I was never healthier with more energy than when I cut all fruit, and sugar. 90 days and I am a triathlete. I trained and competes in an Olympic distance triathlon in that timeframe. That’s 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, and a 10 k run.

  3.  How many eggs do you get per day?  Do you ever eat any liver?  You’ve had so much fructose in your diet and you struggle so much with blood sugar issues that I’m curious whether you’re getting enough choline in your diet.  Animal studies have shown that in the presence of choline deficiency is when sugar does the most damage to the liver, leading to fun things like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  (That can show up in labs as elevated liver enzymes, but it doesn’t always.  If you’re at all insulin-resistant, that should be warning sign enough.)

    The adult daily requirement for choline is somewhere between 400 and 500mg.  I think the choline content of an egg yolk is somewhere between 100 and 200mg.  Liver has even more.

    There’s a lot of fear surrounding organ meat consumption but the benefit you get from the stuff far outweighs the risks.  If it helps, try incorporating livers from pastured animals into your diet rather than eating the CAFO stuff.  If you just can’t bring yourself to eat liver, though, you’ll want to increase your egg intake.

    Also, rather than doing high protein, high fat you might try doing moderate protein and high fat.  The general rule of thumb is to consume anywhere between 0.8g and 1g of protein daily per pound of lean weight you want to maintain.  If you’re sedentary go more toward the 0.8g side; if active, more like 1g.  I think very athletic people can get away with 2g of protein per pound of weight but we’re talking high-intensity exercise.

    If you find you just can’t live without fruit, maybe change what type of fruit you eat.  Berries and most melons (not watermelon) are pretty low in sugar.

    Give your body time to adjust to the increased fat intake.  Your body changes how much of each enzyme it produces according to how much food you eat that requires that enzyme.  Someone who’s gone low-fat for a long time will not find it easy to transition to high-fat because they’re not making enough lipase yet.  Give it time and reintroduce slowly.  And be sure to get a mix of fatty acid types.  Everybody goes on and on about medium-chain triglycerides like you find in coconut oil, but it’s the long-chain fatty acids such as those found in butter that give your gallbladder a workout.  So getting some of those in your diet as well is a good idea.

    Hope some of this helps.

    • Is there a formula (or ballpark) for how much fat should be consumed?

  4. You clearly have to reduce the amount of fruit you are eating. I think you have to decide whether cold turkey or a gradual weaning off is the way to go for you. If they are ‘domino’ foods for you and you can’t control yourself, you may have to simply not have them in the house or you may be able to cut your intake slowly allowing your body to transition. If you know the way to go, do it, if not experiment and see which way works best for you.

  5.  My first foray into “real” food was through the Maker’s Diet book.  I also think that as you cut out the sugars from all of that fruit it is probably normal to have some “withdrawal” symptoms.  That is true for me any time I go from eating grains, etc to eating high proteins/fats and low carbs and processed foods.  For me it helps to let myself eat as much as I want to of allowed foods and then I don’t feel like I’m being deprived.  Good luck!!

  6. In addition to the other great advice, especially regarding blood sugar issues, I would like to offer the suggestion to approach using fruit in your diet in a different way.
     First of all, be sure to acknowledge the amazing fruits coconut and olive which contribution such healthy fats in the diet…enjoy them regularly!  Mainly, though, it might help to generally limit your fruit consumption to items that are in season….you can truly appreciate them at their nutritional and taste peak this way…they are also much more affordable at this time…I love associating different times of year with the fruits that come in season then…it’s not that I won’t occasionally buy apples or bananas (mostly for their convenience) but throughout the year I look forward to the best tastes of each season this way!  This might also be a way of not overdoing it with fruit…the fresh blueberries we have coming in now are easy to gorge on at first, but soon I’m ready to back off and look forward to the watermelon crop.  There also may be interesting local crops that aren’t available in the regular grocery store…for example, we just finished with the wild plums and mulberries and the figs will be coming in soon.  
     Also, large quantities of in-season fruits lend themselves to processing in even more beneficial ways….to me, fermentation comes to mind…those blueberries would make a nice lactofermented syrup and the watermelon rinds are fun to pickle…providing you with fruits that are in a more beneficial form…..namely as probiotics!  Many fruits can be made into tasty fermented chutneys that would complement some healthy meat dishes. 
    I would also like to add that cooking fruits or any plant material actually renders many more nutrients available as the plant cell walls are broken and the contents made more available…we are not true herbivores and are not well equipped to break those cell walls (think: the plant’s skeleton)…both cooking and fermentation do a great job of this…my understanding of all those enzymes in raw plant material is that many are inactivated as soon as they hit the stomach and it’s strong acid.  Most of what you do get from raw fruit is that yummy addictive fructose!
    I found The Vegetarian Myth really helpful in illuminating the fallacies of the health of the vegetarian diet both for people and the planet…I see that you have found this resource as well as the amazing Nutrition and Physical Degeneration…keep exploring, and questioning and listening to the guidance that has gotten you to this place….I think you’re on the right track!!! 

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Karen. Great way to look at using fruits in another way. I think we all get stuck on the idea of ‘raw food’. Cheers.

  7. Is it just me, or are these confusing food times we live in?  Fruit on the chopping block… you’ve got me!   

    • LOL – no, I’m thinking it’s Too Much Fruit that’s on the chopping block, yes?

  8. have been there! I was never a vegetarian or vegan, but I have been unknowingly addicted to fruit (and milk) for years. I was told by my ob/gyn years ago that I was hypoglycemic and needed to increase my protein intake, so I have always made sure I ate plenty of protein (mostly meat and eggs), but it never seemed to help my hypoglycemia, which only seemed to worsen over the years. I was very sensitive to processed sugar, so I rarely ate it, and tried to avoid white flour as much as was reasonable on a basically standard american diet. I had no idea that eating loads of fruit (and in my case drinking lots of milk) throughout the day was probably the cause of my hypoglycemia.

    When I signed up for the 40 Day Grain-Free Challenge (thank you Wellness Mama!), it was really just to help my husband lose weight. He did lose some, but the biggest thing to come out of it was a TOTAL CURE of the rather severe hypoglycemia that had plagued me for years. With this came a modest weight loss (I wasn’t really overweight to begin with), greater energy, emotional stability, and mental clarity. Not only did I cut out all grains and beans (a huge part of my former diet), all processed foods, canola, soy, and corn oils, and milk, but I cut WAY back on my fruit consumption. Following some of the paleo advice, I limited myself to mostly low GI fruits, mainly berries and citrus. I also cut way back on coffee and tea, but found myself substituting 90% dark chocolate to a degree.

    There is no way to describe the change in me. Before I would get sick after drinking two cups of coffee on an empty stomach, but after about three weeks on the challenge, I could (and still can) drink several cups – I know, not good – without getting sick. I have only experienced low-blood sugar or hyperinsulinemia episodes on a few occasions around and after Easter when I was indulging in sugar and junk, kind of experimenting to see if all this was real. It is totally real.

    What I have learned is that fruit is something that can definitely be abused. It gives you a big sugar high, but you don’t necessarily realize that until you go off of it. At first I had major problems with fatigue and sugar cravings. It took about a week and a half for the drugged out feeling to go away, but the sugar cravings still hit me. A bit of dark chocolate or some berries, avocado, or coconut milk helped me with the cravings, but I had to remember to cool it, and not go overboard. I had to up my fat intake quite a bit to compensate for the lost carb energy. I really believe that I was on my way to diabetes big time, burning out my beta cells with all that fructose and lactose. I had NO IDEA. On a side note, the weight I lost (remember I wasn’t overweight according to the scale, or clothing size) was ALL BELLY FAT. After seven children, I have my waist back! I still love fruit, I just don’t abuse it anymore. Good luck! And thanks again Wellness Mama!

    • Just thinking I should clarify something. In case anyone thinks my problem had more to do with caffeine than fruit and milk sugar, I should say that before the challenge I limited myself strictly to two cups of coffee in the morning and one cup of tea in the afternoon. It was a comfort addiction, but I could barely tolerate even that much caffeine. During the challenge I gave up coffee and tea cold turkey, but exercising the Lenten “Sunday exemption,” allowed myself a morning cup of coffee with heavy cream. I liked it so much, it eventually became several cups, but what amazed me was that I could now tolerate a really large amount of caffeine. I believe this is due to better blood sugar regulation, as caffeine can cause an insulin response that in hypoglycemics can be rather extreme. Now I am trying to go back to limiting caffeine again just because it seems like the prudent thing to do.

  9. Just found Wellness Mama, and so excited I did! I struggle with fruit somewhat as well. I was never vegetarian but I was into low-fat, high fruit for a long time. Introducing more proteins and fat was difficult for me but I feel so much better eating them, with a lot less fruit cravings when I do. I regard them usually as dessert. Today I had fruit cravings, but I attribute that to not having any protein for breakfast.

    • Oh, and yes, I believe fruit can be as addictive as any drug!

  10. Unless you plan on eating a “Candida Cleanse Diet” for the rest of your life – and lets face it, most of us won’t – I’ve found that there is no point to doing it at all. Candida will never be entirely rid from your body, so even if you cleanse yourself for a period of time, it will only come back if you go back to your old eating ways – that’s including a healthy diet that allows for fruit. A better solution is to keep candida at bay by eating foods that lessen it, such as coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and ginger, clove and oregano oil. I’m not an expert, but this is what I’ve found after lots of research as well as personal trial and error.

  11. I’ve read the spit test is not an accurate tool to diagnose Candida. It’s even referred to as a “fake” test. Does anyone have any scientific back-up for the spit test?

    • Steph, I do not have any scientific data to back up the spit test; just simply my own personal experience. I had two stool tests come back negative for candida; however, I knew I had it (multiple reasons and symptoms). I did the spit test for 6 days and my saliva grew legs each day. I started Christa’s program 4 weeks ago and am noticing improvements. Just thought I would share. I hope it helps.

      • Hello Jackie, i just wanted to ask if Christa’s program worked for your candida?

      • What are your current spit test results since on the diet? Any improvements?

  12. Just heard Christa on Dr. Lo’s podcast… Such important information to share! I’ve experimented with the candida diet myself and although I’m sure it WORKS, I’ve found it to be too restrictive for my own mental health. 😉 However, I do know that I struggle with a chronic candida overgrowth and I’ve found that a balanced approach of using lots of coconut oil, ACV, ginger, garlic, and oregano oil — along with almost zero refined sugar and limiting my wine intake (hard) — helps keep symptoms at bay.

    Thanks always for the great info, Katie. I always refer your site to my clients and friends!

  13. I’m disappointed that this article is mainly hype for a $247 program. I thought Wellness Mama was better than that.

  14. In response to Laura thinking that this was hype for a $247 program: I just finished the six week
    cleanse last tuesday and it has been LIFE CHANGING! If it is hype, then thank you God that I chose believe it, purchase Christa’s program and actually do the cleanse! I knew intuitively that
    I had systemic yeast overgrowth bc of chronic acne among other symptoms. After I grew a huge ‘jellyfish’ leggy thing every single day for six days my suspicion’s were confirmed and I thought to myself well I won’t die trying this and it just might work! I pretty much followed everything to the letter figuring I it isn’t FOREVER and like Christa said if you do it right you only have to do it once! The recipes are so good that they are just part of my lifestyle now, particularly the cleansing cilantro and the turmeric ginger lemonade (love those!) Though weight loss wasn’t a goal, I have lost a vanity 6 pounds and my skin is continuing to clear. At the 4 week mark I still had ‘legs’ in the water but like Christa says I ‘corrected and continued’ and I thought can this really work in the 6-10 week time frame? Well it did! Though I have been on a nutritional journey for about 6 years, it was maybe easier for me since I am already gluten free, pretty much grain free, etc. The real bonus to the cleanse was the suggestion in one of her talks to get
    the book The Healing Codes by Alex Loyd and Ben Johnson. I am cracking up that it took me 40 books on nutrition and being lead to the WONDERFUL Whole Journey/Christa Orrechio to finally get to the root of my health issues in the first place as being Heart Issues! Christa mentioned several times that you can’t ignore the emotional stuff and boy is she RIGHT! Thank you Katie & Christa and Alex and Ben!

    • Hi pattie, I know this was well over a year ago but we’re you allowed any starchy foods on the diet? I’m little and they help my Bowles ? if so what kind

  15. Laura, I agree that it may be frustrating to see a price tag when you are just googling/looking for the information, but one needs to realize that these who post the info spend countless hours learning and researching it, create the videos and other materials -it is full time job and they need to support themselves like everyone else. I have been researching the Alternative health for 4 years now, and can tell what info / website is reliable, I guess it takes time for people to realize the value and benefits of these websites/ programs, it is not for everyone, some if us need to grow into it to appreciate it. I have done I lot of healthy changes to my life style and diet bases on reading and comparing countless sources and sticking to those that work and are reliable. I spent THOUSANDS of dollars on various alternative doctors and supplements they prescribed, some were completely ineffective and waste of money but that is the process- takes time, money and patience, initiative, self discipline and prayer. Getting back to the price for candida program, I think it is worth it ( see Christy’s video first) but you have to become comfortable with it first and trust it.
    Wellness Mama- thank you for your work, I found a lot of great info and links that I have incorporated into my life. I am regular reader.

  16. I have struggled with Candida for many years but never knew what to do about it. If there was no processed sugar around, I would crave bread, milk and fruit. The cravings are incredibly strong and the symptoms so severe that I feel nearly schizophrenic sometimes. This diet is entirely opposite to the way that I eat now, I’m not even sure how to go about it. I want to try the Candida Protocol but right now I’m breastfeeding…This whole thing feels like Mount Everest. I don’t know if I can do this by myself.

  17. I had a Candida problem for many years (and my doctor didn’t diagnose it; ever!). I started drinking water kefir and BAM! gone. Loved that such a natural solution yielded such great results!

  18. Hi Pattie, would you please be kind enough to tell us how you make the turmeric, ginger etc tea please.
    Thanks ever so much

    • Hi Lorraine! The turmeric ginger lemonade is made from a ‘strip’ ginger root, a strip of turmeric root, the juice of one lemon and 4 cups of water. (www.thewholejourney.com has the recipe posted) You basically boil the water and then put the ginger and turmeric root in and let simmer for 10 minutes. I strain the water and then pour into a quart mason jar that already has the lemon juice in it!
      I think the recipe calls for stevia, however since I can drink this up in a day sometimes I just drink it as is. I suppose you could add honey or another natural sweetener which I would do while it is still hot. I drink mine cold over ice just like lemonade.

  19. My aim for this year was to get healthy. I have had numerous health complications from various surgeries, medications and untreated cronic fatigue for the past six years. Through trying the natourpaths and health remedies I ended up trying an allergist (decided I had nothing to lose and believed there was few things that I was allergic to).
    How wrong I was. I am extremely allergic to Candida, moulds, coffee and slightly allergic to corn. This was a complete shock to me, but steadily I have been elimintating yeast based foods out of my diet (and I rarely drank coffee) and can tell now when my mother-in-law gives me food that is past it’s best 😉 … My question is, is there any good books that people would recomend for me to get meal plans and ideas off, and to have as a starting point? I have been recommended the “Sarah Wilson: I Quit Sugar” book by the allergist, but there is a lot of controvercy surrounding it. Also would not mine an unbaised oppinion on the book.
    Thank you Wellness Mama for all of your blogs, I thoroughly enjoy swapping our household products as we run out of the commercial ones. Bec

  20. Barleans Olive Leaf Complex Natural is a good product for aiding in the relief of Candida and its symptoms

  21. I would like the help to do this plan but I don’t have $247.00. So what now?

  22. Can this cause EXTREEM dry mouth or worsen dry mouth that is caused by medications (anti-rejection)?

  23. Would I need to wait til we’re done breastfeeding to do the supplements, I eat clean already so that I know is fine, but the anti fungals I’m not sure about?

  24. From experience, the spit test is not at all accurate. I had a very high overgrowth level of Candida and saw nothing in the spit test. Only stool test confirmed it.

    I tried the candida diet for two months and have never felt so bad in my life. Not only did I prefer living with candida to going on with that diet, but it also did nothing to control the candida. The candida over grows because something is not working well in the body. There’s no point killing the candida but leaving the cause to the over growth as it is. If you have candida, go see a naturopath. Killing the candida is easy and not the issue here.

  25. I have tried all the suggested diets for Candida and none of them worked. The only relief I ever got from this condition is to follow Chinese medicine first. TCM believes that you must first clean up the excess moisture in your body in order to control the candida. By using the proper herbs given to my by my acupuncturist, it made a huge difference in very little time.

  26. I have had recurring yeast infections due to a candida problem and was on a severely restricted diet along with garlic supplements (garlic kills candida yeast), and drinking ACV.

    The garlic supplements helped and I didn’t get a yeast infection in over a year. But I knew this was merely a band-aid to the problem. The Candida ALWAYS grew back no matter what. Although the diet kept in under control, i don’t want to live my life restricting myself anymore! I was a vegetarian for 9 years. And on top of the Candida diet, I felt i couldn’t eat ANYTHING. So depressing!

    I was searching for a cure for my recurring yeast infections when I found out about “Copper/Zinc Imbalance”. When your body is Copper toxic and Zinc deficient this can cause Candida overgrowth problems!

    Sources of copper: vegetables, beans, grains, birth control pills, copper IUD, copper piping in homes…

    You may be copper toxic and not know it.

    High zinc foods: Red meat, eggs, oysters

    I started supplementing Zinc Sulfate in my diet about 7 days ago. And I started eating meat again!! I am currently copper detoxing ( day 9). My body is now leaching copper that’s been stored in my tissues for years. I had a semi-vegetarian diet (occasional eggs/dairy) for 9 years and almost no zinc supplementation.

    Also, I had a small glass of juice yesterday and felt the Candida flare up again. Fruit and fruit juice should definitely be avoided if you have a Candida problem or copper detoxing!

    Lastly and most importantly, Wellness Mamas “Bone Broth” recipe was the catalyst to all of this research and to my healing journey so Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Katie!!!!!

  27. Can this be done for vegans? I am a vegan and apparently I have a Candida issue.

    • Chel9: yes if you are vegan take a magnesium supplement as well as a zinc supplement. With the zinc pill, start out with a low dose and gradually add on ( I started with 7 mg and ended with 100 mg. ) it’s normal to feel sluggish and sick while your body is adjusting to the zinc. It will pass. It took me 3 months.

      Also take a really really great multi-vitamin.

      That should help bring your body back into balance, and the candida won’t be able to thrive.

      Also avoid sugar and booze for a few months.

      There’s a good article about copper detox on the Weston Price website if you want to Google it.

      • Is your candida under control now?

        I have been on the candida diet for 6 months with not much progress and have just started looking into zinc/copper imbalance. (I was vegetarian for 6 years AND also took birth control so I’m pretty sure I have it) I’ve been taking zinc for about 2 weeks now and haven’t noticed much change.

        Did you avoid high copper foods? and did you supplement with anything other than zinc like molybdenum, vit c?


  28. Help! I discovered I have candida by doing the spit test but I’m nursing! What should I do? I know anti-fungals/detox are an important part of the process, but shouldn’t be done while nursing.

  29. Hi,
    When you talk about boosting the thyroid and adrenals after candida- what are the most important factors in that- i know, i’m trying to sleep as much as my body needs, am eating healthy fats, going outside, getting some exercise…. is this all enough? any thing in particular that could help me a bit more? x

  30. Hi, I have been a vegetarian for some time. My diet is free of artificial sugars and has been for quite some time. I do not eat candy or sweet treats I had my first brownie in about 5 years from whole foods two years ago and it was organic and vegetarian moreover I only ate that one. It has been so long since I have been on articial sweets that I do want them nor crave. I stay as far away from processed foods as possible no drive thrus, canned products, etc. I make non-GMO a factor when purchasing anything. Over the last year or so my diet was pretty much vegan I ate two completely raw meals consisting of fresh fruits in the morning followed by a huge salad for lunch (I buy my produce organic and as local as possible) and a pasta or rice dish for dinner mixed with vegetables. I have had yeast infections in the past especially once I had my first of two children but never like this. Well, I developed systematic candida. I mean this literally, the healthier my diet became the worse the candida became. The doctors push prescriptions which I did/do not want, I want a cure as I know the body is capable of curing itself. I was even told to put meat back in my diet at least fish, didn’t want to do that either. I added supplements to my diet such as organic raw multi-vitamins (garden of life) organic raw probiotics, activated charcoal, milk thistle, acidophilus, kyolic… I had no idea that yeast could take over the body in this way. Honestly, I cried when I figured out what it was, this is the healthiest I’ve been in my life but my body has been overtaken by a fungus.

  31. Katie, I would appreciate your opinion on candida cleansing. I followed Christa Orecchio’s cleanse for ten weeks, and saw I a massive improvement in health after four weeks, and felt ‘cured’ after the tenth. It came back though, soon afterwards…I noticed symptoms a few weeks after….I highly assume the problem came back because I didn’t heal my gut after correctly after the cleanse, and I went straight back into a unhealthy diet, rather than reintroducing non-permitted foods slowly….After four months from the cleanse, I am now starting again and I’m just on week two. I think this cleanse worked and I do trust it because I saw results. For example, my hair had stopped falling out which had been a major issue for me over the past seven years. However, I have also read information about candida cleansing from Chris Kresser’s webpage, who I know you have had feature on Wellness Mama (though not on this subject)


    He talks about how a low-carb diet that eliminates any glucose or sugar in the diet can cause keystone production which could do, in turn, actually feed the candida.

    I’m sure both of these professionals have had results with their patients, and I wondered if I should try to combine their cleanses together? I suppose I really wanted to know what your thoughts are about keystone production in cleanses really. Should I be less sugar restrictive this time round on the cleanse and permit a few starches, and vegetables such as carrots…?

    Many thanks! : )

  32. Looking for recent wellness mama readers who have had luck with the candida cleanse program mentioned in the blog post? Thinking about doing it… although sounding like many people get results, but soon after it comes back. Which makes me weary, especially given the price tag. Is such an intense protocol really necessary? with all these steps, etc. I recently did a round of antibiotics and have candida issue now; so much conflicting info online that it’s getting really overwhelming!!!

    • Hello there
      I have tried many things to rid myself of candida and i can safely say ACV BRAGGS organic actually helps clean the bad stuff out, i drink it twice a day and i do ACV enema to flush it out of my intestines and i have had massive results as i have previously stated also in another thread.
      Candida overgrowth takes commitment to get rid of and even after the candida juice cleanse, people fall back into eating the foods that potentially was feeding it to begin with and if you have not got enough good bacteria in your intestines then, the cycle starts all over again. I an a firm believer in Enemas as candida hides the most and from there can travel to all part of your body through various means.
      i am no expert, so i am only stating my personal experiences and what others i know also do. If you think you have candida in your urine use a 100% pure cotton and dowse it with Pure Silver and insert and leave for 3 hours or when you need to pee and remove and repeat the process for 4 days, this will remove ghastly yeast / Candida also, you may get thick yellow sludge and even pinky bits which i can assure you is all part of the infections.

  33. I am currently doing an ACV enema every other day just so i can have some form of bowel movement . In the process i have been passing severe and i mean Severe Candida, and i also passed parasites! One day i stopped having my daily BM’s and so can only go aided in an enema or colon flush….
    either way, i dont have allergies at all anymore and nor do I have itchy bottom or severe migraines and running hot all the time then cold the next….Candida is in all of us but no one told me whilst on Antibiotics it is essential to take a fridge stable probiotic to help keep the Balance of the good and the bad.
    I am still currently looking as to why i can no longer have BM’s…
    As of tomorrow 6/8/2016 i am going to do an all candida diet cleanse. juicing veggies, no carbs, dairy, wheat, fruit sugars etc…
    I am going to do this for 2 weeks solid, i shall report back with an update to candida and BM’s
    Happy Health to you all

  34. Hello peoples
    So Candida is in all of us and unfortunately if you have overgrowth of candida, then you are very very likely to have a parasite infestation also!
    We all to a degree have parasites however, when candida is running wild through out our body then parasites are likely to scatter also through out the body causing, skin itchies as i call it, eczema, acne, thinning of hair, mood swings, depression, fatigue, eye sight issues, GI issues, tumors, MS, and the list goes on and on and on…
    Upon my personal endeavor to rid myself of toxins and health related issues, i too discovered I had severe over growth of candida and parasites! I stopped taking all of my vitamins. And mainly lived of my green smoothie, And so my journey begins .
    I stopped taking all of my vitamins. And mainly lived of my green smoothie
    Amish Parasite Cleanses
    To health shop parasite cleanses
    Enemas of all varieties done daily for 6 months and still continue to do so
    Green liquid veggie smoothie with spices and lemon every morning
    Alkaline water 8.8
    Cut out all carbs, dairy, sugars and wheat
    Took diatomaceous earth
    I lost weight and passed lots of mucous and what is known to be rope worm.
    I also passed liver flukes and probably lots of other things too that i didn’t recognize at the time.
    I started to feel well and had much more energy and sunnier out look.
    and i can safely safe i am on the right track of what is working for me to rid myself of
    rope worms and the like.
    Through error at the beginning and not knowing what to do first to detox body I would highly
    recommend this order of cleanses

    Parasite Cleanse ( kill those suckers first so they dont scatter to other parts of body like lungs and brain from other cleanses )
    Candida Cleanse the cleanse that worked for me most was the food diet cleanse no dairy, wheat ,carbs or sugars
    Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse the olive oil and lemon works best for me
    And through all of the above it is paramount to take a refrigerated pro biotic 24 billion or above every morning x 2
    and drink warm water as much as possible
    And Garlinase 5000 (garlic extract) from Enzymatic Therapy, delivers 5,000mcg of allicin.
    every morning x 1
    This stuff really works to kill parasites and candida!!!

    I will admit that the Diatomaceous Earth is fantastic but the Die off phase was horrific for me and stopped me from working as i was literally in so much pain however, I am thinking of re trying the DE as it does work and i am hoping i am less toxic now so that the healing crisis will be less crippling.
    The DE worked for the week i took it as it shredded all parasites in me, when i had a bowel movement it was clear 100 % that they were dead and cut up before they came out so, be aware DE works but its not for the faint of heart!