Ah, Candida. Most people only know what a candida infection is if they are the ones having their life ruined by it.
If you don’t know what it is, Candida is a type of natural yeast that occurs in your body mainly in the stomach, intestines, and vagina. Candida is kept in check by a friendly bacteria called Lactobacillus.
When the balance gets out of whack, yeast will start to take over and cause all sorts of wacky problems.
Many people don’t even know that they have a candida infection and many doctors don’t know how to check for it. This results in misdiagnosis and band-aiding symptoms as the root of the problem gets worse and worse.
I want to take you on my four year journey with Candida, and share with you how I beat this problem that caused me so much pain and suffering for so long.
How it started…
As a sophomore in college in New York City I was living the typical college lifestyle. I ate loads of junk food. I skipped out on needed sleep, and on the weekends I drank any kind of alcohol I could get my hands on.
At the end of my first semester I got strep throat and went to the doctor where they gave me antibiotics. After about a week, the strep was still there so the doctor put me on a second round of antibiotics.
The day after finishing the last round of medicine…BAM. My first yeast infection. I panicked. I thought it was an STD. Why was this happening out of nowhere?
I went back to the doctor who gave me a prescription for Diflucan. After a week of medicine, the problem went away. I was so relieved.
The next month I was going about my normal life and went out drinking for the weekend. But instead of your typical college hangover, the next morning I had another yeast infection!
So I went back to the doctor. She explained that sometimes oral medication doesn’t work, so she gave me suppository cream. If you’ve ever had to use suppository cream for anything, you know that it’s one of the grossest things ever.
After using the cream the infection went away for two days, and then came back EVEN WORSE. I was so distraught. After googling some over the counter medicine, I tried the 3 day Monistat. After day one I woke up with severe chemical burns all over my lady parts.
I couldn’t even sit down without wanting to cry. The only relief I had was lathering the area in coconut oil until my period came, which made the infection go away.
A week after my period would end, the infection would come back until the next period. This cycle went on for about two years until I decided to do as much research as possible to tackle this problem from the source.
What I found out…
There is a balance of good and bad bacteria in your tummy. When you take antibiotics for anything, it kills both the good and bad bacteria, causing an imbalance. This gives the normally in check yeast (candida) a chance to multiply and get stronger.
If you have a diet high in sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, yeast will feed off of it like a Thanksgiving meal. This can cause all sorts of problems such as yeast infections, bad breath, low energy, stomach aches, itchy skin, etc.
Even more alarming, as candida multiplies it develops a biofilm which makes it almost invincible against anti fungal medication. This is why Diflucan didn’t work for me.
Also, a women’s normal vaginal PH is between 3.8 and 4.5. As a woman your PH changes along with your cycle. So some parts of your cycle leave you more vulnerable than others. This is why my yeast infections went away whenever I got my period.
Another thing that changes PH is antibiotics! When it becomes more than 4.5, yeast will thrive and the good bacteria don’t have a chance to fight back.
How I fixed it…
Now that I knew the enemy, I knew how to kill it. At this point it had been two years since my candida infection had taken over my life.
Fixing symptoms starts by tackling the problem at the source, and this usually takes time. But it as been over a year and a half with no yeast infections! So I’ll tell you how I kicked Candida’s ass.
The first thing was to get out of immediate pain. How did I do this? Apple Cider Vinegar! Make sure it has pulp in it, that’s called “the mother”. I used Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar because I knew it was a trusted organic brand.
Take a cup and mix 50/50 with water and ACV and dip in a cloth or tissue and hold on the infected area. It may burn a little, but it literally burns off the yeast.
This should give you relief within about 30 minutes but does not solve the main problem so it will come back if you don’t take the bigger steps.
Step 1: No Antibiotics
As humans with instant gratification, when we get sick, we want an instant fix, so we trust our doctors and take any antibiotic they give us.
While some antibiotics are necessary to fight of certain infections, other infections can be fixed by rest, soup, and staying away from sick people.
By avoiding the antibiotics I stopped the bacteria genocide so I could begin building back the good bacteria and restore balance.
During this step I also started taking a biofilm blocker, which helps stop the production of biofilm and makes the candida bacteria weaker. After reading the Amazon reviews I picked Kirkman Biofilm Defense. Like everyone else, it helped me immensely!
Step 2: No Sugar
This step was definitely the hardest one for me. Did you know that sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine? Did you also know that year after year food companies are adding more sugar to everything so you get hooked on their products?
These are some of the things that I learned on my Candida journey, and I could go on all day about how sugar is one of the worst things for you.
Along with other diseases that feed off of sugar, it is the main food for a candida infection. This step is about starving out the yeast on the inside so it dies off.
Since I was taking a biofilm thinner, the yeast was no longer protected from its thick biofilm protection.
Though I didn’t completely cut out sugar, I did cut down about 90%. Some of main things I cut out were:
- ice cream
- bread (not made from seeds & whole grains)
- sugary drinks
Step 3: Managing Die Off
When yeast that has been building up for months or even years no longer has a food source, it begins to die off within a week or so. When yeast dies it also releases toxins that have been building up.
Along with the withdrawal from sugar, you might actually feel worse than you did before you started this whole journey. Some symptoms include fever, chills, skin rash, and even depressive thoughts!
I remember feeling like a had the flu. DO NOT GIVE UP. Your body’s working overtime to restore itself and you are feeling all of the toxins exiting your body.
Drink lots of water and gets lots of rest. When you have the energy, try to hit the gym or if you don’t have the energy, try a sauna to break a sweat as this is how toxins are eliminated through the skin.
If you want more info on dealing with die-off, Dr. Axe is a great resource that helped me throughout my journey and will help you too!
Step 4: Natural Supplements
This step is sort of like natural antibiotics, except these supplements don’t kill off the good bacteria.
I used Purely Holistic’s Candida Cleanse with Oregano. It has natural anti-fungal foods like caprylic acid, aloe vera, oregano, wormwood and anise seed.
It’s also a two month supply per bottle, and only about $20. This helped kill off any extra yeast that was lingering.
Step 5: Prebiotics & Probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your tummy and keep yeast in check.
Since it’s been awhile since you’ve had friendly bacteria, it is time to reintroduce them into your body and finally restore balance. It took me quite awhile to find probiotics that actually worked.
First, you need to find probiotics that have lactobacillus, since this is the specific bacteria that fights yeast.
Second, there are a lot of probiotics out there that don’t actually survive past your stomach acid and never reach where they need to go. Try to find one with over 30 billion CPU.
The one that worked for me was BioSchwartz’s Prebiotic and also their Probiotic. Their probiotic has 40 billion CPU, is easy on the tummy, and really helped with my die off symptoms. Their prebiotic is basically food for the good bacteria so they can survive and get stronger.
Not only are these necessary for dealing with a candida infection, but you should take them everyday along with your vitamins to keep a healthy balanced stomach, intestines, and vagina.
Also, if you have no choice and must take antibiotics, you should double your dose on these to keep a constant flow of good bacteria. You can never overdose on these as any extra will come out when you use the bathroom.
How this changed my life…
From beginning to end, this whole journey took me about four years. If I knew how to deal with this the right way, right away, I could’ve easily solved my problem in about 3-6 months. My candida infection changed the way that I look at health.
I really do think that doctors try to make money off of you by band aiding your symptoms, but that doesn’t solve the problem. If anything it just makes it worse.
It is amazing how the body can fix itself when you stop feeding it garbage and start taking the time to find the source of your health issue and beat it once and for all.
Now more than ever I eat loads of clean fruits and veggies, work out, take the time to rest when I don’t feel my best, and stay away from nature’s most powerful drug, sugar.
I no longer have yeast infections, stomach pain, mood swings, or body aches, and I am awake and alert throughout the day.
I really hope that this article helped you. Have you ever had problems with Candida?Let me know in the comments!