Candidiasis Yeast Infection and Nutritional Repair

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by happycanuk, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. happycanuk

    happycanuk New Member

    Candidiasis - Yeast Infection and Nutritional Repair
    by Mark J. Pellegrino, MD


    Causes, Symptoms, Testing, Natural Antiyeast and Probiotic Strategies, the Fibromyalgia Diet, and Trigger Avoidance

    Reproduced with permission from Chapter 25 of Dr. Pellegrino’s book, Fibromyalgia: Up Close and Personal.*

    What would you say if I told you we had millions of Dr. Jekyll's living in our bodies, each waiting for the opportune time to turn into Mr. Hyde? Would you think I’m nuts or would you think I’m an expert? (“He’s losing it,” says a reader from Michigan.) We all have little round whitish organisms in our body known as Candida albicans that can lose their innocence and become rather vicious creatures that attack our Fibromyalgia bodies and make us feel worse.

    Candida albicans is fungus or yeast that normally thrives in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, vagina, and skin. In healthy individuals this yeast is helpful in digestion and vitamin production, and it is harmless because it is kept in check by beneficial bacteria and other yeast such as Lactobacillus acidophilus that occupies the same space.

    When the balance of intestinal bacteria and yeast is altered, or your immune system becomes compromised, the Candida can overgrow, transforming from a benign yeast into an aggressive fungus that releases numerous toxins and can cause many symptoms. When fungal growth exceeds the body’s ability to control it, the friendly Candida becomes unfriendly and cause a yeast infection.

    Various causes of Candidiasis (Candida infection) include:

    Chronic illnesses or stress. For example, diabetic patients, hospitalized patients, and cancer patients all have low resistance to infection.

    Antibiotic use. This destroys normal bacteria and Lactobacillus acidophilus, but spares the Candida.

    Birth control pills. The estrogen favors Candida multiplication.

    Cortisone medicine

    Immunosuppressive drugs

    Pregnancy. Hormonal changes favor increased Candida growth.

    Diets high in sugar and carbohydrates. Candida loves glucose!

    Thyroid medicine. Increases Candida risk.

    Warm moist areas. Tight nylons, wet diapers, people who work as dish washers; all this can lead to Candida dermatitis.

    Alcohol. Another food for the Candida.

    Those with Fibromyalgia often have multiple risk factors, particularly the altered immune system, the chronic stress, and the carbohydrate sensitivity. Throw in the woman (I don’t mean actually throw her!) who is on birth control pills, thyroid medicine, and recently took a course of antibiotics for bronchitis, and you have a recipe for “Candisaster!”

    When Candida albicans transforms into an invasive fungal state, it produces rhizoids which are long root-like structures. Rhizoids can penetrate the intestinal walls and leave microscopic holes that allow toxins, undigested food particles, bacteria and yeast to enter the blood stream. This “invasion” leads to many symptoms.



    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

    Chronic heartburn

    Oral thrush (white spots on the mouth and tongue)

    Vaginal yeast infection

    Skin rashes

    Skin itching

    Vulvar pain and itching

    Rectal itching




    Food cravings (especially carbohydrates)

    Malnutition (poor nutrient absorption)

    Food allergies


    Bad breath

    As you can see there is much overlap of Candidiasis symptoms with Fibromyalgia symptoms. These two conditions “feed” into each other where the Fibromyalgia makes one have more problems with the Candidiasis and the Candidiasis causes symptoms that can aggravate the Fibromyalgia.

    If I suspect Candidiasis, I will treat it separately from the Fibromyalgia because this often leads to much improvement of Fibromyalgia symptoms as well as correcting the Candida Problem.

    A simple home test for Candidiasis can be performed. Dr. Kelly Hannigan described a test you can take (Health Points 8 (2) 2003). Before you go to sleep at night set a clear glass of water next to your bed. When you wake up in the morning (before you clear your throat, swallow or speak), deposit your saliva into the glass of water. If within 30 minutes your saliva sinks to the bottom or there are strands of saliva running down into the water or the water turns cloudy, you probably have an abundance of yeast in your body.

    Lab testing can be done for a definitive diagnosis of Candidiasis. Saliva, stool and blood samples can all be tested to look for specific immunoglobulin antibodies against Candida. These tests are not routinely covered by insurance companies so the patient has to pay for these tests, which are usually several hundred dollars.

    Since intestinal Candidiasis is so common and easily identified with careful history of symptoms, and since treatments are low-risk and well-tolerated, I will usually treat Candidiasis based on the clinical exam (history and physical) and not always order a specific yeast test.

    The strategies for treating Candidiasis are focused on rebalancing the intestinal bacteria and yeast. Candida that has overgrown needs to be killed and suppressed. The “good” yeast and bacterial needs to be replenished, and the gastrointestinal tract needs to be rebalanced. Here are some strategies used to rebalance the intestinal tract.

    Antiyeast Products: Prescribed Medicines
    Prescribed medicines to treat Candida include Nystatin (mycostatin) and Fluconazole (Diflucan). Nystatin is available in tablet and liquid form. The liquid form is used to treat oral thrush (“swish and swallow”). The tablet forms are used for intestinal Candidiasis and they are usually well tolerated, although some people have some nausea or diarrhea with them. Patients may need to be on this medicine for several months and some of them need to be on maintenance dose for long-term Candida management. Nystatin kills off Candida, but does not harm the Lactobacillus or bacteria.

    Fluconazole is another antifungal medicine that is given to treat Candidiasis. Sometimes one tablet or two tablets only are used to treat a vaginal yeast infection. However, a vaginal yeast infection or recurring vaginal yeast infections in women are a sign of more widespread Candidiasis; the vaginal yeast infection is actually the “tip of the iceberg.” In treating intestinal or more widespread Candidiasis, Diflucan may need to be used for weeks instead of days.

  2. krock

    krock Member

    I have been taking Nystatin, 6 pills per day, for over 3 months and my Candid levels are going up instead of down. I have cut out carbs and all the other facotrs, so I am confused why Nystatin does not seem to be helping?
  3. znewby

    znewby Member

    I have never heard of that, but hopefully, someone may have an idea why you are feeling worse instead of better as time goes on.