So you have the classical Candida symptoms of brain fog, anxiety, irritability and depression. You're stuck on a boring, energy sapping diet, and there is little joy in your life. This has been going on for years and nothing you try provides a lasting improvement. In fact as time goes by you gradually get worse. Such is Candida. Following is what I have learned about the disease over the years of suffering the above.
The first thing to understand is that your situation is caused more by your leaky gut than a Candida overgrowth. Your leaky gut allows yeast and bacterial toxins and partially digested food proteins to pass from the bowel contents through the bowel lining and into the bloodstream. These toxins confuse the immune system (causing food allergies ) and eventually end up in the brain where they cause brain fog and mood symptoms. If you did not have a leaky bowel, then virtually any amount of Candida could be thriving in your bowel and you would probably not even notice.
Your leaky gut was most probably caused by fungus X. Now fungus X isn't a real fungus, it is just the name I have given to the fungus in your bowel that has drilled holes in your intestines, causing your leaky gut. Fungus X could be Candida albicans, but it could also be some quite different strain of yeast. Fungus X started off as yeast X in your bowel, probably doing no harm at all. Due to certain circumstances, such as Antibiotics , yeast X turned hyphal and invaded your intestinal wall, and then you had fungus X, which has been your enemy ever since, forever burrowing new holes in your bowels.
So how do I cure this leaky bowel? Well I think there are broadly three steps. Firstly, you need to kill off all fungus X. Secondly, you need to heal the bowel wall. Thirdly, you need to prevent fungus X (or fungus Y or Z) ever causing leaky bowel in the future.
How do you kill of fungus X? Well you don't need to kill off all the yeast in your bowels, nor even all yeast X, only fungus X, the culprit doing all he damage. This is an important distinction. Because a lot of people make the mistake of killing all yeast per se. There are probably many strains of yeast in your bowel. All but one of them may not be doing you any harm. Yet every yeast you kill causes yeast die-off. So if you kill yeast indiscriminately, you will make yourself very ill, but for little reward. In fact you may not be killing fungus X at all, or even yeast X. If this is the case you are actually making things worse because the other yeasts are fungus X's competition for nutrients. If you kill his competition, he will breed even faster! The lesson here is that not all die-off is good die-off - only if you are actually killing fungus X. This is why you can take certain probiotics or antifungals that cause die-off forever, but you never actually improve.
Let me digress a little and address the other common trap people fall into - trying to control fungus X with a very low carbohydrate diet. We all know that yeast symptoms initially reduce if we stick to a low carbohydrate diet. But it doesn't actually work in the long term does it? Let me explain why. When you first go on a low carb diet, this dramatically reduces the amount of food for yeast in your bowel. This results in lower yeast numbers, and therefore fewer yeast toxins slip through your leaky bowel into your bloodstream. So you feel better. But what you may not know, is that when yeast X is deprived of nutrients, this is a trigger for it to turn into fungus X, and it starts seeking more nutrients by burrowing into your intestinal wall. So a low carb diet dramatically reduces overall yeast, but actually makes the leaky bowel worse. You are fooled into thinking you are making progress, because your symptoms aren't out of control, but you're actually going backwards without knowing it. If you ever try to eat a normal diet after being on a low carb diet for a long time you will know what I mean. You get WAY more symptoms than you ever had before - because you have more holes in your gut! Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should suddenly abandon your low carb diet. Just that you will never get cured just with diet.
Okay, back to to the question of how do you eradicate fungus X, that bad guy punching the holes in your gut? Well, ideally, you want to identify fungus X and find an antifungal that kills it. That's easier said than done, because you would really need to have a biopsy of your bowel wall done to culture fungus X. It's no good culturing stool yeasts because how do you know which one is yeast X? However you don't actually need to identify fungus X if you can find out what kills it. In my case I am hoping the fungus invading my tongue is the same fungus that is causing my leaky bowel. It might not be, but I think there is a good chance I have the same pathogenic fungus X throughout my GI tract. I can test antifungals on my tongue to see if they work. Using this strategy I have deduced that things like coconut oil, garlic, nystatin and fluconazole do nothing to kill my fungus X, yet amphotericin is quite effective.
One way to kill fungus X without having to identify it is to boost your immune system. You see your body is supposed to protect you from fungus X. For fungus X to have invaded your bowel wall in the first place you must have a weak immune defence against fungi. So anything you can do to boost your natural immunity has the potential to kill fungus X. The beauty of this approach is that your immune system will not waste its resources killing the billions of yeast in your bowel, so any die-off you do get from boosting your immune system is from killing only one yeast, fungus X, the bad guy. This is because the only yeast actually in your body is fungus X. Technically, the contents of your bowel are actually outside your living body. Things you can take to boost your immune response to yeast include zinc, selenium, and vitamins A, C, D3 and E. I love it that I get a big yeast die-off when I take zinc and vitamin D3, because I know I am only killing fungus X, not my good yeasts.
Remember I said step 1 to recovery was to kill fungus X, and step 2 is to heal the leaky gut. Well how do you heal your leaky gut? The good news is that your bowel will probably heal itself if you eradicate fungus X. However you can assist this healing by taking glutamine for the small bowel, and butyrate for the large bowel. Both these supplements feed the bowel linings and aid repair. It also worthwhile taking these supplements even before you have succeeded in eradicting fungus X.
Finally, once you have killed fungus X, and repaired the leaky bowel, how do you prevent it happening all over again? Well if you haven't improved your immune system or replaced your lactic acid bacteria killed off by Antibiotics , then it is almost inevitable that you will get candidiasis and leaky bowel again, and again, and again. My suggestions to prevent this are to take lots of probiotics, prebiotics, cultured vegetables, kefir, immune boosters (see above) and biotin. If you are crazy like me you may even look at getting your good bacteria back by doing HPI, which is basically getting a poo transplant from a healthy person (via emema).
Anyway, that's what I think. I am only a student of Candida. I haven't actually cured myself yet, but I'm working on it. Yes, this is all just my latest theory. What do you think about it all?