- Kenzie is 34 and dealing with a wide range of symptoms.
- She has digestive issues, dry, itchy scalp, and cognitive problems like brain fog.
- Doctors were unable to pinpoint the problem, leaving her with no answers and no solutions.
Kenzie suffered for 3 years before she came to see me. I knew that these were not a random collection of symptoms – they were all connected and I suspected that it had to do with something causing dysbiosis or an imbalance in her gut.
This case reminded me of my own struggles to get healthy so many years ago, so it seemed like a great idea to invite the doctor who was able to help me get to the root of my problem.
Michael Biamonte is the founder of the Biamonte Center for Clinical Nutrition and is also the author of the Candida Chronicles: A Manual for Candida Yeast Infections. He says that at any given time, approximately 30% of the population has an overgrowth of candida.
What is Candida?
Candida is a unique, yeast organism that exists primarily in the intestinal tract or in mucous membranes. Candida is a dysmorphic organism meaning it’s able to live or exist in two different states – it can exist in the body as a yeast or as a fungus. It’s natural to have this organism in the body and in fact, contributes to healthy flora in the intestines. But, it can over grow and become dominant and that’s when it can cause health problems. If you hear people talking about having Candida, they usually mean that they have an overgrowth of Candida.
Symptoms of Candida
An overgrowth of Candida can cause as many as 150 different symptoms. Serious conditions like pneumonia and arthritis can also result from Candida overgrowth. Often doctors will diagnose the symptom or resulting condition without looking for the root cause. Kenzie’s symptoms were all common for Candida, including digestive issues, low energy, dry scalp, hair falling out, and various cognitive issues. Candida overgrowth can also result in new allergies, chemical sensitivities, and even fertility issues.
Causes of Candida
Candida overgrowth has a variety of causes but Dr. Biamonte says that antibiotic abuse is the most common. Doctors who don’t know how to properly diagnose a condition, solve the problem by prescribing antibiotics. People who are constantly given antibiotics struggle to maintain the good bacteria in their intestinal tract. The bad bacteria or the candida then becomes dominant and it starts to release different types of toxins into your system. The immune system becomes suppressed. This cycle then goes on and on, producing different symptoms.
Sometimes, people try to treat these symptoms which can make the Candida imbalance worse. Even when they are doing something natural, like eliminating a food irritant, they can further upset the bacterial balance.
Finally, there is some evidence that some people are genetically predisposed to Candida overgrowth. And, people with diabetes may also be more likely to develop Candida.
Candida is difficult to diagnose. A spit test can help to identify dysbiosis (an imbalance in the gut flora) which is the first step in diagnosing Candida. The spit test is conducted by spitting into a glass of water. If the spit dissipates, that is an indication that the gut flora is in good shape. If it doesn’t then there might be dysbiosis. The look of your tongue is also an indication of dysbiosis.
Blood tests can reveal if Candida antibodies are present but this test really only reveals if antibodies have been present in the past few months and isn’t a very good indication of the current state.
I like to use an organic acids test however, Dr. Biamonte prefers a comprehensive testing process that he developed that he feels is more accurate.
It’s important not to try to self diagnose Candida because, like leaky gut, you can get it wrong and make things worse.
Candida is very drug resistant and certain drugs can give a false sense of cure because they provide temporary relief. There is a proven natural protocol for treating Candida. Dr. Biamonte’s treatment follows a two stage protocol. The first phase involves limiting the diet and using botanicals. The second phase includes use of antifungal substances, which have the ability to destroy the Candida deep in the mucous lining of the colon and the small intestine. Prebiotics and probiotics are also part of the healing process to help the body replace the candida. According to Dr. Biamonte, probiotics should be a sticky strain or human strain.
Better Understanding Candida
In this podcast, we also discuss the important relationship between Candida and heavy metal toxicity, how Candida can go hand in hand with leaky gut syndrome or SIBO, and the role mycobacterial biofilm can play in derailing treatments of Candida.
I had suspected Candida in Kenzie’s case so I ran an organic acids test and discovered that her D Arabinitol Marker was through the roof.
Our first move was to lower the processed sugar and carbohydrates in Kenzie’s diet – to stop feeding the Candida what it loves! After a few weeks of the diet change I put her on a pancreatic digestive enzyme and some Betaine HCl to support her stomach acid and digestion as well as a supplement called Biofilm Defense which helps to break up biofilms. We used this for a month and then added in antifungal nutrients Citramnesia, followed by FC cidal and then MicroGone. This took about 7 weeks and then we used something called SF 722 which is an oil based antifungal formula (that gets a bit deeper) to help eradicate the Candida that had made its way deeper into the intestines. We used 5 gel caps twice a day for 60 days.
At first, Kenzie was not feeling great and was definitely experiencing ‘detox reactions’ so we added in some charcoal which worked as a binder to help absorb some of the toxins the yeast was releasing as it was being killed off.
We finished out the protocol with some GI Revive which helps to heal the gut with glutamine and mucilaginous herbs.
Once Kenzie got over the adverse reaction to the ‘die off’ she started to feel better. Her memory and digestion improved. And by the end of the protocol, her brain fog completely lifted, her energy improved, she no longer had gas and her stomach was flat.
Kenzie wanted to make sure this never happened again so while she was able to go back to some of the foods she enjoyed, she continued eating well and watched her sugars and wine as those can feed candida. It became a lifestyle and not just a diet.
Eliminating Health Mysteries
For Kenzie, we were able to find the true root of the problem and help her regain her health. Could this be the missing clue for you or someone in your life?
Thanks for Listening
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