How can I prevent candida taking over?
Q. I have thrush quite often and also tend to get wind and a bloated stomach. My dietician says I should go on a Fodmap regime. Can you explain what it is, how it works and if there are any alternatives? A. The Fodmap diet originated in Australia and involves restricting certain foods (see below) that are highly fermentable in the large intestine. ‘This is supposed to reduce digestive symptoms that are common with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) including bloating, flatulence, cramping and diarrhoea,’ explains nutritionist Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com).
But the Fodmap diet does not restrict sugar or aspartame (artificial sweetener). Many nutritional experts advise patients with your symptoms to avoid sugar in any form until they recover.
Your symptoms suggest that the problem is caused by candida, a yeast that occurs naturally on the skin, in the mouth, vagina and digestive system. In a healthy body, candida in the digestive system is kept under control by the levels of good bacteria and the immune system. But if the good ‘bugs’ are reduced by antibiotics, the contraceptive pill, HRT or stress, the single-celled yeast can grow roots, which can pierce the walls of the gut and invade the bloodstream, causing a yeast infection known as candidiasis.
Symptoms of candidiasis include persistent vaginal thrush, bloating and flatulence, craving for sugar and bread, getting tipsy on a little alcohol, brain fog, athlete’s foot and fungal toe as well as food sensitivities.
You can test for candida by doing a candida antibody test (£140.40, from www.naturalhealthpractice.com).
A low-yeast, low-sugar diet (see below) would be much better for you than the Fodmap diet. You could also try NHP Advanced Probiotic Support/£29.98 for 60 capsules - buy here - and eliminate the candida overgrowth by using natural remedies such as oregano: BioCare Oregano Complex/£23.86 for 60 capsules - buy here.
THE LOW-YEAST, LOW-SUGAR DIET
AVOID sugar and foods containing sugar (eg, cakes, jam and biscuits), foods containing yeast (bread, yeast extracts and pizzas), refined grains (white flour, white rice and fermented products including alcohol, vinegar and soy sauce), peanuts, malted foods and drinks, fruit juices, fruit and dried fruit, dairy products (except those below), and regular tea and coffee.
CHOOSE fish, eggs, tofu, live organic natural yoghurt, butter, vegetables, herbal teas, yeast-free soda bread, nuts and seeds, soya milk and pulses. Stick to apples and pears for fruit, and only eat crispbreads that are yeast-, malt- and sugar-free.
KEEP COOL, NO SWEAT!
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