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Carl asked...

Tags: diet , sugar

I have had a range of symptoms for approximately 6 months. Every day I have a sore throat and swollen glands, when I breathe in deeply I get a slight burn in my chest and at the end of the breath. I have a slight muffled/clicking noise in my right ear. I have slight pain in my right jaw. I also generally feel very tired all the time and almost fatigued.

I suffer with stress, slight anxiety and minor depression. I used to grind my teeth, so for the last 6 months wear a mouth guard to sleep at night. I have had all blood tests but are all clear.

For the first 3 months of this year, I was on a strict diet to starve off a yeast/candida overgrowth. I cut out all sugar, dairy, wheat, gluten, alcohol and coffee. In January After 9 days of being on the diet all the above symptoms disappeared and I felt great. However in April when I went back on a normal diet all the symptoms returned. I can't believe that I have to stay on that strict diet for the rest if my life and question whether this is the problem as recently have tried the diet again for 2-3 weeks but have not felt any better at all.

Please can you help as it is making me depressed.

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The Answer

Effectively treating candida involves stopping the yeast overgrowth, restoring the friendly bacteria that usually keep them in check and allowing your gut to restore its natural balance, so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.

Getting rid of the candida overgrowth primarily requires a change in diet to a low carbohydrate diet. Sugar is what feeds yeast, so eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms like candy, desserts, alcohol and flours. Additionally, reducing to only one cup a day of the more complex carbohydrates such as grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes will prevent the Candida from growing and eventually cause it to die. I would suggest eliminating fermented foods also.

Using diet alone could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. Your doctor may also suggest the use of an anti -fungal medication such as Diflucan or Nyastatin for a month or longer. If you are self-treating there is a supplement you can take called Caprylic Acid, and this may help; this comes from coconut oil and basically "pokes holes" in the yeast cell wall, causing it to die. The anti-fungal medications and Caprylic Acid are very specific to yeast and will not harm your good bacteria.

It's a good idea to restore the healthy bacteria that typically keeps your candida population under control and for this you could consider taking a probiotic on a regular basis. Taking anywhere from 25 to 100 billion units of probiotics should help to reduce the Candida levels and restore your levels of good bacteria.

The fact that you have only changed your diet for 2-3 weeks may be why you are not feeling any benefit at this time. The burning sensation you have noticed when breathing and persistent sore throat may indicate inflammation of the oesophagus or gullet, (this is common with candida overgrowth), so I would suggest you see your GP and discuss this further as prescribed medication such as Omeprazole should help this. Swollen lymph glands are a result of inflammation or infection within the body and as the fatigue has returned, this does suggest you may still have candida overgrowth. Your GP can test for this either by blood test for candida antibodies or a stool test which will indicate candida in the intestines or colon and tends to be the most effective indicator.

Your GP can refer you to a dietician who could help review your diet and advise on how to adapt your dietary intake, a nutritionist may also be another option for you.

The clicking of your jaw may be more related to your history of grinding your teeth as this can cause issues with your jaw joint and can cause related facial pain and ear pain. Initial treatment is using a bite guard while sleeping but if this persists you may need to see a facial-maxillary surgeon to review this.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.

 

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