Candida - Can Progesterone Help?
So many people are lead to believe that vaginal candida is exacerbated by progesterone. This is simply not true! Candida is actually exacerbated by estrogen. Studies have been done on both progesterone and estrogen which show clearly, that progesterone does not cause an overgrowth, it actually protects against it.
Estrogen reduces the ability of vaginal epithelial cells to prevent the growth of candida. It has been found to induce the conversion of candida from its yeast form to its mycelial form - the more infectious of the two. Progesterone and estrogen work to balance each other. If there is a high level of estrogen, either endogenous, or from external sources, there is nothing to prevent the candida.
In women a high level of endogenous estrogen can be caused by a low level of progesterone. In the case of both men and women, a high level of estrogen can also be caused by estrogen mimics found in the air, in our food and water and in the skin care products that we use. Our planet is so polluted, over 100 synthetic estrogens have been found that mimic our own. Every living thing is affected, particularly fishes and reptiles living in the water.
A clean planet, organic food and clean water is needed!!
Our skin care products are a great concern, most are made with petrochemicals, antioxidants that mimic estrogen like BHA and BHT and other toxic substances such as preservatives. BHA and BHT are also found in baked products containing oil - biscuits, crisps, breakfast cereals etc.
Approximately 1.5 kilos of bacteria live in the gut, most are the friendly probiotics, but some not. A diet high in sugar, refined grains, processed food and fruit cause the unfriendly bacteria and fungi to grow rapidly.
A number of supplements will help the body to rid itself of pathogens. Candida is difficult to test for, it is best to go by symptoms and try taking supplements. Diet is also extremely important.
- Abdominal bloating after eating grains or sugar
- Aching joints
- Allergies - seasonal/respiratory
- Allergies to certain foods or chemicals
- Athletes foot - increased susceptibility
- Bladder infections - increased susceptibility
- Cravings for sugary foods
- Cystitis - increased susceptibility
- Erratic vision
- Fatigue/tired all the time
- Fungal nail or skin infections
- Fuzzy brain
- Itching of the vagina, penis or anus - thrush
- Loss of libido
- Lung infections
- Muscular aches
- Post nasal drip
- Sensitivity to fumes - chemical, perfumes
- Sinus infections
- Skin peeling on hands and feet
- Vaginal discharge
Lactobacilus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum/lactis - to replace beneficial bacteria, this must be in an active, alive form. If thrush is present use the probiotics vaginally or rectally. Directions: A minimum of 10 billion bacteria per dose
Caprylic Acid - an extract from coconuts which suppresses and kills some pathogenic fungi. Comes in tablets or an oil (MCT). The oil can also be used externally, rub it over the affected area. Directions: Tablets: 300-400mg, Oil: 5ml
Fructo-oligo-saccarides (FOS) or inulin - non nutritive sugars which the friendly bacteria live off. Directions: 3 - 5g
Progesterone - has anti-fungal properties by suppressing estrogen, which is known to exacerbate candida at in vivo levels. Directions: 100 - 200mg
L-arginine - this amino acid is the precursor to NO (nitric oxide). NO is the intra-cellular defence against pathogens. Directions: 3000mg
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) - a sulphur amino acid, the precursor to glutathione, the most powerful anti-oxidant found in all cells. Directions: 1000mg
B3 (nicotinamide) - nicotinamide treatment results in a loss of cell viability associated with abnormal filamentous grown. Directions: 100mg
L-methionine - is a sulphur amino acid which aids the digestive system and detoxifies the build up of heavy metals. It promotes the excretion of estrogen, which has been found to induce the conversion of candida from its yeast form to its mycelial form, the more virulent of the two. Estrogen also reduces the ability of vaginal epithelial cells to inhibit the growth of candida. Directions: 500mg
L-taurine - is another sulphur amino acid. Excessive losses can occur through an overgrowth of candida. Directions: 500mg.
Biotin - this, together with oleic acid - found in olive oil - prevents the candida from converting into it's mycelial form. Directions: 3000mcg with food
L-glutamine - candida can cause leaky gut, which allows undigested food particles to enter the blood stream causing allergic reactions. L-glutamine is an amino acid and the only substance the body can use for healing the lining of the gut. Directions: 1000 - 8000mg.
A good Parasite Cleanse - parasites can cause similar symptoms. Directions: as instructed on container.
Purified phyllosilicate - causes mycotoxins to be absorbed onto the surface of the clay, which are then excreted. Directions: 400mg.
Yoghurt - to replace beneficial bacteria, this must be live, unsweetened and unflavoured.
Flax seed - grind it first. Is anti-fungal, bacterial and viral. Directions: 15ml 3 x per day.
Betaine hydrochloride - if the stomach has a low acid content this can cause an increase in the pathogens living there. Directions: 300 - 500mg at meal time.
Digestive enzymes - many people are deficient in these. Directions: as instructed on container.
Vitamin C - anti-viral and bacterial. Directions: 1 - 20gm.
Soluble fibre - such as xanthan, guar, apple pectin and pysllium. Directions: 15 - 60ml.
Omega 3 flax oil - increases oxygen and metabolism. Directions: 15 - 60ml.
Olive oil - this contains oleic acid which is anti-fungal. Directions: 10ml.
Aloe vera juice - is anti-fungal. Directions: 15 - 60ml.
Butyric acid - found in butter, serves as food for probiotics.
Garlic - contains sulphur and is a natural anti-bacterial.
- All sugars and anything containing sugar, i.e. chocolate, honey, jams, drinks, preserves
- All grains, especially wheat and anything made from it, i.e. cakes, biscuits, pastries, bread
- Canned foods, which often contain sugar
- Breakfast cereal
- Fruit and fruit juices, dried fruit because of it's high sugar content and surface moulds
- Root vegetables, because of high sugar contents, especially potatoes as these damage the lining of the gut
- Stimulants such as coffee and tea, as these increase sugar levels in the body
- Any preserved meats and fish, these can contain high amounts of nitrates
- Any fermented foods as yeasts are used in their manufacture, i.e. soya sauce, black tea, beer, wine, vinegar, cheese, (except cottage and yoghurt). Although candida does not live off yeasts, the body is already sensitive to them and they might cause allergic reactions
- Mushrooms, fresh and dried - yeast extracts
- Antibiotics - these kill off the probiotics as well as the pathogens
- Vitamins and minerals derived from a yeast source, get yeast free
- Meat from animals which have been given antibiotics
- Stress - causes a reduction or the complete disappearance of the probiotics
- Estrogen, particularly that found in the Contraceptive Pill and HRT
- High blood sugar
- Under cooked meat and fish, salmonella bacteria are only killed when the temperature reaches 74C or 165F
All food should be as organic as possible. Include the following in your diet:
- Green leafy vegetables, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, celery, aubergine
- Apples, under ripe bananas and pears
- Cottage cheese and yoghurt
Some common probiotics
- Bifidobacterium bifidum and lactis - natural inhabitant of large intestine and vagina
- Loctobacilus - natural inhabitant of small and large intestine
- L. bulgaricus - transient bacteria - found in yoghurt
- L.casei - transient bacteria found in cheese
- L.kefir - transient bacteria found in sauerkraut
- Streptococcus thermophilus - transient bacteria found in yoghurt
Some common pathogens and their Symptoms
- Candida spp. particularly albicans - see above
- Fusarium graminearum - found on wheat and maze, produces zearalenone, an estrogen like steroid associagted with episodes of precocious puberty
- Tinea corporis - ringworm
- Tinea cruris - jock itch, ringworm of the groin
- Tinea pedis - athlete's foot, ringworm of the foot
- Trichophyton spp. one of the leading causes of hair, skin and nail infections in humans
- Bacillus species - anthrax, food poisoning
- Clostridium species - botulism, food poisoning, tetanus
- E.coli - virulent strains can cause gastroenteritis, neonatal meningitis urinary tract infections
- Proteus mirabilis - kidney stones, pneumonias, septicemia, wound infections
- Salmonella species - food poisoning, paratyphoid fever, typhoid fever
- Stapylococcus aureus - abscesses, boils, cellulitis folliculitis, carbuncles, furuncles, impetigo, meningitis, osteomyelitis endocarditis, pimples, pneumonia, scalded skin syndrome, septicemia, toxic shock syndrome
Probiotics can sometimes benefit the following
- Ankylosing spondylitis - a link has been found with klebsiella
- Labialis - herpes simplex
- Infection of he genitalia - herpes
- Mouth lesions - herpes simplex
- Mouth ulcers - herpes simplex
- Rheumatoid arthritis -linked to proteus
- Ulcers of the cornea - caused by herpes
- Diabetes - a possible link to E Coli overgrowth
- Graves disease - a link to yersinia enterocolitica
- Ulcerative colitis - an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria
- High cholesterol levels - some L.acidophilus strains break it down
- Acne - effective treatment
- Diarrhoea - very effective treatment
- Migraine - linked to streptococcus faecalis, which causes the amoni acid tyrosine to be converted into tyramine. Tyramine is found in cheese, chocolate and many wines
The Herxheimer reaction
Die-off of candida can occur rapidly after treatment or it can take up to 10 days. Toxins are released into the blood stream faster that the body can remove them, this temporarily worsens symptoms causing new ones. Some of the symptoms appear to be due to an immune response, releasing histamine, causing pain and swelling.
Die off can cause:
- mental confusion
- flu like symptoms, fever, swollen glands and throat
- inflamed eyes
- sleep disturbances
- joint pain and inflammation
- muscle pain and cramps
- gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea, bloating, cramps, gas, constipation and diarrhoea
- low or high blood pressure
- heavy perspiration
- night sweats
Do not discontinue the treatment, as this is a critical stage to control. The feeling can persist for days, weeks if the infestation is severe.
The Herxheimer reaction is often mistaken for an allergic reaction. The main difference is that the allergic reaction will last for hours, the Herxheimer reaction can last for weeks. These adverse symptoms eventually pass and health restored.
Some information on MCT Oil - caprylic/capric triglycerides. Not only is it good for anti-fungal problems, but it also helps with anti-bacterial problems. It stops craving, is good for helping bugs, cancer and weight loss. See references.
References on MCT Oil
Parasites are often overlooked, they are aggressive organisms which need to be eliminated before health can be achieved. They can weaken the immune system allowing other pathogens to take hold. Plant extracts of black walnut, wormwood and cloves are potent anti-parasitic agents. It is worth taking a tincture made of these if an overgrowth is suspected. These 3 herbs have no side affects - follow the dosage instructions.
Mycoplasmas are also often overlooked. They are bacteria that lack a cell wall and several species of pathogens in humans. Causing atypical pneumonia, respiratory disorders and possibly pelvic inflammatory disease. As they lack a cell wall, the are unaffected by some antibiotic. Cholesterol is needed for their growth.
Mycotoxins are produced by fungi. Some can be helpful such as penicillin, provided one is not allergic to it. However, most are harmful. A few well known ones are Aflatoxin from Aspergillus spp, wild mushroom mycotoxins which have mild to lethal affects. Fusarium graminearum which produces zearalenone, an estrogen mimic.
Nystatin an anti fungal medicine made from soil bacteria Streptomyces noursel, it kills candida by rupturing the cell membrane. Nystatin is not absorbed from intact skin or mucous membranes, including the gut lining, it therefore has no side effects as it remains within the gut. If candida is severe is would be advisable to take this. Please be aware that Herxheimer reaction could occur rapidly.