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Guest Post: Combining Western Medicine and Natural Remedies to Cure Candida

April 8, 2013
Logo design by Christine Hepner

About the Author: Dr. Eric Bakker, ND, is a naturopathic physician from New Zealand. He’s spent the past 20 years carefully studying Candida causes and cures and aims to help those who are suffering find answers.

Natural methods are often successfully used to help eliminate candida overgrowth, a fungal infection that manifests itself in many ways. Although candida, aka candidiasis, is not frequently diagnosed by most traditional doctors, some western medicines, both prescription and over the counter (OTC), do offer relief from the condition. By combining naturopathic and conventional treatments, you may be doubly successful at curing fungal infections.

Various Types of Candida

Candida, the overgrowth of a specific microorganism that lives in human bodies, is like a chameleon and takes on many different identities. Here are some common infections caused by candidiasis:

  • Vaginal (Candida Vaginitis) or penile(Candida Balanitus) yeast infections
  • Oral thrush
  • Diaper rash
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Nail fungus, causing thick, brittle toenails and fingernails that may protrude from the nail beds
  • Cutaneous Candidiasis (Skin rashes, particularly in moist areas such as skin folds or under large breasts)
  • Systemic candida – This is a serious condition where the candida invades the blood stream and can have damaging effects on every system in the body. Systemic candida is often found amongst people with compromised immune systems such as HIV patients or those undergoing chemotherapy. It can damage organs like the liver, eyes, heart, kidneys, and others.

Some forms of candida are external, others are internal or emotional, instigating such difficulties as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, arthritis, allergies, asthma, PMS, memory loss, depression, mood swings, and many others.

Because it takes so many forms, candida can be tricky to treat. Some types react well to conventional medical treatments, others may respond best to homeopathic treatment, and a combination of the two treatments may be most successful for others.

Conventional Candida Treatments

Traditional doctors tend to treat symptoms rather than candida itself. For problems like yeast infections or athlete’s foot, they will normally prescribe an antifungal medication in either a pill or topical cream form or possibly a suppository for vaginal yeast infections. They may also recommend over the counter medications.

Some of the common drugs used include:

  • Butoconazole (available OTC as Femstat, Gynazole-1)
  • Clotrimazole (aka Gyne-Lotrimin, Mycelex)
  • Miconazole (popular OTC cream Monistat
  • Terconazole (Terazol)
  • Tioconazole (Vagistat-1)
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan), the newest antifungal on the market, also treats vaginal candidiasis.

Although these medications can be quite effective in eliminating symptoms, unfortunately, if the candida is not controlled long term, the likelihood of reoccurrence is strong. One of the most exasperating parts about candida is that just when you think you’ve got it cured, you get another infection.

The Two-Prong Approach to Treating Candida

Many people are discovering that a combination of western medicine and natural treatments is the best way to keep candida from reestablishing itself in your body. Western medicine can help cure the initial symptoms while naturopathic treatments keep the candida from returning.  For instance, you may take the prescribed antifungal medications but also choose to follow a low sugar, yeast free diet. This combination of treatment methods often works to reduce the initial overgrowth and regulates the delicate balance of intestinal flora for long term relief.

Natural Candida Remedies

It is often our fast-paced, fast food 21st century way of life that encourages candidiasis in the first place. That is why natural candida remedies involve making lifestyle changes, including what you eat. In fact, following the proper diet is vital to recovery from candida.

The goal of the candida diet is to starve the candida albicans. To do that, you must refrain from eating the foods they feed on. Those include foods that contain sugars, glutens, and yeasts. That means the consumption of most fruits, breads, chocolate, aged cheeses, processed meats and foods, alcohol, fermented beverages, black tea, mushrooms, and more is severely restricted. Starchy vegetables such as peas, corn, and others should also be avoided.

This may sound like a difficult régime to follow, but after a few weeks you can begin to add a few of your favorite foods back into your diet. If you remain free of candida symptoms, you can indulge yourself occasionally.

Other Natural Candida Treatments

There are other steps you can take to help you banish candida from your life. Numerous herbs and supplements can be used to treat and prevent candida. Oil of oregano is a popular remedy, as are garlic, thyme, ginger, rosemary, and clove. You also need to take a multivitamin tablet daily to support your immune system.

Unrefined coconut oil is a great choice for treating both internal and external candida. This delicious, fragrant oil is rich with three types of saturated fatty acids that team up and destroy the candida cells. You may consume three tablespoons of the oil daily. You may also apply coconut oil directly to the skin, using it to treat athlete’s foot and other cutaneous candida conditions such as psoriasis. Pure coconut oil is also a great moisturizer and protects aging skin.

Although you may prefer holistic treatment methods, don’t rule out conventional treatments completely. By combining both approaches, you can be confident that you are doing everything possible to control candida and eliminate the chronic problem from your life.

Next time: Betcha never thought this would happen, Mayor Bloomberg!

© Copyright 2013 grayhairedmom.com

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  1. Naturally Treat Candida Overgrowth | The Organic Beauty

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