I attended the International Congress of Esthetics and Spa trade show this past fall with some of my aesthetics school classmates. These trade shows offer many continuing education opportunities and vendor workshops that all look interesting. The problem is that many of them are scheduled at the same time, so you can only pick a few of them to attend.
These workshops cover many interesting topics such as waxing, cutting edge treatment technologies, massage, treatment of common skin disorders, aging of the skin, etc. There was a workshop called “Candida Screening and Consultation”, given by Linda T. Nelson, N.D., Ph.D. At the time, this workshop did not interest me at all. I thought to myself “Candida.” “Yeast.” “Ew.” What does that have to do with skin care? I didn’t even read the description in the program guide.
The next evening at school, one of my classmates was talking about how interesting the Candida workshop was, and how she never knew Candida causes so many problems in the skin and the body. She talked a bit more about the workshop and I became intrigued. Intrigued enough to take to my trusty internet and do some research.
I googled Dr. Nelson and checked out her website and products, I found some books on amazon.com (including Dr. Nelson’s book, Living Symptom Free Fibromyalgia & Candida), and did a lot of reading. What I found out was very alarming to me.
The Common Misconception About Yeast
Most people only associate Candida, or yeast, with vaginal yeast infections and thrush. Unfortunately, these infections are just the tip of the iceberg. Candida overgrowth can be very detrimental to the entire body. It attacks the immune system as a whole, and can contribute to serious chronic ailments, as well as skin disorders.
As I was looking through these articles and reading these books I was finding that nearly every chronic condition, mental and physical, can be traced back to Candida overgrowth; not just in women, but also in men. The book Conquer Candida and Restore Your Immune System, by Jack Tips, N.D., Ph.D. has a huge list of symptoms. These symptoms include migraines, obesity, multiple sclerosis, lupus, depression, endometriosis, athlete’s foot, miscarriages, hypothyroidism, acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and scleroderma. The list goes on and on. I was shocked.
Don’t Expect Your M.D. to Tell You About Candida
I asked my primary care doctor about Candida overgrowth in general. She basically implied that people who believe that controlling yeast in the body and eliminating foods that feed yeast to treat chronic illnesses are new age space cadets who have probably smoked too much wacky tobacky.
I don’t know why I was surprised by this response; she is an MD. A practitioner of Western Medicine. Not a holistic practitioner, naturopathic doctor, or nutritionist. This just isn’t in her realm of expertise. I shouldn’t have even bothered asking her.
Candida Needs to be Treated Holistically
If you have any of the symptoms of Candida overgrowth, it would be wise to look at your diet. Candida overgrowth can only be managed by reducing and/or eliminating yeast-containing foods, as well as foods that feed/grow yeast from the diet. You also need to take supplements to replace the “good” bacteria and flora that was destroyed by the yeast. Detoxification is also very beneficial. There are many detoxification programs available that are specific to Candida cleansing.
Candida cannot always be treated with traditional anti-fungals and antibiotics. While these options may offer relief in the short term, they are actually doing more damage to the body in the long term. Many people are aware that antibiotics cannot differentiate between good and bad bacteria in the body. They just kill it all, and allow yeast spores to colonize, which can wreak havoc on your immune system in the long term.
On her website, Dr. Linda Nelson states that “drugs that specifically address fungus or Candida destroy some of the yeast, but those not destroyed begin to colonize and become more and more drug-resistant. In a stronger state, yeasts produce toxins that attack the body’s defense system and destroy the friendly bacteria in the body so that there is no defense against the new, stronger fungus.”
Do yourself a favor and get more information about Candida overgrowth. Talk to a functional or integrative doctor about it, and see what types of treatments they can offer. You may find that some small changes in your diet could cause a huge difference in your skin, overall health and quality of life.