Dr. Dennis’ Candida Diet
ATLANTA Center for ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery
Donald P. Dennis, M.D., FACS
3193 Howell Mill Road, Suite 215
Atlanta, Georgia 30327
404-355-1312 FAX 404-352-2798
Candida/Yeast Treatment Plan
Yeast (Candida) is a fungus with three different structures on its cell wall. Each structure causes systemic immune tissue inflammation, tissue destruction, and GI problems. A yeast cell is made up of:
- A sugar receptor that causes the yeast to change from the harmless form to the invasive hyphal form. The hyphal form invades tissues with thousands of tiny roots that are three feet long, microscopic, and corkscrew in shape. This form of yeast penetrates tissue, causing destruction, gut inflammation, decreased Vitamin D absorption (leading to bone loss), lowered immune function, and resistance to antifungals. Therefore, consuming foods and beverages off of a Candida/Yeast diet will reactivate the yeast and prevent any antifungal supplements or medications from working.
- The same amino acid sequence in its cell wall as gluten; therefore, many people with chronic sinusitis have delayed allergies ( IgG antibody) to Candida and gluten sensitivity. When they eliminate gluten from their diet, they have less gut issues. Gluten causes immune gut tissue destruction.
- A cell wall structure called a 1, 3 Beta Glucan, which is the same as other fungi, like environmental mold. This means that when you breathe large amounts of mold in the air, the airborne fungi activate the gut yeast and exacerbate gut symptoms and acid reflux (GERD). Acid reflux can cause fluid to get into the lungs which can result in chronic cough, bronchitis, and even pneumonia. Only 50% of people with severe acid reflux have any symptoms. So a low sugar, no or low grain, or gluten-free, “yeast diet,” and low environmental air-fungal load (mold count counts of 0-2 for severe symptoms and 0-4 for mild symptoms) are very important for preventing immune tissue inflammation and/or destruction in the gut (e.g., bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation), connective tissue (e.g., muscle and joint pain, fibromyalgia), and brain( e.g., “brain fog,” memory problems, concentration difficulty).
Candida/Yeast Treatment includes a 3-pronged approach:
- Stop the Fungus/Candida/Yeast from growing and spreading.
- Using the attached diet will likely help to accomplish this goal.
- Replace the Fungus/Candida/Yeast with healthy gut bacteria (normal flora). An abundance of healthy bacteria in the gut kills the yeast and keeps it at an acceptable level by competing for food, as well as by re-colonizing your digestive tract with normal bacterial flora. As the healthy flora populate your gut, your immune function increases (85% of the body’s immune system is represented by the gut), you have better nutrient absorption, inflammation decreases, and troublesome GI symptoms decrease or are eliminated. To regain your healthy gut flora, you must add probiotic supplements to your diet. A high-quality probiotic supplement that contains a variety of cultures is essential to your treatment success. The goal is to supplement with 50-450 billion colonies twice a day depending on Candida severity.
Approved probiotic sources include:
- Acidophilus pills, Lactinex pills, Essential Flora, Ortho-Biotic capsules, VSL#3 (VSL is the most powerful gut bacterial flora product of all with 450 billion bacteria per pack), Lactobacillus, and Bulgaricus (which also neutralizes stomach acid to allow the healthy bacteria time to populate the gut).
- Plain, unsweetened live-cultured yogurt, Kefir, real fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, Kombucha, and buttermilk.
- Kill the yeast with anti-yeast medications. It is important to cycle these medications, so that the yeast does not become acclimated to one; then, it will stop working.
- Examples of medications include: Diflucan, Nystatin, CitriDrops, Candida Rid, and Yeast-Cleanse, Brain Octane, Thorne SF 722, and oil of Oregano.
(Note: Once you get rid of the yeast, if you start feeding them again by getting off of the diet, they will return.)
Overview: This is a diet designed to balance and maintain normal, healthy gut flora in order to stop gut inflammation due to Candida/Yeast. The digestive tract contains 85% of the immune system; therefore, it must be maintained and kept free of inflammation due to yeast and food allergies. This is not a diet about losing weight or about how much you eat. It is about the glycemic index. The glycemic index of a food is the sugar content of that food. All foods have a specific glycemic index (GI). If you are eating a food with a GI under 50, and it is not a food you test positive to on your ALCAT test, then you can eat as much of it as you want! Through ALCAT testing and IgG Candida testing, we can customize your perfect eating plan. Then, without restricting food quantity, you will lose weight by eating the correct foods. Eating the correct foods will reduce gut inflammation and insulin elevation, which cause fat storage. To best explain this concept, this diet focuses on two hormones that the body produces:
- Insulin (the hormone) makes you store fat. When insulin is elevated in your blood, you cannot burn fat; you can only store it. Therefore, you want to eat foods that promote lower blood insulin levels. These are foods with a Glycemic Index (GI) of 50 or less. Mastering the Zone by Barry Sears is an excellent book that lists the glycemic index of most foods in the American diet. There are also many free apps available that you can install on your mobile phone, like “Glycemic Index,” that are searchable and will sort food groups from lowest to highest according to its GI.
- Glucagon, a hormone made by our bodies, makes you burn fat and store muscle; the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. You want to make the hormone glucagon go up. The chief stimulator of glucagon is protein, which is any meat, chicken, fish, eggs, some beans and lentils or protein powder. Some form of protein should be present in every meal or snack.
On this diet, many of our patients have lost 2 pounds a week without food restriction (eat more food if you do not need to lose weight).
Candida/Yeast Diet Guidelines:
- Do not drink or use tap water. Tap water contains chlorine. Chlorine will kill the normal gut flora, which will then allow yeast to overpopulate. This includes coffee and tea made from tap water at work and in restaurants. Use bottled water when eating out. Do not use tap water for cooking. Boiling DOES NOT remove chlorine. The filters you get for the faucet, Pure, Brita, or “Zero Water” (the best) are fine to use to get your cooking water, but not as good as spring water to drink. Use a pool chlorine test kit to be sure that your tap water filter is removing chlorine. Carbon filters tend to be the best at chlorine removal.
- No beer or wine. It is best to have no alcohol in any form during the recovery period. Once we get you balanced and the Candida under control, an occasional potato vodka drink is ok.
- No Grains. Maintain a gluten free diet. For some patients this is only during the recovery phase. For others who test positive for a gluten allergy or are ALCAT-confirmed sensitive, or have a high IgG Candida antibody blood level, this will be a life-long change. For high IgG blood Candida antibody levels, gluten restriction is long term, because gluten has the same amino acid sequence as parts of Candida cell walls; eating gluten causes reactions and inflammation to the Candida (Yeast) in the gut. For these patients, even after recovery, non-gluten free breads, pasta, oatmeal, barley, etc. are off limits.
- DO NOT EAT foods that are high in sugar and make insulin levels go up! Some examples are: bread, pasta, potatoes, white rice, any citrus fruits, carrots in large amounts, sweets, including ice cream and frozen yogurt, cereals, grapes, bananas, tropical fruits, peaches, pears, apples, crackers, soft drinks, diet soft drinks and cookies. When you shop at the grocery store, stay on the peripheral aisles, where you get fresh vegetables, meats, seafood and dairy. A general rule of thumb is if it comes in a box, bag or can and has a long list of ingredients, you should probably stay away from it.
- DO EAT MEATS, SEAFOOD, VEGETABLES, BERRIES AND SOME DAIRY. These should be fresh or frozen and not canned. You may eat sweet potatoes, organic food bars (check amount of protein and GI on wrapper) wild, black, or brown rice, and quinoa. When you crave sweets, and you will, use plain yogurt or cottage cheese and fresh or frozen berries, and/or cherries. Approved sweeteners include Monk Fruit Extract and Stevia, if desired.
- DO NOT DRINK SOFT DRINKS, INCLUDING DIET SOFT DRINKS. A substitute is unsweetened, flavored sparkling water with lemon, lime, blueberry, pomegranate, etc. Brands to look for are LaCroix and Perrier. If you need a little sweetness, add a bit of Stevia or Monk Fruit Extract.
- DO EAT lots of green leafy vegetables, three times per day, especially asparagus juice, 2-4 oz. two or more times per day.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. DO NOT DRINK TAP WATER. This should be filtered or bottled water. (A good source is Mountain Valley Spring Water. They deliver 5 gal. glass bottles to your door. Their number is 800-870-5577). Protein shakes (water, approved protein powder and fresh or frozen berries), is another great-tasting idea. For further details on menu ideas and food lists, see the book Mastering the Zone by Barry Sears. More information is available on Doug Kaufmann’s Phase I & II Antifungal diet on line @ http://www.knowthecause.com/index.php/get-started .
FOOD ALLERGIES AND THE ALCAT (FOOD ALLERGY) TEST:
Many patients have both gut yeast (Candida/Fungus) and food allergies, each of which cause gut inflammation:
- Candida gut inflammation causes many food allergies.
- Food allergies cause more gut inflammation, which makes the Candida inflammation worse.
- A vicious cycle develops. The Candida makes the food allergy worse and the food allergy makes the Candida worse.
When you remove BOTH ANTIGENS (food allergies and Candida from the gut) that are causing inflammation, you get stellar results. With mold/fungal exposure, all patients have food allergies greater than normal, because the Candida, food allergies, and elevated mold/fungal air levels cause both gut and systemic inflammation. Candida and molds are fungi. Candida, molds, and food allergies all cause an allergic response. The patients with these sensitivities/allergies develop intestinal and mucosal edema (swelling), slowing their food transit time and allowing greater absorption of calories and retention of fluid. When you combine these two diets
(ALCAT & CANDIDA/YEAST), the results are incredible. It is important to know that the yeast diet rules over the ALCAT diet. For example, even if you are not allergic to white potatoes on your ALCAT test, you should avoid them because of their high glycemic index, as noted on your yeast diet. Also, there may be favorable foods to eat on the yeast diet that you should not eat due to your individual allergy to that specific food on the ALCAT. The secret to success is combining the yeast diet with the ALCAT diet along with your taste preferences and lifestyle.
Kris Lawler is a naturopathic doctor and is available by appointment to help you with this process. She has done the homework and can simplify this process and make it “doable” for your taste and personal preferences. Kris’s number is 404-668-2588.
Good Luck!!!! This will not be easy, but if you try hard to follow these concepts, then you should reduce gut swelling, lessen systemic irritation and feel better.