Candida Albicans and Other Yeasts
Another common problem affecting CFS patients is the intestinal yeast Monilia Albicans, Candida Albicans, or Candida Parapsilosis. Overpopulation of yeast is often involved in the CFS picture (as indeed for many other people who feel unwell!) Alternate practitioners, and even physicians who bridge the gap between conventional and alternate medicines, are beginning to accept the validity of this infection. Various clinicians, such as Dr. William Crook, who wrote Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Yeast Connection, and Dr. Jesse Stoff, who wrote Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Hidden Epidemic, have repeatedly warned of the part Candida has to play.
It must be ruled out before diagnosing CFS, according to Dr. Stoff. Dr. Crook speculates that this yeast overpopulation of the bowel, due to antibiotic use and poor diet of sugars and processed foods, can create a precursor situation for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Some of the symptoms of systemic Candida overgrowth resemble those of CFS, and it is routinely accepted, by alternate practitioners of all types, that this must be ruled out before the diagnosis of CFS can be made. Recurrent yeast infections, fatigue, foggy thinking, disturbed digestion, bloating, gas, intermittent diarrhea and constipation, and itching, are some of the symptoms of this yeast overgrowth of the bowel.
As a natural constituent of the colon, Candida will always be present to some extent. When it moves out of balance, creating a situation known as dysbiosis of the bowel flora, problems can begin. Normally Candida Albicans exists as a relatively harmless component of the intestinal flora. However, if conditions in the bowel are out of balance, it can turn into a troubling invasive form (mycelial form). It sends out root-like shoots, which can penetrate the intestinal mucosa. Unfortunately, given our Western life-style, the conditions are often “right” for this change to occur. Diet plays an important part, as yeast grows rapidly on simple carbohydrates, like refined white sugar. Other factors contribute to the atmosphere that encourages Candida overgrowth, such as low fiber diets, poor digestive function such as achlorhydria, (lack of hydrochloric acid), recurrent use of antibiotics, steroids, the birth control pill, and even chronic stress.
The average human being can tolerate a certain load of Candida in the intestines. However, a series of events such as stress, illness, poor diet, etc., can lead to chronic problems such as impaired immunity, disruption of normal body flora and chemistry, altered acid/alkaline balance, and possible terrain ripe for further infection.
Although it is true that some practitioners are claiming that Candida overgrowth may be the cause of CFS, in fact it is more of an opportunistic infection rather than the main source of the illness. And, unfortunately, it is also true that there are practitioners who seem to be on a “Candida Bandwagon,” seeing Candida in everyone they meet. I personally have tested Candida in many of the chronically ill patients in my practice, whether they have been diagnosed with CFS or not. It is very prevalent today.
The treatment of Candida overgrowth in the CFS patients is best achieved with the use of a nosode of Candida, 30c, or one or two doses of 200c to begin with, then 30c every other day for several weeks. In addition, often a low-potency of Borax, such as a 6x or 12x, to be taken for a few days at onset of treatment, will help the body fight the fungus/yeast overgrowth. Borax has many of the symptoms of fungal infection; perhaps this explains its helpfulness in these cases, such as gastro-intestinal irritation and diarrhea, apthous ulceration of mucus membranes, distention after eating, white leukorrhea, pruritis of vulva, moldy smelling breath, and itching skin. The classic symptom of “worse for downward movement” does not necessarily apply, but I find Borax often tests, and helps in the case.
It is also important to add to the prescription anti-Candida nutrients and herbs such as Pau D’Arco, capryllic acid, garlic, and acidophilus supplementation to replace the beneficial bacteria to the colon. It is also essential to stress the strong adherence to a sugar-free, alcohol-free diet.
If the Candida infection does not easily clear over several weeks of nosode treatment, drainage remedies, and attention to diet (sugar/alcohol intake, etc.), one must search for a further underlying problem. When Candida will not clear, there may be yet another focus underneath, be it parasite, mercury, infection in a root canal, etc., that stops any improvement from “holding.” If there remains a problem that is not addressed in the body, i.e. a focus, one will see improvement, but the symptoms will keep returning.
This is an excerpt from: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a guide to the homeopathic treatment of CFS/M.E.