How Yeast Infection Aggravates Rheumatic Symptoms


Yeast infection (Candida albicans) can often be a major co-factor contributing to many of the symptoms of rheumatic illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Fibromyalgia (FMS), and hypothyroidism, including:


One striking symptom of yeast infection is called “food coma” or post prandial (after eating) intoxication. Ingestion of yeast-generated hydrocarbons can rapidly induce mental collapse, stupor and sleep lasting several hours after consuming a meal containing alcohol, or just sugars, and simple carbohydrates alone, which the yeast converts to alcohols and other toxins.


The Candida organism normally grows in the gut, and its generation of toxins is exacerbated by sugars and simple carbohydrates. Infection can be partly controlled by minimizing estrogen (found in birth control pills and menopause relief drugs), and by severely limiting carbohydrates in the diet. Atkins and South Beach diets are examples of low-carb approaches to eating.


The growth of Candida is encouraged by antibacterial antibiotics, including the tetracyclines, which kill the normal “good” intestinal bacterial flora that usually generate molecules that suppress the yeasts. Clostridium difficile proliferation is also an opportunistic consequence of the antibacterial protocols. Tropic oils and probiotics help but specific antibiotics may be needed to control the C. diff and Candidae.


Treatments for yeast sensitivity are directed at greatly reducing the size and extent of the colony. They start with intestinal cleanout as for a fiber optic sigmoidoscope exam, followed by systemic long term antifungal (e.g., nystatin) and topical vaginal nystatin if applicable. Sometimes a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction is induced, and ideally a physician skilled in the treatment of yeast infections should be controlling the treatment. 


The Candida microbe can invade cells and live inside them. This makes it hard for antifungal drugs to fully eliminate a yeast colony. A permanent diet change is essential for control. Dietary guidelines to suppress Candida overgrowth include daily intake of garlic, omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed, fish oil), caprylic acid (liquid fatty acid found in butter and other fats and oils), and especially probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bifidus, Bifidobacteria bifidus, buttermilk, yogurt, etc.


Goat milk and cheese is rich in caprylic acid. Coconut oil has palmitic, caprylic and lauric acids which are all systemic anti microbial---killing yeasts, fungus, bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Several tablespoons per day are recommended of a mix of these oils.


Boron deficiency may result in higher susceptibility to yeast and fungal infections.  See Dr Axe’s Boron Article  Contains recipes for treatment of athletes foot, vaginal infections.  Boric acid eyewash may be an effective treatment of fungal corneal infections.


In another of its forms, C. albicans extends a microscopic tube that infiltrates the intestine lining and causes it to leak tiny particles of undigested food into the blood. This causes the so-called “leaky gut syndrome” leading to the generation of blood-borne immune complexes (IgG, IgE) specific to certain foods that cause allergic reaction. These immune complexes exacerbate the inflammation of other resident infections, aggravating RA, FMS, and other so-called autoimmune disorders. Inflammation is also sometimes seen at sites of past injuries, where bacterial infection may be latent and waiting for an opportune time to emerge.


Gut inflammation by yeast may be complicated by other infections, such as milk-borne, heat resistant Micobacteria paratuberculosis, which is the cause of a Crohn’s disease look-alike infection called Jonne’s disease in dairy cattle with an epidemic dairy herd infection level at an estimated 15% to 20%. Other food/water borne bacterial gut co-infections may include Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, salmonella, certain pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, and Cryptosporidium.


A comprehensive classic source of information on yeast and fungal infections and many effective treatments for these conditions is The Yeast Syndrome, by Dr. John Trowbridge, M.D. and Morton Walker, DPM, Bantam Books, 1986. At the time of publication and even today, the medical establishment may still deny that C. Albicans is a serious pathogenic problem, despite a huge number of published papers to the contrary. E.g., see “Glycoprotein toxins produced by Candida albicans” by K Iwata & Y Yamamoto, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Mycoses, PAHO Scientific Publication 356, 1977.


Dr. Marjorie Crandall, award-winning Candida expert who resides in Southern California. She is the author of dozens of publications in scientific journals, and does personal counseling by phone for a fee. See


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