Specific Carbohydrate Diet

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is another diet that aims to eradicate intestinal yeast infection by carbohydrate restriction. Elaine Gottschall introduced the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in her book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health through Diet”.

It was originally introduced to treat many severe gastrointestinal problems, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, etc.

Over the years people have also find other uses of the Special Carbohydrate Diet, such as treating autism, ADHD, dyslexia, oppositional defiant disorder, speech and language delay, etc.

The Specific Carbohydrate diet suggests that many body ailments, such gastrointestinal diseases are caused by the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast/Candida in the intestine. These harmful residents thrive on carbohydrates that are not completely digested.

Complex carbohydrates in our diet take longer to digest, and end up further down to the large intestines where bacteria and yeast lives. These undigested carbohydrates provide a good source of nutrients for these harmful bugs.

The more yeast are in the body, the more toxins the yeast produces, which are the causes of many of the behaviors we see in children with ADHD, autism, and other developmental disorders.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet works by eliminating all complex carbohydrates and polysaccharides (multiple-molecule sugars, such as lactose, sucrose, starch, etc) to minimize any undigested carbohydrates from entered the lower portion of the intestines where these harmful bacteria and yeast reside.

In the SCD only monosaacharides, which are single molecule sugars, such as glucose, fructose, galactose are allowed. It is speculated that these single-molecule sugars, because of their simple structure, are easily absorbed in the upper intestine, leaving no undigested carbohydrates that would enter the lower intestine to be used by harmful bacteria or yeast/Candida. As a result, starving the harmful organisms to death and putting a stop to toxin production.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet emphasizes on carbohydrate restriction to eradicate the harmful toxin-producing organisms in our intestines. At the same time, good beneficial bacteria is introduced through SCD’s homemade goat’s milk yogurt and aged cheeses.

Hallmark of the Diet:

1. Avoid all polysaccharides, such as lactose, sucrose, and any complex carbohydrates. Polysaccharides are molecules made up of two or sugar units. These require special enzymes to break down the chain into single sugar units.

2. Allow only monosaccharides, such as fructose, glucose, and galactose. Monosaccharides are single unit molecules.

3. Only carbohydrates from fruits and non-starchy vegetables are allowed.

4. Honey and saccharine are the only allowed sweeteners. Saccharine is an artificial sweetener.

5. Only meats in pure unprocessed form are allowed.

6. Homemade goat’s milk yogurt and aged cheese are allowed as a way to introduce good bacteria into the intestines. As you know dairy products are good sources of lactose, which is a two-molecule sugar (galactose and glucose). However, the fermenting processes breaks up the lactose molecules into one unit each of galactose and glucose, both of which are monosaccharides, which are allowed on this diet. Recipes are provided in the book.

WHAT TO EXPECT?

When starting this diet, you will not feel great instantly. In fact, you will start feeling really sick, which is a good sign. Yes. That’s right. “It’s a GOOD SIGN”. This is a sign that the diet is working because the yeast/Candida is dying.

Remember there is an excessive amount of yeast in your body, so when they die, all the toxins from the yeast are being released, and that’s what’s making you sick. This is called “toxic die off“.

Besides, the fact that you’re missing your sugar and carbohydrates can make you feel cranky too. Expect some ADHD-related behaviors or symptoms to worsen during “toxic die off” and there may be regression in younger children. Don’t be discouraged. After the yeast/candida and their toxins are eradicated, you will discover the improvements.

For people who are allergic to cow’s milk protein, the goat’s milk may or may not be well tolerated. Be cautious about following the Specific Carbohydrate diet if you are sensitive to cow’s milk protein. There are alternatives yogurt that can be made from non-dairy beverages, such as coconut or rice milk.

Saccharine is an artificial sweetener that some of you may avoid due to its synthetic nature. You may use honey instead.

WARNING

This is a very restrictive and regimented diet to follow. What I have here is just the surface of the diet. There are more to this diet than just avoiding sugars and carbohydrates, and eating yogurts. You’ll probably need some kitchen skills to maneuver around with some recipes.

What is Candida Die Off Symptoms?




What is Candida Die Off Symptoms?

Ever since I started on the gluten-free diet, that’s when I realize how heavily my diet (in fact, most Americans’s diet) has relied on carbohydrates. I soon realize I have nothing to eat for snack except fruits and vegetables, cheese sticks, gluten-free cookies (loaded with sugar).

Anyway, my point is our diet is loaded with carbohydrates, which eventually turn to sugar, that feeds not just our brain, but some unwelcome guest in our intestine – yeast or candida. And we wonder why we’re always dealing with chronic illnesses and symptoms like allergies, chronic inflammation, joint problems, mood disorders, digestive symptoms and more.

Good news a strict elimination diet that avoids all kinds of carbohydrate may help to treat candida overgrowth. There are many different diets and strategies to accomplish this candida elimination mission.

They all serve the same purpose via a slightly different approach. Diets like body ecology, specific carbohydrate diet and FODMAP diets, all do the same thing with their own littler tweak. These are very restrictive diets and are usually meant for short duration just to clear the body of the offending yeast.

These yeast elimination diet is an endeavor of and by itself. Eating no sugar and carbohydrates for days or up to weeks are unimaginable to many of us. Many people quit in the middle of the diet because of the restriction foods choices. But even more people quit these diets because of the “side effects”.

That’s right. Isn’t it funny that diets have “side effects”?

Actually, these are good “side effects”, unlike those from drugs or pharmaceuticals. These “side effects” mean the diet therapy is working. Many people do not understand these “side effects” and automatically think that they’re not tolerating the diet change and quit.

What they’re experiencing is actually called “Herxheimer reaction” or simply, candida die off symptoms or toxic die off symptoms.

When your candida elimination treatment is working, candida starts dying due to lack of food (carbohydrate restriction), increasing population of other organism in the intestine through probiotics supplementation, and antifungal medication or herbs that kill yeast.

When this happens, yeast is killed rapidly while releasing loads of metabolic toxic byproducts, which include ethanol (alcohol) and acetaldehyde (toxic byproduct after breaking down alcohol).

It’s like cleaning house, it has to get messy first, then the clean and fresh will come.

At this point, many may complain of:
Nausea
Headache, fatigue, dizziness
Swollen glands
Bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea
Increased joint or muscle pain
Fast heart rate
Chills, or cold feeling in extremities
Skin itchiness, hives or rashes o breakouts
Sweating
Fever
Recurring vaginal, prostate and sinus infections

Relieving Candida Die off Symptoms

Candida Die-Off symptoms vary from person to person. These symptoms usually clear up within a week or so without intervention, but could last a little longer. There are a few strategies that can help minimize the symptoms by slowing the release of toxins and/or speeding up the detoxification system.

Try Molybdenum or Milk Thistle. The liver is your main pathway for eliminating toxins, which means your liver is overwhelmed during the toxic die-off. Molybdenum converts the neurotoxin acetaldehyde into acetic acid, which is a harmless substance. Silymarin in the milk thistle supports the detoxification process in the liver.

Temporarily reducing or discontinuing antifungal supplements.
Reducing your antifungal dosage will slow the release of toxins into your system. When you feel better, you can start to increase it again.

Increase water intake to flush out the toxins faster.
If you want to feel better, all those byproducts that are released by the Candida yeast need to leave your body. You can give them a push by drinking more water.

Relax and rest a lot.
Relaxing, meditating and taking some personal time will help your immune system functions better and staffs off infection.

Try saunas, massage or contrast showers.
These help to increase circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system, which help you to excrete the toxins released from the dying yeast bodies.

Take 1000 mg of Vitamin C twice daily.
This multi-purpose vitamin boosts your adrenals and immune system to health.

Take two activated charcoal capsules every four to six hours during the day.

Take a soluble fiber supplement that contains guar gum, alginates, psyllium, or pectin before bed. These fibers bind to yeast toxins and are helpful in reducing the “die off” symptoms.




Candida-Free diet

Get Rid of Candida or Yeast Once and For All…

To successfully treat candida, you need to do three things: stop the yeast from getting out of control, build up the friendly bacteria, and heal your gut.

1. Avoid taking antibiotics, steroids, or hormones unless absolutely medically necessary.

2. Eat a diet that doesn’t feed yeast in the gut (low sugar and refined carbohydrates, and low mold and yeast in food (see below). First step: getting rid of the candida overgrowth, which mainly requires switching to a low-carbohydrate diet.

Sugar feeds yeast. So start by eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms — such as candy, desserts, alcohol, and flours. Limit to 1 cup a day of complex carbohydrates, like grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes. The yeast will starve and eventually die.

I also recommend eliminating all fermented foods. That’s because, while it’s common knowledge that fermented foods help to feed the good bacteria, most people don’t realize that bad bacteria feed off of these foods as well.

Finally, heal your gut by eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract and introducing foods that help. Having a strong gut will prevent candida from working its way through your body, and dramatically improve your overall health.

3. Take probiotics to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria to keep your candida population under control. I suggest anywhere from 25 to 100 billion colony forming units (CFUs)of probiotics daily of lactobacillus and bifidobacter species. A special “yeast against yeast” probiotic called saccharomyces boulardii can be very safe and effective in controlling yeast.

Sometimes dietary changes may not be enough to reduce the yeast overgrowth to resolve your symptoms. Then you may need to proceed to the next steps with medication or non-prescription treatments. They’re often needed to treat more resistant cases of yeast for either the short or long term — and in some cases can be miraculous in their results.

4. Take antifungal medications and herbs when indicated. Diet and probiotics alone could take up to three to six months before the candida is under control. Sometimes, anti-fungal medication, such as Diflucan or Nystatin, is introduced.

Nystatin is the most common antifungal drug and is often used to treat thrush in babies. It is not absorbed by the intestinal tract and has no systemic effects. Unfortunately, many fungal organisms are resistant to nystatin and you may need stronger medications. I say “unfortunately” because these drugs are generally processed by the liver and occasionally can cause reversible elevation of liver function tests. They also may have serious interactions with other medications.

People with liver or heart diseases often cannot take these drugs. If you do take Diflucan, Sporonox or Lamasil, you have to have your liver function checked every six weeks. For all of these reasons, you should only take prescription antifungals under the supervision of an experienced and qualified practitioner.

Using herbal antifungal therapies such as herbs and other naturally occurring compounds can be very helpful in controlling yeast. The dose for all of the following herbal remedies is generally two pills with meals, three times a day for two to three months. You might need less or more based on your response and symptoms. Sometimes these remedies can be combined for better effect. Below is a list of some common antifungal herbs.

• Oregano — Oil of oregano has many antibacterial and antifungal properties.
• Garlic — Fresh, crushed garlic is a potent antimicrobial and immune booster.
• Citrus seed extract — The phytochemicals in citrus seeds have been found to have potent antimicrobial properties.
• Berberine — This potent yellow plant extract comes from goldenseal and barberry
• Tannins — These are the astringent compounds found in tea and the bark of trees.
• Undecylenate — This chemical compound is a potent antifungal.
• Isatis tinctoria — This Chinese herb can be a useful adjunct to treating intestinal imbalances.
• Caprylic acid — comes from coconut oil. It is a powerful anti-fungal, which literally “pokes holes” in the yeast cell wall, and kill it.

5. Identify and remove potential environmental toxic fungi and molds in your home or workplace.

6. Reduce stress by practicing yoga and meditation, being mindful and daily physical activities. Don’t let sweat about small stuff.

By keeping the yeast under control in the gut, the brain starts to clear up and be able to focus and concentrate again.

READ NEXT: Candida Die-off Symptoms

Candida Overgrowth






First of all, what is candida?

Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast. It lives in your mouth and intestines in small groups. Surprisingly with all the bad reputation, candida or fungus or yeast do have benefits to us. It helps with digestion and nutrient absorption.

Candida or yeast are usually present in small numbers in the digestive system. But when the good bugs are killed by antibiotics or not fed with adequate fiber, or the bad guys are fueled with too much sugar, or the gut’s delicate ecosystem is damaged by too much stress, then yeasts and other noxious agents take over.

These little guys become trouble when there are too many of them. Candida can break down the wall of the intestine and crossover into the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to a variety of health problems ranging from digestive issues, skin problems and mental illnesses.

Unfortunately, many medical professionals have not yet recognized the existence of candida overgrowth (candidiasis). Regretfully, this means that many patients are turned away and do not get the help that they need.

Frequent use of antibiotics disrupts the normal balance between healthy bugs in the gut (lactobacillus, bifidobacter, e. coli) and other potentially dangerous bugs, including yeasts, bacteria and occasionally parasites.

This can result in many chronic illnesses and symptoms including allergies, chronic inflammation, joint problems, mood and brain disorders, digestive symptoms and more.

What are common symptoms of candida?

Although symptoms of yeast overgrowth are similar to those of many other conditions, you may have a yeast problem if you have these problems.

General Symptoms

• Feeling tired and worn down, chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
• Loss of energy
• General malaise
• Decreased libido
• Strong cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrate

Skin Symptoms

•Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
•Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

• Thrush
• Bloating and gas
• Intestinal cramps
• Rectal itching
• Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea

Genitourinary Symptoms

• Frequent urinary tract infections
• Vaginal yeast infections,
• Rectal itching, or vaginal itching

Hormonal Complaints

• Menstrual irregularities like pain, bleeding, etc.
• Premenstrual syndrome
• Thyroid dysfunction

Nervous System Complaints

• Depression
• Irritability
• Anxiety
• Mood Swings
• Difficulty concentrating, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD
• Poor memory and brain fog

Immune System Complaints

• Seasonal allergies or itchy ears
• Chemical sensitivities
• Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis

What are the Risk Factors?

We know that yeast overgrowth can be triggered by a number of things. These include a high-sugar, high-fat, low-fiber diet, impaired immunity, use of drugs like antibiotics, birth control pills, estrogen, and steroids like prednisone, and psychological stress.

How do you diagnose candida overgrowth?

Non-scientifically, you can self-diagnose with a “candida questionnaire” and/or a “Spittle Test”. Both can be completed in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

Candida Questionnaire

The Candida questionnaire was created by Dr. William Crook and is a useful tool for self-diagnosis. This questionnaire is appropriate for adults, both men and women. Print out your results and discuss with your doctor.

Download the questionnaire here.

Spittle Test

Here’s a simple test that claims to diagnose your systemic Candidiasis.

This test is completely non-scientific at all. Just like other things in life, that we can’t explained, but seems to work. I’d be curious if someone eventually do a scientific study on on this test to prove its legitimacy.

Basically, the Spittle test tells you how thick your saliva is and very little else. And the thickness of your mucus is determined by many factors which actually have very little to do with systemic Candidaisis or any other health problem.

If you have allergies or have recently eaten some dairy products, you will likely test ‘positive’ on the spittle test. Dehydration can also lead to a positive reading, which means that you are far more likely to test ‘positive’ after you wake in the morning.

Feel free to try the test, but take the results with a pinch of salt!
1. When you get up in the morning, and before you brush your teeth, eat or drink anything, fill a glass with bottled water at room temperature.
2. Spit some saliva gently into the glass.
3. Come back every 20 minutes for the next hour and check for some of these tell-tale signs of Candida:
– ‘Strings’ coming down through the water from the saliva at the top like “tentacles”.
– Cloudy saliva sitting at the bottom of the glass
– Opaque specks of saliva suspended in the water

For those who prefer modern science and evidence-based medicine, there are blood and stool test that could help confirm and rule out candida overgrowth.

Anti-Candida Antibodies or Candida Immune Complexes test

This test checks your levels for candida antibodies – IgG, IgA, and IgM. The levels of these antibodies indicate your immune system’s response to Candida. Elevated levels of indicate presence of overgrowth of Candida.

These tests can often be negative even when a stool or urine test is positive. Which brings me to the next two tests:

Stool Analysis

This seems to be the most accurate test out there as directly analyzes the levels of yeast, pathogenic bacteria and friendly bacteria in your intestines. It can usually determine the species of yeast — as well as which treatment will be most effective.

Urine Tartaric Acid Test or Urine Organic Dysbiosis Test

This urine test checks for waste product of yeast – arabinose and tartaric acid. Elevated results indicate an overgrowth of candida, and the test can help you determine if there is candida in your upper gut or small intestines.

How do you treat candida overgrowth?
2 words…”Lifestyle Changes”.

NEXT: Candida-Free Diet and Lifestyle Changes.