Have you heard of candida – a type of yeast that occurs naturally in our bodies? When there is an overgrowth, it causes a yeast infection. Dr. Eric Bakker is a very experienced naturopathic physician who lists the seven common types of candida patients. The symptoms he describes are things people often deal with on a daily basis without even knowing they have candida overgrowth. Do you have issues with any of the following…
1. People with Digestive Problems
High level of candida and metabolites in their digestive system and low levels in their systemic circulation. These cases are common, they are the patients who are tired and may well have fatigue, and their digestive complaints may be strong affecting the quality of their life. I don’t generally find many mental, emotional or neurological symptoms here. They will have leaky gut syndrome becoming increasingly chronic over time without proper treatment. As the gut becomes more permeable, they develop increasingly more allergies and risk metabolites and associated neurological symptoms like brain fog and mental fatigue affecting the rest of the body.
2. Chronic Digestive Problems
Low or average levels of beneficial bacteria, high levels of candida and metabolites and high levels of bad bacteria and parasites in the digestive system, some degree of candida and metabolites in their circulation, high or low levels. Expect digestive pain, chronic bowel or digestive complaints, possibly nausea, gas, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.
These are the patients who often present with multiple food allergies and may have lost a lot of weight. These can be quite reactive or sensitive to many foods and dietary supplements. They respond slowly but surely over time and need to be patient. I work primarily on their digestive system for a long time, up to two years in severe cases, and especially with the Candida Crusher Formula.
3. Peripheral Problems
Candida and toxic metabolites in their digestive system but much higher levels of gliotoxin and mannan in their systemic circulation and organs or body systems peripheral to the digestive system. These are the patients with ongoing chronic low-level digestive problems, multiple food allergies that may cause major reactions, possibly food intolerances and a significantly chronic leaky gut.
These patients are often tired and can feel literally wasted; some complain of brain fog, others may have varying levels of depression or anxiety and many will suffer from severe adrenal fatigue. These are the patients who tick literally every symptom box on the case-talking form. Some have recurrent vaginal thrush; others may have bladder or prostate irritation. Some will have problems with their muscles or joints. With a particularly high systemic load of candida and toxic metabolites some can even feel spaced-out to the point where they can find it difficult to even function on a day-to-day basis.
These are the impossible cases and don’t often get the right treatment, they will generally be prescribed antidepressants and told to see a psychiatrist by their doctor, and they may have visited a dozen or more practitioners.
4. Vaginal Yeast Infection
A recurring vaginal yeast infection yet little or no digestive or systemic yeast issues. These are the women who may have had a history of taking the Pill and/or antibiotics and may have used applicators and fluconazole initially but gave up on medical treatment years ago. They recover well on the Candida Crusher Program but need to address their digestive system health and need to be tough on their diet as well as concentrate on continual local treatments for several months. Some of these women may have had a problem here for twenty years or more.
Women with vaginal thrush and strong digestive complaints need the same treatment, balancing local treatments but with an even stronger emphasis on their diet, nutrition, and lifestyle. They need to be particularly careful about personal hygiene as well.
5. Chronic and Severe Candidiasis
Multiple areas of concern such as toenail fungus, vaginal thrush, bowel issues, brain fog, depression and irritability can sometimes all be seen in the same person. These people are a combination of category 2 and 3, I have just described, they have serious gut yeast infection issues and systemic metabolite issues.
These patients can be very immunecompromised and will need to pay particular attention to the Low-Allergy Diet section on the Candida Crusher Diet. They are best to stay with the Candida Crusher Diet principles for some time while they heal their digestive system. I like them to work on all the local areas of concern while paying particular attention to their leaky gut.
Sometimes they come into the clinic on half a dozen drugs, including antidepressants, sleeping pills, antibiotics, antihistamines and steroid creams. They often benefit from fresh garlic; grapefruit seed extract and by using tea tree oil on their problem areas twice daily. These can quite possibly be the most challenging cases to work with and can take two years or more to heal.
6. Minor Skin or Nail Yeast Infection
Skin yeast infections and hardly any other candida issues. I routinely see cases of patients who only come into the clinic with tinea or toenail fungus, or only with jock itch, for example. Careful questioning will most always reveal some degree of underlying digestive issue, their small intestine will be leaky but only to a very mild or mild degree.
These are often the people who are oblivious to any underlying health issues and drink alcohol regularly and may have a very average or even poor diet. They are best to follow the Candida Crusher principles and avoid especially the one or two key trigger foods or drinks they know they like. They recover well and generally in three to four months.
7. Chronic Skin or Nail Yeast Infections
These cases often present with major digestive and genito-urinary issues, like recurrent urinary tract infections and vaginal thrush along with tinea or toenail fungus. These patients will generally be older and may well have used antibiotics, creams or other drugs for years to little avail. These cases have some of the most compromised immune systems of all and the serious cases can take three years or more to heal. The skin will be the last thing to improve, as the body needs to heal from the inside out.
The gut will be quite leaky indeed and the patient will need to strictly follow the diet plan for a long time. I expect to see various aggravations, as the body will need to throw out toxic drug residues locked inside organs from years of suppressive drug taking. Compliance increases as the thrush and UTIs begin to clear, but decreases as the aggravations occur. These are the cases that nobody wants to treat, and if this person only came to the clinic when he or she was a category 6 it would have been so much easier!
More About Yeast Infections
As you can see, there are potentially as many different yeast infection scenarios as there are people, and each case will be slightly different from another, but there will be common threads tying them together. I have learned much of my knowledge by carefully taking the patient’s case in addition to comprehensive stool testing.
With stool testing you can work out if the yeast infection is predominantly in the person’s digestive system or not, what levels of bacteria, good and bad, as well as if there are any parasites present. You can also see if there is any inflammation present and how their digestion is coping under the load.
The stool test will also reveal an immune marker (sIgA) which can reveal if they are reactive to their diet and to what extent, and further specialized testing such as the lactulose/mannitol test will reveal if they have leaky gut and how significant it is. So you see, there are ways of working out what is happening to the patient and how their immune system is affecting them. This information is priceless and can help you the patient significantly. You can read a more about functional medicine testing in chapter 3, and especially a lot more about sIgA, an important gut immune marker.
While the toxic candida metabolites can affect just about all cells of all organs and systems of a person’s body thereby causing just about any symptoms, candida albicans will often tend to initially have more of a direct impact on the digestive system causing gastrointestinal symptoms, and from there it will spread to different parts of the body.
I am especially on the lookout for mental, emotional or visual disturbances. This will tell me that we are potentially dealing with toxic metabolites, and I expect the small intestine to be especially permeable in such cases.
I look to see if the patient has more peripheral symptoms like brain fog, numbness & tingling, feeling unreal or spaced out. With any presenting neurological symptoms, you can figure out to what degree the candida and toxic metabolites have moved the person’s digestive system into their circulation, other organs and even into their brain.
To cope, some people under continual stress unfortunately drink alcohol, raising their immune response further. An even further assault can occur to their immune system when they take drugs like antibiotics, anti-histamines, sleeping tablets or a bloodpressure drug, for example.
Likewise, the immune system may be challenged by molds which may come from living or working in a moldy environment, or from ingesting foods containing molds or spores, such as those foods placed in the refrigerator which were cooked the day before. Did it ever occur to you that these air or food-borne yeast spores can become trapped in your respiratory or digestive system and challenge your immune system further?
About the Author:
Eric Bakker B.H.Sc. (Comp.Med), N.D, R.Hom. is a highly experienced naturopathic physician who has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Eric is passionate about improving people’s lives through proven wellness and lifestyle principles, natural medicine practice as well as public and professional practitioner education. Eric specializes in candida yeast infections, as well as adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disorders. Dr. Bakker has written one of the most comprehensive books on yeast infections called Candida Crusher you can complete his online survey to determine if you have a yeast infection here, or link through to his many You Tube videos at CandidaCrusher YouTube Channel.