You might be reading this Health Tip from a town 40 miles north of Mobile, Alabama, or somewhere west of Pecos, New Mexico, and you might be thinking, “Well, this sounds exactly like what I’ve got but there’s no doctor around here who knows anything about it.”
We hear you. You’re a victim of the Candida Wars and telemedicine can help change that.
It’s hard to believe the Candida Wars having been going on for 40 years, still harder to accept that after all this time, with candida overgrowth easier than ever to diagnose and treat, most conventional physicians remain mired in the outdated (and incorrect) belief that candida is just a fad diagnosis, to their way of thinking like Lyme disease or chronic fatigue. Docs in this group tell their long-suffering patients not to spend so much time on the internet. Also, “Here, this will help. It’s an antidepressant.”
The yeast connection
It was just about 40 years ago that general practitioner William Crook, MD, first became acquainted with the research of C. Orian Truss, MD, who had written that Candida albicans, a yeast that grows along the warm interior surfaces of the body (mouth, vagina, digestive tract), could, by releasing toxins, trigger a vast array of seemingly unrelated symptoms throughout the body.
In December, 1983, after trying to get their research published in conventional, peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Crook’s The Yeast Connection hit the bookstores. Public acceptance was immediate and astonishing. Here was a possible explanation for years of unexplained symptoms, so-called normal tests, and kindly but firm dismissals from conventional physicians.
What ultimately infuriated physicians about anything related to candida is that patients could diagnose it themselves using Dr. Crook’s Candida Questionnaire, valid to this day. Moreover, Dr. Crook encouraged independent thinking and outlined a protocol for self-treatment, mainly a combination of diet and herbs.
But rather than make any attempt to understand the consequences of candida overgrowth and do some decent research, it was apparently easier to dismiss Dr. Crook as a quack and fraud. This was truly bizarre. He was conventionally trained (Vanderbilt University) and a member of both the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Denigration was the price he paid for thinking outside the box.
Chronic candida remains a problem
So now it’s decades later. Because doctors still overprescribe antibiotics and because most of us eat far more sugar than is good for us, chronic candida overgrowth remains a problem.
These days we have better diagnostic tests, more effective herbal remedies, and, if needed, excellent prescription anti-candida medications. By initiating a telemedicine consultation with us, you can resolve your chronic candida.
Here are the most common symptoms of candida overgrowth
–Bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, new sensitivities to commonly eaten foods.
–Fatigue, depression, irritability, disorientation, dizziness, inability to concentrate.
–Sugar cravings, chemical sensitivities, alcohol intolerance, increased susceptibility to medication side effects.
–Muscle and joint aches.
–Recurring sinus infections.
–Recurring skin rashes especially in skin folds.
–In women: PMS, decreased libido, recurring vaginal yeast infections, vulvar itching, painful sex.
–In men: prostate and bladder infections, decreased libido.
Diagnosing and treating candida via telemedicine
It’s important to note that nothing we do during these consultations is meant to take the place of your primary care physician. In fact, we strongly encourage you to share our findings with her.
A WholeHealth Chicago Telemedicine visit for candida will go something like this:
After you call our Patient Services team (773-296-6700) and schedule with any of our Functional Medicine practitioners, you’ll receive patient registration forms and a health history questionnaire.
In addition to the forms, we ask that you send us three pieces of information to review before your actual telemedicine appointment:
–A history of your problem (when it started, what makes it worse, and what you’ve done so far to treat it, especially any specialists you’ve seen and any treatment you’ve received). These will be used as discussion points.
–Copies of any recent lab tests.
–A list of foods you commonly eat.
It would be very helpful if you’d spend a few minutes completing Dr. Crook’s Candida Questionnaire and then let your practitioner know how you scored. The questionnaire is at this link.
With this information, your practitioner will ask more about your overall health and also consider diagnostic possibilities other than candida.
The most frequently ordered tests for candida are:
–Comprehensive stool digestive analysis with check for parasites and candida (CDSA OP X 3). This is a stool-sample collection, the kit mailed to you directly by Genova Labs. You’ll pay Genova directly and they can help with insurance issues. If you have no insurance, ask for the cash price.
–Candida antibody testing is a blood test you can have drawn locally at any hospital or from a LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics blood drawing station. This is usually covered by insurance, but, again, if you don’t have insurance, ask for the cash price.
While we’re awaiting your test results (this usually takes four weeks), you’ll begin a nutritional program that includes supplements to reduce your candida population, heal your intestinal lining, and activate the detoxifying systems in your liver to lessen the oxidative stress brought on by candida toxins.
Your second appointment is two to three weeks after the first, mainly to answer questions and monitor your response to gut healing and detoxification. During this process, you may experience some symptoms of candida die-off, called a Herxheimer reaction. This is a harmless response indicating your body is clearing the toxins of dead/dying candida.
During your third appointment (again, two to three weeks later), you and your practitioner will review your test results to determine the severity of your candida. This will also be the time to initiate actual anti-candida therapy.
The mainstays of treatment are either anti-candida prescription medications or anti-candida herbal therapies in addition to supplements that bind toxins, speed detoxification, and restore a healthy gut microbiome.
Interestingly, the prescription anti-candida medications, which have been available to doctors for decades, are all FDA-approved for candida and are very safe. It’s astonishing that with the availability of these meds candida is so utterly ignored by the medical profession. It’s all part of the Candida Wars, I’m afraid.
You’ll also schedule a fourth appointment to review your progress.
Finally, when you’ve completed your therapies and have a firm grasp on your new nutritional guidelines, we’ll try to locate a functional practitioner somewhere in your region who knows something about candida overgrowth.
Our telemedicine consultations are based on the treatment and outcomes of hundreds of patients seen by the practitioners at WholeHealth Chicago over its 25 year history. If you click here to explore our Health Tips, you’ll find several articles on candida that may be helpful.
David Edelberg, MD