Is candida a real illness? I'm 45 and have been taking a lot of antibiotics for ear, upper respiratory, and bacterial infections since I was 14. I've also been addicted to sugar, but have gotten better. I've had a poor diet most of my life. My symptoms say I have candida, but the medical tests all come back normal. I always have a yeast infection and the different doctors I’ve seen don’t know what else to offer as I've become resistant to all of the yeast meds they've tried. Candida diets supposedly have a 95 percent relapse rate if you ever cheat on the diet. That sounds strange to me and I'm very confused. Please help.
Answer: Candida albicans is a common yeast present in our environment that usually does not cause any major health challenge. People whose immune systems are severely suppressed may have difficulty maintaining healthy defenses against candida, which can cause serious infections.
Most people who carry the diagnosis of candida are better served by thinking in terms of accumulated toxicity rather than infection. Due to a weak digestive fire, known in ayurvedic medicine as agni, the body accumulates toxins or ama that inhibits one’s natural vitality and immunity.
In our experience at the Chopra Center, people who receive the diagnosis of candida usually notice a dramatic improvement after undergoing panchakarma treatments, which are offered as part of our weekly Perfect Health program. If you aren’t able to attend in the near future, I suggest that for one month, you follow these steps:
- Engage in a regular, twice-daily meditation practice.
- Eat a healthy Kapha-pacifying diet. In general, favor warm, light foods that contain the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes. Reduce your consumption of foods containing the sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
- Follow a course of ayurvedic detoxifying herbs: Take two triphala tablets twice a day and one guggulu tablet twice a day. Triphala and guggulu are both digestive and blood purifiers that help strengthen the digestive fires and release stored toxins.
- Drink ginger tea several times a day to help clear toxins from the body’s channels of circulation. Find our recipe for ginger tea here.
Focus on this detoxification program for one month. If you still feel your immune system is vulnerable, there are several immune-strengthening ayurvedic herbs that you can take to replenish your body’s defense mechanisms: ashwagandha, guduchi, and amalaki. These formulations are available online and at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, CA. Click here for directions to the Center.
Call 888.736.6895 or click here to request more information