A Candida Cleanse, also known as a Candida control diet, is a way of eating that is intended to control an outgrowth of Candida albicans or another fungus of the Candida species. Although there are many types of Candida cleanse on the market, their efficacy is hotly debated, with many physicians holding that they do not work at all, and that the appropriate way to treat Candida is through an antifungal regimen. Nonetheless, the Candida Cleanse is widely used, and various instructions abound as to the best way to undertake such a cleanse.
Candida albicans itself is a naturally-occurring fungus, which in the proper context serves an important role in the body. It is intended to dwell in the throat, genitals, and intestines. In proper quantities it helps fight harmful bacteria, keeping the body safer and healthier. People believe that the problem arises when probiotic bacteria in the body have reduced numbers, allowing the Candida to grow out of control, resulting in a yeast infection, or thrush.
One alternative view, first brought to the public stage by Dr. William Crook, is that many people suffer from a low-level systemic Candida overgrowth in their bodies. This overgrowth, people believe, causes a wide range of symptoms, from asthma, to general fatigue, to digestive problems, to muscle pain. A Candida cleanse, according to this view, is therefore not simply used to take care of an acute outbreak in the genitals or mouth, but to help cure a slew of chronic conditions.
The basic premise of the Candida Cleanse is a shift in diet away from foods that feed the yeast. This includes all sugars, but especially refined sugars of any sort, which need to be cut out entirely. Carbohydrates themselves are severely limited, with most people recommending less than 50 grams each day. Instead, the diet is built around high-protein and high-fiber foods, including fresh vegetables, nuts, and meat. People on a Candida Cleanse also avoid anything with yeast of any kind in it, including beer, fermented breads, mushrooms, and cheese.
A Candida Cleanse is meant to take at least four weeks for results to be seen, and it can taken many months before the problem is thought to be fully purged. Some people believe that once the symptoms have subsided a fair amount, small amounts of carbohydrates and sugar may be reintroduced into the diet. Others, however, eliminate these foods entirely, keeping them out of the diet forever.
In addition to shifting one’s diet, a Candida Cleanse also involves taking certain herbs and supplements to help kill off the yeast. Most proponents of the cleanse strongly recommend starting with small amounts of these herbs, to slowly kill off the yeast. Taking large amounts is thought to provoke a massive yeast die-off, also known as a Herxheimer reaction, which can make existing symptoms much, much worse for a period of time. Although these herbs, which include antifungals such as oregano oil, can be purchased individually and taken as supplements, a number of commercially-available Candida Cleanses also exist, which combine all of the disparate ingredients into one simple powder or pill.