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Anti-Candida and restrictive diets

Postby Charlotte1 on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:23 pm

My nutritional therapist suspects I have candida overgrowth and has put me on a very restrictive diet to try and kill it off which excludes wheat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, corn, yeast, sugar, honey and syrups, vinegars, salt, etc. It also excludes most carbs apart from brown rice, quinoa and limited potatoes, and limits fruit to 2 portions a day and only berries and apples.I have been feeling better since following this diet for 5 weeks but I have also spent these 5 weeks resting properly for the first time since I became ill.

It's a depressing diet to follow considering how much of my life is already restrictive because I have CFS. I am concerned that I am not getting enough of the nutrients I need. I know that these restrictive diets are often recommended to CFS patients but do you think they are safe? I would be much happier eating a healthy balanced diet with the occasional treat (piece of cake, restaurant meal, etc). I'm also concerned that my body might need some salt. Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated.
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Re: Anti-Candida and restrictive diets

Postby Sue Luscombe on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:23 pm

Hello,

I wonder if you are feeling better because such diets do cut out a lot of the processed high fat, high sugar foods? Not a bad thing to happen. I do understand how hard it is to follow such a restrictive diet, on top of the often massive burden of coping with CFS. Such diets can really add stress; emotionally, socially, nutritionally and financially. They can be a lot more expensive, mean cooking separately, and the more restriction the more the risk of inadequate intake of nutrients. Your body does need some salt or sodium, but it is very unusual to have a sodium deficiency.

A few years ago the ME Association backed good quality research to answer the question “is there any benefit in following an anti-candida diet for CFS?”. The research was published and concluded that there was no evidence for using this approach. This is the publication: Hobday R.A, et al (2008) Dietary Intervention in chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 21,141-149

It is important to understand the differences between the various “nutrition experts” such as a nutrition therapist, and dietitian. You may like to read this link in full www.bda.uk.com/publications/dietitian-nutritionist.pdf. A fundamental difference is that nutritional therapists encompass the use of recommendations for diet and lifestyle in order to alleviate or prevent ailments, often based on complementary ‘medicine’ recommendations not recognised as valid treatment in conventional medicine.
I would recommend this information sheet from the British Dietetic Association on Food allergy and intolerance testing and also on Food allergy and intolerance.

If you are finding that you are losing weight and struggling with a suitable diet speak to your GP who can refer you to your local NHS dietetic department.
Sue Luscombe
Specialist Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant - R.D.
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