My wife has been told by a naturopath/homeopath that she has candiditis in her gut. Is it necessary to cut all sugars?

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Thanks for your excellent resource.

Could you answer a question I have about my wife? She has been told by a naturopath/homeopath that she has Candiditis (too much Candida virus in her gut, which has become a yeast and crossed through her gut wall and into her body).

On his advice, she’s cut out caffeine, alcohol, any pickles or fermented products, milk with lactose and most sugar. Her symptoms are vastly improved, however cutting out sugar is very difficult to do in this day and age. (She still has fructose from fruit.)

Is it necessary to cut all sugars or are there other foods which may still need to be considered as causes of her fatigue, bloated belly (after eating sugar), “hangover” feeling, etc.?

Sorry, but there isn’t any current nutritional therapy for Candida you describe. However, the foods she has eliminated usually cause gastrointestinal problems or irritable bowel syndrome.

Eliminating caffeine, alcohol, pickles, and sugar pose no nutritional harm and most are not included in a balanced or healthy eating plan anyway. So if your wife’s symptoms have improved, congratulations.

Dairy products, including milk and fruit, are sources of sugar as well as desserts and sweets made with sugar. Other sources of carbohydrates are complex starches and fibers, which aren’t sugars. Diabetic desserts, candy, and sugar-free gums are usually sugar-free and would be a good choice if your wife wants to eliminate sugar. However, there are two sugars derived from alcohol – mannitol and sorbitol – which can ferment in the gut. Does your wife chew sugar-free gum or breath mints with either of these two nutritive sweeteners? If so, eliminate them for one week to see if symptoms disappear.

Lactose may be the biggest problem. Most dairy products (milk, cheese and frozen desserts like ice cream) contain lactose. Check out the milk topic for more information about lactose and food sources. Try soymilk as it is lactose-free.

Fiber may be another irritant to her intestinal tract, given the bloating symptoms you describe. Next try reducing fiber by switching to refined grains and white bread, cooked vegetables (no gas forming like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts or baked beans), canned fruits or juices (no prune) to see if her symptoms improve after one week. If not, switch back to whole grain cereals and bread, raw vegetables and fruits. If her symptoms improve, you have more information to provide her doctor.

Fructose is absorbed through the intestinal wall and further broken down to glucose in the blood. It usually doesn’t cause fatigue, bloating or a hangover problem. Besides, fruits and juices are excellent sources of Vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber.

Only make one change in her food choices at a time to pinpoint the food irritant. If her symptoms continue, I would suggest she see a doctor.