Leaky Gut vs Candida Overgrowth Treatment

Greetings. New Zealand naturopath, Eric Bakker. I’m the author of Candida Crusher and also the formulator of the Canxida range of supplements. I have a question here from a man called Angelo Macradakus. Angelo sounds like a Greek guy. I really like Greek people. I used to have a lot of Greek patients when I practiced in Brisbane in Australia many years ago and I really enjoy Greek festivals and Greek culture.

“Hi, Eric. I just want to say thanks for all your amazing content. Your videos have been extremely helpful alongside your book. I was just hoping you could make one of your extensive videos on what the differences are with the lifestyle, nutrition and supplementation when dealing with leaky gut as well as Candida, as opposed to just Candida, if there are any at all. I greatly appreciate this. Thanks for your good work. Keep up the good content.”

Angelo, this is for you, my friend. Not just because you’re Greek and I like Greek people, but also because it’s a very valid question. What is the difference with treatment if you look at lifestyle, nutrition and supplementation with leaky gut as opposed to Candida?

People with leaky gut and, in fact, many people have got leaky gut. I would go as far to say anyone who lives a diet based on western diet and lifestyle principles will have leaky gut to some degree. That’s because we all tend to eat food that contains some element of chemicals, preservatives, emulsifiers, all these sort of things in our food, including antibiotics, artificial sugars, they seem to permeate our lifestyle and diet to a big degree. Unless you’ve got an extremely austere lifestyle and you eat everything completely 100 percent unprocessed and you grow all your own food and live on a farm and where a straw hat and don’t have electricity and drink pure water that’s been purified and all this sort of stuff, you’re going to get some kind of element of chemicals into your diet. That can affect the membrane or the gut of the diet.

Some people have got seriously bad leaky gut. How do you know you’ve got bad leaky gut? If you’re drinking alcohol on a regular basis, you will have leaky gut, period. If you drink alcohol every day, you will have a major leaky gut problem. We know that. If you take pharmaceutical drugs, you’ll have leaky gut. You could be taking pills for headache, arthritis pain, NSAID, what we call non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You could be taking drugs to block acidity of the stomach like Nexium, for example, omeprazole. You could be taking anti-convulsants. You could be taking antibiotics. You could be taking anti-depressants. Any pharmaceutical medication that you’re on in time is going to cause leaky gut. If you’re in that category, welcome to the leaky gut club. If you’re eating commercially raised poultry, you’ll have leaky gut. If you’re eating grain fed beef, you’ll have leaky gut.

How do I know all this stuff? It’s because I’ve been treating patients now for such a long period of time. I’ve done so many of these lactulose and mannitol digestive permeability tests that I’ve worked out that people who eat and drink like this will have leaky gut. Leaky gut predisposes you to a whole raft of potential different problems. It’s one of the major things that can underpin a lot of autoimmune disorders. These are diseases where the immune system starts attacking itself. No known cause they say. Well, welcome to the club if you live in the western country. I doubt that leaky gut is a condition that affects many people who live in underdeveloped countries, particularly people who live in India who just eat lentils and rice. These people don’t go to the corner shop and buy a can of coke every day. They don’t have energy drinks, Red Bull for breakfast. They don’t have fries for lunch. When you’re living a lifestyle based on an indigenous person who is living a very simple lifestyle, eating a very basic sort of diet, I doubt very much if you’re going to have a strong degree of leaky gut.

But let’s talk about the treatment differences. I don’t really think there are a lot of differences between treating leaky gut and treating Candida. The principles in my mind are the same. The big thing I like people to stay away from with leaky gut are the foods that have a high potential for allergenicity in the body. I tend to put people with leaky gut on a low allergy diet approach. Same thing I do with Candida. I tend to put people with leaky gut on a no-alcohol diet. Same thing I do with Candida. Probably the big difference with Candida and leaky gut is we’re dealing with a yeast infection. We’re dealing with an immune system that has a little bit more twists and turns about it than a person with digestive permeability. With digestive permeability also I would expect a much more allergic potential to the diet than I would with Candida. Many Candida patients can, for example, tolerate gluten. They can tolerate different types of foods that some food police say they can’t tolerate. Trial and error will tell the Candida patient that. Whereas with leaky gut syndrome and I know the person has got very bad leaky gut, I would be a lot tougher on their diet than I would if I had a feeling they had Candida and a very mild case of leaky gut.

How do I know the difference? Easy, I look at the case history. Has the patient been on antibiotics for a long period time? Does the patient have a huge amount of gut related problems that may not necessarily be Candida? How can you distinguish between Candida and leaky gut? Do a stool test. If you’re in doubt, do a permeability test where two sugars are basically assessed where a person basically drinks some sugars, particularly sugars, and then we can basically assess what comes out of the urine to see what’s being held back. There are different tests you can do, but I don’t do the intestinal permeability test anymore because I find that everybody has got leaky gut to a degree. It just varies. Some people have got it worse than others. I think the stool test is a more valid test for determining a wide range of digestive problems. Generally, you’ll be surprised how many people think they’ve got Candida when, in fact, they haven’t got Candida at all. They’ve just got bad bacteria and a low level of beneficial bacteria. These are often the people who have got serious leaky gut problems. I can pick leaky gut in the stool test without looking at the sugars, lactulose and mannitol, to see what aberrations as far as they’re concerned.

How I would treat leaky gut if it was just purely on its own compared to Candida? I would be tougher on the patient, a lot tougher. I would probably also be looking a lot more at the fermented and the cultured foods. I really like the person to get into some kefir, tiny bits of kefir and yogurt, and I’d probably have a stronger element of probiotics and digestive enzymes in the diet, as opposed to the Candida patient. The Candida patient I would tend to work a lot more with antifungal/antibacterial approach. The leaky gut, I wouldn’t do it so much unless a stool test warranted that. I would tend to look more at digestive enzymes and probiotics.

When it comes to the lifestyle, Angelo, what I would certainly recommend for both camps, leaky gut and Candida, is to assess the element of adrenal fatigue in the patient. If you’re very tired and you’re worn out, you’re fatigued, you wake up tired, you’re fatigued in the afternoon, you’ve got blood sugar problems, you want sweet stuff all the time, maybe some memory loss, confusion, sleeping disturbances. So if you’ve got the typical adrenal fatigue pattern, especially if it’s really bad, that definitely needs treatment and that will help the leaky gut to a large degree by getting the stress hormone cortisol balanced.

I find people with good cortisol balance have got a much easier ability to get a handle on their leaky gut as opposed to people who are adrenally fatigued and who are not diagnosed or that element is not corrected and they’re purely treated for the leaky gut. I find that they can stay like that for years. But if you correct that adrenal fatigue pattern and particularly if they’ve got hypothyroidism and hypoadrenalism, if you correct that alongside their leaky gut, i.e., correct the lifestyle along with the diet, you’re going to get a really good result and a much quicker outcome. It’s going to save the person a lot of money and a lot of misery. The lifestyle is a very, very important to get sort, which could underpin a lot of adrenal issues with a lot of people and often does.

Many patients that I see that have been sick for years have got adrenal fatigue and it’s generally never assessed, it’s never treated, and purely the gut is treated. So many doctors I know out there who just basically are one trick ponies. They’ll look at one particular thing. “Oh, it’s all Candida. It’s all mercury. We’ll get rid of all the mercury fillings and you’ll be cured. It’s all gluten. Stop eating gluten and the hemorrhoids will go. Stop eating gluten and you won’t hate your mother-in-law anymore.” All this sort of nonsense, you know. Don’t fall for the one trick pony practitioner. It’s important that you understand that people get dysfunction on multiple levels. Many people with leaky gut and Candida have got an endocrine imbalance as well or a hormonal imbalance. For females, it can affect them a bit differently than for males. If in doubt, these things need assessing by a health care professional.

I know I’m carrying on a lot here, Angelo, but you can see there are a lot of issues at stake here when it comes to leaky gut syndrome and Candida. Especially if the patient has been sick for many, many years. Generally, unresolved long term leaky gut and Candida will mean an element of hormonal dysfunction that remains unresolved. The unresolved hormonal dysfunction will generally mean unresolved lifestyle stuff. Things that haven’t been fixed up. Again, it comes back to lifestyle.

In my book, I write a lot about this that 75 percent of recovery is lifestyle. Three quarters. This is why a lot of people don’t take it seriously because you aren’t going to make a lot of money giving people advice, as opposed to selling them pills or tests or drugs or surgeries or stuff like that. When you spend time with patients and actually work out where their problems are and to help them or assist them, give them some guidance, so that they can correct these issues, then you’ve done a great service for that patient.

That was a long winded reply I hope to your question, Angelo. Dealing with leaky gut as well as Candida as opposed to Candida. So you are going to find some cases of people with yeast infection on its own with leaky gut, but more likely most people with chronic Candida, especially intestinal Candida or vaginal yeast infection or serious jock itch, will usually have leaky gut as well. Just remember, leaky gut, think more of along the lines of healing the gut, reducing the inflammation, getting the bacteria right again. With Candida, look a little bit more at an antifungal approach. Getting the bacteria right. With a leaky gut, look more at getting the digestive enzymes working more efficiently, upper GI and pancreas, to help break foods down, stop them from affecting the permeability of the gut too much.

Check out my product called Canxida Restore, which is an enzyme probiotic I specifically developed for leaky gut and Candida. It works quite well. Whereas, the Canxida Remove is the antifungal/antibacterial product that is going to help cleanse the gut. Get rid of all that crap. Both of those products work quite well together.

Thanks for your question, Angelo, and I do miss the Paniyiri Greek Festival I used to attend quite a lot in Brisbane. I really enjoyed the Greek culture, the music and the food, and maybe one day I can go to the Greek Islands and really enjoy that.

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