Q:I have very severe candidiasis of the intestines with multiple food and chemical allergies over the last four years. I have taken nystatin, fluconazole, been on a strict diet with vitamin and mineral supplements, tried chelation, kinesiology, densitization, intravenous drips of hydrogen peroxide and colonic irrigation. All have helped a bit but not sufficiently. Each practitioner tells me that my problems are severe and to keep persevering. What other forms of treatment can you recommend that may cure me once and for all? J.L, Middlesex.
A:We asked Dr Patrick Kingsley, one of our experts on candida treatment, for his views:"One explanation for persistent candida problems, even with prolonged treatment, usually overlooked is the mercury in amalgam fillings. There is some evidence (mainly through extrapolation of laboratory work) that yeast reacts to the mercury in amalgam fillings, creating methyl mercury in the gut, which is infinitely more toxic than ordinary mercury, and creates a situation where candida is more resistant to eradication. I would go so far as to say that even the more potent forms of treatment (ie, anti fungal preparations like nystatin) can bring symptoms under control, but rarely eradicate them when the individual has a toxic overload of mercury.
"In these circumstances, if mercury sensitivity is demonstrated in tests I recommend that the individual have his silver fillings removed. After eliminating the source of the problem, it usually takes about a month to clear mercury superficially from the bowel, and then six to nine months of appropriate chelation therapy to clear all mercury from deeper tissues in the body, such as the adrenal glands and bowel wall. Chelation therapy, you may know, involves the intravenous drip of a synthetic amino acid called EDTA (etylene diamine tetra acetic acid) into a vein. Once in the blood, EDTA draws to it and eliminates toxic metals in the body. It has been approved since the Fifties for occupational poisoning from lead or mercury, but is also successful for amalgam poisoning.
"Besides mercury, there is some evidence that the presence of parasites like giardia lamblia can inhibit eradication of candida as well [see WDDTY Vol 1 No 6, for evidence and treatment by Chinese herbs editor].
"Another reason for intractable candida cases seems to be hypochlorhydria, or low stomach acid when candida and food allergies suppress acid and pepsin in the stomach. In the healthy individual, inhaled yeasts and candida are killed off by acid in the stomach, but when a person is suffering from low stomach acid, the yeasts are not killed off but can recolonize in the bowel. In this case, the treatment is to bring the stomach acid back to life with pancreatic enzymes at the beginning of meals for several months.
"Finally, sometimes the problem is a mucus membrane in the colon that is too thin and of poor quality. In my experience, the integrity of the intestinal membrane can be improved with the use of butyric acid."