My father, a sixty-four year old, generally in very good health and still working as a Floor Layer, had been suffering with mouth sores for some time. He would go back and forth to the Doctors and was given prescription after prescription to cure his problem. He would feel relief immediately after treatment but sure enough this annoying little ailment would soon return and each time would feel far worse than before. What my father was consistently suffering from was oral thrush and I felt compelled to help him eradicate this problem. I was looking forward to getting some relief from his complaining!
Apart from being a horrible sounding word, oral thrush is a yeast/fungal infection which resides in the mouth and throat. It usually looks like yellow-white coloured spots that generally attack the inner cheek, behind the lips, the tongue, gums and the cavity of the mouth. It is caused by the overgrowth of fungus, which goes by the name of Candida Albicans. I know this sounds absolutely terrifying but half of all people have Candida in their mouth and normally it’s not an issue, easily kept under control by all the good bacteria. You see, our mouths contain high amounts of friendly bacteria, essential for everyday health, but when our metabolism becomes suppressed, so does our good bacteria levels, leaving us susceptible to infection. It is important to understand that Candida overgrowth isn’t the cause of illness. It is the consequence of a suppressed immune system which can be caused by a bad diet, overuse of antibiotics, or serious illness.
The standard treatment from doctors, as was with my father, usually consists of antifungal mouth rinse, lozenges, or in more severe cases oral antifungal medications but these are a very bad idea. Why, I hear your ask. This is because you can’t just treat the symptom – you have to treat the cause. Okay, if you use general medication you may find that after a few days they are working but once you finish the course the condition will return, maybe not right away, but it will return because the underlying cause for this overgrowth of Candida is not being treated. This is the exact problem my father was having and he couldn’t understand why his sores would keep returning. The Doctors were only treating the symptoms. We had to fix what was causing this constant re-infection.
So what are some natural remedies for oral thrush?
For immediate relief from his sores I recommended that my Dad take an L-Lysine supplement (an amino acid). Taking L-Lysine will not eradicate the problem but it does help with the uncomfortable symptoms. If using an L-Lysine supplement, it is recommended to take 1000mg 3 times a day for a short period until symptoms disappear. I went on to explain to my Dad that the real cause for thrush is a weakened immune system and damaged metabolism, causing poor digestion which in turn affects our mouth. This came as a surprise to my Dad who considered himself quite healthy.
To stop thrush and the frequent recurrence, what we need to do is reduce the Candida back to safe levels, allowing our good bacteria to flourish again. Now the common misconception is to go on a Candida diet which is to starve the Candida of all sugar, inclusive of fruits and even some veggies. Candida feeds on sugar, so the theory is starving the Candida of sugar will start to kill it off. However, this actually has an adverse effect. If you try and starve Candida it will just dig even more. What we must do is heal our metabolism with a diet which will provide balance to heal the immune system.
The diet needs to be high in milk, cheese, tropical fruits, roots, bone broth, white fish and shellfish. The milk and cheese need to be full fat and organic. All the other foods should be organic where possible. Unsaturated fats should be eliminated, and this includes olive oil and flaxseed. The benefits of this diet is that it will down regulate the over stimulated hormones causing the damaged metabolism, leading to balancing of the hormonal system thus healing of the immune system.
When I told my father that he would need to go on a diet he was naturally filled with dread. He had visions of a low fat diet comprised of rabbit food, but when I told him what the diet would consist of, well, let’s just say he was quite happy.
It is worth remembering that results will not happen overnight, but making these dietary changes will start the healing process and eventually, as with my father, eradicate oral thrush for good. You see, it is not about what you can do to kill the Candida, it’s all about what you need to eliminate or change to address the suppression of the immune system. The body is a system of systems, so you can’t just treat the symptoms. You have to treat the cause!