Hopefully my post will help someone who is, or might be suffering from Candida. For me, I had no idea I had Candida until I was 25 years old, but I suspect I had had it since I was a child. I had many symptoms of Candida, such as IBS, chronic fatigue, problems focusing, fuzzy headedness, cravings for yeasts and sugars, etc. But the one symptom I had that was above all others was bad breath. If it weren't for that symptom, I don't know if I would have ever found out I had a Candida infection. Basically, this is my story below.
1. First became aware of my bad breath when I was about 7 or 8 years old (my father actually told me my breath was bad and taught me how to brush my teeth, a great father son bonding moment.) I didn’t pay much attention to it though cuz I was so young, and my dad never said anything to me about it again.
2. When I was 15 or 16, my friend sat me down and told me that I often had bad breath and I should go to the dentist and have a check up to make sure there wasn't any problem. Of course I went to the dentist and was told there was no problem with my teeth or gums.
3. After my friend told me about my bad breath, I became very self-conscious about it.
4. I spent the next 10 years focusing only on my mouth thanks to the advertising gimmicks of the toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental industry. I thought that my bad breath was coming from my mouth (which I found out later it wasn’t)
5. I endured most of my teenage years and early twenties dealing with bad breath. People I knew and strangers would make comments about it, and I could tell by their body language (holding hands to nose when I was near, moving away from me, etc.)
6. When I was 25 years old, I finally decided enough was enough. I wasn’t going to stop searching until I found the cause of my bad breath. Up until that point I had only focused on my mouth, buying product after product of useless toothpastes and mouthwashes and internal breath fresheners, etc…
7. I researched everything I could find online about bad breath. THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET!
8. I discovered that after the mouth, the second largest reason for bad breath is the digestive system.
9. I went to a gastroenterologist (a doctor that specializes in the digestive system).
10. The doctor did an endoscopy on me (where they stick a tube down my throat [esophagus] all the way down into my stomach and take pictures to make sure everything is ok)
11. The doctor found white patches along the walls of my esophagus.
12. The doctor took a sample and sent it to the lab to be tested. The white patches turned out to be a Candida infection. See my pictures below. These are actually MY pics!
13. Candida is a fungus. If it is in your esophagus, it causes bad breath. Since the infection is in your esophagus, it doesn't matter how much you brush or floss your teeth, or use mouthwash. The bad breath comes from deeper down. You can brush your teeth all you like, but it won't do any good.
14. The doctor prescribed me Biozole (a generic version of Fluconozole. Biozole is cheaper but it’s the same medicine).
15. I took the Biozole for 2 weeks.
16. I went back to have a second endoscopy to make sure Candida was gone. See pics below.
17. The Candida was gone.
After this, I noticed a change in people’s behavior. No longer were people holding their noses when I was near them, nor were they moving away or covering their nose when I would speak to them. I asked my mother to smell my breath at different times of the day repeatedly for about 2 weeks, a couple of months after I had taken the Biozole. She would smell it sometimes in the morning, sometimes after a meal, sometimes in the evening. During the whole 2 weeks she said she couldn't smell anything. No bad breath.
So, that’s my story. I found out I had a Candida Infection because of bad breath. After I was treated, the bad breath disappeared. Nowadays, I just try and make sure I lead a healthy life. I eat better than I used to. I completely eliminated bread from my diet (or anything containing yeast), and I try to stay away from sweets (although I still eat ice cream from time to time). I also don't eat mushrooms at all since they are a fungus. I started eating yogurt everyday (the ones with live active cultures, not that crap they sell in the grocery with tons of sugar). I take vitamins, minerals,and probiotics, and I drink plenty of filtered water and get plenty of rest as well as exercise. I also use virgin coconut oil, cinnamon, and green tea as they are all powerful natural anti fungals. I take good care of my mouth, I have very good oral hygiene (but since oral hygiene was not the cause of my bad breath to begin with this is a mute point).
If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this thread or shoot me an e-mail.
For those of you who might do some online research regarding Candida infection in the esophagus, the majority of websites you visit will tell you that the primary reason for the infection is due to being HIV positive and having a suppressed immune system. Also if you ask your doctor about it, he or she might tell you that Candida infection can only happen to people with HIV or who have some other disease which suppresses the immune system. That is why they might immediately dismiss your questions about Candida infection as being "silly" or "unwarranted".
While this can be true for some patients, it is not the case for me. I do not have any disease which suppresses my immune system, and I do not have HIV. The doctor gave me an HIV test after she found I had a Candida infection, and then I came back 6 months later to have another HIV test just to make sure. Both tests were negative. (See pics below)
After I had the first HIV test, the doctor also had me go to another doctor who specialized in allergies, to see if I had a normal immune response to Candida. That doctor gave me an allergy test (three injections just under the skin on my forearm). She injected a little bit of Candida in one spot and two other allergens in two different spots. All three spots where she injected the allergens had a normal allergic reaction, including the spot where she injected the Candida. Surprisingly enough, the spot where she injected the Candida healed 100% a few weeks later while the other two spots where she injected the other allergens never fully healed and left two little scars on my arm. See pics below.
This shows that my immune system was functioning normally. The doctors had no idea why I had a Candida infection in my esophagus. They couldn't explain WHY it happened. I guess some people are just more susceptible to it than others.
Anyway, I hope this helps anyone whose doctor might dispute Candida infection as a possibility.
I'm feeling great now, mainly because I don't have bad breath anymore. I did have other symptoms of Candida overgrowth as i mentioned, but those were always on the back burner because the bad breath dominated my attention. But yeah, after I took the Biozole, the bad breath went away as well as all the other Candida related symptoms I had.
I totally know what you mean about doctors not having any clue what Candida is. I am American, I had those endoscopies done towards the end of 2007 here in Thailand. Three years prior, in about 2004, I was still living in the states and I got severely sick. It was the sickest I had ever been. My tonsils were so swollen I could barely breath, let alone eat anything. I had always suffered from tonsillitis and strep throat growing up. From a young age I would always get tonsillitis or strep throat at least once if not twice a year. The doctors always told me my tonsils were abnormally large, but they would never remove them. They just always prescribed me antibiotics. So to answer your question, yes, I took antibiotics frequently while I was growing up. Anyway, in 2004 when I was really really sick, I went to the ENT doctor in America, and he did a partial endoscopy. He saw the exact same white patches in my esophagus that my doctor here in Thailand saw. The only difference was that my doctor in America didn't tell me what the white patches were, nor did he give me any medicine. The only thing he made me do was take an HIV test, and then he told me that when I got better he would finally remove my tonsils. Anyway, I had my tonsils removed, but that didn't help with anything really except I haven't gotten tonsillitis or strep throat since. I still had Candida though because I still had the bad breath.
It just frustrates me thinking about it, because if my ENT doctor in America had had any clue about Candida, I could have been cured of my bad breath 3 years earlier! Regardless, i'm glad my doctor here in Thailand was knowledgeable enough about Candida. She was amazing. As soon as she saw those white patches, she knew exactly why I was having bad breath. I thank god that I found her.
That's about the response I would expect in the West..... Western doctors aren't very helpful when it comes to Candida. The majority anyway. I think Eastern doctors are more willing to consider all possibilities, rather than just dismissing their patients.
Biozole is just a trade name for Fluconazole. I believe Fluconazole is like one of the first line treatments for fungal infections.
Yeah sure, if you want me to pick some up for you from the pharmacies here in Thailand, just shoot me an e-mail. They sale anti fungal medicines over the counter here. I think I enabled the e-mail function in my profile....
Yeah, I had a white tongue coating. To be honest though, I still get a tongue coating every now and then, especially if my mouth is dry or after I eat certain foods. I think it's just the normal accumulation of gunk on the tongue. But the difference between now and then is that now when I brush my tongue and use a tongue scraper, the coating comes off easily and stays off for quite some time. Before, when I had Candida, it didn't matter how much I brushed or scraped my tongue, the coating just stayed there.
I can't say 100% for certain that I had Candida on my tongue, because my doctor did not take a culture from my mouth. She only took a culture from my esophagus where the white patches were, and that culture tested positive for Candida. Of course, since I had Candida in my esophagus, I can only assume that it could have affected my tongue as well.
Egads no! Bumrungrad is way out of my budget. It's more like a 5 star luxery hotel than a hospital, LOL. I went to BNH hospital, as you can see from my endoscopy pics. Not that BNH is that much cheaper, but I like it there. They are friendly and professional, and most importantly my doctor actually wanted to help me with finding the cause of my bad breath (unlike doctors I had seen before) and she actually knew what Candida was when she saw it in my esophagus.
She worked in the gastrointestinal department. If anyone wants her name I can e-mail it to them, but I don't wanna put it on a public forum. Just shoot me an e-mail if you want it and I can send it to you.
My pleasure Sans Sucre. I just know that Candida affects more people than doctors would have everyone believe. I wanted to share my story with others so that they can finally have some kind of visual evidence that candida CAN affect people.
As I mentioned most doctors will tell their patients that a Candida overgrowth only happens in cancer or AIDS patients, or any other patients who are immunocompromised. To put it frankly, that's BS. Even worse, most doctors just have a blank look on their face when a patient even mentions Candida. We have a long way to go to change the conventional wisdom of doctors on this subject...
I took antibiotics at least once, if not twice a year from the time I was a child all the way until I had my tonsils removed. I had my tonsils removed when I was about 22 or 23 years old.
In my case, I believe my Candida stemmed from repeated antibiotic use, a poor diet, and being overly anxious/nervous growing up. Also the fact that I drank a lot of alcohol when I was in my late teens and early twenties, which is just like adding fuel to the fire in regards to Candida. So I think it was a combination of a lot of factors that caused my continuous candida overgrowth.
Remember, I strongly believe that I suffered with Candida since I was a child. The only reason I discovered I had candida overgrowth was because I was trying to get to the root cause of my bad breath. I was made aware of my bad breath when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and then once again when I was about 15 or 16 years old. I continued to have bad breath up until I was actually diagnosed with Candida in 2007, so in my opinion, I feel like I suffered with Candida for many many years. As I mentioned, I had other symptoms of Candida, such as chronic fatigue, fuzzy headedness, IBS, trouble focusing, etc., but I kinda ignored all those symptoms because I was only really ever concerned with my bad breath.
Ever since I was treated for Candida back in 2007 I haven't taken a single antibiotic, and to be honest I don't plan on doing so ever again unless i'm in a hospital bed dying of some bacterial infection.