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ear Pharmacist, July 31, 2010

Dear Pharmacist,

I’ve felt sick for 10 years, and no one has helped me. I read on the Internet about Candida, and I have every symptom possible. I’ve eliminated sugar already, and after 2 months, I feel better. I just found your site and hope you can teach me more about this infection.

--N.H. San Francisco, California

Answer: Just amazing, 10 years and YOU had to find out what’s wrong with yourself on the Internet? Candida is a fungus and even though most physicians dismiss this organism as harmless, I don’t. It’s part of the normal flora in the gut, but it can be dangerous for some people. Eat the standard American garbage diet and you will destroy your intestinal microflora and then get yeast overgrowth.

Candida is a highly invasive micro-organism that can make you very sick. There are about 80 potential symptoms of systemic yeast overgrowth including: Athletes foot, yellowish-green toenail fungus, vaginal yeast infection, intolerance to perfume, iron-deficiency anemia, hypothyroidism, diarrhea/constipation, gas, cystitis, prostatitis, spots in front of eyes, joint pain, acne, headache, brain fog, memory loss, bad breath, heartburn, belching, allergies, mouth sores, hemorrhoids, painful intercourse, eczema, psoriasis, chronic fatigue, asthma, itchy/burning eyes, depression, gluten or dairy allergy, and inability to gain weight (or wasting) because the Candida is ‘eating’ everything you put into your system so you develop malabsorption. See how confusing this gets? Doctors may overlook or dismiss a systemic Candida infection in a person, and just begin prescribing medications for one illness after another. There are tests, treatments and dietary changes which I will share in future columns and facebook posts.

Candida is a fungus which can spread to your organs. The fungus grows like a plant does, spreading ‘roots’ which poke holes in your intestinal wall, then the fungus invades your sinuses, lungs, skin, reproductive organs, pancreas, liver and so forth. Some health experts believe that Candida fuels cancer growth. The problem is not so much the fungus itself, but more the toxic compounds it produces, about 75 toxic substances! One Candida by-product is a potent neurotoxin called acetaldehyde. That’s the same exact substance you make when you drink alcohol or get drunk. I believe wholeheartedly that this is why Candida sufferers experience so much brain fog or hangover feelings.

Candida is a mold so it thrives in heat and in humidity. This explains why many of you feel better in dry or cool climates. Another surefire way to kill Candida is to eliminate sugar and starches from your diet while taking anti-fungal supplements or teas. I’ll outline those in a future column. Certain medications or lifestyle choices can cause Candida overgrowth: Birth control pills, steroids, antibiotics, chemotherapy and many blood pressure pills, alcohol, and processed food.

Did you Know?

Studies suggest that eating 20 tart cherries a day (or drinking the juice equivalent) can provide more arthritis and gout relief than aspirin or ibuprofen.

Suzy Cohen

Suzy Cohen, is known as America’s Pharmacist. She has been a licensed pharmacist for 24 years and is a Functional Medicine practitioner. She’s the author of 6 books, including her most recent Amazon #1 best-seller, “Thyroid Healthy: Lose Weight, Look Beautiful and Live the Life You Imagine.”

She was the host of The Thyroid Summit which broadcast worldwide in June 2014. Suzy has been a syndicated columnist for 19 years reaching 20 million in circulation each week. She is a Huffington Post writer, and also hosts her own syndicated medical minute on TV. Suzy has been featured on The Dr OZ Show 6 times, and has appeared on The View, Good Morning America Health, The Doctors and hundreds of other networks. She is a member of The Institute of Functional Medicine, also the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, The American Pharmacists Association and ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. You can read free articles and receive your free newsletter by visiting her website,

Books authored by Suzy Cohen include:

  • Thyroid Healthy
  • Headache Free
  • Drug Muggers
  • Diabetes Without Drugs
  • The 24-Hour Pharmacist
  • Eczema: Itchin’ for a Cure (kindle only)
  • Understanding Pancreatitis & Pancreatic Cancer (kindle only)