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Have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or even sinusitis or spastic colon? You probably have overgrowth of yeast or Candida. Though poorly understood by most physicians, treating this underlying infection can have profound health benefits!

There are no definitive tests for yeast overgrowth that will distinguish yeast overgrowth from normal yeast growth in the body. However, if you have ANY of the following conditions you should be treated with anti-fungals:

  • CFS or fibromyalgia
  • chronic nasal congestion or sinusitis
  • spastic colon (gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation)
  • been on recurrent or long-term-antibiotics
  • intermittent painful sores in the mouth (not cold sores on the outer lips) that last for about ten days at a time

Many books on yeast overgrowth advise readers to avoid all yeast in the diet. However, trying to avoid all yeast in foods results in a nutritionally inadequate diet and does not substantially help most people.

The most important part of treating yeast overgrowth is avoiding sugar and other sweets, although I will add the three magic words “except for chocolate.” You can also enjoy one or two pieces of fruit a day, but you should not consume concentrated sugars (fruit juice, jellies, pastry, etc.). Stay far away from soft drinks, which have 10–12 teaspoons of sugar in every 12 ounces. (For those with CFS/FMS, be prepared to have associated symptoms flare for about a week when you cut sugar out of your diet.)

A dietary method that can help restore balance in the bowel is the intake of acidophilus—that is, milk bacteria, which is a healthy type of bacteria. Acidophilus is found in yogurt with live and active yogurt cultures. Eating one cup of yogurt a day can markedly diminish the frequency of recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Acidophilus is also available in supplement form.

Many other natural anti-fungals can be helpful, but when used individually in a high enough dose to kill the yeast they also irritate the stomach. Because of this you should combine multiple anti-fungal herbs.

It is critical to add a prescription anti-fungal as well, because the natural products only kill yeast in the gut and are not as strong. I recommend that almost all of my CFS/FMS patients use Diflucan for 6–12 weeks.

Treating yeast is one of the most important parts of treating CFS/FMS, chronic sinusitis, or spastic colon. Though it takes five months to restore balance, you’ll be feeling much better after one month on the Diflucan anti-fungal medication. If your physician won’t prescribe it, see a Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Center physician or a Board Certified Holistic Physician. You’ll be glad you did!

Jacob E Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board certified internist and Medical Director of the national Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and Chronicity. He is author of the popular free iPhone application "Cures A-Z," and author of the best-selling books

Dr. Teitelbaum knows CFS/fibromyalgia as an insider — he contracted CFS when he was in medical school and had to drop out for a year to recover. In the ensuing 25 years, he has dedicated his career to finding effective treatments.