Candida overgrowth

Candida overgrowth
Alternative therapists love nothing more than an alternative disease. “Mainstream” medicine can’t detect it, so can’t cure it. The more nebulous the symptoms the better! Many quacks specialise in diseases of the worried well, but some seek out those whose symptoms are debilitating and medically unexplained. While medicine seeks a cause and a cure (often focusing on possible autoimmune disorders and cognitive behavioural therapyW to help patients manage the symptoms in the mean time), quacks are absolutely sure they have the One True Cause and therefore the One True Cure.

Naturally patients will seek help when their symptoms are at their worst. Naturally, regression toward the meanW and the natural history of the condition mean that they will improve anyway. Naturally the quacks claim to be responsible for this improvement. Naturally the lack of empirical validity of their treatment is proof positive of medicine suppressing “natural” cures.

Candida: the real vs. the quack worldview

Unfortunately it often is a money-maker and many of the tests used by supplement providers show every single person on the planet has a raging Candida infection and if you have any symptom of anything at all or any disease on the planet that is also proof you have it.

Candida is one of the quack bêtes noires asserted to be the cause of a variety of obscure symptoms. Candida is a genus of yeasts, and a common cause of fungal infections such as thrush. Members of the candida family have a role as harmless commensals or endosymbionts.

Quacks go one step further. They have decided that yeast overgrowth (usually pinned on the hapless candida) is the cause of nebulous symptom complexes. Careful investigation has failed to provide any support for this idea Mayo Clinic, Quackwatch). An admin on an IBS support group discussion summed it up rather well:

Unfortunately it often is a money-maker and many of the tests used by supplement providers show every single person on the planet has a raging Candida infection and if you have any symptom of anything at all or any disease on the planet that is also proof you have it.

A responsible publication would expose this predatory behaviour. WDDTY is not a responsible publication. For example, in discussing the vexed question of “who gets candida”, the following editorial note is added:

[Or maybe the candida generation is the first that wasn’t breastfed and the first to be subjected to mass vaccination, practices that have left a generation with weakened immunity. editor]

However, WDDTY does seem to be interestingly ambivalent towards the problem. The following text appears no less than eight times between 1996 and 2013 in conjunction with candida:

“When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.”

And they are not being complimentary:

So said British nutritional pioneer Dr Stephen Davies about Candida albicans infection and the tendency of many doctors and alternative practitioners to diagnose anyone suffering from a collection of unexplained symptoms as victims of ‘yeast syndrome’.

By doctors, they mean the sort that do tell you the things that doctors don’t tell you: candida overgrowth is a firmly alternative diagnosis. Nevertheless, they do seem to be on board generally.

In March 1999 WDDTY were promoting shiitake mushrooms as the One True Cure:

These mushrooms have been used in the treatment of AIDS, candida albicans overgrowth, colds and flu, as well as a supportive therapy in cancer.

They never seem to quite realise that if your “cure” works for yeast, retroviruses and cancer, then you’re almost certainly deluding yourself.

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