It is very common to experience die-off symptoms when doing a bacterial or yeast cleanse, or even during a course of antibiotics. As the yeast and bacteria overgrowth die off during treatment, they release endotoxins. This is known as the Herxheimer Reaction, where symptoms get worse before they get better.
Common Die-off Symptoms Include:
- Loose bowel movements or diarrhea
- Bloating and gas
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle or body aches
- Joint pain
- Brain fog
- Skin rashes, hives, itching
- Acne, eczema or psoriasis flares
- Oral thrush, white coating on tongue
- Menstrual cycle changes
- Heaviness in the legs
You can think of this as the body becoming overburdened or overwhelmed by a sudden release of toxins where the immune system goes on high alert, triggering systemic inflammation. This has been widely documented in the case of infections such as Lyme Disease and Syphilis but is also very commonly seen with yeast and bacterial infections. (1)
The greatest concern with Herxheimer reactions is that most fear their current plan or protocol is not working with the onset of these symptoms and quickly abandon it in fear they are making matters worse. In actuality, the detox symptoms are a very good sign of shift in microbes in the body. In fact, if you do a cleanse and you don’t experience die-off, you might want to check in to whether your candida cleanse is legit. Check out our Beat the Bloat Protocol and the reason behind the selected formulas designed to eradicate yeast and bacteria.
TheBeat the Bloat Bundlecontains the 4 supplements you need for a successful 6 week cleanse.
TheBeat the Bloat Ebookprovides tons more food-as-medicine as well as recipes to support a successful microbiome reset.
Suggested use, for 6 weeks or longer (depending on severity of symptoms):
2 with breakfast, 2 with dinner
1 at rise no food, 1 mid-day no food
1-2 at rise, 1-2 at bed, optional 1-2 with lunch as needed per headache,
brain-fog, body aches or other symptoms of Candida die-off
GI Clean Up
1 at rise and 1 at bed for first 2 weeks, then 1 at bed only
Managing Die-off or Herxheimer Reactions:
The good news is, by supporting your detox pathways, ensuring bowel regularity, moving your body, adequately hydrating and incorporating food as medicine, you can combat the die off symptoms while ensuring completion of a successful protocol.
Support Your Detox Pathways
As the body is burdened with toxins during a cleanse it is important to ensure proper nutrients that protect the body during the activation occurring in phase 1 detoxification, while supporting the body during the conversion and excretion in phase 2 detoxification for proper elimination of waste from the body. First, it is important that the diet is rich in antioxidants to help protect from harmful oxidation that occurs during phase 1 as toxins become oxidized by the body in preparation for conjugation and excretion from the body.
As a candida diet or bacterial reset protocol is restricted in carbohydrates, these antioxidants must come from from low-glycemic choices such as: turmeric, green tea, rooibos tea, leafy greens, cacao, and nuts and seeds.
Favorite Detox Supporting Recipes:
Detox Supporting Turmeric Lemonade
Avocado Detox Soup
Eggroll In a Bowl
Once healthy antioxidant intake is achieved, phase 2 conversion becomes the primary focus, as excretion is essential to safely remove the toxins or die off byproducts from the body. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts will be high in sulfur compounds that aid in phase 2 detox, which supports conjugation and prepares toxins for elimination from the body. In the Naturally Nourished Clinic, we use Ultimate Detox to help mitigate detox symptoms during a cleanse as it contains sulfur-containing amino acids to aid in phase 2 detoxification. This is included in the Beat the Bloat Candida Cleanse Bundle and we recommend a baseline of 2 per day, up to 6 daily if dieoff symptoms are severe.
You are more likely to experience some of these symptoms if your body’s detox pathways are already not in their prime such as with genetic mutations like MTHFR, if dealing with a highly processed diet, consuming excessive alcohol or living or working in a toxic environment. If this sounds like you, our 10 Day Real Food Detox would be a great step after your cleanse!
Yeast and bacteriasurvive and thrive in the body by creating biofilms or weblike structures which allow them to anchor or set up camp in various surfaces both externally and internally in the body. Biofilm Disruptors are agents that are able to penetrate and destruct or alter these networks. Proteolytic enzymes like those in our Inflammazyme supplement are a group of enzymes used to break down protein peptides and also break through biofilms disrupting their secure network.
Another very important Biofilm disruptor is N-Acetyl-Cysteine or NAC found in our Cellular Antiox formula. This compound is prevalent in therapeutic foods like bone broth and is known to promote expelling of toxins and mucus that is produced during a compromised immune state such as that of a cold or allergies and can also aid in supporting the detox process.
The GI Cleanup that is included in both our Beat the Bloat Cleanse Bundle and the Bacteria Rebuild Bundle is intended to bust biofilms and eat away at bad bacteria, making space for the good guys!
You can learn more about biofilms inEpisode 174 of the Naturally Nourished Podcast: The Dysbiosis Disease Connection.
Ensure Bowel Regularity
Beyond nutritional and biochemical support, it is important to aid in the mechanical process of removing harmful endotoxins from various microbes that have been prepped for excretion. It is extremely crucial to ensure proper elimination and bowel regularity; this is why fiber and water intake is so crucial. Each day the body goes without having a bowel movement is allowing toxins from the bowel to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. High fiber foods such as leafy greens, beans and legumes and nuts and seeds can promote healthy motility and elimination. Our Naturally Nourished Phytofiber is an excellent whole foods source of fiber to ensure adequate fiber intake in the body but also promote healthy detox. Be sure to drink at least half your body weight in fluid ounces of water each day, since fiber can either act as a broom or a brick in the intestines, and without ample hydration, the brick-like action occurs. If still struggling with daily elimination during the cleanse, Relax and Regulate can be used as a tool to relieve constipation and support bowel motility.
Move Your Body
When discussing detox it is also important to consider the lymphatic system, which is responsible for filtering out foreign organisms including pathogenic bacteria, yeast or parasites. Sauna, hot yoga and massage help promote detoxification as well by stimulating lymphatic flow and filtration. Low impact exercise is also recommended such as walking, pilates and other forms of gentle movement.
Ensure ½ your body weight in fluid ounces of water daily during your cleanse, more if you are losing fluid through diarrhea. This will support detoxification and help with headaches, nausea, constipation and beyond.
Incorporate Food As Medicine
Try my Detox Supporting Turmeric Lemonade as a shooter in the morning (made without the honey!) to help cope with die-off symptoms. This promotes bile flow which in turn supports healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients and supports healthy motility. An Epsom salt bath is another DIY detox supporter that works by drawing toxins out of the skin through the use of reverse osmosis. You can add to the experience by using essential oils like lavender or tea tree oil or grapefruit which aid in healthy bacterial balance and support relaxation as well.
During a yeast or candida cleanse specifically, it is important to limit the source of energy of the yeast by altering the diet. Patients undergoing a yeast cleanse are typically instructed to limit carbohydrates to 60 grams per day as well as avoid any dietary sources of yeast and fermented foods for the time being. Dietary changes are made in conjunction to providing antifungal support in the form of food and/or a nutraceutical compound such as berberine, oregano oil, caprylic acid and beyond. Read more on our Beat the Bloat Protocol here!
Remember, when yeast begins to die in the body they give off toxic chemicals to be eliminated as waste. It is not uncommon to experience detox symptoms such as loose stools, headache, muscles aches, fatigue etc. as mentioned above, this is actually a good sign in that it signifies the death of unwanted yeast in the body. Support your body and push through the process for successful outcomes that will be worth the process with a reset microbiome to support health throughout your whole body!
Benefits of a Candida Cleanse Include:
- Weight loss
- Reduced bloating
- Increased energy
- Improved cognitive function
- Regulated digestive health
- Improved micronutrient status
- Clearer skin
- Vaginal health
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved autoimmune symptoms
- And more!
….Jump in with our Beat the Bloat Candida Cleanse!
More of a data driven person or still experiencing symptoms after completing a cleanse? Consider a Stool Test to look at bacterial, yeast and parasite populations as well as markers of inflammation and absorption in the gut!
Check Out This Video For More!
Ali and Becki discuss the successful outcomes in: digestive health, metabolism, hormones, skin, and more sharing client testimonials and personal experience. They will navigate through the Beat the Bloat Protocol and supplements explaining the science behind the approach and formulas. You will also learn about the dietary guidelines of this gut cleanse along with tools to support best outcomes including additional detox support or anti-parasitic boost.
1.Chia-Jui Yang, Nan-Yao Lee, Yu-Hui Lin, Hsin-Chun Lee, Wen-Chien Ko, Chun-Hsing Liao, Cheng-Hsin Wu, Chia-Ying Hsieh, Pei-Ying Wu, Wen-Chun Liu, Ya-Chu Chang, Chien-Ching Hung, Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction after Penicillin Therapy among Patients with Syphilis in the Era of the HIV Infection Epidemic: Incidence and Risk Factors,Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 51, Issue 8, 15 October 2010, Pages 976–979,https://doi.org/10.1086/656419
Using diet alone it could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. Your doctor may also suggest the use of an anti-fungal medication such as Diflucan or Nyastatin for a month or longer to speed up the process.How do you feel after Candida Cleanse? ›
- Headache, fatigue, dizziness.
- Swollen glands.
- Bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea.
- Increased joint or muscle pain.
- Elevated heart rate.
- Chills, cold feeling in your extremities.
- Body itchiness, hives or rashes.
The reaction usually occurs a few hours after antibiotics are given and symptoms include headaches, fever, fatigue and low blood pressure. It is essentially a short-term response, that takes place over a few days to a couple of weeks, as the body detoxifies.How do you know if you have Candida die-off? ›
Some of the most common Candida die-off symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, weakness, skin rash, and a mild decrease in blood pressure.What kills Candida quickly? ›
- Caprylic Acid. Coconut oil is made up of three fatty acids: caprylic acid capric acid and lauric. ...
- Undecylenic Acid. ...
- Oregano Leaf Extract. ...
- Berberine. ...
- Betaine HCl. ...
- Garlic Extract. ...
- Olive Leaf Extract.
The standard recommended dose for most Candida infections is fluconazole at 800 mg as the loading dose, followed by fluconazole at a dose of 400 mg/d either intravenously or orally for at least 2 weeks of therapy after a demonstrated negative blood culture result or clinical signs of improvement.What does Candida in gut feel like? ›
The classic gut symptoms with Candida are bloating after a meal, excessive gas, and usually constipation. Many Candida patients have a long history of relying on over-the-counter antacids or laxatives to get relief. Eventually, they will see a gastroenterologist who diagnoses them with irritable bowel syndrome.Should I take probiotics during Candida cleanse? ›
Taking probiotics and natural antifungals is an essential part of the Candida treatment plan – and yes, you should be taking them together.How long does it take to see results on Candida Diet? ›
Most people see significant improvements in their candida symptoms within two to four weeks, with drastic improvements in two to three months.How long does Candida detox last? ›
Some dieters might find permanent relief from their Candida symptoms within a few weeks or months. Others might take 6 months or more, and may even need to eliminate white carbs, sugary foods and alcohol permanently to prevent the overgrowth from returning.
These unpleasant side effects from an elimination diet or other candida remedies usually resolve after a week or two.What toxins are released by Candida? ›
The toxic byproducts that are released include acetaldehyde, ammonia, and uric acid. In a healthy individual, small amounts of acetaldehyde produced by Candida are easily processed by the liver.What naturally kills Candida in the gut? ›
Coconut oil is a great food to add to your anti-Candida diet because it naturally contains capric acid and lauric acid, which promote gut health. These anti-fungal fatty acids kill Candida overgrowth and replication by poking holes in its cell wall, causing them to die off.What vitamins help with Candida? ›
Vitamin C can boost your immune system
Taking a good Vitamin C supplement will restore your adrenal glands to health, build up your immune system and allow your body to fight off the Candida.
Perhaps the most well-known sign of candida overgrowth is a vaginal yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infections can cause intense itching in the area, along with burning or pain during urination and painful intercourse. Some patients with yeast overgrowth also experience urinary tract infections or rectal itching.Can Candida be cured forever? ›
Prognosis. Typically, in otherwise healthy people with superficial candidiasis, a properly treated infection goes away without leaving permanent damage. Superficial candidiasis may take longer to treat and is more likely to recur in people that need long courses of antibiotics.What does Candida look like in poop? ›
Most people might not know they have Candida in their stools until they become aware of the following: white, yellow, or brown mucus. a white, yellow, or light brown string-like substance. froth or foam.What does Candida look like in urine? ›
In urine, Candida albicans and other less commonly seen species, such as Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis, will appear as budding yeasts, 4–10 μm in diameter, that often show formation of hyphal elements.What kills Candida in the stomach? ›
Garlic and turmeric both have antifungal properties that naturally inhibit candida overgrowth. The best candida fighter in the kitchen, however, is coconut oil. Its medium-chain fatty acids combat candida in the gut, killing it within 30 minutes of exposure.Does coffee feed Candida? ›
Coffee, or specifically caffeine, complicates the dependence on sugar you're trying to break. First & most importantly, caffeine can cause spikes in your blood sugar that feed the Candida overgrowth.
Yogurt or kefir should be one of your staples during your Candida treatment plan. The friendly bacteria found in these probiotic foods help to restore your digestive system to health. They do this by building up your immune system, crowding out the Candida yeast and restoring the correct acidity to your gut.Does Candida cleanse cause weight loss? ›
Some people who have been affected by Candida overgrowth for a long period of time may experience dramatic weight loss when they embark on an anti-Candida diet. This is often desirable, as their Candida may have led to unwanted weight gain.How do you permanently cure Candida? ›
- Cutting back on unhelpful foods. As we've already seen, eating refined, high-sugar foods allows Candida to thrive. ...
- Focusing on sleep, exercise, and stress reduction. ...
- Using supplements. ...
- Adding medication when needed.
The intent of the Candida Diet is to starve off the Candida and nourish the good bacteria in your microbiome instead. We recommend omitting sugar, grains, dairy, fermented foods, and alcohol from your diet completely, as well as avoiding all fruit for the first 2-4 weeks.What are the stages of Candida? ›
Candida albicans (C. albicans) exists in three biological phases: yeast, pseudohyphae, and hyphae.Can probiotics make candida worse? ›
Can Probiotics Make Candida Worse? You might think that probiotics make Candida worse by adding to both the good and the bad bacteria in your gut. However, probiotics can actually help you maintain the correct balance of gut flora in your body.Do eggs feed Candida? ›
Protein: Lean protein, such as eggs and skinless poultry, are usually allowed on the Candida diet, as are bone broth and certain fatty fish. Low-mold nuts and seeds are also approved. The Candida diet also excludes red, organ, and processed meats.What is the root cause of Candida overgrowth? ›
Overgrowth is caused by the introduction of a foreign chemical into a patient's body. Steroids, antibiotics, and alcohol have all been known to cause candida syndrome. Other causes include birth control pills, estrogen replacement therapy, acute and chronic stress, recreational drugs, chemotherapy, and a poor diet.What does Candida do to the brain? ›
People get meningitis if the fungal infection spreads from the lungs to the brain or spinal cord. Fungal meningitis does not spread between people. The fungus Candida can also cause meningitis. Candida normally lives inside the body and on the skin without causing any problems.What parasite causes Candida? ›
Most infections involving Candida are caused by C. albicans. However, any of multiple species of Candida can infect humans. These infections occur primarily in the mouth, vagina, and intestinal tract.
Most people see significant improvements in their candida symptoms within two to four weeks, with drastic improvements in two to three months.How do you know if you have Candida build up? ›
- Oral thrush. Candidiasis that develops in the mouth or throat is called “thrush.” ...
- Tiredness and fatigue. ...
- Recurring genital or urinary tract infections. ...
- Digestive issues. ...
- Skin and nail fungal infections. ...
- Joint pain.
Most patients with candiduria are asymptomatic, and yeasts are noted in the urine as a serendipitous finding on a routine urinalysis or urine culture.Can candida be cured forever? ›
Prognosis. Typically, in otherwise healthy people with superficial candidiasis, a properly treated infection goes away without leaving permanent damage. Superficial candidiasis may take longer to treat and is more likely to recur in people that need long courses of antibiotics.