Here’s what we’re going to cover
- What is the Candida Die-Off Effect?
- What Do You Mean By Feeling Worse?
- How Long Will the Die Off Last?
- How Do We Know It’s The Die-Off Effect and Not the Thing That You’re Treating Me With?
- Why Does the Die-Off Effect Happen?
- How Will I Know When I’ve Gotten Through the Die-Off Phase?
We’ve treated literally thousands of cases of Candida overgrowth in the digestive system. There are a lot of challenges when it comes to treating this, but the most important might just be this crazy thing called the Candida Die-Off effect.
What is the Candida Die-Off Effect?
So what is it? It’s this. When you are successfully treating a bad Candida overgrowth, there is a very good chance that you are going to feel worse for awhile before you feel better.
Yes, you heard that exactly right. At least 50% of the people who are treated for a Candida overgrowth in the gut will go through a phase where they feel worse before they start to feel better. We call it the Candida Die off effect, also known as a Herxheimer reaction.
And if you don’t know that this can happen or you don’t expect it, then there’s a good chance that you will discontinue treatment, because you will understandably think that the treatment is wrong. But it’s not.
What Do You Mean By Feeling Worse?
So what do I mean by feeling worse? Most common and most likely is that your digestion will feel worse. You will likely get more gassy, more bloated, maybe get diarrea, and feel like everything is all stirred up in your abdomen. You might also get headaches, fatigue, and just simply feel run down, almost like you’ve got the flu. And sometimes people get a skin breakouts.
All of this is very temporary, although many of these symptoms you already experience on a regular basis, because you have a Candida overgrowth.
It doesn’t last forever, and it will revert back to the way it was before if you stop the treatment. Or you might even feel a lot better for a short time if you stop treatment early. But you won’t get any long-term improvement from your original problem if you stop the treatment early.
In order to truly get better, you have to push through this die-off phase of treating Candida until you come out the other side. And even then you almost always have to continue treatment for quite some time or the Candida overgrowth will come right back.
How Long Will the Die Off Last?
The die-off phase can last from a couple of days to a month or sometimes even longer. It depends on how bad your overgrowth is and how good your treatment plan is, and even how well you are able to tolerate this phase.
And it might start within 2 or 3 days of treatment, or it might take a week or two before it kicks in. And you might go through more than one die-off phase during the treatment.
How Do We Know It’s The Die-Off Effect and Not the Thing That You’re Treating Me With?
This one held me back quite awhile before I figured out that it was usually the die-off effect. If you change treatments and you get the same reaction, then it’s the die-off effect. But if you change treatments and you don’t get better or worse, then the treatment isn’t working at all. Keep that in mind.
Also, there are some things that we use to treat Candida overgrowth, such as Nystatin, that simply aren’t able to get to the rest of the body. Nystatin isn’t absorbed. So if you are taking Nystatin and you get headaches and fatigue, it isn’t the Nystatin.
Why Does the Die-Off Effect Happen?
Candida are like little toxic balloons. They are also very resilient and they fight back. As you kill them, you release a lot of toxic chemicals that make you feel crummy. You also absorb a lot of that junk, and that’s why you get headaches and fatigue and the like.
How Will I Know When I’ve Gotten Through the Die-Off Phase?
You’ll know that you’ve busted through the Candida Die-Off because you will be able to continue the treatment without the downside. It’s as simple as that. And you’ll start to feel better rather than worse as you continue the treatment. That’s when you’ll actually believe this whole thing that I just told you.
Don’t avoid treatment just because of the potential for Candida die-off. If you do, you will never get better. I’ve seen many people do this. Don’t be afraid of it. Just understand it. And then you will be able to get better.
A Candida overgrowth in the gut can cause a ton of problems and make you completely miserable. If you need help dealing with this, please reach out to us at the IBS Treatment Center. We’ve got nearly 20 years of experience dealing with this.
Dr. Wangen is the founder and medical director of the IBS Treatment Center, the award winning author of two books, and a nationally recognized speaker on digestive disorders. He has been on ABC, NBC, and Fox as well as public radio, and was named one of Seattle’s Top Doctors by Seattle Magazine.