Candida Die-Off Symptoms, Remedies, & My Experience

When you go on a Candida Diet, it's hard enough that you have to restrict or eliminate certain foods, but dealing with candida die-off can make the whole situation miserable.

It's important to know how best to deal with yeast die-off so you can manage symptoms and get to the root of the problem without giving up.

Candida Die-off

Yeast die-off is something that I personally dealt with, and yes, it was bad. So bad, that I almost gave up in the midst of my candida cleanse.

Candida overgrowth is bad news and it needs to be dealt with. However, if the cleanse effects are too intense, like me, you might be tempted to stop--and then you'll be right back where you started.

So let's talk about candida die-off symptoms and learn how to deal with them, so you can tackle this beast that is candida and win without knocking yourself out in the process!

What Is Candida

First, let's briefly touch on what candida is.

Candida is a common name for the fungus candida albicans. This fungus is present in everyone to some extent, but when it grows out of control, it becomes a problem. Candida is thought to be responsible for female yeast infections, thrush, some breast infections, skin eruptions, nail fungus, and more.

Candida is fed by sugar and carbohydrates. And this makes sense, because candida is a yeast, and we all know how yeast grows when you add sugar to it, right? Think about what happens to yeast when baking bread---Poof. It grows.

When candida grows too much you have candida overgrowth. The candida is thought to even become invasive, digging into intestinal walls, leading to leaky gut and more.

Candida Epidemic

It seems clear to me that we have an epidemic of candida going on as people eat way too many sugars and refined carbohydrates. In fact, all carbs feed candida, but some are worse offenders than others. For example, sugar feeds candida more than sweet potatoes due to the higher glycemic load.

Evidence (and possibly part of the cause) of the candida epidemic is the huge amount of advertisements for vaginal itching and yeast infections. Clearly, tons of women are dealing with this issue (why else would the drug makers spend that much money on all of those commercials and ads?), they are told to take drugs to deal with it, but no one is talking about how to get rid of the problem. Couple that with the horrid diet in most of the Western world, and you've got a mess.

Add to that the fact that apparently the anti-fungals meds cause the fungus to mutate, making it harder to fight, so the infections just get worse and worse.

Candida is not something to mess around with. It can be just an itch and some other discomfort, but when it gets really bad it can affect one's daily life and candida can even cause death.

Yeah, really--it can be that bad.

What is Candida Die-Off

Candida Die-off is an example of what is known as a Herxheimer reaction. The Herxheimer Reaction is really a Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction, discovered by 2 dermatologists who saw reactions related to the treatment of syphylis treated with mercury.

It's thought to be symptoms of toxins being released by dying organisms, hence the name "die-off."

When you reduce candida's food (starches) and try to kill it off, the candida fungus dies, releasing toxins into the body. And toxins are, well--Toxic! So your body gets flooded with toxins and gets overwhelmed.

Hence, you don't feel well. You can get all kinds of symptoms from candida die-off, and they aren't pleasant, so let's learn what they are and how to manage them.

candida with text overlay

Candida Die-Off Symptoms

There are many possible candida die-off symptoms that you might experience. Here is a list of them:

  • Nausea
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Acne or other breakouts
  • Headache, fatigue, dizziness
  • Swollen glands
  • Insomnia or other sleep problems
  • Bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Chills or cold feelings in extremities
  • Itching, hives, and/or rashes
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Depression and/or fatigue
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vaginal, prostate, and/or sinus issues or infections
  • Lethargy

Green Poop?

When I finally had my "come to Jesus" moment about my candida situation and started on my sugar-free life, I read up on the candida diet and decided to plunge in. I was so desperate for healing--I had a lot of itching, brain fog, anxiety, insomnia, and more.

I was ready for change.

The Candida diet program that I decided to go with was on the Whole Approach site. {Side note: I'm not sure about the whole program, or what else might have been going on with me, since I ended up feeling worse after doing the protocol, but just wanted you all to know that. It might have been that going too low carb messed with my thyroid as mentioned in this post about my thyroid blood work improving.)

The program recommended about 1/2 cup of gluten-free grains or starchy vegetables at each meal. Well, I figured that if eating 1/2 cup of grains or starchy vegetables at each meal was going to help me, then none would help me even more.

BIG MISTAKE.

I had candida die-off like you wouldn't believe.

Sorry for the TMI, but I had lots and lots of gas, abdominal distress, and even GREEN STOOLS. I distinctly remember sitting on the sofa and looking up conditions associated with green stool and well, some of them weren't things I wanted to face.

Turns out it was all just really bad candida die-off, and my green stool was candida die-off stool. Nice, huh?

I guess I had one nasty candida infection.

Yeah, sugar and I aren't friends any longer.

How Long Does Candida Die Off Last?

How long candida die off lasts will depend typically on how severe your situation is, but also on how fast your body can deal with the situation. Typically it might last anywhere from 2-10 days.

How to Manage Candida Die-Off

Some people think that having a lot of candida die-off symptoms is a sign that you are doing the right thing. Others, however, think that the die-off means that you are putting too much stress on your system and that you will, in effect, jeopardize overall healing.  I tend to think the truth is somewhere in the middle.

It's good to know that things are moving in the right direction, but too much stress is not good for your body.

There are a number of things you can do to minimize die-off symptoms and help your body deal with the elimination of candida toxins more effectively.

Limit Anti-fungals

If you're taking anti-fungals (like oregano oil, capryllic acid, or other recommended supplements, etc.) to speed up the removal of candida, just back off a bit. Of course, consult with your practitioner before making changes to your anything that they prescribed.

Don't Go Cold Turkey

But do avoid traditionally-sweetened treats. Try cycling in healthy carbs in the afternoon and evening meals.  There is quite a bit of research showing this is beneficial for your adrenals and thyroid too.

Improve Liver Health

Since the liver filters all kinds of toxins, taking care of your liver during times of detox is crucial. Die-off stresses your liver, so take care to support yours as much as possible.

Drink More Water

Water helps flush out toxins.
Drink lots of it and while you're at it, please be sure to read how to make tap water safe.

Reduce Probiotic Consumption

Probiotics compete with the bad guys. That's a good thing but slowing down the process can help manage die-off.

If you have histamine intolerance, low-histamine probiotics are a better choice to make.

Eat Less of These Foods

Since the symptoms are the result of too much candida dying, you don't need to add more fuel to the fire. Backing off foods that fight candida for a bit can help by letting your liver and your whole body catch up.

Take a Break

Rest rejuvenates. This will also allow your body to deal with the stress of die-off by taking time to rest.

Take Toxin Binders

There are a lot of products that you can use to bind up the mycotoxins that are thought by some to be released when candida dies (and also when it's alive) (source and source). One powerful option is zeolite. I had an amazing experience with liquid zeolite highlighted in this post on heavy metal toxicity.

Activated Charcoal is another good one to consider. One of my practitioners recommended taking Yin Chiao Jin to help minimize die-off symptoms. Personally I think the first two options are best.

Eat More Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have beneficial bacteria that help deal with inflammation and they help process waste products. This Easy Homemade Sauerkraut is a great one to keep in your kitchen at all times.

Stay Regular!

If you are at all "stopped up" while addressing candida, your body won't be able to remove toxins from your gut. Do whatever you can to stay regular. You can try things like magnesium, taking vitamin C to bowel tolerance, or enemas.

Strata Flora is a fantastic probiotic blend that almost always helps us "go" :).

Bring on the Heat

Do anything you can, from a walk to some rebounding, to sitting in a sauna.

Gentle exercising is best since besides releasing toxins through sweating you also will stimulate the lymphatic system.

Breathe Deeply

Deep breathing brings more oxygen into your cells and boosts the immune system. In--out. In--out...

Try Some C

Vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps support your body during times of stress. We really like this Sodium Ascorbate. This Adrenal Cocktail is loaded with vitamin c and would be a great think to sip on all day while dealing with candida die-off.

Increase Antioxidants

Antioxidants help your body deal with the oxidative stress and increase of toxicity in your body from candida-die off. Juicing is one great option as is increasing your intake of most of these superfoods.

Special Mushrooms Can Help

Adaptogens help your body handle stressors better. There are many kinds of adaptogens--some of which are mushrooms. Typically mushrooms are a no-no on the candida diet, but medicinal ones are considered to be fine. This company is my go-to for adaptogenic mushrooms.

Conclusion

The best way to avoid candida die-off is basically to not get candida in the first place. However, since you are reading this post, I'm assuming that you, or someone you know, already has it. Sorry about that. I know it's rough.

So the next best thing to do is to not go full force into the candida diet, or at least include SOME carbs into your candida diet when you do change up your eating. Basically, don't do what I did.

Go ahead and attack the candida, but not too hard.

And remember--Eat. Some. Carbs.

Candida Course

If you'd like some direction and hope for effectively dealing with candida, this Kicking Candida Program is for you.

I've heard nothing but good about this course and I'm going to be taking it myself–and my whole family very likely will too.  Your coach, Paula Miller, knows what she is talking about and gives loads of support to help you kick candida to the curb.

Whole Intentions Kicking Candida Course

Have you ever had Candida Die-off?
How did you manage it?

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60 Comments

  1. I had Candida Overgrowth for many years due to high use of antibiotics and heavy use of sweet foods and carbohydrates. Later on I had Candida Krusei that only 3% people have! That’s when I got in Kicking Candida program which helped me tremendously with guidance and support. I didn’t have terrible die off when I detox. Detoxing caused me terrible eczema! I do still watching what I eat. I avoid sweets which is still hard for me. Thank god I still have willpower to control. I can eat pretty much anything healthy even maple syrup, honey etc. I still don’t like stevia, I use only xylitol. I don’t know how to eat junk food anymore.
    My only one concern is can Candida return back easily? What’s good maintenance I need to do to make sure my gut is still healthy?
    Thank you for your support!

    1. Hi there. Yes it can return. Did the Kicking Candida program not have recommendations to help with keeping it at bay?
      I think overall health is the way to go but I know that can be tough.
      I highly recommend this post on gut / brain axis and taking things to help your gut be healthy.

      There are all kinds of thoughts on things to help your gut be healthy from marshmallow root to slippery elm--making sure to keep toxins out of your life and not eating inflammatory foods, etc.
      Eating ferments, etc for some people.
      I really like this colostrum -- it's super reasonable and has loads of studies on how colostrum is good for the immune system.
      And the products mentioned in the Gut Brain Axis post are great as well. - here's a link. I'm happy to talk about any of this here or via email: adrienne@wholenewmom.com. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi.
    I have a lot of bloating, and gas ALLLLL the time. I need help. I don't work, retired housewife, but I need help. What should I do first?

    1. Hi there. I'm so sorry to hear. There are so many opinions about what to do to address such issues. How is your diet? I can reach out to you via email as well.

    2. Hi again - I can't medically advise so I would definitely talk to your physician since so many things could be going on. I can say, however, that in my case, reducing carbs (especially refined ones) made a huge difference. I am currently going back to using zeolite to address whole body health and I can offer good discounts on it. I think it's great for so many things to keep your body working well and that would include gut health. Here is the set I'm taking. Happy to help you get a $50 off code if you'd like. https://thegoodinside.com/shop/product/zeolite-detox-pack