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[blog updated April 2019]
In 2018, a patient that suffers from the symptoms of candida overgrowth doesn’t need a psychiatrist. What they really need is a doctor that specializes in treating candida!
A Classic Candida Patient’s Story
I saw a 60-year-old male patient today with the classic symptoms of candida overgrowth: irritable bowel syndrome his entire adult life, constipation for decades, brown circular fungal rashes on his body and yellow toenails, feeling unfocused at work and, now, difficulty remembering things.
He tried desperately to get help from his conventional doctors:
- His primary doctor tested him for Celiac disease and said it was negative
- His gastroenterologist did an endoscopy and colonoscopy and said to him that he had some slight inflammation in the esophagus so he prescribed a proton pump inhibitor, Nexium, to reduce stomach acidity.
However, within a few days, the patient was doubled over in pain with constipation – a side effect of Nexium.
The Lab Tests Don’t Help
After doing extensive lab work, the patient’s complete lab work all came back normal – and I mean all 50 pages of lab work. His doctor looked at him and, “You’re the sickest healthy person I know!”
That didn’t make my patient feel a whole lot better. Then the doctor went on to say this is all in your head – basically implying that he should see a psychiatrist.
Out of desperation and I believe good fortune, the patient’s wife searched the internet and saw that our practice, Mitchell Medical Group, specialized in treating candida overgrowth.
She was able to get an appointment within a week and there he was in front of me telling me his tale of misery as he was bounced around from one doctor to the next without help or answers.
Getting to the Real Problem – Diagnosing His Symptoms Correctly
Within 20 minutes of taking his medical history, the diagnosis was evident to me (his candida questionnaire was 220).
- he had a history of chronic use of antibiotics as a teen for acne
- he was on acid blockers most of his adult life for irritable bowel syndrome
- he enjoyed drinking alcohol to get him through his stressful business
- he had the usual gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms associated with candida which include constipation, reflux and bloating
- he also had classic dermatitis with fungus lesions on his chest and on his toenails
And the final proof – poor memory and lack of focus in more recent times which had never been a problem in the past.
My New Medical Moniker – “Stomach Shrink”
He made an interesting comment to me when I told him I could help him with his especially painful stomach:
“You mean you are the stomach shrink”- I laughed at the analogy but his assessment was accurate. My experience in treating my patients with the candida program typically results in a calm stomach the way a good psychiatrist calms down a patient’s anxiety.
Medical science has clearly linked the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. The two organs of the body share many neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, that influence our mood as well as our digestion. The nerves around the solar plexus in our abdomen are sometimes called ‘the second brain’ because it has so many of these mood chemicals.
Anatomically, the vagus nerve in the brain branches out to multiple areas of the stomach and intestine and is well known to affect stomach ulcers and intestinal motility. The typical example is when you are nervous before a test or presentation you get ‘butterflies in your stomach”- it’s your vagus nerve sending signals from your brain to the stomach. So, the brain clearly affects the stomach and that’s scientifically sound- not psychiatric.
And it works in reverse as well: the balance of good and bad bacteria in our intestines affects our immune system, our energy, our skin and yes our mood. I have seen through hundreds of cases how an overgrowth of candida causes problems in all the above.
The Candida Community
The good news for my patient – he finally had a doctor acknowledge that he wasn’t crazy and more importantly that he wasn’t alone. The candida community of sufferers has banded together to support one another online with better than ever resources to get help and find foods that are enjoyable and healthy.
Don’t wait for your general doctor to make that referral to a candida specialist– he probably doesn’t know they exist. But don’t worry, this is not all in your head and there are treatment options.
How Can I Tell if I Have Candida?
One of the most reliable ways to know if you may have candida overgrowth is to take the Candida Health Questionnaire, that is available at our website and adapted from Dr. William G. Crook’s book, The Yeast Connection: A Medical Breakthrough. Dr. Crook provides an in-depth guide on how to suspect, identify, and overcome those health problems in people of all ages and sexes that can be traced to sensitivity to the yeast germ Candida Albicans.
It is also in Ann Boroch’s book, The Candida Cure: The 90-Day Program to Balance Your Gut, Beat Candida, and Restore Vibrant Health which I highly recommend. A woman that scores over 140 points or a man with a score of over 180 has a high probability of candida overgrowth.
At Mitchell Medical Group, we utilize this questionnaire in our own medical history taking and like to confirm the diagnosis with a candida skin test. We find that this provides us the most accurate diagnosis for if a patient has candida overgrowth or not.
The great news is that your body has an innate intelligence to heal itself – if you give it the right environment for a long enough period of time in which to do so.
Due to the number of diverse candida symptoms, candida is one of the most misdiagnosed conditions in the world. That’s why it’s important to seek a doctor who specializes in candida in order to get a correct diagnosis and a proven treatment that doesn’t mask your symptoms but cures your underlying issue – yeast overgrowth.
– Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC
About the Author – Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. is a Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist based out of NYC. He graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine and completed training at the Robert Cooke Allergy Institute in New York City. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the author of Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution: The Ultimate Program for Reversing Your Symptoms One Drop at a Time. Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. has also been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fitness Magazine, Dr. Oz and News NY 1. Dr. Mitchell also hosts the podcast The Smartest Doctor in the Room – a combination of a lively, personal and in-depth interview with top healthcare specialists.