by Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D.
The yeast Candida albicans can cause many problems because Candida makes toxic chemicals and disturbs your immune system. Candida can cause problems ranging from difficulty with concentration to multiple sclerosis (MS) to ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease, among other things.
Many people try the drug Diflucan after their doctor prescribes it. Diflucan is the brand name for a drug called fluconazole. This medication is commonly used for vaginal yeast infections but also can be used for deep fungal infections.
Some people with find relief when they first take Diflucan. They may have suffered problems for years and suddenly they are better. But a few weeks later or after the prescription runs out, they find out that all the problems are coming back. Unfortunately the answer from the doctor might be that the patient really did not have a Candida problem because if they did, the Diflucan would have worked. However, this is not true.
What makes Diflucan ineffective? Why does it not work for long?
The answer is that Diflucan does not get to all the yeast. To understand why, you need to know something about where the yeast Candida albicans lives. Candida lives in the inside of the entire intestinal tract, both the small intestines and the large intestine. Diflucan only gets to part of the intestinal tract, by design. Diflucan is meant to be absorbed high up in the intestines, in the part just beyond the stomach. It is meant to travel through the body’s organs. Diflucan does not get to the inside of the lower intestinal tract. Because it doesn’t get there, Diflucan leaves much of the yeast Candida undisturbed. When a patient first takes Diflucan, the drug kills some yeast, so the person feels better. But eventually, the yeast grows back. In addition, my patients who come to me after having taken Diflucan prescribed by other doctors report that the yeast is worse after long term use of Diflucan. In my medical opinion, Diflucan is simply not a long term answer to chronic Candida problems.
I have found that the only long term treatment for Candida is to follow the best yeast free diet, which is the Feast Without Yeast diet, and take the medicine nystatin. Nystatin works differently than Diflucan. Nystatin is not absorbed into the body like Diflucan is. Nystatin travels through the entire intestine, killing all of the yeast, instead of just working on one part of the intestine. The problem here is that nystatin does not work without the yeast free diet called the Feast Without Yeast diet, because the patient must control yeast and yeast-like chemicals from coming into the body.
I have treated scores of patients successfully using Candida diets and anti-yeast therapy, including the Feast Without Yeast diet and nystatin.
UPDATE: I have a new post about what happens when Monistat stops working for chronic Candida infections. Click here to see it!