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Candida Treatment: Functional Approach

Candida Treatment: Functional Approach

By Dr. Patrick Lovegrove Medically Reviewed by Lindsay Langley, BSN, RN, CHT
Posted Sunday, August 27th, 2023
Candida Treatment Functional Approach

Candida is a type of yeast that naturally exists in our bodies, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. Under normal circumstances, candida is harmless and kept in check by the body’s immune system and a healthy balance of gut bacteria. If the balance is disrupted, candida may overgrow and cause health problems. Additionally, here is a summary of the functional medicine approach.

Functional medicine takes a comprehensive approach to healthcare by targeting the underlying causes of health issues instead of merely treating their symptoms. It recognizes the interconnectedness of various bodily systems and aims to restore balance and optimal function. When treating candida overgrowth, functional medicine offers a comprehensive approach that considers the unique factors contributing to the condition and provides individualized treatment plans.

Understanding Candida Overgrowth

Candida overgrowth can occur due to a variety of factors. Some common causes include a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, prolonged use of antibiotics, weakened immune system, hormonal imbalances, chronic stress, and environmental toxins. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders, can also increase the risk of candida overgrowth.

Candida overgrowth can manifest in various ways, leading to many symptoms. These may include recurrent yeast infections, digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea, fatigue, brain fog, skin problems, mood swings, and weakened immune function. If left untreated, candida overgrowth can significantly impact overall health and quality of life.

Functional Medicine Approach to Candida Treatment

Comprehensive assessment

Functional medicine practitioners thoroughly assess the patient’s health status to address candida overgrowth effectively.

  • Detailed patient history

A comprehensive patient history helps identify potential triggers and underlying factors contributing to candida overgrowth. It includes evaluating previous medical conditions, lifestyle habits, diet, and exposure to toxins.

  • Laboratory testing

Laboratory tests, such as stool analysis and blood work, assess the levels of candida and other markers of gut health, immune function, and nutrient deficiencies.

Identifying root causes

Functional medicine aims to identify and address the root causes that have contributed to candida overgrowth.

  • Gut dysbiosis

Imbalances in the gut microbiome can disrupt the delicate ecosystem and promote candida overgrowth. It is important to restore a healthy balance of gut bacteria to manage your health in the long term effectively.

A weakened immune system can fail to control candida overgrowth effectively. Strengthening the immune system is an essential aspect of treatment.

  • Nutritional deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies can compromise immune function and contribute to candida overgrowth. Identifying and correcting deficiencies through targeted supplementation is an important part of the treatment plan.

  • Environmental toxins

Environmental toxins, such as heavy metals or pesticides, can disrupt the body’s natural detoxification processes and contribute to candida overgrowth. Detoxification protocols may be implemented to support the body’s Elimination of these toxins.

Individualized treatment plan

Based on the comprehensive assessment, a functional medicine practitioner will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs.

  • Diet modifications

A key component of the treatment plan involves dietary changes to create an environment that discourages candida growth and promotes healing.

a. Elimination of sugar and refined carbohydrates

Sugar and refined carbohydrates feed candida, eliminating them from the diet.

b. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods

A nutrient-dense diet with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates is encouraged.

c. Emphasis on anti-inflammatory and gut-healing foods

Certain foods like turmeric, ginger, and omega-3 fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties. These foods can be beneficial in reducing gut inflammation. Incorporating gut-healing foods like bone broth and fermented foods can support a healthy gut environment.

  • Probiotics and gut health support

Specific strains of probiotics are chosen to restore a healthy balance of gut bacteria and inhibit candida growth.

  • Nutritional supplementation

Supplementation with specific nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts, can help address nutrient deficiencies and support immune function.

  • Detoxification

Detoxification protocols may involve:

  • Supporting liver function.
  • Promoting the Elimination of toxins.
  • Reducing exposure to environmental toxins.
  • Stress management and lifestyle changes

Chronic stress weakens the immune system and contributes to candida overgrowth. Practicing stress management techniques like meditation, exercise, getting enough sleep for overall health, and managing candida is important.

  • Antifungal treatments

Natural antifungal agents like oregano oil, garlic, and caprylic acid can help reduce candida overgrowth. In severe cases, prescription medications may be considered under medical supervision.

Regular monitoring and adjustments

Throughout the treatment process, regular monitoring of symptoms and progress is crucial. Functional medicine practitioners assess the effectiveness of the treatment plan and make necessary adjustments to optimize outcomes.

  • Assessing progress and symptoms

Regular follow-ups and monitoring help evaluate the response to treatment, track improvements, and identify any challenges.

  • Making necessary modifications to the treatment plan

Adjustments may be made to the treatment plan to ensure ongoing success based on the patient’s progress and any emerging factors.

Expected Benefits and Timeframe

Reduction of candida overgrowth symptoms

With a comprehensive functional medicine approach, patients can experience reduced candida-related symptoms, such as digestive issues, fatigue, and recurrent infections.

Improved digestive health

Restoring a healthy balance of gut bacteria and addressing gut dysbiosis can lead to improved digestion, absorption of nutrients, and overall gut health.

Enhanced immune function

Functional medicine can support optimal immune function and reduce the risk of recurrent candida overgrowth by strengthening the immune system and addressing underlying immune dysfunction.

Restoration of overall well-being

A functional medicine approach to treat candida overgrowth strives to restore balance and improve overall well-being. By adopting this habit, you may experience increased energy levels, a better mood, and an overall improvement in your quality of life.

Timeframe for improvement may vary (weeks to months)

The timeframe for improvement varies depending on the severity of candida overgrowth, the individual’s overall health, and their adherence to the treatment plan. Some individuals may experience noticeable improvements within weeks. In contrast, others may require several months of consistent treatment to achieve desired outcomes.


Functional medicine provides a holistic and individualized approach to treating candida overgrowth by addressing the root causes and promoting overall health and well-being. Functional medicine offers an effective strategy for managing candida overgrowth through dietary modifications, gut health support, nutritional supplementation, detoxification, stress management, and monitoring.

It is important to seek guidance from a qualified functional medicine practitioner or healthcare professional experienced in treating candida overgrowth. They can provide a thorough assessment, develop a personalized treatment plan, and offer ongoing support throughout the healing journey.

To prevent another candida overgrowth episode. It is essential to adopt and maintain long-term lifestyle changes. It includes maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress levels, prioritizing sleep and exercise, and regularly monitoring gut health. Individuals can achieve long-term relief and maintain optimal health by addressing the underlying factors contributing to candida overgrowth and making sustainable lifestyle changes.

In conclusion, the functional medicine approach to candida treatment offers a comprehensive and personalized strategy for addressing the root causes of candida overgrowth. By identifying and targeting factors such as gut dysbiosis, immune system dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, and environmental toxins, functional medicine aims to restore balance and promote overall well-being. With dietary modifications, probiotics, nutritional supplementation, detoxification, stress management, and regular monitoring, individuals can experience a reduction in candida-related symptoms, improved digestive health, enhanced immune function, and restoration of overall well-being. Seeking professional guidance from a qualified functional medicine practitioner is crucial for effective treatment and long-term maintenance. By incorporating sustainable lifestyle changes, individuals can prevent recurrence and maintain optimal health.

About the author

Dr. Patrick Lovegrove