ASKED QUESTIONS PAGE 5
by William G. Crook, M.D.
Q: How are yeast-related problems diagnosed? Are there tests which help?
A: let me answer your second question first. I've interviewed many physicians who've treat candida-related health problems and most of them feel that the usual laboratory tests do not enable the physician to "make the diagnosis."
In answering your first question, George F. Kroker, M.D., a LaCrosse, Wisconsin board certified internist, said, "Unfortunately candida remains a disease in search of a laboratory test for diagnosis. The best test remains the history and a one month trial of antifungal medication and diet. I have tried to utilize antibody assays, cultures, etc and they all fall short of diagnostic certainty."
However, in December of 1999 and January 2000, several physician consultants told me that tests are useful. Included especially are the candida immune complex test carried out by the AAL Reference Laboratory (Santa Ana, California, 800-522-2611) and stool tests by the Great Smokies Laboratory (Asheville, North Carolina, 800-522-4762).
One of the advantages of the latter test is that culture and sensitivity tests to show which one of the antifungal drugs is apt to work in eradicating the candida. However, your own health professional must be the person to decide whether you need tests and which ones to order.
Q: If I find a health professional who will prescribe antifungal medication and I carry out the diet, will that answer my problems?
A: Yes and no. Let me explain, A one month trial of diet and antifungal medication will help 90% of people with yeast-related problems. I'd like to stress that most individuals with these problems will require a much more comprehensive treatment program if they wish to regain their health. In discussing the treatment of yeast problems Dr. Kroker emphasized that people with these disorders often are troubled by mold allergies, food and chemical sensitivities and thyroid problems. And he said, "Unless these problems are recognized or appropriately managed, antiyeast treatment will fail to provide patients with the help they're seeking. I cannot overemphasize the importance of the 'total load' in dealing with these patients."
In talking to my own patients I like to compare the person with the yeast problem to the camel with so many bundles of straw on his back that he cannot get up and walk. Here are my comments and an illustration in The Yeast Connection Handbook.
"If you're like most people with a candida-related health problem, you resemble an overburdened camel. To look good, feel good and enjoy life you'll need to unload many "bundles of straw." This may take months -- even a year or two -- but then your camel will be off and running.
Q: Please tell me something about the diet. What's the most important thing that I need to do?
A: Avoid sugar and other simple carbohydrates, including candies, soft drinks, cakes, cookies, sweets of all kinds -- not only those that contain cane sugar, but also corn and beet sugar. Also Honey.
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