by William G. Crook, M.D.

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Q: Thanks for giving me this information. But if these preparations I can buy without a prescription don't help it seems to me that I may need to take one of the prescription medications. I'd appreciate your comments.

A: I'll tell you first about nystatin, which was first isolated from the soil over 50 years ago. It is a remarkable drug and is the first choice of many physicians. Here's one of the reason's it's a favorite: It's remarkable safe.

Q: What does it do and why is it so safe?

A: It knocks out yeast that it touches. So when it's taken by mouth it helps eradicate yeast in the intestinal tract. It will do the same thing in the vagina when given as vaginal suppositories. It will also help knock out yeast on the skin in the groin area or on the feet. The main reason it's so safe, it isn't absorbed from the intestinal tract.

Other prescription medications are absorbed into the bloodstream and reach deeper tissues of the body. These include the azole drugs Diflucan, Sporanox and Nizoral. Another effective and safe systemic medication, Lamisil, is now used by a growing number of physicians.

Q: Which one of these do you favor and are you concerned about side effects?

A: I've interviewed over 20 physicians who see lots of yeast patients, and Diflucan is favored by most of them. I've also had a few reports of side effects, even though in some patients the drug has been continued in a dose of 200mg. a day for as long as four months. It's important, however, for me to point out that any medication, even aspirin, can cause side effects. If you experience symptoms while taking one of these drugs, report them promptly to you physician.

Q: Will I need to take antifungal medication forever?

A: No, as your health improves, your own immune system will control candida overgrowth in the intestinal tract and/or your vagina and there are many things you can do to strengthen your immune system.

Some people with mild to moderate yeast problems improve significantly, even dramatically, on nystatin and diet. After one to three months they can start tapering off the nystatin and take only acidophilus, garlic or other nonprescription antiyeast medications, but other people with moderate to severe yeast problems may require Diflucan, Sporanox or Nizoral for weeks, or even months. Then, as they improve, their physicians may shift them over to nystatin or one of the nonprescription antifungals.

Each person is different and no two physicians follow the same treatment program. Several of the physicians I've interviewed tell me they give their patients 100mg. of Diflucan once or twice a month and in many women they're apt to prescribe extra antifungals the week before menstruation.

Q: What are some of the other things I should do to regain my health?

A: Lots of things. As you'll see in the overloaded camel, improper diet and yeast overgrowth are only two of the bundles of straw which may be loading you down.

Almost of equal importance are cleaning up the chemical pollutants in your home and workplace. These include tobacco smoke, bathroom and laundry chemicals, insecticides, paint, perfumes, colognes and much more.

Nutritional supplements are also an important part of your treatment program. These include a comprehensive vitamin/mineral supplement which contains all the major vitamin groups and minerals of various sorts, including calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Flax seed oil, fish oils and other supplemental essential fatty acids are also an important part of your treatment program.

Copyright 2003 - Site Restored in Memory of Dr. Crook by Group of Naturopaths