You should start your course of probiotics after you finish your cleanse, and soon after you begin the strict anti-Candida diet. However as you will see below, the exact timing depends on when you start your antifungals too. My Ultimate Candida Diet treatment program lays out a clear timeline that you can follow.
There are a couple of reasons not to start probiotics while you are doing the cleanse. Firstly, the cleanse acts to flush your intestine, taking the Candida yeast, bacteria and everything else with it. If you’re spending money on good probiotics you don’t want to just wash them straight through! Secondly, if you start the probiotics at this point you might well experience Candida Die-Off. This is a difficult experience that you need to be prepared for, and the weakness and lack of energy that are often associated with a good cleanse would make it even harder.
You will be introducing an antifungal around the same time, soon after you have finished the cleanse. These are both powerful elements of the Candida treatment plan, so we would recommend leaving at least a week between starting each of these. The reason is that both probiotics and antifungals are liable to cause Candida Die-Off, so to start courses of both at the same time could potentially make for a very challenging start to your treatment. If you leave a couple of weeks between them, you will be less likely to experience a severe Die-Off and more likely to finish the diet!
Why you need to choose a good probiotic
Choosing a good probiotic will potentially reduce the duration of your Candida treatment plan. The right probiotic will rebalance your gut flora, boost your immune system and help maintain the correct acidity in your digestive system.
There are a few things to look out for when you choose your probiotic. The number of live bacteria per capsule (it should be several billion), the number of probiotic strains and the exact type of those strains are all important. Take a look at our ‘Choosing a Probiotic’ page for more information. Remember – probiotics are perhaps the most important part of your Candida diet so do your research!
Can I take probiotics and antifungals at the same time?
There is no good reason why you shouldn’t take probiotics and antifungals at the same time. Yes, its true that some antifungals have antibiotic properties, so they might kill a few of the beneficial bacteria that you are using to repopulate your stomach. However, if you think about it this is actually a reason to keep taking probiotics. If the antifungals are potentially reducing your healthy gut flora even further, reintroducing ‘good’ bacteria is exactly what your digestive system needs. This is very much the same argument as why you should take probiotics during a course of antibiotics.
As mentioned above, its important that you leave at least 1-2 weeks between starting your probiotics and antifungals. This is to avoid a severe Die-Off reaction, and it will help you to complete the diet with less discomfort. To get the most benefit from both supplements, you should also try to take them at least 2 hours apart during the day.
Will I always need to take probiotics?
This is a tough question as everyone’s case is different. The simple answer is that probiotics are always a healthy addition to your diet, and therefore you should take them regularly for as long as you can. However this is not always practical (probiotics can be expensive for a start), so when you have your Candida under control you can try reducing your dosage.
I would recommend coming off the probiotics slowly and monitoring your health during the whole process. If you feel that you are regressing and your Candida overgrowth is starting to resume, return to your original dosage until you feel comfortable again. If you cut the dosage and you feel fine, then feel free to keep reducing your probiotic intake until you have quit the supplements altogether.