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I probably suffer serious illness

Candida overgrowth

You may have noticed that the blogging frequency decreased during the last week or so. So did my life expectancy: with the right definition, it dropped nearly 100% over the same week.

While I was feeling unusually healthy just 5 weeks ago or so, experiencing no more-than-cosmetic problems and having had no flu or cold for a year etc., everything is different now. Whether I will be around in a month is yet to be seen...


I feel almost certain now that I suffer from systemic Candida overgrowth, something that – according even to the most optimistic data – cannot be fully cured and damages all organs of the body for the rest of the life. The official lore says that it's a disease of HIV patients or people treated for cancer; I am neither at this point. A survey of discussions on the Internet makes it clear that many much more ordinary people suffer from it. To partially regulate the overgrowth, one has to adopt a diet without sugars (I started a week ago).

Wikipedia says that the mortality rate is 40%-50%: not exactly a source of optimism for me. 90,000 Americans get systemic Candida every year.

Four weeks ago, I noticed some discomfort in the urinary tract and some tiredness. But it didn't look too strange so I paid almost no attention to it and continued to live under business-as-usual. What happened about a week later was more unprecedented: I was feeling some kind of a disgusting sweetish taste in my mouth, especially a few seconds after I started to eat something sweet. It surely looked like the sugar was being processed in some unusual way. For more than week, I was just confused: it could have been any problem with the guts (including diabetes that is now ruled out). Exactly a week ago, during a more detailed search for the possible causes of the sweet taste, I learned about Candida.

It's hard to accurately describe the taste in words but it did remind me of something connected with my paternal grandmother (who died 20 years ago). If there's a logical explanation of this "instinctive connection", I had to feel that taste while I was visiting my grandma as a kid (because it's unlikely she could have communicated her own taste to me: how?). Perhaps it's the taste of the yeast (or yeast in action) and she may have used lots of it. Or maybe she had just used lots of sugar so that it sparked my Candida overgrowth already at some point when I was a kid but I hadn't experienced it for decades. Who knows.

At any rate, Candida – the most frequent subspecies is Candida Albicans but I know nothing about the subspecies' special properties – normally represents 10% of the gut flora, living in a certain equilibrium with more constructive parts of the flora, especially bacteria – Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and many others (you may also find some of them in a white yoghurt). When the balance is violated, Candida may become stronger, forming up to 100% of the gut flora. Because the yeast consumes sugars, it grows when you eat lots of sweet things and sugar (and I did increase sugar and vinegar etc. during the last month or two, just for fun: be sure that with the current knowledge, I would have done the opposite). Some other big imbalance in the body is needed for that.

I believe that my friendly bacteria were largely suppressed if not eradicated when I was given some extreme enough antibiotics at the age of four, to fight an infection. The socialist healthcare surely didn't think about long-term consequences. This – perhaps via Candida itself – may have helped my tooth decay. Moreover, when I was later given lots of mercury fillings, it's plausible that those contribute to the Candida overgrowth, too.

Even my modern dentist would always suggest that the silver fillings are just OK. In fact, they are good because they help to kill the bacteria, thus preventing further tooth decay a bit. Well, it's very plausible but only now, I realize that this is probably a big problem. The mercury probably tends to kill the "good bacteria" as well while the funghi seem to be immune to it.

It's likely that there exists a link of the Candida overgrowth to some other things from my medical past – acidic stomach (low pH is a comparative advantage for Candida), some fungal skin disorders I sometimes observed, and perhaps even to what I would previously consider my largest health problem, a corneal disorder.

Today, I made the saliva test. You are encouraged to spit on a clean water in a glass. A healthy person will see the saliva uniformly dissolve and become invisible, perhaps except for a few bubbles. I get clear "jellyfish" forming with legs at the surface; the legs want to drop to the bottom. The saliva never becomes invisible. A positive sign of Candida overgrowth that increased my belief that I suffer from that above 95%.

Now, my fate is highly uncertain. The tests I underwent last Wednesday didn't have a chance to find it even though I was already rather convinced this was the cause of much of my discomfort (I only found the term "Candida" one day earlier on the Internet). So the doctor sent me home and told me to consider a visit to the dentist. Now, the teeth may suffer from this yeast beast as well but they're not the immediate cause (and their fixing almost certainly won't cure my bad condition) and I don't have any clear infection in my mouth. The fillings may have contributed to the cause. Only after my teeth would be fixed again, I was told to consider full blood tests etc. It's likely that the blood tests done in my town wouldn't detect it, anyway.

I think the doctor fully misunderstood my serious condition. I was expecting some sophisticated version of the "diet recipe" plus some drugs. Instead, he hasn't really pronounced the name of the disorder at all (my "certainty" was only 60% or so at that time but it's much higher now: he just ignored everything I told him). Even if the beast were detected, it seems like the regular Pilsner pharmacies don't offer any of the anti-Candida or anti-fungal chemicals or dietary supplements.

Some of my "most lousy" conditions were probably signs of the "Candida die-off". By having reduced the sugars, the Candida population may have been forced to drop. The toxins released from this death have to be dealt with by the liver and one feels really lousy (brain fog, belly discomfort of various kinds). Moreover, feeling lousy isn't a proof that one will be getting better because aside from the dying Candida cells, there may be many (or even a higher number) of newborns somewhere.

If you look at the alternative resources, they contain a remarkably large amount of information. While I have no doubts that this species exists and causes serious problems when overgrown, it really does look like it is a topic that is taboo or unknown in the proper modern medicine. Some of the alternative groups suggest that up to 1/4 of the people in the West suffer from similar things to some extent.

Whether I will be alive or not, and especially if the answer is negative, it would be nice if the dear reader helped to ignite some serious research into those matters. Some of the questions may have been addressed in the literature; others could be new. Can someone please obtain and/or pay a grant for a comprehensive research of those things? Let me sketch some questions inspired by my experience as follows:

  1. How much do antibiotics "help" to eradicate the good bacteria and their biodiversity in the intestines and how long-lasting or permanent is this change?
  2. How much does dental mercury "help" to eradicate the good bacteria in the mouth, stomach, and intestines and their biodiversity and how permanent is the problem?
  3. What's the role of the pH? What does a low pH do with the composition of the gut flora?
  4. Do the antibiotics or dental mercury have a direct effect on the pH?
  5. How and why does Candida selectively interact with the tooth crowns? What is happening in the Candida interactions with the dental glue?
  6. Aside from experiments in the test tubes and those with animals, can you make a sociological research to measure the correlation between the amount of kids' or adults' dental mercury and the concentration of Candida?
  7. Does Candida cause tooth decay? And if it does, isn't it different from the bacterial tooth decay? Does it really make sense to treat it?
  8. Can the yeast species participate in eye disorders such as keratoconus?
If the research finds some clear causal links, wouldn't it be wise to recommend risk groups – people who were treated by antibiotics or people with many mercury fillings or low pH in the stomach and especially the intesections of these groups – some preemptive behavior? Lots of lives – and lots of happiness in lives – could be perhaps saved by it. If you told me to study the concept "Candida" two months ago, you may have saved my life, too.

(Just a few days ago, The Telegraph wrote about a research suggesting that toothpastes should contain coconut oil to fight Candida. I haven't been able to buy any so far. But it's plausible that mouthwashes and toothpastes are just completely incorrectly focused because the yeast, and not bacteria, may be the dominant sources of tooth decay.)

I won't write that it's the memo here because the word "memo" is way too definitive and sensitive in this context. It's true that if I survived but if I knew that the beast would be consistently and permanently damaging all my organs and crippling my mood and even my ability to think, I would probably think that it's not a life worth living.

If you know how to save my life, especially in a form I have known until recently, please, let me know. If you don't, couldn't you please try to save the lives – and the life quality – of others? Thanks.

P.S.: So far I still feel better than 8 people in Czechia (plus 10+ more in the pipeline) who died of methyl alcohol poisoning in recent days. Police claims that this came from the liquor factory Drak (Dragon). The criminals often use denatured alcohol which is used industrially and contaminated by gasoline or something like that (to prevent drinking) and they remove the contaminant by chlorine compounds normally used for disinfection of floors or swimming pools. Not sure how this creates methyl alcohol which should result from imperfect fermentation much like CO instead of CO2 results from imperfect oxidation. If you swallow methyl alcohol, it tastes like proper ethyl alcohol but you start to lose color vision and then all vision. The first aid is to drink 0.1 liters of a high quality alcoholic beverage before you get more intense help.

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snail feedback (279) :

reader OXO said...

Sorry to hear you are not well Lubos. I am not a medical man, so can offer no expert opinion.

I did see this on a gut disorder science programme a few months ago..


Hope you don't need that..

reader Dilaton said...

Oh Lumo, no no no no no !!!

This just can not be true !

You should by all means try to consult the best spezialists wherever they live in the world and whatever the costs of it are to get an appropriate medical treatment, proper investigations to exactly diagnose what is wrong with you, and most impeortangly that take you serious and do NOT just send you to the dentist ...

I'm speechless, you just have to keep alive !!! I would miss you so much :-(((!
Please do all that you can to stay among us, ok ? You are such a great person and we need you !

reader Sabine Hossenfelder said...

Sorry to hear :o( Have nothing useful to say, but hope you get better.

reader anon said...

Not sure if this is a serious post (not trying to be mean, I am a cancer survivor myself. This just sounds a little too much like medical crackpottery). If 1/4 of people in the West have it, then they are easily living to their 60s, 70s and 80s. A collection of deaths that weren't linked to cancer/heart disease would have been investigated a long time ago. I can tell you, from experience, that your best approach is to start by enumerating your symptoms and things that may affect them (i.e. certain diets, activities, drugs that impact how you feel). Symptoms are degenerate. There are a myriad of things that can make you "feel" ill all in the same way. You need to start using chemistry/biology to hunt down the root causes of the problems. Don't jump to the quick/easy answer. Rely on hard facts.

reader Ross said...

I hope you are seeing a good specialist for this
condition .

I like and respect ordinary doctors but frankly
from what I have seen their expertise is often
substantially below the skill and knowledge
possessed by top medical specialists .

I very much hope things go well for you . It is
partially a selfish wish because the world very much
needs people like you .

reader Pat said...

Go to a specialist. Remember the evil socialist scum socialist monster healthcare gave you you antibiotics. And maybe even vaccinations. Therefore they are all bad! Never take help from socialist healthcare Lubos, not even in your last breaths or if you are broke! They must be wrong!

reader Luboš Motl said...

If you were in my position, you would probably not have the taste for such absurd jokes. There is nothing funny about your proposition.

Defenders of socialism are so similar to the Candida cells!

reader Luboš Motl said...

Tx, Bee.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Dilaton. I would miss you even if I were on the other side, too. At this moment, I don't know how can I get to competent specialists and whether it's possible at all...

reader Aran said...

I don't see any evidence that you have systemic infection - i.e. blood and organ infection.

Oral and urinary tract infections are pretty common and certainly not life-threatening, neither is candida gut overgrowth, if it's really a case here. Just go see a doctor and ask for antifungals like nystatin.
Be careful what you follow online, most of it is crackpot medicine.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear anon, I added the number that seems serious - 90,000 Americans get systemic candida every year. (80 millions surely looks implausible for systemic Candida but it may be accurate a number for a more inclusive group.) That makes about 7 million Americans in a lifetime. About 3 million people who are currently alive will die of it if my counting is right: 1%. That's a high percentage. Why haven't I heard about it before? Well, the statistics may be subtle because the number may be dominated by those who got cancer treatment or HIV.

reader Mephisto said...

Lubos, you shouldn’t jump to quick conclusions. I doubt that you have a systemic candidiasis. Systemic candidiasis is really a disease of severly immunocompromised people (like the HIV patients in terminal stages, leukemia patiens, strong diabetes patients or other kinds of cellular immunodeficiences). It doesn’t mean that you cannot have some kind of candida overgrowth (candidasis), but I doubt it is a systemic candidiasis where the yeast spread over all of body including internal organs (you wouldn’t be writing this blog, if you had this condition).
I am not certain about the mercury fillings. It is the first time I hear about the connection of candidosis and mercury fillings so I googled something about it http://healthyjen.hubpages.com/hub/Mercury-Fillings-and-Candida
It is always difficult to make single cause attributions in medicine. It is all a matter of relatively weak correlations of some supposed cause and the given condition, while there might be other confounding factors.
Concerning your question about antibiotics in childhood. It doesn’t kill the protective healthy flora permantently, but only for a period of weeks. If you eat some yoghurts with life bacteria afterwards, the flora will normalize again.
The symptoms that you describe are very unspecific – tiredness, urinary problems, sweet taste in your mouth. It could be many things – some kind of hidden infection (not only with candica, but there are hundreds of possible rare bugs like the lung chlamydia etc), immunodeficiency or even a psychosomatic causes. The doctor should have taken a blood sample and check some basic things like the complete blood count, liver markers (if you had systemic candidiasis in the liver, it would show as elevated liver enzymes – AST, ALT, bilirubin). He could also check the function of the immune system.
I find it very probable that you will live many happy years to come (unless of course the world is going to end on 21.12.2012 as the Mayas foretold).

reader Shannon said...

Lubos, please never give up. I don't know much about this disease but I've read this is a very common disease of our times. You have to completely change your eating habits. Right now. No choice. You must cut all sugar in every form. You might have to buy gluten free food too. Is it easy to find them in the supermarkets in Czech Rep ?
You could start with a colonic irrigation by a specialist... I know ! (We women have to go through a smear test once a year:-)...
I wish I could cook for you but here is the list of food you can eat and food you must ban from your diet :


From what I've read it seems that to cure this disease it is a question of diet more than medication.

Stay with us. Keep us informed :¨(

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, OXO, I almost certainly don't have CDI and the "transplantation" would probably be useless because the yeast tends to glue itself to the inner intestine walls so one can't take it out too easily.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Shannon. I've tried to reduce a lot. But with the gluten, it's another bad news. I didn't realize it's forbidden, too.

reader John_in_Oz said...

Is it a matter of unavailability of medication?
I'll write this without URL's to reduce the chance of my letter being misjudged as spam.
Emedicne dot com suggests that -azoles (a range of medicines) are supposed to treat Candidiasis.
Can you purchase any of those medicines where you are? If not, can I buy it here in Australia and post it to you with a reasonable expectation you would get it on time? I'm willing to do that, though we would have to work around bureacracy to a great extent- I don't know how to get a prescription from your country filled in mine. But if it's a plausible solution to your illness, we'll work around the administrative problems.
I am in GMT + 10 time zone.
I know nothing of your condition or its treatment beyond what you've written. I will mention things that are probably irrelevant, on the basis that its for you to decide they're not relevant, not me in my ignorance.With your better understanding. you may know whether a Lactobacillus would be beneficial. If so, can I help?
The next possible answer will sound like a practical joke. Nevertheless I've seen TV mentions of it as serious, as well as newspaper articles. Please read the Wikipedia article on fecal bacteriotherapy, all the way through, with an open mind. If appropriate, discuss it with your doctor.
I mention the above because I can't pass up the chance they might help, even if it is slim.
If it's a matter of medication, and I can help, my country code is 061 for Australia, 0408 plus I'll insert this phrase here to defeat web-trawling programs, followed by 226 and then 132.
If I can help, then I will, if there's anything I can do, let me know.

reader Umesh said...

I am really sorry to hear this Lubos. I feel more terrible as I can't say anything useful about this issue. But I want to assure you that you have been very important in my physics education as I have picked up so much QFT and strings from you and you will always find your mention in my thesis (working at TIFR with Prof. Shiraz Minwalla). I really hope that you get well over this illness and continue to illuminate as you have been doing for so long. Thanks again for all the doubts you've helped clear.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks for your professional encouragement, Dr Mephisto. However, I am afraid that your conclusion that systemic candida sufferers can't be blogging is based on the fact that you only know systemic candida sufferers who also suffer from other problems and it may be the other problems that prevent them from blogging.

Thanks for the comments on the antibiotics, etc. sounds interesting. I can't imagine any practical doctor I've ever met to send me to those tests.

reader Mephisto said...

Lubos, look at some systemic candidiasis
it means, that the yeast has spread over the whole body, over all its systems. You whould have white plaques in you mouth, you would have it in your kidneys, in you meninges, in your skin, everywhere. This kind of infection has 50% mortality. Then there are localized candidoses, ie. the women have the yeast in the vagina, or it can be in the throat or intestine etc. These localized infections are by no means as serious. The tests are nothing special and are done routinely.
How have you come to the conclusion that it is candida infection? Just from the taste in you mouth?

reader Shannon said...


reader James D Miller said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog for many years. Please consider doing something that I've done and sign up with a cryonics provider such as Alcor.

reader Eliza said...

I am a veterinarian. This is not normally a serious condition as Candida Albicans is normally a saprophyte (not pathological) so answer eat lots of Yougurt to neutralize the bacterial imbalance also acidification of the environment helps (ie lemon juice). there are various products (kenacomb etc) in pomades or oral tables that are used to treat. I doubt that you will die good luck. (NOta Bene: f you are seriously immunodeficient yes any disease/saprophyte excessive growth) could be serious

reader Mike said...

Visit the doctor, follow his/her advice and take the medication. Don't be pessimistic! I hope you'll get well soon.

reader Aran said...

I see you deleted my comment, as you wish, but keep in mind that unlike you I actually know what I am talking about here. You on the other hand are confusing systemic candida infection with candida gut overgrowth, two completely different things.

Systemic infection which is often fatal is an infection of blood and internal organs - NOT gut, mouth or urinary tract, those are common and pretty harmless.

So yeah, you will be fine, though your doctor is right that you should fix your teeth.

And stop promoting crackpot medicine.

reader Luboš Motl said...

I haven't deleted any comment of yours.

It's not clear to me how gut, mouth, and urinary tract (and irregular increased temperatures of the head etc.) would be correlated without blood's participation.

reader George Christodoulides said...

because there is no solution now, does not mean there won't be any in 5-10 years. i don't know about your personal life but this would be a good time to get married or have a kid.
i don't know about these things but from what i know people that become "lab rats" and test new drugs, methods etc. have more chances of living longer, so maybe you should try do if this is possible according to the circumstances.
your second to last paragraph about "not worth living" is simply wrong depending on the seriousness of the condition.

reader Dilaton said...

Dear Lumo,

I wish you all of the strength you can get to not despair. My stomach too freezes to a chunk of ice when thinking about you no longer being there :-(((.
If can understand that you feel fed up with hanging around in hospitals, waiting rooms of physicians, etc ... Maybe you can allow yourself a short break from these tedious thing to do something more relaxing? Could your colleagues from all over the world help you getting access to the best specialist in the world (if you are able to travel ... :-/). I hope you get many useful help and advice from all your friends and people who like you. I dont know anything about how many physicians you have in your country and how easy it is to access to the dietary food you need now. Maybe it could already help to come here to Germany to get a "second opinion" even though not everything is well with our health care system ... Are there some people who succeded in living with this disease a longer time, that could give you some advice ?

I'm sorry that I dont have anything useful to say; how I'd like being able to help you!
I'll keep thinking of you and wish very much that things will not become that bad for you. I wish you all the best


reader Luboš Motl said...

I would love to see nystatin (pills) but the pharmacies only have it in ointments and doctors probably won't change it...

reader Dilaton said...

Mephisto, I wish so much that you are right and it is not that bad after all

reader Luboš Motl said...

Right, -azols like fluconazole are treating it, but those -azoles have severe side effects. I would only take it if a specialist told me it was right. Nystatin is a less invasive alternative but I can only get it as ointments which seems bad.

I ordered Candix via candix.cz which has Caprylic acide, some probiotic cultures (and Vitamin C). 60 pills. Here in 2 days. Pharmacies here don't seem to have it. It seems harmless and I clearly have some yeast in the saliva, anyway, so whether it's the actual cause of my problems or not, it should be beneficial.

Thanks a lot for your offer. If you knew how to get reasonable nystatin, it could be interesting and I would of course pay it. I won't go to azoles now.

reader Pedro Silva said...

Dear Lubos,

A) Gut colonization is completed in newborn infants in 3-4 weeks. it is therefore not at all likely that any antibiotic treatment you had many years ago has had any important influence on your current microbiological profile

B) oral administration of a Syzygium aromaticum (
Hřebíček, in Czech) suspension has been shown to decrease Candida numbers in the mouth. (Jpn. J. Med. Mycol. (2005) 46, 27-33
C) Your main symptom seems to be oral. A very large number of treatments for oral candidiasis can be found on p. 237 of Dermatologic Therapy, (2010) 23, 230–242. I could send that to you if I had your email... BTW, why do you fear that the problem is systemic, rather than circumscribed to the mouth?

D) I would be VERY skeptical of medical information gleaned directly from the internet, (especially doom-spelling info) unless supporting references in primary literature are available. A search of "Candida overgrowth" in Web of knowledge does not return much primary data regarding such a condition.

Good luck, and all the best!

Pedro S.

Dermatologic Therapy, Vol. 23, 2010, 230–242

reader Luboš Motl said...

I am eating 300-400 grams of white yoghurt a day. Pleasant. If I happened to recover completely, it could stay in my diet... ;-)

Your acidification comment makes me confused a lot - after all, that's why I included it among the questions. So far I thought that an acidic stomach *helps* the yeast beasts to grow. Is that the other way around? Sources?

reader prasant gokaraju said...

I hope it's nothing too serious and you recover soon

best wishes.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, I was visiting a different doctor for the first time (with some hopes), he's on vacations for 3 weeks, there's still my "regular" local doctor in the line.

reader Ghandi said...

Dear Lubos,
I hope you get better! My best wishes are for you.

reader Luboš Motl said...

I feel slightly better now than 3 hours ago - and *this* current life could be OK for several more decades... But I suspect it will get worse again.

Concerning the kid, maybe I should have done it before this infection...

reader Shannon said...

I've read on a French website that grapefruit extract (found in capsules) alleviate the effects. Coconut seems to be excellent too.

reader Pedro Silva said...

Those factors could be correlated simply through airborne transmission in aerosol. there is a very interesting report of complete contamination of a model WC with bacteria dropped directly on the toilet: the turbulence formed when flushing the toilet sends a large amount of tiny water droplets into suspension in the air. They can then contaminate all surfaces. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2005.02610.x

reader Anon said...

Hi Lubos -- I really hope you get well soon. Wanted to point you to a link that questions the spit test you did on grounds of high rates of false positives and false negatives. http://www.holistichelp.net/candida.html (scroll down to the end). Hope you try and find a doctor who can get to the bottom of your problem and also you can follow the needed diet. Internet is a good resource but can't replace a medical doctor.
best wishes for a speedy recovery,


reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Anon! An interesting comment about the unreliability. If the saliva can end up both ways, the huge difference between the evolution must measure *something*, right?

reader David Black said...

Carry on working through the possibilities and you'll be with us for years.

Try and find the best specialist even if you have to travel.

I read your blog almost everyday, admitting I don't understand a great many points which is why I read it. At this late date I'm still trying to reduce my state of ignorance.

Thanks for all the great work. Onwards and all my best.

reader Mephisto said...

The saliva test means nothing. Every second person would have this kind of test positive. Candida is a normal microflora of the mouth for many people.
If you wish, you can use the Bayes theorem
p(h|D)=p(D|h)p(h)/p(D) to calculate you probability
It would mean something only if they cultivated the candida from your blood, that would really raise the probablity of a systemic infection. All other body parts are unspecific (too many false positives)

reader Jason said...

Luboš, I am not ready to bid you goodbye just yet. I agree with Mephisto. It doesn't sound like systemic Candida. And from your story so far no doctor has made that diagnosis.

On the other hand, acting under the assmuption that it is a Candida problem of some sort until you get an opinion you have more confidence in can't hurt and may put you in a better mood. It feels good to be doing something. In that case you might see if your local health-food stores or upscale supermarkets have liquid Lactobacillus acidophilus. It will be refrigerated, and have an expiration date. I always take it after finishing a course of antibiotics. It's like super-yogurt. Try this, and cheer up, my friend. You'll be with us for a long time yet.

reader asshur said...

If I read correctly you seem to be pretty certain but all the test you've undergone are negative, equivocal or not sensible enough (curious, i'd thought that in all places, Bohemia was a good place for that ....)
OTOH you point to multiple causal agents (most man made) but do you have a cause with a 5 sigma correlation ? just asking ...
From the info I've gathered perhaps this < a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Malade_imaginaire>case can be of any help

PS. I hope my swiftean reading is correct ...

reader Eugene S said...

This is a nasty shock :(
Please take good care of yourself, do whatever it takes to get well soon.
Prediction (for what it's worth coming from a non-medical person): Your years of bicycle riding will prove the crucial ingredient in turning this health scare around. Physical conditioning will be the foundation for beating this ugly fungus back into the ground :)

reader Gerald said...

Lubos, I have recently ( 2months or so ) ago discovered Kefir. There is a lot of information on the internet for you to look at about this natural probiotic. It seems much better than yogurt as it contains a lot more probiotics and also remains in the gut. I now take it every day. It is easy to make a litre or more a day for your own use. If you like I could mail you some starter grains which have been dehydrated for storage. Once activated they last forever as long as you feed them. Have a look at the information available. All the best

reader Chris said...

One thing to consider is whether this is related to anxiety. The mind and the gut (digestion) are very closely connected. The gut even responds to neurotransmitters. Your description of various internet searches could be part of a positive feedback loop with your worry. I also think that highly intelligent people are more susceptible to anxiety attacks like this, thinking that life is going to end etc. Doctors will of course try to rule out the serious things first and give you lots of invasive and stressful tests, which themselves pose risks and side effects. But in the end it may be that something like yoga or a small dosage of anti-anxiety medication can clear all these ailments.

reader opit said...

:) I don't think he was 'defending socialism', Lubos. Your post reminds me of stories about medical students...they exhibit symptoms of every disease they study !
Nor do I disagree with his notes about vaccinations and antibiotics after looking around at available information !
Sugar free sounds good to me. Yeast go wild in the presence of so much refined sugar common to our diets. Eating processed foods is like feeding an animal treats all the time and thinking we are being kind. Raw food should help you feel better. I even tried food grade hydrogen peroxide in water last year for months( very dilute indeed. Search for the regime. ) and have used 1/3 tsp baking soda in a glass of water daily this year...but couldn't tell you if they've made much difference ! Still...a fungal infection on a toenail is gone.
So cheer up. You aren't dead quite yet and may yet regret your panic at leisure.

reader Curious George said...

According to your research, the official medicine does not handle this disease. Try a Czech alternative - pythium oligandrum, a fungus that kills fungi and yeast, http://www.pythium.eu/cs/ - and hope. Good luck, and live long.

reader Shannon said...

I've found this video on youtube...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN-STK2XvgM

reader Trimok said...


1) For medical problems, follow the advice of your doctors and do not make self-medication.

2) It is very possible, from what you say, that you make a depression, even if you do not realize it.
Consulting a psychotherapist would be a good idea.
Do not stay alone, especially when it you feel bad, psychologically or physically.

My best wishes for recovery.

reader physicsnut said...

Sounds awful. Can offer only moral support.

reader Juan said...

Get well soon my friend. Praying for you here in Florida.

reader Aran said...

Gut and mouth are of course connected, and in any case it's much easier for yeast to spread through air and surface contact then through bloodstream which is separated from all of them and is very well defended by immune system.

Sorry, separating truth from crackpottery would be too much work for me but the rule is very simple - everything that cannot be traced to a publication in a serious medical journal is very suspect. Even things published are not all that reliable unless they are independently confirmed - medicine is much messier then physics.

The spit test is a good example, from what I find it's been invented by someone selling cure for candidosis and there is no scientific evidence to support it at all.

Unfortunately when it comes to crackpot theories situation in medicine is much worse then in physics since there is plenty of money to be made by spreading nonsense. Few of those helpful looking sites found by googling can be trusted, most of them simply try to sell you their brand of alternative medicine.

reader James Gallagher said...

Hi Lubos,

I'm sure you'll be fine.

take care


reader James Gallagher said...

And, btw, every man has crises approaching 40 years of age, but, trust me, it passes :-)

reader Josualdo said...

I'm afraid I somewhat concur with Mephisto, provisionally at least. I recently saw an oesophageal candida and the man almost vanished in a few weeks.

reader Laurent S said...

Hi Lubos ! I believe that a master of superstring theory can't be defeated so easily :) I sincerely hope that Dr Mephisto is right and that you will recover very soon !

reader Josualdo said...

Gut, mouth, urinary tract etc have an opening to the ouside environment. Organs such as the liver heart, say, dont, and can only be reached by blood or lymph. These seldom contact directly with the ouside world. So, there's lots of barriers and frontiers in the body. The head thing (is it objective or subjective?) can be produced by some chemical byproduct (including the treatment).

reader Josualdo said...

Yes, Lubos, dont assume you have the stuff unless the presence of the fungus has been shown by microscope exam and culture. Anything else is conjecture.

reader Josualdo said...

Indeed, Lubos, you're a good and bright guy, but you know about medicine what I know about quantum mechanics. Dont do things on your own, or without the agreement (or indifference at least) of your doctor. My brother was self-medicating and just managed to kill himself.

reader A Frequent Reader said...

Very sorry to hear that. And yes, the decreasing frequency of your blogging was noticed. If you don't mind me saying, I do hope that you are wrong about your condition. I also wish you a speedy recovery (and hope that doesn't sound glib -- it's meant wholeheartedly).

All the best!

reader Mikael said...

Dear Lubos,
this news is worrying. Still I have the hope like others that you overestimate the seriousness of your condition because facts are largely missing so far. I have no education in medicine but my general understanding tells me that any good hospital in a developed country like Czechia should be able to analyze whether and which kind of candida has spread to which part of your body. Until then I would try to avoid any kind of further analysis which is not based on facts. Hopefully for this a few days in hospital should be enough. Try to think just about the next step you need to take and not too far ahead.

reader Mephisto said...

Shannon, I watched the video and I tell you my impression.
1) I dislike the doctor. He seems very slimy to me. Maybe just personal antipathy
2) He mentions in the video that he is an alternative medicine doctor, that means someone not really following a lege artis practice
3) It all seems like some kind of scam, or advertisement for his practice. In the discussion under the video he constantly tells other people to call his practice
This is actually one of my strongest arguments against making a US-style healthcare system in Europe, because I believe the European system is superior to the American one. In a privately owned solely for profit health care system, the main motivation of the doctor is not to have a healthy patient, but to have as many sick people as he can get to "sell" them his treatments. There is a huge information gap between the doctor and the patient and even such intelligent people like Lubos with internet at his disposal are not immune against such scams and would pay the doctor money to get cured from some hypothetical systemic infection. The Nobel Prize laureate for economics Stiglitz called this the information asymmetry and it is one of the free market failures, and it is especially prominent in healthcare

reader BlueScreenOfDeath said...

Hey Lubos, always remember you can't check out until your number's up.

Up till that moment, not even a doctor can kill you.

Good luck!

reader Honestmicky said...

Dear Lumos, I'm a very big fan of yours and check your excellent blog daily. I don't know you personally but you seem to be the smartest person I know. I am sending you positive energy now. ZAP! Get well soon, bro.

reader Peterkar said...

Dear Dr Lubos, please don't take the "global warming" path on this one. Stick with science. There's a lot to be discovered yet about your innermost workings before such a terrible conclusion, and from what you write you've so far been in the hands of witchdoctors. Get well!

reader Mephisto said...

BTW: the spit candida test is a scam.
After reading some more information on the internet, I am almost certain that this whole "systemic candida epidemic" is a scam. The systemic candidiasis exist only with severely immunocomprimised patients, NOT WITH HEALTHY PEOPLE. It is a scam to get some money from you purse by scaring you to death. Disgusting kind of hyenism IMHO.

reader Shannon said...

You are probably right Mephisto.

reader William Nelson said...

Best health tip to activate your immune system:
Run until you break a sweat three or four times each week. Take it easy, you don't need to run fast...but you do need to eventually break a sweat. Exercise is what keeps your immune system in tip top shape!

Just do it!
/William Nelson
Stockholm, Sweden

reader Haelfix said...

Consider seeing a qualified dentist as well. The mercury filings strikes me as a possible problem.

reader Sam said...

Lubos, terrible news indeed if turns out to be as serious as you fear - for now, I hope Mephisto's take on it is more accurate.

Since you have gone to a sugar-free diet you might start looking at high quality sites that advocate low-carb diets to help you make the transition:

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ is probably the most serious and complete site available now.

In regards to gut flora issues, a biochemist named Art Ayers at http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/ has some excellent things to say about antibiotics and their effects on the gut.

Hope things work out positively! Speaking purely selfishly, if you cease blogging for whatever reason the forces of stupidity and crankpottery will win. Nobody else comes close to you.

reader metamars said...

I am sorry to hear about your illness. I had been diagnosed with overgrown candida in the GI tract many years ago. It was very nasty. I remember the spaciness, well. In an overgrown condition, the candida unite into some sort of multi-cellular organism, which can puch holes in one's intestine, allowing insufficiently digested proteins to enter the blood stream. And yes, the candida make alcohol.
I'm not a doctor, but I will make some suggestions for immediate action.
1) download the Kindle version of Bacteria for Breakfast, here: http://www.amazon.com/Bacteria-Breakfast-Probiotics-Health-ebook/dp/B000PY4DJA/ref=kinw_dp_ke
the author had a deathly sick child from bad GI bacteria, and so was highly motivated to find good treatment. The main thing you need to search for (easier in Kindle!) is the brand of probiotics that she recommends. Then, of course, you need to order it in sufficient quantities. My recollection is that you can't find this brand in health food stores in the US. Czechoslovakia is unlikely to be better supplied, but that is a guess. Most likely, you will have to wait more than a day to get a shipment. In this case, I'd go immediately to a health food store and stock up on the highest quality, hightest potency probiotics and prebiotics that you could find. I know much of Europe has recently implement Codex Alimentarius types of restrictions on what EU citizens can buy, without prescription. (I consider such laws Nazi-like.) You really should try to find a doctor knowledgeable about natural treatments (also conventional treatments).
2) Contact Gary Null's office (or have your physician contact him). Search at GaryNull.com. Ask for protocols related to candida. Null has done some amazing work in curing/treating various serious diseases. He has even reversed AIDS in a number of patients, horrible vaccine damage in children (also related to GI tract issues, believe it or not; your physician may want to examine protocols for treating vaccine damaged children) and he has also reversed severe Alzheimer's in one case.
3) Look into Allicin-C, an extremely concentrated form of garlic extract
4) If you can stand it, look into juicing garlic, and drinking the juice. Your family and friends may avoid you, but that comes with the territory. Think of poor Pepe Le Pew. Good heart, bad odor.
5) Be aware that certain natural supplements not well known to the public are potent immune enhancers. E.g., astragalus, a Chinese herb, increases not only the white blood cell count, but also the aggressiveness of these white blood cells in attacking invaders
6) For detoxification, mega-doses of neutralized Vitamin C (Pure vitamin C is acidic.). 20 grams per day, e.g., in divided doses. I think the half life in the blood stream is only about 3 hours. Also, for detoxification, green, chlorophyl containing juices. Wheat grass juice, btw, taken on an empty stomach, has Super Oxide Dismutase, which can survive stomach acids and do lots of great things for you.
7) get a copy of Gary Null's latest edition of "The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing" Alas, the old edition I have does not have references. Even so, I'm sure all, or almost all, the advise is based on peer-reviewed scientific literature.
8) look into medical ozone therapy; I think this is more easily obtained in Europe than in the US
9) See my next post.

reader twistor59 said...

Very sad to hear about your poor health Lubos, but I'm hopeful it will be manageable and won't turn out to be a systemic infection. All the best

reader twistor59 said...

Very sad to hear about your poor health Lubos, but I'm hopeful it will be manageable and won't turn out to be a systemic infection. All the best

reader Josualdo said...

Now that you mention it, in a quick calculation, 90.000 a year in a 280.000.000 population would give an incidence of 32 in 10.000 (3,2 / 1000) a year which would be something. If I retrieved my data right, flu mortality in a year in the US during an epidemic only reaches 49.000.

But hey, I'm widely know for making arithmetic errors, such as my daughter.

reader Dilaton said...

Dear Lumo,

As a student, I "yelled at the toilet bowl" during the whole night before my first exam ... :-/.

Maybe you could test, if your condition allowes it, trying to distract yourself from the bad experience of all these stressful tests and all these worrying things by doing something you enjoy very much, at best with nice people and friends you like, to see if it makes you feel better somehow?
During the very snowy winter 2009/2010 I myself suffered from a quite bad depression, and do you know what helped me ? Cool physics :-D. I dont know why, but for some reason I started to reread my "Out of this world" book with nice pictures of cool physicists ;-), which immediately excited me again, so I started to read the "Elegant Universe", read demystified books, googled in the internet for more information about these awfully cool topics (LQG was among the things I googled, because I did not know it better first :-P), tried to find out what real serious high energy physicists have already found out about the cool things I have read about, and finally found you and TRF and many nice people here :-D

Duh, I hope what I have written is not off the mark :-/.

Anyway, I still strongly hope that you manage to feel better soon and that things will go well for you, whatever the exact reasons for your illness are.

I hope you can take some rest and a bit of sleep tonight

reader Mephisto said...

I tend to agree with you. This whole conditions feels psychosomatic to me and I do have some practical experience with psychosomatic medicine. It could be a depression manifesting by somatic symptoms
I myself had a depression at some point, and it certainly can manifest as fatigue, vague body discomforts, sleeping disorders etc. The psyche is very powerful.

reader metamars said...

From the 2005 edition of 'The Encyclopedia of Natural Healing' by Gary Null, chapter on candida (NOTE: he doesn't say SYSTEMIC candidiasis):

citrus seed extract, kyolic garlic, caprylic acid, berberine, biotin, acidophilus, fiber

(Note: his mention of merely acidophilus is lame compared to the deeper information you can get in "Bacteria for Breakfast")


EFA: 3000 mg of evening primrose, borage, or black currant seed oil daily, in three even doses. OR 1 tablespoon of raw flaxseed oil (keep refrigerated)Vit C: 3-15 g daily, divided into 3 doses; intraveneous Vit C 50 g, 1-3 times per weekB complex (his advice re dosage is poorly written, so I won't repeat it)Chlorophyl: Six 8 oz glasses of juice per day. (Note: he must mean GREEN juices.)Lactoferrin: 300-600 mg daily
HERBSGarlic (no dosage given)Black Walnut Tincture: 30 drops, 3x dailyShark Liver oil: Five capsules with 200 mg of alkyl glycerol. Not recommended if you have thrombocytosis.Oregon grape and German Chamomille: no dosage givenGoldenseal: besides tea, oral supplement 4x/day (presumably, one capsule)Digestive Harmony: this is a Chinese herb; no dosage givenHerbastatin: no dosage givenOregano oil: One capsule on an empty stomach, 3x/day

reader Josualdo said...

Not excluding a physical situation, which requires investigation, I somewhat agree with you from reading what Lubos says. But I wont discuss it further here.

reader Sören F said...

Hi Lubos

A Swedish physician who just read you account, which indeed worried me at first too, is NOT impressed, so I was encouraged! My English here is part translation without myself being in the medical field as such:

According to him, your symptoms (urinary tract, tiredness and taste in mouth) would not be enough to warrant comparison with a condition affecting someone with immunodeficiency (such as from AIDS or cell toxic treatment). The mortality rate mentioned would pertain to truly sick patients with immunodeficiency.

reader metamars said...

Hmmm. It seems that the author of "Bacteria for Breakfast" will give personalized health guidance, but for a price. See

reader Yuri said...

Be healthy
You will survive

reader Adrian said...

I'm sorry to hear about this.

My brother suffered a mild version of this 20 years and he recovered.

If you need help with medical expenses, you have my email address. :-)

reader Marko said...

Hello Lubos,

First I'd like to wish you all the best in recovering from whatever you have. From the comments of others apparently competent people I'd say you most likely do not have what you think you do.

I like to read your blog. It is insightful, funny etc. even though I can't follow most of your physics stuff. But some time ago you posted your own analysis of Obama's birth certificate (scanned, OCRed...). Man, that was pathetic! An expert in his field trying to probe something different altogether, having no clue wtf is he talking about. Now it seems to me you venture into it again, only with your health. Lubos, please do not doctor yourself! Let professionals deal with what you have. Remember, they are years of study and experience ahead of you. Find good one and stick with her (see, political correctness)!

Some other guy mentioned depression. This is not to be taken lightly. It creeps up on you (and has nothing to do with willpower). You might start thinking if in this or that outcome life is even worth living etc.

Anyway, I wish you best of luck.

reader biff33 said...

This is very upsetting news.

According to the U.S. CDC, the name of the condition is “invasive candidiasis,” and you need a specialist in infectious diseases.

Enough with the alternative medicine! I do not believe you can not find such a specialist in Pilsen!! :) Please, see a proper expert before deciding you are going to die! You may be getting all of us very upset for nothing! :) Have some consideration! :)


reader A String Theorist. said...

Dear Lubos,

I am not an health expert,
so I cannot presume to express an health opinion.
From a purely logical point of view, though, your post suggests that you may be victim to a form of medical scam, and somehow unable to apply Occam's razor to your current situation.
I'd advice you to peruse some skeptical websites. A quick Google search turned this out

reader AM said...

wow, just wow. at first sorry that you feel sick but this entire Candida information on the web is about 1% as true as the global warming stuff. You should apply your great brain to this publications the same way you apply it to QM doubters and Global warming zealots.
Just one example: the BS about coconut oil has been debunked years ago by actual real scientists showing that most coconut oils are contaminated by preservatives and with clean coconut oil none of the results can be reproduced. The quality of Candida information on the web gets worse from there.
Go to a doctor, try a course of Nystatin (unless you are allergic) and if this doesn't help you have no Candida overgrowth.
If after that you still believe in the internet Candida information I have some Snake oil to sell.

Find a good Doctor and get better soon!

Best, AM

reader AM said...

BTW: the die off syndrome is a myth too. Most of this BS has been started with a book called" The Candida Connection" and it's all BS. Whatever you have may be serious or not but find a good Doc soon and don't waste your time on this Candida stuff.

reader Andy Everett said...

Sorry your not well. Hope you are feeling better soon. Thanks for your blog!

reader Rehbock said...

I have been following your blog for six or so months I had had surgery so had time to amuse myself during my convalescence.
My wife(your age and thus much younger than I) has metastatic breast cancer Fourteen years so far and presently in remission. your symptoms do appear similar to candidas due immune supression during her chemos.
She is fine and I pray you will be too. One of the things you explained was that tipping points in "climate science" were not mathematically founded. From her experience I would conclude that same is likely true for you. You are young and otherwise healthy. Your body will i hope be able to return to balance with little long term consequence as has been true for my wife.
I have not previously felt reason to comment in disagreement with you. I do now disagree with your feeling of doom. I do not like to be wrong and so would not challenge you unless reasonably certain that you are. I feel confident that you shall live long and prosper. I wish you well and will anticipate perhaps some day probably many years from now I shall notice something else you say that merits disagreement.

reader Rae Ann said...

Dear Lubos, I'm so sorry to hear you're ill. I hope you will be well and feeling better soon! I read that you want to avoid the stronger anti-fungal medications, but that might be the best option if the dietary changes don't help enough. Back when my appendix blew they of course put me on massive antibiotics for weeks to prevent peritonitis, but they also put me on fluconazole to prevent a candida (or other fungal) bloom. As I was already feeling very rotten anyway, any bad side effects of the antifungals just blended in with all the others. Please take good care of yourself! I'm certain you will survive!

reader misc said...

Might I recommend a book, Einstein and the Poet, which shows unequivocally that Einstein was not an atheist and was actually very religious.


reader Indur M. Goklany said...

Dear Lubos,

I hope your self-diagnosis is wrong, and Mephisto and Josualdo, etc., are correct. Heretofore, I had never heard of Candida. I'll look it up.

Remember though, as bright as you are, you don't have a comparative advantage when it comes to matters related to health and medicine. So seek good medical advice.

Regardless, I wish you well, and very much hope to see you recover. I fervently hope to read of your improvement on your blog. The blogosphere, and the science blogosphere in particular, will be a lot diminished without you.

And be an optimist!!!

Best regards,

reader The PeSla said...

This strikes me as not a very hard problem to solve in view of the breakthroughs in our understanding the deeper levels of genetics. In view also of the amount of wisdom we find in modern physic like the string theories.

I will keep watch for any developments- but I remain optimistic for this generation.

We are not machines or at worst self repairing machines.

reader andy said...

Dear Dr. Motl,
I'm the newbie layman to your site but happen to be a physician. A lot of the statements in your post are pretty iffy (some of the research you refer to has been done, and the results are largely negative - you seem to have found some pretty fringey sites). Diflucan or Itraconazole are both used long term for systemic fungal infections, and there are several new highly effective anti-candidal iv drugs. If fungus really were the problem, you might have an undiagnosed immune disorder (not HIV). This'll probably sound biased, but if you have any contacts left at Harvard, Stanford, or Princeton, I'd try to get over to one of their university hospitals - they are quite good (I'm willing to bet Mass Gen would both correctly diagnose and cure you). Just so you know, I can come up with at least 10 alternative diagnoses just based on your description, but of course without exams or labs I'd just be guessing. Good luck though, I sure do love this blog.

reader Andy said...

Some added points -
Mephisto is correct in his responses, and I'd just like to add 2 things - 1) thanks to HIV, advanced cancer treatments and transplants, fungal infections are actually well understood and the vast majority are in fact treatable. 2) the purpose of the appendix, for those of you who were taught its a useless vestige, is to help repopulate the gut with its normal flora after a bout of enteritis (not relevant to antibiotic use, but as Mephisto said, yougurt'll fix it almost instantly {in addition, you re-colonize from other people - when you share a drink, eat from the same popcorn tub, kiss a relative or loved one etc...}).

reader Indur M. Goklany said...

Dear Lubos,

I hope your self-diagnosis is wrong and Mephisto and Josualdo, etc., are correct. Heretofore, I had never heard of Candida. I'll look it up.

Remember though, bright as you are, you have no comparative advantage in matters related to health and medicine. So seek the best medical advice you can get.

I wish you well and hope you recover from whatever it is that ails you. The blogosphere, especially the science blogosphere, will be a lot diminished without you.

So get well and stay an optimist!!!

Best regards,

reader Andy said...

Just in case anyone thinks I was blowing smoke with the alternative diagnoses, here are just a few (in no order, and I'm not listing at all with regard to probability): hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, tuberculosis, undetected neoplasm (cancer), hypo/hyper parathyroidism, immune deficiency, hepatitis C, HIV (both of these with a blood transfusion history), brucellosis, auto-immune disease of any kind, inflammatory bowel disease (either kind), lyme disease, heavy metal poisoning, auto-immune hepatitis, and that's just for starters. Please go see a real doctor, Dr. Motl.

reader cynholt said...

I don't have access to your medical records, Lubos, nor am I able to
perform a physical exam on you, so it would rather reckless and
irresponsible of me to make a firm diagnosis and offer a treatment plan
for you. But I feel pretty confident that your yeast infection isn't
systemic. If the Candida overgrowth is confined to your skin or the
mucous membranes of your mouth and gut, which I suspect that it is,
given that your sweet-sensing taste buds are significantly altered,
which is typical among those who have oral candidiasis, it can be
treated fairly easily and effectively with an oral antifungal agent like
fluconazole (Diflucan) along with a diet free of sugary additives and
bleached wheat flour.

But if the Candida has gotten into your bloodstream, or worse, has
passed through your blood-brain barrier, at the very least you would be
spiking high temps sporadically throughout the day, assume you don't
have a severely weakened immune system secondary to either being on
chemotherapy or some other immuno-suppressive therapy to treat cancer or
an autoimmune disease such as lupus or scleroderma, or having some sort
of disease that impairs your immune system such as HIV AIDS or multiple
myeloma. If that is the case, you'll need to have blood cultures done
with a fungal isolator to determine whether or not Candida is actively
present and growing in your bloodstream. If it is, then you'll need to
be hospitalized ASAP and put on an IV infusion of Amphotericin B for
about six to eight weeks along with around-the-clock IV fluids.

While you're there, you'll need to have a thorough diagnostic workup
to identify and treat the underlying disease or syndrome which
triggered the bout of systemic candidiasis. Not to scare you, but
sometimes this can lead to fungal sepsis, which can be fatal. Keep in
mind, people with a normally functioning immune system, unless you have
had some sort of implantable device placed recently, e.g. a cardiac
pacemaker or an artificial knee or hip replacement, very rarely, if
ever, develop systemic candidiasis.

My advise to you is get plenty of rest and drink plenty of clear,
sugar-free fluids, and stay in touch with your doctor. If you feel your
doctor is giving you the runaround or is not being aggressive enough in
treating your infection, seek medical advise elsewhere. But by all
means, don't panic and don't stress yourself out about this for it will
only weaken your immune system further.

Hope you recover quickly, but please take the time to recover
COMPLETELY! Feel better soon. Sending lots of love and warm wishes your

Most sincerely yours,


reader hroent said...

Though I'm no medical expert, in my experience this kind self-diagnosis is very unreliable, even when supported by what appears to be sound evidence. That's especially true in the case of serious health problems. Try to keep that in mind going forward - I know it's hard.

Certainly be cautious, take whatever precautions are necessary, and especially, follow up thoroughly with medical professionals. But don't panic.

At any rate, this is a good opportunity to thank you for years of insightful, helpful, and often entertaining posts. So thanks, Lubos, and best wishes.

reader The Reluctant Apostate said...

A note on denatured alcohol. Methanol (methyl alcohol) is typically used as the denaturant because it is poisonous and has nearly the same physical and chemical properties as ethanol (ethyl alcohol), making the two very difficult to separate. As such, denatured alcohol is not hit with liquor taxes, as it is a poison, not a beverage.

reader licensedtochill said...

Poor digestion, abdominal wind, loose bowel movements, aching joints, anxiety, poor memory.

Candida Albicans in bowel wall.

That's ALL sugar, not fruit, not honey, not lactose.
It's hell and you'll be there for at least six weeks.

No beer, no yeasted breads.

Golden Seal. Calendula, Pau Darco, Zinc supplements and BIOTIN Bvitamin. (Candida can cause hair loss)

Been there, got better. Good luck friend.

reader Anthony Watts said...

Luboš, I've made your situation a top post on WUWT and asked that responders be mindful of the signal to noise ratio in comments here. I hope it helps. We are all wishing you well, but as you know, wishing doesn't help.

Let me know if I can do anything of substance. You have my email. - Anthony

reader enthalpy said...

HI Lubos

For problems with candida our naturopath prescribed regular probiotics and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of bicarb soda in water 1 hour after meals. This aids in the neutralisation of the stomach acids as they enter the duodenum

reader papertiger0 said...

That was a fucking awesome post.
Cynthia. Made me feel better even if it didn't do anything for Boss.

reader papertiger0 said...

Spitting up octopi doesn't sound psychological to me.

reader Robertson Smithwoods said...

Dear Lubos,
I am a physician. But of course I cannot diagnose you over the internet. The technical term for your symptom of alteration in taste is dysgeusia. The most usual alteration is a metallic taste, not the sweet taste you describe. There is a useful discussion of dysgeusia and its causes on wikipedia.

Because of the many causes, I advise you strongly not to focus on candidiasis as the only or probable cause. You should have a thorough medical workup : this sweet-tasting dysgeusia has been described in hyponatremic conditions (low sodium in the blood). One very serious such cause is small cell lung carcinoma, so do not delay or waste time on quack therapies.

reader Jere Krischel said...

I'd suggest looking into a high-fat, low-carb diet, with a particular emphasis on getting plenty enough fat. Kerrygold grass fed butter is my current staple, 2oz in each up of coffee, for about 8oz total every day. Adequate protein and minimal carbohydrates. You can get your self a blood ketone meter and monitor your progress on it, looking towards >0.5 fasting ketones in the morning. Don't forget to add magnesium if you get cramps, and add salt if you're feeling light headed.

See: http://www.health-truth.com/209.php

reader hunters said...

Dude, with all due respect, get to a physician and do what he/she says. You are very smart, but the saying ' he who is his own lawyer has a fool for counsel applies here regarding self-help. I have a deal with my doctor and my physicist pal: The doctor does not practice physics, and the physicist does not practice medicine.
You are one of the great minds now posting, and I hope you will take this advice in the sincere spirit in which it is offered.

reader Mario Lento said...

It sounds like you have good information about the causes of
candidiosis. Antibacterials and Hg kill good bacteria and make a safe haven for too much candida.
_-_-_- _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-

As an aside:
pH is important, and yes high acid in stomach and high alkaline in gut is what is normal for the human system. This aides in elimination of toxins. Your blood normal need to be slightly alkaline. Your body will steal Ca through a hierarchy of systems to be slightly alkaline. If your saliva is acidic, diet can quickly bring it to normal. Your urine takes longer. If your blood is not slightly alkaline, you are probably close to death as the body will sacrifice all other systems to keep the blood proper.
An aside continued:
Eating high protein foods such as meat require digestion in the gut. This requires a high pH an therefore robs Ca if there is not enough in the diet. Vegetables and even citrus fruits digest in the stomach, and do not require high pH. They tend to elevate your overall pH because they contribute minerals and do not require minerals to digest.

Cabbage is probably the best food for the gut balance, but you need a Naturopath._-_-_- _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-
You CAN get rid of your candidia overgrowth. You need to find a good Naturopath. They understand how diet and certain medications can put you into balance. You will need to supplement (probably with good yeast and good bacteria). I know people who have had it so bad, that their intestines where leaking and they cured it.

If you have not found one, I will do some research for you. I know some.
Mario Lento, MarioLento@gmail.com

reader Mario Lento said...

As I read more of your story, yes Tooth decay is caused by your saliva being too acidic. Eating sugars, and meat with not enough fresh vegetable matter leads to an acidic saliva. You can test your saliva easily with a fish tank pH kit. Stay away from vinegar, alcohol, refined sugars, even refined rice! Stay away from breads too. I've only done a cursory read here, but I think you can nail this thing and MOST medical doctors are in denial about candidiasis because it's not in their teachings!

reader Jason said...

I agree. Luboš, listen to Cynthia.

reader NumCracker said...

She told you to use lemon, not orange for instance. Somehow, citric acid from lemon is benefic for health in this cases while other citric fruits are not! Try 2 of this a day and keep calm, it will help stabilize your bacterial flora: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakult Best wishes dude (hey, BTW today it is 10 years you got your PhD ... congrats man!).

reader Michael Gersh said...

Lumo - as a person who has suffered from fungus flareups all my life, I can tell you that you need not fear the -azoles. They absolutely work, and no little side effects come close to the effect of thinking you are going to die soon. I have had gut candidiasis worse than you write you are experiencing, also thought I was gonna die, and today I still fear antibiotics for that reason. You have gotten some pretty good advice here so far, but I fear that the yogurt is too sweet if the fungi are overflowing in your gut. Starve the bastards out - no sugars, period, and take pharmaceutical anti-fungals as strong as they will prescribe for you. There will be plenty of time for repopulating the gut after the corpses of the fungi are in the sewer.

reader Michael Gersh said...

Lumo - as a person who has suffered from fungus flareups all my life, I can tell you that you need not fear the -azoles. They absolutely work, and no little side effects come close to the effect of thinking you are going to die soon. I have had gut candidiasis worse than you write you are experiencing, also thought I was gonna die, and today I still fear antibiotics for that reason. You have gotten some pretty good advice here so far, but I fear that the yogurt is too sweet if the fungi are overflowing in your gut. Starve the bastards out - no sugars, period, and take pharmaceutical anti-fungals as strong as they will prescribe for you. There will be plenty of time for repopulating the gut after the corpses of the fungi are in the sewer.

reader klausraine said...

Dear Lubos,

The following is a good review of treatment modalities for candidiasis:


As other commenters have pointed out, unless your immune system is
severely compromised, as in late stage AIDS -- and it isn't, obviously
-- there is no reason to believe this kind of infection is life
threatening. You'll be fine.

You should see a good doctor; be prescribed an anti-fungal for 21 days;
improve your diet; stop smoking if you do; and after the infection is
treated, start using this highly effective probiotic:


Side note: a real problem with researching medical information on the
web is that you are naturally lead to learn about the worst case
scenarios for each condition *first*, even though they are almost always
extremely unlikely. But this is how the medical 'net works. This trips
up even the most intelligent people -- sometimes *especially* the most
intelligent people -- who tend to lose sight of probabilities when it
comes to their own health.


reader NumCracker said...

Dear Lubos look first of all for a specialist doctor! So, in addition, I know you are a really rational guy, so maybe you won´t believe me ... but you should at least once ... the following link is serious! So, just fill the data properly and do follow the instructions to prepare yourself for the "surgery". It can not be bad for you in anyway once it will operate at distance, so please, inscribe yourself and have as much faith as you can. I am sure it will help you to recover fast as have helped me before. All the best my brother! http://www.gruposocorrista.com.br/english/paginas_english/paramarcar.html

reader Tuci78 said...

Candida albicans is a tough bug to culture, but before embarking on a regimen of parenteral Amphotericin B (or even fluconazole), I'd like to get specimens. Especially, however, I'd like to get a lot better handle on the presentation.

But your concern about how you'd been blasted with some broad-spectrum antibiotic at the age of four and now you're supposed to be experiencing recent-onset candidiasis?

Jeez, but that is just so much pure bullshit.

Systemic candidiasis (specifically candidemia) does not seem to be manifesting here.

Just to be bulletproof, I'd probably have your ass in the hands of my favorite guy pretty goddam quickly, though, once I'd done some of the basic lab studies (including a serum chemistry panel to which I'd add a plain old serum protein electrophoresis study to see what your immune system is cranking out in the way of globulins).

None of this diagnostic demonology is exactly rocket science.

I know for goddam sure that I'm not going to try putting you on either version of amphotericin B, though I might think seriously about using an azole - not fluconazole, I think, but maybe posaconazole, with which I'm more familiar after having done some work with Schering-Plough when the drug was in development at Kenilworth a dozen years ago.

The echinocandins I'd leave to the infectious diseases guys, I think. They're expensive in a genuinely non-trivial kinda way.

Look, read through the
Medscape article on the subject before you go nuts, okay?

reader Casper said...

Let's hope the condition is not as bad as it seems and is only a temporary situation. Best wishes and get well soon.


reader Carl Brannen said...

First, I agree that self diagnosis using the internet is generally a good idea in your case. Twice modern medicine has saved my life and both times I used the internet to determine what I had before I showed up at the emergency room. (Uh, perhaps I should have simply gone to the emergency room rather spend a few minutes on the net but it made me feel better to be able to 2nd guess the doctors. Some of them are quite stupid. And besides the doctor can only understand your symptoms 2nd hand. You know them 1st hand.)

On the subject of bacteria, I feel that the fillings and youthful antibiotics are unlikely to be a problem. These things are universal in my generation and no problems. Everything that people cough into the air ends up on your eyeballs. From there it goes down little tubes to your esophagus and then stomach. The usual gut bacteria are found all over every surface touched by people who don't completely sterilize their hands in the bathroom (and nobody really does).

Because of this, it's essentially impossible to maintain flora independent of that kept by the people who live near you. Humans are made out of dirt and are largely immune to it. This was known even even when they wrote the bible, hence "ashes to ashes, dirt to dirt".

The likely problem (I'm assuming that your sex life is fairly sedate) is vitamin defficiency. I would guess zinc. Google for double blind studies having to do with zinc and insufficient immune response in otherwise normal individuals. In my case, zinc helped eliminte warts which are a virus but also show up with zinc defficiency. See: http://www.arltma.com/CandidaDoc.htm and similar studies.

There is also a tendency of physicists to not get enough sunlight and end up vitamin D defficient. D defficiency contributes to an increase in illness during the winter.

reader Power Grab said...

My favorite resource to recommend to people who have issues with fungi is Doug Kaufmann's web site:


He would probably be the first one to say that conventional doctors tend to be inadequately informed on the fungal diseases, and diseases with a fungal etiology. So your non-enlightening experience with your doctor is probably very common.

Also, because you strike me as having some mental distress along with the physical issues, and because vitamin D is strongly anti-fungal, I also would recommend this site:


Personally, whenever I feel particularly distressed or negative or depressed, I make it a point to increase my intake of cod liver oil, since the vitamin D is a known mood elevator.

Another thing I like cod liver oil for is a something of a before-bed mouthwash. For several weeks now, I have been taking my half teaspoon of cod liver oil after brushing and flossing my teeth, and right before I drop into bed. I swish it around in my mouth like a mouthwash and then swallow it.

About 10 years ago I learned that animal fat is anti-fungal. I tend to believe that our (American) emphasis on non-fat diets and excessively processed, starchy and/or sugary foods has made our population extremely prone to fungal infections.

You may want to make some notes about things that have changed in your diet or lifestyle since before you began feeling ill. For instance, if I had started reducing my intake or protein and natural fat, or started increasing my intake of starch and sugar, or if I had begun taking a statin medication, I would tend to think there was an association between those changes and my ill feelings.

I'm not a medical professional. These comments are simply coming out of my personal experience and observation. My personal preference is to do as Plato said, to let my food be my medicine and my medicine be my food. I have noticed that anti-fungal foods like coconut oil, castor oil (not really a food, I know!), and various kinds of animal tend to have an effect on some forms of fungi, and not others. I tend to think that vitamin C and apple cider vinegar can also have a positive effect.

When it comes to figuring what to eat, I like to recommend this site:


For general medical questions, I like to recommend this site:


reader speake said...

Start a low carb diet (you must avoid all the fun stuff) and follow it for at least 6weeks. It's much like a diabetic's diet. Carbs, sugars, and yeasts are your enemy. Cut them out

reader Russell Seitz said...

Only the injunction against physicists shooting other physicists prevents me from suggesting you try Viscount Monckton's patented Mystery Cure for all diseases.

Best consult Vaclav Klaus's physician instead,

reader davidgmillsatty said...

Coconut oil is often recommended as an adjunct to the Candida diet
because of its special anti-microbial properties. Coconut oil is rich in
saturated fats, especially medium-chain fatty acids, or MCFAs, from
which everybody, especially Candida sufferers, can benefit. The MCFAs
specifically found in coconut oil are called caprylic acid, capric acid
and lauric acid. The special structure of these fatty acids allows them
to attack the integrity of the membrane of Candida yeast, disrupting and
disintegrating it, which leaves the interior of its cell, called the
cytoplasm, disorganized and shrunken, as explained by researchers of the
University of Iceland responsible for the study. This has been shown to
kill Candida yeast without leading to the development of more resistant
Candida strains observed with other anti-fungal treatments.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/358123-how-does-coconut-oil-kill-candida/#ixzz26EB89TQX

reader Andrew Tan said...

Hope you get well soon!

Possibly helpful:


reader Colonial said...


Please don't scare yourself to death. Seek medical advice and eat properly, but don't go overboard.

If you're having intestinal difficulties, yogurt ("yoghurt") with live bacterial cultures is a good place to start. Start with a tablespoon or two with each meal, and increase the amount slowly, in case you are sensitive to dairy products. If you can tolerate it, increase the quantity gradually, to help reestablish a healthy flora in your digestive tract.

Make sure all dairy products you eat or drink are made with Pasteurized milk. If you're already feeling poorly, there's nothing to be gained by getting tuberculosis, brucellosis (undulant fever), or any of the other wonderful diseases that can be spread by unpasteurized milk.

The "disgusting sweetish taste in [your] mouth" may be nothing more than the initiation of carbohydrate digestion. When you chew starchy food, it's mixed with saliva, which contains an enzyme that breaks starches down into sugars. If you chew on a soda cracker (no sugar at all) for a long time, you'll be able to tell that digestion is happening because the starch is broken down into sugars, leaving a sweet taste in your mouth.

Don't panic over yeasts. The yeast your grandmother used is an entirely different kind. Consuming it while it's alive wouldn't be a good idea, but it's not Candida albicans, either. Most yeasts that are used in cooking are killed by the baking or other process that readies the food for eating.

There is one yeast that can help fight certain infections: Saccharomyces boulardii. It's used to help ward off C. difficile infections, among others. I take a particular brand of it, "Florastor", as a prophylactic since I have to use antibiotics from time to time. The reason it's safe is that it's unable to reproduce in all but the sickest individuals. In the few cases when it does cause a yeast infection, antifungal agents easily eradicate it.

Don't panic over mercury in silver fillings. I have a mouthful of them, and have reached the ripe old age of 66 without becoming desperately sickly, mad as a hatter, or endowed with super powers ("Captain Mercury here to save you, sir!"). The panic over mercury in silver fillings is like the panic over mercury in thimerosal, which is used in tiny amounts to preserve some vaccines. There's no real evidence of damage in either case, but there are lots of hysterical fears.

About denatured alcohol: ethyl alcohol (a.k.a. "grain alcohol") is denatured by addition of methyl alcohol (a.k.a. "wood alcohol"). The intent is to make it poisonous, so the authorities can collect the heavy excise taxes normally imposed on alcoholic beverages. Methyl alcohol is NOT produced as the byproduct of the manufacture of ethyl alcohol. See the Wikipedia article on Methanol (methyl alcohol) at:


If you are feeling very ill and don't believe you're receiving proper care, travel! Go to Paris or London, or come to the U.S. and go the Mayo Clinic. There is good medical care available. The onus is upon you to find it and go to it.

All the best!


reader charles the moderator said...

Candida overgrowth is generally a quack diagnosis of alternative practioners


Just work with your doctors.

reader Crispin in Waterloo said...

Dear Friend
Having had the same or similar thing I can suggest, if it is candida albicans, three things. Nystatin to kill most of it, Bulgarian culture yogurt to assist your flora and get rid of the metal fillings over time.

My health is transformed. Cut out all sugar. When you start to win, the candida changes from a round to a spiky form and attacks especially mucous membranes in a desperate attempt to find sugars - your lips will swell a bit. Carry on. It dies eventually.

Best book is "The Yeast Syndrome".

All the best

reader Sage Basil said...

get well soon

reader Mike Haseler said...

Lubos, when I was young I bought a motorbike. Then the kickstart spring broke and I had to take the engine apart. When I took the engine apart I found all these worn bits. Crank shafts and worn bearings.

Then when I put it back together all I could hear was the noise of possible worn tappets, the rubble of the cam shaft.

Eventually I bought another bike. Eventually had to take it apart ... and then seeing all that could be wrong I suddenly started hearing all these noises and worrying what was wrong.

Third bike. It worked OK, until .... I took it apart and what a dreadful mess inside. Bearings had to be replaced etc. Put it back together and yet again I'd ride along listening to the sound of the engine about to fall apart.

Finally I got another. This time I never took it apart and I rode it happily until someone set fire to it.

Note, I never actually had any problems with the bikes after I put them back together, but seeing what could be wrong caused me to loose confidence in what was actually perfectly good machinery. And paradoxically, the last of those bikes was just as likely to be worn, but I never sat on the bike listening for the sounds because I did not know what I was listening for.

My advice is to listen to your doctor and then ignore every bit of advice you've had here and go and do something fun like riding a bike, or walking or best some exercise something other than sitting on the internet getting more and more paranoid looking to find out what could be wrong with your body.

reader Luboš Motl said...

I ordered Candix from candix.cz which has capryllic acid, probiotic cultures, and vitamin C. A dietary supplement should be here tomorrow.

Too bad I wasn't interested in these things for years. If I knew it 30 years ago, for example, my teeth could have been different, too. ;-) For the professional skeptics: this coconut-oil-teeth relation is discussed in The Telegraph which discusses research by as conventional medical researchers as you can get.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Lord Monckton had told me about his inventions in person in 2009. I wouldn't be shooting at him although, yes, I am skeptical.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Have been doing it for a week so far... The things I eat now are kind of fun. While the restriction of "eating freedom" from 0.1% that I can't eat to 90% that I can't eat is an annoying change, it refocuses me to things I had never tried and some of them are not bad. ;-)

Just 2 months ago, I would explicitly say that sugar was the most problem-free nutrient. That could have been related to my decision to add it much more to food than before.

Today, so far, I can say that sugar is totally replacable. "We are what we eat" is bullshit. One can eat totally different things and be still the same person.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Carl, modern medicine may have saved my life sometime in the past, too, perhaps with a cost.

We are dirt, and so on, I agree with that. Still, there are things that influence the balance of the types of dirts.

The zinc comment is strange especially because I randomly bought a selen-zinc supplement a month before this started. I am not eating any of the stuff most of the time but I have been taking some selenium for a few months and it got randomly replaced by sel-zinc sometime in July. From this anecdotal evidence, it seems that it's not such a great thing for this condition but of course I realize that the evidence is weak.

I've had lots of sunshine.

reader Gene Nemetz said...

Hello Lubos,

There is more help than you know. There is a doctor in Austin, Texas that I am certain can help you. His name is Bob Marshall. If you are able to travel to Texas and see him in person I am almost 100% certain there are things that can be done for you. And you may find much more help than you imagine you would find. Please contact me by my email address and I will give you as much information as I can. It is 12:16a.m. here right now, and I can't call him right now. But I will call him tomorrow and ask him about "systemic Candida overgrowth". I have heard him talk about candida before. And I know he has had success in helping people. Please contact me. I want to help you. It may not even be necessary to fly to Texas to see him. He may be able to give advice on things you could do right there in Pilsen. I don't know at this point. But I will find out all I can and tell it to you.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Michael, for this lesson of experience. If I knew that azoles were deciding about my survival, of course that I would take it. But I don't know about that and taking such things with likely negative consequences is an investment that may turn out to be pretty bad in the longer run. It's just like with the lots of antibiotics etc.

I don't think it's possible to send the sugars strictly to zero and I don't think it's a realistic goal to eliminate this fungal stuff completely. In a healthy person, this yeast stuff makes up 10% of the gut flora, I read, so I can't imagine how having e.g. 3% of sugar in the food could be the decisive factor.

I am still not understanding why the people with the gut candidosis usually can't fully recover so that they could return to some sugar. Can't one just bring the concentration to a reasonable level again and revert the overgrowth, and then just regulate the sugars a little bit? It's probably a naive question with rosy glasses but I really don't know why. The reason must be that those beasts have already created some permanent colonies at some places and are more capable of reoccupying the guts again. Or a different explanation? Doctors?

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, you're surely not the only one who is saying such things. I've heard it from a doctor, too, and others.

There's still one subtle difference. When we talk about physics, it's everyone's physics, not the doctor's physics, When we talk about our personal health, it's still our - e.g. my, layman's - body. Regardless of the expertise, I think that an individual must still have the final say about his or her fate.

These are very subtle things and outcomes depend on many things. But if a doctor tells me that nothing has to be done except for checking for potential cavities with the dentist at the moment when I feel that some urgent changes have to be made in the bulk of the body, my confidence simply isn't too high; I simply wasn't overwhelmed by his expertise.

reader Luboš Motl said...

If you mean ketone bodies, it was exactly the only thing in my urine test that was found above the normal and the doctor mentioned, probably correctly, that it was probably due to the body's making the energy out of reserves.

Thanks for the tips...

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks for your expert voice and the extra candidate worry, with the lungs. But given the high correlation between the sweetish taste and the sugar I eat, which also means that the sweetish taste dramatically decreased over the last week when I was eliminating sugars, doesn't it speak against your hypothesis?

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks a lot, Anthony, it shows your heart but please, return to your business. It wasn't my goal to shake the world...

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks! There are so many people who have apparently had it. Still, I had never heard about it before.

Folllowing your recipes, as far as I can say.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Right, the same here. But there are folks who are removing the poison from it by risky illegal reactions.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks a lot, Cynthia, and I will try to swallow your wisdom more carefully later.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks a lot, Gene. Other readers have convinced me to believe that if related to Candida, it is not systemic but just affecting some organs where it got through different channels...

You're very kind, anyway. Anyway, if I had to be getting the U.S. visas again, I would surely die in the line at the embassy so it's not an option.

reader Luboš Motl said...

My time with the Internet actually decreased.

reader Don said...

Hi Lubos, sorry to hear you are feeling unwell. I have been there! At age 39 I thought I was dying, but at nearly 57 I feel as vital as at 35! I have always enjoyed the spirit and substance of your posts on WUWT so I will try to gratefully contribute a view to your situation. But it is only my opinion so please consider and then follow your heart, which is all any of us can do.

You are the product of myriad generations of wise genetic refinement. Natural selection, intelligent design, call it what you will, it has succeeded and you are proof!

Your ancestors, whose survival made you possible, survived by successfully adapting themselves to their world. This included the ability to frequently choose foods that, through congruence with their biological structure, ensured their vitality. So the food traditions of your ancestors are an important consideration in your present circumstance. Your ancestors, for the most part, probably did not have severely decayed teeth, nor toxic metal prosthetics for them. ( I had mine replaced with nontoxic substitutes.) Your ancestors, for the most part, probably did not eat foods laced with chemicals that attack the KILOGRAMS of beneficial gut flora that ENABLED their survival by eliminating toxins and manufacturing essential nutrients, a fact unkown until recently. Your ancestors, until fairly recently, probably did not obtain most of their caloric intake from denatured and contaminated plant sources.

During the first half of the 20th century an American dentist named Weston A. Price undertook a personal mission to discover why certain cultures had health significantly superior to that of their neighbors. His studies took him around the world and resulted in an amazing book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. In it he describes the varied nutritional practices of these exceptionally healthy cultures, draws conclusions about the commonalities between them, and shows that introduction of the "foods of modern commerce" invariably results in a loss of vitality in a single generation, folllowed by significant and even shocking physical degeneration in subsequent generations. You are most likely also the product of this recent development, as the mercury in your teeth is witness (as was mine).

Modern pharmaceuticals may prove helpful in improving your current health. But your ancestors did not have nor need these. Instead they had traditional food preparation and preservation methods such as lactofermentation (real live-culture sauerkraut, kvass, etc.) and consumption of nutrient-dense animal products such as tallow, lard, pasture-fed muscle and organ meats, bone-broths, and enzymatically-active raw dairy products. Such real and traditional foods are not patentable, nor distributed through exclusive strings-attached channels, nor endorsed nor subsidised by governments. But they proved their worth by producing YOU.

And they may save your life. (For a while, of course. ;-> )

Read the classic book, Heidi, by Johanna Spyri, for a possible clue to your predicament and its solution.

And/or visit the noncommercial, nonprofit website www.westonaprice.org for a collection of mostly well-researched and sometimes inspired articles on human nutrition and its antagonists, including information on toxic metals and Candida overgrowth that is well worth your consideration.

In simplified terms, look to your health and your illness may resolve itself.

Warmest regards and best wishes,

reader Smoking Frog said...

For whatever it's worth (very little), I was skeptical even before I read the comments. I'd be willing to bet money that you'll be OK. I don't mean that you should ignore it or omit to seek medical attention, but your "memo" sounded to me as though you had gotten carried away with an idea. I feel bad about saying so, in case I'm wrong.

I have *almost* never heard of systemic Candida, but I had happened to read about it 2-3 times many years ago, in articles about AIDS.

reader the guy from rhinoceros said...

Dear Lubos, I sincerely hope that you are celebrating April Fool's Day late with your readership. Your symptoms don't ring true with me. I actually had serious and pervasive fungal infections when I was about your age. I experienced the onset of asthma at age 42. Out of my ignorance and my physicians' indifference, I didn't start immunotherapy (allergy injections) for more than a year, during which time I became sensitized to everything else in the air - pollen, fragrances, smoke - that I encountered. As my asthma worsened, I was prescribed increased dosages of more and more powerful inhaled steroids. The consequence was my mouth, throat, sinuses, and lungs eventually became infected with candida. My tongue and the back of my mouth were coated with a thick greenish slime. I was constantly coughing up green, yellow, and pink mucus from my lungs. Every breath hurt. My nasal passages itched constantly and my throat ached. I could not sleep for more than thirty minutes at a time due to coughing fits. It took a couple of years to clear the sinus infection, but I did eventually recover completely after I discontinued use of the steroids. So don't give up hope. It might be helpful if you asked God to assist you with His Healing Grace. I pray that you do recover fully from whatever it is that ails you. Reading your blog has been great fun and very informative, and not just about physics and politics. After I started following your blog, I am constantly impressed at how my intellect is completely inadequate for thinking quantum mechanics, because it seems to me that the way that the mind of a theoretical physicist works is so different from the ways that I learned to think. So reading your blog is always a novel, amazing, even thrilling, learning experience for me. I look forwards to the experience every evening. So this fan of yours would deeply miss reading your thoughts and discourses. So hang in there and get well please!

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Smoking Frog, the readers have convinced me to believe it's not necessarily "systemic"; it just affects some organs. Maybe.

From my viewpoint, it's totally OK for you to say that you think I got carried away with an idea even if the topic is sensitive.

reader Susan Solomon said...

I am a doctor but not a medical doctor. However, my diagnosis would be acute hypochondria compounded by chronic denialism and nascent drama queenism. Prognosis: Negative! But by all means get help -- and then get bent. Sissy boy.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Just to be sure, an e-mail test does confirm this is "the" Susan Solomon of the IPCC.

Thanks for your diagnosis, anyway.

reader Josualdo said...

As has already been mentioned, that test is useless.

reader Josualdo said...

Precisely. If you want to state it's Candida, then you *have to* demonstrate it is there. All else is speculation.

reader Josualdo said...

Axillary temperature is skin temperature. Yet you cannot possibly have 35,8 ºC. Measure oral (or rectal) temperature. Remember that reference limits vary with where you measure temperature:

Orally, only 20-30 minutes after anything by mouth and more than 1~2 h after significant exercise. Write it down so that you have no doubts later. Take it as many times as you want, just don't get obsessive. About half an hour after waking and at about 18 h ~20 h should be enough. Remember that the feeling of fever or high temperature is subjective and doesn't imply that an objetive high temp exists. You're doing quite an amount of exercise for a sick man.But get yourself to do some tests, please! You can't stay at the guessing, speculating, hearsay and trial-and-error stage. Even a simple white blood cell count is useful to start with.

reader Lou said...

Vitamin D deficiency is very common which everybody is apparently not aware of. If you can find it, take 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 supplement a day for several months then maintain at 5,000 IU a day. No difference than treating vitamin D deficiency. I'm just saving you a tons of money that way. It is pretty much universal anti-fungal, anti-bacteria, anti-viral, etc for the most part. You'd have to visit Vitamin D Council website for much more information on how it works on your body. Vitamin D is much more important than most people realize.

reader papertiger0 said...

Just as pleasant in an informal setting, as I imagined she would be.

reader Josualdo said...

If you suppress sugars intake long enough, you will start to "burn" protein and fat, which produce ketones.

reader Shannon said...

I think we'd all like it if she were right ;-)

reader cementafriend said...

Lubos, I am no medical expert but as someone mentioned above Candida is a fungus. I know a young lady see http://www.scu.edu.au/marine-ecology/index.php/15/ who extracted a substance from mollusc's which worked better than any anti-biotic and the results on Candida were spectacular. Others are researching synthetic products of the main ingredients of the extract.
The first paper in the list for 2011 mentions homeopathic remedies. Not sure if these are now available but you can contact her. I know she will respond.

reader Josualdo said...

Find yourself the overwhelming one. You owe it to yourself. When it comes to treating yourself, you're utterly incompetent.

reader Dilaton said...

Dear Lumo, please dont worry about "shaking the world" ;-).

It is good to see that you have so many friends all over the world who want to help and encourage you. And this is exactly what you deserve and nothing else !

We are all worried about you and we want to help you get through whatever afflicts you ...

Please try to get clarification what it is, but dont forged to do things you like and enjoy that help you to relax a bit and feel better.

reader Bob Johnston said...

Feeling lousy is part of the process in going to a low carb diet, something I wholeheartedly recommend (and do myself). What occurs is that when you eat carbs, your body (particularly the brain) becomes used to burning glucose for fuel. When you go low carb you're cutting off that particular source of fuel and your body and brain must now adapt to burning ketones and fat for fuel. During this adaptation process you will feel lousy; don't worry, it's part of the process and once you've adapted you'll feel amazing.

As for the Candida, this is also part and parcel with eating a high carb diet. This bacteria thrives on sugar (and other digestible carbs); so much so that it displaces your good gut flora. Cutting carbs is a great way to get this under control.You may also want to supplement with probiotics.

Don't be afraid of low carb. This is actually how humans evolved to eat (high fat, low carb) simply because there weren't a lot of carbs available until we messed things up by cultivating grains 10,000 years ago. I predict you'll start feeling much better very soon (and you'll lose weight, improve your lipid profile and increase your energy levels as well).

reader Sera said...

Chiefio did a post on something like this...


reader Dilaton said...

Dear Lumo, please whatever it turns out to be you are never never never a "paranoid" idiot.

Getting worried about something too much happens to everybody at times, you righly so said to me too at certain occasions that interpret too much into things etc ;-)

If smoking frog finally turns out to be right you should be happy and cheerful without thinking anything bad about yourself ;-)

reader Shannon said...

Dilaton, you're right... I wonder if Lubos has ever taken any real holidays since starting TRF... (Research shows that frequent short breaks -3 days- are more effective than long holidays)

reader PlatoHagel said...

Sorry to hear about your health issues Lubos.

It seems it always is a time of reflection as to the way one done things. That is not such a bad thing when you want to take care of your health.

To much of good thing sometimes can have an accumulative effect and then it is not so good for you anymore. So you have to make adjustments. One's body it seems always lets you know.

All the best to you.

reader Luboš Motl said...

That's very interesting...

reader ozspeaksup said...

strewth! any woman whos had candida from antibiotics will tell you you get mild fevers urinary discomfort and the mouth plaque.,
and yeah you feel like crap on toast:-)
not meaning to be cruel, but hell mate just go to the doc and get some Fungilin lozenges, and suck them.
save the bucks on blood tests etc, a simple look in your mouth and maybe a urine sample tested in front of you is plenty.
and Home brew beer or heavy yeast foods can easily start a dose up.- lay off it.
as well as your love life being a probably cause, depending on who you know:-)
and Bi carb soda in water a teaspoon twice a day would probably help too.Far cheaper than commercial Ural sachets and the same damn thing minus the flavouring.or use ENO or whatever Alkaseltzer stuff at the grocers.
as for mercury fillings being silver? no they are not. when you can, if you can, get em replaced with resin ones. not great either, but better..
and eating yoghurt proper stuff not commercial crud, would help your gut.
your NOT dying..you have a version of"man flu"
ie men always think theyre dying when theyre off colour:-)

reader Dilaton said...

Are you saying this to help Lumo ... :-/?

Even though I've heard or read that people who have gone "off base" somehow have to be "brought back to reaIity" in certain cases by from the view of an outsider some kind of brutal looking methods in order to help them, I somehow doubt that this is your intention here ...

Your comment looks way too much like a zynic insult or attack you've liked to bring up since a long time ago ...

And I dont think that what I alluded to is the "treatment" Lumo needs either !

If I'm wrong and your intentions are friendly I apologize, otherwise I'll stick with my opinion about your motivation and the picture I've just obtained about you from this comment ... :-)

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks a lot for your encouragement! I was contacted by friends and people whom I know better by more private channels and e-mails and it's kind of a lot.

I am extremely grateful for that. Still, I know that I am not feeling lousy (just) because a lack of emotional warmth or excess of stress that I experienced many times including recently Right now I don't feel physically strong enough for a vacation.

reader ozspeaksup said...

oh ps re the bit you mention about drinking pure alcohol on top of wood or ethyl or whatever crud they already drank?
boy thats SOOOO dumb.
water and more water, and get to hospital.
Lubos, youre a walking candidate for a Darwin award.!

reader Luboš Motl said...

Hi, drinking good-quality ethanol drinks as the first aid after methanol poisoning is what all the Czech media quote as the country's best experts' recommendation. See e.g.


You may be given dozens of fresh articles with the same message.

I choose to believe all of them rather than an unknown angry commenter, especially because the first-aid makes a lot of sense. It just dilutes the bad stuff. Alcohol always wins but with lots of ethanol more than methanol, ethanol wins a lot of places that would otherwise be taken by methanol.

reader Luboš Motl said...

212 articles saying the same thing about the ethanol as the first-aid after methanol poisoning:


One always learns that a tolerable alcohol may still contain up to 0.05% of methanol. It's in no way "totally absent". The concentration matters.

reader HK said...

While I have no expertise on your medical condition and have to just resort to praying for you, I have some dietary advice that might make you feel a bit less lousy.

I noticed you mentioned changing your diet very quickly.

There is a dietary trend in Finland that cuts out most carbs and increases fat intake significantly. I have been on the Low-carb-high-fat (LCHF) diet for years and have introduced it to several other people.

Everyone I know that has switched from "normal", high carb-low fat diet to LCHF too quickly have suffered from these symptoms:

- pounding heart
- loss of strength
- confusion
- depression, even panic
- generally just feeling like you are going to die

This is because your body is used to one type of food and it takes a while for it to align itself to another type of food. This phase causes the body to dump lots of liquid and with that leaves a lot of important minerals. In the end your body is left hopelessly lacking in vital minerals.

Drinking water with added sea salt (unpurified atlantic sea salt with all the minerals still included) might make you feel a bit better. As long as the salt tastes good you are probably lacking something it contains. Eating some magnesium and calcium supplements are not going to hurt.

This isn't much but I hope it provides some comfort while you fight off the disease.

reader Eugene S said...

I regret I have but one downvote to give to Dr. Solomon...

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, I will temporarily believe your explanation of the lost energy and other symptoms even though I kind of know that it was starting before I switched to the very-low-sugar diet...

reader Espen said...

Hi! I hope you don't get me wrong, but I was really surprised to see that a critical mind like you jumping so fast on the Candida bandwagon. I'm not a doctor, but there are so many conditions that could be consistent with your symptoms. I would especially like to mention hypothyroidism - have you considered that? It's not uncommon for inland dwellers like you, if you don't take care and eat iodine-enriched salt.
Please don't get too attached to the Candida theory, but explore other possibilities, and go to several doctors if you don't trust the judgement of your current doctor. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

reader Dilaton said...

Huh Eugene,

I do not see your downvote ... ?
The only one there so far is from me ;-P

reader Eugene S said...

That's because Disqus is conspiring against ,me ;)

Trying again now...

reader mad GP said...

I am very concerned from your account that neither you, nor your doctors have practised medicine correctly here.

You should not fixate on Candida. You should concentrate on describing your symptoms, particularly those of recent onset that concern you, to a good doctor. That doctor should ask directed questions to obtain a decent medical history, then do a thorough physical exam. As far as investigations go, you would be immunosuppressed and this would show in pathology tests if it was systemic candida. But you may well need brain and sinus MRI/ ct as well as assessment by a dentist. There are many other tests you need too (including virology/ infectious disease tests).

Once you find a doctor you trust, you should be guided by their advice about differential diagnosis, investigations, management and referral.

In my clinical practice, I have one unhappy patient who believes she has systemic candida who has seen multiple specialists, had multiple investigations and second opinions and remains dissatisfied at all medical explanations for her symptoms. Hers is a very unhappy existence. I hope you are not going down the same path.

I hope you get well soon.

reader Dilaton said...

Aah, now I see it ... :-)

I've noted that when reading TRF on my smart phone a have to be very careful with the votes. Maybe my fingers are too clumsy but it is very easy to accidentally press the wrong button leading to the exactly contrary effects one intends to ...

But which jerks did UPVOTE Dr. Solomoms comments :-(0) ...?!

I just hope this happened only because they were using smart phones too ..

reader Tony Mach said...

Ahoi Lubos,

Candida overgrowth is BS – if your doctor/practitioner told you that you have this, you should change your doctor. While I don't think another doctor will be much better, anybody handing out Candida overgrowth as a diagnosis is quack.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Could you please tell me what's wrong with the following 1,000 papers in the technical literature about it?


Thanks. There is always a nonzero chance you are right but please be ready that I won't believe your "candida overgrowth doesn't even exist" before you provide me with some comparable evidence.

reader Tony Mach said...

"Four weeks ago, I noticed some discomfort in the urinary tract and some tiredness."

How was this "discomfort"? Diffuse or more focal? Like pressure, or more like pain? The entire day/night, or during certain situations (e.g. stress)? One sided, or on both sides? On the front, or on the back? How high was it located?

Forget for a moment all supposed mechanisms and explanations you read, and try to nail down the symptoms.

And what were the "cosmetic" problems you had before? Weight gain? Acne? What other symptoms or health problems did you have before that? How is you cold tolerance? How often do you need to pee? Do you have unusual dark skin? How is your exercise tolerance? You need to go through your history and collect a more comprehensive history. Has anything else changed in the last year? Any health issues that got slightly worse over the last months?

reader Tony Mach said...

Candida overgrowth is being handed out be "alternative" practitioners without good evidence. Everything I read from you smells like you have been counseled by such an doctor. There may be a genuine condition called "candida overgrowth", but the people I have read from on the internet diagnose everything as Candida overgrowth.

And the problem is that these alternative types use medically sounding things (like adrenal fatigue, or immune deficiency, or candida overgrowth) to seem science – kind of like the people who talk about an "electric universe" or "intelligent design" use sciency sounding words.

Go to another doctor. A doctor qualified in infections or the immune system. Get a second opinion. Isn't there a university hospital were you are, with an department for infectious diseases? If so, go there, and if they diagnose you with candida overgrowth, then I will stand corrected.

But please, don't take this whole candida thing as the only possible explanation.

reader Tony Mach said...

I have switched two years ago from a "regular" European diet to Atkins. And while some of my health problems improved markedly and rather fast, I had a few problems during the transition.

What you want to describe and what we read may not be the same :-) You should be careful to note what symptom came when and what is the cause.
BTW, now I am on a Paleo/Primal diet and can only highly recommend it.

reader Shannon said...

Why is the other doctor in Pilsen on f---ing holidays for 3 weeks ?... Lubos why don't you go to the emergency in Pilsen hospital ? Ask if you can get a X-ray of your gut. If you need help financially raise your hand, I'm sure a lot of people would be happy to help you.

reader Bob Johnston said...

This is good advice that I forgot to mention in my post last night. Your salt levels will get messed up when going low carb for a couple of reasons. The first is that being low carb causes your kidneys to dump salt (and water as well) and second is that you'll find yourself eating less pre-prepared foods that typically contain a lot of salt and cooking your own out of fresh ingredients that won't have the added salt.

I typically supplement with 3 grams of salt a day, if I don't my athletic performance (mountain biking) is terrible.

reader TGMCCOY said...

sound like you are going in the right direction. I had problems when I weighed 260 lbs and was borderline diabetic. now 170 lbs. got my fight phyiscal back and
feel a whole world better Atkins and south beach worked. Lay off the firewater for sure. (Part Cherokee
here. seem to have that metabolisum.) Hang it there it takes time....

reader Bob Johnston said...

What I find interesting is that as CAGW skeptics we all know that the science behind CAGW is awful. Well the science behind nutrition is either on par with climate science or even worse.

Nutrition is dominated by dogma, very little of the conventional wisdom is based upon proper science. Cholesterol and saturated fat have both been vilified for years - they are the nutritional equivalent to climatology's CO2. There's even an equivalent to Michael Mann/MBH98 in nutrition and that's Ancel Keys and his Seven Countries Studies. The science behind Key's study was just as flimsy as Mann's. Here's a decent article by Gary Taubes from a few years back that explains things pretty well.


reader Tony Mach said...

In my experience, psychosomatic explanations are as bogus as the candida overgrowth explanation.

reader anna v said...

Dear Lubos

I hope this is a false alarm and that you will be able to manage your condition and live for many more combative years and see strings justified by LHC :) ..

If you were in Greece I would send you to my homeopathic doctor. I know Gordon and many others consider this as crank medicine but as an experimentalist I have tried it and find it works for me. I have managed to reach 72 with one homeopathy pill a day, while many of my friends take handfuls of pills and are in worse condition.

There seems to be homeopathy treatments by MDs in the czech republic http://www.wholehealthnow.com/homeopathy_pro/czech_republic.html .

reader misc said...

As I read more of the difficulties you are having I believe your diagnosis is incorrect. I can not give you medical advice, so don't heed it, but you should check for proper thyroid functioning, especially since your temperature is out of whack. There are places that can help, but I would definitely get a second opinion.


Fortunately this condition can be treated,


But there is an important point about seriousness.

"Patients might not take the treatment seriously, or may not have the ability to do the treatment carefully"

Whatever you do, make sure that you take it serious.

reader Susan Solomon said...

Consider it payback for that obscene pornographic remark you made about my breasts on WUWT. Obviously, I am not the "Susan" in Rajendra's book.

Listen asshat, if you're really concerned about humanity then stop spreading denialist disinformation and quack medical advice on the Internet. Because the Earth is burning a heck of a lot hotter than your little yeast infection and it's going to take a lot more than yogurt to cure it.

reader FreddyB said...

Have you ever been checked for celiac disease or gluten intolerance? You list several associated problems and celiac is very common (1/133) and gluten intolerance is even more so. Brain fog, dental problems, unusual saliva, UTIs, skin problems, abdominal pain and bloating are all common in celiac disease.

reader Tony Mach said...

If the theory doesn't fit the real life data, throw out the theory.

After getting some improvements in my health two years ago with a changed diet, I got myself convinced that the rest of the health problems, that I still have, must be caused by Chlamydophila pneumoniae (a real life infection some people actually have, same as candida). I even had some (mildy) elevated igG anti-bodies.

So what did I do? I threw everything against this perceived "foe" Ch. pneumoniae:
N-acetylcysteine ("NAC") and Vitamin D in high-doses, anti-viral OTC herbal medications. There were "side-effect" described as "die-off reactions", not to worry.

And what can I say? There were side-effect and I seriously harmed my body – it took me a year to reach pre-"treatment" health levels. And this without *any* improvement of my condition.

So I warn you to not believe anything, unless you have good evidence you actually have the condition you think you have. Do not go down the road I have gone down.

There are a lot of diseases out there with overlapping symptoms, and any disease can have a non-typical presentation due to a thousand environmental and genetic reasons.

reader Tony Mach said...

In my experience, bodily distress is a sign of bodily problems. Don't let anybody tell you that it is "psychosomatic" or "somatoform" or somesuch – and don't tell yourself that you might be a hypochondriac.

At the same time, don't expect that you will find out soon what you have. Most patients with chronic diseases take about 2 years on average from when they go to their doctor (because of initial worsening of symptoms) until they get a diagnosis – if they get a diagnosis, that is. And if they get a diagnosis, it may not be the correct one. Medical science is not nuclear physics, despite the advances of the last decades. Heck, they have just recently found auto-antibodies in MS! After how many decades of research?

And even the *known* "rare" diseases are a lot more numerous than most doctors think:

reader alf said...

"I have been taking some selenium" Have you considered selenium poisoning?

reader Tony Mach said...

Elevated ketone bodies is a transitional phenomen when lowering the intake of glucose/starch (both what Atkins has written, and what I have experienced). It will pass.

As to the diet: *Any* diet that deviates from the norm is usually good: High-fat/low-carb (e.g. Atkins, Wolfgang Lutz or Gary Taubes), or Paleo/Primal (e.g. Mark Sisson or Terry Wahls) should be helpful. I personally think Paleo/Primal is the best, your milage may vary.

Be warned though: Changing your diet fast can be bad for your body. And going very low-carb can be bad as well.

From my personal experience: Avoid dairy, grains and vegetable oil. Avoid industrial and heavily processed food. Eat fresh or freshly prepared food. Eat to taste. Use sea-salt.