Whenever I get an idea, I’m both excited and impatient to start immediately. But candida cleansing isn’t a goal to hit the ground running with right away. I mentioned earlier that I planned out five days before my cleanse to have time to research and prepare. Understanding not only when one should do a cleanse, but also looking for good and bad pockets of time to go through with a cleanse are important to ensure success.
When You Should Cleanse
Earlier in Step 1: Preparation, I covered common signs and symptoms associated with candida overgrowth. Some people have these signs for years, while others (like myself) will notice a gradual buildup of symptoms over a relatively short period of time.
To recap, signs of overgrowth include carbohydrate and sugar cravings, low mood, brain fog, poor digestion and increased headaches, migraines, and allergies, along with the usual signs, such as recurring thrush and vaginal infections. Life factors can lead to yeast overgrowth, including birth control pills, antibiotics, secondhand smoke, alcohol, and high sugar consumption. My favorite culprit? Stress.
When signs and lifestyle factors align, it’s time to consider a candida cleanse. Some people find that treating an acute infection, such as ringworm, once is enough to regulate healthy fungi levels in the body. I wasn’t so fortunate, instead giving into my cravings for alcohol with a second glass of wine nightly, needing ladyfingers with tea, being under more duress, and experiencing the signs of excess yeast through heightened food allergies and migraines.
Not sure you have excessive candida? You can always try a saliva test. For six days, when you first wake up, fill up a glass halfway with room temp water. Collect a bit of saliva, about 1tsp worth, in your mouth and spit it out into the glass before you consume anything (even water), or brush your teeth. Check on the saliva every 15 minutes, for a total of 45 minutes. If your spit sinks to the bottom or develops spidery legs, there’s a good indication that you have candida overgrowth.
Personally, I failed at the saliva test because mornings are the worst time for me to accomplish anything with timing and memory (I’m lucky I can manage my alarm). Instead, I just evaluated myself with the helpful and detailed quiz at http://www.yeastinfection.org/yeast-infection-evaluation-test/ .
When NOT to Cleanse
While you may as be eager to launch into a cleanse as I was, there are good and poor times to start a yeast cleanse. Your body will be working hard, and most people feel exhausted while fighting off yeast and cravings. My general guideline is don’t cleanse when you’re already tired (this can be tricky as fatigue is another sign of candida overgrowth, but if you’re just going through a phase of fatigue, go ahead and ride it out.) Here are some more specific guidelines to know when to wait on a cleanse.
- While taking Antibiotics: Yes, antibiotics are a huge cause for yeast overgrowth, but don’t start cleansing while you’re still on your medication; this can really wear your body down. You need probiotics to fight yeast, and antibiotics are killing those off. Wait at least two weeks, if not a month, before starting a candida cleanse after taking antibiotics. In the meantime, take probiotics to rebuild healthy intestinal flora so that when you are ready to cleanse, your gut is powered up to help you. You can even get a head start with probiotics like canxidarestore that are focused on clearing up excess fungi in your system.
- During High Levels of Stress: If you have a project due in a week, a presentation to give, or a sick family you’ve been taking care of, hold off on tiring your body out more. Candida takes effort to clear out, and if your body is already fatigued or anxious, you’d be putting excessive strain on it by going on a cleanse. Wait for a relatively easy-going week, or at least a time when you may be able to take an extra day off to rest. If your job is always high-pressure, consider getting started on supplements to help regulate stress and anxiety, cortisol levels, and even improve sleep. Natural supplements can take time to reap the full benefits of, so allow 1-2 months before embarking on a cleanse if you’re working to reduce stress, first.
- Other Health Concerns: Those with diabetes, heart conditions, or other health concerns may not want to partake in a full cleanse, or at least try a light 3 day cleanse to see how the body reacts. You can always incorporate more veggies and gluten-free grains into your diet if you have concerns and aren’t sure about going through with a full cleanse.
When to Cleanse
Evaluate when you can best get away without going to social gatherings (that often involve food you won’t be able to have), will have a lull in work, and can afford a weekend to sit around in a daze during the third and fourth day of your cleanse. If you can take any time off, or work shorter hours, during your cleanse, all the better. The next section will be devoted on what to expect during a cleanse, and you’ll find out (as I did, sometimes the hard way) why needing to rest is essential.
Click here to read Step 4 – What To Expect From The Cleanse