Fatigue, muscle aches, forgetful? Candida Overgrowth and a Helpful Diet




Hello this is Dr. Jeffrey Mark. Do you have fatigue, muscle aches or forgetfulness? You might think that these are separate symptoms in and of themselves with different causes, but these can be part of a yeast overgrowth or candida overgrowth syndrome. It’s been difficult in the past to make a diagnosis or to determine whether yeast or candida has overgrown and caused the symptoms and a host of other symptoms as well. And that’s because traditional blood tests , stool tests, or even urine tests may not be as accurate and reliable, although there are other specialized tests now available. Recently, we’ve updated the symptom questionnaire which has been shown to be helpful in suggesting this diagnosis of yeast or candida overgrowth. We’ve also updated a helpful anti Candida diet as well. So if you’ve experienced any of these symptoms listed in this second part of the questionnaire:

Questionaire Part 1


  1. Fatigue or lethargy
  2. Feeling of being “drained”
  3. Poor memory
  4. Depression
  5. Feeling “spacey” or “unreal”
  6. Inability to make decisions
  7. Numbness, burning, or tingling
  8. Muscle aches or weakness
  9. Pain and/or swelling in joints
  10. Abdominal pain
  11. Constipation
  12. Diarrhea
  13. Bloating, belching, or intestinal gas
  14. Troublesome vaginal burning, itching, or discharge
  15. Persistent vaginal burning or itching
  16. Prostatitis
  17. Impotence
  18. Loss of sexual desire or feeling
  19. Endometriosis or infertility
  20. Cramps and/or other menstrual irregularities
  21. Premenstrual tension
  22. Attacks of anxiety or crying
  23. Cold hands or feet and/or chilliness
  24. Shaking or irritable when hungry



You can assign points and add up the totals as to how many symptoms that you have in this list. The scoring system, from the list of symptoms from the previous page is as follows. You get a point score of three for occasional mild symptoms, you get a point of six for frequent or moderate symptoms and a point score of nine for very frequent, very severe or disabling symptoms.



Questionaire Scoring


For each of your symptoms, score your experience based on the point guide provided. Add up the total score and record itat the end of this section.

Point score guide:

3 = Occasional and/or mild

6 = Frequent and/or moderately severe

9 = Very frequent and/or very severe or disabling


The first part of the questionnaire has fourteen very specific questions that have fairly high correlation. These include previous antibiotics, specifically tetracycline, any use of corticosteroids or steroids, and certain behavioral patterns such as craving sugar quality beverages. All these things are factors in this questionnaire. And the point system is on the right that you can see in terms of how each question is weighted, suggesting candida overgrowth.


Questionaire Part 2


1 . Have you taken tetracyclines (Sumycin®, Panmycin®, Vibramycin®, Minocin®, etc.) or other antibiotics
for acne for one month or longer?
2. Have you, at any time in your life, taken other “broad-spectrum” antibiotics for respiratory, urinary, or
other infections (for two months or longer, or in shorter courses four or more times in one year)*?
3. Have you taken a broad-spectrum antibiotic drug, even a single course?
4. Have you, at any time in your life, been bothered by persistent prostatitis, vaginitis, or other problems
affecting your reproductive organs?
5. Have you been pregnant? One time?  Two or more times?
6. Have you taken birth control pills? For six months to two years?  For more than two years?
7. Have you taken prednisone, decadron, or other cortisone-like drugs? For two weeks or less?
For more than two weeks?
8. Does exposure to perfumes, insecticides, fabric shop odors, and other chemicals provoke symptoms? Mild symptoms?
Moderate to severe symptoms?
9. Are your symptoms worse on damp, muggy days or in moldy places?
1 0. Have you had athlete’s foot, ringworm, “jock itch,” or other
chronic fungus infections of the skin or nails? Mild to moderate? Severe or persistent?
11. Do you crave sugar?
12. Do you crave breads?
1 3. Do you crave alcoholic beverages?
1 4. Does tobacco smoke really bother you?


The third part of this survey includes these minor symptoms which also can be weighted to score or the less and the major symptoms that we listed earlier.

Questionaire Part 3


  1. Drowsiness
  2. Irritability or jitteriness
  3. Uncoordination
  4. Inability to concentrate
  5. Frequent mood swings
  6. Headache
  7. Dizziness/loss of balance
  8. Pressure above ears, feeling of head swelling
  9. Tendency to bruise easily
  10. Chronic rashes or itching
  11. Numbness, tingling
  12. Indigestion or heartburn
  13. Food sensitivity or intolerance
  14. Mucus in stools
  15. Rectal itching
  16. Dry mouth or throat
  17. Rash or blisters in mouth
  18. Bad breath
  19. Foot, body, or hair odor not relieved by washing
  20. Nasal congestion or postnasal drip
  21. Nasal itching
  22. Sore throat
  23. Laryngitis, loss of voice
  24. Cough or recurrent bronchitis
  25. Pain or tightness in chest
  26. Wheezing or shortness of breath
  27. Urgency or urinary frequency
  28. Burning on urination
  29. Spots in front of eyes or erratic vision
  30. Burning or tearing of eyes
  31. Recurrent infections or fluid in ear



So in keeping track of all these scores, you can total them and you can see here the guidelines for interpretation that we’ve listed below. So for scores for men 91 to 140 total, and for women aged 21 to 180, total, yeast overgrowth or candida overgrowth that may be associated with those symptoms are more probable. Lower levels may mean that it’s possible and the lowest level would be unlikely or less likely to have associated symptoms from yeast overgrowth. Those in the highest category, the constellation of symptoms and weighted scores almost certainly represent candida yeast overgrowth.


Final Questionaire Scoring


Men: 40 or below Women: 60 or below Yeast is less apt to cause health problems

Men: 41-90 Women: 61-120 Yeast-connected health problems are possibly present

Men: 91-140 Women: 121-180 Yeast-connected health problems are probably present

Men: 141 or higher Women: 181 or higher Yeast-connected health problems are almost certainly present

Treating Candida Overgrowth

So once the diagnosis is suggested with this new tool, what can you do to treat the yeast overgrowth? Conservatively, we start with the anti Candida diet, and there’s an all functional health anti anti Candida diet, which we’ll describe today. There are also nutraceuticals, peptides,  other antifungals both prescription and prescription and special compounded peptides that can be used as well. Alternatively, there are other Candida and  Mold treatments that involve frequency specific microcurrent other energy modalities such as pulsed electromagnetic frequencies, and other special compounded peptides. We won’t be talking about the latter two, but today we’ll be focusing on the anti Candida diet and describing what a general anti Candida diet consists of.


The AFH Anti-Candida Food Plan

The  AFH anti Candida diet can be very restrictive,and it has to be personalized because there may be certain health needs that need to be met and the diet may be modified for those individuals. So the anti Candida food plan,; it can be used to treat intestinal candida overgrowth. It can be used for recurring yeast infections, and thrush, which is yeast in the mouth. Some of the risk factors for Candida overgrowth include antibiotics, especially the broad spectrum antibiotics as we asked him the question year, HIV positivity, the use of proton pump inhibitors including Pilocytic, amid Rizal and Nexium, those are the common proton pump inhibitors. People on birth control pills or having an IUD device are also at risk for Candida overgrowth. People that have steroid medications, diabetes, those people that have had chemotherapy treatment, diets that are high in sugars, smokers, and people with weakened immune systems or immunodeficiency, are also at risk for Candida overgrowth. The anti Candida food plan is designed specifically to limit the food sources for yeast growth, which is mainly carbohydrates, simple sugars. So all sugars or sweeteners, natural and artificial, refined grains, starchy vegetables and alcohol, as well as foods that are made from the sources or completely removed diet plan for four weeks. If the symptoms don’t improve, or only modestly improve, then we would consider a more restrictive approach including limiting all grains, grain products, legumes, and some non starchy vegetables and eliminating all fruits and all dairy products conditional for weeks. Other supplements and other medications may also be required. This is the overview for the food plan.


Features of the AFH Anti Candida Food Plan

So the key features are the plan to support a healthy microbiome because the immune system is 70% present in the digestive system. When they find the balance of beneficial versus non beneficial microbes are often out of balance. Therefore, symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome and other types of inflammation can occur that leads to gas, bloating and other symptoms. A healthy microbiome supports a healthy immune system. And this can be built by eating healthy whole foods especially those high in protein phytonutrients fiber and probiotics. There are no calorie restrictions in this dietary plan, and it’s not designed specifically for weight loss. However, some people do lose weight because of the amount of sugar and other influences and imbalances that occur. As the microbiome gets adjusted. It definitely promotes awareness of foods that one eats. For instance, people that constantly drink sodas that are for sugar will notice a difference when they have to remove these items from their food intake. This plan can also help identify triggers, because many people can identify with one particular food that triggers some of their symptoms during the reintroduction phase of the food plan. Oftentimes people will notice symptoms that had gone while they were on a plan that returns on eating the specific foods. The plan reduces inflammation and that the the whole foods that are recommended are anti inflammatory, and your body recognizes and uses these foods to repair intestinal lining or any other inflammation that’s occurring from damage that definitely is reduced in terms of carbohydrates and is focused on a low glycemic index carbohydrates and suggests using leafy vegetables as well as foods that contain nutrients that help balance the blood sugars. A major goal is combining low glycemic carbohydrates with healthy fats and proteins to support a more stable blood sugar as part of the food plan. This plan is low in simple sugars and obviously one has to give up refined sugars that are in sodas, fruit drinks, pre sweetened tea, coffee drinks, energy and sports drinks as well. The diet plan has a low glycemic impact meaning that this will help level the blood sugars in avoiding spikes at times. There may be a lot of insulin required with your body seeing sudden increases in sugar. The diet includes low glycemic foods, including soy, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and more on vegetables such as broccoli, and low glycemic fruits such as berries.


Key Takeaways

So the key takeaways to the AFH anti Candida diet is that the aim is to limit the foods that promote growth through the Candida or yeast so you’re starving them out and not allowing them to thrive. This mainly consists of reducing or eliminating refined carbohydrates and sugars. Also, there is an emphasis on nutrient dense vegetables, high quality proteins and high quality fats that serve to decrease the sugar loads, increased nutrient absorption and help in determining which foods may be triggers when the foods or reintroduce flexibility is needed and the plan needs to be highly personalized based on specific health needs. And is the first step in a comprehensive plan for continued health and balance of the microbiome. So for the updated and more reliable symptom questionnaire that can help diagnose probable Candida or yeast overgrowth and to obtain a personalized  AFH anti Candida food plan along with a comprehensive plan for continued microbiome health, yYou can contact us at all functional health. We’ve helped thousands of people in their journey of health and look forward to helping you as well. So take care and stay healthy.


Jeffrey Mark M.D.


This transcript was generated by ai.



Jeffrey Mark, M.D.


Jeffrey Mark, M.D.
Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 5 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, anti-aging/ regenerative medicine, and obesity medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM, ABOM.