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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Yeast Infection

How Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Relates to Candida

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Doctor William Crook

According to the late Dr. William G. Crook, M.D., yeast infecting the body can cause symptoms that are similar to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). If you have been feeling tired, depressed, often have headaches, or simply feel “sick all over” you may very well be suffering from a systemic yeast infection. If you can remember taking antibiotics (especially broad-spectrum antibiotics) in the past, this can be another indicator that your CFS is really the result of too much yeast in your body.

In Dr. Crook's book, Tired so Tired and the Yeast Connection, he relates his experiences at a CFS conference held in San Francisco on April 15, 1989. It was there he heard Carol Jessop, M.D., tell of her experiences in treating 1100 patients with CFS. These 1100 patients, Crook assures his readers, had CFS as they all met the diagnostic criteria for CFS set by the Center of Disease Control.

Antibiotic use is one powerful precursor to yeast overgrowth in the body; consequently Dr. Jessop reviewed the histories of the patients and discovered 80% of them had taken recurrent courses of antibiotics early in their life. Jessop also noted that premenstrual syndrome, headache, vaginal yeast infections, and irritable bowel syndrome were very common.

To rid her patients of yeast, Jessop prescribed a special diet (one that eliminated sugar, alcohol, fruit, and fruit juice). Each patient was given 200 mg of ketoconazole (Nizoral) once daily. The results of this treatment were quite positive: 84% of the patients showed more than 70% improvement. The patients, however, had to endure this treatment regimen for some time; the average length of therapy was five months.

More Studies on the CFS Yeast Connection

In an article written by R.E. Carter II entitled Chronic Intestinal Candidiasis as a Possible Etiological Factor in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the proposition was made that chronic intestinal Candidiasis could be a reason for immune dysfunction in many CFS patients.

Another study (available here from the Journal of the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine), conducted by Erica White and Caroline Sherlock, sought to see if nutritional therapy aimed at ridding the body of Candida could help alleviate the symptoms of CFS sufferers. The study was plagued by a high dropout rate; most the of the subjects siting difficulties to adhere to an anti-candida diet as the cause of premature exit from the study. Despite the study's setbacks, White and Sherlock concluded that anti-candida diets can help reduce the symptoms of CFS. The study found that 83% of participants experienced some reduction in CFS symptoms. One can speculate that without using strong anti-candida drugs or herbs in tandem with dietary modifications, the majority of the Candida would remain in the body. It is interesting to note that 83% of the individuals in this study had lower levels of CFS symptoms; perhaps CFS symptoms would drop even more if an herbal or pharmaceutical anti-candida drug was included with a anti-candida diet.

More from Dr. Crook

Dr. Crook was led to try anti-candida therapies on his patients after he saw the results of a 35 year old woman who was cured of a myriad of symptoms; one of which was devastating fatigue. When he questioned this woman she stated that the answer came from a man by the name of C. Orian Truss, M.D.. Dr. Crook read the related article the woman spoke of and then contacted Dr. Truss.

Dr. Truss responded to Dr. Crook by stating:

“Since everyone has some yeast in the digestive tract, and most women have it in the vagina, smears and cultures do not help significantly in making the diagnosis. Instead it's suspected in any person who has received repeated courses of broad spectrum antibiotic drugs, such as the tetracyclines, ampicillin, amoxicillin, Deflex or Ceclor. Birth control pills and steroids also encourage the growth of candida.

It is further suspected in the person with such a medical history who develops fatigue, headache, depression and other symptoms who has failed to respond to multiple diagnostic evaluations and therapies. Finally, it is confirmed by the response of such patients to a special diet and the oral antifungal medication nystatin” (Tired so Tired and the Yeast Connection, p.37)

Dr. Crook was intrigued by what Dr. C. Orian Truss had to say, but at first was skeptical about the validity of his theory. What made Dr. Crook interested in Dr. Truss' theory was the fact he had many patients who seemed to fit the bill for having a Candida problem. Dr. Crook took several of his patients who were tired and poly-symptomatic and put them on the treatment regimen prescribed by Dr. Truss. In approximately six months, Dr. Crook had successfully cured 20 patients and he was overjoyed and astounded at their response to the treatment.

Due to the overwhelming positive response, Dr. Crook began to treat more patients that complained of health maladies like fatigue, poor memory, muscle aches, mental confusion, headache, depression, sexual dysfunction, digestive maladies, and other symptoms. Dr. Crook especially focused on women between the ages of 25 and 45. The treatment program he used on these patients required a sugar-free specialty diet and use of the anti-candida drug nystatin. These patients were helped by this treatment.

So What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Stephen D. Shafran, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., wrote an article that describes CFS in 1990. The article appeared in the American Journal of Medicine and is available here.

According to Shafran, chronic fatigue syndrome was defined in 1988 and defines a debilitating fatigue that lasts for a minimum of six months which has an ambiguous etiology. Reports of CFS have surfaced from around the world. The disease usually affects people between the ages of twenty and fifty years of age; additionally there is a preponderance of women who seem to be affected by CFS. Typically, there is a triggering illness that is typically reported by many CFS sufferers; however, there is no evidence that clearly associates any known infection to CFS. Depression also is reported by approximately half of all CFS sufferers; this depression apparently comes before other symptoms in about half of the cases of CFS.

At the time of Shafran's writing, he found no therapy to have been seen effective in controlled clinical trials. CFS was stated to be a pathosis of considerable morbidity but in no wise a mortal threat to the patient. Shafran concluded that more scientific research be done on the pathogenesis and potential treatment of CFS.


It appears that the preponderance of women who have CFS may be related to the fact that women more than men suffer from yeast infections. Dr. Crook and Dr. Truss were both able to suggest that Candida played a role in giving their patients chronic fatigue. R.E. Carter II also suggested that Candidiasis could lead to immunological maladies that may plague individuals with CFS. Erica White and Caroline Sherlock's study also showed some reduction of CFS symptoms in the vast majority of their subjects; however, unlike Linda Allen's program, only dietary changes were made—perhaps a reason why more drastic symptom reduction did not occur. Linda Allen's program also tells you how to eliminate fatigue associated with a yeast infection. Linda Allen experienced a great struggle with chronic candidiasis which you can read about here.


  • Crook, William G., M.D.. Tired so Tired and the Yeast Connection
  • White, Erica; Sherlock, Caroline. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 2005 3rd Quarter, Vol. 20 Issue 3, p193-209. 17p.
  • Stephen D. Shafran, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.. The chronic fatigue syndrome. The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 90, Issue 1, Pages 730-739, January 1991


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